September 4, 2002
Beware of Media Burn!Peter Preston in The Guardian pleas for some sanity in the normally insane American media in a piece appropriately called "The Source of All Evil."
Very little integrity is left in the American media system, and we are not referring here to anything as lofty as moral integrity, but something as fundamental as logical integrity. Very little of it even makes sense anymore.
Preston suspects that the U.S.' most popular news channel, Fox News, is really Ruppert Murdoch's trashy English tabloid The Sun "cloned electronically and allowed to shine 24/7" with no regard for the truth at all.
"The point is how, after prolonged irradiation, fiction turns to assumed fact; how coincidences become plots; how fiascos become triumphs; how agendas rule," says Preston. "That isn't newspaper business, nor the news business either. It does nothing for readers. It leaves nuances out and truth trailing. And what, I sometimes wonder, does it do for our leaders, the Blairs and the Bushes who get to read this stuff first? Do their brains rot, too?"
September 4, 2002
Gore Won FloridaLance deHaven-Smith, a professor of public administration and policy at Florida State University, writing in the Tallahasse Democrat, lays it down clearly lest we forget. Gore won Florida. And he won the national popular vote. Gore won the election. The Bush mob, with its ground forces in Florida; its vast funding from Enron, Halliburton and other corporate thieves; with its manipulation of the law through the Supremely Corrupt Court, stole the White House and then proceeded to lead us into this mess.
Written in a clear question-and-answer format, this article sums it up. "State election officials ultimately declared George W. Bush the winner by a margin of 537 votes," the article says, "but during and after the election dispute, questions remained about the uncounted ballots of 175,010 voters, ballots that had been rejected by error-prone tabulating machines employed in many Florida counties. Confusion and conflict, much of it generated by partisan intrigue, prevented these ballots from being counted during the election controversy. However, in 2001 every uncounted ballot was carefully examined in a scientific study by the University of Chicago, which concluded that when all the votes were counted, more votes had been cast for Gore than for Bush."
Major newspapers obfuscated that fact by emphasizing one particular possible scenario: "that Bush might have kept his lead if the manual recounts of machine-rejected ballots had been completed along the lines either requested by Gore or initially mandated by the Florida Supreme Court. In these recount scenarios, not all of the machine-rejected ballots would have been included. However, just before the U.S. Supreme Court intervened, the judge overseeing the final statewide recount was preparing to announce that the recount would cover all of the previously uncounted ballots."
And furthermore, the fiasco was in no way an accident. "The New York Times and The Washington Post discovered evidence that Florida's governor, secretary of state, and speaker of the House, all Republicans with close ties to George W. Bush, used their offices to manipulate the election controversy and secure Bush's victory. During the controversy, they collaborated either directly or through intermediaries with the legal and political advisers of George W. Bush to: (1) put pressure on the state's top law firms not to work for Gore; (2) bend the rules on absentee ballots to allow improperly marked absentee ballots to be counted; (3) block, stall or discredit manual recounts; and (4) create fears of a constitutional crisis so that the U.S. Supreme Court would intervene."
The Bush presidency was and still is and forever will be illegitimate.
"A year ago, sympathy for the United States was close to unanimous across the planet," says Engel. "The murderous attacks raised the country's moral credit rating sky-high. But it was not limitless. And the Bush administration dissipated it all on a spending spree of ideological indulgences and hubris."
Bush's political capital is rapidly diminishing like the last few grains of sand in an hourglass. It is much like it was last year at this time, when he had played his cards like there was no tomorrow. Issues were closing in on him: his mismanagement of the budget, the tax cut that would force him to break his promise not to break into the Social Security fund, his many broken campaign pledges. He had offended nearly every sector of the population except the rich corporate elite. His approval ratings had dropped below 50%. He had painted himself into a corner politically. His position seemed almost hopeless.
Then came September 11, and his political career was redeemed. Suddenly all his reckless actions of the previous nine months made sense. Did he know something most of us didn't know? Now he is in a similarly bad situation politically and the capital he gained from 9-11 is nearly spent. The most disturbing question is, what does he have up his sleeve this time?
September 3, 2002
Blair Rebuffs BushTony Blair got a little out of line in contrast to his recent subservience to Bush by taking the King Polluter to task for his trashing of the Kyoto treaty to combat global environmental disaster. (see The Guardian) In context with so many other voices coming out against Bush's Iraq policies, this seems to be part of a movement to resist Bush.
