Tuesday :: Aug 22, 2006

Playing Both Sides Against - WHOM?

by pessimist

Osama continues to run up the score in the World Serious Terror Championship by adroitly maneuvering Team Bush into committing terrorist errors against itself while he sits in the Tora Bora Executive Club Box in Riyadh swilling a cold club soda.

New York Times columnist Bob Herbert wrote about some of these gaffes on August 21, 2006:

The Truth Puts You in Jail

In the United States, a free and open society committed to the rule of law, you are not supposed to lock people up — deprive them of their liberty — on mere suspicion. When a person is actually arrested for a crime, the government has certain important obligations, including the obligation to provide a prompt arraignment and to demonstrate that there is probable cause that the suspect had committed the offense.
We need to ask ourselves: Do we want a just society? Or are we willing to trade that revolutionary idea for a repressive government that gives us nothing more than the illusion of safety?
For five years now Americans have been chasing ghosts and shadows,
and demanding that they confess to terrorizing us.
Who's terrorizing whom here?

While we pause to allow our analysts to breathe, lets check the score:

CBS Islam Analyst to Stewart: We’re Losing a Marketing Campaign to Cave-Dwellers
Aug 22, 2006

In an interview with Jon Stewart, author and CBS News analyst Reza Aslan called America’s war on terror a “marketing campaign,” and then wondered aloud, “...the United States is losing a marketing campaign to people who live in caves...”

Any marketing campaign is doomed when the lead salesman is a doofus who should be separated from the firm ASAP.

In Election Push, Bush Faults Talk of Iraq Pullout
August 22, 2006

“[T]here are a lot of people in the Democrat Party [sic] who believe that the best course of action is to leave Iraq before the job is done, period, and they’re wrong.”

And yet, Mr. Bush [why does that phrase strike me as a certain contradiction in terminology?] also said this at yesterday's news 'conference':

When Mr. Bush referred to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on Monday in reference to a question about Iraq, a reporter pressed him, “What did Iraq have to do with that?”

Nothing,” Mr. Bush responded somewhat testily, adding, “Nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack.”

We knows egg-zackly what the facts is:

Leading up to the invasion in March 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney did call attention to the theory, since discredited, that one of the Sept. 11 hijackers might have met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer.

Questions are being asked about the veracity and reliability of the Pretzeldunce's pronouncements, beginning with the Los Angeles Times in an editorial:

EDITORIAL: Finish What Job?
President Bush's simplistic rhetoric could be used to justify open-ended commitment in Iraq
August 22, 2006

What was that job again? Is it to end the sectarian violence in Iraq? Prevent terrorists from flocking to the United States? Bring democracy to Iraq and thus provide a beacon for reformers throughout the Middle East?

All of the above, apparently — and then some. The U.S. mission has a patchwork of goals — supporting democrats, providing transitional security and, above all, making it less likely that Iraq becomes an exporter of terror. Some goals are short term, others not; some are complementary, others in conflict; some may suggest a reduction in U.S. military involvement, others an increase.

In tying together several U.S. objectives in one vital "job," Bush is trying to make it harder for critics of an open-ended U.S. commitment to question any particular goal. The debate that needs to take place is about which, if any, of those objectives can justify the president's ominously open-ended commitment.

This debate is not, as the president would like it to be, over whether one supports or opposes "a failed Iraq." Of course no one wants a failed Iraq
— just as no one wants a failed Somalia or a failed Haiti.
Yet the U.S. has finite resources,
and whatever effect they have in Iraq
is blunted by the growing civil war there.

Bob Herbert isn't the only columnist posing inconvenient questions:

President on Another Planet
By Eugene Robinson
August 22, 2006

Even conservatives have begun openly assessing the president's intellect, especially its impermeability to new information. Cable television pundit Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, devoted a segment of his MSNBC show to "George Bush's mental weakness," with a legend at the bottom of the screen that impertinently asked: "IS BUSH AN 'IDIOT'?"
It's tempting to go there ...
I'm guessing "they" might mean that when you try to impose your simplistic, black-and-white template on a kaleidoscopic world, and you end up setting the Middle East on fire, either you're surprised or you're not paying attention.

[I]s he really putting faith in his favorite mantra rather than his lying eyes? Is his view of the world so unchangeable that he dismisses actual events the way he dismisses mere "talk''?

Or is he just trying to hold on until January 2009, when all this will become somebody else's problem?

Maybe that time of reckoning will come a bit sooner?

Democrats Should Launch an October Surprise
by Brent Budowsky

[N]ever again in America should we tolerate politicians who never served in the military who question the patriotism of war heroes in either party, who disrespect the advice of commanders, who send our troops to war without proper planning and equipment, and who shortchange programs for vets and troops.
It is time for Democrats to stop playing defense and take the offensive, with no holds barred, with truth as our weapon, with strength as our calling card, with the message that will move the Nation, and talk sense to a Nation of good people, seriously concerned about their future, waiting for us to lead, praying for the deadly and dangerous course to end.

