Monday, February 09, 2004

Home News Tribune/ 2/05/04
A sorrowful father writes to the president
Dear President Bush,

With heavy heart, tears in my eyes and a home full of sorrow, I pick up my pen to write you about a brave soldier, 2nd Lt. Seth J. Dvorin, U.S. Army. My son was killed in Iraq on Feb. 3, 2004 fighting in a war.
Seth was a good boy, well-mannered, smart, kind and understanding.
He joined the Army in an effort to serve his country. And serve his country he did. Seth made the ultimate sacrifice.

Burying a child will no doubt be the hardest task that his mother and I shall ever have to do. The one question I have, and the one question I would like you to answer, is, "Why did my son and every other soldier that was killed, maimed and wounded have to suffer settling your vendetta?"
My son is gone just when he was laying a strong foundation to build upon for the rest of his life.

Now, President Bush, his life has been snuffed out in a meaningless war.
Where are all the weapons of mass destruction, where are the stock piles of chemical and biological weapons?

Please President, pray for all our fallen heroes and as a tribute to these heroes get our boys and girls out of Iraq now, before too much more blood is shed.
Since you waged this unnecessary war on Saddam Hussein the world has become a horrible place to live in.

I know my boy is safe now, in a new world free of hate and prejudices where GOD is his president, but you tell me President Bush why he had to go so soon and in such a violent way.

Respectfully yours,
Richard M. Dvorin
I hope Mr. Dvorin and his family do not mind me reprinting his heartfelt letter here on the blog. I would like to think he'd like as many to read it as possible. I feel it is the least we can do for him, other than to pray and offer sincere condolences. The same questions have haunted me, but I know I do not suffer as he now suffers. My heart is with him and all the troops and their families who loyally serve this country.
MSNBC: Russert interviews Bush

"I don't think America can stand by and hope for the best from a madman."

"In other words, you can't rely upon a madman, and he was a madman. You can't rely upon him making rational decisions when it comes to war and peace.."

"I’m not gonna leave him in power and trust a madman. He's a dangerous man.."

*I know what he means. He's gotta go in November 2004.


One of the most shaky/flimsy answers by Bush could be found here:
Russert: In light of not finding the weapons of mass destruction, do you believe the war in Iraq is a war of choice or a war of necessity?

President Bush: I think that's an interesting question. Please elaborate on that a little bit. A war of choice or a war of necessity? It's a war of necessity. We-- in my judgment, we had no choice when we look at the intelligence I looked at.. that says the man was a threat. And you know, we will find out about the weapons of mass destruction that we all thought were there. That's part of the Iraqi survey group and the group I put together to look at.
But again, I repeat to you, I don't want to sound like a broken record, but David Kay, who is the man who led the Iraqi survey group, who has now returned with an interim report, clearly said that the place was a dangerous place. When asked if President Bush had done had made the right decision, he said yes. In other words, the evidence we have uncovered thus far says we had no choice.

To which I could only think to say:

* Bush is doing his simpleton-best to screw with American minds by using these stupid semantic tricks. U.S. soldiers continue to die each day. These idiotic word games can't hide the truth anymore. I think most people in this nation are finally "on" to this incredibly ignorant leader. The Iraq war was unnecessary, unjust, and costly. It's not too late to turn it "hold Bush to his lie"... and make this a worldwide effort to bring true justice and humane, non-market-concern-based support to the people of Iraq. It's not too late to find a way to win hearts and minds. Bush cannot do it, though..and in this very interview he promised he would not change for anyone..for any poll..for anything. Along with his tax cuts, he has nearly bankrupted the nation and stripped us of our jobs....blaming Clinton, bin Laden, and Hussein instead of taking personal responsibility. We are left with no choice..he must go in 2004. *


ATRIOS noticed some interesting reviews from NRO. *c/o Calpundit.


How Russert Gave Bush A Pass On The AWOL Question

Looking For Your Own Face

Your face is neither infinite nor ephemeral.
You can never see your own face,
only a reflection, not the face itself.

So you sigh in front of mirrors
and cloud the surface.

It's better to keep your breath cold.
Hold it, like a diver does in the ocean.
One slight movement, the mirror-image goes.

Don't be dead or asleep or awake.
Don't be anything.

What you most want,
what you travel around wishing to find,
lose yourself as lovers lose themselves,
and you'll be that.

Persian Sufi poet, 12th Century
as translated by Coleman Barks

Village Voice/Suitcases from an insane asylum tell of lives long lost
What They Left Behind

Craig Williams, a curator at the New York State Museum, drove four hours to visit Willard Psychiatric Center in the spring of 1995. The complex, located 65 miles southwest of Syracuse, was about to shut down after more than 100 years. Williams figured he would be able to pick up some artifacts—maybe some antique furniture or a few nurses' uniforms. A staffer suggested he check out the attic of an abandoned building, and that's when he found 400 suitcases covered by decades of dust and pigeon droppings.

