Sunday, September 30, 2007

NYT’s Rich and Dowd Both Slam Hillary Today

That makes it official. Hillary Clinton will be the Dem candidate in 2008. Frank Rich asks: “Is Hillary Clinton the New Old Al Gore?” And Maureen Dowd tackles the topic "The Nepotism Tango". Given my personal liking of Rich and loathing of Dowd, the former’s article seems reasoned and cogent and the latter’s is snarky and superficial. Rich foresees trouble for a Dem victory in the 2008 election because Hillary Clinton has already been anointed a shoo-in for Prez and the Dems always snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Which was the pattern in the 2000 election. Rich says, “Mrs. Clinton wouldn't repeat Mr. Gore's foolhardy mistake of running away from her popular husband and his record, even if she could. But almost every answer she gave last Sunday was a rambling and often tedious Gore-like filibuster. Like the former vice president, she often came across as a pontificator and an automaton — in contrast to the personable and humorous person she is known to be off-camera. And she seemed especially evasive when dealing with questions requiring human reflection instead of wonkery.” Rich signs off by saying, “Like today's G.O.P., the Democrats back then (1948-Truman vs. Dewey) were saddled with both an unloved incumbent president and open divisions in the party's ranks on both its left and right flanks. Surely, the thinking went, the beleaguered Democrats couldn't possibly vanquish a presidential candidate from New York known for his experience, competence, uncontroversial stands and above-the-fray demeanor... You don't want to push historical analogies too far, but it's hard not to add that the campaign slogan of that sure winner, Thomas Dewey, had a certain 2008 ring to it: ‘It's time for a change.’” Dowd says, “The town (Washington, DC) is divided into two camps: those who think that, after 16 years of Hillary pushing herself forward, the public will get worn out and reject her, and those who think that, after 16 years of Hillary pushing herself forward, the public will get worn down and give in to her.” Dowd quotes from Bill Sammon’s new book, “The Evangelical President”. One of the president’s aides told Sammon: “She’s (Clinton) going to be essentially saying, ‘Elect me president after I’ve spent the last 16 years in your face. And you didn’t like me much when I was there last. Give me eight more years so I can be a presence in your life for 24 years.’” Dowd says, “Others do not underestimate her relentlessness. As Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, once told me: ‘She’s never going to get out of our faces...She’s like some hellish housewife who has seen something that she really, really wants and won’t stop nagging you about it until finally you say, fine, take it, be the damn president, just leave me alone.’” Dowd continues, “That’s why Hillary is laughing a lot now, big belly laughs, in response to tough questions or comments, to soften her image as she confidently knocks her male opponents out of the way. From nag to wag.” You can’t blame Op/Ed columnists for writing about anything but the news when last week’s news was the same-old-same-old. George W. Bush made another gaffe in a speech, even though his speeches are scripted and his teleprompter gives him phonetic spellings of hard words like Iraq. At a made-for-TV event in front of fourth and fifth graders from New York’s P.S. 76, Bush urged Congress to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind program. He said, “Childrens do learn.” Interestingly, even though the blunder was caught on tape and played and replayed hundreds of times, the official White House transcript reads that Bush said, “children do learn”. Also last week, the Bush administration defended to the skies its star Blackwater, USA mercenaries in Iraq who murder women, children, Iraqis and everyone who get in their way; Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked Congress to approve nearly $190 billion in 2008 for the Bush administration’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and Bush plans to veto the bill for health insurance for children. Same-old-same-old.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Blackwater Hotheads Make Decisions in Iraq

This morning the New York Times gives a capsule version of the Blackwater, USA debacle in Iraq of September 16th. The NYT says, “Participants in the Sept. 16 security operation have been ordered not to speak about the episode. But word of the disagreement on the street has slowly made its way through the community of private security contractors...These new details of the episode on Sept. 16, in which at least eight Iraqis were killed, including a woman and an infant, were provided by an American official who was briefed on the American investigation by someone who helped conduct it, and by Americans who had spoken directly with two guards involved in the episode. Their accounts were broadly consistent.” 1) Blackwater USA mercenaries who guard American diplomats in Iraq heard an explosion and decided to evacuate the diplomats from a secure compound north of Baghdad where they were meeting and conduct them to the “Green Zone” in Baghdad. American officials can’t understand why the diplomats were evacuated rather than locking down the secure compound. The evacuation began at 11:50 AM. 2) By noon, the convoy had reached Nisour Square. Some of the Blackwater guards got out of their vehicles and took positions in the street to stop all traffic coming from the south and west. The NYT reported, “At least one guard began to fire in the direction of a car, killing its driver. A traffic policeman said he walked toward the car, but more shots were fired, killing a woman holding an infant sitting in the passenger seat.” The NYT said the Blackwater guards believed they were being fired on. An Iraqi investigation concluded that the convoy was not being fired on. But some Iraqi witnesses said the convoy might have been fired on “by commandos in nearby guard towers”. 3) After killing the family in the car, Blackwater guards fired a grenade into the car setting it on fire. 4) One or more Blackwater guards called for a cease-fire. Blackwater guards started arguing with each other about the cease-fire order. One Blackwater guard pointed his gun at another Blackwater guard. 5) This episode occurred on Sunday, September 16. By Wednesday, September 19, American investigators still had not responded to multiple requests for information by Iraqi officials investigating the incident. And now, these Blackwater thugs who draw down on each other because they are badly-trained, self-aggrandizing hoodlums who endanger the lives of our troops, our diplomats and who kill anything that moves in Iraq including women and babies, are being defended with a mammoth PR blitz by the Bush administration and its flack, General Petraeus. All the arguments for the US staying in Iraq, which may or may not make logical sense, are quickly becoming irrelevant. The US troops need to leave Iraq because no one in the Bush administration, the Department of Defense or the Pentagon has the slightest idea what they are doing. And they have no plans for an intelligent occupation of Iraq in the future. We simply need to cut our losses, get out and let the Iraqis sort out the mess the United States has made.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What a Surprise!

