New Civilization News: "Staying the Course"    
 "Staying the Course"30 comments
picture15 Jun 2006 @ 23:12, by Paul Quintanilla

Russ Feingold for President?

When a new administration finally arrives (if we have a new administration in 2009) it will have a hell of a job reversing the national mood and overall national psyche. That is, if it wants to.

As a rule, new administrations offers some continuance. President Reagan, however, was an exception. He purposefully lunged the country toward the far right. He had a powerful and growing base. And now Bush and his neocon philosophs and business associates have taken the country a step further. There is even speculation today that we may have actually tipped, or are about to tip, into an American form of fascism. Some form of a nativist corporate oligarchy which pretty much runs the show. And it does so with a great deal of fear driven compliance from the American people. George Bush should feel completely at home in such a world.

So let's say a new, progressive administration takes over in 2009. We progressives hope, of course, that there will be no continuance. Many of us hope there will be a complete reversal in order to return to a state of calm national sanity. For President Bush offers us nothing but perpetual war. Against what? Evil? An elusive enemy we and our allies will never be able to even pinpoint or fully locate? An enemy which, in truth, our self serving alliances and current military and political activities in the Middle East may actually energize and even help create? A fiction called “Islamo fascism?”

This approach, the one Bush offers us, implies an unending war. They have even come up with a catchy title for it: “The Long War.” But the American people are becoming increasingly tired of war. Nor has the Bush administration explained how they intend to continue to wage war by bringing it to an end simultaneously. At this point, it appears, they can still promise that by merely “staying the course” victory will eventually be ours. But how will that be possible considering the nature of the enemy they have offered? One which will not merely go away with American military victories: which, in fact, grows in a subterranean manner as our enemies’ hate, anger, and desire for vengeance grows. As if our military were only stoking up a distant hornets’ nest.

But to change course will require an about face the American people may not be willing to go along with. At least not at this moment. And to bring an end to this war will require a great deal of political courage on the part of a new president and his administration. A courage few Democrats have shown. For many, perhaps a majority of Americans, still believe at this time that the only way to fight terrorism is with military force. By waging war in the Middle East. By fighting them “there” instead of “here.”

This is the climate the Bush administration has created in this country. And clearly they rely upon the fears and deep uncertainties of the American people to maintain their ongoing influence and direction. For Bush’s propaganda never ends: indeed, the president appears to be constantly campaigning for his war, as if this were his paramount role, creating enthusiasm with his unending tired lies and promises: displaying optimism, appealing to the nationalist and jingo sentiments of many followers.

If a more sensible, calm, and clear headed approach is offered to the American people, one which isn't sustained upon widespread fear and a policy of reliance on continued violence, that new president will have to accept the risk that when another terrorist attack occurs (and in all likelihood there will be more) he or she will be blamed for having allowed the attack to occur.

Why? Because, the far right will tell us, the new president wasn’t sufficiently "tough" on terrorism, didn’t “stay the course.” Wasn’t aggressive enough in this unending war, “The Long War.” And they will say that the attack is proof that they were always right.

President Bush, let’s not forget, has obtained a great deal of mileage so far out of this argument. And it still remains, even today, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, his final rhetorical straw. The one he and his White House allies shamelessly and continuously fling out in the face of all facts and reality. It is a simplistic argument which clears up the doubts of his loyal followers.

You and I, and many millions of Americans, can distinguish between Saddam and Osama: we know that the president has lied to us and that there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11. That in truth nothing has actually substantially changed since 9/11, except, of course, American attitudes toward terrorism and the Middle East. That, if anything, Iraq has become a more hospitable home for terrorists than it was under Saddam. That our terrorist enemies are still quite powerful, hiding, and strong. And that the world has actually become far more dangerous since 9/11.

Clearly we need a change. Millions of us long for a saner, better, and calmer political climate in America. A climate in which courage, competence, the rule of law, intelligence and understanding once again characterize the national scene. An America no longer resented by the rest of the world for its ongoing bullying, arrogance, and shameless lies and deceptions. And millions of us hope for an America which can be proud of the democratic and progressive ideals it can once again offer the world. Even though, it must be admitted, we have much in our past to live down. Indeed, many of our problems today derive from our former imperial adventures. Iran for example: where history in the neocon world view only begins with the ayatollahs. Never mind Mossadegh.

But will a new president have the courage to expose himself to charges of “weakness?” Of being “soft” on terror, of not “staying the course?” Or even of “losing Iraq?” For when the United States finally withdraws, perhaps in shame and defeat, it will not be the Bush administration which accepts the blame. That they will never do. The right will accuse the left of course: they will offer a simple 2 and 2 equation - that “softness” in the face of “hate and terrorism” creates the opportunity for new terrorist attacks. That the left didn’t “stay the course.”

So the question is: will a new president have the courage to deal with the threats our country faces in a sane, sober and intelligent manner? Especially when we can be fairly certain there will more terrorist attacks? Some of which may be extremely murderous and destructive. For the American people, under President Bush, have been conditioned into believing military force is the only effective means for dealing with terrorism: his “Long War.” And, let’s not forget, there are also the underlying scandals. The true root causes for this war.

Now we have to see what kind of candidates the two parties will offer in 2008. The Republicans may even be tired of the Bush dynasty and may chose someone more moderate. Or they may chose a pragmatic version of Bush. A corporate imperialist who’s more competent and convincing. A strong man offering conservative values under the veil of seeking worldwide peace and stability.

The question from this end of the telescope, for we are looking, of course, far into the future, is: will the Democrats chose a candidate who will offer the country (and the world) genuine, new leadership? Who will not merely offer a tepid and expedient form of neocon post-Bush continuity (Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman for example), but will be able to convince our fellow Americans that new approaches are required? Who can properly gain the trust of the American people by awakening the country at large from the spell it is currently in? By offering a new sense of national sanity and reality, one which many of us can see has long been lacking? And by (mirabile dictu) conceding that a great deal of corruption has guided our course for all these years?

