Friday, December 15, 2006

Rice Won't Exercise Diplomacy Where Needed

If Rice rejects overtures to Iran and Syria, I reject Rice
A poetic stream of thought about Condoleeza
and my dissatisfaction with the job she's doing

Rice refuses to talk with Iran and Syria...

Rice relinquishes the opportunity to be a diplomat
Rice abdicates her responsibility to be a stateswoman
Rice watches as fate determines her nation's course
Rice casts America's fate to unfolding events on the ground

Rice is weak while trying to appear loyal and strong
Rice, like Powell, will be diminished by history and Bush
Rice is a wise woman wasted by those whom she has chosen to serve
Rice was made to look small by Bill Nelson, and the people know it

Rice will see the result of backing away is inevitable conflict
Rice will see that being stubborn doesn't have to mean being stupid
Rice should know you can be stubborn and determined while diplomatic
Rice is not fulfilling her obligations to the people, only to a bad leader.

Rice says compensations required by deals might be too high a price
Rice doesn't mention the price paid for unnecessary wars led by fools
Rice should know - she's visited the graveyards and the military bases
Rice leads us, anyway, toward a path toward inevitable war by hiding

Rice says there's no retreat from the a push to promote democracy
Rice then refuses to take the steps to win the hearts of those in need
Rice thinks democracy will happen by magic, the lazy easy bully's way
Rice, delusional, thinks she'll get peace for Palestine by shunning Syria

Rice warns us not to expect a big change in the way this war is being run
Rice doesn't think about the big change in the hearts and minds of Americans
Rice expects the war will rage while we decide on a new path, a new President
Rice has no f**king clue what to do, her job is flying by the seat of her pants

Rice should know we don't win wars by the seat of our pants or signs from God
Rice should have handed over responsibility to Iraq's new government long ago
Rice is supporting our troops being poured into more disaster
Rice, if she's got integrity, should resign. Let another Bush pawn avoid responsibility.

Rice couldn't have imagined planes flying into buildings in 2001, and she can't imagine how to do her job now.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Iowa Caucus-goers Stick By Edwards

Ed Tibbetts, Quad City Times -
BREAKING NEWS: (Updated 3:11 p.m.) Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards is the top choice among likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers asked to say who they would support in the 2008 caucuses, according to a new poll.

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., finished third.

Edwards, who is considering a presidential bid and has traveled to the state extensively since the 2004 campaign when he was the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee, won the support of 36 percent of those polled. U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., finished second at 16 percent, and Obama had 13 percent.

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack finished fourth at 9 percent. Vilsack has already announced his candidacy. The others are considering it. [..]

[..] Obama’s third place finish in this new poll is also notable because it was conducted Oct. 12-19, a few days before he said on “Meet the Press” that he would seriously consider a presidential bid.

Obama had been the focus of speculation before then, but it has grown significantly since. Last weekend, the first-term senator went to New Hampshire, site of the country’s first primary. Obama and Clinton tend to be at the top of most nationwide Democratic presidential preference polls. [..]

[..] Following Edwards, Clinton, Obama and Vilsack was U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the party’s 2004 presidential nominee. He had 6 percent. U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., who has said he will run, came in sixth with 5 percent. Eight percent were undecided.

Joe Klein puts in his two cents.

Chris Cillizza notices.

Baghdad Bob Had Better ESP Than Bush?

"When Über-Republicans like Gingrich, Meese, and James Baker are calling a spade a spade, that’s hopeful. Denial and wishful thinking are on the run. But that doesn’t mean last week’s show of earnest, bipartisan good faith will last."

- Kurt Andersen

In a post of mine last week, I questioned the sanity of President Bush's determination to stay an obvious disatrous course in Iraq. I promise you that I'm not the kind of person who is quick to resorting to impulsivity or flippancy about such matters.

