Sunday, September 30, 2007

Supporting the Iraq War- The "Draft Politician's Children" movement

Dear Senator Mitch McConnell:

We are pleased to inform you, that we, representing the very Silent Majority of 72% of the American people opposed to this Iraq war, are proud to nominate your 3 daughters, Elly, Claire and Porter to serve their first 15 month tour of duty in Iraq. It is a patriotic thing to do for those supporting the war and we know the depths of your Patriotism. They will need to put their lives on hold, inform friends and family and employers that their return after the 15 months tour is not a guarantee but you being a willing supporter of the Bush strategy, will not object. We admire that you stand for your principles and are a man of high integrity.

Additional letters will be sent to the Republican Senators and Congressmen supporting the Iraq War and so it is indeed a patriotic group that will be serving together. These new members of the military will make it possible for some others to return home to join their families. We know you more than support this strategy and they will be in good company because the Bush twins, Jenna and Laura will be leading the group in battle. Vice President Cheney's daughter, Mary, will be exempt from serving, as she is a lesbian and a new mother. However, waiting in the wings to serve when their time comes, are the Vice President's 6 grandchildren. Elizabeth Cheney, his other daughter, who is straight, will be required to serve also. After all, the "plan" is to keep this war going for decades to come, so I know, given the war's projected length, you won't mind picking up the slack for the lower enlistments that are sure to follow. It is one small step that we appreciate you and your family taking.

We thank you for their service.


We The People

Any additional members of the public wishing to add their support, may sign the comment list.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Is the current treatment of our soldiers and veterans morally sound?

First some excerpts from the background story and then at the end are my comments:

Wounded vets also suffer financial woes
By JEFF DONN and KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press writers

"TEMECULA, Calif. - He was one of America's first defenders on Sept. 11, 2001, a Marine who pulled burned bodies from the ruins of the Pentagon. He saw more horrors in Kuwait and Iraq.

Today, he can't keep a job, pay his bills, or chase thoughts of suicide from his tortured brain. In a few weeks, he may lose his house, too.

Gamal Awad, the American son of a Sudanese immigrant, exemplifies an emerging group of war veterans: the economic casualties.

More than in past wars, many wounded troops are coming home alive from the Middle East. That's a triumph for military medicine. But they often return hobbled by prolonged physical and mental injuries from homemade bombs and the unremitting anxiety of fighting a hidden enemy along blurred battle lines. Treatment, recovery and retraining often can't be assured quickly or cheaply.

These troops are just starting to seek help in large numbers, more than 185,000 so far. But the cost of their benefits is already testing resources set aside by government and threatening the future of these wounded veterans for decades to come, say economists and veterans' groups.

"The wounded and their families no longer trust that the government will take care of them the way they thought they'd be taken care of," says veterans advocate Mary Ellen Salzano.

How does a war veteran expect to be treated? "As a hero," she says.


Every morning, Awad needs to think of a reason not to kill himself.

He can't even look at the framed photograph that shows him accepting a Marine heroism medal for his recovery work at the Pentagon after the terrorist attack.

It might remind him of a burned woman whose skin peeled off in his hands when he tried to comfort her.

He tries not to hear the shrieking rockets of Iraq either, smell the burning fuel, or relive the blast that blew him right out of bed.

The memories come steamrolling back anyway.

"Nothing can turn off those things," he says, voice choked and eyes glistening.

He stews alternately over suicide and finances, his $43,000 in credit card debt, his $4,330 in federal checks each month — the government's compensation for his total disability from post-traumatic stress disorder. His flashbacks, thoughts of suicide, and anxiety over imagined threats — all documented for six years in his military record — keep him from working.

The disability payments don't cover the $5,700-a-month cost of his adjustable home mortgage and equity loans. He owes more on his house than its market value, so he can't sell it — but he may soon lose it to the bank.

"I love this house. It makes me feel safe," he says.

Awad could once afford it. He used to earn $100,000 a year as a 16-year veteran major with a master's degree in management who excelled at logistics. Now, at age 38, he can't even manage his own life.

There's another twist. This dedicated Marine was given a "general" discharge 15 months ago for an extramarital affair with a woman, also a Marine. That's even though his military therapists blamed this impulsive conduct on post-traumatic stress aggravated by his Middle East tours.

Luckily, his discharge, though not unqualifiedly honorable, left intact his rights to medical care and disability payments — or he'd be in sadder shape.

Divorced since developing PTSD, Awad has two daughters who live elsewhere. He spends much of his days hoisting weights and thwacking a punching bag in the dimness of his garage. He passes nights largely sleepless, a zombie shuffling through the bare rooms of his home in sunny California wine country.


Now my comments: The way we are treating our soldiers both in Iraq and those returning resembles torture. Let me explain.

Before the Iraq war most National Guard soldiers thought their tour of duty oversees would be from 1 to 6 months. But that changed in 2003. Under the new National Guard policy, total mobilization time for troops increased from one to six months, because time spent in the United States no longer counts against the 12-month requirement. Most of the troops spent significant time on duty in the United States before going to Iraq.

Soldiers, nearing the end of their enlistments but in units heading to Iraq and Afghanistan, were hit with some news in June 2004. The Pentagon announced those troops faced involuntary extended tours of active duty, at least until their units return home. It's called a "stop-loss" order, a tool Pentagon officials said helps ease the loss of personnel through retirement and discharge. So the soldier is in effect powerless and required to stay in the service.

When a soldier thinks he is going to Iraq and spending 12 months there and after nearing his/her time to come home he/she is told it has been extended to 15 months, it is torturous on the soldier and even more the family. This was done in April of this year.

Now returning soldiers are finding treatment for their injuries sustained in war causing significant emotional and financial impact on them and their families. When a soldier is considering committing suicide the events that created those feelings are mental torture. All this brought to you by President Bush and VP Cheney, both doing everything they could to get out of serving. So not only has our government tortured many "enemy combatants, they can add to their achievements the torturing of U.S. Servicemen and Servicewomen. It is a disgrace and does not "support the troops. And the Republican Congress and Senate needs to wake up and face the truth here. They are being complicit and should not sleep one minute, peacefully while these practices continue. Sec. of Defense, Robert Gates, a very good man must feel sick at what he has inherited from Donald Rumsfeld. He must agonize over what has happened and yet is bound to "support the Commander in Chief". But every once in a while you can see Gates bristle and try to send signals to us all he is not happy following orders.

