Saddam Sham and other Fairy Tales
December 16, 2003
Fantasy AmericaBush's speech after the alleged capture of The Evil Dictator was a mythic fairy tale fantasy. Remember, this is the supposed "president" who calmly read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" while the United States went through the most traumatic catastrophe in its history. Then through the help of a very obliging media system, it was all reframed to make him into a hero.
Reading the text of Bush's speech after the capture of Saddam, it's hard to find any points of reality upon which to stake your understanding of what you are reading. He babbles on about the "health needs" of Iraq, the nation he just pulverized, as if he cares other than the political advantage it may give him to speak in such noble-sounding terms.
"This weekend's capture of Saddam Hussein was a great moment for the people of Iraq," he said, meaning, "a great moment for me, for my political campaign, for the progress of my family feud."
"And a free Iraq," he babbled, "will serve the peace and security of America and the world." What "free" Iraq? What "peace and security"? What nonsense. Iraq has gone from one dictatorship to another, that's all.
And he has the nerve to say, "In 2003, we have become a safer, more prosperous and better nation." This so blatantly runs exactly counter to the obvious fact it's baffling that he could get away with saying it and not be laughed off his stage.
Crafting his speech for the six-year-old mentality he targets, he put on a hint of the tough guy swagger when he said, "I've got my own personal views of how he ought to be treated, but I'm not an Iraqi citizen. It's going to be up to the Iraqis to make those decisions... Yes, I said I had my own personal views. And this is a brutal dictator. He's a person who killed a lot of people. But my personal views aren't important in this matter. What matters is the views of the Iraqi citizens."
What matters is the Iraqi citizens. They are in charge here in this new free country. Which particular Iraqis are those, Mr. Bush? Which Iraqis matter? He must be referring to a couple of his chosen local henchmen.
He also refers to "a large coalition" of countries who are involved in this effort, 60 countries he said. Wonder what they are. I wonder what kind of involvement he's talking about. Does saying "no" count as involvement? Engagement in dialogue?
Enough. In other news...
Bev Harris held a press conference in which she exposed more rampant voting fraud. "What we have, in Washington State, is this: We’ve got the state election director misstating when versions were certified, somebody at the secretary of state’s office signing off on software with no NASED number, and when we try to find out what software is actually authorized, we get the buffalo shuffle. We’ve got a convicted drug dealer printing our ballots, a 23-count embezzler programming our voting system, and our absentee ballots are being funneled through a private company that hires mainly immigrants but also people straight out of prison. We’ve now documented 10 states that are using unauthorized software, and internal memos that indicate that five Diebold programmers uploaded these unauthorized programs, knowing that this was not allowed."
"It is hard to believe that either Washington or London would relish the prospect of an open trial. They would not want Saddam to adumbrate their support for him - credit-by-credit, pathogen-by-pathogen, weapon-by-weapon - during the 12 years before he became an official enemy by invading Kuwait in August 1990." Scott Burchill, "Hoping For Amnesia" in Sydney Morning Herald
"They Got the Wrong Guy" by John Kaminski. "Saddam was never a danger to America, despite all the pre-war rhetoric that has all been proven false."
