CONTENTS: Dems Reap Harvest Of Appeasement, Regime Change In House, Dark Repub Designs, Security Council Gives Bush Czechoslovakia- Iraq Follies, Oct 26 DC rally, Bin Laden Phoenix Arises- maybe, RI Election Results- Cicilline Biggest Gay Mayor & Myrth(less), Cuban Missile Crisis- McNamara, Harry Shearer, Snipers From Northwest, Sharon Loses Liberals, Carter Gets Nobel- Fritz Gets Shaft
In a stunning rejection of the Dems nonmessage, the Senate went Repub as they won a host of close races, first time in a half century they’ve controlled all branches of government. The Democrats' wipeout came from their extraordinary cowardice to take any position on anything. Bush could have been beaten to death with the economic collapse, corporate crime, surplus to deficit in one year ($+129 bil to –159 bil); but they looked at his poll numbers and didn't even make the case. But bad polls based on voter’s misunderstandings can be changed with work. Sticking their heads in the sand, they thought the lousy economy alone would be enough to bring swarms of voters into the Dem camp, a weak and wimpy response. Bush, in contrast, blitzkrieged the country in a Trumanesque rampage and Repubs mounted an unprecedented massive get-out-the-vote effort. In a further demonstration of their bankruptedness, McAuliffe proudly handed over all the reins of responsibility to the Repubs, saying that with total control, they would be responsible for all ensuing problems. Great- now the Dems are advocating disaster as a political ploy, isn’t that forward thinking! After a rousing return speech, Al Gore disappeared from the stage during this critical election (he just gave his first interview about the 2000 elections). Was hanging out in Patrick Kennedy’s hospitality suite in Biltmore, where the Brown kids had the only TV tuned to national results (CNN) in the area, and James Langevin (wheelchair-bound rep) and got to talk to both at leisure. Forgot to question Patrick about his support for Iraq resolution- every politician who thinks they have a chance of becoming President voted yes: Hilary, Kerry, Gephardt. Langevin, despite opposing abortion, will be there for 20 years in the change-adverse RI. What a terrible election. This means war w Iraq, a dozen years of terrorism, hard-right wacko judges, maybe overturning Roe v Wade, more lunatic tax cuts. Nice Herbert piece on Repubs being slick, extreme, & dangerous http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/11/opinion/11HERB.html
James Carville blames the loss on the MN rally that celebrated Paul Wellstone’s demise with a hearty dollop of anti-Repub rhetoric. http://www.msnbc.com/news/831669.asp Jeez, this was the only confirmed unrepentant liberal in the Congress- are the Dems to be criticized for actually allowing some passion to overwhelm their judgment, especially when the stakes were so high. Coleman the Stove, who had been a vicious attack dog before, played it just right in the night-before debate, being respectful and firm, while Mondale (whom I once did a commercial for), needing to show his energy and acuity, attacked him consistently. One extremely troubling article blames a failure of blacks to turn out for the shocking losses, a trend that has ominous implications. http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2002/11/09/black_voters/index.html We think the Dems stymieing of the Homeland Security Agency (which they invented), no matter the justification, was fatal and foolish. The need for federal employee collective bargaining rights are not well understood by the public (including me) and Dems didn’t make the case. Now it is being rammed through the Senate as we speak (or I pontificate), with a host of frightening last minute right-wing riders attached including a draconian government snooping provision. http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20021115-70231.htm
Having identified NH and CO as the bellwether states for Dem Senate control, when NH and Georgia were lost, the game was over. Saxby Chambliss was the most contemptible candidate in the country, trashing triple amputee Max Cleland as linked with Saddam and Bin Laden in virulent commercials. Chambliss is the philosophical heir to Jesse Helms http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20021125&s=vest20021110 . An On the Media commentary blasts the press for never exposing that Cleland was actually significantly behind for a long time, which I’d never heard. Polls were incredibly inaccurate this year: 16 points off in GA. Gov. race, 11 points wrong in Co. Senate, 7 points out in Ill. Gov.. http://www.ariannaonline.com/columns/files/111402.html . Voter News Service, the joint TV Networks
polling operation, whose multitude of errors in 2000 caused the networks to call the election for Bush (dumping 19,000 erroneous negative Gore votes from Daytona Beach 4 hours delayed into the national system at 2:05am), simply threw in the towel and didn’t produce ANY EXIT POLLS. This must have been predetermined- it’s impossible that all polls were wrong. Most shocking was Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s loss of Maryland governorship in the 8:1 registered Dem state. Missouri should have appointed a more bankable Dem than Jean Carnahan, despite the sympathy vote. With 2 strong ethnic Dems, the Texas results were deeply disappointing- it remains a Repub stronghold. The House Dems lost an appalling 13 seats, even with self-protective gerrymandering. It was close to dead even race in some respects: a shift of only 45,000 total votes could have saved the Senate. Mary Landreu’s election in Louisiana runoff is not a sure thing: she crushed her 4 opponents with 46%, but the 3 Repubs added up got 51%. Bush’s massive road operation now shifts to Louisiana , where another win could give him a real majority w Southern red dems.
