Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 Wrap-up? No

But it’s emblematic that on the penultimate day of 2006, President George W. Bush couldn’t be bothered to attend President Gerald Ford’s funeral. He couldn’t be bothered to cut his vacation short to look into the Katrina disaster in New Orleans either. Yesterday, our wee leader was clearing brush and riding his bike on his ranch in Texas and he sent his regrets to the Ford family. It’s fairly obvious that George Bush was so pissed off at Ford’s remarks about Bush's unnecessary war in Iraq that he threw one of his patented spoiled brat hissy fits. The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward had published Ford’s comments posthumously on December 28th. Because of that eye-popping article, you can bet the rent that the hanging of Saddam Hussein was pushed up by the White House. Take that, President Ford! Let’s see who gets the headlines now! And you wondered who runs Iraq…the Iraqis or the United States? Now you know. No, this is not a wrap-up of the failures and foolishness embarked on by the Bush administration during 2006. But the antics of our petulant, self-absorbed, sociopath president at the very end of this disastrous year typify the leadership of the Bush administration for the whole of 2006 to a T. That’s all I’m saying.

Friday, December 29, 2006

John Edwards and George Bush

If anyone is wondering what ex-Senator (D-NC) now-presidential-contender John Reid Edwards stands for, he made it clear yesterday in New Orleans. Edwards picked New Orleans as the venue from which to make his announcement that he’s running for Prez in 2008. He said he announced from New Orleans to show “he is not a candidate of Washington”. He said he picked a slow news week in order “to draw more attention to what is often a well-scripted ritual”. Edwards said, "The biggest responsibility of the next president of the United States is to reestablish America's leadership role in the world, starting with Iraq," He called for the United States to reduce its troop presence in Iraq. "We need to make it clear that we intend to leave Iraq and turn over the responsibility of Iraq to the Iraqi people,” he said. Edwards favors withdrawing 40,000 to 50,000 troops from Iraq as a signal to Iraqis that the United States intends to turn over responsibility for the conflict to the government in Iraq. He said he would roll back some of the tax cuts given to the wealthiest Americans by the Bush administration. He proposed a windfall profits tax on the oil industry. Edwards said, “Additional money will be needed to pay for vital domestic needs”. "I think it's also really important that we be honest with people," Edwards said. "We've gotten in a deep hole, in terms of our deficit. We have investments that need to be made." He cited help for middle-class Americans, anti-poverty programs, universal health care and energy initiatives as examples of alternative uses for money now being funneled into Iraq. Edwards reiterated his chagrin at having originally voted for the war in Iraq. “At the end of the day, I voted yes and I should not have," he said. "I'm the one who's responsible for that." The insane president of the United States George Bush, on the other hand, met with his national security advisers (VP Cheney, Secretary of State Rice, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, General Peter Pace, National Security advisor Stephen Hadley and Hadley’s deputy, J.D. Crouch) at his ranch in Texas. He said the administration was making “good progress” in revising his strategy in Iraq. That’s Bush-speak to say, “We haven’t found the right words yet to tell Americans that I intend to escalate the war in Iraq, but I WILL escalate the war in Iraq. Bush said, “I fully understand it’s important to have both Republicans and Democrats understanding the importance of this mission,” Bush fully understands nothing except that he intends to escalate the war in Iraq and sees no reason why he can’t do whatever he wants to do. Bush said he intended to consult with Congress when it convenes next week before presenting his plan to the nation. Bush will not consult with Congress or anyone else. He will go before Congress and the American people and tell them he is escalating the war in Iraq. End of discussion. Bush said, “I’ve got more consultation to do until I talk to the country about the plan." Bush is confident his speechwriters will find the right words for him to announce that the war in Iraq has been escalated. But he doesn’t care if Congress or the people understand his position. We’ll see. In the end, the war in Vietnam petered out in September 1974 when Congress refused more funding for the South Vietnamese army. The funding for the war in Iraq depends on Congress. No matter how the fascists in the Bush administration shake and dance, fume, and rant and rave, neither they nor George W. Bush can pull funding for the Iraq war out of their collective ass. The war in Iraq and how or whether it goes forward, escalates or winds down is up to Congress.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bob Woodward’s Interview With Ford

Washington Post Staff Writer and controversial author of books about presidents Bob Woodward interviewed President Gerald Ford in 2004 and 2005. In an article in WaPo this morning Woodward says he had a future book project in mind but Ford said his comments could be published at any time after his death. When Ford died yesterday, the first memories that popped into my mind, and probably into the minds of many people, were the Chevy Chase lampoons on Saturday Night Live of then-president Ford’s accident-prone stumbles and pratfalls. Ford was called “the accidental president” because he was never elected to office. He became Nixon’s Vice President when Spiro Agnew resigned under a cloud, and he became President when Nixon resigned. He has since said that the Saturday Night Live interpretation of accidental president was overblown. The unintended consequences of our choices are painful to reflect on. President Gerald Ford will always be blamed for being the president who brought Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld into his administration and for enabling their political careers to flower. Ford's first Chief of Staff was Donald Rumsfeld. In 1975, Ford chose Rumsfeld to be his Secretary of Defense and appointed Dick Cheney to replace Rumsfeld as his new Chief of Staff. Ford claimed to Woodward that Cheney had been a “first class” Chief of Staff, but, Ford said, “I think Cheney has become much more pugnacious as vice president”. A year after George W. Bush attacked Iraq, Ford told Woodward that the war was not justified. He said, "Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction." Ford added, "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do." Ford also said, "I don't think, if I had been president, on the basis of the facts as I saw them publicly, I don't think I would have ordered the Iraq war. I would have maximized our effort through sanctions, through restrictions, whatever, to find another answer." Ford will also always be remembered for pardoning Richard M. Nixon. Woodward did not address this fact in his article. But many people (include me in the group) will never forgive President Gerald Ford for that action. At the time, Ford said, the pardon was in the best interests of the country and that the Watergate scandal was an American tragedy ”in which we all have played a part. It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must.” In memory, Gerald Ford’s one term as president of the United States (1974-1977) seemed like a bland presidency. And I think of Ford as having been a bland president. And yet, he was the president who finally ended the US participation in the war in Vietnam. And he put men in power who have changed the world in catastrophic ways. What can be said about Gerald Ford is that he was a good man, he listened to his advisers and he always thoughtfully considered every action he ever took as president. President George W. Bush would sell his soul (if he still had one) for the history books to write the same about him.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Doctor Says Castro Can Return To Work

Cuban dictator Fidel Castro can return to work as soon as he recovers from what ails him, that is. George W. Bush hasn’t given me any big yucks lately. He’s got his we’re-not-winning-we’re-not-losing wild-eyed desperation thing going. And it’s tiresome. And Crazy-George's little wifey isn’t causing any tee-hees either. She says the media failed to report all the good news coming out of Iraq “every single day”. And her clenched jaw whines, quivery voice and fumbling delivery is as tedious as her husband’s eyeball spinning claims of victorious vindication in Iraq. Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump’s Battling Bickersons act has been the only kneeslapper in the news recently. Until this morning. The lead paragraph in a New York Times news story said, “A Spanish surgeon who examined Fidel Castro last week said Tuesday that the 80-year-old Cuban president did not have cancer and could return to work after recovering from the intestinal surgery he had last summer.” I haven’t gotten such a laugh out of a physician’s diagnosis since ex-Senate Majority Leader and (putative) Doctor William Frist (R-TN) said Terri Schiavo was not in a vegetative state. Good news for Fidel. As soon as the 80-year old pisspot despot recovers from the operation he had last summer that reduced him to an incapacitated, bed-ridden, frail, doddering bag of bones, he can go back to work. José Luis García Sabrido head of surgery at Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid examined Castro last Tuesday and said “Mr. Castro could make a full recovery, but required muscular rehabilitation and a strict diet.” Great, Fidel! After some weight training and a good diet you can rise up and rule your little island fiefdom for another 47 years. And Saddam Hussein can resume his dictatorship over Iraq as soon as he recovers from being hanged next month. And the United States can go back to being a financially solvent world power as soon as it recovers from the Republicans’ bout of terminal greed and disastrous leadership of the last seven years. It’s all in the way you make the diagnosis. Terminal doesn’t have to mean THE END. It can mean “a new way forward”.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Prez Can’t Change, So Forget That Idea