September 3, 2002
Armey Says, "No Need" for War with IraqIn an Interview with The New York Times retiring House majority leader Dick Armey said that if there is a need to attack Iraq, "nobody has taken the time to show it to me yet."
September 3, 2002
Labor Leaders Say Bush Must GoOn Labor Day, labor leaders didn't mince words in their feelings about George W. Bush. According to The Chicago Sun Times, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Gerald McEntee, urged his fellow union members to "commit ourselves to putting George Bush out of work in 2004... American workers are under attack by an anti-worker president who didn't even win the election for the office he holds."
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney called Bush "the worst president for working people in 50 years."
September 3, 2002
Bush Brings U.S. Down to His LevelEven Time Magazine, the voice of corporate America, which still holds to the notion that "Bush won by the slimmest of margins," has little of redeeming value to offer about the Bush presidency. A year after September 11, "it's harder to get away from the idea that Bush didn't rise to meet history but that history fell to meet him."
September 1, 2002
Veterans for Peace Stand Against War with IraqAt the 16th annual convention for Veterans For Peace, Korean War veteran Wilson Powell said, "Wrapping myself in the flag and blindly following the lead of a man who has never served into the morass of an endless war is not my way of loving and serving my country." Powell is National Administrator of the St. Louis-based association. The convention was held in Duluth, Minnesota, August 15-18. (see veteransforpeace.org) The association includes veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War.
Resolutions were passed on a range of issues, including "opposition to the pending war in Iraq; the Israel/Palestine conflict and what we can do to help resolve it; the assault upon our civil liberties, led by the US Attorney General and Bush administration; respect for International Law by ratifying the International Criminal Court; payment of US dues in support of a viable United Nations; pursuit of a policy of peace, friendship and reconciliation in Vietnam; cleaning up anti-personnel landmines and abolishing their use forever; investigating the U.S. Navy’s cover-up of the Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty during the 1967 war; closing the School Of the Americas where foreign soldiers are trained and later turned loose on their own populations (recently renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for International Security); holding President Bush to his promise to end the bombing of the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques in May, 2003; ending the partition of the two Koreas and withdrawing US occupation forces, there since 1945," according to the association's Web site.
September 1, 2002
Two Democratic senators, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Senate Judiciary
Committee, and Sen. Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, have reminded the Bush administration that
Congress only has the authority to declare war. (see Associated
THINGS FALL APART
September 3, 2002
What is Terrorism?Since the U.S. is now supposedly involved in a "War on Terror," it might be worthwhile to examine the historical meaning of the word. An essay written in December 1967 by Jean Paul Sartre about Vietnam, sheds some light on how terror has traditionally been an instrument of colonial powers for controlling the populations of their colonies. Here's an excerpt:
Vietnam: Imperialism and Genocide
... after 1830 and during the whole of the last century, there were many examples of genocide outside Europe. Some of these were the expression of authoritarian political structures and the others -- those relevant for the understanding of the sources of the United States imperialism and the nature of the war in Vietnam -- had their origin in the internal structures of capitalist democracies. To export goods and capital, the great powers -- England and France in particular -- built themselves colonial empires. The name given by the French to their "Conquests" -- possessions d'outre mer (overseas possessions) -- indicates clearly that they had managed to obtain them only by wars of aggression. The aggressor seeks out the adversary on his own ground, in Africa, in Asia, in the under-developed countries; and, far from waging a "total war", which would presuppose a certain reciprocity at the outset, he takes advantage of his absolute superiority in arms to commit only an expeditionary corps to the conflict. This gains an easy victory over the regular armies -- if there are any -- but as this uncalled-for aggression arouses the hatred of the civilian population, and since the latter is always a mine of rebels or soldiers, the colonial troops hold sway by terror, that is to say, by constantly renewed massacres. These massacres are genocidal in character: they involve destroying "a part of the group" (ethnic, national, religious) to terrorize the rest and to destructure the native society. When in the last century the French, after wreaking havoc in Algeria, imposed on its tribal society -- where each community owned the land jointly -- the practive of the Code Civile, which introduced the legal norms of bourgeois ownership and enforce the dividing up of inheritances, they systematically destroyed the economic infrastructure of the country and the land soon passed from the peasant clans into the hands of taders from the parent country. In point of fact colonization is not a matter of mere conquest -- like the annexation in 1870 by Germany of Alsace-Lorraine; it is, of necessity, cultural genocide. Colonization cannot take place without the systematic elimination of the distinctive features of the native society, combined with the refusal to allow its members integration with the parent country, or to benefit from its advantages. Colonialism is, in fact, a system: the colony sells raw materials and foodstuffs at preferential rates to the colonizing power whic, in return, sells the colony industrial goods at the price current on the world market. This curious system of exchange can be established only if work is imposed on a colonial sup-proletariat for starvation wages. The inevitable consequence is that the colonized peoples lose their national individuality, their culture and their customs, sometimes even their language, and live, in abject poverty, like shadows, ceaselessly reminded of their "sub-humanity."
