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    20 August 2005

    The lies keep coming

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    Troops in Iraq protect us at home?
    "Our troops know that they're fighting in Iraq,
    Afghanistan, and elsewhere to protect their fellow Americans from a savage enemy," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

    Too bad that's not true, at least in Iraq. What a difference today would hold if we had stayed in Afghanistan rather than attack Iraq. Bush says we are fighting the terrorists in Iraq but we could be fighting the same small amount of foreign terrorists in Afghanistan while not radicalizing a large population of Iraqis.

    Defend all you want Bush, you f'd up.


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    Two things. The views of the settlers in Gaza protesting their removal brought some to my mind. One, how weak the Israelis are to their government; they once paved the way independently, now they rely on their government so much that they have lost the ability to stand up to it. Two, the evacuation of Gaza is nothing. Let us hope the west bank is as easy, though it will not be. Also, Gaza means little to the Palestinians; though the new PLO used it for all it is worth. There is little significance to Gaza; it is all about Jerusalem and the West Bank. Three, and finally, the Israeli government routinely defied UN resolutions re. the illegal settelments they were encouraging. Now they order the settlers out, and they are mad. Big surprise! But look at the example this sets for Arab governments, and the hypocrisy of US foreign policy from Republicans and Democrats.

    Next. The right-wing attack machine is so quick to call Cindy Sheehan a traitor, which is rich with irony. But some also say she is using the death of her son for politics. To those of you who think this I ask you; what has the Republican party been doing with the victims of 11 September 2001 for the past four years? The pentagon is hosting walks and concerts the commemorate the event. How is that not using a senseless death for political purposes? At least Cindy was related to Casey.

    17 August 2005

    'Axis of Evil' fails

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    Currently in Canada, B.C. looking at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Vancouver is a great city; now one of my favorites.

    While here I ran across a WaPo story outlining how the policy around the 'Axis of Evil' has failed and bushCo. has reversed it's policy on all three fronts
    First, multilateral talks orchestrated by the United States to pressure North Korea to give up nuclear weapons adjourned last week after 13 days without agreement. Then Iran restarted its program to convert uranium, in defiance of the United States and Europe. Finally, negotiators in Iraq failed to draft a new constitution by Monday's deadline amid an unrelenting guerrilla war against U.S. forces.

    None of these developments may be fatal to Bush's policy goals, but the quick succession of setbacks has left his national security team privately discouraged and searching for answers. Whereas Bush in his first term vowed to reinvent foreign policy with a new doctrine of military preemption to deal with rogue states, he has largely dropped such talk since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Instead, he has favored diplomacy with Tehran and Pyongyang and nation-building with Baghdad -- yet the old-fashioned improvisation has yielded similarly murky results.

    15 August 2005

    Being in a blue state is a breath of fresh air

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    My mother took these pics for me just before I arrived in Washington. They were taken on Whidbey Island, near Seattle. My first opinion was that this area was a red region of Washington; but these photos and a breif scan of the letters to the editor of their local paper set me straight.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com
    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    Thank God for states like this.

    We've found the WMD!!

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    Finally we've been able to find a significant amount of chemicals and production resources in Iraq! The quirky thing about this is that this small facility was set up AFTER we invaded by insurgents! So, we're seeing an INCREASE, however minimal, of WMD production in Iraq AFTER taking control of a country we invaded to stop their extinct WMD programs! That my friends is absolutely hilarious.


    And now the Iraqi constitutional convention is setting up an islamic republic!


    This is like ordering 2 sausage biscuits with cheese at McDonalds and getting a burnt falafel on a stale pita when you pull up to the window!

    Action Alert - Jim DeMint

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    I've just learned, at this late hour, that my/our Senator, Jim DeMint, was asked how he felt about the "lady down in Texas", Cindy Sheehan today in a Sam's/Wal-Mart warehouse. His response was, "those people are the enemy".

    While he is right, Jim is my enemy and someone I personally fear; he has no right to say that about a woman (or anyone) who has made the ultimate sacrifice for a 'fixed' war on Iraq; politics aside! His actions, once again, are reprehensible and a disgrace to the honor of our countries armed forces and the citizens they serve. Remember that the number of supporters of Cindy, in Texas, outnumber the anti-supporters 3 to 1 now and have been much higher in the first half of his vacation; this ratio is likely to increase as the president finishes his unprecedentedly long vacation. With failed policies at home and abroad, Mr. Bush has no home field advantage anymore. He is a failure and the support granted, blindly, to him by the GOP and their brain-washed followers indicates a sad low for democracy in America.

    Please, if you have a minute, call or write our friend; it is the patriotic thing to do. He is home now and his ears should be open to his constituents.

