Monday, October 31, 2005


From Information Clearing House:
(You may want to enlarge this for easier reading, that is if your eyes are like mine...bad.)

We Have Been Warned

By U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX)

Watch Ron Paul's speech on video.

Before the US House of Representatives, October 26, 2005

We have been warned. Prepare for a broader war in the Middle East, as plans are being laid for the next U.S.-led regime change – in Syria. A UN report on the death of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafig Hariri elicited this comment from a senior U.S. policy maker: “Out of tragedy comes an extraordinary strategic opportunity.” This statement reflects the continued neo-conservative, Machiavellian influence on our foreign policy. The “opportunity” refers to the long-held neo-conservative plan for regime change in Syria, similar to what was carried out in Iraq.

This plan for remaking the Middle East has been around for a long time. Just as 9/11 served the interests of those who longed for changes in Iraq, the sensationalism surrounding Hariri’s death is being used to advance plans to remove Assad.

Congress already has assisted these plans by authorizing the sanctions placed on Syria last year. Harmful sanctions, as applied to Iraq in the 1990s, inevitably represent a major step toward war since they bring havoc to so many innocent people. Syria already has been charged with developing weapons of mass destruction based on no more evidence than was available when Iraq was similarly charged.

Syria has been condemned for not securing its borders, by the same U.S. leaders who cannot secure our own borders. Syria was castigated for placing its troops in Lebanon, a neighboring country, although such action was invited by an elected government and encouraged by the United States. The Syrian occupation of Lebanon elicited no suicide terrorist attacks, as was suffered by Western occupiers.

Condemning Syria for having troops in Lebanon seems strange, considering most of the world sees our 150,000 troops in Iraq as an unwarranted foreign occupation. Syrian troops were far more welcome in Lebanon.

Secretary Rice likewise sees the problems in Syria – that we helped to create – as an opportunity to advance our Middle Eastern agenda. In recent testimony she stated that it was always the administration’s intent to redesign the greater Middle East, and Iraq was only one part of that plan. And once again we have been told that all options are still on the table for dealing with Syria – including war.

The statement that should scare all Americans (and the world) is the assurance by Secretary Rice that the President needs no additional authority from Congress to attack Syria. She argues that authority already has been granted by the resolutions on 9/11 and Iraq. This is not true, but if Congress remains passive to the powers assumed by the executive branch it won’t matter. As the war spreads, the only role for Congress will be to provide funding lest they be criticized for not supporting the troops. In the meantime, the Constitution and our liberties here at home will be further eroded as more Americans die.

This escalation of conflict with Syria comes as a result of the UN report concerning the Hariri death. When we need an excuse for our actions, it’s always nice to rely on the organization that our administration routinely condemns, one that brought us the multi-billion dollar oil-for-food scandal and sexual crimes by UN representatives.

It’s easy to ignore the fact that the report did not implicate Assad, who is targeted for the next regime change. The UN once limited itself to disputes between nations; yet now it’s assumed the UN, like the United States, has a legal and moral right to inject itself into the internal policies of sovereign nations. Yet what is the source of this presumed wisdom? Where is the moral imperative that allows us to become the judge and jury of a domestic murder in a country 6,000 miles from our shores?

Moral, constitutional, and legal arguments for a less aggressive foreign policy receive little attention in Washington. But the law of unintended consequences serves as a thorough teacher for the slow learners and the morally impaired.

  • Is Iraq not yet enough of a headache for the braggarts of the shock and awe policy?
  • Are 2,000 lives lost not enough to get their attention?
  • How many hundreds of billions of dollars must be drained from our economy before it’s noticed?
  • Is it still plausible that deficits don’t matter?
  • Is the apparent victory for Iran in the Shiite theocracy we’ve created in Iraq not yet seen as a disturbing consequence of the ill-fated Iraq regime change effort?
  • When we have our way with the next election in Lebanon and Hezbollah wins, what do we do?
  • If our effort to destabilize Syria is no more successful than our efforts in Iraq, then what?
  • If destabilizing Syria leads to the same in Iran, what are our options?

If we can’t leave now, we’ll surely not leave then – we’ll be told we must stay to honor the fallen to prove the cause was just.

We should remember Ronald Reagan’s admonition regarding this area of the world. Ronald Reagan reflected on Lebanon in his memoirs, describing the Middle East as a jungle and Middle East politics as irrational. It forced him to rethink his policy in the region. It’s time we do some rethinking as well.

October 28, 2005

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


It's surprising how Bush's view of the Constitution has changed since one of his own has been charged with a crime.

From Information Clearing House:

Scooter Meet José Padilla

Suddenly, Bush Embraces Right of Fair Trials


10/28/05 "
Counterpunch" -- -- When President Bush was confronted by reporters as he left the White House for Camp David following the announcement of the five indictments of, and the resignation of Vice President Dick Cheney chief of state I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, he offered up a lame comment, which at the same time exposed him as a grotesque hypocrite.

"In our system," he said, "each individual is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial."

Sure. That's what will happen with Scooter, and with Karl Rove if he gets indicted when the other shoe drops.

But what about Jose Padilla? This U.S. citizen, picked up at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport back in 2001, has been held in a military brig without charge, without access to an attorney, and in solitary confinement without any contact with family members for four years because President Bush has claimed the right, on his sole authority, to declare any American citizen to be an "enemy combatant" and to revoke their Constitutional rights and rights of citizenship.

No formal charges have been filed against Padilla. Instead, the Justice Department has just made unsupported statements claiming first that he was planning to build and detonate a dirty-nuke bomb, then dropping that and claiming that he planned to blow up gas lines in apartment buildings. Since Padilla is unable to contest these charges-or really even to know what the charges are or who has been testifying against him-no one can know their veracity.

The same thing was been done to another American-born citizens, Yaser Esam Hamdi, who was ultimately stripped of his birthright and deported to his parent's homeland, Saudi Arabia, after the government had to admit that it didn't have the evidence to try him as a terrorist. (The weakness of the President's case in revoking Hamdi's citizenship rights and his right to the fair trial Bush so ardently insists on as Libby's right, is that the government has said it's willing to allow Hamdi to return to the U.S. with his family to visit Disneyworld.)

