Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bush Speech: Nothing Has Changed

Bush Speech: Nothing Has Changed
See my remarks, written directly after hearing almost the same speech from Bush on September 7, 2003.

"Two years ago [in 2001], 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."
I had ended with my hope, which is an unrealized two-year-old hope:
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

I feel hopeless after hearing the old new Bush speech. It was all hat - and no cattle. I listened for indications that Bush had a strategy - that he knew how to win - not just with slogan-words like "freedom" - but to tell us what winning will really look like. He obviously has no strategy, other than the losing one he's been pursuing for over two years.

Bush said "We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed — and not a day longer." According to Donald Rumsfeld, that could be twelve years from now. Twelve more years - and not a day longer.


Clear Path to Victory?!

Clear Path to Victory?!
President Bush will speak to the nation tonight. With no expected move, on his part, to change in the incompetent strategy in Iraq, President Bush expects us to believe there is a clear path to some imagined victory. Prior statements from his administration serve to prove a lack of clarity and historically proven inaccuracy.

[Scott] McClellan suggested that Mr. Bush would not signal any change in military or diplomatic strategy. Instead, he said, the president will emphasize that Iraq is making progress despite the mounting loss of life, and that the United States cannot allow the understandable concern about the violent insurgency to deter it from completing the job.


Why I am on a 'clear path' to not being convinced:

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Feb. 7, 2003, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy:
"It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:
Sunday, June 26, 2005-
"That insurgency could go on for any number of years. Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, 10, 12 years. Coalition forces, foreign forces are not going to repress that insurgency."

Vice President Dick Cheney-
March 16, 2003, on Meet the Press:
"I think it will go relatively quickly...(in) weeks rather than months."
Larry King, to Vice president Dick Cheney, May 30, 2005, about the Iraq war:
It's not going to be a 10-year event?

Vice President Dick Cheney:
No. I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time. But I think the level of activity that we see today, from a military standpoint, I think will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.


The only quote that makes sense in the whole bunch:

Zbigniew Brzezinski, US National Security Advisor during the cold war conflict, on Saturday, June 25, 2005:
"Patriotism and love of country do not demand endless sacrifice on the part of our troops in a war justified by slogans."

Shelby Foote Has Died

Shelby Foote Has Died

Sadly, I just learned that novelist and Civil War historian Shelby Foote has passed away. He was 88. His sweet southern drawl and keen knowledge pulled me into the stories which Ken Burns put together so well in his Civil War series. I thought he was a beautiful man, in every way. He will be greatly missed.



Chinese Bid for Unocal Adds Fuel to Fire
Sunday, June 26, 2005
LA Times
These moves highlight a startling trend of aggressive competition between the established economy of the United States and the speeding locomotive of the Chinese economy. China's dependence on petroleum imports (already 40% of its demand) is rapidly growing. With the likelihood that all domestic oil production will peak by 2020 or sooner, industry pushes China and the rest of the world into a cold war of finite resources.-LINK-Your Village Voice

Anonymoses - Charlotte's Billy Graham is the exemplar
"Forget all those fakes. Billy is the real deal, and he apparently showed it in New York."

Poll: More N.C. Residents Disapprove Bush's Handling Of War
Poll Conducted by WRAL and News-Observer, Raleigh, NC

Audit questions $1.4b in Halliburton bills
Expenses at issue from Iraq contracts
By Rick Klein, Globe Staff, June 28, 2005

U.S. Sen. Feingold Calls on Rumsfeld to Stop Collecting Personal Information of High School Students

Feingold pushes Bush for withdrawal timetable

Steve and Jen's News Blog - Fight the FEC!
- "People are journalists by their actions, not their tools."
- "Once they make rules about what people can say, they won't stop. Unless the blog is campaign-related, they need to leave it alone." - Steve Gilliard comment

Fred Phelps "has only to look in the mirror for evil"
Metro West Daily News, by Deborah Gauthier
(Phelps promises to picket the funerals of the "Godless fag American soldiers when the pieces come home.")

Kidnapping in Italy
A few months ago, Jeanne at Body and Soul wrote about a controversy in Italy over the CIA's apparent abduction of an Egyptian imam in Milan. The man was rendered to Egypt, where he was reportedly tortured. An Italian judge's office has announced that he has ordered the arrest of 13 CIA agents involved in the kidnapping.
At War and Piece, Laura Rozen has an update. With half the CIA's Italian ops' cover and real names all over the Italian press, which has come from considerable help from the Milan prosecutor's office, is this revenge for the US's killing of Italian agent Nicolo Calipari? Or a battle between agencies in the Italian government?

Don't Miss:
General admits to secret air war

By Michael Smith

Raw Story:
The Unofficial War
(Raw Story’s tracking of the unofficial war graphic

Brad Blog: Congressional Members to Hold 'Downing Street' Town Hall Meetings on July 23rd!

