This says it all, from Cox and Forkum
I've been having an email conversation with "Kagro X" over at dKos that keeps coming back to my mind. My previous post on this subject did not seem to drive home my strong feeling that there is a better way handle the "War on Terror". Remember that that "war" was declared by our Decider-In-Chief, not by our Legislature.
Kerry, in 2004, tried to recast terrorism as “simply” a criminal enterprise and that attempt failed. That is not that same as proposing a solution to the problem.
I am not just asserting that terrorism is "only" criminal, I’m proposing a solution.
Yes, the solution requires the acceptance of terrorism as criminal rather than an act of war. But, that is “all” it is, criminal behavior. Terrorism is not about one nation violating another’s territory. It is about the tactics of those who hold certain beliefs.
In scope, terrorism is different, but, in tactics, it is no different than the Mafia.
Just like the Mafia, Terrorism is:
Consider Interpol, an international police network. Imagine if the responsibility for the “War on Terror” were transferred to Interpol, or an organization like it (but devoted to terrorism). Possibly, such an organization could take a form more like an truly international NATO.
If that were to happen:
1 a (1) : a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations ...Why do we as a nation have to accept Bush's definition (definition 2)?
2 a : a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism
I ran across this excellent post, you should read the whole thing. It's long, but extremely well written and cogent.
Spending time in the United States after a tour of Iraq can be a disorienting experience these days. ... It is created in several overlapping ways: through television footage showing the charred remains of vehicles used in suicide attacks, surrounded by wailing women in black and grim-looking men carrying coffins; by armchair strategists and political gurus predicting further doom...
Sounds like his view of MSM coverage is a bit jaded. With his qualifications, he has a right.
It would be hard indeed for the average interested citizen to find out on his own just how grossly this image distorts the realities of present-day Iraq.
... the half-truths and outright misinformation that now function as conventional wisdom have gravely disserved the American people.
For someone like myself who has spent considerable time in Iraq a country I first visited in 1968 current reality there is, nevertheless, very different from this conventional wisdom, and so are the prospects for Iraqs future. It helps to know where to look, what sources to trust, and how to evaluate the present moment against the background of Iraqi and Middle Eastern history.
Since my first encounter with Iraq almost 40 years ago, I have relied on several broad measures of social and economic health to assess the country's condition. Through good times and bad, these signs have proved remarkably accurate as accurate, that is, as is possible in human affairs.
The first sign is refugees. When things have been truly desperate in Iraq in 1959, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1980, 1988, and 1990 long queues of Iraqis have formed at the Turkish and Iranian frontiers, hoping to escape.In 1973 ... some 1.2 million Iraqis left their homes in the space of just six weeks .... it was a scene regularly repeated under Saddam Hussein.
Since the toppling of Saddam in 2003, this is one highly damaging image we have not seen on our television sets and we can be sure that we would be seeing it if it were there to be shown. To the contrary, Iraqis, far from fleeing, have been returning home. By the end of 2005, in the most conservative estimate, the number of returnees topped the 1.2-million mark. Many of the camps set up for fleeing Iraqis in Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia since 1959 have now closed down.
A second dependable sign likewise concerns human movement, but of a different kind. This is the flow of religious pilgrims to the Shiite shrines in Karbala and Najaf. Whenever things start to go badly in Iraq, this stream is reduced to a trickle and then it dries up completely. From 1991 (when Saddam Hussein massacred Shiites involved in a revolt against him) to 2003, there were scarcely any pilgrims to these cities. Since Saddams fall, they have been flooded with visitors. In 2005, the holy sites received an estimated 12 million pilgrims, making them the most visited spots in the entire Muslim world, ahead of both Mecca and Medina.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank ... The countrys gross domestic product rose to almost $90 billion in 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available), more than double the output for 2003, and its real growth rate, as estimated by the IMF, was 52.3 per cent. In that same period, exports increased by more than $3 billion, while the inflation rate fell to 25.4 percent, down from 70 percent in 2002. The unemployment rate was halved, from 60 percent to 30 percent.
Related to this is the level of agricultural activity ... In the past two years, by contrast, Iraqi agriculture has undergone an equally unprecedented revival. Iraq now exports foodstuffs to neighboring countries, something that has not happened since the 1950s.
He disagrees that Democracy cannot be "imposed" on Iraq because it has no tradition of Democracy.