The America of George Bush is a dark, superstitious, and fantastic place. Many demons occupy the air of his America: and many of our fellow Americans have accepted this new vision of reality - a country dominated by fear and a growing acceptance of authoritarianism. (As well as widespread corruption and a fanatical religious hysteria.) We have seen similar waves of national mindlessness before, in other countries, as well as our own. When insane fantasies appeared to dominate the national debate. For imperialism appears to be always based upon lies: Mexico, Hawaii, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, the Philippines, Iran, on and on,. But our national popular discontent is rising today with each emerging scandal. And the American people, eventually grasping, hopefully, that they have been lied to and misled, may be willing to consider a new approach. Will the ancient checks and balances of our democracy finally save us? Will we adhere finally to the republican dream which Lincoln and the Founders transcendentally defined or will we capitulate to the demons in the air of George Bush’s America?

Will we have a candidate in 2008 brave enough to change the course? A candidate who truly believes in the American Dream, the experiment in fairness and democracy (yes, it has had its faults) the Founders hoped for and offered us? The one they hoped to bolster with their republican design deeply considering the unending upheavals of history?

Is that candidate Russ Feingold?

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15 Jun 2006 @ 23:28 by Quinty @ : An odd irony
that our war on terrorism stokes up terrorism. That which we wish to defeat we create ourselves.

Isn't it time to get out of the Middle East? To dedicate our resources to creating a clean energy program? How many more billions do we want to spend on war? How many more decades do we want to struggle over oil? Don't we wish to be a peaceful nation once again?  

16 Jun 2006 @ 07:59 by jazzolog : Thank You For These Thoughts
I've sent this article out to friends far and wide---in case you get an email from someone you don't know.

In terms of "continuance," I worry about the money. Since Reagan the national treasury has been so looted and deposited offshore into private accounts, I don't know how we ever can regain a footing by which to solve the overwhelming social and global problems. We of the middle class, now carrying the weight of all national expenditure, surely can afford no more taxes from anywhere. Maybe Vaxen will comment (with his notions of money) and save us.

PS It may interest you all that has picked up quinty's article and currently has it on the site's front page~~~


I'm reading an interesting book, by Greg Palast, called "Armed Madhouse." According to him - would it surprise you? - our foreign policy hasn't anything to do at all with what the White House says it is. It's all about oil, mostly, and huge economic power games. The rich and powerful, according to Palast - would you believe? - appear to be only interested in increasing their own wealth and power. Even if it means the middle and lower economic classes go deeper into the hole. I think he may overdo Osama's interest in oil. But strange things are happening out there, that's for sure.

But for whatever factual errors the book may have I think Palast is sniffing around in the right overall areas. And even if he may be off on a detail or two (what do I know?) he's nevertheless correct. And on track. The sad thing being that for most Americans Palast may as well be from Mars. I hope I'm wrong. Please correct me if I am.


17 Jun 2006 @ 02:00 by jerryvest : Great overview of our situation, Quinty.
I agree, it would be great to feel that we were a nation that had real values and were respected by others around the world as a nation of peace builders rather than war mongers.

Perhaps our candidate to turn this tide is Russ Feingold. Thanks for your thoughtful message.


Thanks. I would like to think Feingold has a chance, though I doubt it. He offends too many people by loudly speaking simple truths. That's impolite, right? And displays he's not a true team player. A good team player, you know, adheres to whatever the current party line is. Russ prefers to look at the facts. (At least I think he does.) And, under many common circumstances, that won't get anyone anywhere. That's life......


17 Jun 2006 @ 09:32 by jazzolog : 93 to 6
Our Nation Has Six Senators, The Military Industrial Media Complex Has 93
Submitted by davidswanson on Fri, 2006-06-16 14:11.
On our side: Feingold, Harkin, Boxer, Kennedy, Kerry, and Byrd.
On their side: Hillary Clinton and the other 92.
Senate Rejects U.S. Troop Pullout in Iraq
(AP) Congress plunged into divisive election-year debate on the Iraq war Thursday as the U.S. military death toll reached 2,500. The Senate soundly rejected a call to withdraw combat troops by year's end, and House Republicans laid the groundwork for their own vote. In a move Democrats criticized as gamesmanship, Senate Republicans brought up the withdrawal measure and quickly dispatched it _ for now _ on a 93-6 vote.  

18 Jun 2006 @ 23:45 by iamramtha : Interesting Article
Unfortunatley solving problems in Iraq or anywhere else on our planet will not be done with politics,or religion. A change from Republican to Democrat is just that. A shift from one political party to another. More polotical game playing. It is very unfortunate in this day and time. But to be a polotician it is impossible to be honest. Honesty and trust are a rare commodity in our world today. Only when we realize that we are all one will this go away. We are all human beings,humans-being. Not muslum,or christian,or jew. But all apart of the one that is humanity. Living for the betterment of all not just some. As long as we see ourselves as seperate. It will continue as it has for thousands of years. When we look in the eyes of another and see ourselves. Only then will we see to hurt another is to hurt ourselves. To cherish the other is to cherish ourself. It really is that simple.  

19 Jun 2006 @ 02:02 by vaxen : No change...
because the 'fundaments' are wrong. An illigitimate government trying to force its' 'legislative democracy' on all the 50 Republics through deception, guile, deliberate obfuscation of the truth. "In Commerce the Truth is Sovereign."

That this country was founded as a Republic, a Public Thing, from the Latin Res, or thing, and Public,meaning Public; that each and every State is a Republic is fact! In 1933 or thereabouts there was a switchover which really only affects Washington D.C. and territories and spaces within the several Republics, known as States, granted unto them by said entities, or legal fictions, but through subterfuge and "words of art" or "terms of art" it was made to appear under color of law that the united States were a party to that corruption. Oh, it started much earlier than that...

