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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


By John Young
September 24, 2006

Opinion editor of the Waco Tribune-HeraldWACO -

A train derailed in Crawford Tuesday, spilling many gallons of the toxic whitewash used to portray Bush policy.Maybe whitewash isn't what it was. The official word was ethanolamine. That's the chemical term for ''not salad dressing.''
I debated going out to see if the good-haired TV guys were getting the straight skinny. My wife had a veto on that. She even wanted to bring in the dogs. Fumes can travel 15 miles, she said. Ask any smokestack.
I settled back. It was just another peaceful night in the state of fear.We ought to be able to believe official reports about something related to our safety.We ought to be able to believe, for instance, that when sons and daughters are sent to war it's over a real, certifiable, verifiable threat to us.
If it's about nation-building, Middle East restructuring or the ever-poetic ''freedom marching.'' If that's your war pretext, say it in advance. Of course, we'll probably say, ''Thanks, but no thanks.''We ought to be able to depend on the words of the people who represent us in halls of government or theaters of battle.We can't right now.
Take the recent report from the Pentagon that violence was down markedly in Baghdad because of intensified U.S. patrols. That was slightly off. The morgues showed three times as many Iraqis killed in this so-called period of pacification as U.S. spokesmen were saying.
Next consider the difference between the official count of America's wounded in Iraq, roughly 19,000, and the 62,800 that PBS's McLaughlin Group attributes to the number removed from the battlefield because of physical or mental wounds.The first number, alarming though it ought to be, still appears tailored to the other big lie underlying pre-2003 designs on Iraq: That war could be low-cost, low-imprint, sort of like, um, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
No, war is a deathly endeavor. A nation had better believe in it fiercely to make it worth the investment of lives, including innocents.And a nation that so invests had better be prepared to give the stockholders some truth about gains and losses.
Consider the family of Cpl. Pat Tillman, who left the NFL's Arizona Cardinals to enlist after 9/11. For more than a month after he was killed in Afghanistan in 2004, Tillman's family and countrymen were fed a lie about his death, which came from friendly fire. Five inquiries have yet to clear up events.Ironically, Tillman was in on another much-trumpeted story that wasn't the truth. In a tour of duty in Iraq, he was with the squad that recovered America's most famous POW in Iraq, Pfc. Jessica Lynch. Americans were told she was rescued in a blaze of gunfire. Actually, Lynch's captors had fled when the U.S. troops arrived.Gary Smith, in a penetrating portrait of Tillman in the Sept. 11 Sports Illustrated, writes of ''how wars and soldiers get marketed by government and media alike, and how you can find yourself cast in the commercial whether you auditioned for it or not.''In an eerie passage, Tillman, who enlisted to go get the bad guys behind 9/11, watches battles rage in the Iraqi desert and calls the U.S. invasion ''f--- illegal.''
Go market that.A friend who is a disabled Vietnam veteran and who has grimaced throughout the Iraqi mission thinks of what awaits the many individuals who come home with terrible wounds and mental disabilities. With as many as one in three Iraqi veterans reportedly suffering mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, he notes a recent initiative by the Department of Veterans Affairs to tighten up the definition of PTSD. This comes at a time when Waco's VA hospital, psychiatric care as its chief mission, looks to an uncertain future.
Can we trust this government to fulfill its obligation to people who've sacrificed so much? I can't believe I'm even asking that question.

John Young is opinion editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald.
E-mail: jyoung@wacotrib. com .
Copyright 2006, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bush Was Against Torture, Before He Was For It??

The President now wants congress to okay his authorization of torturing detainees by giving him a blank check in terms of interpreting the Geneva Conventions, and making this administrations violations of the Geneva Conventions retroactive.
Here is how the President felt about torture BEFORE he figured out that we would going to Federal Prison after the Democrats take the House and Senate.....

June 26, 2004
President's Statement on the U.N. International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
Today, on United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the United States reaffirms its commitment to the worldwide elimination of torture. The non-negotiable demands of human dignity must be protected without reference to race, gender, creed, or nationality. Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right, and we are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law.
To help fulfill this commitment, the United States has joined 135 other nations in ratifying the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. America stands against and will not tolerate torture. We will investigate and prosecute all acts of torture and undertake to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment in all territory under our jurisdiction. American personnel are required to comply with all U.S. laws, including the United States Constitution, Federal statutes, including statutes prohibiting torture, and our treaty obligations with respect to the treatment of all detainees.
The United States also remains steadfastly committed to upholding the Geneva Conventions, which have been the bedrock of protection in armed conflict for more than 50 years. These Conventions provide important protections designed to reduce human suffering in armed conflict. We expect other nations to treat our service members and civilians in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. Our Armed Forces are committed to complying with them and to holding accountable those in our military who do not.
The American people were horrified by the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. These acts were wrong. They were inconsistent with our policies and our values as a Nation. I have directed a full accounting for the abuse of the Abu Ghraib detainees, and investigations are underway to review detention operations in Iraq and elsewhere.
It is often American men and women in uniform who fight for the freedom of others from tyrannical regimes that routinely use torture to oppress their citizens. From Nazi Germany to Bosnia, and Afghanistan to Iraq, American service members have fought to remove brutal leaders who torture and massacre. It is the American people and their contributions that have helped to rebuild these traumatized nations to give former victims hope.
A little over a year ago, American service members and our coalition partners freed the Iraqi people from a dictatorship that routinely tortured and executed innocent citizens because of what they believed in or what ethnic or religious group they came from. In torture chambers, innocent Iraqis were brutalized and the bodies of the dead left in mass graves. Throughout the past year, Americans have assisted the Iraqi people in establishing institutions to ensure accountability so that such acts do not occur again and to help victims recover.
Despite international efforts to protect human rights around the world, repressive regimes continue to victimize people through torture. The victims often feel forgotten, but we will not forget them. America supports accountability and treatment centers for torture victims. We contribute to the U.N. Fund for the Victims of Torture and support the work of non-governmental organizations to end torture and assist the victims. We also provide protection, counseling, and where necessary and possible, relocation in the United States. We stand with the victims to seek their healing and recovery, and urge all nations to join us in these efforts to restore the dignity of every person affected by torture.
These times of increasing terror challenge the world. Terror organizations challenge our comfort and our principles. The United States will continue to take seriously the need to question terrorists who have information that can save lives. But we will not compromise the rule of law or the values and principles that make us strong. Torture is wrong no matter where it occurs, and the United States will continue to lead the fight to eliminate it everywhere.