    Info - http://demint.senate.gov/

    Email - http://demint.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

    Kos at his best

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    aCorruption isn't a partisan issue
    Some day, once the current GOP dominance collapses under the weight of their corruption, we'll have Dems playing the same dirty game. Republicans rally around their sleaziest bad-government practicioners, as we know the elephant flies above the Stars and Stripes to the typical Bush/DeLay apologist.

    The moral imperative behind a "clean government" crusade is self-evident. But there's also a practical reason to oppose corruption even amongst Democrats -- it's a sure-fire way to lose elections. Rampant Democratic corruption cost us Congress in 1994, and we've yet to recover. And continued Democratic corruption has made House Dems wary of charging ahead with the "corruption" theme to hard, lest some of the current members get snared in the web.

    Good. Let those who sit in Congress enriching themselves go down. They are supposed to be doing the people's business, not their own. Unlike the GOP apologists, I consider corruption a non-partisan issue. I'd like to see them all thrown out with the Capitol trash.

    I couldn't agree more.

    14 August 2005

    The reality of our war on Iraq

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    But first the view from fuaux-reality land in Texas and throughout right-wing world
    An overwhelming number of Iraqis say there is no justification for attacks on Iraqi civilians, Iraqi security forces or Iraqi public service infrastructure. A total of 94 percent of Iraqis say there is no excuse for attacks on Iraqi security forces, 97 percent say there is no justification for attacking civilians, and 97 percent are against attacks on infrastructure.

    The percentages slip when it comes to disapproval of violence against Iraqis working with the coalition and attacks against coalition personnel. A total of 81 percent of those polled are against attacks against Iraqis working with the coalition, with 12 percent saying there is justification for the attacks and 7 percent with no opinion. Half of those polled said there was no excuse for attacks against coalition personnel, while 40 percent said there is a justification and 10 percent saying they don't know.

    What this means, officials said, is that Iraqis see foreign troops - and there are 138,000 Americans in the country - as occupation forces, and that the coalition policy of training Iraqis to take the lead in the security arena is the right policy.

    But then there is real reality. The truth is that these numbers were (no surprise here) 'fixed'.
    Some of the polling data was released in an article written by Jim Garamone of the Armed Forces Press Service (the AFPS is a propaganda arm of the DoD, sending out news articles daily that carry only the administration’s point of view). Here’s what Garamone wrote of the polling data:

    "The poll - done as part of the Tips Hotline number campaign - was conducted in Baghdad, Basrah, Salah Ad-Din, Najaf, Diyala and Irbil. More than 1,200 Iraqis answered the questions."

    What is the "Tips Hotline number campaign?" The Tips campaign was originally established by U.S. forces in Baghdad to give ordinary Iraqis the opportunity to call in leads regarding suspected insurgent activity (see this article by the AFPS on the hotline). Pollsters were able to gain access to the database for this most recent poll. The problem with the poll should be clear at this point: Iraqis who were already predisposed against the insurgency are being asked about their feelings toward the insurgency, and the results are being used to portray the entirety of Iraqi opinion. It is not surprising to learn that 95+ percent of those surveyed said attacks are not justified — that is why they’re calling them in.

    I called the Pentagon to ask them about this misleading survey.

    A Pentagon official said he did not know of the methodology of the poll, but he suggested that the poll may simply be an effort to "measure the effectiveness of the tips campaign." If that’s true, the message isn’t getting across to others, who are using the figures not to demonstrate the effectiveness of the hotline, but instead to suggest they know the full range of Iraqi opinion. The American Forces Press Service touted the poll results as demonstrating that "Iraqis do not support terrorists." And General Myers said in the briefing, "I think the polling numbers are all very good with Iraqi citizens, they understand who the bad guys, who the good guys are I think in this case."

    What is most disturbing about this biased poll is that even those Iraqis who are calling in insurgents are not unequivocally opposed to attacks on U.S. forces. Garamone writes:

    "Half of those polled said there was no excuse for attacks against coalition personnel, while 40 percent said there is a justification and 10 percent saying they don’t know."

    Only half of those Iraqis who are dead-set against the insurgency — to the point of reporting them to coalition authorities — think there is no excuse for attacking coalition personnel. Almost half think it is justified. The poll results hardly confirm that Rumsfeld and company understand this insurgency; in fact, it is a misleading effort which demonstrates the opposite.

    Propaganda, pure and simple.

    The truth is that this war is over, and the outcome is far worse than the neo-con dream of a few short years ago; and no constitution will prove that to the majority of Americans. Furthermore, someone(s) will pay a grave and serious price for our actions in Iraq. The problem is it won't be Bush or Rummy but more likely another large number of inocent people as a result of a terrorist attack. Which will be due to our foreign policy from years before, just like 11 September 2001 was.


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