Sunday, February 11, 2007

One Year Anniversary

Today is the One Year Anniversary of Vice President Dick Cheney ignoring all protocols and safety rules of hunting when he shot Harry Whittington in the face during a quail hunting trip.

Here's to ya, shooter. If shooting a man in the face with a shotgun isn't enough to give you a heart attack, nothing is. Either that, or you're not human.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wes Clark tells it like it is, and pays

Matthew Yglesias's insight into Wes Clark's recent foray into the delicate realm of criticizing Israel, Smears for Fears is a worthy read:
"Everything Clark said, in short, is true. What's more, everybody knows it's true. The worst that can truthfully be said about Clark is that he expressed himself in a slightly odd way. This, it seems clear, he did because it's a sensitive issue and he worried that if he spoke plainly he'd be accused of trafficking in anti-Semitism. So he spoke unclearly and, for his trouble, got … accused of trafficking in anti-Semitism."
What Clark said, according Ariana Huffington, about America attacking Iran, was:
"You just have to read what's in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers."
This is not anti-semitic. Why is any criticism of Israel (which has many nukes, in direct violation of many UN resolutions) considered anti-semitism? How are we ever going to get anywhere in the middle east unless Israel stops killing 10 for every one, stops building walls to support its apartheid, and goes so far as to call Jimmy Carter and Wes Clark anti-semites for trying to find solutions to huge problems that are caused, in part at least, by Israel.

Clark had a wonderful response for the likes of Jonah Goldberg and Michael Barone who are so afraid of a Clark presidency that they attack him over nothing. Clark sent this letter to Abraham H. Foxman of the Anti Defamation League:
Dear Mr. Foxman:

I really enjoyed our conversation yesterday and look forward to our continuing relationship.

As we discussed, I believe that the United States today finds itself in a pivotal position as we seek to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

We need to get our strategy right. Challenging the threat posed by Iran’s quest for regional hegemony and nuclear capabilities requires a multi-faceted strategy. There is still time for direct dialogue, and the United States should take the lead. There are no guarantees that such a dialogue would be successful; and the option to use force should not be taken off the table. It has been my experience that diplomacy has always been America’s most effective tool and that force should be used only as a last resort.

My position on Iran should not be misinterpreted, defined out of context or used to create conspiracy theories about one group’s influence on U.S. foreign policy. There is no place in these critical policy debates for Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that blame the Jewish community for the war in Iraq and for action against Iran.

A nuclear-armed Iran would pose a grave risk to the United States and our allies, including Israel.

I will not tolerate anti-Semitic conspiracy webs to permeate the honest debate Americans must have about how best to confront Iran.

I look forward to working with you and others in the American Jewish community to ensure that Iran does not become a nuclear threat to the United States, Israel, and our allies.

Wesley K. Clark
One thing's for sure. George Bush could never write a letter like that.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Letter to My Local Editor

In the past few months, I have seen letters stating that "everyone" thought Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This is a blatant lie.

Many people, including people in the CIA, Pentagon, State Department, and Congress, were trying to tell the administration that the "intelligence" they were leaking to the press was wrong. Many people, including former weapons inspectors, tried to tell them that they were cherry picking the bits that made their case, and ignoring the evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, many members of the United Nations, including France, Canada, Germany, Russia, and many others were trying to tell the Bush administration that they were getting bad intelligence.

Of course, this is not the first time that the cabal of neo-con hawks in the Bush administration had gotten "intelligence" wrong in order to spend billions on military endeavors. During the Ford Administration, a group known as "Team B" (team A was the CIA) was making a case that the Soviet Union had thousands of ICBMs. They claimed the Soviets were spending almost their entire GNP on their military. They claimed the Soviets had a particle beam that could blow our warheads out of the sky. They pressured Ford, who caved in, to let them examine the "intelligence," which they then manipulated and leaked to the press, resulting in billions being spent on weapons to counter weapons that didn't exist.

If any of this sounds familiar, it's because Team B consisted of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Richard Perle, among others: a who's who of the neo-con architects of the Iraq War. Most of these men became members of the Project for a New American Century, which wrote in 2000 that "the process of transformation [in the middle east], even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor."

Even more ironically, during the Ford administration, CIA Director William Colby dared to disagree with the Cheney crowd. He was fired and replaced with George HW Bush, who agreed with them. Anyone keeping up with the Scooter Libby trial can note the ominous similarities to the outing of Valerie Plame, who's undercover operation, Brewster and Jennings, was gathering actual intelligence on nuclear proliferation. So it seems that this cabal of Cheney's has now gotten rid of a possible impediment to WMD intelligence from Iran.

This same gang of neo-cons were wrong about the Soviet Union in the 70's, and they were wrong about Iraq in 2003. Now they are telling us about the threat from Iran, without showing anyone the supposed evidence. Bush says he doesn't have to explain anything. He says he is the decider. He has boldly claimed that congress can do nothing to stop him.

Well, congress can. They can impeach. In fact, considering the lives and treasure we are spending on this fiasco (much of the treasure going to the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about, and for whom so many in the Bush administration have worked or will work), it is the constitutional duty of congress to look into the facts leading up to the Iraq war. When they find a high crime or misdemeanor, it is their duty to impeach.

So, the next time readers of this newspaper hear the same old lie about how Bush was working with "bad intelligence," run to the cabinet and get a BIG grain of salt. Everyone did not have it wrong. Shame on anyone, Republican or Democrat, who supported a war based on the word of a bunch of proven liars like these. If we do not impeach Bush and Cheney, then we will know for sure that the American pledge of "justice for all" is as much of a lie as those that got us into this mess.