Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wisdom, not torture gained intelligence, will end terrorism.

C-span may be our greatest national treasure, second only to our elders.
24-7 anyone with a radio or TV can gain insights from the smartest, most
intelligent, and sometimes the downright wisest people from every political,
religious or social perspective. And occasionally, they will get a pearl of
wisdom so simple and profound that it could change the course of our nation
-- away from the thoughtless slumber of our wasteful, distracted,
over-stimulated culture and the shallowness of the corporate media, its
persistent advertising, and fear driven politics.
Just last week one of the wisest things I’ve heard since this global War on
terrorism began was spoken by an anonymous little old lady C-Span call-in
guest. What she said has rung in my head repeatedly over the last few days
and grown in resonance with every news story I read or hear about relating
to Al Qaida, Iran’s nuclear future, or homeland defense.
Her simple observation was that ‘terrorism’ is nothing more than a state of
mind. Because we are terrified we give power to those who want to kill us.
It is not what Al Qaida did to our citizens that were terrifying. It was
atrocious. It was murderous. It was appalling. It was horrific. And I’m
sure it was downright terrifying to those caught in the kill zone or with
loved ones who were unfortunate enough to be caught in it. But it is our
fear generated from our thoughts of what they might to do us again that
causes the terror in our minds and expresses itself in our emotions, our
votes and our nation’s lethal actions. Actions that are equally terrifying
to those on the receiving end of an F-16, a C-130 Gunship, a smart bomb or a
50 Caliber machine gun. Sure, Some of the bastards on the receiving end of
our killing capacity deserve to be vaporized or decapitated for their lethal
intentions or past murderous acts. But far too often, innocent men, women
and children (collateral damage) are caught in the middle. And, they are
equally terrorized by what is happening around them and to them and their
loved ones. They are also keenly aware of who is pushing the buttons or
pulling the triggers that are causing their terror.
Those who we are trying to kill, the so called “terrorists’, may live among
the innocent and even lethally terrorize them. But it is a terror they will
learn to live with or learn to eliminate from the inside. In some cases
(Hezbollah) those we see as “terrorists’ are actually nation builders who
spend far more time building schools and health clinics that suicide bomber
belts. When our weapons target them , we are unlikely to gain many close
friends who are willing and capable of getting inside these groups to help
us in the future.
The best way to get operational ‘intelligence’ on those who hate us is for
us to have good friends among those who hate us. Using war tactics and
machines that also, even if inadvertently, terrorize innocent people is NOT
the way to make friends in important places.

We must ask and then answer a simple question. Are we more terrorized by a
relatively small band of religious extremists who are hoping to spark a
global jihad and who will most likely get their hands on WMD that may kill
millions of Americans? Or, are we more terrorized by a relatively small
band of political religious extremists waging a war that ultimately works to
expand the numbers of murderous Islamic extremists who are trying to spark a
truly global holy war – a war that will destroy our nation, our way of life
and our most precious freedoms?

Personally, I’m far more fearful of this President’s plans and tactics to
wage an endless war and put us on a self fulfilling path to Armageddon, than
I am of some bearded man living in a cave with dreams of grandeur and an
occasional nuke.

The only way to defeat ‘terrorism’ is to win the war for the hearts and
minds of others. This will not be done with killing, weapons or
intelligence gained by torture. It can be done by understanding the degrees
of threats we actually face and responding accordingly.
Osama Bin Laden is a mass murdering religious megalomania psychopath who
should be on the worlds ‘most wanted’ list. Instead we have made him the
worthy adversary of a super power and have acted in such a way that others
admire him and want to join with him.
We need wisdom not more torture gained intelligence.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bush lies and errors on 9-11 speech.

I’m guilty. Guilty of stealing quotes, facts, talking points and good ideas from anyone (liberal or conservative) who has the courage and intellect to say what needs to be said AND is accurate. Chris Currie, a former friend and associate with considerable knowledge on many things took Bush’s recent 9-11 speech about terrorism and broke it down line by line for lies and inaccuracies (his website = With his permission I’ve copied it and made a few (very few) editing changes [in italics] to accommodate my own views/perceptions.
I hope you find it as informative and useful as I do. Much can be adapted for Letters to the Editor to correct or compliment Bush’s statements.
There he goes again!
George W. Bush's Latest 9-11 Lies (Sept 2006)
George W. Bush's September 11th "Nine-Eleven" speech contained so many lies and hypocrisies that I decided to do a sentence-by-sentence commentary on his entire speech. I suspect that many of his lies and hypocrisies "sailed right by" most of his listeners without being noticed. So far the record, I am pointing them out here.
Monday, September 11, 2006
President Bush Addresses the Nation
1. "Good evening. [True]
2. Five years ago, this date - September the 11th - was seared into America's memory. [True]
3. Nineteen men attacked us with a barbarity unequaled in our history. [Debatable]
4. They murdered people of all colors, creeds, and nationalities - and made war upon the entire free world. [The first part is a factual error, the second part is a whopping BIG LIE!]
5. Since that day, America and her allies have taken the offensive in a war unlike any we have fought before. [That's true. GW Bush's neocon inspired decision to commit our nation to a never-ending "preemptive war" against a concept like "terrorism" that cannot possibly be killed is a truly novel idea-and a "dream come true" for America's military contractors.]
6. Today, we are safer, but we are not yet safe. [First part wrong, last part correct]. [terrorism isn’t the only threat we face. While focusing resources and attention on fighting terrorism other lethal threats do not receive adequate attention and lives are lost or increasingly at risk. SEE Kartrina and Bird Flu. America's soldiers and civilians who have been sent overseas to "fight terrorism" have certainly not been safer. In fact, GW Bush's decisions have already created nearly as many dead Americans and at least ten times as many American wounded as the decisions of Osama Bin Laden and his entire Al Qaeda network.]
7. On this solemn night, I have asked for some of your time to discuss the nature of the threat still before us. What we are doing to protect our Nation ... and the building of a more hopeful Middle East that holds the key to peace for America and the world. [OK]
8. On Nine-Eleven, our Nation saw the face of evil. [Also the predictable (and predicted) consequences of evil acts committed earlier by our own government that most Americans refuse to see or admit and the media virtually ignores,]
9. Yet on that awful day, we also witnessed something distinctly American: ordinary citizens rising to the occasion, and responding with extraordinary acts of courage. [Wrong…such conduct is not "distinctly American."]

