Thursday, March 30, 2006

What Does Winning the War in Iraq Look Like?

I thought I knew what the word “win” meant, but now I’m not sure.

I read the letters to the editor and sometimes accidentally hear a bit of the Front Man’s repetitive words, and read the polls and the word “win” is used a lot. The word “win” and phrases such as “until the job’s done” are used interchangeably.

For example, one polling question concerning Iraq is worded thusly: “…do you feel more confident or less confident that the war in Iraq will come to a successful conclusion?”

What will it look like if we “win” the war in Iraq, if we stay “until the job’s done”, if the war comes to a “successful conclusion”? I’ve seen these euphemisms written or heard them said a lot by members of The Regime and/or their supporters. I’ve never heard anyone explain what these things mean, so I’m going to try to take a guess. It might be helpful to state what our mission is in Iraq. The Front Man made our reason for invading Iraq very clear. I’ll only give three examples, although many, many more exist.

“Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.” The Front Man said this on September 12, 2002.

“Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons.” He uttered these ominous words on October 5, 2002.

Finally, on October 7, 2002, he said, “The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.”

It was clear, then, that we needed to invade Iraq because it possessed stockpiles of some of the nastiest weapons in the world. Not only did it possess them, but we knew where they were.

On March 30, 2003, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told us where these weapons were. In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Rumsfeld assured us that “We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”

As if this wasn’t enough proof, in England, on September 24, 2002, in a speech to The House of Commons, Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Iraq (or maybe it was Saddam Hussein alone), “…has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes…”

So, in spite of the fact that, on the evening of September 11, 2001, the Front Man said, in a speech to a joint session of congress and to the American people, “Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking: Who attacked our country? The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda”, Iraq must have justifiably been on his mind. He went on to say that Al Qaeda’s leader was “a person named Osama bin Laden.”

So there we were, on the evening of September 11, 2001 with the knowledge of who created such death and destruction to people and property on the very soil of the United States of America. We had no reason to believe that Al Qaeda, lead by Osama bin Laden, were finished with their attacks.

Yet, evidence that Saddam Hussein was more of a threat to us than were the people who actually attacked us was strong enough to turn away from capturing or retaliating against those who attacked us. Judging from Saddam’s “stockpiles of nasty weapons” and his “existing and active military plans” to use these stockpiles against the Western world, and they could be readied “within 45 minutes”, it was a logical move to turn from searching for those who attacked us to invading Iraq. This was in spite of, as The Front Man said on September 18, 2003, “No, we've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th.”

As bad as what bin Laden and Al Qaeda did to the US was, it couldn’t measure up to what Saddam was definitely going to do, according to Blair, with the weapons he possessed, about which so many members of The Regime told us.

Subsequently, The Front Man declared a war on terror.

Some Americans were still confused as to why we couldn’t keep the inspectors in Iraq to find these weapons considering the fact that Rumsfeld had so articulately claimed that we knew that the weapons were “…in the east, west, south and north somewhat”. Since we knew where they were, all we had to do is to tell the inspectors who would find them and a second resolution would have easily been passed. In this way, the US could fight its war against Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden while the rest of the world would have been more than happy to take care of Saddam Hussein and his violations.

The strange thing was that Rumsfeld must never have informed the inspectors where the weapons were because, even after all of The Regime’s rhetoric, aided by Blair’s specific knowledge of how and when these weapons were to be used, they never found any signs of such weapons.

In fact, the head of The Regime’s own weapons inspection team said to congress on January 28, 2004 that “It turns out that we were all wrong, and that is most disturbing.” Even David Kay couldn’t corroborate The Regime’s claims that Saddam Hussein was a greater threat to the US than those who actually attacked us.

Luckily, The Front Man covered himself in the September 18, 2003 interview by saying, “There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al-Qaida ties."

However, even with those “ties” in place, he had admitted that Iraq was not involved with the activity that should have engaged our military, the activity that occurred on September 11, 2001.

It was very clear that we were invading Iraq because of its stockpiles of WMD (weapons of mass destruction).

The Regime sent Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN to try to convince the Security Council that, despite what the inspectors had said and what Kay was later to corroborate, Hussein did indeed have stockpiles of WMD. He wanted a second resolution from the Security Council that gave the US the OK to invade Iraq. Unfortunately, the Council chose to believe people who were actually inspecting Iraq over The Regime and denied a second resolution.

Damn the inspections! The Front Man was not going to let Saddam Hussein use the WMD that his Secretary of Defense confirmed he had. He could not wait “for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud” as he had already said on October 6, 2002. We must remember that The Front Man, when asked if he was receiving advice from his father, former President George H. W. Bush, about invading Iraq, answered with “Well, no,…There's a higher Father that I appeal to.”

That was enough for the vast majority of Americans. Consequently, in spite of the fact that The Front Man himself said that Saddam wasn’t involved in what got the country riled up and readied for war, in spite of the fact that it had been pretty significantly proved that Iraq didn’t possess WMD, therefore not making it more of a threat than those who had actually attacked us, the “higher Father” must have told him something that nobody else knew and, on March 19, 2003 at 10:15 PM eastern time, The Front Man said the following words to the American people on national television, “My fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.

On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign.”

That’s right, with the leader of the people who actually attacked us still not captured and no real evidence that Iraq was a threat to the US, The Regime launched an attack. The truth must have come from the “higher father”.

