Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Why Sen. Barack Obama says "the surge" didn't work ..

Despite protestations from Senator John McCain and others in the Bush administration who claim the reason for the reduced violence in Iraq is the so-called surge - the reported addition of 30,000 American troops in Iraq - Obama and many others, especially those living in Iraq, disagree.

The reason I say "reported" is because there is a question about the number of troops that were called back before an additional 30,000 soldiers were deployed or re-deployed or re-re-deployed to bring the number back to its original total.

At any rate, even if there actually were 30,000 additional troops sent to Iraq, at the time of the announced surge, Iraqis became completely fed up with all the violence and threats from Al-Qeda. So it was they who mustered the courage and clout to fight, deter and push Al-Qeda out of their villages.

A reporter on CNN's GPS today said the effect of more American troops was actually minimal. That the reduction of violence was won by Iraqis fired up with the need for self-determination because US forces had minimal impact against Al-Qeda guerrilla fighters. Iraqis had hoped for a more effective assistance and protection from US forces.

But in fact, it was not until US forces came to Iraq that Al-Qeda invaded the country, creating chaos, because Iraq's now deceased tyrannical dictator Saddam Hussein, would not allow them - or any theocratic groups or leaders - in "his" country because they would challenge him and he would not tolerate that.

The private army contracted by the Bush administration, Blackwater, has been blamed for creating more violence and killing more innocent citizens without any accountability (US military members committing crimes can be prosecuted).

Conservatively, more than two hundred thousand innocent Iraqis have been killed, according to independent international humanitarian organizations, since the US military crossed into Iraq more than five years ago.

The International Red Cross reports humanitarian crises in Iraq are as bad as they've continued to be over the past five years - access to sanitation, clean water and health care are all still desperately needed.

Mind you, Vice President Dick Cheney's former employer, Haliburton, has benefited from hundreds of billions of tax and borrowed US dollars worth of contracted work to rebuild the nation. Unfortunately, much of what they've built has had to be re-built or re-re-rebuilt because the construction has been destroyed by war there.

In summary, according to those who are close with Iraqis, they themselves were responsible for significantly cutting back the violence with only minor input from US military forces; more, that the presence of the US military only inspires Al-Qeda to continue to push their way back in - so they want the US to leave.

Edited to add: Of course the reason for the surge to begin with was to lessen violence in order for Iraq's diverse (and warring) leaders to pound out political solutions to curb the civil war and other centuries-long feuds. As of today, little process has been made.

Supporters of the surge proudly point out that "some" political agreement has been made. But at what cost? There is a long, long way to go to put Iraq in the condition the Bush administration would like to see. Iraqi leaders no longer care what Bush wants. They want the US to leave.

As stated by so many Iraqis who survived the massive destruction of their nation - who have no home (millions have been displaced), no job (Haliburton shipped in cheap labor from Indonesia to rebuild the country), witnessed their history destroyed - irreplaceable artifacts decimated and stolen, their family and neighbors slaughtered, the list goes on: "This is liberation?"

Perhaps just as significantly, Iraqi leadership is close with Iran, providing an even greater impetus to ask the US military to leave - going as far as to ask the Americans for a specific plan and "timeline" (or whatever name it's called by whoever uses the term) to leave the nation.

On the other hand, those who are close with McCain, the US military and Bush administration insist that the US military was primarily responsible for the de-escalation of violence created by Al-Qeda and civil war in the nation.

In one sense, this is a story not only about Iraq and the Bush administration, it's about whom you believe to tell you the truth. If you think McCain is telling the truth, he's your guy. If you believe Obama has a better grasp of what really happened and is happening now, he's your man.

One way to discover all points of view and glean substantiated facts about these issues is to read newspapers from other nations (find them here or here) as well as international coverage -- what little there is -- in US news sources. There is also a plethora of books that are well documented surrounding the US action in Iraq.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008


Here's the deal:

A large number of Iraq governmental pooh-bahs - the people for whom US military personnel have forfeited their lives, their able bodies, their lifestyles as they once knew them with their friends and families - are close pals with the folks in Iran whom President Bush proclaims are the *real* enemy.

It's no accident there is such Iranian influence in the nation that is supposed to be our "ally." It's been there since the getgo.

Only we haven't been told about it. Well, I should say that CNN is just recently starting to catch on to this story.

What does that mean?

It means that the Bush administration has known about this influence and *tolerated* it until now, when he is threatening to invade Iran unless they back off.

And what does *that* mean?

It means that Bush has what he considers the political clout to invade Iran.

Yes, really.

He claims Iran is doing horrible stuff in Iraq against the US and Iraqis.

Even though our "ally" Iraqi pooh-bahs have been taking and wasting billions of US tax dollars as well as US military protection from the *civil war* that has been flaring in their country without doing their work to make any substantial strides toward gaining peaceful negotiations between the three fighting factions in Iraq.

In short, though the Iraqi pooh-bahs claim to be our ally - even as they have been hob nobbing with their close Iranian pals from the getgo, Bush says Iran should be taught a lesson.

Oh, yes.

Telling Iranians they better leave our/their Iraqi pooh-bah pals alone, or they'll be sorry. They'll risk US invasion.

Of course such an invasion would completely crush our military and economic resources - both of which are stressed to the limit as it is.

But Bush doesn't seem to understand or care about these matters.

And there do not seem to be any leaders in the USA who can sound the alarm about this fraud and take action to get American soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen and civilians out of harm's way there before Bush makes any more ignorant, deceitful and deadly decisions that don't cost him, personally, a cent - or a night's sleep for that matter.

Now, you may find a lack of evidence to back my assertions here. It's done for a reason. I'm hoping people will start caring enough to find out the truth for themselves.

Please do not take my word for this.

Find out the truth for yourself. Start with CNN's reports on our Iraqi 'friends' and their relationship to Iranian leaders.

Then be a detective. Go to the links, check out the backgrounds, the facts and the truth.

You'll discover that many Saudis - another "frienemy" of the US and neighbor of Iraq - have been paying for and actually supplying forces fighting the US in Iraq.

Finding facts has been extremely difficult because of the outright lies, misinformation, propaganda and cover-ups of the Bush administration.

But there is hope to find out what's really going on now because so many people who have known the truth are starting to emerge.

It's important that more and more people dig up the truth for themselves. And pass it on.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Bush credibility crushed on Iran WMD scare

So the update on the intelligence from and about Iran flies completely in the face of the threat that the Bush administration has painted for us. Remember him talking about Iran possibly starting "the Third World war" only a few weeks ago because they were a kiss away from building a nuclear bomb.

Just as he did with his push to invade Iraq, Bush told us and the Congress that we have to get going now because they're creating weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Now. And we can't wait to act. After all, to quote US Secretary of State Condi Rice, we don't want that "smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."


Well, the bungling Bush administration has done it again.

The US intelligence report (they work for the US and therefore Bush) just released says nope, Iran stopped working toward building a nuclear warhead in 2003.


Hmm. That's nearly four years ago.

Yep, there he is, our president. Right on top of what's really going on.

Sadly, although the military surge has worked in some areas of Iraq, stabilizing those places, the only way to achieve peace and to support them enough to bring them home is through political negotiations among the warring factions in Iraq.

And nothing is happening there politically. As in there is no movement toward a negotiated peace by the Iraqi government. Why should they try when they haven't been able to get along for centuries and the Americans are there to at least temporarily keep the peace.

Unfortunately, the only reason there needs to be a stabilization by US forces is because the US military was ordered to step into a wasp nest - invading the sovereign nation to begin with, which put our military men and women in harm's way. For no factual reason - but Halliburton and other multinational corporations with no-bid contracts have been paid billions of our tax dollars and borrowed money to "rebuild" the nation that we are responsible for destroying.

