I cannot believe Richard Cohen wrote that paragraph.
Superimposing sarcastically sappy "text messages" over footage of attacks against US forces in Iraq, all set to classical music and movie theme tunes, an 18-minute video recently released by an armed Iraqi resistance group could claim the title for the most bizarre video in the growing genre of self-produced insurgent propaganda films.
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The Republicans actually revealed their own priorities with votes against insurance for children and against representation for citizens of the nation's capitol. Clear evidence that there is no sense of shame among Republican politicians.
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Our friends over at Comments From Left Field have joined with Conservative Thinking in setting up a memorial fund in the names of Sgt. Omar Mora & Sgt. Yance T. Gray.
Mora and Gray, you will recall, were two of the writers of an op-ed in the New York Times which was highly critical of the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraqi occupation but which ended, even so, by saying ?As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.? A week later, both were killed in a vehicle accident in West baghdad.
All funds raised will go to the Fisher House charity, an organization which builds houses near military medical facilities where loved ones of those who have been injured in the line of duty can stay free of charge while their service member undergoes necessary treatment.
My good friend Kyle Moore has an eloquent explanatory post here. Kyle has been in contact with Kenn Duncan , Sgt. Gray's father, after Mr. Duncan left a comment on one of Kyle's posts.
You say it over and over again, that these numbers have meaning, that they are fathers and sons and brothers and sisters and mothers and members of their community with best friends and people praying for their safe return, but it took the father in law of a fallen soldier to bring it home to me.We at Newshoggers are happy to endorse this noble fundraiser, in memoriam.
Since, I?ve read the mournful remembrances of his closest friends, and have anguished over the photograph of him standing with his lovely wife and beautiful daughter. I have spent much time over the past week or so trying to piece together the lives of Tell and Omar, and while I can never say that I was their friend, I can not feel the grief their families must still burn with, I can say that I have somehow come closer to understanding, and knowing that the world lost two great Americans, soldiers, and men that day.
Further, their conviction and courage has impressed upon me most profoundly. While still serving in the military I grew politically active and started blogging, but fearing some sort of backlash or reprimand, did so anonymously, not revealing my true name until after leaving the US Navy.
These men stood proudly by what they had to say about how they felt and what they had seen. Without reservation they attached their names to their sentiments, and sent it to THE paper of record. I don?t think I?ll ever forget that.
Bob Herbert on the GOP and African Americans:
I applaud the thousands of people, many of them poor, who traveled from around the country to protest in Jena, La., last week. But what I?d really like to see is a million angry protesters marching on the headquarters of the National Republican Party in Washington.
Enough is enough. Last week the Republicans showed once again just how anti-black their party really is.
The G.O.P. has spent the last 40 years insulting, disenfranchising and otherwise stomping on the interests of black Americans. Last week, the residents of Washington, D.C., with its majority black population, came remarkably close to realizing a goal they have sought for decades ? a voting member of Congress to represent them.
A majority in Congress favored the move, and the House had already approved it. But the Republican minority in the Senate ? with the enthusiastic support of President Bush ? rose up on Tuesday and said: ?No way, baby.?
At least 57 senators favored the bill, a solid majority. But the Republicans prevented a key motion on the measure from receiving the 60 votes necessary to move it forward in the Senate. The bill died.
At the same time that the Republicans were killing Congressional representation for D.C. residents, the major G.O.P. candidates for president were offering a collective slap in the face to black voters nationally by refusing to participate in a long-scheduled, nationally televised debate focusing on issues important to minorities.
The radio and television personality Tavis Smiley worked for a year to have a pair of these debates televised on PBS, one for the Democratic candidates and the other for the Republicans. The Democratic debate was held in June, and all the major candidates participated.
The Republican debate is scheduled for Thursday. But Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson have all told Mr. Smiley: ?No way, baby.?
They won?t be there. They can?t be bothered debating issues that might be of interest to black Americans. After all, they?re Republicans.
This is the party of the Southern strategy ? the party that ran, like panting dogs, after the votes of segregationist whites who were repelled by the very idea of giving equal treatment to blacks. Ronald Reagan, George H.W. (Willie Horton) Bush, George W. (Compassionate Conservative) Bush ? they all ran with that lousy pack.
Dr. Carolyn Goodman, a woman I was privileged to call a friend, died last month at the age of 91. She was the mother of Andrew Goodman, one of the three young civil rights activists shot to death by rabid racists near Philadelphia, Miss., in 1964.
