Thursday, November 17, 2005

Burlington Area Progressives

Bu$h et al think it's irresponsible for Americans to want to know how they used the intelligence leading up to the war on Iraq, as was promised. Me thinks they doth protest too much.

People forget that there were WMD inspectors on the ground in Iraq for several months before the invasion and they weren't find anything (despite bu$h's later statement that Saddam wouldn't let the inspectors in and so we had to invade, which is a lie). If Rumsfeldt knew exactly where the WMDS were as he stated presumably he would have directed the inspectors to those locations. But since they were cooking the intelligence to get the war they wanted from day one of this administration and before, they couldn't do that because the inspectors would have found nothing, harming their hidden agenda.

Similarly, when Powell went to the UN, two of his most compelling points were the aerial photographs of the mobile chemical weapons trailers and the terrorist training camp in northeastern Iraq. The WMD trailers were described as being in central Iraq. Everybody knows we had total aerial dominance. So why would these photographed trailers not be traced and why weren't the weapons inspectors directed to their locations? The answer is obvious. The trailers turned out to be producing hydrogen for weather balloons despite the artist renderings that Powell produced at the time. Hardly cause to justify their war.

Furthermore the location of the terrorist training camp in northeastern Iraq was beyond Saddam's control in the independent Kurdish north. So the administration's use of this camp to link Saddam to his Al Qiada enemies is another obvious cooked intel lie. By the way, since the Kurds were our allies and we had aerial dominance of the entire country, it begs the question of why was this terrorist camp allowed to remain operating unmolested when we could have easily taken it out.

And these are just small pieces of a string of lies and misinformation that betrayed the trust of the American people and violated the democratic principle of informed consent. Their lies are coming home to roost. Reality can be denied only so long. They're starting to get a little of what they deserve. It's such a same that so many others have paid so high a cost for their crimes.

It's a shame. If people and the press would only have been paying better attention at that time and engaging their skepticism and critical thinking skills, we might have avoided this cooked up disaster, instead of waiting until now to wake up see the truth. Unfortunately, ignorance/apathy, which are two sides of the same coin, is by far the greatest problem facing our democracy and the root cause of most, if not all of the other problems we're facing.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Getting to the bottom of torture

One more thought to those GOP senators who want to get to the bottom of leaks:

It is vastly more important to put an end to torture in the name of the United States (and find out who's at the bottom/top of that policy) than it is to be concerned with who leaked the existence of the CIA's European hostile-hostels.

Save your rage for those who deserve it--the ones who've undermined what America's stood for far longer than the Republican Revolution.....

Steven Schend

On the elections this week

Listening to the morning natter on the radio driving in today and I came to this conclusion: It was not a victory for the Democrats so much as a failure by the Republicans.

If the Democratic Party lauds itself on the governors' wins in NJ and VA, they're kidding themselves. They were not an organized concern that helped defeat the GOP contenders. What happened on Thursday was two things: A) the voters are fed up with business as usual under the GOP, and B) The GOP failed to do its usual fear tactics to scare people into voting for them.

Me, I'm just glad that Kilgore in Virginia didn't get in, after sending out bogus Democratic/Progressive voting packets (paid for directly by his campaign committee) that urged voters to vote for the independent candidate, not Tim Kaine. Sigh....

If the Dems start thinking they're going to have an easy time taking back the Congress at mid-terms, they're only fooling themselves. They can take advantage of the weakening of the GOP bulwarks, as dissension among the ranks has started to show the GOP as three true parties--the fiscal, social, and religious conservatives--none of whom really agree with the others but have lock-stepped together for years in their mutual hatred of the Clintons.

Me, I just wish the Democrats could find a way to A) produce a consistent message, as opposed to the poll-driven mush-mouthed pablum they've spouted in hopes of never offending or challenging anyone; B) be the opposition party they should've been the past 5 years (and only Harry Reid, Russ Feingold, and scarce others really step up to the plate there); and C) realize they're not going to take the White House in 2008 unless they nominate a governor or someone who never had to vote on going to war in Iraq.

Anyone who gets up now in opposition to the war because it's now popular to be so is doomed by hypocrisy, and I don't care to hear the rationalizations. If you voted for it, you can't claim to have always been against it. And you undermine yourself even more if you whine about how the administration deceived you with bad intel; YOU are responsible for putting such power in their hands because YOU didn't do your job and investigate or even question the rightness of the actions. You ate up the trough of fear they fixed for you, and we're all paying for that.

If the Congress is starting to rethink the fixing of intel and how we got into Iraq, when's anyone other than Feingold really going to start asking the same questions on whether or not we were rooked into other bad decisions like the hypocritically named Patriot Act?

Steven Schend