This morning the New York Times reports: “The American security contractor Blackwater USA has been involved in a far higher rate of shootings while guarding American diplomats in Iraq than other security firms providing similar services to the State Department, according to Bush administration officials and industry officials.” The NYT also states a bullshit total of 850 Blackwater USA mercenaries that have been employed by the US State Department to guard the US diplomats. No one except the Bush administration knows the exact number. The fact is, no one but the Bush administration knows exactly how many Blackwater thugs are fighting alongside US troops. Estimates are as low as 20,000 and as high as 50,000. The estimates for the total number of mercenaries from all private US militias in Iraq--Blackwater USA, DynCorp, and Triple Canopy, to mention three—are as high as 160,000. Only the Bush administration knows the actual number. The number of mercenaries in Iraq is a state secret. The NYT article said: “The State Department would not comment on most matters relating to Blackwater, citing the current investigation. But Sean McCormack, the department’s spokesman, said that of 1,800 escort missions by Blackwater this year, there had been “only a very small fraction, very small fraction, that have involved any sort of use of force.” Boloney! The State Department won’t make its incident reports public re Blackwater’s use of force and killings. And Blackwater has refused to provide its own data on Blackwater’s continued use of unnecessary force. The NYT went on to say, “Blackwater, based in North Carolina, has gained a reputation among Iraqis and even among American military personnel serving in Iraq as a company that flaunts an aggressive, quick-draw image that leads its security personnel to take excessively violent actions to protect the people they are paid to guard.” Blackwater USA is the brainchild of Erik Prince. Prince and his family are far-right religious fanatics. The Prince family bankrolled James Dobson, founder of “Focus on the Family. Dobson and George W. Bush have regular meetings to discuss the future of the United States. Dobson has said, “I stand in a long tradition of Christians who believe that rulers may forfeit their divine mandate when they systematically contravene the divine moral law. We may be rapidly approaching the sort of Rubicon that our spiritual forebears faced Choose Caesar or God. I take no pleasure in this prospect, I pray against it. But it is worth noting that such times have historically been rejuvenating for the faith.” Dobson wrote and Erik Prince has said he agrees that the United States was heading for “a showdown between church and state” and a “morally justified revolution”. There is no deadlier human being than one who believes he is morally justified to kill, rape, murder and maraud. Blackwater hoodlums have been inculcated with that belief from their leader Erik Prince. And Prince shares George W. Bush’s belief that God wants them to engage the Middle East in a holy Christian war. Of course George W. Bush is an idiot and a dupe. But the neocons in the Bush administration are using his jihad mentality to further their designs on controlling the Middle East and its oil. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has just said the US needs to be in Iraq for many years to come. Make no mistake; the only reason the US needs to be in Iraq for years and years is to be able to control Iraq’s oil. That’s it. That’s the reason American troops are dying.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Can the US DOD Get Any More Foul?

The Washington Post brought it to our attention yesterday, and this morning’s New York Times says, “Under a program developed by a Defense Department warfare unit, Army snipers have begun using a new method to kill Iraqis suspected of being insurgents, using fake weapons and bomb-making material as bait and then killing anyone who picks them up, according to testimony presented in a military court.” And you know who is picking up these “fake weapons and bomb-making materials”? Curious children. The idea that the baits would tempt only insurgents is insane. Innocent children, women, mothers are all picking up these baits and since the Pentagon and DOD has concluded that only insurgents would pick up the baits, therefore anyone picking up the baits is an insurgent and it’s legal to shoot them. Mind you, not everyone in the Army is shooting people who pick up bomb-making material from the ground. Deadeye snipers are sitting in wait for the sign that an insurgent has wandered into their sights. And that sign is when a person picks up a bait. “In sworn statements, soldiers testifying for the defense have said the sniper team was employing a ‘baiting program’ developed at the Pentagon by the Asymmetrical Warfare Group, which met with Ranger sniper teams in Iraq in January and gave equipment to them... Army officers involved in evidentiary hearings in Baghdad in July did not dispute the existence or use of a baiting program.” A court-martial is now under way involving one soldier accused of murdering three Iraqis. But the court-martial is not centered on the immorality of using baits to lure insurgents. Because killing under those circumstances is legal and has been authorized. The court martial focuses on the prosecutor’s allegations that the soldier planted bomb-making wire on the dead victims. I am so glad to find out the niceties of what is legal and not legal with regard to Army snipers and their authorizations. Army trained snipers can legally strew baits around for any curious Iraqi to pick up and then be shot. But after the snipers shoot the curious Iraqis, it is illegal for snipers to plant evidence on their bodies. Bad enough that Blackwater, USA thugs shot an innocent Iraqi woman and baby because they didn’t move fast enough when a convoy of diplomats came down the road. But now we have the US army luring Iraqis to pick up baits so that they can be called insurgents and then legally shot. The Bush Administration’s Progress in Iraq 1) The US decided to attack Iraq for no reason because the neocons wanted Iraq’s oil. 2) The American people weren’t crazy about another war. 3) The Bush administration changed its mission from aggression and seizing oil wells to claiming that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. That claim resonated with the American people. 4) The Iraqis didn’t have WMD but the Bush administration attacked Iraq anyway because it wanted Iraq’s oil. 5) The Department of Defense had no understanding of the Iraqi people or its culture and used a tiny force of US soldiers. The DOD said the Iraqis wanted the US to attack them and would welcome us as liberators. 6) The attack failed. The Bush administration was shocked the Iraqis didn’t want the US to attack them. 7) The DOD was shocked the Iraqi people fought back and had empowered militias. 8) The Bush administration changed its mission from seizing Iraq’s oil, to ousting Saddam Hussein to claiming the US had wanted to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq. 9) No one believed the freedom and democracy boloney because US soldiers were killing all Iraqis who disagreed with the Bush administration. 10) Since the US has no military, the State Department hired mercenaries to fight its war in Iraq. The mercenaries, most notably Blackwater, USA, have disgraced themselves and the US by unsupervised marauding and killing in Iraq. 11) Having brought terrorism and a civil war to Iraq (all because the Bush administration wanted Iraq’s oil), the Bush administration trotted out Generals and Republican warmongers to swear that the US must remain in Iraq forever because insurgents have taken over Iraq. 12) No one believes the Generals or warmongers because the real reason the US is in Iraq is to seize Iraq’s oil, which it has not done as yet. But given time, the US will be victorious. That is the US will get Iraq’s oil. 13) Now Iraq wants the mercenaries out of Iraq because they are committing murders. But the US can’t fight its war (that is, seize Iraq’s oil) without mercenaries. 14) And the latest dishonorable plan to come out of the Department of Defense, Pentagon and Army is that snipers have been trained to kill Iraqis when they pick up baits because the DOD claims that anyone picking up baits is an insurgent. Can the Bush administration, its DOD, Pentagon and jack-shit Generals get any lower, any more base, any more unethical, any more ugly, inhuman, and corrupt? Of course it can. It’s the Bush administration.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

GLORY BE! NYT Has Ended TimesSelect!!!