And it seems every time they've rebuilt something - it's destroyed. Heck, that's OK, because they're just paid more money to re-re-re-re-rebuild whatever needs it.

Meanwhile, US military men and women continue to be killed there, despite the surge "working," at least temporarily.

At least this time, with Bush's declaration that we need to take action against Iran immediately, decision-makers didn't take Bush's word, they actually read the intelligence report.

When the US intelligence report released before the decision to go to war with Iraq stated that there was no reason to go to war there, that invading the nation would only open a can of horrific quicksand from which we would never escape, apparently too few people read it to make a difference. Certainly it made no difference to George Bush.

This time, more people refuse to drink the kool-aid and are working to cover your backs, troops.

Merry Christmas.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Deadliest US year in Iraqi war with zero progress

As one CNN reporter put it, although the military "surge" in Iraq may have seen some temporary success, temporarily healing one isolated illness, the patient may be dying.

After six years, the Iraqi government, under a hand picked Bush "leader," has once again failed to reach any agreement or come up with any plan to work together for peace and the future of the country. The factions of the civil war there remain unmoved or unconvinced to change their stands or positions, so their war will continue with business as usual, with our soldiers caught in the middle.

Which means that US soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen are losing their lives and limbs in record numbers while the Iraqi government has made literally no political progress toward peace.

Political solutions are what make peace possible, but there are none because representatives of the factions there can't figure out how to get along. Just like they haven't for hundreds of years.

Capitalism is encouraged, however, hoping that business relationships can help Iraqis put salve on historical wounds with money. The US government is funding grants to individual Iraqis so they can open their own businesses.

I'd love for Americans to receive grants to open businesses as well, but then these Iraqis have had their nation and homes and commerce destroyed by President Bush starting a war there, so it's part of a massive, multi-billion dollar reconstruction attempt.

Unfortunately as soon as reconstruction happens, it's generally destroyed by civil war fighting.

For this, the Bush administration is spending more than 2.4 Trillion dollars on this never ending war that you and I and our kids must repay (approximately $40,000 for every one of us) because it's *borrowed.*

Many billions of dollars sent over to Iraq have literally been "lost." It's been handed out like cheap candy to win over people who only turned around and spent it trying to kill US soldiers and rid the nation of the US presence. Many more billions have been squandered on mercenaries like Blackwater, a private enterprise army hired by the Bush administration to beef up the lack of American soldiers needed to fight in Iraq. Mercenaries are paid far more than US soldiers.

Several members of Blackwater have been accused of killing innocent Iraqi civilians two months ago but have not even been questioned as of today by the FBI. The military has no control over them.

Mind you, the administration is demanding much more money from congress for the military to pour down that Middle Eastern black hole without spending money needed by US kids for health care, a decaying national infrastructure and other causes that would help the USA financially, socially, structurally and individually.

But the news is not bad for everyone - under Bush/Cheney priorities, the one group benefiting is multinational corporations, people who are their friends, comrades and peers.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

A desperate, deceitful president talks at us

Last night George Bush misrepresented the state of the horrific military battles he foisted on our patriotic soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen six years ago in Iraq.

He has lied to us from the beginning about our reason to be there and continues to lie about the state of the "war." A war never declared by congress, so it has to be Bush's War.

Fighting "terrorists" in Iraq has only emboldened them to spread their hateful destruction in more nations and in more and more cunning ways. Why should they stay in Iraq when the Iraqis are fighting the US there?

Young Muslim adults have been radicalized in the US, Europe, the UK and other nations because of the US policies in Iraq.

To "convince" Sunnis to flip on Al Qaeda wasn't difficult - it's already been happening for months because Sunnis don't like Al Qaeda. With Al Qaeda it's "my way or the highway," and the majority of tribes and populations don't like being pushed around like that. They use Al Qaeda to help them fight an enemy then tell them to beat it.

The fact that the US also gave considerable amounts of money to Sunnis to hasten their separation from Al Qaeda helped. But all that "progress" we heard about the Sunnis making in Iraq sort of flew in the face of those who had been bragging about it when one of their pro-US leaders was blown to bits in front of his own home - which had a tank and other extreme protective measures to assure his "safety."

The Bush administration's hand-picking Shiite leaders to "head" the faux Iraq "government" only made things worse (the reason the Sunnis withdrew from the faux Iraq "government" - um, they don't get along with Shiites in case you haven't heard).

The only real cheerleaders in this mess are the folks at Haliburton who are making more money than you and I can imagine, trying to sort of re-build at least some of what has been destroyed -- only to have it blown up again and again.

But they cry all the way to the offshore banks counting US tax money they're paid because they use FOREIGN workers from Indonesia and other nations who work on the very cheap - cheating Iraqis out of jobs. But hey, what does Haliburton care? People? Who gives a damn. Profits - oh, yeah.

Not to mention the billions of US dollars spent for private armies like Blackwater to fight in Iraq on our behalf, mercenaries who are being paid many times over what our soldiers receive for the same job.

Did you hear that there is now a *bullet shortage* in the US for law enforcement agencies because of the need for so many in Iraq?

And don't forget all our US tax-paid for weapons that were stolen by the terrorists to the tune of 6-8 billion US tax dollars - meaning our own weapons are killing our soldiers because of yet another inept, incompetent move by the US.

It boggles the mind when I see politicians actually saying they believe that fighting the terrorists in Iraq makes for a safer world. Seriously, are they on crack?

Fighting in Iraq from the first day of our incursion and subsequent occupation makes for an increasingly destabilized world, costing more good American and ally lives, striking not just in the Middle East but in other nations as well.

I heard recently that West Point cadets are leaving the academy in numbers unheard of because they don't want any part of a military that is forced to do what George Bush orders them to do.

The bottom line in this God-awful bloody mess is that George Bush has no strategy. He does not know how to gain peace or pull our soldiers out of harm's way or solve this horrific problem given his supposed religious fervor and fantasy about "freeing" Iraqis who must settle scores among themselves they have been fighting for eons. More innocent lives? What does he care as long as he gets his way. My way or the highway is his creed.

Split the country into three areas? Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis? It's at least leaning toward a discussion of a solution. George Bush won't hear of it.

There is not, and there never has been in the history of humankind, a victory over "insurgent" enemies. Because they are not identifiable. They are not cohesive. They are not uniformed. They are not trained to fight like our soldiers - they make up their own rules. They are not a government. They are not an army. And they don't rely on one leader like Osama bin Laden or George Bush for their marching orders.

They are motivated by fear and hatred of their identifiable, uniformed enemies and become incredibly resourceful and resilient in their goal to destroy them.

Remember this is the way George Washington and the revolutionary war was won against the British and mercenaries.

Here's what I shake my head at - and hinted at in a recent blog.

The terrorists have already defeated George Bush. Their goal was to incite fear - which the President used to his advantage year after year to get congress to provide more money for his "war" that has only turned out to be a failed idea and bloodbath and the world knows it.

Terrorists seek to destabilize economies. George Bush has fallen for it hook, line and sinker. Not only has he borrowed massive billions of dollars from China and sunk us into extraordinary debt to get his way, but the Iraq oil that he claimed would pay for the war isn't - and won't ... until the US "controls" the country and has easy access to it. That is not going to happen because the enemies of the US there keep messing up the oil output with destructive attacks.

All this as the Iraqis who were going to greet us as heroes and saviors (remember?) hate our crummy guts because they have no jobs, water, electricity, sewage, education, infrastructures and the slightest degree of safety. Independent poll after poll report that the Iraqis want the US to LEAVE.

More, many Iraqi "police" and "soldiers" supposedly supporting the US turn out to .. well, NOT support the US when they turn on us and kill more US soldiers. These acts can't be predicted because they're wearing uniforms we provide them to identify them as allies.