I beg those Republicans that are on the fence to reconsider their positions and choose the morally correct decision to either support Jim Webb in bringing his Bill back again to require soldiers to be home between tours as long as they have been away or to go further and vote with the Democrats to set a date certain to bring the troops home, or to really be brave and cut off the funding of this war but not passing the funding bill.

These stories break my heart and what breaks my heart more is the indifference of the American people and its leaders, to what's going on.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Military's stand on bombing Iran

This is definetely worth reading. Click here.

"The U.S. military's role in preventing the bombing of Iran" by Gleen Greenwald of

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

UPDATE: China must pay a price for Burma, Tibet and Darfur

A couple of posts ago I ran the story of how China is front and center on the issues in Burma (Myanmar). Well today the following is reported from an article by AP titled, "9 killed in 2nd day of Myanmar crackdown" For the complete article click here.

The crackdown has prompted condemnations from officials in the U.S. and Europe and statements of concern from regional powerhouse China, Myanmar's chief diplomatic ally.

China has come under increasing pressure to use its regional influence to urge Myanmar's ruling junta to show restraint in dealing with the protests.

On Wednesday, China blocked the U.N. Security Council from condemning the government's actions, saying after an emergency meeting in New York that "these problems now at this stage (do) not constitute a threat to international and regional peace and stability."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in Beijing on Thursday that "China hopes that all parties in Myanmar exercise restraint and properly handle the current issue so as to ensure the situation there does not escalate and get complicated."

I have to laugh at that last sentence, "the situation there does not escalate and get complicated." Is that what it is for China, a complication?! Unbelievable!

We must continue to see China's role as complicit in supporting these regimes. Start by adding one voice at a time to bring attention to China's role in these tragedies. All their financial gains should be put at risk. Don't buy anything made in China. Read product labels carefully and let's make a big dent in their economic gains. There must be a price to pay for their complicity in these tragedies. It is not about going to our Malls and buying cheap products. If they want to be respected as an important Global power, then they need to behave like one.

China must pay a price for Burma, Tibet and Darfur,

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N.H. Democratic debate on Iraq-What a disappointment

What disappointment from Hillary, Barack and Edwards. All 3 said they wouldn't promise all the troops home from Iraq by 2013. I need to pick a new candidate and so do you or we will be there indefinitely. The only candidates who said they would have all the troops home from Iraq before 2013 were Biden, Richardson, Dodd, Kusinich and Gravel. Anyone voting for a Democratic candidate in the primaries, needs to reconsider one of these 5, who will bring the troops home. I just was shocked at the front leaders response and how Hillary found it useful not to stake out any popular position for ear of offending someone.

Biden and Richardson had no problem with bringing the troops home as soon as they can after being elected President. They also had bold ideas about saving Social Security. Biden wants to solve the problem by raising the Caps on when people pay taxes. Currently at $97,000, Biden wants all income above $97,000 taxed because anyone who makes $97,000 or under is taxed on all their income and why should those making more not be taxed on all their income as well. They don't need the break if they are making Millions of dollars according to Biden. I agree with him on that.

Biden, Dodd and Richardson are the only hope of anyone wanting to end the war and picking a candidate that could make a good President. I believe Biden and Dodd could get both Independent voters and some Republican voters as well. Yesterday, Biden got his soft-partition non-binding resolution approved that favors a loose Federation in Iraq of three separate regions, one Shia controlled, one Sunni controlled and the other Kurdish controlled regions, where each would share in Oil revenues and the country would have a weak but effective central government. Biden garnered Republican and Democratic support with a winning resolution 75 to 23 votes. We need a President that can work with Republicans and Biden did.

If we are going to have any effect to bring the troops home we must choose, and loudly support with money and our voices, either Biden, Dodd or Richardson. If anyone polls us we must tell the media why we have changed our minds on the front-runners. There is no choice for Republicans with a serious candidate who has a chance to win, who will stop the war and bring the troops home other than Congressman Ron Paul.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Is there a new enemy emerging in the world?

What do these places have in common: Darfur, North Korea, Burma, Tibet? The answer is China! The other answer is oppressive regimes!

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China must pay a price for Burma, Tibet and Darfur

Burma places opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in prison, taken from house arrest, because of the demonstrations in the country led by hundreds of Monks and joined by hundreds of thousands of its citizens. We can make a difference by putting the correct pressure on the Chinese government, who is also involved in supporting this government as well as the government of the Sudan and the responsibility for the Darfur tragedy.

You can make a difference by not supporting the Olympics to be held in China next year. Let's boycott watching the Olympics, going to the Olympics and buying anything associated with the Olympics. Take a stand against China with words and actions. They also are responsible for the terrible things they have done to erase Tibetan culture. It is time they get some attention by the world. Start by adding one voice at a time to bring attention to China's role in these tragedies. All their financial gains should be put at risk. Don't buy anything made in China. Read product labels carefully and let's make a big dent in their economic gains. There must be a price to pay for their complicity in these tragedies. It is not about going to our Malls and buying cheap products. If they want to be respected as an imporatnt Global power, then they need to behave like one.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Richmond, CA trying to stop the violence

On our local radio and TV stations today there is much concern that the youth in Richmond, CA are killing each other and some of the killings are revenge killings. Many in the community have lost a loved one through violence. The local community and non-profits are going to set up a Tent city in local parks to try to draw the youth to speak to leaders and camp out in the park in an attempt to stop the violence. Some in the local community say that the kids hang around corners with nothing to do. They propose using the community resources to help with this problem like more programs of out reach, keeping Recreation Dept. facilities open longer for the youth to have a place to go and let off some steam and get some exercise and structure in their lives.

All these are good things. It takes me back to my youth in the 1950's where the same problem existed in the Boston area and my local neighborhood and probably most cities in the country. But back then we didn't have the killings. Oh there were the fights between groups of different neighborhoods. There was the picking on the weakest and picking on those of different cultures than there own and picking on people of color. But there weren't many killings. Some yes, but only a few.