You need to concentrate on the real LAW of this land. It doesn't come out of Washington D.C. nor is it to be found in the corrupted courts of this nation. The Re-Public, not to be confused with the so called 'Republican party,' a scam, is still very much alive though empty... almost.

There are those of us who know its' sacred halls very well. We also know how to defeat the thieves and liars that have usurped our birth-rights. Fraud is fraud. In Commerce there is one helluva remedy awaiting all those who know the truth.

Forget both parties. Find out who you are according to the real law of this world: Commerce. Same Law of Commerce that was functioning very well 6000 years ago and is still being applied today.

By pass the corrupt courts and let them know, let them taste, the power of true law. In able to do that you will have to study and work for the knowledge that will set you free!  

19 Jun 2006 @ 15:20 by rayon : In my dreems
wonder courts the idea that script writers for budding politicians roam sites like NCN covertly for new political agenda benders. Could be anyone of the many contributors here, quite an incentive!  

20 Jun 2006 @ 03:14 by vaxen : However...
if you are seriously concerned with the issues then take a gander at this issue and understand what is actually going on behind the many facades created to keep you busy anywhere other than where you really could begin to see "The Big Picture."

Universities take up Global Justice!

Trisakti and Chittagong make tremendous start

In August, 2004 Rodney Shakespeare was in Jakarta, Indonesia for the inauguration ceremony of the postgraduate programme in Islamic Economics & Finance at The Triskati University. Rodney (possibly with Global Table member Tarek el-Diwany) will be teaching the subject of endogenous loans which is the first big step to end the imposition of interest. Interest is generally unnecessary and endogenous loans are the method by which:—
• public capital projects are built for half the present cost
• private capital ownership becomes widespread throughout the population
• small businesses are freed from the burden of interest
• “green” capital projects become commercially viable.

AND people get a basic income!

Then, just before Christmas, a big conference at the International Islamic University in Chittagong, Bangladesh also welcomed Global Justice endogenous loans. The university has now incorporated The Institute of Political Economy into the university. The Institute will become the regional centre for the promotion of the new thinking and the Bangladesh Minister of Industries has already asked to receive the Institute’s proposals.

Moreover, the Chittagong academics are showing interest in another aspect of Global thinking — Chris Cook’s partnership proposals.

NB. Trisakti and Chittagong are only the start. Moves are being made to contact other universities – both Western and Islamic.

Things are beginning to move!


Candidates? Better rely on those ''candied dates'' and forget the beltway ripoff. Oh, there are plenty of us that do ''walk'' and selectively study/view the Big Five Corporations' "mind wash" called 'Mass Media info-tainment. But after a 40++ hour week slaving away so they can slave away most American "working stiffs" just don't have the wherewithall to do much of anything...

Good article and your Fathers painting is really good. ;) Thanks Quinty. A new government, or none at all, is required... not the same old theatrics America has grown tired and apathetic over (also a ''mind-wash'' from cradle to grave.)

"Psy-Ops is such fun!"--- Entertrainment 101  

20 Jun 2006 @ 07:33 by vaxen : PS:
The Kennedy quote about 'myths' on the fronticepiece? Well, he didn't know a whole helluva lot about what he was talking about. He should have consulted with Joseph Cambell before making such an absurd statement. Par for the course. The Kennedy clan was corrupt from the very get go in every way imaginable. Still are... Rum, dope, all the accoutrement of the criminal right there making old Joseph a fortune plus whatever he could wangle and steal from others... Like father, like son.

The Council of Europe has issued its report on the Bush administration’s policy of kidnapping "suspected terrorists" and spiriting them off to tyrannical regimes to be tortured. US State Dept spokesperson, Sean McCormick, whose job it is to justify the criminal conduct of the Bush administration, said that he was "disappointed" in the report. Sean seemed genuinely puzzled that Europe’s oldest political organization would second-guess the sound judgment of the virtuous Bush administration or protest US violations of international law and human rights.

The only reason Americans can look themselves in the mirror is that they are clueless and have little idea of what is being done in their name. One-third of the US population actually believes that Iraq was behind 9/11 and that Bush found the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Apparently, a large percentage of the US population believes that Iran has nuclear weapons and that America is in danger of being attacked by Iran. No democracy can work when people take their responsibility as citizen so lightly as to be totally ignorant.

No democracy works period! Never has, never will... wanna know why?  

20 Jun 2006 @ 10:38 by jazzolog : Battling Dead Grandfathers
Vax presents an interesting choice this morning: let's see which one do I prefer? You mean rum & dope are corrupt? Zounds! Joe, RFKJr. hardly knew ya. Or do I want Prescott, creeping out to Geronimo's gravesite and drooling into Hitler's shoes?  

20 Jun 2006 @ 17:18 by Quinty @ : Vax -
I like those "five justices" Vax. Do you think there is any hope for us?

Many of our troops - according to one poll %90 - believe Saddam was involved in smashing the Trade Towers. Which would explain why we are there. Never believe the generals, right Vax?

And thanks for the nice comments regarding my entry and my father's art.  

20 Jun 2006 @ 23:33 by Quinty @ : In the news today....

So now our national debate (at least today) is over "staying the course" or "cutting and running" in Iraq. Those were the two options offered this evening in the equal and bipartisan debates the TV evening news shows offered: reflecting upon the the character of the debate today in the United States Senate.

If we stay the course we bloody our nose, like the recent Taylor Winky Wright fight. It becomes a matter of heart and will, of dominating and crushing these little ragheads who mutilate and slaughter our troops. I heard a talkshow righwinger today propose bombing the byjezus out of those little Arabs who can't respect our apparent superiority and authority. A local, she was really p'od over the recent beheadings. (As well we should all be.) Well, aren't all these little ragheads and Arabs our friends? What are we there for? I mean, do we bomb the bejezus out of friends? Destroy their cities after we tell them to all get out of town? is that the way *you* would treat your friend?

Nice, huh?

