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Let’s Grow Up, Progressives!

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Posted on May 25, 2007

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

WASHINGTON—“Let’s grow up, conservatives!”

    Barry M. Goldwater’s declaration at the 1960 Republican National Convention was designed to quell a rebellion against Richard M. Nixon, whom conservatives saw as selling out to liberals on various platform planks. Goldwater’s next line was uncannily prophetic: “If we want to take this party back, and I think we can some day, let’s get to work.” Forty-seven years later, the conservatives whose cause Goldwater championed still dominate the Republican Party.

    The Democratic Party’s progressive wing, furious at what they see as the capitulation of their congressional leaders to President Bush on the Iraq war, should remember this history. The decision to drop withdrawal timelines from the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill is not a decisive defeat. It is a temporary setback in a much longer struggle for minds and votes that the administration’s critics are actually winning.

    The progressives’ anger is not hard to fathom. Bush’s botched war has been immensely harmful to our country. Polls show that most Americans want out. Democrats won the 2006 midterm election in significant part because of the public’s exhaustion with the war and with the Bush presidency. According to the Real Clear Politics website, the president’s disapproval rating across a series of polls averages 61 percent. Opponents of the war feel the wind at their backs. Why, they ask, did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cave in?

    Pelosi is surprisingly calm in the face of the assault from the left. The speaker, whom Republicans love to attack as an off-the-charts liberal, is regularly confronted with anti-war demonstrators outside her San Francisco home. (Their activities, she says with a smile, are “making me an unpleasant neighbor to my neighbors.”)

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    “I understand their view,” she said during an interview at her Capitol office on Wednesday, even as the liberal websites were burning with scorn for the Democratic leaders. “I’m one who voted against this war in the first place.” She argues that the war’s opponents are “relentless, dissatisfied and persistent,” and thus “play an important role.” But she adds: “My role is different.”

    Pelosi’s case is that the war’s congressional opponents have already helped move the debate by passing anti-war measures and by prying Republicans loose from the president’s policy. “It is just a matter of time,” she says, before Republicans can “no longer stay with the president.”

    She gets support in this view from one of the House’s most vociferous opponents of the war, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., the lead sponsor of the strongest House withdrawal proposal. McGovern sees Pelosi as a passionate opponent of the war who is in it to win in the legislative process. “For her, it’s not therapy,” he says.

    He notes that the agreement to go forward with the war funding bill on Thursday included a promise for another vote on his withdrawal amendment this fall. This gives teeth to Pelosi’s pledge—“we’ll see you in September”—to continue to battle Bush on the war. 

    As a tactical matter, it could have been useful for the Democrats to move another bill containing timelines to Bush’s desk for a second veto, simply to underscore the president’s unwillingness to seek bipartisan accord on a change in policy. But these are the brute facts: Democrats narrowly control the House, but don’t have an effective majority in the Senate since Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., votes with the Republicans on the war and Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota is still too ill to vote.

    Democrats, in short, have enough power to complicate the president’s life, but not enough to impose their will. Moreover, there is genuine disagreement even among Bush’s Democratic critics over what the pace of withdrawal should be and how to minimize the damage of this war to the country’s long-term interests. That is neither shocking nor appalling, but, yes, it complicates things. So does the fact that the minority wields enormous power in the Senate.

    What was true in January thus remains true today: The president will be forced to change his policy only when enough Republicans tell him he has to.  Facing this is no fun; it’s just necessary.

    Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wis., the chair of the Appropriations Committee, said recently that no one remembers how long it took to reverse the direction of American policy in Vietnam. Obey is hunkered down for a lengthy struggle.

    In a system of divided power, democracy can be frustratingly slow. But it usually works. Critics of the war should spend less time mourning the setbacks of May and begin organizing for a showdown in September. They would profit from taking Barry Goldwater’s long view.   

    E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is postchat(at symbol)aol.com.   

    © 2007, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Marshall, June 4, 2007 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#75191 by ardee on 6/04 at 4:45 am

And so ardee you once again ignore the facts, then call me a liar.  Did you even read the link I posted?  Did you read the part about where the trust is not revokable?  Here’s the text:

“The agreement states that it is “irrevocable and may not be terminated, waived or amended,” so the Cheney’s can’t take back their options later.”

So your theory about Cheney reneging on the donation just isn’t so.

I don’t expect a reply to this post because you’ve posted only inaccuracies thus far and have ignored my links which refute them… so none needed.  But at least you’re reading this post and I hope you read the factcheck link and now you know for a fact that the “Iraq was for Cheney’s financial gain” theory is bogus.  But then, you probably already knew that.

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By ardee, June 4, 2007 at 5:45 am Link to this comment

Yeah Marshall, whatever.

We all have heads, some like you have them up their rectums, and so give off that shitty attitude. You distort, lie and evade and call it superior wisdom. Some call it other than that but you are obviously not one to consider the opinions of others…how very fortunate for you, especially in this case.

Know full well that you lied about the facts of a blind trust, it is only in place as long as the person remains in politics, so having stocks bought at 40 bucks a share, or better yet, given as a part of a golden parachute, and traded at 175 a share when leaving office benefits one enormously. Take your disseminating crap back to middle school where the inexperienced might think you actually are a fairminded person concerned only with truth, you aint and this is my last response to a person rather desperately in need of a personality transplant.

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By Marshall, June 3, 2007 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#75097 by ardee on 6/03 at 4:23 pm

<<I must coincur with Mr. Canning as to the futility of continuing a dialogue with an obviously agendised rightie. I will simply go with Senator Lautenberg>>

I see another bird is flying the coop when faced with legitimate evidence disproving his point.  I won’t expect a reply to the factcheck.org article.  You lefties can continue wallowing in your far fetched conspiracy theories while the rest of us will seek out the facts to draw our conclusions.  Thanks for playing.

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By ardee, June 3, 2007 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

I must coincur with Mr. Canning as to the futility of continuing a dialogue with an obviously agendised rightie. I will simply go with Senator Lautenberg :

However, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) concluded in Sept. 2003 that holding stock options while in elective office does constitute a “financial interest” regardless of whether the holder of the options will donate proceeds to charities. CRS also found that receiving deferred compensation is a financial interest.

Cheney told “Meet the Press” in 2003 that he didn’t have any financial ties to the firm.

As to the outright disengenuous statements re trusts and their termination after leaving public office, well, shame on you Marshall. Your tactics simply reek and your “truths” are twisted and false.

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By Marshall, June 3, 2007 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#75011 by ardee on 6/03 at 9:40 am

Thank you, ardee, for reposting the story we’ve already been discussing for several days now.  Unfortunately, reposting the link doesn’t make your point any more valid.  Rather than repeat the facts - including that said options are not in Cheney’s possession, but are in a trust earmarked for charity (ie. Cheney beneifts not at all), I’ll simply point you to the link below for a complete analysis, including the actual trust documents.  If you and/or Skruff want to argue with these documents, please post your evidence:

http://www.factcheck.org/article261.html

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By Skruff, June 3, 2007 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Trusts are legally independent financial instruments used to pass assets to another entity”

Not true at any level.  Trusts are often used to escape taxes. for an instance when a trust is created during peak earning years, to be vacated during the (assumedly) lower income years following retirement.  “Rainy-day-trusts”  are used like insurance for unforseeable events the advantage of this is that interest is earned and premiums are avoided. There are many uses for “trust accounts, most allow the trustee to vacate the trust at will, (although sometimes incurring tax penalties.)

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By cann4ing, June 3, 2007 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

re comment #75011 by Ardee.  Excellent post.  What you might add is that Halliburton paid no federal income tax during four of the five years during which Cheney was CEO.  Morever, this debate about the extent of Cheney’s present financial ties overlooks the revolving door issue in which Cheney, as Bush I’s Secretary of Defense, commissioned a $9 billion KBR study on the efficacy of privatizing the military support function; then awarded KBR the first lucrative, no-bid LOGCAP contract.  After leaving office, Cheney joined Halliburton.  Under Cheney’s command, KBR lost its LOGCAP contract over fraudulent billing practices in Bosnia, only to have it restored by Bush/Cheney in 2001 shortly before the invasion of Afghanistan.

Of course, in Marshall’s eyes, we are to assume that the restoration of this corporate defrauder to LOGCAP contract status had nothing to do with the Cheney connection.  But then I suspect Marshall would tell you that global warming is a left-wing conspiracy theory.

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By ardee, June 3, 2007 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Marshall, Marshall, wouldnt your response benefit from the omission of the following from it?:

“I only seek to set the record straight because the fundamental point of the original poster was that the Iraq war was waged solely to benefit Cheney financially.  This is obviously not true.  Apparently you’d prefer lies instead? “

‘’‘’‘’‘’‘’‘’‘’‘’‘??????????’‘’‘’‘’‘’‘’
The truth is where one finds it and your snide and snippy commentary spoiled your response, sadly.


http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Cheneys_stock_options_rose_3281_last_1011.html


Cheney’s Halliburton stock options rose 3,281% last year, senator finds

An analysis released by a Democratic senator found that Vice President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton stock options have risen 3,281 percent in the last year, RAW STORY can reveal.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserts that Cheney’s options—worth $241,498 a year ago—are now valued at more than $8 million. The former CEO of the oil and gas services juggernaut, Cheney has pledged to give proceeds to charity.


“Halliburton has already raked in more than $20 billion from the Bush-Cheney Administration for work in Iraq, and they were awarded some of the first Katrina contracts,” Lautenberg said in a statement. “It is unseemly for the Vice President to continue to benefit from this company at the same time his Administration funnels billions of dollars to it. The Vice President should sever his financial ties to Halliburton once and for all.”

Cheney continues to hold 433,333 Halliburton stock options. The company has been criticized by auditors for its handling of a no-bid contact in Iraq. Auditors found the firm marked up meal prices for troops and inflated gas prices in a deal with a Kuwaiti supplier. The company built the American prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The Vice President has sought to stem criticism by signing an agreement to donate the after-tax profits from these stock options to charities of his choice, and his lawyer has said he will not take any tax deduction for the donations.

However, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) concluded in Sept. 2003 that holding stock options while in elective office does constitute a “financial interest” regardless of whether the holder of the options will donate proceeds to charities. CRS also found that receiving deferred compensation is a financial interest.

Cheney told “Meet the Press” in 2003 that he didn’t have any financial ties to the firm.

“Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush’s vice president, I’ve severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest,” the Vice President said. “I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven’t had, now, for over three years.”

Cheney continues to received a deferred salary from the company. According to financial disclosure forms, he was paid $205,298 in 2001; $262,392 in 2002; $278,437 in 2003; and $294,852 in 2004.
.........................
In current value Halliburton stock is now about 175% over what it was after Cheney almost ran it into the ground as its CEO…..
I wonder whether Dick has actually done as you insist he has, Marshall, perhaps providing a link to your assertions might aid clarity. Put it anywhere between the insults, Ill find it….

By the by, my broker assures me that, should I place assets into a blind trust and give the proceeds to charity I could, at any time in the future change that and tregain personal possession thereof….what does your broker tell you?

