May 4, 2004
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Subject: Yahoo! News Story - Panel Seeks Steps for Cuba Regime Change
What in the hell is going on here? We have taken over Haiti and Iraq, we will now be taking over Cuba? The old cold warriors don't seem to know what time it is.
Subject: Are the Bush/Bandar gas prices just ok?
People fussed and fumed when prices were way lower during the Clinton era. The media went on and on about the"high" prices of gas under Clinton. Everyone blamed him. Now, there is a strange silence. Gas prices are at an all time high (and if you think they are going back down, you must think oil companies are compassionate and I have some beachfront property for you in Indiana). Bush has a plan to make you suffer. Then he is going to have his buddy Bandar drop the prices before the election, you know the Saudi, (remember the country that sent the planes into the World Trade Center?)
Bush/Bandar '04 --That's what he might as well advertise.
Subject: Was Paul Bremer threatened by Cheney and thugs
I guess Paul Bremer must have gotten threats from the old Cheney mob. He took back statements critical of King George II.
Paul O'Neill was threatened too. We have a country run by a mob headed
I read you all the time and love what you do. Don't stop. However, I also have one slight criticism of your site. The torture of Iraqis and Afghanis in prison is terrible, we can all admit to that, and those guilty of the crime ought to be punished.
However, I do have a little quibble with you equating what some American soldiers have done in Iraq with what Saddam Hussein did. I don't like George Bush and I hate this war, but I don't think generally that the US is practicing Hussein tactics in Iraq. It just seems a little over the top to me--and an easy feeder line for the Right--to say that we've replaced the "torture and humiliation" inflicted on Iraqis by Saddam Hussein with nothing less than more torture and humiliation.
No doubt we've done things wrong over there. Anyone who reads Baghdad Burning or Juan Cole is well aware of our missteps and outright scandalous behavior on many fronts. This latest episode of prison humiliation is just another example of why this entire adventure is really a terrible misadventure that we should have probably never had in the first place. Let's face it: war can make good people bad and bad people worse. I guess I just don't see any reason to give the same wingnut propagandists -- O'Reilly, Scarborough, you name it--who helped get us into this more uber patriot PR fodder for them to toss around. I'm just tired of everyone on the Left being labeled unpatriotic; I'm even more tired of the Left playing into the wingnut stereotype.
Again, thanks for the great site and I love your work,
Subject: tortured prisoners
I don't know about everyone else, but I am NOT shocked, surprised, amazed at the horrifying photographs currently circulating. I'm filled with disgust and sadness -- sadness for the torture victims, certainly, but also for those who committed these crimes. Those soldiers have to go home and somehow adjust to normal life after an extended stint at being a monster. They'll be walking through their local Wal-Mart just weeks after having attached electrodes to someone's genitals or kicked someone to death. Hello, cognitive dissonance! I hope the Veterans Administration is ready for an influx of mental health patients.
BUT THIS IS WAR!! Those of us who objected to the whole thing in the first place had a very good reason -- this is what happens!! Apparently some Americans have the idea that war is this nice clean football game with machine guns, where everyone acts with utmost sportsmanship and there's an obvious, deserving winner at the end. Since frickin' when??
And in any case, the COMMANDER IN CHIEF is the one who needs to take ultimate responsibility for the atrocities, and no one else. My biggest fear here is that the little guy -- the one at the bottom of the hill down which shit tends to roll -- will be the one taking the brunt of the blame and the punishment. But Bush, Cheney and henchmen, need to take responsibility. Of course, they WON'T, chickenhawk a-holes that they are. So they need responsibility forced upon them. Let's do it. Don't let up -- don't let them get away with saying, Oooh, we're so shocked! We had no idea this could happen! Because they're the ones who sent these people -- some of whom were clearly unprepared -- into a horrible, totally warped situation. None of us can say with certainty that we wouldn't torture prisoners if we were there, being forced to do what they do.
Actually, it makes a kind of sense, doesn't it. Bush has no idea what war is -- he didn't experience it, and he doesn't read books. His knowledge of war must come from movies -- not even good movies -- and TV shows. This is why we need Kerry in office. He knows what kind of Hell war really is.
Thanks for giving me the space to vent. Normally I feel pretty good when it turns out I was right about something, but now I just feel sick.
Subject: Couldn't have said it better...
of your headlines you talk about Kerry making a statement that "Americans
aren't buying that stuff..." and that we, are "probably in trouble" if
Kerry believes that.