Dr. Goodman, one of the most decent people I have ever known, carried the ache of that loss with her every day of her life.
In one of the vilest moves in modern presidential politics, Ronald Reagan, the ultimate hero of this latter-day Republican Party, went out of his way to kick off his general election campaign in 1980 in that very same Philadelphia, Miss. He was not there to send the message that he stood solidly for the values of Andrew Goodman. He was there to assure the bigots that he was with them.
?I believe in states? rights,? said Mr. Reagan. The crowd roared.
In 1981, during the first year of Mr. Reagan?s presidency, the late Lee Atwater gave an interview to a political science professor at Case Western Reserve University, explaining the evolution of the Southern strategy:
?You start out in 1954 by saying, ?Nigger, nigger, nigger,? ? said Atwater. ?By 1968, you can?t say ?nigger? ? that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states? rights, and all that stuff. You?re getting so abstract now [that] you?re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you?re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.?
In 1991, the first President Bush poked a finger in the eye of black America by selecting the egregious Clarence Thomas for the seat on the Supreme Court that had been held by the revered Thurgood Marshall. The fact that there is a rigid quota on the court, permitting one black and one black only to serve at a time, is itself racist.
Mr. Bush seemed to be saying, ?All right, you want your black on the court? Boy, have I got one for you.?
Republicans improperly threw black voters off the rolls in Florida in the contested presidential election of 2000, and sent Florida state troopers into the homes of black voters to intimidate them in 2004.
Blacks have been remarkably quiet about this sustained mistreatment by the Republican Party, which says a great deal about the quality of black leadership in the U.S. It?s time for that passive, masochistic posture to end.
Charges in Religious Lawsuit Against Army Detailed
By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report, Tuesday 25 September 2007
An Army major who was sued last week for allegedly threatening to retaliate against a soldier who convened a meeting of atheists, and whom Pentagon officials said could not be located, has been found via a MySpace page the Army major updates regularly.
Freddy J. Welborn was identified in a federal lawsuit filed last week by Army Spc. Jeremy Hall, 22, and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog organization. Because his name was mistakenly listed in the complaint as Paul Welborne, the Army said it was unable to locate him.
However, Mikey Weinstein, the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said researchers working for his group discovered Welborn's MySpace page on Sunday morning. Weinstein said the complaint his organization and Hall filed against Welborn, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, will be amended and refiled in US District Court in Kansas City, Kansas on Tuesday to reflect Welborn's proper identity.
On Saturday, Lt. Col. James Hutton, a spokesman for multinational forces in Iraq, told an Associated Press reporter "several media reports list a person named Maj. Paul Welborne as having been involved in this situation."
"To date, we have not located any soldier by that name," Hutton told The Associated Press, in response to the story first reported by Truthout about the lawsuit filed against Welborn and the Pentagon.
The issue appeared to be an attempt to cast doubt on the validity of Hall's claims of widespread constitutional violations. However, hours after The Associated Press report was published, Weinstein's researchers and Hall were both able to locate Welborn, albeit under a different first name, at Combat Operations Base Speicher, Iraq, where Hall is serving his second tour of duty.
Hutton's statement to The Associated Press came on the heels of another Truthout report in which Weinstein said Hall was being threatened with bodily harm by other soldiers as a result of the lawsuit he had filed against Welborn and Defense Secretary Gates.
The lawsuit alleges Hall's First Amendment rights were violated beginning last Thanksgiving when, because he does not believe in God, he declined to participate in a Christian prayer ceremony commemorating the holiday.
"Immediately after plaintiff made it known he would decline to join hands and pray, he was confronted, in the presence of other military personnel, by the senior ranking ... staff sergeant who asked plaintiff why he did not want to pray, whereupon plaintiff explained because he is an atheist," says the lawsuit, a copy of which was provided to Truthout. "The staff sergeant asked plaintiff what an atheist is and plaintiff responded it meant that he (plaintiff) did not believe in God. This response caused the staff sergeant to tell plaintiff that he would have to sit elsewhere for the Thanksgiving dinner. Nonetheless, plaintiff sat at the table in silence and finished his meal."
Moreover, the complaint alleges that on August 7, when Hall received permission by an Army chaplain to organize a meeting of other soldiers who shared his atheist beliefs, his supervisor, Army Major Welborn, broke up the gathering and threatened to retaliate against the soldier by charging him with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The complaint also alleges Welborn vowed to block Hall's reenlistment in the Army if the atheist group continued to meet - a violation of Hall's First Amendment rights under the Constitution. Welborn is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
"During the course of the meeting, defendant Welborn confronted the attendees, disrupted the meeting and interfered with plaintiff Hall's and the other attendees' rights to discuss topics of their interests," the lawsuit alleges.
