May 13, 2004
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Subject: flag-draped coffins
You know, it simply amazes me that this country won't honor our soldiers who are being killed every day for our freedom, by showing their coffins as they arrive at Dover, Del. ........Yet they show the Iraqi prisoners being abused day after day, after day, after day.........What in God's name are they thinking? It seems like they're really proud of this, but won't show the coffins arriving....how ironic.
A loyal buzz fan forever!
Subject: Horror begetting horror begetting horror
First of all the decapitation of a human being is a cause for deep horror to any thinking person and those who perpetrated the act need to be caught and severely punished. However I predict the right wingers will use this as an excuse to argue that "whatever we do to those IRAKIES they deserve it." "Let's nuke em, bomb em kill em all" you can already hear them shouting at their favorite right wing talk show windbag.
Well let us consider that the alleged perpetrators of this disgusting act were NOT ordinary Iraqis but supposedly members of a foreign terrorist group which had previously set up shop in northern Iraq out of the reach of Saddam Hussein. Although plans were prepared by our military to attack this group on no less than three separate occasions, the Bush Administration deliberately left the group in place so as to bolster its case for war with Iraq ("the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.").
Pretty cynical on their part wouldn't you say? Thanks to the war and its subsequent chaos, they then had free rein to operate all throughout Iraq. Good Job in fighting terrorism there George!
Let us also consider that Mr. Berg was a person who was in the custody of the US military up until April 9th. According to his father, he was held incommunicado and his family had to file suit in federal court to discover his whereabouts. He was then dumped out onto the street ostensibly and left to fend for himself. Was that a responsible action in light of the fact that there was escalating violence and are still no functioning civilian airports in Iraq (whatta great job of promoting stability!) and thus no easy way for him to leave the country? Inquiring minds want to know. His father registered his intense displeasure at the way the Bush Administration handled this matter and directed blame at them for their denial of his son basic due process, yet of course you will see none of that in any of the saturation media coverage.
The bottom line is that Mr. Berg was an unfortunate casualty of this needless war and his death like the death of the civilians in the raids and in prisons needs to be mourned, equally. It is most certainly not a justification for torture, rape and murder of incarcerated Iraqi civilians, especially when you consider that seventy to ninety percent of the people being held, according to the Red Cross, were guilty of no crime whatsoever. All of those barbaric things were done with impunity and, needless to say, those acts stopped nothing and deterred no one. "Taking the gloves off" did nothing but to predictably cause more people to "put the gloves on." In short it accelerated the cycle of mindless violence begetting violence and was used as a convenient excuse by these heinous criminals to perpetrate their horrid deed. The cycle of savagery must at some point be broken by people of good will and decency, and some measure of sanity and humanity must be restored or else more horror is certain to follow.
Subject: my letter in Stripes The Stripes editor edited out the section that shows that Rummy knew of abuse in 2002! Perhaps he thought, given what we know, it would be overkill? If anybody rebuts me, I'll be responding w/that evidence. Notice that my letter follows a RW chaplain in Baghdad quoting scripture--probably under Gen. Boykin's command?
I really have to believe that his handlers have this down to a science now, to where they enter a facility that he'll speak at and scan the room for this type of potential and then carefully set up the perfect area for the photographers. Mt. Rushmore was the prototype for this visual garbage, followed by the beloved "halo series."
Subject: mailbags 5/10 and 5/11I have been on jury duty the last two days...much too tired at night to even get onto the computer....waiting...waiting....waiting...for $24.00 (pay)... I watched the tube at night and saw all the idiot talking heads taking it apart and putting it back together. And, I heard the "Dem Undergrounds" three "Media Numbnuts" making like this was some teenage prank....what a bunch of numbnuts they really are!!!
Glad to be able to go back and catch up on the news.....THE ONLY NEWS, and the mailbags!
To Michael Fowler, on I think 5/10...Yes, Jessica Lynch did not play the "Bush,Cheney Rummy" game....she told the truth....and I think the two girls are from the same W.Virginia town. They, the wonderful American Gov't, tried to make a Movie of the Week out of that.....and failed....pshaww!!!