The other option, according to the Republicans and many, alas, Democrats, is "cutting and running." That by giving the enemy a pullout date they will merely sit back on their haunches, drink some mint tea, watch daytime TV and take it easy until we’re out and then, with a rush, return to the old violent nefarious activities they had been up to before our withdrawal. With an added vengeance. So is that a bad thing? If they don’t kill any of our troops while they wait for us to leave that would seem like a positive outcome to me. Rather than continue to kill American soldiers during the inevitable (50, a 100 years from now?) withdrawal of US forces.

Let's skip past all the infantile nuances this idiotic black and white debate offers. If the debate were at all serious it would reach down into the roots of our presence in the Middle East. We would ask ourselves why are we there and in the light of history if our immense military machine should remain? We would examine the character of this mess, and what brought us there in the first place? Wouldn’t the “news” media benefit us all by simply bringing out and discussing the fundamentals and deep rooted history of this catastrophe? And if, in the light of this background and presence, we should even stay?

The Repubs want to make hay out of this little confab and Carl Rove knows how to put the Demos in a bad light. That's all this so-called debate is.

Who ultimately pays?

At least 2 or 3 American soldiers who die every day, plus many more permanently maimed and wounded.

Thousands of innocent Iraqis.

The American taxpayer, to the tune of approx 2 billion a week.

The national psyche and inner well being of our country, which is sustaining this insane and murderous fraud.

So the Democrats are playing along with the Republicans again, allowing themselves to become defensive. And Carl Rove (or his students) is framing the national debate. I sometimes think this behavior is very expressive of human nature. Decency rarely desires to behave in the same manner as indecency. Which is one reason why the former so often allows the latter to walk all over it.

End of my nightly sermon....... for more go to: {link:|William Rivers Pitt}  

22 Jun 2006 @ 00:52 by jerryvest : "Stay the Course"
There is no Course to is totally chaotic and uncivilized in Iraq and our country has only made it worse. It's like Viet Nam and our press will not admit it, so we will just continue to lose and maim more soldiers and more innocent civilians. This is the destructive course that the Republicans choose for us and they will stay this murdering course of action, no matter what the majority of us believe. They have No Soul. They are dead inside themselves and can't find their way out of this horrible predicament that they created for us and for everyone and everything on Earth. God Help Us!!!

Thanks for this article and for William Rivers Pitt--he's right on target.  

22 Jun 2006 @ 16:36 by Quinty @ : WMD

So today's news brings us that Senator Rick Santorum has declassified proof that WMD actually existed when the US invaded. Problem is, this WMD is pre 1991 and couldn't be used to kill a bottleful of flies.

Those relying on fancy in this debate have one great rhetorical advantage: the unending empirical ability to invent as they go along. And our inability to ever completely prove they are wrong. Have you heard this joke? A guy claims he has trained his dog to keep lions off the street. His skeptical friend laughs at the absurdity of the notion and asks him to prove it. The friend smugly replies, "So do you see any lions on the street?"

Those who need confirmation WMD existed to sleep more soundly at night also claim Saddam buried them in Syria. I always thought he had buried them, frankly, in Central Park in New York City. What better place than right under our noses?

Our opponents in this debate have the great advantage of being able to rely on their imaginations whenever they put up an argument. This is something most of us who oppose the policy (or non policy as jerryvest implied) and war lack. And sometimes, at least for me, it is difficult to explain why the absence of any lions on the street is unrelated to the well trained dog. Those who favor the war can always slip and slide and reassure themselves by continuing to believe whatever they want to believe. This is a state of madness which the Bush administration has brought to this country.

My guess is that we (the US) will continue to wage war in Iraq, "staying the course," until the "light at the end of the tunnel" (Oops, we haven't brought out and dusted off that one yet) apparently becomes a thick cement brick wall. We will have to be bloodied into acceptance of reality. And only when the American people are finally thoroughly sick of the senseless waste will they demand to bring the troops home. What we hear today are the beginnings of an overall discontent. By November '08 (2 and a half years from now) it should become a storm.

At this point we still can't accept the possibility that we may not be able to turn Iraq into a democratic paradise. Or at least a self sustaining stable democracy. We feel obliged to leave the place nice and tidy, better off than it was before. That may be the assumption many Americans have in the back of their heads. But this well meaning desire doesn’t recognize the complicated mess the US has made out of the occupation: nor the contradictions which coldly smother hope. And there are many.

So long as a majority of Americans believe we can “set things right” in Iraq by not “cutting and running” we will continue to suffer. If we leave, there will be increased violence. If we stay there will be increased violence. How long will the US have to sit on top of an explosive situation which only becomes worse, day by day? At this time our political leaders can’t accept facing the charge of having “lost Iraq.” While a majority of the American people continue to believe that Iraq is something of ours to be lost this inevitability will remain a deterrent from leaving. And the concept of “saving Iraq” reflects, once again, upon our imperial arrogance. “But,” the well meaning American will say, “we only don’t want the violence to continue. We want a stable, peaceful functioning democracy there.” Fine enough: but isn’t our entire Iraq policy based upon imperial designs? One of conquering, privatizing, setting up military bases, and exerting hegemony throughout the region? Our American desire to “set things” right appears simple indeed, in that light.

Our government, I don’t think, Democratic or Republican, will ever take the issue to the Arab League: prostrate itself and beg for help. Or do this before the UN or another international organization. We should get out entirely of the Mid East. They do not want us there and we should find other resources for our energy needs. Hundreds of billions of dollars: wasted. We could be well on our way toward clean and renewable energy resources today if we had spent the money wisely.

“Losing Iraq?” Prostrating itself before an international body? Why, that would show weakness on our part. If so, then perhaps we should drop the hypocritical pretense of espousing justice and democracy to the rest of the world. True, to a great degree the Bush administration has: his only faithful followers being a minority of the American people. But the United States is certainly strong enough militarily and economically to admit it has been wrong without being taken advantage of. We are playing a madman’s game. One driven by greed.

