Tuesday, February 27, 2007

the advocates and architects of that war are completely corrupt

* josh:
""The reason our mission in Iraq has proven to be so disastrous and corrupt is very simple -- the advocates and architects of that war are completely corrupt, inept, and deceitful." The words are Glenn Greenwald's. And though many others have said the same thing in slightly different words, it bears repeating again and again. The corruption and ineptitude aren't unfortunate add-ons to the effort. They're at the heart of it. It's a stain like original sin. And the same goes for the democratizing element of the mission. Even among critics of the war, it's often accepted as granted that a key aim of this effort was democratization -- only that it was botched, like so much else, or that the aim of democracy, in a crunch, plays second fiddle to other priorities. Not true. The key architects of the policy don't believe in democracy or the rule of law. The whole invasion was based on contrary principles. And the aim can't be achieved because those anti-democratic principles are written into the DNA of the occupation, even as secondary figures have and continue to labor to build democracy in the country."

* tpmm:
"Today, ex-Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) former chief of staff pled guilty to corruption charges related to the Jack Abramoff scandal, making Will Heaton the second of Ney's chiefs of staff to do so. The first one, Neil Volz, continues to cooperate with prosecutors."

* amy:
"Newly released Pentagon statistics show nearly 800 civilian contractors and mercenaries have been killed since start of the Iraq war. Another thirty-three hundred contractors sustained injuries serious enough to require four or more days off the job. There are now 120,000 contractors in Iraq."

* amy:
"U.S. Rejects International Call to Ban Cluster Bombs
The United States has rejected an international call to ban the use of cluster bombs. On Friday 46 countries agreed in Oslo to develop a new international treaty to ban the use of cluster munitions by 2008. The United States, Russia, Israel, and China chose not to attend the conference. U.S. allies Romania, Poland and Japan attended the conference but refused to sign the Oslo Declaration."

* Bloody Hell. Scott Horton gets all the great interviews. That's cos he's the best. This time, Former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega talks about her conspiracy to commit fraud case against the president and his men: United States v. Bush et al., how they manipulated the American people and why impeachment is especially important during wartime. mp3.


noise said...

Josh is right. It can't be repeated enough. It is hard to believe that Congress still pretends that Bush is acting in good faith.

Michael Kinsley addresses Bush's key talking point in this weeks Time:

There is something backward here. Congressional opponents of the Iraq war are "supporting the troops" in the best possible way: by trying to bring them home to safety and their families. It is those — those few, apart from President Bush — who want to send even more troops to Iraq who should feel defensive about their support for the troops. (1)

He has a sick paragraph suggesting Bush's intentions were pure but other than that it's a pretty good editorial.

60 minutes had a good piece on soldiers who question the mission. Dana Priest just wrote a good article on Walter Reed's horrible conditions that has gotten a lot of deserved attention.

Yet, we still have a Congress that refuses to admit that Bush and Cheney have bad intentions.

There isn't much discussion in the corporate media about Iraqi victims. It wasn't that long ago that members of Congress (Republicans) were blaming the Iraqi government for the problems caused by the occupation. The whole thing is out of 1984.

steven andresen said...

I think the problem with Congress being unwilling to say and then act on the idea that the President, Vice President, and others in the Executive have "bad intentions" is similar to the problem that jounalists have when they are both trying to be critical of the politicians they write about and be friends with them. It's hard to work congenially with someone you think might be a mass murderer or at least some of the world's most powerful criminals.

Congress has to work with people who believe they are doing righteous things, but do things that others have good reason to consider evil. So, some Congressperson could say their opponents are evil in the various ways their critics claim, and thereafter find it socially awkward or otherwise impossible to work with them. Or, they could deny to some greater or less degree the claims and the evidence against them.

The more Bush invades to steal valuables and kill objectors and the more he shreds the Constitution in order to shut people up at home, the more work Congress will have to make themselves smile and go along, just so the basic work of government can continue.

I guess the idea is, they have to deny the obvious or the controversial, because more serious problems having to do with the functioning of our government will develop if they start to act on these claims.

A Congress divided on these kinds of issues cannot function, more or less.

steven andresen said...

