Monday, March 31, 2003

digby offers a new twist to Wesley Clark's military background making him the best Democrat for 2004. Contigency plan should Mr. Bush somehow come out ahead in his 'war on terruh' and ride into the elections on a white steed.

It's an interesting and valid point. But if the thug enjoys the popularity he does when he's screwing things up royally, I doubt anyone will touch him if by some miracle things are going well, even a 4 star General with smarts.

The only case that will trump Bush is a dynamic truth. The answer to terrorism is not more violence. We need someone with the sense and decency to address the underlying causes of it and Israel's strongarming of the Palestinians is an important place to start. I don't know what Clark's views are on most things so I'll hold my complete opinion until then. But I suppose at the moment I'm a bit hesitant to be very interested in a candidate that seems to be enjoying lots of attention based solely on his military experience.
I've been listening to the 9/11 Commission public hearing on C-Span 2 since 9am.

Pataki sounded as if he were giving a campaign speech. He spoke about 9/11 and this pre-emptive strike on Iraq as if they were connected. No surprise there. He has personal as well as political reasons for towing the Bush line.

Bloomberg made a very fevered pitch for money.

And now I'm hearing stories from the people who endured that nightmare. And I feel for them. But forgive me when I say I'm confused about this hearing's objective. I don't need to be convinced it was an awful day. I agree, let's do something to prevent it happening again. Using it as an excuse to unleash murderous revenge upon a people that did nothing to cause it is not helping matters. And today as the bombs are dropping on innocent people in Iraq it seems to me their pain and suffering, a tragedy that could have been and could still be prevented, should take priority if all we're going to do is display wounds.

I was really hoping someone would ask the 'unanswered questions'.

Update: This is really a reflection of the schisms we face. Some of the speakers are now asking those questions while others have given themselves over to this Iraq/al-Qaeda connection. The Bush administration must be very happy about this.
From Meria Heller...

"Go take a look on an empty stomach at 'democracy' we're delivering in Iraq"


Thursday, March 13, 2003

Testing a new color for the body. The links don't show-up very well on the white.

Obviously I know nothing about design and HTML? Only slightly more than I used to which was nil...

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

This picture accompanied a NYT's article about the March 8 demonstration in DC. Several thousand protestors, mostly women, made their voices heard and apparently around 25 were arrested for 'violating sidewalk restrictions'.

According to the article 'among those arrested were several well-known writers, including Alice Walker, Terry Tempest Williams, Maxine Hong Kingston and Susan Griffin, as well as Amy Goodman, a host on Pacifica Radio.'

Violating sidewalk restrictions? How anal can you get.

I attended the January 18th march on Washington and if these guidelines were in place they weren't enforced. Could it be a new standard? Seems sidewalks were off-limits at the February 15th march in New York as well.

I encountered a lady in DC who was a representative of Code Pink. She made her way through the huge crowd seeking donations and I gladly contributed but it couldn't come close to 'paying her back' for her efforts.

I've spent long days and seemingly endless nights in the cold, sometimes of my own choosing and other times not. Either way you learn to rise above it in order to survive. Not an easy thing for someone like myself who would spend an hour getting ready for sledding only to rush back into the house the minute snow got in my boots. I could relate to the resolve in her eyes. Cold? Oh that. I had my talk with the cold today and it loses again. I have more important things to do.

Friday, March 07, 2003

The end of morality is to procure the affections to obey reason, and not to invade it. --Bacon.

There are many ‘unanswered questions’ when one attempts to argue for or against this pre-emptive strike. One of the more perplexing would be the sudden, intense desire of both the United States and Britain, whose participation is championed relentlessly by Blair despite great risk to his political career, to forge ahead despite unprecedented global protest and the bitter and polarizing dissent of old allies like Germany and France. George Bush and members of his administration, and to a lesser degree Blair, have waged an intensive propaganda campaign meant to ingrain doubts that the UN inspections cannot be fruitful. Within the context of this alleged ‘tough talk’ and persistent pessimism, the so-called leaders of the free world have employed repeated lies, coercion of smaller, friendly countries, and plagiarized documents to support their ‘imminent threat’ theory. This defies the letter of reason and it is this campaign of deception that has weakened their case for attacking Iraq, an effort that has yet to achieve the concept of being a moral one in the very context of which it has thus far been presented.