And what, for that matter, about the thousands of Muslim residents in America who have been rounded up and deported over the last few years without even a hearing, often on charges of minor traffic or visa violations which they were not given a chance to contest in court?

Clearly Bush does not really believe that everyone in America has a right to the presumption of innocence and to a fair trial-only people in his administration who are charged with serious crimes.

But as the noose starts to tighten on this administration for its lies in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, and for its many other crimes, from initiating a war on a country that posed no threat to the U.S. to subverting the electoral system and violating the Geneva Convention against torture, it is understandable that this President is suddenly invoking the very Constitution and Bill of Rights he has been trashing for the last five years.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at


As a country, we were led into an illegal war on the lies and fallacies of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others. Congress is the only government institution with the power to declare war, and then only when the United States has been attacked directly by a foreign power.

From the Kennebec Journal in Maine:

Illegal Iraq war justifies impeachment proceedings

The case of the impeachment of George W. Bush is a valid one because he lied us into the illegal war with Iraq without consulting Congress, which is in violation of Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which clearly states, "The Congress shall have the power ... to declare War."

Sadly, like Congress, the judiciary also ignored its constitutional responsibility in this case. It refused to intervene and uphold the Constitution.

The only instance in which the Constitution gives a president the right to wage war without congressional consent is if this country is suddenly attacked. But this country was never attacked by Iraq, nor was Saddam Hussein a threat.

The fabrication that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction or links to al-Qaida originates with Karl Rove, Bush's brain and advisor, who lacks soul, who is well experienced in stabbing political opponents in the back, and who led the nation into an illegal war in order to improve the political prospects of the president. Bush has taken the assumption that he can declare war against any country of his choosing.

Since the Iraq war was unwarranted and promoted deceptively, impeachment proceedings are justified, not only against the president but also members of his administration, the likes of Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld, under Article 11, Section 4 of the Constitution.

Dee C. Brown Jr.

From the Constitution of the United States of America:

Article I
Section 8. The Congress shall have the Power
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water

Supreme Court of the United States (1849), "The genius and character of our institutions are peaceful and the power to declare war was not conferred upon Congress for purposes of aggression or aggrandizement, but to enable the general government to vindicate by arms, if it should become necessary, its own rights and the rights of its citizens.", and never for any other reason.

Article II
Section 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Treason and bribery were the worst offences in the public life of England at that time. By a later provision of the Constitution the many and vague treasons in English law were reduced in this country to two definite faults: (1) waging war against the United States, or (2) adhering to its enemies. In 1787, while the Constitutional Convention was in session, Warren Hastings, the first Governor General of Bengal, was by the House of Commons impeached "of high crimes and misdemeanors." Hence, probably, the same words in our Constitution. As the charges against Hastings were of confiscation of property and oppressiveness in government, the English definition of the words may be inferred from the accusation. The managers of the impeachment of President Johnson contended that "an impeachable crime or misdemeanor... may consist of a violation of the Constitution, of law, of an official oath, or of duty, by an act committed or omitted, or, without violating a positive law, by abuse of discretionary powers from improper motives, or from any improper purpose."


For those of you who were disappointed Friday to find out that the only indictment handed down by Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald was that of Scooter Libby, take heart Fitz isn't done with Rove just yet.

From the Associated Press via Salon.

'Official A' Stands Out in Indictment

- - - - - - - - - - - -

By PETE YOST Associated Press Writer

October 28,2005 | WASHINGTON -- In a sign of the trouble lingering for the Bush administration, the indictment handed up Friday in the CIA leak probe refers to someone at the White House known as "Official A."

The unidentified official could become a courtroom witness against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who left his job as vice presidential aide shortly after his indictment on charges of obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury.

Although other officials are mentioned but not named in the indictment, all were identified Friday afternoon during briefings at the Justice Department.

Except for "Official A."

The mysterious official is identified in the indictment only as "a senior official in the White House."

No mention is made of Karl Rove, the president's political adviser who remains under investigation by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.

It has been known that columnist Robert Novak spoke to Rove on July 9, 2003, saying he planned to report over the weekend that Valerie Plame, the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson, had worked for the CIA. Rove told the columnist he had heard similar information.

Friday's indictment says "Official A" is a "senior official in the White House who advised Libby on July 10 or 11 of 2003" about a chat with Novak about his upcoming column in which Plame would be identified as a CIA employee.

Late Friday, three people close to the investigation, each asking to remain unidentified because of grand jury secrecy, identified Rove as Official A.


Did VP Cheney's aide, Scooter Libby, have an obsession with Valerie Plame?
Salon seems to think so.

Was Libby obsessed with Wilson? Fitzgerald seems to think so

It has been reported previously that Scooter Libby was so obsessed with Joseph Wilson that other White House aides found themselves "puzzled" by it. The press release issued today by Patrick Fitzgerald certainly seems to confirm as much:

May 6, 2003: The New York Times publishes a Nicholas Kristof column that raises questions about the Iraq-Niger connection set forth in George W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union address and says that an unnamed former ambassador who had been sent to investigate the claims had reported back that they were wrong.

On or about May 29, 2003: Libby asks an undersecretary of state for information concerning the unnamed ambassador's trip to Niger. The undersecretary investigates and provides Libby periodic oral reports, eventually advising him that Wilson was the former ambassador in question.

On or about June 9, 2003: Libby and "another person in the vice president's office" receives classified documents from the CIA that discuss Wilson's trip but don't identify him by name. Libby writes "Wilson" and "Joe Wilson" on the documents.

On or about June 11 or 12, 2003: Libby is advised by an undersecretary of state that Wilson's wife works for the CIA and that State Department personnel said that Wilson's wife was involved in the organization of his trip to Niger.

On or about June 11, 2003: Libby gets similar information about Wilson's wife from a CIA official.

Prior to June 12, 2003: Libby participates in discussion within the vice president's office about how to respond to an inquiry about Wilson's trip from Walter Pincus of the Washington Post.

On or about June 12, 2003: Dick Cheney tells Libby that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA in its Counterproliferation Division.

On or about June 14, 2003: Libby meets with a CIA briefer, complains that CIA officials are making comments critical of the vice president, and discusses both Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, by name.

