Monday, June 14, 2004

Eric Alterman Congratulates Iraq Hawks

Eric Alterman Congratulates Iraq Hawks

In a sarcastic way, mind you. I liked it enough to share it with you in case you missed it.

Take a look at this:

It’s hard to say which is the best representation of what this war is doing to and has done to this country. Is it the lies that were told to get us into it? Is the fact that we are picking up innocent people off the street and torturing them? Is it that we have suspended the most basic civil liberties in our own country? Is it that the work of professional intelligence agencies has been corrupted? Is it that we have drawn resources away from the fight against Al Qaida which has completely regrouped? Is it that we are creating more terrorists? Is it that more than seven hundred Americans have been killed and thousands have been seriously injured? Is it that thousands of Iraqis have been killed but nobody is keeping an account of the numbers of their deaths? Is it that we are now more hated around the world than we have ever been? Is it that we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars while actually decreasing our security? Is it that we are doing all this while starving the most crucial homeland security programs? Is it that everyone who told the truth about what was being planned has been dismissed and seen their characters attacked? The usually soft-spoken and moderate intelligence analyst and author Thomas Powers does not exaggerate when he notes that Bush and the neocons have "caused the greatest foreign policy catastrophe in modern U.S. history."

Congrats to everybody involved…

U-Turn for Colin

U-Turn for Colin

"Terror attacks were way down!"

"Uh..Terror attacks were way up..."

"Sheeit, Colin, how come the fibs didn't work?"

*Seriously, people, do you believe anything this administration tells you anymore???

Halliburton/Cheney the focus of new MoveOn PAC Ad

Halliburton/Cheney the focus of MoveOn PAC Ad

MoveOn PAC has a new ad reminding Americans voters that Vice President Cheney's office helped ensure that Cheney's old company Halliburton would receive a $7 billion no-bid contract for rebuilding Iraq. Faced with a choice between serving our troops and helping out his corporate buddies, Cheney chose the latter.

Starting tomorrow, Congress will be holding hearings on whether Halliburton used its close ties to administration officials to get sweetheart deals, shortchanging both our troops and U.S. taxpayers. This is probably an opportune time to coordinate a political ad of this nature.

Halliburton has overcharged taxpayers millions for gas and charged hundreds of millions of dollars for meals for our troops that were never delivered. Last week, Time Magazine exposed this: newly disclosed internal Pentagon emails suggest that the office of Vice President Dick Cheney was instrumental in sealing an $18 billion no-bid contract for the Vice President's former company. In a Pentagon audit, Halliburton was warned that its food service facilities (which serve our troops in Iraq) were dangerously unsanitary, with "blood all over the floor" of its kitchens, "dirty pans," and "rotting meats..and vegetables." As Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) put it, Halliburton is ultimately "a company that arrogantly is overcharging when they can get away with it and not providing the quality of service that they agreed to do." Vice President Dick Cheney still holds hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of stock options in the company. It's hardly surprising that the Administration's response has been anemic, even when faced with clear evidence that the company is bilking taxpayers.

See the MOVEONPAC ad here

Put This Photo on the Sawbuck

Put This Photo on the Sawbuck

Reagan's Envoy Rummy circa 1983 remind us of one of the top 10 American Presidents of all time who embraced a murderer..who created a monster...who looked the other way when Saddam murdered his own people..who supplied Saddam with the evil weapons we could no longer find when Dubya wanted to use them as an excuse to attack.

The Long Journey

The Long Journey


God's given us years of happiness here
Now we must part
And as the angels come and call for you
The pains of grief tug at my heart

Oh my darling
My darling
My heart breaks as you take your long journey...

From a song by Doc Watson & Rosa Lee Watson


Valerie Reitman of the L.A. Times speaks to us about the language we use to prepare for the longest Goodbye. Whether the crossing is real or metaphoric, it's an inevitable mystic event.

Families and health care-workers hear words about the journey so often from the dying, conveying a sense of moving from one place to another, of being in transition...that a reasonable conclusion is that it must be a special language the dying have to communicate what they're experiencing.


Max has an idea

Max has an idea

Max Blumenthal has a counterproposal to Grover Norquist's HR 452. It's called the Ray Charles Memorial Act and it would save the ten dollar bill from Reagan's mug.

That would free the sawbuck problem and make room for my notion: to chuck the silly 'National ID card' idea and use the image of Reagan's head for National ID tattoos on each of our American foreheads instead.