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By MARIAM RUSSELL, June 3, 2007 at 10:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THIS IS WHAT POLITICIANS USE. NO, THEY DO NOT GIVE AWAY ALL THEIR ASSETS TO BECOME PRESIDENT OR VICE-PRESIDENT.
Blind trust
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A blind trust is a trust in which the executors or those who have been given power of attorney have full discretion over the assets, and the trust beneficiaries have no knowledge of the holdings of the trust. Blind trusts are generally used when a trustor wishes to keep the beneficiary unaware of the specific assets in the trust, such as to avoid conflict of interest between the beneficiary and the investments. Politicians often place their personal assets (including investment income) into blind trusts, to avoid public scrutiny and accusations of conflicts of interest when they direct government funds to the private sector.

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By Marshall, June 3, 2007 at 3:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#74835 by ardee on 6/02 at 12:01 pm

<<Cheney’s stocks, in a trust or no, belong to him. When he leaves office he will have access to them at the currently traded price>>

Not true I’m afraid.  Trusts are legally independent financial instruments used to pass assets to another entity (the charity).  Cheney has no legal access to those options and never will.  Period.

<<he will have stocks trading at well over 100 bucks a share for which he paid little or nothing. This seems to be a profit in my book, how about yours?>>

No profit because he own neither the stocks, dividends, or tax writeoffs.  Perhaps you should instead be happy for the lucky charity that benefits.

<<It is hard for me to understand why you wish to defend this reptile eyed author of a horrible war…>>

I only seek to set the record straight because the fundamental point of the original poster was that the Iraq war was waged solely to benefit Cheney financially.  This is obviously not true.  Apparently you’d prefer lies instead?

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By ardee, June 2, 2007 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

For Marshall,

Cheney’s stocks, in a trust or no, belong to him. When he leaves office he will have access to them at the currently traded price, which is, you might understand, far, far higher than it was when he ran that company almost into the ground. So, while his dividend checks may go to the charity of his choice (is there a torture charity I wonder?) he will have stocks trading at well over 100 bucks a share for which he paid little or nothing. This seems to be a profit in my book, how about yours?

It is hard for me to understand why you wish to defend this reptile eyed author of a horrible war, of an almost (?) criminal energy policy, and a supporter of those who would diminish the rights of his fellow Americans in several obvious ways. Those who have died in Iraq, Iraqi, British and American are on his conscience, and your own conscience should kick in one might think.

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By Skruff, June 2, 2007 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“This conspiracy theory”

I have no theory.  I have just the press which sometimes supplies alternate “facts” As a citizen (who always votes) I have a proponderance of evidence (all that is needed in a civil case) that Cheney misrepresented himself..

As an aside, I’ve searched with Google, Alta vista and Yahoo, and can find nothing regarding Cheney saying he would not take a tax writeoff for his Halliburton profits.  can you supply that link?

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By Marshall, June 2, 2007 at 2:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#74608 by Skruff on 6/01 at 1:16 pm

<<In fact Cheney did not put his stock options in a charitable trust>>

Not according to one of the links you yourself supplied in your post (the Boston.com link).  Does that mean you lied?

<<he gave the profit to Charity, which in his income bracket might equal (with aa good accountant) 2&1/2 times the amount of the “gift” therefore, the bigger the profit, the larger the write-off.>>

Cheney also agreed not to take tax writeoffs on these options, but I wouldn’t expect you to include that fact in your post.  So, without the profit or the writeoffs, Cheney does not benefit in any way from Halliburton’s success.

<<Now, since Cheney lied about his connection with nthe company(and I’m not talking about “deferred salary” which I agree is not a connection I speaking about the lie regarding stock options)It is reasonable to believe (not a conspiricy theory) that he might lie again.>>

Problem with your statement is that a) you’ve shown no “lie” about the options,  and b) “he might lie again” is not proof of Cheney benefitting from the war in Iraq - the entire premise of the original poster’s post.

Conclusion: This conspiracy theory holds no water… but then, conspiracy theories don’t have to now do they?

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By Skruff, June 1, 2007 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

74446 by Marshall on 5/31 at 9:55 pm

“To Conspiracy-lover Cyrena:

Chena has no ties to Halliburton in which he benefits from its success.  His deferred salaray was just that, and did not increase with Halliburton’s stock price or profit.  His stock options were put into an inviolable trust for charity when he joined the administration.  That means he cannot benefit from them.  Period.”

Now why should anyone believe that?  Cheney lied in 2003 (see below links) when he said “I have no ties to Halliburton, I severed all ties three years ago.

In fact Cheney did not put his stock options in a charitable trust he gave the profit to Charity, which in his income bracket might equal (with aa good accountant) 2&1/2 times the amount of the “gift” therefore, the bigger the profit, the larger the write-off.


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/26/politics/main575356.shtml

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,912426,00.html

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2003/09/19/cheneys_conflict_with_the_truth/

http://foi.missouri.edu/usenergypolicies/cheneytakes.html

http://money.cnn.com/2003/09/25/news/companies/cheney

Now, since Cheney lied about his connection with nthe company(and I’m not talking about “deferred salary” which I agree is not a connection I speaking about the lie regarding stock options)It is reasonable to believe (not a conspiricy theory) that he might lie again.  I’m kinda fond of Cheney, like him a whole lot better than Bush, BUT I liked Spiro Agnew and John Gotti too!

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By Marshall, May 31, 2007 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Conspiracy-lover Cyrena:

Chena has no ties to Halliburton in which he benefits from its success.  His deferred salaray was just that, and did not increase with Halliburton’s stock price or profit.  His stock options were put into an inviolable trust for charity when he joined the administration.  That means he cannot benefit from them.  Period.

The fact is that there is absolutely no evidence that Cheney benefits in ANY way from Halliburton’s success.  Unfortunately, conspiracy theorists aren’t held to the same standard of proof that the rational world is, so I know that these facts won’t prevent you from believing he’s the Devil and the mastermind behind a grand conspiracy worthy of an Oscar, but I might as well get it out there anyway.

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By Marshall, May 31, 2007 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#73915 by Verne Arnold on 5/30 at 2:55 am

“Yes it has…just who do you think is paying?  To the point…we the American taxpayer, is the one paying, not corporate America!!!! That’s the profit incentive…hello?”

So you’re saying that the war was just a ploy to stimulate the economy?  I guess it’s working then!

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By cyrena, May 30, 2007 at 4:29 am Link to this comment

For Marshall,

I’m thinking you missed an important few words of Ardees comment, when he wrote:

In the end it really is the fact of an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation, for profit by a select few and not to combat “terrorism””

While that is certainly your opinion, it has not been established as fact.  And if it were for profit, then we’ve failed miserably because the war has cost a bundle.

He said for profit by a “select few”. There is in fact some pretty substantiated evidence, (more than opinion) that Cheney invaded and occupied Iraq for no other reason than profit. I think the obscene profits by Halliburton/KBR, Bechtel, Blackwater, and countless others is pretty much proof enough. And yes, “we the people” are in fact paying it, and we have been for a long time now, and really feeling the pain.

Another proof can be well established by taking a look at the Hydrocarbon Draft law that Cheney, Gates, and Condi have all taken turns trying to shove down the throat of the Iraqis. Basically, that law requires that they sign over 3/4 of their proven oil fiels, and ALL the rest that might be discovered in the next 30 years, to transnational oil corporations. These include profit sharing agreements that basically give the companies (non Iraqi companies) about 80 cents on every dollar. And, the Iraqis can’t even start collecting their 20 cents worth until they pay for their own re-construction. (nope, that money we’ve been sending over there has NOT gone to construction on the Iraq infrastructure, but rather on the American Embassy and the huge permanent US military bases, and the Green Zone that has become an American City in Baghdad. The law does not require that Iraqis themselves be employed in their own oil industry, and Cheney’s Halliburton et all is most likely to import cheap labor from South Asia. They also are not required, (in this law) to even pay any sort of export taxes on all of this oil.

It’s also fairly obvious that we didn’t go into Iraq to fight terrorism, because there weren’t any terrorists there at the time, excepting Saddam of course. There was no connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq or Saddam, (aside from the fact that they hated each other).

So, bottom line is, Cheney sent our loved ones and our money to Iraq, to steal oil for the transnational corporations, with his own being in line first. That is why we are there. It really is that simple. All roads lead to and from Houston, where Chevron, Mobile-Exxon, Halliburton, (until they moved to Dubai last month) and several others.

The law was drafted by a US corporation, and other friends of Cheney have been assigned to re-writetheir Constitution as well, just so all of this stealing will be legal.

In the end, it would have been much cheaper for us to just PAY for the oil, instead of planning to steal it for the next 30 years, because I admit that they haven’t been too successful with that particular portion of this Grand Theft Larceny of Iraq.

And now of course, we have nine US warships cruising through to Persian Gulf, with all cannons pointed at Iran. They have oil to steal as well, but they aren’t giving it up so easily, just like we’re seeing that the Iraqis won’t either.

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By Verne Arnold, May 30, 2007 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

#73550 by Marshall on 5/28 at 5:39 pm

To Ardee who said “In the end it really is the fact of an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation, for profit by a select few and not to combat “terrorism””

While that is certainly your opinion, it has not been established as fact.  And if it were for profit, then we’ve failed miserably because the war has cost a bundle. And if it were true, then Kerry, Edwards, Clinton, and most other Democrats would also be complicit.  So there’s very little logic to that whole line of reasoning.

Yes it has…just who do you think is paying?

To the point…we the American taxpayer, is the one paying, not corporate America!!!!

That’s the profit incentive…hello?

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By Verne Arnold, May 30, 2007 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

#73425 by Ernest Canning on 5/28 at 8:16 am

Thank you for your post about the Lancet study.  As I told Marshall; I don’t have the time or energy to debate this adinfinitum and besides what’s the point.  Many more people have died than published by the F#@&*K*&@#G! press! 

I guess people just don’t want to face the reality of this present government (denial?)...horrified doesn’t even begin to express my feelings.

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By ardee, May 29, 2007 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena
Thank you for the kind words and the alliance. I look forward to many more such exchanges.

Mr. Canning

I wondered how long it would take you to realise that beating your head against a wall because it feels so good to stop is silly. I do admire your desire to exchange in good faith ideas and information but those like Cupera1 and PeterPumpkin only distort your words and care nothing for actual facts or exchanges, thus waste everyones time. I stopped banging my head as soon as I understood the caliber of opposition. There are many fine and literate folks here, these two are simply not among them.

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By Peter RV, May 29, 2007 at 7:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ref.#73539 by Ardee
My effort to discuss your comments came to nothing.
I just don’t understand why you post them at all. Expecting an aplause? To get that,lady, it is not sufficient to writea lot, you have also to make some sense.
Finally, I must admit you defeated me with the foul language you were increasingly using.The way you are heading, was I expecting for my mother or my dead to be insulted and cursed? Never thought that acceptable as dignified arguments in any discussion-even less coming from a fourteen times grandmother.

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By cyrena, May 29, 2007 at 2:44 am Link to this comment

For Ardee

Thanks for quibbling with me, since I do in fact agree with you, about a jillion percent. You wrote:

I believe we owe it to the truth to continue to speak it, and even more frequently to those who easily spout the lies and propaganda they have been taught is true. It isnt their fault in many ways, some are afraid to rock the boat, fearing the loss of their lifestyles, some substitute testosterone for real patriotism, some, and these are the majority I fear, simply cannot be bothered with politics as they are “too busy” to participate.