This is a little disjointed, but good grief. There is so much more information from reliable sources that report factually George Bush did not have the slightest concern for understanding the culture, politics, economy, tribal feuds, religions or people of Iraq before he invaded.

And now he does not want to take responsibility for solving the problem he got us into. Like any un-recovered addict, he wants to blame others, have others take care of him and bail him out of trouble. If he can keep "playing this" (Dead Certain) war until the new president takes over and figures how to clean up his mess, he will be happy and consider himself successful.

More, in Robert Draper's book, Bush says he plans to hit the speaking circuit and make a lot of cash from his "leadership experiences" after he leaves his throne.

Any trained soldier will tell you: the *first* plan of an attack ... is how to exit that attack. Shame on our military leaders for not insisting on that to begin with.

I do believe that George Bush will be - and should be - tried in the international court for breaking the Nuremberg Principles of crimes against humanity. The torture of prisoners (when other techniques have been found to be so much more effective), invading a sovereign nation which was in fact never a threat to the US, its borders or people (United Nations inspectors reported this before the invasion), the horrific outcomes of invading Iraq that were predicted not only by critics but by our own National Intelligence Estimates that he cavalierly ignored, the bogus reasons he has had for "staying the course" costing not only American lives but hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives and US taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

The personal devastation to families suffering from Bush's ego-driven war is monumental.

And by extension, he is responsible for the lives of hundreds who have died in the US over the past several years because of Bush's failed and incompetent priorities. Money intended to shore up the levees in New Orleans went to Iraq, for example.

I pray for those people who continue to support this guy - and for his soul, because he has so much blood on his hands, he is swimming in it.

I'd prefer to stop writing about this in my blogs - I have so many good things happening in my life and so much inspiration and "how to's" to share.

But until those in Bush's incestuous administration stop lying to us, manipulating us to believe that what we see with our own eyes is not real ("Brownie's doing a heck of a job!"), I feel I must. I hope it makes a difference for you.

It's even heartbreaking to have so many weak people in our government who cannot seem to have the spine, wit or knowledge to stop this guy. He's already wrecked the Judicial and Executive Branches of our government as well as paralyzed the Legislative Branch.

There are no more checks and balances .. it's just us, paying for the checks he keeps signing without a shred of knowledge about what he is doing or humanity; without caring for our form of government or citizens, or even understanding the hell he has created.

Perhaps the most important question here is why did the rest of the world seem to know that this is what George Bush would do and all those people who voted for him did not? I guess the combination of an unquestioning and propagandizing media, a shell-shocked nation from 9-11 and a good dose of ignorant citizens who would rather focus on non-governmental non-issues like gay marriage would have to be the answer.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A general testifies before congress

The same thing that was said in 2004, 2005, 2006 and now 2007. Stay the course.

And makes no mention of:

What a "victory" would be.

What a "victory" would look like.

How a "victory" could be achieved.

Why any sort of "victory" appears to be out of reach, no matter how many Americans and innocent Iraqis are killed.

Why terrorism would be defeated with the obfuscated idea of a "win" in Iraq - which is admittedly unattainable, because the only "win" we can identify is to hold off all the factions fighting between themselves and the US.

As the war in Iraq happens, the number of terrorist attacks around the world continue to increase and the number of Americans and innocent Iraqis continue to be killed there - more this year than last.

I remember when right-wingers warned us that we had to stay and fight in Vietnam (we wanted their natural resources for pennies) because if Vietnam was not "won" by the US, Vietnam and all the surrounding countries would go "commie." Um, didn't happen.

Today we are warned that we have to stay in Iraq because if Iraq isn't "won" by the US, then Iraq and all the surrounding countries would go terrorist/Al Qaeda.

Really. Saudi Arabia - our "ally" just west of Iraq, would go Al Qaeda? Sure, the majority of foreign Iraqi fighters are coming from and financed by Saudi Arabians, and the majority of those who attacked the US Sept. 11, 2001 were Saudi Arabians ... but would the entire nation - a wealthy monarchy headed by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz - "go" Al Qaeda? Think about it.

Would Iran, already a fundamentalist Muslim state, go Al Qaeda? I don't see that happening, even though president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is meshugenah.

Kuwait is too rich and conservative to go Al Qaeda. Check out the map for all the nations involved.

Jordan? Nope.

Syria already hosts terrorists of all stripes so it doesn't have to go Al Qaeda.

Turkey? Go Al Qaeda? Um, can't see it.

I have to wonder why we are we so afraid of terrorists to begin with.

If we are afraid of them, like any bully, they have already "won."

Their point is to scare us, to put us in a state of terror, and wow, have they been successful in the US, with the help of lots of politicians who have actually not done a whole lot to protect us from them.

After all, what are terrorists going to do? Turn us all into fundamentalist Muslims? Or have *us* go Al Qaeda? I seriously hope you are laughing.

Attack us? The US can handle any attack (well, if there are any soldiers left here to fight) - and thanks to the Bush administration's failure to secure our borders, the failed Department of Homeland Security and sadly incompetent FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), we probably will have to deal with an attack one day.

I'm not saying there is nothing to be concerned about - but I'd prefer us to spend more time actually outwitting the terrorists than being afraid of them; spending more money protecting us from them than fighting a needless war.

Want to know how? Read Thinking Like A Terrorist by Mike German.

Unfortunately, President Bush confused the people who actually did attack us - mostly Saudi Arabian Al Qaeda members - with Iraqis. Not a single Iraqi attacked us Sept. 11, 2001, but he had the US military open fire on the Iraqis more than five years ago and today we are in a warring quagmire the US military is incapable of managing properly because it's a predominantly political problem that needs to be solved by the Iraqis themselves.

More, Osama bin Ladin's Al Qaeda wasn't even in Iraq until after we attacked and occupied Iraq. Interestingly, I doubt if Iraqis will ultimately fall for the political or religious lines of Al Qaeda - Iraqis just needed their help to fight their enemies.

I hope the souls killed in the attack on New York's Twin Towers, the Pentagon and United Flight 93 six years ago are resting in peace, ignoring how their President has sullied their memories, used them as political fodder to fulfill a personal or religious fantasy that has unnecessarily cost thousands' more American lives in Iraq and by extension Gulf victims of Katrina, and used the date of their deaths as a means to foster his political and - after he leaves office - financial coffers (according to Dead Certain, an interview with President Bush by Robert Draper).

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Iraq's Congress takes off -- all of August ..

Without passing any laws that would help stabilize the country before they flew away for their vacation.

Every day they are vacationing, living it up outside the dangerous areas of "their nation," more than 8 million of their fellow Iraqis are suffering - trying to survive without basic resources like water, food, electricity, health care, housing and any measure of safety.

This after the US has paid some 200 billion *borrowed* dollars for reconstruction of the nation devastated from invasion and now civil war, with US soldiers caught in the middle.

Every day in August that American soldiers and civilian workers are wounded, maimed or killed because the Iraqi government literally refuses to stay and work to take control of their country is another day that President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney claim they need to "stay the course" and "win the war."

Exactly what does that "win" look like?

We Americans will have to pay for the hundreds of billions that Bush has borrowed to invade and fight that war, plus interest. A war we ought to have never entered to begin with.

Iraqi congress members are not stupid. Why should they stay and do their work when they can be on a paid vacation while the US keeps spending money on their corruption and time off, letting Americans die for President Bush's "crusade."

Rightly, those 8 million suffering Iraqis blame the US for their plight. If we had not invaded and occupied their nation, these problems would literally not exist.

Our military would have actually been able to disarm the terrorists at their previous and current headquarters in Afghanistan along the Pakistani border.

And, gosh, it's been proved a dozen times over that half the insurgents in Iraq killing Americans are from our "ally" Saudi Arabia. Just like the terrorists who flew planes into the Twin Towers on 9-11.

