Bob's Links and Rants
Saturday, September 27, 2003
They got Al Capone on tax evasion...
Maybe we'll get the Bushies on this:

A senior administration official said two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and revealed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife.

The CIA has requested that the "Justice" department investigate whether White House officials violated the Intelligence Protection Act, which makes it a crime to identify covert CIA agents. After former ambassador Joe Wilson wrote his op-ed in the New York Times in July, in which he said he was the one who investigated the claims about Iraq buying uranium from Niger, columnist Robert Novak wrote in the Washington Post that a White House official had told him that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA agent. Now the Post is citing "a senior administration official" as claiming that TWO White House officials (top ones, at that), were involved in disclosing Plame's CIA connection to at least six journalists, not just Novak.

Certainly, if this did in fact happen, it was a crime and deserves to be punished. Careers, intelligence and lives may be threatened by the disclosure. Still, it seems bizarre that this fairly obscure action might be the first to land some Bushies in jail. I mean, they've started a war based on lies. They're holding people indefinitely without granting them any rights, in violation of the constitution. They backed out of treaties that had been ratified by Congress. They stole the frigging election! Is this really what's going to start to do them in?

Whatever it takes, I say!

Joe Wilson was in Ann Arbor Thursday night as part of Jim Hightower's "Rolling Thunder" tour. His talk was fairly interesting--he said it was time for Rummy to be fired. I was disappointed, however, that Wilson didn't address this particular issue concerning his wife.
Friday, September 26, 2003
Single-payer benefits in a minute!
Excellent job, Ambassador Moseley Braun!
MOSELEY BRAUN: Well, there's no question in my mind but that every American wants to have universal coverage. But the only way we can get there is with, in my opinion, a single-payer system that is decoupled from employment, that's to say, doesn't depend on employment.

The Clinton plan attempted to reconcile the public and private systems that we have now. They are simply irreconcilable. You cannot bring it together and make it make any sense without a whole lot of bureaucracies.

So if we go to a single-payer system, we will give our export sector, our multinationals, a competitive boost in the international markets, because right now they're carrying the cost of health care. We will give the middle class a boost in terms of their--and working people a boost in terms of their paychecks. We will give small businesses a real boost because they can't afford it.

And we can do it without spending a dime more than we are presently paying at the highest level of any industrialized country in the world.

A single-payer system really is the only way to go. And if we take it off the payroll tax, we will provide working people with opportunity for health care.

Shorter John Kerry
We need to increase our commitment to science in America, to venture capital, to the kinds of incentives that draw capital to the creation of jobs. Democrats can't love jobs and hate the people who create them. -- Actually, that's exactly what he said.

Incentives for capital. Some Democrat.
Rev. Al Welcomes Clark to the Party!
SHARPTON: Well, first of all, as the only New Yorker, I want to welcome General Clark to New York and I want to welcome him to our list of candidates. And don't be defensive about just joining the party. Welcome to the party. It's better to be a new Democrat that's a real Democrat, than a lot of old Democrats up here that have been acting like Republicans all along.

On the $87 billion (unlike Dean, he didn't need clarification as to WHICH $87 billion), Sharpton agrees with Kucinich:

In terms of your question, I would unequivocally vote no, because I think to continue to invest in a flawed and failed policy is not wise or prudent. It is really to try and chase bad investment with bad investment. The signal it would sent the troops is that we really do love them. Real patriots don't put troops in harm's way on a flawed policy. We would send a signal that we're not going to ask you to fight for health care for the children of our Iraq when you don't have it for the children in South Carolina or New York. That's the signal. That's real patriotism.
Well at least they knocked that statue down...
Some used to be anti-war...
WILLIAMS: Is that an up or down, yes or no, on the $87 billion per se?

DEAN: On the $87 billion for Iraq?


DEAN: We have no choice, but it has to be financed by getting rid of all the president's tax cuts.

Some still are!
KUCINICH: The message is now I will not vote for the $87 billion. I think we should support the troops and I think we best support them by bringing them home.