The reason was that guns were not available and as prolific as they are now. Kids of my youth would fight mano a mano. No guns, just fists. The worst it ever got was using chains and blocks of wood to use as a club. I have been listening to the latest discussions about the Republican candidates for President visiting the NRA (National Rifle Association) like former NY Mayor Rudy G. He was in favor of gun controls when he was Mayor, as he wanted to reduce crime. Now he says he can see that we have the right to bear arms and he supports the Constitution.

Well I'm sorry. If a government takes the responsibility seriously to protect and defend the population as Bush has done to suspend some of our rights under the Constitution because he says he is trying to keep us safe from terrorists, then doesn't it make sense to use the same argument to save the lives of innocent people by taking away or suspending their right to bear arms. And besides, these individuals are most likely violating the law by having illegal weapons. Doesn't a government have the right and the duty to protect the society using the same reasoning it uses during this "War on Terror" by seizing Weapons of Individual Destruction for all in hopes of preventing a few murders? I think it does and if you follow the logic, you will see it does too.

We need to wake up as a society and consider the Constitution as applied to the 21st Century. The right to bear arms should be conditional in a society. When a society isn't watching or parenting its youth in a proper manner then that society deserves to loose some of its rights. Heck, anyone can be wiretapped now. That's right those law-abiding citizens, as well as those suspected of no good are treated the same, aren't they. It's time for a ban on guns! People should be allowed rifles for hunting, but guns should be banned! They should have a period of time where anyone can turn in their guns and get some dollar amount for doing it. We should change the laws and increase enforcement. There I've said it!

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vs. President George Bush

I heard Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 60 Minutes last night. Oh he lies through his teeth, however one thing I walked away with is this. He speaks coherently, unlike our President. He lies like President Bush, but uses coherent language, but unfortunatley it is not based upon a logical argument. But there is something to be said for his education in Iran and Bush's here at Yale, for his Bachelor of Arts degree and Harvard, for his Masters of Business Administration. Maybe President Bush should have gotten an Engineering degree. And just maybe, both Yale and Harvard wished they could get back their degree's bestowed upon him.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made Iran's Tehran’s University of Science and Technology proud, where Ahmadinejad studied Civil Engineering. He earned a Master’s degree there and a Ph.D. in engineering and traffic transportation planning. Hmmm, we could have used him after Katrina.

Obviously Ahmadinejad is more educated than Bush, and it shows even though both are expert liars. With Ahmadinejad we don't know exactly which are the lies as we still hope that he isn't pursuing nuclear weapons, although we don't believe him and neither does the UN. We know he is lying about not stiring up trouble in Iraq at the expense of our troops and the Iraqi's as well. The problem is our President has lied to us for so long and over and over again on the same issues we know he is never telling the truth, so we have become cynics and don't believe him even when he might tell a truth. He has lost credibility completely with the American people. So has Ahmadinejad with the Iranian people regarding their domestic issues.

UPDATE: 11:45am PST.

Listening to the Ahmadinejad at Columbia University, it is clear he can debate and use this Forum effectively. However, he did not shed any new light or openings into a further dialogue, which in my view is a missed opportunity. I agree that he was insulted before his speech was given by the scathing introduction given by Columbia's President Bollinger. Some can rightfully argue he deserved this but it made the Institution look small. He was not respected. I hope he does take the opportunity to invite the President of Columbia to speak at the University in Iran and give him better treatment than he received.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Where's the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I'll bet you were like me. I always had thought that America was the land of the free and the home of the brave. From this Administration we have illegal wiretapping surveillance without a warrant from the FISA Court, the elimination of habeas corpus, and all our brave men fighting in Iraq. We aren't free any longer and all our brave men and women are no longer home, but instead are fighting the war in Iraq. Those who lead us, Democrats and Republicans alike, aren't brave either, as they all worry about political fallout if they vote to stop funding the war and bring the troops home. It's a sad day indeed.

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U.S. Fatalities for the first 3 weeks of September

U.S. Fatalities for the first 3 weeks in September totaled 55. The first week of September had 19, followed by 20 in the second week and now we add 16 to this 3rd week for a total of 55. This week had fewer deaths than the previous 2 weeks and while none are acceptable, I am pleased to report less deaths this 3rd week.

For September of the previous 2 years there were:

Sept. 2006 72
Sept. 2005 49

While this past week saw the Democrats lose (Sen. Jim Webb D-VA) in their attempts to require soldiers to be home during rotations as long as the time they serve in Iraq (15 months in Iraq and then 15 months home) and the Bill to end the war in Iraq with a date certain also failing this week as proposed by Senator Feingold (D), it looks like indeed these figures will be difficult to see every month over the next many years of this war.

Let's hope that we can get these numbers down further and eventually to zero. As long as we have soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am afraid that will be nearly impossible but nevertheless, a worthy goal. But for now I will count the blessings of the week, that fewer were killed.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vote to restore Habeas Corpus: Some Republicans deserve to be applauded.

The vote to restore Habeas Corpus was defeated today by 56 in favor of restoring it to 43 saying Naye. Sixty votes were need to end cloture. We can all be upset that it didn't pass but I would rather focus on something positive and that is to recognize those brave Republican Senators voting with the Democrats to restore it.

They include:

Hagel (R-NE), Yea
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Smith (R-OR), Yea
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Specter (R-PA), Yea
Sununu (R-NH), Yea

These above Senators deserve to be reelected in their communities.

BRAVO Senators!

Of the 2 Independent Senators only one voted with the Democrats:

Sanders (I-VT), Yea

All Democrats voted in favor of the Bill.

If the tables were turned and any of these Senators had been incarcerated by our government without due process, they would have voted with the Democrats. Same is true if their kids were serving in Iraq, they would vote more frequently with the Democrats, not all but more of them.

They give us little choice as voters but to replace them in next years Election for their inflexibility on some common sense legislation.

