Monday, September 08, 2003

I'm Sorry, Senator Kerry, I'm Just Not Convinced.

In an interview today, John Kerry is quoted by the AP as saying that he would want to be able to tell families of dead soldiers that he did everything possible to avoid war and that U.S. interests required bloodshed. "I don't think the president passed that test,'' he said.

Now, I believe John Kerry is a brilliant man, but I have to be honest here.

Because I believe in his brilliance, I have to say he is being intellectually dishonest here.

John Kerry did not pass the test in October, 2002 when he voted "yes" to give this President he now so heavily criticizes free reign to send our troops to war on the wings of a dreadful lie.

This past June, he claimed to have been "deceived" by Mr. Bush's pre-war claims which have turned out to be lies.

If John Kerry had been interested in the truth, why did he refuse to meet with his Western Mass constituents before voting for the war resolution? Why did he close his Springfield office on October 11, 2002 - shutting out his constituents - in the aftermath of his vote in favor of war?

In October, 2002, 23 of his fellow Senators and 133 Representatives voted against the Bush Administration's war resolution.
John Kerry voted for it.
What did 156 Members of Congress know that Kerry did not know?
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of his constituents had called him, urging him to vote against war.

Sorry, Senator Kerry.
You should have known far better.


In contrast, look at what was written about Howard Dean's prewar views:

From the American Reporter, March 2003:

On Native Ground

by Randolph T. Holhut
American Reporter Correspondent
Dummerston, Vt.

DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle expressed the views of many in America when he said: "I am saddened that this President failed so miserably
at diplomacy that we're now forced to war. Saddened that we have to give up one life, because this President couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country."
Predictably, the Republicans went berserk over this mild criticism of the failure of the Bush administration to avoid war.
"Is Tom Daschle the official Democrat hatchet-man or just a taxpayer-funded pundit?" House Majority Leader Tom DeLay asked. "Fermez la bouche, Monsieur Daschle."
House Speaker Dennis Hastert said he that he "was disappointed to see his comments. Those comments may not undermine the President as he leads us into war, and they may not give comfort to our adversaries, but they come mighty close."
We'll hear lots more comments like that in the coming days. We're all supposed to shut up and support this war.

My response to this kind of thinking is simple.

I will not keep quiet as I watch the land that I love turn into a rogue nation.

I will not keep quiet as I watch scheming men profit economically and politically from blood shed by others.

I will not keep quiet as I watch as nearly six decades of international law and institutions are crushed in an effort to bring a Pax Americana to the world.

I will not keep quiet as I watch my government manipulate the fears of the citizenry to grab more power for itself.

I will not keep quiet as we wage a war that is - by any objective standard - unjust, immoral, illegal and just plain stupid.

And I will not allow anyone to attempt to silence me, for I and others who are opposed to this unjust, immoral, illegal and stupid war still have the right to dissent and the obligation to speak up when our nation is doing something that is terribly, terribly wrong.

Dissent is the essence of democracy. The suppression of dissent is the essence of tyranny. Those who wish to shut up those who oppose this war do democracy a disservice.

This is a frightening time. Dissent is rarely appreciated in times of peace, but it is equated with treason in a time of war. We are but one terror attack away from martial law and a suspension of the Constitutional guarantees that have been in place for more than two centuries. And that attack became more likely to happen the moment the bombs and cruise missiles started falling on Baghdad.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the federal government has room to scale back individual rights during wartime without violating the Constitution.

"The Constitution just sets minimums," Scalia said after a speech at John Carroll University in suburban Cleveland. "Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires."
Scalia didn't say what rights he believed are constitutionally protected, but said that in wartime, "the protections will be ratcheted right down to the constitutional minimum."

Given the record of Scalia and his conservative allies on the Supreme Court, I would say that the Bush administration has a blank check to do whatever it wishes to our civil liberties in the name of national security.

But we don't have to see this happen. It's not over yet.
The former governor of my adopted state of Vermont, Howard Dean, made these remarks after Bush's Mar. 17 speech that started the final countdown to Gulf War II. Dean is one of the few Democrats running for president that has the guts to challenge the Bush administration on this stupid war. Dean's remarks are words all of us should remember in the coming weeks.
"Those Americans who opposed our going to war with Iraq, who wanted the United Nations to remove those weapons without war, need not apologize for giving voice to their conscience, last year, this year or next year. In a country devoted to the freedom of debate and dissent, it is every citizen's patriotic duty to speak out, even as we wish our troops well and pray for their safe return. Congressman Abraham Lincoln did this in criticizing the Mexican War of 1846, as did Senator Robert F. Kennedy in calling the war in Vietnam 'unsuitable, immoral and intolerable.'
"This is not Iraq, where doubters and dissenters are punished or silenced - this is the United States of America. We need to support our young people as they are sent to war by the President, and I have no doubt that American military power will prevail. But to ensure that our post-war policies are constructive and humane, based on enduring principles of peace and justice, concerned Americans should continue to speak out; and I intend to do so."
As will I. And, I hope, as will every other American who right now is grieving for the death of the principles that once guided this once-great nation.

