Who survives? 25 September 2006Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, Afghanistan War, Bolivia - Evo Morales, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War.
No, I mean really. None of this ends anytime soon.
I heard Bill burble about democracy in the ME, parroting Bush. At some point in the famous Fox display. Same interview where he mindlessly lauds the three Republicans – some passing fancy he claims they have with the Constitution – or so he wants us to think. Our Constitution, our Bill of Rights.
Hillary had harsher words this week for Chavez then she has ever had for Bush. Any Bush…
I heard Rajiv Chandrasekaran say on Cspan “we cannot leave” we are “holding the line”. Does he notice all the blood dripping I wonder. He must.
But I also heard, months ago, Shadid of the Wapo say – on some C-Span panel – that he felt pride in the power of his government (he might have said “country”, not certain) when the Saddam statue came down. Honestly, that one did stun me. Sickened me too.
Before the war, I was careful to catch a Friedman appearance on Oprah. I had a feeling that wretch would say something worth my bothering – if only to impress the ladies… And he did, said we’d be in Iraq for ”at least 20 years”. Not a surprise, if one had been applying the German or Korean or Japanese or or or or or model. But it was news to the Oprah crowd. Their mouths sagged open.
Then, last summer, I heard Hackett parse the war as tightly as any pol. Out here in SF to gather money, he said he “saw no evidence of any permanent bases”.
We are far gone. The two reporters are saner than most. And Bill and HIllary think they deserve to reign.
Quagmire is absolutely everywhere. No one, no one in any leadership position is willing to talk to the American people. Not really.
Some wonderful links in comments lately. Arcturus links to posts on Habeas Corpus at his site, Constellations.
Talk about a return to the Middle Ages.
While the Senate openly removes habeas protections for anyone designated an “enemy combatant,” the backdoor assault on the Great Writ that began with the 1996 “Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act” (AEDPA) continues apace, with Arizona’s John Kyl (who aspires to the Senate judiciary chair) again leading the charge. This isn’t likely to be spelled out in the pages of the NY Times.
Arcturus links to the Justice Project:
Members of Congress continue to work behind closed doors to pass legislation designed to eliminate federal review of criminal cases. The provisions, which are opposed by a broad array of organizations and individuals, would effectively repeal the “Great Writ” of habeas corpus, leading to more errors and unfairness in the criminal justice system. The legislation would also undercut the few safeguards that currently exist and likely increase the risk that innocent people will remain in prison, or even be executed.
When Habeas goes, in my small opinion, the nation will be gone. Everything I have read for two years has a low and quiet drum beat (to me) – they want to make US citizenship conditional, something available for review. They moved very easily from arguments about “enemy combatants” (bad enough, we should cling like mad to the Geneva Conventions) to now reducing basic rights of citizenship, drawing at the same well. Fewer rights for everyone. And, frankly, everyone guilty. That is my uneducated reading of where we are headed.
From the Habeas Protection link above:
Now, the DOD Authorization bill — the purpose of which is to provide resources for forces in Afghanistan and Iraq — is being weighed down and slowed by controversial and wrong-headed crime legislation that has otherwise been unable to garner majority support in both houses of Congress. Members of both parties who have fought on principle to resist these regressive changes to habeas should continue to do so and not be made to appear anti-patriotic when they rightfully object to this unnecessarily bloated DOD bill.
Regular order — which assures that both Chambers of Congress have a fair opportunity to consider the legislation — has been skirted; indeed, the texts of some of the added measures has not been seen by many members and their staff nor by the public — there is only one proper course of action — remove the non-germane matters from the bill.
And Madman drew on one of the comments from NYCO:
( New York ) On Monday, September 18, President Evo Morales Ayma and Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca of Bolivia met with Native American leaders on the Bolivian President’s first day in New York City . The President, Foreign Minister and his delegation were in New York for the opening of the General Assembly.
The meeting was organized at the request of the President and facilitated by the American Indian Law Alliance, a New York City Indigenous non-governmental organization, along with the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN. Tonya Gonnella Frichner (Onondaga), President of the American Indian Law Alliance, moderated the meeting. She opened the discussion with a brief history on some Native nations’ historical and modern relationships with the American government and the struggle of North American Native peoples. [snip]
to write a post.