Stop kidding yourself if you had hopes the President of the United States would alter his course. An intervention was held. The president said whatever he needed to say to get the well-meaning friends and addiction professionals off his back. But he only pretended to go into rehab. Which was fine by his new Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates and the rest of the White House Winged Monkey Brigade. The President of the United States is addicted to his delusions. And the White House, the Generals in Iraq, the Bush administration, the Pentagon and John McCain are addicted to the power that George W. Bush’s delusions have given them. None can give up their addictions. Were George W. Bush to say he was wrong, or that the Iraq war was wrong, or even that we need to pull out of Iraq sooner rather than later and that additional troops will serve no purpose, the Prez believes he would sink into a puddle at his own feet and cease to exist like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz. Were his sycophants and neocons to say the Prez was wrong, they believe their mojo would cease to exist and the Winkies would usurp their powerbase in the Emerald City in Washington, DC. And the whole hilarious thing is, George W. Bush has already sunk into a puddle at his own feet, the mojo of Karl Rove, the White House, the Pentagon, the Bush administration, the Secretary of Defense, the Generals, and all the rest of the flying monkeys in the Republican Party has already gone into the ether from whence it came. And the Democrats are back in power. And if you don’t believe the Republican monkeys have lost their mojo, wait until you see the flurry of subpoenas and investigations that will hit Washington, DC after the New Year.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Surprise! Gates Thumbs-Up More Troops

All news stories make it sound like Gates is thinking-thinking-thinking about whether Bush’s unnecessary war needs more troops. But it’s easy to predict that the new Secretary of Defense--George Herbert Walker Bush’s good buddy from CIA days--Robert M. Gates will decide more troops are needed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I can’t wait to see what GHWB says on George Steph’s This Week program this morning. Bush the Elder is being accompanied by his reptoid wife Barbara, of course. She’s gotten so much mileage out of being dumpy and white haired. First, she was seen as looking motherly, now she’s seen as grandmotherly. She is neither. I have always suspected that when Barbara Bush sits close to GHW or holds his hand, she has a syringe of deadly poison up her sleeve and he dasn’t say a word against her favorite son George W. GW’s nickname for his mommy is “No. 1”. But No. 1 doesn’t quite hit all the tones of the Barbara Bush personality. Madame Mao Zedong was called “White-Boned Demon”. And that fits Barbara to a T. White-haired, white skinned, bones bleached white from the vitriol coursing through her dumpy little bod. Will she hold (that is, clutch in a death grip) GHW’s hand? Will she wear red for Christmas and speak of peace and good will? O most pernicious woman, will she smile and smile and be a villain? I’m betting she will.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

WH: “No Draft”; Yikes! WH Always Lies

The New York Times this morning says the Selective Service System media contact Dick Flahavan has been inundated with calls. Everyone, from John Q. Public to mainstream media reporters, has the same question: Are you reinstituting the draft? So many queries were coming into Flahavan’s office that he posted an update yesterday morning on the SS Web site: “No Draft on Horizon!” The SS says a Hearst wire service article reported that the SS had plans for a “mock” draft exercise that would determine how, if necessary, the government would get 100,000 draft-age young people to report to their draft boards. The article got everyone fired up, Flahavan said. That, and the Prez saying he wants to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps. The NYT says, “The mock computer exercise, last carried out in 1998, is strictly routine, Selective Service officials said, and it will not actually be run until 2009 — if at all. The exercise has been scheduled several times in the last few years, only to be scuttled each time because of budget and staffing problems, and Mr. Flahavan said he would not be surprised if it was canceled this time around, too.” The White House came out with a statement from one of its spokesmen Trey Bohn. Bohn said, “The president’s position has not changed. He supports an all-volunteer military, and the administration is not considering reinstating the draft.” But for all the nay saying from the SSS and the WH, it’s not enough to allay fears, is it? After all, what does “on the horizon” mean? What does it mean that today the Prez supports an all-volunteer military, if tomorrow the Prez decides he doesn’t support a volunteer military? And then there is the fact that the President of the United States and the Bush administration and the White House ALWAYS lie. That’s what has everyone in a snit and swivet. That’s the one thing we have learned we can count on. Whenever the WH and the Prez say they are not going to do something, they do it. That’s why moms and dads are calling the Office of Selective Service. That’s why draft-age kids are starting to think about running off to Canada. Because we all know Crazy George and his posse of Loony-Tune brown-nosers and the neocons really are considering reinstituting the draft. Can we trust Congress to knock this option out of the box? No. Not if Congress continues to fund the unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq. Reinstating the draft is a given if the insane war in Iraq is to continue.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Once Again, The Prez Rejects Our Reality

To paraphrase Adam Savage of Mythbusters: The president has rejected our reality and has substituted his own. “Victory in Iraq is achievable,” Bush said in his year-end press conference yesterday. ”Our goal remains a free and democratic Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself and is an ally in the war on terror.” The war in Iraq would require “difficult choices and additional sacrifices” in 2007, Bush said. This morning the New York Times said the president had “firmly rejected the notion that the war could not be won and vowed that the United States would not be ‘run out of the Middle East’ by extremists and radicals.” At least Bush administration advisor retired general Barry R. McCaffrey sees the folly, if not total nuttiness of Bush talking about victory. McCaffrey said, “Victory is not a good word to use…it implies that there is a military outcome in the short term that ends violence, and that’s not going to happen.” “The president gave little hint of what he would do in Iraq,” the NYT said. “Though he has been considering proposals to send additional troops to Baghdad in the short term, Mr. Bush said he was still listening to military commanders — some of whom are said to be skeptical of a short-term increase — and had not yet made up his mind. He is expected to outline his Iraq strategy after the first of the year.” The president is listening to no one and certainly not to General McCaffrey. Bush hears nothing but the voices in his head telling him he is a great president, a decider of formidable intelligence, a leader who makes no mistakes. And though he may not always be right, George W. Bush is never wrong. The president told the reporters at his news conference, “I’m reading about George Washington still. My attitude is, if they’re still analyzing No. 1, 43 ought not to worry about it, and just do what he thinks is right, make the tough choices necessary.” On October 26th, Rumsfeld told the whole world not to worry about things. He explained that honorable people were in charge. “You ought to just back off,” Rumsfeld said. “Relax, understand that it’s complicated, it’s difficult. Honorable people are working on these things together. There isn’t any daylight between them. They’ll be discussing this and discussing that. They may have a change there, a change here. But it’ll get worked out.” A few minutes before saying it’s complicated, Rumsfeld had said, “It is not complicated. I’ve explained it two or three times. The president did an excellent job of explaining it yesterday.” Thankfully, one of these two lunatics was fired. The president’s new Iraq strategy, which he says he will reveal early in 2007, will simply be the president’s old Iraq strategy wrapped in new rhetoric. George W. Bush is incapable of understanding that victory is not achievable in Iraq if victory is based on Iraq becoming a free and democratic nation that is able to govern, sustain, and defend itself and be an ally in the war on terror. It’s like the insurgents telling Americans that they are killing our soldiers in order to give us the gift of tyranny, oppression and a wardrobe of burkas and abas. Our culture makes no more sense to them than their culture makes sense to us. It was a little more comprehensible when the American aggressors just came out and said, “We want your oil and we’re going to take your oil.” At first, it even seemed like a halfway decent bargain—exchanging a shitty Iraq dictator for a less shitty American dictator. Now the Iraqis know the American dictator is equally as unattractive, corrupt, mendacious, and thieving as Saddam Hussein ever was on his worst day. And the irony is, if we had actually gone into Iraq and had done what we said we were going to do like building hospitals, and schools and improving Iraq’s infrastructure, we actually might have been able to strike a bargain about oil and about making Iraq an ally. I do have an idea, though. How about if we use all the billions that the Prez wants to throw down the Iraq rathole on stupid military solutions and use it to bribe every man, woman, child, soldier, insurgent and terrorist in the entire nation to allow our soldiers, our consultants, our trainers, our generals and our diplomats to go home unhindered and with the blessing of the Iraq nation. I don’t want to be politically incorrect or anything…but tell me that Middle Easterners don’t know from bribing. I say it will work.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cheering Words from Crazy-Person-in-Chief

