Bob's Links and Rants -- Fair and Balanced

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Be sure to check out my Post 9/11 website for links to lots of stuff I care about. I have put all of my 2002 rants into a single file.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Lies, lies, lies, and make no mistake, lies! (Applause)
From W's radio address (I'm for a free media and all that, but how can they let this garbage on the air?):
As we establish order and justice in Iraq, we also continue to pursue Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Military and intelligence officials are interviewing scientists with knowledge of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs and are poring over hundreds of thousands of documents.

For more than a decade, Saddam Hussein went to great lengths to hide his weapons from the world. And in the regime's final days, documents and suspected weapons sites were looted and burned. Yet all who know the dictator's history agree that he possessed chemical and biological weapons and that he used chemical weapons in the past.

The intelligence services of many nations concluded that he had illegal weapons and the regime refused to provide evidence they had been destroyed. We are determined to discover the true extent of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs, no matter how long it takes.

So the excuse now is that the sites were looted and burned. This is just too ludicrous. Do you remember the false argument that Bush's team used during the 2000 election theft? Something like: They counted the votes, and we won. They counted them again, and we won. The Democrats are going to have them keep counting until they win. If it had been true and the votes had been counted, it was a reasonable argument: If two or three full and relatively impartial recounts had shown a Bush victory each time, they would have had a valid argument. Well, now we've got supposed WMD's in Iraq. Former inspectors like Scott Ritter said that Iraq couldn't have anything significant or dangerous in any quantity, given what was destroyed by 1998 and the sanctions. UN inspectors returned to Iraq late last year, and found nothing in four months. Our army of occupation has been looking for almost three months now, found nothing. I'd say that we've already determined the true extent of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs: defunct. Sending more troops to continue looking would be like doing that fourth recount (remembering of course that while the search for weapons has been quite thorough, there never was a full recount of the votes in Florida).

I'm frankly getting sick of this nonsense. Let's get this moron out of office ASAP.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Thursday that the U.S.-led "war on terrorism" has become an excuse for the West to attack Muslims and accused America and its allies of wanting to control the world. -- LA Times.

One down, several million to go...
A Floridian abandons the "Republican Party Titanic." Thanks to Bartcop for the link.

A report, Voices from the South, debunks six myths about GMO's.

Example--the myth that GMO's are necessary to feed the third world:
The world today produces more food per inhabitant than ever before. In fact, over the past 35 years, per capita food production has outstripped population growth by 15%. The real causes of hunger are poverty, inequality and lack of access. Too many people are too poor to buy the food that is available (but
often poorly distributed) or lack the land and resources to grow it themselves.

Republicans in Congress speak out about the president's lies and deception:
Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Illinois): "There is a visibility factor in the president's public acts, and those which betray a trust or reveal contempt for the law are hard to sweep under the rug...They reverberate, they ricochet all over the land and provide the worst possible example for our young people."

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin): "The truth is still the truth, and a lie is still a lie, and the rule of law should apply to everyone, no matter what excuses are made by the president's defenders...We have done so because of our devotion to the rule of law and our fear that if the president does not suffer the legal and constitutional consequences of his actions, the impact of allowing the president to stand above the law will be felt for generations to come...laws not enforced are open invitations for more serious and more criminal behavior."

Steve Chabot (R-Ohio): "It would be wrong for you to tell America's children that some lies are all right. It would be wrong to show the rest of the world that some of our laws don't really matter."

Steve Buyer (R- Indiana): "I have also heard some senators from both sides of the aisle state publicly: I think these offenses rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors. Now, to state publicly that you believe that high crimes and misdemeanors have occurred but for some reason you have this desire not to remove the president -- that desire, though, does not square with the law, the Constitution, and the Senate's precedents for removing federal judges for similar offenses."

Rep. Lindsey Graham (R - South Carolina, Now Senator): "The president of the United States sets atop of the legal pyramid. If there's reasonable doubt about his ability to faithfully execute the laws of the land, our future would be better off if that individual is removed. And let me tell you where it all comes down to me. If you can go back and explain to your children and your constituents how you can be truthful and misleading at the same time, good luck."

Of course, they were all complaining about President Clinton, who had lied about where his privates had been. Well, President Bush has put tens of thousands of privates where they shouldn't have been (Jessica Lynch, to name one) based on repeated lies told to Congress, the UN, and the American public. And some are coming home in boxes. Thanks to Thomas Ball for the great quotes.

