Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Same Ol', Same Ol' ....

Truth and Information are purely accidental for this regime.

So is artfulness in dissembling.

Henry Paulson, Goldman Sachs' chairman and a major Republican fund raiser, was asked by Bush to become Secretary of the (empty) Treasury five days before Bush said he had no idea of Snow's impending resignation.

What did you expect?

Bush says Paulson has a knack for explaining complicated economic issues. Yeah, how about:
... a keen appreciation for the role the capital markets play in driving economic growth and efficiency, putting capital behind people and ideas.

I have witnessed and participated in the globalization of finance, as major economies around the world have become increasingly interdependent.

Of course, the whole world is dependent upon the U.S. economy as a major engine of its growth. And our economy's strength is rooted in the entrepreneurial spirit and the competitive zeal of the American people and in our free and open market.

It is truly a marvel, but we cannot take it for granted. We must take steps to maintain our competitive edge in the world.
Yes, We can see why Bush likes Paulson: more patronizing platitudes.

As the day progressed, traders sent the Dow Jones average steadily downward, ending with a loss of 184 points.

Wall Street is not a faith-based community.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

On The Walk of Remembrance is this Terrace...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

We Are Not Winning Hearts and Minds

Haditha I & II = Mai Lai II?

Last July, Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, Samir al-Sumaidaie, accused the Marines of killing his 21-year-old cousin in cold blood during a search of his family's home in Haditha, a city of about 90,000 people along the Euphrates River 140 miles northwest of Baghdad.

The military ordered a criminal investigation but the results have not been announced.

The current Haditha case involves both the alleged killing of civilians and a purported cover-up of the events that unfolded Nov. 19.

That day, Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, 20, of El Paso, Texas, was killed by a roadside bomb in Haditha, a Sunni Arab city considered among the most hostile areas of Iraq.

After the blast, insurgents attacked a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol with small-arms fire, triggering a gun battle that left eight insurgents and 15 Iraqi civilians dead, the Marines said in a statement issued the following day.

That version stood for four months until a videotape shot by an Iraqi journalism student surfaced, obtained by Time magazine and then by Arab television stations. The tape showed the bodies of women and children, some in their nightclothes.

Although the tape did not prove Marines were responsible, the military began an investigation. Residents came forward with claims that Marines entered two homes and killed 15 people, including a 3-year-old girl and a 76-year-old man - more than four hours after the roadside bombing.

Sheik Sattar al-Aasaf, a tribal leader in Anbar province, which includes Haditha:
America in the view of many Iraqis has no credibility. We do not believe what they say is correct. U.S. troops are a very well-trained and when they shoot, it isn't random but due to an order to kill Iraqis. People say they are the killers.AP
Marines are not killers. Trained as combat troops, they are being misused as constabularies by our misleaders who are the killers. Those same leaders will claim that atrocities are the fault of a small number of rotten apples, presumably at the bottom of our manpower barrel.

As in a good many things in which Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld have attempted to delude us, this is a lie. The rot may be limited to a small number of men, but it is located at the very top of our government.

Friday, May 26, 2006

You Can Vote with Your Music!

Vote Dixie Chicks!

Natalie Maines is one of those people born middle finger first. Her famous statement was,
Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas
She apologized. Now she has retracted that apology:
I apologized for disrespecting the office of the president. But I don't feel that way anymore. I don't feel he is owed any respect whatsoever.
The first single from the Dixie Chicks' new album, "Taking the Long Way", is called "Not Ready to Make Nice."

Vote early and often.
Buy it now.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Poll?

How about an Instant Runnoff Voting Poll?
All of the ideas suggested below (on Wednesday's Open Thread) are edgy but promise creative discussion. You have crystalized an idea that's been flowing through the constrict blood vessels of my mind: an IRV POLL (Instant Runoff Voting).