"Absolutely, we're winning"-10/25/06 "That was an indication of my belief that we're going to win”-12/20/06 "We’re not winning but we’re not losing" 12/20/06 Mao Zedong who established the People’s Republic of China in 1949 had his little book, “Quotations of Chairman Mao” Hitler had his Mein Kampf Already countless books and compendia of Bush quotations are available to anyone who wants to spend a laugh-your-ass-off hour or two. (Or a distressing and depressing hour or two, depending on your mood). Most of George W. Bush’s best quotations, that is to say, the funniest quotes, are malapropisms, non-sequiturs, mispronunciations and flat-out ignorant rambling. But Bush’s words of cheer and encouragement about his failed war in Iraq could also fill a book. And these are the quotes that are truly painful to read. They are the words of a seriously delusional narcissist. It’s one thing for a warmongering neocon bastard like Dick Cheney to want to prolong this war in Iraq to satisfy his own agenda for controlling the Middle East by force. But the person who is sitting in the president’s chair believes that the war in Iraq is a righteous war because he has a mandate from God. And that is not being a warmonger. That is being a crazy person. It is patently ugly and wrong for crazy people to be used by others to satisfy greedy and corrupt motives. And yet, for the last seven years, that is exactly what has been going on in the Bush White House. If it appears that Bush is now capable of changing his mind since, according to an interview in today’s Washington Post, he has admitted that a new strategy is Iraq is necessary, forget it. George W. Bush believes the war is winnable. Not because the Pentagon, or Generals, or advisors or sycophants tell him so. The president believes the war is winnable because he started the war, ergo it is good, it is just, it is what God wants and God will see to it that the president will win. "We need to reset our military," Bush said in the WaPo interview. The President will wait for his new Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to get back from Iraq before he makes any decisions, he said. That is not true. Bush made the only decision he has ever had to make on March 19, 2003 when he decided to attack Iraq. He had a mandate from God, which meant whatever he does is right. Bush now believes more troops in Iraq will win the war. He’s still talking about winning. Not about compromising, not about empowering the Iraqis to fight and win their own civil war. Bush is talking about American troops winning the war. To Crazy-person Bush, that means unconditional surrender from all insurgencies. To Bush, winning means all terrorists in the Middle East must lay down their arms in surrender to Bush and his God. Bush’s “new way forward” is to spend more than $100 billion in additional funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. WaPo says the $100 billion is on top of the $70 billion already approved, which would be over 50% more than originally projected for 2007. We have already spent $500 billions since 9/11 and another $100 billion would bring it to $600 billion. And Bush wants to increase the size of the Army and the Marines. The New York Times says that it costs $1.2 billion for every increase of 10,000 soldiers. The expenditure of more funds on a failure is one thing...and certainly, a bad thing. But where are the men who will increase the military coming from? You can bet your last dollar that Bush is thinking of reinstituting the draft. Because he will not accept anything but unconditional surrender from the forces of evil that in his mind come from the devil in Iraq. Bush knows he can win in Iraq because God is on his side. And vanquishing the devil means the devil and his minions have to be TOTALLY vanquished. A minimum of $600 billion dollars and drafting all the able-bodied men in the United States of America is of no consequence whatsoever in Crazy George’s mind. He believes that he and God WILL win their war against evil. When Weekly Standard’s editor William Kristol says the war in Iraq is winnable, he is not talking about the same war as George Bush when Bush says it’s winnable. And yet William Kristol and the rest of the neocons are willing to exploit Crazy George and his delusions to advance their aims in the Middle East. The Kristol, PNAC, neocon aims appear to be to subdue (by military might, threats and bribery) the insurgencies, support whichever of the three factions (Shiite, Sunni, Kurds) seems to be on top, keep on a friendly footing with the Saudis, scare the Iranians, support the drug trade in Afghanistan by sending more American troops to make the drug trafficking more orderly and profitable. And finally, to control Middle East oil. Between Kristol’s plan and Bush’s plan, I would have to be in Kristol’s camp. Because Crazy George’s Christian Crusade is nuts altogether. So, yeah, it’s true. When you see the two Republican options currently on the table, what do the Democrats have to offer? Pull out of Iraq and let everyone in the Middle East nuke themselves (which of course means nuking the rest of the world) out of existence? That doesn’t look any more intelligent that Crazy George’s Crusade. Ideas, anyone?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Presumably Not An Asshole

At least I think that’s what Jon Stewart said last night regarding Iowa’s Governor Tom Vilsack who was the show’s guest. You know how Comedy Central is; it bleeps stuff. But last night Stewart was contrasting the current president with Vilsack who announced his intention to run for president on November 30th, and Stewart said of Vilsack that he “presumably is not an asshole”. I cannot wait for the bumper stickers. That’s all I have to say today. Because the news coming out of Washington, DC, and Iraq is egregiously STOOOOOOPID!!!!!!! And the idea of a little-known politician running for president and using a quacking duck to say his name together with…we fervently hope…bumper stickers and decals that contrast him with George W. Bush by simply saying, “I am not an asshole”, is definitely a move in the right direction.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Is Dick Cheney a Piece of Work, or What?

This morning, a New York Times article (“The Capital Awaits a Masterstroke on Iraq”) says Vice President Cheney’s version of The Way Forward is to forget about trying to get the Sunnis and Shiites on the same page. Cheney’s office is advancing the idea that the US should back the Shiites and throw the Sunnis to the wolves. The reasoning is that there are more Shiites than Sunnis in Iraq. And this idea probably won’t be problematic in Washington, DC. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s new Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) recently proved: Congressmen have no idea about the fundamental differences between Sunnis and Shiites. CQ National Security Editor Jeff Stein asked Reyes whether Al Qaeda was Sunni or Shiite. Reyes said he wasn’t sure but guessed Sunni. Nor did Reyes know whether Lebanon’s umbrella organization Hezbollah was Shiite or Sunni They both are Shiite. NYT writer Helene Cooper calls Cheney’s proposal “the Darwin Principle, Beltway version”. In Iraq, the Shiites are likely to be the survivors in a fight to the finish because there are more of them and they are more ferocious than the Sunnis. Therefore, the Cheney proposal is that the US should get on board now and back the likely winner. The big problem with what may seem like a rational if cold-blooded survival-of-the-fittest proposal is that there are more Sunni’s than Shiites in the Arab world as a whole and backing the Shiites in Iraq is sure to inflame Arabs everywhere else on the globe. Of course Miss Make-Nice Condoleezza Rice wants to cozy up to both factions while passing out love beads and singing What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love. Neither idea has a prayer of gathering many supporters or of solving the problems in Iraq. And make no mistake, canny old pit bull Cheney has covered his ass. The new “Side With the Shiites” idea is said to “come out of Cheney’s office”. No one is claiming it’s actually Cheney’s plan. Although as the NYT article points out, the radical nature of the Darwin Principle proposal would seem to indicate it was originated by Cheney himself. As writer Helene Cooper says, “Can you just hear President Bush’s speech to the nation? “My Fellow Americans, the United States has decided that there are more Shiites than Sunnis in Iraq, so we are therefore going to side with the people most likely to win a fight to the death. We’ll figure out how to deal with the rest of the Arab world, where there are more Sunnis than Shiites, later.” Difficult as it is to rationalize the US backing the Shiites, let’s get down to the nitty and the gritty. Who controls the oil in the Arab world? The Shiites and the Kurds. And that’s the whole reason we now are hearing about the US supporting the Shiites and abandoning the Sunnis in Iraq. When the US gets out of Iraq, which count on it, will be in the near future, we want to make sure we were known to be supporting the winners of what will be an all-out civil war. Particularly since the winners will also be controlling the oil.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wolfowitz Causing Big Stink at World Bank