Jessica decided to be a little more truthful than they would have liked....she said her captors treated her great...they even took special care with her....what a slap in the face of the night she was "Captured" by our wonderful troops...floodlights beaming, filming all the way...What do they think...we were born yesterday???
And to Nancy Lynn Nagy, 5/11...I think....How many times have you heard from the far rightwingnuts..."Boy, can you imagine what a mess this country would be in had Al Gore been president on 911"??? That is one thing I will never forget...it has been repeated so many times...and it is getting sillier and sillier!!! Al Gore would not have led us into this quagmire.
During my deadtime at the jury wait....I (and I know this is slow) but I read the entire little book written by William Rivers Pitt...his interview with Scott Ritter. And I almost wish I hadn't. It came out in 2002, around the time of the beginning of the big FARCE!! Anyway, it makes my blood run cold, when I read it 2 years later....and so much of what they wrote has come to pass.
If you out there have not looked at it for a while...read it...it is only 80 pages, thereabouts....and so good. But, the fright of it is, that is is so true...and it is happening right now. IF Mr.Pitts is reading this...thanks for justifying our fears...even though, it is a little frightening.
I am trying to catch up on all the books I have...that were given to me as gifts (or actually, gift certificates, that I used to purchase the books). Now, I am almost afraid to read some of them, because they all have to do with this frightening administration! A happy member of the "stained blue dress" club...we should all be. It is so much better than the stain that this Bush adm.has ruined this country with!
Last Saturday night Bill Clinton showed up on the news part of "Saturday Night Live" (Darrell Hammond), he had almost become a no show...but, suddenly, everyone loves Mr. Clinton. Tina Fey asked him about the abuses...the war in Iraq and all the problems we were in in this country. Who can they blame for this?? And he, with is cocky smile, his flirty ways...and his intelligence (something we do not see enough anymore) said to her, "Hey...that's easy. They'll blame me...they blame me for 911, for the war in Iraq....for all of it...." Then he grinned, did that thing with the thumbs and smiled...the caricature smile of the Real One....the Big Dog..and they call him that on "Saturday Night Live"...Jimmy said to him, "Hey Dog!" I think, he is so glad to be out of that mess.....I do not see enough of him and I miss him more than ever!
Any of you ladies out there remember the poem..."When I am old, I shall wear purple...and a red hat..and spit on the sidewalk, etc."? I think maybe we should all rethink the "Stained Blue dress" That Linda Tripp had such fun with... a woman who had to change her appearance because she was so hated...even Bush wouldn't give her a job!
Anyway...I am not ashamed to be a member of the "Stained Blue Dress Club" if it will get us though this horror that is the Bush administration and get someone elected who will save the world!
Shirley, St. Louis
Subject: Stephen Cambone, the Hambone, is Obfuscating
Gen Sanchez had better be covering his butt because he is going down for the Bush administration. Old Steve mentioned Sanchez 4 times in the few minutes of the Bush administration covering their own hides.
The guy from the DOD told Sanchez to abide by the Geneva Conventions and he was supposed to make sure it was done, even though the reservists are given an entire couple of months of training. Telling these kids to abide by the convention without telling them what it says...
Sticking them in Iraq with Rumsfeld leading the entire process and taking credit for zilch. He said he took credit and immediately started laying the blame elsewhere. Clinton was blamed by this same group for everything that happened in Kosovo and Bush will get it here.
Bush made fun of and mocked prisoners in Texas and I doubt he has stopped that sort of entertainment. The biggest problem is that they cover everything up and ask us to trust them. When their cover-up is discovered and creates more terrorists then they say they investigated.
I am so tired of this charade. McCain is wrong. I am not tough enough to take moving on from abuse to abuse. He sounds like the only reason they should be released is that some unpatriotic journalist might leak them. Give it a rest.
They are still covering faster than they are releasing. Let the US citizens know why the Iraqis hate us. This is why, because we cover-up the collateral damage. Iraqi citizens do not even rate a number. We know how many Jews Hitler killed.
