I'll have to wait a year. Or more . . .
Tonight is just 31 December 2007.
Thom Hartmann on the News - May 23, 2013 -
5 hours ago
Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he's alive at all. Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not; we haven't heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is -- really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission ... he's a person who's now been marginalized. His network, his host government has been destroyed ... You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you ... I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him ... He has no place to train his al Qaeda killers anymore.That was then...
We intend to liberate Palestine, the whole of Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the sea ... We will not recognize even one inch for Jews in the land of Palestine as other Muslim leaders have ... I assure our kin in Palestine especially that we shall expand our jihad ... The most evil of the traitors are those who trade away their religion for the sake of their mortal life.What a difference five years makes...
Fact: In a recent ABC News/ Washington Post poll, Iraq and the economy were virtually tied among voters nationally, with nearly a quarter of voters in each case saying it was their number one issue. The economy had become more important to them than in previous months (in November only 14% said it was their most pressing concern), but Iraq still rivals it as an issue!
Fact: The government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has for the moment lost the support of the Sunni Arabs in parliament. The Sunnis in his cabinet have resigned. Even some Shiite parties have abandoned the government. Sunni Arabs, who are aware that under his government Sunnis have largely been ethnically cleansed from Baghdad, see al-Maliki as a sectarian politician uninterested in the welfare of Sunnis.
Fact: The civil war in Baghdad escalated during the US troop escalation. Between January, 2007, and July, 2007, Baghdad went from 65% Shiite to 75% Shiite. UN polling among Iraqi refugees in Syria suggests that 78% are from Baghdad and that nearly a million refugees relocated to Syria from Iraq in 2007 alone. This data suggests that over 700,000 residents of Baghdad have fled this city of 6 million during the US 'surge,' or more than 10 percent of the capital's population. Among the primary effects of the 'surge' has been to turn Baghdad into an overwhelmingly Shiite city and to displace hundreds of thousands of Iraqis from the capital.
Fact: Iran has not been proved to have sent weapons to any Iraqi guerrillas at all. It certainly would not send weapons to those who have a raging hostility toward Shiites. (Iran may have supplied war materiel to its client, the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq (ISCI), which was then sold off from warehouses because of graft, going on the arms market and being bought by guerrillas and militiamen.
Fact: Iraqi women have suffered significant reversals of status, ability to circulate freely, and economic situation under the Bush administration.
Fact: in the words of Democratic Senator Carl Levin, "Those legislative benchmarks include approving a hydrocarbon law, approving a debaathification law, completing the work of a constitutional review committee, and holding provincial elections. Those commitments, made 1 1/2 years ago, which were to have been completed by January of 2007, have not yet been kept by the Iraqi political leaders despite the breathing space the surge has provided."
Fact: In interviews with the Western press, Awakening Council tribesmen often speak of attacking the Shiites after they have polished off al-Qaeda. A major pollster working in Iraq observed, Most of the recent survey results he has seen about political reconciliation, Warshaw said, are ". . . more about [Iraqis] reconciling with the United States within their own particular territory, like in Anbar. . . . But it doesn't say anything about how Sunni groups feel about Shiite groups in Baghdad. . . . In Iraq, I just don't hear statements that come from any of the Sunni, Shiite or Kurdish groups that say 'We recognize that we need to share power with the others, that we can't truly dominate.' The polling shows that "the Iraqi government has still made no significant progress toward its fundamental goal of national reconciliation."
Fact: The subterranean battle among Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs for control of the oil-rich Kirkuk province makes the Iraqi north a political mine field. Kurdistan now also hosts the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas that sneak over the border and kill Turkish troops. The north is so unstable that the Iraqi north is now undergoing regular bombing raids from Turkey.
Fact: in the past 6 weeks, there have been an average of 600 attacks a month, or 20 a day, which has held steady since the beginning of November. About 600 civilians are being killed in direct political violence per month, but that number excludes deaths of soldiers and police. Across the board, Iraqis believe that their conflicts are mainly caused by the US military presence and they are eager for it to end.
Fact: Although violence has been reduced in Iraq, much of the reduction did not take place because of US troop activity. Guerrilla attacks in al-Anbar Province were reduced from 400 a week to 100 a week between July, 2006 and July, 2007. But there was no significant US troop escalation in al-Anbar. Likewise, attacks on British troops in Basra have declined precipitously since they were moved out to the airport away from population centers. But this change had nothing to do with US troops.
