June 22, 2006
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The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. More reader opinion is at "Contributors." You can write to Mailbag at http://www.BuzzFlash.com/contact/mail.html. Guidelines for submissions are at BuzzFlash FAQ #18.
Subject: On the Subject of "Surprise" Visits to Iraq
When will the media stop referring to trips to Iraq by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice as "surprise visits?" They may be unannounced visits, but they're hardly surprising anymore. Whenever the administration's polls drop precipitously, you can count on one or more of the above-named people making a trip to Iraq just as surely as you can count on the sun rising in the east.
I'll tell you what would truly be a surprise visit to Iraq -- a visit by a bunch of College Republicans who have actually enlisted in the military to carry out their president's bidding! But don't hold your breath waiting on that one.
Funny, the young Repubs were really eager to go to Iraq to score nifty political jobs during the early phases of what was then so optimistically called the "reconstruction." A May 23, 2004, story in the Washington Post, "In Iraq, the Job Opportunity of a Lifetime," tells about twenty-somethings who landed government jobs in the Green Zone with the help of the conservative Heritage Foundation and, despite a complete lack of experience, ended up managing the country's $13 billion budget.
From the Post story:
Where are these people now? Well, they went back home when things heated up, while American soldiers continued to fight and die. Funny, you don't hear any accusations of "cutting and running" from GOP congressmen about this group.
So, now that our military is overworked and spread thin in Iraq - with soldiers having to return for two and three tours of duty - is the Heritage Foundation helping to recruit new soldiers from the ranks of their young, well-connected ideologues? Doesn't look like it. There's no mention of military recruiting on the Foundation's web site (heritage.org), although they ARE advertising for a "defense policy analyst" (maybe they're analyzing policy over there so we won't have to analyze it over here; if so, godspeed, but I don't think you'll need a flak jacket for that job).
The national website for the College Republicans isn't urging their members to suit up for action, either. The top issues currently featured on its web site (http://www.crnc.org) are "Why Universal Health Care Fails" and "Controlling Illegal Immigration." Somehow there's no mention of Iraq on its homepage. However, it does proclaim "Coming Soon...a Conservative Job Bank!" So perhaps there's hope that job bank will include openings for front-line duty in Tikrit.
Until then, let's stop devaluing the meaning of the word "surprise." If no one is surprised that the President travels to Iraq, then by definition, it's not a surprise. Tell us when the College Republicans land in Baghdad dressed in combat gear and ready to "make war, not money." Buddy, THAT would be a surprise!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Surge...Boost....?? Where???
I am wondering how a boost...a surge...an upward bounce....is 1 or 2 points? You would think that he had bounced about 10 points...or had at least broken the 40 point mark. They are as delusional as the Card fans were the other night, thinking they could beat the World Champs!! Sheesh!! But, I digress....one is a game...the other is our lives....and the crooks who are destroying them! I am not looking forward to tonight....you know, how you watch..just to see...and then when they get the first 10 runs...you find an excuse to do something else...! See, the difference is that Bush and Cheney cannot tell the White Sox what to do. Baseball is a world all its own...neither democrat or republican....something nice about that!!!!
Shirley ... St. Louis
Subject: It Wasn't Friendly Fire
I've always chalked up the occupation of Iraq to the Bush administration's incompetence, selfishness, and short-sightedness because they are after all, ruthless, corporate, profit-driven bastards, but almost anyone who knows anything about occupying countries knows that your are not supposed to train the people your occupying to more effectively kill you.
I can just see it now, Bush standing in the Rose garden saying, "You're doing a heck of job, Rummy!"
Can you hear all the fat, lazy, neocon history revisionists and Bush apologists sitting in their air-conditioned homes with the SUV's parked in the driveway tapping away at the keys on their keyboard, trying to find the words to justify why sacrifice is good when its a poor kid doing it and trying to explain that their value to the cause is much greater working in corporate America, contributing to their 401k.
Doesn't that make you just a little sick to your stomach, because the whole stinking thing makes me sick. I bet we can't even imagine what those 2 mothers and fathers are going through.