10. We saw courage in office workers who were trapped on the high floors of burning skyscrapers - and called home so that their last words to their families would be of comfort and love. [True]
11. We saw courage in passengers aboard Flight 93, who recited the 23rd Psalm - and then charged the cockpit. [True]
12. And we saw courage in the Pentagon staff who made it out of the flames and smoke - and ran back in to answer cries for help. [True]
13. On this day, we remember the innocent who lost their lives - and we pay tribute to those who gave their lives so that others might live. [True]
14. For many of our citizens, the wounds of that morning are still fresh. [True]
15. I have met firefighters and police officers who choke up at the memory of fallen comrades. [True]
16. I have stood with families gathered on a grassy field in Pennsylvania, who take bittersweet pride in loved ones who refused to be victims - and gave America our first victory in the war on terror. [True, but misleading…War and terror are essentially synonymous when viewed according to God's standards as taught by Jesus Christ. I doubt that any of the passengers on Flight 93 thought of themselves as being engaged in a "war on terror."]
17. And I have sat beside young mothers with children who are now five-years-old - and still long for the daddies who will never cradle them in their arms. [True]
18. Out of this suffering, we resolve to honor every man and woman lost. [True…]
19. And we seek their lasting memorial in a safer and more hopeful world. [Nice thought, but it should be pointed out that since 11 Sep 01, GW Bush's policies have created MORE anarchy and acts of terrorism throughout the world, not less. And it's a trend that has been increasing rather than decreasing.]
20. Since the horror of Nine-Eleven, we have learned a great deal about the enemy. [True]
21. We have learned that they are evil and kill without mercy - but not without purpose. [Hypocritical: The same can be… said about George W. Bush.]
22. We have learned that they form a global network of extremists who are driven by a perverted vision of Islam - a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. [A BOLD-FACED LIE! Most of those terrorists have consistently "justified" their actions as being motivated by revenge for the often murderous misconduct of the "western powers" in their part of the world. Bush's claim that they "hate freedom" is designed to divert attention away from our own government's murderous acts and misconduct. As long as such acts of governmental misconduct persist, terrorist acts in retaliation will also persist. Some say Such are the ways of Satan!]
23. And we have learned that their goal is to build a radical Islamic empire where women are prisoners in their homes, men are beaten for missing prayer meetings, and terrorists have a safe haven to plan and launch attacks on America and other civilized nations. [ANOHTER BOLD-FACED LIE. The fact that some Islamic clerics express such goals doesn't mean that such goals are commonly held by all Islamic terrorists. Numerous articles published in The Nation and elsewhere show that the ultimate goals of terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East vary considerably.]
24. The war against this enemy is more than a military conflict. [True]
25. It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century, and the calling of our generation. [ANOTHER BOLD-FACED MIS STATEMENT. How can any effort to kill a concept that can never be killed ever be "decisive"? Bush's claim that his policies can produce any kind of "decisive victory" are highly misleading-all they can ever accomplish is to get more people killed and to funnel even more American tax dollars into the bank accounts of America's military contractors.]
26. Our Nation is being tested in a way that we have not been since the start of the Cold War. [True, the willingness of American voters to continue believing in lies no matter what happens is being tested more now than ever before.]
27. We saw what a handful of our enemies can do with box-cutters and plane tickets. [True]
28. We hear their threats to launch even more terrible attacks on our people. [True]
29. And we know that if they were able to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction, they would use them against us. [Debatable: The Pakistanis didn't use their nuclear weapons to protect the Taliban whom that had staunchly supported.]
30. We face an enemy determined to bring death and suffering into our homes. [True]
31. America did not ask for this war, and every American wishes it were over. [That's true with regards to most Americans, but definitely NOT TRUE on both counts with regards to the Bush Administration.]
32. So do I. [Another BOLD-FACED LIE!]
33. But the war is not over - and it will not be over until either we or the extremists emerge victorious. [Highly misleading. Bush has provided no measurable definition as to what would constitute an "end" to his beloved "war on terror" or what "emerging victorious" would mean in such a context.]
34. If we do not defeat these enemies now, we will leave our children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons. [Also highly misleading. If Bush were serious about wanting to prevent such an eventuality, he would propose the establishment of a true world government to replace all military organizations (and their WMDs) with a single worldwide police force (which wouldn't need WMDs). Instead, he is falsely claiming that he can accomplish such results simply by "defeating" some transiently defined "enemies" in a never-ending war. Ain’t never going to happen!]
35. We are in a war that will set the course for this new century - and determine the destiny of millions across the world. [True: GW Bush has started a war that could last over a hundred years, assuming that we don't infect or blow mankind out of existence before then!]
36. For America, Nine-Eleven was more than a tragedy - it changed the way we look at the world. [True]
37. On September the 11th, we resolved that we would go on the offense against our enemies - and we would not distinguish between the terrorists and those who harbor or support them. [Lie: Bush views Pakistan as an ally. Hypocritical: GW Bush is at least as deadly a terrorist and terrorist supporter as those whom he defines has being our "enemies."]
38. So we helped drive the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. [True, but misleading. Taliban forces are still "in power" in some portions of Afghanistan, and it is far from certain that the NATO Coalition there will be any more successful than the Russians were at ultimately maintaining control in that country.]
39. We put al Qaeda on the run, and killed or captured most of those who planned the Nine-Eleven attacks - including the man believed to be the mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed. [True]
40. He and other suspected terrorists have been questioned by the Central Intelligence Agency - and they have provided valuable information that has helped stop attacks in America and across the world. [True but misleading. There have been more attempts to attack America and our allies as a result of Bush’s policies.]
41. Now these men have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay, so they can be held to account for their actions. [If they are all so obviously guilty, then why can't they be effectively tried in the United States using the rules and procedures of the United State's legal system?]
42. Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists are still in hiding. [True]
43. Our message to them is clear: No matter how long it takes, America will find you, and we will bring you to justice. [We may find them but a court of “justice” isn’t on the menu. Frontier justice most likely. ]
