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Bush’s Fantasy of ‘Progress’ in Iraq

Posted on Mar 14, 2006
Iraqi woman wailing
Khalid Mohammed / AP

An Iraqi woman wails after a raid by U.S. soldiers in Baghdad on Tuesday, March 14. U.S. soldiers late Monday night raided a house in west Baghdad, broke doors and windows and arrested one person, police said. In a 24-hour period, police found the bodies of at least 85 men killed execution-style in a gruesome wave of apparent sectarian violence, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday. The dead included at least 27 bodies stacked in a mass grave in an eastern Shiite neighborhood.

By Robert Scheer

What is he thinking?

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On a day when Shiite vigilantes conducted hangings in Sadr City in reprisal for the killing of scores of their co-religionists in a market bombing, President Bush continued to insist that progress in Iraq justified staying the course.

“By their response over the past two weeks, Iraqis have shown the world that they want a future of freedom and peace,” he said Monday. “We’re helping Iraqis build a strong democracy so that old resentments will be eased and the insurgency marginalized.”

Contrast that fantasy with the same day’s harsh news: “In Sadr City, the Shiite section in Baghdad where the terrorist suspects were executed, government forces vanished,” reported the New York Times. “The streets are ruled by aggressive teenagers with shiny soccer jerseys and machine guns. They set up roadblocks and poke their heads into cars and detain whomever they want. Mosques blare warnings on loudspeakers for American troops to stay out. Increasingly, the Americans have been doing just that.”

The next day, 87 corpses, all male, were found scattered throughout the city, shot or strangled after being bound and blindfolded. This, in turn, was in apparent reprisal for a series of bombings on Sunday targeting Shiite civilians that killed 58 and wounded 300, according to Iraq’s Health Ministry.

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Of course, the drip-drip of American troop deaths continues, as Lance Cpl. Bunny Long, 22, of Modesto, Calif., will be coming home in a flag-draped casket after being killed Friday by a suicide bomber with a vehicle-borne IED.

If such constant mayhem is taken as a sign of progress, three years after the U.S. invasion, then Bush surely will be thrilled by what the future holds. The British, on the other hand, have seen the handwriting on the wall and once again have begun to flee an imperial disappointment in Mesopotamia, announcing they are reducing their forces by 10%. Clearly, London has grasped what Bush cannot: The three-year occupation by Western armies is an incitement to guerrilla violence, not an impediment.

Of course, Bush would have us believe this expanding civil war is the work of insidious foreigners rather than of competing agendas arising from within an Iraq society long stunted by colonialism and dictatorship. It does not occur to him that he is the foreigner whom the majority of Iraqis hold responsible for the country’s despair, and whose occupation immeasurably strengthens the hand of extremists on all sides. Bush’s neoconservative Svengalis apparently failed to alert him to the possibility that religious, ethnic and nationalist sentiments might trump his plans for a Western-imposed “democracy,” subservient to U.S. interests. Or that U.S.-engineered elections would be won by allies and disciples of the radical Shiite government in the “evil axis” capital of Tehran.

Such bright contradictions were on display in Bush’s latest strategically bankrupt “plan” for victory: spending $3.3 billion to fight the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that Bush now claims Iran is smuggling into Iraq—to the very Shiite forces that won the U.S.-engineered election and are positioned to form the first real post-Hussein government. The IEDs, mentioned a whopping 26 times in the president’s speech, have obviously come to replace that nonexistent WMD threat as the centerpiece of Bush’s Iraq policy. We will stop them, he says, by bumping anti-IED-related spending by a factor of 22, from $150 million in 2004 to $3.3 billion. “We’re putting the best minds in America to work on this effort,” Bush said.

Why not put a few of them to work on figuring how to extract the U.S. military from Iraq instead? After all, that is where all the IEDs happen to be exploding.

But, of course, this alternative, to stop making U.S. troops targets in the midst of a raging civil war in a Muslim country that the United States has no business occupying, was summarily dismissed by our president.

“[M]y decisions on troop levels will be made based upon the conditions on the ground and on the recommendations of our military commanders, not artificial timetables set by politicians here in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

Has the president never read our Constitution, which mandates civilian control over the military? Does he not grasp that he is himself a Washington politician? How can you effectively sell democracy to the world when you mock it so contemptuously at home?

You can’t. Not until the public and its representatives force this administration to change its disastrous course can we begin to restore international respect for the American political system that Bush has so masterfully subverted.

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By John, March 23, 2006 at 9:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why don’t we all slow down on this RED-BLUE thing. When 51% of a state votes a certain way, we write EVERYONE off as “them”. There are about 3.5 million of us in GA that are not very conservative. We constantly hear how in the South we are all racist, backward, etc. ATL is racist? Macon is racist? 60% of Maconites are Black. 2/3 of city council is black. Mayor is black. But, somehow we are all racist. I believe part of the problem with the National Democratic Party is that we have too much elitism. The Northeast wants to be superior to South. West Coast thinks it is the only place that CARES. The truth is that if we are going to pull ourseves back together and take back our country we must stop mauling one another.

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By Dave and Winnie Lessick, March 18, 2006 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course Scheer is correct and all the interesting posts we have read here are, well, interesting. But lets get to the bottom line. The good old USA as we think we know it, is on the razors edge. However,we wrote on DU over 3 years ago that this (PNAC implementation) will be a “necessary excercise” and shake the American people from their malaise. The concept of government by the people and for the people was never fully accepted by many of our fellow citizens and now it seems they have had enough of it. If we get through this point in history intact, maybe just maybe, we will become that shining light that we always thought we were.

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By saul, March 18, 2006 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Brendan

It seems that you are right and maybe Lincoln should have allowed the south to leave the Union.
It appears that basically we are still divided along those lines, albeit, for different reasons then just race and slavery.

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By C. M. Baxter, March 18, 2006 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This entire comments section should be floccinaucinihilipilificated!  Er…help me out, TheOne, did I spell that correctly?

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By ron smith, March 18, 2006 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i can find no examples in american history when an american administration has been so certain, so forceful, and so wrong about so many things.

we were told that there were wmd’s. we were told that there was evidence. we were told that to show anybody the evidence would compromise security. turns out that they couldn’t show us the evidence because it didn’t exist.

we were told that the war would be paid for with oil revenue. turns out the oil revenue doesn’t exist.

we were told that democracies don’t attack their neighbors. turns out the world’s most powerful democracy did.

we were told that the u.s. does not torture prisoners. turns out we do, and we employ serrogates in other countries to help us do it.

we were told that iraq was connected to the 9/11 attacks. turns out they weren’t, but that the business partners of the president, the saudis, were.

we were told, when the bush administration took office, that “the adults were back in charge”. turns out the president gives excusses that are surprisingly similar to those of a child.

we were told a great many things. how many more are we to believe?

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By Arliss, March 18, 2006 at 9:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TheOne, I’d be happy to match my intellect against your’s any day.

Get it idiot, you are now in the MINORITY!
It is the MAJORITY of this country that wants Bush out, the only people still supporting him is the lunatic fringe, which I guess applies to you.
You wackos have been calling the shots for long enough now, our country is in tatters, and you still think you have a mandate.
Well Chuckles, the only mandate you have is a date with a man!
If anything is being forced on anyone, it is you and your ilk who is forcing your ludicrous set of morals on us, the Majority.