Last night on Jon Stewart's Daily show, I heard Fareed Zakaria joke that there are therapists for what ails President Bush. It was a fun moment, yet I suspect the joke wasn't told for the sake of the laugh factor. I believe Mr. Zakaria was making a point as he continued to shed educated doubt on any hope you or I may have that this President has learned any material lesson from the recent elections or bipartisan critiques of his conduct of the Iraq war.

Barbara's Tchatzkas has supplied the blogosphere with a link to an article by Kurt Andersen in the December 18th edition of New York magazine. Mr. Andersen discusses President Bush's pathological denial and, seeing the disaster that has unfolded in Iraq, how it has perplexed, worried, and depressed an entire helpless-feeling nation. Mr. Andersen throws Kübler-Ross in the mix:
The evolution of hopelessness is following the Kübler-Ross model: We’re bargaining for time, being depressed, moving toward acceptance, while Bush is still in the denial stage.

The vindication of nutty old Baghdad Bob, of all people, should be the bitter elixir to awaken even the "dead-enders" who still believe there's a "victory" for America in any of this madness. After all the reality we've seen with "our lying eyes", this President is still seemingly possessed by his own pathological arrogance. Concerned about his own legacy as the Abe Lincoln of the Middle East, he is foundering in a sea of due crticism as I suspect he's planning to further embroil our fighting men and women in an urban ground war that he still - incredibly - won't admit is a civil war. At this point in time, it's frightening for the American people to see this and to see Congress standing idly by.

When will Congress come alive and see madness for what it is? When will the Democrats understand that this is not a brand new post-election day of civility - and that the Bush Republicans will do anything they can to convince the public that it will have been the Democrat's fault that Iraq was "lost" when - in all reality -Iraq was lost three years ago while the GOP enjoyed solid majority leadership in every branch of government?
Mr. Andersen says it this way:

Early in the New Year, the 2008 election cycle will crank up, the new Congress will convene, and the 3,000th American will die in Iraq. The particulars of our Iraq policy are now mainly a matter of harm reduction and triage, but the big accountability question—Who Lost Iraq?—will loom ever larger as we wind down our involvement, and the consensus answer will shape our politics for decades. Whichever party the public blames will be hobbled.

I never thought I'd hear his name again, but as it turns out, Baghdad Bob's nutty-sounding intuition was closer to the mark of reality than was our own President's nutty intuition.
From Kurt Andersen's New York magazine piece:

Pathological denial and pathological arrogance combined to produce the tragedy of Iraq. The “Iraqi Perspectives Project”—a freshly declassified study by the U.S. Joint Forces Command of the peculiar geopolitical, intelligence, and military command-and-control doctrines that prevailed before and during the invasion in 2002 and 2003—is an astonishing document. The Pentagon report describes a president who relied to an extreme degree on his gut, with a “supreme, even mystical, confidence in his own abilities and wisdom [that] allowed him to ignore or discount the practical considerations” and “hard evidence.”

I'll admit that I applied my own intuition when opining on my suspicion in 2003 that Bush was offering no more than "hand-jobs" to the UN while pursuing his mad pre-emptive foray. [So call me Baghdad Bob already].
Mr. Andersen describes it this way

[Bush] finally acceded to a new round of WMD inspections only as a tactic, to please his quasi allies in the U.N., who he knew would try to stop the invasion. Underlings “at all levels understood that … the bearer of bad news was in almost every case punished.” During the war, “when gloomy reports finally did get” to the president, he “either discarded them or considered the tidings to be exaggerated,” owing to “the distortions of his ideological perceptions.” The president saw the war as a “spiritual battle,” and told intimates that God would help. He was absolutely cocksure of victory.
Mr. Andersen then makes his final point, comparing Baghdad Bob's style of favoring ESP over reality to that of President Bush:
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

The Pentagon report is not, of course, about the dysfunctional presidency of George Bush, but rather of Saddam Hussein. It also suggests that the Iraqi Information minister, the ludicrous guy on TV during the invasion whom we knew as Baghdad Bob, may have thought he was telling the truth when he insisted that the Iraqi army was vanquishing the Americans: “[F]rom the point of view of Iraq’s leaders, Baghdad Bob was largely reporting what they were hearing from the front.”

