Saturday, December 03, 2005

Leaving Iraq might be the victory Bush cannot define

It's not just Bush, the right-wing chorus that emphatically states that we must stay and win a;ways leave oyt that very important matter of what will define this victory that always seems just around the corner. U.S.A. forces have a higher kill count then the insurgents or the foreign fighters that have leaked across the border. Yet, American and innocent Iraqis continue to die. Maybe the war cheerleaders fighting from the safety of their keyboards see the slow, but steady trickle of our casualties and wounded as acceptable because the ratio of our dead compared to their dead is so great. Their Swiftboating of Cindy Sheehan, John Murtha, and anyone else that finds every death unacceptable betrays their deeply callous attitude toward those making the ultimate sacrifice. The wingnuttery's support of the troops turns out to be all puffery and no substance. let someone in the military, retired military, or family of military speak out about the realities of the chickenhawk Bush's elective war and their vicious howls and accusations know no bounds of civil discourse. Their loyalties are not to those in uniform or to America, but to ideology, to Bushism. All that do not hail the great Hier Bush are unclean, unworthy.

By way of Steve Clemens two views of leaving Iraq and why leaving is winning. Note that having everyone haul ass across the border to Kuwait is not what is proposed. That's how the wiley chickenhawk chorous in Congress labeled John Murtha's proposal, which it wasn't.

Would the withdrawal of U.S. troops ignite a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites?
No. That civil war is already under way—in large part because of the American presence. The longer the United States stays, the more it fuels Sunni hostility toward Shiite "collaborators." Were America not in Iraq, Sunni leaders could negotiate and participate without fear that they themselves would be branded traitors and collaborators by their constituents. Sunni leaders have said this in official public statements; leaders of the resistance have told me the same thing in private.

Odom: Want stability in the Middle East? Get out of Iraq!
By contrast, any argument for "staying course," or seeking more stability before we withdraw -- or pointing out tragic consequences that withdrawal will cause -- is bound to be wrong, or at least unpersuasive. Putting it bluntly, those who insist on staying in Iraq longer make the consequences of withdrawal more terrible and make it harder to find an alternative strategy for achieving regional stability.

It doesn't hurt to remember the reasons given for going into Iraq: WMD? None found. Connections to al-Queada? Something out of Darth Cheney's imagination. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, and Pakistan all have closer ties to terrorism then Iraq.
Bush and apologists last desparate rationale was to help the Iraqi people? According to most polls of the Iraqi people they want us out. Old southern custom, don't stay where you're not welcome.

Saddam’s trial will remind the world of his butchery. writes washed up historical revisionists and right-wing apologists Victor David Hanson.
Well, VD as I like to call him, there is little doubt of Saddam's butchery, supported by the very folks that he writes for and defends now.
The Reagan administration authorized the sale of poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses to Saddam

The Reagan administration then turned it's head as Iraq "gassed" the Kurds.

For the right morals truly are relative and wacky semi-intellectuals like Hansen are all too ready to rewrite history to cover their tracks.

There's work for the 101st Fighting Wing-nuts: 50 cents an hour in Iraq

KBR workers in Iraq paid 50 cents an hour
Those workers are recruited from countries with already low wages, where jobs are scarce. And as pressure to keep the logistics contract cost down has increased, subcontractors have moved from country to country in search of cheaper labor markets.

That is what brought around 770 workers from Sierra Leone, Africa, to Iraq in July to work for ESS Support Services Worldwide, A British-based food service company specializing, according to its Web site, in "remote site, defense and off-shore locations."

Most of the workers are deemed unskilled and work seven days a week for 12 hours a day, according to their contracts, one of which was obtained by United Press International. In practice, workers said in interviews, most only work six days a week.

Now there's no excuse, the Fighting Internet Wing-Nuts can make themselves useful in Iraq and if they don't, no oil for them

Lighten up on the Moose

In Defense of The Moose
The next cookie on the plate is the assertion that Wittmann is a stay-the-course shill for Bush's war policies. Gee, let's see: just yesterday, The Moose said nobody should believe Bush is really changing his strategy on Iraq until he gets rid of Donald Rumsfeld. I somehow don't think that was in the daily Pentagon talking points on Iraq. And in fact, Wittmann has been regularly critical, often angrily so, about Bush's handling of Iraq and national security generally. Yes, he's more hawkish than many Democrats (after all, he's an independent), and he's more hawkish than I am, but he's no shill for Bush on any subject.

I read the Bull Moose on occasion and while I don't agree with everything there or at Kos for that matter, I think he brings some great insight to the Democratic side of the aisle. When I hear conservatives say that they're the " big tent" party it starts my gag reflex. Its a strange cast of characters. Wall Street thugs that are all too glad to peddle soft porn on TV in cahoots with insane Bible thumping members of the American Taliban's 700 Club. I for one don't want Democrats to have the tent of fools, but a tent big enough to include people that are a little out on the edge. Bull Moose, aka Marshall Wittman is one of those people. The Moose has made some good points about people that are soft Republicans and independents that lean Republican, both groups that we may not be able to win over entirely, but might get to at least split their ticket and get as some needed victories, not just for the Democratic party's sake, but the the sake of getting this great country back on course. Let the Right be the knee jerk reactionaries, they do it very well.

note: after I wrote this I went over and saw that the Moose had a post up entitled The Big Tent Party. One aspect that he left out was the idea of the government being in the business of forcing maternity on women, which is what no-choice means. Then he does address repeat abortion as a consequence of economic/social inequalities, yet seems to want us to
sympathize with this snip from TNR
The sad fact is that, three decades after legalization, abortion is no longer mainly a tool women use to shape their own destinies, but rather a symptom of larger social problems that ought to be addressed by policymakers. Realizing this may just mean accepting that there's some credibility to conservative views on abortion."