What if we ran a month-long poll to measure the relative issues facing the American electorate (should it be the least concerned)?
Items on the poll in no specific order other than the sequence in which they occur to me, might be:
  • Restore church-state relations envisioned by Constitutional founders (suggested by Pekka)
  • Functioning House and Senate Ethics Rules Committee. (Beach Bum)
  • Reconstruction of New Orleans. (Beach Bum)
  • Iraq. (Beach Bum)
  • Afghanistan. (Malfrat)
  • Iran.
  • Even-handedness on the Israeli-Palestinian Issue.
  • North Korea.
  • Significant Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards.
  • Immigration reform.
  • Restoration of a woman's rights to choose in the area of abortion (needs to be rephrased).
  • Investigation as to how or whether intelligence was fixed to market the Iraq invasion (the often promised Senate Committee on Intelligence Phase II Report).
  • Judicial review of all domestic counter-terror surveillance activities.
  • Ending the use of torture as an policy.
  • Declaration that the United States will never again engage in preventive/preemptive war.
  • Restoration of balance in the media (needs to be rephrased).
  • Campaign finance reform.
  • End electronic balloting without paper trails.
  • Ending the practice of gerrymandering.
  • Restoration of a truly progressive income tax.
You get the idea: generally phrased issues, leaving out the devil and his details. More ideas and rephrasings are welcome. If we can get a tight, but comprehensive set, we could recycle this poll monthly to see if there are any trends.
Thumbs up or down?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wednesday's Open Thread

I have writer's cramp. Let's do this another way. I appeal to readers to bring up stuff in the comments below. If you can fill the space below, maybe then I will get inspired to fill this space, (which is my job - I know!)

Call it Backwards Wednesday! Call it anything you want. But say something! Please!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Good News in Iraq!!!

The Green Zone has a government (sort of).

So. Nouri al-Maliki has formed a government and the lipstick is on the pig.

It doesn't matter if you call it a crypto-government, pseudo-government, proto-government, quasi-government, de jure government, dressed-up government, fake government, fantasy government, puppet government, semi-government or Green Zone government. All power - political power - has passed from the coalition partners and its quisling government to the street. Whoever voted for this government with their purple thumbs, it doesn't matter; because now the middle class is voting with their sore feet. They are leaving for foreign parts or fortified compounds. Post-Bush Baghdad is worse than pre-Clinton Sarajevo.

The point, which is obvious to everyone not dependent on Faux News, is that there is no state which matches the so-called government: there is no entity in Iraq which possesses a legitimate monopoly on the use of physical force. There are thousands of gunners and bombers in Iraq, including our own, but none of them are clothed with a remnant of legitimacy. The paper maché government lacks agreed-upon, legitimized ministers of defense and interior. To proceed further means that policing is left up to unregulated militias, gangs, death squads, or posses.

Tony Blair is more eloquent than our West-Texas Bushman, but just as feckless.
He says
This is a critical moment. Now we have got a government for the first time that is one of genuine national unity.
And then,
The question now is can they then make their writ run throughout the country and get to the point where Iraq can potentially take control of its own destiny?
If you want to check the writ of this failed state, Tony, just check out the varying sectarian identities at the check points and in the morgues. (The former requires guts, the latter a strong stomach.) Check out how far you can get out of the Green Zone, absent convoys or air transport.

The impotence of the Iraqi Green Zone government is, in a way, an allegory for the Bush government. The Bush presidency, too, is becoming irrelevant, increasingly unable to make its writ read in Congress and in the courts. The war weighs upon it more each day, try as it does to pretend to govern on immigration, Medicare, taxes, etc. The war makes for bad daily P.R. And the public can hear the periodic ka-ching of the federal cash register as the war debt increases with each budget override passed by a helpless Congress.

Bush wants to get out of Iraq. I'm sure of it. Like Nixon before him, he wants to declare victory and leave. But unlike Nixon who inherited Vietnam, Bush broke Iraq and now owns it.

How long will it take before our fellow Americans make George finally claim it as his own?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The New American Embassy in Baghdad

The Secret Elephant in the RoomWhat is known:
  • The original cost estimates ranged over $1 billion. The complex is completed by June 2007, by a Haliburton subcontractor, First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting.
  • 900 laborers, mostly from 3rd world countries, live on site as they build the complex.
  • The construction project is larger than that of any other U.S. embassy built on foreign soil.
  • 21 buildings will be a recreation center to rival any in the United States with, among other amenities, a pool, a gym, a food court, a beauty salon and, of course, a recreational area that will be called the American Club.
  • The complex will have its own water-treatment facilities and electricity generator.
  • The Embassy will on some of central Baghdad's most desirable real estate and will, when finished, dominate the view of anyone standing on the other side of the river.
Officially, it's a secret.
U.S. officials in Iraq greet questions about the site with a curtness that borders on hostility. Reporters are referred to the State Department in Washington, which declined to answer questions for security reasons. A tour seems to be out of the question; no formal response was given to a request for one.