The kids over there are sitting ducks in a shooting gallery and Dick Cheney is still duck hunting. They don't care how many kids are killed to cover their butts. From everything I have read Cheney was dealing with the Iraqis through the entire embargo and Halliburton and the administration know it. How much did Cheney make from his Halliburton settlement last year?
Get Cheney's butt and his Energy Task Force/Oil cartel uncovered.
Subject: Let's thank Bush and Cheney for those $40/barrel oil prices
Remember Bush's third press conference? The one time he really brightened up and began to speak without the long pauses was when somebody asked about oil. And he said production was up, more wells coming on line, and gee, it was great that the wells weren't burning "like last time."
What Bush has not told us, and may not know, is that the attacks on oil sites forced the oil transport people (tanker fleets, etc.) to raise their insurance coverage. They pass this cost on to Iraq.
The transport costs are now so high that even at $40 a barrel Iraq's output is barely making a profit. If OPEC were to increase production, the market prices would drop, and Iraq would quickly drown in the Red Sea of Ink.
So gee... it sure is "lucky" that oil prices are so high, or the US taxpayer would have to send untold billions more to Iraq just to keep the lights on.
Note to self... find out who has the tanker contracts. Who's making money exporting Iraqi oil and who is their insurer.
Subject: What Rumsfeld & Inhofe Refuse to "Get"
What Rumsfeld and Inhofe simply refuse to "get" is that how the world, especially the Arab world, perceives the U.S. *is* important.
Does the term "Psy-Ops" not register to these two idiots? In theory, psy-ops should either (1) demoralize an enemy, or (2) win over a former or would-be enemy. Psychological operations have been employed by armed forces throughout time out of mind. But, alas, Al Qaeda could not have scripted a better psychological operation against the U.S. than Abu Ghraib.
Be that as it may, Rumsfeld just seems oblivious to the FACT that the horrors and humiliations of Abu Ghraib prison have just made U.S. forces in Iraq the focus of even MORE rage from its enemies and just "plain ol' rage" from so many of our (former) friends, or those (formally) "on the fence." Inhofe -- besides apparently having all his empathy molecules surgically removed from every last fiber of this body -- also ignores the FACT that the Arab world's *perception* is of much greater importance to our mission (whatever the hell that is) in Iraq than his righteous(?) indignation.
I'm not the first, and certainly will not be the last, to note that Bin Laden could not have *imagined* such a "positive" turn of events for his p.r. campaign than the Guards-Gone-Wild at Abu Ghraib prison. Had Bin Laden asked traitors within our command structure to fashion a psy-op campaign to *really* whip-up Arab rage, he could not have been treated to a better one than what's now under way.
If Rumsfeld REALLY cared about salvaging some kind of positive outcome for Iraq (*somehow*), then he should fall on his sword and at least *act* like he was actually going to *take* responsibility, and not just *say* that he was going to take responsibility. It would be a patriotic gesture, but I'm not holding my breath.
If Inhofe and his other apologist friends had any concept of realpolitik (it USED to be a conservative trait), he would shut up and at least *feign* shock, and, yes, outrage, at the scenes from Abu Ghraib. Oh, and by the way, the Right Wing (starting with Rumsfeld;
I, of course, expect no leadership from W. Bush) need to stop being so angry at the fact that photos exists, but, instead, at least act like they're more bothered by what the photos tell us.
Subject: Thank God he Watches T.V.!
I guess God isn't giving him all the information either. Can we investigate God? Was he ever on the board of an oil company? If it weren't for his t.v., he (Bush) wouldn't have any ideas at all.
I'm outraged by this moron U.S. Sen. James Inhofe who is "outraged at outrage" concerning America's war crimes. His typical right-wing demonization of "humanitarian do-gooders" is disgraceful. He seems to be condoning the actions of the American soldiers who have raped, tortured, and murdered Iraqis. There seems to be a very deliberate attempt to belittle the pain and suffering of those who aren't white and American, while overly dramatizing the pain and suffering of white Americans. What about Rush Limbaugh's comments that these atrocities are nothing more than typical frat behaviour? So with this type of reasoning, one might come to the conclusion that the Holocaust was little more than the typical actions of those at spring break.