The Indy Voice
Subject: GOP Hypocrite Of The Week
Senator Warner: Where were you on March 20, 2003 when the sovereignty of the Iraqi government was "undermined" by foreign invasion?
Randi Rhodes has been harping on this one as well, and I'm confused. In fact, I am shocked and dismayed that the vote was not unanimous in favor of the proposition. It's tragic that American soldiers have died in Iraq, but I thought that's what happens in wars. To avoid such an outcome, one avoids starting wars. When wars end, soldiers are typically given legal and ethical dispensation for deaths they may have caused on the battleground: a week after Germany surrendered in WWII, our soldiers and their soldiers were working hand in hand to restore order. Are we on the left going to buy into the equivocation of “soldier” vs “enemy combatant” vs “terrorist” of which the administration has made a currency in this occupation?
If Iraq is ever to become a whole, peaceful nation, they have to begin healing and forgiving. I know this issue is a tempting source of schadenfreude, but for the sake of decency and civic progress in the country we have invaded and devastated for no honorable reason, let's forego partisanship just this once. For our part, any blame for our war dead needs to be laid - and laid heavily - at the feet of our own leaders of both parties.
Subject: Cut and Run
Instead of "Cut and Run," the left should offer "Stay and Pay." Obviously the issue is far more complicated than that, but republican brains can apparently only handle three-word phrases.
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: "Stay and Pay" has a nice ring to it. Senator John Kerry has described the Republican strategy as "Lie and die."
You have lots of influence. Is there anyway you can get EVERYONE to use:
"STAY THE LOSING COURSE" to counteract Bush & Co "Stay the Course"? If it was a WINNING COURSE, of course we'd want to stay it.
Surely there are clever people out there who can come up with something to compete with "Cut and Run."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Cut and Run
This expression, "cut and run" can easily be turned against the Bushites. It seems to me that most Republicans and most supporters of GWB have cut and run from their own professed values -- from their own Constitution -- as a result of near-panic over terrorism, Bush-inspired terrorism for the most part. They are cutting the heart out of democracy as fast as they can get away with it and running headlong toward fascism. I am suggesting that opponents of the Bush administration make regular and constant use of the expression "cut and run" in various ways until the administration and its supporters are sick of it being used against them.
Some will say that, because I live in another country, Canada, I have no business expressing myself about the political mess in our esteemed southern neighbour. The fact is that what goes on in America affects the whole world for better or for worse -- in this case worse.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Who'd-a thunk it?
Prices of medicines for chronic conditions are going up considerably faster than general medical costs or inflation.
In street language, what that means is that those pills grandma and grandpa take every day for things like cholesterol, high blood pressure, narrowing of arteries, arthritis, etc., are costing more.
Why? Well, isn't it obvious? The administration has given us the boondoggle Part D prescription coverage, and those are the medicines that people take regularly and therefore cannot do without.
With the plan heavily weighted toward insurance companies, and very compassionate toward drug companies, taxpayers are now paying more for drugs that - based on volume, that "free market" panacea - ought to be costing less. Medicare is not even ALLOWED to negotiate for lower prices.
In the Alice-through-the-looking-glass reality this administration has proven so adept at creating, this must make sense to someone. But it is one more slap at the general taxpaying public, and one more proof that these people are shameless.
Truth is, we are being bombarded with so many contradictions and so much bulls--t, it is hard to know what truth is anymore. There is so much spin, sloganeering, group-tested talking points, and secrecy, no serious debate on issues or conscious consideration of impact is taking place.
Republicans, who supposedly got into office promising fiscal responsibility and stern discipline, are the most profligate spenders - especially if it's pork - we have ever seen. And their largesse is primarily directed as those who already have it made, with almost no regard for those who, in former President Clinton's words, have "played by the rules" and need some help.
And Democrats are unable to recognize the opportunity to turn things around even when it has all but been handed to them on a silver platter. Taking the bait of "cut and run," and actually attempting to defend against it instead of laughing it off and refocusing the debate on "competence" is just too self-destructive to believe.