On or about June 19, 2003: After the New Republic publishes an article titled "The First Casualty: The Selling of the Iraq War," Libby speaks with his principal deputy, who asks whether criticism of Cheney's office could be rebutted by sharing information about Wilson's trip with the press. Libby says there would be trouble with the CIA if the information were leaked -- and that he couldn't discuss the matter further on a nonsecure telephone.

On or about June 23, 2003: Libby tells the New York Times' Judy Miller that Wilson's wife might work at the CIA.

On or about July 7, 2003: A day after Wilson's Op-Ed appears in the New York Times, Libby tells Ari Fleischer that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA -- but that the information isn't widely known.

On or about July 8, 2003: Libby talks with Miller again about Wilson and his wife, this time asking that he be identified in print not as a White House official but as a "former Hill staffer." The same day, Libby asks Cheney's counsel about documents that might exist about Wilson's trip to Niger.

Between June 2003 and July 8, 2003: The assistant to the vice president for public affairs tells Libby that he has learned that Wilson's wife works at the CIA.

On July 10 or July 11, 2003: Libby talks with a senior White House official, identified by Fitzgerald only as "Official A," who tells him that he has discussed Wilson's wife with Robert Novak.

On or about July 12, 2003: Libby confirms for Matthew Cooper that Wilson's wife works for the CIA.

On or about July 12, 2003: Libby talks about Wilson and his wife with Miller once again.

-- Tim Grieve

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Today, in a military press release, it was announced that the 2000th member of the US military died this last weekend in Texas from wounds received earlier this month while serving in Iraq.

From Reuters:

US military death toll in Iraq war hits 2,000
Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:17 PM BST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military death toll in the 2 1/2 year Iraq war reached the milestone of 2,000 on Tuesday with the announcement by the Pentagon of a U.S. soldier who died at a hospital in Texas over the weekend.

The Pentagon said Staff Sgt. George Alexander Jr., 34, of Killeen, Texas, died at Brooke Army Medical Centre in San Antonio, Texas, last Saturday of injuries sustained on October 17 in Samarra, Iraq, when a roadside bomb planted by insurgents detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

In the Iraq war, which began in March 2003, more than 15,000 U.S. troops also have been wounded in action.

By the time you read this, the total number of US military deaths will likely have surpassed 2000. The number of wounded will also be much greater than the 15,000 mentioned in the above article.

2000 Americans dead, and 15,000 wounded, and how many maimed for life both physically and mentally.

How many Iraqis have died during this time? I don't think anyone really knows. Tens of thousands dead, and tens of thousands maimed. Thousands of children without a parent, or both, here and in Iraq. Parents without children. Orphans wandering the streets in Iraq, dying daily due to starvation, sickness, or disease.

All of this for what? For oil? So Bush could get even with Saddam for "trying to kill my dad" as he said before? Saddam's WMD's...the 9/11 conection...the Saddam-AlQaeda conection, all a pack of lies. All BULLSHIT from a bullshit beady-eyed lying little twerp from Texas that thinks he's the president! Well, the SOB isn't MY president. And for any of you who don't like that statement, I remind you that Gen. Norman Shwartzkoff said the exact same thing about President William Jefferson Clinton.

Too many American lives have been lost or permanently damaged. Way too many Iraqi lives have been wasted and permanently damaged. The time has come for all good freedom loving people to take a stand and tell the government that we will not put up with this fiasco founded lies any longer. It is time to get out and leave Iraq to the Iraqis.


Sunday, October 23, 2005


Here's even more problems for Bush and his SCOTUS nominee.
From Salon.
Follow the links, there's some real interesting stuff.

The Miers nomination: A "political blunder of the first order"?

How much worse can it get for Harriet Miers?

The Supreme Court nominee praised as "meticulous" and "detail-oriented" had to admit on her Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire that she had been suspended from the District of Columbia bar because she'd forgotten to pay her dues. And then, in a follow-up letter, she had to admit that she'd forgotten to mention in her Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire that she'd also been suspended from the Texas bar after having forgotten to pay dues there. Embarrassing.

What was her qualification for the Supreme Court again?

In an editorial today, the Wall Street Journal declares that George W. Bush's second Supreme Court nomination has proved to be a "political blunder of the first order." The Journal stops short of calling on Bush to withdraw Miers' nomination -- maybe she will "prove to be such a sterling Senate witness that she can still win confirmation" -- but it says that Miers is already suffering from the perception, "fairly or not," that she is "simply not able to discuss the Constitutional controversies that have animated American political debate for two generations."

The Journal says that Bush has squandered a chance to engage the country in a serious debate about its future. "Instead of a fight over judicial philosophy, we're having a fight over one woman's credentials and background. Instead of debating the Kelo decision's evisceration of private property rights, we are destined to learn everything we never wanted to know about the Texas Lottery Commission."

At that point, the Journal drops in a reference to John Fund's latest column -- the one in which he explains the bizarre way in which Jerome "Swift Boat" Corsi and Ben "Bush got special TANG treatment" Barnes could play a role in Miers' confirmation process.

Did we mention that there are some problems here?

And we haven't even gotten to the question of the strangely huge payments Miers' law firm received from Bush's gubernatorial campaigns.

At the Washington Post, Charles Babington wonders how a White House that hit a "home run" with John Roberts seems to have struck out with Harriet Miers. At the National Review Online, Byron York says conference calls among Miers' would-be supporters have slowly devolved into near silence; some wonder if Miers should stop paying visits to senators so that she doesn't do any more damage along the way. Rich Lowry says it's time for some Republican senators to pay a visit to the president and tell him to withdraw the nomination. "In the John Roberts nomination, a modified stealth strategy reached its height, giving the Court what is likely to be a conservative chief justice for the next 30 years," Lowry writes. "In the Harriet Miers nomination, the stealth strategy has all but collapsed, producing what might be the most catastrophic political miscalculation of the Bush presidency."

-- Tim Grieve


In his column this morning, New York Times columnist makes alot of excellent points on the how's and why's of Bush's rush into a war in Iraq.

There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no collaboration between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda on 9/11. There was scant Pentagon planning for securing the peace should bad stuff happen after America invaded. Why, exactly, did we go to war in Iraq?

Maybe. But the leak investigation now reaching its climax in Washington continues to offer big clues. We don't yet know whether Lewis (Scooter) Libby or Karl Rove has committed a crime, but the more we learn about their desperate efforts to take down a bit player like Joseph Wilson, the more we learn about the real secret they wanted to protect: the "why" of the war.