Subject: think about it from the other person's side
It helps understanding and aids decision making if one considers what they would do if they were in the other side's position.
Imagine that Japan won and for over a half century had been extracting resources from the United States. Further, that Japan had helped Germany and it plundered all our overseas assets. When Japan occupied our country, it surrounded towns where they resisted and killed men, women and children who were known to not be part of the resistance. Leave out torture and rape, but throw in that they kept us from having adequate food, water, medical supplies and hundreds of thousands died as a result.
Do you think Japanese occupiers would be safe half a century later?
If you think back over the United States bringing Saddam to power... Their war with Iran we wanted... Giving Saddam the green light to take Kuwait and then bombing them, so infrastructure was badly damaged causing hundreds of thousands of painful deaths... Encouraging them to revolt and then suspending no-fly activity, so Saddam could use air power against them... Implementing sanctions for over a decade... Bombing them, so what they had left after our first attack against them and 12 years of sanctions was further destroyed. Don't forget letting the son of George Bush become president. Do you think they will ever forgive us? What about the rest of the world? Where in the world will we be trusted? We cannot imagine what this is going to cost us during the years ahead, but we will probably feel Bushed.
Subject: The President is requested "to cease and desist" from making prejudicial statements regarding US armed forces defendants.
"The commander in chief is making statements that the client is already guilty and will be punished. We think that is basically unfair, when she is going to be tried by military officers," Zapor said. "We don't want to get involved in anything political, but as a legal matter, the commander in chief acted improperly. . . . We're going to ask the president to cease and desist his comments regarding the defendants." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/...
Subject: Would Bush's re-election make an attack on the U.S. more or less likely?
It seems logical to me that Bush's re-election would make another terrorist attack in the U.S. more likely. This seems obvious and yet no one seems to be discussing it publicly. It seems to me that Democrats need to find a way to get Americans to think about this. I realize, if handled poorly, it could be politically disastrous. I wish I could come up with a politically safe way to deal with this, but I haven't so far. Can you?
Subject: Your article headline ...
"There have been 884 coalition deaths, 776 Americans, 59 Britons, six Bulgarians, one Dane, one Estonian, 17 Italians, three Poles, one Salvadoran, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and six Ukrainians, in the war as of May 11, 2004."
... perhaps should include either ... "and over 10,000 Iraquis" ... or ... "(CNN doesn't count Iraqi's)" ... in an effort to needle the "bubblegum" network of news reporting into being more nutritional :-)
A BuzzFlash Reader
From The Pianist, by Wladyslaw Szpilman. Picador: New York. 1999
journal affected me very deeply. We, as a nation, CANNOT tolerate what
is being done in our name. For if we do, we sink to the lowest level
Subject: Yes,Yes Yes.......Allright...KERRY FINALLY PULLED IT OFF....IS NOW AHEAD OF THE RESIDENT-the latest Nationwide poll (even with Nader in the mix). Hopefully he is on a role, and hopefully he can keep it going.
Subject: Writing sounds telephone
Let this be a test of the internet media concert system. All together now ... A raving-right hate programmer broadcasts 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m daily in Portland on KXL 750 AM which is owned by Paul Allen, the Teller to Bill Gates' Penn, quite well-to-do, lives in Seattle environs.
The hatist is named Liars Larson, and aptly so. May 12, between 11:00 am and noon, his program broadcast the sound track of the death throes of Nick Berg. A dub of that hour's broadcast is commercially available from Moba Media, in Portland, 503-223-1677, by citing the channel, day and hour, costing a moderate fee.
Does someone reading this know Paul Allen's phone number where the program tape could be replayed into his message machine? It would suffice to identify it to Paul Allen's voice mail to include a :03 or :05 second roll-in of Liars' broadcast voice spewing an unconscionable 'set-up.'
This one letter, this one day, this one time, routed literally around the internet, (no petition to sign!), might reach a reader who cares to acquire a dub (or has another way to get one) of the offense, and perhaps has or knows of a phone number for Paul Allen, and acts to conduct it, can end the broadcast employment of Liars.