Finally, one of the surest indices of the health of Iraqi society has always been its readiness to talk to the outside world. Iraqis are a verbalizing people; ... There have been times, indeed, when one could find scarcely a single Iraqi, whether in Iraq or abroad, prepared to express an opinion on anything remotely political ... Today, again by way of dramatic contrast, Iraqis are voluble to a fault. Talk radio, television talk-shows, and Internet blogs are all the rage, while heated debate is the order of the day in shops, tea-houses, bazaars, mosques, offices, and private homes. A catharsis ... 100 privately-owned newspapers and magazines and more than two dozen radio and television stations. To anyone familiar with the state of the media in the Arab world, it is a truism that Iraq today is the place where freedom of expression is most effectively exercised.
The country came into being through a popular referendum held in 1921. A constitutional monarchy modeled on the United Kingdom, it had a bicameral parliament, several political parties (including the Baath and the Communists), and periodic elections that led to changes of policy and government. At the time, Iraq also enjoyed the freest press in the Arab world, plus the widest space for debate and dissent in the Muslim Middle East.
There is so much more in the article that you must read it! He discusses how the insurgents have failed at every turn, how the quality of life has improved and how determined the Iraqi people are to make a go of this opportunity.
... by any reasonable standard, Iraqis have made extraordinary strides. In a series of municipal polls and two general elections in the past three years, up to 70 percent of eligible Iraqis have voted. This new orientation is supported by more than 60 political parties and organizations, the first genuinely free-trade unions in the Arab world, a growing number of professional associations acting independently of the state, and more than 400 nongovernmental organizations representing diverse segments of civil society. A new constitution, written by Iraqis representing the full spectrum of political, ethnic, and religious sensibilities was overwhelmingly approved by the electorate in a referendum last October.
"Just a minute. You just stated that we (the U.S.) should be less arrogant. Now you assert that we (the U.S.) should arrange the world is thus and such a way. How can We not appear arrogant, when you (Europe) expect us to manipulate the entire world?"This is the dilema the U.S. faces. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't, no matter the international issue.
I read the yK Rebel Ass diary by grapes. It talks about the South as a political entity. It engendered thoughts that are really off topic, so I thought I'd diarize (new word?) it myself. Some light may be thrown on the South as a political entity, but that isn't the intent.
I was raised in pre-Disney Orlando, then, a sleepy southern town. My grandparents, as was normal for reasonably affluent southerners then, had a black woman, Rosa, to help in the house, and a black gardener, Rosa's husband. This was in the early 1950's and I was about six years old.
Rosa grew bitter about the plight of blacks in the south and moved to Chicago, where she had relatives. Only a year passed, when she returned. My mother asked her why:
My mother told us of Rosa's answer and I've remembered it for the last 55 years. Note, I remember Rosa as a loving care-giver, not as a servant. When my family came for dinner she always managed to have one of my favorite dishes, she'd give me a big, sweet hug and a kiss on the cheek and tell me she had missed me.
When Mom asked Rosa why she came back to the south, Rosa replied:
"Miss Virginia," she said, "the Powell family (my Mom's family) has always been good to us. When my husband got drunk and arrested, your daddy went down and bailed him out of jail. You've always paid us well and treated us with respect. You've treated us as good friends, not as servants or slaves.
I have friends that work for other white families and they are treated the same way. But, most white folks in town don't treat us that way.
Even though you treat us well, I came to feel that you controlled our lives, not us. I wanted to try living on my own, without the control of a white family.
Up north, in Chicago, I learned something. I learned the difference between North and South attitudes toward blacks.
Up North, whites say they accept blacks as equals, but dislike them as individuals. Down South, whites say the don't like blacks as a race, but accept them as equals individually."
My attitude on race relations has been colored by that last paragraph for all my years. After all, how do we judge anyone, regardless of race, if not by their actions, if not as individuals? Judgements formed any other way are, at best statistical approximations, at worst, simple bigotry.
A heartfelt, Thank You Rosa ... and a big hug!
Let me get this straight:Another commenter (who's only link is an email address I don't feel I should post) took my points one by one (headed in bold) after which I reply:Iran asserts it's right to use it's resources for generation of nuclear power, thus positioning itself for the day their oil reserves are gone.Wouldn't a "diplomatic" proposition, at least, offer a semblence of negotiable points instead of a bullying requirement.