The Democratic National Committee should launch a massive saturation advertising campaign ... dramatizing that the day after a Democratic victory America will begin reuniting as a nation, respecting the advice of commanders, and rebuilding our credibility and strength in the world.

We will have to fight for it like we've never fought before. We will have to work for it harder than we've ever worked before. If if we do, future generations will be proud of our fight, and thankful for our triumph, and a grateful nation will rise with hope and relief on the morning after the vote.

Actions of this sort ARE being taken, but not yet in America against George and the PNAC neo-confidence men.

Instead, these actions are underway - in Britain - rejecting the First Lap Poodle's participation in the Crude Crusade:

By Rosa Prince, Politcal Correspondent
22 August 2006

Labour MP Paul Flynn said last night: "It is obvious that, by joining George Bush, we have deepened the sense of grievance from our local mosques to the far ends of the world and increased the risk of terrorism here.
"It is encouraging that the public shares that view
and raises questions about why we are joining Bush."
An amazing 72 per cent of people think Tony Blair's foreign policy has made Britain more of a target for terrorists such as the 7/7 bombers, says a new poll. The ICM survey - carried out in the wake of the alleged jet bombs terror plot - also found voters are suspicious of what ministers tell them about the security threat. While a fifth believe the Government is telling the truth, 21 per cent say it has exaggerated the danger, and 51 per cent are convinced ministers are not telling the public the full story.
Just one per cent believe the Government's policy
towards the hotspots of Iraq and the Middle East
have improved our safety.

The Labour Party leaders should be taking notes, as they have a Parliamentary recall [a motion calling Parliament back into session] possibly coming up soon:

Pressure to recall Parliament grows By George Jones, Political Editor 08/11/2006
Nearly 170 MPs, at least half of them Labour, have indicated their backing for a letter to Jack Straw, Leader of the Commons, calling for a return of MPs to Westminster.

[T]he arrests by anti-terrorism police added to the pressure for the Commons to interrupt its long summer break to discuss both the terrorist threat and the Government's response to the Middle East crisis.

Mohammad Sawar, the Labour MP for Glasgow Central, said, "President Bush and Tony Blair's policies are making it difficult for moderate Muslims to stand up to these extremists."

This is not good news for the First Poodle - and this next doesn't aid his digestion much either:

The poll also shows support for Labour down four points to 31 per cent - a 19-year low. [T]he Tories seem to have benefited from David Cameron's high-risk strategy of attacking the Government's handling of the terror alert. Their support is at 40 per cent. If repeated in a general election, that would see the Tories win a Commons majority of about 10 seats.

Support for Blair's Labour roughly matches that of George's GOP. Is there a parallel? We'll see.

But in the mean time, Brent Budowsky, who posted the proposal that the Democrats stage their own October Surprise excerpted above, asks some tough questions of Ann Coulter, sitting for the typical American who still support King George's Wars:

Franklin Roosevelt once said the great mission for leaders is to juggle two balls in the air at the same time, without losing their own.

There is one and only one issue that stands between the Democratic Party and a historic and transforming election that will bring the Democrats to power in one and possibly both Houses of Congress, and it is this: Can a war-partisan President, who has lost the confidence of the American people, so destroy ... the credibility of the Loyal Opposition that confidence in us falls to even lower levels than confidence in him? It is that simple. It is crystal clear.

* Are you going to write your next book about treason, Ann [Coulter], about those who never served who attack the military heroism of war heroes?

* Are you going to write your next book about those who never served in the military who demeaned the chief of staff of the Army, at great cost in the blood of our young men and women?

* Are you shamed by those who never served, and know so little about running a war that 70% of our casualties were preventable, because they are so lacking in military experience and military judgment that they do not even give our troops enough armor, bandages and helmets?

* Are you going to spit your venom in the direction of those who cut and ran from the war we should have won decisively, in Afghanistan to kill Bin Laden, to rush into a war we should not have fought, in Iraq?

* Why did George W. Bush cut and run at the Battle of Tora Bora and disrespect our commanders, our Special Forces commandos and our troops who asked for more support to kill Bin Laden when we had him cornered? [They] were sold short when our President let him get away with a premature and unilateral withdrawal to pursue his disastrous obsession with Iraq.

The White House is pushing on Republicans a strategy of promoting the economic 'boom' as a means of watering down opposition to the Iraq War. Whether or not that is a viable strategy I hope to cover in another post. But if enough Americans are feeling the pinch at the pump, we just might get their attention anyway.

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


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 :: 8:03 PM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!