Thousands, millions of souls could be healed by removing Liars poison. If only Paul Allen could hear what his money sounds like on his radio station.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
Why is our murder of prisoners "not reflective of Americans" and yet the beheading of an American "indicative of those most murderous people"? I love America, but not the America I see before me. Several decades back a bumper sticker showed the hawkish side of America, "America, Love It Or Leave It." A year later the doves got their voice with a bumper sticker of their own, "America, Change It Or Lose It." It is time for CHANGE. Thank you.
Subject: If he fires Rumsfeld he won't have to wait for a book to come out
Bush's statement following his meeting with Rumsfeld the other morning struck me as robotic, ultra rehearsed and like that of one who has been dressed down severely and possibly blackmailed. The Times photos of their facial expressions confirms this in my mind.
Subject: I just had a really sick thought
is a REALLY cynical thought: what if the masked men were
actually working with the Pentagon or the contractors,
or whoever the hell is running this war and the beheading
was just another ploy to turn the situation around and
make the Bushies look like the good guys???
Subject: The Innocence of Americans
the story of Nick Berg. Here was a young man, 26, who believed
in Iraq as being a business opportunity... A young
man who also evidently believed in what the dysfunctional
Bush regime was doing in Iraq.
askin . . . Thanks Buzz,
Subject: The timing is unbelievable!!
Wow!! Just when things were starting to heat up on the Bush-Cheney torture front, just when they needed something worse to make their stuff seem like not much--LO and behold ... a beheading of an American-- on TV and the internet...the Bushies must just love the timing of these Al- Qaeda guys.. ( I wonder is this what Rummy meant that there is worse to come?) Maybe they lent the Al- Qaeda boys the orange jump suit? Or maybe Al-Qaeda could just be anybody underneath those black hoods? Oh The timing is just always so amazing, this may really help take the heat off, sometimes it almost seems like the same hand is playing both sides of the chessboard?
Subject: Price of gas
According to this...
the price of [a gallon of] gas when it was last over $40 per barrel was $1.45. Now it's over $2.00. Guess King George needs to raise money to run some more TV ads.
Dissent is not Terrorism
Freedom is not Legislated
Subject: It's not Torture
There is no torture by our God-fearing Christian soldiers. It shall henceforth be known as "Freedom Tickling." Our soldiers do not commit "rape"; it is "democracy hugging." And these alleged summary executions are merely "peace orienteering."
Don't pass me the barf bag; I need a "technicolor yawn storage module."
Michael J. Fowler
Since Iraq remains under U.S. military occupation, it seems unlikely that the Iraqi police would have held Berg, or any other American, for such a length of time without at least the tacit approval of U.S. authorities.
Subject: Enough is Enough
Unanimous reaction from foreign policy experts to horrible mistreatment and abuse of Iraqi prisoners is that, at a minimum, it's a devastating if not fatal blow to our efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. What's more they all agree it's a disastrous setback to America's image with all Arabs that will take many years to repair, while at the same time it plays right into the hands of recruiters for the Islamic hate America movement. The fact that the disgusting immoral behavior was from only a few bad apples, and that discipline will be handed out, does not carry any weight to mitigate the impact and consequences. Sadly, it doesn't take a foreign policy expert to see the obvious. Unbelievably there are some who just don't get it!
There's no sane defense for these atrocities, and to me it's also a chilling example of what happens when the Bush/Rumsfeld over-extended, over-stretched military has to resort to turning over dead-serious highly-sensitive responsibility to ill-trained and inexperienced National Guard troops who are in over their heads. (Remember Kent State?) Couple that with a fuzzy pass-the-buck chain-of-command at the prison and you have a sort of "perfect storm" brewing. Who couldn't see it coming or happening?
One would think that even the most rudimentary logic and common sense would dictate that the prevailing reaction from Americans would be to repudiate the prisoner abuse as indefensible and reprehensible behavior. You'd think that there'd be a unanimous awareness of the harm done to America's image. You'd think all reasoned Americans (no exceptions) would be anxious about, and cautious of, the possible repercussions from these incendiary incidents, the most immediate and likely of which will be extended intensified fighting in Iraq that will cost more American lives. Not to mention the probability of increased risk of terrorism throughout the world, and the risk of abuse to American POW's.