Our troops are at peril there, because of this administration's policy. And I think that the American people deserve to know where every candidate on this stage stands on this issue, because we were each provided with a document--a security document that more or less advised us to stay the course, don't cut and run, commit up to 150,000 troops for five years at a cost of up to $245 billion.

A matter of fact, General Clark was one of the authors of that document that was released in July.

So I think the American people deserve to know that a candidate--and I'm the candidate who led the effort in the House of Representatives challenging the Bush administration's march toward war, I say bring the troops home unequivocally. Bring them home and stop this commitment for $87 billion, which is only going to get us in deeper.

(from yesterday's debate)

We have a choice, Doctor, and you're on the wrong side. Either American troops and budgets continue to bleed to maintain an occupation, or they don't.

Who are Dean and the other big spenders among the candidates playing to, anyhow? Recent polls have shown the majority of Americans oppose spending the $87 billion. Of course that's not a good reason for a decision, as the majority of Americans have frequently shown themselves to be idiots. But why choose supporting this bloody boondoggle as your opportunity to take a stand against majority opinion? We can't know for sure, but it certainly seems as though the occupation is not improving things for Iraqis, and it certainly doesn't guarantee that things will get better soon, if ever. Leaving now leaves Iraq with an uncertain future; so does staying. Leaving saves probably thousands of US lives and billions of dollars. Do Dean and the others really imagine being inaugurated with this huge debt and occupation to manage? Pull out now, embarrass the crap out of aWol, and take over in 2005 without the cement shoes.
$87 billion, and what do you get?
A new curriculum for training an Iraqi army for $164 million. Five hundred experts, at $200,000 each, to investigate crimes against humanity. A witness protection program for $200,000 per Iraqi participant. A computer study for the Iraqi postal service: $54 million.
Those details include $100 million to build seven planned communities with a total of 3,258 houses, plus roads, an elementary school, two high schools, a clinic, a place of worship and a market for each; $10 million to finance 100 prison-building experts for six months, at $100,000 an expert; 40 garbage trucks at $50,000 each; $900 million to import petroleum products such as kerosene and diesel to a country with the world's second-largest oil reserves; and $20 million for a four-week business course, at $10,000 per student.

According to the Washington Post,

Such numbers, buried in President Bush's $20.3 billion request for Iraq's reconstruction, have made some congressional Republicans nervous, even furious. Although the GOP leadership has tried to unite publicly around its president, cracks are beginning to show.

Billmon has more on this, along with some interesting comments from his readers.

Do you think I qualify as a $200,000 expert to investigate crimes against humanity? That's $100 million for 500 experts! The 9/11 commission has a budget of about $12 million, upped from an original appropriation of only $3 million. Apparently finding out why thousands of Iraqis died is eight times more important to the Bush administration than finding out why thousands of Americans died.

The true meaning of liberation:
Meanwhile, at a House hearing yesterday, Democrats pressed Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz about whether the administration plans to withdraw troops right before the 2004 presidential election. He said no decisions are being made on political grounds.

"These are national security decisions; they have to be made on that basis," he said. Wolfowitz said that does not mean that "we're not trying to, in fact, get more Iraqis on the front lines, get them dying for their country so fewer Americans have to."
-- WaPo.

Just so long as somebody's dying, right, Wolfie?
Job Creation, Bush Style
Want to make a fortune off of cushy "rebuilding" projects in Iraq? New Bridge Strategies is ready to help, complete with Bush administration insiders:

New Bridge Strategies, LLC is a unique company that was created specifically with the aim of assisting clients to evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Its activities will seek to expedite the creation of free and fair markets and new economic growth in Iraq, consistent with the policies of the Bush Administration.
Joe M. Allbaugh, Chairman and Director
Joe M. Allbaugh is the CEO of The Allbaugh Company, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based corporate strategy and counsel firm. A native of Oklahoma, Joe served as the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under President George Bush until March 2003. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., he was Chief of Staff to then-Governor Bush of Texas and was the National Campaign Manager for the Bush-Cheney 2000 presidential campaign.

