The cold, really cold hard truth

The "infantry soldier" - a very humble description for someone so close in rank to our exalted generals - make some comments on Altercation today. Perhaps I read them too finely and interpreted them too harshly; you can judge for yourselves. My eyes tell me that he just laid the pending genocide of Iraqis at the feet of those who want to get out of this poor country. Below is the content of my reply to this charge.

Nice. I pray that you were not - with this comment - joining the bandwagon of folks who say that those who support leaving Iraq do not have a plan. Regardless, I took some umbrage at your comment that those of us who want to leave have done some cold, hard calculus that states that American lives are worth more than Iraqi lives. This just in: that is how it has always been. As someone who is proudly descended from those whom the authors of our Constitution were not quite convinced of our humanity, I have to do nothing but read those cold, hard words of "non-persons" to know how I was defined by this nation. And I have but to read reports of soldiers referring to Iraqi's as "sand niggers" to know that those thoughts are still with us - and they are present in more than just the wishes of those who want to leave.

We all have the deaths of Iraqi's on our heads as our crown of thorns and that we must deal with, but that is true whether we stay or go. The only question is: are our aims achievable. I say there is absolutely nothing in our history or in our current efforts in Iraq that proves we have the capability to achieve these goals (creating a stable democracy in the nation once known as Iraq). So if we cannot do what we claim we want to do, the only sensible course is too leave - as prudently as possible, certainly, but sure in the knowledge that many, many, many deaths will occur regardless of which path we take.

As far as the slaughter that awaits the Iraqi people and the potential wider war that might engulf the region, the die was cast on that back in 2003.

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I can see clearly now

Wow - I have never read a post so enlightening.

You state that by definition, one cannot be a messenger for the poor and yet live in an "ginormous" house; and yet live a lavish lifestyle by enjoying an expensive haircut.

Do you know what you have just said?

Who among us does not aspire to the accumulation of enough wealth, such that we might live wherever and however we so desired - even a "ginormous" house, should we so choose. In fact, people used to call that "The American Dream"

You have just said that one cannot obtain "The American Dream" and still profess to care about the poor.

This explains so much about what is wrong with our nation: why so many children are homeless, why so many people cannot get care for their illnesses, why so may go without the education required to live in the 21st century and why so many die so young, so violently.

The American Dream is antithetical to professing honest concern for the poor.

Thank you, it is all so clear to me now.

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It's a shame, the way you hurt me


Shame on us for permitting this to happen. Is this not the land of government of the people, by the people and for the people? Is this not the land where we are ruled by laws and not by men? How did we become so blinded that we twice elected a man who believes that he - and he alone - has the authority to discard the Great Writ (the Magna Carta) on which Western civilization has stood for just under 1000 years.

Woe be unto us for our failures to protect the freedoms that our forefathers bled to leave for us.

If this be what America is today, then I am an unlawful enemy combatant.


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And the beat goes on . . . .

Wow. The mind reels. I told myself that there was nothing this President could do that would shock me - and I heard so many people say that Libby would never spend one night in jail - but I could not see to how GWB would extricate himself from his "hard on crime" pose.

Is Libby the first person for whom GWB has ever commuted a sentence? He was a hang-em-high governor of Texas and I do not recall him changing his ways in the more than six years he has been in DC, so I am amazed by this.

It would be foolish of me to say "never again" as it is apparent to me that this man is as slippery as an eel. GWB will surprise us again and APAB just prays that it is by not living up to our prediction of an attack on Iran.

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T-minus 30 and counting . . . .

Today was my off day . . . damn!

Those fools over at the LA Times (has Dean Baquet been gone that long?) have added their voices to the chorus laying the foundation for war with Iran.

Did they learn nothing from the last misguided run up to war? The loopholes in this article are immense:

  • Hezbollah has 24-years of computer records? That sounds like the lead story to me. Why does a trainer of militiamen travel with two decades of employment history?
  • How does the capture of a man from Lebanon - along with two brothers from Iraq - implicate Iran? And how secretive can this Quds force be, if their operatives are taught to travel with such extensive documentation and to spill the beans after a few days of questions (which certainly did not include any torture; the US does not torture)
  • "Not too far from Tehran" - are you kidding me? Am I the only one or does this remind you too of Mr. Rumsfeld's famous announcement that -
    • we know where they [weapons of mass destruction] are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north, somewhat."
That's it - no more from me today. But when the US sends a cruise missile or two into Iran proper and GWB goes on TV in another sham serious announcement of taking the war to more evil doers, don't say you did not hear it here first.

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A Modest Proposal

Awhile back, I read a post on TomDispatch about a fictional court case: United States v. George Bush, et al. It was inspiring then and I still here the siren call of justice a-coming for G. W. - but I no longer feel that we should go the impeachment route - as former Reagan lawyer Bruce Fein calls for again just this week. Sure, Bruce believes that the VP is the cancer that must be removed - and he is absolutely right on that - but what I have slowly come to realize is that the US justice systems are not equipped to deal with crimes this grand. The only course of action that makes sense is for the next President of the United States to sign the treaty for the International Criminal Court and then seek a resolution of the United Nations Security Council indicting GWB et al for crimes against humanity.

The past six years have seen an unheard of degree of criminal activity on the part of this administration: Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay are just the most extreme examples. It almost seems quaint now, but how many people even recall how Aristide was escorted out of Haiti by this administration? Yes, it is unquestionable that this government has treated the Constitution as though it were a list of soft guidelines instead of bedrock law, but it is also without question that an impeachment would not succeed - and how damaging would that be to national and international law? For these men to be seen as tried and not convicted would be tantamount to a finding of not guilty - a result that sneers in the face of justice.

The ICC provides the best vehicle for these criminals to face the bar of justice - and it places us back on the world stage as a nation that unflinchingly lives up to principles again. Signing that treaty and referring the case to the ICC should be done in the first 100 days of the next administration, to allow the healing process to begin as soon as possible. Witnesses in the case should include - but not be limited too:

  • anyone who was ever snatched by the CIA and taken to a secret prison for torture;
  • anyone who was taken to Guantanamo Bay or any of the staging zones;
  • Scooter Libby - and his testimony should be compelled.
The nation is watching what we do next; the world is watching. We must act fast to restore our standing and give us back the simple dignity that used to come with being an American.

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