Our goal is to get traditional centrist moderate Republicans to get to the caucus and make their voices heard. The moderates who are out there, they've been rather quiet for a few years. Many of them have dropped out of the party or become independents, and so this is an effort to regroup and encourage people to be active.Christine Todd Whitman, a former New Jersey governor and former Bush Cabinet member who now leads the Republican Leadership Council, observed,
It means building the farm team and taking back the word 'Republican' to say we don't have to be the way we are perceived now at the national level, as a mean-spirited narrow-minded litmus-test party.Iowa resembles Illinois, where Republicans were a tighter organization until losing the governor's office in 2002 after a quarter-century of GOP chief executives. Chuck Laudner, executive director of the Iowa GOP, explained that his party was beset with a political free-for-all:
We can be moderate, conservative, liberal as long as we agree on the basic fundamental principles that make us Republicans. You can disagree with someone and not hate them. That's where we need to get, so that we can have the kind of campaigns at the federal level that actually talk about the important issues and try to solve them instead of trying to outflank the other person -- 'I'm more conservative than you are.'
The governor was the rudder of our Republican Party. Without that, we've fractured up a little bit.Former Congressman Greg Ganske, who is backing Sen. John McCain of Arizona, acknowledged that the presidential contest leaves some Iowa Republicans cold:
We've all fractured up, and everybody's gone and done their own thing. We've got to change the mind-set and bring everybody back in.
Probably all the people who are here are fiscal conservatives. We haven't been real happy with what has been going on with the federal budget and our deficits, our balance of trade, things like that. We have an unpopular war going on started by a Republican president, so I think it's fair to say there's less enthusiasm right now.Redeemable Republicans’ taking stock is way overdue.
His willingness to question assumptions and his courage to speak difficult truths are qualities that are needed to end the paralysis that dominates the discussion of national security issues today. He has been an eloquent advocate for the use of all the instruments of American power, and we enthusiastically welcome him to the board.Of note, is the ASP's most recent white paper, Are We Winning? Measuring Progress in the Struggle Against Violent Jihadism. The following summary shows promise:
There has been a massive and dramatic increase in Islamist terrorism since 2003. Terror attacks by Islamist extremist groups have increased significantly during this time, even when excluding attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, and those related to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.II. Health of the Jihadist Movement
The jihadist movement remains vibrant and dynamic. Early claims about disruption of the al Qaeda network were dramatically overstated. Only five of the twenty-two most wanted terrorists in 2001 have been captured or killed. Though some high ranking al Qaeda members have been eliminated, the organization has been able to promote or recruit members to replace losses.III. Al Qaeda Affiliated Movements
Al Qaeda has expanded its reach globally by forging closer relationships with previously autonomous groups.IV. State Sponsorship of Terrorism
Active state sponsorship of terrorism has diminished worldwide.V. Public Attitudes in the Muslim World
U.S. foreign policy is perceived throughout the Muslim world as an aggressive, hostile and destabilizing force.VI. Public Attitudes in the United States
American citizens remain very concerned about the terrorist threat. Significant numbers fear attacks on themselves or their family and friends. Increasing numbers of Americans believe the U.S. is losing the "war on terror."VII. Economic Prosperity and Political Freedom
Broad measures of economic prosperity and political freedom show slow but steady improvement throughout most of the Muslim world.VIII. Ungoverned Spaces
There has been minimal progress on reducing ungoverned spaces. Iraq and Afghanistan are no longer state sponsors of terrorism, but vast ungoverned areas within both of those states make them homes to vibrant jihadist movements that are less vulnerable to traditional instruments of statecraft.IX. International Cooperation Against Terrorists
The number of countries committed to combating terrorism has increased since 9/11.X. Terrorist Financing
International cooperation has led to some successes in curtailing terrorist financing, but there is no clear evidence that Islamist terror groups are being starved of resources. Trends in Afghan poppy production suggest a disturbing new source of terrorist financing.The Global War on Terror (GWOT) is in dire need of new leadership and new ideas. Our present leadership has produced self-inflicted problems every time and everywhere it promised us solutions. Good ol' Al Einstein observed,
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.I'll be looking for ASP's appearances on C-SPAN.
We treat all films the same. Ads will be seen by all audiences, including children. If the advertising is not suitable for all audiences it will not be approved by the advertising administration.Is the real reason for MPAA's objection is that the hood makes a documentary about torture seem more like a horror movie?
right-wing think tanks got 51 percent of C-SPAN’s total coverage in 2006, while left-of-center think tanks only got 18 percent of their coverage.Maybe Liberal media is to be found on MSNBC's Keith Olberman's Countdown. I don't much like his show, however. Especially with that bimbo who's taking his place recently: the one who devoted 12½ minutes of noninterupted air time to the Clinton clowns last night.