Labor built this country and still maintains it, though the idle rich get most of the
attention. Much of that labor was slave labor. When slavery was outlawed, the barons of
capitalism instituted what was called wage slavery, trapping people in jobs that barely
sustained life while the owners continued to pile up wealth, spend it ostentatiously and build
When working people realized collectively that the production of wealth was a partnership and
that the owners could do nothing without them, the idea of organized labor was born. Many
people were killed or brutalized for their parts in the creation of unions and the institution
of collective bargaining, joining together of the labor force to force owners to cut them in on
the wealth their labor was essential in producing.
The establishment of labor as a collective force created a balancing force in the developing
capitalist system, and helped to make it sustainable. By creating a release valve for the
pressure created by the untempered greed of the capitalist barons, labor actually extended the
life of capitalism, made it viable.
In the late 20th century, labor gains have been successfully rolled back, largely through
astute manipulation of popular culture by the corporate propaganda system. As the power and
prestige of labor has diminished, wealth inequities have increased, poverty has increased, the
middle class has diminished as a proportion of society. Now it has gone so far that the greed
of the rich has reached self destructive extremes. The corruption is tearing the capitalist
system itself apart. As Kevin Phillips makes clear in his book Wealth and Poverty,
history shows that wealth inequities such as the U.S. is now exhibiting are not sustainable.
An essential feature of fascism was the destruction of the unions. It was part of the mechanism
necessary to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a few major corporations. Unions in
America have also been marginalized to a great extent. But there are signs of resurgence as
corporate concentration of wealth becomes ever greater and reaches obscene levels.
A new poll conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the AFL-CIO showed a change of
heart sweeping the country in regard to how unions and corporations are viewed "A solid 39
percent of those surveyed express negative views of large corporations, up from 25 percent last
year," said the report on AFL-CIO
News. That’s the highest negative rating for corporations in the nine years pollsters have
asked the public about their views. A whopping 58 percent have a negative view of CEOs."
It is time for Labor once again to come forth and save the greedy rich against themselves.
For more information on the American Federation of Labor, on unions and on how to join or
organize, check out www.aflcio.org.
Is oppression as old as the moss around ponds?
The moss around ponds is not avoidable.
Perhaps everything I see is natural, and I am sick and want to
remove what cannot be removed?
I have read songs of the Egyptians, of their men who built
the pyramids. They complained of their loads and asked when
oppression would cease. That's four thousand years ago.
Oppression, it would seem, is like the moss and unavoidable
When a child is about to be run down by a car one pulls
it on to the pavement.
Not the kindly man does that, to whom they put up
Anyone pulls the child away from the car.
But here many have been run down, and many pass by and
do nothing of the sort.
Is that because it's so many who are suffering? Should one not
help them all the more because they are many? One helps
them less. Even the kindly walk past and after that are as
kindly as ever they were before walking past.
The more are suffering, then, the more natural their
sufferings appear. Who wants to prevent the fishes in the sea
from getting wet?
And the suffering themselves share this callousness towards
themselves and are lacking in kindness towards themselves.
It is terrible that human beings so easily put up with existing
conditions, not only with the sufferings of strangers but also
with their own.
All those who have thought about the bad state of things
refuse to appeal to the compassion of one group of people for
another. But the compassion of the oppressed for the oppressed is indispensable.
It is the world's one hope.
--written about 1938
Labor built this country and still maintains it, though the idle rich get most of the attention. Much of that labor was slave labor. When slavery was outlawed, the barons of capitalism instituted what was called wage slavery, trapping people in jobs that barely sustained life while the owners continued to pile up wealth, spend it ostentatiously and build empires.
When working people realized collectively that the production of wealth was a partnership and that the owners could do nothing without them, the idea of organized labor was born. Many people were killed or brutalized for their parts in the creation of unions and the institution of collective bargaining, joining together of the labor force to force owners to cut them in on the wealth their labor was essential in producing.
