Factinista Archives, June 2006
June 30th, 2006
The Bush administration is chock-full of whimpering cowards. They
rule the world’s most powerful country, with the largest most
powerful army the world has ever known, but they cower in fear of small bands of
Islamic militants around the world. The Cheney administration is the
most paranoid and insecure administration in US history.
“Decider in Chief” says that evildoers are out to get us, and that
we all need to cower in fear just the way the administration does.
coward would imprison people without trial or representation,
because they fear what will be revealed in court. Even the very
conservative Supreme Court has ruled that the Cheney administration
can not use military tribunals, as dictatorships are want to do, to
coward would erode constitutional rights in the United States
because a handful of people are threatening our country. A strong
leader would not use the excuse that “everything has changed after
9/11”, but rather would say nothing has changed, and that terrorist
acts cannot eat away at the fabric of our constitutional system.
coward would start spying on their own citizens under the guise of
protecting them from evildoers.
coward would out a covert CIA agent for political purposes, and then
lie in public by saying “we want to catch the leakers”.
coward would fail to take responsibility for their failure to act
after the Katrina disaster. Only a coward would try to blame their
failings on others.
coward would lie about the reasons for going to war. A statesman
would trust the people of the country to make the right choice based
coward would do everything possible to stay out of the Vietnam War,
only to call veterans who served bravely “cowards that cut and run”.
That is the ultimate form of cowardice.
I long for
the days when our leaders had a spine and morals, and engaged in
statesmanship, rather than cowardice and fear mongering.
of the Super Citizen
June 28th, 2006
Against the backdrop of Republican-orchestrated voter suppression in
Ohio and other swing states, and the Jack Abramoff and Duke
Cunningham scandals, the Supreme Court has
ruled again that putting limits on campaign spending is
unconstitutional. In their infinite wisdom they have stated that
putting limits on campaign financing violates the First Amendment
rights of candidates and parties (precedent: Buckley v. Valeo,
1976). The rationale offered was that lesser-known candidates could
not mount an effective campaign against incumbents.
shallow analysis assumes that public financing of elections is out
of the question. In effect, it confers a sort of super citizenship
upon corporations and wealthy people who fund political campaigns,
and then ask for political favors. You, as a private citizen, get a
dubious smidgeon of free speech when you give 50 bucks to a
campaign. When it comes to giant corporations, on the other hand,
the more money they have the more free speech they can buy. If they
also own the media companies that own the news media, they become
truly super duper citizens indeed.
learned members of the Supreme Court were actually concerned about
free speech, as opposed to corporate-purchased airtime, their
opinions would have contained a grain of concern for the corrupting
influence of money in politics. Instead, the Supreme Court implies
that if you want to have a voice in politics, you need to put your
money where your mouth is. No money, no speech. In a sense, our
system imposes a “voluntary poll tax” on those who give small
political contributions. That money goes straight to media companies
in the form of political ad revenues.
result of this money-driven political system is that corporations
give huge contributions to candidates and expect something from the
politicians in return. Average citizens, on the other hand, give
small donations to politicians - adding up to millions of dollars -
and all of those dollars are funneled to the very media corporations
that are supposed to keep the public informed. The news media have
an extremely vested interest in maintaining the status quo where
every two years hundreds of millions of dollars are poured into
their bank accounts for each election cycle. If public financing of
elections ever became law in the United States, TV and radio
stations would be forced to give free air time to all candidates.
That is something that media corporations will never stand for. So
expect to hear little about public financing from the news media,
unless they have something very derogatory to say about it.
As long as
the Supreme Court continues to rule that collecting and spending
money is a type of free speech, then they are opening the dawn of a
new age where corporations, especially corporations that own major
media outlets, become “super citizens” with far more power and
control than any citizen, or citizen group could muster.
senators today and demand public financing of elections, and while
you’re at it, demand a uniform US voting system that leaves an
auditable paper trail.
