Tuesday :: Aug 16, 2005

One Is Too Many


by pessimist

Pat Buchannan is not one of my favorite people, but I have come to respect his grasp of the details of a problem facing this nation. Like a doctor practicing prior to the advent of modern technology, Buchannan is very adept at diagnosis - he's just not up to the task of curing the patient.

But proper treatment of a patient does require proper diagnosis. Pat Buchannan looks at the Middle Eastern ills facing the nation, and asks if the new Iran illness isn't hypochondria:


Is this Iran crisis for real?

Why, then, this talk of confrontation and pre-emptive strikes? Even if Iran had a weapon, to give it to a terrorist or to use it on a U.S. target would be an act of suicidal insanity by a regime that, no matter how militant, has shown no desire for war with America.

The world will be divided between Russia-China-Iran on one side and the United States and its backers on the other. It would be interesting to see how many U.S. allies are willing to support sanctions on the third-largest oil producer on earth when oil is running at $65 a barrel.

What is the worry? Just this.

If or when Iran goes nuclear, she has a deterrent to intimidation. U.S. freedom of action in the Persian Gulf comes to an end.
We would have to behave as gingerly with the mullahs as we do with Kim Jong Il, something intolerable to our neoconservatives and President Bush.

For a staunch Catholic man whose political sympathies should be with the Good Christians who are attempting to convert this nation to theocracy, one has to wonder about Buchannan's motivations. Is he, for instance, still able to separate his strong faith from the secular governance of his nation?

Perhaps.

Perhaps also, he sees the threat coming from the Radical Republican Religious and as a True Conservative, seeks to protect his nation from that travesty.

Perhaps.

Perhaps this is what is really driving Pat Buchannan:

In short, a U.S. attack on Iran could lead to war across the region and interruption of the 15 million barrels of oil a day that come from the Gulf, which would drive the world economy into instant cardiac arrest.

Ah ha! That would certainly bring an end to his economic La Dolce Vita!

But fear not! Pat is up to the defense of his personally wealthy state! As his self-promotion promises:

Pat Buchanan's newest book, Where the Right Went Wrong, tells how neocons are leading conservatives and America to disaster ... and what we must do now to save our country and our cause.

All we have to do is Stand Pat - and pay his fee.

I would recommend reading Buchannan's book strictly to get his diagnosis, but get a second opinion. I would strongly caution anyone from adopting his prescription without one. His track record in the past isn't good, and he has some strong biases that don't deserve reinforcement.

Regardless of the shortcomings of Pat Buchannan's political analysis, the recent statements out of Number 10 Downing Street have a similar focus as Buchannan's:


Britain keeps distance from talk of strike on Iran

The foreign secretary Jack Straw sought to distance Britain yesterday from comments by President George W Bush that he would not rule out a military strike against Iran.

The Foreign Office reacted swiftly. “Our position is clear and has been made very, very clear by the foreign secretary,” a spokesman said.

“We do not think there are any circumstances where military action would be justified against Iran. It does not form part of British foreign policy.”

This article indicates that support for Koenig Georg Kriegsfuehrer's New Oil War - same as the Old Oil War - is also soft in Washington:

Hawks in the Bush administration have been less vocal in their calls for military intervention against Iran recently, and the president’s remarks are said to belie a lack of appetite for another all-out confrontation in the Middle East. “What you’ve got to remember is everything Iran could do for Bush,” said one diplomat. “They could make his Middle Eastern dreams come true: think of their influence in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Palestine.
"Think of their influence on oil prices.”

What was it that Buchannan's nemesis during the Nixon days used to say? Ah, yes!

FOLLOW THE MONEY!

So we will!


Gas prices soaring, but they'll keep on boating

"If you can't afford the gas, you can't afford the boat," said Tommy Moore, of Houston, who used about 1,400 gallons of gas to bring his Hatteras down from Virginia. "The gas is the least expensive part."

At the Three Amigos marina near Seabrook, the bigger the boat, the smaller the bite from the gasoline price of $3.07 per gallon. "I guess we're helping the Texas economy," Moore said. "Now, let's go burn some gas," he told his boating companions.