GMO Talks Collapse -- NY Times. The Bushies' insistence on allowing evil American agribusiness to keep pissing in the world's gene pool ranks high in their enormous list of atrocities. Europe continues to stand up to them; let's hope that this leads to the end of the WTO. I don't think the European public would stand for that non-democratic, secretive organ of corporate empire to force frankenfoods down their throats.

The Times is shameless enough to say this:
Genetically modified food — which can grow more quickly than traditional crops and can be resistant to insects — has caused scant controversy in the United States, where people eat it every day. Almost 40 percent of all corn planted in this country in genetically modified.

There has been scant controversy because our corporate media, including the Times, has not been doing its job. While Clinton debated gays in the military and millions watched the OJ trial, Monsanto was creating "Roundup ready" corn and plants with built-in insecticides, and immediately selling seeds to farmers across the country with almost no investigation into their possible effects on the ecosystem. With a little cross pollination, we may soon have "Roundup ready" dandelions, and many species of plants killing off the very insects they need for pollination and perpetuating their own species. In other words, these crops pose a very real threat to life on the planet. Of course, I don't know that for sure, but Bush doesn't know otherwise for sure. But we already know that he doesn't care about the future of the planet.

Former Senator Max Cleland makes a great speech!
What then is the Bush record in fighting the so-called war on terrorism? They have not found bin Laden. They have not found Saddam Hussein and as of yet there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. However, we have found two trailers. Is that why we fought the war? For two trailers? Did we send our sons and daughters to spill their blood in the desert over two trailers? We are spending over $100 billion bombing and then rebuilding Iraq while giving a tax cut to America's wealthiest citizens and denying hard-working Americans making $26,000 a year or less a child tax credit in order to pay for it.

That's the Bush record. It is not compassionate, and with this year's budget deficit running over $400 billion -- a record set by no other President, Republican or Democrat, it is certainly not conservative.
-- Read the whole thing.

Cleland is the Vietnam vet who lost three limbs in the war, and lost his bid for re-election last fall because the Repuglican accused him of being unpatriotic (along with the help of some no-paper-trail electronic voting machines).

A letter from Baghdad
Arny, a Vietnam vet in our anti-war group, posted a letter from a woman with the American Friends' Service Committee who is currently in Baghdad. Here are some excerpts:

People are afraid. Fear is not unusual here. Under the regime, everyone was afraid to talk openly. But this is a different fear. People are afraid to go out, not just at night but - especially for women - even during the day. This is a new fear and imprisons everyone. They are afraid of the increasing violence.
For the people of Iraq, it must seem like more of the same, a harsh present, an uncertain future. For them, freedom from the oppression of the regime has not brought what people need to feel free: security, jobs, food, water. A doctor in Mosul said to me last week: You know for us there is no difference between the American Occupation and the regime of Saddam. Previously we were in a big prison; now we are in a bigger prison.
I have posted the whole letter here, as I couldn't find it on the AFSC web site.

MoveOn Primary
(I just wrote this as a long comment on Polizeros and decided it makes a decent stand-alone rant.)

I'm not very happy with the MoveOn primary; I think it is premature and much too "winner-take-all." It certainly should have incorporated preferential/instant-runoff voting. And why couldn't MoveOn just offer donation collection services for all anti-war candidates, along with good comparative information about them? And MoveOn doesn't provide much opportunity to give feedback; I tried to complain about their continued support of Kerry and others who voted for the Iraq war resolution last fall, but couldn't find any good way to do so.

Still, I think the winner will get a boost, so I'm trying to get all of my peacenik friends to vote for Kucinich. But I wish that MoveOn and other supposedly liberal-leaning groups would start modeling more democratic behaviors in their processes. The Sierra Club board election didn't offer any preferential voting, either. Even if it didn't make a big difference in the results there, it would get people familiar with the concept so they could explain why it would be a big improvement over what we have when it really counts--like the 2000 presidential election.

I think an interesting approach MoveOn could have taken would be along the lines of "Survivor." Instead of picking one of the nine (or is it ten?) candidates to support, have a series of votes to toss someone out of the campaign. Let's first vote Lieberman off the island, and work our way up from there. If the 2000 election had been done on the "Survivor" method instead of the party/primary method, I'm pretty sure that Bush would have been the first voted out. That's what I tried to do, pretending to be a Republican so I could vote for McCain in Michigan's primary. But the money and the purging of the voter rolls and the stopping of the recounts and the Supremes won out, and the world lost.

Meanwhile, on the West Bank... (of the Detroit River, that is): 17 officers accused of city reign of terror.

