Thursday, June 30, 2005

Iran's New Leader: An International Criminal?

Just like so many victims of Nazi death camps, who have been terrorized for the remainder of their lives by the horrors of abuse from their captors, now some American hostages are certain that Iran's newly elected President is one of the Islamic student radicals that abused them during the 444 day Iranian hostage situation.

If the mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is indeed one of these terrorists that abused American civilian hostages and mistreated them at gunpoint cruelly for 444 days, then it is very difficult for America to have any constructive relationship with Iran. One former hostage, Donald Sharer remembers Ahmadinejad as very "cruel". This has to be a source of huge pain and trauma to these abused Americans.

America may have made a huge mistake in continued support for the Shah of Iran after so much evidence of abuse, torture and political dissent suppression was reliably reported from so many human rights organizations. America saw some states such as Gamel Nasser's Egypt become part of the MidEast Arab revolt against British rule seek political alignment and support from the Soviet Union, while the Persian nation of Iran had a strong anticommunist leader in the Shah of Iran. This made the Shah America's most important leader in postWWII MidEast relations between the American and Soviet chess game for world control by use of allied states like Iran to blunt the growing Soviet alignment by some MidEast States. Even Iraq's Saddam Hussein was a virtual student of Gamel Nasser's rise to power as a radical Arab socialist leader. Iraq was organized around a political nature built on the 1958 rebellion against the 41 year failed British attempt to maintain colonial rule in Iraq. Britain even used massive mustard gas and firebombings of entire villages in Iraq to maintain control and to "pacify" Arab nationalist resistance in it's losing attempt to main control which started in 1917 as an outgrowth of WWI and lasted well after the conclusion of WWII. A revolution in Iran was certain someday. Only the iron hand of the Shah prevented such a MidEast revolt in Iran, so all human rights abuses were ignored or accepted by Washington as politically "necessary" to blunt the similar regional Arab socialist rebellions that could sweep a proMoscow government into Persian Iran and threaten the sea lane of oil to America. Torture in Iran was tolerated for gasoline for Main Street, USA's booming postwar economy.

Iran controls the Strait Of Hormuz, by which all MidEast oil flows to the United States. All oil tankers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar mustflow through this very narrow and vital sea lane. All the problems with the cruelty of the Shah were ignored by all Presidents by the Shah since 1941 until his fall from power in the Iranian revolution of 1979, because of the cold war with the Soviets, and the important flow of oil for the booming post WWII economy in the U.S. America should have developed a policy of human rights support in Iran, political cooption of a moderate leader to replace the Shah, and reasonable efforts to keep the sea lane open to the flow of oil.

Sooner or later, the United States will probably have major war with Iran for one reaon or another. In Ezekiel 37-39 in the Bible such a major war with Iran(Persia) is clearly warned of. This war is not the final battle of Armageddon some fear, but another serious world war far worse than any previous world war. It is the only future war so dangerous that it is warned of by the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel is a unique prophet in that his book in the Old Testament is the entire history of the Jewish people in the MidEast. And it has been entirely accurate in every detail so far. All historical events have been accurately stated by Ezekiel, and all future events such as the destruction of Judea and Sumaria, and the re-establishment of the modern 1948 state of Israel have been accurately stated by Ezekiel as well. There is every reason to trust that Ezekiel's warning about a future war, the worst of mankind being in the future of the MidEast, caused by Iran is an event that is absolutely certain to happen.

A hardliner or not, a hostage abuser and international criminal or not, President-Elect of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should cooperate with the U.S. in an useful dialog. Neither Iran or the U.S. would gain anything from being major players in a huge MidEast war. But all the warnings of prophet Ezekiel are dangerously falling into place. Normally Bible events that are foretold occur within a lifetime, and the 1948 re-establishment of Israel is within this time frame. So there are many reasons to fear the worst may happen with Iran-U.S. relations. And major war may be in the near future for Iran and the United States.

