Monday, February 19, 2007

Iraq War: Mission Accomplished!

The Iraq War is over. Saddam is dead. There were no WMDs. Mission accomplished.

It is not our responsibility to militarily negotiate the outcome of a civil war. That would be outside the purview that Congress had established for our involvement in Iraq. Certainly, our politicians can understand that a conditiion for "victory" would presuppose that we have won the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. I don't believe that can be accomplished at the end of a barrel of a gun. That conversion methodology would more accurately qualify as "duress", wouldn't you agree?

At last report, 80% of all Iraqis and close to 70% of all Americans want us to disengage from what has become a tragic quagmire. Isn't that message strong enough? Republicans, do what's right and good for America: Leave Iraq.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bush Commitment in Iraq "Open Ended"

In Bush's press conference of today, he was asked if his commitment in Iraq was open ended. In reply, he said no, that it wasn't but clarified what constituted the conditions for victory in Iraq. In answering this question, he said that Iraq would have to be relatively free of violence, stable, and not a safe harbor for Al Qaeda or terrorists from abroad. This, of course, yields a largely "open-ended" result because none of this will be accomplished in the short term. He also volunteered while attempting to explain the extent of our involvement by saying that victory in Iraq will not be one where we formally sign a peace treaty between warring parties. In other words, this is effectively tantamount to the presently unbounded "war on terror" in which we are now engaged, ostensibly for an indefinite period of time. Given that we have already constructed thirteen military bases in Iraq, it seems rather obvious that the president envisions our military involvement in Iraq on a long-term basis -- decades and not in months or years.

If I were to extrapolate, it would appear that Pres. Bush's idea of prosecuting the war on terror involves establishing a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq from which future military projections can be made to various trouble spots throughout the region. This is pure speculation on my part, but when I hear both the president and other Republican leaders say, "Well, would you rather fight them here in the U.S.?", it would logically lead one to believe that no, they would rather fight them over "there" by forcing them to confront us "there" and not "here". However, such reasoning assumes that they (the terrorists) can't chew gum and walk at the same time. In other words, what would stop the terrorists from launching terrorist acts in the U.S. while also attacking our forces in Iraq? The answer is "nothing".

Isn't it ironic that in his rush to invade Iraq, Pres. Bush created the conditions or the basis by which chaos ensued in Iraq, thereby enabling the terrorists to attract large numbers of new recruits while simultaneously establishing a foothold of their own where none had existed before. If that doesn't constitute a catastrophic failure, what does? President Bush has effectively become the most successful recruitment poster figure for Al Qaeda and other haters of America.

Congratulations, Mr. President. Helluva job.

GOP Blames Dems For "Status Quo" On Iraq

The Republicans are desperately trying to get the Iraqi monkey off their back and onto the Democrats. However, none of their ploys will work because everyone knows that it was the Republicans who pushed hard for this war, rubber-stamping everything that Bush wanted to do and did, and without any of the oversight that is customary for such significant sacrifices of life and treasure. And, of course, we all also know that it was a Republican administration that doctored and fabricated the evidence to support the invasion of Iraq.

So, Republicans, there is nothing you can do to detract from the central fact that YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MESS WE ARE IN. It's high time that you and your administration be held clearly accountable for your misleadership, mismanagement and gross dereliction of duty. So, stop this silly nonsense of trying to "cut and run" from your responsibility. It just won't work.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bush Quote: "I Made A Name By Being Compassionate."

In a recent interview on CSPAN, I heard President Bush say: "I made a name by being compassionate." I immediately thought to myself, "What?! Are you kidding me?! He really is delusional.."

This whole Republican idea of "compassionate conservatism" has turned out to be nothing but an empty campaign slogan. Remember, it was George HW Bush (#41) that coined that phrase when he ran against Clinton in '92. To me, it has proven to be just a cynical, calculated attempt on the part of Republicans to "soften their image" in hopes of garnering more votes. It's just another shallow example of the Bush administration's use of positive sounding words and phrases to sway public opinion, as though it's somehow sufficient for the public to simply hear the words spoken without the need for an equivalent or corresponding action that would yield the results that the words imply. The Bush /Cheney regime seems to have embraced an Orwellian approach to politics.

In this vein, another example of their Orwellian approach to government is their tendency to name their legislative proposals with positive sounding phrases that reasonable people would readily embrace or accept on the surface. For example, Bush's "Blue Skies Initiative" has a very appealing title, wouldn't you agree? I mean, how many of us would be against "blue skies". It readily evokes images of pure, clean, fresh air and a pristine environment. But the truth about this legislation is that it was a calculated and cynical attempt by the Bush administration to reverse years of environmental progress made during the Clinton-Gore years. And, of course, let's not forget to mention the most obvious example of them all: "The Patriot Act". Need I say more?

So in the final analysis, the positive phrases that they use have no actual correspondence whatsoever to the final results or the intended impact. In fact, the actual results often are the complete reverse of what one would naturally think to be the desired result. Again, they're just cynically designed to give people the surface impression that good works are being done on their behalf when in actuality just the opposite is the case. (Tony Snow, with a straight face, said in a recent press conference that Bush has a good record on environmental issues. I almost puked when I heard that one.)

So, to me, the Bush administration has been anything but "compassionate". They've been a deceitful, hateful, fear-mongering, heartless bunch of subhumanoids whose primary efforts have been designed to concentrate wealth and power at the very top while savaging the middle class through outsourcing, globalization and ridiculous trade policies.

At this point, I wouldn't be all that surprised to learn that a majority of compassionate conservative Republicans would endorse decaptitation as a remedy for those headache sufferers who can't afford health insurance. Hopefully, I'll never hear the words "compassionate conservative" again. The two just don't seem to mix.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Global Warming: The Time For Immediate Action Is Now

Earth In The Balance
Richard Nixon was praised in the early 70s for having the vision to start the Environmental Protection Agency. It was viewed optimistically as an acknowledgement that industrial societies must be sensitive to the environmental imbalances and damage that is wrought from modern industrial processes.

Unfortunately, the early efforts to draw attention to environmental pollution remained largely symbolic as American industry reneged on its social responsibility to rectify and reverse the damage done by virtue of its normal industrial operations.

Given this reluctance and irresponsibility on the part of American industry, the world now stands at the brink of an irreversible trend towards global suicide. How can Americans, or for that matter, the world, embrace industrialization if we know that to embrace it is to accept suicide -- on a global scale. It is utterly insane for industrial societies to continue in this course that leads to a dead-end. To be sure, the future of humanity, and the earth, lies in the balance.

It is high time for political forces to muster the vision and the courage to confront industry and demand, through legislation, that urgent and corrective measures be taken immediately to reverse that which will ultimately kill us all. There is simply no more time for delays or postponements. Clearly the time is now.

Unless industry reforms itself in environmentally friendly ways, there is no future for the industrial revolution. The world should, in the absence of reform, reject industrialization out of hand. It should realistically be seen as a metaphor for the individual hooked on cigarettes -- it will kill him.

How can we possibly raise our children in good faith to believe that industry and science are beneficial to society when we are confronted by our ultimate demise through its embrace?

We need a radical and unparalleled world effort to uncover, discover and implement solutions for our industrial ills. In this effort, hopefully science will play an essential role. For absent an environmental healing, we will continue to look into an increasingly darkening mirror that portends no real hope for the future of humanity and the earth.