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By Rogelio, March 17, 2006 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Bush led war has been a mistake. The logic of invading a nation, dropping bombs and killing thousands of innocent civilians will in the end bring DEMOCRACY to a nation is ludicrous. We are suffering the consequences of Big-Business leading us into a disasterous war. Do we really give an “F” if Iraq is democratic? The terrorist that over-running Iraq were probably motivated to join the insurgency as a result of American aggression. Now our American troops are sitting ducks in a nation that wishes we would get the heck out.

I suggest we invade every corrupt and un-democratic regime in the world and teach those infidels the true government and the true way of life. Perhaps our draft-dodging leader has contemplated that concept.

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By Mirror6, March 17, 2006 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Has the president never read our Constitution, which mandates civilian control over the military? Does he not grasp that he is himself a Washington politician? How can you effectively sell democracy to the world when you mock it so contemptuously at home?”
Above sentences summarizes policy of our President. During 2004 Presidential election he (Bush) used to call his opponent as “Flip flop”.
But his action tells who is indeed flip flop. To export his so called “democracy” to middle east he becomes “poitician”. In making decision to invade an unjust, immoral war against Iraq he is “politician”. But when it comes to withdraw solders from Iraq, he is totally dependent on military. What a surprise!

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By cstruthers@infogen.net, March 17, 2006 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OK so American forces go about this silly all out raid that doesn’t catch anyone and wastes money. Fair enough, it’s a media spoof propoganda thing of course but instead of being smart enough to leave it at that american generals and Iraqi “officials” start talking to the news. here is what so far has been said.

“We believe we achieved tactical surprise,” Lt. Col. Edward Loomis, spokesman for the 101st Airborne Division, said of the day-old Operation Swarmer. He said about 40 suspects were detained, 10 of whom were later released.

“Any leaders there must have seen the forces coming and escaped,” said one senior Iraqi security source.

Now correct me if I’m mistaken but wouldn’t tactical suprise mean something like no one could get away??

Just a thought.

Craig

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By TheOne, March 17, 2006 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#5401 Allen - gee thanks professor .. “sheesh” was just an expression of exasperation or perhaps an onomatopoeia ...“thier” was just a typo ... glad to know the vocabulary police are on duty. Please feel free to correct all misspelled / typo words for all posts here ... sheesh!

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By TheOne, March 17, 2006 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#5343 .. You sound like most of the other flip,snobbish elitists who like to talk down to anyone who doesn’t agree with you. At least I have a “thinking cap” unlike many of the brainless lemmings marching lock step along with the America bashers.(by the way, I’ll match my educational credentials against yours any day).I did read the Scheer article. Then I began reading some of the responses and as usual, the Bush hating/America bashing took center stage.Of course there was some debate, but the majority was the same old stuff .. I decided in this case I would return the rant.
So if I suggest that by protecting my life,family,liberty,and property from unelected judges and “social progressives” trying to take away my constitutionally guaranteed rights(by war if necessary) that’s sedition? Where’s MY right to free speech? Sedition is incitement of resistance to lawful authority .. where in my post did I do that? Ho-hum, another wannabe conspiracy theorist.I and many others are speaking out against what we consider “unlawful authority”(i.e. having laws forced on us without representation / voting or having our children indoctrinated with liberal blather without our consent). So what is it called when people try to subvert the office of the elected president (with ridiculous conspiracy theories and calls for impeachment), and rant against America in a time of war (which gives aid and comfort to the enemy)? I guess you would call that free speech. Sounds like overt acts to overthrow a duly elected government to me ( i.e. treason). Hey, I have a right to be a wannabe conspiracy theorist too!

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By Gonnuts, March 17, 2006 at 8:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you still support bush, you must be one of - if not all of the following - miss-informed, which can be helped, stupid, which can’t be, or fascist, which makes you the mortal enemy of all that is American.

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By Marc McDonald, March 17, 2006 at 8:05 am Link to this comment
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Nice piece. I’ve been reading a lot of pundits lately who’ve debated whether Iraq is facing a civil war. But what about the possibility of a civil war right here in the U.S.:
http://www.beggarscanbechoosers.com/2006/03/speaking-of-civil-war-could-it-happen.html

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By Allen, March 16, 2006 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment
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March 16, 2006
To TheOne regarding Comment #5333.  “Sheesh” is not a word, nor should it be capitalized.  “thier” is not a word.  “their” is spelled: t-h-e-i-r”.

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By Tony Wicher, March 16, 2006 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #5343 by Delicatemonster on 3/16 at 10:03 am

The trouble is, that those of us who morally detest the American Empire are called “anti-American” by imperialists who seek to gain political advantage by calling us traitors, and their dupes such as the writer of comment #5333 who do not grasp the concept of empire and imperialism or who are not able to be objective enough to apply it to their own country and to themselves.

I love the United States as a country. I’m not “anti-American” in that sense. But I hate it as an empire. We would be a wonderful country if we just weren’t an empire.

I’m afraid electing such as Clinton or Biden or Gore is not going to solve this problem, because at the end of the day almost all Democrats are imperialists too. It seems that the the American political system by itself cannot rid us of these masters. But if there is a sufficient shock, such as defeat in another imperialist war like the one in Vietnam, then maybe, just maybe, somebody can get in who will seriously draw down the empire. How about a 75% cut in the military budget? It would still be the largest in the world. Imagine what we could do with all that money!

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By Saleamie Affrey Franco, March 16, 2006 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just today I found you again Robert Scheer, thank
God for this.  You have never written an article
of which I did not support 100%.  Our country has
been asleep since year 1999, when a group of individuals who wrote their PNAC agenda for the
New World if they got the power are so doing each
and every day.  Dammed be the American People, their rights, their beliefs at whatever cost.  We
need you to continue to keep up the work you are
doing.  Slowly the United States Citizens will rise to combat this Administration, first by the
ballot this November, 2006.  Then the removal of
the 14 members of this Administration starting with Bush will happen.  All done legally under the Constitution of these United States. This important document is what makes America what it
has always been before year 2000, we have been asleep for over five years, but are now rising to the occasion of FREEDOM.  Thank You, God Bless You and God Bless the United States of America

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By M. M. Tupharsin, March 16, 2006 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In the Introduction to Danny Danziger’s and John Gillingham’s very fine popular history 1215 The Year of Magna Carta we’re told:

“The Magna Carta is as famous as any document you can name in any museum or parliament. It holds its own against the American Declaration of Independence, indeed, the authors of that document professed to have read Magna Carta before they put pen to paper. There are sixty-three clauses in Magna Carta, but there are two that reverberate down the centuries, and have come to represent today a ringing expression of freedom for mankind the world over.

“To translate from the original Latin into English:

“‘No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or deprived or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go or send against him, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.

“‘To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay right or justice.’

“The eloquence of those sentences, the nobility and idealism they express, has elevated this piece of legislation to eternal iconic status. In America, Magna Carta is revered as the foundation stone of modern freedom.”

The Introduction ends with the following vignette (I’ve edited it down slightly).

“On the day we finished this book, we drove out to Runnymede to get a feel of the place where King John had met the barons and had been forced to put his seal to the Magna Carta…The [Runnymede] memorial is a rotunda, built by the American Bar Association, as ‘a tribute to Magna Carta, symbol of freedom under law’. In 1971, the American Bar Association came here again and pledged their adherence to the principles of the Great Charter - and again, in July 1985, returning once more in July 2000 ‘to celebrate Magna Carta, foundation of the rule of law for ages past and for the new millennium…’

“It is very moving that a nation, which wasn’t founded until nearly six centuries after Magna Carta was first discussed here, should invest such belief in and commitment to this ancient document.”

