Saturday, June 25, 2005

Karl Rove Still An Ass, Film At 11

Well, no film, actually.
Rove Criticizes Liberals on 9/11

"Karl Rove came to the heart of Manhattan last night to rhapsodize about the decline of liberalism in politics, saying Democrats responded weakly to Sept. 11 and had placed American troops in greater danger by criticizing their actions."

Who has placed American troops in danger? Who sent them into harm's way because he felt like it? Not the Dems.

McClellan Battles WH Reporters on Rove: Here's the Blow-by-Blow

"Karl was simply pointing out the different philosophies and different approaches when it comes to winning the war on terrorism."

Bullshit, Scotty. You're backpedaling because he didn't get away with it. "Oh, I'm just trying to stir things up and get everyone to think". You know, I hear that from people who have just fallen flat on their face all the time. "Oh, I'm just trying to play with your mind." Yeah, right. Shut up.

Bunch of 12 year old boys you lot are. I swear.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

AMA Wants Docs to be Pharmacists, if Pharmacists Insist on Being Docs

Docs want to dispense drugs if pharmacists won't

Dr. Mary Frank of Mill Valley, California, a former president of the AAFP, said some pharmacists are also refusing to return prescriptions that they refuse to fill and "they are lecturing patients. This is interfering with patient's access to care."

I agree completely. If pharamacists want to keep their jobs as pharmacists and not have doctors do it for them -- they need to do the damn job. If they want to lecture patients and determine their level of care, they can go back to school and get an M.D. and lecture to their patients, not someone else's.

Post-Bomb Articles

A Nagasaki Report

American George Weller was the first foreign reporter to enter Nagasaki following the U.S. atomic attack on the city on Aug. 9, 1945. Weller wrote a series of stories about what he saw in the city, but censors at the Occupation's General Headquarters refused to allow the material to be printed.

They're now seeing the light of day.

Bush, Misleading

Bush says US is in Iraq because of attacks on US

President George W. Bush defended the war in Iraq, telling Americans the United States was forced into war because of the September 11 terror strikes.

So, because a bunch of *Saudis* working for Osama bin Laden flew planes into the WTC and Pentagon, we should invade *Iraq*.

Hey! My neighbor pissed me off, I think I'll beat up *this guy on the streetcorner over here* instead.

No, no.

Now, there *is* a causal relationship here. It's just not the one the President is claiming.

A bunch of terrorists, mostly Saudi, no Iraqis, attack us.
Osama bin Laden claims responsibility.
Bush says, hey, I could work up some serious political capital with the right war. But Afghanistan -- where OBL is -- is too rinky-dinky, I need something with a little more oomph. And I've always been mad at Saddam.
US invades Afghanistan.
US invades Iraq.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Be Mad at the Media, Too

Beyond Downing Street into the media itself reminds us we should be just as angry at the media for letting the Bush Administration get away with DRIVING US FULL-TILT TO WAR IN ORDER TO OBTAIN "POLITICAL CAPITAL" as we are at the Bush Administration for doing it in the first place.

If, as the Washington Post, the New York Times, and even Andrea Mitchell, are correct when they assert "that you had to be 'brain dead not to know' what the White House was doing", why aren't we outraged at how they misled us? How can we ever again consider any one of them as credible sources? Why aren't we asking why they acted as propagandists, rather than a free and open media presenting all sides of an issue?
The Downing Street Memo is not the story. Unfortunately, Congressman John Conyers and too many Democrats don't see it that way. As outraged as they are over what they already knew was a lie, they should be more outraged over the role the media, a supposed Liberal media, played in the lie.
George Bush manufactured the reasons for the war and now, by their own admission, the media allowed him to get away with it.

That's a damn fine point.

Hey! Media! WTF were you doing? Do you honestly think I'll ever trust you to tell me anything more complex than that the sky is blue, ever again?

What's the big deal, however, to answer the question the commentator above asks, since, no, in a sense, the memos don't tell us anything anyone with an ounce of sense hadn't already figured out, is that here you have Official Documents that counter the Official Line -- which was that Bush didn't want to go to war, that Saddam was an imminent threat, that force was a last resort.

It's only with these counteracting documents that you can make a dent in the Big Lie that the Administration told, and that the media, god help them, 'cause I won't, both let them and helped them to do, and take Official Action to hold our elected officials accountable. I mean, aside from voting them out, which we should do with all speed.


Two on PETA staff charged with cruelty to animals

Enough to Impeach?

Dave Zweifel argues we've seen enough to impeach President Bush.

The recent disclosures of secret memos of meetings involving British Prime Minister Tony Blair's staff have underlined just how cynical and deceitful the people entrusted to lead the United States were in fabricating intelligence to get this war under way. It has become clear that they never had any intention of letting the United Nations try to settle the dispute. It seems clear now that they had made up their minds nearly a year before that Saddam Hussein was to be forcibly deposed.
Yet Bush and his lieutenants kept telling the American people that war would be waged only as a last resort.
As Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, said last week, "The veracity of those statements has - to put it mildly - come into question."

They Died So Republicans Could Take the Senate

Richard Nixon authorized the Watergate burglary and subsequent cover-up to advance his own political ambitions. Because Nixon's lies were done for the craven purpose of getting and holding political power, his lies - in the minds of the majority of the members of Congress - were elevated to the level of impeachable "high crimes and misdemeanors."
Bill Clinton had sex in the White House with Monica Lewinsky, but Congress concluded he'd lied about it to maintain political power. Another impeachable crime.
The real scandal of the Downing Street Memos, with the greatest potential to leave the Bush presidency in permanent disgrace, is their implication that lies may have been put forward to help Bush, Republicans, and Blair politically. If Bush lied to gain and keep political power, precedent suggests he and his collaborators in the administration may even be vulnerable to impeachment.