The usual crowd of spokespeople for the extreme right wing of the Republican party take a different view. They're so blinded by ideology that they're completely out of touch with reality. Just when I think that I couldn't possibly be anymore outraged by the rhetoric that comes from their camp, they reach an all-time low by coming up with excuses in defense of the prisoner abuse incidents. They accuse the media of over reacting, and accuse anyone who finds the incidents to be outrageous, un-American, and unacceptable, of being Liberal Democrats who are merely politicizing the issue.
All this is spearheaded by conservative talk radio and television hosts and their usual crowd of conservative pundit and politician guests. The frightening thing is that lots of callers to the radio shows are buying into their twists and spins.
For example, if you're a moral decent American, who believes in human rights and dignity, and who believes that America does and should set the bar at the highest level, try and keep your brain from exploding when you read some of the defenses and excuses for the prisoner abuse being put forth from the cheerleading squad of the Bush camp:
One of the the scariest practitioners of the twist and shout school of rhetoric is extreme right wing Bush loyalist, spinner par excellence, and ad hominem Kerry/Liberal/Democrat basher, Sean Hannity. He says that we need to cut the prison guards a little slack because they may have been a little stressed out. He says the abuse wasn't really torture, at least not in the classic sense of torture as we usually think of it, and therefore it gets an exemption from the Geneva Conventions. (After all, there was no pulling out of fingernails with pliers, or actual electric shocking.) He also says the Iraqi people should overlook it because we liberated Iraq, the abuse took place in that context, and therefore we deserve a pass. And just to cover all bases, he says, "after all, they are the enemy" (completely disregarding the fact that we made them the enemy by invading their country). Has your brain exploded yet? This sort of perverted thinking is not unpredictable from Hannity. I'm not surprised that he subscribes to the school that says torture is in the eyes of the beholder, not the person being tortured. (Maybe we should actually cut him a little slack because he's intellectually challenged.) His regular guest, Newt Gingrich, just bobbed his head right along with Hannity's take.
Conservative ideologue, Laura Ingraham, another predictable attack dog, labels criticism of the prisoner mistreatment as typical over reaction from elitist Democrats, who all hate America. This is her standard boilerplate rhetoric for anyone who criticizes Bush.
Rush Limbaugh laughed it off with the notion that the prison guards were just letting off a little steam and it was no worse than college student antics.
Dennis Miller too equates the incidents to overzealous, stressed out, college pranksters.
Are you outraged yet?
I could go on, but I point these things out as examples of the same sort of twisted logic and spinning that's constantly put forth by those who sell blind support for the thoughtless pre-emptive Bush Doctrine. Their rhetoric endorsed and supported our deadly course into a messy war that wasn't necessary.
Enough is enough! We need to extricate ourselves with dignity from the folly and disaster of the Bush foreign policy. We need to restore America's image and respect in the world. We need to fight the War on Terrorists the John Kerry way, with priority on intelligence and law enforcement, backed up by tactical military force. That's what makes the most sense.
Subject: Advice to KerryMany who have "advice" for Kerry about how to "improve" his campaign are ignorant of his history as a candidate and campaigner.
For one, he has a history of coming from behind and trouncing his opposition by substantial numbers. Research his campaign against Bill Weld.
For another, he is no Michael Dukakis: while he avoids negative campaigning -- at least that not based on issues -- he fights back. And as his history of winning campaigns demonstrates, he does so successfully.
A few bits of advice are useful, and they should be expressed. But those who know nothing of Kerry and his campaign approaches, and have no experience in politics except from the outside, have a bit of chutzpah presuming themselves to be experts on political campaigns.
Subject: Copy of Letter to The EditorHere is my 5/12/04 letter to the editor of The Shreveport (La.) Times if you care to use it:
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 OF THE MAY 13, 2004 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG.
otherwise noted, all original