The Worst That Could Happen
November 9, 2003
Election CountdownNow we are within one year of the election in which we can throw the bastards out. There will be widespread election fraud, depend on it, like there was in 2000 and in 2002, only maybe worse this time if something isn't done about the Diebold fraud. So in order to get them out, it requires a sweep. As an old Hoboken man told me once, "They can always fix a close election, but they can't fix a sweep."
So let's get to work. The important thing is to get the word out. Few sane people would support this administration if they knew the truth.
Here are a few links worthy of taking a look at:
The Bush Empire: Check out "The Bush Empire" at Newtopia Magazine, a magazine exploring common sense politics. Common sense. Well, that takes them out of the mainstream right there. What a market niche! Who would have thought of common sense as something to offer your readers? What a product concept! Why didn't the major media think of it? This piece is full of information that didn't get into the mainstream, with many links imbedded in the text. Good reference.
The White House doesn't want laws against defrauding the government in reconstruction project in Iraq. Why is that? See truthout.org. With six more deaths in a helicopter crashed and suspected to have been shot down, the American death toll for the week is 32. AP. Jobs Gap -- In spite of the administration's efforts to spin the third quarter productivity boost -- that means more money made by the corporation with less employee cost -- the economic picture does not look good. According to Jobwatch.org, "Payroll jobs increased by 126,000 in October. While far preferable to further job losses, those job gains fall short of the 150,000 jobs a month necessary to prevent the slack in the labor market from worsening. Jobs remain 2.4 million below the level of March 2001 when the last recession began. This post-recession labor slump has now become the first (since the collection of monthly jobs data began in 1939) without a full recovery of jobs within 31 months of the start of a recession. Instead of losing jobs over the last two and a half years, the economy should have added 4.5 million jobs just to keep up with growth in the working-age population. Actual job losses instead of needed job gains have created a total gap of 6.9 million jobs." Jessica Lynch, asked by Diane Sawyer if the military's portrayal of her rescue bothered her, said: "Yeah, it does. It does that they used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff. Yeah, it's wrong..." New York Times New textbooks for Iraqi kids, censored by U.S. editors who eliminated references to things like the 1991 Gulf War. Christian Science Monitor
November 10, 2003
Gore Speaks on Liberty and SecurityAl Gore gave a speech Sunday sponsored by the American Constitution Society and Moveon.org. Gore thanked Moveon.org "not only for co-sponsoring this event, but also for using 21st Century techniques to breathe new life into our democracy." Gore proceeds with his characteristic intelligence to analyze what has happened to civil liberties in the Bush reign.
"For the first time in our history, American citizens have been seized by the executive branch of government and put in prison without being charged with a crime, without having the right to a trial, without being able to see a lawyer, and without even being able to contact their families. President Bush is claiming the unilateral right to do that to any American citizen he believes is an 'enemy combatant.' Those are the magic words. If the President alone decides that those two words accurately describe someone, then that person can be immediately locked up and held incommunicado for as long as the President wants, with no court having the right to determine whether the facts actually justify his imprisonment. Now if the President makes a mistake, or is given faulty information by somebody working for him, and locks up the wrong person, then itís almost impossible for that person to prove his innocence Ė because he canít talk to a lawyer or his family or anyone else and he doesnít even have the right to know what specific crime he is accused of committing. So a constitutional right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness that we used to think of in an old-fashioned way as 'inalienable' can now be instantly stripped from any American by the President with no meaningful review by any other branch of government."