PRIME STATE GOVS GO DEM, !0 WOMEN RAN:
In the only bright news of the night (besides AR defeat of Asa[hole] Hutchison’s brother Tim), in huge vital presidential states Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, (& WI, AZ, NE, OK, TN, ME, NM) Dems won back the governor’s seat, although McBride’s Fl candidacy evaporated when he blew the debate with Jebby. Likewise in massively dem states NY, MA, HI, RI, Repub won the governorship in the ticket splitting that’s become standard there. Hawaii was run by a highly corrupt ethnic Dem cabal, there the Repub squeaker was a white victory, not really Repub. HI politics are incredibly racist (where whites, except for a few old line ruling families, are like blacks in 1930’s Mississippi), though not in any way that a mainland liberal could understand. See RI races below. Women, who ran for Gov in an unprecedented 9 seats [Jimmie Lou Fisher (D-AR), Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Linda Lingle (R-HI), Janet Napolitano (D-AZ), Shannon O'Brien (D-MA), Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS), Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D-MD), Fran Ulmer (D-AK), and Myrth York (D-RI)]. They won in Nebraska, Hawaii (2 women!), Michigan (big), and DE, - leading to 6 female govs now-a record. Not all good news by the x’s, Stepford wife Libby Dole beat Clinton alum Erskine Bowles in NC, and banana bitch Katherine Harris went to Congress from an extreme Repub district instead of a federal pen for her vote fixing.
REGIME CHANGE in HOUSE:
The android Dick Gephardt accepted his responsibility for his advocacy of Bush appeasement by quitting as Minority leader, citing a desire to run for (away from) the Presidency. Uh-huh. We were never a fan of the robotic eyebrowless MO-town rep- a buddy was his office manager- and always thought his vast ambition was misplaced- while chemically strong, he scores low on the all-important charisma meter. NANCY PELOSI, after a frightening attempted assumption by conservative rep Martin Frost, who believed that the Dems loss was due to their shift to the left, becomes the new speaker in waiting. The liberal San Fran rep is a strong voice for the values Dems should be aggressively fighting for- if she can control the bird-like movements of her head and avoid tilting to far to the left (as in opposing military action against Al Qaida), she could be great. Her 20-something daughter Alexandra, an NBC producer, is an object lesson in a reporter being co-opted by a politician: her “home movies” of GB2 show the Loser in Chief’s jocular fraternity appeal and photos show her gazing with unabashed adulation at the CIC. A lot of sex appeal comes with the office, as Clinton discovered to his lasting detriment. Still awaiting Tom Harkin’s mea culpa for trying to be the Bushman’s “partner”. To show his gratitude spouse Bush ran around the country campaigning and crushing Dems who had voted with him on taxes + Iraq, aided by $½ billion Repub war chest.
DARK DESIGNS of REPUBS:
As the curtain of Repub fanaticism drops on the American republic and vile exterminator Tom DeLay becomes Majority Leader, we can expect a wholesale assault on abortion rights. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40763-2002Nov11.html “Religious conservatives will pressure the Republican House and Senate to pass antiabortion measures previously passed by the House but buried by the Democratic Senate. After the ban on the "partial-birth" procedure -- passed by the House in July -- the next priority is a ban on human and embryonic cloning -- which the House passed last year. Next on the list of House-passed measures come the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (giving legal status to a fetus hurt or killed during the commission of a federal crime), the Child Custody Protection Act (making it a crime to take a minor for an out-of-state abortion in violation of a state's parental notification laws), and the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (forbidding state and local government actions against hospitals or health-care workers who refuse to participate in abortions).”
More terrifying for the long run is the appointment of right wing ideologues to the judiciary- starting with the ones already throttled in committee, now that Oral Hatch takes it over. Converted Watergate exposer John Dean explains the danger: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20021108.html
SECURITY COUNCIL GIVES BUSH CZECHOSLOVAKIA:
After being greased by billions of dollars of trade, aid, and military concessions (I’m sure), Iraq invasion holdouts Russia, China, and France gave the newly crowned Bush what he wanted: a unanimous approval for Bush’s attack on Iraq. Even terrorist sponsor Syria went along, perhaps hoping for a megalomaniacal over-extension and the resulting backlash. Although we are supposed to get further authorization for an actual attack, don’t hold your breath- Bush will use any excuse (already in process): firing on our planes in the no-fly zone, lies in Iraq’s declarations of their WMD inventories, resistance to inspectors, to justify an invasion- it is now almost unstoppable. (“Inevitable”, according to my man in the street: the 3rd shift fat guy at 7-11) Bush, who lies without compunction or penalty, isn’t above manufacturing a few incidents to justify it, which will probably occur in January- with a laundry list of real and spurious violations. Bush lies: http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20021125&s=alterman Ominous on several levels: Iraq has ordered millions of doses of nerve gas antidote atropine- which is actually just an amphetamine that partially overcomes the paralytic effects of nerve gas.
