Blogtopia continues to make a mockery of Michael Skube's silly screed -- by example. Neither the Wall Street Journal or Washington Times wanted to consider" Gen Batiste's Op-Ed so you have to go to Think Progress to see it.
Over a year and a half ago, I made a gut-wrenching decision to leave the Army in order to speak out about the war in Iraq. I turned my back on over 31 years of service and what by all accounts would have been a great career. I realized that I was in a unique position to speak out on behalf of Soldiers and their families. I had a moral obligation and duty to do so. My family and I left the only life we knew and entered the political debate. As a two-time combat veteran, I understand the value of thorough planning and deliberate execution. I understand what it takes to win. As a life-long Republican, I am prepared to carry on with the debate for as long as necessary. I have been speaking out for the past 17 months and there is no turning back. [...]
Our military and our treasury are not unlimited resources. The war in Iraq is breaking our fine Army and Marine Corps, and we are perilously close to doing damage that will take more than a decade to fix. Our brigades and divisions in Iraq today are at near full strength because the rest of the force has been gutted. We cannot place America in a position of weakness as it just begins its long war against world-wide Islamic extremism. The Republican administration is bleeding our national treasure in blood and dollars with little to show for it.
Driving to the airport earlier I listened to Randi Rhodes and Democratic strategist Brent Budowsky. He was making a great deal of sense right up until I had to park my car and jump on the shuttle for the terminal. And when I got to my hotel, I found, essentially, much of what he told Randi in a story he penned this morning's Hill, Many Democrats Are Wrong On Iraq. That may sound like a no-brainer for normal grassroots Democrats and progressives but for the species of Dems who live Inside the Beltway and, more importantly, earn their livings by catering to Democratic conventional wisdom created by the likes of Harold Ford, Al From and other DLC corporatists, Rahm Emanuel, Chuck Schumer, the NeoCon think tanks, and the Clinton Machine, it is... heavy.
Beltway Democrats reflexively respond and react to Republican/DLC framing. That's what's making the Mahoneys and Bairds and McNerneys roadkill right now and it's what Randi wanted to address on her show with Budowsky, today. He knows better. The tragedy is that these foolish Democrats-- from an "ex"-Republican imbecile like Mahoney to a solid, if confused, progressive like McNerney-- are reacting based on the lie that violence in down in Iraq and Bush's escalation is something other than a disaster and catastrophe. Are wonder if someone is drugging them. They certainly don't seem to be paying much heed to the NY Times Op-Ed McNerney recommended yesterday by the 7 front line troops in Iraq, The War As We Saw It or by the incredible blog by Army of Dude. Why bother with the vagaries of sloppy reality when you can get a version all neatly packaged from the Regime, even if that Regime, its allies, enablers, and apologists have been wrong and continue to be wrong and are inherently incapable of not being wrong?
Confronted with an obsessed and intransigent president, Republicans in Congress who are endlessly submissive to presidential power and disastrous policies, and a Democratic national security establishment that is incoherent and careerist, the most likely outcome in September is this:
The president will win full support for the full escalation without any effective limitation in what would be the third disastrous Democratic failure in the new Congress, the first being its surrender on Iraq before the May recess, the second being its surrender on the Constitution before the August recess.
Setting aside the moral and strategic issue of giving money and (directly or indirectly) weapons to those who were recently killing Americans, the end game of these deals depends on the end game of Iraqi politics.
If one believes, as I do, that the government of Iraq (no matter who is prime minister) is unable ever to reach a reconciliation that includes Sunnis and Shi?ites, the aid America is now giving to Sunni insurgents will ultimately be used to kill Shi?ites, and possibly Americans, in escalated sectarian war.
Centuries of history prove the tendency, very deep in Iraqi society, not only to break apart, but to fight wars within itself, sectarian faction against sectarian faction.
This was known long before the war began, ignored by an ignorant president with the arrogance to believe that an aggressive preemptive war followed by a corrupt Roman-like occupation could prove history and demographics wrong. It was known by a fossilized, careerist, and incoherent Democratic national security establishment with too many who want to be secretary of state, and too few who combine clarity with political courage.
This was known yesterday; it is known today; it will be known tomorrow. The great issue is how many Americans must die before our policy matches the history, culture, politics and realities of the country we invaded so casually and are trapped in so catastrophically.
The situation today is identical to the various interludes of delusion throughout this war when progress was claimed to be right around the corner. The statue of Saddam fell; Saddam was captured; the Iraqi election was held; Zarqawi was killed. These were all short-term successes
that changed nothing, each met with crowing victory claims by the president, by incoherence from the Democratic security establishment, and by submission from the Congress. Each meant nothing in the end, except to provide rationale for the body count to rise while the carnage continued.
At every step, truth was falsified, false hopes were raised, and failure continued. At every step propaganda was used to create heroes, from Pat Tillman to Jessica Lynch-- legitimate heroes in real life, used as public-relations pawns with tissues of lies, deceptions and frauds.