Concept of National Security
June 27th, 2006
Dick Cheney, the “dark side” Darth Vader who is actually running the
Bush administration, says that disclosing illegal actions by the
government is outrageous, and that the reporters involved should be
indicted and jailed. Bush, the puppet president, says it is
“disgraceful to leak information” (except when he does it to CIA
Cheney said of the disclosure about the government sifting through
everyone’s bank accounts: "The New York Times has now twice on two
separate occasions disclosed programs; both times they had been
asked not to publish those stories by senior administration
officials. They went ahead anyway. The leaks to The New York Times
and the publishing of those leaks is very damaging."
thinks that when he does something illegal, he can just tell
reporters to shut up, and they will. Otherwise, "national security"
really means is that the news is damaging for his administration,
their credibility, and their ability to continue to ignore the laws
of the United States. If there's one thing Dick hates, it's people
checking in to his illegal activities. Keep in mind that the New
York Times had the story on the illegal government spying program
against US citizens before the 2004 election. At the behest of Dick
Cheney, the Times did not report it until well after the election
was stolen in Ohio by Ken Blackwell. Apparently, doing Dick's
bidding doesn't involve delaying embarrassing stories; it involves
burying them for good.
York Times has bent over backwards for Dick on numerous occasions,
but Dick is still not satisfied. He wants the New York Times to
become a state propaganda machine, only reporting things Dick wants
reported. Quite ironic considering that Dick Cheney said once upon a
time that the US had to rid the earth of totalitarian governments
like that in the Soviet Union. Dick sure has strange ideas about
freedom and democracy in America.
the US press corps going to get tired of being told what to
say by the Cheney administration?
June 25th, 2006
Grover Norquist is the American Treasure who is famous for saying
years ago, “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five
years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the
bathtub.” He is also known as the founder of the fanatical anti-tax
group called Americans for Tax Reform, or ATR.
is going to be known for something else, being a tax cheat and
money launderer for Jack Abramoff. Grover funneled hundreds of
thousands of dollars of Jack Abramoff’s lobbying money, which was
not tax exempt, through ATR which is a tax exempt organization. So
how's that for irony? Grover uses his anti-tax, tax-exempt
organization as a way to launder lobbyist money in order to avoid
paying taxes on it. On top of that, Grover took a cut of each
transaction that illegally passed through his tax-exempt, anti-tax
Conservative Republicans like to boast about their patriotic fervor
for America, but when it comes to paying their fair share of taxes,
their patriotism wanes rapidly. They support the president's
unnecessary overseas war in Iraq, but they don't want to pay for it.
They support eliminating the estate tax for rich people, but they
are vehemently against even small increases in the minimum wage for
working people. Republicans who despise the federal government and
who don't feel obligated to pay their fair share of taxes are not
patriotic, they're just plain selfish and hypocritical. Let's wait
to see what happens with the tax-exempt status of Grover's ATR
organization, and what I hope would be a mandatory IRS audit of
hard-working, tax paying Americans of both parties should be
outraged at the Abramoff scandal, and the way Republicans like
Grover Norquist flaunt the tax and political financing laws of this
An Open Letter to the NY Times
June 25th, 2006
I grew up in the New York area, and
from my teenage years on I read the New York Times just
about every day. I especially loved the Tuesday science
section. I now live in the Washington area and I go to
the New York Time's web site every morning. However, in
recent years I rarely click on or read any of the
stories because for the most part they seem to
partisanly favor the Bush administration in every
The New York Times was even
motivated to question their own prewar reporting for its
obvious shortcomings. Nonetheless, in the aftermath of
that moment of self reflection, I rarely see
hard-hitting, unpleasant-truth type reporting about the
war in Iraq or the loss of privacy and civil liberties
here at home in your paper. This is particularly
disturbing because our government is now fully
controlled by Republicans in both the legislative and
executive branches. But rather than acting as a
contravening force to counterbalance the lopsided
political landscape, you seem to almost invariably favor
the party in power. That seems antithetical to the
mission of the Fourth Estate, and their essential role
in holding the party in power to account for their
You even had a front-page article
on the Clinton's marriage recently. Is there some
special reason why you're not having a similar
front-page story on the increasingly rocky Bush
marriage? He is, after all, the sitting President rather
than the former President. How come I have not seen any
front-page stories on the generational split between
Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. over the Iraq war, and the
torturing of prisoners? Why does the New York Times
ignore the crimes and misdemeanors of Kenneth Blackwell
and his past and present attempts to suppress voter
registration and turnout in Ohio? All good questions
that I doubt I will ever get an answer to.