I thought when Bush proposed his Iraq election war that Congress would toss it back in his face. The over 3/4 Senate ratification of an absolutely idiotic unjustified invasion is the most incomprehensible vote I've ever seen, especially when they voted 47 against the justified Gulf War. We can't fight a billion Muslims and we can't fight terrorism from more than a few thousand identifiable nasties, but if we do this- invade and occupy Iraq- they will come out of the woodwork. I actually wonder if that is part of the evil Karl Rove’s game plan- to create a decade of terrorism that will solidify Repub control, since sadly voters trust to Repubs more in military matters. Amazingly, military families are among Bush’s most severe critics in Stars and Stripes, for his reneging and cutbacks. http://www.counterpunch.org/cole1104.html
Despite the huge Oct 26th DC ANTIWAR rally, media coverage was negligible, NY Times didn’t estimate the crowd size at all (which filled the street 50 feet across for ~1-1 /1/2 miles-circling the Billy Dom), NPR claimed the 100,000 people as 10,000-correcting it 2 days later. A horror show 20 hours of bus ride (thankfully on a 2/3 empty bus), it was my first and last big DC demonstration- shoulda hopped a plane. Ironically, it was the one day a year the Rose Garden was open for tours, as I discovered when I saw civilians coming off the grounds- could have got on the lawn and unfurled banners in front of the WH windows before being beaten like harp seals. The Bushman was in the Baja, though. With 375,000 Iraqi troops and 220 tanks, one Brit says an Iraq invasion wouldn’t be a cakewalk, though I think we are near invincible: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,841232,00.html Rather than invading the contained Iraq, we should be concentrating on shoving the murderous mullahs of Iran, who’ve killed far more Americans, into the obsolescence pit. They bred a nation of children for the Revolution- a revolution against them, and just sentenced a professor ally of Khatami to death, spurring huge protests.
The Brit alleged gas subway attack may have been overblown; they didn’t have poison or explosives- we are entering into an era of wild speculation and manufactured threats. http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/international/international-attack-britain.html The guy who tried to hijack an El Al jet with a knife, on second reports, never had it out.
BACK FROM THE DEAD BIN: With incredible timing, Bin Laden reappeared in an audio tape that supposedly has been verified by audio analysis weenies. I’m still skeptical: despite their insistence that voice analysis is as accurate as fingerprints, impersonators can be brilliant and the quality of the tape is lousy. I’ll believe it when I see him- the absence of video is inexplicable. The evil one must have been near death or terribly injured to explain his year absence; if this is genuine. But his bad kidneys must have made dialysis near impossible in his flight from our avenging eagle. BL’s alleged reappearance hasn’t altered GB2’s war schedule an iota, as the explosion of debt hasn’t changed his advocacy of more tax cuts. Facts have no affect on religiously revealed truth.
RI ELECTION RESULTS:
As the convicted Providence mayor, Vincent “Buddy” Cianci, is about to head to the federal pen for 5 years for racketeering (innocent on all counts but conspiracy?, he’s been hosting a radio talk show and doing election commentary); an earthquake roiled the local political establishment when gay Jewish Italian David Cicilline was elected mayor with a 84% plurality. The race was over after the primary, where an exhausted populace lusted for new and clean blood. But in politically liberal but socially conservative 70% Catholic RI, it’s not at all clear that the many voters even knew that Cicilline was gay- the only newspaper Providence Journal, while despising the Clintons and Kennedys, has been very gay-friendly. Although Barney has stayed above the waves, it’s hard to believe that some embarrassing lifestyle details won’t emerge at some point- Cicilline had a big victory celebration at a local gay club. We met him when he introduced a film about the difficulty of reconciling homosexuality and homophobic orthodox Judaism- a 38 year old Brown grad., he seems like a good egg. According to a source, big city pol Cianci is gay too, which may suit him in good stead at his next abode.
In her third attempt and final strike, Myrth(less) York lost the governorship to avuncular Repub Don Carcieri, after going very negative in ads- tying the genial former President of Cookson Inc. to lead poisoning in Philly and other corporate skullduggery. It came off desperate, and York’s sizable lead evaporated into a 10 point defeat in the last month. We expounded on this and our preference for loser dugouts (in sports) to a group of Kennedy/Dem lovelies that included York’s daughter, to a unhappy response.
