March 24, 2006

Mendacity and stupidity

Here's another on-the-money editorial by The New York Observer's Joe Conason, about the just-passed "unhappy anniversary" of our unwarranted invasion of Iraq, and the outright glee of the war's supporters three years ago. Mr. Conason notes:
After three years, tens of thousands of lost and ruined lives, hundreds of billions of squandered dollars and incalculable damage to the respect for America around the world, it is strange to look back on the earliest days of the war in Iraq. [I]t is worth recalling the triumphal mood of that moment, and how the neoconservative ideologues celebrated the successful culmination of their campaign for war.

Holding the authors of the war accountable for their mendacity and stupidity is imperative - in hope that their advice will be ignored in the dangerous days to come.
Sadly, there seems to be little hope that such a reckoning will come to pass, despite the heroic efforts of individuals such as Messrs. Feingold and Conyers in Washington. Even now, the so-called "liberal" media continues to be anything but, simply regurgitating the President's current blitz of disingenuous, feel-good rhetoric about the "noble cause" in Iraq as hard news, without significant challenge or dismissal of his continued lies for the propaganda they so clearly are.

As I've written before, the inexcusable incursion into Iraq by this Administration is one of the most shameful events in American history, and promises to be a terrible problem for at least one generation to come. After years of selling the fairy tale that "victory" was just around the corner, Bush himself has finally admitted that our unwanted presence down Baghdad way will certainly continue well after he has comfortably (i.e. without personal sacrifice, culpability, or consequence) left office, supported and protected at taxpayer expense in reward for his "service" to the nation.

And, as in so many other documented instances throughout his past, the mess that Georgie has so irresponsibly made will simply be left to be cleaned up by others.

I lamented three weeks ago:
How can we ever expect to make this right? How can we ever explain the things America has done to a nation that had not harmed us, posed no threat to us, gave no aid to those who had attacked us? Through the remaining years of my life, chances are that I will meet people of other nations who will know, simply by my age, that I am of the generation that allowed its leaders to arbitrarily destroy a Middle Eastern country on a delusional whim. It is a stain, a stigma, that every adult American must bear for the deceitful, deplorable actions of those who govern us.
Many are contending that a continued examination of the intentional deceptions that propelled the U.S. into Iraq serve no purpose. After all, they claim, we're there now, whatever the reasons, and we must focus on the situation at hand. To some practical extent, that reasoning is true.

But in a much larger sense, a full investigation into the campaign of deceit and self-delusion waged by this Administration and its Congressional backers in their race to war could not be more important. Unless a miracle occurs, we face another 34 months with these same individuals calling the shots, not only as regards our plan for Iraq, but also the full range of domestic and foreign policies these incompetents will try to implement before their shift mercifully comes to a close.

The calculated pattern of conduct exhibited by these "leaders" from the very moment they assumed office speaks directly to the character of those on whose judgment we are forced to rely. If the architects of this national shame are allowed to escape unpunished for their reprehensible stupidity, a stupidity which has bankrupted our economy, left America more vulnerable to actual terrorist attack, severely damaged U.S. credibility around the globe, and killed tens of thousands of American, Afghani, and Iraqi sons and daughters, then what does that say about our character as a nation of law, as a benevolent democracy, as a just and honest people? Mr. Conason concludes:
As the intellectual cheerleaders for war, the neoconservatives knew perfectly well that there were many reasons to doubt the existence of Saddam's fearsome arsenal and to doubt the rosy scenarios for a postwar Iraq. They angrily dismissed those doubts and beat the war drums louder.

Proven wrong on every count, they insist those arguments no longer matter, but they're wrong about that too.
It's well past time for the calumny of the warmongers in Washington to be examined and exposed for what it is - and has always been. To do any less is to acquiesce to three more years of business as usual. And that, we simply cannot afford to do.

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March 23, 2006

More interesting reads...


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The right thing to do

Be sure and check out these two blurbs at Crooks and Liars about, respectively, Russ Feingold's appearance on last night's Daily Show, and the new GOP attack ad against the Gentleman from Wisconsin.