On June 1, 2005, the Prez appointed Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz to replace James D. Wolfensohn as head of the World Bank. Wolfensohn was appointed by President Clinton and had served two five-year terms, From 1989 to 1993, Wolfowitz was Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the first Bush administration. He served for three years as U.S. ambassador to Indonesia in the Reagan administration. When he resigned from the Pentagon in 1980, Wolfowitz served as dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University in Washington. If that sounds familiar, Wolfowitz’s buddy on William Kristol’s Project for the New American Century and co-neocon, Eliot Cohen, was also a professor at the Paul H. NItze School. Technically, the World Bank is part of the United Nations. It’s a tradition for the president of the World Bank to be a United States citizen, while the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund is always a European. The World Bank primarily makes loans to developing countries. At the time of the Wolfowitz appointment employees at the World Bank feared Wolfowitz would take advantage of his position and advance U.S. policies in Iraq. Wolfowitz seemed to be acting in good faith during his first months at the World Bank. He promised to focus on poverty reduction in Africa, But now, those early fears have been borne out. According to an article by Christopher Swann on, “World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz faces mounting criticism from directors of the international lending organization who say he relies on a coterie of political advisers with little expertise in development while driving away seasoned managers.” In other words, Wolfowitz has hired a bunch of Republican fascists from the Bush administration to staff the World Bank. The Wolfowitz hires include his counselor Robin Cleveland. She was associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. She helped secure congressional funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. An observer of the changes at the World Bank commented to a reporter from the Financial Times that Ms Cleveland was a “wild-eyed conservative whose expertise lay in national security, not development.” Wolfowitz hired Suzanne Folsom to be the bank’s “chief corruption fighter”. She is married to George Folsom who was principal deputy director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office. George Folsom served as president of the International Republican Institute. Wolfowitz picked Kevin Kellems, a former spokesman for Vice President Dick Cheney, to be his director of external strategy. Half of the World Bank’s highest-level executives have left since Wolfowitz arrived, Vice president for the Middle East and a 30-year World Bank veteran Christian Poortman bugged out in September. He tried to resist pressure from Wolfowitz to funnel money into Iraq and beef up the World Bank staff in Iraq. To no avail, as it turned out. Poortman resigned rather than accept a post in Kazakhstan. Once a sleazoid scumbag neocon fascist, always a sleazoid scumbag neocon fascist. It was only a matter of time until the real Paul Wolfowitz emerged at the World Bank.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Saudi Arabia Connection

VP Dick Cheney made a visit to Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh two weeks ago to confer with King Abdullah. At first, the folks in the White House denied Cheney had made the trip. Then the news of Cheney’s trip started appearing on Iraqi TV and the Bush administration had to fess up. So of course they lied and said the VP had gone to Iraq to be with the troops for Thanksgiving. Like Cheney cares about the troops. Then a pic was circulated of Cheney conferring with King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia. The official reason for the trip supposedly was that Cheney was asking the Saudi’s to “encourage” Iraq's Sunni Muslim Arabs to reconcile with the country's Shiites. Whatever the White House is saying publicly about Cheney’s trip we know is a lie. Do we know if Rumsfeld met with King Abdullah? Do we know anything that is going on in the Iraq-Saudi Arabia-Iran arena? The Saudi ambassador to the United States Prince Turki al-Faisal told his staff on Monday that he was resigning his post. But he hasn’t resigned yet. Washington is awaiting the official news that he is gone and wondering who will replace him. Turki was ambassador to the US for only 15 months. But the main rumor is that Turki resigned in order to take over the position of foreign minister from his brother Saud al-Faisal. Which is very VERY interesting because Prince Bandar wants that position. Prince Bandar bin Sultan resigned as Saudi ambassador to Washington (and Bush family confidant) in July 2005. For 22 years Bandar had unprecedented access to the White House. He could walk into any meeting anywhere in Washington without advance notice. He was a close advisor to four US presidents. But things had become increasingly uncomfortable for him since 19 of the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center on 9/11 were Saudis. And the fact that the Bush White House had spirited 40 Saudis safely out of the US the night of the attack did not sit well with many Americans. But now Saudi Arabia is making demands. The latest report on Mr. I’m-the-Decider not deciding anything is that he’s going to put off making decisions about Iraq until after the New Year. After he has gotten his definitive marching orders from King Abdullah, no doubt. Just before announcing he was resigning his post, Prince Turki fired consultant Nawaf Obaid for writing an opinion piece in the Washington Post. Obaid said “one of the first consequences of an American pullout of Iraq would be massive Saudi intervention to stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis.” Mr. Obaid also said, “Saudi Arabia could cut world oil prices in half by raising its production, a move that he said ‘would be devastating to Iran, which is facing economic difficulties even with today’s high oil prices.’” The Saudi government denied everything Obaid said and Turki canceled Obaid’s consultant contract. This morning the New York Times said, “Saudi Arabia has told the Bush administration that it might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq’s Shiites if the United States pulls its troops out of Iraq, according to American and Arab diplomats. “King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia conveyed that message to Vice President Dick Cheney two weeks ago during Mr. Cheney’s whirlwind visit to Riyadh, the officials said. During the visit, King Abdullah also expressed strong opposition to diplomatic talks between the United States and Iran, and pushed for Washington to encourage the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, senior Bush administration officials said.” Of course the main fear of Saudi intervention in Iraq is that Saudis would start killing US soldiers. So, thanks to double-dealing by the Saudis and double-dealing by the new Iraq government, none of which the Bush administration can control, and ill-conceived double-dealing by the Bush administration with all countries in the Middle East, the United States is in even more of a pickle in Iraq than any of us knew. And what does it all go back to? The sweet alliance and hand-holding between Saudi Prince Bandar and the Bush family and the fact that Saudi Arabia controls one-quarter of the world's oil supplies, Saudi Arabia’s demand that the US remain in Iraq is what will make the Bush administration decide against all odds and against all advice that the US must remain in Iraq and must not talk to Iran. It’s the oil, stupid.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bush Is Listening

Hahahahahahahaha…catch my breath…hahahahahahaha! The New York Times reported this morning: “President Bush on Monday began an Iraq war listening tour that will last much of this week, as he and his war cabinet work urgently toward a new strategy he can present to the public before Christmas.” Get who Bush is listening to: The Prez had a meeting yesterday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney. Today he will have a video conference with Donald H. Rumsfeld (newly fired Secretary of Defense and architect of the failed war in Iraq) and Zalmay Khalilzad (American ambassador to Iraq). Both men signed William Kristol’s Project for the New American Century Statement of Principles. The experts in the Oval Office the Prez is listening to are four-star generals Barry McCaffrey and Jack Keane, Stephen Biddle (Council on Foreign Relations) and Eliot Cohen (professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University). All of these men are questioning the wisdom of the ISG report, and Eliot Cohen was a founding father of the PNAC group. Part of the vast group of experts and news reports that Bush is not listening to is a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Here are a few snippets from the findings of that poll: “Seven in 10 Americans disapprove of the way the President is handling the situation in Iraq -- the highest percentage since the March 2003 invasion. Six in 10 say the war was not worth fighting.” “Thirty-six percent approve of how Bush is handling his job, which is the second lowest percentage in Post-ABC polls since Bush took office in 2001; 62 percent disapprove…Overall, 61 percent of Americans feel the war was not worth fighting. Half of Americans feel 'strongly' that the war was not worth fighting, double the number who strongly believe that it was.” “By contrast, Bill Clinton entered the seventh year of his presidency riding a wave of public support following his impeachment in December 1998; at the time, two-thirds approved of his job performance. (Ronald Reagan's job approval in December 1986 was 49 percent.)” Oh yes indeedy. George W. Bush is listening. In an astounding feat of physical prowess and dexterity, the President has bent over backwards and is listening to voices coming out his ass.

Monday, December 11, 2006

How To Spin This Thing…Thoughts, Anybody?