The complaint charges that Hall, who is based at Fort Riley, Kansas, has been forced to "submit to a religious test as a qualification to his post as a soldier in the United States Army," a violation of Article VI, Clause 3 of the Constitution.
Welborn, 44, who appears on his MySpace page in his Army uniform, wrote on his MySpace page that he is a devout Christian who received a bachelor's degree in "personal evangelism" and a minor in "Biblical world view" from Temple Tennessee University. He wrote that he is pursuing a second bachelor's degree in Christian studies from Calvary Bible College And Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. He lists his occupation as "Bible Study--Operation Iraqi Freedom" and wrote that his interest is evangelism and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
"Currently serving w/3rd Inf Div [3rd Infantry Division] Civil Military Operations (Governance) in Baghdad Iraq," Welborn wrote on his MySpace page. He describes himself as a ""Warrior for the Lord Jesus Christ." He wrote that he and his wife Carla "place all our Faith & Trust in our Savior the Lord Jesus - who provides eternal life to anyone that believes that he is the Son of God, that he was born of a virgin, lived as God in the flesh (as man) was crucified, died, and was buried then rose from the grave the third day, then acended [sic] to the right hand of the Father - True repentance (turning away from Sin to God) Being born again, Forgivness [sic] & Justification occure [sic] to the True Believer in Christ when Baptized w/God's Holy Spirit."
Additionally, Welborn endorses Stephen Mansfield's "The Faith of the American Soldier," a book that defends and praises controversial statements made by retired Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, the former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, who characterized the war on terrorism as a clash between Judeo-Christian values and Satan.
Welborn could not be reached for comment. He did not reply to an email sent to him through his MySpace page. A Pentagon spokesman said it is not uncommon for soldiers to maintain their own blogs or web sites and he did not believe Welborn's MySpace page violated military policy.
Weinstein, a former White House attorney under Ronald Reagan, former general counsel to H. Ross Perot, and who spent a decade as an Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG), has been waging a war against the Department of Defense (DOD) for what he says is a blatant disregard of the Constitution and a pattern of forcing soldiers to embrace evangelical Christianity. Weinstein published a book on his fight: "With God on Our Side: One Man's War Against an Evangelical Coup in America's Military." He is also an Air Force veteran and a graduate of the Air Force Academy. Three generations of his family have attended US military academies.
Since he launched his watchdog organization nearly two years ago, Weinstein said he has been contacted by more than 5,000 active duty and retired soldiers, many of whom served or currently serve in Iraq, who told Weinstein they were pressured by their commanding officers to convert to Christianity.
Last month, the Pentagon's inspector general (IG) excoriated high-ranking military officials for engaging in evangelism while on duty and in uniform. The IG responded to a complaint filed last year by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation alleging DOD officials violated military regulations by appearing in a video promoting an evangelical Christian organization.
The IG agreed and issued a 47-page report that was highly critical of senior Army and Air Force personnel for participating in the video while in uniform and on active duty.
The report recommended Air Force Maj. Gen. Jack Catton, Army Brig. Gen. Bob Caslen, Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, Maj. Gen. Peter Sutton, and a colonel and lieutenant colonel whose names were redacted in the inspector general's report, "improperly endorsed and participated with a non-Federal entity while in uniform" and the men should be disciplined for misconduct. Caslen was formerly the deputy director for political-military affairs for the war on terrorism, directorate for strategic plans and policy, joint staff. He now oversees the 4,200 cadets at the US Military Academy at West Point. Caslen told DOD investigators he agreed to appear in the video upon learning other senior Pentagon officials had been interviewed for the promotional video.
The inspector general's report recommended the "Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Army take appropriate corrective action with respect to the military officers concerned."
The Army generals who appeared in the video appeared to be speaking on behalf of the military, but they did not obtain prior permission to appear in the video. They defended their actions, according to the IG's report, saying the "Christian Embassy had become a 'quasi-Federal entity,' since the DOD had endorsed the organization to General Officers for over 25 years."
Jason Leopold is senior editor and reporter for Truthout. He received a Project Censored award in 2007 for his story on Halliburton's work in Iran.