Why the New York Times started such a stupid enterprise in the first place is unfathomable. Even the NYT, who bowed down to the fascists in the White House and became their PR arm for far too long for fear of reprisals, surely could not have believed the American public would be too frightened of reprisals to find ways to reprint the TimesSelect entries for free. And we did. Perhaps the NYT thought the snob appeal of the rich paying for the right to something the worker-bees wouldn’t or couldn’t pay for would make TimesSelect successful. It didn’t. Whatever the reason may be for the NYT starting TimesSelect, the NYT stopped holding columnists hostage and charging a ransom for their writing because it wasn’t bringing in enough money. Good! Now, back to reading Frank Rich from the NYT online, the way God intended.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

So Bush & Co. Calls This Winning?

Salient points in the Associated Press news story, “Blackwater Resumes Guarding U.S. Envoys in Iraq” by Andrew Kramer, in this morning’s New York Times: 1. “American diplomats on Friday resumed travel in convoys escorted by Blackwater USA, the private American security contractor, three days after the Iraqi government banned the company following a shooting in which at least eight Iraqis were killed.” 2. ”American Embassy officials have declined to give details of an investigation of the shooting on Sunday in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, but a preliminary report by Iraqi officials found that Blackwater guards had fired at Iraqis in their cars without provocation...The ministry concluded that the shooting had begun when a Blackwater guard fired at a car that did not stop quickly enough, killing the driver, a passenger and a baby.” 3. “Violence continued to displace Iraqis. Between 50 and 100 Sunni families fled their homes in the Baghdad neighborhood of Washash around midnight on Friday after being threatened by members of the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia, according to an Interior Ministry official.” 4. “After a senior leader of the Mahdi Army was killed in an ambush several hours earlier, militiamen began moving through the area with loudspeakers, telling people to leave, said Sheik Abu Hasan, one of those displaced. American forces came to the area, he said. Though they did not stop the flight, they helped the families reach the Sunni Arab neighborhood of Adel in safety. The ministry official said that four Sunni women from the neighborhood were killed... ‘We had no other choice but to leave our houses at once,’ Sheik Abu Hasan said. ‘What shocked us a lot was that as soon as we reached the main streets, we saw Iraqi and American forces who were showing and directing us to the highway.’ 5. “Also on Friday, in a sign of mounting turmoil amid Shiite groups in the south, two aides to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most revered Shiite cleric, were assassinated in Basra and Diwaniya, in the latest of a string of attacks on the cleric’s followers.” And, if the above is proof that the Bush administration not only is making progress in Iraq but that the Bush administration’s policies in Iraq will eventually win the war, one has a couple questions: 1. Why are there so many American diplomats in Iraq that they travel in fucking CONVOYS protected by Blackwater USA hoodlums? 2. Why are the lives of American diplomats more important than the lives of Iraqis that the Bush administration claims to be bringing freedom and democracy to? 3. If there is no civil war in Iraq, how come Shiites are fighting Sunnis, Sunnis are fighting Shiites, US soldiers are helping Iraqis flee the country and Blackwater mercenaries are keeping order by murdering anyone who gets in the way of American diplomats? 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. WHY ARE THE LIVES OF AMERICAN DIPLOMATS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE LIVES OF IRAQIS THAT BLACKWATER HOODLUMS ARE PAID $1000 PER DAY TO MURDER IRAQIS WHO GET IN THEIR WAY?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bush Administration Defending Blackwater

As we knew it would. This morning the New York Times says: “On Wednesday, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq complained of killings of Iraqis “in cold blood” by American armed contractors. He said Sunday’s shooting was the seventh such case involving Blackwater...Iraq’s government is threatening to throw Blackwater out of the country, a move that would have a striking impact on American operations inside the country... For years, government officials and members of Congress have debated what has become in Iraq the most extensive use of private contractors on the battlefield since Renaissance princes hired private armies to fight their battles. The debate flares up after each lethal episode in Iraq, but there has been no agreement on how to police the private soldiers who roam Iraq in the employ of the United States government.” The Washington Post says (“Blackwater's Security Force in Iraq Given Wide Latitude by State Dept” by Steve Fainaru) “Blackwater USA, the private security company involved in a Baghdad shootout last weekend, operated under State Department authority that exempted the company from U.S. military regulations governing other security firms, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials and industry representatives...The State Department allowed Blackwater's heavily armed teams to operate without an Interior Ministry license, even after the requirement became standard language in Defense Department security contracts. The company was not subject to the military's restrictions on the use of offensive weapons, its procedures for reporting shooting incidents or a central tracking system that allows commanders to monitor the movements of security companies on the battlefield.” And yet, every talking head from the military, every White House-scripted government official and Republican toady the Bush administration can put on TV is saying the Iraqis cannot be believed, Maliki cannot be believed, they are all lying, and the mercenaries in general and Blackwater mercenaries in particular are doing a necessary and stellar job in Iraq. As WaPo points out, “A one-paragraph subsection to a 2004 edict issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority, the now-defunct U.S. occupation government, granted contractors immunity from the Iraqi legal process. This edict is still in effect. Congress has moved to establish guidelines for prosecuting contractors under U.S. law or the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but the issue remains unresolved.” And the issue will remain unresolved because the Bush administration cannot continue to fight its illegal and unnecessary war in Iraq without mercenaries. And the Blackwater USA mercenaries are particularly prized by the Bush administration’s State Department, Defense Department and Pentagon because Blackwater USA guns-for-hire are deadly, unprincipled, and amoral thugs. The fact that the Bush administration loves Blackwater USA should come as no surprise since the Bush administration is comprised of deadly, unprincipled and amoral thugs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

