Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 22, 2004

Open Thread

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Posted by b on October 22, 2004 at 14:51 UTC | Permalink

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Can anybody debunk

this story which has been floating around for
a year or so?

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 22 2004 15:08 utc | 1

Fran pointed to the series in the older open thread - best read for today:
The Baghdad Blogger goes to Washington

Salam Pax in DC - day one to day seven - he is funny and thoughtful

Posted by: b | Oct 22 2004 16:16 utc | 2

Bye bye Pensions

US President George Bush's administration has weathered a pre-election mauling by announcing emergency measures to skirt a $7.38-trillion debt limit.

Treasury Secretary John Snow said he would use pension money to keep the government running.

In a letter to US Senate majority leader Bill Frist on Thursday, Snow said he was immediately suspending payments to a federal employees' retirement scheme, the Government Securities Investment Fund (G-Fund).

The missing money would be repaid in full later, with no net effect on the fund or retirees, he promised.

The treasury secretary said he was forced to take the emergency accounting step because congress had not acted on his 2 August request for the government's legal debt limit to be raised.

Any move by congress to raise the debt limit could be politically embarrassing.

Democrats pounced on the news as evidence of fiscal mismanagement by the administration, less than three weeks before Bush faces Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry in the 2 November presidential election.

"George Bush continues to make history for all the wrong reasons: He's the first president to go without creating a new job since the Great Depression and now he's run up more debt in [a] shorter period of time than all the presidents combined in the 200 years from Washington through Reagan," said Kerry campaign spokesman Phil Singer.

"On top of that, this is the third time he's broken his promise not to raise the debt ceiling. His fiscal mismanagement is taking its toll on America and it's time for a fresh start," he said in a statement.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 22 2004 18:10 utc | 3

http://context.themoscowtimes.com/index.php?aid=131199>Chris Floyd on "Pin Heads"

OK, Chris is a ranter (a pretty good ranter at times) and I'm obviously a bit tetchy about totalitarian Statists and such like control-freaks. but this is the Nth (where N is < 10 but > 5) little flash of the Dominionist thread I've seen in as many days, so the story keeps popping up and irritating me.

To whatever extent this story is substantiated, it's scary as hell. Time to do some research (sigh) on the "CRA 2004".

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 22 2004 18:13 utc | 4

Has Chris Floyd been reading MOA recently?

Posted by: b real | Oct 22 2004 18:14 utc | 5

ha. I hesitated too long by taking out a comment that Cloned Poster was slacking on posting the Floyd link first...

Posted by: b real | Oct 22 2004 18:17 utc | 6

b real

"Again, this is no tiny band of cranks meeting in some basement in Alabama....."

Excellent!

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 22 2004 18:19 utc | 7

Bernhard

I have you have to credit the Moscow Times with this quote and put it as an endorsement on the Homepage.

Still laughing.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 22 2004 18:23 utc | 8

@b real

well you know what they say about great minds ;-)

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 22 2004 18:23 utc | 9

@Hannah KO, I have heard this persistent rumour also (that a covert US mission to plant WMDs or WMD "evidence" was hit by friendly fire and ended as a fiasco). I doubt we will ever get first-person testimony on this one -- the whistleblower, though persuasive, is still only citing hearsay, alleged oral testimony from third parties. for a really solid substantiation you need a whistleblower who participated in either execution or planning -- or documents.

I'm not saying it's an unbelievable story. given the frequently lunatic and criminal schemes floated by the spook factories (poisoned cigars, op northwoods, and the like) it is wholly believable that a plant operation could have been proposed and even attempted. it's not like cops, fibbies, and spooks have never been known to plant evidence. and given the potent mixture of chaos and incompetence that haunts all war zones it is quite believable that a covert US mission (possibly instructed to maintain radio silence or fly false colours) could be whacked in an own-goal by US air or artillery.

but if it was hit hard and was carrying some dirty stuff, there may be no survivors to tell the story; the troops involved in such an op may have had no idea what they were doing or why; and anyone involved in planning or executing such an illegitimate and dismal failure would be highly motivated to keep quiet about it. so unless someone was sloppy/stupid and kept documents (on paper or disk) which get leaked or discovered at some future point, I doubt it will ever be more than a rumour...

actually, in context of the appalling dishonesty, mendacity, greed and incompetence of the whole invasion, one little black op trying to plant evidence to substantiate BushCo's fabrications no longer seems like such a big deal. and that's really sad.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 22 2004 18:35 utc | 10

@DeAnander

LOL - guess we're part of the meme generation

Posted by: b real | Oct 22 2004 18:41 utc | 11

DeAnander, Hannah KO

Does it really matter?

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (IPS) - Three out of four self-described supporters of President George W Bush still believe pre-war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or active programmes to produce them, and that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein gave "substantial support" to al-Qaeda terrorists, according to a survey released Thursday.

Moreover, as many or more Bush supporters hold those beliefs today than they did several months ago, before the publication of a series of well-publicised official government reports that debunked both notions…..

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 22 2004 18:46 utc | 12

[60] The platform of the Republican Party of Texas may be found at: http://


www.4religious-right.info/texas_gop.htm. Here are excerpts: “The Republican Party of Texas reaffirms the United States of America is a Christian Nation ...
 

“1. GOVERNMENT:  We reclaim freedom of religious expression in public on government property, and freedom from government interference. Support government display of Ten Commandments.
 
Dispel the "myth" of the separation of church and state. A strong and vibrant private sector [should be] unencumbered by excessive government regulation. Oppose Campaign Finance Reform. Oppose any form of gun control. Abolish: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Position of Surgeon General; EPA; Department of Energy; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Department of Education; Department of Commerce and Labor; National Endowment for the Arts.
 
“2. ECONOMY:  Abolish the dollar in favor of the gold standard.  Abolish the IRS. Eliminate income tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, capital gains, corporate income tax, payroll tax and property tax. Repeal minimum wage law. ... Gradually phase out Social Security tax for a system of private pensions.
 
“3. UNITED NATIONS:   .. We immediately rescind our membership in, as well as all financial and military contributions to the United Nations." We should " ... evict the United Nations from the United States and eliminate any further participation.
 
“4. FAMILY: We believe that traditional marriage is a legal and moral commitment between a man and a woman. We recognize that the family is the foundational unit of a healthy society and consists of those related by blood, marriage, or adoption. The family is responsible for its own welfare, education, moral training, conduct, and property.
 
     “The practice of sodomy tears at the heart of our society... The party oppose[s] decriminalization of sodomy. Oppose all forms of abortion - even in cases of rape or incest. We unequivocally oppose United States Senate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
 
“5. EDUCATION: We call for the abolition of the U.S. Department of Education and the prohibition of the transfer of any of its functions to any other federal agency.
 
     “Support official prayer in public schools Oppose Early Childhood Development Programs. We support ... a program based upon biblical principles... Terminate bilingual education. Since Secular Humanism is recognized by the United States Supreme Court as a religion ... Secular Humanism should be subjected to the same state and federal laws as any other recognized religions.
 
“6. THE ENVIRONMENT:  Oppose the myth of global warming.  Reaffirm the belief in the fundamental right of an individual to use property without governmental interference. Oppose EPA management of Texas air quality.
 
“7. THE MIDDLE EAST:  ... Jerusalem is the capital of Israel ... therefore, the United States should move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”
 
To read the complete Texas GOP Platform click here to go to a PDF file: more
 


This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fool'in around........

So far this notion of dominionism, as a template, fits very well indeed over
the whole of whats been going down, with particular respect to:

the evolution of the Christian right into a political force

the utilization of the Republican party as the instrument of that force

the history of the neo-conservative movement from Leo Strauss to the present

the influence of Machiavelli on the neo-con movement

the functional synthesis of the Christian right and the neo-cons into a de-facto Dominionism

the philosophic suppositions, the methodology, and the record of fact, to all the above.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 22 2004 19:03 utc | 13

I'm thinking it was in Dilip Hiro's last book that he pointed out that there were missions inside Iraq to plant radio equipment in the sand, prior to the buildup of the March 2003 invasion. Might have been earlier too, to aid flyover recon. Surely it wouldn't have been any more difficult to sneak a couple of those little vials Colin Powell bandied about in there if they really wanted to build the case for wmd. Or at least some more forged documents. One can carry a lot in those black bags.

Earlier this year in one of Seymour Hersh's articles he pointed out that Israeli operatives are training Kurds and conducting recon operations inside Iran. One would think that they would seize these movements as a prime time to set up Iran, esp given the problems generated by the non-appearance of wmd in Iraq.

Posted by: b real | Oct 22 2004 19:12 utc | 14

I recall hearing a brief reality blip on NPR before '00 election - Clinton read then current Texas GOP platform & said "This is fascist." Perhaps Mexico would like Texas back - we get Molly Ivins, they get the rest.

I think it's an error that it hasn't been more widely disseminated that it's the Theocrats that were prime movers/bankers behind deliberately corrupt computerized voting systems. Then perhaps people would understand that it's no accident they leave no trace behind & can be rigged by a chimp in a few mins. Did everyone see the video that Bev Harris made & posted on blackboxvoting.org of the Chimp Fixing the Election? (No Joke.)

Posted by: jj | Oct 22 2004 19:31 utc | 15

pat

read your last post on the other thread with great fury

you support operation iraqi freedom (a disgusting & mendacious appelation) because it exists

you suggest it is more complex than us dullards can comprehend

that what is apparent is not apparent

this is completely self serving

the genocide of 2 million vietnamese, 1 million indonesians, the murder of filipinos, chileans, guatemalians, hondurians, bolivians nicaraguans - is ok - because 'it exists'

your memory is profoundly selective

i lay my cards on the table here - i am an anti imperialist of longstanding - and am not ashamed of that - on the contrary i am proud that i have never comprimised that essential principle

your support for your army, your soldiers is done in the face of an ever increasing programme of terror & murder - carried out by that very same army

you have sd you worked for freedom - against the east germans/russians - as a linguist - what freedom exactly?

are you so proud of your country that you do not see that behind all these terms there are people, real people, real iraquis - people who have as much right to live as you do

who are americans to believe their deaths are loftier than the deaths of others especially those of the third world

i feel a profound disgust with the way you implicitly speak off the 'honour' & the 'integrity' of your army

for me they are no different from the german armies who marched through western & eastern europe - there is no difference to me at all. they were not imperialists either - they just wanted more breathing space - that the other countries soiled with their useless humanity

you suggest that we are a little simple here , that we are dullards, that what is apparent is not apparent - that there is a 'complexity' beyond the consdpiracies that are sometimes suggested here

look, even in your own journals, whether it is the new york review of books, whether it is atlantic, rolling stone, whether it is new yorker of harpers or even vanity fair - article after researched article proves what many say here - that there is a cabal, the cabal has a name & it has faces - & we all know who they are - & they have acted in the most ideological fashion & have taken liberties with your legislative & judical process - this is not metaphysics - the brutal & ugly reality of that is repeated day after day on sites a lot less simple than we are

this cabal - does not have to be in essence a complexity - on the contrary - many of the interventions by your country were done under the 'instinct' that your president says he possesses. the despoilation of latin american politics was not a complex matter it was simply a brutal one

look pat there is enough complexity in the extraordinary lives of ordinary people - we do not need the fucking conspiracy theories - what we are seeing is what it is abuse, gross abuse of power by clique of self chosen ideologue who i wouldn't piss on if they were on fire

they have despoiled your 'democracy' & with great & convincing professionalism. they make a mockery - of freedom, of liberty & especially of equality

alright pat you fought the great game in germany but i wish that you were as informed as another player in that game - john le carré(david cornwall) who from a position not so dissimilar to your today has become through honest interrogation & a real questioning - a doubter of all elites - & yes especially american ones

because he saw what you did in germany, in italy, in france, in greece & in portugal - he was disgusted wioth what was done in the name of 'intelligence' & though your press will spread calumny on this man as being an aged leftist - he is a long, long way from that. he is a decent human being- something i am beginning to doubt that american can understand unless they are in your pockets

you were giving aid to freedom fighters against the old russia & i was giving medical aid to the vietnamese so they could defeat without question your invading armies. we were & are still perhaps on different side of the fence but being on either side of that fence does not discount the need of human decency

you treat your armies as if they were boy scouts incapable of a bad word or a bad action. there are history books pat many many history books & not from my side of the fence - that detail exactly what the actions of your armies have been in the last century

i am angry - i am furious because - you coalesce when it is necessary - the extremists of the resistance - & for me without question the resistance is both honorable & necessary - with the iraqui people. they are a people who created your own culture in many many ways

this grand babylon that is being destroyed brick by brick by the new barbarians. & i don't care what kind of man or women, west point, or the citadel etc etc create - with all their learning - they are barbarians

& that barbarity has behind it the words of richard perle, the words of wolfowitz, the words of kristol, of feith - of rumsfield & cheney - that is a cabal in any persons language

jimmy breslin calls them a cabal & i think he knows exactly what that word means

i hope jérôme i correct & this cabal is defeated on november 2 - nut if not as the vietnamese before them - the iraquis will defeat them on the battleground

this is not personal pat - not at all, this is business

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 22 2004 19:52 utc | 16

9/11 Mom: An Open Letter to George W. Bush
    t r u t h o u t | Letter
    By Donna Marsh O’Connor,Liverpool, NY,
    Mother of Vanessa Lang Langer,
    WTC Tower II, 93rd floor

    Friday 22 October 2004

On the Thirty-third Anniversary of My Daughter’s Birth

    cc: Senator John Kerry

    Sometimes, Mr. Bush, it’s the smallest of details that makes everything click. The smallest of details. Right now, Mr. Bush, I am looking at your watch. It’s an item of clothing accessory and, unlike your other costumes, it is one that is particularly revealing.

    On Halloween my daughter would be thirty-three years old. Her child would be almost three. Seven weeks before her twenty-ninth birthday, Vanessa, four months pregnant, ran from the falling towers of the World Trade Center. She did not make it. Her body, and in it the small body of her unborn child, was pulled from the rubble of the fallen towers on September 24th, just ten feet from an alley between towers IV and V. It is important for me to tell you that she was on the phone to her uptown office five minutes after the first plane hit tower I, explaining how she and others in tower II were "safe."