Or perhaps you will prove me wrong
and answer my questions now.
John R. Moffett Ph.D.
Write the NY Times:
Chicken Hawk Talk… Chicken Hawk Walk
June 23rd, 2006
Iraq’s National Security Adviser,
Mowaffak al-Rubaie, has called for a
withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. He says he believes
that the Iraqi army can have the security situation well in
hand by 2008, and most US troops should be able to withdraw
by the end of 2007. A recent poll in Iraq showed that
approximately 80% of the Iraqi people would like US troops
to leave in the near term.
Keep in mind that it was over three years ago that George
Bush stood on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln,
with the mission accomplished banner splashed behind him,
and announced that America and its allies had prevailed in
the war against Iraq. Three years later, the Senate can't
even hold a civil debate on a timetable for withdrawing our
troops from the midst of a serious and growing insurgent
civil war. Republicans, at Karl Roves bidding, accuse
veteran Democrats like John Martha and John Kerry of wanting
to “cut and run”. In the Senate today, both resolutions on
timetables for troop withdrawals from Iraq were voted down.
Just recently, Congress voted for another supplementary
spending bill totaling over 90 billion dollars to fund
continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the
grand total so far to well over 300 billion dollars. Even as
the US pours borrowed money into these fiscal (and
political) black holes, we are nonetheless running out of
money in Iraq, and the Bush administration is being forced
to shut down reconstruction projects, and
pull contracts from US firms who have proved incapable
of fulfilling their no-bid construction projects.
Beyond the well-documented Iraqi government corruption and
billions of dollars-gone-missing in Iraq, another major
reason for the huge cost overruns is that vast sums of money
have been spent on private security contractors and
mercenaries who cost the DoD 3 to 5 times as much money as
enlisted personnel to perform the same job. This is just one
more facet of the Bush administration’s policy to privatize
(monetize) all government functions, including the military.
The chicken hawks in the Bush administration, who never
themselves served a single day in the military, talk plenty
of tough-guy chicken hawk talk, and call war veterans like
John Murtha “cowards who want to cut and run”. But when it
comes to actually getting things right in Iraq, and
implementing a workable exit strategy, the Bush
administration just can’t walk the walk.
But any discussion of a timetable for troop withdrawal might
be moot, because unfortunately, the Bush administration may
not want any exit strategy for Iraq. They refuse to renounce
the idea of permanent US military bases in Iraq, and they
are building what looks like a permanent military
infrastructure there. Questions we might ask ourselves
include; is the US military patrolling the skies of the
Middle East from Iraqi air bases? How many US military bases
have already been built in Iraq, and how many more are under
construction? Is the US military spying on other countries
from bases in Iraq? Is the US military building a permanent
command and control infrastructure in Iraq, which it has no
intention of ever turning over to the Iraqis?
guess is that the answer to all of these questions is, yes.
Administration that Cried Wolf… and Wolf… and Wolf…
June 19th, 2006
book by Ron Suskind will be released tomorrow June 20, called
“The 1% Doctrine” which
supposedly details the Bush administration's secret war against
terrorists in the United States. Keep in mind that Ron Suskind is a
reporter for the very conservative, Bush allied Wall Street Journal.