44. On September the 11th, we learned that America must confront threats before they reach our shores - whether those threats come from terrorist networks or terrorist states. [True, but highly misleading. By "confront", GW Bush means to engage in military acts of war. But "confront" can also mean to establish a worldwide international legal system that can effectively identify, track down, try, and imprison such offenders. GW Bush, however, has adamantly opposed the establishment of such relatively peaceful alternatives to the violence of warfare (to the great delight of America's military contractors).]
45. I am often asked why we are in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the Nine-Eleven attacks. [True]
46. The answer is that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat. [ANOTHER BOLD-FACED LIE! Numerous articles have been published making this point. And, Saddam posed far less of a threat than Iran, N. Korea, Al Quada, Katrina and bird flu]
47. My Administration, the Congress, and the United Nations saw the threat - and after Nine-Eleven, Saddam's regime posed a risk that the world could not afford to take. [Lethally False assumption! The Bush Administration used the threat of WMD knowing it could not be ‘proven’ until after an invasion…at which point it would be impossible to pull out…they never had an exit plan because they never planned to leave. Guarding our access to their oil was a strategic plan that needed a rational. The possibility of WMD provided that rational. We also needed to prove that we (at least our soldiers) were willing to die (in large numbers if needed) to protect the life blood of our economy and way of life. We had to show them we weren’t backing down from maintaining large scale military forces in the region. It's also important to note that the United Nations did NOT authorize that invasion.]
48. The world is safer because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power. [AGAIN-A BOLD-FACED LIE. Acts of terrorism throughout the world have increased, not decreased, since Bush's invasion of Iraq.
49. And now the challenge is to help the Iraqi people build a democracy that fulfills the dreams of the nearly 12 million Iraqis who came out to vote in free elections last December. [True. But growing sectarian violence may prevent this from happening. This fighting is a result of Bush’s failure to secure the peace after the invasion…and give Iraqi’s something worth making peace for. Electricity, water, jobs….]
50. Al Qaeda and other extremists from across the world have come to Iraq to stop the rise of a free society in the heart of the Middle East. [AGAIN-A BOLD-FACED LIE! Most of them have come to Iraq help kill American and British soldiers and to learn how to kill them more effectively. Furthermore, after four years, the Bush Administration hasn't even come close to creating a rising "free society" in Iraq.]
51. They have joined the remnants of Saddam's regime and other armed groups to foment sectarian violence and drive us out. [True]
52. Our enemies in Iraq are tough and they are committed [true]- but so are Iraqi and Coalition forces [debatable]. We are adapting to stay ahead of the enemy [debatable] - and we are carrying out a clear plan [true] to ensure that a democratic Iraq succeeds [false]. [Their "clear plan" to "stay the course" in Iraq for as long as they can possibly get away with it will NOT ‘ensure’ a democratic Iraq. And even if it did… a ‘democratic Iraq’ would most likely be pro Iran, Anti-Israel and anti-US.]
53. We are training Iraqi troops so they can defend their nation. [True. But some of them are death squad participants and Al Qaeda infiltrators that will end up killing more Americans with the new skills and training we provided them.]
54. We are helping Iraq's unity government grow in strength and serve its people. [Debatable. If anything, Iraq's "unity government" appears to be falling apart. If we really want peace in that part of the world, then we should let Iraq split up into three separate countries and work towards ultimately establishing a true world government.]
55. We will not leave until this work is done. [Which will be never, if GW Bush succeeds.]
56. Whatever mistakes have been made in Iraq, the worst mistake would be to think that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone. [Misleading. More likely than not, breaking Iraq up into three countries would keep most of them so pre-occupied with establishing their own new governments that the hatreds which most of them have for the United States will have time to cool down enough so that they will no longer want to kill us.]
57. They will not leave us alone. [True: GW Bush has made that conclusion a self-fulfilling prophecy in the minds of some militant extremists.]
58. They will follow us. [True, regardless of what we do in Iraq]
59. The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad. [Another BOLD-FACED LIE, for the reasons described above.]
60. Osama Bin Laden calls this fight "the Third World War" - and he says that victory for the terrorists in Iraq will mean America's "defeat and disgrace forever." [Misleading. Many conservatives said the same. And, it was GW Bush who turned Bin Laden's crimes into something resembling a "Third World War."]
61. If we yield Iraq to men like Bin Laden, our enemies will be emboldened ... they will gain a new safe haven ... and they will use Iraq's resources to fuel their extremist movement. [Possibly true, because GW Bush has made it so by destroying Saddam's regime. "Our enemies" have already become emboldened by their demonstrated ability to repeatedly conduct terrorist attacks "right under the noses" (or feet) of America's best equipped and brightest military forces. Without Bush's help, Bin Laden could never have afforded to create such an effective training ground for terrorists. So if you substitute "has gained" and "has been using" in place of "will gain" and "will use" in the above statement by Bush, you will end up with a much truer statement.]
62. We will not allow this to happen. [LIE. Bush has already allowed it to happen.]
63. America will stay in the fight. [True, if Bush has his way.]
64. Iraq will be a free nation, and a strong ally in the war on terror. [Free to do what they want. But, Not likely be a strong ally.]
65. We can be confident that our Coalition will succeed - because the Iraqi people have been steadfast in the face of unspeakable violence. [LIE. It would be far more accurate to say that the Iraqi people are terrified by the conditions of anarchy that GW Bush has created over there.]
66. And we can be confident in victory - because of the skill and resolve of America's Armed Forces. [LIE. Thanks to GW Bush utter disregard for the rule of law, there is no "victory" in sight in Iraq; just never-ending cycles of violence.]
67. Every one of our troops is a volunteer, and since the attacks of September the 11th, more than 1.6 million Americans have stepped forward to put on our Nation's uniform. [Misleading: US military AWOL and desertion rates are at an all time high because of Bush's war in Iraq. How does 1.6 millions enlistments over the past five years compare with the number of enlistments during the previous five years?]
68. In Iraq, Afghanistan, and other fronts in the war on terror, the men and women of our military are making great sacrifices to keep us safe. [True]
69. Some have suffered terrible injuries - and nearly 3,000 have given their lives. [True but misleading. That 3,000 killed number is about the same as the number of Americans killed on 11 Sep 01, but the number of Americans injured in Bush's wars since then has been far greater (about 20,000). That's an awful lot more than "some."]
70. America cherishes their memory. [True]
71. We pray for their families. [Apparently true]