And, yes…this is all true. Specifically, it is NOT their fault, and not necessarily because they fear losing “comfortable” lifestyles, but because they have the basic human instincts of SURVIVAL. So, when people are faced with the choice of “going along” with the lies, or chosing not to question them, or even go so far as to share a bit of the truth with their loved ones and colleagues, it can be downright DANGEROUS. And, I would know, having chosen that path…to speak the truth, knowing that it would eventually result in the loss of my employment/income, and that 27 years of loyalty to the “corporation” would be basically….down the drain, and that I was pretty much relinguishing what had at one time been an accepted principle that these long years of hard work would allow me to at least continue to provide for myself. So, when I (like so many others)had to choose between the truth and principle, and maintaining the corporate lies, I choose the freedom of conscience. But, I have to tell you, it’s a very costly choice, and so I understand perfectly, why so many folks are unable to make it. It becomes a choice of: Do I continue to eat, and maintain a roof over my head, by just keeping my head down, and remaining silent, or do I speak the truth, knowing that my ass is gonna be in the unemployment line, to collect about 6 weeks of pay, and then out on the street trying to preach the truth without so much as a cup of coffee to maintain the energy to do so?

Those are choices that none of our political leaders of the past several years have been willing to make, most of whom were in far more comfortable positions to make those same choices. (ie, Colin Powell, George Tenet, and a number of others). These people could have resigned once they figured it out, and they didn’t have to worry about starving as a result. But, they didn’t. And those who DID in fact choose principle and integrity in spite of the personal losses, have rarely been mentioned or noted, but quitely (and sometimes very ruthlessly)been “eliminated” There are literally hundreds of thousands of career professionals who have been run out of their jobs by this choice. And, we ALL loose as a result.

Still, it remains the utmost importance to remain committed to the truth, and to making it available to anyone who actually might gain from it. But, it DOES take some courage, because obviously it DOES mean “rocking the boat” or worse. But, we gain courage through knowledge, and so we can hopefully expect that eventually, we’ll all get the point that we’re in this together, and that our collective survival depends on collectively taking back our government and the democracy that was founded so long ago.

Thanks for the quotes.

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By JNagarya, May 28, 2007 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

All the diversionary nonsense notwithstainding, E. J. Dionne hits the nail on the head in this article.  It’s past time that the “left” and “Liberals” who bash Democrats accept the reality Dionne details.

Want to challenge Congresspersons to impeach, and whatever else you demand?  Challenge the REPUBLICANS, as they are the obstacles.

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By cupera1, May 28, 2007 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Neville

all right I won’t use evidence hard facts on you any more

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By cupera1, May 28, 2007 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

I could use that same methods and interpellations in selected areas of LA and get the same numbers and come up with the same conclusion of the number of deaths from gang bangers and the police. Would it make the study and methods and results any less correct and verifiable that the Lancet study?

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By cann4ing, May 28, 2007 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

Go away, cupera1, you are beginning to bore me.

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By cupera1, May 28, 2007 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

I could cook a poll with the right leading questions and choose the right political groups ratio and get any result that I want.  These guys really believe that this big a daily death toll would not be noticed. and be verified. It does not pass the smell test.  Again only 547 dead were actual found during the time of the study and to get that to 655,000 If you belive that I have some ocean front property in Yuma that I would like to sell you to, cash only.

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By cann4ing, May 28, 2007 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

cupera1:  It is obvious you do not have a clue about the science of epidimiological study.  Do you think that when polls are conducted they interview everyone in America?  These were sampling studies from which estimates are established through population statistics.  Stop embarrassing yourself by continuing to display the profound level of your ignorance.

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By Marshall, May 28, 2007 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Skruff who said that “one civilian death is too many…” - by that logic, every war ever waged would be unjustified.

To Verne who asked if I think we should be in Iraq - The answer is that we ARE in Iraq and to leave now would result in the country of Iraq becoming the country of “Al Qaeda”.  So yes, now that we’re there, I think we should be there.

To Ardee who said “In the end it really is the fact of an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation, for profit by a select few and not to combat “terrorism””

While that is certainly your opinion, it has not been established as fact.  And if it were for profit, then we’ve failed miserably because the war has cost a bundle. And if it were true, then Kerry, Edwards, Clinton, and most other Democrats would also be complicit.  So there’s very little logic to that whole line of reasoning.

“Do we needs quibble over the numbers as it distracts from the goal.”

As a matter of fact, yes - reliable casualty counts are always important in any event where there’s loss of life because they help dictate global aid and political decision making.  The goal remains what it is, but the details are also important, which is why there are numerous studies.

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By cupera1, May 28, 2007 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Think McFly, think

That comes to 554 dead on a daily basis and over 2200 wounded (that is the standard killed to wounded ratio).  Every hospital bed in the the area would be full in lest than a week and overflowing to tents in a month.  That news and pictures would be on the MSM and would have the lead story every day during the presidential campaign Perhaps just begin with the fact that the study found 547 actual deaths in their surveyed group and extrapolated a mind boggling 655,000 from such a miniscule sample.
That’d be a fair start.

Do the guys giving testimony believe it, sure Barnum was right too.

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By ardee, May 28, 2007 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Peter, Peter, Peter, back to eating pumkins for you old sport.

Where on earth do you get this shit?
“You have forgotten that you were defending Clinton’s record on his contribution to the war on terror. Not long ago you cited Sandy Berger with his, to your mind, crucial information left to Bush’s administration. Sandy Berger got under fire for destroying some papers (I am sure they were not simply shopping or laundry lists of Hillary and Bill) when Bush got picked by clintonites for giving his gracious exit to Bin Laden’s family during the 9/11 episode. “
————————————
No Peter, I was certainly not defending Clinton in any way, you were diverting the discussion at hand with irrelevent and ridiculous crap. The Kosovo intervention stopped a genocide, the Bush intervention began one and you are displaying abysmal ignorance or agendized and blind loyalty in your ridiculous attempts to become Cupera1, pity.

The FACT that outgoing administrations brief incoming ones, make the briefings known, excepting the secret stuff of course, makes your feeble silliness quite bemusing and not at all amusing. Clinton and Berger have been on record as declaring that they briefed Bush and Rice respectively and specifically about AlQaeda and bin Laden, deny or distract all you like.

In fact Peter, this discussion is become quite tedious, you do not debate in good faith, you lie and twist and generally display all the attributes of a typical neocon stooge, thus I will cease all response to your nonsense forthwith. You folks used to be background noise on the political scene and soon will be nothing more than that again. The American public has become sickened by your lies and your incompetency and will return you to the footnote of history you deserve…learn to live with it.

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By ardee, May 28, 2007 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

Peter, Peter, Peter, back to eating pumkins for you old sport.

Where on earth do you get this shit?
“You have forgotten that you were defending Clinton’s record on his contribution to the w

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By cann4ing, May 28, 2007 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

On second thought, cupera1, some might think it unfair of me to pick on your obvious lack of an education.  Here is what Dr. Les Roberts, the co-author of the Lancet study, told Amy Goodman:

“We…went to about 50 neighborhoods spread around Iraq that were picked at random, and each time we went, we knocked on 40 doors and asked people, ‘Who lived here on the first of January, 2002?’ and ‘Who lived here today?’  And we asked, ‘Had anyone been born or died in between?’  And on those occasions when people said someone die[d], we said, ‘Well, how did they die?’  And we…wrote down the details: when, how old they were, what was the cause of death.  And when it was violence, we asked, ‘Well, who did the killing?  Exactly how did it happen?  What kind of weapon was used?’  And at the end of the interview, when no one knew this was coming, we asked most of the time for a death certificate.  And 92% of the time, people walked back into their houses and could produce a death certificate.  So we are quite sure people didn’t make this up.

“And our conclusion was comparing the death rate for that 14 months before the invasion, with the 40 months after, that the death rate is now about four times higher.  And, in fact, it’s twice as high as when…we did our first study….We think about 650,000 extra people have died because of this invasion, and about 600,000, some 90% are from violence.”

So, cupera1, I hope you can appreciate how infuriating it is when someone like you says something idiotic as that the study failed to delineate “whether an old man chocked [sic.] on a chicken bone…or someone chopped off someones [sic.] head.”

It’s bad enough you spout off about something for which you have absolutely no knowledge.  In this instance, I had provided you with a cite to Amy Goodman’s October 12, 2006 interview of Dr. Roberts on Democracy Now!  The very least you could have done is checked it out before you posted such drivel.  What better source is there for the methodology used in the Johns Hopkins/Lancet study than one of its co-authors?

The name of this site is Truthdig.  “Truth” means trying to be as accurate as possible when you post.  “Dig” means striving to obtain factual information necessary to assure oneself that they are being truthful.  If you are incapable of digging out the truth, don’t post!

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By cann4ing, May 28, 2007 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

So cupera1, you want to challenge a study done by expert researchers with doctorate degrees from fully accredited universities who have testified under oath before Congress on their methodology.  Perhaps you can share with us your expert qualifications for weighing in on the subject.

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By Louise, May 28, 2007 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would like to add my two cents here.

While I never met nor knew the famous/infamous Abu Al Zachari, I recall marveling at his incredible ability to alter his face, nose, eyes, ears, hairline, height, weight, age, and external limbs, as was clearly observable by the many photos posted of him.

He was an old slightly overweight skinny young man with one leg. Who had a flexible nose no doubt having been broken many times as he was clearly able to elongate or flatten it. And who somewhere along the way managed to grow a new leg. Perhaps he possessed a reverse aging gene which made it possible to grow younger while all those around him aged. If we are to believe the general prattle surrounding the Abu, we must accept that irregardless of any heinous crimes he may have committed, he was nothing short of a miracle man who appeared on occasion as the propaganda need dictated.

Finally realizing that a lot of folks were seeing the guy as possibly a fantasy creation for the purpose of resurrecting terror, the powers that be settled on one guy, to record and photograph and put forth as in communication with Osama. No small feat since Osama has probably been dead for years now.

[If in fact the ghost of Osama was communicating with him, it was probably to find out how he grew that other leg and aged backwards! But I digress.]

Anyhow, after the appropriate exposure, the hapless new Abu was cornered and killed. Which only goes to show. If someone in Iraq has answered the advertisement for an actor to play the current role in al Qaida’s never-ending line of “seconds in command,” RUN!

And what’s all this got to do with growing up anyway? Well it seems to me if we’re going to grow up we need to recognize fairy tales and fantasies and the Boogieman in the closet for what they are!

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By cupera1, May 28, 2007 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Lancet study measures ALL deaths whether an old man chocked on a chicken bone and died or a terrorist chopped off some ones head or a woman killed to preserve the honor of the family or an inocent bystander caught in the cross fire.  With such a system I can show that the civil war in LA between the Bloods and the Cripts is causing just as many deaths that are happening in Iraq.

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By cann4ing, May 28, 2007 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

For those who continue to question the validity of the Lancet study, I would recommend reading, listening or watching the explanation of the study’s methodology provided when its co-author, Les Roberts, a researcher with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, 10/12/06.  Mr. Roberts explained that the study’s “cluster method” is “the standard way of measuring mortality in very poor countries where government isn’t functional or in times of war.”