The establishment of labor as a collective force created a balancing force in the developing capitalist system, and helped to make it sustainable. By creating a release valve for the pressure created by the untempered greed of the capitalist barons, labor actually extended the life of capitalism, made it viable.
In the late 20th century, labor gains have been successfully rolled back, largely through astute manipulation of popular culture by the corporate propaganda system. As the power and prestige of labor has diminished, wealth inequities have increased, poverty has increased, the middle class has diminished as a proportion of society. Now it has gone so far that the greed of the rich has reached self destructive extremes. The corruption is tearing the capitalist system itself apart. As Kevin Phillips makes clear in his book Wealth and Poverty, history shows that wealth inequities such as the U.S. is now exhibiting are not sustainable.
An essential feature of fascism was the destruction of the unions. It was part of the mechanism necessary to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a few major corporations. Unions in America have also been marginalized to a great extent. But there are signs of resurgence as corporate concentration of wealth becomes ever greater and reaches obscene levels.
A new poll conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the AFL-CIO showed a change of heart sweeping the country in regard to how unions and corporations are viewed "A solid 39 percent of those surveyed express negative views of large corporations, up from 25 percent last year," said the report on AFL-CIO News. That’s the highest negative rating for corporations in the nine years pollsters have asked the public about their views. A whopping 58 percent have a negative view of CEOs."
It is time for Labor once again to come forth and save the greedy rich against themselves.
For more information on the American Federation of Labor, on unions and on how to join or organize, check out www.aflcio.org.
Is oppression as old as the moss around ponds? The moss around ponds is not avoidable. Perhaps everything I see is natural, and I am sick and want to remove what cannot be removed? I have read songs of the Egyptians, of their men who built the pyramids. They complained of their loads and asked when oppression would cease. That's four thousand years ago. Oppression, it would seem, is like the moss and unavoidable
When a child is about to be run down by a car one pulls it on to the pavement. Not the kindly man does that, to whom they put up monuments.
Anyone pulls the child away from the car. But here many have been run down, and many pass by and do nothing of the sort. Is that because it's so many who are suffering? Should one not help them all the more because they are many? One helps them less. Even the kindly walk past and after that are as kindly as ever they were before walking past.
The more are suffering, then, the more natural their sufferings appear. Who wants to prevent the fishes in the sea from getting wet? And the suffering themselves share this callousness towards themselves and are lacking in kindness towards themselves. It is terrible that human beings so easily put up with existing conditions, not only with the sufferings of strangers but also with their own. All those who have thought about the bad state of things refuse to appeal to the compassion of one group of people for another. But the compassion of the oppressed for the oppressed is indispensable. It is the world's one hope.
--written about 1938
Here we have a general saying that the debate that is now going on about the war is "healthy." Now that's a refreshing turn of events. Obviously this guy is no peacenik, but he has a much more sophisticated view of world power than Dubya, or any of Dubya's henchmen, who love peace for themselves and war for everyone else.
Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld's war plans are insane. They are suicidal for America.
August 31, 2002
Bush/StalinChuck Baldwin in the Baltimore Chronicle states clearly the point that is so obvious it is difficult for people to see, like a finger in front of your face so close you can't focus on it: "It should be obvious to everyone by now that, wittingly or not, George W. Bush is in the process of creating a communist-style form of government in the United States. As details emerge regarding his new Department of Homeland Security, we discover that Bush and his band of belligerent brothers have begun the process of turning the federal government into a gargantuan police state not seen since Hitler's Third Reich and Stalin's Soviet Union."
August 31, 2002
The Majority of the WorldEven the dictator of Pakistan, "President" Musharraf has come out against Bush's plan to attack Iraq. (see BBC} If he be against Bush's war, who will be for it? I see misfortune ahead for the man who cannot moderate his obsessions to accommodate the real world.
August 31, 2002
Hats Off to Cynthia McKinneyThe right-wing politicos may have managed to get McKinney out of office by having Republicans cross over and vote in the Democratic primary, and by funneling massive amounts of money into the campaign against her through the pro-Israel lobby. But they have not put to rest the questions she raised. David Person says it well:
"With Majette's victory, the White House may think the cloud has been lifted. I think not. Whether McKinney's allegations are ever proved, their very expression performed an essential service. Dissent is what distinguishes a democracy from a dictatorship. And even though McKinney's views were distasteful to Bush and his supporters, they were valid expressions of dissent. She was shining a light in dark places - a necessary function in free society, even if no dirt is ever found. Her criticism also targeted former President George H.W. Bush, who sits on the board of the Carlyle Group, an investment firm that has raked in millions doing business with defense contractors. McKinney charged that the current tensions with Iraq are merely a money-maker for the former president and other players in what President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. ….. McKinney's mantra - 'speak truth to power'…her voice and views help us to be just a bit more democratic."