Subject: A Marine Comes Home
The following article was very touching. It put a face on the kids dying in Iraq. It confirms the story of the lady who was fired for taking photos of the caskets. The military takes great care of each of our dead soldiers.
One line caught my attention: At the restaurant, the table had a flyer announcing the service. Dubois High School gym: 2 o'clock. It also said that the family would be accepting donations so that they could buy flak vests to send to troops in Iraq
Subject: Torture March 7th 03 article and bush SOTU
Seems like the latest round of "Stress and Duress" is not new to the Military's command structure or possibly the "contractors" used by the command structure. The deserter Bush even gloats about it in his SOTU address of 2003, see bottom of article.
John in Seattle
Dear Senator Kerry,
Although my first choice for President was Howard Dean, I will vote for you because I'm an ABB type--anybody but Bush. The problem is your stance on the Iraqi war is basically Bush light. With the public disclosure of US and British soldiers behaving, as The Duke of Wellington said, "the brutal and licentious soldiery," you now have the opportunity to distance yourself from the puppet in the White House.
It's time to withdraw our troops before we suffer increasing casualties. This was and is wrong. We will suffer a loss of face for a time but this will pass. With passing of sovereignty to the Iraqis on July 1 we should draw back to a line South of Basra to a defensive position and start withdrawing equipment and troops by sea and air. At the same time call for a Pan Arab meeting along with UN and NATO leaders to help in restoring order to this shattered land. But you must declare we have toppled Saddam, which was always our objective (a white lie but sounds reassuring).
You must have a policy which shows you are different from Bush -- Wesley Clark would make a splendid ambassador to head up your plan. You must be more forceful and explicit. As it now stands you are getting too personally involved in the Viet Nam era -- so much water under the bridge an, of course, we don't want 50,000 dead in Iraq! Now get some fire in the belly and bring peace to this ravaged country. Good luck Senator.
A. Leslie Palme
Subject: let's use more accurate terminology
We are learning more each day about the role of private sector "contractors" in carrying out the war in Iraq. Private sector outfits like Titan Corporation, CACI International and numerous additional contractors providing security for corporate interests in Iraq meet the definition of "paramilitary organizations", and that is what we should be calling them. It's no little thing. The private sector has thousands of armed personnel inside Iraq.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Re: Inflaming the Shia??
I am fairly addicted to BuzzFlash but may have missed something. I'm wondering how the Shia are responding to the appointment of a Sunni General and the recruitment of Republican guard members to restore the peace in Fallujah. Wouldn't the appearance of the old uniform, flag, faces, etc., distress them? I'm thinking that this "hail mary pass" to solve one disaster may in fact be increasing the likelihood of another in the presence of civil war - now or after June 30.
Thanks for all your work!
Barbara A. Rosen
Subject: Re: Karen Hughes as GOP Hypocrite
You really shouldn't be too hard on Karen. Apparently she never got over being born in the land of cheese-eating surrender monkeys, which explains why she behaves in a way that no properly raised Southern lady would:
Incidentally, our good buddy Tom DeLay has gone on record as saying "Good afternoon, or, as John Kerry might say, 'Bonjour.'" This raises a little question: what the hell kind of name is DeLay anyway? Sounds pretty French to me. So I thought I'd see if I could trace his ancestry. To do that, you start with the parents and work backwards. What are the names of DeLay's parents? I haven't been able to find out. In his official biographies, he doesn't say (see http://tomdelay.house.gov/biography.htm , http://www.tomdelay.com/html/biography.cfm , and http://www.goptoday.com/html/bio.cfm ).
Why not? Someone somewhere knows the answer to this, and knows something about his ancestry. It might be fun to do a little research or to try to find someone who knows. You never know what interesting facts might turn up, especially since the old boy seems to have gone to some trouble to hide this information. Please consider posting this somewhere and asking for volunteers. It could be fun.
Subject: Contractors in Iraq
So what was Thomas Hamill, the recently-released contractor, doing in Iraq? Well, it's an American fairy tale of the new millennium.
Since Tom's small family dairy farm had been swallowed by corporate Agribusiness, he was in debt to corporate Financebusiness and out of work. He was desperate to pay for his wife's heart surgery, which wasn't covered by corporate HMObusiness. Things looked bad. Luckily, George Bush, who seized power with the help of corporate Mediabusiness, had just started a war in the Middle East for the corporate Military\Industribusiness. They were looking for a 'few good men'.