They dangled one man by his legs from a second-story window. They threatened to kill a woman if she told anyone about the way they were treating her. They stepped on the face of another woman with such force, they dislodged a tooth. Prosecutors say these were not the acts of neighborhood gang members, but of 17 rogue Detroit police officers charged in a federal indictment Thursday. The officers allegedly stole drugs, firearms and money from suspected drug dealers during a two-year reign of terror on the city's southwest side. -- Detroit Free Press.

Michigan's official state motto is: "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you." With cities like Detroit, Benton Harbor, Flint, Saginaw and Lansing, where "free trade" has exported the jobs and left the people behind, the more appropriate motto for this summer would be "If you seek a troubled peninsula, look about you."

Veterans For Peace Calls for the Impeachment of George W. Bush
As the Bush Administration clearly chose to violate both Constitutional and International law, Veterans for Peace, having sworn once to uphold the Constitution of the United States, hereby calls for the immediate impeachment of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for their recent commission of high crimes against peace in Iraq and the violation of the US Constitution. Read the whole thing!

Good Questions:
"What are we getting into here?" asked a sergeant with the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division who is stationed near Baqubah, a city 30 miles northeast of Baghdad. "The war is supposed to be over, but every day we hear of another soldier getting killed. Is it worth it? Saddam isn't in power anymore. The locals want us to leave. Why are we still here?"
When the battalion first arrived in Baqubah in late April, "every single person was waving at us," said 2nd Lt. Skip Boston, 24, of Marshalltown, Iowa. Now, he said, "they just stare."

"A man told me the other day that we've been here for two months and nothing's changed," Boston said. "That's not really true, but all they see is us riding up and down the roads and being a nuisance for them."

The focus on crime fighting has annoyed Boston and his men, who said they would rather be blowing up ammunition caches. "It's getting really frustrating," Sullivan said. "We took the city, but what was it for? We took one bad guy out, but now there are lots of bad guys here."
-- Washington Post.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

$1.5 Billion a month for Afghanistan, $3 Billion a month for Iraq. For a decade, maybe. Can you think of any better way to spend $540 billion than to have US troops getting shot at as armies of occupation? From a USA Today story on testimony before a House committee by Paul Wolfowitz and Marine General Peter Pace.

A Victory!

The Senate Commerce Committee voted to overturn most of the FCC's June 2nd ruling which would have allowed even further media consolidation. They even said that radio monster Clear Channel Communications would have to divest itself of some of its many stations (Clear Channel owns four of the five commercial stations in Ann Arbor). Given the support in the committee from several Republicans, including Trent Lott, Ted Stevens, and a surprise vote from chairman John McCain, the bill should pass easily in the Senate. The idiotlogues in the House may be a different manner, but hopefully the ground broken by Senate Republicans will make it possible for House Republitrons to veer off the Bush-DeLay track on this one.

This is what war does:
Specialist Corporal Michael Richardson added: "There was no dilemma when it came to shooting people who were not in uniform, I just pulled the trigger.

"It was up close and personal the whole time, there wasn't a big distance. If they were there, they were enemy, whether in uniform or not. Some were, some weren't."
-- From a Mirror article on US soldiers killing civilians. And these soldiers will be coming home (hopefully). Most certainly will not have deliberately targeted civilians, but most will probably have been deeply affected by what they saw and did in Iraq. Most will deal with it more or less successfully, able to return to society with only the occasional nightmares. Others will be deeply traumatized, and many of these will end up killing themselves more or less intentionally (It is reported that more Vietnam soldiers have committed suicide since the war than were killed in it). And a few will turn their anger on the rest of us, like Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and John Allen Muhammed did.

It doesn't matter that he doesn't have weapons of mass destruction, he's a brutal dictator who tortures and kills his political enemies. So, why do we cozy up to this nutcase while bombing the bejeezus out of Iraq?

(Oh right. The oil.)

And if Karimov develops WMD's? No problem. If he discovers oil? Bombs away.

A long article on Benton Harbor from the Kalamazoo Gazette. This one at least mentions what Rev. Pinckney reported, that the motorcycle was bumped by the police car before the chase that led to the fatal crash into the building.

The Kucinich Blog!

All in the family. George W. Bush and Colin Powell are related, both being descendants of King Edward I. Thanks to BartCop for the link.

Now THIS is jounalism!
Why mince words? These are the facts:

1) President George W. Bush is a liar.

2) Secretary of State Colin Powell is a liar.

3) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is a liar.