US Will Defend Blackwater, Count On It

Today, the Washington Post wrote: “The Iraqi government on Monday said it had revoked the license of Blackwater USA, an American security company involved in a shootout in Baghdad that killed at least nine people, raising questions over which nation should regulate tens of thousands of civilian hired guns operating in Iraq.” On May 27, 2007, the Washington Post wrote: “The Interior Ministry, which regulates security companies for the Iraqi government, has received four previous complaints of shooting incidents involving Blackwater in the past two years, according to Hussein Kamal, undersecretary for intelligence affairs. But in an interview before last week's shootings, Kamal said Iraqi authorities have been hampered by a Coalition Provisional Authority order granting contractors immunity from the Iraqi legal process. “Blackwater obtained a one-year operating license from the Interior Ministry in 2005, according to a scanned copy of the document provided by the company. After The Washington Post reported in June that the company was effectively operating outside of Iraqi law, Blackwater approached the Private Security Company Association of Iraq to request assistance to obtain a license, according to the trade group...’We have a license renewal in process with the Ministry of Interior,’ Martin L. Strong, a Blackwater vice president said.” The point is, of course, that a regulation known as Order 17, which was established under the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority headed by L. Paul Bremer and is still in effect, granted American private security contractors immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts. And all Blackwater mercenaries sign a contract that holds Blackwater harmless. The contract language is explicit. It releases the company from "any liability whatsoever" even if it is "the result of negligence, gross negligence, omissions or failure to guard or warn against dangerous conditions." No one is overseeing the actions of the mercenaries in Iraq because the White House likes it that way. These thugs can operate in any way they see fit, and that is what they do. It’s difficult to find out exactly how many mercenaries are in Iraq. But the estimate has always been that there are as many civilian hired guns as there are US troops in Iraq, which is to say, there are 160,000 armed hooligans looting, killing and marauding in Iraq. This morning, the New York Times said, “About 126,000 people working for contractors serve alongside American troops, including about 30,000 security contractors.” Close enough. And all of these hoodlums are hired by the US State Department and have been granted immunity by the US State Department and Department of Defense. The US could not fight the Bush administration’s war in Iraq without the mercenaries because the US has no military to speak of. However, the Bush administration thought it could easily invade Iraq with a minimum of troops, take over Iraq’s oil and be greeted as liberators The US Department of Defense and the Pentagon immediately realized what any fifth grader could have told them: Iraq didn’t want to be attacked, over-run, invaded and occupied and Iraq fought back with whatever means it had. Ergo, the US State Department hired a bunch of thugs to pretend they were the US military which the US did not have. And Paul Bremer gave the thugs immunity. Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker loves Blackwater. They protect his lily-livered ass while he gives elegant soirees for US Congressmen in his safe compound in Baghdad in order to bamboozle them into prolonging the war in Iraq until FOREVER. General Petraeus loves Blackwater mercenaries because they can perform all the nasty illegal attacks on insurgents/Iraqi citizens/whatever that Petraeus would like for US troops to carry out, but can’t officially order the military to do. The only way the US can stay in Iraq is if the mercenaries stay in Iraq. The Bush administration will spend far more time and money defending Blackwater criminals than it has ever spent on proper gear and armaments for our troops.

Monday, September 17, 2007


AP report from Baghdad by Bassem Mrque and Qassim Abdul-Zahra: “Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf said eight civilians were killed and 13 were wounded when contractors believed to be working for Blackwater USA opened fire in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood of western Baghdad. ‘We have canceled the license of Blackwater and prevented them from working all over Iraqi territory. We will also refer those involved to Iraqi judicial authorities,’ Khalaf said.” The AP report goes on to say “Tens of thousands of foreign private security contractors work in Iraq - some with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters and bulletproof vehicles - to provide protection for Westerners and dignitaries in Iraq as the country has plummeted toward anarchy and civil war. “Monday's action against Blackwater was likely to give the unpopular government a boost, given Iraqis' dislike of the contractors.” And why would the Iraqis dislike the contractors? All they do is murder, rape and commit mayhem at will. As the AP story says, “Many of the contractors have been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens who got too close to their heavily armed convoys, but none has faced charges or prosecution.” Katy Helvenston, the mother of late Blackwater contractor Steve Helvenston, who died in 2004 during the ambush in Fallujah said, "There have been so many innocent people they've killed over there, and they just keep doing it...they have just a callous disregard for life." More from the AP story: “The question of whether they could face prosecution is legally murky. Unlike soldiers, the contractors are not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Under a special provision secured by American-occupying forces, they are exempt from prosecution by Iraqis for crimes committed there. “The secretive company, run by a former Navy SEAL, is based at a massive, swampland complex. Until the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, it had few security contracts. “Since then, Blackwater profits have soared. And it has become the focus of numerous controversies in Iraq, including the May 30 shooting death of an Iraqi deemed to be driving too close to a Blackwater security detail.” And more from the AP story: “The wartime numbers of private guards are unprecedented - as are their duties, many of which have traditionally been done by soldiers. They protect U.S. military operations and diplomats and have guarded high-ranking officials including Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Baghdad. “They also protect journalists, visiting foreign officials and thousands of construction projects.” Ah, but the former Navy SEAL (Erik Prince) who owns, runs and is the mastermind behind Blackwater USA is a far-right Christian fanatic. And the Prince family has blessed, anointed and bankrolled “Focus on the Family” religious fanatic James Dobson. And James Dobson regularly meets with President George W. Bush. And since the Blackwater mercenaries are committing their atrocities in the name of Jesus, doesn’t that make it all right? Apparently, George W. Bush, the fascists in the Bush administration, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker think it’s fine and dandy. But the Iraqis don’t think it’s fine and dandy. And they’ve kicked Blackwater USA out. Here’s a bet you can take to the bank: Petraeus and the other hoodlums in the White House will bring Blackwater, USA back into Iraq. You got a problem with that, America?

OJ and GWB

The similarities between O.J. Simpson and George W. Bush are astounding. However, there is one major difference. OJ had extraordinary success in pro football as a young man. Bush was an abject failure at everything he attempted as a young man. OJ was born July 9, 1947. GWB was born July 6, 1946. Neither man can admit they were wrong. Both men believe they are justified in doing anything they can conceive of doing. Both men believe they are above the law, or that no law applies to them. Both men lie as easily as they draw breath. Both men are grandiose, narcissistic, addiction-prone, egomaniacal and delusional. Both men have gotten away with committing heinous crimes. Both men belong in jail. Now that OJ has committed more crimes and has been charged with six felonies, he may finally go to jail. Then again, he may slither his way out of it once more. Slime-god George W. Bush will definitely get away with his crimes. He’s looking forward to making money on the lecture circuit after his presidency is over. His topic will be: I Did It!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

There Must Be a Fancy Name For It!