Randolph T. Holhut has been a journalist in New England for more than 20 years. He edited "The George Seldes Reader" (Barricade Books).
Copyright 2003 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

al-Qaeda terrorist network is stronger than before the Sept. 11 attacks

The al-Qaeda terrorist network is stronger than before the Sept. 11 attacks-
U.S.-led war on terror has so far been a failure

From the AP: Academic: al - Qaida Stronger Than Pre - 9 / 11

"..Paul Rogers, a professor of peace studies at the University of Bradford in England, has said the U.S.-led coalition's military successes in Afghanistan and Iraq have failed to crush al-Qaida's structure or stem its recruitment.

Rogers' report was compiled for the Oxford Research Group, a think-tank specializing in arms control and nonproliferation issues.

In his report, Rogers said that while U.S.-led anti-terrorism efforts had succeeded in preventing some terrorist plots, al-Qaida linked attacks have killed more than 350 people and injured almost 1,000 in the two years since Sept. 11...."

The President's Speech

The Bush Speech-September 7, 2003
My questions and comments to Mr. Bush
Part I

1. "Nearly two years ago, following deadly attacks on our country, we began a systematic campaign against terrorism. These months have been a time of new responsibilities, and sacrifice, and national resolve and great progress. "

Iraq and its Saddam Hussein Regime never attacked us before your infamous pre-emptive strike, Mr. Bush.

Not two years ago. Not ever.

2. ".. we acted in Iraq, where the former regime sponsored terror, possessed and used weapons of mass destruction, and for 12 years defied the clear demands of the United Nations Security Council. Our coalition enforced these international demands in one of the swiftest and most humane military campaigns in history."

Not the 9-11 brand of terror, Mr. Bush. Not in the case of Iraq. There was no Al Qaeda connection.

The UN was proceeding with the renewed search for WMDs and/or evidence of existing programs for WMDs.

Iraq was cooperating...allowing them in.

You were childishly impatient, Mr. Bush.

You haven't found WMDs yourself, Mr. Bush.

You call your campaign "humane"? Do you realize at least 7,836 Iraqi citizens and soldiers are dead?

Have you seen the photos of what you have wrought, Mr. Bush?

Allow me to provide a few:




How do you feel now that you've burned so many international bridges with your ugly pride and hubris, Mr. Bush?

3. "For a generation leading up to September the 11th, 2001, terrorists and their radical allies attacked innocent people in the Middle East and beyond, without facing a sustained and serious response. The terrorists became convinced that free nations were decadent and weak."

We suspect, Mr. Bush, that you are gearing up for the September 11th anniversary. Milking the most sorowful day in American history and weaseling your way into blaming Bill Clinton for leading a decadent society. I implore you to "think Reagan" if you want to remember true decadence. You were hoping beyond hope to BE the new Reagan and to preside over a booming America. *I meant a booming economy, not the booming we experienced under your watch, Mr. Bush.

Speaking of the "2001 Bush boom", you are also weaseling your way into blaming Hussein's Iraq Regime for 9-11. Mr. Bush, you must take us for complete and utter fools.

4. A. "We have carried the fight to the enemy. We are rolling back the terrorist threat to civilization, not on the fringes of its influence, but at the heart of its power."

B. (appeared later in speech) "Two years ago, I told the Congress and the country that the war on terror would be a lengthy war, a different kind of war, fought on many fronts in many places. Iraq is now the central front. Enemies of freedom are making a desperate stand there -- and there they must be defeated."

The central front of a war on terror? Do you mean Pakistan? Saudi Arabia--where most of the 9-11 hijackers came from? Are you speaking of the Phillipines? Indonesia? Iran? Georgia? Azerbijan?

Are you saying the heart of terror was or is in Iraq?

Or are you saying you carefully CHOSE Iraq because she was the weakest nation, knowing you would "bring on" the terrorists from all these other regions once the pre-emptive attack began?

If that is the case, and it appears it IS the case from all you have said, then you were immoral and the cause of the Iraq war was unjust.

You told us, Mr. Bush, that Iraq's regime posed an "imminent threat". That is what you said.

You lied.