For old times’ sake, I dug up the transcripts of Baghdad Bob, whose real name is Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf. As with the Pentagon report, I was astonished. Time changes everything. Some of his propaganda no longer seems so funny, or wrong. “Those America losers, I think their repeated frequent lies are bringing them down very rapidly,” he said. And then: “This invasion will end in failure.” And on his last day in office: “They will surrender, it is they who will surrender.”
Bush still wants Baghdad Bob to end up to be the one who takes home the grand prize as the guy with the weakest grip on reality. Right now, I think the contest between the two madmen is too close to call.

Senator Robert Byrd said this:
As if that were not bad enough, members of Congress are reluctant to ask questions which are begging to be asked. How long will we occupy Iraq? We have already heard disputes on the numbers of troops which will be needed to retain order. What is the truth? How costly will the occupation and rebuilding be? No one has given a straight answer...We cower in the shadows while false statements proliferate. We accept soft answers and shaky explanations because to demand the truth is hard, or unpopular, or may be politically costly.

But, I contend that, through it all, the people know. The American people unfortunately are used to political shading, spin, and the usual chicanery they hear from public officials. They patiently tolerate it up to a point. But there is a line. It may seem to be drawn in invisible ink for a time, but eventually it will appear in dark colors, tinged with anger. When it comes to shedding American blood - - when it comes to wreaking havoc on civilians, on innocent men, women, and children, callous dissembling is not acceptable. Nothing is worth that kind of lie - - not oil, not revenge, not reelection, not somebody's grand pipedream of a democratic domino theory..

..And mark my words, the calculated intimidation which we see so often of late by the "powers that be" will only keep the loyal opposition quiet for just so long. Because eventually, like it always does, the truth will emerge. And when it does, this house of cards, built of deceit, will fall. "
When did he say it?

May, 2003.

Congress - where the hell are you?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bush Clueless; Founders on Iraq

Read it and weep. We'll get nothing from Bush on "a new way forward" until after the first of next year. With each day that passes, the Bushites will have more reason to say it's too late to implement the temporal ideas of the Iraq Study Group, who, themselves, have offered no recognition that "the goalposts" in Iraq are already way behind us and we're running the ball on a field with no end in sight. There are no fans cheering for a win left on the sidelines of this endless field. The game's over. There are no rules left. Just running - running aimlessly. Even the most diehard fans mumble amongst one another with confusion.

The only "moving forward" left to do is to turn around and get in some kind of game again. Most Americans believe it's time to set the sights on getting the players back home and wait for a better game - one with a clear goal - one that they believe in - one they can actually win.

"Our objective is to help the Iraqi government deal with the extremists and the killers, and support the vast majority of Iraqis who are reasonable, who want peace," Bush said after an Oval Office meeting Tuesday with Tariq al-Hashemi. [WaPo]

If President Bush cannot even support the vast majority of Americans who are reasonable, who want peace - he's brushed them off, calling them "focus groups" in the past - - how can our commander in chief square that by saying he supports the vast majority of Iraqis who are reasonable, who want peace? Why is he getting us further embroiled in the civil war in Iraq? Why is his administration showing signs of sticking with "the course" in Cheney/neocon disguise by "tilting" toward Shi'ites? So much for coaxing the Sunnis into the political process!
[see Laura Rozen and Michael Stickings]

Professor Juan Cole had this to say yesterday pleading for an acceptance of reality and an end to denial in Iraq:
"We're taking sides..without necessarily meaning to....but we're taking sides in a civil war. [Our troops] are killing Sunni Arabs in Baquaba on behalf of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq which dominates the political apparatus of that place. Is that really what we want to be doing? Do we want to kill Sunni Arabs for the Supreme Council for Islamic Revoltion in Iraq - the Shi'ite organization that was founded at the instance of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran?