I think C.G. Jung called the experience of going under anesthesia and feeling you were being told the secret of the universe, “The Cosmic Consciousness of the Everlasting Now”. So there must be a name for the experience of suddenly being electrified by the thought “What the hell am I doing here?” If no name has been attributed to that galvanizing jolt of clarity, let’s call it the “Oh Shit! Fuck This!” moment. The entire nation of the United States needs an OSFT flash of pure sanity. That we all can just sit here and calmly listen to George W. Bush use the word “success” when describing the woeful failure of his stupid surge in Iraq is apathy carried to the extreme of being comatose. What would happen if we all were hit with OSFT at the same moment? I remember being seized by OSFT a half-century ago. For reasons I needn’t go into I was working at the most mind-numbing job in Rock Island, Illinois, far from family, friends, husband, child, and I was semi-somnolently going from one day to the next. Suddenly, at 1:00 in the morning OSFT rocked me to my core. Within an hour, I was on my way back to New York. Of course, a true OSFT cannot be manufactured. It just happens. But we, as a nation, at least need to come to grips with the fact that the Bush administration, General Petraeus, Ambassador Crocker, the neocons and all the warmongers in the world would be powerless if the people in the United States simply shook off their lethargy and told our government, ENOUGH ALREADY! DO OUR BIDDING OR SHIP OUT!!!!! And that we can do, OSFT or no OSFT!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Explain to Me, Please!

The United States has at least 120,000 mercenaries in Iraq. These thugs are costing the US as much as $1000/a day per thug. Blackwater USA, the fanatic fundamentalist right-wing crusading religious organization based in North Carolina that trains mercenaries, has trained its gun-for-hire troops frighteningly well. Why can’t these mercenaries be left in Iraq, overseen by 40,000 real US soldiers? This would keep the US troop level in Iraq at 160,000. And then the US could bring home 120,000 US soldiers and leave the thugs to fight the war in Iraq that George Bush, General Petraeus, and Ambassador Crocker love so much. I can’t see a downside to this idea. Right now, the mercenaries not only are fighting side-by-side with real US soldiers, but also they are guarding Iraq’s oil wells. The news this morning is that the oil law agreement in Iraq between Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis has collapsed. That means the mercenaries are still free to oversee the smuggling of oil out of Iraq. This smuggling (by the US) has been made simple and easy because the US has failed to install the meters on the wells that would prevent smuggling, and US hoodlums are guarding the wells. It all looks positive and good. The mercenaries get to plunder, maraud and kill, which they have been trained to do. The US gets to continue smuggling oil from wells guarded by the mercenaries. Ambassador Crocker gets to continue having little PR soirees in his secure and protected compound in Baghdad guarded by Blackwater, USA gangsters. General Petraeus can keep on playing soldier and being called honorable, which he isn’t. And George W. Bush can start dressing up like a mercenary and feel as though he’s a man who has balls, which he isn’t and doesn't have. And US soldiers get to come home. What’s not to like?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Petraeus Is Just One More Corrupt Politician

Defenders of General Petraeus say he is a straight-shooter, a man of Integrity, and an honorable man. It may well be that at one time General Petraeus was all of those things. But any military man who will stand before Congress and say, as Petraeus did yesterday, “I believe that it is possible to achieve our objectives in Iraq over time, although doing so will be neither quick nor easy,” is a specious dissembler. What are the objectives of the Bush administration? That is to say, what are the objectives of the Bush administration today? Does anyone know? The so-called objectives have changed daily in the last year. On July 7, 2006 the Prez said he had confidence in Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki because “he represents the will of 12 million who went to the polls.” The Prez said Maliki was “a man who sets goals and understands what needs to be done”. The Prez said, “the United States will achieve its objective of ensuring that Iraq is a free country, able to govern, defend and sustain itself.” Last January when Bush said he was sending more troops into Iraq, he said the goal was “to protect the Iraqi public against attacks from insurgents and militias”. Just the other day, we were told that the Bush administration has no confidence in Maliki and that “the US goal in Iraq is to establish order”. From the time General David Petraeus replaced General George Casey on January 26, 2007, Petraeus has rubber-stamped the sly rhetoric, changed goals and lies of the Bush administration. During 2004-2005 when Petraeus was head of security in Iraq, Petraeus misplaced millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of guns because he said he didn’t think keeping track of money and arms was important. Today those arms may be in the hands of the enemy...whoever that enemy may be—the Bush administration cannot rightly decide. Is the enemy the Iraq PM Maliki? Is it the Shiites? Is it the Sunnis? Is it the insurgents and militias? Is it “Al Qaeda in Iraq”? Is it the people in the United States who think the Bush administration has betrayed the entire United States? Tomorrow, whoever the Bush administration decides is THE ENEMY, General David Petraeus will say, “Yes! That’s the enemy...we have to stay in Iraq!” General David Petraeus is just another Bush administration politician whose career is on the line.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Read Frank Rich Today

