Saturday, January 13, 2007

Beyond the Call to Surge, the Need to Purge Our Media

For the second time this week, we feel the need to address this strange admiration for Bush, by some in the news media, because he, supposedly, believes in what he is doing, even if he has to stand alone, as if that is always a good thing in a leader.

What if that leader is delusional?

Adolph Hitler believed whole-heartedly in what he was doing, attempting to take over all of Europe and exterminate the Jewish people. Is he to be admired for that? Not by me, that's for sure!

If the driver of the car, in which you are a passenger, believes, whole-heartedly, that if he just drives fast enough, he can fly over the Grand Canyon, do you just admire the hell out of him, all the way to your death on the Canyon floor?

Do any of these people really know what Bush believes?

This guy has told so many contradicting stories about what he believes, who the hell knows?

There was a time that he didn't believe in nation building. That was hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of bucks ago.

There was a time he believed in a humble foreign policy. Pre-9/11 thinking? I don't think so.

We could have still had a humble foreign policy, if we had completed the mission in Afghanistan and left Iraq the hell alone, but that was never in the cards, was it?

Beyond the Call to Surge, the Need to Purge Our Media:

In the aftermath of President Bush's prime-time war cry for escalation from the White House Library, the network newscasters were skeptical about his chances for success but seemed to be impressed by his willingness to stand up for what they think he believes, like some lone but gutsy hero on the prairie.

Much of the commentary deals with him as the beleaguered leader standing strong against public opinion but doing what he feels he had to do. The subtext was you just have to admire that man This is the very positioning his image managers cultivated.

The focus was on one man speaking to one camera, standing alone in a library, a White House room you had a sense with which he was unfamiliar, speaking to the teleprompter, reading someone else's words with as much well-practiced conviction as he could muster. The tone was reasonable because of his many claims of having listened to advice from his team and even his critics.

There was no analysis of who wrote the speech or the attitudes of his many Generals and advisors who disagreed with its thrust. There was no reminder that the Iraqi military actually opposed it. He positively cited the Iraq Survey Group whose recommendations he had actually rejected, as in, 'in keeping with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, we will increase the embedding of American advisers.

Brooding Prince’s Soliloquy

What the hell difference does it make, if Bush gives his speech from the Oval, the map room or from the roof, for that matter?

His credibility is dead of self-inflicted wounds. If he really gave a damn about this country, he and Cheney would both resign, because as long as he is "the Decider," the nation's credibility remains on life support and of absolutely no use for good.

Brooding Prince’s Soliloquy:

To surge or not to surge, that is the question. As our prince proposes, once again, to take arms against a sea of troubles, he responds not to the disaster that he has visited upon Iraq, but rather embraces a desperate strategy for salvaging what remains of his reign.

To win, perchance to dream. Few Americans, a mere 17 percent, according to the latest Washington Post/ABC poll, think that sacrificing more Americans in patrols on the streets of Baghdad will reverse the slings and arrows of our outrageous Iraqi fortune, but giving a speech about it might provide our hapless Hamlet with some temporary political cover.

“All the world is really watching,” proclaimed Bush press secretary Tony Snow, “and it’s important to get this right.”

Toward that end, as The New York Times reported, “The president’s aides were contemplating having Mr. Bush deliver it from the White House Map Room, a site replete with the history and imagery of World War II—imagery that Mr. Bush has invoked as he has sought to compare the campaign against terrorism to the struggle against totalitarianism and the Nazis. But the Oval Office, a more traditional setting, was also being considered.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The many presidents of George W. Bush.

God, now the guy is Eve White, Eve Black and Sybil, and it's all Oedipal in origin.

Whatever the diagnosis, we need him to be gone, along with all of his twisted brothers and sisters of the 'Cult of Neo-Conservatism.'

The many presidents of George W. Bush. - By Timothy Noah - Slate Magazine:

If you had asked any other President in American history during a time of war whether they had a credibility problem because they had not foreseen changes on the battlefield, you probably would have had plenty of cause. I mean, Abraham Lincoln constantly guessed from Manassas straight through until the final months of the war.
—White House press spokesman Tony Snow, Jan. 9, 2007 (a lying charmer who ought to be horse-whipped)

So now it's Abraham Lincoln. Seems like only yesterday that President Bush was the reincarnation of Harry S. Truman, the patron saint of low approval ratings. Last month Sen. Richard Durban, R.-Ill., told reporters that at a meeting with congressional leaders, Bush compared his trials in Iraq to Truman's at the dawn of the Cold War.

Bush even gave Truman biographer David McCullough a Presidential Medal of Freedom. But that was last month. Maybe somebody in the White House read Slate's Fred Kaplan, writing in his Jan. 3 column ('Iron Man') that presidents who compare themselves to Truman were like 'failing artists who take solace from the fact that van Gogh didn't sell many paintings in his lifetime. … Maybe they're just lousy artists.' Or maybe Bush's handlers figured that if you're going to be an unpopular previous president, why not be the best? (Please do click over^)

Steve Irwin's Little Girl

Looks like a Daddy's girl to us.

