July - I had the great pleasure of meeting New York's next governor Eliot Spitzer in Liverpool, N.Y.
The first Blogher conference took place in California. The second BlogHer "Conference '06" will take place Friday July 28 and Saturday July 29, 2006 in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In late July, 1,300+ people attend the Spiritual Activism Conference in Berkeley, California (and hundreds more had to be turned away). The Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) is launched. It is a grassroots interfaith organization formed around the ideas articulated in Rabbi Michael Lerner’s article, “Why America Needs a Spiritual Left.” A second conference will be held in Washington D.C. in May, 2006.
"Democratic elections do not always work as prophylactics to safeguard freedom."
- Arnaud de Borchgrave
Chalabi Appointment: Not About Democracy -About the Neocon Dream
Democracy Schmem-ocracy. WMD Schmubble-u-MD. The Iraq war has been about oil-profit lust, economic imperialism, and lining the pockets of the politically corrupt all along.
"The Kurds are now in a position to slowly *muscle the Arabs out of Kirkuk, the key to control of the northern oil fields, the city where Saddam Hussein had muscled the Arabs in." -Arnaud de Borchgrave
*The word "muscle" apparently meant in a morally equivocating sense regarding the use of violent force to cleanse Kirkuk of Arabs?
Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large of The Washington Times, seems to be preparing his readers to accept that ethnic cleansing of Kirkuk will be the right thing to do (or at least the natural and expected thing) - all because Saddam Hussein "arabized" the region. Has he ever heard of citizens of diverse ethnicities living side by side? Oh wait - that would be the democratic way, wouldn't it? What was it we were "spreading" to the Middle East, again?
Ethnic cleansing, by any means of "muscling", force or violence, is never morally acceptable. You cannot invoke a deposed dictator's name to justify ethnic cleansing and expect it to be seen as a moral idea. We could very well be looking at a new Isreal-Palestine-style conflict as a permanent part of the future in Northern Iraq - unless we truly commit to supporting true democracy in Iraq here and now.
We're choosing sides in Northern Iraq - especially in Kirkuk - because of our economic interests - and every purple-fingered Iraqi knows it (whether it's "good" or "bad" to support the Kurds - the Sunni Arabs know what we're doing and they don't trust us). It hurts our military mission - it endangers our troops.
Borchgrave is asking us to look past Iraq and look forward to our next war: Iran. And make no mistake, he's already chiming in with a recommendation to cold-cock the UN again.
Sticks in the form of U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran now carry all the punishing power of twigs.
I am disgusted with mainstream editors planning the wars that will take my son - and yours. I won't stand for this anymore. The Bushes and Borchgraves of this world are pushing our nation closer and closer to a time when we will once again justify using our own nuclear weapons against an innocent populace. When will this seeming love for violence, arrogant unilateralism, thirst for riches, and fear-mongering end?
Some of our political leaders in Washington DC wanted Ahmad Chalabi, who'd received $27 million of U.S. taxpeyers' money in recent years, to prevail in Iraq - even though his filthy lies caused those same leaders to initiate a war in Iraq that was never necessary or just. Chalabi was dumped by voters in Iraq - dumped soundly - fair and square. Voters (in Iraq) didn't want the schlump to be in power. So what did the powers that be in America do to keep their lying scumbag friend around? Sure as you're born, Chalabi's friends in the U.S. shoehorned him in as the new oil minister.
This is just another indication that this war has never been about anything other than securing oil rights and oil dollars for America (and its lobbyists and whichever US elected representatives are in their pockets).
Bush and company will never tell the families of the troops who were killed (or maimed) in Iraq that their sons and daughters died for the oil that's greasing the slimy pockets of the corrupt people in Washington D.C.. No American wants to believe that even one of our precious American soldiers died for a lie. I am sickened to have to say it, sick to my heart, but I really am beginning to believe it now. I know I'm not alone.
We should remember this - no freedom-seeking purple-fingered Iraqi citizen wants to believe that their son or daughter died for an American lie. They didn't want a U.S. occupation - but they got it. They didn't want Chalabi - but they got him. They don't want a neo Israel-Palestine conflict in Kirkuk - but they might get one. And the Washington Times editor wants you to accept it as a fact of war instead of a result of pure greed.