    Here is what you did regarding specifically the events of that morning: You vacationed before, during and after August 6th, the day you were handed the presidential daily briefing that said very clearly Vanessa Lang Langer and many other Americans were not safe. After the first plane hit tower I, the fact of the PDB did not click in your mind, did not cause you to act, to turn on a television, to contact the Pentagon. You sat so that you did not frighten a group of children. You did not worry about Vanessa’s brothers, or the young children who would certainly be directly affected by that event. You did not, like her fourteen year-old brother, rush from your seat and head for a phone, desperately trying to reach out, to fix, to save. You sat. You said, two weeks to the day before the general election of 2004, that you would protect Americans; that is, according to you, your primary responsibility as Commander-in Chief; no terrorists would get us, no terrorists would attack us (you said this with your arm extended), and I you said and I quote, on your watch. You said this with no sense of irony, no sense, no indication of how that text would sound to those you failed miserably to protect. You never notified officially the airlines, flight schools, persons who lived or worked in our tallest structures. You failed in your watch and on it.

    Help me to understand this, because I was looking so closely at your watch. Five minutes, Mr. Bush. Five minutes. In that five minute space my sons lost a best friend, a future that included a loving sister and her future family. And my daughter lost the only thing in life I ever knew she really wanted. In fact, you stood on September 13th, on the rubble that covered my child’s bones and you began your move to have the war you had been planning since the beginning of your term in office. You, Mr. Bush, used my daughter’s murder to perpetrate the most hideous example of racism with the direst of consequences and you did it standing literally on her bones.

    I am going to be very honest with you, Mr. Bush. I suspect that your culpability does not begin with your failures that day. It may be imprudent to mention this now because evidence is difficult to produce, but I am one of those pragmatists that rely on some basic fundamentals in crime solving. So let me say, when a crime is committed we are to find suspects by exploring motive, by looking at who had most to gain. You did, Mr. Bush, you and your friends at Halliburton and your friends in Saudi Arabia. And you have never answered for this. Don’t you think with all that has happened it would be in order for you to explain all you have come to gain, now and in the future, in terms of both money and power?

    On September 11th, I was in Canada. When I heard the news I was walking in the street, enjoying what was to be the last of the purely beautiful sunny mornings of my life. My cell phone rang. And every second after that call was a mix of panic, dread, calm because this couldn’t be happening, and utter, absolute need to touch my daughter. What would you have done, Mr. Bush? What would your instincts have been? As a parent? I ask this because Senator Kerry during the second debate mentioned you are a “good father.” Are you? Have you made Americans, including your own daughters safer? Let me tell you what I wanted that morning. I wanted to fly to New York, to put my feet on my home soil as fast as humanly possible. I wanted to get to an airport and get home. Not an option for me, Mr. Bush. My husband and I just made it over the border before it closed. And on that morning, when no American citizen was allowed to fly in our airspace, on that morning and the mornings to follow, Americans were grounded. But bin Laden’s family flew. They flew home to Saudi Arabia. Before they were vetted by the F.B.I., by the C.I.A. And worst of all, you never were made to tell the truth about why that was so. I’m sorry, Mr. Bush. I will never understand this. Never. But still: your responsibility was then and is now to explain it. And to explain while that watch of yours leading up to the election is still ticking.

    Right now there is a report from the C.I.A. that names explicitly your administration’s culpability regarding those events. Bipartisan leaders have requested, even demanded that those reports be turned over now to congress. You, according to reports, have refused to allow the C.I.A. to release them, just as you refused to testify under oath before the 9/11 commission. Now, Mr. Bush, release them. Before the election.

    Right now, Mr. Bush, there are wide-spread rumors of vote tampering all over this country. And let me be clear about this: the rumors are that Republicans are benefiting from this tampering. Instead of enumerating our safeties, perhaps you could show some leadership, Mr. Bush, and demand that it stop now. Demand, Mr. Bush, that in this country our right to vote is protected. Because without that, we are not safe. Wouldn’t you agree?

    After the 2000 election, where there were in Florida widespread problems with voting, Mr. Bush, voting in African American communities, you also did nothing. Absolutely nothing. You did nothing to counter the rumors that your brother handed you Florida. Nothing to smooth over what must have felt to African Americans (even if this was just rumor) the painful and the absolute, clear enactment of racial prejudice, not encoded in the ordinary acts of ordinary citizens, but in the very structure of the government that must be protective of all citizens of this country and the world. Why, Mr. Bush, did you fail to go to Florida and demand that these persons’ rights were protected? Or, at the very least, to apologize and guarantee that this would never happen again? What does America mean to you? In August of 2001, the United Nations hosted a conference on racism and Colin Powell, your Secretary of State wanted to attend. You did not allow this because, you said, we don’t have problems with racism in America. Do you see the pattern I am pointing at, here, Mr. Bush? In each case, the problems in this country have been enacted and exacerbated by you and you have attempted to cover them up. How could you do that to Colin Powell? How could you do that to another man?

    When your children are young, Mr. Bush, they are often rebellious. They often admire you, but buck you at the same time. One way a mature parent feels this love is sometimes in the very ways in which your children buck you—by using the very part of your example they most admire. Vanessa confronted me every day of her life, especially on the days when she acted most loving. Parent/child things. The kind of things that all someday are made into family jokes when the child becomes a parent and sees that the very methods of touching and teaching and learning come from actions the parent used without thought. I never had that fully with Vanessa, the day when she consciously, because she was parenting herself, used my methods on another generation. But one day, almost there, Vanessa said to me, “Mom, you always made Christmases at home so beautiful…” and then she said, “And you taught us how not to be racist. You have no idea, Mom, how much racism there is and white people don’t always see it.”

    I cannot tell you in shorthand, Mr. Bush, how important it was that she said those words before I lost her because unless she did, I would always have wondered, was I in any way that mattered a good enough parent to a woman who would die so young. I can tell you some of the methods I used with Vanessa and her brothers, but let me show you what you did that I had to explain and counter with all three of them:

    You refused, when you met face-to-face with James Byrd’s daughter (You remember him, I am sure. He’s the African American man whose head was ripped almost off of his body in Texas by three white men who tied him to their pickup and dragged him along a Texas road.), you refused to sign a hate crimes bill as she begged you, crying. You didn’t even, as Molly Ivins reported, offer her a tissue. In that sense, Mr. Bush, you functioned as a very hostile branch of government, one that we might have predicted would not care if persons of color or persons of the other party were denied the right to vote.

    But then, Mr. Bush, you used this tendency of yours, this refusal to get behind most Americans’ desires to eradicate racism by pretending Osama bin Laden is the embodiment of Saddam Hussein and vice versa. One man equals the other. They are both Arabs. Do you own a globe, Mr. Bush? Do you know where Afghanistan is? Do you know where Iraq is? Have you been there since the war began to examine what you have done to the civilians you were going to protect? Interesting detail (and perhaps a warning from G-d): Vanessa, when she got one of her first jobs, bought me a daily planner with a map on it. The map on this particular piece of canvas has in its center Afghanistan. To the right of this small country is a larger country—Iran and to the right of that—Iraq, also small, even smaller (geographically and metaphorically speaking) of Afghanistan. Just under Iraq, writ very large on my daily planner is Saudi Arabia. You know, Saudi Arabia, Mr. Bush. I know you do because the families of 9/11 who got together to bankrupt terrorism, those people who are bringing suit against the Saudis got no help from your administration. None. Though you should know that a coalition of the willing, including France, Spain, Great Britain and Germany have offered help to the families of 9/11 as they try to connect the events of 9/11 to the real perpetrators. There are connections between the Saudis and the terrorists, the terrorists who, no doubt, now that you have opened up a haven for terrorism in Iraq, are growing in number and resources. How much time do you have left, Mr. Bush? What is on your watch? Am I taking too long?

    What costume will you wear on Vanessa’s birthday this year, Mr. Bush? Will you dress up as the head of the military or a foot soldier of Prince Bandar or Dick Cheney? Will you wear a white sheet with a cone head, Mr. Bush? Will you pretend you’re a plain speaking, Texas cowboy, with your shirt sleeves rolled up, proclaiming happily how safe you’ll keep us as you point to your watch? Will you dress up again as a good Christian? Will you dress up as a Republican? You are, you know, not a Republican. You have shamed Republicans. I know one thing, Mr. Bush: I am going to try very hard not to have you dress up anymore as Commander-in Chief. In more ways than I have articulated here, that costume does not fit you. I am a proud American citizen, Mr. Bush, who is disgusted that you try to portray yourself as patriotic. You have trampled every value of decency America ever held dear.

    Do you believe in G-d, Mr. Bush, really? Really? Because, to me, as a flawed parent, flawed person, flawed citizen, I ask G-d to help me fix my flaws, to forgive me my trespasses. And here’s what I hear Him telling me:

    Don’t let him speak for Me. If you do, it is you who fail to watch over your children. You.

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 22 2004 20:20 utc | 17

RGiap - very moving letter, thks.

Still optimistic, despite all!

Posted by: Jérôme | Oct 22 2004 20:55 utc | 18

Thank you Rgiap, for busting out of the restraints and telling it like it is. Your anger is well-placed and refreshing. Gawd we are prevented here from hearing any of this thru our normal channels. And still it is denied denied denied by so many that anything is out of the ordinary.

Perhaps that is in part because denial has become the norm. Sculpted and basted into the public psyche for many years.

I am sure we are headed for - near the precipice now - for a total meltdown of the faux civilisation that has been built around humanity for the last several hundred years. That is good. It is time. There is no alternative.

But the result of the meltdown can still be shaped by truly great minds and hearts if they are able to see through and resist, overthrow this cabal of reptiles that has us in its grip. It can be done. The ancient knowledge of Native Americans, the Earth People, confirms this.

We are all blessed with the gift that we are here at this time in history to witness and experience this rebirth.

Posted by: rapt | Oct 22 2004 21:20 utc | 19

jérôme

you are my poll at the moment - if you still feel optimistic - i will try to be - though my sickness has had many complications in the last two weeks & i'm not feeling on top of the world - in any sense

but i still cannot believe what we are seeing - day by day in american politics & in their ugly war against the arab nation. some writer in america sd that his chin was alway on the ground - he simply cannot believe scandal after scandal, deception after deception, criminal acts beyond his perception & the american media & public seem to do nothing about it

it's strange but somehow really moving to read these older commentators like breslin or rooney & others - old men & women who are the ones who seem to possess the voice of that soldier who aske joseph mccarthy - "have you any sense of decency, senator"

it will be so strange - if kerry wins - to see just how the monstrous media who have thrown in their lot with bush will try to play another comedic role - their investment & interest has been so locked to the fat of bush - it will be extremely difficult to play another role - that would be credible

all i hope for in a way is that cultures will become less disinterested - that the catastrophic policies of bush have made the necessity of citizens playing their part so important. & france for all its flaws for over twenty years has taught me the meaning of being a citizen & my life - whatever life i have - is the richer for it

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 22 2004 21:38 utc | 20

@GOP church state discussion

Sullivan smells the shit:

THEOCRATS FOR BUSH: Here's a revealing tale about what's happening in the Republican party. It's a story that needs to be followed up. Kudos to Beliefnet for breaking it. The gist:
The Republican National Committee is employing the services of a Texas-based activist who believes the United States is a 'Christian nation' and the separation of church and state is 'a myth.'
David Barton, the founder of an organization called Wallbuilders, was hired by the RNC as a political consultant and has been traveling the country for a year--speaking at about 300 RNC-sponsored lunches for local evangelical pastors. During the lunches, he presents a slide show of American monuments, discusses his view of America’s Christian heritage -- and tells pastors that they are allowed to endorse political candidates from the pulpit.
It gets worse. Barton is on the board of advisers for a Christian Reconstructionist group - people who believe that America should scrap its constitution and go back to Biblical law. When I have described the trend within the GOP as theocratic, I am sometimes criticized for hyperbole. But this is the reality. Barton is the vice-chair of the Texas GOP. Figures.
The last time I have been on business negotiations in the states, 2002, I had several business meetings in Denver. The CEO of that company skipt about 2/3rd of the allocated negotiation time during 3 days because of some church duty. The other folks of that company were always kind of depressed when again a meeting was shortened by this and never dared to excuse or explain it even when asked privatly. They always changed themes when I tried to find out about their opinion on the CEOs behaviour. Those folks were fine, mostly tending progressive, open minded and with international experience.
Something had scared them shitless and I didn´t understand what it was. Later one of the guys told me on a private phone call: "He is a believer, he´s dangerous". I didn´t get it then, but it's creeping up and I am getting cold showers remembering it.

Posted by: b | Oct 22 2004 21:40 utc | 21

rapt

who was it that sd recently "denial is not just a river in egypt"

still steel

deanander - we have an article today in lemonde where it has been revealed that between the dutch intelligence service & the cia - they created from thin air a maoist communist party(marxist-leninist) - that was all smoke & air - this went on for ten years - it was completely a construction of some bored intelligence staff that was like a bad joke that just kept on being retold - it established links with envar hoxha in albania & also with the chinese - the absurdity, the perversity & even the sadness of it seems quite comic when you consider at that level - there is not a lot of difference between them

i think it was wm burroughs who sd - that after a few coktails - the people at the top get a little cynical

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 22 2004 21:44 utc | 22

Giap

Truly powerful words.........

You're the steel in the foundation of our community.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 22 2004 21:55 utc | 23

Rgiap

Where did I say that I support OIF? I said I accept it. I accept a lot of things with which I do not agree, for which I have no argument. When effective movements arise to challenge and change those things, I can choose to give them my support. Regarding OIF and its historical precedents, there is no effective movement. It doesn't exist.

Not a few people - neocons among them, certainly, but also the majority in Congress - advocated the overthrow of Saddam going back to 1996 and yet further to the first Gulf War. What convincing argument would you have presented against it, rgiap? How would you have attempted to persuade these people that Saddam was best left where he is, that under the circumstances regime change orchestrated by the US would not be in the interests of the US? What argument might you present for Iran or Syria?

You preach (or rant) to a choir here at MOA. That's easy. Presenting an objective, persuasive case to those in disagreement - that's different.

The old and enfeebled Left is just picking up the pieces, scratching at the ground, the morning after. That's not a movement, nor an argument. That's a clean-up crew.


Posted by: Pat | Oct 22 2004 22:17 utc | 24

"You preach (or rant) to a choir here at MOA. That's easy. Presenting an objective, persuasive case to those in disagreement - that's different."