Downing Street Minutes to Hit House Floor
Your help is needed. Please contact your Congress Member right away and ask them to contact the Judiciary Committee staff and commit to taking part.
Phone: 1-877-762-8762

Axis of Logic:
Why the American Press Remains Paralyzed

'Spikes of Activity' In The DSM
Saturday, June 25, 2005

Tracking the Congressional roll call for investigating the Downing Street Memo

Ex-Guantanamo inmates allege Holy Qur’aan sacrilege
(this is not much different than the infamous Isikoff Newsweek article)
NYT: "Senators Laud Treatment of Detainees in Guantanamo"
("Operation Happy Talk" - "Whether or not people are being fed orange chicken," Ms. Musa, of Amnesty International, said, "does not get at the heart of the issue." [TCI]

New York Times continues to pimp the Judy Miller case as world shattering, it matters to you news
The Common Ills

Ayn Clouter at the American Street - Check out the wittiest satire to come along in the wake of the wishy-washy Ten Commandemnets decision.

"Seek and You Shall Find"

Colonial Theater Reborn in Fredricksburg, VA.
A Fredericksburg theater troupe teamed with Historic Kenmore recently to give four performances of an 18th-century Restoration comedy on the lawn at Kenmore.

Art experts seek long-lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci
AP/Globe and Mail June 20

Recent Events Clearly Prove That Race Still Matters
Wilmington Journal 6/27/05

WTOP News: Hull-Less Barley Makes Beer Tastier
As we look at gas prices and our dependency on foreign oil, this could be another big boost to agriculture. Hull-less barley is easier on ethanol production equipment because it is less abrasive.

"We got in the wrong way. Let's get out the right way."

Iraq: "We got in the wrong way. Let's get out the right way."

I believe this will be a very effective soundbite. It will be part of a new MoveOn.org campaign. Regardless of what fathead Karl Rove says, MoveOn.org has had it right all along. They get to Karl - and it shows. By invoking their name, he aims to make them poison to mainstream Democrats. I certainly hope they won't buy into Karl's attempt to cow them. They needn't be afraid, if they trust the hearts of fellow Democrats. This is an important time in political history - for political courage, conviction, and fierce defense of the people who are not afraid to show it.

I wanted to share a letter I had written to my Congressman James Walsh today. I have removed some personal information for my own privacy.

Dear Congressman Walsh:

On the day before you voted "YES" to the Iraq War resolution in October, 2002, I had called your office to entreat you not to do so. I recall getting emotional - even though I'd tried to hold back. I was upset because I had followed developments closely - solemnly studying and analyzing known facts and opinions. I knew this war was wrong and that our President was misleading you. I am so sorry it has come to this sad point - with the Downing Street memos revealing that all I had anlayzed and personally concluded was true.

I cannot abide by what I know this President has done, Congressman Walsh. I just cannot do it. It isn't possible, in a moral sense, for me to turn my head and forget the damage that has been done by a President breaking faith with the American people.

I am asking you to examine your own conscience. I have many relatives, including my own father.. who are veterans of American wars. We look to the people who lead this nation to do what is right.

Please do the right thing. This madness in Iraq cannot go on. The civil war we've unleashed (and contributed to) with our inadequate show of force, poor planning, strategic incompetence, compounded by the bold-faced lies told by our leaders - only serve to weaken and endanger our military men and women - and our nation's reputation around the world.

I would ask you to join many of your Republican counterparts in the House and press this President for a timetable to get us out of this liars' mess.

Although I realize how politically fragile you feel, a refusal to press for an investigation into questions that the Downing Street memo have raised would not engender a lot of respect for the moral courage I thought you might have.

We're out here watching. We, the American public, know what's happening. The fantasy being played out in Washington, D.C., with a deliberate denial of the horror we see every day on our television screens and no real plan for short-term success, is becoming more and more damaging to you folks in the Congress every day. Your aproval rating is somewhere near 19%. Why is there such a "disconnect" between what is real and what is being fantasized by so many Republicans today? Do you think the public doesn't see it? When did we stop being one America? Why are decent and intelligent people who are paying the closest attention ignored? Why would you care to play a willing part in this great fantasy?

You are a politician, but you are first and foremost, a human being. Could you look me in the eye in another year or two and tell me that you need my son to be drafted to (or to volunteer for) a war which you believe we can be truly proud to fight?

I hear Donald Rumsfeld saying that the insurgency will last another twelve years. Then, I hear our President saying he refuses to set timetables for our departure from Iraq. It isn't hard to understand how any rational person could surmise that we stand a chance of having to send our military men and women to Iraq for twelve more years unless we move definitively toward an exit strategy.

Please, in the name of God and what is right - truly right for our nation and its reputation and inner-strength - act now.

Thank you for listening.