72. And we will never back down from the work they have begun. [Debatable]
73. We also honor those who toil day and night to keep our homeland safe - and we are giving them the tools they need to protect our people. [There are many who disagree with that second point.]
74. We have created the Department of Homeland Security. We have torn down the wall that kept law enforcement and intelligence from sharing information ... we have tightened security at our airports, seaports, and borders ... and we have created new programs to monitor enemy bank records and phone calls. [True]
75. Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement and intelligence professionals, we have broken up terrorist cells in our midst, and saved American lives. [True, but that part about saving American lives is debatable. And, our policies have led to more attempts to attack Americans.]
76. Five years after Nine-Eleven, our enemies have not succeeded in launching another attack on our soil - but they have not been idle. [True. They have been growing and trying more often.]
77. Al Qaeda and those inspired by its hateful ideology have carried out terrorist attacks in more than two dozen nations. [True]
78. And just last month, they were foiled in a plot to blow up passenger planes headed for the United States. [True]
79. They remain determined to attack America and kill our citizens - and we are determined to stop them. [True]
80. We will continue to give the men and women who protect us every resource and legal authority they need to do their jobs. [Debatable. Numerous reports have shown that the Bush Administration has fallen far short of doing that so far, although there has been progress in some areas. It's important to note, as illustrated in ABC's mini-series "The Path to 9/11", that even without all of the new laws and security improvements implemented since 11 Sep 01, GW Bush's political appointees already had ample warnings and sufficient evidence to foil the 9/11 plot by arresting some of its key players beforehand. Unfortunately, they not only refused to act on the information they had, they also made little (if any) effort to seek further evidence regarding those leads (i.e. they refused to use a routine procedure known as "following up on a lead."]
81. In the first days after the Nine-Eleven attacks, I promised to use every element of national power to fight the terrorists wherever we find them. [That sounds impressive until one realizes that by "every element of national power" GW Bush is referring to practices such as bold-faced lying, starting "preemptive" wars, torturing prisoners, committing acts of mass murder, creating huge new domestic spying programs, denying Americans their Constitutionally guaranteed rights, denying prisoners of war their Geneva Convention rights, ballooning our national debt, largely squandering billions of American taxpayer dollars, and short-funding American education and social programs, etc.]
82. One of the strongest weapons in our arsenal is the power of freedom. [False. Terrorists use our freedoms and theirs to kill us. Our strongest weapon is our ideals of justice, inalienable human rights and the rule of law…not the law of force.]
83. The terrorists fear freedom as much as they do our firepower. [ANOTHER BOLD-FACED LIE]
84. They are thrown into panic at the sight of an old man pulling the election lever . girls enrolling in school . or families worshiping God in their own traditions. [FURTHER BOLD-FACED LIES]
85. They know that given a choice, people will choose freedom over their extremist ideology. [True]
86. So their answer is to deny people this choice by raging against the forces of freedom and moderation. [ A BOLD-FACED LIE. Either GW Bush doesn't realize that bearing false witness against one's neighbor is a sin, or else he knows it's a sin but doesn't care.]
87. This struggle has been called a clash of civilizations. [That's true. Anyone can call it that. But any true Civilization would not chose war over law enforcement]
88. In truth, it is a struggle for civilization. [A WHOPPING BIG LIE! If this were a struggle for civilization, GW Bush would be seeking to establish a true world government. Instead, he has been acting in a highly uncivilized manner by promoting the creation of anarchies throughout the world…]
89. We are fighting to maintain the way of life enjoyed by free nations. [ANOTHER WHOPPING BIG LIE. Free nations don't enjoy anarchy and/or starvation!]
90. And we are fighting for the possibility that good and decent people across the Middle East can raise up societies based on freedom, and tolerance, and personal dignity. [MORE LIES. GW Bush's policies in the Middle East have been devoid of any regard for values such as freedom, tolerance, or personal dignity. Rather than seeking negotiated solutions to human relations problems, Bush has been promoting the use of violent means (including torture and even the killing men, women, and children) as a preferred means for "solving" such problems.]
91. We are now in the early hours of this struggle between tyranny and freedom. [Who is the tyrant in this case, Mr. Bush? You?]
92. Amid the violence, some question whether the people of the Middle East want their freedom - and whether the forces of moderation can prevail. [True]
93. For sixty years, these doubts guided our policies in the Middle East. [A WHOPPING BIG LIE. For the past sixty years, our government's policies have been guided FAR more by economic concerns and a desire to help defend Israel than by altruistic concerns about whether or not the people of the Middle East want their freedom.]
94. And then, on a bright September morning, it became clear that the calm we saw in the Middle East was only a mirage. [LIE. We saw no "calm" in the Middle East in those days.]
95. Years of pursuing stability to promote peace had left us with neither. [Highly misleading. At that time, the Bush Administration was figuratively "thumbing its nose" at efforts to created stability and peace in the Middle East. They opposed the creation of the International Criminal Court, they opposed various UN-sponsored peace conferences designed to help resolve human relations problems in the Middle East, and they even refused to admit to the fact that the government of Israel was a "raciest state." Bush's statement here is a deliberate attempt to discredit the Rule of Law principle, which by the way offers the only realistic hope for a lasting peace in the Middle East.]
96. So we changed our policies, and committed America's influence in the world to advancing freedom and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism. [A WHOPPING BIG BOLD-FACED LIE! GW Bush only used such "freedom and democracy" arguments to help sell his planned invasion of Iraq. Once there, his appointees showed little concern for establishing freedom or democracy for Iraqis for nearly two years. Even now, after four years of US military occupation, freedom and democracy in Iraq are still more of an illusion than a reality. Indeed, there is good reason to doubt that there will even be a country named Iraq three years from now. But what make Bush's claim above a really BIG LIE is that fact that the Bush Administration has been seriously considering ways to militarily or otherwise depose the elected leaders of three of the democracies that already exist in the Middle East (Iran, Syria, and Palestine)!]
97. With our help, the people of the Middle East are now stepping forward to claim their freedom. [Perhaps, but for understandable reasons, they are not electing leaders who are on friendly terms with the Bush Administration.]
98. From Kabul to Baghdad to Beirut, there are brave men and women risking their lives each day for the same freedoms that we enjoy. [True]