To piece that story together, you have to follow each man's history before the invasion of Iraq - before anyone had ever heard of Valerie Plame Wilson, let alone leaked her identity as a C.I.A. officer. It is not an accident that Mr. Libby's and Mr. Rove's very different trajectories - one of a Washington policy intellectual, the other of a Texas political operative - would collide before Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury. They are very different men who play very different White House roles, but they are bound together now by the sordid shared past that the Wilson affair has exposed.

Go read the rest of Frank Rich's column.
Hat-tip to Gordon at Alternate Brain.


For those who say we do not live in a fascist state, I beg to differ and ask to read the following.
I don't believe the author is professing the need for a fascist state, just stating the obvious.
If you are at all concerned, I suggest you click the link at the bottom and read the entire article.

Living in a Fascist State

On message

"But I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, then Fascism and Communism, aided, unconsciously perhaps, by old-line Tory Republicanism, will grow in strength in our land." -Franklin D. Roosevelt, November 4, 1938

By Lewis H. Lapham

10/21/06 "
Harper's Magazine", October 2005, pps. 7-9 -- -- In 1938 the word "fascism" hadn't yet been transferred into an abridged metaphor for all the world's unspeakable evil and monstrous crime, and on coming across President Roosevelt's prescient remark in one of Umberto Eco's essays, I could read it as prose instead of poetry -- a reference not to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse or the pit of Hell but to the political theories that regard individual citizens as the property of the government, happy villagers glad to wave the flags and wage the wars, grateful for the good fortune that placed them in the care of a sublime leader. Or, more emphatically, as Benito Mussolini liked to say, "Everything in the state. Nothing outside the state. Nothing against the state."

The theories were popular in Europe in the 1930s (cheering crowds, rousing band music, splendid military uniforms), and in the United States they numbered among their admirers a good many important people who believed that a somewhat modified form of fascism (power vested in the banks and business corporations instead of with the army) would lead the country out of the wilderness of the Great Depression -- put an end to the Pennsylvania labor troubles, silence the voices of socialist heresy and democratic dissent. Roosevelt appreciated the extent of fascism's popularity at the political box office; so does Eco, who takes pains in the essay "Ur-Fascism," published in The New York Review of Books in 1995, to suggest that it's a mistake to translate fascism into a figure of literary speech. By retrieving from our historical memory only the vivid and familiar images of fascist tyranny (Gestapo firing squads, Soviet labor camps, the chimneys at Treblinka), we lose sight of the faith-based initiatives that sustained the tyrant's rise to glory. The several experiments with fascist government, in Russia and Spain as well as in Italy and Germany, didn't depend on a single portfolio of dogma, and so Eco, in search of their common ground, doesn't look for a unifying principle or a standard text. He attempts to describe a way of thinking and a habit of mind, and on sifting through the assortment of fantastic and often contradictory notions -- Nazi paganism, Franco's National Catholicism, Mussolini's corporatism, etc. -- he finds a set of axioms on which all the fascisms agree. Among the most notable: continued here


A comment by a friend a on a recent post I made got me thinking about Fundimentalist Christians and christianity in general. I am not setting out to get anyone pissed off at me by posting this, but if it happens so be it.

There are all the Dobsons, Falwells, and Robertsons that are constantly telling all of us that we should live the way they think we should. There are those of this same ilk that say one thing and do the exact opposite.

I do not have a problem with the people who live what they preach, just as long as they are not trying to cram their beliefs down my throat or change the Constitution to fit their "needs."

I do have a real big problem with those who tell all of us how we should live our lives, and then do the exact things that they tell us we shouldn't be doing. I also have a big problem with those who get religious when they feel they need it...sickness, death of a family member or friend, in need of money or material things...and then try to make it look like they are always like that.

Then you have the ones who will condemn someone because they may go to a tavern to have a few drinks, whether they get drunk or not, while the one heaping on the condemnation is a closet alcoholic sitting at home every night getting loaded in their basement. You can take this one step further and replace drinks with drugs.

I used to work with a person, a regular every Sunday church-goer, who used an over the counter nasal spray repeatedly all day long. This person would constantly tell me that my smoking was a bad addiction. From what I saw he was addicted to the nasal spray, which could be put on the same level as cigarettes or even cocain. He couldn't go a day without using that nasal spray all day long, plus he was/is a closet alcoholic.

People like this make me want to vomit. I can not stand people who will profess one thing and do something else, or as I said before, will show their christianity when it suits their needs. Kind of like those "christians" who attend church only on Christmas or Easter or both.

I do not mean to infer here that all christians are false or pretenders. I know many who live their beliefs, who do not spend their time condemning others for what they do, and are willing to help others no matter who or what they are.

In closing, those who live what they believe and preach you are OK in my book. To those who preach to people about what is wrong with them, and then turn around and do the same things or worse, stay away from me. I don't need your hypocritical bullshit.


Here's the excuse the chimp needs to be able to dump Harriet Miers from the running for SCOTUS.

From Tom at the Wire, via Fixer at Alternate Brain.

Full article here:

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers collected more than 10 times the market value for a small slice of family-owned land in a large Superfund pollution cleanup site in Dallas where the state wanted to build a highway off-ramp.

The windfall came after a judge who received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Miers’ law firm appointed a close professional associate of Miers and an outspoken property-rights activist to the three-person panel that determined how much the state should pay.

The resulting six-figure payout to the Miers family in 2000 was despite the state’s objections to the “excessive” amount and to the process used to set the price. The panel recommended paying nearly $5 a square foot for land that was valued at less than 30 cents a square foot.

Mediation efforts in 2003 reduced the award from $106,915 to $80,915, but Miers, who controls the family’s interest in the land, hasn’t reimbursed the state for the $26,000 difference, even after Bush appointed her to the Supreme Court.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


The British Empire, which was based on economy, failed in the end. The Imperialistic American Empire...which is based on politics, power, and military might...shall too go the way of the British Empire and fail, for politics and power last only so long.

From the Harvard Crimson via Information Clearinghouse:

Leading Historian Says U.S. ‘Empire’ To Fail


10/20/05 "
Harvard Crimson" -- -- The American empire may actually cause disorder, barbarism, and chaos rather than promote peace and order, one of the world’s leading historians, Eric J. Hobsbawm, explained last night to a packed crowd at Lowell Lecture Hall.