During a December 2006 House sub-committee hearing chaired by Dennis Kucinish (see, Democracy Now 12/15/06), Mr. Roberts asked, “Can the press pretend they’ve done even a credible job of reporting in Iraq, if they have consistently downplayed the number of deaths by a factor of ten?” He later noted, “According to the United Nations, the Iraqi government surveillance network reported exactly zero violent deaths from Anbar province in the month of July, in spite of all the contradictory evidence we saw if we watched CNN.  The most widely cited sources—IBC, the United Nations, Brookings—report about 80% of the violent deaths coming from Baghdad.  And as Dr. Burnham mentioned, Baghdad actually is only about as violent as the nation on average.  So here it is—one-fifth of the courtry reporting four-fifths of all violent deaths, and we know their rate of violent deaths isn’t any higher than the rest.  Something is wrong with those sources….We feel our estimate is by far the best available, inspite of considerable imprecision.”

Mr. Kucinich put the numbers into perspective:  “According to the United Nations, the population of Iraq was 25 million in 2003, and we have now learned that since then an estimated 650,000 have perished to violence.  Now, if such a rate of violence were to be inflicted against the US, we would have lost about 7.8 million Americans….Consider the massive psychological impact the 9/11 attacks and resulting deaths have had on our nation.  Imagine the impact we’d feel as a nation, if over a period of three years, 7.8 million of our citizens died in ongoing, uncontrollable violence.”

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By cupera1, May 28, 2007 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

Neville

I do believe the Marine Captain that was at Salman Pak when I talked to when he came home.  Next time try talking to the returning soldiers and don’t burn them in effigy like you did in Portland.

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By cupera1, May 28, 2007 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Neville

if George Soros continues to pay you will keep on going

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By cann4ing, May 28, 2007 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

If Fox News told cupera1 that Saddam was responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire, he’d believe them.

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By cupera1, May 28, 2007 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

For course Treblinka didn’t happen and the plies of skulls in Cambodia were not there and Saddam never ever had any WMD’s and there wasn’t 500 tones of yellow cake at the nuclear research center of Al-Tuwaitha and the terrorist were not training at Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak

When you are on your knees are you bowing to Mecca or with your neck stretched out?

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By ardee, May 28, 2007 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

For Cyrena’

An excellent post but quibble with a bit of it I must….

you noted:
“Earnest has provided a free and excellent education for folks like culprea1, but let me say that folks like that are pretty hopeless. They don’t WANNA know the real details, for whatever the reason. They are part of a “cult” that clings desperately to the group speak of the Mob, and it’s all very recognizable. So, for those, it’s a hopeless cause, and they won’t even thank you…decades down the road, for the insight. They’ll never admit to being wrong, and they’ll still be talking about the silverware that the Clintons supposedly stole from the Whitehouse, and they’ll still be making invisible connections in their own minds, that simply don’t exist. Saddam was a very bad dude, but he was never aligned with al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organization.”

I believe we owe it to the truth to continue to speak it, and even more frequently to those who easily spout the lies and propaganda they have been taught is true. It isnt their fault in many ways, some are afraid to rock the boat, fearing the loss of their lifestyles, some substitute testosterone for real patriotism, some, and these are the majority I fear, simply cannot be bothered with politics as they are “too busy” to participate.

Unless we continue to raise the issues, refute the lies, combat the corruption and stand up to those who would destroy our demcracy for a few more dollars in profit, we become as guilty as the rest.

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesnt go away.” Phillip K.Dick

“The only reason to be in politics is to be out there all alone and then be proven right.” Edward Muskie

“our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.” William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

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By Peter RV, May 28, 2007 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ref.#73336 by Ardee
I have to thank you again for your kind message which includes some nasty names, you refuse to call me.
You have forgotten that you were defending Clinton’s record on his contribution to the war on terror. Not long ago you cited Sandy Berger with his, to your mind, crucial information left to Bush’s administration. Sandy Berger got under fire for destroying some papers (I am sure they were not simply shopping or laundry lists of Hillary and Bill) when Bush got picked by clintonites for giving his gracious exit to Bin Laden’s family during the 9/11 episode.
An ardent (pun intended) defensor of Clinton’s crowd, as you appear ,Ardee, you can’t simply ignore that Bosnia and Kosovo are their own “Mission Accomplished” triumph.
What does that have to do , you are asking, with Bush in Iraq? Well, quite a bit as a matter of fact.
We are constantly being told that we are fighting Al Qaeda there ,the same AlQueda Clinton was willing to use as unofficial allies ,not long ago, in Bosnia and Kosovo.
If all this infuriates you as being an agression on your honour, that simply is not my business. I say what I think but personnal attacks is not my cup of tea.
Apart from your opinion which I will attack every time ,as savagely as I think it deserves,I have no idea of who you are, and rest assured I have no list of names to call you.

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By Verne Arnold, May 28, 2007 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

#73257 by Marshall on 5/27 at 1:57 pm

Marshal,
No, I don’t want to see high numbers.

I’m an old fart who remembers the Viet Nam war…numbers were everything.  We inflated the “number of enemy killed” and deflated the “number of civilians killed”.  This is a documented fact…so…logic dictates (based on past behavior) that “our” published numbers are very conservative.

I do not have the will or energy to argue this point adinfinitum. 

Let’s say that the Lancets numbers are wrong by 50%...what is your point?

Do you think we are correct to be in Iraq?

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By cyrena, May 28, 2007 at 1:23 am Link to this comment

E.J., I generally agree with your reasoning, but you’ve missed the boat big time on this one, even though I understand that there are all of these political compromises involved with LEGITIMATE legislation in our government. However, because this is a totally ILLEGITIMATE exercise in killing, extortion, mass murder of innocent civilians, and the total destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure, it’s quite impossible to make a case for funding it, AT ALL.

Earnest has provided a free and excellent education for folks like culprea1, but let me say that folks like that are pretty hopeless. They don’t WANNA know the real details, for whatever the reason. They are part of a “cult” that clings desperately to the group speak of the Mob, and it’s all very recognizable. So, for those, it’s a hopeless cause, and they won’t even thank you…decades down the road, for the insight. They’ll never admit to being wrong, and they’ll still be talking about the silverware that the Clintons supposedly stole from the Whitehouse, and they’ll still be making invisible connections in their own minds, that simply don’t exist. Saddam was a very bad dude, but he was never aligned with al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organization.

Fortunately, most folks are getting the message. There is growing knowledge that the ONLY people who want our military to stay in Iraq are the chiefs of al-Qaeda, (Zawahiri and Osama if he’s even still alive)and Dick Cheney. Matter of fact, it was a dream come true for al-Qaeda, when Dick Bush sent them that invitation, to “meet us in Iraq”. They did, (although they still didn’t have much of a fighting force at the time, but we’ve given them 5 years or more to build it up. So, they ABSOLUTELY love it!!! al-Qaeda wants us there, and they never fail to send the occassional reminder. Dick Bush has given them everything they ever wanted in the world, and they can die as happy martyrs, after killing as many Americans as they possibly can, because that’s exactly what they’ve been saying they want to do. And, just so we’re all clear, Cheney is perfectly aware of that. He has responded in kind. He says….“the terrorists think that if they kill enough of us, we’ll leave, but the U.S. is in the Middle East to stay.” So, he agrees that we now have terrorists in Iraq, (not there before) and he’s gonna fight them to the death of us all, and then slip away to his retirement home in Dubai, where he recently moved his company’s headquarters. (Halliburton, the largest “ENERGY MANAGEMENT” Corp on the globe. George has purchased a large portion of South America for his own “get-away”. But, our troops will still be returning home in boxes, or in straight jackets, and that’s the way it is, as long as we continue to let them control us.

And, until that oil has been secured, and the Iraqis have signed it over, (which would effectively be a death sentence for any of them that are still alive and haven’t fled) Dick isn’t withdrawing any troops, and it doesn’t MATTER to these people, WHAT the American people want. It never has. Because, hijackers don’t take VOTES from their victims. These people hijacked our government, because they had demands, demands that required the blood and money of most Americans, and countless Iraqis. So, after nearly 7 years, do we REALLY expect them to listen to “we the people” when they never have before? And…we’ve ALLOWED it??? Meantime, there is MORE than enough money for us to pay to pack up our 140,000 to 160,000 troops, (and all of their equipment) and BRING THEM HOME, because there is no solution to the political problems for the Iraqis, until there is no longer a US military presence in their nation.

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By cupera1, May 27, 2007 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

Neville

When I talked to my grandfather about why he left Germany he told me he told me that no good could come from what was happening to his country.  The signs were so plan to him and it astounded him that others refused see what was coming.  If you want to play ostrich you live in a free country and you have that right.  I also have the right to say “I don’t like you because you’re going to get me killed”.

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By cann4ing, May 27, 2007 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

cupera1:  You are a living example of how someone can be brain dead, and still find a way to post a moronic message.

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By ardee, May 27, 2007 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

Peter,
Its fourteen grandkids and you were correct in your assessment of your “new” information.
How you know what it is that Berger destroyed, if indeed he did so, especially given its status as ‘secret” is more puzzling than your unsolicited insults and rudeness, which usually is a cover up for insecurity if not something even worse.

CIA records , given in testimony to Henry Waxman’s committee, plainly show the logs of Tenet’s visit to Condi Rice and also the visit of his chief of staff to Crawford, but you seem repelled by fact for some reason unknown to me. That you want to continue to deflect the conversation back to Kosovo seems a bit odd, as do your posts for that matter, but I digress.

It is 2007, George Bush is pResident, we are in Iraq not Serbia, and I hope this little refresher helps. What the f*&k any of this has to do with the topic at hand is a matter for you and your mental health professional, and is unknown to me, not being one, a mental health professional that is. It is nice that the abysmally ignorant queen of the one line irrelevency, Cupera1 has company. I hope the two of you are quite happy in that world of your own making. I intend to remain here on this planet however, but thanks for playing.

Oh and the line about ‘smoking’ was a better alternative than calling you bat shit crazy, dontcha think?

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By cupera1, May 27, 2007 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

Ernest

You are a living example of a NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN

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By cann4ing, May 27, 2007 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

Cupera1, you have me completely baffled.  Just who is it that you think I suggested we “appease.”  Are you suggesting that it amounts to appeasement to end an illegal occupation that came about when the Bush regime committed the ultimate war crime—starting an unprovoked war of aggression—is an act of appeasement?  Are you suggesting that if we return Iraq, its oil, resources and its economy to its rightful owners—the Iraqi people—this amounts to an act of appeasement?

It pains me to see that there are individuals, like yourself, who have been so thoroughly indoctrinated; so overwhelmed by the lies that Saddam had something to do with 9/11 or al-Qaeda; that we somehow just had to invade a country that was no threat whatsoever as part of the so-called “war on terror;” that anyone opposing our imperial war of aggression and occupation must be a “terrorist” and that anyone who suggests that we abandon this folly is therefore “appeasing the terrorists.”

I would strongly urge that you begin accessing real news at Democracy Now.org.  Perhaps, if you have time, go back through their archives and acquire the facts that will permit you to discuss present day issues in an intelligible fashion.

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By cupera1, May 27, 2007 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Ernest

Are you that naive that appeasement is going to work???