TNR doesn't get it and maybe the Bull Moose doesn't either. The problem is that these vulnerable women need help up the educational and economic ladder. Denying a secound abortion and leaving them with the same hopeless life they had before with new child in tow will not help them and probably begins a new cycle of hopelessness for the child she was forced to carry to term by those that swear they mean well. Well educated women that enjoy some sort of economic well being have less abortions, I just don't see what is so hard to see about the answer. That is the way as the Bull Moose quotes Bill Clinton to make abortion, "safe, legal and rare."
Moose does cite the drop in abortions during the Clinton years, which was attributable to his administrations more progressive contraceptive policies and that women were more hopeful about their future. update: Avedon Carol expresses what I was thinking about the pro-choice/repeat abortion issue. For those that have been paying attention this ground has been covered, in other words TNR might want to try and keep up: What everyone should already know

2. Yes, some abortions are repeat abortions, but pro-choice people have been talking about that right under your nose all along and you apparently didn't notice it, so let me make it as clear as I can: We advocate good birth control, which includes good birth control counseling as well as good sex education in general. We have always advocated it. We have never stopped advocating it. What the hell did you think it was for?

Friday, December 02, 2005

When is a " Sympathetic Vibration" a push poll

The Mystery Pollster has another look at that Sympathetic Vibrations poll. First he looks at the question of the order of the questions posed and how that may effect the answer, but also looks at how the question was asked and how the answers avaliable to respondents was limited, thus leading the poll to certain conclusions.
However, it is always possible that a question asked early in an omnibus survey might have some biasing effect on a question asked later.

I don't think the following bodes well for Bush's little bounce after his speech:
In a poll released Wednesday night, for example, Gallup found that only 10% of Americans reported seeing Bush's speech on Wednesday while 66% had heard nothing about it

Also worth noting and something that I see quite a bit in polls that cuts both ways, is some current headline event and one party or the other takes a lead in general criticism, whichever party makes the most noise and is the most critical, Democrat or Republican, people in general feel that the situation is being exploited for partisan political gain. There's little doubt in my mind that regardless of party or issue thre's at least a little bit of disingenious outrage, but for the most part on important issues their are legitimate concerns expressed that are automatically tuned out, sometimes unfairly by the general public mostly as a result of a general cultural cynicism.
So, back to the Sympathetic Vibrations poll that claimed that most people agreed with Cheney that Democratic criticisms of the way Bush was leadind the war were supposedly hurting troop morale. Myself and others found the poll to be a little contradictory, consdiering that most of the public thinks Bush is doing a less then great job in manageing the conflict.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted earlier this month showed just 36 percent approving of Bush’s “handling of the situation in Iraq” compared to 64 percent who disapproved. Fifty-eight percent said that Bush “has not given good reasons for why the United States must keep troops in Iraq” while 38 percent said he had justified the troop presence.
and this
A CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey published on Nov. 14 showed that only 35 percent supported the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq conflict, with 54 percent saying the invasion was a mistake. (Scroll down on the link above to see the survey details.) A Harris Interactive poll written up in the Wall Street Journal this week found that just 32 percent of respondents "say they are confident" that Iraq will develop into a stable democracy, and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) said U.S. troops should be brought home from Iraq within a year.

So obviously, most people think that the Bush is a screw-up in the plainest terms. Here's the tricky part, that while most people don't think Bush is doing a good job and most think that he misled them about the war and WMD, and are not happy about his strategy for ending the conflict in Iraq, most people also think that too much public criticism is not for the best regarding troop morale. I think this is commendable on the part of the American public, the concern that those thousands of miles away from home facing the threat of death shouldn't be made to feel that they are not being supported. Its also frustrating in two ways. One is that, as I wrote before there's no real proof that the troops object to a sincere effort of any politician to end the troops stay in Iraq sooner, rather then later. Most reports that I've read and the human intrests stories that have been run frequently on the morning news programs, suggest at least in a strong anecdotal way that morale has not been hurt by general domestic debate. The second frustration is that the general public is sometimes not aware of the principles involved, that the first amendment applies whether or not the USA is involved in a conflict or not. The one formal attempt to stifle debate whenever the USA was involved in a conflict was the Sedition Act of 1918.
Both the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act were repealed in 1921. Modern legal experts view both the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act as being antithetical to the letter and spirit of the United States Constitution, specifically the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Anti-governmental-defamation laws similar to the Sedition Act are still in place in some of the world's most repressive countries, including North Korea and Libya.

Under the old Sedition Act, Tom Delay (R-TX) could have been prosecuted when he said in 1999, when the U.S., "starts meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign nations, where does it stop?" and also said of the U.S., "starting to resemble a power-hungry imperialist army" and portrayed the U.S. mission in Kosovo as an "occupation by foreigners."
Mystery Pollster goes on to show through a history of polls of the last year weaning support for Bush's Iraq policies.
A consistent majority of at least 60% of Americans now disapproves of President Bush's performance on the Iraq war and believes it not worth the cost. A smaller majority now says that the war was a mistake. The consistency of the results suggests these are real attitudes, not opinions formed on the spot in the response to the language of the question.