"I love these prices. The higher, the better," said Frank Gafke, of Galveston, a senior service leader for Halliburton on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Gafke said Halliburton's profits - and his savings account - had increased markedly since fuel prices began rising.
He predicted that prices soon will reach $3 per gallon for automobile drivers, as well as for recreational boaters. And, he said, relief at the pump probably won't come anytime soon. "Oil just hit $66 per barrel and gas jumped up 6 cents," Gafke said.
"And if we take any action against Iran, that's only going to cause more price increases. But if you can afford the boat, it doesn't matter what gas costs."

Is this not a clear piece of evidence of what is driving really the war plans against Iran?

This avarice is what started the war against Iraq - something these modern robber barons of the cheap neo-con Gilded Age aren't paying for with the blood of their own offspring. They have passed that cost along like any other tax under Bu$hCo 'reform'.

One family in Tennessee is among those paying that cost ...

Chase Comley
R.I.P.

"He is number 1,828, 1,829 or 1,830. We don't know for sure, because so many died last week."


Marine Lance Cpl. Chase Johnson Comley died when his vehicle was hit head on by a suicide bomber. He loved his family, his country, his Sayre classmates and his life, but we don't think he loved his mission in Iraq.

He tried to sound upbeat, probably for our benefit, but his father could detect in Chase's voice more than a hint of futility and will never say, "my son died doing what he loved."

For those of you who still trust the Bush administration -- and your percentage diminishes every day -- let me tell you that my nephew Chase Johnson Comley did not die to preserve your freedoms.
He was not presented flowers by grateful Iraqis, welcoming him as their liberator.

He died in a country erupting into civil war and turned into a hellhole by Bush, a place where democracy has no chance of prevailing, a country that will become a theocracy like Saudi Arabia.

He died fighting a senseless war - a war that King Abdullah advised Bush against because it would disrupt the Middle East - for oil and contracts, ensuring the increased wealth of President Bush and his administration's friends.

He died long after Bush, in his testosterone-charged, theatrical, soldier-for-a-day role, announced on an aircraft carrier beneath a "Mission Accomplished" banner that major combat was over.

The preservation of our freedom rests not on U.S. imperialism but on actively changing foreign policies that are conquest-oriented and that dehumanize our own young who become fodder for endless war as well as people in other countries who are so geographically distant that they become abstract.

The answer is not Bush's mantra: "They're jealous of our freedoms."

- and they are far from happy about it:

Comley's grandmother, 80-year-old Geraldine Comley of Versailles, described herself in an interview as a former Republican stalwart who is "on a rampage" against the president and the war. She said she would like nothing better than to join Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier who has been holding a peace vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Texas. She said her view, developed before her grandson's death, is that Bush pushed for war because Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had tried to assassinate the first President Bush, and to get control of Mideast oil.

"When someone gets up and says 'My son died for our freedom,' or I get a sympathy card that says that, I can hardly bear it," Geraldine Comley said. "And it irritates me no small amount that Dick Cheney, in the Vietnam War, said he had 'other priorities,'" Geraldine Comley said. "He didn't mind sending my grandson over there" to Iraq. [...]

Freedom is just another word for something else to take away from the people in the quest for an American theocratic petroleum plutocracy:


The Religous Right's Coming Civil War?

(CNN.com: "Religious rally attacks 'arrogant' judges")

Perhaps I should just ignore these people, but they are beginning to scare me. Not annoy, nor anger, nor disgust me. Frighten me. Not quite the fear of barbers in Iraq who now post signs that they do not shave men -- to avoid being murdered by the extremists who demand total capitulation to their worldview. My fear is that we are on that same path, and I see no hope of avoiding the coming conflict.

There is a battle coming, and it won't be restricted to politics and elections. Those who believe they are God's chosen will act upon that belief. They have created God in their own image, and they will seek to force us all to kneel before their self-created idol. What happens when we necessarily refuse?

Perhaps they will gain the power to imprison and punish the non-believers, much the same as the Islamic extremists do. Maybe, like the worst of these fanatics, they will kill in God's name. Maybe we will have a state religion. Or perhaps a civil war as they seek to withdraw from secular society and take over large portions of the country in the name of God. I don't know. I just know the mind set, the vast and unshakable belief in the holy righteousness of their thoughts and opinions.