Shew, I really went to town on this one..... one of the benefits of leisure.  

22 Jun 2006 @ 16:51 by Quinty @ : Or perhaps
a Democratic president would take the Iraq issue to the UN or NATO. But never to the Arab League, demonstrating more imperial arrogance. And a US refusal to leave the Middle East, which is the only way, it seems to me, we can ever disingage from Arabic terrorism. So long as we are there they will come after us.  

23 Jun 2006 @ 02:00 by vaxen : Problem is...
blood... Blood laws which demand vengeance. Now when youconsider all the murdered, tortured, maimed and destroyed... my educated opinion is that this country had better watch out.

Blood feuds go on for generations. Kill only one of them and you've got their family on your ass for a hundred or more years till restitution, blood or gold, settles the feud.

Those who are salaciously laughing behind the scenes, who also supported every single war in history, and created them as well, know this about the Arab (those who speak Arabic) and Muslim (A religion) people.

I can see them now... counting up the trillions upon trillions of dollars (Thalers originally), etc., worth of profits that only they will make, they think, as out world goes down in flame. Perhaps this is the price that people needs must pay for their wholesale ignorance of the truth.

I love your fathers art (from the L. ars... meaning: skill) quinty. Go get em...  

23 Jun 2006 @ 10:57 by rayon : Good news discussions
Not enough of it, preach nightly away! Also like your father's expression in his art, it makes a wonderful lasting comment, an anchor in place in time, not just for his family and yourself, but for others re soft colour and strong form with light touch, an anchor for an assured verbal expression, on these our times.
From here it is difficult to follow all the references made so heartfelt and of course our news is different. Recently heard announced re the Brits' army in Iraq - suffering multiple losses recently - that "of course the army is not really trained in Peace Keeping exercises at all and therefore they are actually unsuited to this particular task" as being the reason many were killed in ambush just then.

Then of course at least 36 hours ago, we heard of the killing of Saddam's lawyer, surprised not to see it's mention here. Our main news points arrive at 6.30 am. And then yesterday, the Japanese pulled their army contingent out of Iraq, with the comment "the job has been completed". All surely significant? I do not believe they are not working in tandem.

My belief is the time in Iraq will be shorter than longer, but worry where else in the world the starry striped Eagle Eye will venture next, or may have to, or will they leave lesser mortals to the Islamists alone to figure out for themselves. There is much disease in Africa, not much water, and not much infrastructure, its instabilities can be self contained perhaps if not resolved. Let us hope so.

I do not accept Vaxen's view above in any shape or form - and it is possible that a very good excuse for saying Bye Bye Iraq is because the US army is not trained in Peace Keeping either, and oops we made a mistake, and back to the drawing board for new training ??  

25 Jun 2006 @ 20:20 by Quinty @ : But of course!
arrange for the Iraqis to ask us to leave themselves. An excellent analysis by Tom Hayden......

Published on Sunday, June 25, 2006 by
Breaking Iraq News
by Tom Hayden

The British media is reporting an Iraqi peace deal involving a deadline for US withdrawal and a political opening for the insurgency, to be announced in the next day or two. The first sign of a new direction was the op-ed by Iraq's new national security advisor in the Washington Post June 10 supporting a withdrawal of some 40,000 US troops this year and most of the rest by the end of 2008.

Arranging for America's Baghdad clients to invite us to withdraw has always been an option, one considered most likely by this analyst. But has the US made such a decision? Is the Administration divided? Is the purpose to deflect global and domestic anti-war pressure? We shall see.

Assuming a peace proposal is in the works, it will be problematic to reconcile with recent Republican rhetoric about "staying the course." Democrats and Republicans may react negatively against granting amnesty to resistance fighters, though that is how stalemated wars usually end. It may divide the Iraqi resistance forces over whether all their struggle is primarily about US withdrawal or more than a seat at the table in the postwar Iraq. And it could weaken the antiwar movement by diluting Iraq as a potent issue this election year.

Already, White House sources are distancing themselves from the call for significant troop reductions , according to the Financial Times of June 21. No doubt the stories are being leaked for a reason. As I wrote earlier this week, as background:

----A possible spectre facing the US occupation of Iraq comes from within the US-backed Iraqi government itself, among Iraqi officials desiring to make their own peace with the armed Iraqi resistance. The US may be struggling to keep its puppets from becoming peacemakers. Or is it supporting a long and murky negotiating process like that which began in Northern Ireland in the early Nineties?

Recent surveys show a remarkable 87 percent of all Iraqis favoring a US timeline for withdrawal, and 47 percent endorsing the right to armed resistance. Discounting the pro-American Kurdish population, that means nearly all Sunnis and Shiites favor a phased withdrawal, a consensus which their newly-elected leaders cannot fully ignore.

On May 1, President Jalal Talabani was reported saying it is possible to reach a peace agreement with seven insurgent groups he has been meeting in the company of unidentified US operatives. [LA Times, May 1, 2006]

The pace quickened with the seating of a new government with twenty percent Sunni representation, including eight ministers, and one vice-president. The Sunni bloc includes strong opponents of the occupation who are promoting negotiations as an alternative to continued bloodshed. In early June, a top Sunni official claimed a peace deal as “very close.” [Washington Post, June 15].

Last week, the new prime minister Nouri al-Maliki proposed an amnesty and talks with the insurgents. Headlined in the Washington Post as “Amnesty Proposal May Include Iraqis Who Attacked US Troops”, the proposal provoked a furious response from Senate Democrats even while they discussed an ambiguous peace proposal of their own. How dare the Iraqis consider an amnesty for Iraqis who fought against US soldiers?, Sen. Harry Reed asked. The offending Iraqi official immediately resigned.

