You bet it can. Read for yourself what a popular conservative thinks now about liberals.
The quintessential liberal fascist isn’t an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade-school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore.
It’s not like these guys will suddenly retire in 2009. Nor are they close to death (most are still quite young). Will a Democratic victory in 2008 silence them? Of course not. Their unhinged stupidity will increasingly get worse. The question is, will rank and file conservatives realize how stupid their conservative ideology representatives really are?
These conservatives, people like Jonah Goldberg, will merely look at 2009 as a setback. They will push even harder. Times will get worse here in America, not better. This is merely the beginning. Unless rank and file conservatives begin to ignore and even push out people like Jonah Goldberg and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Will they do that? Not likely. The Savior will come first, methinks.
The quintessential liberal fascist isn’t an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade-school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore.
(courtesy of Matthew Yglesias
It’s coming out January 8th. It’s the 18th most popular book in the Conservatism section of Amazon.com. I bet it will be a bestseller. He writes for National Review, the center of modern conservatism. Is this truly how conservatives want to be represented? Is this truly how they want to be known? For such unhinged stupidity? Is this really the best modern conservatism has to offer? Let me just say, you guys are a sad lot if that is the case.
There are a few items in the news today that I feel are important.
Surprise, surprise. The Bush Administration Justice Department does not wish for Congress to really know what was going on at the CIA when they destroyed evidence. What do you think, Mr. Chuck Shumer? Ms. Diane Feinstein? Was Mukasey worth this? Did you really think he would allow you into the deepest darkest corners of the Bush administration? Serious, high crimes have been committed by the Bush administration, ordered from Bush himself. Do you really think he would let you in?
Do Congressional Democrats realize just how frustrating they have been at allowing the Bush administration and the minority Republicans to thrash them so many times? Do Congressional Democrats realize just how frustrating it is for citizens to see them capitulate at the mere THREAT of filibuster. LET THEM FILIBUSTER ALREADY! Let them do it guys! Let’s see Republicans talk themselves to death! Let them truly be obstructionist. Why do you give them such political victories, by both giving in to their demands without making them sweat for it, and letting them take the public relations coup?
I think we need new Democratic leadership. Y’all are cowards. Yes, you Mr. Harry Reid. Yes you, Ms. Nancy Pelosi. What do Bush and the Republicans have on you? Why do you bend over for them? STOP IT!
Heh, one wonders why. Let’s see, the reason given for the state of emergency two months ago was a threat to the state of Pakistan by Al-Qaeda. Now that the state of emergency was removed, can anyone point to any reduced threat from Al-Qaeda? Any evidence? Are they still a threat to Pakistan? Hmmm.
Maybe the real reason had to do with Pakistan’s Supreme Court, which was about to rule against Musharraf. Let’s see. Musharraf declares emergency, martial law, basically. He removes justices from the Supreme Court he didn’t like, and places ones on there that would rule in his favor. He arrests some thousands of lawyers—a true threat to the viability of the state, no doubt—-but, well…nothing really drastic done against the stated threat, Al-Qaeda. Huh.
So, who, besides Musharraf, can even consider the upcoming elections as anything but fair?
This piece of news is important because Ethiopia entered into Somalia at our request. We again farmed out what we should have done to someone else. Now that someone else, in this case, Ethiopia, is stretched too thin. Because many of its troops are in Somalia, Ethiopia does not have enough to deal with the rebels in a really dry region between Somalia and Eritrea. This is bad because it is undermining the strength of a fairly stable country on Africa’s horn. Meanwhile, over in Somalia, the Islamic militants increase their power.
Huh, I wonder if Bush will pull a Bush senior move and send soldiers into Somalia just before he gets out of office forcing his Democratic successor to handle his mess.
I don’t get Israel. I don’t think they realize the enormity of the problem in Gaza, and that by continuing to starve them out, it will only be worse for them. 1.5 million people is a hell of a lot of people. I’m sure Israel would love it for them not to be there anymore, but there is no way for that to happen.
It is really sad. A peace conference photo-op was done at Annapolis just a few weeks ago, but notably absent are the conflicting parties. Where was Hamas? Where was Hesbollah? Where was Iran? Interestingly, where was Iraq? How can you make peace with your enemy if you do not invite them to a peace conference?