December 17, 2003
911 Was Preventable -- "For the first time, the chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is saying publicly that 9/11 could have and should have been prevented, reports CBS News Correspondent Randall Pinkston." Former Republican Governor of New Jersey Tom Keane was appointed chairman of the committee after Henry Kissinger fled rather than open himself to the scrutiny that would have come down on him had he stayed on as chairman. Now Keane is disappointing Bush by showing some integrity and independence. Now how many Iraqis have died because of Bush's lies about Iraqi involvement in that crime. We still don't know who did it and how, but we know at least one person who is guilty of the crime of negligence -- at the very least -- George W. Bush. Kean said, "As you read the report, you're going to have a pretty clear idea what wasn't done and what should have been done. This was not something that had to happen." Lies and More Lies -- "U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday the Bush administration last year told him and other senators that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities ... Nelson said the senators were told Iraq had both biological and chemical weapons, notably anthrax, and it could deliver them to cities along the Eastern seaboard via unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones."Florida Today Senator Byrd: "As each day passes and as more American soldiers are killed and wounded in Iraq, I become ever more convinced that the war in Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place for the wrong reasons." The Nation Today's Vid: "Lord of the Right Wing": "The Capture of Saddam Is Just More Staged Political Propaganda by the Bushites" By Jackson Thoreau. It appears that if Ashcroft's "Justice" Department did anything at all about finding out which White House official leaked the name of Plame the CIA agent, it was to turn it into the most silent, invisible investigation ever conducted. How much could there be to it? How many possible suspects could there be? How challenging would it be? If you were really trying. In any case, I haven't heard a word for a long time. Read more about it at Post Gazette. A New York Times/CBS poll indicates that "Forty-five percent of voters said they would probably vote for Mr. Bush, compared with 39 percent who said they would probably vote for his Democratic opponent, no matter who that is. And 38 percent say they do not believe that Mr. Bush was legitimately elected, nearly the same number who expressed that view the month after that election." Strom Thurmond, the unrepentant old bigot to the end of his too-long life, political manipulator of racism and hate monger who invited military confrontation rather than allowing equal rights for Black people, fathered an illegitimate child born of a Black mother. AP "Who's Really in Charge at the White House?" by Eric Margolis. "Few people realize how important the occupation of oil-rich Iraq is to America's military-industrial-petroleum complex, a major financial backer of Bush and the Republican party. Defense spending, spurred by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, will reach $3.1 trillion US over the next two years - the same amount, in constant dollars, the U.S. spent on World War II!" commondreams.org
December 18, 2003
Saddam ShamOne of the best pieces about the capture of Saddam (if that is even what it is) and why it is all so stupid is by Larry Chin in Online Journal: "Saddam Hussein's capture is a spectacular and carefully-timed post-9/11 propaganda event that distracts public attention from the stark and inescapable fact that the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq was illegal and based on false evidence, fabricated pretexts and a multitude of lies. It masks the reality that the US occupation and Iraqi puppet regime is illegitimate, and that the administration's activities leading up to, during, and after the Iraq invasion have been crimes of unprecedented magnitude... Saddam's capture has no relevance to the fact that the Iraq invasion was illegal, conducted based on fabricated evidence and lies carefully sold to the public. It does not change the fact that there have been no weapons of mass destruction, the absence of them a virtual certainty, even according to UN weapons inspector Hans Blix." This piece is also a great archive of links for further research.
Democrats who are jumping on Dean for being anti war at this moment, which they see as an opportunity after Saddam was captured, are drawing a distinct line between themselves and Dean based on their support of the war, and they may regret it later. LA Times Dean defends stand against war. Lesser Dems pile on with short-sighted opportunism. Seeing only their ambition, they think this bump in Bush popularity is their chance to discredit Dean. But they are solidifying their pro-war solidarity with Bush and when the public swings back against the war, they will only be more out of step than before. SF Gate Saddam's arrest is fueling the insurgency. Guardian Morford: Saddam -- so not worth it. SF Gate 1st US death in Iraq since Saddam capture. Guardian Austrian far-right firebrand Joerg Haider, says he sees little difference between Saddam and Bush: ""I would be hard-pressed to choose between the two. Both have acted at odds with international law, committed human rights abuses. The one has the good luck to lead a superpower ... while the other was just a poor dictator." ... Haider also said that Saddam was not the worst dictator in the world, or in the Middle East. "In comparison with other dictators from China, and to Israel I have to say, it is difficult for me to see what the difference is." Haider also said there is no proof the captured man is not one of Saddam's doubles. Daily Times
December 20, 2003
John Kaminski writes that "The 9/11 Coverup is Falling Apart". "To most Americans," says Kaminksi, "the first inkling that something was wrong with the official story of the 9/11 catastrophe occurred about a year after the event, when President Bush resisted setting up a panel to investigate the events of that dark day. Why would he not want to investigate the greatest crime in American history? many wondered. Then, he badly underfunded it. Then, he tried to name infamous power broker Henry Kissinger to head it. Since then, Bush has stonewalled a committee of his own choosing..." But even the Republican he named to head the commission now says the catastrophe could and should have been prevented by people in government. Kaminski lists a great series of websites showing the results of research into 9/11. "When you read through these and understand their contents," he says, "you will understand beyond question that everything you hear from the mouths of presidential candidates, government officials and TV commentators is a lie. That there is so much evidence to convince you that 9/11 was an inside job, that our leading officials are criminals and mass murderers, that you, as a functioning human being on this earth, have no choice but to try to convince your neighbor that something must done if we are not to go quietly into this police state prison that has been prepared for us." Were these "Founding Fathers" right? From the New York Times Book Review: Benjamin Franklin warned that the government set up by the new Constitution "is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other." John Adams wrote to his wife that the arrogance shown by the British in seizing a couple of hundred American merchantmen is a trait also to be found in his own countrymen. The United States, he said, is Britain's "very image and superscription . . . as true a gamecock as she and, I warrant you, shall become as great a scourge to mankind."