THE LAST END of the WORLD:
In a symposium on the 40th anniversary of the CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS, converted warhorse Robert McNamara gave the most amazing lecture I’ve ever heard about the shocking revelation that the Cubans had 162 nuclear weapons on their territory the whole period of the Crisis, unbeknownst to us. They also had nuclear tipped torpedoes on the sub that we depth charged to the surface- the commander told the Big Mac that he almost immolated the US destroyer Joseph Kennedy attacking him. We also underestimated the Soviet forces by 4 times- a collection of spectacular intelligence failures that came a hair from causing a full scale nuclear holocaust (150 million dead?- Sovs had 3500 strategic nukes then, we had 5000). Castro advocated a full retaliation to Khrushchev if Cuba was attacked, no matter the consequences. This should be a cautionary lesson for our putchist President. In a fascinating Erol Morris documentary, Mac talks about being a war criminal, not in Vietnam, but in WW2, when he was Curtis Lemay’s lieutenant in the horrific Japanese bombing raids that killed 100,000 in a pop. We chatted them both up, as well as the propagandist Cuban ambassador and Senator Leeeeee-coln Chafee (see original Mod Squad), whom we begged to switch parties on the day Wellstone died. He edged away as if detouring around deep doodoo- he’s heard this a lot, but it remains a possibility when the Repubs savagely exploit their new power. 2 professors thanked me for my efforts. He did vote against Iraq invasion and the union-vivisecting Repub Homeland Security Agency bill.
HARRY SHEARER- Hairy introduced his new movie about his movie on the 100 year old N. Cal. power retreat Bohemian Club, The Teddy Bears’ Picnic. It exposes the adolescent activities of our nation’s movers and shakers. Harry took 40 minutes of questions from the tiny crowd and did his haunting Mr. Burns and assistant voice from the most successful and universal comedy in history, The Simpsons. Go to minute 38 for a send up of the election results on Shearer’s NPR radio show, Le Show: http://www.harryshearer.com/leshow/index.html Clinton-something: The Harlem Years
NORTHWEST NIGHTMARES: Not surprising one sniper came from Tacoma, it seems over 60% of the world’s serial killers some from 200 miles around Seatown- 15 years ago they were finding women’s bodies in the bushes twice a week and it wasn’t considered news, consigned to page C16. In the only exposition of this scandal, the Seattle Times published a WA state map in 1989? that showed locations of 10 uncaught serial killers who had each killed over 5 people.
SHARON’S BASE SHRINKS:
Ariel Sharon’s hard line government lost the “Liberal” Party when they finally revolted over the settlements that are the source of so much violence. Seemingly a good thing, Sharon has now appointed a Likud defense minister who believes in whacking Arafat forthwith and Bennie Netanyahu, a glib and dangerous extremist. He governs by a razor thin margin now.
CARTER GETS NOBEL, FRITZ GETS SHAFT: Kudos to President Jimmy for the long delayed Prize for his overwhelming decency and morality. He long got a dirty deal for the Iran hostages and the wild inflation- he was a joke for 2 decades; but his heart and mind were always in the right place. Almost literally ran into him once when he was jogging around the lake in Chicago. Poor Mondale, cast into the fray with zero time, had the loss of the Senate to buttress his ’84 second worst Pres. loss in history. Despite a valiant effort- the Carnahan effect didn’t take place.
Update- BUSH TOURS WORLD: Attending the monumental expansion of NATO into the Baltics, Romania?, Bulgaria (which makes it's purpose inexplicable), all GB2 could think of doing was pumping his simple-minded Iraq invasion. Attendees listened politely and committed to nothing- they have weapons of their own and aren't as impressed by electoral victories. Confronted by the immense beauty of Prague and the wonders of medieval Europe, Bush's inexperienced head must be close to exploding. On the other hand, this is a guy so lacking in imagination and curiosity that didn't use his father's Presidency to see anything of the world- probably trying to hunt down a McDonalds like the retarted landlord visitor I put up in Mockba, who would eat nowhere else.
CONTENTS: Bush’s Wanton War, Blame for 9-11, Congress Rolls Over, Roll Call, Send in the Subs, Murdering Maryland Maniac, Bush Develops Media Skills
Psychopath Saddam isn’t right about many things, but he may be about the primary motivation behind Bush’s push for war: vengeance… specifically for Saddam’s plot to kill his father in Kuwait in ’93. The President finally let it slip in a chat: “He’s a bad man- he tried to kill my father.” Attempting to murder a President may in fact be justification for removal with extreme prejudice, and there are few people in the world more deserving of the honor than Saddam, but a decade is a long time to wait, and the results and reaction to a general attack on the devastated Iraqi people and economy might be far more costly than any temporary increase in security.