These suitcases bore the names of former patients. Inside were their long-forgotten possessions: snapshots, diaries, postcards, books, letters, news clippings. For Williams, finding these suitcases was the equivalent of stumbling upon a buried chest of gold. "You'd open these suitcases, and you could so clearly sense and feel a personality and a humanity," he recalls. He didn't know it at the time, but these dusty trunks would change the course of his life, sparking a mission that would stretch on for the next nine years—first to uncover the stories of the suitcases' owners, and then to present them to the public....
See the article for the biographies of some of the former Willard patients. They are adapted from materials featured in an exhibit titled "Lost Cases, Recovered Lives: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic". It will be on display at the New York State Museum in Albany, N.Y. until September 19.
ABC News Online
Michigan and Washington Democratic Primary Results
Maine Caucus Results

2. Dean
With 88 per cent of precincts reporting in Michigan tonight, Senator Kerry had a commanding 50 per cent of the vote.
Former Vermont governor Howard Dean was next with 17 per cent.

1. Kerry
2. Dean
In the north-western state of Washington, with 76 per cent of precincts reporting, Senator Kerry was on top with 48.5 per cent of the vote, followed by Mr Dean with 30.5 per cent.

Maine Caucus
John Kerry won 25 of 56 state convention delegate slots in Augusta, besting Dean, who captured 18.

Next stops: Tuesday's primaries in Virginia and Tennessee.
Observer/Peter Beaumont
How spies chose the intelligence that justified war

A little-known book by an-ex CIA officer gives an extraordinary insight into the way politicians are fed data they want to hear.
Under pressure from the politicians who would shift blame on to the spooks, the spooks themselves are looking for someone else to blame.
In Tenet's Georgetown speech he revealed for the first time that two crucial pieces of intelligence, which heavily influenced his thinking in assembling the National Intelligence Estimate in 2002 that made the case for war against Iraq, were generated not by the CIA but by friendly foreign intelligence services, almost certainly based on information from defectors.

Daily News Gossip: More lying liars
Al Franken accuses NYPost writer of lying about heckler at Dean rally
Franken has launched a full-scale war against the New York Post, accusing the money-losing tabloid - and Post political reporter Vincent Morris - of lying about his role in subduing a heckler at a Howard Dean rally in Manchester, N.H., two weeks ago...
...."I didn't body-slam anyone to the floor. The Post's story makes me look like a nut, and it has been circulated all over the world by the right-wing echo chamber."Franken said that Dean aides and security staffers accepted his offer to help subdue the screaming protester after nearly 10 minutes of disruption.
"Three of us grabbed the man's shoulders to restrain him," Franken said. "We tried to pull him back, but he grabbed onto a railing. I then drew on my experience as a mediocre high-school wrestler to suggest we lift the man's legs off the floor [so that he] could be safely taken away. ... There was no danger that he would fall to the floor."
Palace Theater manager Peter Ramsey supported Franken's account. "He's my hero," Ramsey told me.

The Sun
Six British troops killed, 'lacked ammo' in Iraq;
families call on Hoon to Resign
Six British military police officers killed by a mob in Iraq has as few as 20 bullets each to defend themselves with, according to a leaked report.
The Royal Military Police men should each have been issued with 600 rounds, investigators have found.
Days before they died last June, the Red Caps were told to return vital ammunition and medical supplies.
They were supplied with faulty radios and also lacked heavy machine guns, The Sun's sister paper The News of the World reported.
The families of the six men who died have called on Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon to resign.

Globe and Mail/Rick Salutin
The Media hustles Howard Dean outside the building
Why did they have to get him out of there? Because he was being disruptive. Not wrong exactly, but too loud, spoke out of turn, the sorts of things one doesn't say in mainstream politics. The equivalent of belching or farting in public. The media are the ushers and security guards of politics. They maintain decorum.
Here's the problem with this big-media "decorum".
'Decorum' is only as good as its accordance with its absolute etymology. At its most basic robotic state, decorum is merely an outward act. The truly important underlying component which makes 'decorum' mean anything at all is the inward elevation of the souls of those who employ the 'decorum'. The big-media doesn't think "elevation" or "wide-scope"..they think "make-money by entertaining". Period. Let's not pretend it gets any loftier than that these days in America.
In 2004, we don't simply need to beat Bush. We need to beat Bushism and Democratic 'Republican-lite'. Howard Dean came through with this message..loud and clear. Anyone who thinks centrist Democrats (which are right of center today) will do anything drastically differently than Bush is living in a bit of a fantasy world. I used to think I was in a minority in thinking this way. Howard Dean showed me and many other Americans that we were thinking alike...that it's perfectly alright to question the status quo. The big-media in this nation was not receptive or prepared to take a serious part to display Howard Dean as a representative of many serious lovers of democracy in this Democratic primary election. Their 'decorum' has shaken out to be sheer circus-quality market-based cheap entertainment. Howard Dean has shown us that, if we don't speak for ourselves, we will simply one will speak for us BUT us. We certainly cannot rely upon the big-media for any semblance of truth. They are little more than well-paid fancily-coifed sheep-herders.
Slate/William Saletan
Bush's difficult relationship with reality