May she be blessed.


BURBANK, Calif. (AP) - Bindi Irwin, the 8-year-old daughter of the late 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin, followed in her dad's footsteps Thursday, using her American television debut to talk about animals.

The khaki-clad girl skipped across the stage holding a blue-tongued lizard as she greeted audiences of the 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show.'

'This is Spanky. He's 10 years old,' Bindi told DeGeneres as she prodded the lizard to lick her face in an attempt to show its tongue.

'I just love animals. My dad really brought it out in me,' Bindi said. 'He's the one that made me.'

Her father, animal lover and conservationist Steve Irwin, died Sept. 4, from the poisonous jab of a stingray. Along with Bindi, he left behind his wife, Terri, and 2-year-old son, Bob.

Like her father, Bindi said she loves 'all animals, great or small.'

Bush says he alone to blame for mistakes in Iraq. LOL.

Though this is hardly an admission of anything, we will take Bush at his carefully chosen word. He is responsible for the debacle in Iraq; for all the lies that got us into this nightmarish hell hole, not listening to anyone outside of his own inner circle of babble-heads and every death that has resulted from "mistakes that may have been made."


So, now, where is the accountability?

Did Bush pull a Reagan? (I accept responsibility for everything under the sun, but I don't know what planet I'm on, so I can't be held accountable for any of it.)

Bull shit!

This kind of crap has gone on in every Republican administration since Nixon and I am sick of it. Until a president is finally held accountable, in any way that really matters, it will happen again and again, if the current "Mr. Responsible-sort-of " doesn't kill us all first.

Bush says he alone to blame for mistakes in Iraq - MSNBC Wire Services -

"WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush told Americans on Wednesday 'where mistakes have been made in Iraq, the responsibility rests with me,' as he unveiled a new war plan that includes an infusion of more than 20,000 extra U.S. troops.

Bush's legacy: The president who cried wolf

There is one thing worse than a president who cries wolf, and that is a president who cries wolf, when he is the wolf.

I have no doubt that the world is a dangerous place, made even more so for Americans, by this president. Nevertheless, the single greatest threat to this nation and to other people around the world, is the Bush administration.

Bush's legacy: The president who cried wolf - Countdown with Keith Olbermann -

Only this president, only in this time, only with this dangerous, even messianic certitude, could answer a country demanding an exit strategy from Iraq, by offering an entrance strategy for Iran.

Only this president could look out over a vista of 3,008 dead and 22,834 wounded in Iraq, and finally say, “Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me” — only to follow that by proposing to repeat the identical mistake ... in Iran.

Only this president could extol the “thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group,” and then take its most far-sighted recommendation — “engage Syria and Iran” — and transform it into “threaten Syria and Iran” — when al-Qaida would like nothing better than for us to threaten Syria, and when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would like nothing better than to be threatened by us.

We're In Trouble

Seems like everyone is seeing it now.

Yep, full speed ahead. Bush is convinced that if he doesn't wipe out certain parts of the Middle-east and Central Asia, no one else will.

He's right.

That's precisely our point, when we say that Bush and Cheney need to be arrested. We're In Trouble:

We're in big trouble.

Have a look at The Washington Note, whose latest begins like this:
Washington intelligence, military and foreign policy circles are abuzz today with speculation that the President, yesterday or in recent days, sent a secret Executive Order to the Secretary of Defense and to the Director of the CIA to launch military operations against Syria and Iran.

The President may have started a new secret, informal war against Syria and Iran without the consent of Congress or any broad discussion with the country.
If this is true, we're in very big trouble. Or, if the rumor was sparked by an order 'only' authorizing clandestine operations (or, worse, bombardment) as a form of provocation, this is serious stuff. But even if it's not at all true in any way, we're in pretty big trouble, as the spread of this rumor means we've reached a point in our politics when sober, quite moderate, people like Steve Clemons are starting at shadows.

I can only remember one time that felt like this: when Nixon was in the last weeks of his Presidency, and people -- including the then-Secretary of Defense-- got worried that Nixon might try to start a war to distract the country from his troubles, or even stage some sort of coup. People in DC even began to speculate as to what military forces could be assembled as a counterweight in the event that Nixon, rumored to be drunk and unstable, chose to subvert the Constitution.

Hagel: Bush speech worst blunder since Vietnam

No, Senator.

While we liked what you had to say, the worst blunder was taking this country into an illegal, immoral war based on deception, using fear and vengeance- mongering.

Now, what we have to do is stop the imperial loon from sending more of our young people to kill and be killed, for purely political and partisan reasons, in Iraq or its neighboring countries.