Punishing ones enemies is a central tenet of the Bush family philosophy- GW’s main political job for years was as an enforcer against administration officials who dared divert from the his father’s wishes. It’s no accident that family wise man Brent Scowcroft urged moderation on the hotheaded eldest son. For Schröeder’s crime of willful opposition, Bush plans to punish the Germans- but wasn’t our main purpose for a half century to teach them an aversion to war? In his first act as President, Bush cancelled the Clinton cap on exploding California energy prices (up to 100-fold increases, by criminal price fixing among generators)- as a result Enron’s revenues ballooned from $25 billion in first half 2000 to $100 billion in the same period 2001- even assuming a justified doubling in prices- still $30 to $40 billion in criminal windfall profits ripped from the pockets of voters who had given his opponent a 12 point victory and handed to his biggest contributor. This shockingly corrupt and unreported act is still the iceberg that might sink the Bush administration.
Saddam is a monster- he should have been killed after he set the Kuwait oil fields on fire and fouled the entire Persian Gulf*- if he could be removed directly, through commando actions or bombing his palaces, doubles, and refuges- fine; but what is contemplated is a general attack- devastating the Iraqi infrastructure and people yet again. Judging by our actions in Afghanistan, where we haven’t fixed one road, Bush won’t rebuild or rehabilitate Iraq after another war- leaving our occupying troops among a bitter hateful populace, a open sore to the billion Muslims of the world. Don’t we build anything anymore? Credible reports have upwards of half-million Iraqis dying from third world diseases like typhoid or dysentery over the last 11 years; because in ’91 we bombed Baghdad’s water purification and sewage treatment plants, covering the cradle of civilization with excrement, then embargoed chlorine for a decade (because it’s used in making poison gases). Reattaching Iraq to the world could result in a flood of fervent anti-American terrorists.
After our tacit endorsement of Sharon’s harsh treatment of the Palestinians, an invasion of Iraq would convince the Moslem world that we are at war with them- and the pool of available terrorists would swell from a few thousand delusional lunatics to millions. Our struggle against Al Qaida would greatly suffer, as Islamic governments wouldn’t help or even allow us capture Bin Laden’s minions. Even European countries- virulently opposed to an invasion- would cool their cooperation in our struggle against the 9-11 killers, except for England- now the 51st state (even they had a ¼ million person demonstration against war). Major nations of the UN Security Council: Russia, France, China (which holds the Presidency of the UNSC for November)- are deadset against an invasion- if Bush ignores and defies the United Nations- there will be lasting damage to world stability and unity. We would become the Ugly Americans, heedlessly flaunting our arrogance and power. Bush has shown contempt for every international agreement- including ones, like the Non-proliferation, Biological weapon, + World Court- that are absolutely essential for American security- only because of the idiotic obsessions of the extreme right wing. He doesn’t have 1/10 of the foreign policy acumen of his father- who was a master of international consensus diplomacy. GB1 didn’t ‘finish the job’ in 1991 for some good reasons- the difficulty of occupying and rehabilitating a harsh Middle Eastern dictatorship, which isn’t being mentioned by the armchair warriors of the new Bush regime. At some point, we will have to attack enemies quickly, without notice or permission from the world community. This is not it. An unnecessary bullying war will lose us that good will and freedom of action, when it may be desperately required.
Bush has provided no proof for any connection between Saddam and Al Qaida- the alleged meeting between Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi diplomat in Prague had to be embarrassingly disavowed. Of the hundreds of Bin Laden’s satellite calls before the embassy bombings to London, Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, USA, Pakistan, .. there wasn’t one to Iraq. Bush’s changing rationales remind me of Chevy Chase’s ‘land shark’. Saddam with nukes is a chilling prospect- but it still that- only a prospect. If he warrants an invasion, what of Iran, which has killed 400-700 Americans in their Hezbollah Beirut (Marine barracks and Embassy) and perhaps Lockerbie bombings. Russia is building a nuclear plant for them, presumably the Israelis can be counted on to annihilate it like they did the Iraqi reactor in 1981, but where’s our logic? Al Qaida members have reportedly taken refuge in Iran. We have far more to fear from diversion of nukes in Pakistan or Russia after an Islamic coup or attack than we do from isolated and sequestered Saddam. What of the paranoid freak on a permanent bad-hair day in North Korea, who has let up to 2 million of his people starve, rather than open his kingdom to the world? He is close to making nukes too.
