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Experimenting with Democracy, Power and Oil 

 Democracy is not easy. The USA was not handed to it 's citizens. We wrested it from the British with our own initiative, sweat, blood and soldiers ' lives. The French revolution followed, with the French citizens taking to the streets, again, risking their lives, fighting for their freedom. Fighting for freedom, paying the price in blood is the way successful democracies have emerged.

 That 's obviously not the situation in Iraq. There, several generations of Iraqis have lived lives of submission under tyranny and oppression. Now that they have been freed, they are still the same people, always victims, always submissive ... and they are now besieged by people who want to become their new tyrants, new dictators. Some are US businesses that want to steal the oil wealth for pennies on the dollar. Some are fundamentalist Islamic leaders who want to become dictators using the veil of religion to cloak their ambitions. Some are expatriate thugs who just want power and money.

 While the Bush administration 's claim that it was seeking democracy for the Iraqis was a transparent lie that even rabid right wingers saw through, I do believe that if an emerging democracy did not interfere too much with the rape of  Iraq 's oil resources by transglobal corporate proxies for the US, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, then Bush, Rumsfield and the neocon boys would not object to the emergence of democracy, if it happened, by chance, to occur. But it 's a pretty far off chance.

 Back in the days following World War I, the break-up of the Ottoman empire and the ensuing decades, the British experimented with power and oil, throwing together a map of the middle east that expeditiously met their current interests and needs.

 In some places, the Brits handed power over to a friendly Sheik, Emir, King,  or Caliph. In others, they created more experimental systems of rule.

 Oil was not a major factor then. Neither was democracy.

 Now, everything is in flux in the Middle East. Democracy is the Bush administration 's current pretext for war. And oil is a screamingly obvious factor.

 Friendly Sheiks, kings and caliphs are not as influential as they once were. Mullahs have a bit more clout. Corporations are the new kings.

 The US, having planned the war well and the peace pathetically, has delegated administration of the Iraq to chaos. Chaos has brought in Iranian radio and TV broadcasts, Shiite Mullahs, absence of water and electricity and long pent up and sudden released feelings that Iraqis are just beginning to express, let alone deal with.

 Next door, the US has announced that within the year, it will, making Osama Bin Laden very happy, withdraw all of it 's troops. This is being read as a very serious sign of weakness and instability to the endangered Saudi royalty --the 8000 princes who have hogged the world 's richest supply of oil. This raises fears that this wealth of oil, if the Saudi royals are overthrown by the fundamentalist Shiite majority, will be controlled by the virulently anti-American groups who provided the manpower for the 911 WTC attack.

 This all promises to offer a wide variety of situational possibilities --all of them chaotic. One option is to sit back and allow the chaos to ferment , developing whatever outcomes emerge. It 's likely that this will result in a totalitarian, fundamentalist run theocracy, similar to Iran or worse, Afghanistan 's Taliban. The difference is that this group will access to incredible oil riches.

 This could also be the case in Saudi Arabia.

 So, the question arises, or it should --what are options are available?  I keep wondering why we have to adhere to geographical borders arbitrarily assigned by British colonialist with no longer relevant interests. The only people these boundaries ever werved were the original Brits who assigned them and the Kings, Emirs and Tyrants who lorded over them.

 Why not break them up, create smaller, less singularly powerful nations that may more accurately reflect the composition of the local populace? Yes this is drastic. Yes it will cause displacement of some people. But leaving things as they are will allow the rich toadies who got fat by working with the despots and kings to stay rich, to maintain their ill-gotten gains. Why not organize hearings on property and land assets. Take all the publicly held lands and the lands owned by the wealthy friends of the former despots and kings and reapportion the land.

 This is not easy. But neither is Democracy.

 

April 29th

The Cauldron of Democracy

This may cost me some progressive readers. But I said, when I founded OpEdNews.com, that it would be TOUGH liberal coverage and opinion.

Bob Graham says " "If you talk about a democracy, which means that people vote and select the political leadership that they desire, then you can't say, 'But there are certain segments of the population that are off-limits,'" he told ABC's "This Week."

And that's the reality. Perhaps there is such a thing as premature democracy. I keep thinking of the bible story, of how Moses led the Jews, who had been slaves, out of Egypt, where they needed to go through two generations of wandering in the dessert before they could enter the promised land.  The people who were raised as slaves did not have the mentality or attitude to be able to appreciate the promised land.

 

Perhaps democracy takes some getting ready for.  If you just open up the soda can that's been shaken for a long time, you get an explosion and a big mess. You have to let things settle for a while.

 

Is it true democracy when you take a people who have been beaten down, who have gone through generations of living like slaves and serfs, and then, hand them over to a mechanism which allows a handful of people who are the only organized groups-- the mullahs-- and tell them to vote?

This is not democracy. It is foolish, short sighted expedience. The history of the US is about a group of people w ho threw off the reins of monarchy and colonialism. We Americans fought back. We spent years organizing, pulling together, envisioning reasons to fight, developing our own leaders.

This is not what happened in Iraq. There, as we all know, a vile despotic dictator controlled the country, basing rule by nepotism, corruption and fear. The only organized effort to throw off his oppressive reins was made by the Kurds in Northern Iraq. George Bush senior, in a historic failure of leadership and failure of commitment to democrcy and freedom, did not help these brave fighters. He gave them hope that the USA would support them and allowed Saddam to go in and wipe them out. Even so, there was still, in all of Iraq, more democratic feistiness, spirit and willingness to take the risks of fighting when the US troops finally did return in 2003.

