$400 Million and the Coming War With Iran

The Telegraph:

President George W Bush requested and received funding of $400 million (£200 million) for the plan after he made a secret appeal to Congressional leaders last year.

The money is likely to be used for operations carried out by the CIA and other intelligence agencies, according to the New Yorker magazine.

The appeal for funds “was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change” said the magazine.


In the scenario concocted by Cheney’s strategists, Washington’s first step would be to convince Israel to fire missiles at Iran’s uranium enrichment plant in Natanz. Tehran would retaliate with its own strike, providing the US with an excuse to attack military targets and nuclear facilities in Iran.

This information was leaked by an official close to the vice president. Cheney himself hasn’t denied engaging in such war games. For years, in fact, he’s been open about his opinion that an attack on Iran, a member of US President George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil,” is inevitable.

Huffington Post:

On Fox News Sunday this morning, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said that President Bush is more likely to attack Iran if he believes Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is going to be elected.

…so how do we stop it?

The War That Opposes Al Jazeera More Than Osama Bin Laden

I don’t know whether you caught it here or elsewhere last week, but we’ve lowered the jackpot someone gets who snitches and leads to the death (wanna bet?) or capture (right, uh huh) of Osama bin Laden. But here in so called “liberal loony” Vermont, we’re fighting a single opposing voice: whether to permit the broadcast of al Jazeera on a cable network here (and al Jazeera does NOT always take the side of Islam, if you have any regular reading experience there) like it’s more heinous than September 11th and what we did to Iraq rolled together.

Now, the Burlington area is considered to be the most liberal part of the state; it’s got a tiny Seattle kind of feel to it, and that it’s a multiple college town doesn’t necessarily make it more conservative.

Really? We can’t listen to the other side occasionally? Sometimes, only by looking at both sides of the supposed truth can you discern the spin, the message, the actual agendae at work.

Thank The President For The Latest Gas Price Hike

No joke. With crude oil prices already well past the record $100/barrel that we used to treat as the great marker for “peak oil”, where was the price going to go but WAAAAY up when Bush does the following in the past week:

* More saber rattling at Iran with “evil” charges amounting to the same damned things the U.S. is doing in Iraq
* Goes to Israeli Knesset (their Congress), plants a huge wet kiss on PM Olmert, and manages to dis both Iran and Barack Obama in the same charge as he also indicts Muslims in general
* Only then does he go to Saudi Arabia to ask them to increase oil production, at which point the Sauds flipped him the bird and sent him home as gas prices jumped by as much as 30 cents in a 24-hour period in some locations
* Threatens our own Congress who stopped the record levels of oil reserves Bush has been spending a fortune in storing (waaay above what any other admin has done, and Bush increases the reserve everytime the price rises like he wants to just hand energy companies all the tax dollars not being spent on the Pentagon)

Oil just closed on the stock market at a record $133.17/barrel. Thanks, President Bush! What latest horror will you enact?

McCain Campaign Populated By Lobbyists, Defense Privateers

Just how many McCain finance chairman, etc., have either had to step down or pretend they don’t hear the questions being asked about their participation in the ironically-entitled Straight Talk Express?

Far, far too many.

For Dems and perhaps for most of the country, the biggest enemy we face isn’t Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, maybe not even al Qaeda. It’s the threat of a McCain Administration that would continue the loathful, lousy work of the Bush Admin (aka Dewey, Cheatem, and How!).

Bush Likens Obama Diplomacy To Hitler Appeasement/Holocaust

President (I can never believe he bears this title) George W. Bush has done so many reprehensible things during his “administration” that it’s hard to find a new source of outrage. Yet he managed to provide just that when, in front of the Israel legislature today, he liked Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s desire to seek diplomatic solutions with Iran to the appeasement of Hitler and allowing the Holocaust to happen. Considering how much of the lawmakers in Israel are elected for their more extreme views, it was certainly pandering to a captive audience.

It’s no small irony here that the Bush family fortune – for those who don’t know – was cemented by Bush’s grandpappy, Prescott, who rose to become a U.S. senator AFTER his New York based bank became disgustingly rich laundering Nazi money. Nazi money. Prescott Bush was no underling at the bank; he was an architect of the laundering and he knew where the riches came from.