I know what goes on in these kinds of meetings, how the prayers and songs and sermons, not to mention the utterances held to be straight from God via the Holy Spirit (tongues and prophecy), all push the message deeper and deeper: We are God's chosen, and we live among a fallen people. God's wrath is coming, God's judgment; God will not let us continue to suffer in such circumstances.

I know these people who are demanding that God is on their side, that their interpretations of the Bible are capital-t Truth, and who are coming to the conclusion that as God smote those who stood in the way of the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land, so He will strike down those who stand in the way of their gospel. That means me, for one, not to mention the majority of Americans, ninety percent of the rest of the world, and most members of the Federal Judiciary.

It does not take a degree in Divinity to recognize that the Christian gospel is not about making life on earth holy; it's about what is after this life. But the leaders of this movement are not interested in eternity; their stake is in the here-and-now. They are fallen prophets seeking the kind of glory and power Jesus turned his back on. They do not minister to the spirit of the weak, sick, and imprisoned as commanded by Jesus in Matthew 25[:34]:

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.

Instead, they follow the path of their pride, their absolute faith in what they choose to believe.

And they have made it, in the words of Bruce Cockburn's song, a "gospel of bondage."


With some seeing politicisation of the military growing in strength and in favor of the Democrats (as evidenced recently by Paul Hackett's candidacy in Ohio), ... [via KOS]:

New MyDD front-page poster Scott Shields:

I wondered if the Iraq War would be for the modern Democratic Party what Watergate was in the seventies. In the aftermath of that scandal, a whole crop of young, idealistic Democrats were elected to Congress in a backlash against the GOP. Quickly dubbed Watergate Babies their ranks included Henry Waxman, Tom Harkin, Chris Dodd, and Paul Tsongas.

Even as Hackett was out campaigning, other Iraq vets were busy making plans for 2006 -- Patrick Murphy in the PA-08 and David Ashe in the VA-02. According to The Charlotte Observer, Tim Dunn of North Carolina may soon join their ranks, seeking to take out GOP incumbent Robin Hayes [...]

It's too early to say that what we're seeing is the conception of the Iraq Babies. But arrogant incumbents like Hayes make perfect targets for disciplined candidates like Dunn. And around the country, the mere fact that veterans like Hackett, Dunn, Murphy, and Ashe are returning from war to run for office as Democrats must send a powerful message to moderates that there is something very wrong with the current GOP leadership.

Hackett has said he's been swamped with calls and emails from soldiers in Iraq wanting to follow in his footsteps -- return home from Iraq to run for office. The GOoPers, they of the "we support the troops", will not hesitate to Swiftboat every single one of those vets. They, of the "we support the troops" will do everything in their power to keep our men and women in the Iraqi meat grinder, lest their Dear Leader lose face and admit he f'd up.


... there is desperate incentive for the GOP to Diebold the voting process even further:

New research compiled by Dr. Dennis Loo with the University of Cal Poly Pomona now shows that extensive manipulation of non-paper-trail voting machines occurred in several states during the 2004 election. There is now strong statistical evidence of widespread voting machine manipulation occurring in US elections since 2000. Coverage of the fraud has been reported in independent media and various websites. The information is not secret. But it certainly seems to be a taboo subject for the US corporate media.

And some of the top execs of the US corporate media own those big boats I presented above! Newt Gingrich is working on cementing in place the current political power elite for their benefit.

But I digress.

There is little doubt key Democrats know that votes in 2004 and earlier elections were stolen. The fact that few in Congress are complaining about fraud is an indication of the totality to which both parties accept the status quo of a money based elections system. Neither party wants to further undermine public confidence in the American "democratic" process (over 80 millions eligible voters refused to vote in 2004).
Future elections in the US will continue as an equal opportunity for both parties to maintain a national democratic charade in which money counts more than truth.

But money isn't the end goal of this process - power is. Power over the world and everything in it. The money is used as a points-system, and as a perquisite for those whose superiority is to be acknowledged by the rest of us. These men (and their few token females like Condi Rice and Karen Hughes) are self-appointed Platonic Guardians who are accountable to no one but themselves:

This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing — to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest 1 percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the quality of air in coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president?

