Wednesday, September 10, 2003
"For 87 billion bucks, the least we deserve is some candor." --Molly Ivins
"My relationship to power and authority is that I'm all for it. People need somebody to watch over them. Ninety-five percent of the people in the world need to be told what to do and how to behave." --Arnold Schwarzenegger
This is what we mean when we talk about family values here. This guy's father joined up with Hitler's stormtroopers soon after their murderous rampage against Jews. Somebody with that family background had better bend over backwards to distinguish himself from Nazi values. Arnold, unfortunately, *seems* to fit right in.
George W. Bush -- the W. stands for Herbert Hoover.
Democrats in Congress are right to force Bush to tell the truth about Iraq when he begs them for money. They should make Bush come up with the money out of his tax cuts for the Republican super-rich. The grandchildren of people who work for a living shouldn't have to pay for Bush's miserable failures.
Similarly, the Europeans are right to demand that we fix Iraq if we beg them to put *their* children and money on the line. Bush has screwed up so badly it's going to be outrageously expensive and dangerous to fix Iraq, but the sooner we start doing the right things, the cheaper and less bloody it will be. As Bush himself said, the debacle in Iraq is too serious for the rest of the world to stand by while the US wrecks things even more.
We know what to do. Put the UN in charge of the economic and social transition. Send this bozo, Bremer, back to some Republican crony-job where "success" is defined by saying what other Republican cronies want to hear. Turn the lights and water on. Put 200,000+ more troops in, from all over the world. Let the American troops hide in their bases the way they have been, and only use them when there's a battle to fight. Cancel privatization in Iraq. Cancel the Halliburton contracts. Put the Iraqis to work. Five billion dollargs would hire a million or more Iraqis to work full time. They would spend the money in Iraq, creating many more jobs.
Once people in Iraq understand they are no longer a US colony, and once they feel safe when they walk on the streets, the Baathists and terrorists will be routed, and regular people will stop taking potshots at the UN/NATO/US forces. We know, because we've done this before. Of course it's much harder this time, because Bush failed so miserably.
The key is expectations. You don't have to *solve* every problem, you just have to prove that you are on the right track. Then the violence goes away, and you can build up the society. But if you let things get too bad, you can't put them back together again. The first Bush could have prevented all of the Yugoslav wars for almost no cost at all. By the time Bush had helped destroy Yugoslavia, it was much harder to stop the violence. The legacy of the first Bush's malice continues today. We need to abort the current Bush's malfeasance in Iraq -- immediately.
Chris Floyd [counterpunch.com]: 'Zubaydah, captured by the Americans last year, confirmed that Saudi royals began paying off bin Laden in 1991. Young Osama, victoriously returned from the CIA-backed jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan, was feeling his fundamentalist oats, and wanted to take up arms against the demonic secularist Saddam, after the latter's invasion of Kuwait. But the Saudi royals preferred to bring in the hired muscle of their long-time business partner, George H.W. Bush. When Osama threw a fit over the presence of American "infidels" on holy ground, the royals told him he could go kill Americans if he wanted to--as long as he kept his jihadi hobby outside the confines of the kingdom. They bought his compliance with copious amounts of petrodollars--most of them supplied, ironically enough, by the oil-addicted denizens of the United States.
'Zubaydah, under torture (yes, we know, Americans never torture people--and they don't launch unprovoked wars of aggression, either), gave up names, dates, even telephone numbers of al Qaeda's enablers in the Saudi royal family and Pakistani military. True, the wily terrorist operative might have been lying. But shortly after Zubaydah spilled these red-hot beans, all three Saudi princes he had named turned up dead--within a single week, in June 2002. One died in a car crash, one reportedly had a heart attack, and the third wealthy prince somehow "died of thirst" in the Saudi desert. The following week, the top Pakistani official fingered by Zubaydah was also killed, along with his family, when his airplane suddenly fell out of a clear blue sky. Of course, this could just be coincidence--after all, planes fall, cars crash, hearts fail and multimillionaires die of thirst in the desert every day, right? Still, it looks as if Zub's canary-like warbling might have struck a nerve somewhere out there.'
New slang for outrageous lie: "Bush-shit".
Dean made his mark opposing the war, which was a fine thing to do.
Now he attacks Democrats in Congress because of their votes on the war. Cheapshot. Dean wasn't there, and didn't have to make the decision.
The good news about Dean's use of the cheapshot is that it provides a Rove-like hurdle to other candidates. If they can't overcome Dean's pale imitation of Rove, they don't deserve the nomination.
The answer is that the vote on Iraq was entirely successful, and accomplished what the world needed -- Iraq accepted intrusive weapons inspections, and finally started to reveal the answer to the big question, which is that they had destroyed their large-scale stocks of biological and chemical weapons and material.
Bizarrely, Iraq was *not* a threat, but it was *pretending* to be a threat.
Democrats in Congress should stomp on Dean for his cheapshot, make the case that *they* did their job last October, and the problem was that American democracy puts the executive branch in charge of ordering the actual attack.
Dean's attacks on Democrats in Congress are out of line, but thank goodness he is making them. We'll see if any of the other candidates have the stuff to put down a Rove-ian cheapshot.
(Note: like many rants on this website, I don't necessarily believe the above, 100%. Having named the site "licentious", I take the responsibility seriously, so I tend to avoid conservativism in argument. It's a perspective, and an attempt to articulate an argument. I would say the failure of Democrats wasn't so much that they voted for the war, as that they voted for the war in the forlorn hope that they could focus on the economy in the election. Of *course* Rove kept the focus on the war. And the Democrats lost bigtime, though they would have come through OK except for the mysterious deaths in plane crashes of two Democratic Senators.)
After all, where was Howard Dean when we were marching in the streets opposing the war? Was he the public face of opposition? No, he's a follower, not a leader. He's a year late, campaigning on a platform of what he should have said a year ago. His big boast is that he had a budget surplus during the Clinton economic boom. That's like boasting that the sun came up *every* day while you were governor. Providing better health care is truly a fine accomplishment, but the fact that he did it in *Vermont* during the Clinton boom points out that Dean is not particularly qualified to be president -- if he had done that in Texas or California or Louisiana while Bush wrecked the economy, *that* would have been impressive. We don't need a nominee who thinks that because he did something in Vermont that he can come to Washington DC and win just as easily. "Welcome to the NFL," they say. Clinton screwed up bigtime on health insurance, and we are paying cash for his failure every month.
Other Democratic candidates should realize that the attack on their Iraq vote is *very* serious, and they must respond effectively.
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Last update: 10/1/03; 10:22:16 AM.