Photographers are squeamish about taking pictures of the site, preferring to shoot from buildings at a distance or from inside cars. Security is already tight in the area because of the politicians and diplomats sheltered in the green zone, a 5.6-square-mile chunk of Baghdad surrounded by blast walls and snipers. Iraqis fear that looking at the site for too long, even from across the river, will draw an unwanted response.

Beyond security, it's no secret why a luxurious embassy might be needed in Baghdad. The State Department is finding it more difficult to persuade people to staff the embassy here, the Foreign Relations Committee report said. The post needs people with language skills and experience that are already hard to find. Americans can't bring their families here, and the kidnappings and violence relegate Americans to the embassy complex.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Re-Elect Al Gore for President?

Well, one can make the case that after eight (8!) years of the worst presidency in history (TWPIH), something decisive needs to be done to begin right all the wrongs that have been done to the American governance, politics, international stature, and heritage. Yes, after TWPIH there is a real need for a course correction led by one of the best possible presidents we can muster.

But why would Al Gore want the job? History has already validated him: it's well settled that the American electorate made the worse choice - ever - in 2000. (OK, Okay, they actually elected him, but it shouldn’t have been close.)

Gore's legacy as the road-not-taken is huge. Without ever being seated at his desk in the Oval Office, his stature will eventually - in his lifetime - achieve Rushmorian proportions. If he does nothing more than write books and make movies, he remains an all-time American hero.

He has a lot to lose if he runs for president.

The problem is, there is some ambiance about, that people feel, whether they call it a mandate from heaven or manifest destiny. Gore will be confronted to respond to this call, one way or the other.

I won't be alive, mid-21st century. But I hope history will have recorded:
In 2008, Al Gore ran for President and to restore the American republic.
The gospel truth is Al doesn't need it nearly as bad as we need him.

But we are still in the middle of 2006. Your assignment for next week is to see
An Inconvenient Truth. Next Saturday, there will be a quiz or poll or something on this. I will grade on a curve. Take the Pledge!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

As an American, I am not happy that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is leaving the Netherlands for the United States.

One, I think her most important work is in the Netherlands. She is the real 'Iron' lady (as opposed to Rita Verdonk) in Dutch politics. Without her, they are in much worse situation than they were with her.

Two, I am distressed that when she comes to the USA, she's going to work for the American Enterprise Institute. Certainly we can find a better place for her than that.

She is big enough that she should not have to become a tool of the right wing in America.

More on her in

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Time Is on Bush's Side

Why Republicans Won't Desert Him

We are locked in a war that cannot be won by military force alone, are facing a weapon that tends to favor insurgents -- time. A majority of Americans think that invading Iraq was a mistake and that things in Iraq are going badly. Administration spokesmen have recently said this disaster could last another decade with the same alacrity as they originally proposed it would last "only a few weeks, months, tops".

A current draft of a Pentagon reads:
The insurgent wins if he does not lose, while the counter insurgent loses if he does not win. Insurgents are strengthened by the common perception that a few casualties or a few years will cause the United States to abandon the effort.
Time would seem to be on the side of the insurgency. With Cheney and Rumsfeld predicting another dozen years, it is definitely not on our side.

But in another sense time is on Bush's side. He has as much as admitted he has no plans to finish what he started in Iraq. He has said that American troops will leave Iraq not on his watch; another, succeeding president will 'preside' over the American exit.

We know how the legacy will run: "Who lost Iraq?" will go the refrain, at least until the Republicans can regain the White House.

So time is on Bush's side. All he has to do is to make it to the January 2009 goal line. In the meantime, he has to distract and deflect public discussion on Iraq from becoming a debate.
Immigration Reform!
Ahmadinejad is the next Hitler!
Etc., etc. Every way he turns, it's the same deal: politics defines policies. Bush is bent on 'working around' his disastrous un-provoked, unnecessary and largely unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq (UULUIOI) and not through it. Iraquagmire blunders on in the interest of the Bush legacy. Cash, casualties, and causality be damned.

After Bush, the deluge.

That is why Progressivism has to win in November: to place oversight and, ultimately, impeachment on the Congressional agenda.