The male-centered Republicans are eschewing responsibility, and the female-principled Democrats cannot figure out how to finesse and win.
Who'd-a thunk it?
"The Lovable Liberal"
Subject: Our new Kitten
Recently my girlfriend and I adopted a new kitten. Normally I would not bother to tell you this, and normally you would not care, but please stay with me. Anyway, we decided to name her "Impeachment." We felt that in times of dire desperation, a patriotic name would give us hope. Had we lived during the Revolution we might have named a pet "Liberty" or during World War II we might have called her "Victory." We feel the name "Impeachment" is equally patriotic and inspiring. Yeah, it's a bit of a mouthful, so we call her "Impy" for short and she is really an imp! Hopefully, by the time she is grown, her name will be a reality. She is healthy and growing well (just like the impeachment movement). Maybe her name will inspire a few of your readers. Thanks for reading.
Subject: Iraqi: Soldiers killed in 'barbaric way'. Bush was right to say that Zarqawi's death wouldn't stop the killings. "The statement [from Mujahedeen Shura Council] said the soldiers were 'slaughtered,' suggesting that al-Muhajer beheaded them." 6/21
I'm FED UP with the Administration's groveling Proxy aka MSM. In 1955, the Mississippi KKK brutally murdered a 15-year old black boy from Chicago named Emmett Till and his mother demanded the MSM "show what they did to my son." The finally did and it started the Civil Rights Movement. (And those filthy Southern Senators don't want to renew the Voting Rights Act because it singles out their states [barf]).
If these editorial bastards can conspiratorially plaster Al-zarqawi's body every 15 minutes to raise the Moron-in-Thief's poll numbers, I AND THE PUBLIC DEMAND THAT THESE PUSILANIMOUS CORPORATE VERMIN GIVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EQUAL TIME TO VIEW THE MUTILATED BODIES OF BOTH THOMAS TUCKER AND KRISTIAN MENCHACA NOW! I want to see "what 'they'--the Bush Cartel Gangsters--have done to our sons."
Subject: Bill O'Reilly's Brilliant Suggestion for Iraq
Bill O'Reilly, reflecting on the out-of-control situation in Iraq, has said that if he were president, he would run Iraq "just like Saddam." This suggestion has given me an idea! Let's go Bill one better: reinstate Saddam and bring the troops home.
Subject: The Big Picture
Is it our human nature that protects us from wanting to see the big picture? Do we not want to face all the absurdities that have come to pass over the past twenty years? Or is it just that the media has “fire-hosed” us with too much information that we are overwhelmed and unable or unwilling to address the “big picture”?
Nevertheless, the big picture is not going to go away, and until we get our heads out of the sand and address the casual effects of our maladies we will continue to be victimized by them. So what is or are these casual effects? “It’s about ENERGY, stupid!
Follow my logic, because we have over-used, abused, and refused to find alternative energy sources, our way of live will soon be unsustainable and in peril. Consider the following:
Instead of investing in alternative, renewable energy sources such as solar voltaics, hydrogen fuel cells, wind/wave energy, nuclear, and conservation measures such as mass transportation, we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars conducting a war for oil, while killing thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousand Iraqi men, women, and children.
So the choice is ours, continue this insanity or address the “big picture.” Think of the jobs that would be created in the United States designing, building, and retrofitting homes with solar voltaic panels; manufacturing hydrogen fuel cell cars; constructing cost efficient mass transportation systems; building ethanol refining facilities. These and many more solutions are all possible, folks. We need to tell our government to get off their collective asses and invest our hard-earned tax dollars to address the “big picture,” or pretty soon we will not be in the “picture.”