99. And they have one question of us: Do we have the confidence to do in the Middle East what our fathers and grandfathers accomplished in Europe and Asia? [???]
100. By standing with democratic leaders and reformers, by giving voice to the hopes of decent men and women, we are offering a path away from radicalism. [Highly hypocritical in light of the Bush Administration's policies regarding the democratic governments of Iran, Syria, and Palestine. And its support for Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt’s leaders.]
101. And we are enlisting the most powerful force for peace and moderation in the Middle East: The desire of millions to be free. [It's true that the desire for freedom and peace can be powerful motivators, but GW Bush has merely been using such concepts as "window dressing" to help "morally justify" his decisions of use large-scale acts of deadly violence to achieve his economic and political ambitions.]
102. Across the broader Middle East, the extremists are fighting to prevent such a future. [He's lying again by deliberately misrepresenting the true motives of most of those extremist groups.]
103. Yet America has confronted evil before, and we have defeated it - sometimes at the cost of thousands of good men in a single battle. [True]
104. When Franklin Roosevelt vowed to defeat two enemies across two oceans, he could not have foreseen D-Day and Iwo Jima - but he would not have been surprised at the outcome. [True]
105. When Harry Truman promised American support for free peoples resisting Soviet aggression, he could not have foreseen the rise of the Berlin Wall - but he would not have been surprised to see it brought down. [True]
106. Throughout our history, America has seen liberty challenged - and every time, we have seen liberty triumph with sacrifice and determination. [True]
107. At the start of this young century, America looks to the day when the people of the Middle East leave the desert of despotism for the fertile gardens of liberty - and resume their rightful place in a world of peace and prosperity. [Hypocritical: Some Americans may believe that, but in fact GW Bush's decisions have SERIOUSLY DEPRIVED Middle Easterners of peace and prosperity, especially in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine!]
108. We look to the day when the nations of that region recognize that their greatest resource is not the oil in the ground - but the talent and creativity of their people. [That may be true for some Americans, but throughout Bush's presidency, the flow of taxpayer dollars seems to show consistently that the Bush Administration's focus has rarely strayed far from rewarding political donors with taxpayer dollars and potentially reaping profits from "oil in the ground."]
109. We look to the day when moms and dads throughout the Middle East see a future of hope and opportunity for their children. [That would be nice, but GW Bush's contributions to that vision warrant some kind of negative score.]
110. And when that good day comes, the clouds of war will part . the appeal of radicalism will decline ... and we will leave our children with a better and safer world. [Those "clouds of war" won't part until our government decides to part them.]
111. On this solemn anniversary, we rededicate ourselves to this cause. [Sounds nice]
112. Our Nation has endured trials - and we face a difficult road ahead. [True]
113. Winning this war will require the determined efforts of a unified country. [TRUE. It will require a unified decision by our government and all Americans to end the wars it has started and to start seeking more honest and civilized solutions to such problems instead.]
114. So we must put aside our differences, and work together to meet the test that history has given us. [TRUE. We must agree to work together to outlaw war as a solution.]
115. We will defeat our enemies . we will protect our people ... and we will lead the 21st century into a shining age of human liberty. [Not by following Bush's path.]
116. Earlier this year, I traveled to the United States Military Academy. [True]
117. I was there to deliver the commencement address to the first class to arrive at West Point after the attacks of September the 11th. [True]
118. That day I met a proud mom named RoseEllen Dowdell. [True]
119. She was there to watch her son Patrick accept his commission in the finest Army the world has ever known. [True]
120. A few weeks earlier, RoseEllen had watched her other son, James, graduate from the Fire Academy in New York City. [True]
121. On both these days, her thoughts turned to someone who was not there to share the moment: her husband, Kevin Dowdell. [True]
122. Kevin was one of the 343 firefighters who rushed to the burning towers of the World Trade Center on September the 11th - and never came home. [True]
123. His sons lost their father that day - but not the passion for service he instilled in them. [True]
124. Here is what RoseEllen says about her boys, "As a mother, I cross my fingers and pray all the time for their safety - but as worried as I am, I am also proud - and I know their dad would be too." [True]
125. Our Nation is blessed to have young Americans like these - and we will need them. [True]
126. Dangerous enemies have declared their intention to destroy our way of life. [True]
127. They are not the first to try - and their fate will be the same as those who tried before. [Perhaps]
128. Nine-Eleven showed us why. [Perhaps]
129. The attacks were meant to bring us to our knees, and they did - but not in the way the terrorists intended. [LIE. Osama Bin Laden had no illusions that such an attack would "bring America to its knees". As pointed out in ABC's "The Path to 9/11" mini-series, Bin Laden and the Taliban began preparing for an expected American retaliation a couple of weeks before 11 Sep 01. Subsequently, in numerous published messages, Bin Laden made it clear that his intent was simply to "send a message" to the American people they could expect their government's deadly conduct in the Middle East to have deadly consequences for them as well. In one message, Bin Laden pointed out that it was the Reagan Administration's indiscriminant gunboat shelling of Lebanese villages in support of Israel's invasion and occupation of Lebanon that first inspired his decision to plan a massive retaliation against American citizens on American soil.]
130. Americans united in prayer ... came to the aid of neighbors in need ... and resolved that our enemies would not have the last word. [According to Jesus Christ, ALL Middle Easterners are our neighbors as well, a point which GW Bush and his supporters have chosen to ignore.]
131. The spirit of our people is the source of America's strength. [True to some extent, but the "American Spirit" can mean different things to different people-sometimes good and sometimes bad.]
132. And we go forward with trust in that spirit, confidence in our purpose - and faith in a loving God who made us to be free. [GW Bush is using God's name in vain here by equating God's Spirit with his vision of "The American Spirit" and by implying that he represents God. Nobody who lies as much as GW Bush lies and kills or injuries as many men, women, and children as GW Bush has killed or injured can possibly represent God as revealed to us by Jesus Christ. Bush is unknowingly worshiping Satan. Bush often claims to represent God, but he consistently practices satanic principles and uses deadly tools, and often ignores or even opposes the principles taught by Jesus Christ (e.g. like putting faith in the Rule of Law).
133. Thank you, and may God bless you." [God will be far more likely to bless us if we reject GW Bush's way of doing things.]
Use these ideas to write your letters to the editor to challenge the lies, misleading ideas and flat out errors the Bush Administration lives by and the media ignores.