This is where the $87 billion is going--a reward to Joe and other Bush cronies for getting him appointed.

From Doonesbury.
Thursday, September 25, 2003
For some reason...
The Kalamazoo Gazette newspaper writes much better editorials than the Ann Arbor News:
When the weapons of mass destruction rationale fell apart, the Bush administration replied that weapons of mass destruction weren't the reason we invaded Iraq. Now it appears that the reason wasn't that Saddam had a hand in Sept. 11, either. Perhaps soon we'll get a better idea of what, exactly, our pre-emptive strike was pre-empting.

My letter to the editor got printed!
In Sunday's Ann Arbor News:

Better uses exist for Bush's $87 billion

President Bush has asked for $87 billion more to continue his ill-conceived wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Arguments are being made that we have to finish what we started, that we can't leave those countries like they are now. Those arguments are flawed because I don't believe that the Bush administration has the credibility, the ability, or even the desire to really do well by the people of those countries.

Even if I'm wrong on this, we still need to carefully consider the opportunity cost of spending $87 billion to rebuild countries we just spent billions destroying. Here are some facts, courtesy of the Madison (Wis.) Capital Times:

The $87 billion more Bush seeks to fund his occupations abroad could pay for 1.4 million new teachers at home. It could help 11 million low-income families meet housing needs. It could provide health care coverage for 30 million children.

The $87 billion would balance every state budget.

The president's $87 billion could, according to UNICEF, meet the basic human needs of every impoverished person on Earth.

Of course, all of this is pretending that we actually have $87 billion on hand. We don't. Instead, it will be borrowed from future generations. It is terrible that Bush wants to spend it on maintaining occupations in countries where we are not wanted, with no guarantee that it will actually improve anything. And it certainly shouldn't be spent by the same gang that got us into this mess.

Even when they're right, Republicans say dumb stuff:
Congress is taking action to make sure that the national no-call list goes into effect.

"Fifty million Americans can't be wrong," Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-Louisiana, declared Wednesday, referring to the number of people who have signed up to block the unwanted solicitations. -- CNN

Actually, here's evidence indicates that 50 million Americans can be very wrong:

Heres' something that I'm sure others have considered, but I hadn't. The electoral college, along with its many other faults, gives two votes per state just for being there, regardless of population, while the other votes are apportioned roughly proportional to population. Gore got 21 * 2 = 42 of these non-proportional votes, while Bush got 30 * 2 = 60. Subtract these out, and the electoral college vote becomes Gore 224, Bush 211. Put Florida properly in Gore's column (+23, not counting those two bogus votes), and it becomes nearly a landslide: Gore 247, Bush 188.

Coming up next: We ask Rep. Tauzin why telemarketing isn't free speech but campaign cash is.
aWol's latest approval rating.
Once again, killing Iraqis is not a crime
A U.S. military investigation found no misconduct by U.S. soldiers who killed eight Iraqi policemen and a Jordanian hospital guard near Fallujah on Sept. 12, the U.S. commander in Iraq said Thursday. "The initial findings are that the soldiers acted within the construct of the military's rules of engagement," Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez said of the action by the 82nd Airborne Division. -- Washington Post

Well maybe, General, there's something wrong with the rules of engagement. Maybe there's something very wrong with U.S. soldiers being in Iraq. If they're not to blame, the blame moves up the chain of command. Turn yourself in, General. You too, Rummy and Dummy.
Good speech, George
W talked with world leaders for two days, left with no new troops, no new money. Failure is the ONLY thing he's good at.
Why we hate Bush
From Ted Rall.
Guantanamo Bay Espionage?
I don't know exactly what to make of the arrest of two US servicemen for espionage at Guantanamo Bay. They are charged with sending classified information about the "detainees" held there, as well as information about the base itself, to Syria. My guess is that there is a variation on the Stockholm syndrome going on; the servicemen identify with the plight of the prisoners and offer to assist them in contacting family and friends back home. Then again, it could all be trumped-up charges designed to make headlines and distract us once again from the enormous and ongoing crimes of the demander in thief.
Just a coincidence, I'm sure
On Tuesday, aWol bizarrely added a bunch of stuff about sex slavery to his "Despite all evidence to the contrary, I was right, you were wrong, it's your moral duty to send lots of troops and money" speech to the UN. Yesterday, a 69-year-old military veteran named Clark was arrested for alledgedly going to Cambodia to have sex with young boys. At least CNN's headline was "Man charged in U.S. for child sex crimes abroad," but I can certainly envision some Murdoch papers coming up with more scandalous-appearing headlines.