More, Saudis are funding these insurgents.

But what did we do for Saudi Arabia just last week?

President Bush asked the US Congress to allow the sale to Saudi Arabia $20 billion dollars in state-of-the-art weapons! They include advanced satellite-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighter planes and spanking new naval vessels.

Why give the Saudis all those advanced weapons?

In the minds of the Saudis, to offset Iran's supposed building of nuclear power, and President Bush agrees with his Saudi friends.

His close Saudi friends who warned him NOT to invade Iraq because he would set off more problems than he solved if he did.

And of course arming the Saudis means that we'll have to give another ally, Israel, more billions in support and sell them the same state-of-art weaponry because you *know* Israel is screaming that they are now more vulnerable with the Arabians having those state-of-the art weapons.

Hmm. True. But do you understand that this escalation is because of President Bush's "crusade?"

Do you understand that it's only common sense that many more world stability dominos will fall thanks to the "crusade" that President Bush is hell bent on "winning" at our expense.

Our "ally" Pakistan, which also houses terrorists, right on the border of Afghanistan from which Bush ordered our forces withdrawn to be redeployed to Iraq a few years ago, already has nuclear weapon capability.

So does India (thanks to the US), Pakistan's longstanding enemy.

Before President Bush invaded Iraq, there were serious concerns about these nations, their growing ability to arm themselves with nuclear weaponry because the stability of the entire region hung by a thread.

Please look at the map to see the close proximity of all these nations to one another and understand that leaders from all other nations and many members of the US Congress who voted against giving President Bush authority to invade Iraq were well aware of the tenuous relationships they had before the invasion of Iraq.

Um, none of those countries have moved. They were in the same place and just as close to one another before President Bush decided to make Iraq a democracy. Which it has no chance of becoming because of the additional warring factions of the Sunnis and Shiites and Kurds.

All three factions of Iraq who are no different now than they were before the invasion. Except they're armed. And dangerous to each other as well as to American soldiers.

Yep, the Bush-Cheney team not only broke the thread, they cut it with a hachet in 20 places.

All compliments of you and me paying our taxes, unlike Haliburton, which is paid billions to "rebuild" Iraq. It moved its headquarters from Texas to Dubai in order to avoid paying taxes in the US.

I have no idea how it could possibly happen - seriously - but I believe that as more and more facts emerge about the astonishingly dishonest actions and proclamations made by Bush and Cheney and their henchmen over the past six years, US Attorney General Alberto ("I don't remember.") Gonzales will be out within a month; and that Bush and Cheney will be out of jobs long before the end of their term.

Not because of any sort of liberal movement - but because conservatives are just as upset with him as the liberals. They believe Bush lied to them and is in no way reflecting a conservative agenda.

Piling up so much national debt is a good start; conservatives don't like government spending money. Disregarding the US Constitution and Bill of Rights comes a close second. Not supporting our troops comes right behind that - the troops are not getting what they need in the way of armaments to protect themselves (perhaps if they were Saudi Arabians....), the war in Iraq was mismanaged from the getgo, and US veterans are not receiving proper care when they come back wounded, maimed and in coffins.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A champion for children everywhere

New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer prize winner Nicholas Kristof is a phenomenon.

If you look up the term "genuine journalist with impeccable integrity" you'll find "Nicholas Kristof." His compassion and care for the human condition is, IMO, unparalleled.

And if you're a very lucky university student, you can enter a contest that allows the winner to take part in covering significant, meaningful stories alongside him - in Africa or other parts of the world.

See how he thinks, how he works, how he researches, how he interacts with people from every cultural, political, racial, religious and social background - and perhaps most of all, how he puts all this information together and writes what he has investigated for millions of readers.

Kristof believes in helping young people discover what being a real journalist is all about - the honorable profession it is when it's executed correctly. Pure journalism is not just a job, it's a calling; a calling for which hundreds of journalists and photojournalists give their lives around the world every year.

Journalism is not just about discerning the truth among the lies and deception, of finding that truth when people go to extreme and lethal lengths to hide it, then having the guts to tell it. It's about giving a voice to the voiceless.

Few voices are ignored more than the world's exploited and abused children, whose cries are heard only by their pillows in the bleak of night.

A few of the many significant and world-changing subjects he has covered internationally and extensively is child sex and work slavery. Kiddie sweatshops. Kiddie porn. Kiddie prostitution.

And the innocent children, women and men slaughtered in Dafur.

Kristof uncovered the lies and deception perpetrated by the Bush-Cheney administration nearly at the getgo of the bloody debacle in Iraq.

He and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, also a New York Times journalist, were the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China's Tienanmen Square democracy movement in 1990.

He won a second Pulitzer last year for what Prize jurors referred to as, "his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world."

His popular blog is here, but you must have a low-cost Times Select access subscription to the New York Times online (about $4.00/US per month) in order to access it.

Kristof has won many other journalism awards, but I have the feeling that his most important reward is reaching and informing us - his readers - with the truth.

Sadly, the truth we don't always want to hear.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bush and Iraq: God makes him do it?

David Brooks, a New York Times conservative columnist and supporter of President George W. Bush, had a heart to heart with the President for his July 17 column. Bush says his strength comes from two places:

"The first is his unconquerable faith in the rightness of his Big Idea. Bush is convinced that history is moving in the direction of democracy, or as he said Friday: 'It’s more of a theological perspective. I do believe there is an Almighty, and I believe a gift of that Almighty to all is freedom. And I will tell you that is a principle that no one can convince me that doesn't exist.'"

It sounds as it he doesn't define democracy or freedom the way his own nation does - from the US Constitution to the average individual voter.

The US is far less free or democratic now than it was when he was elected the first time and especially the second.

Is he saying he's just doing what God intends for him to do because God intends for the entire world to be democratic and his is the job to force that upon the world? That he has a theological point of view of being a president rather than a constitutional or democratic point of view?

When he speaks of freedom, I wonder if he understands how many Americans he denies freedom because they don't agree with his political, personal or religious beliefs. Like the freedom to investigate the questionable firings of several US Attorneys whose severance appears to be purely political. And the freedom to have a government with three functioning branches whose job it is to provide check and balances from the abuses he openly commits against the US Constitution.

Interestingly, John F. Kennedy had to prove, over and over, that he would NOT permit his Catholic religious points of view interfere with his leadership and presidential decisions. That he would not be executing the will of the Pope or his church. And he did not. He maintained the separation of church and state, which is the edict of our constitution.

But Bush feels he can use his theological philosophy to make governing decisions, which has cost this nation its very raison d'être. He's so confident we'll agree it's a good thing God is in charge of our nation, in fact, and he's doing the right thing by following what he believes to be God's guidance, he feels free to talk about his believed "divine guidance" to people like David Brooks.

This is the price of allowing any fundamentalist religious group to hijack a political party over the past 20 years, which has also cost the Republican Party its very raison d'être. That takeover by fundamentalist Christians parallels what has happened to nations throughout the world that have been overtaken by Islam fundamentalists.

It is also the cost of the congress passively, gradually allowing a president to take over the rule of all three branches and departments of government, of allowing a president to rule by the politics and psychology of fear instead of leadership, leading to the neglect and debilitation of a system with checks and balances.

While Bush says he will do what the military generals say he should do in Iraq - he has not done what our military leaders have told him to do in the past, why would he start now? Military leaders who disagree with him are released and replaced with someone more aligned with Bush's points of view -- at least when they are appointed. If they change their minds once fully involved with the war? Buh-buh.

If he had listened to them to begin with, we would have completed our honorable mission in Afghanistan and not diverted our military resources to the conundrum that is Iraq.

And if I hear one more person say, "Oh, so the world was better with Saddam Hussein in it?" I will puke. Saddam Hussein could have been removed without trying to take over the whole country for an ideology that will not work in that nation right now because of its historical and present cultural, political and social issues, and escalated the chances of it becoming another fundamentalist Islamic state.