It is you who rant Pat........you lost. Accept it and embrace enlightenment.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 22 2004 22:54 utc | 25

pat

firstly, i don't see a choir here - i feel a community of individuals & quite different individuals covering both space & time, careers, ages

secundo, i am not here to convert - my mother sd an evangalist was a person so insecure with their own beliefs that they wanted other people to be insecure with them. i think that my path has been so singular i do not cultivate any communality.

community, yes. communality no

i've had enouugh arguments here to understand - there is a dialectic & i have learnt often from some of the critiques as i hope i have highlighted something that was otherwise in shadow

i've been absolutely clear here about my own ideological imperatives - i do not hide behind any cover - i am proudly an althusserian - & the people i work with here can attest or otherwise to the veracity of that in practice

so when i come - i come to learn (through argument, discourse & for a computer illiterate - the links have a special importance) - when there is an argument i do not shy from it - it is not my nature & i have learnt that from a loving family & a loving community

there is no effective movement? are you kidding me pat! really! may i remind you that in the weeks before the war there were ten million(10,000,000) people who opposed this immoral & unjust war. that movement was worldwide. & the pulse of that movement exists.

in america, simply because it is not on television - does not mean it doesn't exist. there was a half a million at demonstrations at the republican national convention. & that is in itself surprising with the means used to silence & frighten dissent not seen since senator joseph mccarthy

& this movement is made up of multiples in a way that is probably different than those opposed to the vietnam war - & i imagine it goes deeper - much deeper. but in a culture of fear - where ideology is practiced with a baton or a supreme court - i know that people are frightened to express their opposition & while i understand those fears - i pity them & the society that creates them

it was brecht who said in galileo
unhappy is the land without heroes
no, unhappy is the land that needs them

the arguments against regime change is that your country has a long history of supporting bloody tyrants, enemies of democracy, rulers who have treated their own people like shit while receiving the yankee dollar - & all of them will die safe in their beds with blood covering their bodies - ky or thieu in vietnam, marcos in the phillipines, the vicious colonels in greece, the murderer pinochet, the cruel videla, the gangster who have ruled el salvador dragging their people through blood, the antisemites of solidarnoc, the mafia chieftain guileo andreotti & his heir berlusconi & that's just those whose connections are apparent to one & all & even official history.

so i would have sd you have always participated in tyranny & with saddam hussein - you have had a long & profitable relationship - we'll blaackmail him & bully him like we've done with the others - & we'll benefit by keeping iran & syria unstable

iraq & iran are important to americas proper interests - economic & otherwise - but your strategist are no machiavelli & they have made a dog's breakfast of it - they've messed it up for one & all (by the way this opinion is shared on truthout.com by the american conservative foundation (?) libertarians whom i i imagine you share some of your views). they have made such a whorehouse of their strategies - that they're being attacked from everywhere

let me remind you pat - a small islamic sect led by a multimillionaire osama bin laden - who at one time shared the battlefield with & supported financially by americans suddenly decided he was the heir of mohhomed & led a military action of staggering success - in their terms. they could not fight you militarily - they fought you where it hurts - actually & symbolically. but it was a sect led by a madman manipulated by smalltime ideologues. he was not saddam hussein. he was not iraq. he was a smalltime thug - not unlike george bush. vulgar, prurient & puritan

osama bl was a creation of american coldwar politics as was the growing ossifiers in soviet politics - without coldwar politics - perastroika would have happened during kruschev & there is abundant historical proof of that

clean up crew. well. i'll let others decide. when igave medical assistance to the viet cong & the nva - i played an infetismally small role in history - but i was completely cogniscent of what it meant at the other end - including the fact that american australian korean lives would be lost before the war would end - but end it would & end it did & if you remember there were helicopters falling into the gulf of tonkin, there was money being burnt at the embassy, the ambassador was chasing his pet dog & the cia were laughing themselves silly. i wanted that war to end. & it did

with this war. i want it to end & it will. sooner i hope than later

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 22 2004 23:05 utc | 26

& any worldview which say that american deaths are loftier than others is an obscenity in my mind because it is not so very different from the murderous madness of king leopold in the congo

your military sd 'shock & awe' - what does that mean - it means the death of iraqi civilians for the most part

your military leaders search like carnal wolves through the bible to name their 'operations' & thus to sanctify them - they are what the german army used to call 'police actions' - einsatzcommando was the name of police/ùilitary units who slaughtered jew & patriots all over eastern europe with the same fervour as your army is doing - it is the same morally because you do not consider arabs - human.

they are so inhuman - that you do not do body counts as gen franks so stupidly sd - he is another westmoreland - a vain & stupid man

let me repeat something again - you are not now today facing - a viet cong or battalions of battle hardened nva - but you are being beaten by a chaotic melange of resistants who come from all over iraq & from every tendency. the puppets in baghdad cannot hide that fact. the work of the extremely courageous robert fisk make that clear in nearly every one of his articles

no death comes to us all but it should not come at the hands of a corrupt clique of gangster who are holding america & the world at ransom

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 22 2004 23:22 utc | 27

cnn - saddam's cash funding the insurgency - where in hell do they get their narratives - they are from hawaii 5 0 or 77 sunset strip or something

when they're searching through narratives they go through that back catalogue of television - soon we'll come to hogan's heroes with col klink or are we already past that point

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 22 2004 23:28 utc | 28

remembereringgiap, you can be very eloquent (if rather predictably eloquent) about the shortcomings of the USA in the scheme of things. And since MoA doesn't appeal to trolls, I think it might be fair to say that everyone who contributes to MoA pretty much agrees that those shortcomings do indeed exist. It's also true that you denounce those shortcomngs in a sweeping way. Given the option of analyzing coolly or denouncing hotly, you'll go for the hot denunciation almost every time. As a result, you misread the contributions of others, and inhibit the process of critique (Marx, it's true, could deliver the coolest of critiques in the hottest language, but that was a gift that set him apart from the rest of us). I don't, in any case, think that Marx, in the year 2004, would ever post a diatribe attacking any nation, or even any class within a nation, for being the punctual site or source of our fundamental problems. His take on the topology of violence would be a lot more subtle than that. And I don't think that he'd misread Pat as you do: her posts are lucid and her parsings are pointed--something we sorely need right now, because the Left is in disarray, and we have to recognize this fact.

Posted by: alabama | Oct 22 2004 23:35 utc | 29

alabama

i come here with a coolness in my heart but these are not cool times & i think i approach pat's posts as i do others - with great care. i am extremely conscient of what pat brings to the community & i do not demonise her & do not intend to. i oppose the opinions expressed & yes i oppose them vociferouslly. & repeatedly. but again i do not presume - it is a chhoir i am speaking to - i insist on that point - that it is clear to me i am speaking to a community of individuals who do not necessarily share the same worldview. in fact - the contrary seems to be the truth. you are not jérôme. deander is not dm. clonedposter is not flasharry. there are many distinctive voices here. individual voices. i do not believe i am in a church in alabama or elsewhere

& i'll accept i work with a large brush - like bush i don't do nuance - but i live & work with communities that are affected in a daily sense by the politics of your country

& i want to be clearer so there can be no doubt - i consider the american 'leadership' the principal enemy of mankind as we old maoists used to say - but if they are not that - they possess a moral cowardice beyond comprehension. at least, my comprehension

i lay no claims to karl's oeuvre - my areas of expertise are strictly speaking outside the grandeur of his work. i rest & remain a simple student. i neither posess his froideur nor his distance. i say althusserian with specificity - i am troubled as he was - by his time & by the means to analyse & change it if that is possible

nothing is hidden alabama - i believe what i say - it is so singual - i don't think i can be accused of evangalising in any sense - my views come from my peculiar(in all senses of that word)path which has intercrossed generations & continents

unhappily i learnt to argue on the street & in battle & then only after many decades through my verse - so i remain a little hot headed but i do not feel like apologising for that

i seek neither to redeem myself or the left if it comes to that. i seek an end to this war - by any means necessary - you have the intelligence to comb through whatever i write here it to see if it resonates at any level

the only apology i will make is that my disease & its recent complication do not make me gentle with time & the concerns of time - i say what i feel needs to be said & i say it

i say it to argue my point - neither to demonise - even less to hurt but this time demands exigences & contingencies that i attempt to approach here. sometimes succesfully sometimes not

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 22 2004 23:55 utc | 30

& if i repeat the vietnam, indonesia, chile greece etc it is because as culture we have a very short memory & need to be reminded constantly of the contexts

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 22 2004 23:57 utc | 31

No one asks for apologies, remembereringgiap--your civility and politesse are foremost in what you say, and you never fail to respect the voice of each and every poster. I only wish that your passion for Althusser could draw you further along towards his analytical imperatives (and I might add, with reference to this particular point, that Althusser absolutely revered the writings of Macchiavelli for their passion as well as their insight, and had little or no use at all for Leo Strauss, no doubt because Strauss was so clueless and ignorant in his denunciations of Machiavelli).

Posted by: alabama | Oct 23 2004 0:10 utc | 32

https://www.voteprotect.org/index.php?display=EIRMapNation>Keep an eye on this

it'd only early voting days yet, and the incident report centre is flooded.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 23 2004 0:41 utc | 33

alabama,

i hear what you are saying & i am listening. althussers essay on machiavel is written very early & he also had a passion as negri does for spinoza who have been attacked here recently in defence of an 'idea of america' by a commentator called alexander adler. an intelligent man who assums he is the only real student of raymond aron. unfortunately, like many french intellectuals of the left he is also an arabaphobe & this intersects with an uncompfortable defence of bush's enterprise at all costs. it is as a work deficient & his attacks on negri & his book empire do not amount to much in the end

here, today there are many intellectuals who paint with a finer brush than i do - glucksman, levy, adler, goupil etc who come to the defence of this america - the america that gave them their wondroush childhoods

i too had america in my childhood but for me frankly - it was & remains a nightmare. when it was possible & indeed necessary for me to give aid to the vietcong i did. i wanted the beast to fall. & i still do

whether it was we dubois, cisco houston, paul robeson, fred hampton, studs terkel, howard zinn - the voices of america i have come to love speak openly of & for the dispossessed in your country & the world

if i may be frank - the voice of america that i hear the most today is through these sites - & it gives me a strength that would otherwise be completely melancholic in nature & form

i am not a polemicist - i speak perhaps too instinctually - & as i have noted here before perhaps i was born with a fanatics heart but i have never hidden that fact

you know that i respect the subtelty of your posts even when their intent has been a great deal more sacage than my own in their subtlty & their focus & perhaps it is that at the moment - my sicknees has focused in a very urgent fashion - because i feel our time is pregnant with that urgency. i do not feel we have the time but at the same moment i try to write here with care. sometimes with great care & it is not so easy for me sometimes

but alabama you are a teacher & you have a teachers care & attention. what i do here in my country is exemplified by actions first & then my thoughts & then the expression of those thoughts through my creations & perhaps i bring that here to moa

but i want to repeat what i have sd before i feel every iraqui death as i did those vietnamese deaths - they are an element of the fabric of my life. they are not peripheral. as a poet i have been strongly & practically influenced by the modernism of the poets of iraq & indeed the middle east. i feel extremely close to their struggle & if i speak harshly of their enemy i do so because few others will. i speak openly here in france in many public forums & i say there what i say here

in any case whatever i say here is said with respect especially with those who do not share my opinions & i know in pats case i have often expressed my concerns with a greater delicatesse than is in my nature but in my work here i sometimes have to work with old fascists, members of oas, ex foreign legionnaires etc & i have learnt to see the humanity behind their stories, behind their lives but that does not mean i do not oppose with all my heart the projects that led them there

but this is not about me, nor you or even pat - there needs to be argument, there needs to be analysis but above all there needs to be change & there needs to be an end to this immoral & illegal war

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2004 1:01 utc | 34

the only apology i will make is that my disease & its recent complication do not make me gentle with time

yes, 'the prospect of hanging focuses the mind wonderfully'... rgiap imho you are indeed ranting, and somewhat intemperately, but I have sympathy. all our nerves are on edge, even without the anxiety and anger of physical disease, pain, timor mortis etc.

I too am disappointed by pat's 'get over it' dismissiveness, as the evidence for the criminality of the selling of this war, as well as the criminality of its conduct, mounts up. what next? do we "accept" the theft of indigenous people's land and laugh at those who continue to struggle for restitution/reparation? should the S. Africans have "accepted" apartheid as a fait accompli and ceased to struggle? what is this, the "lie back and like it" school of political philosophy? "facts on the ground," as the war criminal Sharon is so fond of saying? the "let's just move on" tactic?

I agree that nothing can now undo the fact that the US, under false pretenses, with a barrage of dishonest propaganda, faked evidence and bully tactics, invaded a crippled country that its own siege warfare had over a 13 year period reduced to Third World status. nothing can undo the deaths of maybe 30,000 Iraqi civilians (and counting). nothing can restore the generation lost to easily-preventable disease during the Siege of Iraq, and nothing can erase from the historical record Allbright's chilling callousness about their fate. nothing can restore the looted and burned libraries, the smashed antiquities and vandalised historical sites, the stolen museum treasures, even the personal trinkets and jewellery looted from individual homes. nothing can repair the scars left on millions of lives during the period of invasion, mismanagement, looting, chaos. in that sense, yes, we have to "accept" that this has all happened and it was not just a bad dream. nothing can erase this ugly blot from the history of the US or its cowed pup the UK.

that does not mean that we should stop finding out how and why it happened, or fail in the duty of naming and prosecuting those responsible (a) for funding and coddling Hussein from the git-go, (b) for encouraging his war on Iran and selling him WMD, (c) for betraying the Iraqi resistance after Bush War I, (d) for profiteering off the bleeding Iraqi economy during the siege, (e) for constructing an edifice of lies, suborning the media, shamelessly exploiting the WTC dead, and making a mockery of legitimate political process -- all in order to justify an invasion and occupation that were a failure only in terms of their overt rationale and agenda. the covert rationale and agenda -- hardly covert in its flagrancy -- i.e. carpetbagging, war profiteering, commandeering Iraq's oil reserves, filling the pockets and improving the quarterly reports of AngloAmerican oil, munitions, and services vendors -- has been a howling success. the thieves have walked away with the treasure. are we to let them get away with it?

simply to "accept" all this and stop seeking some kind of truth, justice, and reconciliation is beyond me. the odds are against us: as r'giap points out, the majority of war criminals, dictators and gangstas die peacefully in silken beds, with the best of care, while their victims lie in unmarked (sometimes mass) graves. the lousy odds on seeing Messrs Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et al in the dock at the Hague do not prevent me from wanting to see that day, earnestly hoping for it, doing whatever is within my small power to bring it about. "accept" their malfeasance and give them a free pass? unthinkable. when we "accept" soi-disant leaders of this calibre we render our polity indistinguishable from any tinpot tyranny, save only in the size of our guns.

it is true that the American Left and the world community failed to prevent this crime. we failed, OK? we tried and we failed. we also failed to prevent the installation and maintenance of Hussein in the first place (though I was among those who were outraged by it and protested it 20 years ago when a younger Rummie was shaking hands and slapping backs with a younger Saddam). we failed to prevent the ouster of Mossadegh, which led to the tyranny of the Shah (another of the US' little pets with charming habits), and thence inexorably to the tyranny of the ayatollahs, whose religious extremism provided the rationale for installing and supporting Saddam. we failed to prevent the gutting of our own movement and subculture by Joe McCarthy, the bizarre Dulles brothers and the seriously strange J Edgar -- a putsch from which American political life has never recovered, one of the most successful "social engineering" efforts of all time. but our failure to prevent these things despite resisting them, is hardly to be measured on the guilt-o-meter against the culpability of those who actually did these things -- or of those who still refuse to admit that any of it ever happened, or if it did happen, mattered a whit.

and because we have not yet succeeded in stopping these crimes is not, imho, any reason to stop trying. and trying. and trying.

r'giap you are a bad influence :-) I was getting better at shorter posts, and now look at all this text...

