Archive for May, 2004

The Politics of Terror Strikes

Saturday, May 29th, 2004

Letters to the Editor are generally stupid

According to KATHRYN BISKA of Lake Oswego, suggests that Bush deserves another term, dumbfounded by:
He [ some letter-writer of cross-pollination purpose] seems to remarkably forget that we have not had any more 9/11s in the United States because we are rounding up the terrorists on their own turf rather than fighting them on our own

On the other hand, if we do have a post 9/11 terrorist strike, we will surely rise to the challenge and show the Terrorists that, to quote John Ashcroft, “We won’t be like Spain.”

Either way, we must elect George W Bush. Right?

Oh… Skip this post here in general, and read reply # 7 from “murdoc”), scratch your head with your historical knowledge of why that is so wrong-headed, and then move on to some of the responses (say… reply #9).

Dewey Defeats Roosevelt

Saturday, May 29th, 2004

War Time Politics:

Indeed, our local Lancaster New Era noted in an editorial on the eve of the election, Nov. 6, 1944, that “The surprising thing about this war-time presidential campaign is that it was no different from all the others.” Thomas Dewey, Roosevelt’s opponent that year, spent much of the campaign deriding FDR as a “tired old man.” The Roosevelt administration, Dewey said the week before the election, was “the most wasteful, extravagant and incompetent administration in the history of the nation.” Dewey, in fact, spent that fall all but calling Roosevelt a communist, insisting that FDR was intent on selling the nation down the river to the reds.

And Dewey sayeth:
“American fighting men were paying in blood through a prolongation of the battle of Germany for the ‘improvised meddling’ of the Democratic administration and the ‘confused incompetence’ of President Roosevelt.”

That’s from an Associated Press article that ran in this very newspaper on Sunday, Nov. 5, 1944, the morning after a major Dewey address at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In it, Dewey derided the “Morgenthau plan,” whereby then-Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr. suggested that after the war, Germany should be reduced to an agrarian economy and the Germans treated “in such a manner so they can’t go on reproducing people who want to continue the way they have in the past.”

Morgenthau’s suggestion, Dewey said, “put fight back into the German army” and was “as good as 10 fresh German divisions.” This he called the “tragic consequences of blunder,” which was “costing the lives of American men and delaying the day of final victory.”

Historians might indeed conclude that the Morgenthau plan stiffened German resistance. But ultimately, how was Dewey’s denunciation of it any different than, say, criticism of Donald Rumsfeld’s insistence that we didn’t need more troops?

Roosevelt “trotted out the bugaboo of his indispensability in the days ahead: the argument that he alone can handle foreign affairs because he is a close personal friend of Churchill and Stalin,” said the Lancaster New Era in its editorial endorsing Dewey the weekend before the election.

In a later editorial, the New Era called FDR’s attitude “un-American.”

Changing war horses in midstream
By Gil Smart
Sunday News
Published: May 23, 2004 3:36 AM EST

The LaRouche Doctrine versus the Bush Doctrine

Friday, May 28th, 2004

I looked over an old Lyndon LaRouche flyer. I noticed something. If I had it with me, I would transcribe it here… since I don’t, I’ll just have to paraphrase.

The third, and most important part of the LaRouche Doctrine, is that it must be MUST BE named “The LaRouche Doctrine”. Because only LaRouche has the credibility to save the world.

Actually, come to think of it, this may not be too far from the insinuations that we get from the latest “alert of terror threat not applied to color”…

“al-Qaida had such success disrupting the Madrid election, they want to try it here, too.” sayeth John Ashcroft. Which flies us over to “I can tell you one thing. We won’t be like Spain.”

… Which is as much a threat as it is a prediction …

And bounce us over th CNN Grade A reporting:
there is some speculation that al Qaeda believes it has a better chance of winning in Iraq if John Kerry is in the White House

… which, of course, suggests that if al Qaeda (or one of its newly decentralized offshoots) does not strike the USA… you can count that as an October Surprise working to install their chosen American politico in office…

Vote Bush / LaRouche for President.