This raises another thorny question. Iraq does not have a long history as a country with its existing borders. It was cobbled together by the British,  less than 100 years ago. There is not great reason to retain it's current shape. it seems likely that the Kurds might actually be able to build a democracy. Maybe a portion of Iraw could be carved out for the Kurds. If another portion of Iraq, with some oil on it, were given to Turkey, this might even assuage the Turks enough to allow the Kurds to proceed.

 

That would still leave the southern portions of Iraq in a situation where fundamentalist Islamic leaders are drooling to get their hands on the government, so can theocratize it and turn it into another IRan, or worse, a Taliban situation. There's no democracy there, at least not after the first election, when the Islamicists take over. We can see that in Iran, where they hold elections, but don't give up power, the theocrats running the country have not allowed the democratic process to proceed. It will take a revolution there for democracy to replace the theocracy.

 

If the USA  allows an expedient, quick democratic vote process, it will be following the easiest path, but not the one that will lead to genuine democracy. That is a more difficult, more challenging effort that will require years, and perhaps even the generations described in the bible. This is not a task for the US to carry on alone. On the other hand, when we look at the UN's council on human rights, which includes some countries which are the world's worst offenders of human rights, it's not easy to contemplate delegating the task of instilling democracy into the people of Iraq, or whatever geographic configuration emerges eventually.

 

This brings out another point. Since the British created the borders of Iraq for their own geopolitical convenience, and since Iraq is now leaderless and governmentless, it is not unreasonable to ask if keeping it whole is the best thing for the people of Iraq, the region, and the world. For example, if Iraw is kept whole, it is likely that in a few years, it will become an energy superpower, again wielding at least the threat of economic power over lesser oil producers.

 

If Iraq were broken up into four or five or more parts, each keeping enough oil to allow them to have internal resources to build from, then there would be some counter balance in play. The divisions could be used to offer diffferent groups their own home. This might require some people to give up their land. But it might also dislodge some of the smaller Baathist beneficiaries of Saddam's regime-- not necessarily a bad thing.

 

Democracy is a simple idea, but it is not easy. Democracy is the best form of government we have so far, but it is not ideal. Just look at how democracies since the formation of the United States have done it better, with elections based on run-off elections and actual vote counts as compared to the electoral system the US is probably stuck with forever. If we insist that some time be given to allow democracy to "emerge" from what Iraq becomes, then there is a chance that even stronger democratic systems will evolve.

 

April 28

The Bush-Rumsfield PNAC Propaganda Team At Work

CNN reports: "Fourteen 55-gallon drums were found in a field near a former Iraqi military position at Bai'ji, about 130 miles (208 kilometers) north of Baghdad" Gasmasks and some launchers were nearby. First tests were positive for poison gas. But a later test was negative. Sound familiar?

 

The Bush regime  Lie Team is working on a new theory-- announce a WMD find, get the US Propaganda Press to cover it bigtime, with video footage of the location, an high rotation repeating text messaging at the bottom of the screen announcing it. Then, after the alleged discovery is found to be another bogus find, keep the correction low-key. They've already done this at least five times. My guess is the wanna-believes-- the Bush supporters who loved the war and can't wait for the sequel-- will start believing, in their hearts, that WMDs were actually discovered. After all, what about all those reports?

 

Maybe the first one or two times it was okay for the media to just announce the military's discoveries. But by the third episode of "crying wolf" CNN, and the real networks, at least (forget about fox, the official, totally biased Propaganda arm of the Bush regime) should have begun raising doubts, including the past failed finds as context information on the new reports. This latest batch of barrels, now that they've failed follow-up tests too, should be bringing major news reports not only on the failure to find the purported WMDs that were the excuse for attack on Iraq, but also for the preliminary use of the UN as a tool of war, to weaken Iraq beforehand. .

April 27,

see Santorum and Family Values by Rob Kall

 

 

April 25

More mail from a reader, responding to yesterday's blog:

 

 

He  wrote:

>> You say Bush is worse than Hussein?  I read this link http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/25/international/worldspecial/25PRIS.html
on your website about the tens or hundreds of thousands of people Hussein executed, and I really don't get where you're coming from.<<

I replied:

The war with Saddam was unnecessary. The war certainly killed several thousand soldiers who really had no choice but to fight, or they would have been killed by their superiors.  That puts Bush in the same league. Then there are the millions of Americans without health care. Add the people who DIE from pollution. My guess, is if you take all the people who have died because of the corrupt laws and corporate sell-outs that Bush specializes in, he 's way past Saddam in the number of deaths he has to his credit, or will have.

 I guess you could say there are different kinds of bad people. Saddam was a brute and thug. Bush looks very good on the outside, but inside, and underneath, he is a monster, maybe even worse because he so self righteously thinks he 's a good guy --like Typhoid Mary was a sweet young lady. But Bush is also malevolent. He knows his deals are crooked and corrupt.

A reader dropped me a note, pointing out that, in my Tough Liberals article, I wrote:

>>Author Thom Hartmann has recently written that talk radio has been taken over by the right. The result is there are no national liberal talk shows, unless you count National Public Radio (NPR.) <<

 

I was wrong when I wrote it. Here's my correction:

 

Note: When I wrote this, I wasn't aware of the Mike Malloy and Peter Werbe shows. Both Mike and Peter are hosted by www.ieamerica.com. Technically, since they have listeners in several cities, can be heard via Sirius Satellite radio and by listening on the internet, they have national programs. Both hosts are tough liberals with strong progressive voices. But they only have a handful of actual affiliate stations-- a tiny following compared to Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Savage, etc.  This week, Thom Hartmann started a daily show with ieamerica.com too. They are definitely worth listening to on a regular basis, and you should try to get your local radio station to sign on as affiliates, to carry their shows. 