Today that last paragraph couldn’t be written. There’s an innocence, a faith, a simple goodness about it that’s been murdered. Savage irony - that’s what would have to accompany those words today. That’s how far we’ve travelled, what these scum have done to us and our country.

And they’ve done it in just three years. Danziger’s and Gillingham’s book was published in 2003.

The sentence that comes after the words “the rule of law for ages past and for the new millennium…belief in and commitment to this ancient document” is:

“A heavy rain was falling on the muddy, churned fields of Runnymede as we made our way back to the car…”

Heavy rain indeed. And as for making our way back…we’re not going to be able to go home again folks. It ain’t there any more.

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By Brendan, March 16, 2006 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tim,

I’ve been hearing that sentiment you express (a desire for the Northeast and California, and other regions to secede from the Union) surprisingly often these days from liberals and conservatives alike, with a good number of Red Staters saying “good riddance”—i.e., they’d also love to secede from the Blue Staters and the “Aztlaners” who I guess would be in control of the rump SW. 

In decades of political debate, I’d never imagined that the country would become so furiously divided, but I’m afraid it’s true—honestly, it’s like the US really isn’t one country anymore, but a collection of maybe 5 or 6 smaller countries all thrown together and mutually at bitter odds with each other.  There are the hard-core social conservative Red States (Midwest Bible Belt, Rocky Mtn states and much of the SE around the Appalachians and the Eastern Seaboard), the socially and fiscally liberal Blue States (mainly New England, Pacific Northwest, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota), the states with a large and apparently rising black population and heavy imprint of black culture (Louisiana, Arkansas, maybe even Mississippi), the soon-to-be-majority Latino and bilingual “Aztlan states” with their Mexican heritage (California, Arizona and New Mexico, with Florida a sort of compatriot), then a separate category for Michigan (maybe soon our first Muslim-majority state, both by immigration and urban black conversion to Sunni Islam) and of course, Texas, which already is a separate country at heart. 

I dunno, but I wonder if maybe the marriage really is over for good, and that maybe a divorce is in order.  I just seriously question if the United States can actually stay together like this.  What if (God forbid) a bunch of Supreme Court justices died in a car accident or something?  I just couldn’t see the country holding together in the aftermath of the rancorous debate—it’s worse even than the North and South in 1857 in many ways, the country would be torn apart in the bitter arguments afterward, with one side or the other categorically refusing to accept the President’s new appointments to the Court.  That’s a sign of how furiously we’re divided against each other.  I wouldn’t see it happening anytime too soon, but if there’s an awful recession, or some other form of economic upheaval, I suspect that the calls for secession will grow more intense.

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By mj, March 16, 2006 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Something I read after the ‘04 election, has stayed with me - “America is a very angry country that has elected a very angry administration.” Bush is bad news for America and bad news for the world and we are learning this the hard way. Never thought I would see another Vietnam but here it is - guess we don’t learn much from our history - or maybe we are verrrry slow learners- many of our citizens are insight-challenged.

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By mark-o, March 16, 2006 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good grief, Mr. Scheer. Analysis, criticism, and offering an alternative strategy are one thing, but this is just anti-Bush ranting, nothing more. Want to see more of Scheer’s longstanding Bush-hating? Just check out any of his previous rantings at http://www.robertscheer.com/1_natcolumn/. They’re all pretty much the same.

I may not be a Bush fan, but Scheer’s fanatical ravings are not helpful in moving any real national debate forward.

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By Tim Brown, March 16, 2006 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I loved the guy’s comment on how the red staters are gonna rise up and take us wacko libs down. I say it now, time to secede. The northeast should just leave the union. We don’t need the south. We don’t need the west. California is on its own anyway. This is a relisious war that this guy wants. We have the money, the population, and the love of actual liberty. Let them try and take us down. IT’ll make the last civil war looks minor league. This time we burn all of the south. But only if they come up after us, first.

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By wlmaroney, March 16, 2006 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #5333 by TheOne on 3/16 at 7:03 am

Came to this site to find some civil debate but Sheesh ... what a bunch of Bush hating,wacko liberal wannabe conspiracy theorists .... Perhaps we need a new war ... a civil war ... so we can finally identify the socialists/communists/America haters put them on one side and deal with them ...  America began it’s decline in the 60’s with all of the destructive liberal policies/ideas that have turned many in this country into selfish,immoral,lazy,unpatriotic, ungrateful idiots. Keep up your assault, and when it finally goes too far, true Americans will rise up and take thier country back. God Bless America.

Does one need anything more to understand the nexus between the modern Republican Party and murderous Fascism?

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By Camilo Wilson, March 16, 2006 at 11:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“I am the Supreme Military Commander, in a time of war.” 

Bush is telling us exactly what he’s thinking. Politicians, and the people they represent,  be damned. He will do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

Mad King George.

Why aren’t our elected representatives screaming about his madman with his finger on the button?

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By Coyeote, March 16, 2006 at 11:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just let me say up front I will try really hard not to be insulting.

Didn’t read the 1st article but the second is commentary with some news thrown into it. Commentary as in one persons opinion designed to sell newspapers.

Bush said something to the effect that the recent events emphasize that we must stay the course or something to that effect. This is true. We are there whether we want to be or not and we must finish whether we would like to or not. To think otherwise and to support otherwise is insane. It is exhausting to hear the whining and crying that we should not be there. It’s not relivent to anything except ones own need to hear oneself spew verbage out of ones own mouth for the pure satisfaction of drooling on oneself.

We are there and we MUST finish get the (&^% over it already.

As for the hack of a writer (I can insult him can’t I) he’s a flipp’n idiot and a pimp. He’s out there pimp’n his stories out to anyone that will give him a dime. He filled an article with his opinions and threw in a few facts to support his opinions. It’s like going to a bad magic show where you can figure out every illusion the magician has in his bag of tricks.

Yes there are forign insurgents fighting. You’d need to be a bafoon to believe other wise or just a lousey reporter who went all the way through college and found out he sucked as a writer and would never publish a book so he took up this honorable profession. Yes you have citizens right now that are fighting each other and thus makes it civil and maybe even a little warlike. This is more of a really bad civil disagreement. If we stay the course it WILL pass, with a little luck. If however we continue to believe the mainstream media and try to force the issue with elections coming up we as a people will force our elected officials to make bad decisions. Finding and honest reporter in a world of fiction novel writer wanna bees is like looking for your lost wedding ring in a hog farm. Your chances of finding it are slim and none and your going to hafta get covered in stuff (trying to be kind) to find it.

If your wondering I don’t have much use for mainstream media nor the wanna bees and before you start hearing about how I shouldn’t lump all media in the same pot…......I’m not. Before I start hearing about how they have advertisers that they have obligations to….......well that’s a lame excuse. It’s like my grocer selling me good full of bacteria and chemical toxins because company X paid for a big ad in his weekly flier.

There now I’m whining as well. So tha’t what it feels like. I’m pretty good at it too.

Mr. Sheer - It must really suck that your not going to be the next great novelist or the next great Dr. Seus or the next great anything.  I can get more honest and informative information on the walls of a truck stop restroom.  Incedently they two paper products have equal value when one is finished with them.

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By Delicatemonster, March 16, 2006 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert Scheer is a joy; thanks again for being articulate and insightful. As to comment #5333 who apparently is advising a civil war against the…“Bush hating,wacko liberal wannabe conspiracy theorists”

Maybe you could take a second of your breathless time, pop your little thinking cap on and describe exactly what in Scheer’s article is distinctly “Bush Hating”, “wacko”, or “Conspiratorial”. You would find a potential debate a lot more compelling if you offered something more articulate than a rant sounding like Limbaugh off his ‘meds’....