Those who refuse to pay a ransom fee to the New York Times in order to unlock Frank Rich’s Op/Ed articles can read them on BuzzFlash or Welcome to Pottersville. But in brief, Rich said the following in his “As the Iraqis Stand Down, We’ll Stand Up” column today: 1. The Bush administration is going to do a 24-7 hype all next week linking 9/11 to the war in Iraq, which link, of course does not exist. 2. Instead of focusing on 9/11/2001, Rich says to focus on 9/8/2002. That’s when “The four horsemen of the apocalypse — Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and Rice — were dispatched en masse to the Washington talk shows.” It was on that day these warmongers began their pitch for war in Iraq, invoking Iraq nuclear weapons and Condoleezza Rice said (thanks to a White House speechwriter), "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." 3. Much of the ensuing “epic propaganda onslaught of distorted intelligence, fake news, credulous and erroneous reporting by bona fide journalists, presidential playacting and Congressional fecklessness” was concocted by WHIG “a small task force of administration brass charged with the Iraq con job.” The White House Iraq Group was composed of Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, Andrew Card, James R. Wilkinson, Nicholas E. Calio, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby and Michael Gerson (Bush’s born-again speech writer). 4. “Today,” Rich says, “the spirit of WHIG lives. In the stay-the-surge propaganda offensive that crests with this week's Congressional testimony of Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, history is repeating itself in almost every particular. Even the specter of imminent "nuclear holocaust" has been rebooted in President Bush's arsenal of rhetorical scare tactics.” The old WHIG has been replaced by a “war room” which was put in place at the end of the “Rumsfeld regime” and which is “run by a former ABC News producer”. 5. “Exhibit A was last weekend's precisely timed ‘surprise’ presidential junket: Mr. Bush took the measure of success ‘on the ground here in Anbar’ (as he put it) without ever leaving a heavily fortified American base,” Rich says. And John McCain’s bogus visit to Baghdad was “a more elaborate example of administration Disneyland.” The Washington Post found out that at least one of the markets that McCain visited--the Dora market—“is a Potemkin village, open only a few hours a day and produced by $2,500 grants (aka bribes) bestowed on the shopkeepers.” Staff Sgt. Josh Campbell told WaPo, "This is General Petraeus's baby...personally, I think it's a false impression." 6. More Frank Rich: “No doubt General Petraeus, like Dick Cheney before him, will say that his own data is ‘pretty well confirmed’ by classified intelligence that can't be divulged without endangering national security. Meanwhile, the White House will ruthlessly undermine any reality-based information that contradicts its propaganda, much as it dismissed the accurate W.M.D. findings of the United Nations weapon experts Hans Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei before the war. General Petraeus intervened to soften last month's harsh National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. Last week the administration and its ideological surrogates were tireless in trashing the nonpartisan G.A.O. report card that found the Iraqi government flunking most of its benchmarks.” 7. Rich goes on to say, “What's surprising is not that this White House makes stuff up, but that even after all the journalistic embarrassments in the run-up to the war its fictions can still infiltrate the real news”. Last week, perky (gullible and stupid) Katie Couric was in Iraq disseminating false news and using Pentagon-speak, like, "Al Qaeda in Iraq”, while never differentiating between the Bush administration’s “Al Qaeda in Iraq” and the Al Qaeda that attacked America on 9/11. We all know we’ve been lied to. We all know that Petraeus and Crocker are flacks for the Bush administration. And even though some of us really don’t want to believe it, we all really do know that the only reason 3,761 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq and that we are still in Iraq is to validate the Bush administration neocons’ wrong-headed decision to attack Iraq. So, what are we going to do about it? For us to know that the Bush administration and its generals and flacks are making up all the statistics they throw at us about Iraq, and for us to do nothing is immoral and unethical. What is our recourse? What are our options? We really have to focus on that, not on the bullshit coming out of Washington during the next week. The week of September 11th was carefully calculated as the week the corrupt and slimy Petraeus/Crocker team would hype the Iraq war even though 9/11 had nothing whatsoever to do with the US attacking Iraq. Other than, of course, serving as a convenient excuse for a war the White House had decided to wage no matter what. HOW DO WE STOP THIS?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

So That’s Why We’re in Iraq

This morning, the New York Times says: “The figures that have emerged in recent government reports have seemingly provided something for everyone. The most comprehensive and up-to-date military statistics show that American forces have made some headway toward a crucial goal of protecting the Iraqi population." Further on in the article (“Hints of Progress, and Questions, in Iraq Data”) Michael R. Gordon writes, “When President Bush announced in January his decision to send more forces to Iraq, his commanders outlined a new strategy. The goal was to protect the Iraqi public against attacks from insurgents and militias.... Aha! So that’s why we’re in Iraq. We’re protecting the Iraqi public from insurgents and militias (who never would have risen up if the US hadn’t attacked Iraq in the first place). Gordon says, “The Bush administration hoped that the additional security would provide Iraqi leaders with a breathing space to move ahead with their program of political reconciliation. That has not happened. But the infusion of more American troops encouraged Sunni tribes, including former insurgents, to align themselves with American forces, providing American troops with additional allies in their struggle to establish order in Iraq.” How about that! Apparently, the US troops’ mission has shifted again. No longer are US soldiers dying because they are fighting in Iraq’s civil war (a civil war that never would have started if the US hadn’t attacked Iraq in the first place), now they are dying while trying to establish order. That is very interesting. Because my memory is that on March 19, 2003 the hapless failure sitting on the throne in the White House, George W. Bush, announced (without seeking approval from Congress) that he (that is, the neocons running the United States) had decided the US would attack Iraq. When the neocons’ plan for stealing Iraq’s oil resources didn’t work, the Bush administration shifted the US mission in Iraq to bringing democracy and freedom to the Iraqi people. When it became clear that the Iraqi people not only didn’t understand democracy but didn’t want the so-called freedom (that is, tyranny) that the Bush administration envisioned for Iraq, the US mission shifted to forcing the Iraqi people to accept the Bush administration’s gift of corruption, tyranny and occupation which it called democracy and freedom, When insurgents and militias decided to protect themselves from the Bush administration’s war, aggression and tyranny, the US mission morphed into one of trying to establish order. As a curtain-raiser to General Petraeus’s new magic act of calling defeat victory, which he will perform on Monday, the Bush administration is claiming that fewer Iraqis are dying in Iraq because US security measures have established order. Michael Gordon wrote, “According to the American military count, the August total for the 10 security districts in Baghdad was 321, down from 1,621 in December when such attacks were at a high.” The fact is, so many Iraqis have already been killed or have fled from Iraq that it’s hard to find more Iraqis to kill. The big question is: Who is protecting Iraq and the Iraqis from the Bush administration and its flunky toadying posturing lying war-loving generals like David Petraeus?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Looney-Tunes Duo Prep Their Song & Dance

General Elmer Petraeus and Ambassador Bugs Crocker are practicing the tag-team razzle-dazzle they will use on Congress next week. The General is expected to suggest withdrawing a whole brigade from Iraq by next January, if all goes well. That’s 3500 soldiers out of the 320,ooo (counting the mercenaries which doubles the number of troops in Iraq) that Petraeus may (or may not) allow to come home. And that is if all goes well. The New York Times reported this morning that Petraeus is worried about “risk”: “Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, has told President Bush that he wants to maintain heightened troop levels in Iraq well into next year to reduce the risk of military setbacks.” A senior military official said, “General Petraeus is worried about risk, and all things being equal he’d like to keep as much as he could for as long as he could,” Well I guess so! General Petraeus is very worried about the fact that he has already risked his reputation by backing the asshole in the White House. And now that everyone knows the surge is an abject failure and that the civil war caused by the US occupation of Iraq cannot be contained, General Petraeus is worried sick about risking his already damaged reputation. It’s hard to know how Ryan Crocker plans to charm and impress Congress. Crocker lives in luxury in secure, protected and opulent ease in a lovely compound in Baghdad where he gives “nice-napkin” lunches to visiting dignitaries. What he could possibly say that would have any meaning as to the war in Iraq is a mystery. But no doubt both men will appear before Congress in sartorial splendor--General Fudd will be in his uniform with gleaming medals and stars. And Ambassador Bunny will wear an ensemble of low-key but expensive threads. And both men will risk EVERYTHING the Bush administration has given them.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Thank You Senator Specter