The article says:

The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which investigated the case, credited Cambodian authorities with fully cooperating in the case and making the arrest.

So why wasn't the guy held in Cambodia and tried there? (He was indicted in Seattle.) Is it a crime there? If the next guy in were an Aussie or a Saudi, would he have been arrested? I mean, I'm appalled by sex slavery, but the idea that somebody can get arrested in another country, by that country's police, for breaking an American law, seems to suggest that that country has ceded its sovereignty. Is a London cop going to arrest me for driving on the left side of the road in London because that's against the law in the US?

Again, I'm not condoning the guy's behavior (if he did it). But it sure looks like some sort of setup.


From Ted Rall.
We'll find out the truth...
BUSH: I think, like I said, be patient. The truth will be out. I told David Kay to go find the truth and to bring back reports based upon his own timetable that are solid reports about what he has found. We're analyzing miles and miles of documentation, we're interviewing all kinds of people in Iraq. Some of the famous cards in the deck of cards, and just average citizens who are bringing information.

We've been there for about four months. And David is spending a great deal of time learning the truth. And the truth -- we'll find out the truth.
(From aWol's interview with Brit Hume Monday)

And the truth is:

A much-anticipated interim report by the Bush administration's chief weapons hunter in Iraq will offer no firm conclusions about the former Iraqi government's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs, senior officials said yesterday.
But officials yesterday sought to play down expectations that Kay's report will contain any major revelations. Kay, who is in Washington this week finishing the document, is "still gathering information from the field," the CIA's chief spokesman, Bill Harlow, said yesterday. "Don't expect any firm conclusions. He will not rule in or rule out anything."

Four months of UN inspections: Nothing. Four months of US investigations: Nothing. Colin Powell knew that Iraq had nothing in February 2001. Why isn't Congress screaming, accurately, bloody murder?

Wednesday, September 24, 2003
A couple of months ago, the Republicans in Congress and at the Democratic Leadership Committee were claiming that no one could successfully run for president by opposing Bush's war in Iraq. Well, Senator Robert Byrd (D-Almost Heaven) called Iraq "the president's war" yesterday, and Republicans took immediate offense:

''It's not the president's war. It's our war,'' [NM Republican Sen. Pete] Domenici said, alluding to the congressional vote authorizing military action in Iraq. ''In fact,'' he continued, ''I might say that I disagree with (Sen. Byrd's) entire statement. It has things in it that aren't true. It has things in it that aren't valid.''

Hmm...sounds familiar. But since when are Republican senators concerned about things that aren't valid? Sixteen words, anyone?

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), a committee member, said Monday that Byrd's comments were part of an ''emerging Democratic Party strategy'' being formulated in think tanks and among Democratic presidential candidates. ''We heard it in Bob Byrd today,'' he said. ''This is about trying to tag the war on a sitting president, so they can run against him in the '04 election.''

Tag the war on Bush? Like it was something that just happened, like Isabel, and Byrd was unfairly blaming Bush for all the death, destruction and expense. No Bush, no war. Simple as that.

So I guess Bush will have to run on the economy. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Maybe if Bush had listened to our focus group last February he'd have a better chance at reappointment.

From Drew Sheneman.
Shame, Scandal, Disaster...
The United Nations was used on Tuesday as a prop for a failing President’s Fox newsbite writ large. It is a shame and a scandal and a disaster beyond description that this great nation has fallen so very low.