Soldier Who Sued Army Facing Threats
Pentagon Sued Over Mandatory Christianity
Kill or Convert, Brought To You By The Pentagon
Video, Report Details Evangelism At Highest Levels Of US Military
Swastikas at Hunter Airfield, and a Rabbi on the Run
With God on Our Side: Evangelical Christianity On Steroids In US Military
Ft. Leavenworth Army Chaplains Preaching Anti-Semitism to US Soldiers
Anti-Semitic Bible Teachings Disappear From Army Site
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This is, I will freely admit, good news from Iraq.
The Iraqi parliament's newly formed women's caucus will pressurise the government to roll out concrete policies to help victims of the war in Iraq, including widows and orphans, war victims' families and Iraqi refugees, Ala Tahsin Habib, a deputy for the Kurdish Alliance in the Iraqi parliament, told Adnkronos International (AKI).The members of the new caucus will still keep their old party groupings, but will work together - on a path determined by majority vote of the caucus for each issue - on swaying their own parties to the caucus' way of thinking.
"By creating a women's parliamentary group in Iraq, we want the government to implement a series of stalled projects and to find solutions to the problems afflicting Iraqi society," she said.
Speaker of the 275 seat parliament Mahmud al-Mashadani announced on Sunday the creation a cross-party womens' grouping made up of 73 female deputies.
The new women's parliamentary grouping "can play a prominent role trying to bring together disparate viewpoints held by the different political parties that MPs belong to," said female Shiite deputy Samira al-Musawi.Now if only their male companions can do likewise.
The creation of the womens' caucus "does not mean the MPs have abandoned their original parliamentary political groupings," she stressed.
"It has not yet been decided how the women's bloc will be led and run, but it has been decided to adopt majority voting," she said.
Female MPs have also reached an accord on "general principles," such as the rejection of violence and the support for national reconciliation efforts. They have also agreed to press the government to issue stalled legislation, especially that which promotes womens' rights in parliament," according to al-Musawi.
"All the parliamentary groupings back the women's caucus and say it can help bring them closer together," she concluded.
An entry the other day from the frequently insightful Scott Horton at Harper's provides me an opportunity to amplify certain themes. I've discussed these issues before, but further commentary is required so as to dispel common confusions that can arise. The particular confusions involved are of some moment.
In "Cheney's New War Plans," Horton writes:
A thoroughly moderate, wonky international relations expert I know who spends much of his energy evaluating the efficacy of U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan recently offered this summary of the Bush-Cheney Administration's efforts:Consider the nature of some of the purported "miscalculations" or "stupidities" listed by these two writers. The Bush administration has drastically destabilized the Middle East, setting the stage for a wider war. The next target is unquestionably Iran -- which had been the primary target from the beginning. They want destabilization of the region, and they want a wider war -- for it is by these means that they seek tol consolidate United States dominance of the Middle East, guaranteeing our control of the region's resources (among other factors).The Bush-Cheney administration has surrendered much of Afghanistan to the Taliban and much of Pakistan to al-Qaida. They have turned most of Iraq over to Iran, creating the very danger over which they now threaten another disastrous war; they have strained the U.S. Armed Forces to the point of exhaustion, turned the Defense Department over to private contractors, the Justice Department over to the Republican National Committee, and the national debt over to foreign creditors, while leading a party whose single most basic belief is supposed to be that individuals must take personal responsibility for their actions. And they dare to lecture us on national security?Indeed, the guiding star of the Administration appears to be Monumental Stupidity. Presented with two choices, they can be counted upon to pick the wrong one. Which is why the latest chapter in Cheney's maneuverings to launch the next war can come as no surprise. It's par for the course.
As a general rule for understanding public policies, I insist that there are no persistent "failed" policies. Policies that do not achieve their desired outcomes for the actual powers-that-be are quickly changed. If you want to know why the U.S. policies have been what they have been for the past sixty years, you need only comply with that invaluable rule of inquiry in politics: follow the money.In my recent essay which included this Higgs excerpt, I went on to write:
When you do so, I believe you will find U.S. policies in the Middle East to have been wildly successful, so successful that the gains they have produced for the movers and shakers in the petrochemical, financial, and weapons industries (which is approximately to say, for those who have the greatest influence in determining U.S. foreign policies) must surely be counted in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
So U.S. soldiers get killed, so Palestinians get insulted, robbed, and confined to a set of squalid concentration areas, so the "peace process" never gets far from square one, etc., etc. ? none of this makes the policies failures; these things are all surface froth, costs not borne by the policy makers themselves but by the cannon-fodder masses, the bovine taxpayers at large, and foreigners who count for nothing.