5.This work continues. In Iraq, we are helping the long suffering people of that country to build a decent and democratic society at the center of the Middle East. Together we are transforming a place of torture chambers and mass graves into a nation of laws and free institutions. This undertaking is difficult and costly -- yet worthy of our country, and critical to our security.

Worthy of us? It would be far more worthy of us to take care of the dangers and the basic needs we face right here at home, Mr. Bush. Our all-too-compliant Congress should tell you to eat your request for $87 billion...and go begging to the UN for it instead. Take your battle for desperately-needed cash to the central front--the heart of the world's hope...the UN.

6. Our enemies understand this. They know that a free Iraq will be free of them -- free of assassins, and torturers, and secret police. They know that as democracy rises in Iraq, all of their hateful ambitions will fall like the statues of the former dictator. And that is why, five months after we liberated Iraq, a collection of killers is desperately trying to undermine Iraq's progress and throw the country into chaos.

In the view of the Iraqi resistance, I would beg to differ. They do NOT seem to understand this as you say they do.To them, you are no more than an occupier, Mr. Bush. We realize that you wish the ideals of these real people were as easy to take down as the statue of Saddam Hussein. They do not see themselves as a collection of killers, but as a collection of patriots trying to undermine your occupation of them.

7. "Some of the attackers are members of the old Saddam regime, who fled the battlefield and now fight in the shadows. Some of the attackers are foreign terrorists, who have come to Iraq to pursue their war on America and other free nations. We cannot be certain to what extent these groups work together. We do know they have a common goal -- reclaiming Iraq for tyranny."

You represent tyranny to them, Mr. Bush. You have gone about this in a dangerous and entirely wrong way.

8. "Most, but not all, of these killers operate in one area of the country. The attacks you have heard and read about in the last few weeks have occurred predominantly in the central region of Iraq, between Baghdad and Tikrit -- Saddam Hussein's former stronghold. The north of Iraq is generally stable and is moving forward with reconstruction and self-government. The same trends are evident in the south, despite recent attacks by terrorist groups."

Sure, Mr. Bush...sure.

New explosion hits pipeline in northern Iraq

Ethnic Tensions Flare in Northern Iraq; at least 15 killed

US troops raid homes in Iraq's 'Sunni triangle'
27 August 2003
BAGHDAD: US troops hunting guerrillas and criminals raided homes overnight in Iraq's restive "Sunni triangle", the army said yesterday, as tension simmered among ethnic groups in the north and Shi'ite factions in the south.

10. " America has done this kind of work before. Following World War II, we lifted up the defeated nations of Japan and Germany, and stood with them as they built representative governments. We committed years and resources to this cause. And that effort has been repaid many times over in three generations of friendship and peace. America today accepts the challenge of helping Iraq in the same spirit -- for their sake, and our own."

Yes, we did this work Europe. Unlike Iraq, 1940s Europe had been a place in which most basic structures (especially government-related) existed BEFORE the war.

A U.S. role in rebuilding Iraq should not exclude the assistance of and power-sharing with multilateral institutions. If you look at the period after World War II, we (the US) were the only nation that was able to rebuild Europe, so depleted of resources were the other countries that could possibly have helped at the time. If you look at history, however, the U.S. did the work in a rather new multilateral environment that included the UN, NATO, and what was once the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. In the case of Iraq, other nations and institutions are available to help. And they'd be ready if they believed our leader sincerely wished for an international cooperation based upon respect. The U.S. needs UN and international cooperation to lighten the overwhelming economic and military burdens.

Mr Bush, you also need desperately to counter these perceptions of U.S. unilateralism. Swallow this dangerous pride, Mr. Bush.
It's getting late.


WMD- New Explanations


From the Independent UK: Britain and US will back down over WMDs

"....Britain and the US have combined to come up with entirely new explanations of why they went to war in Iraq as inspectors on the ground prepare to report that there are no weapons of mass destruction there..."

Excuse me?
Would you mind repeating that?

Did you say come up with entirely new explanations......
do I have that right?

Nearly 300 American troops have died.

Many more have been severely wounded.

All will carry psychological wounds from which they may never recover.

Uncounted Iraqi citizens have died and are dying.

The country of Iraq lies in shambles.

Secularists there are coalescing with Fundamentalists to drive us out of their WMD-free land.

In the world, U.S. credibility and good faith have nearly been destroyed.

While we come up with new explanations.

Damn them and their new explanations!

First imminent threat existed. Talk of "nucular" weapons that could strike within 45 minutes.
Great fear.

Next explanation....there were rusted parts under some guy's rose bush. So they HAD a weapons program.

Next explanation....they never actually had the weapons.


Is anyone besides me deathly sick of the lies?

The Bush Administration is corrupt and has led the Blair government to slither down the credibility drain alongside them.