5333 wrote:

” .... Perhaps we need a new war ... a civil war ... so we can finally identify the socialists/communists/America haters put them on one side and deal with them ...  America began it’s decline in the 60’s with all of the destructive liberal policies/ideas that have turned many in this country into selfish,immoral,lazy,unpatriotic, ungrateful idiots. Keep up your assault, and when it finally goes too far, true Americans will rise up and take thier country back. “

What 5333 misses is exactly this: true Americans ARE rising up and finally taking their country back. Robert Scheer is one of them. Scheer, however, is using the constitutionally approved route of public free speech and dissent. The writer of comment #5333 seems to be advocating Sedition. Last I heard,the FBI and Secret Service are very interested in folks who advocate Sedition. If I were ‘theone’ (writer of comment #5333), I think I’d start worrying seriously about my own perceived loyalties. He certainly has me wondering.

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By Cynthia Rosenfeld, March 16, 2006 at 9:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer is brilliant and respresents the people I know who care about this country. Have you ever considered running for office Rpbert?

Where are the genuine humans lacking greed and power, wanting a safe and peaceful world? The greed of this administration is so profound that they see nothing else except increasing their portfolios at the expense of our fighting/dying Americans. When will they have enough money, Cheney/Halliburton, Bush/Carlyle Group, etc. etc.?

They won’t do anything about the monopoly of the oil giants making record profits….duh of course not they are linked with them. I hope we wake up before it’s too late and our children and grandchildren have no Social Security.

Right on Robert….keep it coming.

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By Oilyslick, March 16, 2006 at 9:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This administration has no intention of giving up control to a “Democratic” party in 2006 or 2008.  They have given the executive too much power and autority to hand it over to the opposition.  They will do whatever it takes to retain that power including allowing another attack on this country to solidify their waning support and to complete the coup they started.  This time the attack will make 9-11 look trivial by comparison.

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By TheOne, March 16, 2006 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Came to this site to find some civil debate but Sheesh ... what a bunch of Bush hating,wacko liberal wannabe conspiracy theorists .... Perhaps we need a new war ... a civil war ... so we can finally identify the socialists/communists/America haters put them on one side and deal with them ...  America began it’s decline in the 60’s with all of the destructive liberal policies/ideas that have turned many in this country into selfish,immoral,lazy,unpatriotic, ungrateful idiots. Keep up your assault, and when it finally goes too far, true Americans will rise up and take thier country back. God Bless America.

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By Charles, March 16, 2006 at 7:31 am Link to this comment
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Oh for the days of a simple stain on a blue dress.

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By Donald, March 16, 2006 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
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Wonderful commentary - but please we need more than just commentary. We need YOU to get rid of the pricks in the white house (remember collectively you got them there & supported a second term) . They are well on their way to an Iran mess of untold proportion. Why? - because they are still in office after the Iraq stuff-up.
Please act!!!!

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By Robert Asher, March 16, 2006 at 6:20 am Link to this comment
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Comment 5303 on Mr. Sheer’s editorial misses the point about non-elites voting in a republic. All the historical evidence we have indicates that elites are just as likely to be dishonest and corrupt and to adopt vicious prejudices as are non-elites. In the 1820s as non-elites pressed for the vote for non-landowners, the former pointed out that the upper houses of state legislatures, where only the wealthy could serve and the substantial elite and middle class could vote for such elites, had records of corruption and poor judgement that were equal to those of the democratic lower houses of the legislatures. The founders of the Republic devised a system of constitutional checks and balances because they knew that the elites they hoped would be elected were nevertheless human and thus inclined to seek power and act in tyrannical ways. This notion of elite corruptibility is ESSENTIAL to our very fabric of government.
So it is time for well-meaning Americans who believe in a true republican system of government to abandon the canard that the masses cannot be trusted to vote. And finally, look at the current public opinion polls. The majority knows that the Iraq policy is a terrible mistake. They are looking for a coherent opposition to suggest ways to develop an effective foreign policy. Too bad most Democrats either have not spent the time to think about this or are too cowered to speak out. Remember what T.S. Eliot adumbrated—-it will end not with a bang but with a wimper. So lets call our Democrats “wimperers” until they learn how to speak out forcefully.

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By Marc, March 16, 2006 at 6:20 am Link to this comment
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I have this fantasy of my own, cooked up by my average intelligence, that this incitement to violence in the Islamic world is intentional. In my fantasy, the more attacks on Americans by “terrorists” the more war can be sold to us stupid Americans, the more necessary becomes the procurement of weapons (i.e. military industrial complex, i.e. keep the economy going), and the more we stupid Americans will accept presidential powers and loss of civil liberty. And of course let us not forget that the evangelicals, of which our beloved leader is one, salivate over the prospect of a final showdown.

I know, I watch too much TV.

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By deblonay, March 16, 2006 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
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Today Bush spoke of the threat to “our ally Israel “...Actually,there is no formal alliance on paper between the US and the state of Israel.
Sure there is half a century of US support for Israel,but they are no alliances .nor any treaty, in any formal legal sense.  Of course when Bush speaks like this he confirms in all Arab minds the fact of the de facto alliance between the US and Israel.Yet the US still claims the right to act as the “honest” Broker between Israel and the Palestinians. Some Honest Broker !!!

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By Denis Jones, March 16, 2006 at 1:11 am Link to this comment
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Does anyone in the US actually listen to Bush’s speeches?  If so, why?

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By pnguine, March 15, 2006 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment
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Depending on your government to correct itself in any manner is like shooting a ‘bad’ shark thinking that after the rest of them eat it your shark troubles will be over.

Any form of government wherein the ‘priviledged’ are allowed to rule is ultimately destined for failure. I agree that the basic precepts of your American Republic are noble but allowing persons of, by definition, ‘average’ intellect choose thier rulers from a cadre of those who can purchase the most influence is sort of oxy-moronic.

Where does the ‘wealthy privileged’ class equate to the ‘average working’ class? What makes the average working class believe that the wealthy privileged class is the best choice of type to be looking after thier best interests? Possibly through the purchase of influence? Something that the average working class cannot do.

So all the talk of impeachment, the Democrats doing this or the Democrats doing that, or the Republicans waking up is all a gossimer web that will melt away at the first hint of heat. What you need in America is Hugo Chavez. Not the next wave of neo-con progeny being prodded into action 5, 10 or 20 years from now when this would all be blown over if you actually managed to succeed in shutting down this stage of the game but a genuine full-blown paradigm shift in political thought.

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By lost_nacf_gop, March 15, 2006 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment
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If the U.S. were Matt Groening’s “Springfield,” our President would be Chief Wiggum.

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By ROBERT C. ROUSH, March 15, 2006 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment
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NEVER IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND, HAS ONE NATION DONE SO MUCH HARM WORLD WIDE—INCLUDING, AND ESPECIALLY, TO ITSELF!  THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NO LONGER A DEMOCRACY.  MONEY RULES AND MONEY WILL RUIN.  EVEN MOTHER NATURE IS TRYING TO TELL US ABOUT OUR ROAD TO RUIN.  WE ARE BANKRUPT, MORALLY AND FINANCIALLY!  WE HAVE ALLOWED THE HI-JACKING OF OUR NATION AND THE DEVOLVEMENT OF OUR CONSTITUTION.  MEN BLINDED BY MONEY AND POWER, LIVING IN GUARDED COMMUNITIES, LEADING PEOPLE BLINDED BY IGNORANCE AND THE PURSUIT OF THINGS MATERIAL, WHILE THE NATION’S SPIRIT IS DYING.  OH, DON’T GET ME STARTED.