Again, there's Anonymoses' idea: Change the name of the U.S. to "Reagan".



"One has to find out for oneself."

"This does not mean that you reject what others say...


....but that you inquire without acceptance or denial."

^~^~^~^~^~^"An aggressive mind, a mind tethered to a belief, is not free.......


~^~^~^~^~^~and therefore it is incapable of inquiry."

"All this demands intensive inquiry, not acceptance."


Turkey taking harder line on Ariel Sharon at OIC Talks

Turkey taking harder line on Ariel Sharon at OIC Talks

The foreign Ministers of a 57-member bloc of Islamic nations began talks in Turkey's commercial capital, Istanbul, over the future of Iraq and the Arab-Israeli conflict today. Turkey is the only Muslim member of NATO.

The foreign ministers will also elect a new secretary general for the Saudi-based grouping, known as the Organization of the Islamic Conference, or O.I.C.

In the Washington Post, it says the conference will likely emphasize the unity of Iraq amid Arab and Turkish fears the country could fragment along ethnic lines.

At, it says that foreign ministers are expected to call for a speedy transfer of full sovereignty to the Iraqi people and emphasize the need to preserve the territorial unity of Iraq. Iran, Syria and Turkey, which share borders with Iraq, have expressed deep concern over a feared break-up of Iraq into separate, Kurdish, Shia and Sunni entities should the Iraqis' experiment with democratic self-rule fail. All three are especially worried that the emergence of a Kurdish state in Iraq could fan separatist sentiment among their own Kurdish minorities.

Last week, the leaders at the G8 summit adopted a compromise version of President Bush's plan for Middle Eastern reforms and tied it to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (one of the few Muslim leaders invited to the G8) has said: "Change should not be imposed from the outside. The character and traditions of each country must be taken into consideration." Before leaving for the U.S., Erdogan had told reporters that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and bringing stability to Iraq were crucial issues for the current OIC.

It is believed that it would be a major coup for the Turks to get a Turkish head of the OIC, and although the Washington Post doesn't mention it, I read this in Baku Today (a less-western-flavoured news source):

Host nation Turkey has long been criticized by Arab nations for its strong military and economic ties with Israel. In recent weeks, however, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken out against the policies of his Israeli counterpart, Ariel Sharon, accusing the Jewish state of engaging in terrorism against the Palestinians.

To gain political ground with the OIC, Turkey is apparently being forced to take a harder line on Israel because of the Iraq war.

I wonder if this Sharon-dissing by one of the only democracies in the region was foreseen by the NeoCons who wanted this war so badly?


"And I just, you know every so often I hear some people suggesting, well the right reaction for Turkey to this bump in our relationship is, well we should make more friends with Iran and more friends with Syria. Excuse me, that's absolutely the wrong way to go. The right way to go, as I say, is to think about where the real democrats, where does democracy need to be supported."

-Paul Wolfowitz to CNN Turk May, 2003

We've Killed More Innocent Iraqis Than We've Been Told

We've Killed More Innocent Iraqis Than We've Been Told

It would shame us as good people to ignore the fact that the United States launched many more failed airstrikes on a far broader array of senior Iraqi leaders during the early days of the war last year than has ever been previously acknowledged. Knowing that some caused significant civilian casualties should give us pause to mourn the innocent victims of our war intended to "liberate" them. Only a few of the 50 airstrikes have been described in public. All were unsuccessful. These failures were an early warning sign about the thinness of American intelligence on Iraq. The unspoken numbers of civilian casualties has not been acknowledged by the Bush administration.

The fervored Texas-style manhunt for the faces on that infamous deck of Iraq's "most-wanted" playing cards turned into an entire tome filled with innocent faces who were unlucky enough to be in the way when the shock and awe began.

I am ashamed of the government that would have led us in this iresponsible manner. If you aren't, I wonder if you possess a soul of basic human compassion. This is not to preach, but to ask you how there can be any form of national pride-in-responsibility when our leaders play "Deputy Dawg" and stomp on others' homelands with faulty intelligence and devastating bombs?



The reality of the awareness that every breath is shared with all life and that all people are brethren may never become a political asset...but it will always be true.

The war was unnecessary. Untold numbers of perfectly innocent souls are dead at our hands. The President may not wish to talk about it, but it will always be true.