On baseball here. The Mitchell Report has certainly increased baseball talk, here in mid-winter. I’ll be fascinated to see what happens in the Spring. But I wanted to quote from Ray Ratto, who is quoted in this piece. I think he makes some very interesting points in regards to baseball, the Hall of Fame, numbers, and more importantly, the business itself.
“I would vote for Bonds on the first ballot, as I would vote for Clemens, because the Hall of Fame isn’t church,” Ratto said. “It’s the history of baseball, and this is part of the history of baseball. I can assure you that Bud Selig will be voted into the Hall of Fame, and he is the commissioner whose name will be linked with the steroid era by first ignoring it, then profiting from it, and finally blaming others for it.
“I know that Cap Anson is in the Hall of Fame, and he was instrumental in the creation of the color line, which is way worse than PEDs. So this discussion ends up being an excuse for people with no institutional memory or understanding to claim a moral superiority they’re not really equipped to display.”
I always liked Ray Ratto. I grew up in the Bay Area and read his opinions frequently. I think he says it best here. Firstly that the Hall of Fame already includes cheaters, as well as racists and womanizers. It isn’t church. We don’t need to deify these players.
More important is his point about how the business of baseball profited from these past 12 years of steroid and human growth hormone abuse. I remember seeing a comment from a reader on CNN.com who said that Barry Bonds was being used. This commentator wrote when Barry was indicted by the grand jury on perjury. Barry Bonds may be done playing baseball for good. But that is a point rarely made.
Barry Bonds was indeed used. Bud Selig was silent because Barry Bonds brought in money. Look at just this last year’s revenue, over $6 billion dollars, according to sources. $6 billion dollars. That’s almost as good as America’s most popular sport—where enhancement drugs are also abused—football. On what did those baseball owners profit? On juiced up players of course. How much revenue did the San Francisco Giants get from the year 2000-2007? Shall we look at what profit Peter Magowan made during that time? How about Steinbrenner and the Yankees?
Baseball millionaire owners profited from their players getting juiced. And who gets blamed now? The players of course. Rape them for all they’ve got and then throw them to the trash compactor when you’re through with them. Who is the public face of the San Francisco Giants? Barry Bonds of course. Who is the money behind the San Francisco Giants? Peter Magowan. Who will pay for the juiced player? Barry Bonds of course. Who will profit from the juiced player? Peter Magowan.
Read for yourself:
George Mitchell’s steroids report hasn’t just rocked the game of baseball. It figures to shake the business of baseball, too.
As an industry, MLB has been even hotter than Josh Beckett in October. It posted record revenues of $6 billion this year. Baseball has more than doubled its take of a decade ago and is closing fast on the NFL as the top-grossing league in sports.
The Mitchell Report, though, could jeopardize that run. Maybe Commissioner Bud Selig just couldn’t stand too much prosperity. He ordered up the Mitchell Report and re-focused attention on a problem that, in many fans’ eyes, had faded as a concern.
Just remember who profited on baseball’s steroids. Not the players who get the fans’ wrath. Oh no. People like Bud Selig. I wish we had our priorities straight, here in America.
They were wrong about Iraq. So they shifted their target to Iran. Now that the NIE has proven them wrong, I wonder who the next target will be. Will they turn on Saudi Arabia, where most of our “real” enemies come from? Will they pick lowly Yemen? We’ve got (or had) a bunch of Yemenis in Guantanamo Bay prison. Maybe Algeria if Islamic insurgents overthrow the military government. We know they won’t shift away from the Middle East. They’re too addicted to the oil. In any case, TalkingPointsMemo created a nice little tribute to America’s warmongers.
Well, there you go, ladies and gentlemen. When facing scrutiny over its torture program, the CIA protected itself by destroying evidence.
The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Al Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about the C.I.A’s secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.
The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. They were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that tapes documenting controversial interrogation methods could expose agency officials to greater risk of legal jeopardy, several officials said.
They broke the law. They knew it. They destroyed the evidence that would prosecute them.