An examination of the "vibrations" poll cannot fit on a bumper sticker and has many words with more then one syllable so we're unlikely to see it examined in the MSM or your favorite right-wing blog.

The Fairie Who Would be President: Bill Frist

The Frist File
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Oct. 25, 2005 | Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed the second of two complaints with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics against Sen. William Frist (R-Tenn.). The second complaint alleges that Sen. Frist was well aware that he held HCA stock at a time when he denied any knowledge of such holdings. The complaint points to recent press reports and letters from trustees to Frist as evidence that the senator was aware of his holdings.

Scanlon scandals, Bush regurgitates old news as new plan for winning, so where's the love for the tall fairie from the land of Elvis who would like so very much to be prez. Frist is caught up in the CCC, or Conservative Culture of Corruption, keeping his head down hoping no one will notice,

Thursday, December 01, 2005

There's not much new to report in the Republican Porn department, so we'll have to do with the skirt that Dubya Bush grew up hiding behind, Bush Gossip & Tonight's Ten Minutes on Air America' Majority Report
Barbara Bush is allegedly TICKED off at Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Andy Card, nearly all of them -- except Karen Hughes -- for how her boy is faring in the hearts and minds of Americans.

Which goes to show that there is no honor among thieves or neo-nuts. One should break the news to Barb that that when flea ridden dogs lie down with other flea ridden dogs they all just exchange fleas. You lttle georgie boy came in infested, Dickweed didn't get him to do anything W didn't want to do. Don't tell me that at her age she's falling for that old line that they made me do it or everyone else wanted to invade Iraq too, it was all peer pressure Mom, I swear.

Mean while, I guess knowing that she'd have to explain to Santa why she hasn't been a good girl, Miller 'sorry' for WMD inaccuracies
She said: "I am obviously deeply chagrined that I ever write anything that turns out to be incorrect. I'm deeply sorry that the stories were wrong."

Ms Miller also confirmed that former senior White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby was one of her sources who revealed that Ms Plame was employed by the CIA.

She claims Mr Libby did not out Ms Plame as a covert agent, but as someone who worked for the CIA. Ms Miller said she assumed that Ms Plame was an analyst, not an operative.

If Miller just tells Santa that even though she "assumed" it might be OK, unless Santa asked her if she was supposed to be a professional reporter and not make huge assumptions. Then its coal and briars in M's Miller's stocking this year. She won't be getting much sympathy from those that have family in Iraq, a large sandy place where President AWOL can't define victory, but will know it when he sees it.
When Bush says he won't cut and run, that means that he will not be admitting that he cooked the intelligence books, but refuses to eat his mistake. Like every other important moment in his life, from alcoholism to running businesses into the ground, Bush has cut and run, never taking responsibility for anything.

Murtha Says Army Is 'Broken, Worn Out' and for his heresay will be getting death threat Christmas cards from Michelle Malkin and the freepers this year.
Murtha, a decorated Vietnam war veteran, said the Pennsylvania National Guard is "stretched so thin" that it won't be able to send fully equipped units to Iraq next year. Murtha predicted it will cost $50 billion to upgrade military equipment nationwide, but says the federal government is already reducing future purchases to save money.

Remember that poll that the wingnuttery loved so much, Sympathetic Vibrations
. Media Matters delves into the methodology a little and find it was flawed to say the least. Since it told the royal members of the BushMouse Club what they wanted to hear, they echoed it like a fat cow's burp.

Media cited flawed poll to suggest Americans think Democratic criticism of Bush's Iraq policy hurts troop morale
RT's poll asked respondents: "Thinking about the war in Iraq, when Democratic Senators criticize the President's policy on the war in Iraq, do you believe it HELPS the morale of our troops in Iraq or HURTS the morale of our troops in Iraq?" Respondents could answer that such criticism "[h]urts morale a lot," "[h]urts morale some," "[h]elps morale some," or "[h]elps morale a lot." Although the poll recorded the responses of those who refused to answer or said they were unsure, respondents were not offered any option other than that the criticism helps or hurts morale. In any forced-choice poll question, most respondents are reluctant to offer an answer other than the options given.

and as I wrote in a previous post, there's no evidence from the troops themselves that a healthy debate about how the situation in Iraq is being handled is hurting their morale. It is odd that the right-wing cheerleaders for the war supposedly support democracy for Iraq, yet apparently don't want democracy here at home.

Came across this at The Gadlyer, O'Reilly Descends Into Madness.
in our year and a half of existence, Media Matters has posted over 500 items (detailed refutation of something he has said) and clips about Bill O'Reilly. Although he goes on a rant about us every couple of days, charging us with lying, smearing him, etc., he has never - I repeat, never - been able to produce a single thing that Media Matters has said about him that wasn't true.

O'Reilly is one of those self described patriots who has gone out of his way to hurt America. he's a clown, and while its had for me to take him seriouly, other people do. Its hurts America? Yea he does. Here's someone that has a forum for debate on TV and radio, who uses every minute of his time dumping down the issues that face our country and the world. At best we get some talking heads. Bill always manages to get the last word in, a final gotcha. It seems as though facts and all the details and nuances that go into fleshing out an issue have no relevance for O'Reilly world. As Waldman mentions at Gadflyer, the Today Show has had him on several times and yet softballs him everytime.