So Tom goes to work in Iraq for Dick Cheney's corporate Warbusiness, Halliburton. They even trained him, sort of. They told him it was a war zone, gave him a flak jacket and sent him in. Halliburton's doing very well on American tax dollars...astoundingly, it seems that they can pay up to $120,000 for truck drivers!
Wasn't worth it though...they were driving and guarding a fuel convoy for corporate Petrobusiness when it was attacked. Four 'contractors' were killed, Tom and 2 others were captured. They told the media they would kill him if Bush didn't stop killing the people of Fallujah. Bush said 'Bring it on', he's not afraid. After 23 days some nervous and exhausted soldiers on patrol found him after he got away from the Iraqi insurgents. The other guys are still missing. Halliburton congratulated him. They said "During the past 23 days, we all have had a sense of captivity but we are extremely grateful for the safety of Tommy." They're great guys, they were with him in spirit.
They gave Tommy a few days off, and he called his sick wife and his kids. Can't go home, though. He's got to get back to work...there's a war on, and he needs the money.
Subject: reader letter about .. torture by US and British
It is getting extremely difficult to stomach being an American Citizen. This whole torture bit has been the last straw. The Bush Cabal has ruined everything that once made one proud to be an American. It's not like this country hasn't been a world class shit before, but this, during and in service to the Iraq war, is special. It speaks directly to nearly every lie and hypocrisy these people have pawned off on America and the World.
In yet another example of incurable chutzpa, General Meyers claims [I interpret] that 'ALL IS WELL because the torture was not wide-spread. Heck, we only tortured people who we wanted to talk. Not like we tortured everybody, I mean, that would be bad....'
Right after the initial part of the Afghanistan adventure I spent 40 minutes listening to someone I knew who just returned from 'vacation' in Afghanistan as an interpreter. His job was interrogating prisoners. The first thing he spoke about that was really good about that war was that the command just wanted results, and did not care about how they were attained. They could use the weapons they wanted, fight the battles how they wanted and they could interrogate how they wanted.
I was not thrilled by these stories, while not as egregious as these new stories, they were, none the less, enough to make one seriously question the ethics of what was going on.
While the GOP screams as loudly as they can about how they are the wise ones who know how to keep America strong and in-charge of the World... they have, in fact, diminished this country's well-being in nearly every way imaginable. To start, we are now known to have a giant Achilles heel. We are vulnerable to hostile action like never before. Our Armed Forces are in a perilous position if further escalation happens, we are visible as being vulnerable to challenge by even one of the weaker armies of the world, one of the weaker nations.Politically we have just proven to the whole Muslim world and plenty of the rest of the World, that we are little, if any, better than the sadistic thug, Saddam H, that we sponsored to power in the first place.
This country has sponsored the degradation of the cradle of civilization into oblivion.
Good show George.
B. C. Michael
Subject: prisoner abuse
As a former four-year member of the military, I am appalled at the treatment of the Iraqi prisoners of war. However I hold the perpetrators of such abuses only partially responsible. What can we expect of our troops when the commander-in-chief has lied and been involved in so many devious and despicable actions himself (or had his administration act on his behalf)? I wouldn't be surprised if he gave the orders to "use any means" to get information from the prisoners. And I wonder what has happened to our military. When I was in the service, one of the first items we were indoctrinated in was the Articles of the Geneva Convention.
But this is typical of the Bush administration. They have "thumbed their noses" at the UN, NATO, ICC, Kyoto Treaty, WTO, EPA, our long-time allies and all international and national associations and organizations. Why not ignore the Geneva Convention as well?
This is the most vindictive, secretive administration EVER! I still feel the "outing" of Ms. Plame was an act of vengeance authorized by the "upper echelon" of the White House. Why else would they stall on a full investigation?. But then "King George" (and puppeteer Cheney, a la Edgar Bergen and Mortimer Snerd -- not Charley McCarthy, he was smarter and more ethical than Bush) want to rule the world. Russia finally got rid of their dictators -- now we seem to be developing a highly secretive dictatorship.
As an aside, I would like to see a psychological profile of the abusive perpetrators. Would they fit the profile of rapists, gay-bashers and other violent criminals? Or were they just "following orders" and forgot their own ethics?
GOD HELP THE USA! Bush sure won't!
SEND BUSH TO MARS -- WE DON'T WANT HIM BACK IN TEXAS!