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By MLB, March 15, 2006 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment
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I certainly agree with the thrust of the article, but I think mill is right in comment #5197 - Bush is not fantasizing, he’s lying. 

The Bush/neocon goal is U.S. world hegemony through military force. Strategic control of the Middle East is critical to that goal.  They’d love to placate the Iraqis and have them believe they’re governing themselves, but stable or not, Bush & Co. have no intention of leaving Iraq until the oil runs out. 

Bush will continue to claim progress no matter what happens in Iraq.

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By billy, March 15, 2006 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
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after having been manipulated and convinced by the neocons that going to Iraq was a no brainer,  Bush is left to take all the abuse about the problems now by himself. i can’t remember the last time i’ve seen a wolfowitz or pearle or cheney or any of them on tv anymore talking about the virtues of iraq.  it’s like they’re all in hiding or something. pretty pathetic.  and bush deserves this for being a puppet.

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By Hilary Tate, March 15, 2006 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment
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Do the non-Muslims among you actually know the difference between the Sunnis and the Shias? It may surprise you.

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By Jesus Even Would Say, March 15, 2006 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment
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I think the people of America no longer have any choice but to invade and destroy. In order for your children to live on the land of the free you must all NOW drop whatever it is you are doing, join the military, invest in war and take out your enemies. If they will not respect you then they should fear you. Kill them all before they kill you. Put your support behind Israel so that you may be blessed and you will see the light. Satan hates America and is using other crazy people to try and destroy it. Wake up America, grab your guns and make your children proud to be the best of the best called America.

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By MHW, March 15, 2006 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment
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“...in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility…”
-Hitler

This administration has lied since 9/11.

SEEK THE TRUTH:
http://www.st911.org

KNOW THE LIARS:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century

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By Jerry Lasnik, March 15, 2006 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
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Bush is telling us that things are going well in Iraq. The opposite is true for anyone with half a brain and a heartbeat. You can show an audience a giraffe and claim it is an elephant until the cows come home. But, no manner of cajoling or arm-twisting will actually MAKE a giraffe an elephant.  Nor will they turn this disastrous Iraq tragedy into a western-loving democracy.
    What, exactly, are we waiting for?  Censuring the president will not do it. We need to impeach him.

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By felicity smith, March 15, 2006 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment
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And so the death by a thousand cuts continues.  How much longer must this nation, its people, and much of the world be victims of George Bush’s fantasies.  And Congress?  History will not treat it kindly.  The only body in the world that has the right and the power to check this rogue executive has chosen to do nothing.  I cancelled my LA Times subscription when Robert disappeared from the OpEd page.  One of the smarter things I’ve done.  Greetings from Manhattan Beach, Robert.

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By Constant, March 15, 2006 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment
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The President is a war criminal. There is no evidence he can show us to defend him. He should be impeached.

[RNC dilemma over Iraq: At link under my name.]

. . .

In ancient times, when under siege in a castle, and supplies running low, they would launch a cow over the castle wall using a catapult. This would surprise the surrounding army, already cold and tired. “They have enough food to throw a cow at us, this is going nowhere.” The attacking army would think, “They can outlast us,” and depart.

This is what has happened with the UAE deal—the RNC and White House have no defense over the NSA issue, and have launched the UAE and President’s reputation into the Congress.


But Congress is inconsistent: Chasing “oversight, statutes, and procedures” over the UAE, deal—but doing nothing about the same issues in the NSA issue: “Oversight, statutes, and procedures.”

The disconnect is one for the RNC to explain, not explain away with distractions. They are war criminals, and civilians may be lawfully tried for war crimes.

. . .

The UAE deal is a ruse to discourage impeachment, and have a phony debate over an issue the RNC has no credibility on: Things like “national security.”

The President cannot claim he is for national security—he only talks about it, but his results are at odds with that notion.

The RNC cannot claim it is related to national security.
. . .

The RNC membership has to decide: Are you for the President’s rebellion against the Constitution; or for the rule of law.

The dilemma is for the RNC membership: They need to choose—what will be done to protect this nation from the abusive power. The non-sense arguments remain a threat to the RNC’s continued access to power.

The DNC is being fooled by a flying cow. It is time to bring in the reinforcements from the states. If the national leadership refuses to choose the Constitution, the states are prepared to compel a vote on impeachment; and lawfully revoke the abused—and non-exercised—Federal power.

This is permitted under the house rule 603, and the work has already started in many states. This is not a threat—it is a promise of what is in store imminently.

The Federal government has failed to protect rights and prevent the abuse of power. It is up to the RNC membership: When will they retreated from the unlawful RNC rebellion against the rule of law.

Your task: Force the RNC membership to take a position on the Constitution.

They will be forced to assent to reality: They are in rebellion against the People and the Constitution. They are unfit to lead. They are war criminals, and should be give no deference or respect other than what mandated by the court. Nothing more.

This RNC is under siege. It has no hope. The People shall prevail. We have more time and more options. The RNC shall be forced to assent to the rule of law. They have no choice.

We shall prevail. They have wished for this.

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By Stan, March 15, 2006 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
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It’s not about stealing the oil.  It’s about taking it off of the market so the value of Texas crude goes up.  After all, if we were stealing Iraq’s oil, shouldn’t the price of gas be going down instead of up?

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By brisa, March 15, 2006 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
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The US plan from the beginning was to eliminate Iraqi cultural history and identity.  The enabled chaos, looting and general destruction of Iraqi institutions and infrastructure immediately post “mission accomplished” is testament this proposition.  As if one could change a people’s mindset by destroying their material world.

It’s folly and we are all paying the price now.  Iraq is but one theater in the global resource wars.  Iran is the real powder keg and the recent increase in provocative rhetoric and government propaganda could mean that the fuse is lit.

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By oldwobbly, March 15, 2006 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
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Can anyone imagine the amount of psychological denial necessary for Bush to believe that he is somehow capable of “easing old resentments” between the religious factions in Iraq?  Rumsfeld and Cheney must hand him his kool-aid before he gets out of bed every morning…

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By S. Beckner, March 15, 2006 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
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If the latest polls are correct, the American public is already convinced that the situation in Iraq is a disaster, and not likely to improve anytime in the near future, if at all. Nay-saying the administration’s Iraq policy has run its course. Those who persist are kicking a dead horse, and may soon risk public backlash. Imagine scientists and technical innovators taking this approach. Instead of global airlines and overnight shipping, we might still be spending our energy trying to demonstrate the inefficiency of rail transport.

Yes, there is growing consensus that night is falling on Iraq, but there is even greater consensus that a pullout will only hasten the darkness. What’s needed is an innovative solution. To that end, I’d like to table a new idea: let’s offer US statehood to the Iraqi people. It’s one thing to be occupied by America. It’s an entirely different thing to become an American. Individual rights and privileges would immediately be afforded to all Iraqi citizenry, both a potent incentive as well as an enviable model for surrounding countries. There’s no complicated constitution to work out, they would simply need to elect a governor, and some national and local representatives. Election turnout in Iraq, despite threats of bodily harm, suggests that the Iraqis are eager to embrace our system. The concerns and objections of Turkey and Iran would be effectively neutralized. And, by welcoming a largely Muslim population into the family, the image of the US as an “evil empire” would be mitigated, if not dissipated.