The C.I.A. said today that the decision to destroy the tapes had been made “within the C.I.A. itself,” and they were destroyed to protect the safety of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value. The agency was headed at the time by Porter J. Goss. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Goss declined this afternoon to comment on the destruction of the tapes.
And we can trust the CIA to tell us the truth. Porter Goss, that’s Bush’s man.
It was not clear who within the C.I.A. authorized the destruction of the tapes, but current and former government officials said it had been approved at the highest levels of the agency.
That would be Porter Goss, Bush’s man.
The recordings were not provided to a federal court hearing the case of the terror suspect Zacarias Moussaoui or to the Sept. 11 commission, which had made formal requests to the C.I.A. for transcripts and any other documentary evidence taken from interrogations of agency prisoners.
C.I.A. lawyers told federal prosecutors in 2003 and 2005, who relayed the information to a federal court in the Moussaoui case, that the C.I.A. did not possess recordings of interrogations sought by the judge in the case. It was unclear whether the judge had explicitly sought the videotape depicting the interrogation of Mr. Zubaydah.
Mr. Moussaoui’s lawyers had hoped that records of the interrogations might provide exculpatory evidence for Mr. Moussaoui — showing that the Al Qaeda detainees did not know Mr. Moussaoui and clearing him of involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001, plot.
They obstructed justice. Is anyone surprised?
General Hayden’s statement said that the tapes posed a “serious security risk,” and that if they were to become public they would have exposed C.I.A. officials “and their families to retaliation from Al Qaeda and its sympathizers.”
“What matters here is that it was done in line with the law,” he said. He said in his statement that he was informing agency employees because “the press has learned” about the destruction of the tapes.
General Hayden, protecting his own. Not a follower of the law. And Mr. General, they would not have been exposed to retaliation from Al-Qaeda and its sympathizers, unless you are calling the long arm of the law Al-Qaeda.
Staff members of the Sept. 11 commission, which completed its work in 2004, expressed surprise when they were told that interrogation videotapes existed until 2005.
“The commission did formally request material of this kind from all relevant agencies, and the commission was assured that we had received all the material responsive to our request,” said Philip D. Zelikow, who served as executive director of the Sept. 11 commission and later as a senior counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Makes one wonder what else is hiding in that cavernous CIA headquarters that they might not want the public to know…
Daniel Marcus, a law professor at American University who served as general counsel for the Sept. 11 commission and was involved in the discussions about interviews with Al Qaeda leaders, said he had heard nothing about any tapes being destroyed.
If tapes were destroyed, he said, “it’s a big deal, it’s a very big deal,” because it could amount to obstruction of justice to withhold evidence being sought in criminal or fact-finding investigations.
Indeed, and a worthy nominee for understatement of the year.
General Hayden said the tapes were originally made to ensure that agency employees acted in accordance with “established legal and policy guidelines.” General Hayden said the agency stopped videotaping interrogations in 2002.
Guess they realized that the more they videotaped themselves torturing suspects, the more evidence there would be later on for prosecution. Can’t have that now, can we.
A former intelligence official who was briefed on the issue said the videotaping was ordered as a way of assuring “quality control” at remote sites following reports of unauthorized interrogation techniques. He said the tapes, along with still photographs of interrogations, were destroyed after photographs of abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib became public in May 2004 and C.I.A. officers became concerned about a possible leak of the videos and photos.
Huh, like Abu Ghraib…that was bad and all. Imagine how nasty it would be to see the videos of the torture the CIA did. I’m sure the backlash around the world would be…intense.
It has been widely reported that Mr. Zubaydah was subjected to several tough physical tactics, including waterboarding, which involves near-suffocation. But C.I.A. officers judged that the release of photos or videos would nonetheless provoke a strong reaction.
“People know what happened, but to see it in living color would have far greater power,” the official said.
Um, that’s generally WHY you don’t torture. But some people, see, lost their sense of morals and reason when terrorists hit us on 9/11.
Mr. Holt said he had been told many times that the C.I.A. does not record the interrogation of detainees. “When I would ask them whether they had reviewed the tapes to better understand the intelligence, they said ‘What tapes?’,” he said.