As sad as it is, this conflict is largely driven by politics- the President’s popularity rests on his martial prowess- without a conflict, the electorate’s attention may turn towards the devastated economy, deficits, and corporate scandals lapping at the feet of the Bush administration. Indeed, without 9-11, his popularity percentage might now be in the 30’s. The tens of billions this war would cost would also crush the beaten down economy- Bin Laden’s last instruction. All of America is now suffering from Gulf War Syndrome, the idea because of the spectacular success of wars in the Gulf, Bosnia, Serbia, and Afghanistan, that wars can be fought painlessly, with almost no casualties. But a cornered Saddam with a price on his head will use all weapons at his disposal, and we haven't fought in a city in 34 years (Hue). A war now will damage American security in a dozen ways: it's the wrong war in the wrong place with the wrong person. Israel just blew up a dozen civilians in Gaza (the most densely populated place in the world) with our helicopters and missiles- making peace there should be a priority. Inexplicably, cravenly, Congress has sleepwalked into authorizing military force (against a majority of US opinion: 51% to 38% -Zogby†)- perhaps with the notion that Bush is bluffing, and Saddam will back down. But Saddam, who could have left Kuwait with all his booty on Jan 14, 1991 and emerged unscathed.. can be counted on to do the most self-destructive thing.
If we invade Iraq, it will be only because George Bush wants to… and that’s not a good enough reason.
*The reason we didn’t was because I believe GB1 made an explicit threat to Saddam that we would kill him if he used poison gas or bioweapons; conversely that meant we couldn’t kill him if he kept to the bargain. US sharpshooters literally had Saddam in the crosshairs during the gulf war, but didn’t fire (though their escape was dubious).
TO OPPOSE BUSH’s WAR see http://msnoh.tripod.com/sendemfax.htm Democratic + liberal Repub fax list with lists of Foreign Relations Com members. Send them faxes and let them know what you think before they grant Bush authorization.
BLAME for 9-11
FRONTLINE ran a stunning documentary Oct 3: The Man who Knew, detailing the career and destruction of an American hero- maverick FBI agent John O’Neil, the foremost American expert on Al Qaida and Islamic terrorists. He was a brilliant, fanatically hard-working and dedicated guy, but a hard charging no-nonsense character who rubbed some the wrong way- especially the petty button-down by-the-book hacks who ran the FBI- Louis Freeh and Deputy Director Thomas Pickard. As brand new head of counterterrorism for the FBI, O’Neil drove nonstop to DC, went straight to his office, took a call from the White House about Ramzi Yousef being found in Pakistan- then spent the next 3 days engineering his capture… without leaving the office. Louis Freeh was disappointed- no one could come up to his high standards- a philandering President, whom he openly held in contempt, the NSC or CIA, with whom he didn’t share information, and certainly the dandy John O’Neil, who wore fine suits and held court at Elaine’s.
Incredibly, despite his vast expertise, the FBI didn’t send him to investigate the Africa embassy bombings in ’98, but Pickard himself- who knew little about the terrorist network O’Neil had put together. Finally after the Cole bombing, pressure from O’Neil’s fans forced Freeh to send him to Yemen- where the trail and leads were fresh. He made many connections and established rapport with Yemeni officials, but his insistence on maintaining a strong defensive perimeter in the terrorist haven (Bin Laden originally was from Yemen) irritated the imbecile Ambassador Barbara Bodine, who was concerned over keeping good relations with the anti-American stronghold. She undercut him, sabotaged him, and when he needed to return a few months later to question witnesses- she denied him entry- which shockingly was upheld by State and the FBI. Meanwhile, the bureaucratic hacks at the FBI used several minor transgressions to charge, threaten, and damage O’Neil- till they drove him out of the agency. In August 2001, he took a new job- head of security for the World Trade Center, where he was killed. It is almost certain that, if O’Neil had been allowed to do his job, he would have caught the 9-11 terrorists in time- he predicted Sept 10th that they would try to knock down the WTC again. While Al Qaida cranked up their plans to kill up to 50,000 Americans, tax accountant Pickard waged war only on the one man who could stop them- O’Neil. When the book is written on who was responsible for not stopping 9-11, the answers will be Thomas Pickard, who quit last November to go into private security; Barbara Bodine , now at University of California at Santa Barbara (BkbodineUCSB@aol.com 3049 Humanities+Social Science Bldg 805-893-5609), and Louis Freeh, who quit in June 2001 and testified before Congress Oct 8, where he lauded O'Neil. I hope they sleep well, especially when they think of the 15,000 New Yorkers who would like to see their heads on pikes.