Go to this CSPAN video - Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) on Humanitarian Situation in Iraq.

Do we really want to become 'Murder, Incorporated' in Iraq's civil war? Is that where all of this has taken us?

See Laura Rozen's "whiffs" and indications toward a decided intent toward the 'Salvadorization' of Iraq.

The Left Coaster shows how it's getting so bad that Bush and Cheney are shooting for different ways to get to God-knows-what-outcome in the region:
[Cheney] is the one arguing for the “80 Percent Solution”, whereby we side with the Shiites against the Sunnis, and Cheney is against anything that would shorten our time in the country. Yet while Cheney is afraid of forcing al-Maliki’s hand directly, the Bush Administration is working around al-Maliki anyway by building a coalition amongst the Kurds, the Sunnis, and the Iranian-backed SCIRI to marginalize him and Muqtada al-Sadr. As [this NYT] story indicates, any move by the SCIRI and al-Maliki to isolate al-Sadr and reduce his political imprint threatens an open rejection from Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani that would split the Shiites and turn thousands into the streets against both the government and the Sunnis, which could be the endgame Shooter is really looking for.

A comment made today at Informed Comment reveals a new line in a Bush statement from yesterday:
"This is really the calling of our time, that is, to defeat these extremists and radicals."
The commenter says:
Not "terrorists," only "extremists and radicals"! What's going on here? Have all or some of the former global terrorists been demoted, or are "extremists and radicals" a different group altogether -- even possibly the Mahdí Army specifically?

Marine General Peter Pace, a fine and capable leader, has been tap dancing for Bush for a long time now. Too long. He's a good soldier. Removing him is not going to produce a better man for the job of chairman of the Joint Chiefs. I hope Bush and incoming Sec'y of Defense Robert Gates don't think we're so stupid that we'd believe that General Pace is to blame for this mess. Maybe they just want a better tap dancer.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tom Delay Blogs With Hate for Democrats

This corrupt creature has started to blog with the promise to censor out "undesirables" [aka Democrats]. It's what he would have loved to have done as House majority leader - and I'm convinced he would have - if he thought that he could have gotten away with it. I'm so glad he's gone from a position where he had any power over any of our representatives. He's been the prototype for the kind of poison that has ruined the reputation of the once-popular and trusted Republican party - and likely will for many years yet to come. I pity whoever he decides to link to because the ones he "appreciates" says a lot, by the sheer connection, about the kinds of ideas with which this corrupt creature agrees.

I suppose none of us should be surprised that Delay connects himself with groupthink and divisive rightwing blogtalk. He's "lived it" for years as he destroyed civility and statesmanship in the House and actively sought to gerrymander Texas to the point that, on the map, the voting districts look like silly string on a psychedelic acid trip.

According to Raw Story, the corrupt creature Tom Delay is blogging about President Jimmy Carter, bashing Mr. Carter for pointing out and writing about the Palestinian plight, of which the inability to reach a peace agreement has nearly everyone in the world agreeing upon at least one thing - it is the root cause of all strife in the Middle Eastern region today. President Carter could hardly give a care to criticisms from puny little creatures like Delay. I can see that President Carter's become immune to such nonsense, and I am glad.

Delay isn't alone in that uneasy feeling when President Carter cuts through the bullshit and right to the chase on the crisis. I'm not sure what Delay finds so novel about the idea. It's like an alternative universe in the halls of the People's official business in Washington D.C. Crooks can go on doing whatever they want in the name of the American people while the slightest mention of Israel in a realistic light gets every House Rep and Senator's pair of shorts in an uproar.