Meanwhile US soldiers remain "boots on the ground," in harm's way, as the Iraqi congress takes its annual vacation throughout the month of August instead of working on a policy or two that will help stop some of the killing. Political solutions are necessary to stop the bloodshed among warring factions in Iraq. If the US leaves Iraq, so will members of Al qaeda because the warring factions are not interested in Al qaeda's agenda and won't need its help fighting the US any longer.

Interestingly, members of the Iraqi congress do not live in Iraq because it's too dangerous. So instead of suffering through the daily bloodshed, bombings and threats their country people suffer, they are flown in when the congress is in session. Amazing that they would take any time off while their country is in a war, but they are just following the example of the US president and vice-president, who vacation at will.

And I assume the US Congress will take its summer vacation as well, though for most it is a working vacation in their home states. And this year they will all be working hard because most of us are furious with the state of the nation and they are responsible for allowing a president to become king over the past six and a half years.

It's a shame that our soldiers fighting, being wounded or dying in the Iraq war cannot take a vacation, they can't even have a proper break between being assigned there. This not only exacerbates the potential for being injured or killed because of battle fatigue, but also of being hit with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). VA Hospitals are understaffed to deal properly with PTSD because of the vast numbers of our military members returning with mental problems from being in that war.

Despite his claims of supporting our troops, he opposes even minor pay raises for them.

After reading so much about Bush's fundamentalist Christian religious beliefs, I say this in all seriousness:

The only way I imagine George W. Bush can live with himself being responsible for creating this lethal, bloody, irresponsible international quagmire, destabilizing in the world from his actions in Iraq, is that he honestly believes our dead soldiers are better off with God. Much as the Muslims killing themselves and others believe.

And that somehow because God is in charge so everything will turn out just fine. Which is why he has a Chancey Gardner lack of emotional investment in his decisions - he's so distanced from his responsiblity for the global bloody calamity that is going on - it is almost as if he doesn't understand his role creating so much of the horror he has unleashed upon the world.

Doesn't the bible say that God helps those who help themselves?

And he knows how much money he and his family will ultimately make from the Iraq oil debacle; and how much money he and Dick Cheney will make from the phenomenal, world record-breaking Halliburton profits.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ABC's Brian Ross reports suicide bombers coming here

Ross says that a video said to be photographed by a Pakistani journalist (possibly in Afghanistan or Pakistan) showed some of the 300 people, represented as suicide bombers as young as 12 trained by Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

According to Ross's story, they are broken into teams supposedly assigned to destroy targets in the US, Canada, UK and Germany.

A man represented as a Taliban military commander, whose brother was killed by US forces, says that the teams are themselves actually citizens of the US, Germany, the UK and Canada.

American Intelligence officials scoff at the report, saying it's just part of an aggressive propaganda campaign by the terrorists; others take the report seriously.



The Bush administration has been so adamant - insisting the reason US soldiers are fighting and dying in Iraq is to prevent the terrorists from coming over here. Because, you know - we're fighting them over there so they won't come here.

I believe there are actually few terrorists Iraq because the Iraqis are too busy fighting each other and US forces, keeping our military busy and distracted while wearing down our economy, military and national morale.

They know how to manipulate president Bush; it's simple because they know how he thinks, what he thinks and what he can be counted to say and do day after day. No surprises. Bush's answer to everything going on and going wrong in Iraq is to send more soldiers. Which only results in more US military and innocent Iraqi deaths.

His obsession of concentrating so many of our resources in Iraq frees the terrorists to go anywhere they wish to do their deadly, idiotic, hateful work.

The Taliban are re-emerging in Afghanistan because of a lessened US military presence.

I have to wonder what could have happened if we had maintained a noteable presence in Afghanistan rather than pulled our forces and diverted them to Iraq. The possibility of capturing Al Qaeda's leaders? Decimating their ranks? Crippling the Taliban? Reducing the heroin trade from Afghanistan to the US instead of allowing it to increase (by some estimates) 80%?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Renewable resources: the key to a healthy economy and life!

A renewable resource continues to create something new rather than simply be used up or destroyed.

For example, education is a renewable resource because it helps people create work, art, skills and ideas that not only help the students, but the workforce, society and culture.

It gives a great return on the investment. People go deeply in debt for an education expecting to make many times over that amount when they graduate.

War is not a renewable resource. Its machinery and weapons are intended to destroy and are expected to be destroyed. More, the machinery are intended to destroy the resources of the enemy - their economy, natural resources, infrastructure, populations, animals and plant life.

The breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) is attributed to that government investing so much money in war machinery and military - spreading their fighting forces so thinly - that there was no money left to run the country.

There has to be some sort of balance or the economy of a nation suffers - or can be completely destroyed.

When we invest so much money in war machinery and armies, that is money paid out with no money coming back in, even when politicians insist there will be.

One of the reasons the Bush administration said that invading Iraq would not harm our economy is that Iraqi oil would pay for the war and rebuilding the destruction there.

Well, the war has crippled Iraqi oil production so the war has cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars - which we've had to borrow from other countries (China is a major source).

So after promising that the war would in effect create a new renewable resource for the US because it would bring oil to America? It turns out to not only be a *non*-renewable resource but a huge drain on our national resources.

People are a renewable resource. If they are killed in war, they cease to be a renewable resource and a need is created for replacing them.

Another reason war is a source of economic depletion: our wounded, maimed and traumatized veterans need expensive medical, dental and psychological care when they return and the government doesn't want to pay for it. The military really is a cheap workforce - the pay is deplorable. Medical and psychological care is not cheap. The payment to survivors of US veterans killed in war is also deplorably low.

Think of the renewable resources that surround us: animals who produce milk we drink. They not only provide the milk we drink - but babies who grow up to give us more milk. It's important to protect these animals from abuse or overuse so they can continue to be a renewable resource without having their lives cut short.

Egg-laying chickens? Renewable resource - again, as long as they are not stressed and abused to overproduce, cutting miserable lives short.

Imported goods? Renewable if exported goods are exchanged in kind.

This economic philosophy is known as guns and butter.

And it's pretty simple. If there's not some sort of balance? There's too much money going out with no promise of sufficient income? The drain on an economy laden with debt can be brutal.

You or I would be tossed out on the street if we lived this way.

The government just borrows money from other nations. In the case of Iraq, which is costing us more money than we generate in the US, it's many billions of dollars from China.

Larry Johnson, a former CIA agent who used to be a conservative Republican, now writing and speaking about the insanity created by the Bush administration in Iraq, says that this issue of the US being mislead into a war is not a matter of "left" or "right," Republican or Democrat.

It's a matter of right or wrong.

Oil companies, the Bush family bread and butter, are cleaning up at the gas pump as prices skyrocket - and will continue to through his presidency (remember he promised to keep gas prices down when he ran for election?).

His family will, as usual, enjoy fabulous Christmas celebrations for centuries to come while we try to figure out how to dig our way out of the sickening debt and recover from the unnecessary deaths created by his war.

The unlimited tax money and massive debt used to pay Halliburton (vice-president Cheney's former employer) to "rebuild" Iraq without a single bid or even a plan will certainly keep the Cheney family warm at night for centuries to come while other Americans freeze to death.

New government reports declare that attempts to rebuild the majority of warring Iraq are fruitless. As soon as something is built, it's blown up. But Halliburton is paid still more money to re-rebuild or re-re-rebuild ad infinitim, while it moves its main headquarters to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to avoid paying US taxes.

Guns and butter.

War and peace.

The people making money off the war are the cronies of Bush and Cheney - including private armies like Blackwater hired by them.