August 30, 2002
"Lucky Me, I Hit the Trifecta"While the World Trade Center burned, Carlyle and other insider Bush war contractors plotted their greatly enhanced financial prospects. Bush equated the catastrophe with a big win for himself in his tasteless joke about having won the trifecta, which he repeated over and over again. And who can blame him for gloating over the massive tragedy that had fallen upon the nation? He was only telling the truth.
For him it was the world's greatest excuse, justification for everything he wanted to do anyway, beginning with a robbery of the national treasury for his rich friends which was already well underway. Paul Krugman in the New York Times ("Just Trust Us") describes in detail the Bush administration's piece-by-piece dismantling of the nation's fiscal integrity over a period of two years.
Though there was a leveling off of economic growth near the end of the Clinton years, there was a noticeable downturn that coincided with November of 2000, the month that the country's democratic institutions were subject to a frontal attack by the Bush team, with Carlyle heavy James Baker leading the attack. The negative psychological impact of that travesty cannot be measured, but economic indicators reflected a negative effect of the lawless Bush mob from that time. Bush started talking recession almost immediately in order to set it up has having been Clinton's fault.
When he took office, the dismantling of all things Clinton and all things that reflected the good of the commonwealth over the good of the corporate elite got underway in earnest. Talk of attacking Iraq had begun immediately after Bush seized control, even before he took the oath of office. In December 2000, CNN was broadcasting a new logo for "The Unfinished War" accompanied by slices of footage of a sinister Saddam Hussein and his henchmen. Along with an immediately darkening psychological climate, the country was plunged into a recession that continues to deepen.
After Bush achieved his policy centerpiece, the taxcut that bankrupted the country and funneled all the money to his rich corporate buddies, the defenses of the country lapsed to such a degree that the enemies created, armed and trained by the CIA succeeded in carrying out the most devastating attack ever on the American mainland. That is, Osama bin Laden (whose family also made big money through Carlyle war investments) allegedly carried out the attack. The American people were never shown evidence. We were considered national security risks.
So here we are in the deepening darkness of the Bush-corporate fascism, with no signs of improvement on any front, even with an election approaching. And Bush is happy as a clam. Everything is going his way. Lucky him.
August 30, 2002
Customers and EnemiesBeginning in 1998 Dick Cheney's company Halliburton sold more technology to Iraq than any other corporation, $23 million worth, according to a Washington Post article from June 23, 2001 (see Washington Post archives, America Held Hostile, gwbush.com.) Now Cheney is preaching war against Iraq. Why do the Bushes, Cheney and their friends always like to go to war against their former business partners?
August 29, 2002
Uniting the World -- Against the USThe mad foreign policy of the Bush administration is succeeding in turning practically the entire world against the lone superpower. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a call to the US to resist its obsession to attack Iraq "joining calls from leaders in Germany, China, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on Wednesday for restraint in considering military action to topple Saddam Hussein", according to an Associated Press report. All in one day.
Bush is a pitbull on the pantleg on this issue, and as practically the entire world domestically and internationally lines up against him and he continues to push it, it appears more and more like some sick Oedipal obsession, some private issue with his father playing itself out on the world stage.
[Never misunderestimate him though, dense as he may seem. What this administration needs now is a good provocation, something dramatic, on the order of another World Trade Center attack that Bush can blame on Saddam Hussein. Something that will make it seem suddenly as if he had been right all along. People will be more attentive this time, perhaps, to the lapses that could allow such an event to occur. But don't put it past the Bush cartel. Don't put anything past them. They are full of surprises and never cease to amaze with the degree to which they will go to accomplish their objectives. Beware.]
Bush's Oedipal Obsession with Iraq The more I think about it, the more I see Bush's obsession with Iraq in Freudian Oedipal terms. Yes, Bush wants to "finish the job" that his father took so much flack for not finishing when Iraq was in retreat a decade ago. He wants to complete his father's legacy. He wants to redeem his father.