To my knowledge, Barack Obama never got rich off plundering the wealth of a people whom Hitler’s Nazi Party designated for genocide. But I know that many generations of Bushes have Hitler to thank. It paid for the embarrassingly worthless “college education” of the numbskull who thinks he’s president and helped pay for that cute little wedding in Crawford for Jenna Bush last weekend.

To accuse Obama of Nazi-like appeasement would be heinous anyway, given what we’ve seen with the Bush Admin’s famed lack of diplomacy. But for Bush to do it while he’s filled his larders with the money stolen from Jews and others who opposed the Third Reich is so far beyond the pale it defies description.

On Hillary Clinton, Her Comments On Iran, And More

Last week, I posted that Hillary Clinton had completely lost me when she said that if Iran did anything Israel didn’t like, she would have no trouble annihilating a country of tens of millions of people. Before that, I’ve been hopelessly deadlocked between both remaining challengers: Barack Obama and Mrs. Clinton.

Well, I still utterly despise what she said. I’d like her to eat it, actually.

But as much as I wrestle with the decision – and I believe I am very right in thinking that to blow away another country is NOT any adequate foreign policy outside the Bush Administration – I still feel torn.

As Vermont’s junior Senator, Bernie Sanders (I-Socialist – no, really, he is), stated on The Colbert Report last Monday night, no matter which Democrat wins the party’s nomination, we simply MUST be far better off than if ANY of the Republicans won, and especially since it would be John McCain.

I can live with Hillary if she’s the candidate though I’ll ride her rump if she pulls any Bush tricks in office, the same as I would if Obama wins. But if the general election were tomorrow and I could only vote between Obama and Clinton, I just don’t know how I’d vote (and eeny-meeny-miney-mo and rock-paper-scissors just seem a bad way to choose).

Anyone else, like me, caught between Iraq… er… a rock and a hard place? Let me hear from you and what issues for you are causing the big divisions.

How Hillary Won Pennsylvania, But Lost This Voter

After some six weeks of discussion as to how Pennsylvania Democrats would vote today, Hillary Clinton has won the primary there, which many believe gives her enough momentum (never to be confused, pretty please, with JoeMentum, as in Karl Rove’s favorite in-name-only Dem Joe Lieberman) to continue her challenge with Barack Obama for the party’s presidential candidacy.

However, Hillary completely lost me. I’m not talking Bittergate or the talk that her campaign is in debt (like that’s unusual for a campaign) or the silly issues of whether or not she wears a flag pin (she does not) or the foolish Bosnia story.

No, Hillary completely shot my potential vote (and readers here and on my personal blog know that I’ve been deeply divided who I want to be the Dem challenger to McCain) when she said she would annihilate Iran if they made any kind of attack on Israel.

Her words were pure Bush. I’ve had ENOUGH Bush and Cheney. The entire world has.

I very much support the right of Israel to exist and feel, due to our meddling in the Middle East (and not to mention the years the U.S. allowed the Holocaust to continue without action), we should support that nation. But besides getting the majority of our financial aid (the tiny nation gets more aid from us than any other country on the earth, though it’s one of the least populated), we spend a ton on sending Israel military equipment they use with wild abandon on their enemies. We also help subsidize the illegal settlements Israel keeps building outside their own borders, on Palestinian land. THAT I don’t support.

Mrs. Clinton sure as hell did not threaten to annihilate Israel when they were threatening to strike Iranian nuclear reactors which would have the potential to kill tens of millions of Iranians. She didn’t say anything against Israel when the latest of Israeli officials said (and we’ve heard it from them before) it was time to launch a holocaust against Palestinians. (My God, who would toss about that suggestion, even thoughtlessly in anger, considering what Jews suffered in the 1930 and early 1940s?)

If I wanted nothing but more bloodshed and another billion or so people throughout the world hating us, I’d vote for (bleeping) McCain because he’s Bush III. While I still respect Hillary a lot and would like to see her continue to do what good she does in government service, I won’t vote for someone who uses Bush foreign policy to score votes. Un-uh.

Petraeus Back To Betray Us Again

Well, his words yesterday seemed like whole big repeats of late LAST summer (when the surge was supposed to be nearly over) and the Bush Administration lines on the Iraq war for more than four years.

I could barely contain myself when the Three Putzketeers (McCain, Lieberman, Lindsey Graham) helped to use the “update” on Bush’s escalation of war – while the deaths and bombings the last few weeks have been off the chart – to spin more misinformation to assure them the White House.