 

You can listen to the shows by clicking on either of the above icons.

Mike is on Mon-Friday 9-12 PM

Peter is on Mon-Friday 2-5 PM

Thom is on Mon-Friday 12-2 PM

 

 

 

April 24

Wow. Is it really 12 days since my last entry? I've spent six of them traveling in Canada. Getting close enough to SARS to feel worried when someone sat near me at the Montreal Dorval airport, wondering if they were from Toronto. I have another week before the two week incubation period is over, since I hugged my sister-in-law who lives in Toronto. Am I being paranoid? Let me quote opednews.com contributor Jim Caddell says, "I don't really worry about being paranoid any more. I just want to be sure I'm paranoid enough."

 

How about those weapons of mass distraction? I mean weapons of major delusion or made-up doo-doo. One of the more disgusting aspects of the WMD lie was the way the media pandered to the false finds of the military. Over and over and over again CNN and Fox, and the major networks all got thmselves into a sweat over the latest soon-to-be-a-mistake-find. "Oops, that really is just fertilizer." Oops, those are just trucks." Over and over again, these faux free press media outlets tripped over each other racing to report the latest "cashay" purported cache of WMD. After the third of fourth time it went from pathetic to despicable, as we saw how the US media had totally sold out the idea of a free press, with the requisite suspicion of government, to become just a propaganda arm of the Bush regime.

Today, I received an e-mail from one of my colleagues in my other field of business. He's a conservative, and doesn't like opednews.com's perspective, to put it lightly.

 

 

He had said that we liberals can never refute the statements of Limbaugh, the magnificent. I'd replied that it would be interesting to sit with him and do a running commentary on Limbaugh's patter, that the reason people don't refute him is they don't waste their time.

 

He asked me if the constitution was right wing. I replied. He sent me an article in which aconservative discusses how a  liberal confessed that at times he actually was rooting for the US forces to have problems. The link is included below. I replied.

 

 

He asked me if any country ever taxed itself  into prosperity. I answered.

 

 

Here it is:

Actually, I said I 'd like to critique them (Hannity and Limbaugh.) You said no one ever disproves what they say. But debate would be easy. They couldn 't hang up on me like they usually do with anyone who disagrees with them. You don 't really think those two have much in the way of smarts, do you. They 're dumb. I could debate them in my sleep-- in a coma. It 's one thing to rant to the choir, another to debate with facts and logic. 

As far as the constitution, do you mean the one that Ashcroft is doing his best to erase, the one that Bush and the supreme court corrupted with the Florida election theft?

The new republicans are creating a government that doesn 't look anything like what the framers of the constitution envisioned. Bush and his stupid white men (the title of Michael Moore 's number one best selling book) are owned by corporations that don 't give a damn about people. What I don 't understand is how anyone who is not in Bush's top two percent tax refund bracket can possibly support him and his band of crooks.

Another thing. Hannity and Limbaugh and the other dittoheads all revile any celebrity who speaks against Bush, against their point of view. They say that celebrities don 't know anything so they should shut up and sing or act. But all the red-nick country stars are welcome to ditto along, speaking out, singing their dumb country songs that support the war and attack liberals. Part of the constitution provides the right to dissent. The dittoheads don 't seem to think that way. They say, "It 's okay to dissent until the war starts. Then everyone has to agree and come together. "

That 's a crock. This war was sold based on constantly shifting lies. The real reasons for going to war against Saddam were described by the Neocons. Either way, dissent is what DEMOCRACY is all about. It is un-American to try to stifle it. But the new right is all about being un-American. What they want is to re create America in some monstrous image. But it won't be American. It will be some fascist, fundamentalist corporate state.

I can respect old time conservative thinking in the shape of Barry Goldwater. But buying into these neocons or the republicans who have sold out to the megacorporations doesn 't make sense to me. I can see how some undereducated Catholics could be led like sheep; after all, the recent priest scandals show that these boys are used to getting it up the rear, as the corporations supported by the republicans routinely do to the average guy.

The article you sent me How Far Will Anti-War Types Go to See Bush Defeated?  does show how much some people hate Bush. There are a lot of people on this planet who think that Bush is worse than Saddam Hussein, including me. I 'd guess there are probably at least half a billion people who feel Bush is far worse than Saddam, maybe over a billion, as compared to less than 100 million rightwing Americans and a few dozen million Brits. Oh, let 's not forget Spain and Bulgaria. All of those people were horrified by the war, saw it for the fraud it was and, while I am sure all wanted it over with the least loss of life as possible, most wanted it to fail as the obvious political "tool " and negotiating tactic Bush employed it as.

 I was saddened by every mention of a soldier 's death. But I couldn 't cheer for a war that shouldn 't have been started. I did want it over as soon as possible, but I knew before it started that it was a pathetic, disgraceful war.  Just like in Afghanistan, the enemy was a weak, technologically primitive and overpowered foe. I get sick and tired of hearing about guys who were in accidents or friendly fire being called heroes. It cheapens the idea of what a hero is. The firefighters who rushed in to save the people in the Twin towers were courageous heros.  My father was wounded twice in WWII --wounded as a scout, doing reconnaissance, facing an enemy that was a real threat to democracy. That was a just war and he was a real hero --and got the medals to prove it. I 'm sick of right wing couch potatoes using war talk like Viagra, thumping their chests, proud of the bombing and killing, vicariously feeling more manly, tougher because of 19 year old black and Hispanic kids being shot at and killed --and killing.