Those voting AGAINST the bill to restore Habeas Corpus are these (who need to be replaced whenever they term is up):

Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Allard (R-CO), Nay
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Bennett (R-UT), Nay
Bond (R-MO), Nay
Brownback (R-KS), Nay (Presidential Candidate)
Bunning (R-KY), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Chambliss (R-GA), Not Voting
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Coleman (R-MN), Nay
Collins (R-ME), Nay
Corker (R-TN), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Craig (R-ID), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Dole (R-NC), Nay
Domenici (R-NM), Nay
Ensign (R-NV), Nay
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Gregg (R-NH), Nay
Hatch (R-UT), Nay
Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
Lott (R-MS), Nay
Martinez (R-FL), Nay
McCain (R-AZ), Nay (Presidential Candidate and former Prisoner of war)
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Stevens (R-AK), Nay
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Voinovich (R-OH), Nay
Warner (R-VA), Nay

What say you? How would you have voted if you were in office? Vote in the Mini Poll to the right of this posting.

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Jena 6: What's wrong here? I'll tell you!

What's wrong with this picture? Here's selected excerpts from the background story from AP writer Mary Foster:

JENA, La. - Thousands of chanting demonstrators filled the streets of this little Louisiana town Thursday in support of six black teenagers initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate.

The crowd broke into chants of "Free the Jena Six" as the Rev. Al Sharpton arrived at the local courthouse with family members of the jailed teens.

The six teens were charged not long after the local prosecutor declined to charge three white high school students who hung nooses in a tree on their high school grounds. Five of the black teens were initially charged with attempted murder, but that charge was reduced to battery for all but one, who has yet to be arraigned; the sixth teen was charged as a juvenile.

"This is the most blatant example of disparity in the justice system that we've seen," the Rev. Al Sharpton told CBS's "The Early Show" before arriving in Jena. "You can't have two standards of justice."

"We didn't bring race in it," he said. "Those that hung the nooses brought the race into it."

Sharpton, who helped organized the rally, said this could be the beginning of the 21st century's civil rights movement, one that would challenge disparities in the justice system.

The white teen who was beaten, Justin Barker, was knocked unconscious, his face badly swollen and bloodied, though he was able to attend a school function later that night.

Bell, 16 at the time of the attack, is the only one of the "Jena Six" to be tried so far. He was convicted on an aggravated second-degree battery count that could have sent him to prison for 15 years, but the conviction was overturned last week when a state appeals court said he should not have been tried as an adult.

Students came from universities across the region, including historically black colleges like Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Hampton University and Southern University.

Tina Cheatham missed the civil rights marches at Selma, Montgomery and Little Rock, but she had no intention of missing another brush with history. The 24-year-old Georgia Southern University graduate drove all night to reach tiny Jena in central Louisiana.

In Jena, with only 3,500 residents, some residents worried about safety. Hotels were booked from as far away as Natchez, Miss., to Alexandria, La.

Sharpton, who helped organize the protest, met Bell at the courthouse Wednesday morning. He said Bell is heartened by the show of support and wants to make sure it stays peaceful.

"He doesn't want anything done that would disparage his name — no violence, not even a negative word," Sharpton said."

Ok, now that you've read it what comes into your mind as wrong here?

I'll tell you. This travesty of justice is being addressed as it should, but by mostly black people. In my view it is the white community that should have marched, as it was the nooses that the white children hung on the trees that was the match that ignited this. That single act has shown us all that our white community of which I am a member, hasn't learned much nor taught our children of how WE have created the very conditions which non-whites have to struggle to overcome each and every day. Racism needs to be addressed by whites, not blacks or other non-whites. It's not their fault it's ours!

Until we as a society do something about the conditions we have created over hundreds of years, we will never change these conditions. Tens of thousands of whites should have marched and taken up this cause and not have to leave the blacks to defend themselves for equal justice. We haven't come too far in 200 years from slavery. It would have been great if white students at the school took down the nooses and made those that did it embarrassed and ostracized for their actions and apologized to the black students for the incident. Much would have been accomplished at that school to be proud of. Instead, not even the white teachers, who are entrusted with their learning, took sufficient action. This teaching moment was lost and as usual, it is the black community who has had to point out the obvious to us all. While I am here in California writing this post, in spirit today I am with the marchers and Rev. Sharpton and I apologize to the black students for what they had to endure in now, the 21st century. I thought we had made some small progress over the last 40-50 years but we haven't

Speak out and be involved.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

General Abizaid on Iran pursuing Nuclear weapons

Today, General Abizaid is quoted saying, "the world could live with a nuclear-armed regime in Tehran." He goes on to say, "Iran is not a suicide nation," then adds, "I mean, they may have some people in charge that don't appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon."

The Iranians are aware, he said, that the United States has a far superior military capability.

"I believe that we have the power to deter Iran, should it become nuclear," he said, referring to the theory that Iran would not risk a catastrophic retaliatory strike by using a nuclear weapon against the United States.

"There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran," Abizaid said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. "Let's face it, we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we've lived with a nuclear China, and we're living with (other) nuclear powers as well."

(For the rest of the article click here.

Back in August 26, 2006 I wrote the following post titled, "Iran's Nuclear ambitions: What's all the fuss?" and I took a little heat for it. Here's a reprint of my post then and an anonymous comment from a reader:

"So Iran wants to have Nuclear technology, maybe even a few Nuclear bombs. What's all the fuss about? We have thousands of Nuclear bombs and stood successfully against a powerful Soviet Union in the Cold war. If you can remember back that far, it was the strategy of "Mutual Assured Destruction" that kept the weapons in check. Seems to me the same strategy would work here. So let's stop all the huffing and puffing and falling into the neocons mind trap that has been baited lately to get all of us scared and willing to consider a first strike option on their facilities. Don't be fooled by the scare tactics. It didn't work in the Cold war and it won't work here either. Preemptive strikes are now going to be a thing of the past. As Iran and others get the bomb, we are going to have to use diplomacy to work with the world and that means that Israel will have to change its approaches too. It will take a different mindset than the arrogant one we have displayed during the Bush/Cheney years, which by the way should be considered the worst Presidency in the history of our great nation. Looking back, the "Silent Majority" fell asleep during these past 6 years and are just awakening in time for the mid term November Congressional elections. Can't wait to hear their first yawn! Goodbye neocons. :)


Anonymous said...
Iran has been -rather openly- supplying Hezbollah for years, and you think it's no big deal that Iran gets a few nukes?