....the Bush syllogism: The evidence says one thing; the conclusion says another; therefore, the evidence is false.

Why did Americans elect a president who thinks this way? Because they wanted a leader different from Bill Clinton...

On Iraq, Bush fulfilled both promises. "What I do want to share with you is my sentiment at the time," he told Russert. "There was no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a danger to America." Note Bush's emphasis on his subjective reality: "my sentiment," "no doubt in my mind." When Russert asked Bush about his unpopularity abroad, Bush answered, "I'm not going to change, see? I'm not trying to accommodate. I won't change my philosophy or my point of view. I believe I owe it to the American people to say what I'm going to do and do it, and to speak as clearly as I can, try to articulate as best I can why I make decisions I make. But I'm not going to change because of polls. That's just not my nature."

No, it isn't. Bush isn't Clinton. He doesn't change his mind for anything, whether it's polls or facts. And he always tells the truth about what's in his mind, whether or not what's in his mind corresponds to what's in the visible world.

What are the consequences of such a Platonic presidency? The immediate risk is the replacement of Saddam with a more dangerous fundamentalist regime.....Bush told Russert, "I said [to Mr. al-Hakim], 'You know, I'm a Methodist. What are my chances of success in your country and your vision?' And he said, 'It's going to be a free society where you can worship freely.' "....
The regime will be pluralistic, because Bush believes it, because nice men came to the Oval Office and told him so.....?

The punch line is that Bush accomplished exactly what he set out to do in this interview: He showed you how his mind works. Republicans used to observe derisively that Clinton had a difficult relationship with the truth. Bush has a difficult relationship with the truth, too. It's just a different—and perhaps more grave—kind of difficulty."

LA Times editorial
Pakistan Owes U.S. Answers
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf loaded his country's nuclear proliferation sins onto the shoulders of the nation's premier nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, last week and then pardoned Khan, who is revered as a national hero. That was a sharp contrast with Musharraf's promise in December to punish "enemies of the state" who passed on nuclear secrets...Musharraf's pardon of Khan may short-circuit complaints from hard-line Muslims and other Musharraf opponents that he has torn down a man whose scientific exploits made Pakistan secure against India and gave an Islamic nation the bomb. Islamic radicals are the prime suspects in two attempts to assassinate Musharraf in December....."
In the case of Pakistan, I don't trust that our national security interests are properly being tended to. There's too much hypocrisy in our having to support Musharraf as he's stalked by his own people as a target for asassination. Too many eggshells. Too many eggshells....


Real reasons for fear:
Will our leaders send us to unnecessary war again?

A crazy, uncertain, dangerous world lurks out there.
Pakistan's nuclear chief sells secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya, only to receive a pardon from Pakistan's dictator-cum-president, thereby furthering Pakistan's growing reputation as the world's most dangerous country...

You should be scared either because the Western world's two largest intelligence agencies are incompetent, or their leaders are liars or zealots. You should also be profoundly skeptical the next time, if you weren't the last time, if these leaders ever claim that war is needed because the intelligence requires it.

The Observer
Britain spied on UN allies over war vote
Security Council members 'illegally targeted' by GCHQ after plea from US security agency
Britain helped America to conduct a secret and potentially illegal spying operation at the United Nations in the run-up to the Iraq war, The Observer can reveal.
The operation, which targeted at least one permanent member of the UN Security Council, was almost certainly in breach of the Vienna conventions on diplomatic relations, which strictly outlaw espionage at the UN missions in New York.

Translators and analysts at the Government's top-secret surveillance centre GCHQ were ordered to co-operate with an American espionage 'surge' on Security Council delegations after a request from the US National Security Agency at the end of January 2003. This was designed to help smooth the way for a second UN resolution authorising war in Iraq.

The information was intended for US Secretary of State Colin Powell before his presentation on weapons of mass destruction to the Security Council on 5 February.

Sources close to the intelligence services have now confirmed that the request from the security agency was 'acted on' by the British authorities. It is also known that the operation caused significant disquiet in the intelligence community on both sides of the Atlantic.