CONGRESS ROLLS OVER- ABDICATES DUTY
In a shocking dereliction of duty, Congress avoided their duty by spending only 4 days debating the momentous decision of war, so the Repubs could swath the dimwit son with the halo of Commander in Chief, and the Dems could return to the flogging lousy economy (got that pesky war issue out of the way). Despite noble exortations of the only man with real institutional memory- Robert Byrd, and the pleas of sane others who realize the terrible risks of unnecessary invasions (Ted)- Senators allowed their visceral hatred of Saddam and craven fear of being "soft on defense" to overcome their constituional prerogatives. We take some responsibility for the only Repub Senator to break with Repub herd, Lincoln Chafee, whom we ferociously lobbied, and Reed, who was a West Point instructor. Incredibly Patrick Kennedy voted for the resolution (daddy- a spanking is in order) and wheelchair-bound James Langevin, who is anti-abortion, voted against (the reverse of expected). Hawaii, the only more Dem state, was the only one that all voted against war (3). So the most inexperienced, unknowledgable, unwise President since Andrew Johnson recieved blanket power to do anything he wants to Iraq with any weapons.
Benedict Lieberman with Gephardt (sp), morgaging their souls for their unlikely Presidential asperations, lead the appeaser faction in garnering support for the thief of his job and undercutting the principled people in opposition. Remembering Repub fiddleing while Bosnia burned for 3 years, even Hillary (+ John Kerry) voted for the proposition. Saddam has replaced the great old Soviet Union as the "soft-on" test of toughness and loyalty for those aspiring to highest office.
the most tortured was simple-minded Dick
Armey (who's leaving), who obviously
was aware of the manifest stupidity of GB2's
reckless unnecessary war, but
still voted yes.
Kudos to Jim McDermott, David Bonier, and the Rep fm Cal. who insisted on going to Mesopotamia to see conditions there for themselves, and try to impress on Saddam the tornado coming unless he agreed to sanctions. We met McDermott on election day '88 with the Seatown mayor, (when Snoopy Dukakis was being raped and murdered), as he was about to run for the 3rd time. A doctor, I rudely demanded why I should vote for him- taken aback, he paused, "Well I believe in universal heath care.", which sounded good enough to me. It's fun to give candidates a hard time when they're running- they'll be abusing the power of their position soon enough. Of course Repugs challenged their patriotism, but all of them served in wars (Ca guy was airborne), unlike so many Bushmen and macho-mouthed Repubs.
JAPAN-LIKE OCCUPATION- NYT has a stunning piece about Bush plans to set up 4-6 year military occupation of Iraq, lending credence to people who said this is all about oil (kick their ass, take their gas). But our previous tenures in Arabia and Africa ended badly- Lebanon, Somalia- we can't fight a billion Muslims- if we try to sit astride Iraq's neck- the terrorists will come out of the woodwork.
The 77-23 roll call by which the Senate voted Friday to authorize
President Bush to use military force, if
necessary, to disarm Iraq. On this
vote, a"yes"vote was a vote to pass the resolution
and a "no" vote was a vote to defeat
Voting "yes" were 29 Democrats and 48 Republicans. Voting "no" were 21 Democrats, one Republican and one independent.
Baucus, Mont.; Bayh, Ind.; Biden, Del.; Breaux, La.; Cantwell, Wash.; Carnahan, Mo.; Carper, Del.; Cleland, Ga.; Clinton, N.Y.; Daschle,S.D.; Dodd, Conn.; Dorgan, N.D.; Edwards, N.C.; Feinstein, Calif.; Harkin, Iowa; Hollings,S.C.; Johnson, S.D.; Kerry, Mass.; Kohl, Wis.; Landrieu, La.; Lieberman, Conn.; Lincoln, Ark.; Miller, Ga.; Nelson, Fla.; Nelson, Neb.; Reid, Nev.; Rockefeller,W.Va.; Schumer, N.Y.; Torricelli, N.J.
Akaka, Hawaii; Bingaman, N.M.; Boxer, Calif;Byrd, W.Va.; Conrad, N.D.; Corzine, N.J.;Dayton, Minn.; Durbin, Ill.; Feingold, Wis;Graham, Fla.; Inouye, Hawaii; Kennedy, Mass.; Leahy, Vt.; Levin, Mich.; Mikulski, Md.; Murray, Wash.;Reed, R.I.; Sarbanes, Md.; Stabenow, Mich.;Wellstone, Minn.; Wyden, Ore.