According to the book, Bush has saved thousands of US lives,
bolstering Karl Rove’s contention that only Republicans will keep US
find most interesting about this supposed attack on New York subways
with cyanide gas was that the government says that they knew all
about the attack, and the fact that it was supposedly called off in
2003. Notice how they didn't tell you anything about it until their
poll numbers were sagging lower than Karl Rove’s jowls in 2006, a
full 3 years later. Hmm, imagine that.
point, the Bush administration has virtually nothing going for it
except for the war on terrorism and using fear to garner votes from
worried citizens. I cannot conceive of a worse platform for
governing from. They will erroneously tie the Iraq war to terrorism,
and they will play the news media like a fiddle, just the way they
did with Ron Suskind, in order to terrify the citizens of the US
into voting Republican.
not just the administration that cried wolf in order to strike fear
into the citizenry, this is the administration that cried wolf, and
then cried wolf again, and then again and again and again. Even in
children's stories people stop believing the Wolf Criers after a
time, but the big question for the 2006 election is, will the
American people still listen to them after they have cried wolf
falsely over and over again for five years? Will they believe that
George Bush is working hard to save all of their lives from imminent
doom? Undoubtedly a significant proportion of the population will.
But the calculus for Karl Rove will fail if they don't get over 50%
of the popular (and electoral) votes.
Congressman John Murtha said yesterday, Karl Rove sits in his
air-conditioned office on his big fat butt, saying “stay the
course”. And as John Murtha said, “that's not a plan”. Of course it
isn't. The Bush administration had a plan that involved children
tossing flowers and chocolates at our soldiers, and a blossoming
democracy in Iraq resulting in a reverse domino effect toppling
Islamic governments throughout the Middle East. No one would
question US power ever again. In retrospect, it was a ludicrous pipe
dream, and definitely not a plan.
Silent Wheel Gets the Shaft
June 17th, 2006
Conservative Republicans hold great sway over
the US news media for a number of reasons. The usual list of
media consolidation under the control of large corporations,
pressure to be pro-Republican from management, publishers, editors
and corporate advertisers,
3) fear of
being labeled “liberal” after years of derision from conservatives,
4) fear of
losing access to White House briefings and administration sources,
5) a pack
mentality among the press,
unusually friendly nature of the relationship between the press
corps and Republicans, especially those in the White House, and
September 11 terrorist attacks have been used by the administration
to effectively silence the press from criticizing policies and
there are other significant, but perhaps less discussed reasons why
the mainstream media now tend to lean significantly to the right,
despite being criticized for leaning left. Entire books have now
been written on how the mainstream news media have been soft on
President Bush as compared to their treatment of President Clinton.
Many people, including author Eric Boehlert, have commented on the
fact that the mainstream media went from attack dogs to lap dogs
coincidentally with the turn of administrations.
underpinning of the conservative media tilt is what has been termed
by media analysts such as David Brock as “the right-wing noise
machine”. However, this terminology tends to trivialize one of the
most serious threats to our democracy. Without a healthy,
independent and skeptical press corps, one of the major checks and
balances in our system of free government has been compromised. I
believe the problem is better described as the “Republican-corporate
primary driving forces that feed and sustain the
Republican-corporate propaganda machine are 1) reduced taxes on
corporations and the very rich, 2) new laws permitting increased
media consolidation, 3) special access and arrangements between
corporate lobbyists and Republicans, and 4) special access and
arrangements between “journalists” and administration officials. All
four of these forces combine to provide great impetus for news media
corporations to be biased in favor of the current administration.
Turn on any financial channel and you'll hear panicked, shrill
banter about keeping Democrats out of power in order to keep the
(wealthy-biased) tax cuts in place. Apparently, for Republicans,
patriotism stops were taxes begin.
Republican-corporate propaganda machine uses numerous techniques to
keep the US public distracted and misinformed on key issues that
affect everyone in this country. You will rarely hear serious
discussions about the looming $9 trillion US debt, or the stagnation
of the minimum wage in this country. The corporate-controlled media
will often lash out at unions, or immigrants, and always against
liberals and Democrats that would try to bring fiscal responsibility
back to the US government. As far as Wall Street is concerned, the
wild profit orgy will be over if the Democrats take control of
either the House or Senate. Fear of Democratic fiscal responsibility
may be the single greatest driving force behind the right-ward tilt
of the corporate-controlled news media.
daily tactic of the Republican-corporate propaganda machine is to
overwhelm the system with angry rhetoric - angry rhetoric coming
from radio talk shows, angry rhetoric coming from administration
officials, spokespersons, and Republican members of Congress, and
attempts to drum up angry rhetoric from the conservative base using
all available media outlets. This is the age-old idea that “the
squeaky wheel gets the grease”. If you don't make a lot of noise,
you won't get your way. So even though Republicans control all
branches of government, they need to make as much noise as possible
to drown out any dissent.