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 23 2004 1:29 utc | 35

"it is perhaps only with him that the real question mark is posed for the first time....the hand moves forwards, the tragedy begins."
f nietzsche the gay science

" - j'incline à penser....commençai-je.
- et moi donc! coupa brutalement sherlock holmes.
j'ai beau me compter parmi les mortels le plus indulgents de la terre, le sens ironique de cette interruption me fut désagréable.
- réellement, holmes, déclairai-je sévèrement, vous êtes parfois agaçant!"
conan doyle la vallée de la peur

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2004 2:08 utc | 36


Here's an interesting site to keep you occupied for hours.

I'll also just post the link in case I screwed up again on the html

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/

I'd be interested to hear what people on this site think about the one above. I think it's fairly level-headed and really asks Americans to try to think about what's going on instead of falling prey to "bad faith" as Sartre would perhaps call it.

Posted by: fauxreal | Oct 23 2004 2:35 utc | 37

DeAnander- here are some sites with some interesting insights into the theocrats-

http://www.theocracywatch.org/”>Theocracy Watch is a huge site which is added to regularly.

http://www.atlanta.creativeloafing.com/2004-03-25/cover.html”>Creative Loafing has an interesting article on the Reconstructionists

Jeff Sharlet’s article in Harpers concerns a group that is really about power, but used Jesus as a cover. Sharlet, in an interview on Guerilla News network (also available online) talks about them saying they admire dictators like Mao and Hitler. They are enthusiastic about the “Hitler Concept,” or using the tactics of fascism for “Jesus.”

http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0205/articles/scalia.html”> Scalia’s speech about the death penalty as an example of Godliness, compared to post-Christian Europe, and the “problem” with democracy undermining the death penalty.

http://www.aclu.org/ReligiousLiberty/ReligiousLiberty.cfm?ID=16138&c=142>Faith-based initiatives in action from an ACLU press release.


Posted by: fauxreal | Oct 23 2004 2:45 utc | 38

I am not a frequent poster here, but thought I'd take a moment to share a small piece of good news that speaks to the importance and validity of keeping up the fight. The general consensus on the blogosphere tonight is that the lawsuits and boycott, letter writing, phone call, divestment of stock, etc. campaign to stop Sinclair from airing "Stolen Honor" seem to have been effective. I did not see the show on POWs and the media, but the reports by those who did (conservatives and progressives alike) have indicated that it was fair-handed and perhaps even lent additional credibility to Kerry. While charges were leveled at Kerry regarding his anti-war protest, a credible response was included. Portions of "Going Upriver" were shown as well as testimony from Kerry supporters. Posters on the Free Republic blog were more disgruntled after watching the show than those on Kos. So score one for the left, and let's look at it as a much needed sign that the left can make a difference.

Posted by: conchita | Oct 23 2004 4:11 utc | 39

www.ralphnadir.com says he's throwing support behind kerry in battleground states,is this really his site?does anyone know if it is true?

Posted by: onzaga | Oct 23 2004 4:38 utc | 40

DeAnander, since when does "accepting" something mean, necessarily, to "get over it"? For me, at least, it means to "get on with it". If I accept the Holocaust, it's not that I consent to it, or applaud it, or even agree that it was somehow fated to happen. No, I accept it in order not to be caught in the pathetic whirlpool of the "holocaust deniers," who cannot be open to the surprising ways in which something unexpected comes to our doorstep from the future.

I expect this to happen: I await a "new international," an as-yet-unimaginable converging of interests from among the poor, the unschooled, the unexceptional, the ordinary, scattered around the smallest corners of the globe. This thing impends, and nothing in 2004 can possibly stop it.

Pat reminds us of what we must do to entertain such thinking. Bad things happen, certainly, but they are, if I may put it so, not very interesting--not as interesting, anyway, as that unimaginable day, when all the violence of our moment will have dwindled down to the flashings of a glass shard on a lawn of green grass.

Posted by: alabama | Oct 23 2004 4:39 utc | 41

sorry, wasn't until i posted i noticed the spelling.

Posted by: onzaga | Oct 23 2004 4:46 utc | 42

Was it the

Paid for by Cheney-Bush 04 Re-election Committee, Inc.
PO Box 666, Washington, DC 20500

at the bottom of that webpage that gave it away onzaga?

Posted by: Jeorge Bush | Oct 23 2004 4:56 utc | 43

@alabama, who knew that you were such an optimist :-)

still bad things happen but they are not so very interesting? since you're bringing the holocaust of European Jewry into the picture (always a dangerous rhetorical moment imho), is that bad thing that happened not so very interesting? how many museums do we have to this event, how many films, novels, poems, history books, tv documentaries? how thoroughly have we raked over the ideas, careers, motivations, precursor conditions, mechanisms that made it happen or allowed it to happen? how many trials did we hold, how many tribunals judged the guilt of those who participated to greater and lesser extents in that era of crime? was it "not so very interesting?"

it's not the deniers of what happened in Iraq -- what is still happening -- what may, one fears, be only the beginning of a holocaust of the pan-arab community -- who are trying to understand what happened, find out who was responsible, hold someone accountable, come to terms with the truth. it's the non-deniers, those who want to break through America's (in particular) strong and high walls of indifference, disinformation, and, forgive my bluntness, sheer racist contempt for the fate of a lot of darkish people who speak a foreign language and don't have a McDonald's on every corner.

this thing impends (the new international) -- oh, alabama, how I wish and hope that you might be right. but I hope we are not just, once again, waiting for the messiah.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 23 2004 5:05 utc | 44

@DeAnander, alabama, rGiap, and Pat
Passions are running high, but I hope we'll be able to retain that courtesy and decorum, that, yes, seem so rightist and inhibited, but also permit all of us to gradually overcome our vulnerabilities and enter into
a fruitful dialectic (that word "dialectic" was chosen for
rGiap, others, steeped in other rhetorical traditions might prefer the milder term "dialogue"). I think Yeats talked about "custom and ceremony" (in his
"Prayer for my Daughter") as the only way that "innocence and beauty" can be found, and although I suspect most of us are far from embracing quietism, there is a lot to be said for respecting the "inner light" within each of our dialectical partners.
Although I find myself very much in tune with DeAnander and Alabama's point of view, I suspect that such lucid rationalism won't cut much ice outside such ivory tower retreats as MOA. Once again, Yeats already knew that the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. That is an oversimplified and overly rhetorical view of where we are, yet
I find it striking (and very dialectical) that the we (and here I include myself) are starting to reflect the very qualities of "passionate intensity" that we find so worrisome in Dominionist circles. It's difficult to disagree so profoundly with
Bushite policies without becoming a bit fanatical, maybe "a little fanaticism" is even necessary but I suspect that most of us know (permit me a grossly rhetorical "in our hearts") that none of us and no ideology is the permanent repository of
all truth and wisdom, and that we ourselves can be, and oft are, wrong on points of both fact and substance. I have no doubt that we (the MOA crowd) need companions who
excel at throwing an unforgiving light on dark corners and bringing the jagged edges of political reality into sharp relief, but, in the end, I prefer those posters who make me want to hug them and exchange an ironic smile.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 23 2004 5:06 utc | 45

@fauxreal, something really strange happened to a couple of your urls... at least as my browser sees 'em. one of them looks like this

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2004/10/%E2%80%9Dhttp://www.theocracywatch.org/%E2%80%9D

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 23 2004 5:07 utc | 46

"Bad things happen, but they are, if I may put it so, not very interesting": this is not, DeAnander, the same as saying "bad things happen but they are not so very interesting". An imperceptible difference? Something in the cadence of the phrasing, perhaps? "Bad things happen" is an unconditional declaration. "But they are not very interesting" is also an unconditional declaration. "Not very interesting" means, that while they may engage our attention, they do not claim it as its all-consuming interest. Not all the libraries, museums, conferences and observances in the world can do justice to the Holocaust, and the Holocaust cannot, if we are honest in our acceptance of it, monopolize our attention. Were it to do so, we'd turn the Holocaust into a fetish and a taboo, something to be worshipped and not understood, and in the process we'd lose sight of the thing that matters most--or matters more: that which lies ahead of us and comes toward us.

A weak messianism, if you will, without a messiah of any kind. Just an impending event--a convergence welling up from within the innumerable issues of the now.

Posted by: alabama | Oct 23 2004 5:43 utc | 47

@alabama apologies for the moment of dyslexia.

Were it to do so, we'd turn the Holocaust into a fetish and a taboo, something to be worshipped and not understood well I would agree with Finkelstein that that has already happened...

but do you really think what lies ahead of us is not conditioned by how we respond to what lies all around us and immediately behind us? how can we go forward into a more just future if we agree to write off, forget, turn our gaze away from the crimes being committed today, yesterday, last week, in our names and with our tax dollars? what is it, exactly, that you're advising as a stance to take towards the invasion and occupation of Iraq, in this historical moment?

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 23 2004 5:51 utc | 48

@ Alabama
Sorry to "but in" to your dialogue with DeAnander, but your
mention of "fetish and taboo" seems to me particularly apt, and not merely for the case at hand. I recently listened to a religious figure
who insisted that the "true" role of religion is precisely to combat fetishism, and that resonated within me. I see American political life as replete with fetishism (U.S. flag lapel buttons being one of the most
banal examples) but with very little "religion" in the authentic sense, whether that be the classical religions or their modern analogues like Marxism, environmentalism, or "what have you".

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 23 2004 5:57 utc | 49

Well, let's see: we have an infinity of crimes at our hands--our hands are steeped in blood, and yet we wish to repair things. This is an program of the greatest magnitude; certainly we must remember all the damage done, and remember well that this damage is unforgivable. We must therefore forgive it, but without forgetting it. "Forgive and don't forget" is the model here, as with the Truth and Reconciliation practices of South Africa. I accept, in particular, the fact of IOF, I judge it unforgivable, and know that I shall have to forgive it. I shall forgive it without forgetting it.

.

Posted by: alabama | Oct 23 2004 6:02 utc | 50

@ Alabama Right on!! But how to begin repairing things? Do any of us believe that electing Kerry will change American Middle Eastern policy in any fundamental way? This interplay between the moral fonts of a polity and its effective execution must be something that gives political scientists the willies, and not for nothing the coldest Macchiavellian realpolitik has ever been accompanied by a warm cloud of justificatory rhetoric. Mere "management of the existing" is not a glorious slogan, but
it looks like "mismanagement of the existing" will be what brings Bush down, that politically fatal technical incompetence and not a totally justifiable moral revulsion at what he and his criminal crew have perpetrated. Can our realistic ambitions be anything more than to restore a modicum of rationality to the management of the American imperium? Of course, right now, even that looks pretty attractive.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 23 2004 6:22 utc | 51

Bush has accomplished this by giving the U.S. a novel foreign-policy doctrine under which it arrogates to itself the right to invade any country it wants if it feels threatened. It is an American version of the Brezhnev Doctrine, but the latter was at least confined to Eastern Europe. If the analogy seems extreme, what is an appropriate comparison when a country manufactures falsehoods about a foreign government, disseminates them widely, and invades the country on the basis of those falsehoods? It is not an action that any American president has ever taken before. It is not something that “good” countries do. It is the main reason that people all over the world who used to consider the United States a reliable and necessary bulwark of world stability now see us as a menace to their own peace and security. [...]

I’ve heard people who have known George W. Bush for decades and served prominently in his father’s administration say that he could not possibly have conceived of the doctrine of pre-emptive war by himself, that he was essentially taken for a ride by people with a pre-existing agenda to overturn Saddam Hussein. Bush’s public performances plainly show him to be a man who has never read or thought much about foreign policy. So the inevitable questions are: who makes the key foreign-policy decisions in the Bush presidency, who controls the information flow to the president, how are various options are presented?

The record, from published administration memoirs and in-depth reporting, is one of an administration with a very small group of six or eight real decision-makers, who were set on war from the beginning and who took great pains to shut out arguments from professionals in the CIA and State Department and the U.S. armed forces that contradicted their rosy scenarios about easy victory. Much has been written about the neoconservative hand guiding the Bush presidency - and it is peculiar that one who was fired from the National Security Council in the Reagan administration for suspicion of passing classified material to the Israeli embassy and another who has written position papers for an Israeli Likud Party leader have become key players in the making of American foreign policy.


[italics mine]

This comes not from the "tired old Left" mind you, but from the irritable pen of rightwing pundit Scott McConnell at http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/102304W.shtml>The American Conservative (actually the link is to a reprint at Truthout).

I would take issue (very much) with his disingenuous (they can hardly be naif) natterings about "no US president has ever started a war on false evidence before" -- it's been done before, and more than once. Gulf of Tonkin, the Maine, and some would say the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was not quite as it was presented to the American public at the time... the US also collaborated in the Lusitania disinformation campaign, of course... anyway, much as I dislike the Bush Regime, to claim that they are historically unprecedented as liars (or thieves) among US presidents is piling it on a bit thick.

needless to say, I find much of the rest of McConnell's article either silly or scurrilous; but what do we make of his insistence that there are, in fact, a small and identifiable number of culpable persons behind the Big Lies that sold the Invasion of Iraq? the very same "cabal" theory which Pat has been telling us is the "strident" and "titillating" fantasy of worn-out, irrelevant old Reds? if such persons exist and did falsify evidence, abuse positions of trust, etc -- then why should they not be held accountable for the damage?

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 23 2004 7:28 utc | 52

RGiap

I must respectfully voice my disagreement with your posts. I'll do bullet points to keep it short.

- I think you are being unduly harsh with pat. If I understand her correctly (and Pat, please speak up if I misunderstood what you say), she thinks - regretfully - that we should not count on Kerry to do much better strategically than the current crowd (which I interpret as criticism of that crowd...), while noting that people - Americans - active in the field today - are mostly honorable and decent and doing their job well (tactically competent) within the frame they are given. While I am not as close as she is to the battlefield, I see no reason to think this is not overall correct.