The author of un-provoked, aggressive war must be punished while he is in office if we are to ameliorate the stain and stigma of having become the major threat to international peace. Americans must renounce unprovoked war as a defensible policy. To do so, we must renounce Bush while he is office.

If Bush completes his term in office unscathed, he gets the last laugh.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

General Michael Hayden

Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham of Florida has made a statement broadcast on NPR backing nomination of Gen. Michael Hayden to head the CIA.

I want to say at this juncture that I have always respected Graham's view on a whole lot of things. And the substance of his remarks on General Hayden confirm the directions of my own thinking.

I will post Graham's statement as soon as I can find a text.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mothers' Day...

...found me at the Santa Monica Pier.

The Real Patriots Are Calling Out the Real Traitors

Today, as he so often does, Frank Rich asks the question that is on the tip of the national tongue, Will the real traitors please stand up?
Today we know who the real traitors were: the officials who squandered American blood and treasure on an ill-considered war and then tried to cover up their lies and mistakes.
Rich says, "The public has turned on the war in Iraq. The administration's die-hard defenders are desperate to deflect blame for the fiasco" on the journalists who have exposed the incompetence of our current leadership. Bush, Cheney, William Bennett, Porter Goss and the administration's mouthpieces Faux News and the Wall Street Journal have all been pillorying 'leakers' and 'irresponsible publications' for aiding and abetting the 'enemy'.

Rich says Americans are increasingly more persuaded by the message than the messengers.
We can see this charade for what it is: a Hail Mary pass by the leaders who bungled a war and want to change the subject to the journalists who caught them in the act. What really angers the White House and its defenders about both the Post and Times scoops are not the legal questions the stories raise about unregulated gulags and unconstitutional domestic snooping, but the unmasking of yet more administration failures in a war effort riddled with ineptitude. It's the recklessness at the top of our government, not the press's exposure of it, that has truly aided the enemy, put American lives at risk and potentially sabotaged national security. That's where the buck stops, and if there's to be a witch hunt for traitors, that's where it should begin.

Journalists and whistle-blowers who relay such government blunders are easily defended against the charge of treason. It's often those who make the accusations we should be most worried about.
This has been said before, and it's the message that richly deserves to be catapulted!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What's the Price of Gas Matter to a Pair of World Class Liars?

On the Price of Petrol

I don't know to how many Americans it matters, but for what it's worth:

The Iraqi Coalition Casualty Count (ICCC) tells us that since Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary and largely unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq (UULUIOI), we have lost per day, on an average, 2.31 service men and women to hostile action in Iraq.

Last month, April, we lost 2.67 fatalies per day due to unfriendly fire. This month, the ICCC tells us we are on track to lose 7.6 of our sons and daughters to the hostility of the Iraq chaos Bush ignited.

So, my brothers and sister, compute [i]that[/i] into the cost of your gasoline when you pull up to the pump to "fill'er up" this weekend.

One Liar to Another Liar

IMHO, by his earlier denying of the holocaust, Ahmadinejad sacrificed a lot of his credibility about asking Bush to come clean about Iraq. (One liar calling another a liar.) However, there's some fresh wiggle room provided in this letter, when Ahmadinejad seemingly is willing to "assume" events pertaining to the holocaust "are true": does that he is asking give Israel carte blanch to do its ethnic cleansing in the West Bank?

Because of my first point above, I'm not bullish on most of the content in Ahmadinejad's meandering letter. What I want to see most is a demand raised my more people that "my government" (the two words the use of which embarrass me the most these days) fooking recognize the Government in Tehran.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Fear-Mongering and War-Mongering Go Hand-In-Hand

A Short-Term Antidote May Be A General Strike

Bob Burnett asks today,
What Can We Do About Iraq and Iran? He begins by rhetorically repeating a key question I have seen asked on a number pundits, including conservatives'.
It's important to ask why has the resistance to the war in Iraq been ineffective?
Part of the reason, commonly offered, parallels what I have come to call as Pekka's Complaint:
...that even in a war you are not really in it the way the rest of the world's population finds itself during a war.