It is obvious to many who have observed the actions of the Bush administration that they have always had an Iraq objective. Within the weeks following Mr. Bush’s inauguration and preceding Colin Powell’s visit to the region, they sent a clear signal Iraq was in their sights, unleashing a bomb package in the no-fly zones that was particularly strong and one that was aided by the firepower under command of Blair and the government he heads. Analyses of this event concluded the Bush administration was unhappy with Saddam’s fence-mending efforts particularly with the Arab world and increasing support for the ending of the devastating sanctions that have not only inflicted immeasurable hardship and suffering upon the Iraqi people but most importantly to the United States and Britain, have kept Iraq in a weakened military state and economic isolation. It becomes apparent just by examining these early moves that the Bush administration never had intentions of engaging Iraq in a peaceful manner that disarmament would achieve. So how then can anyone defend this ‘imminent threat’ theory which is so often purported to be at the root of a moral one? It’s more plausible to say that both the United States and Britain decided long ago that such an end could never come to pass as it would mean spoiling their only opportunity to gain a powerful foothold in the area achieved under the auspices of defense of democracy and freedom.

In a desire to fulfill this objective George Bush and his administration have betrayed the trust of the American people and the global community. They have cited a non-existent IAEA report to validate their claims that Iraq is a nuclear threat. They have oft-repeated that Iraq’s attempts to purchase aluminum tubes is evidence Baghdad sought to construct a centrifuge network system to enrich uranium for nuclear bombs despite the IAEA, among others, offering sharp criticism of such claims. The UN nuclear inspectors have confirmed these aluminum tubes were instead conventional 122-mm rocket artillery casings. Tied to al-Qaeda? The ‘link’ was made to a camp in Kurdish territory not under Saddam’s control and the man in question, al-Zarqawi, was a ’nobody’ not on any FBI wanted list. Chemical weapons. Rhetoric has supplanted logic in this regard to a great degree and those efforts have not gone unnoticed by the UN inspectors and the global community. 8,000 pages turned-up missing in Iraq’s weapons declaration removed by the United States allegedly to protect the names of those United States companies that in fact provided the bulk of the materials used in the manufacturing of the weapons. What isn’t made widely known is that the viability of these ‘weapons’ expired long ago and the nucleus of the current charge is dependent upon proving the impossible. There is no way of accurately determining the difference between that which exists and what was destroyed during the Gulf War in 1991. And while the Bush administration continues to make the WMD allegation they obstruct the efforts of the UN inspection team to validate the charge. They not only refused to provide more detailed accounting of the evidence behind the accusation they then provided the inspectors with what was viewed as ‘junk’ intelligence. Buying time, more like it. One wonders if George W. Bush has submitted a secret waiver like his father did that relieved his Cabinet of financial redress should those same chemicals cause death or injury to the American service people who risk their lives for these duplicitous warmongers.

The point is when all is said and done we are facing yet another ‘monster’ created by the very machine that now seeks to destroy it. This is a familiar scenario wrought with injustice, not to the tyrants that head the governments of the countries in question, but the people collaterally damaged by their policies. Ultimately, Saddam will not suffer should the United States shock and awe Iraq. He will be quickly shuttled to a secretive and lavish safe house where he’ll live out his remaining days in opulence. Had George Bush waged a different campaign that respected international law rather than defied and mocked it at every turn, as he did when he damaged the credibility of the formation of an International Criminal Court by “unsigning” the treaty, then we would be within the perimeters of moral and just cause. We might have tried Saddam before that court but obviously to do so would subject the participants in his rise to power to international scrutiny.

And that’s how we’ve fallen down as purveyors of democracy and freedom for all and dissolved into imperialist brutes whose only concern is the furtherance of that unchecked hegemony. While there may be those who believe this new doctrine is in the best interests of the United States and the world at large, history proves that to be an extremely dicey proposition.

The application of morality, abstaining the invasion of precursors of fear, should reason it as inconceivable.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

I give up. Have no idea why the page is now loading with errors. Drats....

Update: Took a careful look at the original template and corrected the problem. Yeah!