No doubt, there would be some downside. But before we start looking for reasons why it can’t work, why don’t we give the Iraqi people the choice. Isn’t that what America is supposed to be about?

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By Walter M. Sands, Jr., March 15, 2006 at 11:24 am Link to this comment
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Mill’s last comment “Shame on our President” is well put.  However, I say shame on the members of the Supreme Court that voted Bush into office. Control of the Congress and the Senate needs to be regained in 2006 by the Democrats, regardless if they have a plan to end the war or not. Only the American people can put right, what the Supreme Court did wrong, in the last National election of Bush and his “herd” of neo-conservatives. I use the word “herd”, and not “mob”, because a “mod” has a leader, and a herd does not. Much like our country has no leader with Bush in office.

History will not treat Bush well. Enough is enough! Out with the bums, starting with the Congress and the Senate. Then take back the White House in 2008, and what ever the Democrats do, between now and then, do not let Bush get another judge on the Supreme Court.

I am indeed hopeful that a true leader will rise from the ashes of the Democratic party and hopefully put this country back on track.  Please, please dear Lord, help this nation to bring our troops home soon and stop this insanity. Allow us t set this county on a path to recover the good standing we have lost in the world with other nations, and set the standard for regaining trust in our country and its leaders.  We must stop this needless drain and outflow of our National treasure in lives and in our nations wealth.

Walter M. Sands, Jr.
US Navy Submarine veteran.

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By Hector Manuel Briones, March 15, 2006 at 10:59 am Link to this comment
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George W. Bush certainly lives by the Nazi propaganda axiom about “the big lie”.  Repeat it often enough and people will accept it as truth.  I believe that his administration is not only living in a fantasy world where he and his underlings not only do not accept reality, but then compound their blindness by lying to the American public.  Unfortunately there are still too many Americans who think it is ok to allow George W. to play the fiddle while Baghdad burns.  I read Mr. Sheer’s article every week and wish that he would write a daily item to see if enough people would get angry enough to be motivated into action such as working hard in local congressional elections to deny George W. and the Republicans the rubber-stamp Congress this year.  We are stuck with George W. but getting a democratic majority would restore some sanity in Washington.

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By Mick Lovett, March 15, 2006 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
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Mr. Scheer:
    Though I’ve enjoyed your writings for some years I have to take issue with your 3-14-06 article “Bush’s Fantasy”.
    President Bush cannot be both a boob held hostage by his neo-con “Svengalis” and a masterful subverter at the same time. And, contrary to your assessment of the US occupation—the war in Iraq is going exceedingly well. Just look at the results of the last three years. Iraq is in chaos, it’s oil production has failed to recover, the Euro has been thwarted, Haliburton et. al., are making out like bandits and Isreal’s enemies are being systematically illiminated. Moreover, the US military based industrial complex will be able to dine out on Bush’s foreign policy for decades—if not forever. Accordingly, from a certain point of view, it appears that the war in Iraq has been very sucessful to date.

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By Tony Wicher, March 15, 2006 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
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I am posting bin Laden’s latest communique here because I know Truthdig has many thoughtful readers, but I hardly know anyone who has taken the trouble to read carefully every word of what he actually says. I see bin Laden as an absolutely brilliant politician, military strategist and businessman. His strategy is to unite the Muslim people against the American Empire, and he is succeeding! He is winning! As one who has been seeking the fall of the American Empire his entire political life, I just have to hand it to him. Osama, Osama, he’s our man. If he can’t do it, no one can! “Siding with terrorists”? I’ll side with anybody against this adminstration. Anybody at all.

THE EMPIRE MUST FALL. Then we can have democracy, decently progressive social programs, culture and art and science and every other good thing we all want. BUT FIIRST THE EMPIRE MUST FALL. Not put some Democratic imperialist such as Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton instead of Bush, but an END TO EMPIRE and IMPERIALISM.

Osama says he comes from a people that does not lie, and he offers us a “long term truce” if we will end our imperialistic oppression of the Muslim people. That would mean removing all military forces and bases from Muslim countries,
ending all military alliances in the Middle East (including with Israel), ending the arms trade to the Middle East, and ceasing to send warships to Middle Eastern ports. Whatever you may say about Osama, I have never seen any indication that he is a liar. What he is asking is what all us anti-imperialists have always wanted.


Here is the communique: 


My message to you is about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the way to end it.

I had not intended to speak to you about this issue, because, for us, this issue is already decided on: diamonds cut diamonds.

Praise be to God, our conditions are always improving and becoming better, while your conditions are to the contrary of this.

However, what prompted me to speak are the repeated fallacies of your President Bush in his comment on the outcome of the US opinion polls,
which indicated that the overwhelming majority of you want the withdrawal of the forces from Iraq, but he objected to this desire and
said that the withdrawal of troops would send a wrong message to the enemy. Bush said: It is better to fight them on their ground than they
fighting us on our ground. In my response to these fallacies, I say: The war in Iraq is raging, and the operations in Afghanistan are on the rise in our favour, praise be to God.
The Pentagon figures indicate the rise in the number of your dead and wounded, let alone the huge material losses, and let alone the collapse
of the morale of the soldiers there and the increase in the suicide cases among them.
So, just imagine the state of psychological breakdown that afflicts the soldier while collecting the remnants of his comrades’ dead bodies after they hit mines, which torn them. Following such situation, the soldier becomes between two fires. If he refuses to go out of his military barracks for patrols, he will face the penalties of the Vietnam butcher, and if he goes out, he will face the danger of mines.
>So, he is between two bitter situations, something which puts him under
>psychological pressure - fear, humiliation, and coercion. Moreover, his people are careless about him. So, he has no choice but to commit suicide.

What you hear about him and his suicide is a strong message to you, which he wrote with his blood and soul while pain and bitterness eat
him up so that you would save what you can save from this hell. However, the solution is in your hand if you care about them.

The news of our brother mujahideen, however, is different from what is published by the Pentagon.
This news indicates that what is carried by the news media does not exceed what is actually taking place on the ground. What increases
>doubts on the information of the White House’s administration is its targeting of the news media, which carry some facts about the real
situation. Documents have recently showed that the butcher of freedom in the world [US President Bush] had planned to bomb the head office of al-Jazeera Space Channel in the state of Qatar after he bombed its offices in Kabul and Baghdad, although despite its defects, it is [Al-Jazeera] one of your creations.

Jihad is continuing, praise be to God, despite all the repressive measures the US army and its agents take to the point where there is no
>significant difference between these crimes and those of Saddam. These crimes include the raping of women and taking them hostage instead of their husbands. There is no power but in God.
The torturing of men has reached the point of using chemical acids and electric drills in their joints. If they become desperate with them,
they put the drill on their heads until death.
If you like, read the humanitarian reports on the atrocities and crimes in the prisons of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. I say that despite all the barbaric methods, they have failed to ease
>resistance, and the number of mujahideen, praise be to God, is increasing. In fact, reports indicate that the defeat and devastating failure of the ill-omened plan of the four - Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz
and the announcement of this defeat and working it out, is only a matter of time, which is to some extent linked to the awareness of the
American people of the magnitude of this tragedy.
The wise ones know that Bush has no plan to achieve his alleged victory in Iraq.

If you compare the small number of the dead when Bush made that false and stupid show-like announcement from an aircraft carrier on the end
of the major operations, to many times as much as this number of the killed and injured, who fell in the minor operations, you will know the
truth in what I am saying, and that Bush and his administration have neither the desire nor the will to withdraw from Iraq for their own dubious reasons.