WINTER SOLSTICE MARKINGS
December 21, 2003
Annoy the Fascists!
This Just In -- A note from the Internet: Want to annoy the (antigay/fascist) American Family Association? The organization is conducting an online poll about gay marriage/civil unions and apparently plans to show the results to Congress. Naturally the vast majority of those taking the poll will be opposed to any form of rights for gay people and probably support the heinous idea of adding a marriage-defining amendment to the Constitution. So why not get as many non-demagogues as possible to take the poll? I just did; took 5 seconds, and, for the moment, WE'RE WINNING! Here's the URL: marriagepoll.com. In case you were wondering what all the fuss was about that the U.S. government said they captured Saddam Hussein, here it is: It provided cover for a piece of legislation that expands Ashcroft's powers to snoop into your personal records. See Congressional Record: November 22, 2003 H.R. 2417, INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION AGREEMENT Sometimes you wonder just how blatant it can get. Wired reports that "At least five convicted felons secured management positions at a manufacturer of electronic voting machines, according to critics demanding more stringent background checks for people responsible for voting machine software." As reluctant as the mainstream media has been to report it, the story of the 911 coverup is spreading. dailykos.com The short-sighted political knee-jerk attempt by establishment Democrats to wound Dean by suggesting that the capture of Saddam justifies the invasion may have delivered to themselves the knockout blow. Instead of damaging Dean, they have given himself an opportunity to re-establish himself as the lone wolf who goes against the establishment to stand for the belief of most of the American public that the war is a catastrophic mistake. According to CBS News, . 85% of Democratic primary voters and 78% of voters nationwide think the threat to the U.S. will either rise or stay just as it is following Saddam's capture. What's the difference whether he really had weapons or not? Some more subtle distinctions are lost on caveman Bush. Diane Sawyer asked Bush: "But stated as a hard fact, that there were weapons of mass destruction as opposed to the possibility that he could move to acquire those weapons still -- " Bush said, "So what's the difference?" You try that in court. Tell the judge, "What difference does it make whether he had a gun or could have had a gun? I killed him. It's over." Even Bush knows what a big difference it makes. He's just used to being able to use the Bully Pulpit to drive home the most outrageous lies and have the media all swallow it without a whimper. See the New York Times. In Beorge W. Gush's reekly wadio address, he slobbered on and on about how wonderfully charitable Americans are, citing many examples of people doing volunteer work of various kinds. Meanwhile, the Republicans continue to cut every kind of traditional benefit for working people, for soldiers, for the poor, for the elderly. According to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis: "There are 2.4 million fewer jobs than when the downturn began. Even at twice the recent pace of job creation, it would take until February 2005 before these jobs are recovered. 80,000 to 90,000 jobless workers are running out of regular, state-funded unemployment benefits each week and are in need of federal aid. Many of these workers have cut back on food purchases and health care. The long-term unemployed make up a larger share of the unemployed than at any time since July 1983." Democracynow.org reports "In Iraq, Reuters is reporting that the U.S. has banned all forms of protests against the U.S. occupation around Saddam Hussein's birthplace of Tikrit. After a recent rally in support of Saddam Hussein, U.S. military vehicles and tanks raced through the streets. One of the vehicles broadcast a recording of the U.S.-backed regional governor in the area, Hussein al-Jaburi. His message was 'Any demonstration against the government or coalition forces will be fired upon. This is a fair warning.' According to Reuters, all demonstrations have been declared illegal in the province. Iraqis face a year in jail for participating in a protest. And any Iraqi civil servants or teachers who participate in protests will lose their jobs."