[H]ere at the end of this latest cycle of time, on the cusp of great change and dangerous upheaval, what lessons can we find from this meeting, and from the growing movements calling for change, for more opportunities for the poor, the oppressed and the suffering around the world?
Well, first lets throw away any of the “noble savage” tropes that are all-too-often slathered over the top of meetings like these, declarations like these. Indigenous people are only people, after all, subject to the same jealousies and corruptions as anybody else. Instead, lets look at the ideas that form the mythical basis for so many so-called “pagan” or “primitive” cultures, ideas that are being carried forward by leaders like those above. What so many of these cultures hold to be true, hold in common, is the idea of CONNECTEDNESS. The Lakota phrase for this belief is Mitakuye Oyasin, “for all my relations” or “we are all related”. [snip]
And this via Danny Schechter, from the Toronto Sun (Information Clearing House):
In the late 1980s, I was the first western journalist allowed into the world’s most dreaded prison, Moscow’s sinister Lubyanka. [...]
I still shudder recalling Lubyanka’s underground cells, grim interrogation rooms, and execution cellars where tens of thousands were tortured and shot. [...]
Prisoners taken in the dead of night to Lubyanka were systematically beaten for days with rubber hoses and clubs. There were special cold rooms where prisoners could be frozen to near death. Sleep deprivation was a favourite and most effective Cheka technique. So was near-drowning in water fouled with urine and feces.
I recall these past horrors because of what this column has long called the gradual “Sovietization” of the United States. This shameful week, it became clear Canada is also afflicted.
We have seen America’s president and vice president, sworn to uphold the Constitution, advocating some of the same interrogation techniques the KGB used at the Lubyanka. They apparently believe beating, freezing, sleep deprivation and near-drowning are necessary to prevent terrorist attacks. So did Stalin.
The White House insisted that anyone — including Americans — could be kidnapped and tried in camera using “evidence” obtained by torturing other suspects. Bush & Co. deny the U.S. uses torture but reject the basic law of habeaus corpus and U.S. laws against the evil practice.
The UN says Bush’s plans violate international law and the Geneva Conventions.
This week’s tentative agreement between Bush and Congress may somewhat limit torture, but exempts U.S. officials from having to observe the Geneva Convention.
I happened to see this at News Dissector, it may be old news but it had slipped by me:
“Big Brother is not only watching you – now he’s barking orders too. Britain’s first ‘talking’ CCTV cameras have arrived, publicly berating bad behaviour and shaming offenders into acting more responsibly.”
www.rinf.com … they probably travel with a handy set of thumb screws to increase the public shaming.
And this, from Tuston, fits right in. It has always felt to me they are walling us in (as well):
August 24, 2006
Given the Homeland Security Department’s history of waste and spiraling costs in past procurements, Congress plans to keep a close watch as the department brings the private sector in to help secure 7,500 miles of the nation’s borders.
Larry Halloran, deputy staff director for the House Government Reform Committee, said Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., is concerned about the vagueness of the Secure Border Initiative solicitation and doubts the department’s ability to handle the $2 billion procurement.
“When you have a complex procurement under way to integrate fences, sensors, UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], and other technology, it takes a procurement capacity we haven’t seen yet,” Halloran said.
Homeland Security must choose among five companies — Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Ericsson — vying to supply technology and services under the SBInet program, bidders said.
Mucho bucks to be made. I watched some of the hearings two weeks ago of the House Government Reform Sub Committe, issues of Iraq were on the table that day.
Jokers. Pity the money isn’t funny. I wish Americans could grow up and realise our nationalised health care, the one we will never, never, ever get, is riding in warships and missiles and F-16s, 18s, 22s and so on, literally around the world.
Arms dealer, dealer in wars.
A snip from a comment of Deepest Throat:
I can no longer call Laredo home, it is not my town, not a town that now resembles one metropolitan detention center. Sad thing is, I don’t think the people there realize they are voluntarily allowing themselves to be detained. When SBI fully takes effect and the walls that will kill off the border towns, it will be at that time they will realize they are the detainees.