Considering all of the above facts, what “winning” the war in Iraq, “finishing the job” or “coming to a successful conclusion” looked like was clear. We would invade Iraq, disarm Saddam Hussein of his stockpiles of WMD, maybe remove him from power because, despite many warnings, he insisted upon keeping these stockpiles and help the Iraqis get back on their feet.

There were no weapons of mass destruction. Not one. Saddam was actually telling the truth. To repay him for his honesty, The Regime decided that they would remove him from power anyway. What “winning” the war in Iraq or “finishing the job” looked like became very obscure. When we “knew” that they had WMD, it was clear. But they didn’t and it wasn’t.

Dick Cheney, possibly the true leader of The Regime, basically said that The Front Man, and several other members of The Regime were lying about Iraq’s involvement in 9/11 when, on September 8, 2002, he told Tim Russert on Meet The Press, “Mohammed Atta, who was the lead hijacker, did apparently travel to Prague on a number of occasions, and on at least one occasion, we have reporting that places him in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official a few months before the attack on the World Trade Center.”

Wow! Good thing we invaded Iraq even though they had no WMD. Despite what almost everyone else in The Regime had said, Cheney said Iraq was involved in 9/11.

But, almost like a swarm of planes dropping bombs on Iraq, people from conservatives to liberals, politicians to the media and, finally, The 9/11 Commission, debunked Cheney’s assertion. In fact, Cheney himself debunked his own assertion when Democratic Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards brought up the fact that everyone and their brothers were dismissing the Prague meeting.

Cheney’s response was, “The Senator has got his facts wrong. I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11.”

No matter, a second reason which could have given us some clarity of what “winning” the war in Iraq would look like disappeared almost as quickly as it had appeared. We could have said that “winning” the war would have meant capturing Saddam Hussein because he was part of the group who attacked us on September 11, 2001. We could have put him on trial and asked him where Osama bin Laden and the rest of Al Qaeda were. He would have told us and then we could have looked for them. However, Saddam wouldn’t know. He had nothing to do with 9/11.

This is reasonably logical as bin Laden had previously referred to Saddam Hussein as “evil, a demon or devil worshipper”, calling for his overthrow by the people of Iraq. Nothing made bin Laden angrier than when Kuwait refused his offer to fend off the invading Iraqi forces in 1990. The fact that Kuwait opted for American help made it even more treacherous. Al Qaeda had no stomach for the Iraqi leader.

What does “winning” the war, “staying until the job’s done” look like now that we’ve discovered that Iraq had no WMD nor was involved in 9/11.

On May 1, 2003, The Front Man tried to answer that question on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. “The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001…” he stated in his infamous “Mission Accomplished” speech.

Wait. Hadn’t he already said that Iraq was not involved in 9/11? How could winning the battle of Iraq be a “victory in a war on terror that began on September 11, 2001?”

The present reason given for why we invaded Iraq in lieu of tracking down those who attacked us is to free the Iraqi people from Saddam’s tyranny and bring them democracy.

Here we have to begin guessing. These are some possible visions for what all of those euphemisms mean. I’ll put them in the present tense because that’s how vision statements are supposed to be worded.

“Winning” the war in Iraq, “staying until the job’s done”, etc. means:

    1. We have invaded every nation that had nothing to do with 9/11, toppled the governments of those nations and injected those nations with democracy. One problem with that is that many of the nations that had nothing to do with 9/11 are already democracies. What to do then?

    2. We have invaded every nation whose government is tyrannical, toppled that government and replaced it with one that we can inject with democracy.

    I hate to be cynical, but I see a couple of problems with that.

    First, some of our leaders think that Venezuela’s democratically elected leader Hugo Chav├ęz is a tyrant, including the highly respected televangelist Pat Robertson who has suggested that we merely assassinate him. This may not set too well with the Venezuelan people who seem to love this man.

    Another problem might be toppling the government of China. I think that most Americans agree that the Chinese government in tyrannical. I’m sorry, but China actually does have nuclear warheads and plenty of them. Trying to topple that government may not set well with people who live on the west coast of The Former United States of America (FUSA).

    Besides, how would that affect our agreement to “hire a Hong Kong firm linked to the communist Beijing regime to monitor nuclear materials that pass through the Bahamas to the United States and other countries”? I’m assuming that China will monitor all of the nuclear materials headed for the FUSA except, possibly, those that they send.

    3. If we overlook all of the statements made by members of The Regime and just about everyone else in the world and believe Cheney’s assertion that Iraq was involved in 9/11 and, therefore, the war on terror, then we can say that “winning” the war in Iraq is the day that terror disappears from the earth.”

    It’s a little confusing, though.

    I was driving on the freeway and a car traveling close to the speed of sound swerved and almost hit me. I was, indeed, terrified. The driver of that car terrorized me. It was an act of terrorism. I’d even say it was an act of intentional terrorism because the driver might have guessed that, at the speed he or she was driving, he or she could terrify someone to whom she or he came too close.

    So, does “finishing the job in Iraq” mean that, if one is approached by a vehicle that is driving irresponsibly, one will no longer become terrified, feel terror? Is the war in Iraq that far reaching?

    OK, that’s a stretch, but, semantically it makes sense.

    Let’s look at it the way The Regime wants us to look at it. We know that we will have “won” the war in Iraq when there never again are acts of terrorism by radical groups, Islamic or otherwise.