are finally trying to fight back with a smattering of talk radio,
and with Internet news sites and blogs, but they can't match the
sheer volume of the corporate-controlled airwaves, and their
deep-pocketed corporate backers. Combined with the fact that the
highly diluted liberal message is also disjointed and factionalized,
and you have a recipe for perpetual Republican control of our
government. Further, the demoralized Democratic base does not
complain to their elected representatives at anywhere near the level
that Republicans do. Many Democrats have given up on politics and no
longer pay attention or participate. That's just how the Republicans
like it. Until Democrats unite to formulate a sound, popular plan
for moving the country forward, and until they articulate it loud
and clear to the public, the silent wheel will just get the shaft.
Who needs to grease a silent wheel?
need to reawaken, energize and speak out. Write your Senators and
Congressperson at least once a week to let them know exactly how you
feel. Become a squeaky wheel.
----------> 2 C2H5OH + 2 CO2
June 14, 2006
The above equation is not good news for ethanol producers. As a
biologist I've been thinking about renewable energy sources such as
ethanol, and I keep coming back to the same conclusion. Ethanol may
not be the best renewable energy source that we can come up with,
and I will explain why.
I used to
brew beer at home, no not from those syrupy kits, from actual
four-row malted barley, water, brewers yeast and dried hops. One
thing all beer brewers know very well is that yeast are very busy
little creatures who spend all day converting sugar into ethanol and
CO2. When beer is brewing, the vat is literally bubbling
madly with CO2.
molecule of sugar, let's say glucose as in the chemical equation
above, two molecules of ethanol are produced, as are two molecules
of CO2 gas. What this means is that as we produce
ethanol, we create one molecule of CO2 gas for every
molecule of ethanol. When the ethanol is burned in a vehicle, two
additional molecules of CO2 are produced. Therefore,
unlike gasoline, we are creating a greenhouse gas both at the time
of ethanol production, and again at the time of ethanol combustion.
warming truly is a major concern for mankind, then producing
additional CO2 gas by the millions of tons as we ferment
plant products into ethanol will simply be making the problem worse
in an attempt to free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil.
Ethanol may be a temporary stopgap measure on the way to hydrogen
powered vehicles, but it is one that is almost certain to exacerbate
global warming more so than the combustion of fossil fuels.
producers could capture the CO2 generated by
fermentation, and dispose of it several ways, but that would just
drive up the cost of making ethanol.
Way of Earning Political Capital
June 8, 2006
Two days after the 2004 election, George Bush held a
news conference and declared, “I earned capital in the
campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my
style. That's what happened in the -- after the 2000 election, I
earned some capital. I've earned capital in this election -- and I'm
going to spend it”.
He earned political capital in the 2000 election where he lost the
popular vote to Al Gore by 500,000? Only an extremely arrogant, self
righteous person could possibly spin losing the popular vote into
“earning political capital”.
the fact that the mainstream media portrayed the 2004 election as a
trouncing of John Kerry, and a mandate for George Bush, a more
detailed analysis of the election might suggest that Bush earned as
little, or less political capital in 2004 as he did in 2000. But the
mainstream press had no stomach for it, and the White House likes it
same news conference right after the 2004 election, Bush said this
to the White House correspondents before him - “I want to thank
you all for your hard work in the campaign. I told you that the
other day, and you probably thought I was just seeking votes.