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By Peter RV, May 27, 2007 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ref#73272 by Ardee
Thanks for your polite answer and congratulation on your sixteen grandchildren.
I am afraid I have some more of my juvenile, silly, sarcastic, high school garbage, for you.
You may not want to know it, but Sandy Berger destroyed some papers on leaving the White House, involving some Clinton’s secrets regarding precisely Al Qaeda and Bin Laden.
George Tenet, Ardee? the same Slum-Dunk Tenet who played such an important role with our Slam-Dunk Secretary of State, in convincing us of existance of WMD in Iraq, which led us into War and destruction?
This, coupled with that funniest of them all question (“what have you been smoking?) ,which never fails to provoke people to roll with laughter, and also serves as a potent argument in any discussion, shows that you do have a sense of humor. (I’m sure we’ll be learning more about it)
I could tell you also where, about six thousand Al Qaeda’s fighters were concentrated in Bosnia with a full knowledge and approval of Clinton’s Administration and that some of them ended in Guantanamo after 9/11, but this would be more of
unsolicited “high school garbage response”.

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By ardee, May 27, 2007 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

#73257 by Marshall on 5/27 at 1:57 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

Marshall, I read the article and thanks for the link. I also remember listening to the Johns Hopkins researchers describing their survey and the results thereof. I do agree with the author on one very important point; whether it is 130,000 or 650,000 it is a horrific number of dead.

In the end it really is the fact of an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation, for profit by a select few and not to combat “terrorism”, that deserves the thrust of our attention. Bush lied and many died, we are torturing and murdering people to enrich Cheney and his former company as well as to install fear in our own citizenry to keep an inept few in power, we have suspended Habeus Corpus, Posse Comitatus and other essential Constitutional guarrantees. Is this not enough on our plate already? Do we needs quibble over the numbers as it distracts from the goal.

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By ardee, May 27, 2007 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

Peter,Peter, what have you been smoking?

#73242 by Peter RV on 5/27 at 12:19 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

Anybody who places his faith in doings of Clinton Administration, shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Here comes Ardee with his wishful belief that Clinton informed “Bush’s morons” that “well ahead of 9/11” he warned them of dangers of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
Ardee is in his fantasy World.
For his information, Clinton used Osama Bin Laden and Al Quada (just like in Afganistan)in Bosnia and Kosovo to fight those nasty anti-Muslim Serbs, which he bombed mercilessly for three months.What is more, he aproved arming Bosnian Muslims with Iranian (yes,Iranian!) arms.
Feeling dizzy with the discovery of this,Ardee?
Does it offend your dedicated Democratic Partizanship?
What you don’t seem to fathom is, that the present failures of our foreign policy are all results
of Blowbacks of our actions committed well before the Bush’s idiots took over.
Grow up Ardee.

....
I am quite grown up Peter, far too mature in fact to respond in the same juvenile and sarcastic fashion as you couch your silly distortions and refusal of the real facts.

Facts such as the outgoing Clinton administration warned the incoming Bush group numerous times about the dangers of AlQaeda and bin Laden, this is fact Peter. Sandy Berger has publically stated that he told Condi Rice that she would be spending most of her time on AlQaeda in fact. Clinton has also chimed in on his briefings of Bush about bin Laden and AlQaeda as well.

Our own former CIA chief, George Tenet has said that he went to the White House with “his hair on fire” to tell Condi about an imminent threat of attack, he also sent someone to Crawford to report the same dire warnings to Bush .Why you fail to know this is as unimportant and irrelevent as your childish screed.

Peter, if you can do no better than High School garbage responses I would hope you could ignore my posts, having raised four children and currently being involved with fourteen grandkids I really havent the time for someone elses problem child.

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By Marshall, May 27, 2007 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Verne - you said “650,000 Iraqis dead.  Logic would dictate this to be true. “

But every other study (UN, Iraq govt., etc…) has resulted in far smaller numbers so, no, logic would NOT dictate that to be true (unless one wants to see high numbers).

Here’s a more recent discussion of the latest Lancet study from the same guy that found fault with the first one.

http://www.slate.com/id/2151926

The Lancet study’s authors have since admitted the flaws referred to by the Kaplan article above.  There were additional flaws not noted in this article (faulty graphs, for example) that have since been admitted as well.  This study, like the first, remains highly controversial.

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By ardee, May 27, 2007 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Many thanks to Dawn and Earnest for their inciteful and accurate additions to this discourse. I would add a bit of information to the mix, in the interest of clarity.

al-Zarqawi would certainly seek treatment in Iraq which had the finest hospitals in the region, at least prior to our bombing them almost out of existence and denying the surviving ones access to medicines and equipment. That he might have seen a doctor there, but probably not Hussein’s personal one as they were at opposite ends of the political spectrum to be certain, would be possible.

It might be worthy to note here that 90% of the opposition to the American occupation of Iraq is coming from the Sunni faction. They are supported and equipped by Saudi Arabia, a Sunni nation. Despite this accurate fact the neocons continue to advance the lie that it is Iran equipping the insurgency in Iraq, and they may very well be supplying their fellow Shia but the violence is coming from Sunnis so why is Bush not talking about invading Saudi Arabia? Well we all know the answer to that one, all excepting those who get their “facts” from the far right propaganda mills.

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By Skruff, May 27, 2007 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

73084 by Marshall on 5/26 at 5:36 pmsays:

Re Ernest Canning who said:  “650,000 Iraqi dead was the estimate provided by a Johns Hopkins/Lancet Study that was published last October. “

“Ernest - the first Lancet study in 2004 was thoroughly discredited and the latest one uses the same methodology.  Here’s a clear skewering of that study from a source that usually swings to the left, so you’ll have a hard time claiming that it’s right-wing clap-trap”

What’s amazing to me is the right and the left quibble about the number of dead Iraqis.  One dead civilian is too many.  A child deprived of a parent, a parent who loses a child cares not if 1000, or 1,000,000 have died. We have killed innocent people.  To me the number is not important.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 27, 2007 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Very good posts folks, sometimes it is good for the old gray cells to regurgitate the chain of events, nice refreshing total recall. 

Focusing on the misguided history of Commander codpiece decider guy,  needs to be dragged out of the closet and get the living dust beaten off more often.

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By cann4ing, May 27, 2007 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

cupera1, I still do not know the precise source of your misguided belief that there was a link between Saddam and al-Zarqawi, but I am certain that it did not come from last October’s Johns Hopkins/Lancet study which estimated, based upon sound data, that the number of Iraqis killed by that point had already reached 650,000.

Also, it is obvious that you are taken in by the Orwellian phrase “war on terrorism.”  The fact is that more than 93% of the Iraqis who have taken up arms to resist this illegal occupation of their nation have no connections to al-Qaeda whatsoever.  What is often labeled as “terrorism” is the tactic of guerilla warfare—the tactic that the weak traditionally resort to in the face of a superior force.

We deal with an occupation which has placed the entire Iraq economy in the hands of multi-national corporations who would rather fly in cheap South Asian labor than hire locally, leaving more than 70% of the Iraqi population unemployed; an occupation which, under the Bremer edicts which exempts both the occupation forces and all foreign contractors from Iraqi law, privatized the banking system, placing it in the hands of U.S. & UK banks; edicts which became part of the Iraqi constitution when it was rewritten by Ambassador Khalizad and several hand-picked Iraqis at the eleventh hour.  In October 2005 most Iraqis voted for a constitution that only a select few had seen—a constitution that made permanent the levers of imperial control and domination.

Think about it.  If a coalition of foreign powers were strong enough to invade and occupy the U.S.  If they took over our economy, re-wrote our constitution, captured, killed or tortured our relatives, do you think there just might be a few of us who would take up arms to resist?  Would you consider them “terrorists” if they did?

By the way, do you know what label the Nazis pinned on the resistance movements throughout occupied Europe?  They called them “terrorists.”

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By Peter RV, May 27, 2007 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anybody who places his faith in doings of Clinton Administration, shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Here comes Ardee with his wishful belief that Clinton informed “Bush’s morons” that “well ahead of 9/11” he warned them of dangers of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
Ardee is in his fantasy World.
For his information, Clinton used Osama Bin Laden and Al Quada (just like in Afganistan)in Bosnia and Kosovo to fight those nasty anti-Muslim Serbs, which he bombed mercilessly for three months.What is more, he aproved arming Bosnian Muslims with Iranian (yes,Iranian!) arms.
Feeling dizzy with the discovery of this,Ardee?
Does it offend your dedicated Democratic Partizanship?
What you don’t seem to fathom is, that the present failures of our foreign policy are all results
of Blowbacks of our actions committed well before the Bush’s idiots took over.
Grow up Ardee.

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By cupera1, May 27, 2007 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Take, for example, cupera’s dead-wrong claim of a link between Saddam and al-Zarqawi, even to go so far as to assert that al-Zarqawi was treated by Saddam’s personal physician, a bit of propaganda he no doubt culled from the faux news at Fox.

It came form that same source that the 600K killed in Iraq, along with the dozens of high profile terrorist that were living in Iraq on the governments dime. 


As long as the dems continue to follow the nuts that believe that you can appease the terrorist and they will leave you alone is as foolish and the English were in 1939.
.

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By cann4ing, May 27, 2007 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Ardee:  I appreciate your thoughtful observations.  Perhaps I am old-fashioned.  When I received both an undergraduate and graduate education, one cited books, articles, scientific studies, the Congressional Record and the like rather than other postings on the internet, which did not then exist, though your references certainly make it easier to obtain the same verification in order to belie the talking-point memo postings of people like cupera1.

Take, for example, cupera’s dead-wrong claim of a link between Saddam and al-Zarqawi, even to go so far as to assert that al-Zarqawi was treated by Saddam’s personal physician, a bit of propaganda he no doubt culled from the faux news at Fox.

On 9/8/06 the Republican-controlled Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) issued a bi-partisan report which, citing a Jan. 2003 CIA document, entitled “Iraqi Support for Terrorism,” confirmed that al-Zarqawi operated in “Kurish-controlled northeastern Iraq—a mountainous no man’s land Baghdad has not controlled since 1991….”  The SSCI report noted that while the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) had formed a “special committee” to track down al-Zarqawi in response “to a foreign request for assistance in finding and extraditing al-Zarqawi for his role in the murder of U.S. diplomat Lawrence Foley” but that “captured former regime documents and former regime officials” reveal that the IIS was “unable to locate and capture him.”  Although the SSCI report postulates that the IIS would have had the capability to track al-Zarqawi when he was briefly hospitalized in Baghdad for possible war wounds, it did not put forth any evidence to show that the IIS [or Saddam] even knew he was there.  There is not one word in the SSCI report that even hints that al-Zarqawi was treated by Saddam’s personal physician.

Despite these hard facts, during a 9/4/06 press conference, after admitting that Iraq had no WMD and no links to 9/11, Geo. W. Bush claimed that the invasion was still justified because Saddam “had relations with Zarqawi” and because Iraq had the “capacity” to develop WMD.

If it does not immediately strike you as “absurd” to argue that it is appropriate to invade a soverign nation on nothing more than the “capacity” to develop WMD, consider this.  Most women, before they reach the tender age of 18, possess the “capacity” to become prostitutes.  Does that mean that it would be appropriate for the government to stage pre-emptive arrests of all women before they reach the age of 18 so as to insure than none do?

The problem is that it is difficult to keep up with these “talking points” posters.  Blinded by their ideological predispositions, they accept on faith one piece of propaganda after another, then spew it out in bunches on web sites like Truthdig as if they were delivering the gospel from on high.  A lie makes it around the globe before truth can put its pants on.