It is important to recognize the two perspectives and the two kinds of analysis, and to keep them separate. Almost all of our public debate is conducted on the first level of analysis: what various political leaders say their goals and objectives are. In terms of those stated goals, their decisions in foreign policy are uniformly calamitous, and they lead to results that are the opposite of what they claim they hope to achieve. No public figure will admit the truth of the second kind of analysis and, I regret to note, most Americans are not the least bit interested in hearing such unpleasant truths. Nonetheless, they are truths: a huge swath of our economy is now devoted to preparing for war, making war, and cleaning up after war. To one degree or another, most members of Congress are beholden to the economic powers that drive the obsessive concern with war, and its cornucopia of economic opportunity. Both parties are enmeshed in the War State, and the current corporatist warmaking apparatus devours almost all those who go into public service. Until this intricate and complex system is altered, nothing else will change, except in comparatively superficial ways.It would hardly do for our national leaders to announce the truth:
We have military power of a kind that allows to do whatever we want, anywhere in the world. We intend to establish worldwide hegemony, baby. And while we're doing that, we and some of our best friends are going to get filthy, stinking rich. Guess what? Most of the governing class is in on the scheme -- and there isn't a damned thing you can do about it.No, that wouldn't do at all. So our leaders talk of "national interests," which can mean anything imaginable that serves the needs of the moment, and of spreading "democracy." To credit such claims requires as astounding degree of ignorance. Ask the slaughtered Filipinos, or the slaughtered Vietnamese, or those slaughtered in Latin America, or the victims of the genocide that continues in Iraq, about "democracy." To believe our government's aims are in fact what our politicians claim them to be is no longer an honest error, not if one watches only 15 minutes of news every few days, even as presented by our wonderful teevee personalities.
This conviction is commonly found on both left and right. It was during the Clinton Administration that the secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, proclaimed that Americans see farther than anyone else because they "stand taller." "Globalization" was a product of the same administration, a program for opening deregulated markets worldwide to U.S. investment that was articulated by the administration as part of world society's march towards unification in democracy and market capitalism (and history's end).Ever since the end of World War II (and going back to the Spanish-American War and the occupation of the Philippines), the goal of our foreign policy has been world hegemony -- and this is the goal shared and advanced by both the Democratic and Republican parties. It may not serve the purposes of "ordinary" Americans or of foreigners numbering in the millions -- and God knows, it has murdered enough of them (but mostly poor, brown foreigners, so as to prevent unrest among the docile American public) -- but it certainly serves the interests of the ruling elites.
It was also under President Clinton that the unprecedented Pentagon system of regional commands was established that now covers the entire world, responsible for monitoring developments in each region and preparing for possible U.S. interventions under a wide variety of scenarios involving challenges not only to U.S. interests but, as it is said, to world order.
Militarized or otherwise, American policy remains under the influence of an unacknowledged and unjustified utopianism. This is the unanalyzed background to the work of all Washington's foreign policy agencies. It permeates the rhetoric and thinking of Republicans and Democrats alike. It is the reason Americans can think that history has an ultimate solution, and that the United States is meant to provide it.
Been exchanging a few e-mails this last day or so with a Pollyanna-ish comrade -- well, Pollyanna-ish compared to me, anyway. A propos the recent Secret Police Enablement Act, passed with the usual indispensable Democratic assistance, my correspondent observed, "Even on this wiretapping bill, Dems voted overwhelmingly against."The analytic problem, as well as the nature of the differences between the parties, are further explained in these reflections from Chris Floyd:
This remark reveals, I think, a really substantial error in how people think about parties. It's as if they believed the party could be characterized by taking some sort of arithmetic sum or average of the opinions of the people who comprise it.
But this ignores the fact that the party is an institution with a structure, with mechanisms of operation and levers of power -- levers which are in some hands and not others.
Among Democrats, it's the aisle-crossers who control the party as an institution. They're like the tiller on a boat -- an inch this way or that, and you've tacked. Or gybed, as the case may be.
It's true that if you average up the (expressed) views of Democratic and Republican officeholders you end up with two different-sounding songs. But all the Bernie Sanderses and Dennis Kucinich-es and Ted Kennedys etc ad soporem are in effect lashed to a chariot whose reins are firmly in the hands of the Lantoses and Liebermans. So the ineffectual enlightenment of the former is worse than useless -- it's an actual snare and delusion, like the sweet nectar that draws the poor fly into the flytrap.