While he didn’t take a final stance on that issue, Hobsbawm’s lecture on the differences between the American empire and the British empire was notable for his assertion that America is an empire destined for failure.

While many other historians do not consider America to be an empire, Hobsbawm argued yesterday that it is.

Concepts of imperialism and empire are “in flat contradiction to the traditional political self-definition of the U.S.A.,” Hobsbawm said, however, “there is no precedent for the global supremacy that the U.S. government is trying to establish.”

The American empire “will almost certainly fail,” Hobsbawm said. “Will the U.S. learn the lesson [of the British Empire] or will it try to maintain an eroding global position by relying on a failing political force and a military force which is insufficient for the present purposes which the current American government claims it is designed?”

Hobsbawm addressed America’s past and present foreign policy in his speech, the second of three William E. Massey lectures this week sponsored by Harvard’s Program in the History of American Civilization.

This year’s theme, crafted by Professor of History Sven Beckert, is the “American Empire in Global Perspective,” and features speeches from the perspective of three foreigners, Hobsbawm, who is from England, Jayati Ghosh, from India, and Carlos Monsivais, from Mexico.

Past Massey lecturers have included, Richard Rorty, Toni Morrison, Gore Vidal, and Alfred Kazin.

Mentioning the work of Tisch Professor of History Niall C. Ferguson and Weatherhead University Professor Samuel P. Huntington, Hobsbawm drew clear distinctions between his owns views and their theories.

“Unlike people like me, he regrets it,” Hobsbawm said, referring to Ferguson’s opinion of the end of the American empire.

He spoke at length on the crucial differences between the American hegemony and the British empire, focusing on their different foundations. Britain had an economy-based empire and never tried to dominate the world, he said, realizing that “they were a middle-weight country” that could only hold on to the “heavy-weight title” for so long.

The U.S. empire, on the other hand, was not created through economic dominance but crafted through political means, according to Hobsbawm. He pointed to this as the U.S.’s “biggest strength and weakness,” since the political forces that hold the empire together may not necessarily last.

He said that from its roots in the Monroe Doctrine, the U.S. has never viewed itself as a part of an international system of rival political powers. It lacks a foundation myth, Hobsbawm said, which is the basis for most other current nation states.

“Since the U.S.A. was founded by revolution against Britain, the only continuity between them that was not shaken was culture,” he explained, “so the national identity couldn’t very well be historical...[rather] it had to be constructed out of its revolutionary ideology.”

After graduating from the University of Cambridge in 1939, Hobsbawm went on to hold teaching positions at the University of London, the New School, Stanford, MIT, and Cornell. His most acclaimed book, “The Age of Extremes”—a history of the 20th century—has been translated into 36 languages.

Faced with the question of the future of the American empire, Hobsbawm concluded: “I’m an historian, I’m not a prophet. Don’t ask me that question.”

I just wonder how long it will be before we see the downfall of the American Empire.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005



Support for the war in Iraq is not only faultering here in the US, but also with the partner countries Numb-Nutz lined up for his illegal war.

From PIPA (Program on International Policy Attitudes) :

Among Key Iraq Partners, Weak Public Support for Troop Presence

Clay Ramsay and Angela Stephens

Among the publics of the coalition partners in Iraq, support for their troops' presence in Iraq is quite weak. A majority of the public in the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Australia, and Japan call for withdrawing their troops, though in some cases this does not appear to be a demand for immediate withdrawal. A plurality of Danes call for withdrawal and a majority of South Koreans favor reduction but not withdrawal.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, which has 8,000 troops in Iraq, a majority expresses a desire to pull British troops out of Iraq, but are more equivocal when asked whether this should occur immediately.

In some polls, the majority expressing a desire to withdraw is quite substantial. A Channel 5 poll in September 2005 asked "Should British troops pull out of Iraq?" A majority - 57% - said yes. That number is similar to a finding in a January 2005 poll by The Independent in which 59% said that British troops should be withdrawn quickly after the January election in Iraq.

Read more ...


New figures released today show that the defecit isn't as large as first projected. But it is the third largest in history. The second largest was during 1983 under Reagan. Number One came in last year, thank you very much Presnit Numb-Nuts.

Must be some kind of pattern, the top three all during terms of Republican presidents. All this after Clinton left office leaving a surplus. Didn't take the chimp long to burn through that.

The rest of the story from the AP can be found here: Federal Deficit Below Last Year's Record.

Is this supposed to make us feel better about the $1.35 billion tax cut that the fuckin' idiot chimp gave to all his rich buddies? Doesn't make me feel any better. How about you?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Remember when John Roberts was before the Senate Judiciary Commitee, questions about his religious beliefs were not allowed. Anyone who did ask such questions was quickly labled a bigot.

Now, the Emperor Chimp has stated that the reason he chose Harriet Miers was because of her religious beliefs.

From Americans United for Seperation of Church and State:


Church-State Watchdog Group Rebukes Bush For Hypocrisy Over Religion Issue

The Bush administration’s efforts to promote Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers by highlighting her evangelical Christianity is an appalling and hypocritical use of religion, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, “We’re picking a Supreme Court justice here, not a Sunday school teacher. President Bush and his allies should be talking about Miers’ knowledge of the Constitution, not the Bible.”

In remarks at the White House today, President George W. Bush defended his staffers’ references to Miers’ faith.

“People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers,” he said. “They want to know Harriet Miers’ background. They want to know as much as they possibly can before they form opinions. Part of Harriet Miers’ life is her religion.”

AU’s Lynn said he has been concerned for some time that the Bush administration has been using a religious litmus test to select federal court nominees. On June 25, 2002, Bush said he would select judges who “understand that our rights were derived from God.”

Said Lynn, “Any such religious selectivity by the president would violate Article VI of our Constitution, which forbids any religious test for public office. Did Bush pick Miers because of her religious viewpoint instead of her legal qualifications? If he did, that is a disservice to the Constitution and the diversity of the American people.”

White House operatives have been using Miers’ religion to persuade Relgious Right leaders to endorse her nomination.

In a radio address taped Tuesday, Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson recounted a conversation he had with White House strategist Karl Rove, during which Rove told Dobson of Miers’ strong religious views.