Feb 10th, 2003
The true enemy of the Iraqi people, Saddam Hussein, has a different strategy. In violation of the Geneva Conventions, Saddam Hussein is positioning his military forces within civilian populations in order to shield his military and blame coalition forces for civilian casualties that he has caused. Saddam Hussein regards the Iraqi people as human shields, entirely expendable when their suffering serves his purposes.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gov. Ann Richards passes at 73

I was so saddened last night as I saw this on the breaking news header on CNN. I admired Ann Richards for her no-nonsense approach to goverment, politics and George Bush! When she became Governor of Texas, my uncle, who is a stinkin' republican, was so pissy about it! He was the President of a Bank in Texas, and my mother sent him a huge bouquet of balloons, and the card was "Thanks for the Support! Love, Gov. Richards".
May Gov. Richards rest peacefully.

I love this quote from Gov. Richards at the 88 Democratic convention:
(on women in goverment)
"But, if you give us a chance, we can perform.
After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels. "

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mad Libs...Tony Snow Style

I decided to play a new game with Tony Snow's press conference bullshit. Since what comes out of his mouth is mostly garbled lies and spin...I have decided to change the words around. It is amazing that changing Saddam to Bush and Iraq to White House and Al-Qaida to Jeff Gannon comes out just as funny as the original!!!

Q Well, one more, Tony, just one more. Do you believe -- was President Bush connected to Jeff Gannon before the invasion?
MR. SNOW: The President has never said that there was a direct, operational relationship between the two, and this is important. Gannon was in the White House.
Q There was a link --
MR. SNOW: Well, and there was a relationship -- there was a relationship in this sense: Gannon was in the White House; male prostitutes were in the White House; they were operating, and in some cases, operating freely from the White House. But they did they he have a corner office at the White House? No. Were they getting a reach around in Bush's White House? No. There was no direct operational relationship, but there was a relationship. Gannon was in the White House, and I think you understand that the White House knew he was there. That's the relationship.

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2001

Peace to all today....

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.(Matthew 5:9)

Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

Bush's Bin Laden

When you watch the ABC docu-doodoo that last night basically portrayed Clinton as ignoring Bin Laden.....keep this in mind...

Q Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? Also, can you tell the American people if you have any more information, if you know if he is dead or alive? Final part -- deep in your heart, don't you truly believe that until you find out if he is dead or alive, you won't really eliminate the threat of --
THE PRESIDENT: Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he's alive at all. Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not; we haven't heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is -- really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission.
Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. His network, his host government has been destroyed. He's the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match. He is -- as I mentioned in my speech, I do mention the fact that this is a fellow who is willing to commit youngsters to their death and he, himself, tries to hide -- if, in fact, he's hiding at all.
So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. I'm more worried about making sure that our soldiers are well-supplied; that the strategy is clear; that the coalition is strong; that when we find enemy bunched up like we did in Shahikot Mountains, that the military has all the support it needs to go in and do the job, which they did.
And there will be other battles in Afghanistan. There's going to be other struggles like Shahikot, and I'm just as confident about the outcome of those future battles as I was about Shahikot, where our soldiers are performing brilliantly. We're tough, we're strong, they're well-equipped. We have a good strategy. We are showing the world we know how to fight a guerrilla war with conventional means.
Q But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.
But once we set out the policy and started executing the plan, he became -- we shoved him out more and more on the margins. He has no place to train his al Qaeda killers anymore. And if we -- excuse me for a minute -- and if we find a training camp, we'll take care of it. Either we will or our friends will. That's one of the things -- part of the new phase that's becoming apparent to the American people is that we're working closely with other governments to deny sanctuary, or training, or a place to hide, or a place to raise money.
And we've got more work to do. See, that's the thing the American people have got to understand, that we've only been at this six months. This is going to be a long struggle. I keep saying that; I don't know whether you all believe me or not. But time will show you that it's going to take a long time to achieve this objective. And I can assure you, I am not going to blink. And I'm not going to get tired. Because I know what is at stake. And history has called us to action, and I am going to seize this moment for the good of the world, for peace in the world and for freedom.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fear Mongering

Screw ABC

I just can't figure out why ABC didn't didn't air this partisan bullshit movie on the Monday before the 2006 elections!
Kudos ABC and Disney....
And this is interesting.....
The movie we saw had disclaimers at the beginning that gave some 'narrative license', but when those across the pond got the movie, they got no disclaimers and this was the trailer that they saw advertising the movie...