Today's All-Spin Zone: NBC gave O'Reilly forum to compare advocates of withdrawal from Iraq to Hitler appeasers
These pinheads running around going, "Get out of Iraq now," don't know what they're talking about. These are the same people before Hitler invaded in World War II that were saying, "Ah, he's not such a bad guy." They don't get it.

Its not just that he's calling John Murtha a Nazi sympathizer, but also Cindy Sheehan who lost a son in Iraq and John Kerry who has also called for a systematic drawdown of troop levels.

Jack Reed (D-Ri) said in the Kerry/Reed reply to Bush's non-speech:
Let me first say that all Americans support unquestioningly our American troops overseas. We recognize the great sacrifices they’re making. All of us in the United States Congress, both Republican and Democrat, support these extraordinary young men and women.

I had the privilege of serving as a paratrooper commander in the 82nd Airborne Division. John Kerry is a combat veteran of Vietnam. We appreciate what these soldiers are doing. They, more than anyone else, deserve a coherent plan that will chart the course of our policies in Iraq. We can’t fail there, but we have to have a plan to succeed

Bill the serial liar has never served and his bullying of anyone that disagress with him betrays a distinctly cowardly insecurity. Bill as a matter of fact has never done anything in service of his country. He claims to raise money for charity, well thats the least someone that makes 2 million plus a year and never breals a sweat can do. At the end of the day America does more for Bill then he'll ever return in kind. He truly is in America's debt.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"WP. Willy Pete. White phosphorus."

There are plenty of stories out there about war and atrocities. After two years of being in Iraq, its certain that there would be stories of the horrors committed. We've seen the beheadings, the burning of private contractors bodies, children cut down by gun fire, cars with innocent families sprayed with automatic weapons. War is a horror story regardless of the motives of those involved. All the highminded rhetoric in the world shouldn't let anyone rationalize away the daily horror that any war is.One thing that we do need to do, no matter what side you're on is be honest. As Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby will tell you, its the lies or distortions that hit get you eventually. If the Pentagon, even under pressure from the pathetic incompetents in the Whitehouse had been as open and blunt about the WP fiasco, well it wouldn't have become a fiasco and fuel for the bad guys in the hearts and minds war in the middle-east.

The truth about WP
The U.S. government only compounded the problem by denying that WP had been used in Fallouja for anything other than illuminating the battlefield. The government flatly rejected the charge that it had been used to burn enemy combatants. This claim, however, was untrue and easily disproved. An Army Field Artillery magazine article written earlier this year by soldiers who had fired the artillery in Fallouja described "shake and bake" missions — cannons firing WP incendiary rounds along with high-explosive shells to flush out insurgents from trenches and hiding places.

As usual, it is the coverup that gets you into trouble. The guilty flee where none pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion.

The only scandal here is that our government allowed the nation to fall victim to clumsy, cheap anti-American propaganda. At least during the Cold War, we made the Soviets work to discredit us.

In this instance, anyway the only thing the Pentagon, under the thump of the Bushies is guilty of is in a tough situation resort to the lie first, and come back to truth only when forced to. Bush's culture of lying has done yet another terrible disservice to our troops on the front and our country.

Better then PJ's

How about a site that's a little more balanced then the obviously slanted PJ Media. Truthdig hat-tip to Catch

Know your place: T-shirts, Betsy's leak and the psychology of conservatism

via pandagon, Reliving the glory days of being a hall monitor
Its difficult at times to really quantify the subtle minutiae of the conservative mind in everyday life. Just a the intro, you'll have to read the whole post.
I'm settling into my window seat on JetBlue Flight 101 from New York to Oakland, when a man sitting in the aisle seat on my row points my attention to a teenager taking off her sweat shirt on the other side of the plane. Underneath the sweat shirt, she's wearing a T-shirt that states, in large colorful letters on the back, "FUCK THIS PLACE."

The man mutters to me an almost inaudible sentence that ends with the words "grounds for deportation."

I'm not sure if I am hearing him correctly. Did he say "that could be grounds for deportation" -- making a wry reference to the woman who was thrown off a Southwest flight a few months ago for wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Bush, Cheney and Condoleezza Rice and read "Meet the Fuckers"? Or did he say "should" instead of "could"?

Which brings us to a more clinical definition of the psychology of conservatism. Its hard to avoid it. We can debate issues all day, but at the end of the day you have to wonder about a world view that at its roots thinks that lying to get a country to go to war is not only OK, but patriotic. Behind this thinking is a strong belief in a ruling class, and in the layer just below that are the pillars of social-darwinism. There is this underlying assumption that only the conservative class should rule and that the conservative class knows best. All that BS about elitism is a very pure projection of conservatives thinking that they and only they should have power and know how to exercise it.
from, Study of Bush's psyche touches a nerve
"This intolerance of ambiguity can lead people to cling to the familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose simplistic cliches and stereotypes," the authors argue in the Psychological Bulletin.