I'm out here listening to the experienced, wise, compassionate, and just former President Jimmy Carter - and I'm reading his books on the Middle East with an open mind - all the while experiencing something between amazement and disgust whenever a political leader sprints faster than the winds of Hurricane Katrina to separate their political selves from President Carter's beliefs. I ask myself how many miles any of these House Reps and Senators have walked in the shoes of a Palestinian compared to the amount of time post-President Carter has spent in those same shoes? In short, there's no comparison and I put a very great value on the wisdom that comes from age, experience, and a set of values that very closely match my own. If there's any route to take us to greater American national security today, that route will need to traverse Jerusalem where peace, even with 2000 years of a painful history, must be found if any of us plan to live in peace.

As of 2007, the Palestinians will have wandered the desert without a home for forty years. Decent people deplore every death of each innocent person - regardless of national origin - if they are unbiased. Decent people want to see a resolution after years of meaningless death and destruction if they possess unbiased souls. Trouble is, our nation's leaders have a bias that no one dare mention - and that bias is making them appear soulless. The tighter they hold onto this bias, the less chance for the political will to see a real and peaceful resolution which now not only involves Isreal's security interests, but our own.

Someone needs to be honest, and soon. I've never seen our nation, in all of its history, in such an embarrassing and shameful spot.

He says he was "thinking of Jesus" when this photo was snapped.
God will forgive him, but we won't.
Like Lyle Lovett sang,
that's the difference between God and me.

I'm very glad that I'm not the kind of blogger that corrupt little citizen Tom Delay wants responding to his divisive tripe, even though, in a large sense, I have responded right here at my own blog. A large part of being American is respecting and welcoming all viewpoints. Little Tom can come here anytime he likes. That's the difference between me and him, and I think it says something about the writer's trust and confidence in the decency and moral consistency of his or her own beliefs when he or she welcomes all - respectfully - to join in the conversation.


See this "snapshot" of Delay's first attempt to allow comments. The blogger who captured it calls it "A tribute to the 75-minute period where tom delay actually received feedback from America. The experiment has now ended, but, this blog has taken a snap-shot, just for you..."

Look at this Keith Olbermann video - Tom Delay had admitted he's not even the blogger on his own blog. He's also admitted that he's not quite literate enough to trust his own writing style. This kind of deception is typical of the corrupt kind of creature this man, Tom Delay, is. I wonder who his ghost writer is?

David Brooks as Fear Mongerer

In a decidedly fear-mongering "blame everyone but Bush and the 'stay-the-course' supporters" column by David Brooks raising the future spectre of a thirty-year Middle East conflict, he says:

This war had several stages. The first was the disintegration of Iraq.

Someone should remind Mr. Brooks that that is not a contingency. It's already a reality, courtesy of the worst President in United States history.

Look at the last two thousand years. The Middle East will take more than thirty years to work itself out to whatever it will be. We should not fret. We should make it our global goal to attain higher ground, not to act in a deliberate effort to cause one another to fear. We should look toward uniting in a common, attainable, and reasonable purpose.

Diplomacy, heart, and intelligence will be required. In the future, I hope that David Brooks, an intelligent man with a New York Times column, will use his talents for a higher purpose than to defend a course that has already been crushed into to the blood-tinted sands of Baghdad.

This is really funny; a bit scary

Photo credit:

Frank Rich: ISG Delays Recognition of Defeat in Iraq

"The illusion of not losing must be preserved no matter what the price in blood."

- Frank Rich

In a column titled "The Sunshine Boys Can’t Save Iraq", New York Times columnist Frank Rich has said that, rather than "plotting a way forward," the Iraq Study Group is only "delaying the recognition of our defeat."

That's it - exactly. This Iraq Study group was not willing to admit we've already done everything we could (within reason) to make any hay out of the worst strategic mistake any U.S. leader has ever made in U.S. history.
"The group’s coulda-woulda recommendations are either nonstarters, equivocations (it endorses withdrawal of combat troops by 2008 but is averse to timelines) or contradictions of its own findings of fact."