4) National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice is a liar.

To the above facts we might add these: There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, none were there when our war against Iraq began, and none will be found unless we plant them there.
-- Harley Sorensen at SFGate.

Too little, too late: Kerry says Bush "misled" public. -- from the Guardian.

"He misled every one of us. That's one reason why I'm running to be president of the United States," he told a crowd in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

"I will not let him off the hook throughout this campaign with respect to America's credibility and credibility to me, because if he lied he lied to me personally."

But Mr Kerry said it was too early to conclude whether or not war with Iraq was justified. There needs to be a congressional investigation into US intelligence on Iraq, he said.

While it's good to hear that Kerry is starting to speak out, his tepid approach stinks. IF Bush lied? Too early to conclude whether the war was justified? The war was illegal and unconstitutional even if they find twice as many WMD's as they claimed tomorrow. No one who has taken an oath to uphold the constitution can validly claim that the war was justified.

And don't forget, the lie about uranium from Niger was exposed over a month before the war began. Kerry could have joined a call in Congress to repeal the war authorization, but instead he left that to the few people there who actually took their constitutional oath seriously, such as Reps. Kucinich, Conyers and Lee and Sen. Byrd.

George W. Bush has done absolutely nothing right as president. Everything he has done has made this a poorer, more dangerous country and world. Any Dem who concedes half of W's agenda as good or necessary is part of the problem, not the solution.

Yet another soldier dies, and two more are wounded. Do you think maybe it's starting to matter to the troops that they are wandering around in 115-degree heat getting shot at all because our un-elected president lied to Congress and the UN?

There have been several good summaries of the Bush lies and exaggerations about WMD's compiled lately. Cindy now links to a bunch of articles written about the exaggerations before and after the war, including a USA Today article which quotes former CIA director Stansfield Turner accusing to Bushies of "overstretching the facts."

Dennis Kucinich's letter to MoveOn members

can be seen here. He also answers questions from MoveOn members. Please forward the link to any of your friends who may not have heard of Kucinich, and encourage them to vote in the MoveOn primary next week! If Kucinich wins this one, it will be a big boost to his candidacy.

From Kirk Anderson.

From Bill Day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Welcome to Michigan:

The NY Times has an article on Benton Harbor which seems to present a somewhat more balanced picture than the AP or CNN stories. Benton Harbor is about 150 miles west of Ann Arbor on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Say NO to GMO in SacramenTO! I don't think I'll be able to make it, but maybe some of my California readers might want to join the protests of The Ministerial Conference and Expo on Agricultural Science and Technology, part of the ongoing attempt by corporate greedheads to replace nature's bounty with genetically-modified patented frankenfoods.

So many scandals, so little time... The Bushies are still doing everything possible to make sure we never know what really happened on September 11, or who screwed up (or worse) to allow it to happen.

More on Benton Harbor from CNN.
Libby, one of the most active people in our local peace group, has been in frequent contact with Rev. Pinckney in Benton Harbor for months, and has provided us with frequent updates on the terrible situation there. It sounds more like what people think of as Mississippi in the sixties, not Michigan in the 21st century. A combination of a racist social structure and desperate economy is boiling over. I hope that someone fully and honestly investigates the incident from Monday morning--the story from Rev. Pinckney (see below--Apartheid in Michigan) differs vastly from the CNN and AP versions.

Brutal Occupation:
The real character of what Washington called the “liberation” of the Iraqi people has emerged: it is a brutal occupation, with daily killings, house-to-house searches and mass arrests.

Thousands of US troops backed by helicopter gun ships, fighter planes and tanks have stormed through cities and towns across Iraq over the past several days in what the military has dubbed “Operation Desert Scorpion.”
-- From the WSWS.

CIA Deliberately Misled UN Arms Inspectors

-- Senator Levin.

Apartheid in Michigan:
FROM REV. EDWARD PINKNEY, Benton Harbor, MI 269-925-0001

This is what happened in Benton Harbor at 2am, Monday June 16, 2003:

A young man was riding his motorcycle in Benton Harbor. A police car began bumping the back of his motorcycle. The man took off to escape the police harrassment. Another police car cut off the motorcyclist and "drove" the motorcycle into a building. The officer who drove the motorcycle into the building was Mark Lundin. As the man lay dead, Lundin and the other officer present gave each other high fives. There are over forty witnesses to this tragic event. It is believed by many in Benton Harbor that the police are now hard at work to cover this up, ie, repairing fenders, etc. There was a regularly scheduled Benton Township Trustees meeting this evening where 200 people attended and complained about the police brutality situation. It is felt by all that they simply can't take it anymore. This report is going out, hopefully far and wide, because the African American community is not fairly or accurately reported on in the media. It's important to hear our side. Please call me if you have questions. Please attend the special meeting on Thursday night called by Benton Township Trustees. For details: Rev. Edward Pinkney 269-925-0001.