But under the surface, here is the boy who followed his namesake through every step in his career, to the prep school at Andover, to Yale, to a military stint, an oil business career and finally politics. And in each of these theaters of activity he was strikingly less successful than his illustrious father. Even as he struts and stretches to appear as tall as possible, he knows he will never measure up to his towering father. It's a foregone conclusion that few have ever questioned. And yet somewhere inside there remains a vestige of the sullen young man who drunkenly challenged his father to "go mano a mano" back in Houston after Junior had crashed the car into some garbage cans after a night out drinking.
Somewhere down under the surface George still harbors that hope that he can just once in his life outshine his father. Deposing Saddam Hussein and winning a second term is the plan on which that possibility rests, and in Junior's simple mind, it will be nearly impossible to dislodge, as we are seeing. He will go up against the whole world on this issue, because remember, it is a world he barely knows exists.
Now, like Oedipus, Bush the Younger -- without even knowing it -- endeavors to kill his father and marry his mother, to bring down the icon that has dominated his life since he learned his own name, and to seize the prize that eluded even that Great Warrior. And we, the rest of the world, are merely the backdrop of this drama.
August 28, 2002
Check this out!
Obviously George W. really has a bug up his ass about Saddam Hussein. I mean how would you feel
someone made your father look like an impotent wimp! Him and Bill Clinton together. If Clinton
come along and given the American people some feeble alternative to more years of Bush-style
recessions, Poppy could have stayed president and gone after Saddam himself with the U.S.
military to do
it with. Now that the son is in there, this has to be settled and the rest of the world be
It's One Big Head Game
See more in the following categories
September 2, 2002
Enough is EnoughNat Hentoff in The Village Voice says it's time to demand Ashcroft's resignation. His advocacy of internment camps for Americans he deems "enemy combatants" is a disgrace to America. This allows the maniac himself to singlehandedly deprive any American citizen of due process. What does he have against due process? It's worked well for centuries. Who is he to revoke it?
Hentoff borrows heavily from LA Times columnist Jonathan Turley in this article, quoting him a number of times, including the following quote: "Of course Ashcroft is not considering camps on the order of the internment camps used to incarcerate Japanese American citizens in World War II..."
In this case I would have to say that none of us are in a position to say what Ashcroft is considering. In basic journalistic terms it may be proper to say, "Ashcroft says he is not considering..." if he in fact ever said so. But in this case, I don't know of any such assurances from Ashcroft. We have no way of knowing what he plans or what he thinks. We have only his past behavior to go by. And that is not at all reassuring.
September 2, 2002
Bush Under Fire[Correction: Earlier this said Alexander Haig was secretary of state under Nixon. I meant to say he was secretary of state under Reagan. He did, however, work in the Nixon White House under Henry Kissinger.]
Curiously, resistance to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld's war plans has solidified in a way that has no precedent during the Bush presidency so far. As a Reuters report said on Sunday, "the Bush administration was criticized across the political spectrum."
The strange breaking of ranks is intriguing. Now we have voices like that of Council on Foreing Relations world-domination strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski coming out openly criticizing the Bush Iraq policy. (see The New York Times) Brzezinski spells out nuances that go far beyond Bush's simple good-guys/bad-guys world view.
Some say Brzezinski outlined the whole U.S. campaign for domination of South Asian oil as it is beginning to unfold now in his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives." (see www.idso.net)
None other than old hawk Alexander Haig is on record criticizing Bush because members of his administration are clearly at odds over the Iraq questions. "He's got to lead, he's got to unify, he's got to ... start speaking with one voice," said Haig.
The secretary of state under Reagan, Haig worked in the Nixon White House for Henry Kissinger. He is one who has been suggested as possibly the real "Deep Throat" in Woodward and Bernstein's All the President's Men. Before he was a journalist, Bob Woodward worked in Naval Intelligence as a briefer, and he briefed General Alexander Haig. If Haig was Deep Throat, he was a behind-the-scenes power player representing a group who decided it was time for Nixon to go.
Haig also turned up in the aftermath of the Reagan assassination attempt with his controversial statement to the press from the White House: "I'm in charge here." There has been some speculation that there was a power struggle at the time between the Bush faction and that represented by Haig.
Suddenly many voices in the power elite are breaking long silences and coming out against Bush's war plans. Is it possible the Wall Street white collar robberies have divided the elites? It was not only employees and small time investors who got ripped by Enron. Some major banks got screwed too.
On the other hand, the debate could be phony. William Safire in his September 2 column in The New York Times talks about "policy chasm that has apparently opened up between President George W. Bush and his father, former President George H. W. Bush" over the proposed attack on Iraq. It seems extremely unlikely that Dubya would do anything not approved of by his father. It seems even more unlikely that such a rift would surface in the press unintentionally. Are we seeing the orchestration of phony debate to set the stage for a return to unanimity later, perhaps after a staged or permitted "provocation"?