    Call me cynical, even realistic if you wish, but my guess is that guaranteeing that acts like the acts of September 11, 2001 or the act of April 19, 1995, the day Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, will never happen again will entail the tracking of every human being born anywhere on this earth at anytime for that person’s entire life time. Whatever cabinet level department is created for that task will be very busy, indeed. It will no doubt even nose out Wal-Mart as the employer of the greatest number of workers in the FUSA.

    4. Some say that “winning” the war in Iraq means that Iraq is a sovereign Democratic nation which is able to defend itself. It is a nation which embraces freedom of (or from) religion, equal opportunities for everyone no matter of race, gender or ethnicity and whose government answers to the citizens.

    That, indeed, is a lovely picture. What spoils it is that it appears that the Shiite Muslims, by far the largest social group in Iraq, are almost always going to have the best chance to head this Democratic government. The Shiites are very attached to Islam and would rather the Koran, the holy book of Islam, be where the final decisions on social issues are found. Shiites are also the largest social group in Iran, a member, if you recall, of the “axis of evil”. What guarantee does the rest of the world have that, once American troops leave Iraq, the Shiites won’t ally with Iran to create a large Islamic theocracy where the FUSA had just left a sovereign democracy. All of the blood and destruction will have been for naught.

    Maybe that’s why the FUSA “is building at least four "super-bases" in Iraq, military compounds that are almost certainly designed to be huge permanent presences there.” It almost seems as though The Regime is more cynical than I am about the prospect of “winning” the war in Iraq. If nothing else, it appears as though it thinks that the war won’t be “won” anytime soon.

    There’s another monkey wrench, if you will, that’s been thrown into the “sovereignty” portion of this vision.

    On Saturday, March 25, 2006, The Front Man sent a message to Abdelaziz Hakim, the leader of the Shiite alliance, which said the present Iraqi Prime Minister, Ibrahim al Jafari, would not be an acceptable candidate for Iraq’s upcoming election. I guess he meant al Jafari wouldn’t be acceptable to The Regime (The Regime of the FUSA).

    The message that “Hakim should seek the withdrawal of al Jafari’s candidacy” was passed on by The Regime’s “Ambassador to Iraq”, Zalmay Khalilzad.

    So much for “sovereignty, hey?
Whatever “winning” looks like, and I’d really like to see a vision statement backing up those “staying until the job’s done” statements, we’re told we just can’t up and leave, cut and run, as it’s called, because of the chaos that would be created. I suggest that, from the point of view of Iraqis, the environment under which they are living while the troops are there looks very much like chaos. I suggest that Iraqis don’t agree that it can get any more chaotic if American troops leave. In fact, I suggest that the longer the troops stay, the more chaos they’ll create.

In this essay, I hoped to find the answer to “What does “winning”, “finishing the job” or “coming to a successful conclusion” look like for the war in Iraq? I merely wanted to look at all of the possible vision statements and come up with one that seems logical, accomplished, so to speak. I wanted to give The Regime the benefit of the doubt. Well, that’s not true because I thought about this a long time ago.

After all, we’re told that, if we don’t “complete the mission”, “finish the job”, etc, it will be an insult to all of the American soldiers who’ve died in this war. In other words, more American soldiers must die, not to mention become permanently wounded and more Iraqis must die, in order to honor those that have already died. The vicious circle here is that the longer we stay, the more soldiers will die and the longer we must stay to honor them, guaranteeing more death.

There is no winning the war in Iraq. It was lost on the day we invaded that country.

    To friendship,
    Michael


    If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.” – Thomas Jefferson

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Ignoring the Walk

    I was out having lunch with a friend yesterday. It was a pretty good lunch. We went to a place called Sylvia’s not too far from where I live. If you ever find yourself in Antioch, California, I highly recommend it.

    After lunch, we paid and started walking back to our respective automobiles. We talked a little more about the world situation and said good-bye.

    As I got closer to my vehicle, I saw what looked like a couple of young men getting out of a pick up truck, a fairly large pick up truck. I could just assume it wasn't purchased for its efficient gas mileage. On the back window there was stenciled an American flag. There were two magnetic signs on the truck. They both read “Support Our Troops”. One was red, white and blue with stars and crossed over itself like a ribbon. The other was yellow and crossed over itself as well, like a ribbon.

    I’ve seen these signs on one hell of a lot of vehicles, but never wanted to start trouble by asking, “What are you doing to support the troops besides putting signs on your vehicle?” I finally gathered up enough courage to ask these two very healthy young men a question I’d been wanting to ask for a long time. I guess I figured that two young healthy men wouldn’t beat up an old(er) looking man who could hardly walk. Luckily I was right.

    One of the two was wearing a t-shirt with the American flag logo on the front and on the back was a picture of Osama bin Laden in one of those circles with a line through it, like this :


    They actually stopped and engaged me. I thought that was interesting as many people might think, “Let this old crackpot go.”

    One, the taller of the two, answered with, “What are you doing, gramps?”

    Gramps? My wife and I have two kids that may have children within the next year or so, so I guess the “gramps” thing wasn’t too insulting. Yet, I didn’t like it much.

    I said, “I’m doing everything in my power, which isn’t, I admit, too far reaching, to get the troops the hell out of harm’s way. I think that’s the kind of support they need more than any other kind.”