(Forwarded by Libby Hunter, who adds that Lundin kicked the dead man in the head before the high fives. A further report says that CNBC is reporting "riots" in Benton Harbor as a result of this.)

Here's the AP version.

Help Wanted: Fox to Guard Henhouse
The Bushies are apparently making Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne their number one choice to replace Kristie Whitman as EPA administrator:

Kempthorne received a near-zero rating from the League of Conservation Voters during his one term as a senator (1993 through 1998), but environmental advocates said his Senate background would probably help ease his confirmation process.

"Gov. Kempthorne is a very nice, personable and noncombative person, which are some of the features the Bush administration is looking for and which will help in confirmation," said Roger Singer, Idaho chapter director of the Sierra Club. "But his record on environmental issues is quite abysmal."

Kempthorne, as governor, senator and former mayor of Boise, has frequently raised the ire of advocacy groups because of his desire to reduce the role of the federal government -- and EPA -- in environmental policy, and replace it with state and local authority. This was a prevailing theme during his Senate years, when he championed changes to laws on safe drinking water and unfunded mandates, and has carried over in his opposition to the EPA's effort to expand a Superfund cleanup site at Idaho's Coeur d'Alene Lake.

Snider said Kempthorne sought an environmental policy that strikes a "balance between pollution-free air and water and having a job for your family."

Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, said, "That's nothing more than spin. Governor Kempthorne has supported the chemical industry, the oil industry, the timber industry and the utility industry against virtually every environmental proposal since 1993. That's not balance."
-- Washington Post.

What kind of religion teaches its adherents to plant pipe bombs in the middle of the Olympics anyway? The latest Tom Tomorrow cartoon.

Bush lied. People died.

Do something about it!

Okay, I've already posted a quote du jour, so I'll have to wait until midnight to post the next one...
(Jeopardy music)
Doop, de doop doop DOOP DOOP DOOP Bum Bum...
The Final Jeopardy answer is: "The quote du jour for Wednesday, June 18."

And the winning question? What is

I guess if Ari had to rebel, being a Republican is better than being on drugs, but not by much.

-- from Ari Fleischer's dad.

I dunno, Dad, check out this latest quote:

MR. FLEISCHER: Well again, I think the amount of money that candidates raise in our democracy is a reflection of the amount of support they have around the country. So the President is proud to have the support of the American people, and the American people will ultimately be the ones who decide how much funding goes to any Democrat or any Republican. -- Tuesday's White House press briefing, via This Modern World. I mean, Ari's Dad, that a joint or two couldn't possibly be as bad as that.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Secret War Pact

Senior figures in the intelligence community and across Whitehall briefed the former international development secretary Clare Short that Tony Blair had made a secret agreement last summer with George Bush to invade Iraq in February or March, she claimed yesterday. -- from the Guardian.

Is this going to work? Is anything? If Bush ran over two Korean schoolgirls while driving drunk with a pedophile bishop in the back seat with four six-year-olds, and while having sex with THAT woman, would his poll numbers drop even a percentage point? Or would he just point out that those schoolgirls would never threaten America with horrible weapons again, and get cheered for it?

Actually, it seemed pretty clear to me all along that the war was a given for Bush and Blair--they were never looking for a way out, just excuses and the right time. The Blair-Bush Project was a horror movie for which the script was written long ago.

BTW, CNN asks "Did the Bush administration overplay the threat of Iraqi WMD to justify the war?" Vote Now!

OBL: They’ll Never Threaten America Again
(note: in case there is any doubt, this is SATIRE)

Arab satellite network Al-Jazeera has a new videotape purportedly from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden claims that there were several people in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 who were planning a massive terrorist strike on the US, one which might have killed millions.

“Compared to the number of lives saved, the collateral damage was tiny. In fact, it was probably the most precise terror attack in history,” bin Laden claimed. “These people were ruthless, and they had weapons at their disposal that could have killed most of the people in several US cities. While I don’t know whether these weapons were destroyed on September 11 or if perhaps they were sent elsewhere or even destroyed on September 10, one thing I know for certain: these people will never threaten America again.”