Jerry - Texas
Subject: Let's use his own words
Let's show the footage of Bush piously saying Hussein tortures his own people as a reason to go to war, with a split screen of the footage of U.S. reservists (who had been encouraged by military intelligence [big oxymoron] officers) torturing Iraqis, then segue to the Diane Sawyer interview footage where Bush smirks and snorts disdainfully, "What difference does it make?" and another of him stating "whatever it takes."
I have to laugh when this mental pygmy tells us how much he defends our constitutional rights while shredding them behind the curtain of secrecy that IS this administration, but boy...he and Uncle Dickhead sure do believe in that part where it says they get to have secret advice. Bush's Scottie (that's McClellan, not the dog) keeps telling us how we SHOULD be looking at this particular issue, instead of how people are ACTUALLY looking at it. Must be they are just not spinning fast enough. I loved the article that said Bush L.L.C. doesn't want us to believe what they have said, they want us to believe what they SAY they said. Jeez...like people can't go back and look this stuff up?!
And for those who defend the smirking chimp by claiming he does "God's work," since when did God become Halliburton's CEO?
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster
Just love this site.
Subject: WW II Memorial
I just returned home after viewing the new WW II Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC.
Aside from my personal feelings that it reminds me of a "Triumph of the Will" film location setting in Nuremberg, I was appalled that the first thing I saw as I approached the monument on the right-hand side was a cornerstone with the caption: "WW II Memorial, George W. Bush, President of the United States, Friedrich St. Florian, Architect, American Battle Monuments Commission 2004."
I have seen many monuments in DC but I have never seen anything stating who the president was at the time it was built/dedicated. I may be wrong, but believe me, I don't think I'll be visiting the memorial anytime soon after seeing THAT name carved in stone. It's bad enough that I have to see "Reagan National Airport" signs all around the highways. By the way, is there a plaque near the Korean War Memorial stating "William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, 1995"? If there is, it's not in a prominent location. Is that honor only given to Republican presidents?
So here is a heads up to anyone who plans on seeing this memorial. Try not to read that cornerstone if you are no fan of GWB. It ruined my experience there and it may ruin yours as well.
A Buzzflash Reader
I'm reading on BuzzFlash (and seeing on TV elsewhere - a refreshing change) about the horrible and despicable abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison. As a patriotic American, I want to state as clearly as possible to all our Arab and Muslim friends: I AM ASHAMED OF THIS. THIS IS NOT WHAT OUR COUNTRY IS ABOUT. THESE ARE NOT THE VALUES OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON.
I am very deeply ashamed.
Subject: War Atrocities
I think now would be a good time to bring up again the series from the Toledo Blade about the Vietnam atrocities committed under orders by our own troops. People I know seem to believe that our troops would not do such a thing and have a very unrealistic view of what happens in war. In light of the recent revelations about Iraq and the smear campaign unleashed about John Kerry's statements on Vietnam, I think now is a good time to put the Toledo Blade's series front and center.
People should understand what our military is capable of under poor leadership. What we are lacking in this country now is accountability. Our leaders are accountable to no one and do not represent the values of the American people. I feel, though, that if the people really knew what was going on, they would begin to hold our leaders accountable for their actions.
Subject: amnesty international knew of abuse
I sent this to a Sinclair Broadcasting affiliate:
In the Bush "Weapons" attack ad, note the GI wearing a WWII-Vietnam era "steel pot" instead of standard issue kevlar helmet. Ad agency oversight or subtle distortion?
Subject: Torture Pictures
Just read the Sunday Herald article entitled "The Pictures That Lost The War," and couldn't help wondering how many US tax dollars will have to be used to pay reparations for those atrocities? Wasn't it Bush who argued over and over something to the effect that "It's the taxpayers' money" to justify tax cuts? If that's true, then it's MY money that will go to pay reparations. I object. I very strongly object. Kerry better come up with some plan to swing his argument away from staying the course in Iraq toward a plan to get our people the Hell out of there as soon as possible. How about some sort of Pan-Arab confederation to govern Iraq until the country can form a government of its own? Maybe try to get Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, Egypt, and the other major countries in the region to move in and administer the country. The Iraqis will be far more likely to accept fellow Arabs as an interim police force than anyone else. Bush can still argue that at least he got rid of Saddam Hussein. If we continue on the present course, I'm afraid we are witnessing the beginning of World War III and a conflagration of truly biblical proportions. In fact, it may already be too late to stop it from happening.