Note: to add Kerry into the equation: Recall this bizarre news item.:

“Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilisation.”

“Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected.”

But then I’d have to move even further back into forgotten news cycles to find that “Discovered Letter” saying “Bush is suffocating us!” or some such, heartening to the Bushistas.

My head spins.

Pinkwater Query

Thursday, May 27th, 2004


This new book, where Pinkwater rediscovers Chickens as grade-a protaganists (recall Lizard Music and Hoboken Chicken Emergency) was being promoted on with that link.

Note the “Customers who bought titles by Daniel Pinkwater also bought titles by these authors” list.

Andrew Clements, author of such books as The Laundry News and Jake Drake: Bully Buster.

Bruce Coville, who you will remember wrote the commercially successful My Teacher Is An Alien series.

Kate Dicamillo, writer of Dixie-based children’s novels.

AND… Um…

Skull and Bones News

Thursday, May 27th, 2004

I heard the news (though I can’t find it online) report that the man who tapped George W Bush into the order of Skull and Bones is endorsing John Kerry for president.

Oh, sure… A Skull and Bones member endorses one Skull and Bones member over another Skull and Bones member. Who’s kidding who?

Mr. AlGore

Thursday, May 27th, 2004

Brief review of Al Gore’s career:

He’s the first face ever to be seen on C-SPAN.

While he doesn’t actually invent the Internet, (nor does he ever say that he does), history will regard him as a Visionary Public Advocate for Internet-Research Related Funding.
When you’re watching the movie Love Story, you are watching characters largely based on Al and Tipper Gore. No… really. You are. Weird, ain’t it?
He never said that he was responsible for cleaning up Love Canal.

His wife influenced him to go on a jihad against popular music full of Satanic lyrical content. What’s the name of the Frank Zappa album of instrumental music that received an “Explicit Lyrics” label?

He was there at the start of the founding of the DLC.

In 1988, his presidential campaign was a cross between Joseph Lieberman’s “the other Democrats in this race are out of touch” and John Edwards’s “I’m a southerner and occasionally a populist” 2004 quest.

His vote in favor the Gulf War may just have been Bill Clinton’s deciding factor in selecting him to be his running mate back in 1992.

He “lost” the debates against George W. Bush because he “sighed”. Or so I’ve been told.

He grew a beard. Remember? Beard. Who in their right mind grows a beard?

Okay… Onto his latest speech, and his new incarnation as the “Liberal firebrand” “in exile”:

Gore’s remarks.

The rightward media selects a couple specific moments to excerpt as soundbytes. The moments when he comes across as angry, yelling over a cheering “Heil Gore” crowd. (The most sensationalistic moment of the speech being his listing of the administration figures who ought to resign.) Rush Limbaugh goes straight to Gore’s mention of his name (some Newsmax propaganda for you.)

My comment? Good speech.

Room enough for Velvet Gloves.

Chalabi Again

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

I don’t know why the Chalabi story has been under reported. True, it is a tad more complicated to unravel than the simpleton “evildoers” arguments we are all used to. But it’s not that hard to explain:

First, Chalabi was the leader of the Iraqi National Congress, a group that was set up with US assistance, didn’t have anything to do the actual government of Iraq, wasn’t a governing body, wasn’t even in Iraq, but sounded like it was all that.

Contrast this with the Iraqi Governing Council that was also set up by the US, actually is forming the government in Iraq, is a governing body, actually is in Iraq, but is in no way to related Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. Simple really.

Here’s where I think people get lost. When Chalabi was the head of the INC (not the IGC) he was convicted for embezzlement, fraud and currency-trading irregularities in Jordan. So of course when Chalabi passed “secret” information about WMDs in Iraq to the US of A the Bush administration listened and put him on the US payroll (not to be confused with the US payroll for the INC).

So while on the US payroll, but no longer the head of the INC (not the IGC), Chalabi passed secret US information to Iran (not Iraq). Of course, the IGC had nothing to do with this at all. The US then kicked Chalabi off the payroll, raided his house in Iraq (not Iran), claimed the Iraqi police did it (not the US), and broke Chalabi’s family photos which really ticked off Chalabi.

