Tuesday, March 23, 2004

See The Gotham City 13..just don't drink the koolaid!

click on photo for the rest of the flavors.
What's wrong with
Joe Lieberman?

Read this NYT article.
Senator Joe Lieberman says he saw "no basis" for the accusation that the Bush administration was too focused on Iraq in the wake of 9-11 and that he thinks "we've got to be careful to speak facts and not rhetoric and not to go about what happened in the past so totally that we divide ourselves."

The only thing, in my opinion, that will unite Americans is awakening them to the cold, honest truth.
Politics be damned.

Senator Lieberman, unfortunately, seems to be imprisoned in a Senatorial civility-cage while serious abuses of American democracy are allowed to take place in the false name of the "uniting".

Let's not "play nice". If we fail to unite with honesty, we'll only send out the message that lies from leaders are acceptable.


UPDATE: See Rubber Hose's comments about the Lieberman "no basis" statement.


UPDATE: Carpetbagger Report weighs in on Lioeberman's statements.


UPDATE:See DHinMI's Letter to Lieberman at Daily Kos
Article on Richard Clarke brought to you by the same woman who all-too hastily brought you Chalabi's lies about WMDs

The New York Times has sunk to a new low. Miller should be writing classified ads instead of giving us serious news. The Times buried the story, no less. As mentioned on The Howler blog yesterday:
If you still don’t know what the New York Times has become, this morning’s edition puts your questions to rest. Richard Clarke is found at the bottom of page A18, where his startling new book and 60 Minutes interview are treated by White House stenographer Judith Miller. Before offering an abbreviated listing of Clarke’s striking claims, Miller gives unnamed Bush officials plenty of space to speculate about his troubling motives..

The assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin

"When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there. . . . Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
— Luke 23:33–34

"Let the terrorist die unshriven.
Let him go to hell.
Sooner a fly to God than he..."

--Jewish writer Cynthia Ozick

Poof! There go the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Here comes cooperation between the many militant Palestinian factions to wage attacks. Hamas will respond in Israel, we can have no doubt. Violence will surely escalate.

My first reaction is a bitterly sarcastic "Nice going, Mr. Sharon." Then, the conflict of conscience settles in. At the Anonymoses blog, Dave says:
As Dag Hammerskjold once said: "Forgiveness breaks the chain of causality." Something like that. It is no longer acceptable that the rich and powerful can want to fight, but the poor and powerless are the one who, in every way, pay.

Can Palestinians keep their rage under control, and actually forgive?
Can Israelis?

Some problems are solved. Some are resolved. But some are simply dissolved.

Here's to a renaissance of conscience...that subtle organ that has been bred out of us. It may be necessary, but will certainly be a welcome addition to our jaded personalities.
Dave's thoughts on conscience bring to mind something Emmanuel Swedenborg said:
"We have a conscience about what is good, and a conscience about what is fair. Our conscience about what is good is our inner self's conscience, and our conscience about what is fair is our outer self's conscience. Conscience about what is fair is doing things according to civil and ethical law from an outer love.
I'm certain the Israeli people are conflicted about what is good and what is fair when they see their children blown up while just trying to make their way home on the city bus. The Jewish faith is a likely guide to the conscience of the state, albeit a democracy (much as American governance is guided by those whose Christian faith runs through their ethical decision-making minds, whether some of us would like to admit it or not). That state-conscience must rule by what they believe is fair in "outer-love" for the society. So--do we imagine the assassination as "fair" in the conscience of the Israeli government? It is up to the individual to decide. There is no right or wrong answer, I'm afraid.

I think Sharon acted hastily. Yet--I am conflicted..and if I understand Swedenborg correctly, I know am not alone.

Because of this assassination, I know there will be dreadful retaliation. More violence. Reinforced and enhanced terrorist cooperation. I wonder if imprisoning Yassin would have made any difference. He was a 68-year-old man, though. A quadriplegic, no less.

Israel claims the policy of assassination will continue. No one is immune.

Alas, here I sit thinking aloud. Moral clarity....moral clarity..why do you elude us, tease us, betray us?
Is forgiveness more powerful than moral clarity?
Is turning the other cheek a political possibility? Or would that be too crazy-Christian a proposal?
Could forgiveness be more powerful than terror?

Is there any real virtue to hate?
Preliminary Rulings From 9/11 Commission

The most important point to remember, in my opinion, is that we had a pre 9-11 world and a post-9-11 world. Those worlds are nearly strangers to one another.