Lawbreakers. Torturers. This is what America has become.
I noted in a previous post that Condoleezza Rice is a bumbling ignorant fool when it comes to the Middle East. She is attempting to somehow wrap up a peace deal between Israel and Palestinians before the end of her boss’s term. This is solely a selfish move, as she is more concerned about her legacy (war war war) than about peace. She has had ample opportunities to force her ideologically driven boss to make the right decisions, but every time, she failed. Well she finally convinced him to throw her a bone, and, as you’ll see, that’s what he did, throw her a bone.
President Bush, who’s largely ignored the risky business of Middle East peacemaking throughout his nearly seven years in office, will take center stage Tuesday at the international peace conference he’s hosting in Annapolis, Md.
He won’t remain there for long, however. Bush plans to head back to the White House after delivering his opening speech to the diplomats and dignitaries at the U.S. Naval Academy, and while surprises are always possible, White House aides said he wasn’t planning to offer new American proposals to resolve the conflict.
Nor is Bush expected to jump into extended post-Annapolis negotiations or head off to the Middle East to pursue peace in the waning days of his tenure.
He’s not going to really participate, get into the nitty gritty details. This may be a good thing, seeing how terrible a leader and diplomat he is.
It’s not only that he won’t really participate, but that he has completely ignored the REAL parties at conflict in the Middle East. Like, for example, orthodox Jews, who are none too happy about making peace with Palestinians. In fact, they, along with their counterparts in Palestine, Hamas, are counter-rallying against this meeting.
In a show of defiance against the U.S.-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, thousands of Hamas supporters rallied in the streets of the Gaza Strip Tuesday and a second armed Palestinian movement vowed to intensify its attacks on Israel, saying “the only dialogue with the enemy with be with rifles and rockets.”
The demonstration that filled Gaza City’s wide central avenue came a day after thousands of Israelis, also opposed to fresh negotiations to create a Palestinian state, marched from the Western Wall, the holiest place Jews can pray, to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s residence near this city’s center.
Among them were leaders of at least one party that is part of Olmert’s governing coalition, a sign of the political tremors likely to follow the inauguration of the first Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in nearly seven years.
Israeli and Palestinian rejectionists — the term used to describe those who deny the other’s right to a state nearly six-decades after Israel’s founding — have hampered past negotiations and worked to undermine efforts to implement the few agreements that have been reached.
But the hawks on both sides hold particular power at the moment given the political weakness of Olmert, who is under criminal investigation, ill with prostate cancer, and still criticized for waging a poorly conceived war in Lebanon last year, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president whose electorate is violently divided.
The biggest problem, of course, is that no one bothered to invite Iran to this meeting. Why not? Because the Bush administration is ideologically driven, rather than peace-driven. If the Bush administration truly cared about peace in the Middle East, they would be visiting Tehran, not rattling their sabers at Tehran.
More than four dozen governments, international organizations and financial institutions will be represented when Middle East talks open in Annapolis today. But it is the uninvited guests — Iran and its allies Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and other militant factions — that may have the biggest impact on the peace talks.
Containing Iran and its regional influence is the ambitious challenge for all the attendees except Syria, a goal officials from many participating nations contend is as important as producing peace in the Middle East.
“Iran will be the 5,000-pound elephant in the room, even though it’s not present,” said former U.S. peace negotiator Aaron David Miller. “It’s in everyone’s calculation and motivation . . . [plus] the impact of Hamas and the role it can play in wreaking havoc with whatever happens in Annapolis. . . . The balance of power is not in favor of peacemakers but in favor of the troublemakers.”
And that there is the key to why this meeting will not accomplish anything. Think back to when Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton got Israel and two of her neighbors to sign peace treaties. Jimmy Carter focused on Egypt and Israel, and Bill Clinton focused on Jordan and Israel. In order for there to be peace between two nations, BOTH nations must be there for conferences that might spell out actions. Iran is nowhere to be found because no one invited Iran. That spells major trouble.
That also sends a signal to Iran that the United States considers Iran’s regime’s days numbered, not worthy enough to consider inviting to a meeting about peace. Think about that for a while.