Enemy for you is somebody on the other side of the world who's existence you weren't even aware before hostilities broke out. Your civilians don't have to run to shelters because of bombing of your cities. You can keep on living exactly the way you did before the war and you don't have to cut back on stuffing your guts with plentiful of food that else where disappears sometimes for years. Outside the military families, there hardly seem to be any sacrifices that are demanded of you. Correct me if I am wrong, but you even got some tax breaks lately. Well, I am not 100% sure but this must be the first time in the recorded history. Wars made easy, wouldn't you agree?
It's hard not to agree; it's universally acknowledged that the burden of this Iraqi war has not been generally born by our population as a whole, i.e. by the institution of higher taxes and military conscription.

But what has been widely and deeply disseminated throughout our national community is fear. As Burnett says,

The answer is fear. Before the invasion, Americans were recovering from collective post-traumatic-stress disorder. We'd had the beejeebers frightened out of us by 9/11. The Bush Administration played on this anxiety. The White House propaganda machine convinced a majority of Americans that Saddam Hussein was allied with Osama bin Laden, was responsible for the attacks, and was an imminent threat to attack again. Over time this false impression eroded. Today, Americans are not as fearful as they were in 2003. And, George Bush is no longer the trusted leader he was at the time he beat the drums for war in Iraq.

Indeed, there has been such a shift against the war in Iraq that it seems unlikely that Bush can play the fear card again.
Except for the fact that he appears to be trying to do just that. The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld regime appears to be bent on persuading (in Burnett's words),
a majority of Americans that an attack on Iran is a good idea, particularly if that attack involves the use of nuclear weapons.
An increasingly progressive Democratic party is - we hope and trust - uniting behind candidates which can clearly offer independent voters a clear choice and opportunity to rip the control of Congress from the hands of the war-mongering and corrupting Republicans. All we have to do is make it to this November? Burnett:
The next six months loom as a pivotal period in US history. We'll have an election to determine whether or not the Bush juggernaut rolls on unimpeded.
But what happens if Rove and Cheney decide Bush's best legacy bet is to stampede the electorate again? What if they decide to freak us all out by bombing Iran this October?

Burnett's proposal is to weigh the possibilities for a general strike.

This is not a wild and wide-eyed idea as it might seem. The political consciousness of Americans seems to be awakening. As Burnett points out, anger about gasoline prices has been set in motion for a boycott on Exxon-Mobil. And the whole nation was surprised by the recent instantaneous combustion over immigration reform. The polarizing quality of this issue alarmed many; but what I find intriguing is that it crossed the great divide between Democrats and Republicans. The words "boycott" and "mass demonstration" are not as alien to our fellow citizens as they were a year ago.

Burnett says one more word needs to be introduced, Strike:

In the past few decades, strikes have been relatively rare in the US. They've usually been local actions associated with trade-union wage and benefit issues. Historically, the general strike has been an effective vehicle for protest, "widespread stoppage of workers in an attempt to bring the economic life of a given area to a more or less complete standstill in order to achieve certain desired objectives." There hasn't been a general strike in the US for more than fifty years. However, within the last decade, there have been effective general strikes in other countries. November 1, 2004, there was such a strike in the Ukraine, protesting election fraud, the "Orange Revolution." And there've been numerous examples in France, most recently a general strike protesting a proposed change in the country's youth employment laws.
And consider this carefully:

Several conditions combine to produce an effective general strike: a widespread perception that the government, or an industry, has acted unfairly; a broad-based coalition that includes workers as well as activists; and an action focus.

In France, that focus has typically been the transportation system. In December 2005, there was a three-day transit strike in New York City affecting millions of commuters and thousands of businesses.

What could arouse our so-called conservative American culture?

....if President Bush were to do something outrageous, such as use nuclear weapons against Iran, this could become the spark that ignites a general strike. There would be a widespread perception that the White House had acted irrationally, against the common good. This could produce a broad-based coalition that unites workers, activists, and groups aggrieved by the Administration, such as immigrants. All that would be needed is an action focus.

A logical target for a general strike would be commercial transportation, particularly the boat, rail, and truck lines that handle cargo containers. America is a "just-in-time" society, where many businesses depend upon an uninterrupted steam of deliveries. Even a two-day disruption in the national transportation network would have huge consequences for the economy. Impact that would be noticed not only by the White House and the national media, but also by the commercial power elite. A general strike might goad Wall Street to rein in the White House and produce significant change.

In these perilous times, it's important to send a clear message to the Bush gang: Americans value democracy and are prepared to defend it. Sending this message means getting out of our living rooms and into the streets.