(Laughter from the press). But now that you voted, I really meant
it. I appreciate the hard work of the press corps. We all put in
long hours, and you're away from your families for a long period of
time. But the country is better off when we have a vigorous and free
press covering our elections. And thanks for your work. Without
over-pandering, I'll answer a few questions”. (Laughter from the
for the Independent Media in America.
dividing the nation along party lines, and setting Democrats and
Republicans at each other's throats during the run-up to the
election, the Republican Party still felt they needed to cheat in
order to win. Bush's approval was already below 50% before the
election, an ominous sign for a sitting president who was coming up
for reelection. This may have been the major impetus for Republicans
in several critical states to step well over the line of honest
latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has
controversial article that has been ignored by the mainstream
press and vilified in many online forums. The major points made by
Kennedy have been made before but are certainly worth reviewing in
alleged GOP tactics in Ohio:
purging of the voter rolls, removing many legitimate voters and thus
preventing them from voting.
in place absurd requirements for voter registration including
insisting that registrations only be submitted on a particularly
heavy-weight paper. Registrations submitted on lighter-weight paper
distribution of voting machines to various districts resulting in
exceptionally long lines, and wait times of hours in urban,
Democratic precincts. This contrasts with adequate numbers of voting
machines in Republican districts where there were much shorter
voter registration cards were never processed and therefore
potential voters were never added to the voting rolls, with the
majority of new registrations being Democratic.
Republicans also used the tactic known as “Caging”, which was
outlawed in the 1980s after the Republicans used it then in New
Jersey and Louisiana. The Republicans brought caging back to Ohio in
2004. The tactic involves sending mail to registered voters that you
hope to knock from the polling lists. If the recipients did not
respond to the mailings, which might look like junk mail to some,
their names were removed from the voter rolls. This was done only 11
days before the election, giving voters very little time to respond,
obviously on purpose.
goes on, including the fact that the exit polls and the final
tallies varied dramatically, more so than any other recent election.
Also, as occurred with Katherine Harris in Florida in the 2000 vote,
Kenneth Blackwell was both the Secretary of State of Ohio in charge
of elections, while simultaneously being the cochair of the Bush
Cheney reelection campaign in Ohio.
Manjoo at Salon.com
takes on Kennedy, and makes every excuse possible for the
election fraud that occurred in Ohio, something you might expect
from the mainstream conservative media, rather than the so-called
liberal media. He makes a few good points on detail, but he
repeatedly excuses the inexcusable occurrences in the 2004 election
throughout his article, and derides Kennedy for even bringing the
entire thesis was that no matter how you divvied up the fraud,
incompetence and malfeasance on Election Day in Ohio in 2004, it
still would not have tipped the balance in favor of Kerry. Is that
the real issue here… that perhaps the blatant fraud in Ohio in 2004
was not enough to award victory to John Kerry? If so, then our
democratic system is in far greater danger than I had suspected.
When people accept rampant voter fraud orchestrated by the highest
levels of a state government, in this case Kenneth Blackwell and the
Ohio GOP, then we have basically thrown up our arms and said “Who
cares? They're all a bunch of crooks anyway!” If America has truly
become that unconcerned with the legitimacy and integrity of our
voting system, then we deserve whatever negative consequences follow
from that egregious level of civic disregard.
spent most of his time picking apart Kennedy's weaker arguments, not
by proving them false, but by saying that Kennedy's numbers were
exaggerated, and therefore even with all the corruption, the
election still would not have gone to John Kerry. In one
particularly pathetic argument against Kennedy, Manjoo states that
the lack of voter machines in key Democratic precincts was merely
due to “incompetence”, rather than to “a GOP plot”. So at best,
officials in Ohio are incompetent, and at worst they are corrupt.
Somehow that doesn't seem like a situation worth defending.
Manjoo failed utterly to prove was the obverse of Kennedy's thesis,
that is, that the election in Ohio in 2004 was not stolen. He merely
makes the case that Kennedy did not prove that it was. This is no
small distinction. For anyone interested in more details on the Ohio
2004 election, you should read the book “Fooled Again”, by Mark
Crispin Miller. He details additional facts not even brought up by
Kennedy, including how overseas ballots were handled in the 2004
sharply refuted by Stephen H. Freeman, a political analyst who
Kennedy relied on for his article.
Republicans in New Hampshire have already been
convicted and sentenced for their role in phone jamming
Democratic get-out-the-vote phone banks in the 2002 election.