Dobson said Rove assured him Miers is “an evangelical Christian from a very conservative church, which is almost universally pro-life.”

The White House is apparently highlighting Miers’ church-going to other prominent religious conservatives. TV preacher Pat Robertson, breaking with other conservatives who have expressed concern over Miers’ scant track record, has repeatedly praised Miers on his “700 Club” program. On Oct. 5, Robertson stated that Miers “will be the first evangelical Christian who has been elevated to the Supreme Court in well over 70 years.”

Americans United’s Lynn accused the White House and the Religious Right of hypocrisy.

“We were told we weren’t even allowed to bring up the topic of religion when John G. Roberts was nominated for the Supreme Court,” Lynn said. “Anyone who did was quickly labeled a bigot.

“Now Bush and Rove are touting where Miers goes to church and using that as a selling point,” Lynn continued. “The hypocrisy is staggering.”

Lynn also blasted the Religious Right for playing along. “If a nominee’s personal religious views are off the table,” observed Lynn, “why am I not hearing howls of protest from Jerry Falwell, Tony Perkins, Jay Sekulow and others about this cynical exploitation of religion for crass political purposes?"

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

From CNN: Bush: Religion a factor in Supreme Court pick

and from the New York Times: Bush Reassures Conservatives Once Again on Court Nominee

and the Ap via Yahoo: White House Tries to Stem Miers Concerns

There are people who say "It's not about religion."
Well it is about religion, and religion and politics do not mix. If her religious beliefs are the most important thing to her, she will not be able to judge according to the Constitution of the United States of America. Therefore she should not serve on the Supreme Court, for she shall have a biased opinion, biased towards her religious beliefs. Maybe we should have a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu, and an Atheist on the Supreme Court as well. Bet James Dobson would love that.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


No, these people don't lie. Not at all. Remember on "Meet The Press" in 2003 when VP Cheney said he didn't have any financial ties to Halliburton since he became Bush's running mate?


Here's the whole story from Raw Story.

Cheney's Haliburton stock options rose 3,281% last year, Senator finds
10/11/2005 @ 3:19 pm
Filed by RAW STORY

An analysis released by a Democratic senator found that Vice President Dick Cheney's Halliburton stock options have risen 3,281 percent in the last year, RAW STORY can reveal.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserts that Cheney's options -- worth $241,498 a year ago -- are now valued at more than $8 million. The former CEO of the oil and gas services juggernaut, Cheney has pledged to give proceeds to charity.

The above graph released by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) charts the value of the Vice President's holdings in Halliburton in the past year.

“Halliburton has already raked in more than $10 billion from the Bush-Cheney Administration for work in Iraq, and they were awarded some of the first Katrina contracts," Lautenberg said in a statement. "It is unseemly for the Vice President to continue to benefit from this company at the same time his Administration funnels billions of dollars to it. The Vice President should sever his financial ties to Halliburton once and for all.”

Cheney continues to hold 433,333 Halliburton stock options. The company has been criticized by auditors for its handling of a no-bid contact in Iraq. Auditors found the firm marked up meal prices for troops and inflated gas prices in a deal with a Kuwaiti supplier. The company built the American prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The Vice President has sought to stem criticism by signing an agreement to donate the after-tax profits from these stock options to charities of his choice, and his lawyer has said he will not take any tax deduction for the donations.

However, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) concluded in Sept. 2003 that holding stock options while in elective office does constitute a “financial interest” regardless of whether the holder of the options will donate proceeds to charities. CRS also found that receiving deferred compensation is a financial interest.

Cheney told "Meet the Press" in 2003 that he didn't have any financial ties to the firm.

“Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest," the Vice President said. "I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had, now, for over three years.”

Cheney continues to received a deferred salary from the company. According to financial disclosure forms, he was paid $205,298 in 2001; $162,392 in 2002; $178,437 in 2003; and $194,852 in 2004.


Hey Mayor Bloomberg, you can relax, it was a hoax. You can bet someone somewhere is laughing at you, though.

And now for the rest of the story from CNN:

Sources: N.Y. subway threat tip a hoax

From Kelli Arena
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Information that led to heightened security for the New York City transit system was a hoax, government sources said Tuesday.

The sources said an informant in Iraq who provided the tip had told investigators about a terrorist plot involving New York's subway system. After various investigations, the sources said, officials have determined the informant gave false information.

On Monday, law enforcement officials said they could not corroborate any of the informant's claims. That prompted the New York Police Department to scale back the increased security measures put in place on the city's subways last week.

Government sources said the three men arrested in Iraq with suspected links to the possible plot had been interviewed and underwent lie detector tests showing they knew nothing about such a plan.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned Thursday that the city had received information from the FBI about a "specific threat," prompting the heightened subway security.

The threat mentioned Friday and Sunday as possible days that an attack might occur, according to one official with knowledge of the investigation.

In addition, information alleging that someone involved in a possible New York plot had entered the United States has not been corroborated. "We still do not know if such a person even exists," an official said.

Law enforcement sources said the informant had provided some accurate information in the past and therefore his latest tip was given serious attention.

Friday came three months to the day after four bombers carried out attacks on three London, England, subways and a double-decker bus, killing 52 people and wounding 700. (Full story)

After Bloomberg's warning, some intelligence officials played down the New York information, saying it was not credible.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg said city officials couldn't wait until a threat materialized to act.

"We have to protect this city. We can't just sit around with your fingers crossed," Bloomberg said. "We have to make decisions and show leadership. And that is exactly what we have done. And if given the same situation we would do exactly the same thing."

Sunday, October 09, 2005


A doctor in California has started to circulate a petition for the recall election of governor Terminator.You can find out about it at Just Ain't Right.

Go on over, Helen would love to have you.


"Police State", a statement that was used quit offen during the Vietnam protests of the 1960's. Haven't heard that statement mentioned much since then.

Until now. Ever since 9/11, the Constitution has been taking some big hits. As citizens, our rights have slowly been eroded by the so called Patriot Act. The FBI and Police now have the ability to arrest anyone for no reason at all.

The following is an article I found at Information Clearinghouse. Follow the link and read the rest and tell me what you think has happened and what we, as patriotic citizens, need to do.

The Police State Is Closer Than You Think

Police states are easier to acquire than Americans appreciate.