In their quest to be macho, however, Democrats may be undercutting an avenue towards peace. All military stalemates end in agreements between enemies who have fought and suffered. If there can be no consideration of amnesty for those the US is fighting, then there can be no settlement short of US military victory. That is precisely the case made by the Bush Administration, which recently suggested that it wants permanent military bases and a long-term presence of 50,000 American troops in an occupied, and somehow pacified, Iraq.

But for the vast majority of Iraqis, losing their sovereignty to long-term foreign occupation is unacceptable. That is why a growing contradiction exists between some in the Iraqi government and their US sponsors. The Iraqis who supported the invasion did so to overthrow Saddam Hussein and minority rule, not to submit to foreign military and economic domination. US war college analysts are fully aware of the nationalist pride spurring the Iraqi resistance. The recent killing of Zarqawi, who advocated a more sectarian line, will hardly weaken this nationalist anger.

Nor will the inclusion of simply more Sunnis in the government. Instead, the resistance is likely to pursue an inside-outside strategy. Iraq’s Sunni Arab vice-president, Tarik al-Hashimy, openly supports the insurgents holding talks with US officials but says they should “not stop the fight...the stopping of fighting should be part of the final deal.” [NYT, May 15, 2006]

A recent analysis of Iraq’s new parliament suggests a majority of its 275 members today would support a one-year US withdrawal deadline if put to a vote. With the addition of the Sunni bloc, the projection of 140-160 peace parliamentarians seems realistic. Last June, by comparison, over one hundred parliamentarians signed an open letter calling for the swift end of the occupation, and denouncing the Iraqi executive for lack of accountability.

“The Iraqis are going to do this [make peace] on their own, because the Americans stand in their way”, lamented Andy Shallal, an Iraqi-American restaurant owner in Washington DC, whose father was a ranking diplomat for the Arab League.

Until recently, the American media has remained inexplicably low-keyed towards this peace sentiment among high-ranking Iraqis. For example, the June 2005 public letter by Iraq parliamentarians was reported only by Knight-Ridder in this country. Whatever the reasons, the lack of public discussion perpetuates the illusion that American soldiers are dying to protect a majority of Iraqis who want us to stay. To borrow a phrase, it would be an Inconvenient Truth to report that the US embassy is having difficulty maintaining the loyalty of the very regime they helped install.

Most likely, a contradiction is unfolding within the American political hierarchy and national security establshment over whether this war is winnable. It also is a question of maintaining the American power posture, or its appearance. Those who know the war will end in defeat or quagmire favor a political strategy aimed at cutting losses, channeling the insurgency into talks and removing the issue from American politics in 2006. Others cling to the goal of eventually subduing the insurgency militarily and maintaining 50,000 troops permanently in Iraq.  

6 Jul 2006 @ 01:25 by Cyrus @ : The Shrub's War
The so-called fancifully colored "War on Terror" reminds me of another colorful and just as ineffective war: "The War on Drugs". Well, Reagan's war didn't solve anything and this war will lead to nowhere. I think our politicians fail to understand (probably on purpose in order to serve there own corporate interests) that any war on an IDEA is doomed to fail. The only efficient way to end terrorism and violence in general is education. This education must go both ways. Compromise, education and dialogue even with people you consider your enemy is the only way to make them your friends. And therein lies the strength of nations; "invincibility" cannot be acquired through economic or military might; history has shown that even the strongest military nations have all fallen. Making the extra effort to forge friendships and respect, especially with those you perceive as your enemies is what makes nations invincible; after all, if you only have friends, animosity towards you is non-existant.

P.S.: Note how the "terror level" goes up into very threatening colors such as red whenever the Republicans and Bush are politically in trouble. Reminds me of "Wag the Dog"....  

6 Jul 2006 @ 19:47 by Quinty @ : Notice too
that we haven't had any "orange alerts" since the last election.

I would love to be the fly on the mantlepiece in the Oval Office when Dick Cheney and Condy and the gang "educate" young George (ooops, it's his 60th birthday, isn't it?) Is the scene really as Orwellian as it seems to be? Do they actually know, does George know, that a "war on terror" will last forever? Is that what they intended? They could have chosen drugs, or prostitution, or vice. But terror has the added advantage of being creepy and scary. Something which will drive many folks under their bed. And across that great heartland millions will sleep at night with the covers over their heads. Is it really all that Orwellian?  

6 Jul 2006 @ 21:04 by b : Terrorists have found children
under the bed in civilian homes and cut their throats. That after murdering and raping their mom.
The terror war is the basis for whether a religion(islam) can govern States and challenge Western civilization which is so different from Koranic referenced civilization.
Of course those who hide under the covers or prostrate themselves to terror can always blame it on the usual scapegoat while they await their beheading.  

6 Jul 2006 @ 22:55 by Quinty @ : Who, pray
is the usual scapegoat?

Fear appears at times to be a driving force in our wonderland. In the fifties we had the Communists. (Duck, cover, and hide. And while you're at it, pick up your bomb shelter at Sears.)

Paranoia is common enough in the broad wastes of this vast land of ours, umbilically connected to TV. The rightwing media tom tom at night. And maybe the Internet. Yeah, sister or brother, it's better to fight them "there" than "here."

Beware the suicide bombers who might meet up with you at McDonalds' at night. But a question. Whose armies are where? Ours there? Or are theirs here? Drawing, perhaps, our borders? Choosing our leaders? Exploiting our resources? Sneering at our religion? Constantly telling us they’re better than us?

Hell, if I weren’t such a noble, broad minded American I might even resent them if they were here, carrying on that way. Or maybe I would just recognize their superiority. The way they should ours.

Before we smash our fists into a hornets’ nests we should ask ourselves such questions. Don't you think?

Or maybe we should just keep the fires of our homegrown paranoia burning? That rationalizes and explains many meddlesome questions away. Our president, Bush, always has a reassuring snicker to offer. He is, after all, just like us.  