More on Gore:
ABC News San Jose Mercury news.com.au
November 11, 2003
Margie Schoedinger, the woman who filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Bush last year, died in September of a gunshot wound to the head. It was ruled suicide. She was 38. Houston Chronicle. "You can criticize me, but don't criticize my children and don't criticize my daughters-in-law and don't criticize my husband, or you're dead." -- Barbara Bush Case for war confected, say top US officials. "An unprecedented array of US intelligence professionals, diplomats and former Pentagon officials have gone on record to lambast the Bush administration for its distortion of the case for war against Iraq. In their view, the very foundations of intelligence-gathering have been damaged in ways that could take years, even decades, to repair." Independent 7,500 troops wounded in Iraq. LA Times. A great documentary film about the Carlyle Group that you can watch online. informationclearinghouse.info
November 12, 2003
Using Private Lynch
Private Jessica Lynch was interviewed by Diane Sawyer Tuesday night. Lynch spoke about how she didn't like being used "to symbolize all that stuff." She was interviewed by Diane Sawyer, who a few months ago skewered the Dixie Chicks, asking with dramatically exaggerated disapproval, "What were you thinking?" when Natalie Mains uttered the famous sacreligious words, "We're ashamed Bush is from Texas." Sawyer, a high-ranking member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, is not just another pretty face or talking head, she's a major mover and shaker among the stratospheric elite. She has her delivery down pretty well, but her propaganda spin is part of the major effort of the American corporate media to brainwash Americans to support the war against Iraq, though it was based on baldfaced lies. While she takes on a look of sympathy while interviewing the bewildered Ms. Lynch, she is part of the agenda that puts young people into such lethal situations, and she is not repenting. Lynch originally joined for the $1100 a month. The Dixie Chicks, by the way, are not lying down and playing dead, in spite of Diane Sawyer's sneers or Clear Channel's CD destruction rallies. They are participating in Rock the Vote. Natalie's letter of September 24, showed her spirit has not been squelched, despite the trouncing she took. Molly Ivins: "Call Me a Bush Hater": "'The puzzle is where this depth of feeling comes from,' mused the ineffable Mr. Krauthammer. Gosh, what a puzzle that is. How could anyone not be just crazy about George W. Bush? 'Whence the anger?' asks Krauthammer. 'It begins of course with the "stolen" election of 2000 and the perception of Bush's illegitimacy.' I'd say so myself, yes, I would. I was in Florida during that chilling post-election fight, and am fully persuaded to this good day that Al Gore actually won Florida, not to mention getting 550,000 more votes than Bush overall. But I also remember thinking, as the scene became eerier and eerier, 'Jeez, maybe we should just let them have this one, because Republican wing-nuts are so crazy, their bitterness would poison Gore's whole Presidency.'" The Progressive on "Bush's War Economy". "The amazing thing about the growth in the third quarter is that it took this long for the economy to get moving," it says. "Alan Greenspan at the Federal Reserve Board has been holding interest rates down at historically low levels. Bush has been spending money on the military like he was Ronald Reagan, and his summer tax cuts--as lopsided as they were in favor of the rich--still shoveled $100 billion of disposable income into the economy." How Reagan and Bush gave us Osama bin Laden. Public I Al Franken is considering running for senate in Minnesota. MSNBC. The film "Lest We Forget" by Jason DaSilva will play Sunday, November 16, 2003, 1:30 p.m. at the Community Church of New York, 40 East 35th Street (between Park & Madison). The film examines post 9/11 racial profiling, unlawful detentions and deportations of Arabs, Muslims and South Asians residing, traveling or in transit in the U.S. It also draws parallels with the internments of Japanese during World War II. The film will also play at the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam at the end of November. According to The Independent, a huge trade war is about to push the cost of goods up between 8 and 100%. The trade war is a result of Bush putting 30% duties on steel.
November 13, 2003
Flow My Tears
The New York Times' "The Things They Wrote," is excerpts from soldiers who died in Iraq, like this letter that was kept to be given to the family of Army Pfc. Jesse A. Givens, of Springfield, Missouri, on the occasion of his death: "I've been getting bad feelings, though and, well, if you are reading this. . . . The happiest moments in my life all deal with my little family. I will always have with me the small moments we all shared. The moments when you quit taking life so serious and smiled. The sounds of a beautiful boy's laughter or the simple nudge of a baby unborn. You will never know how complete you have made me. You saved me from loneliness and taught me how to think beyond myself. You taught me how to live and to love. You opened my eyes to a world I never dreamed existed." Freedom of the Press, the First Amendment, in today's America is "A Comforting Myth". More than 20,000 Iraqis have died since the start of this war in March, through October when a report by a London-based medical organization in October. Medact President w/o a game plan, by William Raspberry in the Washington Post: "George Bush is not a dumb man. But before he decided to seek the presidency, he was willfully ignorant of international affairs -- or at least strangely incurious. How many Americans of his age, opportunity, means and family connection hadn't visited even London, Rome or Paris? His mind became a blank slate for a set of neocon ideologues, whose audacious goal was to reshape the geography of the Middle East, and the 9/11 attacks gave them their opening." Long Time Coming -- According to Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, co-authors of The Smartest Guys in the Room about the rise and fall of Enron, Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling may soon be within the sites of federal prosecutors. How sweet that would be. Jessica Lynch story brings some issues to a head. The Guardian
November 10, 2003
The Worst That Could HappenVery quickly the worst predictions have come true. The military is now stretched to the point of snapping. On paper the U.S. had an insurmountable advantage over any adversary, a military without peer in the present or past, the result of a half century of trillions upon trillions of dollars.
Now that the Neocons Grand Scheme has been put into effect, the plans dissolve into dust, superceded by the realities on the ground. It looks disturbingly like the Iraqis, whoever they are, whether Saddam Hussein has anything to do with it or not, have outsmarted the American tough guys. They knew they could not match the U.S. military in a face off. Based on conventional weaponry and conventional thinking, the U.S. wanted to fight a conventional war. Like the British Redcoats in 1776. But if the weaker one refuses to play by the rules established by the stronger, the basis for the latter's strength may dissolve.