By Paul Craig Roberts

President Bush claims the power to set aside habeas corpus and to dispense with warrants for arrest and with procedures that guarantee court appearance and trial without undue delay. Today in the US, the executive branch claims the power to arrest a citizen on its own initiative and hold the citizen indefinitely. Thus, Americans are no longer protected from arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention.

Friday, October 07, 2005


Headline..."God speaks to President Bush."

That should blow all the catholics clear out of the water. The Pope is the only human that God is supposed to talk to. If that's so, why the hell is he wasting his time with an idiot.

Now, either God really is talking to the chimp, or that jerk is insane and he's just hearing the voices in his head. If the latter is the answer we're all in one hell of alot more trouble then any of us thought. I think it would be a good idea to get him a reservation for a rubber room.

If you or I, or Joe Blow down the street, were to stand on a corner and start telling people...whether we knew them or not...that God has-was-is speaking to us, someone would be getting the guys with the straight jackets. You know damn well that there would be a rubber room waiting for us.

We would be taken into protective custody to prevent us from harming ourselves. Then it would be go before a judge to be told that we need psychiactric help, and then off to the "loonie bin."

So why is it that the chimpster gets to say this in public, in front of the news media, and nobody questions his mental health?

Now, with that said, I'll move on to the next subject "Lies and other Shit."

Is it just me and a few others, or has anyone else noticed that everytime the chimp's approval numbers fall or someone in his administration gets in trouble that a terror threat all of a sudden pops up? Think about it.

Before the '04 election his rating was taking a dive. All of a sudden we started having terror alerts. Now Karl The Fascist Pig Rove has to go before the grand jury again and we have an alert about the possibility of a terrorist attack on the New York subway. Just a coincidence or a lie to take everyone's mind off Rove's little problem. When's the last time you heard anything about Tom DeLay's screw-up. All we've been hearing is the threat, or possibility of one.

Then there's those 10 terrorist threats that were averted. If there really were 10 threats, why is it that we didn't hear about them until there were problems surfacing for asshole's administration? I don't think there ever were any threats, except for the ones Bush seems to have running around in his feeble, evil mind.

These lying fucks would do, or say, anything to get people to think about anything else except what they are trying to get away with. This whole administration is built on deceit and bullshit. They have lied to us from day one. Part of the chimp's first campaign was to bring fiscal responsibility back into government. No fiscal responsibility with this asshole, not with the huge defecit that he has handcuffed this country with.

The Main Stream Media, the ones the republicans call the liberal press, keep retelling Bush's lies for him. The real sad fact is that people keep believing these lies.

It's time to take the press and this lying administration to task. It's time to force them all to tell the truth about the war in Iraq, the Plame scandal, the cronyism, and how they are trying to fuck us over by screwing with the Constitution and cutting the taxes of the top 2% while gutting all the social services.

I want some feedback here people! I'm pissed, really pissed! I want to know just what you're pissed about and how pissed you are. Speak to me people, I know you're out there. Leave a comment, let me know how you feel about all the lies and deceit of this insane idiot some call "President" and his crew of cronies.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005



By now everyone knows that the Emperor Chimp has choosen Harriet Miers to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Many Republicans, as well as many Democrats, think this was a hastily made choice. Many are concerned that she does not have the qualifications to fill the position as she has never served on the bench.

Some think, with good reason, that her nomination was made to try to take the attention away from the Valarie Plame scandal and all the indictments against Rep. Tom DeLay. Although these are very valid points, I'm not so sure either of these is the reason the chimp nominated Ms Miers to the highest court in the land. I think there is another reason, or motive, for the chimp to make this choice.

Harriet Miers is the chimp's mouthpiece. She parrots every word, every pharse, and every thought that oozes from the chimpster's evil mouth. I offer-up the following from Salon to help to prove my point:

Harriet Miers on Bush, Ashcroft, 9/11 and Barney

Harriet Miers may not have written a lot of law review articles, Supreme Court briefs or judicial decisions, but that's not to say that she doesn't have a paper trail: As George W. Bush's staff secretary and deputy chief of staff for policy, she has written extensively for the "Ask the White House" feature that appears on the White House Web site.

Amid questions about Barney the First Dog and the kind of clock that sits in the Oval Office, Miers has answered queries about virtually every policy initiative of the Bush administration. Her answers, written and posted in something approaching real time, show Miers to be a reliable if sometimes ineloquent mouthpiece for all the usual Bush administration talking points: We're better off than we were four years ago, we're fighting terrorism and promoting freedom abroad, and we're leaving no child behind at home. Oh, and George W. Bush? He's a really, really, really good president.

Here's a sampling:

Oct. 29, 2004: Miers advocated drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, insisted that the administration is "sowing the seeds of freedom" in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to bring "the goal of peace for all nations ever closer," and dismissed concerns over the lack of funding for the president's "No Child Left Behind" plan as the result of "a great deal of misinformation out there."

Oct. 14, 2004: When a writer suggested that Bush's tax cuts and other policies were aimed at helping big business more than "ordinary Americans," Miers said that she hoped the writer would "spend some time learning about what the president really has done for the American people, in tax relief and so many other ways." When another writer asked why Bush is "restricting federal funding on embryonic stem cell research," Miers said: "You should start from the premise that the president supports promising medical research."

Sept. 10, 2004: Miers defended the administration's efforts to draw links between Iraq and 9/11, said she appreciates "the president's calm, strong leadership" and declared that it would be a "great idea" to turn Sept. 11 into a national holiday. Miers said she was with Bush on 9/11, helping him prepare the remarks he would deliver from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, and she remembers that Bush praised her by saying, "Good hustle." "He made me feel good that I was contributing," she said. When a writer said that the United States is in "a struggle for civilization and the survival of the free world against anarchism and barbarism" and a "fight to preserve our way of life against extremists who would return us to the Dark Ages," Miers thanked him for expressing himself "so wonderfully." "I certainly agree with you," she said. "As I said before, we will persevere and we will not relent."