Let’s see…how can president Bush bring American troops home and at the same time save face and claim he was always right and never made a mistake? Ideas…anyone? On November 30, 2005 The White House issued an encyclical titled “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq”. The first subhead was “Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages”, followed by the stages envisioned by the WH: Short term Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces. Medium term Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential. Longer term Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism. Forget about trying to define what “standing up security forces” means, because the short term and medium term stages have been shitcanned. Or, more accurately, in Bush-speak, when the Prez gave a speech on November 30, 2005 about the 35-page White House document, he said Stage 1 and Stage 2 had already been achieved. He said increasing numbers of Iraqi troops had been equipped and trained, a democratic government was being forged, Iraq’s economy was being rebuilt and U.S. military and civilian presence would change as conditions improve. Mission accomplished on Short Term and Medium Term goals. So now victory in Iraq can be defined by achieving the Longer Term goal. The US can get out of Iraq when Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, secure, loved and respected throughout the world and fighting terrorism like demons. Early reports say that Bush thinks the Iraq Study Group report is crap. And Iraq President Talabani thinks so too. This morning the New York Times reported, “President Jalal Talabani said Sunday that the American program to train Iraq’s security forces had been a repeated failure and he denounced a plan to increase the number of American advisers working with the Iraqi Army, saying it would subvert the country’s sovereignty.” There it is! Bush is nearly home free. Talabani says Iraq doesn’t need American advisors. “What have they done so far in training the army and the police?” Talabani said. “What they have done is move from failure to failure.” Talabani went on to say that the Iraq Study Group report offered some “very dangerous” recommendations, which undermined the country’s ability to control its own army and police force and threatened Iraq’s sovereignty. “These mistakes would be repeated if the Iraqi Army would be under the control of foreign officers, and we would never accept it,” Talabani said. The NYT said Talabani’s remarks “were likely to dismay the American leadership, which has regarded him as one of its more reliable and like-minded partners here.” Au contraire! Talabani and the White House are totally like-minded. What would be better than for the Iraq president to kick the US out of Iraq? Everything is clicking into place. Bush says the ISG report is unrealistic. Talabani says the ISG report is dangerous and who needs the US anyway. And then Rumsfeld secretly flies into Iraq and says: "We feel great urgency to protect the American people from another 9/11 or a 9/11 times two or three. At the same time, we need to have the patience to see this task through to success. The consequences of failure are unacceptable…the enemy must be defeated." One wonders who Rumsfeld thinks is his enemy. George W. Bush? The Bush administration and Iraq President Talabani agree that victory in Iraq will be accomplished when Iraq is running its own show. But Rumsfeld tells the troops that we have to keep fighting until the last dog is dead. And McCain and Lieberman intone Amen. What does John Q. Public in the US and Iraq say? “Convict the whole lot of war crimes and hang them next to Saddam.”

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Who Caused the Fiasco in Iraq? Not the ISG

After Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) said the war in Iraq is absurd and may be criminal, he said, “I believe we need to figure out how to fight the war on terror and to do it right. So either we clear and hold and build, or let’s go home.” And Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) said, “To ignore the message sent in the last election is to do so at our political peril, because the message was a resounding repudiation of the status quo with respect to Iraq,” The neocons are ridiculing the Iraq Study Group’s report and are calling it a prescription for “retreat” and have labeled the ISG’s leaders James Baker and Lee Hamilton “surrender monkeys”. The neocons are right. The ISG is saying the US should retreat. And 73% of Americans agree. The war in Iraq has become a war that cannot be won. Even though our reasons for attacking Iraq were venal and avaricious, the war could have been won were it not for the bungling of the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Richard Cheney. These are the men who called the shots. Forget about George W. Bush. He is now and always was a puppet. The war in Iraq was a war of choice. It was entered upon as the first move in a planned aggression on the Middle East so that the United States could control the area’s rich oil resources. This is no secret. This we know. Like it or not, oil is why the Bush administration went to war. And the war could have been a short war and it could have been won. The Iraq war became a bottomless pit of failure because of choices made in 2003 by Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney. If neocons like Richard Perle (President Reagan’s Secretary of Defense), William Kristol (architect of the Project for the New American Century) and Rush Limbaugh (asshole) have an ax to grind, it surely is not with the Democrats or the ISG. The reason the war in Iraq descended into chaos and civil war and the reason the situation is now being called dire, grave and daunting is because the war was mismanaged, miscalculated and misguided from the moment of its opening salvo. And now, after three years of stupid choices by the men who lied us into this war, the war has become unwinnable. We who thought the war was immoral and unethical and unnecessary, never wanted the United States to lose. Going to war was a bad decision, but everyone in the United States wanted the United States to win as quickly as its promoters promised we would win and then come home. So who put us in the regrettable position we are in today? It wasn’t the folks who now are saying we have to get out of Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney caused the quagmire in Iraq. It was not caused by James Baker and Lee Hamilton. Those who now are calling for the United States to pull its troops out of Iraq are doing so because they must. This morning, the New York Times said, “Bill Kristol, the neoconservative editor of The Weekly Standard and a leading advocate of the decision to invade Iraq, said: ‘In the real world, the Baker report is now the vehicle for those Republicans who want to extricate themselves from Iraq, while McCain is articulating the strategy for victory in Iraq. Bush will have to choose, and the Republican Party will have to choose, in the very near future between Baker and McCain.’” The NYT added, “The choice Mr. Kristol is describing reflects a longstanding Republican schism over policy and culture between ideological neoconservatives and so-called realists. Through most of the Bush administration, the neoconservatives’ idea of using American military power to advance democracy around the world prevailed, pushed along by Vice President Dick Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld.” The NYT is right and it’s wrong. It’s right that the neocons' idea was to use American military might to advance its aims around the world. But advancing democracy was an also-ran in Kristol’s ideology. The main point that the PNAC crew made in 1998 was that the United States had to “increase defense spending…modernize our armed forces...challenge regimes hostile to US interests and values”. Kristol and the other 25 signers of the PNAC Statement of Principles preached that the US had to be in the position to make pre-emptive military strikes to “shape circumstance before crises emerge”. Those other signers included William Bennett, Jeb Bush, Richard Cheney, Zalmay Khalilzad, Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz Now that the PNAC advice has been followed, Kristol and his buddies cannot admit that their grand plan failed because of the sheer ineptitude and stupidity of the men who designed the war strategies. “So what do we have?” current idiot and ex-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) asked.” He answered himself saying, “We have the Baker-Hamilton report, which is a prescription for surrender.” No, you blockheaded ignoramus fool, what we have is the ISG trying to put to rights the mistakes, gaffes and blunders of Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Cheney, the neocon cheerleaders and the entire Bush administration. What we have is a disaster in Iraq caused by the arrogance, ignorance, and muddled thinking of an old past-his-prime warhorse, Donald Rumsfeld.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Bare Bones Facts of The Matter