Oh what fun! And it’s all due to Repub Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania having called Senator Craig (R-ID) to tell him he wants Craig to go back to court and withdraw his recent guilty plea in the Minnesota sex sting So now Craig has hired Billie Martin, the same lawyer who defended Falcons quarterback dog-killer Michael Vick. And Craig is gearing up to undo his guilty plea. Last night, CNN’s legal maven Jeffrey Toobin said there are two reasons Craig can use in Minnesota to vacate his guilty plea: incompetence and coercion, and neither apply. I hope Toobin is wrong. I think hearing about the last twenty years of Craig’s assignations in public bathrooms would be very entertaining. And there will be all those endless hearings and investigations into Craig’s private life. We know what Petraeus and Bush are going to say about the war in Iraq. We know what their lapdog ambassador Crocker is going to say. We know the GOP neocons want our soldiers to shed more blood for no good reason whatsoever other than to defend the Bush administration making thousands of bad decisions piled onto thousands of other bad decisions in Iraq. I look forward to hearing those same Repubs blather on about family values and that fighting unnecessary and illegal wars in order to seize other nation’s wealth is good and honorable and that although Larry Craig has been soliciting sex from strangers in public bathrooms during his entire political life, he must be vindicated because he’s a Republican. Yummiola! I can’t wait!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

GOP Mantra: Enjoy Gay Sex But Deny It!

Oh, the crocodile tears from the Repubs. Oh, the sadness about Larry Craig being forced to resign. Oh, the “rush to judgment” rhetoric. The talk-shows have been full of tsk-tsk and tut-tut about all the good Larry Craig has done (and what is that, may I ask? Who knew Craig’s name until his footsie-in-the-crapper escapade?). Oh, the moaning that the Larry Craig case was purely and simply a hatchet job. Even Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) has been mentioned in the same breath with Larry Craig, as in, if-Craig-why-not-Frank? context. Here’s the thing: It’s the hypocrisy, stupid. (And I will tell you why not Barney Frank. Barney Frank has never hidden the fact that he is gay. He may not have advertised it during the first years of his political life, but he NEVER hid it or denied it.) For the past twenty years Larry Craig has spoken out against homosexuality and the sin of immorality while at the same time he was trolling for gay sex in crummy sordid public bathroom stalls. In 1999, Craig said of Bill Clinton’s sexual lapses: "The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy - a naughty boy. I’m going to speak out for the citizens of my state, who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy.” Last October gay activist Mike Rogers reported that Mr. Family Values Craig had repeatedly solicited men in public bathrooms for sex and Rogers interviewed men who attested to the fact that Craig had solicited them in public restrooms. Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) who solicited underage Congressional pages, which makes him a pedophile, was chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, a group that targeted sexual predators and created guidelines for tracking them. It’s not the being gay that is the sin here. It’s the hypocrisy. And by the way, Larry Craig must have wanted to melt into a puddle and die when former Democrat governor of New Jersey James McGreevey, who resigned after disclosing he’d been having a gay affair, sent Craig a letter of support. So it’s the fact that Larry Craig and other watchdogs of holy writ who yammer about the evils of the unsaved while dipping their dicks where their religion says they dast not dip their dicks is what has destroyed Larry Craig, Mark Foley and televangelist Ted Haggard And mark my words, it is going to destroy Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Monday, September 03, 2007

Paul Krugman Nailed It

“In February 2003,” Krugman wrote in the New York Times yesterday, “Secretary of State Colin Powell, addressing the United Nations Security Council, claimed to have proof that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. He did not, in fact, present any actual evidence, just pictures of buildings with big arrows pointing at them saying things like ‘Chemical Munitions Bunker.’ But many people in the political and media establishments swooned: they admired Mr. Powell, and because he said it, they believed it...Mr. Powell’s masters got the war they wanted, and it soon became apparent that none of his assertions had been true.” Krugman went on to say, “Until recently I assumed that the failure to find W.M.D., followed by years of false claims of progress in Iraq, would make a repeat of the snow job that sold the war impossible. But I was wrong. The administration, this time relying on Gen. David Petraeus to play the Colin Powell role, has had remarkable success creating the perception that the 'surge' is succeeding, even though there’s not a shred of verifiable evidence to suggest that it is.” Krugman is right. Any and all claims about any and all progress in Iraq are bogus, false and are blatant lies. Take for instance, the claim that civilian casualties are down. As Krugman pointed out, “The Pentagon says they’re down, but it has neither released its numbers nor explained how they’re calculated.” A draft report from the Government Accountability Office was leaked to the press because GAO officials were afraid they would be pressured into changing the report’s wrap-up. And that wrap-up was that agencies “differ" on whether violence has been reduced. And independent agencies found no decline. Or, as AmericaBlog put it: "Sectarian deaths are down unless you count the dead bodies”. Krugman quoted Leila Fadel of McClatchy who said, “Some military officers believe that it (the claim that civilian casualties are down) may be an indication that ethnic cleansing has been completed in many neighborhoods and that there aren’t as many people to kill.” None of the recent reports—the GAO leaked report, the National Intelligence Estimate and another leaked US report about the Iraqi government-- have found any progress regarding the surge and no sectarian reconciliation. In addition, the Iraqi government (which was put in place and anointed by the Bush administration) has been found to be rife with corruption. And yet, Krugman says, we are told that General Petraeus is a fine, upstanding officer who would never be involved in deception. Which is the same thing that was said about Colin Powell. Or, as Shakespeare’s Mark Antony said in his Juleius Caesar speech, “For Brutus is an honourable man, so are they all; all honorable men”. Nevertheless, as history has amply proven, honorable men with a career to lose will do anything. They will lie, cheat, and kill.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Robert Draper’s Looksee at the Prez

