Further evidence that the Bushheads have been manipulating fear for political gain, in a British TV documentary series on international terrorism shown on the BBC but still not shown anywhere in the U.S. The director:
"The United States is the most powerful, confident and in many ways, the freest civilization ever in the history of the world. It is extraordinary that it has become so paralyzed by the fear of radical Islamist terrorism--it really is a lion quaking in the face of a mouse. Radical Islamists do represent a serious threat and will use terror against civilians, but when you look at them historically, as the series does, you come to see that they are not some new force with a unique power to bring the strongest nation in the world to its knees. "
Senator Ted Kennedy became the first U.S. Senator to call for beginning withdrawl of U.S. troops from Iraqnam after that country's "elections." Republicans immediately castigated one of their favorite targets for ridicule and vituperation, but in fact we heard exactly the same analysis of the situation (that the presence of U.S. troops is itself causing many of the problems) and same solution (UN peacekeepers) from a Shia Muslim candidate interviewed on The News Hour yesterday.
Kennedy's speech follows a proposal for phased withdrawl from the U.S. House, and the deadliest day of the war so far for American soldiers.
that instead of irony being slain by 9-11, it has been given rebirth in realities created by the Bushies. The story linked below is dripping with irony. It seems the Christian Coaltion is accusing all Democrats who voted against Condi Rice for Secretary of State of "prejudice." They don't say racial prejudice--just prejudice against conservatives--but they note the high level African Americans appointed by Bush.
If this story is any indication, the irony is that the Coalition charges are giving new prominence to the charges made by Rice's opponents, that the Bushies engaged in systematic lying.
This story rather coyly notes another irony, that by "minorities" the Coalition apparently does not mean homosexuals.
Yes, irony is alive and well. Of course it may not be irony at all. It may just be insanity.
Right. Both situations that have come to light seem to skirt the law, this one by paying a columnist for other work--ghostwriting, brochures, etc.---that she nevertheless aped in her columns. But the whole rabid right system is pay-for-play, beginning with "training" at rabid right institutes rather than real newspapers, and then employment with rabid right organizations, or graduation to rabid right papers, magazines, TV, radio shows. Then once rabid right stardom is achievement, in however small a measure, there are "fellowships" and lavish speaking fees from corporations.
The media has itself to blame as well, with its advertorials and reliance on celebrities with tenuous if any relationship to actual journalism, as well as the consultants who comment. The whole system, which taints the entire political spectrum (although lefties don't get paid nearly as well) has made this kind of practice eminently possible. It's not even surprising that this person didn't realize she should have disclosed.
But many suspect that the Bushies are involved in direct pay for play arrangements that are much more common and at a much higher level than has so far been revealed. Why should we believe this? Hey, it's more like, why shouldn't we?
Faster than a speeding stock ticker, the other shoe---the Big Shoe--drops, and with it may go the dollar and the U.S. economy, etc. According to a Chinese economist, China has "lost faith" in the U.S. dollar.
For what that might mean, see the following (meaning the previous) several posts.
World Revolt Against Bushamerica This My Ydd blog thread is one of several items emerging to warn of a revolt against Bushamerica by other major nations of the world, particularly the European Union countries. Seymour Hersh in the speech linked below is also very harsh on this subject. He says that when the dollar falls, the suppressed emotion in Europe against Bushamerica will surface in a pretty ugly way.
This thread is interesting for the links to other news and essays on the web, as well as personal observations by Europeans and the poster on his experiences in England this year. We added our two cents in noting that Americans who had been abroad in recent years seemed invariably to be Kerry voters when they came back.
Tired of Bushies intransigence on the climate crisis and other issues, the EU is going its own way, forging alliances with other nations. The idea that the U.S. is "the leader of the free world" may be myopia, which wouldn't be surprising. The key issue however is Iraq, and since other countries have a better idea of what is really going on there, they see the ruinous consequences whereas the U.S. only senses it, due to our media blindness.