And links at the comment to a series of articles on The Wall (and who profits) we likely will build (all that money, you know)
UPDATE, 6:15 pm
You may have noticed around the blogs, discussion of the different NewsWeek covers for Europe /Asia / Latin America vs US for the October 2 issue.
Truth out has the text that is being carried in Europe for the Losing Afghanistan story.
Some critics point to a jarring mismatch between Bush’s rhetoric and the scant attention paid to Afghanistan. Jim Dobbins, Bush’s former special envoy to Kabul – he also led the Clinton administration’s rebuilding efforts in Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti and Somalia – calls Afghanistan the “most under-resourced nation-building effort in history.” Former Bush reconstruction coordinator Carlos Pascual, who retired in December 2005, does not dispute this assessment. He says the State Department has “maybe 20 to 30 percent” of the people it needs. Even Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, fretted last week that for five years the administration and Congress have failed to create a powerful nation-building czar, despite their enthusiasm for regime change. “We have a long way to go,” he said.
So. Ya think the Dems could make some of that stick? 2002… 2004… another chance heading over the hill… soon to ride into the sunset of history…
Will they try? Because this, no fucking question, is W’s own mess.
I am very unclear that Bill’s display on FOX did all that much. Got him some face time, finger pointing, bluster, ink, etc., w/r/t a big gnawing issue… Or, let’s be frank, did re-election (however you get there in this political climate, is how you get there) make it all moot – and old? … in the calcified mind of the public, I mean.
I did see it in full over the week end… and caught the patch, repair, knit and sew roundtable with Wallace, Hume, Liasson and Juan WIlliams. Enh.
So what is Bill doing so damned cosy with Rupert? All questions are fair. Love and war.
Ben-Veniste was on CNN with Wolf for a few revelations. Points for trying, but we are so muddled.
BLITZER: So you the asked the president in the Oval Office — and the vice president — why didn’t you go after the Taliban in those eight months before 9/11 after he was president. What did he say?
BEN-VENISTE: Well, now that it was established that al Qaeda was responsible for the Cole bombing and the president was briefed in January of 2001, soon after he took office, by George Tenet, head of the CIA, telling him of the finding that al Qaeda was responsible, and I said, “Well, why wouldn’t you go after the Taliban in order to get them to kick bin Laden out of Afghanistan?”
Maybe, just maybe, who knows — we don’t know the answer to that question — but maybe that could have affected the 9/11 plot.
BLITZER: What did he say?
BEN-VENISTE: He said that no one had told him that we had made that threat. And I found that very discouraging and surprising.
Honestly the “rally the troops” spin from Jay Carson (who was at Bill’s right hand for Soul Food Harlem, Day Trippers Meet the Man) has a whiff. It is a snip included in a later CNN replaying of the Ben-Veniste, not a transcript up yet…
So now they will wake up and fight? I still believe the collective Democratic strangle (did we triangulate to death?) comes from the top.
Bill Kristol. Hmm.
UPDATE, 9:20 pm
ooo. Quite important, I think. Let us see what can be made of it, in California and without. Just saw this over at SMBIVA:
From The Note:
In a pair of speeches on Tuesday, Democrat Phil Angelides plans to say that on his first day as governor he would call for all California National Guardsmen to return to the Golden State.If implemented, the Angelides proposal would almost certainly provoke a legal challenge. [snip]
This works for me. However, there is little real indication that national Dems – and locals too – really support Angelides. So, my guess is this is too challenging for the noodle-kneed Democrats.
I think it is a great ploy tho. And should be pushed, hard. IIRC California has lost the most in Iraq of any state. And at least in my area, the local press and TV news have covered issues for the NG in Iraq from the very beginning. Families were breaking up, homes being lost, small business shut and so on from the very first year of the war.
Just heard on the news that in the latest round of HLS monies:
Port of San Francisco, 0. Port of Oakland, 0. Port of Stockton, 0. Only Port of Richmond got anything. A very palty 1 million. Maybe we should just apply directly to the Chinese.
And a clip of George Clooney on a stage with Arnold. Cute. Both of them telling us that ”some things transcend party”. They are pushing Darfur. Ah yes. Death and destruction far far away. Just as PR advisors told Bill Gates, focus the foundation outside America. Don’t get caught criticising America.
Don’t want to do that. Might take courage.