This war is a shameful episode in American history that it will take a change of regime in the US to make right. This was the first war in US history that was "preventive. "  Now that the Gov has failed to find any WMDs, and since you know that Saddam was not connected, by any proof, to the 911 attacks, the reasons for the war are even more ridiculous. It 's sad that good, brave men died for some rich fat cats.

Now, we have an Iraq in Chaos, with Shia Muslims bleeding in from Iran, and a great likelihood that any democratic elections will lead to a theocracy run by fundamentalist Muslims --probably similar to Iran 's Ayatollahs, and not too different than the Taliban. Smart way to help produce democracy.  Of course, the chaos is intentional.

Check out this article:  "Practice to Deceive: Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2003/0304.marshall.html

You asked about what nation taxed itself into prosperity. The US, for starters. If you look at the history of civilization, you 'll find that there were just a few choices --feudalism --where there is a wealthy elite and the rest are poor or slaves, or communism, not much different. I hung out with a former communist official when I went to Russia in '93 and he lived like royalty compared to the average comrade. The problem with getting rid of taxes is it screws the helpless --the young, the poor, the sick, the minorities. It sickens me to see how corporations can set up fake offices in the Bahamas and then they don 't have to pay any taxes. Why shouldn 't they help pay for the infrastructure, the maintenance of the commons, the education and health care of the employees and customers they make their incomes from?

I 'd like to hear from you about your take on the abridgement of Constitutional freedoms that Bush, Ashcroft and their stolen presidential regime have put into place. What do you think of the Project for a New American Century and the other neocons?

After two years with Bush, the economy is terrible, and getting worse. Do you really think that the country can afford another two years, let alone six more years of this lying criminal. (Right wingers get self-righteously offended when we on the left talk about the president as the slime he is. They didn 't hold back on vilifying the president, and his wife and family though. Typical right wing hypocrisy. And while we 're talking about hypocrisy, the Republicans authorized over $30 million to investigate Whitewater. But Bush had to be begged to up from three to nine million the money allotted to investigate the 911 attack. Frankly, I think the North ought to take a second look at the south 's request to secede, back before the civil war started. Maybe we 'd be better off letting the south, without which, there would be no republican majority, create it 's own corrupt, corporate-run, polluted, fundamentalist country.

You wrote:

>> Your liberal religion  is as dangerous, to me, as the Taliban. Your modes, of operation, aren't any different from that of the Al-Quida, if given the chance.<<

Frankly, Liberalism is a right wing term. I think the right is far more religion-like and definitely much more closely linked to the real fundamentalist thing.  And I would agree that YOUR right wing republican, neoconservatism is as dangerous, no, more dangerous than the Taliban. They were restricted to Afghanistan. The Neoconservatives have much greater ability to do far more massive damage to the world. As far as the Al Qaeda comparison, the neocons are far worse. The Al Queda are terrorists. He neocons are liars, frauds, crooks and sellouts to corporate robber barons, like Enron, Worldcom, Bechtel, etc.

April 12

What if the Neocons get their next wish? Rummy and Wolfowitz of Arabia and Sheik Colin raise the decibels on the Syria rhetoric, bring US troops up close to the Syrian border "to prevent escape of Iraqi VIPs and entrance of Syrian and other Arab Mujahadin."   And then, George decides that God has told him, has honored him with the vision to invade Syria. Religious fanatic converts make claims like that.

 

This will take at least a few months. George's friends in the military industrial complex have to build a new batch of cruise missiles. Military products are the Bush family business, don't forget, starting with the Carlyle Group. Bush will give them enough time to make another ten or twenty billion dollars, and then, as, remarkably, the Iraqis chaos seems to be settling down, as the IMF and WTO and WB parasitically settles in, getting comfortable, forcing the Iraq to allow UK and US oil corporations to "help" privatize Iraqi oil for pennies on the dollar, George will turn his attention to Syria, discover unacceptable aid to Iraq, declare Syria a terrorist nation (it is one) and go full blast into Syria and it's controlled "colony," Lebanon.

 

Israel will rejoice. After all, Syria has, through it's proxy state, Lebanon, rained  Katyusha rockets on Israel since the Intifada began. Israel will probably use the new Syrian-Lebanese war to ramp up its occupation of the west bank and Gaza.

 

 

Here's where it gets interesting. Outside of the Iraqis who have been rejoicing on camera for Fox and it's sell-out alleged journalist colleagues whoa re really propagandists for the Bush regime, most Arabs are very upset about what the US did to Iraq and Saddam. They all agree that Saddam was a bad guy, but to them, Bush is worse. Just like much of the rest of the world, they think Bush is the most dangerous man on the planet. So, they listen very carefully when Rummy, Wolfowitz  and Powell talk negatively about Syria, the next target on the neoconservative, Project for a New American Century hit-list. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya-- they've all been given naked, unveiled threats or suggestions that they are a little further down the target line.

So... what if they don't wait? Unlike Iraq, which had been militarily castrated for 12 years, Syria, Saudi Arabia Iran and Libya have been on spending sprees buying weapons of mass destruction-- fighter jets, smart bombs, GPS technology. They have money, troops, and allies. They own good chunks of the US and could send the stock market into a further spiral that might make new records. What if they not only pull all their investments out of the US, and stop supplying oil to the US, but they also decide that, since they're in line as targets anyway, they decide to fight back. What if they attack our fleets, bomb the Iraqi and Kuwaiti airbases and do horrendous damage to our troops? They will surely do Haliburton a favor and ignite hundreds of oil wells, and destroy pipelines. Of course, they could not defeat our combined forces. But they could do incredible damage to our Middle East troops and military position, overtaxed as it is.