The losers are our honorable military men and women who with good conscience and courageous hearts put their lives on the line to carry out the orders of a president who can't be bothered to attend one of their funerals - even symbolically.

I wish on July 4, Americans would fly their flags at half mast in memory of all those American military men and women and innocent Iraqis who have given their lives over the past five years in a war that was entered by president Bush cavalierly, without integrity, honor or honorable purpose.

A US-instigated war which has fomented old wounds among all the warring factions of Iraq to the point that there is not one, but several civil wars being fought, while our soldiers become cannon fodder as they try to quell some of the killing.

Leave or stay, the Bush administration has fomented a bloodbath in Iraq that will not end until the Iraqis decide they want to stop killing one another.

What motivates too much of the killing now is one group pointing to the other, accusing the US of "taking sides."

That is the argument for the US getting out of Iraq.

Meanwhile, Bush and Cheney have plans to keep US forces in Iraq - a nation that was no threat to the US - for the foreseeable future, incorporating a policy similar to establishing a presence in south Korea.

And there is more talk of the US invading Iran, a nation which may well develop into a threat. One day.

That day is moving up more quickly because the most powerful nation in the world invaded its neighbor, Iraq.

Call them crazy, but they see invading their sovereign neighboring nation as a threat to their country.

Imagine that.

Imagine Russia invading and starting a war in Canada - think the US would consider that a threat?

Guns and butter can co-exist as long as the gun expenditure doesn't swamp the butter boat.

The situation gets dangerous when we have to start asking, as we become more and more deeply in debt because of war and money becomes scarce -- which we need more: guns or butter.

Depletion or restoration.

Some politicians know which side of their lives is buttered, because they continue to make a few people who are manufacturing war machinery -- who don't care who's buying their goods and services -- wealthy.

Very, very, very wealthy.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007


The Bush administration has used disinformation masterfully over the past eight years. Karl Rove is normally the creator of the self-serving fabrications spread to party loyalists, conservative groups, media, churches and others who will spread false information without question until the lie is believed to be the truth.

What exactly is "disinformation?"

It's the deliberate pronouncement of fraudulent statements passed off as "facts."

For example, many Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein, the executed leader of Iraq, was in some way responsible for the attack on the New York City World Trade Center September 11, 2001.

That false statement was made by Bush administration spokespeople so often, many Americans believed the lie when it was initially released, and astonishingly continue to believe it, even though it has been proved a hundred times over to be outrightly and completely false.

If it's possible, Saddam Hussein and Iraq had less than nothing to do with the attack.

Iraq was terrorist-free under Hussein because he was the ultimate dictator - paranoid about outsiders stirring up his carefully controlled population, which he ruled with a near- sadistic hand. He knew if any of the dozens of warring tribal factions in Iraq were armed or felt free to fight again (tribal wars have been going on for centuries, including the conflict between the Sunnis and Shiites), he would lose control of the people and "his" country.

It was not until the US attacked Iraq that terrorists, including al qaeda, found the opening they sought to not only move into the country, but use the deadly debacle created by the US in Iraq to recruit new members because now they had concrete evidence that the US is an aggressor; that it wants to occupy Middle Eastern nations.

Interestingly, the number of terrorists actually needed in Iraq is very few because now so many Iraqis themselves are furious at the US - whom they blame for devastating their country and being the cause of the violent deaths of some 600,000 innocent Iraqis. Their anti-US feelings have fomented them into taking arms against our soldiers in harms way there.

American intelligence sources report that approximately 4% of fighters in Iraq are associated with al qaeda. If that sounds like it's good news, it's not. It only means all the terrorist cells and individuals not fighting in Iraq are free to ply their trades in other nations.

Al Gore's #1 NYT best selling book The Assault on Reason just arrived here; I'll read it this week and review it next week here. I have a feeling these sorts of issues will be discussed there because often, if we're accurately informed about a subject, we can discern truth from lie by using simple reason.

Like, if you knew about how Saddam ran his country - ruling by making people terrified of him while keeping it terrorist-free, never wanting anyone to challenge his autocratic authoritarianism; that he would never tolerate tribal in-fighting because it would detract from his iron-fisted control - you would understand that anyone claiming that terrorists were allowed in Iraq or that Saddam had anything to do with them is simply and outright unreasonable.

Because the US Senate Intelligence Committee's Report on Prewar Intelligence Assessment about Postwar Iraq outlined these and many other facts, it predicted the horrors we face today if Saddam were not only unseated but the nation itself attacked to allow US-backed individuals to take over.

Unfortunately, many US Senators and Representatives believed this misinformation put out by the Bush administration instead of reading the report gathered by some 81 separate intelligence agencies, and voted to give George Bush the authority to invade Iraq - including US Senator Hilary Clinton.

It all comes back to the need for an educated, informed nation to effectively run a democratic republic like the United States.

But between outright disinformation disseminated freely by people who know the truth because they want to manipulate you, and an unquestioning media - that can be hard to come by through "normal" media outlets. US media tend to reproduce whatever they are told by "authoritative" sources without question or perspective - and those "authoritative sources" tend to be the very people who disseminate disinformation these days.

Think of the glib government disinformation on its response to Katrina - that "Brownie's doing a heck of a job," while we saw the massive destruction with our own eyes. The meteorologist who gave President Bush and the US Federal Government the grave warning of the oncoming disaster himself days before the hurricane struck. The response: "We had no idea this would happen."

Disinformers *love* this; they also love how frightened US media are when they are accused of being "unfair" or "one-sided" about their coverage.

Here's how that works:

Mr. X, an authoritative spokesperson, says "10."

US media pass it on, uncensored, unquestioned, unexamined.

Then Mr. C, an authoritative spokesperson who knows that "10" is an outright lie, says, "10 is not true! In fact, here's evidence it's an outright fabrication and harmful to our nation!" And there's the proof that you can see with your own eyes (Iraq's astonishing devastation, Katrina reconstruction is NOT happening as promised, etc.)

Mr. X responds, "There the 'liberal media' goes again - unfairly showing only ONE SIDE of the story!"

The media, terrified of being called "unfair," steps up the quotes by Mr. X and his cohorts, so we keep hearing "10," over and over again, and seldom see Mr. C and the actual evidence of Mr. X's fraudulent statement.

After awhile, "10" sounds like it *should* be true. Thereby becoming part of Stephen Colbert's genius term, "truthiness;" which means something that feels like it should be true.

By the way, I hope you understand that disinformers believe *you* are not only ignorant, but stupid. Stupid enough to buy whatever they sell. They particularly need their own followers to be ignorant of facts and stupid. Who else would believe such overtly ignorant statements and disinformation but people who want to believe them because they are their leaders and trust them blindly.

That's why "believers" whose information is challenged become so emotionally charged and outraged when others tell them anything that disagrees with what they've been told by their leaders. Because if the truth-tellers make those leaders wrong, then they -- the believers -- have to realize how stupid they were to believe them in the first place.

And no one likes to think of themselves as being duped. It's embarrassing. So they fight harder to "prove" the disinformation given them by their leaders.

This happens all the time in extremist religious circles who disperse disinformation, whether it's extreme fundamentalist Muslims or extreme fundamentalist Christians.

Here are more ways Wikipedia finds disinformation (intentional misinformation, lies, misrepresentation) are used: forged documents, manuscripts, photographs; propagation of malicious rumors and fabricated intelligence.

More, "In the context of espionage or military intelligence, it is the deliberate spreading of false information to mislead an enemy as to one's position or course of action. It also includes the distortion of true information in such a way as to render it useless.

"Disinformation techniques may also be found in commerce and government, used by one group to try to undermine the position of a competitor. It in fact is the act of deception and blatant false statements to convince someone of an untruth."