And for God's sake, America, contact your Senators - or all the Senators for that matter - and demand that they support Feingold's call for Censure. Democrats in particular should be ashamed that they haven't immediately and unanimously supported this simple call for Presidential responsibility.

I don't care what the naysayers are naysaying. This is not a partisan stunt. It is not a sign of treason. It is not an act undermining the "war effort." It is not "going too far in an election year" - in fact, as I've stated before, it doesn't necessarily go far enough.

But it's an absolutely essential start.

The issue here is simple and straightforward. Is the Executive branch above the law? Is the President of the United States accountable for his arbitrary dismissal of rules and regulations? Is George W. Bush an elected official or a monarch?

I don't want to hear any more about "bad political timing" and "doomed to failure" and "we don't want to upset the undecideds in November." Poll numbers be damned - the Motion for Censure is simply The. Right. Thing. To. Do.

If we value what's left of our democracy, we'll raise a fervent cry to our Washington representatives that they stand up and actually represent. The President's job is to protect the Constitution and the laws of the United States. If he's allowed to escape even an official (and largely symbolic) reprimand when he has betrayed that oath, then just what kind of a nation are we allegedly fighting to protect?

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March 20, 2006

Tragic anniversary

First of all, apologies to my regular readers for what seems like an interminable absence from this site. The creative project that's been so all-consuming for me (115 hours over the past 7 days!) has left little time for any intelligent commentary on what, I'm sad to say, is the still unchanged duplicity, hypocrisy, and incompetence of our elected officials in Washington.

In that sense, come to think of it, the near-total distraction of work has probably kept my rational mind from exploding.

But I'd be remiss if I didn't weigh in, at least briefly, on the official passing of the PNAC's egregious folly in Iraq into its fourth inexcusable year. Above all, this is a tragic anniversary, the remembrance of that precise moment when our President's cowboy swagger and defiant ignorance started the U.S. on a terrible path from which there now appears to be no escape. This is an anniversary that will forever be borne as a stain on our national character, for it is our nation as a whole that empowered the Bush Administration to commit these horrific, precedent-setting acts of international terror in our good name - and to refer to this as "progress," "justice," and "spreadin' democracy and freedom" without effective challenge, correction, or consequence.

If this tragic anniversary motivates us to do anything, it should forcefully remind us of the shameful things our country has come to represent around the globe, thanks to the witless and belligerent and unforgivable stewardship of Bush and Company these last three years:
In the name of rejecting attacks on innocent civilian targets by fanatical foreign forces, we've invaded a sovereign nation that posed no threat to America, over fabricated charges.

In the name of avenging the deaths of 3000 U.S. citizens, we've killed tens of thousands of Afghani and Iraqi non-combatants.

In the name of containing and eliminating weapons of mass destruction, we've used chemical (phosphorus bombs) and nuclear (depleted uranium shells) weapons against enemies we ourselves have created.

In the name of fighting acts of random terrorism, we've physically destroyed a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11, while allowing the masterminds of that attack to escape unpunished.

In the name of upholding fundamental human rights, we've engaged in torture, extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention, suspension of habeas corpus, and the murder of unarmed prisoners.

In the name of revering peace, we've started an unnecessary - and endless - war.
Even now, instead of hunkering down and working to find solutions to the Iraqi situation, the President and his minions are flitting from city to city around the U.S., delivering the same worn and tired litany of spin and lies and misdirections about the nobility of our "cause," and how it's all been "worth it" for the good of the world. Instead of admitting to his mistakes, his deceptions, his utter ineptness, Mr. Bush continues to insist that "staying the course" was and is the right thing to do.

Instead of simply and responsibly doing his goddamn job, the worst Chief Executive in America's history is on the road selling a PR campaign, designed to do nothing other than raise his dismal poll numbers.

So we should all mark this tragic anniversary, and accurately remember all the things our unjustified invasion of Iraq represents, about our leaders, about our global policies, about our very soul as a nation. And we should vow, on this date, as a people, to never allow such a terrible betrayal of all things American to happen again.

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