So of course, seeing his family photos broken and all, Chalabi hits the TV talk show circuit, appearing on ABC, NBC an d CBS claiming that the CIA was behind all this because he was speaking out against the US of A and only wanted a free Iraq (not Iran). Of course, Russert on MTP told Chalabi that it was the DIA, no the CIA that outted him. Now we are told the FBI is investigating.

So now all Americans have to do is differentiate between two similar sounding organizations with their origins in US policy: the INC that wasn’t in Iraq and the IGC which is in Iraq, then figure out whether Chalabi is an embezzler in Jordan, a spy from Iraq or a spy from Iran or all of the above, then deduce which organization, the CIA, DIA or the FBI, he’s under investigation of, and finally clarify which US payroll Chalabi was on when Bush started looking for Chalabi’s WMD’s in Iraq (not Iran) that proved Saddam was a threat to the US of A PDQ requiring our invasion of Iraq ASAP.

Nope, I can’t understand why this story is under reported.

(In the comments of Joe Trippi’s stumbling post-Dean blog here

Though, to be honest, I have the gut feeling the real story is rather simple.

Blog Read of the Day

Monday, May 24th, 2004


Remember the misleading sentence… “British intelligence has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” (proof that this was “misleading”: the only way it could get into the State of the Union Address is with the caveat British intelligence has learned.)

But … It’s a Tom Clancy read, from my vantage point, and really only worth speculating in the Tom Clancy spirit…

… See… what point of reference do I have here?

The truth will come out. And I’ll be there to simplify it to its basic essence once it does.

David Brooks Again

Sunday, May 23rd, 2004

“If we just let our own vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don’t try to be clever and piece together clever diplomatic solutions to this thing, but just wage a total war against these tyrants, I think we will do very well, and our children will sing great songs about us years from now.”
– Richard Perle

See… the problem here is Hollywood.

The Messianic figures rise to the task at hand and defeat the Bad Guys…

The story-arc follows the standard narrative device… think back to your high school Literature class:

Exposition. Conflict. Rising Action. Climax. Falling Action. Denoument.

In the neo-con version of reality (as per the David Brooks editorial from my last post): a plot twist was thrown our way…

… a plot twist that anyone paying any real attention could see from a mile away, but a plot twist nontheless…

And so we get the brilliant line, the moment of revelation: “For America to succeed in Iraq, America has to lose.” *

The crew of the Starship Enterprise stand around, stunned at Wesley Crushley’s creative bit of imagination. Data has trouble computing this concept. Picard opins “That’s crazy enough that it just might work!” Wesley Crusher saves the day, as he does in every other episode ofthe first season.**

See… when things “look bleakest”… that’s when you look around and “look inside yourself” to overcome that obstacle in your path toward glory.

See a newer editorial from David Brooks:

Hope begets disappointment, and we are now in a moment of disappointment when it comes to Iraq. During these shakeout moments, the naysayers get to gloat while the rest of us despair, lacerate ourselves, second-guess those in charge and look at things anew. But this very process of self-criticism is the precondition for the second wind, the grubbier, less illusioned effort that often enough leads to some acceptable outcome.

Today in Iraq, local commanders seem to be allowed to try anything. We are allowing former Baathists to man a Fallujah Brigade to police their own city. We are pounding Muqtada al-Sadr while negotiating with him. There is talk of moving up elections so when an Iraqi official is assassinated, he is not seen as a person working with the United States, but as an elected representative of the Iraqi people.

Some of these policies seem incoherent, but they may work. And back home a new mood has taken over part of the political class. The emerging responsible faction has no time now for the witless applause lines the jeering jackdaws on left and right repeat to themselves to their own perpetual self-admiration and delight. Even in a political year, most politicians do not want this country to fail.

*Note: oddly enough, I’d agree with that editorial… months and months ago… with the distinctive change: “For America to succeed in Iraq, America has to become irrelevant”. But… we all know better that that wasn’t in the cards.

**Note: “Wesley saves the day”… This is the kind of thing that one learns when their brother grew up watching a little too much Star Trek…