"The entire world thought Saddam had WMD," [Condeleeza Rice] and other Bush representatives suggest over and over again. "We had bad intelligence."

"The entire world" was, in fact, watching and listening to Hans Blix, who was telling us that he couldn't find any evidence of WMD - or any other sort of threat - in Iraq. Most of our allies were convinced that Saddam did not have WMD, or that if he did have some small stockpiles left they were so insignificant and degraded that they were irrelevant.

It [the war] was, pure and simple, well planned years in advance, a war to solidify Bush and the Republican Party's political capital.

Zweikel says:
Lying presidents need to be impeached. That's what the Republicans in Congress told us only a few years ago.

 | After Downing Street

On what basis did President George W. Bush decide to invade Iraq?

Why George Went To War

The memos are a government-level confirmation of what has been long believed by so many: that the administration was hell-bent on invading Iraq and was simply looking for justification, valid or not.

"He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999," said author and Houston Chronicle journalist Mickey Herskowitz. "It was on his mind. He said, 'One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.' And he said, 'My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.' He went on, 'If I have a chance to invade…, if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency.'"

So, this tells us Bush's idea of a successful president is one who had lots of "political capital" accrued from fighting a successful war, and used it to get lots of things passed.

And, if a war doesn't fall in your lap to give you that "political capital", why not just start one?

That's not great presidenting, that's self-serving.

US Kicks and Screams Over Climate Change

You can't wish this away, you know.

Document: US wants climate statement 'watered down'

Now, the British newspaper, the Observer reports a draft statement about global warming, prepared for the upcoming G-8 summit in Scotland, was leaked to the British and US media last week. (The New York Times reported the dcument came from a European official close to the talks).
The draft statement shows that the Bush administration is engaged in an "extraordinary effort" to "undermine completely the science of climate change and show that the US position has hardened during the G-8 negotiations. They [the leaked documents] also reveal that the White House has withdrawn from a crucial United Nations commitment to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions."

Monday, June 20, 2005

Appendix to Legal Advice DSM Released

Foreign and Commonwealth Legal Advice, Appended as Annex A to fcolegal020308.pdf (listed below).

Of note, I think, is the question of whether we could rely on an 'old' authorization to use force:

The more difficult issue is whether we are still able to rely on the same legal base for the use of force more than three years after the adoption of resolution 1205 (1998). Military action in 1998 (and on previous occasions) followed on from specific decisions of the Council; there has now not been any significant decision by the Council since 1998.

The Downing Street Memo:
Minutes of Prime Minister's Meeting Held 23 July 2002.

The briefing paper provided preparatory to that meeting:

The "New" Downing Street Memos:

The six documents above are also available here.

 | After Downing Street

Must reads on "Downing Street Memos"

Must Reads Shakespeare's Sister has a list of great sources on the documents.

 | After Downing Street

Bombs Away, Boys

It's funny how we keep noticing things a year or two after the fact. Doesn't that just scream to you that we didn't take the time to notice to begin with? That, in fact, we practically ran at top speed to go to war, instead of doing it as a terrible last resort? In fact, we went to war so fast we started it before receiving Congressional authorization. Yeah, that's slow and deliberate and all 'last-resort'-ish. A year or two later, someone has noticed that the US dropped napalm on Iraqis in March and April 2003 on the road to Baghdad.

US lied to Britain over use of napalm in Iraq war

Officials confirm dropping firebombs on Iraqi troops

"We napalmed both those (bridge) approaches," said Col. James Alles in a recent interview. He commanded Marine Air Group 11, based at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, during the war. "Unfortunately, there were people there because you could see them in the (cockpit) video.

Technically, they're 'firebombs', "incendiary devices with a function "remarkably similar" to napalm weapons."

Rather than using gasoline and benzene as the fuel, the firebombs use kerosene-based jet fuel, which has a smaller concentration of benzene.

So, you're still getting lit on fire. And, I suspect, to the people and things burning, that's really all that matters.

Postwar Iraq -- Hey, Someone Did Think About It!

They just went to war anyway.

Memos: Postwar Iraq a Concern in Britain It referenced the Manning and Straw memos, noting my country's odd lack of attention to what happens after you invade.

LONDON - Long before the Iraq war began, Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers concluded that the Bush administration and the U.S. military weren't adequately prepared for rebuilding Iraq once Saddam Hussein was driven from power.

The clue phone is ringing, people. Better answer it.

Postwar Iraq has been on my mind for a while. Like, if this is a "war on terror", that could last for years, generations, even, and you invade another country under that rubric, when do you leave? When "terror" is gone? Terror's a tactic, people.

Justifying the Silence on Downing Street Memos The media hems and haws over why they didn't pay any attention to the "Downing Street Memos" in the first place.

But the most familiar line--the memo wasn't news because it contained no "new" information--only raises troubling questions about what journalists were doing when they should have been reporting on the gulf between official White House pronouncements and actual White House intentions.

Hey, if you all knew about the lying, wouldn't that have been, you know, news? Don't newspapers and the like report, um, news?

If Bush said we're only using force as a last resort, and that's not true, maybe that's news? Ya think?

Now, some are trying to debunk the memos (after MSNBC has verified them, after no one, and I mean no one, as ever tried to say, Manning didn't have lunch when he did, or there wasn't a Prime Minister's meeting after all, AND saying these memos contain "nothing new".

This is just stupid. Kevin Drum debunks, so you don't have to!

 | After Downing Street