And thank Chris Currie for providing this useful tool for analyzing our destructive President.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

ABC movie shows incompetent Bush Administration

Clinton and progressives should value the movie “Path to 9-11”. Albright and Sandy Berger get spanked (deservedly so?) but Rice and the Bush Administration get blistered.
The bombing of the USS Cole took place only two months before the Bush/Gore election and there were a number of legitimate reasons for no Clinton retaliation during that time…but what was Bush’s excuse? Fixation on other priorities or incompetence comes to mind. (I can see where conspiratorialists get their ammunition).
Bush team took Richard Clarke, one of our nation’s best Al Qaeda experts,
off Bin Laden’s case months before 9-11. What were they thinking? I’m
guessing they thought ‘terrorism wasn’t a big deal and missile defense needed more attention.’ Were they ever wrong. Murderously wrong!
Hindsight is nice but how many warnings of terrorists plans to hijack airliners, threats against US targets in NY and DC, and FBI reports of Islamic immigrants taking flying lessons are needed before an Administration takes at least some defensive actions? A simple thing like putting US air defenses on high alert during a time when our counter terrorist “threat matrix was overloaded” as it was in August and early September might have
been useful. What were they thinking? Conspiratorialists don’t believe
anyone could be that stupid. Maybe they can.
The famous August 6th “Bin Laden determined to attack within the US” PDB with the mention of “hijackings” should have at least sparked an advanced policy for “rules of engagement” regarding hijacked airliners. What were they thinking? That we were just too big and bad for anyone to try such a thing. Where they ever wrong. Lethally wrong!
So regarding the upcoming elections…Which party is best at protecting U.S.
national security? Democrats may be weak on funding traditional ‘defense’
systems but they weren’t all that useful on 9-11. In fact it was average citizen’s on Flight 93 armed only with their bare hands, courage, their wit and key information that brought us our first ‘victory’ against religious extremist mass murderers.
Remember. The first attack by Al Qaeda on US soil was under Clinton’s watch in 1993 but there wasn’t another domestic attack for 8 years. And that came
during the Bush Administration. It has only been 5 years since 9-11. Bush
can claim credit for stopping at least half a dozen planned terrorist attacks against the US in the last year alone, but there weren’t that may attempts during the Clinton Administration. Why have terrorist attack plans
against the US increased under Bush’s watch? Even some home grown
ABC deserves awards for this program. I was expecting the worst but found the movie to be one of the best docudrama’s I’ve seen. There is no doubt that religious extremists threaten the security of our nation. The only thing we need to do is figure out which religious extremists are the greater threat. Islamic or Christian?
(For additional anti-Bush documentation from the first evening see blog

Monday, September 11, 2006

ABC's 9-11 special not anti-Clinton.

ABC’s Movie on 9-11 gained much attention for bitch-slapping the Clinton Administration’s weak response to terrorism but after watching the first few hours of the program this evening I found other impressively pro-progressive messages.
1.Terrorists do hate us for our polices…they thought that if they killed enough Americans we would “change” our “policies”. Bush and other conservatives continue to argue that they kill us for “who we are, not for what we do.” This is a great lie.
2.Islam is not a violent religion. There are several Muslims who were key in helping stop attacks or to capture mass murders after the act. It was a Muslim working with the US embassy in Pakistan in 1995 who turned in Ramsey Yusef. He was Ramsey’s assistant who sometimes guarded Ramsey’s new laptop (after his other one was captured.) Ramsey’s assistant was anti-Israel and hated US policies but he didn’t believe in killing innocent Americans.
Making friends with Muslims works far better than war at stopping attacks.
(see Iraq)
3.In the mid 1990s one Al Qaeda terrorist didn’t want to ‘bomb the UN’
because it would turn people against Al Qaeda. He insisted on attacking US military targets. Most Republicans still haven’t gotten the message that if America destroys the UN, most people won’t turn against the terrorists.
4.Al Qaeda first attacked only military targets (Black Hawks, Embassies,USS
Cole…) but saw that this wasn’t getting enough attention. In 1998 OBL finally justified killing innocent American men, women and children…because US policies were killing innocent Muslim men, women and children (see Gulf War 1, US Sanctions against Iraq, Military aid to Israel used for killing Palestinians and Lebanese).
5.During the court prosecution of Ramsey Yusef he admitted he was a terrorist and “proud of it” but that it was the US who “invented terrorism”
and was the biggest terrorist in the world.
6.Clinton hesitated using military means to get Bin Laden for fear of collateral damage AND a lack of intelligence certainty. Bush accepts collateral damage as the cost of killing terrorists and then cherry picks conflicting intelligence reports to launch military pre-emptive war that kills innocents by the tens of thousands.
7.Looking for “appeasement” leading to more terrorism? Look no further than Bush Administration’s continuing appeasement of repressive (and torturous) rulers in Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the overpaid CEOs of US auto
manufacturers and oil producers. This continues to annoy Muslims and
generate anti-American sentiments in addition to war’s killing of innocents.
Hypocrisy’s a real bitch.
8.In the mid 90’s Al Qaeda used an improvised liquid explosive and a Casio watch as a detonator to bomb an airliner in the Philippines. At that time US intelligence determined it was a test for future operations. Only after Pakistan and UK police operations recently uncovered a similar “lotion/potion” airline bombing plan on a large scale were airline security measures instituted in the US. Again, good intelligence ignored. Bad intelligence engorged… 9.It was Philippine POLICE operations (that captured a computer…in a burned out bomb making apartment in the late 1990s,,,that led to the capture of an Al Qaeda leader and short circuiting a plot to kill thousands of people by blowing up a dozen aircraft heading to US. They also found a communication suggesting Al Qaeda would fly an airliner into the CIA building as a suicide mission. Again, good police work and intelligence ignored. It was US border POLICE efforts that stopped a 1999/2000 new years plot (again a female officer doing her job). Her attentiveness led to taking down additional cells without collateral damage.
10. Ronald Reagan didn’t defeat the Soviet Union. Osama Bin Laden did.
Actually it was the Marshall Plan, NATO and Helsinki accords and every US President after world war II that helped defeat the Soviets. But Reagan and OBL certainly deserve respectable assists. Others might argue that the Communist Soviets fell because of the inherent flaws in their system…and Capitalism will be next.
11. Clinton’s efforts to get OBL using military force after simultaneous
attacks on US embassies was seen as ‘wag the dog’ (Remove attention from Monica affair) and not a ‘credible’ act. The war like bombing of the pharmaceutical factory (again, an act using faulty intelligence – generated enormous hatred for US –and resulted in innocent civilian deaths for lack of drugs produced by the factory.
12. Republicans defend Bush’s lack of pre 9-11 response to OBL by
accusing liberals of “hind sight” yet don’t believe the same defense applies to Clinton. But then again use the defense to defend Bush’s failures in Iraq.