Iran needs to make important steps to curtail their nuclear program, offer better dialog to the U.S., and if the current leader is one of the student radicals who abused American civilians in the hostage crisis, choose a different leader better able to offer a useful relationship to America, and to better serve all Iranian political interests. But the signs are not good, as radical Ahmadinejad has attacked even Western style fast food outlets as "Western decadence". He shows every intend to force Iranians into a dark age of absolute hardline Islamic rule over the lives of all Iranians. America now has problems with a huge Taliban type state that is a major source of foreign fighters into Iraq, sponsorship and homeland to terrorist organizations, counterfeits American currrency to bolster their economy and to hurt America economically, and eyes the development of nuclear weapons to create possible terror as well as the destruction of Israel. Iran is indeed a grave threat to America. And all in America should be aware of that cold hard fact.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Economic Draft

While America has no formal draft, many of the nation's poorer young and rural young people are being corraled into joining the military. To many young people from small rural towns with few jobs and a patriotic streak, the military appears attractive.

Many rural young people, as well as Blacks and Hispanics see the military as the only way to afford college, and to garner signing bonus and veterans benefits. Statisically 40% of the military now comes from small towns. And the military makes heavy use of the patriotism of small towns. This is the center of "Red State" values of "God & Country".

But in a time of war, there are real risks to young people joining the military. One small town, San Diego, Texas has many young Hispanic people. Many join the military right straight from high school, expecting adventure and bonuses not available in their small town. But when two young people men came back from Iraq in coffins, a heavy dose of reality hit this town and the number of young people joining the military quickly dried right up.

Young people believe they are invulnerable to risks. They think that speeding, drinking, sex, smoking, drug use or joining the military may not have any consequences. But often these things do indeed have consequences. Every decision needs rational thought and much discussion with parents and others. An "economic draft" is no reason to make a life ending decision.

Mission Accomplished Part 2

It had all the makings to be another bad sequel. Amid a military backdrop, it could have just as easily been the orchestrated pep rally that "Mission Accomplished Part 1" was. The media was wary, and questioned whether it was an event suitable for airing in primetime. But the silly overly premature "Mission Accomplished" banner was missing. The aircraft flight suit was missing. And only one applause break by the military broke up the speech content. The delivery was strong by Bush standards as well. It was better than expected.

So what was wrong with it? Well the content for one thing.

What started as a "necessary" by Bush standards, war to rid Saddam Hussein's Iraq of weapons of mass destruction which did not exist, unless you count one old mustard gas shell and evidence of one old sarin shell, has now evolved into a "War On Terrorism" in Iraq, now linked to 9/11 in a roundabout sense of Bush reasoning. But there's a few problems with this latest evolving definition of this disasterous Bush war. Only since America has begun the occupation of Iraq, has it now become the magnet for foreign insurgents from most MidEast and some Northern Africa states.

Iraq has become an example of self-fulfilling prophecy. The fears of Iraq becoming a state where Al Qaeda or other terrorists could gain control is now closer than ever as more and more populations of Islamic fundamentalists become inflamed at the American Western presence in Iraq and train and arm in numerous nations and pour through Iraq's unsecured borders and battle Americans and a government they see as a Western tool. To the Islamic mind of some fundamentalists, even a Western style fast food business is a sign of immoral Western decadence on holy Islamic soil. The continued American presense only acts as a catalyst for more of this insurgency. The while cycle feeds on itself, and self perpetuates itself.

And the American argument that is fighting a "War On Terrorism" has a disgeniune ring. The truth is that America only opposes the terrorists it opposes, and supports the terrorists it supports to further it's foreign policy goals. During the invasion of Iraq, America at first bombed bases of the antiIranian government MEK(Mujahedin-e Khalq), but soon signed a ceasefire with this terrorist organization and now even allows fundraisers held in America to support MEK terrorist activities including bombings that kill innocent Iranian civilians. And at a fundraising event sponsored by an MEK front organization, Bush Administration allied, Richard Perle acted as the keynote address speaker, with MEK terrorist organization leader, Maryam Rajavi also addressing the event by videophone from Paris.

Officially the U.S. State Department classifies the MEK as a terrorist organization. But this is only for official purposes. Unofficially this organization serves CIA intelligence purposes as acting as the leading source of intelligence on the Iranian nuclear research program. This nuclear program is a legitimate source of concern in the region. There is no way that Iran actually needs nuclear power to satisfy their energy needs, as Iran is one of the world's most oil rich nations. This is merely a ruse to develop enough weapons grade nuclear material to spin off some nuclear weapons.