Here's my other thought about slavery: Do you think that the Civil War could have been prevented by impeaching anybody? Would anyone have thought that the problem of slavery could have been dealt with by impeaching Lincoln out of the White House, or if a Democratic advocate of slavery had been "elected," in the way that Bush was "elected," could we have avoided bloodshed through some kind of legal proceeding?

I wonder. It would have been a great thing for the whole issue to have been settled by lawyers, but I believe that this is just magical thinking. There was too much invested and too many issues for a trial to resolve.

In the same way, I don't think we can stop the United States from its practice of "home invasions" to steal valuables and kill any objectors through impeachment.

It is magical thinking to suppose that a Congress that went along with the home invasions of Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Afghanistan, Iraq, and so on, (see Blum for a fuller list,) is going to change its mind enough to indict and punish one of their own.

This is not to say that we cannot stop the United States from invading people's homes. Nor am I advocating bloodshed and civil war. I just think we're not going to get it done by something as simple as a trial.

steven andresen said...

I am so depressed.

Given the fact that I think the Bush administration is committing war crimes all over, and gutting the Constitution to save itself from its critics at home, the question arises, given all of this is true, what we should do about it.

I argued against many others that the effort to try and get Congress to impeach the President and the Vice President would be futile. This Congress will not go against one of their own, even if the country was being lead down a clear path to its destruction. There are just too many factors that would make the acknowledgemant of our reality impossible. Instead, I expect Congress as well as much of the country to sink deeper into denial.

However, there are those who may see the problem and entertain certain other options. I said I did not advocate bloodshed or civil war as any kind of solution. I said I didn't think impeachment was a realistic solution.

Some people believe that the military is in a position to save us. So, for example, here,


and here,


I found a writer talking about a supposed attempt by "U.S. Military" personel to arrest the Vice President while he was in his plane in Australia.

The "report" begins,

"Russian FSB sources are reporting today that an attempt by Special Forces Troops of the United States Military to arrest the American Vice President Cheney shortly after boarding his official plane in Australia has resulted in at least 3 dead and an unknown number of wounded.

These reports state that the United States Air Force, which is in control of the American Vice Presidents plane, sent an 'urgent' flash message shortly after takeoff from Sydney, Australia alerting their US Pacific Command Forces through the United States Worldwide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS) network, and which is monitored by Russian Military Forces, of the deaths aboard the plane and requesting 'orders'.

At the sealed off Sydney airport where the attempt by US Military Forces to arrest the American Vice President occurred the Australian media is reporting: "Mr Cheney's Boeing 757 was delayed temporarily at Sydney Airport this morning for an unknown reason. As it stood still, revving its engines to make its initial advance towards the runway, it suddenly powered down.

The main door opened and the mobile stairwell then immediately returned to the plane, but it was waved off by security personnel. The plane then proceeded to the runway and took off, en route to the United States."

US media reports are stating that there was a generator problem on the Vice President's plane and that it was making a planned fueling stop in Singapore, but which the American White House is denying was diverted.

The concern of the American Military Generals regarding their Vice President stems from his plans to attack Iran, and which in an unprecedented move many of these Top United States Generals have threatened a mass resignation, and as we can read as reported by Britain's Sunday Times News Service in their article titled "US generals 'will quit' if Bush orders Iran attack", and which says: "Some of America's most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources. Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.

"There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran," a source with close ties to British intelligence said. "There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible...." (It continues)

I found several websites carrying this story. The ones allowing comments questioned the source of this story. Many thought the story had no credibility because it did not cite sources. Some believe that the author is a Russian disinformation source.

That said, would we be any better off if the U.S. Military duked it out for the soul of our country? As I don't think an impeachment would settle any of the profoundly screwed up issues, surely a military coup would not.

Suppose this report is just a way of creeping us out. Still, we would want to think about whether we would want this Administration dealt with by sending Special Forces after them. This would itself be insane.

I can imagine someone saying, "...but we live in insane times." What if the U.S. Military was asked to drop 300 to 1,000 nukes on Iran. Suppose it was not well understood whether the Iranians could rely on the Russians or Chinese to stand with them. Should the Joint Chiefs follow orders, or refuse?

Isn't this the position we are being asked to consider? Or am I getting worked up over nothing?