    The shorter guy looked at his buddy and they both started to crack up. “Hey,” he said, “we have an old hippie wannabe.”

    My anger was starting to build up, but I thought about the difference in size, numbers and age between them and me and I thought better of showing that anger. I took another bold step - bold for me, that is.

    “Can I ask you guys a question?”

    They said sure. I’m surprised that they didn’t see it coming.

    “How old are you?”

    “Why the hell should we tell you?” They turned and started to walk away.

    I said, loudly enough to be heard, “I bet you’re not even thirty yet. Are you guys thirty?”

    “We’re closer to thirty than you are, old man” and that's the last I've ever seen of them.

    Maybe some of this is speculative, but two kids who aren’t yet thirty called me an “old hippie wannabe”, never really answered the question “What are you doing to help the troops besides putting signs on your vehicle?” and called me to task to answer my own question.

    For years I lived with one of the most patriotic people in the world. His patriotism was unrivaled. He supported our nation’s actions in Vietnam and we argued - no, wait, that implies a two way conversation - I listened to him “argue” to me over the legitimacy of the Vietnam War.

    I was of age to go to Vietnam during that war. I had a 2S deferment, meaning that I was a student and, thus, was exempt from the draft. Then I “earned” a 4F deferment because I was in a fairly serious car accident and was physically unable to go.

    I was very easily intimidated at that age, but, even without the deferments, I don’t believe I would have gone to Vietnam. Our nation was supporting one side of a country embroiled in a civil war. We were supporting an extremely corrupt government led by Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem was assassinated in 1963.

    The subsequent governments of South Vietnam were mostly corrupt. Consequently our government chose to support one tyrannical government over another, the Northern government which was led by Ho Chi Minh whom the US called a “communist”. As I’ve said in the past, there never has been, is not now and never will be a “communist government”. In fact, the phrase is an oxymoron.

    I was of age to be patriotic, quit school and join the military. I didn’t support the war because I just didn’t see the excuses that were given for the bloodshed.

    I see finality in death. That statement seems like a no brainer, but believers say that they are living this life to get to a better spiritual afterlife. Why else would so called “radical” Muslims blow themselves up for the purpose of harming their “enemies”? It certainly isn’t because they “hate us for our freedom”. It’s not at all about this life, is it?

    Most Christians, especially the well dressed and well groomed wealthy Christians, agree with Islam, evidenced by what they preach. They, too, say that it’s not about this life, but they hoard as much of this life as they possibly can.

    I mentioned that I lived with someone whose patriotism was impeccable during the years of the Vietnam war. He was “for the war” and I was “against” it.

    Let me digress for a brief moment. There are times when the lives of loved ones are in danger and the only thing to do is to fight defensively in order to protect those lives. In the bigger picture, if America is in danger of attack, there may be a reason to engage in warfare. To emphasize that this is what America believes, the department’s name was changed from The War Department to The Department of Defense to give the impression that we don’t have a cabinet position that sits around thinking up ways to wage war. We wanted to give the sense that there is a department that takes into account all possible scenarios in which the US may be attacked in one way or another and decides the best way to respond to those scenarios.

    There should be no one in his or her right mind who is ever for a war in the sense that someone is for a sports team. In the sixties and seventies, the question was asked, “Are you for or against the war in Vietnam?” How could anyone be for a war? I understand people thinking that war is absolutely necessary while wishing it wasn’t. But I can’t understand how anyone can be in favor of a war. One might be in favor of an action taken by a country’s leadership to respond by engaging in war, but I don’t understand how anyone can be for a war.

    That same question is asked today in regards to the “war” in Iraq. “Are you for or against the war in Iraq?”

    Everyone should answer, “I’m against it. I’m against any war.”

    Those who somehow support what is happening in Iraq might follow up with, “I just don’t see any other way of defending our nation.”

    The person with whom I lived supported our actions in Vietnam. When I asked him why, he used his powerful debating skills to tell me that my asking him why was an expression of hate toward him. I’ve already explained earlier in this site what followed from there.

    This person turned 35 in 1963, before the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident took place. During the bloodiest days of the Vietnam War, he was too old to be drafted. However, it would seem that, if he could enlist and fight in Vietnam, he would. That’s how strongly he supported that war. His patriotism during the Vietnam war was unequaled.

    Having said that, and I may be off a little on the following dates, this same person joined this US Army in 1946 and got out in 1948. He “did his two years”.

    Two years later, in 1950, the Korean War began to become extremely intense and remained that way until 1953. The person whose patriotism was unparalleled during the Vietnam War, a war during which he was too old to be drafted, was 22-26 years of age during the Korean War. I was born in 1950, so I was in no position to witness his patriotism during the Korean War. It is a historical fact, however, that, unlike the great baseball player, Ted Williams who fought in World War II, got out of the military and rejoined in 1950 to fight in the Korean war, the person with whom I lived determined that “doing his two years” was sufficiently patriotic and saw no reason to rejoin the military in 1950 to fight in The Korean War.

    I always think that letters to the editor that support our illegal war in Iraq are written by people who can not join the military. I always think that they’re written by people that are too old or have other legitimate reasons for not joining the military.

    I don’t believe that the war in Iraq was or is justified. There is no draft at this point, but draft or not, I would not fight in this war. There isn’t anything about our preemptive invasion of Iraq that has anything to do with defending America.