The nuclear weapons will serve two important purposes for Iran. One is the deeply held Islamic fundamentalist hate for Israel. As late as December, Iranian Islamic cleric, Akban Hashemi Rafsanjani was noted giving an address in a Tehran Mosque in which he called for Islamic states to acquire nuclear weapons to demolish Israel. Rafsanjani was actually considered the "moderate" in the losing runoff bid to rule Iran. The ultraconservative mayor of Tehran is a true radical by comparison, and Iran's nuclear threat will be given fast track status by this political and religious extremist.

A second goal of Iranian nuclear weapons is to blunt any attempt by America to invade Iran and overthrow the government like that of the far weaker Iraq. But Iran is a far larger nation, with a 3 million man army. And millions of more conscripts could be called into combat within days to weeks. This would be an army comparable to WWII Germany in manpower numbers, with the U.S. the sole combatant against. And while Iran is heavily outmatched with the better equipped U.S. military, it could still hold some early advantages in a war with the United States.

Iran could easily sink a number of junk ships in the Strait Of Hormuz and cut off all oil supplies to the United States from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. Within weeks, the American economy would come to a grinding halt as America would have a third to 50% less oil. Industries would shut down. Gasoline would be rationed, and jump to $8 to $12 a gallon, for the few nonmilitary supplies that would be still available.

Iran could also use suicide air and sea missions to damage or sink American aircraft carriers, or attack the aircraft carriers with antiship missiles supplied by China. Some of these may even use GPS tracking technology to use Chinese, Russian or even America's own satellites to track our ships effectively with these dangerous antiship missiles. Without effective aircraft cover, Iran could send much of it's 3 million man army to challenge America's far smaller 135,000 man force in Iraq, and inflict heavy losses on our soldiers by the overwelming force, and take thousands of American soldiers and reconstruction workers prisoner and hold them hostage in Iran in an attempt to stage a second hostage crisis to squeeze concessions from America.

In another posibility, Iran could attempt to push through Iraq and Jordan to attack Israel. Israel could turn Jordan and Iraq into massive nuclear battlefields with their estimated 200 nuclear land and sea based nuclear weapons. This could leave many Americans in Iraq caught in a nuclear crossfire.

The situation of the American covert support for the terrorist MEK has already started such a conflict with Iran by proxy. The terrorist leader Zaqawi is for all intents and purposes, an agent of Iran in this proxy war. And his forces not only challenge American forces, and the government of Iraq seen as a Western puppet, and the MEK forces in Eastern Iraq. This is only one foreign fighter group challenging American forces. In the Western part of Iraq, forces from terrorist camps in Saudi Arabia , Sudan, Algeria, Somalia and other states invade Iraq and challenge American soldiers.

With no plan from the Bush Administration to stop the terrorist camps, recruiting or fundraising by Islamic terrorists in so many Muslim states, where poverty stricken populaces freely join up in a religious crusade to free Islamic lands of Western influence, America cannot hope to win the battle against terrorists. The problem will be never ending, and puts the homeland security of the U.S. at extreme risk as Islamic terrorists are becoming more and more organized in so many nations. And with American covert support for the terrorist MEK, Iran will respond with more and more foreign fighters as well. One Iranian terrorist organization has a goal of training and funding one million foreign fighters to attack both American soldiers and Israel.

Bush simply did not state just how bad of a situation that America faces in Iraq. Without any plans to prevent a number of states from sending fresh foreign fighters into Iraq, the Bush Administration really has no plans for a military victory in Iraq. The only hope is that the people of Iraq will be able to defend their own country so America can leave and stop acting as a magnet for more terrorism. But like the failed Vietnamization of the Vietnam War, this appears to be a failure so far. In the current new large scale military mision by American soldiers, the sixth in several weeks, American reporters could not find even a single Iraqi soldier involved. In most combat, America is simply stuck with all the risk. America is in a deep mess in Iraq. Far worse than the comparably "rosy" outlook for eventual victory Bush has painted in his address. And Congress even approved $500 million for permanent American military bases a month ago, expecting no soon end to hostilities. There are no realistic plans for a military victory in Iraq, nor are there plans to defeat insurgent and terrorist bases all over the MidEast. And there are no plans for cooperation of states such as Saudi Arabia, despite all the oil America purchases to be used as leverage to force Saudi Arabian help. Sooner or later the Bush military plans in the MidEast will completely fail unless all states including the U.S. get serious to stop all terrorist support, camps and fundraising. The "War On Terrorism" simply cannot be won playing by the current set of rules.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Very Silly Day At The Supreme Court