Sioux City Journal: Hagel: Bush speech worst blunder since Vietnam:

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel offered Thursday what might have been the harshest criticism to date of President Bush's plan to commit more troops to Iraq, calling the president's Wednesday night speech 'the most dangerous foreign policy blunder carried out since Vietnam.'

Hagel's comment drew applause in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in which members questioned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over the plan to commit 21,500 additional U.S. troops to Iraq.

The commotion prompted Committee Chairman, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., to call for order.

The remarks by Hagel, a Republican, followed his scathing rebuke Wednesday night of the Iraq plan. He called it a 'dangerously wrongheaded strategy that will drive America deeper into an unwinnable swamp at great cost.'

Harmonizing Shades Of Green

Yes, indeed, a lot of cats to herd....... - Harmonizing Shades Of Green:

It is up to greens to make sure that in 2007, a year full of possibility on energy and environmental issues, change moves in the direction of long-term sustainability and justice. Powerful forces will be pushing the other way. They—chambers of commerce, dinosaur corporations, think tank and government shills—tend to speak in a unified voice.

The good guys—the side of clean energy and emissions reductions—are a rump coalition of liberal environmentalists, libertarian conservationists, conservative evangelicals, geeked-out entrepreneurs and paranoid defense hawks, among others.

That's a lot of cats to herd, and the green movement-that-isn't usually produces a cacophony.

Diagnoses and solutions range wildly in spatial and temporal scale, emphasis, cost and feasibility. Everything from light bulbs to organic food, to flex-fuel cars to a carbon freeze tax—no, make that a cap-and-trade program—clamors for attention.

Before I suggest a positive agenda most elements of the green coalition can agree on (in my dreams, anyway), it's important to understand why circumstances are uniquely aligned for action, and forecast a few of the forces against which greens should consciously countervail.

Circumstances favor progress. Greens confront opportunities in 2007 that haven't come around since the energy crisis of the 1970s. A new consensus is coalescing.

Bush Channels Nixon

Actually, he sounded more like Lyndon Johnson to us, but this article expresses some valid points.

However, it is important right now to see the LBJ in GWB, as it reminds us of the possibility of another Gulf of Tonkin (substitute Persian Gulf) incident, as an excuse for blowing hell out of Iran. - Bush Channels Nixon:

At the tail end of the Vietnam war, when everyone in Washington knew that America had lost, peace talks stalled and President Richard Nixon ordered a massive bombardment of North Vietnam over Christmas, 1972. In a horrific and needless weeks-long reign of terror, the United States bombed cities and villages in Vietnam, including a devastating strike that demolished Bach Mai, Hanoi’s largest hospital. Once the president got that out of his system, the assault ended, the peace talks resumed and shortly thereafter the United States gave up on the war.

What President Bush is doing in Iraq is precisely the same thing. There is virtually no one in the foreign policy establishment, in the military or anywhere else who believes that the Iraq war can be won. But, by sending 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq to engage in a massive, citywide offensive in Baghdad, Bush is doing what Nixon did in 1972. He is unleashing carnage for reasons that are not military, but political and petulant. Many thousands of Iraqis, and not a few Americans, will die as a result—and, in the end, the United States will have to get out of Iraq anyway.

The essence of Bush’s “new” policy is to double the U.S. troop presence to about 40,000 soldiers and Marines in Baghdad, where they will act as shock troops for the forces of the an Iraqi army dominated by the Shiite militiamen. The U.S. forces will operate in and alongside thousands of Shiite-dominated army and police thugs. Said Bush: (Click on over^)

Little Ricky is Back, and He is Looking for America's Enemies.

Of course, he is such an ideologically brain-damged Cretin, he doesn't really know what fascism means. In his mind, it applies to any one he doesn't like. Like Muslims (and yes, probably, Liberals/Progressives).

So, like all Rethugs who get tossed out of office on their keisters, once their true colors are evident to all, Little Ricky is going to stay in Washington, D.C. and think.

This can't be a good thing.

In my humble opinion, people like Santorum bear watching, whether in or out of power.

Santorum leads ousted Republicans' move back to conservative philanthropy supported think tanks:

At ironically named 'Ethics and Public Policy Center' former senator will track 'America's Enemies'

If you thought that his resounding defeat at the polls this past November would send former Senator Rick Santorum scurrying back home to Pennsylvania, think again. Santorum has decided he'll be staying in the nation's capital to head up a new program called 'America's Enemies,' which will be located at the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC - website), a Washington-based think tank formerly headed by Neocon hawk Elliott Abrams.

A Little Panic at Foggy-bottom

Oh Shit, she's even more inept than we thought!

Condi reminds me of that old joke about folks who hang out in Academia-land (not that there's anything wrong with that):

BS = Bull shit

MS = More shit

PhD = Piled high and deep.

But it does bring up an interesting question, which remains much speculated about and not answered. Why does Bush just keep moving the deck chairs on the Titanic, when what we need is a whole new ship or, atleast, more life boats?