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The slick switcheroo ads from "Freedom's Watch" (the GOP random patriotic word generator could use a tune-up) noted by The Angry Rakkasan are rife with Iraq/9-11 conflation.
"They attacked us. And they will again. They won't stop in Iraq."
"If we surrender now, it's giving the message to terrorists that they can do what they want and get away with it."
"We've already had one 9/11, we don't need another."
"I lost two family members to Al Qaeda. My uncle, a fireman on 9/11, and my husband Travis in Iraq."
"Switching [Congress's] votes now, for political reasons? It will mean more attacks in America."
But is that the extent of their intentional manipulation of public opinion and its expression?
Of course not! Ari Fleischer is on the job, so you know you have to check the underside of your shoes.
All the ads encourage viewers to "Call your Congressman and Senator" and provide a phone number: 1-877-222-8001.
Only that number? It ain't Congress. IraqCampaign.org reports via e-mail that it gets you:
[A]n operator who gives you the White House talking points and asks you to take a survey about the war on terror BEFORE they will connect you with Congress.
Go ahead. Give it a whirl.
Ari Fleischer brings Bush "town hall" screening tactics - come in tell us what you think. First, you need to take a test to see if we agree.
They won't even risk giving people the truth about Congress's phone number. Which, by the way, is (202) 224-3121 for the Senate, and (202) 225-3121 for the House.
On the August 21 edition ofCNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight,guest host Lisa Sylvester teased a segment on recent comments by MichelleObama, wife of Sen. Barack Obama(D-IL), by claiming that she "apparently blast[ed] Senator Hillary Clinton[D-NY]." During the segment, Sylvester aired a clip of Mrs. Obama saying:"Our view is that if you can't run your own house, you certainly can'trun the White House," and asked Air America Radio host Laura Flanders if the comment "was aswipe at Hillary[...]
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Bush’s speech today tried to re-write our foreign policy disasters from Korea to Vietnam to try and justify his position on the Iraq war. I guess by using the author Graham Greene as some sort of example, Bush wants us to believe that he actually reads books or something…. Download (73) | Play (96) Download (61) | Play (55)Never in [...]
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In his speech to Veterans of Foreign Wars today, President Bush declared that the lesson of Vietnam is that we must not withdraw from Iraq. UCLA historian Robert Dallek, who has written about the comparisons of Iraq to Vietnam, says Bush is “twisting history” with his new analogy:
“It just boggles my mind, the distortions I feel are perpetrated here by the president,” he said in a telephone interview.
“We were in Vietnam for 10 years. We dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we did in all of World War II in every theater. We lost 58,700 American lives, the second-greatest loss of lives in a foreign conflict. And we couldn’t work our will,” he said.
“What is Bush suggesting? That we didn’t fight hard enough, stay long enough? That’s nonsense. It’s a distortion,” he continued. “We’ve been in Iraq longer than we fought in World War II. It’s a disaster, and this is a political attempt to lay the blame for the disaster on his opponents. But the disaster is the consequence of going in, not getting out.”
(HT: Karen Tumulty)
On July 29, 2005, after both houses of Congress had passed a massive transportation bill, someone changed the language of a $10 million authorization for Florida to read just how Rep. Don Young...
Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Senator John Edwards released the following statement in response to a column in today's Washington Post about his challenge for the Democratic Party and all federal candidates to stop taking money from Washington lobbyists.
"My campaign is about giving every American the same chances to succeed that I've had - but that can't happen while powerful interests and their lobbyists run Washington. They write our laws to give themselves every break imaginable, while regular families struggle to get by, let alone get ahead. If we are going to build One America, we need to end the money game in Washington.
"I've called on the Democratic Party and all candidates for federal office to stop taking money from Washington lobbyists. A column in today's Washington Post misunderstood the issue. Reforming our party isn't a substitute for changing our laws; it's a critical addition to changing our laws - a huge step we can take today to show the American people that we're the party of the people without waiting for Washington to catch up.
"There are two ways to reform our system. The first way is to pass legislation. I have publicly supported Senator Obama's plan for ethics and lobbying reform. I am also a strong supporter of public financing, and when I am the Democratic nominee for president, if the Republican nominee agrees, I will accept public financing of my campaign. But, as we have seen over and over again, every time we are actually able to pass a new law, all of the lobbyists find loopholes to keep the system rigged.
"The other legitimate path to reform is for our party, the Democratic Party, to reform itself by refusing to take money from Washington lobbyists. By doing this, we are telling Washington lobbyists that their money and their agenda are no good here anymore, and exposing for the American people who the Republican Party is working for - and it's not them. Refusing Washington lobbyist money is a huge step in the right direction - that we can take today - to return our country to a government of, by and for the American people.
"Both ways of reform are legitimate and important. But the real question is if Senator Obama and Senator Clinton really care about reform, which I believe they do, then why will neither of them join me and support both paths?"
Here is the number of deaths Iraqi security and non-Iraqi occupational forces in Iraq have suffered[...]
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