I just have to add these great comics on this meeting:
Mr. Robert Novak writes today about the ineffectual and dismal nation building going on in Iraq. He writes:
This faulty allocation of U.S. funds is part of a broader problem in Iraq: Americans are not good at nation-building. The huge embassy in Baghdad is run by Foreign Service officers on the same model as U.S. missions worldwide whose function is reporting, not managing. Similarly, legal policy in Iraq is handled by assistant U.S. attorneys who focus on arrest and detention.
I’m sorry Mr. Novak, as experienced as you are in Washington, you are still a hyper-partisan who would rather paint everybody bad than the Republicans. It is the Bush administration and the Republicans that are bad at nation building, not Americans. They may be Americans, but they do not represent all of America. And yes, they are indeed terrible at nation-building (heck you should have figured that out back before Bush was elected when he scorned and scorned nation building). But there are Americans who actually are quite good at nation building. They just don’t belong to the Republican party.
That’s why he must be a dictator, because the protesting will “disturb” the election process:
The president of Pakistan, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, vigorously defended his declaration of emergency rule in a 40-minute interview, insisting that it would not interfere with the holding of free and fair elections.
He defended the decree issued 10 days ago that scrapped the Constitution, dismissed the Supreme Court and resulted in the arrests of 2,500 opposition party workers, lawyers and human rights advocates, and rejected an appeal by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to lift emergency rule.
“I totally disagree with her,” General Musharraf said in an interview with The New York Times at the presidential building here on Tuesday. “The emergency is to ensure elections go in an undisturbed manner.”
General Musharraf said the decree was justified because the Supreme Court had meddled in politics, specifically the validity of his re-election, and because of the serious threat from terrorists.
In the interview General Musharraf was critical of the opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, saying she was confrontational and would be difficult to work with.
General Musharraf complained about her conduct since her return a month ago, saying: “You come here on supposedly on a reconciliatory mode, and right before you land, you’re on a confrontationist mode. I am afraid this is producing negative vibes, negative optics.”
In the interview, the general, dressed in a gray suit and blue tie, described Pakistan as suffering from a “disturbed terrorist environment.”
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” he said, when asked when the emergency rule would end. “We need to see the environment.”
Can you say, whacked! Can you say, unhinged from reality! The man is holding on to power he knows he is losing. He’s not going to last long, see. So he has to do whatever he can. Including coming up with the dumbest excuses for his emergency decrees.
This is George Bush’s man. This is the foreign policy of the Bush administration. Coddle dictators who give false promises on democracy. See, if we were to actually have real democracy in the lands of our enemies, it just might end up that our enemies will win power. In the end, democracy is not our overriding priority. We are hypocrites.
And another hit and run, in which is asked a most pertinent question:
I find myself with a few spare minutes and make the mistake of reading Thomas Friedman again. His conclusion after a long, dull and witless ramble about the introduction of “democracy” to Iraq (just what the Gulf region needs, more puppet states) reads “If [it is] done right, the Middle East will never be the same. If done wrong, the world will never be the same”. There’s not much you can say to that except “shut up you silly man”. But it does inspire in me the desire for a competition; can anyone, particularly the rather more Bush-friendly recent arrivals to the board, give me one single example of something with the following three characteristics:
1. It is a policy initiative of the current Bush administration
2. It was significant enough in scale that I’d have heard of it (at a pinch, that I should have heard of it)
3. It wasn’t in some important way completely fucked up during the execution.
It’s just that I literally can’t think what possible evidence Friedman might be going on in his tacit assumption that the introduction of democracy to Iraq (if it is attempted at all) will be executed well rather than badly.
This was asked in February 2003.
Why this administration is losing me on Iraq, in which it is clearly laid out in August 2003 that if the Bush administration would not increase troop size immediately, the mission would end up being a failure. An excellent analysis.
The D-Squared Digest One Minute MBA – Avoiding Projects Pursued By Morons 101, in which sound business principles are applied to show how foolish it is to follow Bush into war.
Operation Agent Snipe, in the which it is highlighted how we were bamboozled by the WMD trick to our great detriment.
finally, The duToitification of the Western Conservative, in which the wimpification of the modern Conservative is well highlighted.