A moment will come on January 20th, 2005. It will be cold in Washington D.C. A man who is not George W. Bush will raise his hand and swear and oath to preserve, protect and defend the United States of America. The words “So help me God” will be snatched by the wind and carried across seas and mountains to the furthest corner of the planet. When that happens, all of the Earth will be joined together in the deepest and most profound exhalation of relief. When that happens, George W. Bush will have become in his absence what he completely failed to be with his presence.
-- From William Rivers Pitt's review of W's absurd speech at the UN.

From Joe Heller.

From John Deering.

From Mike Keefe.
The Truth Hurts, Senator
Republicans in the Senate were attacking Sen. Ted Kennedy for his comments last week that the war in Iraq was a "fraud made up in Texas."

Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.) took the criticism a step further. "Stop to think of the reaction of a young wife surrounded by small children, not knowing from day to day whether her husband will survive another day's engagement in Afghanistan or Iraq," he said. "And they hear that this whole thing has been a fraud perpetrated upon this family and was made up in Texas. I find that very painful." -- WaPo

Especially since they should have heard it eight months ago.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Powell said Iraq was no threat

This is incredible. Who needs conspiracy theories when their own words impeach them?

Colin Powell said Saddam had no "significant capability" with respect to WMD's, and posed no serious threat to his neighbors. He said this in a press briefing on February 24, 2001. It's still there! Go take a look!

Here are some of the juicy quotes:

We had a good discussion, the [Egyptian] Foreign Minister and I and the [Egyptian] President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions -- the fact that the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.
[Egyptian] FOREIGN MINISTER MOUSSA: For us, I don't see that threat, but if you ask the Gulf regions and countries of that area they will they would continue to feel that and they say it publicly. The question is not rhetorical. The question is not to have some headlines. It's a very serious situation. We will continue to deal with that situation in a way that ensures stability and justice. Therefore, we will have a lot to say after the round of talks ...

SECRETARY POWELL: May I just add a p.s. that if I was a Kuwaiti and I heard leaders in Baghdad claiming that Kuwait is still a part of Iraq and it's going to be included in the flag and the seal, if I knew they were continuing to try to find weapons of mass destruction, I would have no doubt in my mind who those weapons were aimed at. They are being aimed at Arabs, not at the United States or at others. Yes, I think we should...he has to be contained until he realizes the errors of his ways.

I found this through Atrios, who found it through John Pilger and Lean Left. Just incredible! Less than a year later, Iraq is a charter member of the axis of evil. Two years later, Powell is reciting lie after lie in an attempt to convince the UN Security Council that Iraq is a threat to its neighbors and the US. No credible evidence that anything had changed. In fact, Bush said as much back in July:

THE PRESIDENT: Well, let me first say that -- I think the intelligence I get is darn good intelligence. And the speeches I have given were backed by good intelligence. And I am absolutely convinced today, like I was convinced when I gave the speeches, that Saddam Hussein developed a program of weapons of mass destruction, and that our country made the right decision. We worked with the United Nations -- as Kofi mentioned, not all nations agreed with the decision, but we worked with the United Nations. And Saddam Hussein did not comply. And it's the same intelligence, by the way, that my predecessor used to make the decision he made in 1998.

Of course, that last quote is from an extremely unreliable source; that was the same interview where he said "And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in."

To summarize: In 1998 Clinton bombed Iraq based on some intelligence. (Whether it was about WMD's in Iraq or stains on dresses, I'll leave up to the reader.) By February 2001, the new Secretary of State Colin Powell had seen the same evidence and decided that Saddam had no significant WMD capability and was unable to threaten his neighbors, much less the US. In the fall of 2002, Bush and Powell insist that Iraq is a threat and demand that weapons inspections resume. They do. After four months, they have confirmed that Powell in 2001 was right while Powell in 2002/3 was wrong. So the bombs drop and the invasion begins.