- I think you are also misguided to blam all evil in the world on the US or its leaders. I don't deny all the ugly things that have been part of US policy (although I must confess I am really surprised to see Solidarosc - the Polish one - as part of that ugliness), but I cannot let pass the fact that you seem to say that this is the only source of evil/ugliness in our world, because it is clearly not.
I know we are on opposite sides of the fence on this, but I'd still say that the US (and the West in general) is one of the most benign forms of dominant power, and it was in particular more benign than all forms of communism pushed by Russia and China (now maybe you also count this as part of Western domination...). I agree that we should set our standards higher than Stalin or Mao, but your posts are so heated that this basic fact (Stalin was worse) seems forgotten.

The reason I am optimistic these days, and upbeat about the US/the West is that our system does not eliminate the possibility of evil - it makes it easier to fight it if it appears. The most vociferous critics of all the misguided US policies of the past half-century came from within the US itself and they prevailed (and for instance John Kerry was instrumental in that process re the Vietnam war, which is one of the reasons I have a lot of respect for him). The lessons from that pretty recent part, as well as current trends within the US lead me to my upbeat diagnosis that the current cancer in the White House is going to be voted out and thouroughly discredited. This is the force of our systems - not that our mistakes are somehow smaller, but that we correct these mistakes faster and end up being stronger for it. If this does not come to pass on Nov. 2, then I agree, we're fucked, and I will let you rant until you run out of breath...

To comment on the extremism vs moderation / passion vs. reason theme, I must say tht I have sadly come to the unpleasant conclusion that it is the extremists that get results when serious change is needed. They bring the issues on the table and force change on the unwilling status quo. Ask kindly and you will be ignored. Of course, at the end of the process, you need credible moderates to actually get to an agreement with the other side...

Posted by: Jérôme | Oct 23 2004 7:35 utc | 53

@ Jérôme
As always, a well-thought out and incisive contribution.
I guess it's important to set the parameters of "moderation" versus "passion" and the their relative efficacity in producing "serious change".
I think that often the changes induced by "true believers" while superficially revolutionary are, in fact, also heavily freighted with an unconscious continuation of the status quo ante. The French, Russian and Chinese revolutions were nothing if not radical in their attempts to root out ancient injustices and illusions, and for that
surely are "globally" positive movements in their initial ideals, but
each of them also carried within the seeds of involution and degeneration (as, of course, does any human enterprise). Perhaps France is still split between those who think the Revolution went to far, and those who think it didn't go far enough but at least the dialectic is now pretty tame compared to trundling of nobles off to the guillotine. The kind of revolution that I approve of without reservation (well,almost) are those like what has happened in Italy over the last 60 years, and more generally that which is still in progress in Western Europe with its (far from perfect) project at consensual unification and federalist democracy. These are revolutions from the bottom up, produced by people working daily to create and come to terms with their evolving realities, although the contributions of statesman who knew enough to try to create the favorable "initial conditions" were also
indispensable. This is a variation on a theme dear to Max Weber: the
constant dialectic between the "charismatic" and the "bureaucratic".

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 23 2004 8:06 utc | 54

I was not that guy that caught the ball last in last year's Cubs game, although it was my post last night that Pat was responding to, so I'll just say this; Pat I always like what you bring to the moon, most importantly as alabama once said, as an interlocuter. Even if your motives are otherwise, and you are not singing to the choir here, you bring a lucid point that is impossible to neglect in the discourse here. And if something I happen to say here set off such an encyclopedic response I would consider it anything but condemnation, and trust rGiaps prouncement that above all "this is business".

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 23 2004 9:00 utc | 55

Pat Buchanan, a prominent paleoconservative with whom I vehemently disagree on many issues, recently said that, yes, the Bush administration carried out a largely incompetent and in all ways unnecessary war in Iraq. And, speaking to fellow conservatives, he asked why, upon what grounds, Kerry should be rewarded for that. It was in an article titled, "Time to Come Home."

We have, of course, no major candidate nor political party that stands in opposition to OIF. Voters who oppose it, but do not want to cast a ballot for a minor party or withhold their vote, will "come home" in the presidential election to the party with which they feel most comfortable despite its official, painful disagreement with them on this particular issue. For me, that's still the Republican Party. For most of you Americans here at MOA, that's the Democratic Party.

I'm a far outlier here (as far an outlier as I would be at a Christian fundamentalist website). I do not share the general politics of most, or even any, posters. I am not anticipating the imminent collapse, nor the terminal moral rot, of the United States at the hands of this administration, nor am I inclined to relish our defeats, our setbacks, our trials by fundamental error. I believe in our ability to right ourselves, though not in ways that can satisfy cultural competitors and ideological opponents.


Posted by: Pat | Oct 23 2004 9:36 utc | 56

@anna missed

Thanks.

Posted by: Pat | Oct 23 2004 11:02 utc | 57

@Pat

thanks for your calm and clear reply. I second anna that we need your voice around here even though - no, especially as - we don't agree on everything. (But these days, you sometimes find yourself in strange company in agreement on specific issues...)

@Hannah

thanks for the response on the passion vs reason theme. I strated it but was called up by family and cut it short a little bit... In my view, there is this association passion/extremism/power vs the reason/moderation/negotiation; which these days I also associate with USA vs Europe: the army solution vs the Brussels bureaucracy solution.

As I am an ardent Europhile, as you may have read already (not passionate, mind you, just ardent:-), you know on what side I put myself... but the again I am also sensitive to the arguments put forward by Kagan and others, that the peaceful, negotiated situation we have in Europe is only possible because the US still works in the "Old" power-is-all frwmework and protects Europe from what would otherwise be irrelevance, inefficiency, invasion or worse. Although I believe that Europe is showing a better way to manage international relations, I don't have a convincing argument against Kagan's - except to say that the Europeans followed a way which was promoted and encouraged by Americans and that the two continents were working together, slowly, haphazardly, to bring such mechanisms to bear in relations with other countries, by the great mechanims of creating precedents. The current US administration is basically throwing down the drain 50 years of precedent and relative regard for international norms which they had largely contributed to shape. It's just such a waste.

The point I started with, "passion" vs. "reason", is the following: "Passion" is certainly more efficient to get to your political goal, but "reason" is more effective to make it last beyond the effect of your passion. Great rulers are those that built lasting institutions, not those that built great empires. Institutions last because there is minimum level of consent from those that live under them, and this usually requires a minimum of consistency in rules, adaptability to the needs of the population and restraint. (Which is why Napoleon is still well-regarded in France, despite his ruinous military campaigns - he left us a working civil code, and an efficient administrative network of prefects and public engineers)
Power does not tolerate restraint.

The US has no external limitation on its power (not completely true, I know, but it has an overwhelming domination, at least militarlily), but it has a lot of internal limits (you know, check and balances...). Let's see these get to work.

Posted by: Jérôme | Oct 23 2004 12:12 utc | 58

PASS KAFFIR?

It seems fitting to begin this little notice with the standard insulting question black Africans were subject to for decades in white supremacist South Africa.

In the lead story by James Dao in today's New York Times, it was revealed that on voting day in Ohio, thousands of paid Republican workers will be swarming around the states many polling places demanding that voters (I imagine particularly minority voters recently registered) produce proof that they are qualified to vote. As far as I know, no one has the legal right to demand that you produce this on the spot. In fact, if I recall correctly, it is the sole job of the state and those running the polls to do so. This appears to be a massive campaign against, most probably, minorities.

In any case, every black man and women will have to run through a gauntlet of angry, white, intimidating thugs to vote. There are only four points that may be challenged in Ohio: challenges could be made: whether the voter is a citizen, is at least 18, is a resident of the county and has lived in Ohio for the previous 30 days. While these are banal questions, they could clog lines and intimidate minority voters.

Paid RNC "volunteers" will stop people who look like they just registered (criteria unknown but easy to guess) or look handicapped in some way (they will have to prove to the RNC troopers that they are intelligent to vote). If the RNC workers feels they are unqualified, they will follow them into the polls and challenge them publically once they try to vote. How these people (1400 in Cuyahoga County alone) are and will be "trained" is not yet known. We also don't know if members of the press will be allowed to be present during the training process. Oh, for a hidden camera!

Pardon my use of the vocative, but this is a national shame and the RNC has been planning it for months. The article only mentioned Ohio, but I would suspect that other swing states will have similar tactics. I would request that anyone with additional information respond to this post.

Posted by: Diogenes | Oct 23 2004 12:35 utc | 59

Diogenes - go see this Kos diary

Posted by: Jérôme | Oct 23 2004 12:48 utc | 60

i want to be absolutely clear

it is never personal - it is business

the invasion of iraq & the forthcoming invasions are consitent with american foreign policy of the past - even the recent past

u s foreign policy, on the contrary, as is proved by muroch & his affiliates - is forgotten for the most part - except for those with special concerns - policies such as the invasion of iraqu could not have taken place if people did not possess such short memories

i am different from alabama in the sense that i cannot forgive nor forget. it is not for me to do the forgiving. the populations of many many countries must try to do that - latin america especially must have both its heart & body broken by us foreign policy

to blackmail, to corrupt, to suborn, to destabilise & in the final analysis to set up a beauracracy of of evil - death squads, assasinations, etc

jérôme, i do not consider, given the absence of any real norms, in a murdochian world, good & eveil as useful notions. in any way. in any sense. i do not consider 'america' the source of all evil. i accuse here this administration of exacerbating, of accumulating all the wrongs of us foreign policy of the last century into a ball of consuming fire which is destroying all in its path. i think the tendency of all elites to financial & moral corruption - an 'evil'

i consider absolutism of all kinds, repeat of all kinds reprehensible

i want to repeat other points that seem to be glossed over. i do not consider the inhabitants here a choir, in any sense, at all

i argued with the substance & inference of pats post not pat. given that pat has been open about her work in germany - i decided i could afford to be franker still

yes perhaps it is true - i do not have the refinement of which alabama speaks - or the distance necessary - the struggle of different peoples has been an integral part of my life, all my life & i have seen darkness others would not wish top witness

but this moment we are living through seems to me to be one of unrelenting darkness with above all a kind of negligence in our duty to the other whether it is our own citizens or those of another country

when i wrote that post to pat i was speaking to pat but as i do here all the time - i speak to the substance & implications of the post. i know pats reading of kerry, i know the libertarian politics pat articulates. i did not set out to misread, to twist, to turn anything she said. i am not a polemicist - i am like many others here - including pat - a life full of duty with a multiple population. even less in condemantion of a person or even of persons

this is the only space i write in english & i arrive here hoping what i am capable of saying contains some truths - some ability to communicate. sometimes i succeed. sometimes not

above all as jérôme says you live in the belly of the beast - so certain realities you know much better than those of us on this old & beautiful continent

i thank deanander for offering the refinement i seem incapable of offering & for the details - i also thank alabama also - for the critique - it is understood & hopefully interpreted & i thank jérôme - who like i at this moment is going through a physical suffering - & who is still capable of offering optimism

i on the other hand - do not feel optimistic & it is darker thoughts, darker realities which cloud both my heart & mind

in any case, thank you

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2004 13:12 utc | 61

I think there is a good reason the article only mentioned Ohio. This is still just me guessing, but I think Ohio and Florida will be the main centers of election theft this year.

If I am right (and do correct me if I am wrong) the last election was only stolen in Florida. I think focusing the theft is a clear strategy to decrease the number of citizens who get their vote stolen, thus making it easier to hide, while still winning.

The breakin at the democratic headquarter mentioned the other day, RNC trying to block voters and Strategic vision (R) polling Ohio a lot and always shoving Bush as leader. I think it all adds up.

And I checked, Ohio has had republican governors since 1991, probably making every important official republican. Though I admit I do not really know anything about Ohio politics, so I repeat: do anyone else?

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Oct 23 2004 13:33 utc | 62

just a point of memory, here

when pat was attacked intemperately by the ex israeli soldier - i was ther first amongst those who defended her right to speak - though her opinions are diametrically opposed to my own

i attacked that poster because i thought he was personal in his attack & while that might be approropriate elsewhere - it was not here

i attacked him if i remember correctly for an intemperateness that bordered too close to hatred, personal hatred

in my post to pat i was not being intemperate - i was angry at certain deliberate & conscient absences but even then i am thankful that otherwise pat speake honestly of her own position & have sd so even when i've been insulted for being gracious

the fact that this is not a choir here i think is outlined by pat & i. i actively through action, military action sought the defeat of your empire in vietnam & i repeat that i am proud of that fact, deeply. pat, on the other hand sought through action the defeat of the soviet union & sattelites through action. that we speak here at all is a celebration of a certain idea of community

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2004 13:55 utc | 63

DeAnander- sorry. I'm hyperlink impaired these days. You can easily get to Theocracy Watch by googling. It's a very good site.

As to the issue of foreign policy, etc... again, I recommend all to go to the rational revolution link I posted.

The guy makes a very good point that Bush came into office with a war cabinet in place, especially and including Cheney. I take issue with The American Conservative for constantly railing on the "likudniks" in this war cabinet because this obscures a greater issue.

Israel is, obviously, not just another nation for many in the Bush administration for a variety of reasons, and each faction within the Bush war cabinet has its own rationale (or unreasoning position, in the case of Bush, etc.) for unquestioning support of Sharon's version of Israel.

This war cabinet had already signed on to the PNAC document, had already recommended Clinton initiate regime change in Iraq.

The reasons have little to do with who Saddam was. After all, when it was politically convenient to assist Saddam, we did. It was not because Saddam was a potential threat to the U.S. now. But "threat" is a reason that the American citizens would buy in order to go into Iraq.

What is going on in the Bush administration is also broader than the "WOT." As Perle notes, their version of America has its "reasons" to be antagonistic toward Europe, and to try to undermine the EU in order to make it impossible for the EU to challenge the U.S. economically.

The Frenchman Emmanuel Todd wrote about this issue as well, noting that the EU is a threat to America economically because of decisions made vis a vis investment in various manufacturing areas, in terms of alternative energy initiatives, an area in which the U.S. has lagged because of the oil industry govt lobby (that is now also actually in office), and more.

The issue, for me, is to what extent Americans are willing to face the truth of our reasons for the foreign policies we have. I don't think most are willing to do this.

If you don't think Kerry's policies will change so much, you must ask yourself how much of this is because of some lobbying group, and how much of this is because of an American mindset that expects to maintain its standard of living at the expense of so many other people, both in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. You must ask yourself how much of this is because of American jingoism. You must ask yourself who could ever get elected as president of the United States who also advocated an America that was one among equals and enacted policies to seek greater justice and fairness both in America and abroad.

