Saturday, August 26, 2006



photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Nothing can harm me at all
My worries seem so very small
With my waterfall

I can see
My rainbow calling me
Through the misty breeze
Of my waterfall

Some people say
Daydreaming's for all the
Lazy minded fools
With nothin' else to do
So let them laugh, laugh at me
So just as long as I have you
To see me through
As long as I have you

Don't ever change your ways
Fall with me for a million days
Oh, my waterfall

- Jimi Hendrix

Bush & GOP Create Fear and Exaggerations on Iran Threat

Bush & GOP Create Fear and Exaggerations on Iran Threat

Can you believe they're doing this again - and expecting Americans to stand by and trust their word?

It seems to me that 2006 is coming and these desperate men and women of the politically fundamentalist right will go to any length to make us think we need to take military action against Iran...when we know that this demented brand of foreign policy is strengthening Iran's hand in the Middle East.

I can't help but think, after the Iraq fiasco, that this public overreaction on the part of the extremist Republicans will backfire on them. The fear-mongerers and neocons continue to wave war around like a loaded gun when, in reality, the only surplus of loaded guns are being recalled to chaotic Iraq.

Blogging theologian Tim Simpson has been rendered almost speechless by the audacity of those in the Bush administration and Congress who are once again leaning heaviliy on our intelligence agents for the purpose of sheer manipulation and apparently for the manufacturing of bogus rationales for our nation to go to war - something that should always be a last resort! Ray McGovern's talking about Hoekstra's Hoax. Professional intelligence officers were "as a courtesy" invited to provide input to Hoekstra's report, but there is no evidence they contributed. Have Bush and his rubber-stamping crew lost their minds? Many out there are thinking and wondering if, indeed, these people have lost their minds; they wonder what Bush has up his sleeve; and if Bush will act as a king or an American president.

Steve Soto wonders why the Bush administration would go the non-UN "sanction-lite" route if they still planned military action.

Bush's obsession with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is only serving to endanger despairing human rights activists like Shirin Ebadi and Ahmed Batebi, who were making better strides for progress in Iran before the Iraq war fiasco contributed to a fundamentalist hardliner being elected there.

Timothy Samuel Shah , who is a Senior Fellow in Religion and World Affairs, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, talks about this political trend - hardliners being elected worldwide due to the fact that religion and "God" are winning everywhere in world politics - and I'm not talking about the God that tells us to love our enemies. When Jesus said, "Love your enemies," we can safely assume he meant don't kill them.

Responding to the New Pro-War McCarthyism

Responding to the New Pro-War McCarthyism
Weekly Action Coalition

Most Americans believe the Iraq War was a mistake. However, due to blatant efforts to confuse and mislead, some Americans still associate the war in Iraq with 9/11 and the war against al-Qaeda. Desperate supporters of the President's failed policy are stooping to levels of political trash talk that can only be described as a New McCarthyism.. Here are three examples and some well-considered replies from the past week alone.

Vice Preident Dick Cheney as quoted in the Washington Post:

The vice president suggested that Lamont's victory might encourage "the al-Qaida types" who want to "break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task."

He portrayed the Democratic Party as preferring that the United States "retreat behind our oceans and not be actively engaged in this conflict and be safe here at home." (snip)...

(Sen Harry) Reid took issue with the vice president's comments, saying, "This situation isn't going well and anyone that suggests that the people of Connecticut are somehow supporting terrorists, I don't think that's credible and that's what Cheney suggested."

c/o Boston Globe By Robert Kuttner :

There are really several different policy challenges and debates here. If you disentangle them, it adds up to a stunning indictment of Bush.

Did Al Qaeda have any connection to Saddam Hussein? (No.)

Was Bush's Iraq war a debilitating diversion of attention and resources from the more important ongoing battle against Al Qaeda? (Yes.)

Did Bush spend most of 2001 blowing off warnings about Al Qaeda, shutting out people like national security official Richard Clarke who actually knew something about terrorism, and ignoring escalating warnings of a plot in progress? (Yes.)

Has the Iraq war made America a more effective force for stability and against militant Islamism? (No.)

Did Bush's grand strategy advance the cause of Middle East democracy and civility? (No.)

Does Bush's larger design for the Middle East make Israel more secure? (No.)

Can we have effective levels of surveillance against terrorism and still remain a constitutional democracy with liberties for law-abiding Americans? (Yes -- but this administration is needlessly jeopardizing those liberties, and bungling intelligence operations despite expanded resources.)