Unfortunately, bin Laden wasn’t available to answer the obvious questions, such as: Where are the weapons now? A lot of people died, but a lot got out—how do you know you got the right people? How did you know they were going to attack? Are you sure they were going to go through with it? Do you think you really had the right to kill all those people because you thought a few of them MIGHT do something bad? And since when have you cared a whit about the American people?

Quote du Jour:
The filibuster may be a stupid, arcane anti-democratic institution, but then so is the whole Senate. -- from Nathan points out that the Senate minority (Democrats) represent a substantial majority of the population of the country.

Take Back the Airwaves! The Senate Commerce Committee will vote tomorrow on legislation to overturn the FCC's recent ruling which would allow even more media consolidation. And although the Commerce Committee has a 12 to 11 Republican majority, some of the Republicans, including Trent Lott and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, are in favor of overturning the FCC decision. If you have a senator on the commerce committee, please call him or her today. Otherwise, call your senators anyway and tell them to put pressure on those who are on the committee. All senators can be reached through the capitol switchboard: 800-839-5276.

[Update] While you're talking to your senators' aides, you should ask them to have the senators support Sen. Leahy's call for consensus on Supreme Court nominees. Unless, of course, you'd really like to see Rehnquist and O'Connor replaced by John Ashcroft and Pat Robertson.

The "War on Terrorism:" All Hat and No Cattle
So what's the explanation? The answer, one suspects, is that key figures — above all, Donald Rumsfeld — just didn't feel like dealing with the real problem. Real counterterrorism mainly involves police work and precautionary measures; it doesn't look impressive on TV, and it doesn't provide many occasions for victory celebrations.

A conventional war, on the other hand, is a lot more fun: you get stirring pictures of tanks rolling across the desert, and you get to do a victory landing on an aircraft carrier. And more and more it seems that that was what the war was all about. After all, the supposed reasons for fighting that war have turned out to be false — there were no links to Al Qaeda, there wasn't a big arsenal of W.M.D.'s.

But never mind — we won, didn't we? Maybe not. About half of the U.S. Army's combat strength is now tied down in Iraq, facing what looks increasingly like a guerrilla war — and like a perfect recruiting device for Al Qaeda. Meanwhile, the real war on terror has been neglected, and we've antagonized the allies we need to fight that war. One of these days we'll end up paying the price.
-- Paul Krugman .

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! It's what's for dinner, in Iraq. "Coalition" humanitarian efforts have gone so well that people have raided the zoos so they can eat the animals.

Kucinich: White House Manipulated 2002 Election

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, leader of antiwar opposition in the House, continued to challenge the Bush Administration on the lead-up to war in Iraq, issuing a statement today:

"Last October, this Congress voted to give the President the authority to use force against Iraq to thwart an imminent threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

"The Administration urged action against an imminent threat. So Congress voted, only weeks before the 2002 election. Some Democrats voted for it thinking there would be an opportunity to refocus on domestic issues. Instead national security and Iraq's so-called imminent threat became the divisive issue in the election. The question became: who was patriotic and who wasn't.

"The Administration capitalized on the fears of Americans. They misrepresented the nature of the Iraqi threat. They misled Congress. They misled the American people. By pushing for a quick vote before the election, they changed the election and manipulated the outcome.

"The Resolution of Inquiry will establish the truth once and for all."
From the Kucinich for President web site. Please check out the Kucinich web site, make a donation, and sign up to volunteer.

Kucinich's Resolution of Inquiry in the House to force the Administration to turn over intelligence to back its claims on Iraq's WMDs, is now signed by 36 Congress members. As a privileged resolution, it must be voted on in Committee within 11 legislative days.

Vote in the MoveOn Primary! Next Tuesday, June 24! For Kucinich! If you're not already a MoveOn member (get all those e-mails from Eli and Wes and the gang), join now! Let the world know that Dennis Kucinich speaks for millions when he speaks for peace, for universal health care, for workers' rights, and for protecting the environment.

What a sleazy, evil, lying scumbag Bush is:
"This nation acted to a threat from the dictator of Iraq," Bush said. "Now there are some who would like to rewrite history -- revisionist historians is what I like to call them.

"Saddam Hussein was a threat to America and the free world in '91, in '98, in 2003. He continually ignored the demands of the free world, so the United States and friends and allies acted."

To applause, Bush added, "And this is for certain: Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat to the United States and our friends and allies."
from CNN.