Summary: To whatever degree Clinton is guilty for weakly responding to the threat of OBL, Al Qaeda and terrorism, Bush is doubly guilty. And, even more responsible for taking wrong approaches defeating terrorism, waging war poorly, and providing for the future defense of our nation even less.

Use law not war to stop terrorists.
Don’t rely on intelligence. Try wisdom.
War makes enemies. Defeating terrorism will take friends.
Prevention…not Pre-emption.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It's officially WW 4. Preparing to attack Iran?

Below is President Bush’s updated “Fact Sheet” regarding his strategy for combating global terrorism. The bracketed words reflect my reading between the lines. In his speech today before a professional association of military officers it sounded like he laid the basis for attacking or invading Iran.

Your feedback and evaluations will be read, evaluated and greatly appreciated.

Chuck Woolery
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 5, 2006
Fact Sheet: The President's National Strategy for Combating Terrorism
"We're engaged in a global struggle against the followers of a murderous ideology that despises freedom and crushes all dissent, and has territorial ambitions and pursues totalitarian aims. … And against such an enemy there is only one effective response: [and we haven’t yet found it…but] We will never back down, we will never give in and we will never accept anything less than complete victory [even though victory against a tactic is impossible and will likely break us economically-- if it doesn’t lead to Armageddon first]… We will defeat the terrorists and their hateful ideology by spreading the hope of freedom across the world [almost as fast as we are spreading our military operations and the loss of collateral damage as a result of our ‘smart bombs’ killing many times more innocent civilians than Bin Laden’s crew murdered on 9-11]. The [short term economic] security of our nation depends on the advance of liberty in other nations." [Our liberty to secure our access to their oil. Long term security will require breaking our addiction to oil, our avoidance of ending the lethal tyranny of global poverty, and enforceing a global set of inalienable rights similar to those listed in the existing Universal Declaration of Human Rights].
– President George W. Bush
July 4, 2006
Today, The President Released His Updated National Strategy For Combating Terrorism (NSCT), Which Outlines The United States Government Strategy To Protect And Defend American Interests At Home And Abroad From Terrorism. In the years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States, along with our partners, have waged a relentless [counterproductive] war against the terrorists using all elements of national power and influence [90% military, 7% intelligence, 2% diplomacy, 1% aid, 0% wisdom). We have made substantial progress in degrading [verbally] the al-Qaida network, killing or capturing key [easily replaceable] lieutenants [but not their leadership], eliminating safehavens [where there is oil], and disrupting existing lines of support [that we become aware of through our allies – when they want to make it look like they are actually helping us].
In Response To Our Efforts, The Terrorists Have Adjusted [and multiplied] And So We Have Continued [at a glacial speed] To Refine Our [failing] Approach To Defeat The Evolving [and growing] Threat. Today, the United States is battling a transnational terrorist movement fueled by a radical ideology of hatred, oppression, and murder [which is driven by both a warped view of Islam and an accurate perception of harmful US foreign policy throughout the Middle East]. This updated strategy incorporates [like Halliburton] our increased understanding of [how to profit economically and politically off] the enemy and sets the course for [never] winning the War on Terror [but ensuring its perpetual existence].
Strategic Vision For [manipulating] The War On Terror
Our Strategy [fails in that it] Recognizes That The War On Terror Is A Different Kind Of War, Involving Both A Battle Of Arms And A Battle Of Ideas. [If we saw it only as a battle of ideas with the force of Arms used only to enforce global laws and standards…we could actually win it.] Not only are we fighting our terrorist enemies on the battlefield, [we are killing tens of thousands of innocent muslims], [Except for when we don’t] we are promoting freedom and human dignity as alternatives to the terrorists' perverse vision of oppression and totalitarian rule. To [never] win the War on Terror, the United States will continue to lead an expansive international effort to:
• Defeat violent extremism as a threat to our way of life as a free and open society [except when it is espoused by Christians].
• Create a global environment inhospitable to [any mammalian life forms except] violent extremists and their [political campaign corporate] supporters.
Advancing Effective Democracy Over The Long-Term
The Long-Term Solution For Winning The War On Terror Is The Advancement Of Freedom And Human Dignity Through Effective Democracy [and the universal protection of inalienable human rights]. Effective democracies [when they are not starting wars or repressing minorities] honor and uphold basic human rights [for those who own the oil.] including freedom of [Christian] religion, conscience, [limited] speech, assembly, [right wing] association, and [a well healed] press. They [the rule of law…not war … the law of force] are the long-term antidote to the ideology of terrorism today. This is the battle of ideas [that we just don’t get].
Defeating Terrorism In The Long Run Requires That We Diminish The Underlying Conditions In Society That Terrorists Seek To Exploit [.] By Advancing Effective Democracy [we only give more power to the majority of Muslims who hate us for what we have done to their love ones and their nations]:
• Terrorists [like Carl Rove and the Republican leadership] Exploit Political Alienation. Democracy [and Move On] gives people an ownership stake in society [and majority the power to abuse].
• Terrorists [and neocons] Exploit Grievances To Blame Others. Democracy [unlike war or terrorism] offers the rule of law, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and the habits of advancing interests through compromise.
• Terrorists Exploit Misinformation And Conspiracy Theories [Republicans and neocons just create them]. Democracy offers freedom of speech, independent media, and a marketplace of ideas to expose and discredit falsehoods [that’s why we prefer war and Presidential directives].
• Terrorists Exploit An Ideology That Justifies Murder. [Just like those who promote war as a solution.] Democracy offers a respect for human dignity and rejects the targeting of innocents [or their being murdered as collateral damage].
Four Priorities Over The Short Term [because we can’t think that far ahead…and if we do we have to acknowledge that liberals had it right regarding prevention…and not preemption as a means of reducing terrorism.]