FOLLOW THE MONEY!

So they will!


Forces of politics, not warfare, will bring Iraq pullout by 2006
E.W. Chamberlain III is a retired Army colonel

I'll tell you when we'll be out of Iraq.

We will be out of Iraq before the congressional election of 2006. We'll either be completely out or well on our way out with a specified end date.

Here's why.

The toll of the war in both lives and treasure are going well beyond what we were promised.
As already is evident, even prominent Republicans are openly questioning the war. The Republicans are quickly realizing that their recently won majority in Congress will be a chimera if they blindly acquiesce to what many now see is a failed policy. The Republicans in Congress also realize that the new struggle is with the executive branch over power now that the Democrats are in (temporary?) decline. After all, ultimately, it's all about power.

A Republican-dominated Congress will force the president to end the war as a demonstration of their power, or they will lose their ascendancy as the Democrats use the war and its costs and lack of tangible success as a rallying cry in the 2006 elections. The Democrats would be foolish not to.

The American people are becoming less concerned about jobs as the economy improves, which gives more time for concern about a war that has no discernible end. They too are beginning to ask uncomfortable questions, hence the president's recent and frequent calls to stay the course.

The course, as Col. Chamberlain sees it, is a very bloody one, and will prove very costly to the BFEE/PNAC Petroleum Pirate Posse Plan:

The Sunni clerics will emerge as the dominant power in Saudi Arabia.
Americans and all other Westerners will be killed or, at best, ejected from Saudi Arabia, which has enough native petrochemical engineers and knowledgeable oil field workers, and can find other non-Westerners to run the oil fields. No Westerner need apply.

What's this predicted bloody anti-American rise of Sunni clerics in Saudi Arabia got to do with the US getting out of Iraq?

The insurgency in Iraq is Sunni, which many in Washington have yet to figure out. The suicide car bombings that have killed so many Iraqi civilians are mistakenly tagged as terrorist attacks, when in reality they are attacks against Shiites by the Sunni insurgency.

Probably even before the U.S. withdraws, the "democratically elected" Shiite government in Iraq will be aligned rapidly with Iran and will receive open and massive support. The Saudi Arabian government will continue to support the Sunni insurgency, as it does today, but the support will become open.

The Sunni insurgency eventually will lose as the full weight of a Shiite Iraq and a Shiite Iran overwhelms it. Numbers alone, coupled with a real war of attrition that does not discriminate between combatants and noncombatants or follow any rules of engagement, will result in horrific casualties and defeat.

This will not be the kinder, gentler, American way of war. This will be an Old Testament conflict with no quarter given.
The remnants of the Sunni insurgency will flee to Saudi Arabia. There they will foment discord because the Saudi royal family did not do enough and allowed the Sunnis to be defeated in Iraq. The royal family will be overthrown in a violent revolution in Saudi Arabia led by Sunni clerics who long have chafed under the pro-Western rule of the House of Saud.

As terrible as this sounds, someone is anxiously awaiting the development of this situation:

Of course, we need not fear another attack here at home from Osama bin Laden as all this occurs, because he will have fulfilled his fatwa.
The only thing bin Laden ever said he was after was to remove the Westerners from Saudi Arabia, the Land of the Holy Places.
This will be done when the clerics assume control of Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden will win the war on terrorism by achieving his goals with our unwitting help.

So maybe, if the Tex@$$ Oil Boys want to keep playing boats, they better heed the words of a man who was once one of their own. As Pat Buchannan warns:

President Bush should think long and hard before yielding to the War Party a second time. Iran is a nation three times the size of Iraq and with three times the population.

This would be no cakewalk.

Just how many more Cindy Sheehans and Geraldine Comleys is it going to take before the American people have had enough of this?

How many have died for HALLIBURTON? How many more deaths will it take to satisfy those who 'can afford the boat' because 'it doesn't matter what gas costs'?

One is too many. Too many will never been enough.


Copyrighted [©] source material contained in this article is presented under the provisions of Fair Use.

FAIR USE NOTICE

This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of democracy, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

pessimist :: 3:30 AM :: Comments (15) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!