Of course, any such action will draw our remaining allies Bulgaria, Poland and Australia into the fray. Great Britain has said it does not want a part of any further war plans.  NATO's participation will be questionable, since we've taken such extreme measures to distance and alienate them. We'll probably be unable to keep Israel out of it, since surely, Syria will lob more than Katyusha rockets at Israel's major cities.

 

 

This is a terrifying scenario. But is it any harder to imagine than the Supreme court aiding and abetting the Governor of Florida and his Corrupt election commissioner in the theft of the presidency of the United States?

 

 

Once we reach the point described, with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and possibly Libya involved in a regional conflagration, the religious far right-- the 50 million readers of the Left Behind book series that explores life on the planet after "the Rapture" when the messiah comes back, at the "end times" as predicted in the New Testament-- may actually be happy about what's going on. They will be a big part of the Positive poll numbers George W. will surely pull when his media partners at the major polling groups ask the "right" questions. Matter of fact, they've surely played a major roll in Bush 70+ support figures he's been pulling since the war began. These religious supporters see the Iraq war as a step closer to meeting their messiah and leaving this earth.

 

 

 With India and Pakistan juggling Nukes, just waiting for an excuse to drop them, with N. Korea and Israel primed and ready to go with their own nukes, it's time for the congress to pass a bill, really fast that makes it clear that the war it authorized with Iraq was the limit of the authorization, that any attack on any other country is strictly forbidden. That's something for the democratic party and the candidates to endorse and to get behind in a big hurry. 

April 11

It's satisfying to see your words born out. After writing yesterdays blog, the VOA announced that the World Bank and the IMF are ready to help Iraq, that they haven't audited it's books in 20 years. That's a hopeful sign. If that 20 year Survival can be maintained, then Iraq will have a chance of surviving as an independent, free country. Also, I missed Bob Herbert's daily NY Times column which specifically mentioned the Bechtel Corporation's role in post war Iraq.

 

The title below started as a Rob's Blog and turned into a full blown OpEd piece.

The War Against Humanity and Democracy; the Real Axis of Evil and Progresssive "War" Targets

April 10

The title below started as a Rob's Blog and turned into a full blown OpEd piece.

The Left are the Big Losers, The Right Says, As Baghdad Falls;   What The Left Needs to Do Next

 

April 9

Bush is feeling cocky. Bush's Message: aggressive, diffident: And for good reason. He's about to sell off the rights to the biggest untapped oil resources in the world. His Swiss bank account is gonna have some zeroes added at the end by the World Trade Organization and the world bank. The Iraqi people can expect to see their costs of living multiplied by a factor of from three to ten. Their resources will all be privatized and sold off at bargain prices to the megacorporations that contributed to Bush's campaign, or, if they want to get subtle, to subsidiaries a finger's length away. Since Bush has already killed thousands of Iraq's government employees, it will probably not be as necessary to cut jobs as much as the WTO and WB usually do. Frankly, we might even say that this war was fought to insure that the WTO and WB got their dirty hands on Iraq. 

 

Republicans Want Terrorism Law Made Permanent  This is Orrin Hatch's doing. What a Nazi! This is one we need to tell our senators to shoot down like a North Korean nuke.

 

Draping the flag on Saddam's head. I don'thave a problem with this. It made me smile. I didn't approve of this war, hated the way we were lied to by Bush and his thugs, but here's where I'm willing to make some lemonade. Still, like I said in my first paragraph today, the Iraqi people may have cause to celebrate that one tyrant is gone, but they'll soon be suffering with the anonymous tyrants who run the WTO and World Bank, the proxy agents for the megacorporations and billionaires who pull the big strings. Read Thom Hartmann's Unequal Protection and Greg Palast's Best Democracy Money Can Buy. You'll feel depressed, want to puke, but know a lot more clearly what's going on.

Judge Tosses Copyright Challenge This story is about a company that provides internet filters for libraries. A harvard sttudent, concerned that it was doing too much filtering, beyond protecting kids from porn, wanted the court to authorize his working with the program to explore this. The company refused, citing "trade secrets." This is the same excuse that voting machine companies claim to prevent investigation of the workings of their products. There ought to be a law that companies which provide software which affects the public must make the functions of the software transparent-- no trade secrets. Anything less allows businesses to secretly affect the public and that should not be.

 

April 8

The US is attacking the media-- four Reuters staffers and a Spanish journalist at the Palestine Hotel where most of the Baghdad ensconced media stay were injured by a cannon shot by the US in response to sniper fire. "Too bad. You're in a war zone." was the gist of the army spokesman's reply. An Al Jazeera reporter was also killed by  a US attack on the Al Jazeera Baghdad office. Great, do all you can do to turn a billion Arabs against the US. And.... further convince the sane 30% of Americans and the rest of the world that the US is anti-media, unless they lay down and roll over, like Fox, and the rest of the Murdock group of rabid right Bush sycophants.   List of Journalists Killed in Iraq

I'm really surprised that the US has gone right into Baghdad. I thought they'd sit it out and wait, like the PNA envisioned a few years ago. After all, they got what they wanted-- the oil fields. Then again. having learned from Israel, it will be much easier to justify staying for years, remaining a permanent presence in Iraq, if they are being attacked by "terrorists." Of course, during World War II, the people who fought back against the occupying force were called "the resistance" or "the underground."  Did I say this war would cost a $900 Billion? (Iraq War: Plan on 90,000-250,000 US Troop Casualties, long term costs of $150-$900 Billion) Well forget it. There's no way it will cost under a $trillion.

 

 

 

April 6

Regime change. At least Rumsfeld agrees-- the Bush stolen election, supreme-prostitute's-court appointed dictatorship presidency is a regime.