Who's the revisionist, George? Without WMD's, what threat did Saddam pose? What demands did he ignore? George W. Bush was last year and is this year the biggest threat to the United States and its former friends and allies, and the entire planet, for that matter.

Monday, June 16, 2003

From Lalo Alcarez

From Kirk Anderson.

Cartoonist finds the WMD's

From Clay Bennett.


From Ted Rall:
George W. Bush told us that Iraq and Al Qaeda were working together. They weren't. He repeatedly implied that Iraq had had something to do with 9/11. It hadn't. He claimed to have proof that Saddam Hussein possessed banned weapons of mass destruction. He didn't. As our allies watched in horror and disgust, Bush conned us into a one-sided war of aggression that killed and maimed thousands of innocent people, destroyed billions of dollars in Iraqi infrastructure, cost tens of billions of dollars, cost the lives of American soldiers, and transformed our international image as the world's shining beacon of freedom into that of a marauding police state. Presidents Nixon and Clinton rightly faced impeachment for comparatively trivial offenses; if we hope to restore our nation's honor, George W. Bush too must face a president's gravest political sanction.
Nixon and Clinton escaped criminal prosecution for burglary, perjury and obstruction of justice. George W. Bush, however, stands accused as the greatest mass murderer in American history. The Lexington Institute estimates that the U.S. killed between 15,000 and 20,000 Iraqi troops during the fraudulently justified invasion of Iraq, plus 10,000 to 15,000 wounded. More than 150 U.S. soldiers were killed, plus more than 500 injured. A new Associated Press study of Iraqi civilian casualties confirms at least 3,240 deaths. Although Bush, Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice denied such legal niceties to the concentration-camp inmates captured in their illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, these high-ranking Administration henchmen should be quickly turned over--after impeachment proceedings for what might properly be called Slaughtergate--to an international tribunal for prosecution of war crimes.

Anything less would be anti-American.

Recalled to the home planet:

Chief Pentagon spokesliar Victoria Clarke joins White House spokesliar Ari Fleischer in resigning, although she's getting out as fast as she can.

When asked why she was leaving, Clarke responded "Well, to tell the truth..." and left the room.

View from the inside:
"The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure," said Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism. "As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out." -- from the Washington Post. White House counterterrorism advisor Rand Beers resigned five days before the war in Iraq began.

US to take over for Israel in killing Palestinians? That's Lugar's plan, apparently.

Asked if that meant such troops would go after Hamas, Lugar said: "It may not be just Hamas, but clearly Hamas is right in the gunsights."

No matter what it does, I think Israel has more unflinching support from the US Senate than it does from the Knesset.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

With victories like these...

  • U.S. Convoy Is Ambushed in Iraq, Wounding Several Soldiers.
  • US turning to Taliban to restore order in Afghanistan.

  • Kucinich Animations! Tom Tomorrow was my favorite blogger before I even knew what a blogger was. His friend Bob Harris frequently contributes to Tom's blog now, and Bob is now my favorite blogger on Tom Tomorrow's blog! And, like good Bob's everywhere, Bob Harris supports Dennis Kucinich for president, and has posted these Kucinich animations on his web site. (Well, they're really more anti-Bush than pro-Kucinich, but still...)

    The Night Before Baghdad, take five

    I first wrote this in September; my last update was just before the war started. I've just added five more stanzas on the end:

    The Night Before Baghdad, by Bob Goodsell

    'Twas the night before Baghdad, and through the White House
    Not a Bushie was thinking, not even his spouse
    The war maps were hung by the table with care
    In hopes that Dick Cheney soon would be there.

    They'd bribed and extorted, threatened and lied
    Not a one of them cared how many would die
    Pope's, vets' and citizens' thoughts do not count
    When you've an Iraqi invasion to mount.

    No weapons were found by those sent to inspect
    But all this meant naught to the pres'dent select
    It matters not the UN closed the door
    Our very own Hitler will have his own war.

    People will die by the thousands and more
    America's name soiled by blood and by gore
    Lying for truth and warring for peace
    The whole world suffers from Bush's disease.

    The prez he was nestled all snug in his bed
    While visions of 2004 danced in his head
    With Condi on keyboard and Colin on bass
    Rummy on vocals sang "Bush won't lose face!"

    When out on the south lawn there rose such a noise
    It had to be Rummy's destructive war toys
    But astonished we were as our startled eyes fell
    On a tall bearded man riding high on a camel.

    "Tell me," asked Condi, "is that a llama?"
    "No, token black woman! That is Osama!"
    He hopped off his camel and gathered his rifle
    Clearly this was someone with whom we won't trifle.