December 22, 2003
The Enemy Within
"The enemy within: The NeoCon hijacking of America" by Manuel Valenzuela says, "September 11, 2001 will be the date history will remember in infamy as the day the world?s landscape changed. It was the day the salivating neocons had been waiting for, gleefully licking their chops at the coming feast they knew awaited. 9/11 was the Pearl Harbor they needed in order to impose their twisted ideology of empire building through perpetual pre-emptive warfare onto the world ... The next targets for the neocons, now being slowly inculcated into our consciousness, are Syria and Iran. These two nations would most likely be invaded in Bush?s second term, thus increasing US and Israeli dominance over the Middle East. " See SmirkingChimp.com Newsweek's Howard Fineman says "The President" is in a strong position as election season begins, then proceeds to run through a list of reasons Bush will win. I think he's wrong. Each item on the list has huge weaknesses. Check out MSNBC. "Setback for Ashcroft's radical agenda?" Alternet An Australian journalist who came to the U.S. to interview Olivia Newton-John was sent back home by Homeland Security officials because she is a journalist. Read the frightening account at LA Weekly. According to an AFB report, "Saddam Hussein was captured by US troops only after he had been taken prisoner by Kurdish forces, drugged and abandoned ready for American soldiers to recover him, a British Sunday newspaper said." One more cover story falls apart for the U.S. government as the report of the Kurdish capture of Saddam comes in from many sources. See Sydney Morning Herald, Al Jazeera A Wall Street Journal interview with Ralph Nader in Al Hunt's "Campaign Journal", indicates that Nader will probably not run for president if Dean is the Democratic nominee. This in itself is a big thing. As many have noted bitterly, if Nader hadn't run in 2000, Gore would no doubt have gotten most of his votes and the Republicans would never have been able to force the election into the Supreme Court where Bush's buddies could fix it for him. Though Nader prefers Kucinich's positions, he would be sufficiently satisfied with Dean to sit out the race. This is also important in the sense that it indicates that Dean has the potential to be a leader who can unite widely divergent groups, that is groups who differ on many specific issues, but share a common urgency to get the Bush mob out of the seat of power. "Reading his position papers sounds eerily similar to what we've been saying," said Nader in an interview with Online Journal. "He speaks clearly ... not in Senate-ese ... and projects vigor. We need a macho Democrat." The front-running Democratic candidate, Mr. Nader says, has an impressive 'rope-a-dope ability.'" For more information on the interview (which is available at the WSJ site only to subscribers) see Daily Kos.
Dean, meanwhile, has laid out a New Social Contract. As described by Nico Pitney at NotGeniuses.com, "Dean's New Social Contract: - Every American must have access to health care
- Every American family must have access to affordable quality child care
- Every American family must know that their child will be able to afford to go to college
- Every American family must know that their retirement will be secure
Dean also lays out his corporate reform platform:
- Laws to make sure corporate boards of directors and auditors are independent of management
- Rewards for whistleblowers who expose corporate wrongdoing
- Fines and penalties imposed for breaking the law must be equal to the potential financial gains
- Full and open accounting practices
- Expansion of the concept of 'full disclosure' for corporations to include information on environmental standards and labor relations
- 'It's time to look behind the fiction that allows corporations to become "citizens" of places like Bermuda, and avoid paying income taxes on their foreign income'
- Close the male/female pay gap