Polls in various media have been showing a minimum of 60% of respondents saying the war has gotten no better or brought us any closer to an end since the escalation began when more troops were sent in ahead of approval starting in December 2006 and January 2007.

Your take?

Democrat: Put The Energy Into Opposing McCain, Not One Another

Stuck with a non-functioning net connection these last few days, I’ve had to depend more (oh, pitiful truth) on TV and NPR for my news and… well, according to the mainstream media, “the Democrats were all but choosing curtains for the Oval Office last summer but are now prepared to fracture into so many pools that John McCain may have it easy.”

Yes, by God, the arguments out here have gotten extreme. And not all of them happen in cyberspace, such as when that group of leading Dem contributors sent a “bad Nancy” note to House Majority Nancy Pelosi regarding superdelegates. And yes, the whole real voter-superdelegate one, while just a single argument, is such a brouhaha all its own.

However, folks, we have to remember: the evil, such as it exists en masse, is John McCain and what some are calling a “de facto third term” for Bush and Company, because McCain may sign on to allowing many of the Bushies stay in power once he “assumes the throne” (as Republicans always view the Oval Office). Even if McCain had completely denounced the Bushies – and note, he hasn’t by any degree of description – he is still the exact wrong choice for us moving ahead.

And it’s PAST TIME to move ahead. We’ve been living in the hell the Bushies used and abused of our horror over the attacks on 9-11 to destroy us. They’ve done a finer job than Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, and every other terror network combined could have accomplished against us.

Fight terrorism at home; get the Republicans OUT of the White House. It’s a start.

This is our common mission. We can’t let individual cat fights on specifc candidates obliterate the success of this mission.

While Cheney Grins and Gladhands, McCain Embarasses – All On The Global Stage

Apparently VP Dick Cheney and GOP presidential nominee-apparent, Sen. John McCain, aren’t content with making people here at home miserably uncomfortable. No, they’ve taken their act on the road (dear God, pray for the world…).

After President Bush went on a goodwill tour a few weeks ago (one that went soooo successfully, too: he went to OPEC to beg them to lower oil prices – we’re told – and now, gas prices have not just climbed but hit lifetime record highs), now it’s Cheney’s turn. His grin isn’t any too good but he’s definitely got the evil Machiavellian “I could rip and gut my mother without batting an eye” glaring sneer down pat as he suggests Dems are endangering the world and are all but underwriting al Qaeda.

Simultaneously, McCain has been proving that time spent with Bush DOES measurably lower your IQ. He’s not just confusing Iran with Iraq (a great Bush/Cheney trick) on a regular basis and depending upon Joe Lieberman not just for help answering questions but on distinguishing a matzo ball from a yarmulke, but getting Joe to take heat for him when the audiences don’t like the answers.

McCain’s stupid globetrotting is almost understandable, if still inexcusable. But to have Bush and now Cheney trying to scare up supporters overseas, I’m afraid, may give us more of a hint that action against Iran is getting ever closer.

On This Fifth Anniversary Of War With Iraq

Think very carefully about who you want to represent you in the White House come January.

Can we afford a John McCain who made that silly gaffe subsituting Iran with Iraq (something Bush Washington has made very easy to do) until latter-day-neocon-nutcase Joe Lieberman corrected him?

I say no. A yes for McCain is a vote for more bloodshed.

Note, too, that no less than seven out of every 10 Americans feels the Iraq War is directly hurting our economy (the other three, I suppose, believe that the war IS what remains of our economy ::sigh::) and that even if the war ended now, we will continue paying costs for it for many, MANY years into the future.

It’s Three In The Morning…

Bopping about the intertubes today I stumbled over the blog of George Washington University Professor of Political Science, Marc Lynch. The blog is titled Abu Aardvark.  Professor Lynch writes mainly about Middle Eastern affairs, and the very top article as I bash out this post piqued my interest. That article is titled “never been afraid to talk about anything“. Continue reading

The Ralph Nader Hat Toss: Why I Won’t Scream He’s In The Race

I’ve written here and elsewhere many times about my genuine fondness for the Nader family and for Ralph’s historical work, so I won’t cover all that ground anew. However, this feeling on my part really plays no role in why I won’t be joining those who want to villify Ralph for his decision to run as an Independent for the office of the president of the United States.

First, it’s tough enough that those who believe in the general principles Ralph has always stood by are often haranged by supporters of more mainstream candidates because Ralph is a “spoiler”. Spoiler to what, when our campaigns all reek from the corruption, greed, glad-handing, backroom deals, antidemocratic ideology, etc. that go on?