    If you remember, my definition of America is the land and the people who inhabit that land. My definition doesn't encompass what are referred to as “American Interests”, which is code for greedy multinational corporations.

    Back to the two young men. Some of this is possibly presumptuous, but they appeared to be of age to join the military. I can’t help believing that they “support the troops”, meaning they support the war. The back window, the magnets on the vehicle and the one boy’s t-shirt leads me to believe that.

    As I said, I support the troops by working as hard as possible to get them the hell out of Iraq. I’m too old to join the military and, even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t fight in a war of choice for which there was no provocation.

    However, if I was of age and my nation was defending itself against a legitimate aggressor who had the power and the obvious intention of harming the land that is America and those that inhabit it, I would fight. I wouldn’t much like it and would hope that my government was involved in a genuine diplomatic attempt to stop the war as soon as possible. I wouldn’t fight in the war because I was for the war. I’d still be against it. I’d fight in the war to protect America, by my definition.

    The two boys or young men shouldn’t have been in the parking lot of Sylvia’s yesterday. Those two young men should be in Iraq, really supporting the troops by fighting by their side if this war is one in which they believe.

    This incident has led me to change my mind about who writes the pro war letters to the editor. I guess I wouldn’t be surprised if people who are of age to join the military and have no physical ailments that would impede their joining write some of those patriotic letters. To these people and to the young men I met in Sylvia’s parking lot I say the following:

    1. Whether or not you join the military to really support the troops, the war is illegal and is based upon lies to the American public.
    2. Magnets or stickers on your vehicles mean nothing to the troops. They can’t see them. They’re in Iraq!
    3. Writing letters to the editor which express support for the war doesn’t come anywhere near as close to supporting the troops as signing up and going to Iraq. Why aren’t you there?

    The two young men I spoke to in Sylvia’s parking lot are helping to end this war in which they so strongly believe.

    The phrase “support the troops” lives on a slippery slope. I support the safety of the troops by doing what I can to bring them home as quickly as possible.

    On the other hand, if there were no troops, there’d be no war. A lot is made of loyalty and patriotism. A lot is made of the bravery exhibited by those who agree to go to Iraq and put their lives on the line.

    I can definitely agree with the bravery part. Going to war would scare the living hell out of me.

    However, I hear that there are troops who don’t believe in this war. I must ask, if they don’t believe in the war, why are they enabling it? Why are they there?

    The Regime has made it obvious to the most casual observer that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with preserving the American way of life unless one considers perpetual war the American way of life. It has nothing to do with defending America, by my definition. It has everything to do with supporting a group of people, The Regime, whose interest in that part of the world is quite obvious.

    I do not wish the troops harm. In fact, I repeat; I want them out of Iraq and ready to defend America as soon as possible. However, I wish those who don’t believe in this war would refuse to go. If enough troops refuse to go to Iraq, Leavenworth would be overflowing. The courts would have to find those troops not guilty of any crime, civilian or military. The mere numbers would make a farce of court-martialing them.

    Next time someone says that he or she supports the troops but not the war, that person should consider the paradox. How does one support troops who’ve, through their free will have agreed to fight in a war in which many of them don't believe and without whose participation the war could not happen while not supporting the war that their participation is enabling?

    I realize that's a tough pill to swallow. It would make a lot more sense to support the troops if the troops refused to go to Iraq, thus compelling this sadistic regime to end its occupation of Iraq. Such a bold act of bravery may even dissuade this or any future government from pursuing another unwarranted, preemptive war against people who have not shown that they're an immediate threat to this nation.

    To friendship,
    Michael

    In the tree of history a sad tale we’re engraving.

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    Time to Order More Teflon

    I know some of you receive MoveOn mailings. I really haven’t been impressed by MoveOn since they ran their ABB campaign in 2004. The answer to ABB was Bush-lite. They disparaged Ralph Nader, someone who actually presented a different, really different agenda than that of The Regime. I hope that we never get sucked in that way again by MoveOn, Common Cause or any other Democratic Party apologists.

    Having said that, this is the kind of thing that makes one scratch one’s head after reading several letters to the editor supporting the sale of US ports to the UAE. The excuses and explanations prove that the Kool-Aid has taken effect.

    “Liberals” don’t understand what’s really happening. It was merely a deal that any stable government would make. Dubai has worked with the UK. They’re OK. They’re a real western type nation. Maybe they have a Disney World. UAE, the west of the Middle East.

    I’m sure that the hard core Brown Shirts can find an explanation, an excuse for this.

    He can say that he’ll get Osama bin Laden, dead or alive. After all, Osama attacked the US or at least sent some of his henchmen, now dead henchmen, to do it. And you know why? Because they hate us for our freedom, that’s why. I guess it didn’t occur to them to look for another kind of freedom if they hate ours so much.

    Then he took a turn Northeast and said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and worked with Al Qaeda to take out the WTC and the Pentagon. He ought to know.

    He can say that he’ll disarm Iraq.

    He can say that he is exhausting all “diplomatic” avenues while Blair’s cabinet is telling each other quite another story. Has anyone heard of The Downing Street Memos? I heard about these memos a long time ago. There are a couple of web sites. After Downing Street something or another.

    Oh, well, the mainstream media did a commercial advertisement about them and that was the name of that tune.