But since it is the U.S. and its economy making this war, and because efforts to deal with the climate crisis will be less successful without major changes in the world's greatest pollutor, when the EU and Japan are in position to dictate terms, the U.S. awakening is apt to be quite rude.
UPDATE: Further evidence of the above: Yesterday four British subjects, suspects in the war on terror that the U.S. has held at Guantamo for three years, were returned to Britian for investigation. Today they were all released without charges.
Transcript of a talk given by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh, an absolutely devastating description of the macro and micro catastrophe that is Iraqnam. This is killing the future writ large, and tragedy writ very large for the very small, in Iraq, in West Virgina, in the wards of Americans reduced to vegetables because of brain injuries sustained in a war continued by what Hersh describes as a neocon cult.
The Iraqnam war is now costing the U.S. one billion dollars a day. Today the Bushwarriors requested an additional $80 billion for the war. Other reports indicate that the U.S. expects to keep 120,000 troops in Iraqnam for another two years.
The new estimate of the U.S. budget deficit for this year is $437 billion. Yesterday, a British newspaper reported that European central banks plan to buy fewer dollars, as the U.S. dollar sinks in value, due in large part to the growing deficit.
The debt is financed to an increasingly degree by central banks in Japan and China, and so the fate of the U.S. economy rests largely in two individuals who make the decisions for those banks. A sudden and substantial fall in the dollar would have unforeseeable consequences for everyone in the U.S.
The budget deficit will be used by the Bushies to deny funding to programs that have already been stripped, adding to the ongoing crisis in health care and education.
As if this isn't enough, we are haunted by the highly damaging hurricanes and floods of 2004, and the already damaging floods and snowstorms of 2005, all of which require heavy government support for recovery and even survival. The frequency and ferocity of storms and other weather-related catastrophes will only increase, as yesterday's report on the climate crisis indicates. We will need government resources, as well as a healthy National Guard, more than ever.
The Vietnam war was very damaging, with consequences that still deform our national life. But in its power to kill the future, the Iraqnam war may be even worse.
"An ecological time-bomb is ticking away," said Stephen Byers, who co-chaired the task force with U.S. Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, and is a close confidant of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. "World leaders need to recognize that climate change is the single most important long term issue that the planet faces."
This report, issued today, appears to be the most politically high-powered scientific report so far, stating bluntly that we're getting close to the point of no return.
The torture photos, the White House memos by the attorney general designate, the international Red Cross reports alleging U.S. torture in Iraq and Guantanamo: besides besmirching the name of America around the world, inflaming the Islamic cultures, and making it difficult for American military to insist on Geneva convention treatment for U.S. servicepeople, and now one more effect: the Iraqis now in power, who are likely to be the ones in power after the "election," are accused of rampant torture of their prisoners. And exactly what can the U.S. say about it? That anybody will believe?
Don't look now, but the Bushies are going to have to revise their reason for invading Iraq once again, because "to get rid of the tyrant who tortured his own people" doesn't look so good right now. Unless they want to add, "and replace him with another tyrant who tortures his own people, and the folks at Halliburton."
There's very little they can credibly say, when the Secretary of State designate refuses repeated opportunities to condemn torture, and the Attorney General designate is one of the architects of U.S. permissiveness and policy of torture. Neither should be confirmed, but we join in the movement to deny AG designate Alberto Gonzales confirmation by the Senate.
Just a few days after coronation, a new poll out today shows GW Bush's job approval rating at 44%, with 54% disapproving. Unaffiliated voters give him a 37% approval. Only a 78% rating by GOPers inflates his numbers.
Bush Job Approval
In other news...
Of interest mainly to the North Coast of California, two new blogs officially launch today:
This North Coast Place and North Coast Texts. Readers interested in Native affairs may find the current content of Texts worthwhile.
Elsewhere, Gabriel has taken to writing sestinas, among the new verses on his blog. And there's cat blogging at Blue Voice.