Subject: Kerry faltering badly
What is wrong with the Democratic party? Wimps? No guts?
Saw an interesting ad in Mother Jones: Statue of Liberty with American flag over her mouth [and the question] "Must we dismantle democracy at home in order to send it overseas?"...This not only pertains to the 'war' but the sending of all those jobs overseas. Sometimes I think that the winner will be the European states and we will become a third world country......selling out of America. And, I am no basher of the Europeans....
The Democrats, of course, are complicit in some of this -- we need Dean's advice, and Edwards' charisma.....
Subject: Loudon Wainwright 3rd Offers "President's Day" For Free
Good People - Kindly lend an ear or even 2 to this March 27th recording of my song "Presidents' Day," captured live at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California. Due to its particular timeliness with regard to our nation's impending electoral decision in November, I have made the rather unusual (for me) decision to cast it into the ether of cyberspace, there to be had gratis, absolutely free of charge for citizens armed with an MP3 player and a taste for broadside material. It is my sincere hope that those of you who like the song and approve of my plan will assist me in spreading the word about "Presidents' Day" in order to inform and/or inflame any swing voters out there who remain at all ambivalent or apathetic about the current administration and its reckless, dreadful policies. I also look forward to performing this song in the coming seven or so months anywhere within reason, to anyone willing to listen. It is not the least I can do and therefore seems to me worth doing. Thanks for listening. --Loudon Wainwright 3rd
Subject: Sinclair Broadcast Group in your "market"?
By now you've heard about or read of SBGI's censorship of Friday night's "Nightline" show on which the names of American combat dead in Iraq were to be read. Use this link to find your "market."
(The very word "market" makes me think of The Boulder Pledge, but that's another matter entirely.) If you find your local station, why don't you give them a call and tell them you don't need to watch ANY of their programming until they stop censoring.
Subject: Nader fails to get the Mt Party Nomination in WV
Thought you might enjoy this news from WV.
The WV Mt Party has ballot status in WV and can therefore put candidates on the ballot without the need for a signature drive. The Nader campaign made a significant effort to get Nader on the Mt Party ticket in WV, but an even greater grassroots effort stopped the move at today's nominating convention.
Everyone agreed that Bush must go, and that they appreciated Ralph's lifetime of service and ideals, but the pragmatists won out. After much debate, the final vote by delegates at the convention was something like 35 to 20 against putting Nader on the ticket.
Subject: Bush's "Condemnation" of Mistreatment of Iraqi Prisoner
In pretending to condemn the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers and mercenaries, Usurper Bush said, "That's not the way we do things in America." But apparently it is the way we do things in Iraq.
Subject: Stop the Carnage. Remove Bush.
The horrific acts of torture and humiliation by American soldiers against Iraqi prisoners are not just the unfortunate aberrations of a few demented soldiers. This was official policy ordered by the CIA and private contract interrogators who wanted the prisoners "softened up" for interrogation.
It is terrifying to imagine how many similar acts of atrocity went un-photographed, undocumented.
Responsibility for these acts extends to the very highest reaches of the Bush government, to the "commander in chief" himself, the self-styled 'War President" who gave the order to bomb Iraq into" shock and awe" at the commencement of this carnage. From the first bombs into a residential neighborhood to 'take out Saddam," which didn't kill Saddam but did kill innocent men, women and children, to the vicious siege of Fallujah, in which hundreds of innocents were bombed and mortared into pieces of burning flesh, George Bush and his neo-conservative thugs are responsible. Seventeen thousand Iraqis have been killed by Mr. Bush's war, and seven hundred thirty- two American soldiers killed. All so Mr. Bush and his corporate cronies can control the oil fields and build fourteen military bases in Iraq.
Remember, Bush was responsible for more executions than any other governor of any other state. Bush cruelly and publicly ridiculed the pleas for reprieve of the death sentence offered by a woman who had totally transformed her life in prison. He killed her. Bush, the self-proclaimed "born again" Christian, has no regard for human life. If he did, he would not have allowed the devastation of Iraq and the torture of its citizens. To restore America to its historic greatness, Bush must be removed.
Think what fun you can have with THIS headline! Spotlight this, please!! It is so fun reminding the rightwingers we are the majority and we miss an intelligent articulate President, you know, a real sure-fire ELECTED one!
Subject: FRONTLINE.....THE JESUS FACTOR.....
Some of those Midland fundies are NUTS!!!!! Maybe ALL OF THEM, George included.
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