To go back to where I started, I say that the results of the poll satisfy sane people and that Bush’s objection to them is false. Reality testifies that the war against America and its allies has not remained confined to Iraq, as he claims. In fact, Iraq has become a point of attraction and recruitment of qualified resources. On the other hand, the mujahideen, praise be to God, have managed to
breach all the security measures adopted by the unjust nations of the coalition time and again.
The evidence of this is the bombings you have seen in the capitals of the most important European countries of this aggressive coalition.

As for the delay in carrying out similar operations in America, this was not due to failure to breach your security measures.
Operations are under preparation, and you will see them on your own ground once they are finished, God willing.

Based on the above, we see that Bush’s argument is false. However, the argument that he avoided, which is the substance of the results of
opinion polls on withdrawing the troops, is that it is better not to fight the Muslims on their land and for them not to fight us on our land.
We do not object to a long-term truce with you on the basis of fair conditions that we respect.
We are a nation, for which God has disallowed treachery and lying. In this truce, both parties will enjoy security and stability and we
>will build Iraq and Afghanistan, which were destroyed by the war.There is no defect in this solution other than preventing the flow of
hundreds of billions to the influential people and war merchants in America, who supported Bush’s election campaign with billions of
dollars. Hence, we can understand the insistence of Bush and his gang to continue the war.

If you have a genuine will to achieve security and peace, we have already answered you.
If Bush declines but to continue lying and practicing injustice [against us], it is useful for you to read the book of “The Rogue
State”, the introduction of which reads: If I were a president, I would halt the operations against the United States. First, I will extend my apologies to the widows, orphans, and the
persons who were tortured. Afterwards, I will announce that the US interference in the world’s countries has ended for ever.

Finally, I would like to tell you that the war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever as the wind blows in this direction with God’s help.
If you win it, you should read the history. We are a nation that does not tolerate injustice and seek revenge forever. Days and nights will not go by until we take revenge as we did on 11
September, God willing, and until your minds are exhausted and your lives become miserable and things turn [for the worse], which you detest.
As for us, we do not have anything to lose. The swimmer in the sea does not fear rain. You have occupied our land, defiled our honour, violated
our dignity, shed our blood, ransacked our money, demolished our houses, rendered us homeless, and tampered with our security. We will treat you in the same way. You tried to deny us the decent life, but you cannot deny us a decent death. Refraining from performing jihad, which is sanctioned by our religion,
is an appalling sin. The best way of death for us is under the shadows of swords.

Do not be deluded by your power and modern weapons. Although they win some battles, they lose the war. Patience and steadfastness are better than them. What is important is the outcome. We have been tolerant for 10 years in fighting the Soviet Union with
our few weapons and we managed to drain their economy. They became history, with God’s help.
You should learn lessons from that. We will remain patient in fighting you, God willing, until the one whose time has come dies first. We will not escape the fight as long as we hold our weapons in our hands.

I swear not to die but a free man even if I taste the bitterness of death. I
fear to be humiliated or betrayed.

Peace be upon those who follow guidance.

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By David Hurwitz, March 15, 2006 at 10:46 am Link to this comment
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Robert has been right on this issue for such a long time that, unfortunately, our increasingly precarious position in Iraq isn’t a revelation.  It seemed to me that when he was elected, George Bush did not have the requisite experience to be president of the United States. Not long after that, the American public discovered that his educational credentials were also suspect; it seems he had slept and boozed his way through Yale and hadn’t actually learned much.  Now we are paying the price for his lack of education; anyone with even minimal schooling in Middle East history would know that what Robert says today in his column is true: that sectarian antagonisms and tribal loyalties in Iraq make establishment of a western style democracy in a short time-frame impossible to achieve.  Add to this mix our President’s now well-known penchant for not following up on policy decisions and an inability to re-evaluate changing situations and you have a recipe for disaster.  In the past half-century, I can recall no administration this incompetent.

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By Gary R, March 15, 2006 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
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What would happen if we left Iraq, immediately, today, without looking back.  Besides the embarrassment to the Bush Administration and it’s pathetic cringe of “sending the wrong signal” to the “enemy?” 

We could slow the burn rate of a couple of billion a day on off the books expenses and save the futures of thousands of our burnt out troops.

We could let the raging forces we unleashed batter each other out of the American media eye, and let them exhaust each other in their civil war, which will also distract Iran with the shiny plaything they now control called Iraq.  This will most effective in getting us out of the loop for a while. 

The masses can take to the streets all day and night for months to celebrate “kicking out” another Western infidel occupier, but without Western media attention, all our Stateside armchair warriors will never notice and feel the embarrassment, as they can be easily diverted by their new high definition TVs to think about other things, like NASCAR and Desperate Housewives and the latest missing white girl.

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By Carole Jones, March 15, 2006 at 10:06 am Link to this comment
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March 15,  Dear Mr. Scheer,  Your words give me comfort in this time of insanity.  Your mother should love you always.

I have read that the Carlyle Group may well buy the ports’ security management from the UAE.  That is certainly entertaining when you consider that members of the Carlyle Group include father Bush, James Baker, James Carlucci, the heads of government of the UAE, the heads of government of Saudi Arabia, and who knows who else.  I also read from a British press release, some time ago, that Blair will be given membership when he leaves office, as his reward for being the Bush group’s lap dog. 

Heaven save us all.

Very sincerely, Carole Jones, Mountain View, CA

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By Roger Jaep, March 15, 2006 at 9:50 am Link to this comment
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Bush and his advisers’ chief problem (other than their sheer incompetence) has always been that fantasy trumps reality. A man who weeps over an autistic teenager making six three-point goals in a high-school basketball game, but has no tears to shed for the thousands of maimed and killed in Iraq, has no business being President of any country, let alone the (so-called) leader of the “free world.”

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By SamSnedegar, March 15, 2006 at 9:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why tiptoe now Mr. Scheer? Of course Mr. Bush himself has nothing to do with it, and blaming him for the decisions which have been made by the undisclosed leaders of American policy is counterproductive and falls into the category of fantasy, but SOMEONE made the decision to attack, invade, and occupy Iraq, and what happens to the Iraqi people had nothing to do with it, and is irrelevant to our purpose in the mideast.

Mr. Scheer has often said the word “oil,” and has often indicated that an oil-less Iraq would never have seen the first American soldier or marine, so I don’t understand why he has backed off from the truth and is obfuscating with talk about Iraqi politics as if it had something to do with our oil theft.

The driving principle is “control the oil,” and the “stay the course” slogan is an euphemism for “keep on controlling the oil,” so whatever small losses we suffer in military personnel are, at least to the Bush thugs, acceptable.

I wasn’t old enough to fight in WW2, but I was old enough to understand what the Nazis were doing with countries they conquered, and there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between that and what we have been forced to do in Iraq. It involved setting up a puppet government and using Gestapo to control the population and ferret out underground rebels and saboteurs, using torture as necessary and mass killing when indicated.

If you just consider that we are not there for ANY purpose beyond stealing oil, then you know why all the answers come back “stay the course.”

What you don’t seem to want to consider is what happens if we DON’T steal mideast oil.

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By John Earl, March 15, 2006 at 8:49 am Link to this comment
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I read today where Paul Wolfowitz is regularly meeting with soldiers who have been greviously wounded.

I felt better about him until he was quoted as saying: “None of these guys want to cut-and-run!”

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By isaac guzman, March 15, 2006 at 8:45 am Link to this comment
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I have been following Robert Scheer’s columns for some time.  He was one of only a few voices that declared this Iraq war was based on false premises.  In the beginning, the majority of the people of our country supported President Bush with praise and public outpouring on how just was our cause.