    He walked to the door and passed in front of us
    He asked to be taken to the Oval Office
    The Senate had some of its members in there
    And when he arrived he gave them a scare.

    "Out Daschle! Out Feinstein! Out Smiling Joe Lieberman!
    Out Lott! Out Hatch! Out Schumer! Out Clinton!
    You're self-serving pawns of the corporate swine
    Selling your souls to the Bush-Cheney line.

    "I wanted a war 'twixt Islam and West
    You've given me everything! Thanks, you're the best!
    Thanks Condi, thanks Rummy, and thanks Colin, too!
    And when he wakes up, please thank W!"

    He went to the warroom and smiled at the plans
    "The hated Saddam is soon a dead man!
    The world in turmoil will be fertile ground
    For radical Islam to be spread around!"

    And flipping a finger toward one and all
    He laughed so hard that it shook down the wall
    It made so much noise that the prez left his sack
    And came down to ask "Is it time to attack?"

    And back to the garden Osama did go
    No chicken hawk stopped him as he walked out the do'
    Not Rummy, not Condi, not one of the staff
    Stopped Osama bin Laden or his terrible laugh.

    Then George Bush the Senior entered the room
    By reading his lips we all sensed the gloom
    "You've tried your best, George, I'll give you that, son
    But make no mistake: the terrorists have won."

    Meanwhile in Iraq Saddam slipped away
    He’d be nowhere around on the bloody next day
    He’d go into hiding and show up no more
    ’Til another dumb Bush sought another dumb war.

    And back in the states with the press all embedded
    Comes the crackdown on freedom that we've all dreaded
    When ruled by a man who's conscience bereft
    The right to be silent is all we'll have left.
    ‘Tis three months since Baghdad and throughout the land
    Not a weapon’s been found in the concrete or sand
    The lies they were told so to war we could go
    ‘Bout nukes bought from Niger and ‘thrax on the go.

    Thousands are dying and millions are crying
    As foreign invaders in khaki are trying
    To bring back to Baghdad the order destroyed
    By their bombs and their guns and their missiles deployed.

    They toppled a statue and thought they had won
    But now they are finding the war’s just begun
    The water’s polluted and everything’s looted
    All victims of a mad leader deluded.

    There’s money for Bechtel and Cheney’s old firm
    The travesty just has to make Jefferson squirm
    The Bushies care nothing for those who are dying
    As long as the oil flows down the pipeline.

    He flew to a ship sailing ten miles from shore
    So that all the dumb freepers could once more adore
    A dimwit from Texas who still had the gall
    To celebrate war after he went AWOL.

    If weapons were there who knows where’s their location
    Be it Qaeda or Hamas or Aryan Nation
    And if they were not then our “president” lied
    And for this lie many soldiers have died.

    My latest effort in song re-writing:

    Where have all the weapons gone?
    Bush and Powell
    Where have all the weapons gone?
    Your cause for war
    Where have all the weapons gone?
    Gone like Enron, everyone
    When will we ever learn. When will we ever learn.

    Where has all the money gone?
    Bush and Cheney
    Where has all the money gone?
    Huge wads of dough
    Where has all the money gone?
    Gone to rich folk like yourselves
    When will we ever learn. When will we ever learn.

    Tell us where Osama’s gone
    Bush and Rummy
    Tell us where Osama’s gone
    Long time ago
    Tell us where Osama’s gone
    Still attacking still at large
    When will we ever learn. When will we ever learn.

    Why do they all hate us so?
    Bush and Wolfowitz?
    Why do they all hate us so?
    Never more than now
    Why do they all hate us so?
    ‘Cause you want to rule the world
    When will we ever learn. When will we ever learn.

    Where have all the weapons gone?
    You don’t know
    Where have all the weapons gone?
    Don’t seem to care
    Where have all the weapons gone?
    They weren’t ever there at all
    But you still got your war. But you still got your war.

    It was inevitable. I got a new kitten about three weeks ago, and a new Kodak digital camera last week. So meet Subkittendante Marcos, the Catatista! (Marcos for short.)

    I also took a quicktime movie of Marcos rockin' and rollin' to the Dixie Chicks--it's 11 MB, so DO NOT ATTEMPT to download with a dial-up connection (sorry). Marcos has a ball. (Hint: If the movie doesn't play straight from your browser, try "save target as" to save the file to your hard drive, and then play it from there. The file plays fine on my computer, but will not play in IE when I click on the link.)