You really think that the same kind of deterrence that worked with the Soviets will work with terrorists and their suppliers in an asymmetrical environment? If a nuke from Iran goes off in Central Park, who do we retaliate against? Tehran? Should we nuke that city and kill a million innocent people? Or burn off southern Lebanon, and kill thousands of other innocents to get the Hez we want?

8:26 PM
Charles Amico said...

My friend, the type of Bombs Iran is pursuing would be delievered by Missile. That is why they are also developing Long Range Missiles capable of reaching the U.S. You may be confusing "suitcase bombs" with the ones Iraq is wanting to develop. And suitcase bombs can be made now with any nuclear material available in our own country, if terrorists stole the material. That is why it is so important to focus our attention on securing our own borders and all chemical, biological and nuclear materials that could be used to cause great damage within our borders.

I rest my earlier case and site General Abizaid's comments in defense of my earlier post.

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Where's the Center in the Iraq debate?

I consider myself a Centrist. However, I find myself writing Blogs about the Iraq debate, much more Left than in the middle of the debate between Republicans and Democrats. Is the Centrist position to stay the course in Iraq for the long haul, supporting the military's tactics and waving the flag or is it advocating an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and bringing all the troops home?

It appears that the Democrats have found a new middle ground and are staking it out. It is to ensure the well being of our troops by ensuring that they spend as much time at home with their families as they spend in Iraq. This Amendment to the funding Bill is being put forward by Sen. Webb D-VA. Yesterday on Meet the Press Sen. John Kerry D-MA argued for a change in mission there to training the Iraqi Army, fighting al Qaeda and securing the borders of Iraq. It looks as though the Democrats have found the middle and are trying to stake out this middle ground and bring along some Republicans with them.

Being a Centrist it was difficult arguing for the exact middle of previous arguments between Republicans and Democrats because the American people had moved away from the Republicans to the point where over 70% wanted the troops home. This middle ground seems more reasonable and balanced and should garner enough support for Moderate Republicans to leave President Bush with his unyielding position, to join Democrats. Let's hope we can bring along the American people with this Centrist position. We may lose some Democrats on this issue but that might not be a bad thing if a more reasonable course of action in Iraq would emerge.

The missing element in this entire Iraq equation was articulated yesterday by Senator Kerry. He asked, "Where's Condi Rice?" I had posted a topic on her whereabouts back on July 9th in a piece titled, "Where's Condoleezza Rice? " Here's that post:

"With all the talk that we can't win militarily in Iraq and that we need a diplomatic solution, where's Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hiding? Has anyone seen her in the past 30-45 days? Could it be she went back to Stanford to teach summer courses, or is she taking a long needed vacation with the Iraqi parliament this summer?"

With the Congress ready to bring up some Amendments to the funding of the war Bills to include endorsing the Iraqi Study Group recommendations for a diplomatic push to involve Iran, Syria and other neighbors of Iraq, Condi isn't to be found anywhere. But then again, she has had plenty of time to get those parties to the table to discuss diplomatic solutions to end the violence. We may need someone other than Condi for this as she is reminding me daily of FEMA's 'Brownie'."

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

U.S. Fatalities for the first 2 weeks of September

U.S. Fatalities for the first 2 weeks in September totaled 39. The first week of September had 19. We are at a rate at least equal to last year's data. We may surpass that number and unfortunately could reach as many as 80 this month. The trend is still in the wrong direction and must challenge the picture General Petraeus gave us this past week regarding Iraq.

Sept. 2006 72
Sept. 2005 49

In the photo above, there are actually about 130 graves marked in this Arlington National Cemetery photo. That's a lot of deaths. Compare that to the 3,781 deaths so far from this war and you get a small picture of the price we have paid as a country in Blood. Multiply that 3,781 deaths by at least 2 parents and a minimum of 20 extended family members and you are soon up to impacting directly 83,182 Americans affected. Add the casualties of over 27,000 which multiplied by 22 and that equals about 600,000 affected by this war directly. I could go on and on but you get the picture.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Bush's grandiosity & the Republican's dilemma

So I boycotted the speech and today I am very glad I did. In what I learn this morning, President All Supreme Wise One, the Decider, Bush, didn't let America down. He showed us the lengths his is willing to go to continue with his Denial of the reality of what has happened in Iraq. If he were someone's patient in therapy, they might conclude that he has a sense of grandiosity and is not really here in his body but rather in some far off distant la la land. This character is often portrayed in movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, where someone is running around the Mental Ward thinking they are General Patten or some other figure. Heck, he probably thinks he is President, for all we know. In any event it seems that we are now going to have an enduring relationship with Iraq, similar to the one we have with South Korea, even though there may never be an Iraq if they can't get their differences worked out, which now seems even more impossible than it did a few days ago. The Oil Revenues sharing Bill looks like it bit the proverbial dust and the Sheik that was helping us get rid of al Quaida is now no more, being blown up by said terrorists.

Now everyone wants to know what the Democrats are going to do in response. I wonder more what the Republicans are going to do? He is one of their own you know. He's like the uncle no one wants to discuss to strangers and is a well-guarded family secret that he has gone mad. Et Tu Brutus.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

What should be done and Who should do it regarding China's defective and dangerous products?

Should Toy makers like Mattell be responsible for fixing these problems or should the Federal or State government be responsible or should China be held responsible? The answer is none of these should be. These problems can be solved easily. Throw away the toys and do not buy any other products from China. Take out a law suit against Toy makers and sit back and watch what happens. Buy only Made in U.S.A.! Problem solved. Don't you just love the free enterprise system?!

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Iran vs. US. We have more in common than you think!

All this bluster about Iran. President Bush and VP Cheney are always rattling their sabers threatening them with an attack. Bush has called Iran one of the axis of evil countries. But we have more in common with Iran that we have differences.

For example, the Iranian people love the American people and our way of life. The cleric leaders impose their will on the people just as our President imposes his will on us with the Iraq war. Their "elected" officials do the bidding of their leaders and are toothless just like our Congress and Senate. The Iranian people are basically a gentle people as are the American people. It's just that both countries have their rabid ones controlling the rest of the population. Many reasonable Americans want a dialogue opened with Iran. Many Iranians want a dialogue with Americans. But the leaders of both countries taunt each other, like children. Make that spoiled children.