It must be the loyalty thing, as with the hiring of Rethug Loyalists to run the CPA.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Robert Novak :: Latest State choice has whiff of panic:

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republicans and Democrats alike, were alarmed last week that John Negroponte was leaving as director of national intelligence after less than two years to become deputy secretary of state. By way of explanation, he informed one Republican senator that he did not want to make the switch but that the White House prevailed on him.

Just what career diplomat Negroponte was doing as the new intelligence czar in the first place was puzzling. But to pull him out just as his on-the-job training as director had been completed reflects a panicky desire to fill the deputy secretary's post that had been unfilled for an unprecedented six months. Five other key State Department positions are either vacant or soon to be vacant.

Republicans in Congress, who do not want to be quoted, tell me the State Department under Secretary Condoleezza Rice is a mess. That comes at a time when the U.S. global position is precarious. While attention focuses on Iraq, American diplomacy is being tested worldwide -- in Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Korea and Sudan. The judgment by thoughtful Republicans is that Rice has failed to manage that endeavor.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Wolffe: Bush's Not-So-New Way Forward in Iraq

....but read between the lines.

The lamest of lame ducks is more full of it that a thanksgiving turkey.

We only hope that our congress-critters heard what we heard and saw what we saw.

Can any of we spell I-R-A-N?

As Vice said, elections or no elections, old wise men or no old wisemen, it is full speed ahead for the NeoCons. Nothing seems to have changed. It is as if they know they have one shot at their imperial dreams, afforded them by the much needed "new Pearl Harbor."

The NeoCons are about to fry. The only question remaining is whether or not we are going to fry with them.

Draft them, and if they're too old, draft their damnable spawn!

Wolffe: Bush's Not-So-New Way Forward in Iraq - Newsweek Politics -

Jan. 10, 2007 - Everything was meant to signal change. The long internal debates with advisers. The meetings with outside experts. The talk of a new way forward.

A Crisis of Confidence

Fineman is much kinder than any of us, but maybe he has to be.

Fineman on Bush's Speech: A Crisis of Confidence - Newsweek Howard Fineman -

Jan. 10, 2007 - George W. Bush spoke with all the confidence of a perp in a police lineup. I first interviewed the guy in 1987 and began covering his political rise in 1993, and I have never seen him, in public or private, look less convincing, less sure of himself, less cocky. With his knitted brow and stricken features, he looked, well, scared. Not surprising since what he was doing in the White House library was announcing the escalation of an unpopular war.

Kucinich Sees It, Too

We are not as paranoid as we may sound at times.

We have been saying this for months. Bush and Cheney are going to hit Iran, or die trying.

Kucinich: Bush setting stage for wide war | Dennis Kucinich for President 2008 - Kucinich.US:

Kucinich: Bush setting stage for wide war

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C – Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) issued the following statement tonight in response to President Bush's nationally televised address to the American people.

'President Bush appears to be setting the stage for a wider war in the region. He has blamed Iran for attacks on America. The President is vowing to disrupt Iran. He is going to add an aircraft carrier to the shores off the coast of Iran. He has promised to give Patriot missiles to 'our friends and allies.' Isn't one war enough for this President? It is time the media and the Congress began to pay attention to this President when he talks aggressively about Iran and Syria.

'It is imperative that Congress step up to its constitutional responsibility to restrain this abuse of executive authority by notifying the President that we will no longer agree to fund the war in Iraq. The supplemental budget request of up to $100 billion would enable the president not only to continue the war against Iraq through the end of his term. It would give him the resources to attack Iran, in the name of defending Iraq and the region.'

John F. Williford: Authority for Military Action?

This is what we believe as well, and we do wish to warn all elected officials, at the federal level, that they had better not go down this road with Bush and Cheney.

It is that simple. Don't do it!

How often do you need to be reminded that this administration has not told you the real truth about anything from day one?

They do not deserve one last chance in Iraq. Period.

But even if they did, 20,000 more troops will not to anything to stop the violence and may well make it worse.

Take 20,000 and divide it by 4: Yep, that's right, 5,000.

That is the number of actual new security troops we will have in Iraq, helping partol the streets and kicking in doors.

Iraq is approximately the size of California.

NYC has 45,000 police patrolling its streets, daily.

Now, does anyone believe there is even a remote chance that this escalation is anything but political and pathological?

John F. Williford: Authority for Military Action? BuzzFlash:

I've watched in stunned amazement statements by Senator Biden, saying the idea of dumping more of our troops into it isn't likely to stall the meat grinder of Iraq (Obviously, I'm paraphrasing); but, as Mr. Bush is Commander-in-Chief, there isn't anything Congress can do about it. WHAT?