Iran raises the suspicions of the US/EU/Russians/Chinese by refusing IAEA verification of peaceful intent.
The US/EU/Russians/Chinese offer a plan to stop sanctions if Iran will stop it's nuclear program before negotiations about that very issue even begin.
Iran refuses to cede it's negotiating leverage before negotiations begin.
The US/EU/Russians/Chinese conclude Iran's intentions are bad and begins sanctions (at least).
For example, an honest diplomatic approach, might offer Iran the acceptance of it's right to exploit it's own resources (uranium) if it accepted IAEA verification of peaceful use.
Even if Iran's intentions are malignant, and it gets the bomb in 10 years, the US alone would still be in possession of 11,000 times that many (deliverable) warheads.
Says Iran conducts "a secret enrichement [sic] program."The responder then goes on to say:
Wrong! There's nothing secret about the Iranian enrichment program. They have been open about it since breaking the IAEA seals. It's what's required for peaceful, nuclear-generated electricity. They've stated that it's their right to do it for peaceful means.
Says Iran has engaged in "3 years of defiance, stonewalling, and deception during negotiations with the EU3."
Wrong! For 3 years Russia/China have been saying that Iran should stop enriching their own resources and pay Russia/China to do it instead. Meanwhile, for 3 years the US/EU have been screaming for them to stop finding the best use of their own resources.
Says Iran must "SUSPEND their ENRICHMENT program. They dont have to suspend their nuclear program, which isnt the same thing."
Wrong! If you can't enrich uranium, even your own, you HAVE no nuclear program, peaceful or otherwise.
"Iran refuses to cede it's negotiating leverage before negotiations begin. "My reply was:
By suspending actions at the UNSC to move toward sanctions, we suspend OUR negotiating leverage. In turn, they must suspend theres [sic]. Otherwise they can drag negotiations out, deferring sanctions, while moving closer to a bomb.
"The US/EU/Russians/Chinese conclude Iran's intentions are bad and begins sanctions (at least). "
If they wont SUSPEND enrichment, thats a pretty logical conclusion.
Have you considered the possibility that Iran refused IAEA inspections as a negotiating "strawman?"In light of the approach of US/EU/Russia/China, here's an idea to use the same approach in your everyday life!
Isn't it possible that they are willing to accept IAEA inspections in return for the right to best use of their own resources?
We, the west, have no right to deny them best use of their own resources ... and they resent that. Thus, they throw out the "strawman" knowing they'll give it up ... What Iranian would think the international community was too stupid to see the opening for negotiation.
I am convinced the Iranians will accept IAEA verification in return for freedom to use their national resources for peaceful purposes ... if only the diplomats would act like diplomats rather than Texans.
Carrot-and-Stick your employer (heh-heh, a pun) when raise time comes around:UPDATE: FYI, per Wikipedia,
Tell him to give you a 20% raise or you won't be willing to talk about your raise.
Yeah! That'll work ... er ... won't it?
naturally occurring uranium is composed of three major isotopes, 238U, 235U, and 234U, with 238U being the most abundant (99.3% natural abundance) ... To be considered "enriched" the 235U fraction has to be increased ... (typically to levels from 3% to 7%).
HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, at a forum sponsored by the Real Estate Executive Council of the Dallas Housing Authority, repeated a conversation he had with a prospective advertising contractor.
"He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years,"
"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect — the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'"
Federal law clearly shows these actions to be illegal due to discrimination based on political bias. In addition, there is a public admission of guilt. Federal Acquisition Regulations, 48 CFR 3.101-1 says:
Government business shall be conducted in a manner above reproach and, except as authorized by statute or regulation, with complete impartiality and with preferential treatment for none. Transactions relating to the expenditure of public funds require the highest degree of public trust and an impeccable standard of conduct.
Please take legal action against Mr. Jackson, if only to show
Four cycle engines run hot and require heavy radiators and fans to cool them. Well then, why not add an extra power stroke that cools the engine. Voila, the six stroke engine!
Yes, a six stroke engine! At PESWiki they tell the story of Bruce Crower's great idea:
In Crower's design, after the exhaust cycles out of the chamber, rather than squirting more fuel and air into the chamber, his design injects ordinary water. Inside the extremely hot chamber, the water immediately turns to steam, expanding to 1600 times its volume, which forces the piston down for a second power stroke. Another exhaust cycle pushes the steam out of the chamber, and then the six-stroke cycle begins again.