One of the psychologists behind the study, Jack Glaser, said the aversion to shades of grey and the need for "closure" could explain the fact that the Bush administration ignored intelligence that contradicted its beliefs about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

No psychic cupid lead the neocons astray. They created the fairie tale of an "urgent" Iraq threat and Like O.J. Simpson they've told the same lie so many times they may have actually started to believe it. Many of us have read this essay by Philip E. Agre, What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

The tactics of conservatism vary widely by place and time. But the most central feature of conservatism is deference: a psychologically internalized attitude on the part of the common people that the aristocracy are better people than they are. Modern-day liberals often theorize that conservatives use "social issues" as a way to mask economic objectives, but this is almost backward: the true goal of conservatism is to establish an aristocracy, which is a social and psychological condition of inequality. Economic inequality and regressive taxation, while certainly welcomed by the aristocracy, are best understood as a means to their actual goal, which is simply to be aristocrats. More generally, it is crucial to conservatism that the people must literally love the order that dominates them. Of course this notion sounds bizarre to modern ears, but it is perfectly overt in the writings of leading conservative theorists such as Burke. Democracy, for them, is not about the mechanisms of voting and office-holding. In fact conservatives hold a wide variety of opinions about such secondary formal matters. For conservatives, rather, democracy is a psychological condition. People who believe that the aristocracy rightfully dominates society because of its intrinsic superiority are conservatives; democrats, by contrast, believe that they are of equal social worth. Conservatism is the antithesis of democracy. This has been true for thousands of years.

Hitler, Mussolini, Bush, Ronald Reagan, PowerLine Blog, Glen Reynolds, Bill O'Reilly, Michelle Malkin are believe in a social aristocrisy. They may come at that belief for particular benefits to them; money, power, prestige, control of others, and yes, sadism, whether emotional sadism or physical sadism. They enjoy inflicting pain or hardship on those not of the aristocracy.
Firm in the belief that the have-nots or don't have much, don't deserve to have anything.
Conservatism has opposed rational thought for thousands of years. What most people know nowadays as conservatism is basically a public relations campaign aimed at persuading them to lay down their capacity for rational thought.

Conservatism frequently attempts to destroy rational thought, for example, by using language in ways that stand just out of reach of rational debate or rebuttal.

Conservatism has used a wide variety of methods to destroy reason throughout history. Fortunately, many of these methods, such as the suppression of popular literacy, are incompatible with a modern economy. Once the common people started becoming educated, more sophisticated methods of domination were required. Thus the invention of public relations, which is a kind of rationalized irrationality. The great innovation of conservatism in recent decades has been the systematic reinvention of politics using the technology of public relations.

Thank you Mr. Bill and Faux, Swiftboating and sound bites, the folksy mannerisms that hide a disengaged ideoloque, Blogging that started out as roots oriented tool for the individual to speak out - now twisted into a right-wing gossip machine with corporate sponors. Here we have a blogger named Betsy, who claims to teach history somewhere who is shocked, just shocked that she heard through another blogger, who heard through the grapevine that Senator Harry Reid may have said that he had unconfirmed reports that Osama Bin Laden has been killed. Betsy and her minions think Harry has violated national security. Having waited for this huge story to break on Google News, CNN, and Fox (TV and Net ) for 3 hours, theres been no breaking news about OBL or Reid. So, Betsy is of the gossip as public relations school of conservatism. Also isn't it a bit odd that news of OBL's death would be a negative in Betsy the Conservatives eyes, and something that should be kept secret. Then there's the obvious, isn't Betsy also annoucing to those that visit her site the same super secret intelligence she fells that Senator Reid should not reveal. Lets also not tell poor Betsy that Bush's poll numbers are in the basement and that the news that OBL may be dead might boost them a tad.
I did come across this little story at Fox and apparently Porter Goss is at least channeling Betsy's only conservatives should know mindset
Goss: CIA is 'Gold Standard' for Intel Ops dated 11-29-05 from AP
Director Porter Goss, saying his agency struggles to penetrate terrorist sanctuaries overseas, insists that "we know more than we're able to say publicly" about Usama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

so Porter, is he dead or what ? Harry Reid, Betsy and I are dieing to know.
Al Qaeda leaders Bin Laden and al-Zarqawi haven't been found "primarily because they don't want us to find them and they're going to great lengths to make sure we don't find them," Goss said in the interview broadcast Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "We're applying a lot of efforts to find out where they are." He insisted the CIA knows "a good deal more" about the men "than we're able to say publicly."

Um....."than we're able to say publicly." Betsy may be on to something. OBL is dead or being held in one of the secret prisons that Porter CIA says they don't have. but they have places ( wink wink nudge nudge ).
According to the first type of argument, found for example in Burke, social institutions are a kind of capital. A properly ordered society will be blessed with large quantities of this capital. This capital has very particular properties. It is a sprawling tangle of social arrangements and patterns of thought, passed down through generations as part of the culture. It is generally tacit in nature and cannot be rationally analyzed. It is fragile and must be conserved, because a society that lacks it will collapse into anarchy and tyranny. Innovation is bad, therefore, and prejudice is good. Although the institutions can tolerate incremental reforms around the edges, systematic questioning is a threat to social order. In particular, rational thought is evil.

Somewhere in America is a history teacher that trades in irrational gossip, thinks rational thought is a liberal conspiracy ( shes right about that) and is possibly teaching your kids. Now don't over react, just in case though, sit down with them tommorrow after school and explain how some people have a mental illness called conservatism and if they try to talk you into anything, just smile and nod.

two updates: traced Betsy's story back to John Fund at GOP ( I'm not providing links to this BS ) and Fund says that Reid said this all happened on 11-23-05, on a show called KRNV-TV's "Nevada Newsmakers". There is a video on site at No transcript unfortunately. Reid says, and I paraphrase, that he was just speculating, but he thinks that its possible that OBL was killed in the Pakistan earthquake. Gee wiz kids could Reid been a little ahead of the slackers like Fund and Betsy, the India Daily made the same speculation,
Rumors in Pakistan held Kashmir points towards some massive losses for Al-Queda is Pakistan held Kashmir. Some international think tanks believe Osama Bin Laden hiding in the safe sanctuary of Pakistan held Kasmir may be killed by the massive quake.