The New York Times reported this morning that, “President Bush will take part in high-visibility deliberations on Iraq next week, making visits to the Pentagon and State Department as they take part in an administrationwide effort to chart a new course in the war.” No, Bush won’t and no, the administration isn’t. Any appearance that Bush is taking part in deliberations or that the administration is making an effort to chart a new course is a staged performance for photo-ops and is of no importance whatsoever. The NYT also said, ‘The flurry of conspicuous consultation, officials said, is part of Mr. Bush’s effort to come up with a new approach in Iraq under intense pressure to bring the violence there under control or begin reducing the United States’ military commitment." The “new approach” that the Bush administration is trying to come up with is a new way to say the same old crap about the war in Iraq. But the last thing the White House wants is a new approach in Iraq. Tony Snow says that Bush’s pledge to be bipartisan “only goes so far”. Snow says the Dems who want Bush to listen to them should be willing to listen to the Prez and support him. As you can see, Bush’s pledge to be bipartisan goes only as far as saying the words. George W. Bush can no more be bipartisan than he can tell the truth. The fact is Bush cannot bring the violence under control in Iraq because Donald Rumsfeld’s strategies lead to the proliferation of terrorism and the so-called insurgency groups now have the upper hand. The Iraq Study Group said: The challenges are daunting. The situation is dire. Attacks against US forces are persistent and growing. The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. In other words, the US is powerless in Iraq. And it’s powerless because Donald Rumsfeld liked to play soldier on paper and would not let our generals fight the war the way it should have been fought. Rumsfeld had lots of fun. He played around with his war tactics as though it was a board game. And when real soldiers on a real battlefield didn’t have the same outcome as his toy soldiers, or when the Generals said his paper plans would fail, Rumsfeld’s response was, “My plan has not failed, you have failed. Go do it.” With each US failure the guerilla groups became stronger. They are on their own turf. The US soldiers are no match for homegrown guerillas in Iraq. No matter what the reports that Bush is awaiting from the State Department, the Pentagon and National Security advise, the United States is powerless in Iraq. If the US pours 50,000 more troops into Iraq and kills 3,000 more American soldiers and spends $300 billion more US dollars, the United States will still be powerless in Iraq because Donald Rumsfeld made irreversible errors at the outset of this unnecessary war. The polls show that 73% of the American public do not approve of the way George W. Bush is handling the war in Iraq. No matter how much Tony Snow tries to razzle and dazzle, 27% of the voting public cannot keep Republicans in their jobs. And sad though it is, that’s how this whole sorry mess will be decided. And let’s for a moment think seriously about what Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) said in a speech in Congress this past Thursday night. He called the Iraq war “absurd”, he said he never would have voted for it if he’d known the intelligence used to promote the war was inaccurate. And he said the war perhaps was even “criminal”. The Bush administration is indeed guilty of being war criminals and our energies should be focused on prosecuting the entire Bush administration for war crimes.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Here’s A Hot One

Bear in mind that the main points of the Iraq Study Report were leaked on November 17th to the general public. And if we mokes who are not privy to confidential info of informed sources knew what the ISG had put in its report, then the President of the United States and his cadre of minders and rhetoric-weavers have known in painful detail for three weeks or more, exactly what ISG’s “Way Forward” was going to say. The White House masters of phraseology have had three weeks to fine-tune George W. Bush’s comments. And all the men who tell the president what to do and what to say have had plenty of time to digest the ISG report. Yesterday, when the President finally expressed an opinion to reporters about the ISG’s findings, he did so only after having met with the UK’s Prime Minister Tony Blair and with Blair at his side. Presumably, this was to show the world, as press secretary Tony Snow put it, “the president isn’t standing alone”. As the world waited eagerly to hear the President’s comments, this is what the best minds in the White House came up with: George W. Bush said that if extremists emerge triumphant in the Middle East, “History will look back on our time with unforgiving clarity and demand to know, what happened? How come free nations did not act to preserve the peace?” Which genius in the White House thought that one up? In the first place, history does not look back. But then, GWB is capable of mangling even the simplest declarative sentence. Even so, a child of six knows that it’s the men and women of the future who are going to look back to this time in history. And the thing the people of the future are going to want to know is WHY an idiot was elected president in the year 2000 and WHY this same idiot was allowed to perpetrate a fraud so that he remained in office for another four years. And WHY this same idiot told lies about a small country in the Middle East in order to attack that small nation without provocation. The people of the future are going to know exactly WHAT happened, but they are going to want to know WHY a super-power like the United States had a fool for a leader. They are going to want to know WHY that moronic leader so mismanaged his unnecessary war that an out-of-control civil war erupted and decimated an entire Middle East country, and bankrupted the United States of America into the bargain. The people of the future are not going to wonder WHAT happened because they will know with unforgiving clarity precisely what happened. How come free nations did not act to preserve the peace? What peace? The peace that has not reigned in the Middle East for 6,000 years? Or the peace that the Bush administration has not brought to Iraq after its unnecessary attack? Men and women of the future are going to want to know how come the United States allowed a madman to carry on an ego-motivated war for three and-a-half years. They are going to want to know WHY the United States and the world allowed George W. Bush to rave and maraud like Hitler and no one did anything to stop him. As though to prove that he is an addled clown with mush for brains who can’t decide whether to plotz or go blind, much less make decisions about Iraq, the President of the United States said he would have to put his decision about what to do in Iraq on hold for ten days until he gets three more reports. He’s awaiting a report from the Pentagon, another one from the State Department and a third from the National Security Council. When he gets those reports, he will tell us in a speech before Christmas what he has been told to do. Unless at least one of those reports tells the president to beef up troops in Iraq, spend another 300 billion to stay in Iraq until the next millenium and immediately bomb the bejeezus out of Iran, the Prez is going to shop around until he gets a report to his liking. We can only ask: Why is George W. Bush being allowed to rave and maraud like Hitler and Congress is not stopping him?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

ISG: "Iraq Doomed"; Bush: "That’s Interesting"

All morning and half the afternoon yesterday, CNN reported on the Iraq Study Group Report. CNN interviewed ISG members, CNN interviewed people who had interviewed ISG members, it interviewed people who had views on the ISG, it interviewed people who had views on CNN, it interviewed people who knew people who had views on the ISG, CNN interviewed each other. But when it came time for the White House to respond to the ISG report, the Bush administration couldn’t find anyone higher up than Press Secretary Tony Snow to speak for President Bush on-camera. Snow said Bush had been implementing most of the ISG suggestions for months already. Even Bush couldn’t have come up with a more stupid thing to say. When the ISG members handed Bush the report yesterday morning, he said, “we will take the proposals seriously and we will act in a timely fashion.” Translation? Fuck you ISG. The New York Times this morning reported that one ISG commission member said, “Mr. Bush was very gracious and did not push back.” Oh really? And can you guess why the president seemed gracious and didn’t push back? The asshole-in-chief who got us in this mess in Iraq hadn’t been given a cue card with politically correct words on it, so he had nothing to say. But it is absolute and sure that the one person who will not stand down on this Iraq debacle is George W. Bush. And although some (like a reporter from “The Chicago Tribune”) are saying Bush is taking on the look of “the last man standing”, George W. Bush still has the firm support of fascist neocons like William Kristol, the author of the Bush credo--The PNAC Statement of Principles. William Kristol and Robert Kagan wrote in “The Weekly Standard” on December 4, 2006, “right now we can only applaud the president's courage and determination and his willingness to resist the pressures of those who would now sound the retreat.” And on the same day, Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe advised the president to “Politely accept the ISG report and then do the opposite of what it recommends.” Which is exactly what the worst and most delusional president the United States has ever had the misfortune to inflict on itself, intends to do. The problem with that strategy is that American voters won’t vote for people who fall in line with the Bush administration’s plan for staying in Iraq in perpetuity and for telling the whole Middle East to piss up a rope. So the president really has only one option: Take the ISG’s advice or end the careers of every Republican in Congress. It’s up to you, Chief. But watch your back.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oh No! Another Cheney on the Way!