The Advance Of Freedom And Human Dignity Through Democracy Is The Long-Term Solution To The Transnational Terrorism Of Today. To create the space and time for that long-term solution [that democrats have had all along] to take root, there are four steps we are taking [unsuccessfully] in the short term. We will:
• Prevent Attacks By Terrorist Networks [where they don’t plan attacks and gloss over the places where they have such as Spain, UK, Iraq…]. Working with [only a few] partners across the globe, we are using a range of [legal] tools at home and [military strikes] abroad to take the fight to the terrorists [to create more of them], deny [some of] them entry to the United States, hinder their [rapid] movement across international boundaries, and [talk more about] establish[ing] protective measures to further reduce our vulnerability to attack.
• [talk about our goal to] Deny WMD To Rogue States And Terrorist Allies Who Seek To Use Them [even though there is no way we can control the proliferation of dual use technologies used to make WMD]. Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists is one of the gravest threats we face [if we keep pissing them off and making more of them ourselves]. We have taken aggressive [pubic relations] efforts to deny terrorists access to WMD-related materials, equipment, and expertise, and we are enhancing these activities through an integrated effort at all levels of government [except the global level where there is NO govermnet because that’s the way we like it] and with the private sector [our best contributors] and our foreign partners [that could be Al Quada operatives for all we know] to [try and] stay ahead of this dynamic and evolving threat.
• Deny Terrorists The Support And Sanctuary Of Rogue States [through more preemptive wars and invastions that will eventually require us to reinstitute the draft]. We make no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor terrorists [unless they control oil]. We are working to disrupt the flow of resources from states to terrorists while simultaneously [be addicted to the oil that provides the majority of their resources. As you can tell this is NO way to] end state sponsorship of terrorism.
• Deny Terrorists Control Of Any [oil rich] Area They Would Use As A Base And Launching Pad For Terror. [we can let them have Rwanda] We are [making it look like we are] working to prevent terrorists from exploiting ungoverned and under-governed areas as physical safehavens. These efforts also extend [feebly] to non-physical or virtual safehavens, such as those existing within legal, cyber, and financial systems.
Institutionalizing The Strategy For Long-Term Success
During The Cold War We Created An Array Of Domestic And International Institutions As Well As Enduring Partnerships To Defeat The Threat Of Communism – Today [after weakening those instutioins and dissing most of those partnerhships] We Require Similar Structures [but won’t admit our past errors] To Win The Long War On Terror. We are transforming our [view of] domestic and international institutions [we now favor big government at home and are starting to see how we can better use the UN] and [rebuilding our] enduring partnerships to carry forward the long term fight against terror and to help ensure our ultimate [financial] success.
• Establishing International Standards Of Accountability [was a noble liberal idea we ignored until now]: We are collaborating with our partners to update and tailor international obligations and standards of accountability to meet the evolving threat of terrorism [because we effectively stopped liberals from succeeding at these goals for the last 20 years. Efforts already underway in this regard include consultations with the G-8 and others to develop landmark counterterrorism standards and best practices. [We will ignore health standards and best practices until we get hit with Bird flu…and then we will adopt our Katrina response mentality and defense]. Strengthening Our Coalitions And Partnerships To Maintain A United Front Against Terror [another liberal idea we abandoned in the past because we thought we were top dog]. We are building the capacity of foreign partners in all areas of counterterrorism activities [that fell apart after Bush’s arrogant first term]. Through the provision of training, equipment, and other assistance [but not much aid], the United States will enhance the ability of [the] partners [we have left] across the globe to attack and defeat terrorists, deny them funding and freedom of movement, secure their critical infrastructures, and [try to] deny terrorists access to WMD [that they can manufacture from a visit to the local hardware store] and safehavens [that they can find almost anywhere that US development and reconstruction aid has failed to eliminate].
• Enhancing Our Counterterrorism Architecture And Interagency Collaboration By Setting Clear National Priorities And Transforming [enlarging and providing even more power to] The [Bush] Government To Achieve Those Priorities. This includes the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, Director of National Intelligence, and the National Counterterrorism Center [and other means to control the freedom and reduce the privacy of all Americans] Additionally, our military is expanding Special Operations Forces, increasing the capabilities of the general purpose force to conduct irregular warfare in an asymmetric environment [that we helped create in the first place by having such a kick ass military machine and virtually no humanitarian mission], and initiating the largest rearrangement of its force posture since World War II. The State Department is repositioning [and demoralizing] its domestic and overseas staff to better promote [the Zionists and Neocon’s view] of America's policies and interests and have more direct local and regional impact.
• [Talk more about] Fostering Intellectual And Human Capital By Creating An Expert Community Of [right wing] Counterterrorism Professionals And Developing A Domestic Culture Of [fear of Muslims and] Preparedness. This Culture of Preparedness rests on a shared acknowledgement of the certainty of future catastrophes [ignoring the most serious threat of pandemics]; the importance of initiative and accountability at all levels of society [except the global level]; the role of citizen [brainwashing] and community preparedness; and a delineation of the roles of each level of government [except the global level where there’s is none] and the private sector [our best donors] in creating a [perpetually paranoid and] prepared nation [for our re-election efforts]

Friday, September 01, 2006

Dear Hondo

I’m constantly amazed at how little conservatives understand about reality.

Do you really believe that using weapons against murders hidden in civilian populations will make the population join with you? The result of that asinine strategy is to force nations like Iran to develop biological weapons for which there is no defense and will most certainly use against us. Your "action plan" is a textbook example of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. It is suicidal to ever elect conservatives to positions of power.

Its a shame that you didn't have the courage to put your email or contact information so I could correct your feble excuse for an argument directly.