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By Louise, May 27, 2007 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Future of America Has Been Stolen
And The No Longer ‘Missing’ Rove Emails Revealing the Cagey Scheme to Steal 2008…
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=4594

Another good read for “mature” liberals and conservatives.

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By Dawn, May 27, 2007 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

The comment by ardee is correct. Especially the last line about oil. Cheney had meetings about energy and oil BEFORE we went into Iraq. He made deals with Republican campaign donors that he would get 30 year binding contracts signing over Iraqs huge oil fields to four multinational oil companies BEFORE we went into Iraq. The shake down of Iraq by thug Cheney was a done deal before Bush was even elected. See the Plan for a New American Century.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1221.htm

Now Cheney is pushing to deliver on that promise and Maliki and the puppet government of Iraq is not cooperating. They want to go on vacation rather than be pressured into signing away Iraqs economic security.

It is unconscionable what Cheney is doing, has been doing and will do in the near future. Impeach Cheney to end the war, to end the military threats against Iran, to end the power grab of our government before we become a police state and our blogging days are over.
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/04/17/1082140117720.html

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By Louise, May 27, 2007 at 9:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s grow up?

You mean like the kindergarten drop-outs running this administration?

You mean like the “I don’t want to hear it!” citizens who do not want to know what’s going on?

You mean like the repub congress-creeps who never saw a mangled troop they didn’t support?

You mean like the reporters who think they are reporting by repeating manufactured propaganda?

You mean like the hundreds of thousands of children in Iraq who will NEVER grow up?

Death by liberation is so permanent.
Will someone please point that out to this “mature” congress.

“Progressive” is a bogus title made up by a bunch of immature folks who are afraid to identify themselves as having “conservative” or “liberal” views, because they don’t really have a clue what either word means!

Dear Dawn (#73144)
Thank you for your post. Couldn’t agree more!

For those who still resist the obvious.
Suggest you all visit http://www.democracynow.org and watch the interview with Senator Dennis Kucinich Thursday, May 24th and the interview with retired Major General John Batiste, Friday May 25th.

National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html

Why Cheney Must Go
http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2003/07/16/vips/index.html

The First Priority is That Cheney Must Go!
http://www.larouchepac.com/pages/press_releases_files/2005/051017_cheney_must_go.htm

Then read: Text of Resolution Supporting Documents for H Res 333, to bring Impeachment charges against Richard Cheney, as Introduced in the House of Representatives by Senator Dennis Kucinich http://kucinich.house.gov/SpotlightIssues/documents.htm

Then you might want to click on: http://kucinich.us/ And become one in a million. (no strings attached ... how refreshing is that?)

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By ardee, May 27, 2007 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

http://www.thelancet.com/webfiles/images/journals/lancet/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/2006/10/lancet_iraq

http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancet_surveys_of_mortality

For any interested in fact finding rather than simply citing propaganda from either side the above links to the actual survey data, comments about the methodology used and the wikipedia entry regarding the survey with criticisms both pro and con are available to you.

There is much misinformation floating around, obviously partisanship rules the day in our current political climate. As a Leftist I would love to claim that all the distorting is from the right but, alas, it is not. I am, however, comforted by the caliber of nonsense echoing from those on the right, especially the outrageous claims, sans links of course, coming from a certain poster here. Does anyone remember Clinton claiming that Hussein was allied with bin Laden? Does anyone find a link supporting that claim amidst the drivel posted?

What I do remember is that the outgoing Clinton administration thoroughly briefed the incoming Bush morons about the dangers of Osama bin Laden and AlQaeda, I also remember all that being completely ignored by the aforementioned morons. I also recall that, well prior to 9/11, the reptile eyed Vice President held secret energy meetings, a portion of which were concerned with dividing up Iraqi oil fields among the participants who had earned their presence by writing enormous campaign checks to the GOP…...

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By Verne Arnold, May 27, 2007 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

#73084 by Marshall on 5/26 at 5:36 pm

Au contraire,

The Lancet Study was re-evaluated and found to be accurate.  This information has been available for a few months now.  650,000 Iraqis dead.  Logic would dictate this to be true. 

The methods used were deemed to be the most accurate of all the available statistics.

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By Dawn, May 27, 2007 at 1:35 am Link to this comment

I support Dennis Kucinich for president. He is the only person who has come out strongly for getting out of Iraq immediately. He is also the person who understands that there will be no next president if we do not get rid of Cheney. He has put forward HR333 - Articles of Impeachment against Dick Cheney in the House of Representatives. Only 3 other representatives have signed on to this bill. Each one of us needs to pressure our representatives to sign on as well. First, we need to get rid of Cheney, then Bush. We can’t wait for 2008 elections because there may not be any.

This administration is positioning itself for a permanent fascist takeover of our government and the American people are asleep at the wheel.


These people have changed our laws to facilitate a fascist coup. The Patriot Act allows surveillance of citizens and the ability for the president to accuse anyone including U.S. citizens of being enemy combatants. Enemy combatants can be disappeared, tortured and kept in prison indefinitely without ever being charged with a crime or having their day in court. The Military Commissions Act has allowed Bush and Cheney to do away with habeas corpus (which has been in place since the 1215 Magna Carta).

Here’s the clincher. On May 9, the White House released two directives which are nothing less than an all out power grab by Cheney and Bush. Was this on the front page of the New York Times?
Not even Truthdig.

National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD 20. Under this plan, Bush entrusts himself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch. And he gives himself the responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government” in the event of a catastrphic emergency. This “emergency” could be “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage or disruption severely affecting U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy or government function.”

The documentwaves at the need to work closely with the other two branches, saying there will be “a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government.”

Among the efforts coordinated by the President would ensuring the capability of the three branches of government to “provide for orderly succession” and “appropriate transition of leadership.”

The documentdesignates a National Continuity Coordinator, who would be the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Currently holding that post is Frances Fragos Townsend.

She is required to develop a National Continuity Implementation Plan and submit it within 90 days.

This was reported in The Progressive magazine May 18, 2007 by Matthew Rothschild.
(http://progressive.org/mag_wx051807)

Even if Kucinich won the election in November 2008, he would never step foot in the White House. Cheney would make sure there was a catastrophic emergency and Bush would declare martial law essentially and he and Cheney would be our new dictators. Just like Germany. And all of those big prisons that can hold 5,000 people each that Halliburton has been contracted with our U.S. taxpayer dollars to build will come in so handy for rounding up any one who ever blogged on Truthdig or the Daily Kos or Huffington Post, etc.

We need to get serious about impeaching Cheney. That man is the biggest threat to our U.S. Constitution that has ever come along. If he could be removed, I think that the Democratic party could find its way back to the policies of FDR which put in place protections and supports for the general welfare of all of the American people. We don’t need a third party. We need a democratic party with a vision and a spine and its hands out of the corporate loot.

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By cupera1, May 26, 2007 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

o   Then why did Clinton say Saddam was working with al Qeada back in the 90’s
o   Why did wounded al Qeada get treatment in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was teated by Saddam’s personal physician and medical facility
o   Saddam and OBL would work with ANYONE that would help them get what they wanted or help their cause
o   Even the 911 comission shoed that they were on friendly terms
 
Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States. In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.

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By bdrube, May 26, 2007 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Never has the time been more ripe for an antiwar 3rd party to emerge.  Playing politics with this horrific stain on America’s honor is absolutely beyond the pale.

I cheer those Democrats and Ron Paul Republicans who voted against continuing this insanity.  If the polls are right, we are the new majority.  We just need a party to permanently upend the status quo.

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By MARIAM RUSSELL, May 26, 2007 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Dionne

DID YOU OVERDOSE ON VALLIUM?

ARE 1,000,000 OR MORE DISMEMBERED BODIES NOT ENOUGH?

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By Inherit The Wind, May 26, 2007 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What amazes me is how many Democratic members of the House and Senate just don’t get it.

The game has changed. The rules have changed. The ancient byzantine methods of forming and presenting legislation died in 1994.  All the leaders did is once more give weight the Re-thug accusations that Democrats are all wimps and pussies “Real men vote Republican” is their message.  Once again, it worked.

With this jackass in the White House the only tactic is to be as stubborn as he is and make him pay for his stubborness.

George W. Bush knows one thing: Democrats care a hell of a lot more about the lives of the troops in Iraq than he does.  Therefore he can hold them hostage.  And he did, successfully, yet again.  Americans voted to end the war in November.  But the Dems in Congress won’t do it.

Democrats need to become relentless and uncompromising on the big issues. We need to learn from the late Rev. Falwell, and Ralph Reed, and the fundametalist christo-fascists.  Stay the course and stay relentless.

I am disgusted.

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By Skruff, May 26, 2007 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

73079 by cupera1 on 5/26 at 5:05 pm says:

“When Afghanistan got to hot the terrorist started to leave.  They when to their next biggest supporter in the reason Iraq.”

Hussain NEVER supported al Qaeda His government was secular, and like the Saudis (who also delt with the west) al Qaeda hated Saddam for being a western shill, and a shill he was.  Taught in Egypt by our CIA, given his weapons to fight Iran by Ron the Don given the green light to invade Kuait, and then betrayed by Bush one, Saddam reminds me of no one so much as MacBeth.

When al Qaeda left Afganistan, they went not to Iraq, but to our new friend’s caves in northern Pakistan. We don’t dare go poking around there because Pakistan has Real (nuclear) WMDS. 

What is truely amazing about our new Alice-through-the-lookingglass-world is anyone can say anything from the pulpit of the White House, and it becomes fact for half of the US.. From where did these sheep come?

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By Marshall, May 26, 2007 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re Ernest Canning who said:  “650,000 Iraqi dead was the estimate provided by a Johns Hopkins/Lancet Study that was published last October. “

Ernest - the first Lancet study in 2004 was thoroughly discredited and the latest one uses the same methodology.  Here’s a clear skewering of that study from a source that usually swings to the left, so you’ll have a hard time claiming that it’s right-wing clap-trap:

http://slate.msn.com/id/2108887/

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By cupera1, May 26, 2007 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

Ernest Canning

You say that by not staying on, we are surrendering.  Surrendering to what?  This was an illegal, unprovoked war of aggression.  There were no WMD, no links between Iraq and 9/11, no links between Sadam Hussein and al-Qaeda.  We did not invade Iraq to bring it democracy or to liberate its people.

When you turn over control of the battle field to the terroris that is surrendering

As for the WMD’s of the 500 found so far, the Duelfer Report, I hope that is ALL that Saddam had. 

We invaded Afghanistan because of their support of terrorists. The Afghan government had no knowledge of 9-11 either. When Afghanistan got to hot the terrorist started to leave.  They when to their next biggest supporter in the reason Iraq.

In fact, during President Clinton’s eight years in office, there were at least two official pronouncements of an alarming alliance between Baghdad and al Qaeda. One came from William S. Cohen, Mr. Clinton’s defense secretary. He cited an al Qaeda-Baghdad link to justify the bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.