Juan Cole wonders:
If Bush and Cheney are ever tempted into extreme measures in the United States, Musharraf has provided a template for how it would unfold. Maintain you are moving against terrorists and extremists, but actually move against the rule of law. Rubin has accepted the suggested term of “lawfare” to describe this kind of warfare by executive order.
Realistically, how many conservatives would actually be upset if, say, Bush were to keep power and go around arresting liberals…
Jonathan Schwartz quotes George Orwell, whose main points, especially in 1984 are glaringly relevant today:
A Party member…is supposed to live in a continuous frenzy of hatred of foreign enemies and internal traitors, triumph over victories, and self-abasement before the power and wisdom of the Party. The discontents produced by his bare, unsatisfying life are deliberately turned outwards and dissipated by such devices as the Two Minutes Hate, and the speculations which might possibly induce a sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by his early acquired inner discipline…called, in Newspeak, crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.
What does it take to raise the level of discourse of these Republican candidates for president? Here we have Mitt Romney responding on the new sanctions placed on Iran that he is in favor of “a military blockade or “bombardment of some kind” to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.”
A bombardment of some kind? A military blockade? Just what in the hell will those do? Are Republicans really this far unhinged? This shows a real poor understanding of foreign policy on Mitt Romney. It shows that he would rather pander to an out of touch political Right than state things as they are. Com’on Mr. Romney, you were a stake president for Pete’s sake!
See, the problem is that because of centuries of gerrymandering there are particular districts in each state that are safely in one camp or the other, and there is no getting around it. What Republicans want to do is steal California delegate votes. They want the 20 or so votes from safe Republican districts (which will tilt the overall vote count). The problem is that these Republicans do not want to do this nationally (say in Texas or Florida or Ohio), just California, the biggest electorate prize.
Of course if this is done nationally, then it would wholly ruin democracy, as the only districts that will even get candidates to show up are the very very few that still happen to be competitive. As it is right now, because of the outdated electoral college system, only a few states actually count in the general election (Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, etc). Voters in states like Massachusetts, Texas, New York, and California (not to mention all the small states like Rhode Island—very liberal—or Wyoming—very conservative—that will also not get any candidates stopping by, even though that was supposedly the purpose of the electoral college—to make smaller states competitive), do not count.
I believe that we must remove the electoral college system from our election process. Make the election truly representative of the plurality of voters.
Via American Blog, one excellent reason to vote for Hillary Clinton as president is Bill Clinton. He reveals that his wife has asked him to be the Ambassador to the world, to restore America’s image after eight years of the most horrible foreign policy decisions probably in the history of our nation.
If Hillary Clinton wins the US presidency, Bill Clinton will be given the job of repairing America’s damaged international reputation, the former president tells the Guardian in an interview today.
Mr Clinton, 61, reveals that his wife has said she would ask him to “go out and immediately restore America’s standing, go out and tell people America was open for business and cooperation again” after eight years marked by unilateralist policies that have “enrage[d] the world”.
For the first time in his political life, Mr Clinton says, “ordinary US voters in the heartlands are concerned about who would be most likely to restore America’s standing in the world” in the wake of the Iraq war, lack of action on climate change and other policies.
“The average American knows instinctively that we have almost no problems in the world that we can solve all by ourselves,” he says. “And that, I think, is helping her candidacy, because people believe – I think rightly – that if she were elected she would quickly move to restore our standing in the world, and tell people there may be a few occasions when we have to do something on our own, but our strong preference is going to be to be cooperative.”
The collective effect of American unilateralism has been “to enrage the world at the very moment when we had more support than we’ve had in recent memory, because of 9/11”, Mr Clinton says.
The conservative right doesn’t give a damn at what others around the world think of us, to our utter detriment. They really can’t see the bigger picture, because they are stuck on their armageddon riff. They don’t realize that their armageddon prophecies are self-fulfilling. We’ve gotta stop that madness.
That is the question the father of one of the victims in Blackwater’s murderous rampage two weeks ago asks.
The carnage has sparked outrage and demands to reform the private contractor industry. Almost three weeks later, the collective memory of Iraqis at the scene is raw.