It may be that President Bush and his aides finally allowed Robert Draper to write a book about George W. Bush because Draper is a fellow-Texan and Draper said, according to the New York Times this morning, that he was writing about the Prez as ”a consequential president for history". It may even be that Draper’s intent in writing “Dead Certain”, which will be published this coming Tuesday, was to present a flattering albeit true picture of George W. Bush’s seven years as president. However, Draper agreed to share parts of his transcripts from those interviews, and the book itself, with the NYT under the agreement that they would not be published until shortly before the book is released. And the NYT has offered a few advance quick looks at the book’s content. Apparently the real George W. Bush is going to come through despite initial intentions. For example, Jim Ruttenberg’s article for the NYT (“In Book, Bush Peeks Ahead to His Legacy”) quotes Draper saying, “Sitting in an anteroom of the Oval Office, he eschewed the more formal White House menu for comfort food — a low-fat hotdog and ice cream — and bitingly told an aide who peeked in on the session that his time with Mr. Draper was ‘worthless anyway’.” Ruttenberg goes on to say, “But as Mr. Draper described it, and as the transcripts show, Mr. Bush warmed up considerably over the intervening interviews, chewing on an unlit cigar, jubilantly swatting at flies between making solemn points, propping his feet up on a table or stopping him at points to say emphatically, ‘I want you to get this’ or ‘I want this damn book to be right.’ “Draper said Mr. Bush took issue with him for unearthing details of a meeting in April 2006 at which he took a show-of-hands vote on the future of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who was among his closest advisers. Mr. Bush told Mr. Draper he had no recollection of it, but he said he disagreed with the implication that he regularly governed by staff vote. (According to Mr. Draper’s book, the vote was 7 to 4 for Mr. Rumsfeld’s ouster, with Mr. Bush being one of the no votes. Mr. Rumsfeld stayed on months longer.)” Another clear snapshot of George W. Bush is the following: “Mr. Bush acknowledged one major failing of the early occupation of Iraq when he said of disbanding the Saddam Hussein-era military, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.”... But when Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush’s former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, had gone ahead and forced the army’s dissolution and then asked Mr. Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ ” But, he added, “Again, Hadley’s got notes on all of this stuff,” referring to Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser.” President Bush doesn’t know what he knows or what he doesn’t know, he can’t differentiate in his mind what he did from what he didn’t do, what he said from what someone else said or who decided what. George W. Bush is an arrogant pompous little pretender with delusions of grandeur who has been allowed to think he is President of the United States. According to Draper, Bush said, “One interesting question historians are going to have to answer is: Would Saddam have behaved differently if he hadn’t gotten mixed signals between the first resolution and the failure of the second resolution?” Mr. Bush said. “I can’t answer that question. I was hopeful that diplomacy would work.” George W. Bush doesn’t even remember that he never was hopeful about diplomacy. Way, way late in the debacle in Iraq in 2005 Bush made a show of talking about diplomacy when Condi Rice was appointed Secretary of State but he and his minders never believed in diplomacy. They let Rice do the diplomacy bullshit. George Bush was hopeful about looking macho, marching into Iraq, throwing around some bombs and marching out looking macho and victorious. That’s it. Oh, and what does the president plan to do when his term is over? First, he told Robert Draper, “I’ll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol’ coffers.” (Bush’s assets are around $21 million.) “I don’t know what my dad gets — it’s more than 50-75” thousand dollars a speech, and “Clinton’s making a lot of money.” It’s true, President Bill Clinton has done well making speeches since his presidency ended. But then, people want to hear what Bill Clinton has to say.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Prez Is “Confidant”

Sane men would be worried, but not George W. Bush. The nation as a whole can’t stand President Bush’s guts and the majority of voters want him out, impeached, tried for war crimes or dead. In addition, the nation as a whole wants the war in Iraq to end and wants the president to bring our troops home. The President’s Secretary of Defense and oh-so-beloved architect of the Iraq war Donald Rumsfeld was forced to resign in December 2006. Bush’s assistant, “Scooter” Libby was sentenced to jail in March 2006 (a sentence later commuted by Bush which let Libby off Scot free.) Most of the president’s Justice Department resigned in disgust before Bush finally fired his lying Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. The president’s Advisor and decider Karl Rove slithered out of the White House yesterday after resigning on August 13th. Senator John Warner (R-VA) said yesterday that he wouldn’t run for the Senate again, leaving his Senate seat up for grabs. (BTW, I was amazed to realize that Warner’s marriage to actress Elizabeth Taylor actually lasted six years {1976 -1982}--and isn’t that odd?--he always seemed so reasoned and stable.) Bush's Press Secretary Tony Snow resigned today. Idaho Republican Congressman Larry Craig is resigning today after trying to get sex from an undercover cop in a public restroom last week. Republican Congressman Mark Foley had to resign last September after House Pages ratted him out over his buggering little boys. The president’s spiritual advisor, Ted Haggard, was forced to resign as pastor of his Megachurch in Colorado last November because of “sexually immoral (as, in homosexual) behavior”. Ken Mehlman retired as Republican National Committee Chairman the end of 2006 after being outed by TV personality Bill Maher. The war in Iraq is going as badly as a war can go. That is, we have lost the war and there is no way no-how that it can ever be won. But nevermind all that. The New York Times reports today, “President Bush, appearing confident about sustaining support for his Iraq strategy, met at the Pentagon on Friday with the uniformed leaders of the nation’s armed services and then pointedly accused the war’s opponents of politicizing the debate over what to do next.” After meeting with the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines in a briefing room known as the Tank, Bush said, “The stakes in Iraq are too high and the consequences too grave for our security here at home to allow politics to harm the mission of our men and women in uniform,” Mr. Bush said in a statement after his meeting with the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines in a briefing room known as the Tank.” Bush is confident because he has his bought-and-paid-for ambassador to Iraq, Ryan C. Crocker (who has “nice-napkin-lunches” for American Congressman in Baghdad to promote Bush’s lovely war), and Crocker will speak glowingly about the progress of Bush's war. And Bush has his bought-and-paid-for General, David H. Petraeus, (who mislaid billions of American dollars and armaments in Iraq), and Petraeus will announce on September 10 that the president’s puny Iraq surge is going very well, that the US is winning its war and that the US must stay in Iraq and fight, fight, fight until any 18-year-old soldiers who might accidentally survive are 100-year old veterans. It’s difficult to tell if Crocker and Petraeus are insane or just corrupt and unethical. I’m betting on corrupt and unethical. Vice President Dick Cheney who joined in the talks in “the Tank” is not insane. Cheney is sick, old, on many medications and he drinks too much given the meds he takes. But the bottom line is that Cheney is corrupt, unethical, and a mean, nasty old pol who cares about no one and nothing except Dick Cheney’s power and money. But one thing is absolutely for sure, President George W. Bush is crazy as a loon and probably always has been. We, the people of the United States do not have to put up with this ridiculous state of affairs in our government. The United States Congress does not have to sit by and watch insane, corrupt and unethical people run the government. The Congress has the power to stop this travesty. The people have the power to make the Congress put an end to it. So for GOD’S SAKE, let’s demand that Congress get off its collective ass and put an end NOW to the Bush/Cheney fascist regime!!!!!!