Any legal fan of Supreme Court decisions, had quite a lot to digest today. Silly decisions were the rule of the day. One of the few good decisions, a narrow 5-4 decision kept a copy of the 10 Commandments from the courtrooms of Kentucky. The reasons should be obvious, it could sway a jury to decide a case based on religious rather than set legal considerations.

Some will claim that American law is based on the 10 Commandments. This is only partially true. Prohibitions on murder, theft and perjury in court are covered by the 10 Commandments. Keeping(Saturday) the Sabbath holy, honoring only Jehovah God, respect for parents, not worshipping graven images, not using God's name in a vain manner, not committing adultery are all issues between God and each individual man, woman, boy or girl. The 10 Commandments were actually part of the 510 laws of the Jewish faith, with the first 10 representative of the law given to Moses from God. Why these articles of the Jewish faith contract with God should be posted in any public courtroom is a very good question. They are specific to faith contract with a single group of believers in God, those of the Jewish faith.

In a second ruling on a 10 Commandments display, one in Texas, the court managed to cloud the waters. In another slim decision the court allowed this second display which was 40 years old to stand, which was brought to the court by a homeless man who is an attorney who hangs out at a law library across the street from the Texas courthouse. He is not opposed to faith or antiJewish or antiChristian, he simply questioned the placement on public property of this religious monument.

This Texas monument even features two Star Of David emblems, and is very much an article you'd expect to find at a Synagogue. But the court allowed this probably partly because of the age of it, 40 years, as well 17 total artistic displays are on the property including a veteran's memorial, which also has nothing to do with law as well. In the context of a merely artistic display, the court made an exception for this display. Because of age, it would seem wrong to remove a display that the public has grown used to, but the problem is that it opens the door for more such new displays with the excuse of artisic value presented as the premise for such a display.

The history of the 10 Commandments should be presented as a guide to whether any display is an appropriate display of this holy article of the Jewish faith. Jehovah God himself penned the first set of these Commandments, which were written on both sides, and were nothing like what is often portrayed. There was no numerical value to each principle as well. In anger, Moses destroyed the set penned by God and made a second replacement set by hand. This holy item was placed in the Ark Of The Covenant, which was to be the throne of god in the Jewish temple. The Ark of The Covenant was so holy that it could only be handled by specific priests. Once a priest stumbled, and a well intentioned man thought he could hold up the Ark and prevent it from falling to the ground. But God's prohibition on anyone handling the Ark was so specific that this man was immediately struck dead by God. This is an important point. God does not honor good intentions when he expects the letter of the law in specific regards. Those who place the 10 Commandments in a public place are usually Christians who do not honor the Sabbath, they attend church on Sunday, the first day of the week instead. And they disregard the prohibition in the 10 Commandments regarding prayer or worship of a graven image and have turned some 10 Commandments displays, such as the one 5,200 pound granite one placed in the Alabama courthouse by Judge Roy Moore, into a religious shrine that is prayed to. This is certainly a violation of the "golden calf", graven image prohibition, and is a crazy paradox of some violating the 10 Commandments to worship God. This makes no sense to God, and Judge Moore is lucky God no longer strikes dead those that erect "golden calfs". Essentially you have Christians who do follow or regard all of the 10 Commandments, yet they insist these must be placed publicly funded property locations. And futher, the 10 Commandments are only the first of 510 laws of the Jewish faith. Other laws restrict eating pork products, shellfish, men being required to have facial hair, how menstruation should be handled, bathing requirements, and other laws specific to the Jewish faith. Why Christians embrace this 10 Commandments and fail to honor a lion's share of all laws of the Jewish faith including important parts of the first 10 must be regarded as a political use of this holy part of the Ark Of The Covenant, and has little to do with true faith. Many churches don't even post a copy of the 10 Commandments. And some churches such as the Jehovah's Witness faith actually honor the prohibition on the graven image use of religious images and instead teach the 10 Commandments to their children, which is what Holy Scripture actually requires. The Supreme Court today managed to muddy the waters today. Now some will set up new 10 Commandments displays and futher dishonor this holy part of the Ark Of The Covenant which is so holy that few priests were even worthy enough to handle this holy Ark.