*** Bob's Links and Rants: Main ***
Okay, not from a different planet, but from his advisors--even worse!
I suggested below that aWol gets his news from extraterrestrial sources. Instead, he provided the answer in last night's interview:

"I appreciate people's opinions, but I'm more interested in news," the president said. "And the best way to get the news is from objective sources, and the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world." -- AP, via Billmon.
I swear, he's getting his news from a different planet:
Across Iraq, life is being improved by liberty. Across the Middle East, people are safer because an unstable aggressor has been removed from power. Across the world, nations are more secure because an ally of terror has fallen. -- aWol, again

And more from his stupid little UN speech: people embrace hope over resentment and choose peace over violence. Bush hoped for war, resented France, and chose violence over peace. Not a free person, I guess.

The old regime starved hospitals of resources, so we have helped to supply and reopen hospitals across Iraq. Actually, it was the sanctions that starved the hospitals.

The old regime built up armies and weapons while allowing the nation's infrastructure to crumble, so we are rehabilitating power plants, water and sanitation facilities, bridges and airports. "Allowing the nation's infrastructure to crumble" under US bombs.

...the United Nations should assist in developing a constitution, in training civil servants, and conducting free and fair elections. And when they're done here, maybe they can help out in Iraq.

Yet every young democracy needs the help of friends. You mean like the US got from France?

The advance of democratic institutions in Iraq is setting an example that others, including the Palestinian people, would be wise to follow. Yeah, the Palestinians keep trying to pretend that Bush doesn't have a veto over their elections.

A second challenge we must confront together is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Outlaw regimes that possess nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the means to deliver them would be able to use blackmail and create chaos in entire regions. Bush is a prime example!

The founding documents of the United Nations and the founding documents of America stand in the same tradition. Both assert that human beings should never be reduced to objects of power or commerce, because their dignity is inherent. Both recognize a moral law that stands above men and nations which must be defended and enforced by men and nations. And both point the way to peace; the peace that comes when all are free. -- So explain Guantanamo Bay, George.

It boggles the mind that someone so stupid and hypocritical could ever be allowed to run a carnival ride, much less the most powerful government on earth.

Don't let the facts get in the way
Or the fact that you've already admitted that you've got no evidence:

The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction. It used those weapons in acts of mass murder and refused to account for them when confronted by the world. -- aWol at the UN
Vote No on Recall!
Says Rep. Darrell Issa (R - Moron), the idiot who spent millions to get the California recall started in the first place.
Online Poll
About a year too late, but CNN asks: "Are pre-emptive strikes a valid policy?"

Monday, September 22, 2003
Uncle John wants YOU to do time!
Lots of it:

It is the policy of the Department of Justice that, in all federal criminal cases, federal prosecutors must charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense or offenses that are supported by the facts of the case, except as authorized by an Assistant Attorney General, United States Attorney, or designated supervisory attorney in the limited circumstances described below. The most serious offense or offenses are those that generate the most substantial sentence under the Sentencing Guidelines, unless a mandatory minimum sentence or count requiring a consecutive sentence would generate a longer sentence. -- From Ashcrotch's memo to federal prosecutors

Plea bargains are a popular and powerful tool for prosecutors to secure the cooperation of defendants and to speed cases through the system without devoting additional time and resources to a trial. Some 96 percent of the 60,000 cases handled by federal prosecutors in 2001, the last year for which complete figures were available, resulted in plea bargains, officials said. But the new policy states that prosecutors must seek the most severe sentence allowed by law unless there are overriding considerations. -- NY Times

With over 2 million already in prison, the highest per-capita rate in the world, Ashcroft wants more people sentenced to longer terms. It will cost much more for both the prison space and the trials, and our already inhuman "justice" system will get even worse.

I know that Reagan was bad, but I think his administration was pretty amateurish compared to this one when it came to destroying every semblance of a free, just and kind society in as short a time as possible. What could possibly be motivating these people to destroy the world? They're actively promoting world war, environmental destruction and huge increases in wealth disparity. They're bankrupting the country, and dismantling the constitutional protections they claim to be protecting.