Posted by: fauxreal | Oct 23 2004 14:03 utc | 64

rememembereringgiap, there's something missing from this thread, and I'm a little perplexed as to what it may be. We've done a bit of worrying over "acceptance" (Pat's deliberated word), but it may well be that we haven't looked hard enough at the words "act" and "action". "What 's to be done?," as the venerable phrase would have it--and then, upon asking it, lo and behold, we find ourselves wandering around in the labyrinths of "tactics" and "strategy"!...

(more)

Posted by: alabama | Oct 23 2004 14:53 utc | 65

Of one thing I'm absolutely sure: punctual, visible and audible acts of resistance--call them, if you will, acts of "terror"--cannot carry the day. As forms of relief they can be priceless--they "complete our partial mind," as Yeats would put it--but as levers, fulcrums or pivots to turn things around they fail every time. I don't know what was on the mind or minds of whoever killed John F. Kennedy, but it strains all belief to suppose that any meaningful goal was achieved in the doing of that thing. On a larger scale, wars are equally fruitless; they only kill, without altering the inertial tendencies of the bigger picture. Two world wars and several genocides have done nothing to stay the relentless unfoldings of capital concentration and commodification--trends far more transformative, finally, than all the bloodshed they unleash....

(more)

Posted by: alabama | Oct 23 2004 14:54 utc | 66

"Action," in this baffling context, becomes inextricably tied to reflection on what the word "justice" could possibly mean in the midst of such bizarre and sweeping dynamics. And of one other thing I'm absolutely sure: the labor of the negative--Hegel's definition of reflection generally--entails a movement of forgiveness that is not a forgetting. That's what I'm groping for in these posts, and that's what's so hard to come by.

Posted by: alabama | Oct 23 2004 14:55 utc | 67

As for the USA, well, it's corporate and statist sense of "election" (Calvinist and "republican") is doomed to fail, just as it's failed in South Africa (for example). But whether the "elections" of the "republic" in 2004 will hasten or retard this process is an absolute mystery to me.

Posted by: alabama | Oct 23 2004 15:07 utc | 68

I feel the effort people are making here, and value it tremendously. Nowhere else in my daily life (in a very liberal + libertarian neighborhood) do people confront each other so constructively with their views of politics and action. I remain rather afraid to express my thoughts frankly, but you all nourish my courage and remind me of my responsibility not only to think and understand, but also to speak and lead.

I am heartened we each pursue different threads of action yet wish to engage each other's understanding. Increasingly, I think Pat is right that the U.S. will right its policies and recede from its current Manichaean mania. Yet, increasingly, I understand the U.S. abroad exactly as rememberinggiap describes it - 500 years of genocide which seems to decrease its fury at a pace visible only to deities. I am left confused by this, and so I focus my efforts on developing communities stable enough to support actual and regular befriending in my city, so that despite the insanity, a few of my circles will at least know how much heart can be found in real cameraderie, and seek that cameraderie above all bribes.

There is more for us to do than this, and the Moon here is a place I seek guidance. Thanks to all who recommend new starting points - especially things I have been introduced to by alabama, rgiap, and kate storm. For me Roy Bhaskar and Adorno offer the most encouraging paths forward, but I continue to wander in the desert musically.

Sorry to ramble, but I am trying to balance my internal version of Pat and rgiap's exchange (not, of course, that I am in a choir for either). Anyone like Chinaco Anejo? I'm buying.

Posted by: Citizen | Oct 23 2004 15:07 utc | 69

What to do about people who do not want to see?

It all seems so clear that this administration is bad, whether it be for their economic policies, their rape of individual freedoms, the unabashed relationship with big oil and defense contractors, their secrecy, and finally their imperialistic invasion and occupation of two countries with two more in the pipeline. My goodness, how much worse could it possibly be?

And we all fret over John Kerry. Will his middle east policy be different from the present one? How can it possibly be any worse. We are committed to perpetual war with this cabal and lucid articulate people like Pat say they are going to vote for Bush because she is a Republican and needs to vote the party line.

We desperately need balance in the US and that is not possible when the House, Senate, Executive, and Judicial are all in Republican control. Kerry as president will help restore that balance. This I believe is the most important reason to vote for him.

I often hear people say that I need “to get over it”. Well, that is pretty easy for me to do when it gets right down to it, but how will all the dead and maimed Iraqis “get over it”? Or for that matter all the dead and maimed US soldiers? How can anyone be so superficial and debonair? Does empathy not exist anymore?

These are not the things I grew up believing about the US. I think most Americans believe they are generous and giving, that they have a better life than others, that their government wants to do good. We are however, extremely divided over the proper course. Many have been duped into believing that simply killing everyone who disagrees with you is a good solution. A change in leadership can change that overnight. Living in fear is not good for anyone except those in control.

Posted by: Dan of Steele | Oct 23 2004 15:47 utc | 70

I sympathize w/ the view that the good fight must continue against power. I also am concerned w/ the seeming effeteness of opposition. So many problems--the most usual of which is the historic political impassiveness of the middle and lower classes. The factionalization of publics has resulted in the bizarre cathection of these voters upon right-wing imperialism. My hunch is that the appeal of rightist extremism lies in the vestigial American frontier values of domination, of which the narcotic of religion merely serves as a vindication. Elevating general consciousness about the futility of such alliances is crucial, but I have few ideas how this is to be done. On the one hand, the fount of domination--capital--must suffer the insurmountable contradiction (global warming, end of oil, nuclear war). On the other hand, such cataclysm is unlikely to be averted by quasi-democratic processes that ridiculously depend on the vote of the Nietzschean Last Man, the thoroughly administered subject, to be the locus of hope.

Basically, we're fucked, no?

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 23 2004 16:00 utc | 71

"I often hear people say that I need 'to get over it.'"

There are only two things you 'need' to do, Dan: pay taxes and eventually end your time on earth. Everything else is up to you.

Posted by: Pat | Oct 23 2004 16:13 utc | 72

Per alabama's thoughtful request for clarification of 'justice.' What can be done? Perhaps the further fragmentation of discourse via new media will neutralize the cultural hegemony of elites. Utopic new media communications would destroy intellectual property, the status quo of truth, trusted branding and celebrity. This development might assist in the movement towards what Bookshin referred to as “libertarian municipalism." Forms of interaction would be oriented to local agreement and complementarity rather than domination. It hardly needs to be added that the postcarbon age will require such municipalism. Thus, justice is resolved in the basic sense that the move towards local economic autochthony will require communities to constantly choose a place to go to in their own direction so long as the means of doing so are 'sustainable.' Encouragingly, in a small way, new media are the 'tools of conviviality' that could aid in this necessary transformation both by obviating the need for elite cultural (re)production and by facilitating communications for this emergent form of life.

Just trying to find a silver lining.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 23 2004 16:21 utc | 73

Slothrop- although I would like to have Jerome's optimism about the American election, I also know that if Kerry wins, the fight will not abate right here in the U.S.

The fight in the U.S. is between fascism and democracy, and anyone who denies this is, imo, afraid to look the current Republican power structure in the face and call it what it is.

I am not talking about real conservatives in this country.

I'm talking about "Bush Republicans." Do you know how Bush was able to "work with Democrats" in Texas? By destroying them. Don't take my word for it. Nicholas Lehman had an article in last week's New Yorker about the ways in which Bush governed there, and how he governs now.

Bush Republicans want nothing less than a one-party nation which is so far to the right of the majority of Americans I think this nation will not know what hit it.

speaking of not knowing what hit it, a huge rumor is going around now that the Bushoviks have a terror attack coming up this next week. Senator Mark Dayton, MN, closed his D.C. offices based upon warnings by Frist. I tend to think the attack will be outside of D.C.

This is, of course, only a rumor. Just like the rumor of an upcoming attack on Iran via Israel that I posted from this site:

http://www.tbrnews.org/

The site went offline for a while because it was innudated with hits after it posted the Iran attack rumor/leak/whatever.

Newest leak/rumor/whatever from that site is that Iran has a list of gay Republicans who used credit cards to pay for male prostitutes, as does a gay organization.

If this information is true, I hope it is leaked before the election to keep the Christo-fascists home on election day. Democrats are involved too, of course.

And speaking of....no doubt lots of support for terrible policies is possible under threat of blackmail, no?

Posted by: fauxreal | Oct 23 2004 16:21 utc | 74

Basically, we're fucked, no?

Might be, but I am going down swinging.

Paying taxes and dying are given as things that are inevitable, My life is just a little bit more complicated than that. I give a shit about the world my children will live in too.

Posted by: Dan of Steele | Oct 23 2004 16:26 utc | 75

slothrop, I really dig that post of yours @ 12:21 PM. It helps me understand why I spend so much time on the net, which is distressing to the wife, amusing to the young, and perplexing to all....

Posted by: alabama | Oct 23 2004 17:09 utc | 76

alabama, citizen & slothrop

you're a very prudent thinker alabama & as sam spade says to guttman in the maltese falcon "i love a man who....." i want to go back & perhaps harp(or rant) but not in nostalgia but in what i believe is active reflection - at the time of the war in vietnam against the american empire - i as many others passed through many stages - all were based on some idea of 'action' but finally at a certain point - i decided to aid medically & then militarily the defeat of america in indochina. that 'action' was very concrete - it was not 'clean' in that it entailed at the other end - concrete facts - which included miltary defeat which included naturally , mutilation, death & nightmares that seem to exist in the american imagination

i have also been involved in 'action' in relation to the countries i speak of the greeks, the chileans, the nicaraguans & i must admit here that there were a number of americans also involved in those 'actions' - there young americans who died in chile & especially el salvador & nicaragua in the defence, the active defence of a people attacked by the empire

that action was 'materiel' in every sense of that word. practically. those 'actions' determined the life i lead. i was groomed even by the comrades to live out my years softly propogating at universities or otherwise playing the artist maudite but i have always been propelled to work physically amongst the people - perhaps the maoist fish amongst a sea of people touched me directly. i work to effect changes on a day to day basis. 'action' with communities that are in desperate straits. i have as mayakovsky suggested trampled on the throat of my verse for the service of a community & communities where that struggle may appear to be peripheral

what i think is missing here & perhaps why i responded in such anger to pat - was the way americans seem to be silent about the destruction of iraqui culture - it is a cradle of civilisation & it has been irreperably destroyed - it is a matter of grave import. as a writer but also as an internationalist i am still shocked practically by what was done

how could it be done? without second thoughts? it can be done because there exists a theocratic belief that not only do these people do not matter but their culture is not our culture - so it doesn't matter. the problem is it is our culture in a very practical sense & each book burned, each piece of art, every archive that went up in flames destroys us, practically. then how can people live with that? well that is an old story - they can because they believe & believe in practic&al & military terms like boykin for example that their works are informed & led by their god. it is their only excuse that can respond to the terrible destruction of the cradle of our civilisation. & that excuse is neither comforting for now or for the future

slothrop, when you speak of a redistribution of the means of communicating - well - i just don't see it - well yes i feel it here & at the speakeasy - but the real & ultimately with laws like the patriot act & the laws to come - will restrict free speech. you are correct - if we could somehow maintain the communities of resistance through these form - it is something - though it may not be the 'action' of which alabama speaks - it is something - so that when pat says for example that there was no movement against the war - at least this form of communication exists to say there were ten million people who opposed the war & that in itself is a history exceptional

i hope that we can constitute those networks, those communities of resistance but murdoch & his pals who meet every year in aspen or wherever it is have been totally concerned with the same question - & they are not gentleman opponnents - more than this, they are enemies of democracy & they have proved it beyond reasonable doubt

that an american does not know of the demonstrations all over the world - these actions of many - says to me the control of your media is close to total

but i want to go back to this point of the bibliteques, museums & archives - when i hear read & watched that - & i used the filter of robert fisk & his courageous articles - i was practically shocked & disgusted in the same way that i was when the taliban exploded the budhhas of banyiman because both 'acts' were act of barbarians - & in both case fully informed barbarians. there is no other word. barbaric

the people who do this, who allow it & as robert fisk suggests led the sacking of baghdad are a species of man i am very frightened of because their absolutism is not confined to the dinner table but to our reality & they dominate our reality. to say otherwise is wishful thinking

& that act of destruction does not onlyrequire reflection it requires 'action' & not just of forgiveness. it demands a reparation but we know what happened is irreperable - in concrete terms. an artifact destroyed is lost to us forever & for that & for future generations we have no right to forgive - that is not a forgiveable crime

look i'm sorry alabama that i cannot be more concentrated because i feel in equal parts shock & a melancholia towards the future that overwhelms me. if only for the daily 'act' that my work demands - i would have taken pats advice to dan & finished my existence on this earth that i find more cruder & vulgar by the minute

still(not quite)steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2004 18:19 utc | 77

@slothrop I second 'bama's endorsement of yours at 12:21.

the cyberpunk SF authors tried to envision and articulate various futures (eu- and dystopian) in which the decentralisation and immediacy of electronic comms would -- rather than creating the panopticon society of control-freak dreams -- create a highly fractal "libertarian municipalism" (your term) so liquid and polymorphous as to defy control-from-above. that's a future I could live with.

right now it seems like a race between the panopticon dream and -- what shall we call it -- the polyopticon dream. the US, as Rifkin [w/whom I disagree vehemently on many points but not on this one] says, is stuck intellectually, politically, culturally in the 19th century, in the idea of the pyramid of control, the regimented factory floor, monoculture, an hysterical fear of randomness, a childish desire for sameness, replication, conformity, material excess. it's still at the nexus where hereditary monarchy and feudalism meet Henry Ford.

the methods of repression used by the US (domestically or abroad) are 19th century methods: big guns, heavy metal, military might (squadrons of replicated, pseudo-identical soldiery in lockstep), "ID cards", mobility restriction, tagging/branding (RFID), and above all techno-managerial control.

late capitalists love to scoff at the obvious control-freakery of the Soviet failure, the fantasy of the commissars that control could be exercised on a continent-wide scale by a small elite supervising and interfering and planning the life of millions down to the smallest detail. but the same fantasy emerges in our own midst, not only in the Straussian mania of the neocons and the revanchism of the Dominionists, but in the "mindshare capture" and "covert advertising" of the PR industry, the capture of all mass media into a few commissar-like hands, the monopolistic practises in all industrial sectors, even telling kids what brand of soft drink they will be allowed to drink on a school campus.

this fantasy of an elite few controlling the lives of millions, of techno-planners so able, informed and brilliant that they can serve as the "brain" of a large, stupid "body" (the people), is sooooo C19 it ought to make chuff-chuff steam engine noises and run on coal.

the internet comms technology could, as slothrop suggests, subvert this paradigm (as fax machines briefly subverted the control of the Chinese techno-managerial ruling class) and -- we should be so lucky -- finally lay it to rest. or, the same comms technology could be bent into the old C19 mold and used asymmetrically, from above to below, to enforce the ultimate panopticon society, the nightmare of all thinking people, Orwell's 1984 on crack, the kings and the commissars meet the Matrix. there is my deepest fear.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 23 2004 18:28 utc | 78

Agree with r'giap about the persistence of a drumbeat (if one may call such a vacuity by so dynamic a name) of complete callousness, a racial/religious posture of Uebermenschkeit that informs US "patriotic" and rightwing discourse on Iraq. Going back to McConnell whom I quote above, among the several scurrilities in his text I would count this -- worth examining more closely:


These sentiments mean that as long as Bush is president, we have no real allies in the world, no friends to help us dig out from the Iraq quagmire. More tragically, they mean that if terrorists succeed in striking at the United States in another 9/11-type attack, many in the world will not only think of the American victims but also of the thousands and thousands of Iraqi civilians killed and maimed by American armed forces. The hatred Bush has generated has helped immeasurably those trying to recruit anti-American terrorists...