Whether under the specific Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq extracted from Congress through lies, or the earlier, vague and broad authority to pursue culprits of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the underlying enabling legislation in both Authorizations is specifically identified as the War Powers Resolution of 1973. This legislation specifically spells out the powers of Congress to monitor on a tight review schedule the application of military force. The tenor and purpose of the legislation is clearly for short-term authorization and extension in short increments in lieu of a formal Declaration of War by the Congress.

Food For The Gods: Thom Hartmann's "Independent Thinker" Book of the Month Review | BuzzFlash

Interesting article, and even more interesting timing.

Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna - Thom Hartmann's "Independent Thinker" Book of the Month Review BuzzFlash:

I took some drugs today to help me write this review. Specifically, a xanthine-family drug called caffeine that appears in the berries of a largely equatorial bush, along with a few weaker xanthine-family alkaloids that aren't as well known but are also present in the coffee bean.

Last night before going to bed, I took another drug. Fermented from the fruit of a vine grown in the south of France, the alcohol in the glass of wine I drank altered my consciousness in a way I found pleasant, while the raw juice (wine is not heated) contains, its promoters say, some other chemicals that may be good for my heart.

Fact is, we're a society of drug-takers. Outside of Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah Witnesses (and a few other smaller mostly Christian sects), we as a society nearly all take drugs specifically to alter consciousness. We use the most addictive drug known to human kind -- five times more addictive than heroin -- in a way that earns the tobacco barons billions of profits every year. The three primary drugs of our culture -- caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol -- are ubiquitous. As are other drugs McKenna takes aim at -- sugar, chocolate, and television.

And, says Terence McKenna, they're the wrong drugs for us to be using. Or at least some of us.

Bush is so full of it!!!!

Would this man recognize the truth if it bit him in the ass?

I think we might get the answer to this question soon.

With Iraq Speech, Bush to Pull Away From His Generals -

When President Bush goes before the American people tonight to outline his new strategy for Iraq, he will be doing something he has avoided since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003: ordering his top military brass to take action they initially resisted and advised against.

Bush talks frequently of his disdain for micromanaging the war effort and for second-guessing his commanders. 'It's important to trust the judgment of the military when they're making military plans,' he told The Washington Post in an interview last month. 'I'm a strict adherer to the command structure.'

All the King's Men Sign a Death Warrant on American G.I.s

.....And a whole lot of other people.

Conscious Americans didn't sleep too well last night.

This is an opinion from Buzzflash, written before Bush's speech.

Hard to imagine that his speech could actually make us all feel worse, after it had been leaked all over the media for days and we all thought we knew what was coming, but it did.

Iran, Iran, Iran....

Oh God, here we go again.

Congress must stop the madmen in the White House, NOW!.

All the King's Men Sign a Death Warrant on American GIs BuzzFlash:

There is no 'new plan' for Bush to announce.

We have been seeing the same plan endlessly fail, and then endlessly repackaged over and over and over again.

There is, however, a new PR word ''surge' that came out of the infamous Frank Luntz focus groups to try to make the stench of American men and women dying in Baghdad in greater numbers more palatable.

That is all that is new to Bush's defiant legacy of failed leadership.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the escalation of troops was chosen, in large part, to defy the 'Iraq Study Group': 'As described by participants in the administration review, some staff members on the National Security Council became enamored of the idea of sending more troops to Iraq in part because it was not a key feature of Baker-Hamilton.'

Why are we continuing to put up with this defiant teenager in the White House?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Do You Feel Tectonic Shifts, lately?

When the Libertarians and the Liberal/Progressives join hands across the river, you gotta know, the times, they are a changin'.....

Will Congress be duped again into giving Bush a blank check for war? Or will this new Congress summon the courage to take the war option out of Bush's hands, to decide itself, for the nation, when, where and whether America should ever go to war against Iran? Every presidential candidate should be asked: Does President Bush have the authority to attack Iran without specific congressional authorization? And would you support giving him that authority? Needed today are courageous men and women of both parties who will introduce and pass a congressional resolution stating, "In the absence of a direct Iranian attack on U.S. forces or personnel, or an imminent threat of such an attack, President Bush has no authority to launch a pre-emptive strike or a preventive war on Iran." If we are going to war, let us do it constitutionally, for once, and not leave it up solely to George W. Bush and Brother Cheney.

Copyright 1997-2007 - All Rights Reserved.

....and the truth shall set you free.

Bush to Face Street Protests Over Iraq Escalation Plan

A number of us will be headed for Washington within the next few days.

Bush to Face Street Protests Over Iraq Escalation Plan:

Wednesday 10 January 2007

New York - The Bush administration's plan to beef up the U.S. military presence in Iraq is likely to create a new wave of protests across the United States in the coming days.

As Bush is expected to announce his plans Wednesday to send approximately 20,000 more troops to Iraq, anti-war groups say they will hold rallies and sit-ins in dozens of cities across the nation to press the U.S. Congress to thwart any troop escalation.
Within 24 hours of Bush's announcement, there will be protests all over the country, according to Tom Andrews, former Congressman and director of Win Without War, one of the largest anti-war coalitions.