    Has anyone read a book called “Against All Enemies” by Richard Clarke? It's a good book. Clarke worked for The Regime on September 11, 2001. That’s the day 19 men of Middle Eastern descent flew some commercial jets into The World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Oh, yeah, I mentioned that. Bush was exhausting something or another, right? That’s right. Now I remember.

    Well, anyway, Clarke said that he was told to investigate Iraq after 9/11. But Bush had just finished saying that bin Laden and Al Qaeda did the damage. Oh, and the Taliban was involved too. He never told the American people about Iraq. Well, he never told them, he just started talking about it. He started, Condi Rice started, Rumsfeld and Cheney were all too eager to start talking about it.

    Bin Laden, the Taliban, Afghanistan, you know, where bin Laden lived, trained and found cover, was nowhere near as important as Saddam Hussein. He had some sort of weapons that made mushrooms or something and all those people, The Regime, scared the shit out of Americans with stories of weapons and mushrooms and we needed to stop Saddam from launching those mushrooms and the American people knew that those mushrooms and what happened on 9/11 were connected, maybe organically, who knows.

    He can say that Saddam was a tyrant and Iraqis really want Democracy. He can say this as the mushrooms are sliding down the Teflon. What mushrooms? What weapons? What diplomacy? What bin Laden? What Afghanistan? What Taliban?

    Support the troops. Support the troops. That’s the ticket. Iraqis want Democracy. I don’t know. I never heard any Iraqis say they want Democracy, but they’re grateful just the same. I was convinced the day I saw that statue of Saddam fall in Saddam square on Saddam Boulevard. It was then that Americans believed that purple fingers were the underlying reasons for our sending troops that need supporting.

    Our troops are fighting for our way of life. The freedom to say what we dare say is being protected by purple fingers and troops that need supporting. If that wasn’t happening, I couldn’t be free to write this message.

    Some “liberals”, Bush haters, blame America firsters are making up this story that our President was in on the attacks of 9/11/01. There’s this evidence and that evidence. It can all be explained away. Fires made buildings fall, even buildings that weren’t hit by planes. Fires made them fall. But “liberals” will make up anything because they hate Bush. They’re Bush haters. They are innate Bush haters, hated him before they even heard of him. They hate America. Why don’t they go back where they came from? Try free speech in North Korea, in China, in Saudi Arabia. Scratch that last one. They’re our friends and their suppression of free speech is their own business. Who are we to tell them not to mutilate female infants while they’re suppressing free speech? Not everyone can be like us, you know. Bush was never involved in 9/11. Never!

    There’s an explanation for everything that happened on 9/11 and if there isn’t, stuff happens. Rumsfeld. Stuff happens. Buildings collapse. What’s so unusual about that and how does that prove that our president had anything to do with it. Just because buildings collapse doesn’t mean our president had anything to do with it.

    Crazy ass “liberals”, America haters. Those troops are over there fighting for the freedom that allows the crazies to say such crap. So if they want to maintain the freedom to say it, they should stop saying it. Besides, it makes the troops feel bad and it encourages the enemy, Saddam Hussein. Oh that’s right, he’s been caught. He can’t be the enemy anymore. But someone is shooting at our troops, the ones that need supporting, and our enemy isn’t Saddam or bin Laden, who Bush doesn’t much care about anymore. Our enemy is called “insurgents”. And we have to kill those insurgents over there before they make us kill them over here.

    Stay the course. Stay the course. What’s the course? He can’t tell you. It’s classified. If he tells you, the enemy, who ever they are, oh yeah, the insurgents, will find out.

    And thanks to those bleeding heart “liberals”, the insurgents now know that we’re spying on them. Don’t you know that if we spy on every single American, we’re bound to run across some insurgents talking to sleeper cells in the US? They’re probably just trying to wake them up. If not for “liberals”, insurgents would have never guessed that we’re spying on them. “Liberals” – always spoiling the surprise.

    So now the enemy knows that we’re spying on them thanks to the do-gooders. Why can’t everyone be a do badder like most of The Regime’s supporters? Well, isn’t a do badder the opposite of a do-gooder? He does have such trouble with the mother tongue.

    If you look here, you’ll find out that Bush knew about Katrina well ahead of time and promised to be there to help during the storm and hoped to god or someone like god that there’d be no deaths. He sure sounded like he was aware that, as Brownie said, this is going to be “the big one”.

    He armed himself with a guitar and headed for San Diego. Condi went shopping. Rumsfeld was still amazed that those terrorists hit a part of the Pentagon that was under construction anyway and didn’t hit where he has his office. Lucky break, that. Serendipitous, indeed. More reason to kill the insurgents.

    Even though he was told that the levees in New Orleans were in danger of being compromised from this Katrina thing, he admitted the obvious after all was over. He said who would have known that the levees in New Orleans were in danger of being compromised? He has a point. That’s why he makes the big bucks.

    What was he supposed to do? He said he would help and he’s helping. He promised $250 billion or was that million or hundred million or all of the above. What more can he do?

    What was it that he promised? $65 million?

    Damn Abramoff. Where is he when you need him to help Native Americans, Indians, Redskins, Braves, what ever sport you’re talking, build casinos. We need them built before those people, you know, those people, start thinking about returning to New Orleans. What a gold mine that place can be. But first it has to be Rooted, Browned and Halliburtonned. If they come back, we need to tell them that they chose to move. That’s right. No one forced ‘em to move. In fact, no one even helped them move. Bush says, “Don’t blame that shit on me.”