Charles McGee, the executive director of the New Hampshire
Republican Party, admitted at trial - “I might think of an idea
of disrupting those operations. Eventually the idea coalesced into
disrupting their phone lines . . . [it's] military common sense that
if you can't communicate, you can't plan and organize."
how the GOP operates when they try to win elections.
Bush closed his news conference on November 4, 2004 by saying to the
reporters present -“Listen, thank you all. I look forward to
working with you. I've got a question for you. How many of you are
going to be here for a second term? Please raise your hand.”
(Laughter.) “Good. Gosh, we're going to have a lot of fun, then.
Thank you all.”
And so the
second term press love affair with Bush began.
Terrorist Down - How Many to Go?
June 8th, 2006
As the world contemplates the killing of Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab
al- Zarqawi in Iraq, the question everyone is asking is, “Will this
affect the war in Iraq?”
answer will no doubt await the unfolding of events in Iraq over the
next year, or two, or...
anyone says anything else about this notable milestone in the Iraq
war, they should read Sidney Blumenthal's article @
Salon.com on the behind-the-scenes move by George Bush Sr. to
save his son's presidency by having Donald Rumsfeld replaced as
Secretary of Defense with an unnamed, but competent four-star
general. George Jr. came out swinging after an additional
unprecedented rebuke from seven retired generals, who called for
Rumsfeld's resignation in April. George Jr. declared, "I'm the
decider, and I decide what's best. And what's best is for Don
Rumsfeld to remain."
almost everyone can agree at this point that the US strategy in Iraq
requires rethinking. Most will also agree that substantial
rethinking will not occur as long as Donald Rumsfeld is in charge of
the Department of Defense. Bush cannot replace Rumsfeld without
jeopardizing what remaining credibility the Iraq war has with the
be expected, the sectarian and regional violence continues in Iraq
after Zarqawi’s death, and there is further reason to suspect that
it will continue indefinitely as long as the sectarian differences
are not settled. Considering the current level of aggression between
Sunnis and Shia in Iraq, it is logical to presume that the sectarian
differences are very far from settled.
generational Bush family strain is palpable. But unfortunately for
the United States of America, the brash, inexperienced, petulant
child just happens to be the decider.
Are We Fighting For Freedom,
June 5th, 2006
The Bush administration says we are fighting for freedom in Iraq.
And when our troops fight overseas, the administration says we are
fighting in the name of a democratic country to preserve hard-won
freedoms here at home. One might suggest that such a notion rings
somewhat hollow in light of the Bush administration's tendencies
towards extreme secrecy, and eroding liberties and freedoms at home
in the name of fighting terrorism.
is another sense in which this notion of fighting for freedom is
trivialized by the Bush administration. By meeting secretly with
industry officials behind closed doors to draw up legislation
concerning policies that affect the very same industries, the Bush
administration is sliding inexorably towards a type of neo-fascism.
The military-industrial complex has never been more powerful in the
United States than it is now, and taxpayer dollars have never flowed
through those coffers to the extent that they are now flowing. It is
a boom time for defense contractors ranging from Halliburton to
Lockheed Martin to Raytheon.
typically think of fascism as representing a police state, but that
is not an accurate definition. Fascism is the seamless blending of
government with big business to form a much more powerful entity
than either could muster alone. Bush and Cheney have been doing that
since they have been in office, starting with the so-called energy
task force, and continuing through no-bid Halliburton contracts in
Iraq and elsewhere, to the hundreds of billions of dollars of war
profiteering at tax payer’s expense.
cuts for corporations have in part fueled the unprecedented national
debt that is now approaching $9 trillion. The corporations will most
likely not have to pay back that debt, especially if they continue
to get massive tax breaks in the future. Average, taxpaying citizens
and their children and grandchildren will be paying that debt off
for decades to come.
corporations are in cahoots with the government, while
simultaneously controlling most major media outlets, fascism is but
a step away. Fascist states invariably become paranoid, and are known for spying on their citizens,
and imprisoning them without trial, and even torturing prisoners -
all things that would have been
unheard of in the United States of America prior to the Bush administration.
question is, are our troops fighting in Iraq for freedom at home, or
are they fighting for fascism? Time will tell.
Copyright 2006, Factinista.org