Crower estimates that eventually his six-stroke engine could improve a typical engine’s fuel consumption by as much as forty percent.
Is it illegal to release information regarding government actions of questionable legality?The Administration, by charging someone with this "leak", is asking for a court test of the legality of their own actions. In my mind, given our current laws, Warrantless Wiretaps on US citizens are patently illegal. The Administration may jam a law through Congress making it legal, but, that would not "grandfather" in earlier, illegal actions. Thus, "leaks" on this subject are simply the actions of conscientious "whistle-blowers."
Isn't it an official duty to expose illegal government activity? After all, it is a soldier's duty to refuse an illegal order. That was proven by the Nuremburg Trials after World War II.
" ... on the 2nd of March, Bush will be taken to visit Gandhi's memorial in Rajghat. He's by no means the only war criminal who has been invited by the Indian Government to lay flowers at Rajghat. (Only recently we had the Burmese dictator General Than Shwe - no shrinking violet himself.) But when George Bush places flowers on that famous slab of highly polished stone, millions of Indians will wince. It will be as though he has poured a pint of blood on the memory of Gandhi.
We really would prefer that he didn't.
It's not in our power to stop Bush's visit. It is in our power to protest it, and we will. The Government, the Police and the Corporate Press will do everything they can to minimize the extent of our outrage. Nothing the Happynews Papers say can change the fact that all over India from the biggest cities to the smallest villages, in public places and private homes - George W. Bush, incumbent President of the United States of America, world nightmare incarnate, is just not welcome."
Condoleezza Rice had to be informed of the reasonable and logical approach to the Hamas government in Palestine. You'd think she would have been able to figure this out for herself, but, she, smart as she is, has been around Mr. Bush so long that she has bought into the strategy: "Prejudge, then stick to your guns."
From Le Monde, here is a condensation of what the arabs had to explain to our Secretary of State:
Allow for an initial grace period and refrain from making Palestinians pay for a political agenda yet-to-be outlined by the fledgling Hamas government. This essentially is the message that was addressed to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, during her tour of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab EmiratesIt seems like an obvious, logical approach doesn't it? That is, let's, at least, wait for Hamas to form a government and establish policies before we condemn them. I still think Hamas is in a no win situation, but what harm does it do to see if they can extricate themselves?
When a French newspaper commented on how Mr. Bush "struts" around, Bush's comment was "in Texas we call that walking." I'd suggest that some lessons in "walking softly" are in order.
King George III: "George was not very intelligent and could not read until he was eleven. However, his tutors praised him for the amount of effort he was willing to put into solving his academic problems." (See here)
King George Bush: Though his intelligence seems about the same, we only heard King Bush praised for the effort he put into cheerleading in college (a practice he continues to this day).
King George III: "In 1760 George succeeded his grandfather, George II, as king." (See here)
King George Bush: George followed in his fathers footsteps (I can't bring myself to say "succeeded") instead of his grandfather.
King George III: "A year after becoming king, George III arranged for the Earl of Bute to become prime minister. This decision upset a large number of MPs who considered Bute to be incompetent." (See here)
King George Bush: While the timing and posts filled are different the tendency to appoint incompetents is the same.
King George III: "In the newspaper that he established, The New Briton, Wilkes accused the king and his ministers of lying. Wilkes became a symbol of free speech and the king was blamed when he was imprisoned for 22 months for libel." (See here)
King George Bush: Well, in King Bushs' court, no one has been tossed in jail for free speech yet. But it's clear that neither George was fond of free speech.
King George III: "In 1770, George appointed Lord North as prime minster. Lord North stayed in office for ten years." (See here)
King George Bush: Read "Cheney/Rove" in place of "North."
King George III: "George III supported Lord North's policies that resulted in the American War of Independence (1776-1783). Some MPs, led by Charles Fox and William Pitt criticised the conflict as an "unjust war" and urged Lord North's government to bring it to an end. Fox and Pitt were also critical of the way that George III tried to influence and manipulate those in Parliament. They argued that parliamentary reform was necessary for the preservation of liberty." (See here)
King George Bush: Does the term "unjust war" ring a bell? ... King Bush try to influence and manipulate those in the legislative branch ... of course not!