Since the entire world, or at least anyone that reads a newspaper from here to India, including the military and CIA think that if he is still alive he could be in the northern regions of Pakistan, where the quake hit. Senator Reid on top of the news, Betsy and John Fund not so much.
the second part is the at the very least an ill-thought out disinformation campaign going on in Iraq. Propaganda is not always bad, it has a place, but this new approach by Army Public Affairs seems a little off the mark. Pravda in Iraq

The articles, written by U.S. military "information operations" troops, are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor, according to U.S. military officials and documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

Here's the kicker: While I was in Afghanistan, I noticed that Public Affairs was being taken over by "Information Operations." We fought it hard. We were supposed to be the honest brokers of information. If people couldn't trust us, then we were pointless.

Isn't or wasn't that an old fashioned american value, honesty is the best policy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Where are those darn principled Republicans ?

Apparently they're sitting on their crossed fingers hoping that voters don't notice, The Creeping Corruption of the Republican Party
Although few Republicans will speak on the record about such abuses for fear of retaliation, it is a growing topic of private conversation. Earlier this year, The Washington Post quoted one leadership aide as lamenting, "It took Democrats 40 years to get as arrogant as we have become in 10."

It was only a matter of time before the petty abuse of power morphed into actual corruption. That is the significance of the growing scandal involving lobbyists Jack Abramoff, Mike Scanlon and others. Last week, Scanlon pleaded guilty to defrauding Indian tribes who had paid Abramoff and Scanlon to lobby for their gambling interests in Congress.

While not a big fan od RCP, this is a pretty good article. Though Democrats that think they can get elected/re-elected without coming out with a compelling message and just run on Republican negatives, better think again.

Chis Wallace at Fox echoes Whitehouse lies

Low on the Hog has a rundown of the admin's lies about Iraq/terrorists ties and their revisionism courtesy of Fox the official Whitehouse propaganda outlet....Fox News Host Chris Wallace Claims Bush “Never” Linked Saddam and al-Qaeda
Isn't it odd that the righties are now breaking down all the reasons that BushCo gave the American people for going to war.
It probably goes over with the tell-me-what-I-need-to-hear-so-Ican-remain-delusional crowd, but normal folks aren't going to buy it.

Bush-Rites: Is the President's Soul in Jeopardy?

An Evangelical Christian Looks at Bush's Skull and Bones Initiation
After this the initiate is brought before a picture of Judas Iscariot, whose name the group screams three times, and then he is led to the heart of the rite: the initiate is pushed to his knees before a human skull filled with blood placed at the foot of a human skeleton called Madame Pompadour.

The crowd "implores him to 'Drink it! Drink it! Drink it!'" and he does. Then he is hurried to a man dressed as the Pope. "But not before the D whips him in the face with his tail. The initiate bends to kiss the Pope's slippered toe on the skull." (Robbins, p.120.) This is the core of the very un-Christian and blasphemous rite that enfolded so many members of the Bush clan into the secret society, mirroring similar rites from earlier blasphemous societies and indeed even some devil-worshipping sects.

An interesting read, other then that I won't comment. We report, you decide.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Cheney: "nefarious bastard"

The $ 64,000 question: Who said that Cheney might be a "nefarious bastard"? Michael Moore? Ted Kennedy? Nope a Republican named Lawrence Wilkerson. Ex-Powell aide criticizes detainee effort

Wilkerson blamed Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and like-minded aides. He said Cheney must have sincerely believed that Iraq could be a spawning ground for new terror assaults, because "otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard

He said he has almost, but not quite, concluded that Cheney and others in the administration deliberately ignored evidence of bad intelligence and looked only at what supported their case for war.

A newly declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document from February 2002 said that an al-Qaida military instructor was probably misleading his interrogators about training that the terror group's members received from Iraq on chemical, biological and radiological weapons. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi reportedly recanted his statements in January 2004.

When you're a kid you make up stuff to justify getting what you want, not being an adult and not being aware of all the considerations that should go into a sound decision thats excusable. When you represent over 300 million people you're not supposed to act like a kid. America is a special place, it, at least in our of national consiousness, represents certain ideals. What forces are really a threat to those ideals? People that think like Dick.

Bush's Religion: Doublespeak

Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel
One of the more intriguing things that Bush was told during the briefing was that the few credible reports of contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda involved attempts by Saddam Hussein to monitor the terrorist group. Saddam viewed Al Qaeda as well as other theocratic radical Islamist organizations as a potential threat to his secular regime. At one point, analysts believed, Saddam considered infiltrating the ranks of Al Qaeda with Iraqi nationals or even Iraqi intelligence operatives to learn more about its inner workings, according to records and sources.