It ain't going to get any better, folks. I'm sick of every talking head in the world blabbing non-stop on TV and radio talk shows about this situation while nothing is done in Washington D.C.

Our eyes aren't lying to us.

We are not supposed to be fighting against Iraq - that thought is counterproductive. Ask yourself - who the heck are we supporting over there and who are we fighting against? Doesn't it change by the moment at the whims of fate over there? When was the last time a President left our troops dangling, risking their lives, at the whim of fate? Was it Vietnam? I think it was. In Iraq, the whims of fate are far more erratic than those that materialized in Vietnam. This is why Iraq is worse than Vietnam. We are not at the driving wheel of this war. There is no military solution. None. Nada. Zzzzip. And this group is trying to make us not look like losers while coming up with more ideas to not lose. All the while, we've already lost.

There have to be limits as to how far we'll go to fight FOR the goal of Iraq becoming a united and stable nation. I think we passed that limit of reason less than a year after we toppled Saddam - and it was such a mistake for us to do it unilaterally that I believe we never had a chance of success at all. Bush's "goal" in Iraq has never carried the hallmark of having any distinct or clearly delineated goals. Prior to the war, America was given at least twenty different rationales for war.

Mr. Rich comments further about the Iraq Study Group report:
The tip-off to the cynical game can be found in a single sentence: “We agree with the goal of U.S. policy in Iraq, as stated by the president: ‘an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself.’ ”
If the Iraqi people aren't going to fight for Bush's "goal", then we are just spinning our wheels over there and leaving our own men and women to whatever ill fate is destined for them. I'm sorry - but I have trouble sleeping at night knowing all of this.
Since these troops don’t exist and there is no public support in either America or Iraq for mobilizing them, the president can’t satisfy the hawks even if he chooses to do so.
Mothers and fathers - look across the dinner table at your son and daughter tonight. The hawkish McCains, the Rangels risking your kid on a bet that Bush will back down, the neocon chickenhawk Bill Kristols, the grumpy war apologist Brit Humes, the chickenhawk Rich Lowrys who won't go to the war they say they support - they are all jonesing for your child to become a draftee - a moving target in a war we'd lost before we even got there. President Bush seems determined to keep us bogged down in this real and present disaster and defeat. To put it bluntly, the Iraqi people just aren't willing enough to fight for Bush's goal and the American people are sick and tired of watching Bush trying to force feed his fuzzy "goal" down everyone's throats while so many Iraqis have showed their "thanks" not with roses, but by cheering while insurgents have been literally slitting throats.

We could put a million U.S. troops over there and it would still be an occupation that we cannot get out of lest Iraq fall apart the moment we leave. They got their civil war on the moment Saddam Hussein disappeared from the scene and our President has willfully ignored and denied the facts every step of the way. the extent that their report forestalls reality and promotes pipe dreams of one last chance for success in this fiasco, it will be remembered as just one more delusional milestone in the tragedy of our age.
Frank took the words right out of my own head. I guess that's why Frank makes the big bucks.


I wrote Mr. Rich an email telling him how much I appreciate his clarity. Reading Scrutiny Hooligans today, I came across a great quote by Dan Froomkin:
"...some of our most important political battles are about competing views of reality more than they are about policy choices. Calling bullshit has never been more vital to our democracy..."

Louisiana Voters Won't Dump Frozen Cash Dem

Raw Story is reporting that voters, by a clear majority, have chosen to give U.S. Rep. William Jefferson the benefit of the doubt. He easily defeated his fellow Democratic opponent in a runoff election in his Louisiana district. If his presence in Washington is embarrassing for any Democrats, I hope they'll remember that the message (and Rep. Jefferson) is coming from the People. Perhaps the people who voted for Jefferson are more sick of the machinery that seeks to destroy leaders than they are of leaders' questionable practices. Love him or hate him, the voters are stickin' with the man with the frozen assets.