Things are getting very interesting.
Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, friend of big business, and no innocent when it came to playing up image for political advantage, somehow found it in himself to do more to protect the American environment than probably any other president.
Reagan was well-trained, a good soldier for his bosses and his views were ideologically rigidified early on. It was always hard to tell what -- if anything -- he thought. When he was filmed chopping wood it was pure showbiz.
Dubya runs with the mad intensity of a recovering alcoholic under the pressure of the world's toughest job, but he is no outdoorsman, and certainly no friend to any environment except that of the corporate board room.
The dullness of his consciousness is probably his best protection against presidential stress. He demonstrated during the campaign that his knowledge of the world is rudimentary. In an immediate sense it's true that what you don't know can't hurt you -- as long as it doesn't get too close.
Dubya's relationship to the environment is that of pure business. An environment, like anything else, is a potential resource and its only significance is how it can best be turned into numbers in the profit column of a balance sheet.
He may have been reared in Texas, but the man's breeding for generations back is pure Wall Street.
September 1, 2002
A Land Without DreamsJohn Brand, a Purple Heart combat veteran of World War II, says that what is wrong with America is that The Dream is Dead.
With some very thought-provoking prose, Brand opens some very serious questions. What happens to a country when the majority of its people "have no majestic visions of the potentials of our nation. We no longer dream the dream. We have lost the splendor of seeing our nation as a bastion of freedom. We have forfeited our inheritance of a government of the people, by the people and for the people."
Brand expands on his theme with fascinating historical examples, quotes from Otto Spengler's Decline of the West, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson.
"A nation that has traded its birthright for stock portfolios and bank accounts has lost its thrust to search for avenues of greatness," he says.
This one is definitely worth reading.
August 25, 2002
Troops Deployed for Domestic PolicingPosse Comitatus be damned, the Iowa Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery, will be ordered to federal active duty in locations within the United States for homeland security missions as part of Operation Noble Eagle II, according to a news release from the Iowa National Guard. (see The Globe Gazette)
Can we not "connect the dots" here? Is this troop deployment to guard against what few scraggly Al Qaeda are left, perhaps running around with boxcutters near some domestic airport? Was the black army of state troopers in Portland last Friday not a clear enough picture of what the fascists have in mind here?
Where are the heroes who will stand up for American government of the people?
August 25, 2002
Another Dick Cheney FraudAnother example of how Clever Dick works is reported by The Daily Enron, which is a treasure trove of eye-opening information about the slick racketeers who run America.
When Halliburton discovered its wholly owned subsidiary Highlands Insurance had a potentially huge liability over asbestos, Cheney devised a scheme by which the company would be sold to shareholders without telling them of the likelihood it would soon be devastated by asbestos claims.
Within three years of the sale Highlands was hit with $80 million in claims from workers at Halliburton's very own Brown & Root construction subsidiary.
According to The Daily Enron: "Highland's attorneys have argued - successfully - that Cheney withheld 'material information' about Brown & Root's insurance issues. Last month the Delaware Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Highlands."
The Highlands case is the third time Cheney's actions as Halliburton's CEO have come under scrutiny. The SEC is currently investigating accounting changes Cheney ordered in which uncollected debts were counted as income.
Clever Dick is also Unscrupulous Dick.
As The Daily Enron says, "The Highlands deal may be the best clue to date of Cheney's cold and ruthless Machiavellian management style."
August 4, 2002
Pilots say terrorists did not pilot planes on 9-11These days you can set yourself entirely apart by telling an unpleasant truth.
The News, "Portugal's Weekend Newspaper in English," reported a bombshell this weekend that has somehow eluded practically all of the international press. (see "September 11 - US Government accused") The fact that such a shocking report by a panel of uniquely authoritative Americans comes to us from Portugal is a story in itself, but unfortunately an old one.
According to The News, "A group of military and civilian US pilots, under the chairmanship of Colonel Donn de Grand, after deliberating non-stop for 72 hours, has concluded that, "The so-called terrorist attack was in fact a superbly executed military operation carried out against the USA, requiring the utmost professional military skill in command, communications and control. It was flawless in timing, in the choice of selected aircraft to be used as guided missiles and in the coordinated delivery of those missiles to their pre-selected targets."