See we do have a lot in common with Iran.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Boycott the President's speech on Thursday night

The major networks did not carry the Petraeus and Crocker testimony in the House of Representatives on Monday or the Senate testimony yesterday. Only after watching it on C-Span could you get a true picture of the lack of real progress made in Iraq and the pathetic lack of strategic thinking General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker manifested. They appealed again to our fears and portrayed a picture for us of Iraq "falling apart" if we leave. Petraeus was a good soldier and kept his comments entirely within the scope of Iraq without commenting on some broader issues like whether the Army was broken, whether we were safer in America or not (a question pressed by Senator John Warner R-VA)

A message needs to be sent to President Bush loud and clear. That message: We're not listening to you anymore! Boycott his Prime-Time speech to the Nation on Thursday night and punish the major Networks for carrying it, rather than the testimony before Congress and the Senate they chose to ignore. Also, the President’s speech will be nothing but B.S. I would rather watch the PBR Bull Riding show for real entertainment, without the stench!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Republicans need to win but that victory comes at a price

The Republican Party is at a critical choice point. They have, with few exceptions, supported this President and his Iraq policy valiantly. But if the Republicans have any chance to save their Party in the next election and possibly its future in more distant elections, they would be wise to abandon this President's Iraq policy and join with Democrats to try to salvage something of a bipartisan effort to end this war.

There was a song in the Wizard of Oz sung by the Scarecrow, which seems prophetic at this moment in time. That song, "If I only had a brain", metaphorically should haunt Republicans to rise above the fray, work as they have in past Administrations and difficult times for our country and work for the common good. There is no common good extending this war past the next year or two. It is inevitable we will be out of Iraq at some point in the future. Now is the time to join forces with Moderate Democrats like Senator Jim Webb of VA and others and work out a new course of action for Iraq. Senator Warner and others, who have served as Republican leaders of distinction, deserve our respect and our ears to hear their calls for moderation in policy. But those calls have fallen on the deaf ears of this President who has disgraced his Party and will go down in history as one of the worst Presidents we have had. But I will leave that call to historians. For now, it is time to seize the moment and save the Party.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Iraq, War & Politics: I'm tired! Are you?

I guess after General Petraeus's report to Congress today along with one from Ambassador Ryan Crocker, I am a bit exhausted. It was 6 plus hours of testimony where the outcome had been decided in advance by both sides of the debate. It wasn't even covered by major networks. I had to watch it on C-Span. Both men were articulate, although not as informative as many wanted. To be honest, we are in this war past the 2008 election, as nothing will take place to get us out. I don't like it, but I am going to live with it.

Why you ask? I'll give you the best reasons I can. First of all, I'm tired of the whole thing. I have been disappointed by this President, VP and entire Administration for the continued subversion of the Constitution. I am tired that only one or two Republican leaders like Sen. Chuck Hagel, Sen. John Warner and Rep. Ron Paul, haven't put their party ahead of the country and the Constitution. And I am tired of the impotent Democrats who removed their saber tooth after getting a majority in the last election and must have checked it, along with their spines, at the door of Congress and the Senate.

I'm tired of trying to convince the public through my writings here to mobilize and get involved while they are too busy with taking their kids to school, shopping at Wal-Mart, working at their jobs relentlessly each week. I'm tired of trying to convince others that they can make a difference because they truly don't care.

So here's where I'm coming out of this. If the Military families, who bear the greatest sacrifice for the consequences of this war, aren't protesting in the streets in significant numbers, and we don't have an Army that is going AWOL in mass, then I say keep at it this war and let's focus instead on Britany Spears or some good entertainment like the new Fall schedule of shows. Then we'll be close to Christmas shopping, which always starts before Thanksgiving. Before you know it we will be enjoying the next summer. Wake me up on November 3rd, 2008 so I can vote on November 4th, 2008. I feel better now, almost rested. But then, there’s tomorrow.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Senator Joe Biden's flawed reasoning for continued funding of the war.

God bless Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) presidential candidate and the most trusted Senator when it comes to Foreign Relations. This morning on Meet The Press, he articulated his position as to why he won't cut off the funds for the war even though he believes there is no hope of the current strategy in Iraq working. His rationale is this, as long as there is a single soldier left in Iraq, he won't cut off the funds because the funding is paying for special armored vehicles that can stand the I.E.D. explosions which have killed or injured thousand of our troops. These vehicles cost Billions of dollars and he wants to make sure they are made.

Here's what's flawed in the Senator's position. Let's look at recent data. Since August 1st, there were 100 deaths of our soldiers. 50% of the deaths were caused by I.E.D.'s. The next single cause of the deaths was because of Hostile fire at 24% and helicopter crashes accounted for about 20%.

So the best we could do using Senator Biden's reasoning would be to save 50% of the deaths. This is very good indeed if we could pull it off in the next 6-9 months. But the vehicles are still being built and may not be in theater far beyond a year from now. But what about the other 50% your reasoning can't save? Theses new vehicles will not save lives for soldiers walking around on missions in Iraq from such things as hostile fire, small arms fire and snipers. So the best we can do is not good enough, Senator Biden.

By voting to cut off the funding, you are assuring that eventually the troops will start to come home, safe with their families and recovering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.), which by the way doesn't physically deform or injure the body, but instead ravages the mind, not only of the soldier, but of their families as well because they must live with their loved ones mental damage for years to come. Those vehicles can’t do a thing for P.T.S.D. You see Senator, the only thing that can be done to honor the troops and their sacrifice, is to admit the truth of the situation and bring them home. Anything else, is truly cowardice and I respect you but think your reasoning can't stand the rigor of a logical analysis without crumbling. Senator, changing your view here could help change the course of this war. Many listen to you and could follow your recommendations. If you believe these vehicles are necessary anyway, just fund the vehicles but strip away everything else and vote to bring the troops home.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

U.S. Fatalities for the first week in September

U.S. Fatalities for the first week in September totalled 19, an average of almost 3 per day.