Its interesting in an amateur pychcology kind of way to see the Saddam-Bin Laden urban myth still being posted around the net. Myabe its because Bush still keeps saying that Iraq is the front of the "war on terror". Of course most rational adults know by now that there were no Al-Queada operatives in Iraq until after Bush invaded with too few troops to secure the border. So Bush is in fact an incompetent commander-in-chief. No wonder his apologists in the blogosphere work so feverishly to perpetuate untruths about Iraq and the evnts that lead us there.

F*Ck Morale get us a plan: More Sympathetic Vibrations
Current Music: FUCK! my mp3 player is out o juice.

I'm back home.


The Mahm.

St. Michael.

What have you.

My truck, which I left here in good working order, is destroyed mostly.

The insurgency is on the rise in our area, with a most impressive coordinated assault on one of my sister FOBs (St. Joe) under their belt. Apparently they have enough folks and sophistication in my back yard where they can simultaneously place accurate mortar rounds on three seperate locations (at least 30k apart) to tie up any ground mounted quick reaction forces, as well as offer up multiple RPG strikes on the guard towers at Joe. These RPG attacks really bring out the QRF who face their own ambush as they come out the gate, at least 12 insurgents occupying buildings with an overwatch position to Joe's only entrance armed with more rpg's and small arms. The only possible responses are tanks or Apaches. Luckily we have both on call. 12 dead insurgents, destroyed buildings, a compromised FOB, sustained, accurate and unaswered indirect fire and lots o unanswered questions later... I'm here.

What the fuck has my chain of command been doing? We were winning somewhat when I left. And now we're being pinned down in our own fucking homes? Insurgents are pushing locals out of their homes and taking over my area at will? What kind of fucktarded plan have we been half-assedly executing? Obviously the kind that neglects sound contact with locals. Obviously the kind that gives further distance to unbridged gaps between soldiers and locals. Obviously the kind that has shown enough weakness when confronted by the insugency that it has been encouraged to grow.

Back home (the USA kind) I have no home, no job, and my commander in chief is on vacation (he's about 20 days behind Ronald Reagan right now in the race to become the most vacationing president ever. Hey W! we all got our fingers crossed! Here's to you and two more years of vacationing!). Luckily pretty much everything that is important to me can fit into the back of a truck. Luckily I just paid off one of those.

In their fear to build relationships and get out of their hiding holes the FOBbits above me have fucked my friends and I.

We've just completed the first 1/4 of our tour. we've sent 4 of 24 members of this platoon home with injuries.

Thankfully we're not like another who has sent 8 home in body bags...but we got 9 months to go.

Stay true lambs,

This is from a Live Journal entry written by a soldier killed in Iraq. Go ahead wing-nuts, get a giant circle jerk going with Darth Cheney and Swift-boat this guys memory.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Wingnuttery clings to WAPO life raft

The usual slate of shady characters is clinging to a life raft column from WAPO about a chunk of the American public agreeing with the vice-president of conservative porn, Darth Cheney. One can almost imagine the 101st Fighting Hypocrites finger tips turning purple as pound out their winged noise with a tenaciousness used by rabid animals biting fence posts as they hang on to this this sliver of hope. Like Cons havn't ghoulishly exploited the body of every single victim of 9-11 for political gain.

Sympathetic Vibrations
Seventy percent of people surveyed said that criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale -- with 44 percent saying morale is hurt "a lot," accordingto a poll taken by RT Strategies. Even self-identified Democrats agree: 55 percent believe criticism hurts morale, while 21 percent say it helps morale.

Some people believe in fairies. It OK with me if people want to believe in fairies or that everything that comes out of a democrats mouth about the troops is transmitted by satellite directly into a receiver implanted in the brain of every soldier and Marine in Iraq. Only Democrats are being critical of Bush's policy, not the troops. The troops do not equal Bush and Republicans do not equal America. Democrats and others are waking up to the fact that Bush and company not only sent us to war based on lies, but never had a plan to win the peace. There is a point at which incompetence is indistinquishable from malaciousness. The FACT rhat BushCo didn't have a plan is as much responsible for the death of every soldier as the bullet that killed them. The ever delusional Right are just the enablers. Morale problems America? Look to your RIGHT, you'll find duplicity in Bush's malicious incompetence swarming the airwaves and the "internets". People are dieing needlessly, those that are not questioning why are part of the problem. Freedom, social justice, and national security require an informed citizenry, not a nation of mindless sheep. By saying BushCo and their blame deflecting cheerleaders never had a plan, I don't mean they had a plan that patriots like myself didn't like, they had NO plan. That lack of planning has killed United States soldiers and Marines, not to mention innocent Iraqis. The apologists are very busy wrapping their treachery in the flag. Cowards can't hide behind that noble symbol forever. The truth has found its way into the public consciousness and its not going anywhere.

Post-war planning non-existent
WASHINGTON - In March 2003, days before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American war planners and intelligence officials met at Shaw Air Force Base inSouth Carolina to review the Bush administration's plans to oust Saddam Husseinand implant democracy in Iraq.

Near the end of his presentation, an Army lieutenant colonel who was giving a briefing showeda slide describing the Pentagon's plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war, knownin the planners' parlance as Phase 4-C. He was uncomfortable with his material - and for good reason.

The slide said: "To Be Provided."

A Knight Ridder review of the administration's Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country.