 

Kerry calls for regime change and chickenhawk Tom DeLay goes self-righteously indignant, questioning war vet Kerry's patriotism.  Matt Drudge puts together a list of other lefties who have called for regime change-- a common plaint, even a bumper sticker. These people include Barbra Streisand, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Rep. John COnyers, former LBJ Attorney General Ramsey, Michael Moore, and Susan Sarandon. He's obviously trying to paint Kerry as another flaming liberal-- a dirty word, no, a downright expletive among the right-wing dittoheads of talk radio, and obviously, right wing internet media too, such as Drudge is. But the left are not the only ones to refer to the Bush crime family''s stolen election as a regime. Donald Rumsfeld, in one of his interviews, referred to good regimes and bad regimes. He was obviously referring to the US as the "good regime."

April 5

Thank God for the foreign press. I've spent the last hour pulling together the beginnings of a collection of links I can regularly tap for real news and unvarnished editorial perspectives. For me, and you, the reader, this is a blessing, since the US media has been cowed, manipuated, intimidated,  physically beaten and abused by the the Bush Whitehouse and their proxies.

 

April 3,

CNN had a debate on World War 4. Woolsey, former CIA director and PNAC member says it's happening. The twerp on the right, what's his name? He asks stupid questions of a smart Arab American who is looking for peaceful ways to bring democracy to the Middle East. What a joke. They don't want democracy. They want American colonies to be given to corporate "lords."

 

This is just the beginning. They're preparing the public this way. Maybe, just maybe, there's a whiff of hope that CNN is not in on it all the way. They are raising questions, showing signs of coming out of the coma. Could Bush get away with banning CNN. Actually, they already did get thrown out of Baghdad. And those forces the US is fighting are the same ones that Saddam wouldn't allow in Baghdad because he would not trust them. Could Bush be doing Saddams dirty work?

 

 

 

 

Someone sent me an e-mail criticizing my anti-war stance, suggesting I might be on drugs, or that I think it's "cool" to be anti war. I don't usually reply to people I file in my nuts, crocks and hate mail file, but he didn't sound like the usual crazies. Here's my reply

Tonight, on CNN, there was a discussion of the likelihood of World War 4.

One member of the right asserted that it was already under way.

 If you don 't know a lot about the neoconservative movement and the Project for a new American Century,  (PNAC) you should, or, as you suggested I was on drugs, you are really walking around in a semi conscious state.

 Of course I oppose Saddam and all he stands for. But the war in Iraq is not about Saddam. It is about the neocon vision being implemented as a first step towards US empire and colonialism. I have compassion for the brave troops in Iraq, who are following orders, feeling they are doing their duty. They know nothing of the machinations of George Bush, Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz and company.

 It 's not about being cool to disagree. It 's about seeing through a thin veil of lies and deceit. It would be easier to get caught up in the mob mentality of patriotism. It would be easier to go rah rahing for the troops. But the situation is so clear to me, that the very democracy Bush purports to be seeking to enable in Iraq is under attack here in the US, as well as the whole middle east, where US policy has kept it down for decades.

 Find out about the PNAC. I have a loose collection of info at opednews.com under PNAC Watch.  Think about whether their vision of the future of the US is the country you want.

 

 

April 2, 2003

I have not been to a demonstration yet, though I'd planned to. But this website is my statement to the world on the way I feel about the war, about Bush, about megacorporations. If I do my job, the site will inform more people about what's really happening. 

Today we hear that two Iraqi divisions have been "destroyed" meaning, I suppose, killed. But I wonder. If ever there was a time that the Bush PR machine would want to turn things around, after a few days of being drubbed for being unprepared, for having bad plans, it's clearly time for some juicy evidence to show up. WMD evidence, proof of connection with Al Qaeda-- I'm not convinced by what they've come up with so far. These despicable liars will have to prove it to the Arabs' satisfaction, and then, maybe I'll believe.

It looks like it's major throw-down time at the old corral. I wouldn't put it past Bush and the neocons to use poison gas on our own troops, just to prove the moron majority that  they were right. I don't think the claims of having wiped out two Iraqi divisions are true. If anything, my guess is the Iraqi had "scarecrow" divisions set out to waste cruise missiles and time. The bar for Iraq will be and always has been set to play out on the streets of Baghdad and the other major Iraqi cities. But I don't think the Bush Regime really cares. They have their oil fields, their port. They're in business. The rest is just window trimming.

 

 

I checked out Fox "News" today, wanting to hear the "party line." They advertise that they present fair, unbiased news. What a crock of nauseating sh*t. Then Sean Slimeball Hannity gets on and says, "by golly, someone has to say it." then launches into some vapid laudatory remark like, "What wonderful work the troops are doing." Yuk!!.   "By Golly?" Give me a break. By Golly, there ought to be another name for Fox Media. They are not a real news organization-- more of a cross between reality TV and a propaganda arm for the right. Any suggestions?

 

 

April 1, 2003

I've been thinking that this war has been, for the average "Stupid White Man," about war as Viagra-- that relating to the power of the US, the big bombs, the toughness of the army, the ability to beat up the black and white bad guy makes these guys feel more manly. They vicariously get a jolt of self esteem. I've watched a group of these guys talk war, talk killing Iraqis like they are talking football or baseball stats. And that really scares me. It scares me because using war to boost egos and morale is a dangerous thing. It could be the most powerful, most addicting "drug" there is. It's where this addiction can go that is particularly worrisome.