I saw a little bit of Brit Hume's interview with aWol earlier tonight. He says he'll tell the UN that "we were right to go into Iraq," based on no evidence whatsoever that anyone, anywhere is better off. I had to switch over to another loser, the Detroit Tigers, before I threw something at my TV. In case you haven't noticed, I believe that George W. Bush is the single most despicable person that I've witnessed in my lifetime. Stupid is tolerable; stupid plus arrogant is annoying; stupid plus arrogant plus powerful is deadly. Why isn't Congress impeaching this dangerous buffoon? I'm not sure the world will survive until January 2005.

Bush to tell UN to go screw themselves, then ask them for help
Again. According to the NY Times:

President Bush will tell the United Nations on Tuesday that he was right to order the invasion of Iraq even without the organization's explicit approval, and he will urge a new focus on countering nuclear proliferation, arguing that it is the only way to avoid similar confrontations.

Okay, this is just the Times quoting inside sources about what Bush will say. I think we can safely say that what he actually says will be even more ridiculous. Will he suggest a ban on fictional imports of fictional yellowcake? That every country that doesn't have nukes be sanctioned, bombed and invaded as a lesson?

Every day, in every way, George W. Bush is making this world a worse place to live. I hope the UN laughs him out of the building.

Sunday, September 21, 2003
Why didn't Buchanan write some of this stuff into Nixon's speeches?
As I recall, both William Safire and Pat Buchanan were speech writers for Richard Nixon. Safire must have written "peace with honor" and the other crap that kept us in Vietnam for four more years, at the cost of another million or so lives, including over 20,000 Americans. Buchanan, whatever his other faults, writes clearly and logically about foreign policy. He was consistently opposed to the war in Iraq, and answers the current arguments for maintaining the occupation very nicely:

Now we are in a sand trap. And the question the president and Congress must answer is: Do we go in deeper? Do we pour in whatever money and blood are needed to fight on to victory in a land where we are not loved and where the enemy can fight the kind of war Islamic warriors have fought successfully against the French in Algeria, the Russians in Afghanistan and the Israelis in Lebanon. Or do we disengage, accept the humiliation of an American withdrawal and choose a different battlefield on which to fight al-Qaida?
The mistake Reagan made in Lebanon was not in pulling out, but in going in. There was no vital U.S. interest in Beirut, no threat to our security. The same was true of Somalia. When we moved beyond giving food to starving Somalis to deciding what warlord should rule in Mogadishu, we intervened in a civil war and paid the inevitable price.
But, like a bad marriage, the mistake was going in, in the first place, and now, there is no easy way out. If we pull out, Iraq could become a failed state and a haven for Islamic warriors. If we stay and fight, we may be plunging into an endless or unwinnable war.

Somewhere, Osama bin Laden is saying to himself, "Mission accomplished."

U.S. - Arab Economic Forum
It's oil business as usual in Detroit next week, as the U.S. - Arab Economic Forum comes to town. Speakers include Colin Powell, two princes, one from Bahrain and one from Saudi Arabia, and the CEO's of GM, Boeing, Intel, HP and Pepsi. The sponsors?

I saw this advertised on TV. I guess the key is that no matter how many people die, how many bombs are dropped and terrorist attacks occur, there's money to be made. And that trumps all.

Three more soldiers killed
Iraqi police ready to turn guns on US troops
Iraqi policemen declared themselves holy warriors yesterday and vowed to take revenge for the deaths of their comrades in the town where ten police and a security guard were killed on Friday in the worst "friendly fire" incident of the Iraq conflict. "I am full of hatred for the Americans and I am ready to kill them," said Arkan Adanan, who was injured in the shoulder early on Friday morning when US troops poured rifle and machinegun fire into three police vehicles that were chasing suspected bandits. -- London Times
There's evil to be done, by George!
President George Bush is mounting an intensive campaign to force European countries to drop safety tests expected to save thousands of lives each year, internal US government documents seen by The Independent on Sunday reveal. -- from The Independent.

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