In another silly ruling, the Supreme Court decided against file sharing software. The problem with this is that you have two justices over 80, who have sided with the major film industry and have potentially put a chill on new technology development because of lawsuit fears for infringement of someone's held intellectual property copywrites. In previous rulings, the Supreme Court has always sided with new technology and the right of a consumer to record any broadcast carried into their own home. A previous ruling on the early Sony Betamax system set this precedent. The only difference appears to be the higher quality of digital transfers of files of film or music. Yet is a strange precedent to decide that because the quality is higher, that a new standard now exists that makes a broadcast into one's own home now illegal to record. This is a confused standard.

Any theft of copyrighted material from an artist or moviemaker is wrong. With great expense of production, movies and music are produced. It is a high risk business. Yet with previous rulings regarding the taping of any broadcast into one's home as being legal or even falling under "delayed viewing" standards, the Supreme Court has given too much to the major music and movie companies. VCRS, double cassette decks, radio recorders, DVD recorders, TiVo and other items are all intended to record material that is largely copywrited from TV, cable, radio, record or tape. All of these are legal. And a VCR Plus Code is offered for all popular TV or cableprogramming. This is also entirely legal. And dual CD recorders are made for copying a CD, although the record companies manage a royality from the CD-R Music discs. This is also legal. But recording from the internet is not? This is a confused standard which the Supreme Court has failed to consistantly decide.

The court has established a screwy standard where broadcast recording into one's home is now legal, and sometime not legal. On one hand those who share a file are considered similar to a radio station in broadcasting music, but are also considered to be illegal distributors of music by the record companies. Why the Internet is different than radio, cable TV or other broadcast media is a very good question. And the court has not made sure that recording artists will now receive royalties for their music. Many recording artists have never seen a penny in royalties from their record company's. Ween, The Backstreet Boys, and many other acts have been charged massive "management fees" by their record company's, and had to rely on concerts or merchandise sales to make any money at all despite millions of dollars in CDs sold. The movie industry is far better. The actors are paid upfront, and may even receive some future royalties from DVD sales or TV or cable broadcasts. And the production costs are very high to produce a film. It's a high economic risk industry where a very good film could lose millions for the producers and investors. Yet in the case of both, with an official copy of a CD or movie you get all the great packaging and booklets. For those that record illegally, they lose all that great material which is very worthwhile. It should be hoped that new technology will not be stiffled by this questionable Supreme Court decision. But file sharing has proven to record companies that immediate purchases of music online from legal services are favored by many. You hear a song on the radio, and you can immediatedly purchase a download of that song. With Hollywood films in an economic slump, perhaps someday both the DVD and download of films will be cooridinated with the theatre release. New technology is changing the state of entertainment. The older folks on the court may not completely get that fact.

And in another silly decision, some police who failed to act on a restraining order related case failed to protect a woman's children from murder. The court found no liability in this case, although the decision was not completely related to the restraining order.

It was quite a busy and confusing day at the Supreme Court today. Rather than clarify some important legal issues, some issues are now more confused than ever. Have a nice vacation Supreme Court justices. You'll need the rest when some issues return to court next year for more clarification. Today not that much was really decided.

Censorship At The DNC

It's always important for me to be honest and upfront about any facts. Yesterday it cost me. I like to contribute commentary to a number of websites, regardless of their ideology. And just a few days ago I was sent a survey on party policy, and was considered a leader within the Democratic Party. Yesterday, without any comment, the DNC suddenly disabled any access to post commentary on their website and yanked a number of commentaries I had posted.

And the party seems to lock me out of sending any Email to the party management to explain the reason for this purge from their ranks. I had the rug suddenly pulled out although I have many friends at the DNC website. This makes me very sad. But sadder is the nature of censorship at the DNC. It's simply not as good of an organization as it should be. Just like the Republicans which include liberals like Paul Newman, Justice John Paul Stevens and others, all the way to far rightists such as James Dobson, and Dr. D. James Kennedy. The Democrats include the left such as Dennis Kucinich and myself, all the way to neoconservative former military generals and conservative Southern Democrats. Both parties are big tents, although forces in both parties would like to shrink those tents, but not the number of voters.