 

 The neoconservatives (neocons) want to use the US' military power to take over the middle east-- to spread the war to Syria, Iran, Saudia Arabia. this whole idea of the US being the tough guy that doesn't have to listen to the UN's rules or anybody's rules could get very popular with these inadequate "Stupid White Men" -- the guys Michael Moore describes in his book by the same name. If Karl Rove starts picking up signs in the polls that a majority of Americans support a new, Imperialist America, that could set the Bush administrationof a colonial binge, taking over the Middle East, then the Oil Countries in South America and Africa.

 

 

If you think France, Russia and China are unhappy with us now, wait until this power binge gets really rolling.

 

march 31, 2003

CNN reports "we are trying to soften up the troops around Baghdad." Of course, this means we are trying to kill thousands of Iraqi soldiers. The thing is, we know that the Iraqi fedayeen and others are forcing men to go into battle, threatening to kill their families. So... we are knowingly killing thousands of fathers, sons and brothers who are involuntarily entering the battlefield. Some liberation.

This weekend I attended an annual meeting that I've gone to every year for 24 out of the last 25 years. It's a pretty liberal group-- professionals who work with biofeedback and self regulation. I'd bring up the question of the war and the response was pretty uniform. No-one liked it. Most people did feel that Saddam was bad. A few days ago, I realized that I had been brainwashed, like most of America, that Saddam was bad, that somehow he had to be gotten rid of. Then, finally, it was like waking up and realizing he was bad, okay, but so are a whole lot of other nasty leaders of other countries, a lot of them nastier, more horrific in their murders. The only thing that makes him stand out is his oil and centrality in the Middle East. This war is, of course, not about Saddam. It's been sold with so many shifting excuses, and Saddam is just one of them.

When you think about it, maybe the terrorist problem isn't about Osama Bin Laden either. He's a convenient target to focus on. But he's just one person. The real problem is Islamic fundamentalism and the growing hatred of American and her allies. It's not that they hate our freedoms. They hate our lies, our megacorporation motivated policies and actions.  Getting rid of Bin Laden will not solve the problem. It's like the Sorcerer's apprentice. 

One friend I've known for at least 12 years said that she was confused. A life-long liberal, she had felt, since 9-11, that she wanted something done about the terrorist. She was angry and she wanted them dealt with.  So did I. While, at one point, I felt the Taliban had a right to its own culture, a right to protect its culture from attempts by Christian missionaries to destroy it, once I realized they'd been harboring and nurturing the Al Quaeda, it seemed like taking out the Al Quaeda was a choice that made sense. Being anti war is one thing, But there's a line you have to draw. Diplomacy would not have worked with the Taliban.

But this war in Iraq is different. I am not a total pacifist. I supported the first gulf war, though partly because I believed the elder Bush's lies about the Iraqis taking babies out of hospital nurseries and am wiser now. I guess that realization of how I was manipulated and lied to in '91 adds tomy mistrust of the current administration. I just don't believe George Bush or his proxies-- not Rumsfield, not Powell, who I think are liars, and not the military spokesmen who are doing "the devils" work", even if they are just trying to be good soldiers. They're still in heaven,relishing being able to flex the military muscles they've practiced and play enacted all these years.

Waiting for the throw down. Cops call it a "throw down" when a bad cop inserts a weapon of his own- usually an unmarked gun-- to falsely implicate a suspect or falsely blame a suspect when the cop has shot wrongly. I expect, and so does much of the world, that the US will be discovering in Iraq, what is really a throw down, very soon. Don't expect there to be  witnesses who are not US or Brit military. Well, maybe a sell-out member of the US walking dead press. But who'll trust them nowadays?

I hear,a s I write this, an injured soldier, being interviewed by CNN in the hospital. He says he is fighting for Iraqi freedom, that war protestors don't understand.  I respect him, appreciate his good intentions. I am sad that he has been duped, like most of America, by the liar George W. Bush and his regime of imperialist corporate lackeys.  Imperialist corporate lackys. These words seem so politik-talk, and I usually don't talk that way. But Bush is a liar, he is part of a regime, a group of like thinking co-conspirators with goals to drastically change America. It frightens me that there are so many Americans who talk about dropping a nuke on Iraq, or Syria or North Korea. This is insanity, macho gone beyond stupid to pathetically idiotic.

This morning, I went to a local restaurant for a sit-down breakfast. One of the owners, watching the TV, commented that it looks like things are going well, that the war will be over soon. "Which country do you think will be next," I asked, avoiding a head on confrontation. "Syria, Iran, Lebanon. Saudi Arabia? Rumsfield just threatened Syria for butting in," I added.

"Well, we're showing them what happens if they don't watch out." he replied. "We should drop a nuke on on them," he grinned, swaggering out of the dining area.

Nuke Syria?!? And I read a syndicated editorial Americans Who Hate Their Country by Joseph Perkins, which originated in a San Diego paper.  He concludes that people who protest won't be able to stop the war, so he concludes "It's because they hate their country." He argues that we should not continue protesting the war because we are out of step with the majority. I fear that these same morons who leap to conclusions about Iraq and the Al Quaeda, about nuking anyone who looks at us the wrong way,  might decide that Americans who don't think the way they do, who protest the war, who don't worship Bush, should be jailed or hurt.. We are following the same historic path as Nazi Germany. To paraphrase Santayana. "Those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it."

 

March 27

We can expect a boom in the conservative birth rate in nine months. These loser right wingers talk and think about war like it is them personally who are fighting, being manly. It's like Viagra for them-- making them feel like bigger men. The irony is that, based on the ads on the Limbaugh and hannity dittohead shows, aimed at frigid women who have lost their interest in sex, these war-pumped guys will be a little more frustrated.