Well, the first thing she intends to do, because you can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again.Well, any one who would believe this crap, would also be taken by surprise to hear that Lieberman would endorse McCain.
wholeheartedly supports the President of the United States, including his foreign policy. He has never discussed an ‘around-the-world-mission’ with either former President Bill Clinton or Sen. Clinton, nor does he think such a mission is warranted since he is proud of the role America continues to play around the world as the beacon of hope for freedom and democracy.Of course, Clinton wasn't serious. Bill 'Big Dog' Clinton is still the callow youth. He'll say anything, tell any story to grab the spotlight for entertainment. He likes to have a good time as a loose cannon. His Presidency was too boring a job to keep him interested. Hillary's presidency will be likewise a drag on him. I don't know if Hillary is presidential, but I think it's too bad that we can't entertain her as POTUS without having to entertain her spouse as well.
President Bush is excited about several of the excellent Republican candidates running for president, and looks forward to discussing their candidacy once the Republican nominee is determined.
Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game.
Dear Chairman Reyes and Chairman Rockefeller:
As retired military leaders of the U.S. Armed Forces, we write to express our strong support for Section 327 of the Conference Report on the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, H.R. 2082. Section 327 would require intelligence agents of the U.S. government to adhere to the standards of prisoner treatment and interrogation contained in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Human Collector Operations (the Army Field Manual).
We believe it is vital to the safety of our men and women in uniform that the United States not sanction the use of interrogation methods it would find unacceptable if inflicted by the enemy against captured Americans. That principle, embedded in the Army Field Manual, has guided generations of American military personnel in combat.
The current situation, in which the military operates under one set of interrogation rules that are public and the CIA operates under a separate, secret set of rules, is unwise and impractical. In order to ensure adherence across the government to the requirements of the Geneva Conventions and to maintain the integrity of the humane treatment standards on which our own troops rely, we believe that all U.S. personnel - military and civilian - should be held to a single standard of humane treatment reflected in the Army Field Manual.
The Field Manual is the product of decades of practical experience and was updated last year to reflect lessons learned from the current conflict. Interrogation methods authorized by the Field Manual have proven effective in eliciting vital intelligence from dangerous enemy prisoners. Some have argued that the Field Manual rules are too simplistic for civilian interrogators. We reject that argument. Interrogation methods authorized in the Field Manual are sophisticated and flexible. And the principles reflected in the Field Manual are values that no U.S. agency should violate.
General David Petraeus underscored this point in an open letter to the troops in May in which he cautioned against the use of interrogation techniques not authorized by the Field Manual:
What sets us apart from our enemies in this fight. . . . is how we behave. In everything we do, we must observe the standards and values that dictate that we treat noncombatants and detainees with dignity and respect.... Some may argue that we would be more effective if we sanctioned torture or other expedient methods to obtain information from the enemy. They would be wrong. Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful nor necessary. Certainly, extreme physical action can make someone "talk;" however, what the individual says may be of questionable value. In fact, our experience in applying the interrogation standards laid out in the Army Field Manual (2-22.3) on Human Intelligence Collector Operations that was published last year shows that the techniques in the manual work effectively and humanely in eliciting information from detainees.
Employing interrogation methods that violate the Field Manual is not only unnecessary, but poses enormous risks. These methods generate information of dubious value, reliance upon which can lead to disastrous consequences. Moreover, revelation of the use of such techniques does immense damage to the reputation and moral authority of the United States essential to our efforts to combat terrorism.
This is a defining issue for America. We urge you to support the adoption of Section 327 of the Conference Report and thereby send a clear message - to U.S. personnel and to the world - that the United States will not engage in or condone the abuse of prisoners and will honor its commitments to uphold the Geneva Conventions.
Sincerely,General Joseph Hoar, USMC (Ret.)
General Paul J. Kern, USA (Ret.)
General Charles Krulak, USMC (Ret.)
General David M. Maddox, USA (Ret.)
General Merrill A. McPeak, USAF (Ret.)
Admiral Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Claudia J. Kennedy, USA (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Donald L. Kerrick, USA (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Albert H. Konetzni Jr., USN (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Charles Otstott, USA (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, USA (Ret.)
Major General Paul Eaton, USA (Ret.)
Major General Eugene Fox, USA (Ret.)
Major General John L. Fugh, USA (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Don Guter, USN (Ret.)
Major General Fred E. Haynes, USMC (Ret.)
Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, USN (Ret.)
Major General Melvyn Montano, ANG (Ret.)
Major General Gerald T. Sajer, USA (Ret.)
Major General Antonio 'Tony' M. Taguba, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General David M. Brahms, USMC (Ret.)
Brigadier General James P. Cullen, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Evelyn P. Foote, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Richard O'Meara, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Murray G. Sagsveen, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Anthony Verrengia, USAF (Ret.)
Brigadier General Stephen N. Xenakis, USA (Ret.)
You can't ask that!
Any answer will be disallowed!
. . . I watched Oprah Winfrey stump for Barack Obama this weekend . . . It's about reassuring the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose the war in Iraq that they are, in fact, an overwhelming majority. It's also about giving courage or cover to every Democratic member of Congress . . . .I concede that Kaplan makes some strong and eloquent points here. No Doubt. But let me review the historical antecedents involved here.