    Casinos are going to pay a whole lot more taxes than those people would pay. In the name of security and reviving the economy, he can say that New Orleans will be eminently domained.

    It’s not like The Regime is racist. It’s had two Black Secretaries of State, one of whom they made a fool on the floor of the UN (I bet he wished that he was on the floor) and the other with whom they’re filling the fool’s shoes. Maybe that’s what she was shopping for during Katrina.

    But, really, can The Regime make anyone look more like a moron than they’ve made George W. Bush look?

    Yeah, it was cute to hear him mangle the language.

    Sure it was a hoot watching him look for WMD under chairs and desks during his speech at a media dinner on March 24, 2004.

    Sure he makes members of his cult feel special because he allows them to witness his speeches in person. It’s sort of like the velvet rope of political rallies.

    And landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003 in full military flight regalia claiming that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended” was priceless. For everything else, you need MasterCard, especially since the Bankruptcy Bill went into effect. I guess he saw the statue fall, too.

    At that time, luckily, there were only a few hundred dead soldiers. No big whoop. Now where has that USS Abraham Lincoln gone? Is it under this desk, that chair? Oh, man, the sense of humor never stops.

    He can say that Iraq is like the Indianapolis 500 because we’ve turned enough corners to have made it back to where we started and there are corners up ahead that need to be turned.

    Where’s a yellow flag when you need one?

    The 2000 selection.

    The 2004 exercise.

    The 9/11 fires from hell.

    The refusal to allow a 9/11 investigation.

    The giving in to having an investigation with the following caveats:


    1. The Front Man and The Rifleman aren’t interrogated in public or under oath.

    2. Dr. Philip Zelikow quits his position on The Regime’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board to become The Executive Director of The 9/11 Commission, the guy in charge of investigations for the commission.

    3. Condi doesn’t have to be under oath when she testifies. They lost this battle, but won the war.

    a. Did the President see a memo stating that Osama bin Laden was planning an attack inside the US?

    b. No, says she.

    c. Did the president receive a briefing on August 6, 2001 entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States”?

    d. It all depends on what the meaning of the word “determined” is. Well, she didn’t say that, but she said something about “not remembering any reports... warning, that planes might be used as weapons.”

    4. Mem’ries,/Like the corners of my mind/Misty water-colored memories/Of the way we were” If only Streisand was the NSC Director instead of Condi Rice.

    Anybody know what God’s been telling Dubya to do next? He says “God”, I say “The Regime”. Synonyms were never more appropriate.

    Forget about it! Oh, that’s right. Most Americans have.

    Between 1992 and today, we’ve all had a civics lesson. We’ve found out what is and is not an impeachable offense. Stay away from those interns.

    To friendship,
    Michael

    “There will indeed be peace on Earth. Whether we humans are around to enjoy it, that is up to us. It all depends whether we achieve critical mass before we reach critical massacre.” - Swami Beyondananda

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    The Kool-Aid is Getting Stronger

    Why am I extracting some satisfaction from the move to put the United Arab Emirates in charge of many of our important ports?

    I’m as worried as the next person.

    Yet, this move validates a few things I’ve been saying all along.

    Every Friday, I read Cal Thomas’s column. It’s difficult for me to read it at times because Thomas is one of the most “conservative” columnists writing these days.

    On Friday, February 17, 2006, Thomas said that putting the UAE in charge of American ports was “one of the dumbest things” that’s happened since September 11, 2001.

    However, it’s not Thomas’s words that do the validating.

    The ill advised sale validates my views on two subjects about which I write on a regular basis and for which I’m harshly criticized. I always refer to the bunch running the show as The Regime and I believe that The Regime coordinated the “attacks” upon The United States of America on September 11, 2001 in order to carry out plans that are documented in the Project For A New American Century, a “project” designed and planned by members of The Regime.

    How does this wacky port prank played by the fun loving “Bush administration” help validate what I’ve been supporting and about which I’ve been writing for some time?

    If men of Middle Eastern descent hijacked planes on 9/11/01 and the timeline followed The Regime’s explanation, there should be no way that the US government should allow a nation that is known to have financially supported the hijackers to control US ports. Aren’t ports prime entrances into the US for those who might seek to do us harm? Indeed, they are.

    Let’s review. We were attacked on September 11, 2001. The Front Man himself identified Al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden as the culprits who carried out that crime. Yet, we’ve not captured important Al Qaeda operatives and we, for sure, have not captured bin Laden. We have drawn Iraq into a bloody civil war, however.

    Do we really believe that Osama bin Laden can escape the clutches of a technological giant that can use satellite technology to read the characters on a license plate from space?

    Add this unbelievable fact to our allowing the UAE to control our ports and it becomes very obvious that The Regime isn’t much worried about terrorism from nations in that part of the world.

    Why would The Regime bargain with the UAE so casually, knowing that they helped the so called hijackers? It seems that the answer could possibly be because there were no hijackers of Middle Eastern descent who caused death and destruction on 9/11. The Regime knows all too well who carried out that crime and for what purpose it was enacted.

    This is my take. If a real president of The United States of America was sitting in a second grade classroom and was told that one commercial jet had accidentally crashed into a major structure which stands within the borders of the mainland of the United States in one of the busiest and most populous cities in this nation, he would immediately end his visit and begin to work on the situation. He’d address the nation, expressing sorrow and assuring us that he will be working closely with the FAA to determine what happened. That’s if it was just an aviation accident! A commercial airliner crashing into the World Trade Center is enough to compel any president’s immediate attention. How could any sane American imagine that the president of The United States would remain sitting in a classroom for a photo op after learning that such an accident just took place?