Gen. Anthony Zinni was Bush's Middle East envoy, he was asked, Could you define success in the context of a military operation and what failure might be?
I don't believe that we ever lost a battle in Vietnam. I don't believe we ever lost a battle in Somalia. I don't believe we ever really lost a battle once we committedourselves to Korea, but we didn't resolve the situations politically the way wewanted to in any of those instances. So military success, in and of itself, is never the complete answer. Success will have to be measured not in military termsbut in political terms in what is left behind. That will be the mark of what weare -- what we leave behind in this.

snip. General Zinni also said this:
"And it struck me then that we had a plan to defeat Saddam's army, but we didn't have a plan to rebuild Iraq. And so I asked the different agencies of government to come together to talk about reconstruction planning for Iraq. . . . I thought we ought to look at political reconstruction, economic reconstruction, security reconstruction, humanitarian need, services, and infrastructure development. We met in Washington, DC. We called the plan, and we gamed it out in the scenario, Desert Crossing. The first meeting surfaced all the problems that have exactly happened now. This was 1999. And when I took it back and looked at it, I said, we need a plan. Not all of this is a military responsibility. I went back to State Department, to the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, Department of Commerce and others and said, all right, how about you guys taking part of the plan. We need a plan in addition to the war plan for the reconstruction. Not interested. Would not look at it. So at Central Command before I left -- I retired in 2000 -- I started a plan called Desert Crossing for the reconstruction of Iraq. Because I was convinced nobody in Washington was going to plan for it, and we, the military, would get stuck with it. So when I left in 2000 we were in the process of that planning. When it looked like we were going in, I called back down to Centcom and said, You need to dust off Desert Crossing. They said, What's that? Never heard of it. So in a matter of just a few years it was gone. The corporate memory. And in addition I was told, 'We've been told not to do any of the planning. It would all be done in the Pentagon.'

Well Zinni was right, we won the initial military victory and the last stats I saw were that our troops are killing insurgents and foreign fighters at 20 to every soldier killed. We are winning the body count war, but we've lost the political war. If morale really is low in Iraq, someone might want to tell the troops, according to DOD: Troop MoraleHigh as Iraq Sovereignty Transfer Nears
WASHINGTON, June 25, 2004 Morale is high among U.S. service members inIraq as the June 30 transfer of sovereignty approaches, the coalition's deputy operations director said June 23.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt spoke from Baghdad with Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sean Lehman on The Pentagon Channel's "Studio 5" program. He said he sees evidence every day thatAmerican service members' spirits are high, both inside and outside the heavily fortified "Green Zone" where coalition headquarters is located.

The general attributed the high morale to U.S. service members having a focused mission and seeing the results of what they're doing in Iraq. "They also know that they've got the support of their friends and families back home, they've got the supportof the United States Congress, and they know they've got the support of theAmerican people and the president of the United States," Kimmitt added.

I don't know if the poll the insta-know-it-all-kool-aid-drinkers like so much is termed in a way to get a biased answer, but its possible.
Note the date on the DOD article, 6-25-04. We have this article from CS Monitor 7-07-03, Troop morale in Iraqhits 'rock bottom'
WASHINGTON US troops facing extended deployments amid the danger, heat, and uncertainty of an Iraq occupation are suffering from low morale that has insome cases hit "rock bottom."

Even as PresidentBush speaks of a "massive and long-term" undertaking in rebuilding Iraq, that effort, as well as the high tempo of US military operations around the globe, is takingits toll on individual troops.

Some frustrated troops stationed in Iraq are writing letters to representatives in Congress to request their units be repatriated. "Most soldiers would empty their bank accountsjust for a plane ticket home," said one recent Congressional letter written by an Army soldier now based in Iraq. The soldier requested anonymity.

In some units, there has been an increase in letters from the Red Cross stating soldiers are needed at home, as well as daily instances of female troops being sent home due to pregnancy.

"Make no mistake, the level of morale for most soldiers that I've seen has hit rock bottom," said another soldier, an officer from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq.

Obviously, these comments made by the troops were made before the election, before John Murtha, before Cindy Sheehan, before JohnKerry's recent speech, Bush's approval ratings were over 50% on Iraq and nationa lsecurity, yet morale was low as reported by at least some of the troops themselves. Finally, while not scientific I searched Google News for "morale high in Iraq", this was the first hit, Sebelius: Morale highin troops:
The governor of Kansas visited Kansas soldiers at two bases in Iraq on Friday andfound them in good spirits.

"I was veryimpressed. The morale is pretty high, and they feel they're doing important work," Kathleen Sebelius said in a telephone interview from Kuwait, where she'd returnedat night after visiting Iraq.

Two things, one, that the story was dated after Murtha and the Swift-boating of Murtha.
I can't help but mention this about Governor Sebelius, she serves as policy chair of the Democratic Governors Association.
So we have the wing-nuttery whipped into a state of delirium over a poll about peoples feelings and perceptions with which they can use as a kind shield to keep them from facing the facts. The Right doesn't care if more troops die for Bush's war based on lies, what they care about is that everyone has the properly approved feelings that the far right thought police think they should have. Whiole the rest of us live in the reality based community, yet again righties have chosen to hide behind their keyboards pretending to be patriots and declare victory.

Some real Americans that have been there and done it: One Veterans Voice
Democratic Veteran
Main and Central

update: Dread Takes a Toll on GIs in Iraq

When I first got here, I felt like I could actually do some good for the Iraqi people," Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Barker said. But the last six months had hardened him, he said. "We're not going to change the Iraqis. I don't care how many halal meals we give out," he added, referring to food prepared according to Islamic dietary laws.