The other pronouncement is contained in a Justice Department indictment on Nov. 4, 1998, charging bin Laden with murder in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. The indictment disclosed a close relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam’s regime, which included specialists on chemical weapons and all types of bombs, including truck bombs, a favorite weapon of terrorists.
  The 1998 indictment said: “Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezbollah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States. In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the government of Iraq.”

just look at ALL the statments made by the DEMs in the late 90’s BEFORE Bush was elected and tell me that the Dems did not belive that Saddam was no threat

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By cann4ing, May 26, 2007 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

Peter RV.  As usual, you and I find ourselves in almost complete agreement.  But I am not prepared to accept that Kucinich cannot capture the nomination this time around.  The task is a daunting one, I will grant you that.  We have to overcome the effort by the conglomerated, corporate media to marginalize his candidacy, and, of course, the exposure that comes with the massive corporate contributions collected by the likes of Clinton, Obama and Edwards.

But I, for one, am not prepared to concede the Democratic Party to the corporatists, despite their present control.  It is incumbent upon each of us to convince others of the importance of acquiring knowledge by turning away from the propaganda network (that includes almost all of what passes for news on television), and instead accessing alternative media, especially Democracy Now and Kucinich.us; to encourage others to do the same—sort of like a pyramid scheme, except that instead of enriching only those at the top, wealth, in the form of knowledge, spreads out, enriching all of us and the nation as a whole.

The fact is that there is a convergence between where Kucinich stands on the issues and what a vast majority of the electorate wants.  They just don’t know it.  Far too many Americans continue to act as passive consumers, buying into the “electability” canard and accepting, without question, the carefully packaged “image” of the so-called “leading” candidates when what they need to do is actively seek out the substance of where each candidate stands on issues that truly matter.  We should never ask the question, “Who can win?”  Instead, we should only ask, “Who will best serve this nation if he or she does win,” then vote accordingly.

If we could find a way to break through the veil erected by the corporate media to hide the substance of the man, Mr. Kucinich would win the Democratic nomination in a landslide.  But that is, indeed, a big “IF.”

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By Skruff, May 26, 2007 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#72935 by cupera1 on 5/26 at 8:39 am


When the terrorist drove the US in Somalia that defeat gave them the confidence to try more ambitious attacks.

FRorgetting, and ignoring the rest of this post, I need to know about the difference between the “terrorists driving us out of Somalia”(Clinton) and the terrorists driving us out of Beruit (Reagan)

On the right, and on the left we have to get by this partisan bickering (as if Democrats were superior to Republicans, or vice-versa) This action in Iraq is wrong.  It is wrong on the left because it it “an illegal war of aggression” and it is wrong on the right because it is costing us political capital abroad, and is fiscally irresponsible.

Get past it. Bush is not a conservative, and Clinton was no liberal.  they are tboth members of the same self-absorbed, greedy, corporate-shill group.  Too bad for the rest of us.

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By gncarlo, May 26, 2007 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

Israel wants this war and so it will drag on endlessly.  The “mission” is being “accomplished.”  Jews killing Arabs; Americans killing Arabs; Arabs killing Arabs.
Israel’s well known newspaper Ha’aretz proudly proclaimed, at the opening shots of this phase of “securing the realm”:
“The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of
them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history.”
-Ari Shavit, “White man’s burden,” Ha’aretz, April 7, 2003;
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=280279; cf. also Stephen J. Sniegoski, “The
War against Iraq” The Revisionist (subsequently quoted as TR), 1(3) (2003), pp. 288-304.
  I suspect more politicians of both parties have taken all-expense-paid “fact-finding” junkets to Israel, courtesy of AIPAC, than have visited New Orleans since Katrina.
  The next step will be to stage a “Gulf Of Tonkin” incident .  Public opinion is being prepared for this at the present moment.  When the shooting starts, the US Army in Iraq, whose supply lines stretch up the Persian Gulf and over several hundred miles of open desert, will be subject to severe interdiction. This will result in a “Stalingrad pocket.”  The planners fully understand this and will use it as the justification (to the American people) to join Israel in “turning Iran into a ‘glass parking lot’ “
  Where this can go off the rails is the fact that there are lots of Russian and Chinese nationals working in Iran.  Plus the unpredictability of where the radioactive fallout will end up.  Irrational behavior on the part of our government may result in public pressure on the Chinese and Russian governments to respond equally irrationally.  Nobody in 1914 or 1939 contemplated the magnitude of the disasters that were about to beset them.
  One thing to keep in mind that helps to explain all this is that, in “The Project for the New American Century: Securing the Realm,”  they clearly state that the “Realm” they are “securing” is Israel, not the United States.  What happens to the rest of the world seems to be of no consequence to these megalomaniacs except insofar as it helps them to achieve their goals.  These Trotskyites regard us as examples of Lenin’s “Useful Idiots.”

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By Druthers, May 26, 2007 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“we’ll see you in September”—

Not everyone.

How many more dead will not be here in September?

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By Peter RV, May 26, 2007 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ernest Canning has just brilliantly disected Dionne’s cowardly call for Progressives to do nothing about the bloodshed in Iraq. The moral of this story shapes like this : beware of the Trojan Horses which will be sent to you ,again and again, to confuse and destroy your spirit of resistance to the War.
More and more Kucinich does look like he is the only candidate with a backbone. My only doubt about him is that he may refuse to run as an Independent, when he doesn’t get Democratic nomination. Will he chose to be pro-Peace rather than pro-Party, which is the last thing on earth that we need now.
One thing, though,is certain, he won’t drag me into voting a Democrat candidate who refuses to take an unequivocal stand to stop this war - now.
There is really nothing more to say on this subject
after Canning’s comment.

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By cann4ing, May 26, 2007 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

re comment #72975 by mediamouse.org.  650,000 Iraqi dead was the estimate provided by a Johns Hopkins/Lancet Study that was published last October.  We know that, along with federal deficits, the rate of Iraqi deaths has skyrocketed since then.  Even if we did not include the 500,000 Iraqi children who lost their lives to the preceding 13 years of Iraqi sanctions, the total number of civil casualties since the invasion began in 2003 may have climbed closer to 1 million.

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By mediamouse.org, May 26, 2007 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

I agree with folks who said that this article completely misses the point—there was no “need” to pass a bill, the Democrats should have simply refused to fund the war.

However, I think what is missing from this essay, is concern for the Iraqi people. Sure, “Bush’s botched war has been immensely harmful to our country,” as the author states, but his argument can only come from someone who is not living under the daily horrors of occupation. It comes from the privileged position of one who can sit behind their desk writing columns about how we need “patience” knowing that his family members are not going to be killed or unjustifiably detained.

The policies of both the Democrat and the Republican parties have resulted in the deaths of over a million Iraqis (655,000 under the most recent invasion, 500,000 children under the UN sanctions), it’s time to end this horror.

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By cann4ing, May 26, 2007 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

re comment #72935 by cupera1.  Your use of idiotic cliches—“cut-and-run,” “appeasement of the terrorists”—underscores the paucity of your analysis.

You say that by not staying on, we are surrendering.  Surrendering to what?  This was an illegal, unprovoked war of aggression.  There were no WMD, no links between Iraq and 9/11, no links between Sadam Hussein and al-Qaeda.  We did not invade Iraq to bring it democracy or to liberate its people. 

The plan to invade Iraq was in place long before 9/11.  It was spelled out in the policy papers of the neocon Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which envisioned unchecked, worldwide U.S. imperial hegemony, including creating a permanent U.S. base of operations in Iraq as a basis for controlling the oil-rich middle east.  These policies were laid out by the neocons “before” the Supreme Court judicial coup that handed them the White House in 2000.  They were so radical that the PNAC noted that it would take “a new Pearl Harbor” for the American people to accept it.

Your posting reveals that you have bought the “we have to fight the terrorists over there so that we won’t have to fight them here” cliche hook, line and sinker. 

The fact is that al-Qaeda only makes up a small, single digit percentage of the Iraqi resistance.  The vast majority of Iraqis who have taken up arms against this illegal war of aggression and occupation have done so for the same reasons that the French resistance took up arms against the Nazi occupation in World War II.  Their nation is occupied by a foreign power which has stolen their economy, placing it in the greedy hands of multi-national corporations who do not even have to hire Iraqis (70% unemployment) have killed perhaps as many as 1 million Iraqis—innocent men, women and children—have displaced 4 million more, 2 million now in exile, and have summarily arrested and tortured the wives, brothers, husbands, parents and children.  (If that happened here, do you think some of your fellow Americans would take up arms to resist the foreign occupiers?  Would you consider them “terrorists” if they did?) 

By the way, do you know what the Nazis called the resistance movements throughout occupied Europe?  They called them “terrorists.”

Finally, al-Qaeda was not the product of Democratic “appeasement.”  Osama bin Laden was one of the CIA backed and funded mujahideen whom Reagan called “freedom fighters” when they were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.  Their initial ire was against the corrupt Saudi monarchy, but being religious fanatics, they morphed into al-Qaeda in response to the creation of U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia, turning their ire onto their one-time financial backers as they despised U.S. imperialism (and the presence of infidels in Saudi Arabia).  Al-Qaeda is a Frankenstein monster of our creation.

There are a good number of Truthdiggers who believe that the administration was complicit in 9/11; that they intended it as the “new Pearl Harbor.”  While they raise an intriguing question, I have yet to see sufficient evidence to reach that conclusion.  What I am convinced of is that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11; that if 9/11 were solely carried out by al-Qaeda, it was a case of “blowback” for past policies involving U.S. imperialism; that it had nothing to do with “they hate us because of our freedom” and that the neocons seized upon what should have been dealt with as a crime (9/11) by erecting an endless, Orwellian “war on terror” in order to carry out the PNAC goals and to seek dictatorial executive power by means of the radically subversive concept of a “Unitary Executive” and an all out assault on civil liberties at home and abroad.

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By ardee, May 26, 2007 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

Many inciteful and accurate critiques of an article the foundation of which I find anathema. My only note to the author would be to note that the Goldwater conservative are very much NOT in charge of the GOP. That is a real shame as those (real) conservatives could be communicated with, could be worked with, and could be depended upon to be rationale and sane.

I am, in fact, and despite Mr. Dionne’s patronising assumption that dissent is immaturity, quite grown up, and , I believe far too politically aware to see the Democrats cowardice and complicity as anything less than that. They were elected because we the people wanted this war ended, because we the people wanted oil subsidies stricken, because we the people wanted our constitutional rights back, and we wanted them NOW.

I am of the opinion that Democrats lie exposed as weak, cowardly and incompetent. What this bodes for the ‘08 elections I do not pretend to know but I would not be very surprised to see the much craftier GOP leadership make mincemeat out of the Reids, Pelosis, Schumers and Emmanuels…...Unless Democrats find a spine and a higher purpose than running in fear of Karl Rove and the loss of corporate financing who the hell will benefit in the coming elections? Perhaps Greens will, perhaps the GOP neoconservative leadership will yet again.

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By cupera1, May 26, 2007 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

The Dems are between a rock and the hard place.  If they cut and run, defund ALL money for the war on terror they look like surrendering.  If they continue funding the war the nuts, move-on and George Soros, will kick them out of the party like they did to Lieberman.  The adults in the Dem party know that appeasement of the terrorist will not work; they tried that for 8 years in the 90’s and that made 9-11 possible.  Pelosi had to spend 20 BILLION in bribe money to get enough votes to get the bill through.  As the nuts try to give more rights to the terrorist the American people will start to wonder who side they are really on.