“It was catastrophic. So many innocent people were killed,” recalled Zina Fadhil, 21, a pharmacist. That day, she huddled in fear inside her store about 100 yards from the square as Blackwater helicopters hovered above. Like other eyewitnesses, she said she saw Blackwater guards firing down from the helicopters, an allegation the security firm denies.
“I am a peaceful person, but I wished I could have shot those people in the helicopters,” Fadhil continued, her soft voice rising.
Not one of the victims or family members interviewed had been aware that Blackwater was immune to prosecution in Iraq under an order by U.S. administrators after the 2003 invasion.
“Why is the blood of Iraqis so free for everyone to spill?” asked Sahib Nasr, the father of one of the victims.
Shoot first, ask questions later? Is that really how we want the world to perceive us, America?
Kadhum, the doctor, and her son Haitham, who were in the flow of cars the officers were trying to stop, didn’t react quickly enough. A Blackwater guard fired, striking Haitham as he sat in the driver’s seat, three witnesses said.
“The bullet went through the windshield and split his head open,” recalled traffic police officer Sarhan Thiab. “His mother was holding him, screaming for help.”
The car, which had an automatic transmission, kept rolling. Another officer, Ali Khalaf, tried to stop the vehicle as another spray of bullets killed Kadhum.
Thiab fled first, then Khalaf, followed by bullets that struck a traffic light pole, a billboard and their police guard post. Then the Blackwater guards escalated their firepower, engulfing the sedan in flames.
In sworn statements to State Department investigators reported by ABC News, four Blackwater guards said they fired upon the sedan because it was traveling at high speed and would not stop. Khalaf and other eyewitnesses said it was moving slowly and posed no threat.
Imagine if that was your mother and brother. If you cannot handle that being done to your family, how can you tolerate that being done to other people’s families?
On Monday, inside his spacious cream-colored house in Baghdad’s Khadisiya neighborhood, Firoz Fadhil Abbas questioned whether anyone would be held accountable for the shootings.
He has met several times with U.S. military investigators, and every time they apologized for his brother’s death, he said. But such words have done little to ease the clan’s loss.
“It looks like everything is back to normal. The company is back in operation,” Abbas said. “And we’ve lost the head of our family. There’s no justice here.”
Mohammed Osama Fadhil, Osama’s 14-year-old son, quietly listened to the conversation. Seated near him was his brother, Ahmed, a solemn 7-year-old. Finally, Mohammed spoke, focusing on Blackwater.
“They killed many others before,” he said. “Have they done anything to help those people, so that we can expect something?”
This is a clear case of murder, whether accidental or purposeful, those civilian guards fired on civilians and killed at least fourteen. For no excuse good enough to warrant the actions they took. And they are really above the law. They are not bound to Iraqi law. They are not bound to the military code. They are not bound by American law either. The Bush administration ensured that these mercenary guards are above the law.
Is this what you really want, America? If not, then make it known to Congress, the only power left to subdue this out of control executive. This is evil stuff. This is not the characteristics of a Christian nation, or any nation professing a belief in some sort of higher being. These are not the standards we were founded upon. These are not the standards our forefathers died for. Why do we accept them now?
DemFromCT puts it in perspective what Bush’s veto of the child health care bill really means.
George W. Bush is requesting $180 billion dollars for next year ALONE. The child health care bill would have cost $60 billion OVER FIVE YEARS. This is the priority of the Republican party. The four top contenders on the Republican side were all against this bill. Put them in office, America, and your children will never see health care. But you will see more warfare.
Oh and Ron Paul? What did he think? he voted against it.
Republican Congressmen and women are now boycotting MSNBC because of David Schuster’s strong stance against the poor little old Rep Blackburn of Tennessee. She thought she was going in for a safe interview, for a free shot at evil dastardly liberals. She was shocked, SHOCKED to find someone hit back. How DARE HE! “I’m a Republican Congresswoman! How dare you stick it to me!”
What a bunch of sissies!
Showing that indeed he’s turned to the dark side and forever given up his moderate roots, Mitt Romney will speak to the extremist secret combination group, The Council for National Policy, where Dick Cheney will speak too. Here is what this group thinks:
“The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs, before of after a meeting,” the New York Times reported.