Does Bush's contempt for government impede his administration's ability to use government to promote national security? (Yes.)

With hundreds of millions of ordinary Muslims increasingly disgusted and alienated by Bush's policy, can't we just settle this thing once and for all, with an Armageddon to take out Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda, in one fell swoop? (No!)

This argument isn't about who supports terrorists. It's about the right strategy for protecting America. And ever since this president took office, his policies have set back that cause.

Undaunted, the right will be relentlessly pounding one story: Republicans will keep you safe, Democrats won't. Meanwhile, the far right allied with Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will be pounding Bush to widen the war and compound the damage.

c/o Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

{Russ) Feingold's reaction to Tuesday's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut, where incumbent Joe Lieberman fell to challenger Ned Lamont.

"Among the most significant election results in recent years," Feingold judged. He said Lamont's win showed "the American people's enormous frustration with our policy in Iraq."

To Randy from Oregon, Feingold called the war "a mistake" in the "larger fight against those terrorists who attacked us on 9-11."

The senator added: "The phony arguments for going into the war in Iraq are now being matched by the phony arguments to stay in Iraq, and the public realizes the administration is trying to deceive them again."

Reply three:

In fact, as Juan Cole notes: "Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas said the administration's "poor management" in Iraq "has created a rallying cry for international terrorists" and "diverted our focus, our military and more than $US300 billion from the war on terrorism." Pryor said US ports, borders and chemical plants remain unsecured, emergency personnel lack critical resources and the military, including the National Guard, was stretched. "It's time for Washington to be tough and smart about the threats we face," he said. "Americans deserve real security, not just leaders who talk tough but fail to deliver."


From the Washington Post: Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, who lost Tuesday's Democratic primary and is now running as an independent, said the antiwar views of primary winner Ned Lamont would be "taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England."

: MARK SHIELDS: I mean, that is -- that isn't beyond the pale. I mean, that's just unacceptable. That is objectionable and unacceptable language, and it is totally alien to the Joe Lieberman that most of us have known and liked. I mean, it was -- it sounded like the desperate words of a desperate man who was really, you know, at the end of his rope.

Reply 2 from NY Times article :

"Senator Lieberman is sounding more and more like President Bush every day,” said Steve McMahon, a Democratic consultant. “He’s trying to demonstrate strength, but the risk is that he comes across as desperate.”

Gary L. Rose, a professor of politics at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., said he, too, was surprised that Mr. Lieberman would link anti-Western terrorists and Iraq, noting that many Democratic leaders separate those issues.

“Connecting the war on terror and the war in Iraq has been a Republican view mostly, and I think a lot of Connecticut voters don’t see a true link there,” Mr. Rose said.

Mr. Lamont hesitated when he was asked if Mr. Lieberman’s criticisms were beyond the bounds of acceptable political combat.

“To try to score political points on every international issue ——” Mr. Lamont said, before stopping himself. Then he added, “Why do I have to say anything?”


The President of the United States, quoted in AFP. The London conspiracy is "a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation," the president said on a day trip to Wisconsin.

Reply: c/o Reuters

We believe this is an ill-advised term and we believe that it is counter-productive to associate Islam or Muslims with fascism," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations advocacy group."We ought to take advantage of these incidents to make sure that we do not start a religious war against Islam and Muslims," he told a news conference in Washington. "We urge him (Bush) and we urge other public officials to restrain themselves.

Reply 2 Wikipedia

A number of academics, however, disagree with the use of the term fascism in this context. Roger Griffin believes it stretches the term fascist too far to apply the term 'fascism' to "so-called fundamentalist or terrorist forms of traditional religion (i.e. scripture or sacred text based with a strong sense of orthodoxy or orthodoxies rooted in traditional institutions and teachings)." He does, however, concede that the United States has seen the emergence of hybrids of political religion and fascism in such phenomena as the Nation of Islam and Christian Identity, and that Bin Laden's al Qaeda network may represent such a hybrid. He is unhappy with the term 'clerical fascism,' though, since he says that "in this case we are rather dealing with a variety of 'fascistized clericalism.'"

Get Well Wishes for Cindy Sheehan

Get Well Wishes for Cindy Sheehan

Wishing a swift recovery to Cindy Sheehan, who has written about her thoughts after having had surgery last week.

Cindy: You have our full support. May you heal and carry on strong, sister.

*photo of me and Cindy by David K. Beckwith