Point from the AP article:
Both civilian and military officials of the Defense Department said that neither Congress nor the American public would have supported large-scale military operations in Afghanistan before Sept. 11, 2001.
The GOP Clinton-witch-hunters would have gone all 'WAG-THE-DOG' on Clinton if he'd asked for a ground war on terror. They would have called him a distractor.

Here's one small example from a 1999 article about Clinton and his terrorism warnings:
"...Bill Clinton is riding high since his "not guilty" verdict and, unfortunately, the Republican Congress is letting him get away with his foreign and domestic grabs for power. Kosovo is much more important to Americans than just pictures on the evening television news about a faraway conflict.

First, it's a "wag the dog" public relations ploy to involve us in a war in order to divert attention from his personal scandals (only a few of which were addressed in the Senate trial). He is again following the scenario of the "life is truer than fiction" movie Wag the Dog. The very day after his acquittal, Clinton moved quickly to "move on" from the subject of impeachment by announcing threats to bomb and to send U.S. ground troops into the civil war in Kosovo between Serbian authorities and ethnic Albanians fighting for independence.........

Second, by putting U.S. troops in Kosovo, Clinton is provoking terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals connected to Saudi renegade Osama bin Laden, who has declared a worldwide war on Americans. Fanatics bent on jihad against the "Great Satan" United States could hardly ask for a more tempting target than Americans deployed close to terrorist bases in northern Albania.

(note: It appeared Schlafly would rather have had us appease than fight so Bin Laden wouldn't bother us. In reality, Schlafly was wrong, anyhow. Bin Laden was supportive of Albanian Muslims/KLA, and curiously, so was the U.S.).

..Even more dangerous, entering the Kosovo war may provoke terrorist retaliation within the United States. It's not only our U.S. troops who will be put in mortal danger. Bin Laden has stated unequivocally that all Americans, including "those who pay taxes," are targets.

(note: So we should have appeased Bin Laden??)

Clinton predicted on January 22 that it is "highly likely" that a terrorist group will attack on American soil within the next few years. He is using this risk as the excuse to create a Domestic Terrorism Team headed by a military "commander in chief," with a $2.8 billion budget. We should not underestimate the deceit and deviousness of Clinton's plans to use aggressive presidential actions to wipe out public memory of his impeachment trial......

(note: An excuse. Hear that? Using terrorism as an excuse.....what a fool.)

Clinton has already issued a Presidential Decision Directive to authorize military intervention against terrorism on our own soil. Secretary of Defense William Cohen said in an Army Times interview that "Terrorism is escalating to the point that Americans soon may have to choose between civil liberties and more intrusive means of protection."

Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre has been floating the idea of designating a unit of U.S. troops as a Homelands Defense Command to take charge in case of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Hamre argues that the military's role should be formalized under a four-star general, and he has even speculated about creating a bi-national command with Canada called the "Atlantic Command."

The far-reaching nature of the plans being discussed within the Clinton Administration is indicated in the Autumn 1997 Parameters, the scholarly publication of the Army War College. The article predicts that "the growing prospect of terrorism in our own country . . . will almost inevitably trigger an intervention by the military." The article casually adds, "legal niceties or strict construction of prohibited conduct will be a minor concern."

(note: General Tommy Franks recently said the same thing about those "legal niceties".)

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 is supposed to protect us against a President using the Army to enforce the law against civilians. The spectacle of the military patrolling the streets of U.S. cities is something that should happen only in totalitarian countries and in movies like The Siege....."

--Phillis Schlafly [Schlafly Report March, 1999]
This is how divisive politics helped bring about 9-11. Shame on all who participated then..and now.
Tough love: Walter Cronkite to John Kerry

Mr. Cronkite repeats the message I was sending last Friday in my article titled "Wishing for a less cloudy forecast- John Kerry Needs to Clear Up".

Mr Cronkite addresses Senator Kerry:
Certainly your sensitivity to nuance, your ability to see shades of gray where George Bush sees only black and white, explains some of your difficulty. Shades of gray don't do well in political campaigns, where primary colors are the rule. And your long and distinguished service in the Senate has no doubt led to genuine changes in some positions. But the denial that you are a liberal is almost impossible to reconcile.

When the National Journal said your Senate record makes you one of the most liberal members of the Senate, you called that "a laughable characterization" and "the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen in my life." Wow! Liberals, who make up a substantial portion of the Democratic Party and a significant portion of the independent vote, are entitled to ask, "What gives?"
Let's hope Senator Kerry listens.