Robert M. Thacker
Subject: Vote.com - Dick Morris
Recently I received a form from Vote.com. The website has been taken over by Dick Morris. I decided to take part in the questions up for a vote. It was pretty entertaining and obviously every outcome was FAR to the right. Interestingly, their discussion board is closed. Not too surprising. I did email them to let them know that I knew exactly what their agenda was and to ask them to open up their message board for real and interesting discussion. Perhaps others would like to do the same.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Armed Madhouse
I am going to sound like a salesperson, but here goes:
Please, everyone, if you buy one book this year, please buy Greg Palast's, Armed Madhouse. Buy it from BuzzFlash, and if not, just buy it!! I am presently reading the book and it is everything you could imagine, helping me to understand how the corruption keeps on, keeping on. So many (awful) people, so many names.
The people of the USA have got to be connected to the truth. This book helps. Each of us who want to know the whys and what fors, of what has happened and what may happen, during the corrupt politics of the Bush Administration, and before, please read it. Knowledge is Power!
Dolores M. Dryden
Subject: Will You Tell Your Children, or Grandchildren, That You Supported Bush’s War of Vendetta?
Sometime in the future, perhaps the fairly near future, the military action in Iraq will be finished. Our troops, ALL of them, will return home. That is inevitable.
But as of this writing, today being June 21, 2006, the first day of summer, more than 2,500 Americans have died in Iraq, another 20,000, more or less, have been injured, many of them dismembered or maimed for the rest of their lives.
Not to mention, of course, the estimated 30,000 - 40,000 innocent Iraqi civilians that have been killed, many being women and children.
Families across both countries, as well as in many other areas of the world, have been directly affected by our invasion of Iraq in 2003.
I, for one, have been opposed to the intervention in Iraq since BEFORE it actually occurred. It was apparent to me that George W. Bush, and the majority of his cabinet and advisors, had been carrying a vendetta for Saddam Hussein since 1993, when Hussein had attempted to assassinate George H. W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States.
They just need a way to deceive the American people into allowing them the opportunity to fulfill that personal agenda, and vendetta. Of course, 9/11 provided them with the catalyst to take it to the congress, and to the people of America.
With a little twisting of the evidence, a few lies thrown in here and there, it really wasn’t very difficult to get the approval. After all, flag waving in our country has always worked when an administration wants to begin hostilities somewhere, justified, or not.
Anyway, I was opposed, from the beginning. I knew it would destroy our nation, from within.
So now, I wonder, and I ask … all of those that have supported this war in Iraq from the beginning, and still do …. I ask you this: This will end someday. Of that there is no doubt. And I believe that it will end in such a way that nothing changes in Iraq … It can’t, in my opinion, because that is just the way it is, the way it has always been throughout history, and probably the way it will always be.
I am not condemning it, for it is their way of life, not ours, And who are we to tell them that our way is the right way and that theirs is not. I believe ours is the right way, but I also believe that it is not for me, nor anyone else, to try to change another person, country, or whatever. Unless they decide to attack us, our way of life, then we fight back. Iraq did not attack us, or our way of life. In fact, we were the ones that attacked THEIR way of life, expecting change.
So, to all those that have supported this war, and to those that still do ... if it ends as I foresee, with no change, in fact perhaps even a little worse than it was when we went in …. will you tell your children, your grandchildren, that you supported Bush’s war even though thousands of innocent people died or got maimed for life, including thousands of Americans … and that, because you never spoke out to stop it, even more died that may have been saved?
Yes, I know, it’s a long question, but will you tell them that you stood by and condoned the actions by George W. Bush, even in the face of all the negative evidence, all the time that more and more Americans, as well as innocent Iraqis were being killed?
Will you tell them that you could have been part of a movement to stop it, but you did nothing?
Will you tell them that people tried to convince you, many, many times, and yet you refused to accept their words and you still did nothing?
Will you tell them that now you realize you were wrong, and that you regret not standing with those that opposed the war and if you had done that, families across America might still have their loved ones?
And finally, will you tell them that you can’t sleep at night because you were wrong, and so many died because you refused to accept the facts, even when they were flashed in front of your eyes?
Will you tell them, will you?
NOTE: I am a 67-year-old veteran, originally from Massachusetts, now living in Phoenix, Arizona.
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