All this while the following is about to happen:

Largest U.S. Embassy in the World to open in Iraq in September

Plans have been moving ahead for an Embassy in Iraq and that its total cost is expected to be $592 Million and occupy over 120 acres of prime land in Baghdad. It is to be the largest Embassy in the world. It should hold at least 1000 personnel according to reports and is scheduled to open in September. They claim this has been built with blast proof walls and it will be safe. This prediction is brought to you from the same people that expected this to be a cake walk and that the Iraqi's would welcome us with flowers.

My thoughts on this are this was another bizarre byproduct of this Administration. My suggestion is that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney should be the first residents of this Embassy and move their offices there, as soon as possible. I believe in accountability for this war and that there needs to be consequences for good and bad decisions. If this is a good idea, then those that think it is a good idea should be willing to be the first residents there. Besides, if the Iraqi's love us so much they should welcome the both of you with open arms. I'm sure they have that in mind if you choose to take up the offer, but the "arms" they will offer are of a different variety, I would suspect.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Who'd have believed it: Bush and Bin Laden on the same side

After listening to excerpts of the tape by Osama Bin Laden today, it is obvious that both Bush and Bin Laden want us in Iraq to continue the fight there. It is a great recruiting tool for Bin Laden and for this President it continues his denial of the truth, and keeps us fighting so that someday history will say it was someone else's fault the war was lost.

Even Osama knows the truth about the Democrats. It was like a sharp stick in the eye to them. Unfortunately the cowards that occupy those elected seats are afraid to not pass the supplemental bill the President has asked for, $50 Billion more to be exact, and will supply the money to continue the war and the exploitation by contractors like Haliburton and others sucking us dry. You wan't this war over? Stop passing the money bills or face defeat in the 2008 elections. We have all had enough of this hypocrisy.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

UPDATE: Frank Rich, NY Times, says casualty numbers manipulated during Chris Matthews "Hardball" show.

Frank Rich, NY Times reporter, was on Chris Matthews last night. He is sharp and willing to write the truth, as he has done many times. What pleased me yesterday about MSNBC's Hardball was that for the first time Rich said that the Administration is playing with the numbers for both U.S. and Iraqi casualties and they have been for some time.

This issue for me has been the subject of several of my posts in the past 4 months. It was encouraging to hear the same from Frank Rich's mouth. Now, if we can get them to print an article on the topic, we might raise more awareness as to the lengths this Administration is willing to go to twist the facts and lie about conditions in this war of choice in Iraq. When the transcript for Hardball comes out tonight I will update this post with his actual comments. Stay tuned.

UPDATE Sept.6th.

As promised above, here is the text from yesterday's Chris Matthews Hardball show where Frank Rich is answering a question from Chris.

RICH: Well, I agree with you (Chris). Part of it is there‘s not enough fact checking by the press. There‘s so many erroneous statements being thrown out there, including right now about what‘s going on with casualties in Iraq, both American and civilian. Very little of it is fact checked. It becomes a cloud of sort of disinformation, and that‘s been true since the hyping of the WMDs before we went in.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Update: U.S. Fatalities for August surprisingly jump!

I posted a few days ago under “US. Fatalities in Iraq for the month of August” that there were 81 deaths. The Bush Administration had hyped “the number was lower at 79 and lower than previous months” and that was the press on all major outlets including CNN. I look back today on September 5th at the actual numbers posted for August and surprisingly there are now 84 recorded deaths in Iraq of US. Forces, according to D.O.D and posted at

What does this do to the news of a week ago.? It proves we were deceived for political reasons again by this Administration in their leadership over the military in what they want reported back to us. With 84 deaths of US soldiers in Iraq for August, they cannot claim that the numbers are going lower each month. This year, August, has surpassed July in deaths. In fact, it turns out that this August was just like any other August of the war, it surpassed the number of deaths in July as it has for the past 4 years. So everything you have heard has been used to manipulate the truth to support a position that is counter to what Americans want by an overwhelming number of us, 72% to be exact, from the last poll taken. We want the troops to be brought home and this President has no intention to do it and in fact is trying to manipulate facts on the ground so that both political parties must keep the war going on indefinitely. Shame on you, Mr. Bush. You are not my President, as you no longer deserve the respect to be called Mr. President, just George or hey you, will do.

I have updated my numbers and chart above to reflect the truth. 84 brave men and women died in Iraq in August. Bless and comfort their families in their grief. And I hope that George is tormented by the agony he has caused for so many families across America and in Iraq.

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U.S. has lost 6 Nuclear Weapons. Have a nice day!

This is a true story on the CNN morning news by Barbara Star. An Air Force B-52 Bomber had flown on a mission from North Dakota to Texas and the crew didn't know 6 Nuclear Bombs were on board. A major investigation is underway as to how the bombs got on the plane in the first place, and how they were undiscovered by the crew until they landed. This is such a serious problem the President was notified. So much for continued incompetence.

If you find any others you happen to come upon, please contact either 911 or your local first responders. If that fails try calling FEMA, ask if Brownie is still hanging around there and can help you, and, if no one is there, advertise them on E-Bay and someone will buy them and take them off your hands. It feels like the 3 Stooges are minding our government most of the time, doesn't it?


Keith Olbermann and the Media on George Bush

The media has been culpable in Bush and Cheney's deception of the American people over the past 6 years. They were afraid to point out his lies, even though there was data to the contrary. But there has been a bit more courage of late to call them on this. Yesterday, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC did such in his Special Comment segment. Keith is not knew calling Bush on his lies and deceit. But this latest brand of courage was not only refreshing but also necessary if there is anything that can stir the conscience of the American people in a call to action. It is very important that you see this Video from his show for yourself. This is not some lefty offbeat news show. This is Main St. media cast in prime time.

We The People must not be complacent here. These next few months are going to be the most important of the Bush years and we must collectively refuse to allow the hijacking of our country to continue this war. If this means protesting, large demonstrations, calling on Democrats to have courage or face defeat in the next election, we must raise the stakes or, as the President said in his own words, we will be fighting this war for at least a decade to come and everything that isn't broken will be by then and we will be broke as a Nation.

We can't just blame Bush and Cheney and the Media, we must look inward and ask ourselves what is it going to take to get us into taking some action as an individual. Have you no courage left. At least I, and others, write Blogs to draw your attention and hopefully get you news that isn't so in front and center of your morning news shows, newspapers or other Podcasts you read or listen to each day. We The People are at the fundamental core of complacency and deserve everything we get from this President and his Administration. You voted for him and WE didn't get someone else elected instead.