Tomorrow, I'll discuss how disinformation differs from propaganda, misinformation, The Big Lie, and other ways people with specific agendas not only try, but succeed to control your behavior, votes and money with misleading and outright untruthful statements.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Iraq war horrors predicted, ignored

When US President Bush pushed the USA to attack Iraq back in 2001, anyone - Republican or Democrat - who opposed the (quite possibly illegal) incursion was called a traitor, anti-American, wimpy, voting for a "surrender" to terrorists ... and the lurid list of accusations by the Bush administration went on.

The result was that the Republican-dominated Congress easily passed the bill funding the military offensive.

With Friday's release of the shocking Prewar Intelligence About Postwar Iraq report by the US Senate Intelligence Committee, it turns out that all the horrific problems the US, Iraq and other nations currently face because of the ongoing, seemingly never-ending war instigated without cause by President Bush were predicted.


The report is 229 pages.

I swear, I don't know how those who engineered the Iraq attack can sleep at night, let alone continue to call people who object to this American-led and -fed bloodbath, "traitors" or un-American or "voting for surrender" if they elect a democrat.

But we have to note members of both parties who voted to give Bush authority to attack Iraq - had access to this report, and (fewer) members of both parties voted *against* it for the very reasons cited in this report.

The report says (all those years ago), an attack on Iraq feeds into the terrorists' plans to recruit members because the US will be seen as an aggressor and occupier if it invades Iraq, not "greeted as liberators."

As suggested by President Bush's father, former President George H. W. Bush, and others well versed on Middle Eastern culture and policies, even the attempt to establish a stable democracy in Iraq would be a "long, difficult and probably turbulent process."

The newly declassified documents carry plenty of evidence that Bush and members of his administration were well warned of the probability of a horrific conundrum if a war were started in Iraq.

US Senate Intelligence Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.VA) says, "Sadly, the administration's refusal to heed these dire warnings, and worse, to plan for them, has led to tragic consequences for which our nation is paying a terrible price."

President Bush says he remains steadfast about his decision to continue the war in Iraq, defending his desire to get rid of Saddam Hussein.

The National Intelligence Council's findings were most heavily used in the report, drawing its information and conclusions from a number of intelligence agencies (more than 80 are listed); the report was widely distributed to White House staff, national security, diplomatic and congressional offices.

In addition to playing into the hands of terrorists and creating mayhem in the nation, the invasion was predicted to detonate several tribal and civil wars within Iraq unless they were stopped by the "occupying force."

More, "Score settling would occur throughout Iraq between those associated with Saddam's regime and those who have suffered most under it."

The occupying force would have to provide massive military, economic and restructuring support to the nation destabilized by an attack because its only real resource is oil, and petroleum production has been significantly hindered by the war.

Instead of seeking bids for restructuring the nation - a hundreds of billions of dollars effort - Bush and Cheney gave the work outright to Cheney's former employer Halliburton, which is moving its main headquarters to the nation of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to avoid paying taxes in the US.

Meanwhile, Iran and other neighboring countries were predicted to jockey for influence in Iraq if Saddam were deposed.

Iraq's so-called "weapons of mass destruction?" Were never found. Further, other nations proceeding with potential programs incorporating weapons of mass destruction had nothing to do with Iraq and continue to develop whatever they were developing before the invasion of Iraq.

By the way, did you know that Saddam's warehouses of standard weapons found in Iraq were not locked down by the US Military. One intelligence officer in Iraq after the invasion reported that because the US military was not prepared to assume responsibility for the huge inventory of weapons, insurgents raided the warehouses day after day following the declaration of "mission accomplished" by President Bush.

Despite suffering the slings and arrows of Bush administration bullies and arm twisting to manufacture the Congressional vote to put our soldiers in harm's way, I thought you'd like to see the names of the US Representatives and Senators who, way back when, voted against funding the original assault on Iraq,

Many of them quoted the very points cited in the Intelligence Report - and were ridiculed or dismissed as "typical liberals, loony lefties, and even anti-American." You'll have to scroll down the roll call to see the entire list.

Meanwhile, as Bush swears he supports our troops: why have the Marines just reported that they have only received 10% of the protective armor they requested months ago? Why aren't there enough resources to treat our wounded and maimed veterans here at home and that substandard and dilapidated VA treatment centers have been discovered? (BTW, the Washington Post reporter who broke this story was called "un-American" by some for her reporting). Why are so many coming home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - only to find, again, too few resources to treat them, leaving their families to suffer along with them.

Then there's the pesky problems of veterans committing suicide after their return from Iraq, which has been declared a problem but not studied well enough to know just how extensive it is.

Again, I ask. Why did President Bush invade Iraq when clearly he had no realistic military task, goal, plan ... or dare I say, even a clue?

He has had five years to attend one funeral of one soldier killed in Iraq and still refuses to. He's had five years to explain the real reason we invaded Iraq (all the reasons he has told us over the past five years that we entered this war turned out to be untrue), but instead he only uses rhetoric that he hopes will frighten us to control our behavior and our money.

Actually, I finally bought into the politics of fear.

What Bush, Cheney and their henchmen are doing to our nation scares the hell out of me.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007


Six fundamentalist Islamics and would-be terrorists from the Middle East and Yugoslavia .. in the US illegally .. were arrested this month in New Jersey when two of them tried to buy AKC automatic machine guns. They planned to kill as many people as possible at US Army base Fort Dix.

One of the men delivered pizzas to the base and told the group he knows Fort Dix "like the back of my hand."

They had been plotting the attack for some 16 months, according to New Jersey U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie.

Thanks to a local video store employee, the six were identified, followed by law enforcement and two paid informers infiltrated the group. The clerk was asked to transfer a video to DVD showing ten men preparing for the attack and making anti-US statements. The clerk reported them immediately.

The group had been watching tapes of terrorist activities and one of the 9-11 suicide-hijackers speaking to a camera to inspire others to commit themselves to "the jihad."

"Jihad" actually means a holy cause, not war, but terrorists consider killing themselves and all "non-believers" a holy cause, which is why they call their acts of terrorism jihad.

Suicide bombers are treated like rock stars among "believers," and make tapes of themselves to show how dedicated they are to Allah and how they look forward to the good fortune they will enjoy when they die - hooking up with all those virgins, yanga yanga yanga. Families of suicide bombers are frequently given large sums of money for sacrificing their lives to the cause of killing.

While fundamentalist Islamics are among those who entreat followers to kill "non-believers" and themselves in order to do that, mainstream Muslims the world over are starting to speak up, insisting that terrorists have hijacked their religion to carry out their own particular political agendas.

Now, here's my problem with what politicians have said after exposing the plot and arresting the six defendants - who are actually considered "far from hard core" terrorists by law enforcement officials:

Republican presidential wannabe Rudy Giuliani said that, literally, if you vote Democratic, you're going to die from terrorist acts. Republicans will protect us.


Other typical ultra right-wing wackos have said the same. A vote for a Democrat is a vote for inviting terrorism in the US, especially if we bring our troops home from Iraq. Riiiiight.

You know, they're using the old illogical argument that we need to fight 'em over there, so we don't have to fight 'em right here at home.

If you read my recent blog about this bizarre assertion, you know that fewer than 4% of those fighting the US in Iraq are associated with al-qaeda.

Terrorists don't need to be in Iraq because the Iraqis and now infiltrating Iranians are doing their work for them: keeping our soldiers busy being caught in the crossfire of a civil war between the Sunnis and Shiites (who have been warring for some 1,300 years) and fighting previously peaceful Iraqis who have grown to hate the US because - gosh - more than half a million innocent Iraqis have been killed since the US invaded, and US soldiers are now blamed for destroying their country.


So the question has to be why we're there to begin with, losing nearly 3,400 American lives with tens of thousands of our soldiers injured or maimed. What was the goal to begin with? More and more, the real answer appears to be to get our hands on their oil.