Aug. 11, 2004: Asked about her job at the White House, Miers said her principal responsibility is to "coordinate policy development for the administration." She praised Bush's staff and singled out Andy Card for leading it in a "remarkable" way. "You may have seen him on TV," Miers wrote. "He is from Boston. He does not have a Texas accent like me." She said that then Attorney General John Ashcroft was doing "an outstanding job." And she explained that metal horseshoes are "too heavy for Barney to lift, so he doesn't carry them around. Instead he moves them around with his nose."
-- Tim Grieve

I believe that the chimp is so full of himself that he wants to make sure that he has some form of lasting control over this country even after he has left office. Placing someone on the bench of the highest and most powerful court in the country would be an excellant way to be sure that his thoughts and ideas would have a lasting effect on the United States for years to come.

I really think Sen. Harry Reid better think long and hard before he has to make his vote on Ms Miers appointment. The Democrats who sit on the Senate Judicial Commitee, especially Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, better think long and hard about this one, too.


The democracy for Iraq that the Emperor Chimp has been waiting for has hit a roadblock.

From BBC online:

On Sunday Shia and Kurdish members of parliament pushed through the changes in the referendum rules on 15 October.

Sunni Arabs reacted angrily to the amendments on Monday.

They believed many registered voters may not show up at the polls because of violence.

Read the full article: UN condemns Iraq charter change

And from the AP via Yahoo: U.N. Eyes Iraq Voting Law Changes

Monday, October 03, 2005


After Tom DeLay was indicted by a Texas grand jury, he said that he had done nothing wrong and that he would be found innocent.

Well, now Tommy-boy has even more problems.

Another grand jury in Texas has indicted DeLay on charges of money laundering.
From the Associated Press:

Grand Jury Indicts DeLay On New Charge

By APRIL CASTRO, Associated Press Writer

A Texas grand jury indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on a new charge of money laundering Monday, less than a week after another grand jury leveled a conspiracy charge that forced DeLay to temporarily step down as House majority leader.

Both indictments accuse DeLay and two political associates of conspiring to get around a state ban on corporate campaign contributions by funneling the money through a political action committee to the Republican National Committee in Washington.

The RNC then sent back like amounts to distribute to Texas candidates in 2002, the indictment alleges.

The new indictment came hours after DeLay's attorneys filed a request to dismiss the case. That request argued that the conspiracy charge was based on a law that was not effective until 2003, the year after the alleged money transfers.

The judge who will preside in DeLay's case was out of the country on vacation and could not rule on the request. Other state district judges declined to rule on the request in his place, said Colleen Davis, a law clerk to Austin attorney Bill White, also represents DeLay.

In this photo provided by FOX News, Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, appears during the taping of 'FOX News Sunday' at the FOX studios in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2005. DeLay pledged on Sunday to take an active role in the Republican leadership despite being forced out as majority leader because of criminal conspiracy charges in Texas (AP Photo/FOX News Sunday, Freddie Lee) MANDATORY CREDIT: FREDDIE LEE, FOX NEWS SUNDAY
Poor Tommy looks sooo tired of being picked on.
Problems on top of problems for Rep. Tom DeLay.
Dontcha all feel sorry for him?

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Here's a few snippits from the opinion page of The Oregonian.

Sunday, October 02, 2005 The Oregonian

'Our freedom' isn't tied to Iraq war built on lies

Supporters of the war in Iraq say that our soldiers are over there fighting "for our freedom." There is no evidence for that view.

In what way are they fighting for our freedom? Iraq has never been a threat to our freedom.

The war in Iraq was started by our invasion of Iraq, not by Iraq's invasion of the United States. Supporters of the war are deluded, and they need to look at the real reasons we are killing people in a foreign country.

Sept. 11, 2001, had no connection to Iraq until we invaded Iraq. President Bush took us to war on false evidence knowingly presented as truth, not on bad intelligence from misinformed CIA agents.

I am tired of seeing so-called patriots repeating the president's lies. It is time for the truth to unmask the deceivers. Let's not wait 20 years as we did with Vietnam. If people really supported our troops, they would stop lying to them and us and bring them home.

ANCIL NANCE Southwest Portland

Possible solutions to Iraq war continue to be elusive, divisive

Let us now leave Iraq because our presence there is a magnet and motivating force for al-Qaida recruits, thus reducing our safety.

And let us now leave Iraq because more than 1,900 of our best and bravest military men and women have tragically and needlessly lost their lives for a war we did not need to wage, a war that, according to eyewitness Paul O'Neill [former secretary of the Treasury under President Bush], Bush and his National Security Council decided to wage on Feb. 1, 2001, fully seven months before 9/11.


Let the Iraqis decide

President Bush says that troops must stay in Iraq to defend America (from what, I'd like to know). I see millions running for their lives from the ravaged Gulf Coast and see a valid threat to our country.

Let's let the Iraqi people decide if they want us to stay. If the majority vote "no," then let's pull out. This war is proving too costly. How about a war on hurricanes? To me that's a real threat.


Bush as compulsive gambler

President Bush's decision to stay the course in Iraq is similar in many ways to a compulsive gambler who has been on a losing streak but insists on staying in the game, knowing that a big win will surely come.

The gambler stays in the game despite the odds against winning. Bush keeps us in Iraq despite knowing the cards are stacked against a positive result.

The big difference between the gambler and President Bush is that the gambler may ruin his own life, but the president is gambling other people's lives and the financial future of an entire nation.


Return Saddam to power

Democrats are having a terrible time offering an alternative to the quagmire the Bush administration has created in Iraq because it is assumed that what has been done cannot be undone.

I submit that we acknowledge the entire war, having been initiated on false premises, was a huge mistake, and that we return the country to the government that was in power before we so foolishly deposed it.

Saddam Hussein is in our custody. The one time since Iraq's creation by British mandate in World War I that it has functioned as a unified political entity was under his leadership. Let's reinstate him and let him get on with the rebuilding of his country as he did so well after the first Gulf War.

Bad things would happen to many Iraqis with his return, but it would never approach the nightmare that any citizen of that land lives with today.


Women and war

War is always tragic. I am saddened that our country must create "heroes" and "villains" to frame our misguided involvement in Iraq.

Jessica Lynch was not a hero and Pfc. Lynndie England is not a monster. Both young soldiers were undertrained and thus ill-prepared to handle the unique horrors of guerrilla war.

We should not attempt to cleanse our bloody hands by using these women. It won't work, and it is patently unfair.

STEVEN G. MATSUMOTO Southwest Portland