Damn every major mainstream media outlet that shoe-horned this administration into power and who allowed their own journalists, like Judith Miller, to participate in the greatest con game and deception ever perpetrated on the American people. This is an America devoid of meaningful values.
Where is the America that our forefathers envisioned? Washington D.C. needs a good cleaning out in the next election. 2006 should be known as "the year that corruption would not be taken anymore."
David Hoch of Gainesville, Florida, has friends who will no longer listen to his ceaseless political rants, so he's taking his act on the internet. David likes former Senator and VP candidate John Edwards - and he tells you why. Welcome to the blogosphere, David.
The Left Coaster asks if it will matter whether or not Hillary Clinton had been supported by the netroots by 2007. He links a post by Professor David D. Perlmutter at his blog titled PolicyByBlog that covers the netroots and the impact bloggers are having on the shaping of the presidential races. Th epost includes a copy of an e-mail sent to Senator Clinton by Florida netroots activist Bob Kunst of HillaryNow that includes the statement:
"...your re-election is guaranteed by a landslide.."
Stepping away from Democratic party politics, I'd like to remind everyone that, after the last two presidential elections, we are playing with fire if we believe there are any guaranteed "landslides" for Democrats - unless we have taken the place of the GOP of being in the pockets and hearts of Diebold et al. A (small-'d') democratic abandonment of the issue of electoral integrity in this nation does not inspire the same confidence in me regarding electoral landslides for any Democrat. Seeing Senator Clinton making "flag-burning" her (uninspiring) pet issue, compared to her public worry over the integrity of the Electoral College system in 2000, shows the Senator to be a new political animal - and I don't see it getting her anywhere with the "I-hate-Clinton" crowd. Senator Clinton needs to dance with the ones what brung her.
On a somewhat related note, Professor Perlmutter has noted that
the National Journal's Hotline has dubbed John Edwards "The most active potential candidate" of the blogosphere.
I have greatly enjoyed taking part in the One America blogging this year. Elizabeth Edwards has posted a holiday story about the Edwards family Christmas today.
I saw this news item about a "maverick" secular Sunni politician in Iraq. His name is Mithal al-Alusi. He is looking to do what G.W. Bush has never attempted to do in good faith. Here is what al-Alusi wants:
"His goal, he says, is to form an antiterrorism alliance that would include the US, European countries, Turkey - and the Jewish state."
I wish this gentleman luck. He sounds like the kind of leader this world could use. I am still scratching my head in wonder at the fact that our President and his administration literally shunned the cooperative efforts of the international community in the year following the 9/11 attacks - when the world was poised to join us in our anti-terrorism efforts.
It's refreshing to hear voices from the Middle East that appeal to the angels of our better nature.
Talking Turkey Hopeful Voices Arise from the Middle East - Will Anyone Listen?
The Turkish National Security Council released an official statement that Sunni participation in the elections in Iraq was "a very important development," noting that all Iraqis had to be involved in resolving sensitive issues such as the status of the city of Kirkuk. The Turkish Daily News reports that the continuation of a comprehensive response against threats posed by terrorism was agreed to at the meeting of the Council (MKG), emphasizing the importance of cooperation among all relevant state institutions.
On the controversial problem of the oil rich Iraqi city of Kirkuk, the MGK called on a solution in which all Iraqis could be reconciled to. The statement underlined the importance of the territorial integrity of Iraq.
The Turkish administration has renewed an appeal to Iraq to resolve disputes over the ethnically volatile oil rich city of Kirkuk, where Ankara is wary of the ethnic Kurdish population gaining too much influence.
The campaign by the Iraqi Kurds has emerged as one of the most volatile issues dogging talks concerned with forming a new national government, and “It could also be contributing to a complex web of violence..”
I'm concerned about what appears to be a dreadful conflict of the People of the United States' interest. It's happening in Iraq today. It involves Washington D.C. lobbyists who I believe have overstepped the boundaries of ethics. My main concern is that their lobbying efforts are tangled in the web of a war in which our nation is engaged - and for whom our loyal troops are fighting and dying. Some decisions being made by the U.S. Military in Northern Iraq are being sabotaged by the political group which has hired an American lobbyist firm. It seems terribly improper for this lobbyist firm to be smack dab in the middle of a hot spot which is the scene of a sub rosa civil war in Iraq today.