To all those who claim that the Republicans are strong on defense and security?

The six would-be terrorists - and who knows how many others who are not stupid enough to take a video of themselves practicing killing people to a video store for transfer - made their way into this country across who knows which border, port or train - on the Bush/Republican watch.

When they entered the country, Republicans and Bush had complete domination of the White House, Congress and Judicial branches.

Democrats didn't get any clout until the election was held several months after the pizza delivering terrorist had free reign to move around Fort Dix - where they train troops to fight in the Middle East.

Is this even starting to make sense?

The most serious questions:

Why are we not devoting our resources to flushing out Ben Laden and al qaeda -- those actually and vocally (proudly) responsible for killing thousands of people (many of whom were Muslim and non-American) on American soil September 11, 2001 (when Bush and the Republicans again had total control in the White House and congress) instead of fighting in Iraq.

Why do so many security loopholes remain in our borders and ports?

Why have we gone so deeply in debt to fight the war in Iraq - borrowing billions from our "good friend" China - without a specific goal or end to the battles in sight?

Are we sending tens of thousands more American soldiers to Iraq to be cannon fodder?

Three former US generals who were military leaders in Iraq - at least one of whom resigned in protest of what he considers President Bush's misuse of military personnel in Iraq - are featured on television ads now, stating plainly that President Bush has placed our nation at risk, that he is destroying our Army and Marine Corps and is needlessly costing us lives in a war we have no business fighting.

He does not mention to the vast destruction to the nation of Iraq itself and the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis killed because we are there. He is only talking about his concerns of what he considers the dismantling of our army and marine corps - his area of expertise.

Still, Bush sends more soldiers over - making them work far past their legal commitment and enlistment agreement. Not giving them the proper breaks between being sent to the front lines. It's no wonder so many of our brave women and men are coming home with post traumatic stress disorder - only to find too few resources to help them when they return.

Meanwhile, we don't have enough military personnel in the US to address disasters here in the US - whether it's from the horror in Louisiana, Mississippi and other states from Katrina or recent hurricanes in the Midwest and other domestic disasters.

In case you don't know - I am an Air Force veteran and am astounded at the decisions that have been made about the use of our military, our continuing security loopholes and other problems that appear to be overlooked because we have concentrated so many resources in a nation that was never a threat to our country or borders to begin with.

I'm delighted Saddam Hussein is history - but the "threat" he was to anyone outside Iraq and the Middle East was no greater than other leaders in other Middle Eastern nations and certainly far less than Ben Laden and al qaeda, sitting tightly in Afghanistan and Pakistan with the notorious Taliban, who are working to gain a foothold there again.

Expect the Republican rhetoric to skyrocket the closer we get to the election. I mean it is going to get nasty. I mean you won't know real nasty until you witness this coming election.

Because they don't want Democrats coming into the White House to witness the shambles Bush has made of the US Presidency, and the evidence he will leave behind of all the other *extraordinary* errors of judgement he made during his tenure.

Republicans would come in with a CYA attitude, wanting to clean up Bush's mess without any public notice. And believe me, they will desperately want to be sure they are in a position to take care of the mess left in his wake.

Democrats would definitely - to a degree - expose what they find. They can't afford to expose too much evidence of the Bush travesty because it would make the government and our two- party system appear to be broken.

Now the question is whether the Democrats have the stomach and stamina to stand up to all the right wing bravado, fear mongering, dishonesty and dirty politics. Take special notice of who counts the votes.

And whether Americans care enough to get involved with the election to make sure the nation gets back on track - working for the ideals and promises pledged by our constitution and Bill of Rights.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fighting terrorists "over there" so we don't have to fight them "here"

I hope someone understands how preposterous this supposition is.

I'm neither paranoid nor am I privy to any special information, and I am aware that terrorists are already in our midst, just as they are in Europe, England and other nations throughout the world.

It's only common sense.

Canada's liberal immigration laws permitted many people to live there whose background in either Islamic or Middle East political extremism would prohibit them from entry into the US.

In December, 1999, an alert US customs agent spotted one of them crossing a Northwest American border with a car whose trunk was *loaded* with explosives. She and three other agents captured and arrested him. His passenger escaped.

To believe that no other terrorists have safely crossed that and other borders after 9/11 would be extremely naive.

As much as the Bush administration and far right wing Republicans plead that they need to "fight terrorists over in Iraq so they don't come here," the fact is that in Iraq there are very few non-Iraqi or Iraqi terrorists participating in that civil war and fighting the US military there. Reliable estimates run *less than* 4% of those fighting are al qaeda-related.

Terrorists don't have to be in Iraq because Iraqis fighting the civil and other war against the US there are doing the terrorists' work for them.

Which leaves the terrorists free to move throughout the world as we devote so many resources and attention to Iraq to gain access to its oil.

This war, in fact, is fodder to stimulate anti-US and anti-West emotions among people who are already convinced that Western culture is a tool of Satan.

A recent report from Iraq noted that every time Americans reconstruct a school or other building there, it is destroyed by insurgents. What had been reported by the Bush administration as a successful US drive to reconstruct a number of resources there turned out to be untrue; there continues to be extreme problems because of the ongoing destruction, a lack of clean water and electricity.

Imagine living day to day trying to make a living, educate your children and even survive, with the constant threat of explosions, destruction and bloodletting, let alone being without clean water or electricity.

The terrorists are using what is seen by many people in the world as a demonstrable act of aggression by the US into Iraq as emotional fodder to inspire recruits to work against us.

Perhaps even more significantly:

The world - and especially the terrorists - bitterly note that President Bush displays the arrogance of someone who seems to believe it's OK to destroy a nation "over there," killing more than half a million innocent children, women and men "over there;" to leave so many Iraqi victims without limbs and faces and a real future "over there," or allow the massive corruption that has "lost" tens of billions of our hard-earned US tax dollars "over there."

This while we sit in the comfort of our warm living rooms watching the latest American Idol, chat about the most recent episode of Grey's Anatomy over the water cooler at work, complain about all the homework we have to do for class tomorrow or become frustrated with the long wait in line for Spidey 3.

Meanwhile, as an Air Force veteran, I am sad to see so many of our US military and civilian forces coming home killed, wounded, maimed or harmed in some way in a war that was not carefully debated or considered before they were sent "over there" by President Bush and Vice President Cheney, according to former CIA director George Tenent.

Common sense *should* tell us that devoting so many of our resources in Iraq only makes for a great distraction for Americans as the terrorists go about their business here and in a number of nations.

This short-sightedness is one of the main reasons those who opposed invading Iraq in the first place were so angry. They saw this outcome, why didn't others?

I'll never forget the mistreatment Michael Moore received at the 2004 Academy Awards when he announced that the Bush administration lied to us about the war in Iraq. The audience booed and the media villified him. We didn't want to believe him. The democrats were too afraid to challenge the president.

We are not fighting the terrorists, folks. We're just giving them plenty of time to wait. And plan. Patiently.

Ask anyone in US military or intelligence or knowledgeable political circles: it will be a miracle if terrorists don't strike the US, and in a significant way.

Meanwhile, the British have devoted many resources to stay one step ahead of terrorists in their nation; not always successfully, but they have prevented several catastrophes. Spain and other nations have also felt the lethal wrath of terrorists' deadly brutality.

The Bush administration told us a number of reasons for invading Iraq, not the least of which was ridding the world of the demonic Saddam Hussein. He's gone. He's not only been gone for awhile, he's been killed, along with many of his associates and family.

Why aren't we out of there after Saddam's government was successfully destroyed, after he was successfully captured, after he was successfully tried, convicted and hung along with his cronies?

Because the Bush administration did not understand the outcome of its actions and is incapable of seeing the US/Iraqi war for what it is:

Political, military, financial, emotional, moral and cultural quicksand.

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