Andrews' group, which is working closely with United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), another major anti-war umbrella group, has planned a series of protests, including a Web-based campaign to push Congress to block Bush's plans for Iraq.
In addition to rallies and sit-ins, the campaign includes personal appeals and photos calling for legislators in Washington to reject Bush's strategy for Iraq and call for an end to the occupation.

Those participating in the Web-based campaign have already begun to download 'No' signs, with petitions urging Congress to exercise its powers of the purse to block any escalation of war in Iraq.

'It is unbelievable that after the voters and the Iraqis said they want and end to this war, Bush is going to escalate it,' said Leslie Cagan of UFPJ. 'He was wrong to begin the war and he is wrong to prolong it even one more day.'

Cagan called the Iraq war 'outrageous,' and demanded that Bush recall all U.S. troops from Iraq.

For his part, however, Bush has made clear that he not only intends to increase the size of the U.S.

Dems to Force Escalation Vote (well, sorta)

We agree! It certainly is the very least they could do.

They had better have a plan B, if this is Plan A!

We want this vote on a very official record, at the very least, for purposes that should be obvious, at this point in time to coin a phrase.

Truthdig - Ear to the Ground - Dems to Force Escalation Vote:

House and Senate Democrats are planning a symbolic vote on Bush’s escalation of the Iraq war, partially to force Republicans to take a stand on the issue. While they haven’t ruled out more aggressive—and meaningful—measures, the Dems agreed that demonstrating their opposition was the least they could do.

Ron Kovic: Surging Past the Tipping Point

Kovic is spot-on.

On with the year of building, massive protests: go local and federal.

It really is all about timing, and now is the time!

Truthdig - Interviews - Ron Kovic: Surging Past the Tipping Point:

By Joshua Scheer

In an interview with Truthdig research editor Joshua Scheer, Ron Kovic, author of “Born on the Fourth of July,” argues that Americans this week have a patriotic and generation-defining duty to speak out against Bush’s proposal to escalate the war in Iraq with more U.S. troops.

Truthdig: I understand you’re very incensed by Bush’s intention to escalate the Iraq war with a troop surge.

Kovic: Absolutely. This week is a very crucial turning point in the war. We’re being led in a very reckless and dangerous direction. I don’t want to see more men and women come home like me—in wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. How many more have to die in a war that makes no sense? I feel like I’m seeing the mirror image of another Vietnam unfolding all over again, and I think we have never needed to break that silence and begin to speak more than we do now.

Congress Has Repeatedly Placed Limits On Military Deployments And Funding

So, where are they getting that having the president seek a new war resolution, thus capping what Bush can spend, without close congressional over sight and approval.

It seems to me that the old resolution stopped being legal a very long time ago. The day Saddam was captured, the old war resolution was accomplished and became irrelevent.

The excuses, for war, had either been proven false or had been acccomplshed by December, 2003.

We think there are some cowardly lions on Capitol Hill, who want to dodge responsibility for the continuing crime in Iraq and the national nightmare here.

We want every member of Congress go on record, about the escalation of what is already an illegal war and stopped being in response to a resolution by congress In December 2003.

Think Progress » FACT CHECK: Congress Has Repeatedly Placed Limits On Military Deployments And Funding:

Tomorrow night at 9 p.m. EST, President Bush will address the nation and announce an escalation of the war in Iraq by sending about 20,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq. Can Congress do anything about it?

Some members have claimed that anything other than symbolic action is unconstitutional. Legal scholars on both the left and the right say that’s false. History supports their case.

A new report from the Center for American Progress details how, over the last 35 years, Congress has passed bills, enacted into law, that capped the size of military deployments, prohibited funding for existing or prospective deployment, and placed limits and conditions on the timing and nature of deployments. Some examples: (Click on over^)

UK Government Condemns Over Gitmo

So do we, but no one listens.

BuCheney policies are driving detainees mad.

There not doing much for our sanity either.

Crooks and Liars » UK Government Condemns Over Gitmo:

Would that our own elected officials would speak so strongly…

Guardian: (h/t Hugh)

MPs will today debate the plight of nine British residents believed to be among about 400 terror suspects still held at Guantánamo Bay as the US detention camp nears its fifth anniversary.

Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat MP for Kingston and Surbiton, whose constituent Bisher al-Rawi is one of the nine, has secured an adjournment debate in the Commons to highlight their treatment.
[..]Mr al-Rawi's lawyers yesterday warned that the 36-year-old was on the brink of losing his sanity after more than four years detention without trial.

But his supporters' hopes were raised by reports suggesting that British officials had said he could be freed within four months.

All British citizens were released from Guantánamo by September 2004, but the government insists it has no power to intervene on behalf of foreign nationals, even if they were long-term residents of the UK.