 

March 26, 2003

I went back and took another look at It Can't Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis's book and the title of another page on this website.  The president in this book Buzz Windrip, is a charismatic leader. Hitler was a charismatic. Bush is a reader, and clearly getting bored now that it's not all fun. This is a hopeful sign,since part of keeping the rubepublicans hypnotized is to to maintain the charisma. If it starts to fade, their brain cells might to start to come out of hibernation, or, the novocaine may wear off.

March25, 2003

Bush is scripted and obviously reading his lines... again

Bushie gave a talk, no questions of course, about his request for $75 Billion. Like when he announced the onset of the war, he read a script-- every word, it seemed. But this time, he had cue cards, so he kept looking down. I was taking digital pictures every few seconds. Here's what it looked like:

read look dumb  read            look vacant  read..........     "I 'm bored and wanna go play"

He also looked like he wasn't having fun anymore. That reading this script was a real hassle. Couldn't he go out and jog or work out or ....play. Poor Georgie. He had to stay there and ask for $75 billion for Dick's,... I mean HIS war. Amazing how a chickenshit chickenhawk acts when his actions lead to the deaths of a few dozen kids a few thousand Iraqis and the pained faces and words of parents whose kids are either prisoners of war or MIA. Of course little Georgie didn't watch the bloody pictures of murdered GIs that Al Jazeera broadcast. Gutless. But that way he can hold on to his fantasy of an easy, clean war a little bit longer. BTW, I couldn't catch a single smirk. He's been de-smirked by professionals. Trust me, I'm an expert. That's why he looks so somber all the time. The "smirkmonkey" doesn't have the self control or emotional honesty and integrity to voluntarily make the kinds of smiling faces that are usually connected with caring, happy, or laughing with kindness. His smirk is deeply wired to his cynical haughty arrogance.

Note the story and graphic on Dolphins being used to find mines in Iraqi waters. Reminds me of John Lilly, who was one of the first to research dolphin intelligence. They're really smart, but their brains are built differently. Eyesight sucks but hearing is incredible, since they communicate with very igh pitched sounds and even navigate using echo sonography. The parts of their brain dedicated to visual functioning is tiny-- one twentieth of the brain matter dedicated to auditory functioning and, I have to assume, intelligence.  I wonder what they think of us.

Someone found our website by plugging in to Google a search for "dump bush." Strange, since "Google's ad police refused to allow us to use the key word "anti-bush" Here's what I replied to her.

"Dump bush. A nice thought. Of course, the problem with that is, instead of getting doltified, processed cheney, we would then get unadulterated 100% pure Cheney."

 

March 24, 2003

The Neocons  of PNAC, Cato, AEI, etc. think tanks  must be wetting their pants with happiness, now that they've broken the ice on their Pax Americana Imperialist Dreams. The Arabs are blaming this on Israel. Tariq Aziz, (showing up on CNN today, refuting any doubts that he was taken out by the initial attack aimed at Saddam) reflecting the word on the Arab street, says that Israel wants to re-draw the map of the middle east and guarantee it's dominance.

 

There's no doubt that Israel is enjoying watching the US wreak havoc and destruction in Iraq, and fear in the rest of the Arab kingdoms. Israel will clearly benefit from having Saddam taken out of the Mideast power loop.   Undoubtedtly, Israel will also be happy if and when the US goes after other Arab regimes that have supported and sponsored terrorism in Israel and its west bank settlements (I oppose those settlements, BTW.)

But Israel is really just a beneficiary of a side-effect of the Neocon Imperial American Vision. The Neocons want to sue the might and power of the US to restructure the middle east-- taking over the control of the oil fields of not only Iraw, but also  Iran (they're next see:

Iran to be US next target: CIA Report

Halliburton To Reconsider Operations In Iran A good sign that Cheney has warned them to get out, Iran is next in the New American Imperialism rollout

After Iran, some folks speculate that Syria and Lebanon will be next. But more likely, the US will go for liberating the countries with oil-- Libya, and then, perhaps some of the old "russia-stans--"  Kurdistan, Kirgistan, Uzbekistan, etc.

IF you look at a recent Zogby (an Arab American) poll, the US was doing very poorly on the Arab street even before starting the war.

 Arab Opinion of US Hits All-Time Low; 97%  of Saudis see US Unfavorably

Protests in Muslim countries have been so violent, there have been deaths. The US issued an advisory warning its citizens to leave Indonesia.

The Arab nations are coming together like never before. Turkey is another potential trouble spot. While they've been cowed into allowing flyovers, they are straining at the bit to enter Northern Iraq to solidify their hold and to prevent local Kurds from gaining any advantage. This could get messy and if the US gets involved, it will be in a lose lose situation.

Peace Demonstrations:

 I oppose this war, because of the lies that preceded it, the real reasons for initiating it and the corrupt leaders implementing it, because violence should always be the absolute last resource and in this case, it was, in reality, the original plan, with a brief effort at bullying the UN sandwiched in between. .

I'm worried that the US protests are not nearly as effective as they could be. Saddam is a problem. Now that the war has started, it is hard to imagine the US ever backing out without finishing the job it started. The Neocons are so deeply in control of the government and media and probably the polling organizations that there's no way short of civil disobedience that will get their attention. And civil disobedience without a clearly thought through plan does not make sense. So... what kind of plan?  The protest movement is really not just about protesting war, but also about protesting the Bush regime-- a lying, constitution destroying cabal that took power through corruption of the vote, the election process and the supreme court.  We need to envision a way to take the energy of the demonstrations and apply them to rescuing the heart and soul of the United States from the "corpos" the corporate defilers of the US and its constitutional rights and their serfs.

 

 

 

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