You might also want to read a great posting this morning titled, "A Reflection on the 9/11 Terror Attacks & George W. Bush" by Shaun Mullen at Kiko's House, on the approaching 6th year anniversary of 9/11. Here's the Link to it.

If you can't access the Video link, I have copied the text here below.

TEXT of Keith Olbermann's Special Comment segment on 9/4/07:

"And so he is back from his annual surprise gratuitous photo-op in Iraq, and what a sorry spectacle it was. But it was nothing compared to the spectacle of one unfiltered, unguarded, horrifying quotation in the new biography to which Mr. Bush has consented.

As he deceived the troops at Al-Asad Air Base yesterday with the tantalizing prospect that some of them might not have to risk being killed and might get to go home, Mr. Bush probably did not know that, with his own words, he had already proved that he had been lying, is lying and will be lying about Iraq.

He presumably did not know that there had already appeared those damning excerpts from Robert Draper's book “Dead Certain."

“I'm playing for October-November," Mr. Bush said to Draper. That, evidently, is the time during which, he thinks he can sell us the real plan, which is “to get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence."

Comfortable, that is, with saying about Iraq, again quoting the President, “stay... longer."

And there it is. We've caught you. Your goal is not to bring some troops home, maybe, if we let you have your way now. Your goal is not to set the stage for eventual withdrawal. You are, to use your own disrespectful, tone-deaf word, playing at getting the next Republican nominee to agree to jump into this bottomless pit with you, and take us with him, as we stay in Iraq for another year, and another, and another, and anon.

Everything you said about Iraq yesterday, and everything you will say, is a deception, for the purpose of this one cynical, unacceptable, brutal goal: perpetuating this war indefinitely.

War today, war tomorrow, war forever!

And you are playing at it! Playing!

A man with any self respect, having inadvertently revealed such an evil secret, would have already resigned and fled the country! You have no remaining credibility about Iraq.

And yet, yesterday at Al-Asad, Mr. Bush kept playing, and this time, using the second of his two faces.

The president told reporters, “They (General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker) tell me if the kind of success we are now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer American forces."

And so, Mr. Bush got his fraudulent headlines today. “Bush May Bring Some Troops Home."

While the reality is, we know from what he told Draper, that the president's true hope is that they will not come home; but that they will stay there, because he is keeping them there now, in hope that those from his political party fighting to succeed him will prolong this unendurable disaster into the next decade.

But, to a country dying of thirst, the president seemed to vaguely promise a drink from a full canteen -- a promise predicated on the assumption that he is not lying.

Yet you are lying, Mr. Bush. Again. But now, we know why.

You gave away more of yourself than you knew in the Draper book. And you gave away more still, on the arduous trip back out of Iraq hours in the air, without so much as a single vacation.

“If you look at my comments over the past eight months," you told reporters, “it's gone from a security situation in the sense that we're either going to get out and there will be chaos, or, more troops. Now, the situation has changed, where I'm able to speculate on the hypothetical."

Mr. Bush, the only "hypothetical" here is that you are not now holding our troops hostage. You have no intention of withdrawing them. But that doesn't mean you can't pretend you're thinking about it, does it?

That is your genius as you see it, anyway. You can deduce what we want. We, the people, remember us? And then use it against us.

You can hold that canteen up and promise it to the parched nation. And the untold number of Americans whose lives have not been directly blighted by Iraq or who do not realize that their safety has been reduced and not increased by Iraq, they will get the bullet points: "Bush is thinking about bringing some troops home. Bush even went to Iraq."

You can fool some of the people all of the time, can't you, Mr. Bush? You are playing us!

And as for the most immediate victims of the president's perfidy and shameless manipulation of those troops -- yesterday sweating literally as he spoke at Al-Asad Air Base -- tonight, again sweating figuratively in The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death, the president saved, for them, the most egregious "playing" in the entire trip.

“I want to tell you this about the decision, about my decision about troop levels. Those decisions will be based on a calm assessment by our military commanders on the conditions on the ground, not a nervous reaction by Washington politicians to poll results in the media."

One must compliment Mr. Bush's writer. That, perhaps, was the mostly perfectly-crafted phrase of his presidency. For depraved indifference to democracy, for the craven projection of political motives onto those trying to save lives and save a nation, for a dismissal of the value of the polls and the importance of the media, for a summary of all he does not hold dear about this nation or its people nothing could top that.

As if you listened to all the "calm assessments" of our military commanders rather than firing the ones who dared say the emporer has no clothes, and the president, no judgment.

As if your entire presidency was not a “nervous reaction," and you yourself, nothing but a Washington politician.

As if “"he media" does not largely divide into those parts your minions are playing, and those others who unthinkingly and uncritically serve as your echo chamber, at a time when the nation's future may depend on the airing of dissent.

And as if those polls were not so overwhelming, and not so clearly reflective of the nation's agony and the nation's insistence.

But this president has ceased to listen. This president has decided that night is day, and death is life, and enraging the world against us is safety. And this laziest of presidents, actually interrupted his precious time off to fly to Iraq to play at a photo opportunity with soldiers, some of whom will on his orders be killed before the year maybe the month is out.

Just over 500 days remain in this presidency. Consider the dead who have piled up on the battlefield in these last 500 days.

Consider the singular fraudulence of this president's trip to Iraq yesterday, and the singular fraudulence of the selling of the Petraeus Report in these last 500 days.

Consider how this president has torn away at the fabric of this nation in a manner of which terrorists can only dream in these last 500 days.

And consider again how this president has spoken to that biographer: that he is “playing for October-November." The goal in Iraq is “to get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence." Consider how this revelation contradicts every other rationale he has offered in these last 500 days.

In the context of all that now, consider these next 500 days.

Mr. Bush, our presence in Iraq must end. Even if it means your resignation. Even if it means your impeachment. Even if it means a different Republican to serve out your term. Even if it means a Democratic Congress and those true patriots among the Republicans standing up and denying you another penny for Iraq, other than for the safety and the safe conduct home of our troops.

This country cannot run the risk of what you can still do to this country in the next 500 days.

Not while you are playing."

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