This week will see a series of demonstrations to mark the fifth anniversary of the arrival of the first detainees at Guantánamo on January 11 2002.

Most say no to Iraq buildup

Does anyone really think that Bush gives a damn what anyone thinks?

He has certainly shown no signs of it since 2004, if ever.

....and who the hell are these people, who make up the 36% who want an escalation?

More importantly, where are they?

The Pentagon should find out and send them in on the first wave. Seems the Pentagon would want motivated soldiers for this surge or wave or heave...or whatever it is.

Most say no to Iraq buildup -

WASHINGTON — President Bush will outline his 'new way forward' in Iraq on Wednesday to a nation that overwhelmingly opposes sending more U.S. troops and is increasingly skeptical that the war can be won.

A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday shows a daunting sales job ahead for the White House, which is considering a plan to deploy up to 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq.

POLL RESULTS: Bush approval Feelings on Iraq

Those surveyed oppose the idea of increased troop levels by 61%-36%. Approval of the job Bush is doing in Iraq has sunk to 26%, a record low.

'He certainly has the wind in his face,' says Michael Franc, a former congressional aide now at the conservative Heritage Foundation. 'But that's not to say if he were to pursue a change in policy that proved to be successful, that those numbers wouldn't flip.'

Views of the war will be difficult to change with rhetoric alone, says Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland. And if the public expresses strong opposition to Bush's plan, he says, Congress 'may feel emboldened to exert what control they have to stop or at least make it more difficult for the president to move forward.'

The survey of 1,004 adults, which has a margin of error of +/—3 percentage points, shows Americans pessimistic about the war and inclined to hold Bush responsible.
Among key findings: Click on over^

Democrats vow to resist troop escalation

By the time the debate on he Hill is half way through, extra troops stationed in Kuwait can be in Baghdad.

It's becoming more and more clear that our newly elected congress can do little to stop this madman without massive, visable support form the people, and I'm not sure that that will work.

The Bushites seem to have absolute contempt for the American people.

Democrats vow to resist troop escalation - Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON - Preparing to present a weary nation with his highly anticipated new war plan, President Bush faced Democrats determined to confront him over sending thousands more Americans to Iraq. Fresh troops are to be in place within three weeks.

For a little over 20 minutes Wednesday night, Bush is to explain why a gradual buildup of about 20,000 additional U.S. troops, along with other steps expected to include pumping $1 billion into Iraq's economy, is the answer for a war that has only gotten deadlier with no end in sight.
After nearly four years of fighting, $400 billion and thousands of American and Iraqi lives lost, the White House calls the president's prime-time address from the White House library just the start of a debate over Iraq's many problems.

'This is not, `Give one speech, dust your hands off and walk away,'' presidential spokesman Tony Snow said Tuesday. 'This is the beginning of an important process for the American people and for the political community to think seriously about.'

The address — one of the most pivotal of Bush's presidency — is the centerpiece of an aggressive public relations campaign that also will include detailed briefings for lawmakers and reporters, trips abroad by Cabinet members and a series of appearances by Bush starting with a trip Thursday to Fort Benning, Ga.

Is Bush Trying To Provoke a Constitutional Crisis?

If he is, this may be the showdown for Democracy and self-rule in this country, not to mention more horror for Iraq and everyone there.

New wave of troops set for Iraq - Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON - A first wave of additional U.S. troops will go into Iraq before the end of the month under President Bush's new war plan, a senior defense official said Tuesday. Congressional Democrats kept up their criticism of plans to add soldiers in the unpopular conflict.

Up to 20,000 troops will be put on alert and be prepared to deploy under the president's plan, but the increase in forces on the ground will be gradual, said the official, who requested anonymity because the plans have not yet been announced.

Details were emerging a day before Bush was to address the nation on his broad initiative to shore up the fragile country after nearly four years of bloodshed. Bush is expected to link the troop increase to moves by the Iraqi government to ease the country's murderous sectarian tensions, and to increased U.S. economic aid.

Moving first into Iraq would be the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, which is in Kuwait and poised to move quickly into the country, the defense official said.

Carl Levin , a Michigan Democrat who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he expects Bush to announce that up to 20,000 additional troops will be sent to Iraq but not to say how long the extra forces will be there.

Levin, who spoke to reporters a day after meeting with White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley, said he believes Bush will signal that the overall U.S. commitment in Iraq is not open-ended.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Novak: Powell ‘caustic’ over escalation plans.

Certain Republican Senators are becoming alarmed that the Dry (?) Drunk in the White House won't even listen to them; won't take their phone calls.

We are in deep doo-doo, as Poppy would say..........

The GOP are trying to save their party again, but this president is not Dick Nixon.

You guys need to be paying attention to people like John Dean, whom Lindsay Graham vilified in a Senate Hearing.