Allard, Colo.; Allen, Va.; Bennett, Utah;Bond, Mo.; Brownback, Kan.; Bunning, Ky.;Burns, Mont.; Campbell, Colo.; Cochran, Miss.;Collins, Maine; Craig, Idaho; Crapo, Idaho; DeWine, Ohio; Domenici, N.M.; Ensign, Nev.; Enzi, Wyo.;Fitzgerald, Ill.; Frist, Tenn.; Gramm, Texas;Grassley, Iowa; Gregg, N.H.; Hagel, Neb.;Hatch, Utah; Helms, N.C.; Hutchinson, Ark.; Hutchison, Texas; Inhofe, Okla.; Kyl, Ariz.; Lott, Miss.; Lugar,Ind.; McCain, Ariz.; McConnell, Ky.; Murkowski,Alaska; Nickles, Okla.; Roberts, Kan.; Santorum,Pa.; Sessions, Ala.; Shelby, Ala.; Smith, N.H.; Smith, Ore.; Snowe, Maine; Specter, Pa.; Stevens, Alaska;Thomas, Wyo.; Thompson, Tenn.; Thurmond,S.C.; Voinovich, Ohio; Warner, Va.
Jeffords, Vt .
HOUSE VOTE ROLL CALL: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/10/international/10AP-IROL.html
The 296-133 roll call Thursday by which the House voted for a resolution to authorize President Bush to use military force in Iraq. A "yes" vote is a vote to approve the resolution.
Voting yes were 81 Democrats and 215 Republicans.
Voting no were 126 Democrats, six Republicans and one independent. There are three vacancies in the 435-memberHouse.
SEND IN THE SUBS
After the public rage at their deciding the 2000 Presidential election, the Supreme Court backed off also corruptly deciding the 2nd branch of Government, refusing to hear (without comment) the challenge to the New Jersey Supreme Court decision- which although majority appointed by Repubs- decided to allow the NJ Dems to substitute retread Senator Frank Lautenberg for Robert Torricelli, who quit after being pummeled with supposed ethics violations. We would have preferred to see Bradley back, but what is vital is that the Dems keep the Senate to thwart Dubya’s dumb schemes and prevent the judiciary from becoming a right-wing Repub sewer. We didn’t know too much about the extinguished Torch, but his passionate closing speech where he implored, “when did we become so unforgiving?” should be reflected on. I think he was treated harshly- dirtbag Army Secretary Thomas White, who actively conspired in hiding Enron’s losses in a massive criminal web, is still happily in the job. When will the press ask Georgy when his heightened sense of corporate responsibility will extend into his shabby Cabinet? Cheney is under serious investigation for his malfeasance in Halliburton stock manipulations- anyone who never saw Cheney’s stunning promo for Andersen Accounting, where he praised them for their willingness to go outside the normal procedures to maximize numbers (by, uhh, fraud)- take a look (2:52). Paul Krugman has been charting the growing scandal, but don’t count on Ashcroft’s Justice Dept. to be indicting the Veep anytime soon.
MURDERING MARYLAND MANIAC
The monster psycho that’s been blowing people away in Montgomery Co. (NW of DC) has reached another milestone in spree killers- killing 8 people of different ages, races, and sexes- with one shot from a rifle. Suburban DC has a plethora of crazed violence- when I stayed in upper middle class Tacoma Park, Md just past the northern edge of DC during the Impeachment, there were 5 murders in a 24 hr period within 3 miles. The huge black underclass inside DC sometimes vents its outrage at the blatant class divisions by rudely impinging on the richer blanco suburbs, though this is probably not that. Well, after 3 years of schoolyard and workplace rampage killings, it's not surprising your serial killer (who doesn't want to get caught) adopts the tactics. I find it surprising nobody has seen and chased this maniac down (especially considering $500K reward), which probably will happen imminently. This guy might have a hatch in his truck, where he can shoot without anyone seeing as much as a puff of smoke- the report inside a truck would ring the whole vehicle in a way that wouldn't seem to eminate from anywhere. If he had a silencer, he could do this forever, but thankfully they are very rare for rifles. Someone just saw him- said he looked middle-eastern- uh-oh. If there is any major terrorist act that kills tens or hundreds of thousands of Americans, I have no doubt our Arab/Moslems would be rounded up into camps very quickly. The press just had to report the home-finding technique of analyzing shooting locations; immediately he shot people on the other side of DC, then went to Virginia; now they're saying he has a headlight out- think he'll fix it?? Note to law enforcement: shoot to kill- we don't need to see this freak on TV for the next 5 years.
BUSH's MEDIA SKILLS IMPROVE
Bush's latest speeches have displayed a quantum leap in delivery, pacing, phrasing, etc.- delivered in a calm folksy voice, they hide the vast vacuity at the heart and head of the person. Without stumbles and bumbles, Bush sounds like a statesman- even when delivering dumb-ass cowboy ultimatums. Karen Hughes must have made a deal with the Devil. In the last clip I heard, I swear Bush was doing Clint Eastwood- pretty well. "So what do you think, punk. Do you feel lucky?"
Previous STRIKEBACK Edition - Oct 10, 2001 Mostly militant message at dawn of battle in Afghanistan