Now 57%(latest poll) of our citizenry are against this war.  My question is Why are they not up in arms publicly demonstrating and speaking out against this immoral and unjust war?

Thank you Robert Scheer for giving me the words and facts to say “Enough is Enough!”

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By Marie, March 15, 2006 at 8:44 am Link to this comment
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Even his own General Pace has contradicted Bush on the Iran-to-Iraq shipping orf IEDs.
Bush has degenerated into a delusional world, as it is increasingly difficult for him to maintain his Pollyanna views on the increasingly worsening conditions in Iraq.
The war was poorly planned, poorly directed, and anyone who offered alternative moves was summarily dismissed.  Rumsfeld is not only unable to think rationally, he is dangerously reckless and cavalier.

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By Patrick Norman Park, March 15, 2006 at 8:24 am Link to this comment
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Quoting Craig Murray, repeated by George Galloway at the same Fri 10 Mar’06 meeting in Blackburn, Jack Straw’s constituency;
“We went there for reasons of disarmament.
When we found no arms,
we said we were there for reasons of democracy.
When there was no democracy,
we said we were there to stop a civil war ...
which we started in the first place.
Soon we’ll be staying in Iraq to guard the graves of tyhe Iraqis we have killed.”

The public meeting?

It was a meeting of the
“COALITION TO STOP CONDOLEEZA RICE COMING TO BLACKBURN”

Some of the people think that if George Bush is, indeed, Condi’s “husband” as she referred to him recently, then she should refrain from visiting her “bit on the side”, Jack Straw.

Their, the Blackburn Coalition’s, URL is http://www.condiwatch.co.uk

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By Abby Blackwood, March 15, 2006 at 8:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer, as usual, is absolutely right in his analysis of the situation.

But if we take our thinking beyond what is happening in Iraq this writer comes to the sad conclusion that when the Supreme Court decided the election between Gore and Bush back in 2000 there was really a neocon coup d’etat then and ever since “they” have been busy shredding the very Constitution they took an oath to “protect and to defend”.

Whether President Bush, his entire Administration or any members of the House of Representatives or U.S. Senate; any of these individuals who orchestrated all the “high crimes” we have witnessed (some might even include the horrific events of 9/11 in here!) including the disbursement of deadly depleted uranium all over the Middle East, the invasion and occupation of Iraq with the resulting deaths and injuries on both sides, negligence in the Katrina disaster, illegal domestic surveillance and on and on should be criminally indicted, I believe convicted and given prison sentences to the fullest extent of the law.  Mere impeachment is too kind for what has happened to our country and the world.

But, alas, the American People, especially those darn red-staters, will go on watching the economy collapse, the bird flu pandemic potentially hit an unprepared United States (gee…that National Health Care system sure might have been a good idea…),will just keep watching the game, American Idol, Desperate Housewives and then BAM!  Oops!  When did this police state pop up?  Who are these guys?  Gee, guess we should have turned off the TV and talked to each other once in a while about this big nasty beast hanging around our lives that we’ve been ignoring like fools.

And don’t think voting in a bunch of “Democrats” is going to save us.  Unless you are rich or have rich backers, no matter how wonderful your political ideas may be, you don’t have a prayer of winning against them.  Not to mention that we don’t have a reliable system of voting in the United States anymore.  The neocons and “Democrats” made sure of that!  Do you really trust walking into a voting booth and having a COMPUTER honestly tell us how you voted?

Until we have national caucuses for voting (paper ballots! that can be counted with human hands and human eyes), public funding of elections, and lobbyists out of Washington, D.C. once and for all, I fear we are doomed as a democratic society.  Oh, and did I mention “global warming”?  Look around you people!

As, I believe, Albert Einstein said: “Only connect.”  Let’s turn the damn TV off, start reading books and talking to each other before it is completely too late,  not only for us, but for all future generations to come.  It’s crunch time folks.

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By amosduncan, March 15, 2006 at 7:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think the best question that Bush seems to get away with not being asked is this: If your premise is that we must stay until the new goverment can establish a safe society with a semblance of normalcy; why do you expect them to achive where the most powerful fighting force in the world has failed?

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By Hilding Lindquist, March 15, 2006 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Aw yes, the Shinseki Syndrone ... tell the truth and you’re finished with Bush and the Neocons ... now the Cons—oops! I mean Conservatives—are finished with the Neocons ... and Bush is left “holding the bag” ... which is a wee bit different than “last man standing”.

Why are we all basically sitting around waiting for the last soldier to die in Iraq? ... We sould be doubling over in laughter at Bush’s Keystone Kops incompetence ... or throwing the bum(s) out.

I mean, c’mon! How bad are we going to let it get?

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By Nunez Cabeza, March 15, 2006 at 6:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From the soldier on the ground to Sandra Day O’Conner, the word is consistent—our democracy is threatened by a president who will not hear the crowds shouting, “Mr. President, you have no clothes on.”  The Roves and Rummies and Cheneys of the current administration’s privileged wing, who care not a whit about anything but their ideology, constitute the civilian advisors to the President, thus making it technically accurate that the military actions are civilian controlled, but realistically, this same clique of ideologues have stripped the bark from Constitution and created a national policy that resembles an odd collection of body parts rudely sewn together trying to walk
blind through a mine field, led by ideology-blinded guard dogs, all trying to lead a nation toward some ideal image of an America created in a corporate advertising board room. It will not be long before heavy casualties inflicted on those following this bizarre gaggle of bunglers becomes so great that the scars and wounds so unnecessarily inflicted on the United States and its bedrock ideals will be ugly and permanent defacements of what the American people once stood for.

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By Robert Lutsky, March 15, 2006 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its reached the point long ago that Bush and his gang and those behind him are not worthy of conversation….However keep up the good work as there (sadly to say) are many who don’t know or don’t want to know. 

People believe hanging a sticker on their car is helping the war effort.  They apparently weren’t around during WW2.

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By Dr. Susan Block, March 15, 2006 at 5:14 am Link to this comment
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I used to think that with all the “sectarian violence” (the mainstream media’s charming euphemism for civil war), the Bushites and the Neocons were really messing up.  But lately, I’ve taken to wondering if this is really what they want.  Perhaps this is what they’ve wanted all along: Civil War in Iraq.  Destabilization of the region.  Remember, this administration is far more beholden to the likes of the Carlyle Group, Bechtel, Halliburton and various multi-national oil companies than it to this country we called the United States of America.  Robert Scheer wonders how Bush can paint a happy face on what is obviously an ongoing bloodbath. Who ever said Bush wanted peace in Iraq?

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By mill, March 15, 2006 at 1:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Once again, Mr. Scheer calls it like it is.

It has always bothered me that the President says his generals will tell him when it’s time to go .... dangerously wrong on 2 accounts.

1 - Rumsfeld purged anyone with a spine and an opposing view - the commanders on the ground dare not oppose the official line

2 - Mr. Scheer reminds us, the military ALWAYS answers to civilian authority in the United States - it MUST be a political decision to pull troops or not - Mr Bush is simply lying again - when Karl Rove says it’s time to go, well by golly Iraq will eat dust as the US bugs out in a nanosecond, claiming mission accomplished undoubtedly. 

How truly tragic that this Iraq occupation was undertaken on false premises and executed so poorly, in spite of the best efforts of our troops on the ground.  How sad that the Iraq quasi-government, quasi-military is so poorly prepared to govern in peace 3 years after we toppled Saddam’s regime.  Shame on our President.

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