Boys and girls, I sense we are on the cusp of a palpable and propitious volatility in our nation.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Is California Worse Off than Iraq?

In a word, NO!

Today, I am the unhappy recipient of email which attempted to portray my adopted state of California as being in a predicament comparable to Iraq's. It was emailed to me by a relative of mine who is a two-time, unapologetic Bush voter. So as not to give the email's attachment any more space than it deserves, I'll just cite its source. I invite you to peruse it before reading further.

In the department of "don't get me started", my initial response:

  • First and foremost, California is not occupied by a foreign army. I admit to never having lived under foreign occupation, but I hear from a wide variety of sources who have that it's a real morale crusher.
  • No section of California is subject to daily bombing sorties. None of its cities have been completely demolished, flattened, incinerated or otherwise rendered uninhabitable (however you want to characterize it). There are no Fallujas, Tal Afars, Hits, Rawas Hadithas or Ramadis in my state.
  • California's unemployment rate is not close to Iraq's 60% (a conservative estimate).
  • Kidnapping for ransom is not a major cottage industry in California.
  • Iraq's top professionals -- doctors, lawyers, professors, and business executives -- have been targeted by shadowy political groups for kidnapping, ransom, as well as murder and are running for the borders; California's intelligentsia is staying put.
  • The California infrastructure is not on life support. to mention but one example, electricity in major cities such as Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Oakland is not limited to four hours a day.
  • In California, the price of gasoline is high. But as yet, there are no long lines at the pumps or every-other day rationing. But there are long lines in Baghdad for gasoline. There, rationing prevents sales larger than 8 gallons per person bi-weekly. A large part of the shortage is due to the fact that gasoline is needed to power generators, a problem directly related to a devastated infra-structure.
  • Neither the California Highway Patrol nor local municipal police departments or county sheriffs are under the control of religious zealots bent on ethnic cleansing.
  • 40,000 Californians have not been displaced statewide as a result of ongoing sectarian violence, whereas some 1,000 Iraqis are being displaced daily. Whatever its state of disrepair (under its GOP governator), California is not poised on the precipice of being divided into two or three partitions.
  • Finally, in California, we have accurate and reliable statistics on violent crime. In my state, 90 journalists have not died violent deaths in the last five years. There is no accurate record of the current rate of violent fatalities in Iraq because journalists do not feel safe to 'journey' outside the Green Zone. (That's why Bush supporters constantly complain about no good news coming out of Iraq: they're oblivious to the fact that it's just too dangerous for journalists to go out and find it.) Therefore, there's no telling of the exact extent of the chaos and anarchy currently existent in Iraq.
Like I said, I'm just getting started. Some one tell me what I've left out?

And don't tell me to chill out. Baghdad, after Bush's invasion is worse off than Sarajevo ever was.
Even if this piece in the TAE was meant to be funny, it's not funny.

Steve Colbert? and Cindy Sheehan? Yes & No

Stephen Colbert
I am one who didn't find Steve Colbert funny on the Daily Show or on his own Colbert Show. I rarely watch either, actually. But I salute him for both his artistry and his courage for taking on - in the same room - both the President and his company of sniveling stenographers who pass for journalists in Washington, (if not the entire country). It's a rare moment when both become a captive audience to truth telling; in view of the fact that all of us have been a captive audience to lies and deception for six years, Colbert's performance at Saturday's White House correspondents' dinner in Washington is a moment to be cherished.

Cindy Sheehan
Here's where I part company with Cindy Sheehan:

I have always been against that, also. Afghanistan did not attack America on Sept. 11, 2001. The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 were not acts of war; they were criminal acts. My government should have gone and tried to prosecute the criminals who were responsible, not two innocent countries that didn't have anything to do with it.
I think they should all pull their troops out... I think troops should be pulled from Afghanistan, and we should, I think, solve the problem diplomatically.

In this position, Cindy is in complete alignment with Bush, who has never wanted, really, to be in Afghanistan because it (1) isn't a target-rich area, (2) isn't a threat to Israel or (3), doesn't have significant oil reserves.

Since November 2002, Bush has depleted American military deployments in Afghanistan to supply his war of vanity in Iraq. Having failed to capture or kill Osama bin Missing, we are now witnessing the Taliban staging its comeback.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Iraqi War Memorial - May Day 2006

2,400 Killed in Action. 8,137 with Life-Altering Wounds
Three Year Anniversary