I like to think of the two parties as being a lot like McDonald's and Burger King. In practice, they're marketing the same thing, but they're going after slightly different demographics and have slightly different marketing and branding strategies, and slightly different Secret Sauces to mask the rancid flavor of the same low-grade beef.
I would like to apologize to the leaders of the Democratic Party for implying in my previous post that they are political cowards. I confess that I was carried away, rhetorically, in the heat of the moment, and was completely mistaken in ascribing their actions on the recent warrantless wiretapping bill to "spineless acquiescence" to the Bush Administration's authoritarian proclivities.Two aspects of Chris's remarks deserve further comment.
As one of Empire Burlesque's readers pointed out, that phrase was inconsistent with the rest of the piece, for it implied that the Democratic elite were actually opposed to the essence of Bush's authoritarian/corporatist/militarist agenda, and were somehow acting against their will in surrendering to Bush time and again during the past six years. As the reader noted, drawing on Arthur Silber's analysis ... the Democrats "are not spineless or weak. Nobody pushes them to do what they don't want (no matter how much the Digbys would like to explain away their actions that way.). They're completely corrupt and fully, volitionally complicit." The reader also pointed me to a comment they'd left on Glenn Greenwald's takedown of the vote: "It doesn't take any courage to do what you want to do. Just the opposite. They WANT all these things, but can hardly reveal that to their often sincere but easy-to-dupe followers, so they hide behind the 'we were threatened, Bush made us do it, we're spineless, and we don't want to look weak,' meme. They cop a plea to the lesser charge but the truth is, tragically, far more dark."
I think that's exactly right. They cop to cowardice to cover up complicity. As I said in the previous post, the Democratic elite are spawned by the same corrupt system that produces the Republican leadership. They serve, essentially, the same interests. Because no human organization is a complete monolith, there are of course differences in emphasis, different approaches to policy, different constituencies to be served (or snowed) etc. between the two parties. And it may well be, as Noam Chomsky noted before the 2004 election, that even minute mitigations in the operation of vast power structures can translate into real benefits for many ordinary people, simply due to the scale on which such structures operate. For example, it is almost certain that no Democratic administration would have cut off aid to women's health clinics around the world as the Bush Administration has done -- a heinous act that has resulted in death and suffering for untold thousands of the world's most vulnerable people. That is no small thing.
But the fact that one mafia boss gives groceries to Grandma while another one steals her blind and leaves her out on the street doesn't change the fact that both bosses are part of the same criminal system, operating on the same principles of violence, extortion, arbitrary rule and lawlessness.
We're doing what this government has done for over a hundred years. We start wars of aggression to establish American dominance around the world. We began that policy in the 1890s, and we've never stopped. Sometimes we do it through covert operations, and by toppling regimes that won't do as we demand. Sometimes we simply invade and bomb them.And what's the answer from almost all of you, and from almost all Americans?
And we've used torture as a standard means of warfare for decades. We just used to hide it better, and we had better PR about how we weren't "really like that." Some of you even said you wanted torture to be brought out "into the open." So we did that.
Beginning with Woodrow Wilson and even before that, the ruling class has wanted a powerful police state here at home. We never made any secret about it, but we covered it up with flowery talk and nice phrases.
We decided to do away with all the camouflage. We recognized what the actual aims had been all along and we agreed with them, so we decided to bring it all out into the open. We didn't want to waste time with all those nice speeches that make people feel better about themselves. Oh, sure, we still do that to some extent. We have to, because you're not willing to face the truth about what we've been doing around the world for 60 years and more, and what we do today.
But we stripped away a lot of the delusions. We knew no one would stop us -- because this what you've wanted all along, and it's what you want now. You like making the rest of the world do what we tell them. You enjoy it. And whenever you have the slightest excuse for it, real or imagined, wide scale murder doesn't bother you in the least.
You like it. It's what you want. If it isn't, why don't you stop us? You could, you know. If enough of you made your objections known in ways that mattered, we'd have to stop. We're not worried, because we know you won't.
But go ahead. Try to stop us. Try to stop this war and the wars to come, and the mass slaughter, and the growing authoritarianism. Aren't you going to at least try? Aren't you?
Go ahead. We dare you.
There?s just something painful about watching desperate people lash out wildly. Two weeks ago, Republican supporters of Bush?s Iraq policy decided that the single most important issue in the country was a newspaper ad from MoveOn.org.By all appearances, Republicans would love to keep MoveOn?s ad on the front-burner indefinitely, but the fickle political world can [...]
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