Of course, Vice President Dick Cheney became a grandfather again last July when his elder daughter Elizabeth (deputy assistant secretary of state) and her husband Phillip Perry (General Counsel of the United States Department of Homeland Security) had their fifth child. The Perrys have three daughters and two sons. But one had hoped the younger Cheney daughter Mary and her life partner Heather would see the wisdom of not creating more Cheney’s. But no! They are reported “ecstatic” about Mary’s baby due in late spring. CNN says VP Dick Cheney hasn’t made a formal announcement but his spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride said Tuesday night that "the vice president and Mrs. Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation to the arrival of their sixth grandchild." The sperm donor’s name is, of course, a state secret. Will any of the Cheneys serve in the military? Probably not. Elizabeth herself was a “deferment baby” for her warmongering father. As Timothy Noah reported in Slate on March 18, 2004, the timing of Elizabeth Cheney’s birth was exquisite. “Aug. 29, 1964: Dick and Lynne Cheney marry. May 19, 1965: The Selective Service classifies Dick Cheney 1-A, ‘available immediately for military service.’ July 28, 1965: President Lyndon Johnson says draft calls will be doubled. Oct. 26, 1965: The Selective Service declares that married men without children, who were previously exempted from the draft, will now be called up. Married men with children remain exempt. Jan. 19, 1966: The Selective Service reclassifies Dick Cheney 3-A, ‘deferred from military service because service would cause hardship upon his family,’ because his wife is pregnant with their first child. July 28, 1966: Elizabeth Cheney is born.” Noah reported that in 1989 Dick Cheney told George C. Wilson of the Washington Post, "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service." And today Cheney has other priorities than to keep US soldiers from dying in the Bush administration’s unnecessary and failed war in Iraq. Cheney’s first priority is to keep the war in Iraq going as long as possible. Cheney’s second priority is to count the millions he makes by keeping the war in Iraq going as long as possible. Cheney was president of Halliburton, the world’s largest corporation providing technical products and services for oil and gas exploration and production. Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR is a major construction company of refineries, oil fields, pipelines, and chemical plants. Cheney saw to it that Halliburton was awarded $8 billiion in contracts to “rebuild Iraq”. Although Cheney retired from Halliburton to run for VP in the 2000 election, he has received deferred compensation from Halliburton while serving as Vice President and he has unexercised Halliburton stock options valued at $8 million. How sweet that the Cheney genes will long live after him and he will have five grandchildren to sweeten his Christmas this year and another is on the way. How lovely. And how lucky for those Cheney grandchildren that only one of them will carry the Cheney name. It’s enough that they will know what their grandfather did. It’s enough that they will know the senseless deaths of US soldiers in Iraq were caused by their grandfather who liked playing soldier and loved the profits. It’s enough that they will know their grandfather was a draft dodger. It’s enough that they will know the millions of dollars in the Cheney coffers is blood money.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Civil War By Any Other Name is Still Civil War

Kofi Annan’s second five-year term as UN Secretary-General will end on December 31, 2006. Since 1997, when he replaced Egypt’s Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt as Secretary General, Kofi Annan has lead the UN through turbulent times. He has nothing to lose now by speaking his mind. Yesterday, while talking to the British Broadcasting Corporation, Annan said Iraq was the toughest issue he had dealt with during his 10 years in office. He said, "we could have stopped the war if weapons inspectors had been given more time.” He agreed when it was suggested that some Iraqis believe life is worse now than it was under Hussein's regime. "I think they are right in the sense of the average Iraqi's life," Annan said. "If I were an average Iraqi obviously I would make the same comparison, that they had a dictator who was brutal but they had their streets, they could go out, their kids could go to school and come back home without a mother or father worrying, 'Am I going to see my child again?'” A society needs minimum security and a secure environment for it to get on, he said. Adding, “without security, not much can be done…A few years ago, when we had the strife in Lebanon and other places, we called that a civil war. This is much worse.” Annan said he “did everything I could" to stop the war taking place in the first place. He said he was not sure that Iraq could resolve its sectarian strife now without international help. In its report on Annan’s comments to the BBC, UK’s "Guardian Unlimited" said, “Annan gave no statistics but the latest UN report on human rights in Iraq says that 3,000 civilians are dying every month. There is also an accelerating exodus of Iraqis, with some 100,000 leaving each month for the safety of Syria, Jordan, and the Gulf states.” Meanwhile, venerable Helen Thomas who served for 57 years as White House bureau chief for UPI (until Sun Myung Moon bought the wire service in 2000), said in her Hearst Newspaper column on December 1 that the Iraq Study Group won’t “rock the boat”. “This is unfortunate,” she said, “because the dire mess in Iraq demands bold action by the U.S. The real solution is a cakewalk out of Iraq tomorrow. The world would stand in shock and awe. All it takes is courage.” Well, yes…courage. Plus integrity and honesty and a love for the United States of America that surpasses and overrides self-serving ego-driven arrogance. All of which is in short supply in the Bush administration. Oh, and Helen Thomas should have mentioned that we also need a sane president who lives in reality not a delusional sociopath who smirks and fumbles his way around the world in the absurd belief that he looks strong, charismatic and irresistible.

Monday, December 04, 2006

“Save Yourself!” Marley Told Scrooge

At least that’s what Marley told Scrooge in the 1951 movie, “A Christmas Carol”, even though that scene wasn’t in Dickens’ original story. Perhaps it’s because the Christmas season is upon us that the Bush administration--past and present members—is trying to do just that: Save themselves. But the White House version of being saved has nothing to do with souls. It’s more like rats scurrying off a sinking ship. Yesterday, the current US Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Stephen Hadley was seen on all three major Sunday morning talk shows. He was explaining how the Prez would never change his mind about staying the course in Iraq, even though the president is planning to change his mind. Go figure. It seemed reasonable to Hadley. You may wonder why Hadley was making the rounds since he is fairly low in the National Security Council hierarchy. It no doubt was due to Hadley’s memo about the Prime Minister of Iraq (Maliki) being an incompetent jerk, which was leaked on November 29 and had stirred up a whole world of hurt. Both the leaking of the memo and Hadley’s appearances on talk shows can be filed in a folder marked: Bush Tries to Save Self and Fails. In case you are wondering who is on the National Security Council, here’s the list. And a dastardly crew it is: Chairman: President George W. Bush Statutory Members: Vice President Richard Cheney Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Secretary of Defense: (Yet to be confirmed) Robert Gates Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: General Peter Pace Director of Central Intelligence Agency: General Michael V. Hayden Secretary of the Treasury: Henry M. Paulson U.S. Representative to the United Nations: John Bolton (who, BTW, just announced he’s jumping ship within weeks.) Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs: Stephen Hadley Assistant to the President for Economic Policy: Alan Hubbard Chief of Staff to the President: Joshua Bolten Donald Rumsfeld’s hasty Save Myself memo, which was sent to the Prez when he realized the end was near, was leaked to the New York Times on December 2nd. It was titled “Iraq-- Illustrative New Courses of Action”. One of which was “Iraqis must pull up their socks.” But now we are told the President is taking Mr. Rumsfeld’s suggestions seriously. One reason the Bush administration has not totally blown off Rumsfeld may be because old Rummy was not at all sanguine about getting canned and his plans for saving himself could include blowing his own little whistle on White House nasty deeds and misdemeanors. The spectacle of arrogant and soulless politicians dithering about and trying to save their reputations after having willingly thrown in with a band of thieves and warmongers would warm one’s heart at Christmastime if it weren’t for one horrible fact: American soldiers are dying in Iraq and these guys who are so intent on saving themselves don’t give a damn about our soldiers, Iraq or the Iraqis. They care only about how they will be perceived in future history books. And where is Karl Rove? Is he saving himself by ratting out his partners in crime to Special Council Patrick Fitzgerald? Oh well, Nevermind. God rest ye, merry gentlemen. Let nothing you dismay.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Mr. Ratfucker Amends Person of the Year List

Although Mr. Ratfucker disagrees most vehemently with Time Mag for mentioning Condoleezza Rice in the same sentence with Person of the Year. And although Mr. Ratfucker agrees most strongly that Condoleezza Rice would not qualify on her best day (and while playing the piano) as a Person of the Year in any year. Still, Mr. Ratfucker feels the list provided by Ratbang Diary for those who could be considered Persons of the Year before Condoleezza Rice’s name even enters a Person of the Nanosecond list, should be amended. Mr. Ratfucker suggests that the list be enlarged to 11 names. And with all due respect to bloggers one and all, Mr. Ratfucker feels the Number One place for Person of the Year should be given to Frank Rich who puts George W. Bush, the Idiot of the Century, and the Bush administration, The Cretins of the Millennium, in their place most Sundays with a beautifully written column in the Week in Review section of the New York Times.