Hmmm, I wonder why…
What do they want?
In the summer of 1981, Woody Jenkins, a former Louisiana state lawmaker who served as the group’s first executive director, told Newsweek bluntly, “One day before the end of this century, the Council will be so influential that no president, regardless of party or philosophy, will be able to ignore us or our concerns or shut us out of the highest levels of government.”
Huh, sound familiar to y’all, my fellow Mormon readers?
The DailyKos diary I just linked to provides the most information about them, and is aptly titled Sith Lords of the Ultra-Right.
Get to know this secret combination, America. They’ve been ruling the country for twenty of the past twenty eight years.
The U.S. delegation walked out of the General Assembly chamber when Ahmadinejad went to the podium, leaving only a low-ranking note-taker to listen to his speech, which also indirectly accused the U.S. and Israel of human rights violations. Gonzalo Gallegos, a State Department spokesman, said the U.S. wanted “to send him a powerful message.”
Oh yeah, real powerful message. You only showed how petty and childish you really are. Why are you so afraid of this piddly man? Why does he instigate such fear in conservatives, enough to drive you to war?
Let’s just be clear about all the obfuscation you will be hearing, all the muddying of the waters that you will hear this week from General Petraeus and Ambassador Corker. They are Bush loyalists, and will not tell you the truth.
First off is this little nugget in one report out today:
For two hours, President Bush listened to contrasting visions of the U.S. future in Iraq. Gen. David H. Petraeus dominated the conversation by video link from Baghdad, making the case to keep as many troops as long as possible to cement any security progress. Adm. William J. Fallon, his superior, argued instead for accepting more risks in Iraq, officials said, in order to have enough forces available to confront other potential threats in the region.
The polite discussion in the White House Situation Room a week ago masked a sharper clash over the U.S. venture in Iraq, one that has been building since Fallon, chief of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees Middle East operations, sent a rear admiral to Baghdad this summer to gather information. Soon afterward, officials said, Fallon began developing plans to redefine the U.S. mission and radically draw down troops.
One of those plans, according to a Centcom officer, involved slashing U.S. combat forces in Iraq by three-quarters by 2010.
They’re not planning at all to withdraw, or even reduce the size of our forces in Iraq before 2010. They’re in this for the long haul, whether you like it or not, America. Will you stand for this? They won’t care if a Democrat is in power in 2009. They’ll press on the lie to ensure more Americans are over in Iraq to die for…well, we’re not quite sure what. Some “victory” whatever the hell that means.
The second comes from this fascinating report about a UN report supposed to come out now. But notice what is going on:
The United Nations has delayed the release of a quarterly report on human rights in Iraq to avoid criticizing Washington and Baghdad while they are seeking to rally congressional and international support for the war effort, according to U.N. officials.
The move follows a request by Ryan C. Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, to Ashraf Qazi, the United Nations’ top envoy in Baghdad, saying Iraq needs “several weeks” to study the report, according to an account by a senior U.N. official. The delay will effectively postpone debate over the United Nations’ view of Iraq’s sectarian violence — and U.S. and Iraqi efforts to combat it — until after Crocker and Gen. David H. Petraeus deliver a crucial assessment of conditions in Iraq to Congress this week.
A draft of the U.N. report, which was completed last month, focuses primarily on violence committed by Iraqi militias and insurgents, according to U.N. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. But it also documents abuses by U.S. and Iraqi forces during more than four months of the U.S.-backed military buildup in Baghdad. It faults Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, saying it lacks commitment to improving its rights record.
Gee, why would we want to avoid criticizing Washington and Baghdad while they’re trying to build support? Shouldn’t we know the full picture as they are trying to build support? Why hide? Doesn’t the truth set you free?
So just know America. You will be bamboozled.
Oh, and the political positioning by Republicans now is all about 2012. They’re pretty certain to lose 2008 to the Democrats and are trying to position the war so whatever Democratic leader starts in 2009 has a losing war to end, thereby creating the perfect opportunity for Republicans to come back in 2012 as the “saviors” of America from those dastardly liberals.