Graham has been oddly absent,

Think Progress » Novak: Powell ‘caustic’ over escalation plans.:

Robert Novak writes, Former Secretary of State, Colin Powell is caustic in private about the proposed "surge" of 30,000 additional U.S. troops. Powell noted that the recent congressional delegation to Iraq headed by Sen. John McCain heard from combat officers that they wanted more troops. "The colonels will always say they need more troops," the retired general says. "That's why we have generals." Novak adds, Senior Republican senators are trying to get word to the president that any troop surge would be dead on arrival in Congress.

Weaning the military from the GOP

OMG, there just may be HOPE!

Weaning the military from the GOP - Los Angeles Times:

A less partisan military is good for democracy and allows a more frank debate on national security.

BURIED IN THE NEWS last week was one of the most potentially significant stories of recent years. The Military Times released its annual poll of active-duty service members, and the results showed something virtually unprecedented: a one-year decline of 10 percentage points in the number of military personnel identifying themselves as Republicans. In the 2004 poll, the percentage of military respondents who characterized themselves as Republicans stood at 60%. By the end of 2005, that had dropped to 56%. And by the end of 2006, the percentage of military Republicans plummeted to 46%.

The drop in Republican Party identification among active-duty personnel is a sharp reversal of a 30-year trend toward the 'Republicanization' of the U.S. military, and it could mark a sea change in the nature of the military — and the nature of public debates about national security issues.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

George Will and David Brooks Join Critics of the 'Surge'

What an effing meltdown!

George Will and David Brooks Join Critics of the 'Surge':

NEW YORK: Among the many newspaper columnists questioning President Bush's plan to send 20,000 or more fresh troops to Iraq are quite a few conservatives breaking with the White House on this.

Oliver North, for example, attacked the idea in his syndicated column on Friday and today, in the Washington Post, George Will comments that the 'surge' idea is basically too little and too late, and will only lead to a 'protracted' U.S. struggle. The column is titled, 'Surge, or Power Failure?'

Meanwhile, David Brooks at The New York Times comments, 'Unfortunately, if the goal is to create a stable, unified Iraq, the surge is a good policy three years too late.' Its chance for success is almost nil, he explained.

Israel Considers Nuking Iran

Memo to Israel:
From an American:

Do this, and you are on your own!

Got it?

Truthdig - Ear to the Ground - Israel Considers Nuking Iran:

The Sunday Times has learned that Israel is considering the use of tactical nuclear weapons in order to eliminate Iran’s nuclear program.

According to Israeli military sources, the plan would be implemented only if the United States refused to act militarily or analysts decided a conventional attack would be unsuccessful.

In all likelihood, Israel will not become the first nation to use nuclear weapons against another since the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

According to the Times, military analysts believe the plan was leaked in order to pressure the United States to invade, to persuade Iran to abandon its program, to soften public perception in advance of a conventional bombing, or all of the above.


These two should run together on a new American Likud Party Ticket!

It would be more honest.

Meanwhile, there most certainly is a real danger of WWIII being a result of backing Her Bush's new plan, because we think it involves a hell of a lot more than a surge or even an escalation.

The Bushites are thinking expansion.

Carrier groups moving into the Persian Gulf and other nearby bodies of water, accompanied by Royal Navy Vessels as well as some from Germany, and a new CentCom Chief who is an Admiral of the Navy?

Think about it.


Yesterday, January 6, 2007, Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, two-thirds of the trio of tyranny (along with Brother-in-Arms, George W. Bush), held a press conference at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. They were there to hawk the deployment of an increased sustainable (but unknown) number of American troops to Iraq. The war-hawk duo insisted their decision to go forth with an increase in troop strength resulted from their recent trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel. The latter being a logical stop for Joe Lieberman, an avowed Zionist.

Speaking at the press conference, Joe Lieberman drew interesting parallels between the social, political and religious crises of today and the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930's and 1940's during the time of Adolf Hitler (who Lieberman never mentioned by name). According to Lieberman: (click on over^)

Open Letter to Bill Moyers and Howard Zinn

Here's an idea worth consideration, and if it can be legally done, worth some real effort.

Open Letter to Bill Moyers and Howard Zinn:

by John De Herrera

Tell A Friend

Dear Mr. Moyers and Mr. Zinn,

I'm sitting here with a laptop. It is sunny outside, but the wind tossing the palm trees is very cold. On I just saw a diary posted about Mr. Moyers' call for us to see our situation outside of politics as usual. Something extraordinary is needed at this moment to reset our country back on track to the rule of law. It is somewhat answer enough that the To Do list of the 110th Congress is flawed in that it does not include the two most important things: corporate media and electoral reform. We all know we're in Iraq because popular information is in the hands of interests, the larger body of which, is the aerospace/defense industry and most everything else corporate. It's as if what Eisenhower warned us about has reached its terminus and the America we all love and cherish is about to perish. Some say it is already too late. I say we still have a chance.