In this war of West versus East as envisioned by the messianic neocons, the arrogant West never dreamed its superior power could be defeated. Few Americans ever seriously entertained the possibility of an American defeat. Most who voiced reservations about the war only concerned themselves with whether or not it was right, for one reason or another. Few expressed the notion that the U.S. could not win its war against the tiny country, broken down and starved by a decade of harsh sanctions imposed through the U.N. but driven by the U.S.
The Bushies made secret deals with senior government people in Iraq so they would surrender with little resistance. It was rigged, like everything else the Bushies do. They thought they had finessed it like they have practically everything, such as the perfect timing of the Iran hostage release at the moment of Reagan's inauguration, or the media coup that prepared the groundwork for their stealing of the election 2000. The Iraq resistance caved rapidly and the U.S. walked in and took over effortlessly. Everything looked perfect. The designated media channels were parroting remarks about it being the most brilliant military operation in history. U.S. news shows presented footage of Iraqis waving in a friendly manner, which was supposed to show that they really loved the Americans for liberating them from the dictator they had previously helped to install and arm.
But it was too easy taking over Iraq. Soon the occupied country appeared more and more have been led into a lair, a deadly trap lethal to Americans. It's a replay of Napoleon's sacking of Moscow. He walked into his destruction thinking it was a great triumph. The Russians evacuated the city and gave it to him by default. But he had nothing. They could not occupy the city, could not even support themselves there, and the great invincible army went running home with its tail between its legs, those who survived.
The idealistic, ideologically determined, obsessed Neocons figured wrong. They figured their superiority based on simple arithmetic and mechanics. They didn't listen to their experienced military leaders, dismissing them as old-fashioned and outmoded, the same as they dismissed "Old Europe". But if they'd listened to those with a little more practical knowledge, they could have predicted much of what we are now seeing.
Previous to the Iraq invasion, Rumsfeld arrogantly boasted that the U.S. could fight Afghanistan and Iraq and still take on Korea at the same time. This may not have been mere loudmouthed bravado; it may have been based on some simple calculations showing the U.S.'s vast military might. But real military operations are not simple numbers. They are complex systems that include many parallel processes impinging on one another in real time. Intangibles can become the most powerful determinants. Low morale, for example, can nullify a tremendous material advantage. This has been demonstrated many times in history, but the conquistadors never learn.
In Maureen Dowd's "The Chicago Way," she refers to the movie The Untouchables, and a quote from an old cop warning Eliot Ness about going up against gangsters. "If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way, because they're not gonna give up the fight until one of you is dead," the cop says. "You wanna know how you do it? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?" Dowd says: "As the president offered his lofty 'vision thing' for spawning democracy in the Middle East, America was at a rough juncture. The administration opened the can on these worms in Iraq. Are Americans now prepared to do what it takes? The Bush crowd hurtled into Baghdad on the law of Disney: Wishing can make it so. Now they're ensnared in the law of the jungle: the rules of engagement don't apply with this scary cocktail of Saddam loyalists, foreign fighters and terrorists, who hold nothing sacrosanct, not human rights organizations, humanitarian groups or Iraqi civilians." Sunday night NBC played the ridiculous propaganda movie of the Private Jessica Lynch story, but Jessica herself says her story was manipulated for propaganda effect. According to The Observer, "Lynch says the circumstances of her rescue was dramatised and manipulated by the Pentagon. She was not rescued in a 'blaze of gunfire' as reported by Defence Department officials last April, but picked up from compliant Iraq doctors who had saved her life." Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years is bitter over George Bush's compromising the integrity of his agency. "The intelligence process is a bit like virginity," he said. "Once you prostitute it, it's never the same. Your credibility never recovers." Bush used his authority as president to make people believe his assertions about weapons of mass destruction, even though he was lying. "Many of us felt there had to be something there," McGovern said. "If this had been another country, one would have written a convincing analysis that this guy is lying through his teeth, that there are no weapons in Iraq. But people thought, the President can't say he knows something if he doesn't. That was persuasive, in a way. Now we know that no other President of the United States has ever lied so baldly and so often and so demonstrably ... The presumption now has to be that he's lying any time that he's saying anything." Now he believes it will take a change of president and a change of CIA director to even begin to repair the damage, according to the Independent. The California attorney general was asked at a press conference about allegations from 15 women that Scharzenegger had sexually abused them. The attorney general repeated what he had said before, that they should be investigated. Schwarzenegger's transition team went on the offensive, called a press conference call and rebuked the attorney general. Not necessarily the best way to handle a situation in which they really have little wiggling room. If any of the women involved want to put their allegations to the test, Arnold could be in a delicate situation indeed. See LA Times.