How do people know what other people think? The sad truth is that it doesn't come from talking to one another; it comes from the media.
. . . . no journalist can today occupy the place that Walter Cronkite did when, at the end of a CBS documentary about the 1968 Tet offensive, he said the U.S. was in a stalemate in Vietnam and should get out . . . . Bill Moyers, Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert actually do tell the truth, and they mercilessly deconstruct the biases of "fair and balanced" faux news and fatuous "narrative" narratives, but their audience sizes limit their impact, and their matter is more than matched by Republican media anti-matter.
But Oprah -- well, in an age that has thoroughly blurred the boundary between news and entertainment, Oprah may actually be the twenty-first century's de facto national anchor. She really does channel -- and change -- Middle America.
. . . . Oprah's audience will take from this the message that their own opposition to the war isn't a betrayal of the troops, as the Republicans claim; isn't giving comfort to the terrorists, as the administration asserts; isn't moral cowardice, as the Right's bile-spewing whiner intelligentsia insists. And maybe the message that current and aspiring members of Congress will take from Oprah's unembarrassed anti-war message is that it's not political suicide to stand with the decisive majority of the American people, that being called bad names by your opponents will not kill you. . . .
If Oprah can feel it and think it and say it, then you can feel it and think it and say it. What's not in question is the message to Democratic politicians, especially incumbents, still weaseling on Iraq: If you've lost Oprah, you've lost Middle America.
. . . we'd like to sum up our findings in Vietnam, an analysis that must be speculative, personal, subjective.Cronkite had been either neutral or pro-war before he was against it. But with this single and unique (for him) editorial, this peerless broadcast journalist opened an immense credibility cap for Lyndon Baines Johnson who immediately reacted by turning to his aides and saying,
Who won and who lost in the great Tet offensive against the cities? I'm not sure. The Vietcong did not win by a knockout, but neither did we. The referees of history may make it a draw. Another standoff may be coming in the big battles expected south of the Demilitarized Zone. Khesanh could well fall, with a terrible loss in American lives, prestige and morale, and this is a tragedy of our stubbornness there . . it is doubtful that the American forces can be defeated across the breadth of the DMZ with any substantial loss of ground. Another standoff. On the political front, past performance gives no confidence that the Vietnamese government can cope with its problems, now compounded by the attack on the cities. It may not fall, it may hold on, but it probably won't show the dynamic qualities demanded of this young nation. Another standoff.
We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds . . . it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. . . .
To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. . . . But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.
If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America.
When Miss Jane Pittman would encounter young people throughout that film, she would ask, 'Are you the one?’ I remember her standing in the doorway, her body bent, frail, old, holding the baby in her arms, saying, 'Are you the one, Jimmy? Are you the one?'Deep down, I get Oprah Winfrey. Neither of us are single-issue voters. If we were only voting for peace, we would be pushing for Senator Gravel, Representative Kucinich or the pandering governor from New Mexico. Both of us see more is at stake in the 2008 election than filling in the latrine of mass graves Bush has left us Americans in Mesopotamia. If Oprah can prevent Hillary Clinton from playing Richard Nixon to George Bush's LBJ, more power to her. She may have missed or fallen short of her Walter Cronkite moment. But Oprah Winfrey is right on the one key point.
I believe in '08, I have found the answer to this question. It is the same question that our nation is asking: Are you the one? Are you the one?
I am here to tell you, Iowa, he is the one.
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute -- where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote -- where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference -- and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him. . . . If I should lose on the real issues, I shall return to my seat in the Senate, satisfied that I had tried my best and was fairly judged. But if this election is decided on the basis that 40 million Americans lost their chance of being president on the day they were baptized, then it is the whole nation that will be the loser, in the eyes of Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, in the eyes of history, and in the eyes of our own people.Kennedy pointed out that, as a member of Congress, he had opposed government aid to parochial schools or even the appointment of an ambassador to the Vatican.
In recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America -- the religion of secularism.It was, beginning to end, an appeal to a single GOP constituency, the evangelical right, which now applies a religious test for office. Unlike Kennedy, Romney doesn't have any problem with such a test -- he just wants it graded on a steep enough curve to include Mormons.
...went into Iraq without justification, without a plan; he just decided to go in there and win, and he had no idea what was going to happen. There have been terrible deaths on our side, and it's even worse for the Iraqi population. It's another Vietnam.Previous surveys had demonstrated an erosion of support for Bush and the war among military personnel, including a 2005 poll by Military Times of their active-duty readers.
You generally expect to see support for the president as commander in chief and for the war, but this is a different kind of war than those we've fought in the past, particularly for families.That's because it's not war, Davey, but an occupation. An illegitimate, un-welcomed, and unwanted occupation.