King George III: "When the House of Commons passed the India Bill, the king warned members of the House of Lords that he would regard any one who voted for the bill as his enemy. Unwilling to upset the king, the Lords rejected the bill by 95 votes to 76." (See here)
King George Bush: Doesn't this sound eerily similar to Karl Rove twisting Congressional arm in an election year to prevent full investigation of Illegal Wiretapping?
King George III: "[In] 1783, the king invited his former critic, William Pitt, to form a new government. George now used all the powers at his disposal to help Pitt maintain control of Parliament. This made the king unpopular with the Whigs, a group who favoured a reduction in the powers of the monarchy." (See here)
King George Bush: Hmmm ... misuse/overuse of the power of the Monarch ... er ... Presidency? Certainly, not in the USA!
King George III: "In 1793 war broke out with France. Soon afterwards William Pitt brought in a bill suspending Habeas Corpus. Although denounced by Charles Fox and his supporters, the bill was passed by the House of Commons in twenty-four hours. Those advocating parliamentary reform were arrested and charged with sedition. Tom Paine managed to escape but others such as Thomas Hardy, John Thellwall and Thomas Muir were imprisoned." (See here)
King George Bush: You have to hand it to old Will Pitt. At least he brought a bill before the representatives of the people before suspending their rights.
King George III: "To pay for the war Pitt was forced to increase taxation and had to raise a loan of £18 million. This problem was made worse by a series of bad harvests. When going to open parliament in October 1795, George III was greeted with cries of 'Bread', 'Peace' and 'no Pitt'. Missiles were also thrown and so Pitt immediately decided to pass a new Sedition Bill that redefined the law of treason." (See here)
King George Bush: Raise taxes to finance a war? Hmmm ... I hadn't thought of that. Redefine the law of treason? Hmmm ... is that the same thing as saying "If you don't support this measure, you're aiding our enemies." And, King Bush has already thrown his missiles. If he keeps screwing with our form of government, Congress and the people may well return the favor ... figuratively, of course (gotta be careful of the NSA you know).
"No culture has a given right to insult the sensitivities of other cultures. The minimum prerequisite of harmonious coexistence is that different civilizations and traditions recognize and mutually respect each others' cultural differences ..."I can certainly agree with that.
I robbed a bank the other day. Now trust me on this, it was 'legal and necessary'. This bank had communications with people we suspected of being Al Quaida operatives.How do you think that would fly? Isn't this the same argument the Bush Administration is using to defend Domestic Spying.
This is the only way to freeze terrorist funds. There was no time to get a warrant. We knew that getting a warrant, even three days after the robbery, was too constricting.
And, by the way, the U.S. Constitution, that protects citizens' privacy rights, was written 200 years before there were phones and electronic banking so it can't apply here. Don't kid yourself, the people depositing money in that bank were aiding terrorists, trust me on this.
I'm looking out for the interests of the American people. Those depositing money in these terrorist banks are warring against America, believe me. Some of you may lose your money, innocently, but, that's what you get for dealing with terrorists.
I just felt it was time to exercise the Nucular option. You have to trust me to do the right thing. The courts are too slow, and liberal to help us interpret the Constitution in this time of crisis."
I suddenly realize that I've not stated my concern on this subject because of a nagging worry that the NSA may be listening to my phone and internet posts as a result of my spouse's connection to Western Europe. Suddenly, it dawns on me ... my freedom of speech has already been abridged! Well ...
NSA Listen up! Leave me alone! I'm as patriotic as most Americans, but the President of the US nor his NSA have rights to shut us up simply because he/they are willing to commit treason. I await their jackbooted thugs.
As you can tell, I'm concerned about our country. I'm sure the Taliban's outrageous performance in Afganistan began as subtly as this.
"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just rejected him from your city,"Later he decided this statement should be "clarified." Then he said:
"God is tolerant and loving, but we can't keep sticking our finger in his eye forever. If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them."Well ... it's clear to me that God must be telling Mr. Robertson how he feels. Or, his Mr. Robertson telling God how He should feel, or, maybe he's telling us how we should feel. Gee, I wish he'd be clearer.
Post Hoc Ergo Propter HocThat translates to: This happened after that therefore that caused this.