Second, while I in no way advocate the rise of a third (or fourth, or more) political party just for the sake of their creation, I’m also still totally in shock that the country that demands more choices for ice cream flavors than chocolate and vanilla also feels that more than two political parties is “too much.” What this has done is create great schisms under the banners of Republican and Democrat that often fracture against the whole. After all, my kind of Democrat may sound and vote differently than yours because I’m a progressive realist, while perhaps you are a middle-of-the-road Clintonite.

Third, sadly, does it really matter what Ralph does at this point? The last time he ran, he got only a fraction of one percent of the vote. Exactly from whom does this take from?

Even more sadly – because I used to take such pride in Ralph and his ideals – I have to acknowledge, and feel you should as well, that there are much bigger issues before us right now than whether or not Ralph Nader is in the 2008 presidential race. This is not 2000, nor 2004. Any sane person knows we can’t keep one of the current crop of Republicans in the White House, not if we’ll leave Iraq in our lifetimes or hope to prevent an even more bloody war with Iran. Our enemy isn’t Ralph: it’s all the bastards who want to finish destroying what little good in this nation that George W. Bush hasn’t already turned into kitty litter.

The State of the Union (SotU) Address: If Only Bush Spoke The Truth

Considering Bush has been known €“ mature, wise fellow that he is €“ to flip the finger at press and photographers, a part of me wonders if, on the occasion of his final State of the Union delivery tonight (Monday), he might just tell the truth, certain that no one can do a damned thing about all the misery, injustice, and death he has wrought. God knows the man looks for opportunities to smirk ever more insultingly.

So here’s what I think he would say if truth serum were administered to him just before the speech:

Good evening, you pussies and ingrates:

I could give you my usual bullshit about how I gotta hard job and I work hard (damned, I say that a heluva lot) but we all know if damned good ‘o me to bother to put in eight hours a WEEK between my naps, ball game watching, riding my mountain bikes OVER old ladies, and planning for the vacations I take ev’ry few days.

But anyways… I won’t make this long ‘cos you don’t wanna hear it and frankly, I like to pretend to get into bed real early like so I can hide my drinkin’ and druggin’ I’d make certain you’d do federal time for. So let’s get this sucker over with.

Too effin’ bad if you don’t like the job I’ve done; it was never up to you anyway. And mixed in with all the lies was a little truth, anyway. Like when I said I wanted to make America an ownership society €“ not my fault if you thought YOU would be the owners when I really meant Saudi nationals, wealthy Kuwaitis, and scores of other rich for’ners would come in and buy everythin’ up ‘cos I made sure you can’t afford to breathe.

As for Iraq, boo-frickin-hoo so many have died. At least they’re not people I care about. My dumb-as-dirt daughters are just fine and livin’ like princesses so I don’t give a tinker’s damn that your kid is too dumb to get into college ‘cos I dumbed down the requirements for public education or ‘cos I made sure they can’t afford to go on to school. After all, we gotta military recruitment quota to fill and it’s not like there are jobs out there for your grown kids to get; and where they can find jobs, I’ll make damned well sure they are jobs that can feed a family. Besides, college ain’t all its cracked up to be. Just look at me and I went to a bunch of the best effing schools in the country. Continue reading

All Those Iraq Lies? (The) Saddam (Devil) Made Bush Do It

Well, we’ve heard every possible excuse from the president and the rest of the Bush Administration on how they could have been so terribly wrong about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the threat the Iraqi leaders presented to the U.S. So now, after a government audit documented 935 separate lies about Iraq – and the American economy affected by a war with Iraq – from the Bush Administration, what makes more sense than for the Bushies to turn around and blame Saddam? Well, that is, it makes about as much sense as anything else this murderous, greedy, deceitful crew does, anyway.

What marvelous timing that the FBI agent who supposedly was the one to interrogate Saddam Hussein after his capture in Iraq in December 2003 picked NOW, in light of the lie report, to disclose highlights from his seven-month-long interrogation of the Iraqi dictator, hanged just before the end of 2006.

However, for the Bushies to quickly spread the story that it was Saddam who lied and fooled them does NOT appear to be a particularly flattering spin on events. For it to matter, we would have had to BELIEVE what Saddam was saying in the first place – and we had no reason to do that, did we? After all, we expect our enemies – and America’s greatest enemy of all, President George W. Bush – to lie to us. So why did the Bushies magically choose to believe the WMD/threat lies (if Saddam told them rather than the U.S.)?