    Now think of it in light of the official explanation. Two commercial jets were hijacked and purposely flown into the WTC. Someone is using our own commercial jets to attack us. George W. Bush is The President of the United States of America. Who ever flew those planes into the WTC and, ultimately, The Pentagon as well, wants to do some serious harm to the US. It seems that they planned the attack pretty efficiently. They must have known where our president was due to be at that time. The thought that they may want to crash something into the place in which he was scheduled to be should seem quite plausible.

    Did they immediately hustle him out of the class room? No. They didn’t want the children and teachers to panic.

    Under these circumstances one would want the teachers and kids to panic or at least sense the urgency of the situation and to get the hell away from the school, not to mention get the president someplace other than where he is known to be.

    This casual response to such a catastrophic American tragedy should have raised a few eyebrows when it took place.

    It appears that The Regime expected the public response to something that our supposed “president” learned via the media, that “his administration” is selling several important US ports to the United Arab Emirates, to be equally casual. I guess they didn’t entertain the possibility that the public might react incredulously to this idea.

    I hear now that the UAE is as westernized an Arab nation as there is and Dubai has been called “the Manhattan of the Middle East.” I hear now that they’d present as much of a threat to the US as would Switzerland.

    What I don’t hear is why we’re continuing to mortgage off the US. What I don’t hear is why an American company or, better yet, the US government isn’t controlling the ports, strengthening port security by utilizing Americans unemployed because of treaties we’ve entered into with slave labor nations. Why are we giving more dollars to other nations in exchange for America? That’s what I don’t hear.

    I hear that the left (I hate those labels) is joining the right in “overreacting”. Is this what Dubya meant when he said he was a uniter, not a divider?

    Secondly, the sale validates something I do for which I’m chastised time and time again. I call it what it is, a regime.

    For one thing, the word “regime” is not intrinsically negative.

    Dictionary.com defines regime as:

    1.

    a. A form of government: a fascist regime.

    b. A government in power; administration (emphasis mine): suffered under the new regime.

    2. A prevailing social system or pattern.

    3. The period during which a particular administration (emphasis mine) or system prevails.

    Note that the definitions are not automatically negative. Certainly, the examples given speak to how the word is normally used, that is, to connote a maleficent “form of government” or “government in power; administration”.

    The attacks which I incur for referring to The Regime as such are irrelevant and have nothing to do with the subject matter most of the time.

    If one was to ask me if I wanted to connote maleficence when I use the word to describe the group of “evildoers” that are now sitting at the head of this land’s government, I would answer with a resounding “yes”.

    As I tried to explain above, there are just too many times when George W. Bush doesn’t react in a manner which one would expect the leader of the free world to react. To reuse the example above, his reaction to a large commercial jet crashing into an important American landmark in a crowded metropolis is, by itself, an admission that he, as well as those who should have hustled to get him to safety, knew it was going to happen.

    The fact that he learned about the sale of our ports to the UAE through the media should be enough proof that he is not running this country. What is happening, has happened, and is planned to happen is becoming clearer and clearer. All thinking human beings should cease supporting The Regime. There should be outrage and demands for honest, non partisan investigations. There’s a plethora of issues that absolutely need in depth investigating by a grand jury, yet they aren’t getting such investigation.

    I’m no follower of the puppy dogs that claim to be the “loyal opposition”. The Democratic Party just introduced a bill in Congress to “clean up” political campaigns. It proposes that political campaigns should be publicly funded. This, indeed, needs to happen.

    However, House Bill HR4694 requires political parties who want to qualify for such funding to have received 25% of the vote in previous elections. In effect, while The Democrats are attacking corrupt relationships between politicians and people like Jack Abramoff, they are making it nearly impossible for any party other that Republicans and Democrats, together The Corporacracy, to qualify for federal funding. They are even making it difficult for Independents to become candidates. Their bill is a disingenuous attempt at campaign reform. What it actually accomplishes is to perpetually solidify their place as one of only two corrupt political parties in the former US.

    However, in this Democrat/Republican game that’s played and that Americans still buy in to, if The Democrats gain control of one or both houses of congress in 2006, they will immediately begin impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush. At first glance, we may say, “It’s about time.”

    It’ll be interesting because, if Bush needs to resign, the real leaders of The Regime will be able to openly lead the nation and possibly do so for a very long time. The resignation of George W. Bush will finally expose The Regime. The resignation of our nominal president will remove any doubt that there is a regime from which a real totalitarian leader could quite possibly emerge.

    Who the functioning leaders of this nation are will no longer be a sick joke. What they are planning to do to this nation, in concert with what their plans are for the rest of the world, will begin to be less cryptic as time goes on.

    What can be done?

    1. Call or write to your representatives in congress, especially those of you who are represented by Republicans, and express your outrage at the sale of our ports to the UAE. Republicans and Democrats are truly working together on this because they know that there aren’t too many constituents who agree with it.

    2. In 2006, let’s work on changing the balance of power.

    3. Push for public funding of political campaigns.

    4. Let’s work together to abolish The Electoral College.

    To friendship,
    Michael

    “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson