Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Bush Magic Is Gone

It's easy to speculate about democracy, victory, a unified Iraq, etc. the way Bush does, but how realistic is this?

The Kurds have and will continue to have their own country with 20% of the oil.

The Shiites also have their own country with 60% of the population and 80% of the oil.

The Sunni Arabs have 20% of the population and 0% of the oil.

The Sunni Arabs used to exploit the Kurds and the Shiites mercilessly. The Sunni Arabs are the majority of the insurgents. They are killing, kidnapping and blowing up. It's all they can do.

The Shiites want no part of the Sunni Arabs. They do want to play nice with Iran and are doing so. The Shiites have at least two militias.

The Kurds want no part of any Arabs, Sunni or Shiite. The Kurds have a well-equipped militia, the pesh merga.

By what magic can Bush meld these antagonistic groups into a peaceful, unified, democratic Iraq?

Short answer: it can't be done.

Bush certainly offers no credible plan.

Sunnis and Marines Are Talking about Withdrawal


"We all want the withdrawal," Nasir Abdul Karim, leader of Anbar province's Albu Rahad tribe, told scores of the armed Marines and Sunni sheiks, clerical leaders and other elders at the gathering Monday in Ramadi, 60 miles west of Baghdad. "We all believe it is an illegitimate occupation, and it is a legitimate resistance."

"We're committed to withdrawing," responded Brig. Gen. James L. Williams of the 2nd Marine Division, "as soon as we have strong units" in the Iraqi army to replace U.S.-led forces. "I understand the resistance,"

Another Bridge to Nowhere

See the Oliphant cartoon at:

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

God Save America

We have all seen the "God Bless America" stickers on cars.

It's time for a change.

The prayer we should be sending up to God should be a sincere request to save us from the ever present incompetence of the Bush/Cheney Administration.

Today's NYTimes, on page A8 carries a story entitled "U.S. Lacks Plan to Curb Terror Funds, Agency Says." Here are the first two paragraphs:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 - The government's efforts to help foreign nations cut off the supply of money to terrorists, a critical goal for the Bush administration, have been stymied by infighting among American agencies, leadership problems and insufficient financing, a new Congressional report says.

More than four years after the Sept. 11 attacks, "the U.S. government lacks an integrated strategy" to train foreign countries and provide them with technical assistance to shore up their financial and law enforcement systems against terrorist financing, according to the report prepared by the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress.

On page A27 in the same issue of the NYTimes, we see an op-ed piece entitled, "Think Inside the Box." The first paragraph follows.

THIS week President Bush will seek to focus the nation's attention on border security and immigration reform. But the president's proposals won't protect Americans from our gravest cross-border threat: the possibility that a ship, truck or train will one day import a 40-foot cargo container in which terrorists have hidden a dirty bomb or nuclear weapon.

God Save America.

Nancy Pelosi 3rd in line for Presidency?

A detailed anlysis by former Congressman Martin Frost published on FoxNews at,2933,176944,00.html

predicts that Nancy Pelosi may well be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.

This lends credibility to my previous post on the Republicans' dilemma.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A Chance to Do Well by Doing Good

Bob Herbert concludes today's NYTimes column as follows:

"We need to cut our losses in Iraq. The folly of the Bush crowd and its apologists is now plain for all to see. Congressman Murtha is right, the war is not sustainable. Even Republicans in Congress are starting to bail out on this impossible mission. They're worried - not about the welfare of the troops, but about their chances in the 2006 elections.

To continue sending people to their deaths under these circumstances is worse than pointless, worse than irresponsible. It's a crime of the most grievous kind."

To complete Herbert's thought: Here's an opportunity for Congressional Republicans to do good for their country and do well for themselves by impeaching Bush and Cheney and throwing them out of office.

What a sweet prospect!

How can they resist it?

How can House Speaker Denny Hastert resist it? He would become President Hastert.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Applying Darwin's Theory to (Democratic) Nations

We visited the Darwin exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City today.

Absolutely fascinating.

To make the exhibition even more convincing they showed live Galapagos animals: a tortoise, a lizard and a small colorful frog.

Later in the day, as we were eating Chinese take-out, I experienced a light bulb moment, a brilliant insight.

Applying Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest to nations led me to the conclusion that the only democracies that will live and prosper are those whose citizens analyze critically and reject the bull$hit that their leaders feed them.

During the past fifty years, three or four U.S. Presidents have promoted monumental lies and convinced enough voters so that many lives and much treasure were wasted. We paid the price and recovered because of our strong position.

Now, the chickens are coming home to roost. The harm that is being done to our nation by the Bush/Cheney regime is so outstandingly bad that the future of our nation is at serious risk. Mounting debt, threat of high interest rates and/or inflation, failing major industries, loss of competitive position, all threaten us.

On the positive side, many people who voted for Bush/Cheney are having second thoughts.

But what of the future? If voters continue to perceive political contests as TV game shows and vote for the more charming or better dressed candidate, as they did in 2000 and 2004, what will our future be? I fear that our Nation will go extinct, like the dinosaurs, the passenger pigeon and the dodo.

The End of the Our Iraq War is Taking Shape

According to the LATimes, attempts by Vice President Dick Cheney, and others, to counter Rep. Murtha, a decorated veteran of Korean and Vietnam, backfired. See:

The same article predicted that:

. . . the president is expected to say at the Naval Academy in Annapolis that Iraqi troops are close to being able to operate on their own.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said recently that the United States should be able to start reducing the number of troops in Iraq soon.

So, who is going to take over in Iraq? It looks like a new dictator is going to take charge, Abdul Aziz Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Shiite Muslim religious party that leads the transitional government and whose armed wing is the most feared of Iraq's many factional forces, according to the Washington Post:

Good bye, Saddam - hello, Hakim.

George Bush can take credit for replacing a secular tyrant with a Shiite tyrant. Was that worth all the American human and monetary sacrifice?

P.S. Let's not forget Moktada el Sadr, another turbaned jewel. He's even more aggressive than Hakim, so in a showdown he might be the winner. Just lovely.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Republicans' Dilemma

George W. Bush's terrible poll ratings pose a serious problem to Republicans running for office. They do not want to have to defend the President’s record during their campaigns for re-election because that might cause them to lose.

What to do?

One possibility is to impeach Bush and Cheney in the House of Representatives and to remove them both from office by a two thirds vote in the Senate, early in 2006. Then the Speaker of the House, Denny Hastert becomes President. He can run for another four years in 2008. As an incumbent, he presents a formidable obstacle to any Democratic candidate.

On the other hand, if they do not impeach Bush and Cheney in 2006 and run having to defend Bush, Republicans might lose control of Congress, or at least the House of Representatives.

Then, in 2007, Nancy Pelosi becomes Speaker of the House. With a Democratic majority, the House would impeach Bush and Cheney in 2007. If enough Republicans join forces with the Democrats, the Senate might remove Bush and Cheney from office and Nancy Pelosi becomes President.

If you were a Republican member of Congress running for re-election, what would you do? Impeach Bush and Cheney in 2006 or take a chance?

The Confession of George W. Bush

I, George W. Bush, am sorely burdened by the weight of my offenses against the people and Constitution of the United States. Therefore I am compelled to confess as follows.

1. I have put my expected gain ahead of the well-being of the people of the United States. In seeking to maximize my wealth and the wealth of my family and close friends, I have ordered our military to invade Iraq. My objective was to grab half the Iraqi oil - worth $50 billion per year, and rising.

2. In implementing my attempt to grab Iraq’s oil, I have caused the deaths of more than 2000 Americans and uncounted tens of thousands of Iraqis. I have also caused the maiming of thousands of Americans and Iraqis. I have also wasted hundreds of billions of dollars of US Treasury funds in fighting the war in Iraq.

3. I have lied, grossly and repeatedly. I have stated a series of outrageous lies to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq. I never admitted the true reason for the invasion, which was to steal half of Iraq’s oil for my personal gain and the gain of my family and close friends.

4. My biggest and most vicious lie is the lie that gained the widest acceptance among the American people: the lie that fighting in Iraq was keeping the terrorists from striking us at home, in the US. The repeated telling of that lie by myself and my fellow politicians and supporters in the media enabled me to get reelected in 2004.

Extenuating Circumstances

I take responsibility for my actions. I offer the following extenuating circumstances.

a) In stealing half of the Iraqi oil, I would be stealing it from Saddam Hussein, an evil man. It’s ok if the oil passes from Saddam Hussein to me.

b) I have had many helpers in gaining acceptance for my lies. The media repeated my lies with no criticism. The Democratic party did not challenge me. Many voters accepted my lies even though a few minutes of thought would have exposed the lies for what they were. Examples follow.

The fact that I presented a series of reasons for the war in Iraq (offense #3, above) shows that I am more interested in fighting the war than in having a credible stated reason for doing so. That should tell my audience that I have a hidden reason. In such a case, the conventional wisdom says: “Follow the money.” Doing that leads to offenses #1 and #2 above.

The biggest lie (#4, above) is transparently a lie. The war in Iraq does not protect the US from terrorists. It obviously does not protect us from domestic terrorists, such as Tim McVeigh, the Oklahoma City killer of more than 150 Americans or Eric Rudolph the convicted 1996 Olympic bomber, who also conducted three other bombings, killing two and injuring over 100 others. The Iraq war also does not protect us from 9/11 type terrorists, who are radically different from Iraqi insurgents: they speak English fluently and have lived in the US or Western Europe long enough to blend in. They would not go to Iraq if they were going to attack the US. Detouring to Iraq would expose them needlessly to being killed or captured.

I should not have lied. On the other hand, plenty of people could have challenged my lies. They chose not to. None of the voters were obligated to believe my obvious lies. Yet they chose to believe them.