Suck-up of the Year: Time Mag

Time Magazine is considering naming Condoleezza Rice as its choice for Person of the Year. Which places Time Mag in the running for Suck-up of the Year. Although Rice herself has already won that title. What has Condoleezza Rice done that would put her in the category of an outstanding human being? Ever? Oh, right. I hear she plays the piano tolerably well. And she is the most adept and practiced Bush yes-person in the White House. But excellent and superior in any other way? Never was and never will be. Rice became Secretary of State because she unfailingly agreed with every nonsensical thing George W. Bush did and said. Plus, she was his Number Two Minder. Along with Karen Hughes who was GWB’s Number One Kiss-Ass Gofer, Condoleezza Rice could be counted on to calm the Prez when he had his frenzied episodes of fury and agitation. The duties of Secretary of State (as outlined by the Bureau of Public Affairs) are to be the President’s “chief foreign affairs adviser. The Secretary carries out the President’s foreign policies through the State Department and the Foreign Service of the United States.” In other words, the Secretary of State should be an ace diplomat. And at diplomacy, Rice is a resounding dud. On Sunday July 30th, 2006 Lebanon's Prime Minister Siniora cancelled Rice’s visit to Lebanon after Israel bombed a village in Lebanon. Rice refused to plead for an immediate ceasefire to end the war. Rice insisted it was she who canceled the trip not visey-versy. On August 8th, while visiting her second home, Crawford, Texas where she was engaged in her main duty as Secretary of State—telling George W. Bush he was all-powerful and wonderful—Rice talked with reporters about a draft resolution the UN was going to vote on which supposedly would aid in ending the war between Israel and Lebanon. Rice was characteristically snarky as she said, “We'll see who is for peace and who isn't." On CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on October 6, 2006, the father of a soldier killed in Iraq asked when they would be pulling all remaining troops out of Iraq and if the U.S. government planned to admit that the invasion should never have happened in the first place. Rice imperiously claimed the US was correct to invade Iraq because an environment needed to be created where “Iraqis stop killing other Iraqis.” How’s that for diplomacy? On November 6th, 2006, the German News magazine Der Spiegel quoted Rice saying that Saddam’s death sentence was “a triumph of justice” and showed that “the iraqis are favoring justice over revenge”. One wonders what Rice thinks revenge would look like? The Iraqis are hanging him. And who can forget Condoleezza Rice shopping for shoes at Ferragamo in New York at the height of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. When another shopper confronted Rice by shouting “How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless”, Rice had a security detail physically remove the woman from the store. Of course that was back in 2005 and Time Mag thinks Rice’s stellar performance in 2006 blots out all prior blunders and bad acts. Rice’s performance in 2006 has merely been to echo the wrong-headed policies of the Bush administration. But Ms Rice does so with a mean face, a personality as engaging as Attila the Hun and a public speaking style that is wordy and tedious. What is Time Mag thinking? It would be difficult to pick a person less qualified for Person of the Year than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Here’s a Top-Ten list of people who really deserve the honor of being named PERSON OF THE YEAR. 10.Comic Lewis Black. He’s screamingly funny when he tells the truth about the failures of George W. Bush 9. Likewise, Jon Stewart. He gives a hilarious view of the assholes running the USA since 2000. 8. Veteran of the Vietnam War John Murtha (D-PA). He has courageously spoken out against the Iraq war and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. 7. CNN’s Lou Dobbs. He constantly calls the federal government to account for refusing to make illegal immigrants obey the federal government’s laws. 6.CNN’s Anderson Cooper won’t let us forget the victims of Katrina that Condoleezza Rice doesn’t want us to remember. 5.Al Gore. He keeps on keepin’ on about the environment. 4.The whole gang at YouTube. They let us see all the videos all the time of all the idiots running the USofA. 3. Any Mom of a soldier in Iraq. 2. Any soldier in Iraq. 1. A blanket PEOPLE OF THE YEAR award should go to ALL BLOGGERS for not letting the Bush administration get away with its malfeasance and for paving the way for the Democrats to regain control of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Oh Dear! Repubs Lost Their Bible Study Room

And Texas Representative Sam Johnson says he’s “astonished” that they won’t get to keep on having their Bible Study group in that room. It’s just one more harsh fact the Republicans have to face on Capitol Hill since the November 7th election. All the best and most spacious offices are now being claimed by the Democrats, even the room where the Repubs met to study the ways of the Lord. I know. I was ROTFLMFAO too. But then it came to me: Maybe the Republicans had only read the HOW TO BE RICH BIGOTED WARLORDS part of the Bible. Maybe they hadn’t reached the WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SELL YOUR SOUL section. There are chapters and chapters in the Bible with detailed information on how to maraud, commit mayhem, rape, lie and cheat your brother. There are chapters and chapters on how to deceive, hoodwink, pillage, loot, commit adultery, steal from the poor and stone innocent women to death. There are chapters and chapters about how the rich get to rule the world, make the laws and speak for God. In fact, in well over half of the Bible it’s the rich men to whom God speaks. And it’s the rich men who understand what God wants. And when these rich men tell their version of God’s laws, they say God wants people to cower and be afraid of the awfulness and arbitrariness of God. And God wants the poor and downtrodden to build mighty temples made of gold and jewels in God’s honor. So maybe the Republicans who studied the Bible in their special and holy room never got to the part about what happens to soulless rich bastards when they make war on and take advantage of the poor. Maybe they only studied the parts about how God only loves rich powerful men. Maybe they thought God handed down the Ten Commandments as a guideline to the poor. So you can see why the Republicans have behaved so badly. Well take heart, all you Bible studying Repubs. Now you can start studying the part of the Bible that addresses ethics and morals and the righteous values that all human persons should follow. And there are lots of rooms in Washington, DC. A room is just a room after all, right? Oh, and Mr. Johnson… when you find a new room for your Bible study group, don’t forget to invite your fellow Texan George W. Bush. He’s a little confused about Christianity. He thinks Corpus Christi is where Jesus is buried.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Oh Yeah! We’re Outta Iraq…It’s For Sure!

How do we know it’s a done deal? Two days ago Bush said, “There’s one thing I’m not going to do: I’m not going to pull the troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete.” Yesterday, Bush said, “I know there’s a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there’s going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq…this business about a graceful exit just simply has no realism to it whatsoever.” We know we’re out of Iraq because: 1. Bush always lies. 2. The report from the Iraq Study Group confirms that success in Iraq is not possible. This morning, the New York Times quoted an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict who weighed-in on the Iraq Study Group report. “What the Baker group appears to have done is try to change the direction of the political momentum on Iraq,” said Stephen P. Cohen, a scholar at the Israel Policy Forum. “They have made clear that there isn’t a scenario for a democratic Iraq, at least for a very long time. They have called into question the logic of a lengthy American presence. And once you’ve done that, what is the case for Americans dying in order to have this end slowly?” Bush’s main interest is in saving face because he cannot admit he was wrong. Saving the lives of US soldiers in Iraq is of no importance whatsoever to our president. He is claiming we have to stay in Iraq only because he has claimed we have to stay in Iraq. Bush has convinced himself that he and the White House fascists invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the Iraqis. He has totally excised from his memory banks the fact that he and the neocons attacked Iraq in order to initiate their grand plan for ruling the Middle East and its oil. Everyone except Bush sycophants have admitted Iraq is in a full-blown civil war. Everyone except Bush sycophants have admitted the US has to enter into diplomatic talks with Iran and Syria. Everyone except Bush sycophants have admitted our soldiers have to be pulled out of Iraq. The ISG was brought in to talk sense to a madman, knowing, of course that they would fail. The ISG’s problem is the same problem Congress and US policy makers have. If they vociferously and publicly oppose the president of the United States, then he will be exposed as delusional and insane and it could have worldwide economic ramifications. Will these politicians and corporate leaders be willing to keep the charade going for two years, just to let George W. Bush and the Republican Party save face? If they don’t blow the whistle, more US soldiers will die in Iraq’s civil war and the entire US nation could rise up in revolt. If they do stop this travesty, how do they do it? Bush has rejected the ISG’s proposal for a graceful exit. No, he says. No graceful exit. I am right. We stay until I am victorious. Apparently, the policy makers have decided they can have it both ways. If a scapegoat (Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki) can be blamed for the terrible outcome in Iraq, the US can get out and still claim George W. Bush was right but unfortunately, it was Iraq that was wrong. So. We’re getting out of Iraq. The last question to be answered is: Will we get out before the 2008 election or the day after?