The report doubts whether those alleged to be the terrorist perpetraters, supposedly trained on Cessna aircraft, could have located a target 200 miles from take off point with such deadly accuracy or mastered the instrument flight rules in the 45 minutes they were there. "Colonel de Grand said that it would be impossible for novices to have taken control of the four aircraft and orchestrated such a terrible act requiring military precision of the highest order," the article states.
At the press conference at which the panel presented its conclusions, a US Air Force officer who flew over 100 sorties during the Vietnam war, said, "Those birds either had a crack fighter pilot in the left seat, or they were being maneuvred by remote control."
There is a great deal more in this article, including expert testimony that it is now possible to control such airliners from the ground.
Also of note, Dr. Paul Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, and presently Senior Research Fellow at Stamford University, has endorsed the panel's conclusions and said that Osama bin Laden was not responsible for the attacks of September 11, challenging Bush to produce "irrefutable evidence" of that allegation.
Read this article, quickly. World War III is at the door.
August 16, 2002
Not For the Faint of HeartFor every hour Americans watch preachers of bloodthirst like O'Reilly hype them up for going to "war against Saddam" they should spend five minutes looking at the site for the Center for an Informed America where there are pictures posted of the birth defects caused by the radioactive depleted uranium weaponry used by U.S. forces during the sustained bombing of Iraq. This is gruesome, horrible stuff, be warned. But as the site says, you may as well look at it. Your tax dollars paid for it.
August 4, 2002
Expose the Chickenhawks!"Chickenhawks" are great advocates of sending other people off to get their heads shot off, who have refrained from participating in such great causes when they themselves were confronted with the choice.
For the details of George W's military desertion in 1972, see Democrats.com.
For more on chickenhawks, see Jack Mabley of the Chicago Daily Herald "Many of the people in position to make war have never fought one"
"Topping the list," Mabley says, "are George W. Bush, who was mostly AWOL in the Texas National Guard, and Dick Cheney, who had 'other priorities.'
"Most of Bush's White House staff makes the Chickenhawk list -- Chief of Staff Andrew Card, key advisor Karl Rove, advisors Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, John Ashcroft and most of the cabinet."
Other great cheerleaders of war who have stayed out when it was their turn are: Trent Lott, Dick Armey, Bob Barr, Tom DeLay, Phil Gramm, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich, and Rudy Guiliani.
See the New Hampshire Gazette's "Chickenhawk Database."
August 21, 2002
Pretty Girls and Boys and Vicious KillersSpinning the Media Roulette wheel with the remote yesterday I came upon James Carville's crusty face on Crossfire as he squared off with pretty girl Ann Coulter and prettier boy Tucker Carlson, both hard core advocates of the bombing of the people of Iraq. It's strange to see these delicate, pretty creatures who have surely never dealt with a threat to their persons more damaging than a pinprick, but who take such pleasure in the widespread, vicious destruction of human life such as the U.S. has already carried out in Iraq and which the warmongers are advocating again.
Carville was tough on them, though. Carlson doesn't know exactly how to handle Carville and seems to be genuinely rattled and in a sweat a lot of the time. Coulter is a cool cucumber and gets a lot of mileage out of batting her eyelashes and smirking cutely. It's gratifying to see them have to enounter a varmint like Carville, but what they really need is a field trip to the battlefield where the kind of action they so fervently advocate is taking place. In a just world they would wake up one morning as Iraqi children in Baghdad.
STRANGE DAYS IN AMERICA
August 25, 2002
Ashcroft On the AttackThe maniac in charge of the "Justice Department" is swooping down on 17 senators -- his former colleagues before voters turned him out of his Senate seat in favor of a challenger who was killed during the race. Ashcroft is demanding phone records, appointment calendars and schedules that would reveal their possible contact with reporters, according to a report in The Washington Post.
This is an indeed strange turn of events. The head of a renegade justice department in a rogue, unelected administration is attacking the privacy of members of the body whose job it is to oversee his very questionable activities.
Once again we have an assault by the fascistic administration against freedom of information. This is at the same time that Dick Cheney is stonewalling subpoenas that require him to turn over public information about his energy task force, in which criminal corporations like Enron wrote the national energy policy of the United States.
Events are moving very quickly, and have been since December 2000. America is being transformed rapidly into a hardcore corporate autocracy with an iron fist. Resistance has been slow in mobilizing. An extremely pressing question now is how far will this go before there is a meaningful response from the American people? Is this the end of government of the people, for the people and by the people? Or will Americans finally stand up against this attack on America from within? And if they do, will it be too late?