What I note is the emphasis, the focus, the direction. McConnell does not say that he is personally ashamed of or grieved by the murder of thousands of Iraqi civilians, or that their deaths are a great tragedy -- of course not, they can hardly be compared to the deaths of 3,000 or so of the Herrenvolk at the WTC, which were a Tragedy for the Ages, the Worst Thing That Ever Happened, the Day the Earth Stood Still and so on ad nauseam. No, he is distressed by these deaths -- he finds them tragic -- only because they may draw the sympathy of the world away from the US, or even encourage anger and vengeful feelings towards his country. The only reason he regrets this enormous pile of dead bodies is a strategic one: they died publicly, their deaths are common knowledge, and this reflects poorly on the reputation of the US and may encourage bad attitudes towards it. If it were not for Mr Bush stupidly leaving his victims lying around in plain sight, the world would focus its attention and sympathy properly: exclusively on the American victims of "terrorist" attacks. The world should "only think of the American victims" -- anything which distracts it from that duty is bad politics, and Bush should be held culpable for this failure of leadership.

"The hatred Bush has generated" is the issue in this pundit's mind, not the wickedness of the original crimes that elicit that hatred. This is corporate thinking at its finest: spin control first and foremost, the moral/ethical signature of authoritarian, unaccountable elites the world over. In this gravitational field, the real problem with wrongdoing is getting caught. The real problem with a dead body is that someone might find out about it and that would look bad. It is editorials like this that reinforce the image of Americans as completely, hopelessly, almost psychotically selfish, self-absorbed, self-regarding, autistic, solipsistic, arrogant -- in other words, "people who cannot be reasoned with." McConnell berates Bush for giving America a bad name, but imho it is the impermeable, smug, oblivious disregard for the Other manifested in McConnell's own prose that elicits the desperate response of violent action, the last resort when trying to get the Uebermensch to admit, finally, that the Other exists as a person, as a free human being.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 23 2004 19:01 utc | 79

Parks Service Sticks With Biblical Explanation for Grand Canyon
God is Great! Praise Allah!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 23 2004 19:32 utc | 80

How is this possible in a so called democracy?

While waiting in line, he noticed a stranger standing alone and invited the person to stand with him. 'I didn't think that would be a problem,' he said. It turned out to be. Individuals from the Bush campaign spotted the individual with the soldier and identified the person as a Democratic supporter.

Amazingly, the unnamed Democrat -- who didn't complain about being searched -- had a ticket to the rally but still wasn't let in. And then it get even creepier.

The Bush people claimed the Democrat wasn't on a "master list." The soldier asked to see this list but the organizers said "they didn't have it." But, they soon told the solider that he wasn't it, either -- and they turned him away from the event as well.

The story says that the soldier who came to the event undecided walked away vowing to volunteer for the Kerry campaign.

More on the "1984" election


Looks as if it still might be ok for Catholics to vote for Kerry!

Based upon Cardinal Ratzinger's statement, Catholics might have ''proportionate reasons'' to vote for John Kerry. On Nov. 13, 2002, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on Iraq. It ''raised serious questions about the moral legitimacy of any pre-emptive, unilateral use of military force to overthrow the government of Iraq.''

Catholics who intend to vote for George Bush based solely on the issue of abortion should ponder the bishops movingly eloquent message: ''Based on the facts that are known to us, we continue to find it difficult to justify the resort to war against Iraq, lacking clear and adequate evidence of an imminent attack of a grave nature. ... We fear that resort to war, under present circumstances and in light of current public information, would not meet the strict conditions in Catholic teaching for overriding the strong presumption against the use of military force.


Bishops' letter on Iraq gives Catholic voters options

Posted by: Fran | Oct 23 2004 20:42 utc | 81

have just read in murdoch's soft pornography the 'times literary supplement' - the refined rhetoric of that old cold war warrior edward n luttwak in a review he has written of sy hersh's book 'chain of command'

in this review he manages to demonise & marginalise the effort & work of hersh, praise the army & pass the ammunition, gives homage to the belated chalabi, offers condolence to bush & company, give perle a talking to for being vulgar enough to be caught red handed

all done with a face like buster keatons & the pomposity of an old senator down on his luck in some out of way bar in the backwoods of somewhere else, somewhere south of wherever

in the article - arab is a simple language - easy to 'pick up in a couple of months with a bit of effort', the vietnamese were damnable scoundrels who shot back at the invaders, he also wants the ivy league back at the cia because they know a thing or two about intelligence & in a terminal flourish - he suggest in any case all power is in the liberal infested state department

i do not remember the buffoons name who was once thatchers press secretary & one of murdoch's whores - sir something or other ingram(?) like some caricature from wodehouse - luttwak writes in those sort of tones - decent & all that - just a slight hiccup in the valiant history of empire

that was the bad news
the good news is that germaine greer has written a book demanding that australia needs to be reconstituted as an aboriginal republic - oh my tough girl is getting dreamy but i love her for all that

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2004 21:28 utc | 82

@Diogenes - I slept on that article. I wonder if voters who are challenged are put in the provisional box to be further checked later. If so, that sets up another Florida scenario - if they can get enough set aside for later inspection & hand count, they could declare themselves the winner in the state & prob. the nation again, while sending in rioters & goons to hamper the hand inspections.....

But I am just as worried that networks are not going to be using exit polling this year. That is accurate. They are only using AP results from the Central Tabulator. That's the thing that Bev Harris taught a chimp to fix & obliterate any record it had ever been there doing it. (Video of this on her site, blackboxvoting.org.) People all over the country know how to fix the results......This Election is Beyond Nightmare.....The only hope is that the CIA, which wants these guys out, gets in the last fix! INSANE

Posted by: jj | Oct 23 2004 21:29 utc | 83

@DeAnander
That was a remarkable piece of extraction you did on that McConnell text

and I would just add

and therein lies the central kernal of our mistrust. that democracy, to them is the look of democracy -- layered thick in the salesman pitch, the buried appeal of instinctual self preservation that ontologicaly requires one to look away from the other, is thus covered with a mountain of that which it is not, the better good, spreading freedom, foiling evil, and the like. That the fundimental flaw of democracy, when grounded in capitalism, carries within it's heart an irreconsilable contradiction that will belie any truth to its stated intentions. Democracy, and/or the functions of democracy, cannot be sold and/or exported as a product without also having the preconditions of being a product.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 23 2004 21:36 utc | 84

this just in from AP via truthout.org
 Integrity of Florida Virtual Vote in Doubt
    By Rachel Konrad
    The Associated Press

    Friday 22 October 2004

    Delray Beach, Fla. - Edward Bitet fought in World War II, built affordable housing for veterans and taught sixth grade. When the Long Island native retired to Florida, he fulfilled another civic duty by becoming a poll worker. But Bitet, 77, isn't volunteering this year — he says he doesn't trust Palm Beach County's electronic voting machines. He walked out of a county demonstration of touch-screen terminals convinced that software bugs could wreak havoc on Nov. 2.

    "We lost an election four years ago because they fooled around with the paper ballots and couldn't recount them," said Bitet, a Democrat. "Now we're moving to a system without paper, and they won't even have the ballots to recount. I can't be a part of this."

the article goes on to discuss the fury of the masses when they discover that Repugs plan to steal this one electronically.......I recommend everyone consider this article......I hadn't realized we could have prolonged chaos...the only institutions that adjudicate this have been stolen or taken over by Repugs. Article finally out about politicization of Supremes & deLay's gang under indictment for fixing districts in Texas which will prob. guarantee Repugs control House of Rep. So......does the military step in? Just asking. Anyway, consider this may well be a helluva lot uglier than we are thinking about.....

Posted by: | Oct 23 2004 21:44 utc | 85

oops, sorry, that last post was me.

Posted by: jj | Oct 23 2004 21:45 utc | 86

also from truthout:

  Mother of Fallen NYPD Cadet: Does President Bush Know the Anguish of Losing a Child?
    By Talat G. Hamdani
    Yubanet.com

    Saturday 23 October 2004

Mother of Mohammad Salman Hamdani

    My name is Talat Hamdani and I lost my son, Mohammad Salman Hamdani at the WTC terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Salman was my first-born. I joined my husband, Mohammad Saleem Hamdani, in New York on February 3, 1979. Salman was thirteen months old, learning to walk. We had come in search of the American Dream, which was cruelly shattered that fateful day of September 11, 2001.

    Salman was a paramedic and an NYPD Cadet who voluntarily went there to rescue his fellow Americans and gave the ultimate sacrifice. He had been accepted to Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s MD PhD program in July 2001. A patriotic citizen, he wanted to become a medical doctor on American soil. Ironically, he was suspected and investigated as a terrorist and we were informed on March 20, 2002, that his remains were found, twenty four pieces, outside the North Tower. My life changed forever. I expressed my grief in numerous interviews on the first anniversary of 911.

    There was a void in life, a vacuum, a sense of incompleteness. I stopped cooking and happiness was an alien creature. This loss took its toll on my husband, and he lost his battle with life on July 21, 2004. The loss of my husband, my best friend, my partner of grief, whom I knew for the last 38 years, made me sit back and reflect on my life. Destiny pushed me on a new path of life. I am compelled to speak the truth and participate actively for the security of all human life.

    An educator by profession, I was living in my own world, far away from the world of politics. That’s why, although a registered Democrat, at the advice of my husband, I had crossed party lines and voted for G.W. Bush in 2000, like Salman and my husband. I paid dearly for my mistake and this realization has forced me to get involved with politics. I don’t want to repeat my mistake, nor suffer any more. That is why I am endorsing the Kerry-Edwards team. I feel betrayed by President Bush.

    President Bush led our nation to an immoral war in Iraq where our troops are dying daily and their parents and families are receiving the flag draped coffins to be buried under tons of dirt. Is there any price for life? Can President Bush bring these courageous men back to life? Does President Bush know the anguish of losing a child? Not to be able to see your dear one whom you raised for twenty three years ever again? Each and every moment of my life I miss my son.

    My husband always wondered why were the Bin Ladin’s escorted to safety from our country and not handed over to us? Why did President Bush call this war on terror a crusade? Is this the way you make America safer? Americans are being hunted down and beheaded and we have lost our dignity and credibility in the global community.

    I endorse John Kerry because he has fought for our land and has seen death, and therefore he can empathize with our loss and protect us from any further terrorist attacks. He has put his life in harms way for our nation, and will do again, if necessary. John Kerry supports the 911 Commission’s recommendations without jeopardizing our civil liberties. John Kerry is a man of moral values, who does not lie and I trust him and have full faith in him.

    John Kerry believes in a strong coalition of nations, not of puppets. He knows the importance of alliances which is an important tool to win this war on terror.

    America needs a man of moral values, a man of principles, a man who will not exploit the tragedy and loss of others life for his own selfish ends. America needs a man of integrity and honesty so she may get her dignity and command respect in the world once again.

    John Kerry has all these attributes and I know he will lead our nation to her old glory of liberty and justice for all.

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2004 22:02 utc | 87

Concerning the theocray: I have spent the summer talking to people about the neo-theocracy and their propaganda unit run by Wallbuilders and David Barton. As an historian, I am appalled at this glib attempt to remove over two hundred years of safeguards our founding fathers had the wisdon to add to the constituion and its interpretation regarding the separation of church and state. Barton's "proof texts" from the founding fathers expressing items of faith, either made up or out of context, is an historical travesty fit only for the fundamentalist home school crowd. But its hit that target hard. Do a Google search and your find thousands of sites hawking his nonsense curriculum. As of yet I have found no Americanist who is willing to take him on. They consider him "beneath their radar" but usually are unaware of his impact with the Bush crowd. Barton's the second biggest religious threat to human freedom and dignity next to the other Bush spiritual advisor and supporter, the cult leader and owner of UPI and The Washington Times, Sun Myung Moon. With the money Bush is pumping into his cult-generated abstinence program, Free Teens USA (estimated by some to be 270,000,000 of your tax dollars) any American should be shocked. The cult that stole our children in the 1970's is Bush's favored religion to teach our children about sex! Sick, Sick, Sick! God, Kerry's win won't stop the Neocons or the RNC master plan, but it will set it back long enough for people to catch on.

Posted by: Diogenes | Oct 23 2004 22:18 utc | 88

@Pat,
This morning 7a.m. NPR announced that Zarqawi had been captured. Surprised not to see other posts about it here. I think that falls within the 48 hr prediction. Kudos!

Re: Pat Buchanan's question Why reward Kerry for Bush's mistakes: I would answer because it beats the alternative, which is that rewarding the culprit for his own bad policy removes accountability. Surely we can also throw Kerry out on his can in 4 years if his policies prove to be equally disastrous.

To do otherwise is to put partisanship above principles.