Also, according to Colin Powell, and Dick Cheney, et al, they had “military intelligence” and well more than ample evidence from “trusted sources” that WMD was EVERYWHERE in Iraq and that the nation, which could barely afford to operate at all, was ready to launch suicide camel rocket SCUBA divers to blow up the West Coast (remember?).

Well, as usual with the Bushies, the truth changes faster than Bush’s “reasons” for going into Iraq in the first place, and none of the stories/versions makes as much sense as that we went in there for the oil, and got a lot more (and not in a good way) than we bargained for.

Why can’t the Bushies do something truly unique just ONCE? As in, tell the truth? Wait. I know why. Because to them, the truth is just something to spin into something worse. Lessons we need to keep in mind as Bush keeps ramping us forward to war with Iran.

The Former Republican Congressman Turned Terrorist: Why We Should Wait To Pass Judgment

OK, it’s very tempting: a Midwest man (Mark Deli Siljander of Michigan) who formerly served in Congress (as a Republican) and as a delegate to the United Nations has been charged with 42 – count ‘em – charges of funding and promoting terrorism. The righteous Republican tag makes me want to exploit this story for all it’s worth.

But here’s why I won’t.

First, there’s that strange notion of “innocent until proven guilty” that was hard hit even BEFORE the Bushies rode into office on a surplus of rigged electronic voting and almost completely eliminated now. But even that is not the only reason here I won’t take the bait.

Siljander has been charged for his efforts with the Islamic American Relief Agency which the feds claim funnels money to groups that have actually threated America and its war of empire in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. However, we’ve seen a BUNCH of such charges that, even when the feds DO manage to win in court, seem to be built on unsubstantiated so-called evidence. Outside the U.S., many courts throughout the very civilized world have, often using info “developed” by the Bushies, have failed to render guilty verdicts because of the speciousness of the charges and the evidence the cases are built upon.

As the Christian Science Monitor so WISELY opined soon after September 11th, 2001 when they decided to stop using the term “terrorist” to identify everyone the Bushies do not like, “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.” This government is waging war on money going to every Muslim cause that isn’t directed at keeping the Bushies and American corporations in charge of the oil in Iraq and the huge oil pipeline planned to cross Afghanistan OR to promote the war Bush WANTS to have in Iran.

At the exact same time, this government turns a blind eye to fund raising for others who also might be construed as religious fascists; for example, it’s fine if you donate huge sums of money to some of the seriously rightwing “let’s get rid of these Muslims and anyone else of not-our-kind-of-Semite” groups in Israel. (Palestinians and others are also Semites, btw, which makes any criticism of the most rightwing of the Israeli government’s actions as “anti-Semitic” just because some of us want a fairness way beyond odd.) And Israel is just one example of the terrorists our government IS willing to support while condemning a select group of others.

Knowing how many charges have been brought by the highly politicized judicial system under Bush for reasons that have nothing to do with actual justice, I’m sorry but I don’t think anything they do stands up to the smell test.

IF Siljander’s group and Siljander himself actually are terrorists, then I have no problem with them being charged and prosecuted. But persecution just for being Muslim – to this Christian, me – just stinks. STOP ALL TERRORIST FUNDING and then apply the rules, or stop bringing charges only against CERTAIN parties. We still support, for example, many programs that help keep any Saudi but the Saud royal family in extreme poverty in ways most of the rest of the world sees as terrorism against the Saudi people but God forbid an Islamic charity does anything to feed and educate those poor.

What The Media Watches Instead of Watching Our Elected Officials

Imagine if the media spent as much time devoting intelligent discussion on all the under-handed nastiness going on to ruin the U.S. Constitution, take us to war with Iran (which will make Afghanistan and Iraq together seem like a bleeping picnic!), how many of our elected leaders are bought and sold by corporations, and how bad the outlook is for far more Americans than just the same 43-47 million health care insurance-less, for example, as they do on:

    – Britney Spears’ lack of panties
    – Paris Hilton’s latest sleaziness
    – Pam Anderson’s divorces
    – those “hero” pro sport types
    – the latest missing pretty and invariably white middle class woman/wife
    – how wonderful all the corporations (often, the same ones who OWN those media outlets) and all their products are