When the terrorist drove the US in Somalia that defeat gave them the confidence to try more ambitious attacks.  They are trying create a world wide Moslem state bases on Sharia law.  I for one do not want to have the choice of one my knees to Mecca or bowed down with my neck stretched out.

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By B, May 26, 2007 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How I wish they would stop posting crap here from E.J. Dionne. It’s attitudes like this within the Democratic party that cost elections.

I must say that patience is not a sensible policy in the face of disaster.

I suppose that the residents of New Orleans should have just had patience as they waited for an emergency response from the government?

I suppose the soldier driving endlessly up and down the highways of Iraq guarding oil and dodging IED should just be patient?

I suppose the parents,loved ones and children of these soldiers need just a touch more patience?

I suppose the families in Iraq who have already lost so much and been through such horrors, really need to just take a step back and look at the “difficulties” in Washington D.C and be patient?

I do know who would love for us to just be patient. Who would love nothing more than for America to argue and continue down the road we are going? Those who are raping the American people month after month via the expenditures of the Bush Wars.

“Truth"dig should be the new moniker for this site if this sort of crap is to be the norm.

I don’t come to this site expecting to agree with everything. I don’t come to this site expecting everything to be true. However, to consistantly post articles that at best dumb down the reader and worse advance the current administrations goals is approaching unforgiveable. To many articles are baseless opinion without even a superficial connection to fact (truth).

Bush would love for ALL of us to just be patient.

The democratic party is NOT advancing on any of the areas the voters of the last elections sent them to fix. The last war spending bill was a farce at best. It did not even touch the monies spent on mercenaries. It did not stop Bush from sending more soldiers this spring. It did not focus the war effort in a new direction. It did not stop Bush from extending 100k soldiers tours. The dems have not addressed any of the procedural issues, appointment issues, presidential power , impeachment, election reform, ....on and on ad nauseum. Oh sure, there are occasional sound bytes, maybe a strongly worded letter or two, or even “gasp” a toothless subpoena—
but very little of any REAL action has taken place.

E.J.—You be patient…I’m gonna be active.

B

http://b-political.blogspot.com/

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By cann4ing, May 26, 2007 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

Progressives need to gather the names of every Democrat who voted for funds, then seek out a credible candidate to challenge them in the next Democratic primary.  In the mean time, progressives need to get solidly behind the one Democratic presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich, who has consistently spoken and acted with remarkable clarity in opposing this illegal war of aggression and every dollar spent to fund it.

The observation by Fools on the Hill are spot on.  As noted by Noam Chomsky in “Failed States,” under the principles adopted by the Nuremberg tribunal, initiating a war of aggression is considered “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”  Under article III of the Nuremberg principles, “the fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible Government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.”  The German foreign minister was hanged for his role in the preemptive attack on Norway.

As noted by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, the chief jurist of the Nuremberg Tribunal, “If certain acts of violations of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.”

Forget the funding.  The unwillingness to so much as put impeachment “on-the-table” demonstrates how far this nation has strayed from the rule of law since Justice Jackson uttered those poignant remarks.

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By Skruff, May 26, 2007 at 9:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

72905 by Spinoza on 5/26 at 6:02 am

“There is still plenty of oil for at least 100 years”

There are two dynamics which make this statment questionable.

1.) The most rapidly expanding markets for petroleum products are China, and India.  Currently these two countries comprise 40% of the planet’s population. NO ONE knows where this expansion of consumerism will settle. China also makes all those cheap plastic products from the same petroleum.  India uses it to fuel rapidly expanding indrustry.

2.) While there are still large reserves of petroleum the cost of extracting these remaining barrels may exceed the cost passenger vehicle owners can afford. 

The Petroleum Association once outlined this for the first Bush administration, but no one was particularly interested. 

In the 1960’s we used the last $2.00 a barrel oil. before 1973, we used the last 10.00 barrel of oil. By 1979, we had used the last $20.00 dollar barrell of oil.  by 1989 we used all the $40.00 a barrell oil. Somewhere in the nineties we used our last $60.00 a barrell oil. and now in the mix of all sources we have some oil which will be the next standard, the $100.00 barrell. Getting oil from shale is expensive, time consuming, and a enviornmental nightmare akin to the strip-mining of Montana. no doubl we4’ll do it, but that oil (when it becomes the standard will cost Americans $6.75 a gallon for self-serve regular.  IF the gas tax and the transportation costs stay flat… highly unlikely.

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By Druthers, May 26, 2007 at 7:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“We will see you in September”

Not everyone.  Not the dead.

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By Spinoza, May 26, 2007 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

Look we have to drive out the Bush regime. How? agitation and then more agitation. Voting doesn’t change much. As many have pointed out we have built major bases in Iraq, we are posturing to attack Iran. We have attacked Somalia and made a mess there and we are still threatening the Sudan government without effectively addressing the humanitarian crisis.

Look, we can buy oil, we don’t HAVE to control it despite what Cheney says.  There is still plenty of oil for at least 100 years so we have time for creating alternatives.  In the mean time we should follow a policy with all raw materials of “waste not, want not” which means we have to strongly modify the capitalist system so everyone can benefit.

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By Peter RV, May 26, 2007 at 4:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ref.#72877 by Ernest Canning
Brilliant (as usual) comment. Should serve as a guide for Dionne’s re-education.
  It is the most sacred duty of Progressives to stop this horror in Iraq -now. This can’t wait, everything else can.
  Should we be patient until several million of Iraqis and over fifty thousand of Americans die as in Vietnam, Dionne?
  No wonder we got into this moral gutter with “pundits” like this

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By Fools on the Hill, May 26, 2007 at 2:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dionne what legal right does America have to be in Iraq in the first place?  We all know it was based on lies and fabricated intelligence which makes it an international crime to have invaded Iraq.  A crime US Judges found to be punishable by execution in the Nuremberg Trials.  Only the brain dead would believe Bush’s recent claims that he was invited by Iraq to invade Iraq and turn it into a failed state and now in a Civil War.

Once you consider the above, get back to us with what you think would be a grown up and reasonable time period for the US to end its daily murdering of innocent Iraqis.

Seventy percent of Americans want the war to end.  This obviously represent more than just “the childish liberals”. 

When you get a chance take a trip to Arlington Cemetery and tell a fallen soldier’s family to grow up.

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By cann4ing, May 26, 2007 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

E.J. Dionne once again proves himself to be nothing more than an establishment media pundit, incapable of meaningful analysis.  Timelines, sminelines.  True progressives were opposed to further funding, period! 

Progressives knew that the Democrats had the votes to block further funding.  Democrats have a clear majority in the House and all it takes is 41 votes to block funding in the Senate via a fillibuster. They also know that most of the funds will flow to the coffers of the private contractors, such as Halliburton and Blackwater; that a vote to fund the war is a vote to betray our troops as it enables the Bush administration to leave them in harm’s way.

As a Vietnam Vet, I understand only to well what it means to continue an illegitimate war.  People are dying every day, not just our men and women in uniform, but thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children. 

The progressive position just happens to be the position of the vast majority of Americans, you know the electorate who delivered the House and Senate to the Democrats last November, precisely because they wanted this war to end.  The vote to continue funding was despicable, and so is Mr. Dionne’s effort to defend it.

This wasn’t just a capitulation.  It was a sell out by the same people who are pushing yet another trade agreement in search of corporate dollars, including the campaign contributions from the mighty military-industrial complex dollars.

My question to the editors of Truthdig is this.  People come to this site because they want to read thoughtful analysis that is not available in the conglomerated corporate media.  Why does Truthdig continue to post reports from an inferior corporate media pundit who thinks he’s a journalist?

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By Dawn, May 25, 2007 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

The Democrats didn’t have to send Bush anything. They don’t have to fund the war. End it now. They have the power to do that. There is enough money in the pipeline to bring the troops home. If the war is wrong, it is wrong now. Not September. It is wrong to let one more soldier die for this corporate coup.

It is completely clear to everyone now that this war has been about the immense oil fields in Iraq that Cheney is pressuring the Iraqi puppet government to sign over to the four international oil companies in the form of 30 year binding contracts. That is criminal. The Iraqi people are dying. There country has been destroyed. The U.S. economy has been decimated by this war. And Wall Street is booming. And Exxon is profiteering. And U.S. soldiers are dying. Cheney is a sociopath. He doesn’t have normal human emotions that would allow him to make humane decisions that are best for everyone.

We are paying over $3/gallon for gas. There is no shortage. Refineries have been shut down to suppress supply and increase demand and prices. Wake up America! Demand impeachment of Cheney now! Nothing good can happen while that man is in office. The war will not end until Cheney goes home or goes to jail. Pick one.

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By DennisD, May 25, 2007 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

E.J. - You’ll have to pardon me because I don’t understand how continuing to lose makes you a winner. It must be similar to the government economists who say that the deeper we go into debt the better it is for our economy. Pretzel logic doesn’t cut it anymore, you’re starting to sound more like our politicians everyday.

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By kim worth, May 25, 2007 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The essay misses the point, the same point that came up repeatedly during the Clinton admin. It’s not whether they win or lose, it’s how they FRAME the debate. Once they allow the Repub.s to frame it as “funding supports the troops” the Dem.s will be facing the same pressures in Sept. when the Administration will ask for just one more “FRiedman” (6 months).

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By LANCE, May 25, 2007 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush won’t be able to blame Democrats now.
It’s Bush’s cake.  Let him eat it.

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By Peter RV, May 25, 2007 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This immoral war was conceived with lies and deceptions by Bush, Chaney and the Neocons and it is not the War of American People. Therefore, there are no ifs or buts- when Democrats support its proplongation, they support the War of Bush &Co; and are directly responsible for the daily massive carnage in Iraq.
The phoniest argument is the one of Hillary Clinton’s claiming the worry about the safety of our troops. Is there somebody to explain that stupid woman that the safest place for our soldiers is back home?
  So what, if we lose the war which was not ours to begin with?(infact even generals say it is already lost). So, what if Bush loses?
  What business is ours to build democracy in Iraq when we are losing it at home? Does anybody seriously think any longer that we are the shining exemple to follow,when our so-called representative ignore blatantly the will of the constituency and do completely opposite to their electoral pledges?
  This Bush’s War, has not only shattered morally this Nation but it is about to ruin it. With trillions spent in producing killing gadgets and training killing robots, we could have made the most civilized Nation the World has ever known. As it is, we have managed only to become World’s most hated bully.
  And Dionne is asking us to be patient.
  The Hell we will,and if our leaders don’t smarten up fast, we must look for an independent candidate.

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By Hammo, May 25, 2007 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

If the Democrats aren’t careful, they may drive many voters to third-party and independent candidates.

Would this be a bad thing? Who knows?

Of interest, PopulistAmerica.com, the Web site of the Populist Party of America, is the second most-read political party Web site in the U.S., following the Democratic Party site.

The ten most-read commentary articles on the Web site PopulistAmerica.com for the week of May 18-May 24, 2007 are at:

http://www.populistamerica.com/most_read_commentary

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By John F. Butterfield, May 25, 2007 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

All the Democrats had to do to stop the war was sit in congress and do nothing. They couldn’t even do that right. All they had to do was not pass a bill to fund the war.

If Bush didn’t use money already in the pipeline to bring the troops home, then he could have been impeached.

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