Posted by: gylangirl | Oct 23 2004 23:02 utc | 89

about voting: one of my colleagues is deeply involved in the effort to enforce requirements for an auditable paper trail on the new evoting machines. as s'ware engineers we feel very strongly about the release of such inferior technology for such an important application. anyway, a few things to watch:

https://voteprotect.org/>VoteProtect.org system for receiving and collating reports of voting irregularities. watch their https://voteprotect.org/index.php?display=EIRMapNation&tab=ALL>map display of reported voting irregularities in all the states. use mouse over any state to see total count of incidents reported. click on state to see more detail.

just for grins, look at the total report count, then put your mouse over Florida and see its contribution to the total. I could go on but you get the picture.

this site, as well as verifiedvoting.org, blackboxvoting.org and the rest, are entirely volunteer efforts. software engineers, civil libertarians, researchers, information scientists, activists have been working around the clock to get (and keep) these sites up and running. now I ask myself, why are not such sites as these operated and run by the government as a matter of course? and audited by a bipartisan national committee of qualified statisticians, computer scientists, and civil liberties advocates?

another thing to watch out for. if you go to a precinct to vote and you are a late registrant and/or at the wrong precinct, you may not be on the voter rolls. but they are supposed to give you a special provisional ballot so that you can vote anyway. however, a major scandal is brewing over these ballots. in several states (I will leave you to guess which ones) the authorities have interpreted the language of HAVA (which you should really read), i.e. that these ballots are valid "within the jurisdiction," to mean strictly "within the precinct". so though you may be given a form and you may vote, your ballot will be discarded in these states if you do not go to exactly the right precinct.

now consider Florida -- recently devastated by multiple hurricanes. buildings flattened, power out, precincts have been relocated, early voters are not sure which precinct to go to... getting the picture?

and this is just the tip of the mighty iceberg of vote fraud. there's the Sproul-owned company where voter registration records were destroyed when marked for the wrong party (again I'll leave you to figure out which one that was). there was the incident where college students thought they were signing a med marijuana petition, but were suckered into signing a voter reg form for a party they didn't want to register for (three guesses). and more.

http://www.verifiedvoting.org>VerifiedVoting
http://www.blackboxvoting.org>BlackBoxVoting
http://voting.idlecircuits.com>Electoral Fraud and Evoting Machines

Tammany Hall was nothing compared to this.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 23 2004 23:13 utc | 90

@gylangirl

The coyote again, in a new form?

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 24 2004 0:10 utc | 91

When I was 15 & 16, my best friend was an Iraqi classmate. At the time, Iranians were quite unpopular in the U.S., and he regularly got insulted for being an expletive expletive Iranian. Usually, he explained that he was Iraqi and that his nation was Iraq's great enemy, and people would respond with some version of, "Whatever, we hate you."

What I saw in those people's faces was merely the desire to torment someone who they hoped would not be defended. In their eyes you could see they were happy to find someone they could classify as a legitimate enemy, a legitimate subhuman. It didn't matter then to them, and it doesn't matter now to the people who are looking to prove they're better by treating someone else worse. This works for adults in the States because there is a lot of money to be made from dispossessing people, and the government is not going to be the solution to that, not until and not unless people realize that they themselves already are the Untermenschen, that they're next in line (see Fran's story above on the continuing education).

But even that is not enough. The fellow unpopular kids with whom I hung out in high school were always eager to take crumbs of kindness from the popular kids, even if it meant betraying their daily companions. The problem was that they hated their 'friends.' This is the sad and dangerous state of the fascist supporters. They have no friends, only allies, temporary allies. And they will sell themselves up the ladder at the first offer, even when they know it's temporary. What is shocking is that our media became important enough to be taken over by these geldings, and we are used to hearing this bleating as normal discourse. The problem is that Americans view each other as disposable accessories, accessories needed to prove to tomorrow's enemies that they are "in," not vulnerable to becoming suddenly 'Iranian.' That's the permanent insecurity our security state increasingly seems meant to create.

Personally, the solution was to grow up, to leave behind that strange holding space of school. Nationally, we are still in high school.

Posted by: Citizen | Oct 24 2004 2:55 utc | 92

Our Magical President


Believing, it seems, is more important to the President than the substance of his belief. Jesus Christ’s particular teachings -- well, those are good, too. But what really matters is that if you believe you can do something, you can.

What Suskind misses, and what Bush’s more orthodox Christian supporters seem to dodge, is that this is not Christian doctrine by any definition. It is, in fact, a key element of the broad, heterodox movement known as New Age religion.

A common aspect of many New Age schools of thought (though not all) is a gentle disdain for perceived reality. That's different from the fundamentalist aversion to worldliness; rather, this approach views the "real world" as that which is within the mind or heart or spirit of the believer. That idea is often dismissed as a modern bastardization of psychology, but many New Agers argue that their beliefs are actually ancient; and, despite the fact that the superficial characteristics are often of a recent vintage, there’s some truth to that assertion. New Age religions are, literally, reactionary, responses to what’s been called the disenchantment of the world. Another word for that process is the Enlightenment, with its claims of empirical accuracy. New Age movements attempt to revive -- or create anew --pre-Enlightenment ideas about magic, alchemy, ghosts, and whatever else practitioners can glean from a record for the most part expunged by institutional Christianity.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 24 2004 5:20 utc | 93

The "Ohio-Florida-Diebold-voting-rights-suppression" aspect of this thread seems crucial. I assume (but "hope" would be more accurate)
that Democrats are taking serious steps to win this aspect of what
current jargon calls "the ground war" (naturally it has to be a military metaphor to "capture" the spirit of this election). I also wonder if minorities (and here I include "scruffy looking types",not just blacks or non-Cuban Hispanics) are going to raise hell when confronted with self-appointed "challengers". Everybody (who is interested) remembers the mini-riot staged by Republican operatives telecommanded from Washington(or Texas) which succeeded in stopping a vote recount in Dade County (I think, perhaps it was another Florida county), and, of course, Greg Palast has documented the conscious effort to "clean" the voting rolls of "convicted felons" in Florida, which, not coincidentally, just happened to exclude a lot of perfectly legal black voters. It's clear that the first step in countering these actions should be a highly visible and well-staffed legal counseling service ready to intervene "on demand". Beyond that
I suspect that there is going to be "major friction" between competing
partisans. It could get, to use Pat Robertson's phrase "very messy"

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 24 2004 5:57 utc | 94

King George the Witless is truly the most venal and corrupt of all American Presidents, a true nadir in U.S. politics. Today the guy saying that he is going to simplify the tax code and make it more fair just signed a pork-laden, $146-billion dollar 'Corporate Tax Bill' into law. Here is a list of some of the corporate welfare giveaways:

Ceiling Fans - $44 million - Suspends a $4.7% duty on ceiling fans, which Home Depot is one of the main beneficiaries. This is for any ceiling fans purchased before 12/31/2006: Home Depot is a big supporter of Bush and the Repugs, responsible for more than $500K in direct and indirect campaign contributions. Not a bad investment for them!

Whaling subsidy - Charitable contributions deduction for certain expenses in support of native Alaskan subsistence whaling - $4 million: Isn't the concept of subsistence whaling to preserve traditional Native American culture? Or have they always hunted whales using power boats and 50-caliber rifles?

etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc............... I guess you get the message.

More on Needlenose, they also have a direct
Link to the article.


Determined to deal aggressively with the terrorists they expected to capture, the officials bypassed the federal courts and their constitutional guarantees, giving the military the authority to detain foreign suspects indefinitely and prosecute them in tribunals not used since World War II.

The plan was considered so sensitive that senior White House officials kept its final details hidden from the president's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and the secretary of state, Colin L. Powell, officials said. It was so urgent, some of those involved said, that they hardly thought of consulting Congress.

Island of Balta has more and also a direct link to the article.

Now I have to run, as I am working today.

Posted by: Fran | Oct 24 2004 6:34 utc | 95

This thread is one of the best I ever read and the first I printed to keep and reread in future. Thanks to everybody who participated.

Two news items I stumbled on today:

The Washington Post endorses Kerry Kerry for President

These failings have a common source in Mr. Bush's cocksureness, his failure to seek advice from anyone outside a narrow circle and his unwillingness to expect the unexpected or adapt to new facts. These are dangerous traits in any president but especially in a wartime leader. They are matched by his failure to admit his errors or to hold senior officials accountable for theirs.
...
We do not view a vote for Mr. Kerry as a vote without risks. But the risks on the other side are well known, and the strengths Mr. Kerry brings are considerable. He pledges both to fight in Iraq and to reach out to allies; to hunt down terrorists, and to engage without arrogance the Islamic world. These are the right goals, and we think Mr. Kerry is the better bet to achieve them.

The Geneva convention is not regarded as law by the US.
NYT After Terror, a Secret Rewriting of Military Law partly cited by Fran above and WaPo Memo Lets CIA Take Detainees Out of Iraq

At the request of the CIA, the Justice Department drafted a confidential memo that authorizes the agency to transfer detainees out of Iraq for interrogation -- a practice that international legal specialists say contravenes the Geneva Conventions.

One intelligence official familiar with the operation said the CIA has used the March draft memo as legal support for secretly transporting as many as a dozen detainees out of Iraq in the last six months. The agency has concealed the detainees from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other authorities, the official said.

The draft opinion, written by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and dated March 19, 2004, refers to both Iraqi citizens and foreigners in Iraq,...

- can they spell war crime?

Posted by: b | Oct 24 2004 12:00 utc | 96

The plan was considered so sensitive that senior White House officials kept its final details hidden from the president's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and the secretary of state, Colin L. Powell...

and of course it would be just coincidental that these are the only two prominent Black folks in the inner circle, right? the two who don't need to be consulted, who only find out by water-cooler gossip or (worse) reading the papers, what has gone on behind their backs? what a great feeling it must be for Condi and Colin, to have made it so far and then find out they are just window dressing to paper over the Party's longstanding racism. or maybe they knew that all along and are only in it for their respective family businesses...

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 24 2004 13:46 utc | 97

One of the things about living in a country that's getting seriously weird -- infected with the Beloved Leader virus -- say, Russia after Stalin got a grip, N Korea, Germany 1936 or so, the McCarthy episode, or our own freakshow decade -- is that once the media accept the weirdness, propagate it, or at least decline to comment on it, it becomes "normal." It's like living in a bubble -- a collective fantasy into which no reality is allowed to intrude. Thank goodness for the internet and voices from outside the bubble, like http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguide/columnists/story/0,,1333748,00.html>Charlie Brooker's savage editorial from the Guardian yesterday. If this were published by any paper in the US, the FBI would be knocking on their door next week -- and perhaps that's why no US paper is saying the obvious:


The internet's a-buzz with speculation that Bush has been wearing a wire, receiving help from some off-stage lackey. Screen grabs appearing to show a mysterious bulge in the centre of his back are being traded like Top Trumps. Prior to seeing the debate footage, I regarded this with healthy scepticism: the whole "wire" scandal was just wishful thinking on behalf of some amateur Michael Moores, I figured. And then I watched the footage.

Quite frankly, the man's either wired or mad. If it's the former, he should be flung out of office: tarred, feathered and kicked in the nuts. And if it's the latter, his behaviour goes beyond strange, and heads toward terrifying. He looks like he's listening to something we can't hear. He blinks, he mumbles, he lets a sentence trail off, starts a new one, then reverts back to whatever he was saying in the first place. Each time he recalls a statistic (either from memory or the voice in his head), he flashes us a dumb little smile, like a toddler proudly showing off its first bowel movement. Forgive me for employing the language of the playground, but the man's a tool.

So I sit there and I watch this and I start scratching my head, because I'm trying to work out why Bush is afforded any kind of credence or respect whatsoever in his native country. His performance is so transparently bizarre, so feeble and stumbling, it's a miracle he wasn't laughed off the stage. And then I start hunting around the internet, looking to see what the US media made of the whole "wire" debate. And they just let it die. They mentioned it in passing, called it a wacko conspiracy theory and moved on[...]

The silence is all the more troubling since in the past the US news media has had no problem at all covering other wacko conspiracy theories, ones with far less evidence to support them. (For infuriating confirmation of this, watch the second part of the must-see documentary series The Power Of Nightmares (Wed, 9pm, BBC2) and witness the absurd hounding of Bill Clinton over the Whitewater and Vince Foster non-scandals.)

Throughout the debate, John Kerry, for his part, looks and sounds a bit like a haunted tree. But at least he's not a lying, sniggering, drink-driving, selfish, reckless, ignorant, dangerous, backward, drooling, twitching, blinking, mouse-faced little cheat...

What I'd give to read such plain speaking on the op/ed page of any major daily in the US. The Emperor Has No Clothes! OK, Brooker may be a bit over the top there near the end -- but do we only think so because we're living inside the bubble? Ever watched old newsreel footage of Herr H speaking to the masses? it's ridiculous. He's a high-pitched, spittle-spraying ranter, someone who'd get laughed off a box at Hyde Park Corner. A certified nutter -- who could have taken him seriously? And yet a nation swooned over him, turned their brains off, put their racism in gear, and marched their country into appalling crime, into political disaster -- and into opprobrium that will take generations to wear off. And the downhill effects of that avalanche continue to roll -- if it weren't for Herr H and his teppischfressing, would an IDF goon have emptied his clip into the body of a Palestinian girlchild a few days ago, just to make sure?

What, in G-d's name, have we set in motion in the last 4 years and what downhill effects will still be rolling throughout my lifetime and after? Suppose our naked aging boy-Emperor (or his clever ministers and handlers) manage to retain the crown (literally, the one they're installing in the Lincoln Bedroom in anticipation of the re-coronation) -- I'm at a loss for words here, what I'm trying to say I think is that America is drifting away from the shores of reality. We're to the point already where we're told to take seriously and treat with respect, even venerate, a man who publicly behaves like a fool, a man who even, on the record, openly jokes about his own regime's lies (looking under the table for WMD -- with the cameras rolling), a man who performed so poorly in even the most dumbed-down television debate that the rest of the world is wondering what must be our drinking water.

Once you get inside an airtight bubble like the one Rove is trying to build around the US, any horror is possible. It's not just stupid and embarrassing. It's scary as hell.

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 24 2004 14:19 utc | 98

By way of consolation, DeAnander, I offer the following quote from this morning's WaPo, to be found in an article by Mike Allen and Lois Romano on page AO9, entitled "Candidates Hit Key States": "One Republican official described the mood at the top of the campaign as apprehensive. '"Grim" is too strong,' the official said. 'If we feel this way a week from now, that will be grim.'"

Posted by: alabama | Oct 24 2004 15:11 utc | 99

deanander

yes, its scary as hell & as the resistance has sd despite the forthcoming massacre that will take place in fallujah - 'we gave closed the doors of paradise for you & you have opened the doors of hell' - though hyperbole that may be - i have no doubt that this unorganised resistance will overwhelm the american army & soon offer defeats that will be reminiscent of dien bien phu, khe sahn, hue etc - when they coalesce these forces - they will not only defeat the americans - they will also create a middle east i don't even want to think about

scary as hell, yes

still(not quite)steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 24 2004 15:11 utc | 100

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