7 Jul 2006 @ 19:10 by b : If you think of the world
and how it is and think how it could be: Then you can't ignore the fact that of 200 nations, there is an organization of 56 Muslim Conference nations. Among those Muslims in those countries there is a conspiracy for the religion of Islam to dominate the Earth and Muslims to enforce sharia law upon nonbelievers. All Muslims use the Koran as reference to justify militant acts against non believers. T
The 56 conference nations use the religion of Islam for political purpose.
Our President Bush, provides a policy of confrontation to this conspiracy. This ideology that Islam the religion is superior to governments and that mullahs of Islam are best suited to rule. From the heart of the Shia apostates in the city of Qum in Iran, I give you this quote: "In Qum, mullahs are born to judge men and rule women."  

7 Jul 2006 @ 20:48 by Quinty @ : 56 countries, huh?

Yeap, that's scary. Pretty 'durn scary.  

18 Jul 2006 @ 23:24 by Quinty @ : As of today....

I'm still puzzled by Israel's massive overreaction? Is it due to the inexperience and desire of Olmert to prove he's "tough?" Or is there something much deeper here?

Is it possible the world's most important political leaders at this time are imbeciles? Bush and Olmert taking the lead, mindlessly leading the world on toward a precipice? With an obliging media fanning the fantasies these leaders offer us? As if they were real, the truth?

One wonders listening to rightwing radio and TV if they aren't actually hoping the "clash of civilizations" has begun? A war between the west and so-called "Islamo fascism" in those 56 nations of the world?

If our government is thinking along the same lines then they may make their own prophecy come true.

How long will Israel continue its bombardment of Lebanon? How long will the world ignore the sufferings of the Palestinians in Gaza? A place approximately the size of Queens in New York where the electricity has been cut off? Not much concern or news today about any of that in the US media. That a million and a half people suffer from a lack of clean water and decent food. In what is being increasingly described as an "open air prison."

But in the US only Israel grasps our sympathies and concern. A Jewish woman was killed on her balcony by a Hizzbilah rocket. That was on tonight's news. Yes, she had a right to live. But what about the others? All the hundreds of others who happened to be Arabs? What about their suffering? I think the death ratio at this time is about 4 or 5 to one. You can correct me if I’m wrong. But does that ratio truly matter?

Maybe you might agree with me that this is all compete madness?  

23 Jul 2006 @ 22:02 by Quinty @ : Still Seeking Answers

Israel claims that it desires to drive Hizbollah away from its northern border for security purposes. That it wants at least a twenty mile buffer zone. Even if Israel succeeds they will still have Hizbollah on their border. On any border. Terrorism can not be defeated with tanks and F16s or with buffer zones. On the face of it this is not a convincing argument.

I watch and listen to the US media since this is how I attempt to stay in touch with the American consensus and popular status quo. Do most of the viewers watching TV realize that the Palestinians in Gaza are no match for the Israeli Army? Or that Hizbollah and Lebanon combined are no no possible match either?

Whenever I watch the news it appears as if the Arabs are firing rockets into Israel and Israel is responding by bombarding Arabic positions. As if somehow it were even sided and israel were only defending itself. Is this what the news media considers “objective reporting?” Is a deep bias of this nature so ingrained in the news media that such a lack of objective humanity is taken for granted? That the Israeli point of view is the only valid one? What does this show about American attitudes toward Arabs?

I’m still trying to figure out why this madness is occurring. Unless the Israelis are merely blood thirsty maniacs they must have a purpose for destroying Lebanon and driving several hundreds of thousands of innocent refugees across the borders. The response to Hizbollah's provocation is the same as if the United States military destroyed, let’s say, the state of New Jersey because some Mafia terrorists kidnapped two privates in the Army. All this business about fighting “terrorism” has become a gross propaganda rationalization for any brutality the United States or Israel desires to commit. The far right tells us we are in “World War III.” Will this become a self fulfilling prophecy?

On Larry Bensky this morning (his show is archived at and well worth listening to) some of his guests discussed the possibility that Israel is after Lebanon’s water. That they want to steal this vital resource for purposes of hegemony. Could that be one of the reasons for establishing this “buffer zone?” To control the Litani River? Ellen has been speculating on this too. We know that possession of the Litani is an ancient Zionist ambition, and that the river was included in the original proposed borders of Palestine. Or will we see an escalation of this war into something broader, including Iran and Syria?

I just got off watching the news on MSNBC show a clip from an Arabic television news channel showing Lebanese babies in bandages, babies with their heads blown off, and other atrocities. And the American newscaster - an empty prettyboy who, I suppose, is on a par with the pretty blonds who deliver TV news nowadays, asked: “Will this propaganda have any effect on opinions in the Middle East?”  

9 Sep 2006 @ 19:16 by Quinty @ : Feingold blocks Specter (Thank God)

Published on Saturday, September 9, 2006 by
Sen. Feingold Stands Up...Again
by Dave Lindorff

Once again, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), has nailed it, doing exactly the right thing, acting in a courageous manner as a progressive politician should act.

It is clear to everyone in Congress that President Bush knows he's in deep political and legal trouble over his warrantless NSA spying program. It has been declared a violation of the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence law passed by Congress in 1978, and the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, by a federal judge in Detroit. His justification for breaking those laws--that he is the commander in chief in a so-called ³war² on terror--was summarily slapped down and tossed out by the U.S. Supreme Court in the course of itsHamdi v. Rumsfeld decision in June. And anyone who thinks honestly about why the president would have decided to violate the FISA law and avoid seeking warrants for the spy program from a group of secret, top-security-clearance-rated judges in a special FISA court that has only rejected four such requests in 28 years has to admit that Bush is clearly doing something outrageous (most likely spying on his political enemies in a replay of Nixon¹s actions‹the very crime that led Congress to pass FISA in the first place).

My own Senator Arlen Specter, a Republican who keeps playing at liberal to the home crowd in Pennsylvania but who has shown himself to be nothing but an enabler of Bush¹s constitutional crime wave, held hearings on the NSA spying. He huffed and puffed a little about its being illegal, and then came up with a proposal that, if passed by Congress, would retroactively exonerate the president of his crime against the Constitution, while establishing a new shortcut to permit the warrantless spying to continue unabated, and unmonitored by either Congress or the FISA court.

It looked like this atrocity of Specter¹s was going to pass into law, but Sen. Feingold, with the help of, not Democrats, but three Republican senators he rounded up who still respect the Bill of Rights and rule of law, managed to fend it off by way of a filibuster threat.

Feingold deserves all of our thanks for this move--so uncharacteristic of his feckless Democratic colleagues, who continue to cower at the thought of an attack by Karl Rove and his media minions.

The amazing thing is that when Feingold introduced a censure motion against Bush late last year, his approval rating among Democrats and among the general population soared--a clear indication that he has the political positions that American voters are looking for. It is likely that Feingold¹s numbers will jump again as news of his latest action in the Senate spreads. And yet most Democrats in Congress still remain supine when it comes to standing up to the Bush administration.

Part of the problem, as always, is the mass media, which largely ignore Sen. Feingold, or as they did in the case of his censure motion, ridicule his actions. When Feinfold proposed censuring the president, which was a bold move that only two of his Senate colleagues endorsed (and then only after intense pressure from their constituents), the New York Times buried the story on page 19. Two days later though, the paper, in a textbook example of inappropriate news judgment, ran a page-one ³reaction² story, reporting that Republicans were claiming to be happy to see censure and impeachment in the news, as this would presumably ³energize² their political base. Nowhere in that story was there any mention of how censure or impeachment would similarly energize the Democratic base in November.

Hopefully, Feingold will not be deterred by threats from the right, abuse by the media, or the cowardice and lack of support of his fellow Democrats, and will continue to press the fight against the Bush administration¹s assault on the Constitution and on American democracy and freedom. So far, based upon his consistent opposition to ³free-trade² legislation, his opposition to the Iraq War, his opposition to the Patriot Act, his censure motion, and now his effort to block passage of a law exonerating Bush expost facto of his domestic spying crimes, it doesn¹t look like he is going to back down.

Right there, he has distinguished himself from the pack of weasels and poll-hugging opportunists lining up to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.


Dave Lindorff is co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of "The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office"(St. Martin's Press, May 2006)  

15 Dec 2006 @ 19:53 by Quinty @ : Half a year later
how things change. The American people have spoken and a Democratic Congress is about to take over from the Republicans. In this half year since I wrote the above the vast majority of Americans have become tired of the war. The national news media - perhaps responding to collapsing pole numbers? - often expresses the national discontent. And our president has, at least for appearance's sakes, promised to reevaluate the "course" we are on in Iraq.

Saving face, at this time, doesn't even appear to be an issue for many concerned Americans - if not the politicians in power who have to take charge. No, it appears as if a majority of our fellow citizens have come to realize this war can not be won: that the president manipulated and tricked the American people and the Congress into invading Iraq, and that the only result has been a dangerous, bloody fiasco draining our country of its treasure and the lives of many of our young men and women. While simultaneously making the world a far more dangerous place.

At last there appears to be an overall national consensus that this war is a waste, somehow immoral, and terribly wrong to pursue. And that the United States should leave Iraq as soon as possible, in order to save the lives of our young soldiers fighting there.

The only impediment to leaving is a lingering, natural desire to make things right and well in that region before departing. How, after all, can the United States, the most powerful country in the world, not do so? Do we not have the heart and will to make life better for the Iraqis we liberated?

But time is proving that these decent wishes to leave a better Iraq may be unrealistic. What’s more, our administration does not appear at all willing to make the concessions and basic admissions which might actually begin the healing process. We can no longer posture in a superior manner, for we need the world's help. Do any of the Neocons advising President Bush still hope for an American empire under a relatively tranquil Pax Americana?

Only those facing the judgment of history appear now to be concerned with saving face. Those who see the daily realities of death and destruction in Iraq as comprising the beneficient grand design they hope their legacy will be. Who may be more captivated by the dream of what might have been than the reality of what is. Who can not accept or admit their folly, mistakes, and wrong headedness. Or who may even still be blind.

These few men and women currently have the future of the world in their hands. Now a majority of Americans shudder with us, those of us who have always been appalled and horrified by this war. Those of us who spoke up in the summer and fall of 2002. And - in Michael Moore's words so long ago - "Time is up!" Finally.

Yes, time is running out. But not only for the cabal in Washington but for all of us.  

6 Apr 2007 @ 22:42 by quinty : No way to end a war
My sympathies are with the Democrats in Congress who are attempting to bring an end to this war. They lack the power of the Commander in Chief to guide and make foreign policy and have to employ whatever legislative tools they have. And they require a powerful consensus among the 535 members of Congress. The president can act on his own mind.

Were a decent Democrat or Republican president he or she would be finding a way out of Iraq. It's possible but the president refuses to attempt any of the methods available to him. And the Congress has been forced into making foreign policy in order to correct the disastrous errors this president has made. But the Congress is not truly cut out for the job. Foreign policy and conducting a war are not within its Constitutional mandates. But our president is so great a disaster they have no other choice but try. We simply can not wait another two years for sanity to prevail.

In the meantime the president has the ability to shape his propaganda onslaught however he pleases. That should be no surprise: for the past six years he has been his administration’s public relations point man. He can step on stage and forcefully admonish us to "stay the course." He can even predict an eventual victory and success in Iraq. And he can accuse those who disagree of providing aid to the enemy and of not properly “backing the troops.” While Dick Cheney casts dark suspicions on the patriotism of their critics.

We are at the beginning of what will be an interesting conflict. I put the primary blame on the president: for starting this war, bringing us into the current quagmire, and for refusing now to see a way out. Oh, yes, there were those Democrats who backed him too. Who did so because they either lacked spine or were fooled. (Even though millions of Americans weren't fooled.) They certainly too deserve some of the blame too.  

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