Yesterday I posted some tough but substantiated statements about Karl Rove. On several websites, including the authorative and often quoted website, The Command Post, also validated my statements. According to The Command Post, "Karl Rove is, in fact the grandson of Karl Heinz Roverer, the Gauleiter of Mecklenberg, who was also a parner and senior engineer of Roverer Sud-Deutche Ingenieuab Ro(Roverer) AG. They built Birchenau, the concentration camp in nazi Germany". I offered the same information on the DNC website. And a Google search of DNC past posts also found another post that offered the same opinion about Rove. Yet because I posted this information, my ability to post commentary was deleted in a purge against me.

I do not post libel or false statements. I only posted the statements about Karl Rove after I was satisfied that sufficiently authorative websites validated this information that he was indeed the grandson of a Nazi leader that built and designed gas chambers that killed many men, women and children. I also framed my argument within the context of scripture, that clearly states the generational effects of evil. That evil is a curse that will not leave a family for seven generations. This is important in the context of some outrageous statements by Rove and the handprint of dirty tricks such as the smear campaign against to make him appear unAmerican with the "Swift Boats" ads. Rather than being a brillant political advisor and strategist, Rove is merely vicious. A campaigner that tears out the jugular from his opponents. This is not sporting, and is not worthy of admiration or respect in my view. It represents part of the evil of his grandfather. Spiritually it is highly suspect in my view. It may win an election, but it is like making a deal with the Devil.

It deeply hurts me that some censors at the DNC want to appear so badly to be quasimoderates, that any view that is seen as very liberal is now censored. It proves that Democrats want the votes of progressives, but not their political input. This is very sad. Many progressives like Dennis Kucinich represent the soul of the Democratic Party, raising spiritual questions about the evil of war, poverty and injustice.

If I'm no longer welcome at the Democratic Party website, it might say something very good about me. That I don't varnish the truth or whitewash hard facts. That I look to spiritual reasons to pin my arguments together, because I hardly feel that many moral arguments cannot be made outside of a deep belief and respect for God. And that God expects the best of man, to hate evil, and to love good. I believe that Rove represents darkness. I prefer to trust in light.

I don't know if the DNC will ever have me back. I felt I always acted in a responsible manner. I don't understand much of the leadership of Howard Dean, although I hope his leadership is successful. But just like the Republicans, you have another organization that leaves much to be desired.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Karl Rove And The Politics Of Hate

Karl Rove's outrageous remarks that somehow Democrats did not seriously feel the pain of the 9/11 attacks are a symptom of a creeping sense of hate values that is invading the Republican Party. For many decades, the Republican Party represented many decent people. In Lincoln's day this party challenged the evil of slavery while a fragmented Democratic Party tolerated this evil and clear affront to God. Lincoln was like a modern day Moses and Job all rolled into one. And in Dwight Eisenhower's day, this president spoke passionately against the evils of the "military industrial complex" to harm America. In the days of President Nixon, a dialog to open the doors to China was undertaken, and arms agreements with Soviet leader Breznev to prevent nuclear war were signed. These efforts greatly advanced world peace. For so many years the Republican Party represented some very decent values for America. I was even a registered Republican for a time. Hillary Clinton was also a former Republican.

But the nature of this party is changing. In 1964, Barry Goldwater's running mate accepted the support of the KKK. Goldwater was angered at this. And just this week, after 41 years, a racist mastermind who killed three civil rights workers who were working to register Blacks in Mississippi was finally brought to justice, although the cowardly jury found this racist guilty of a crime less than murder.

But this incident with the KKK and Goldwater's campaign was a factor that helped to win the South, but disgusted many in the North, where Lyndon Johnson won a huge landslide even in normally Republican states such as Utah. In the same way, more and more the Republican Party is not a Party of wealthy business people who seek probusiness legislation to better the business environment in America, but a party of low class racists, bigots and working class reactionaries.

Yesterday on the right wing Republican website, Polipundit, I was outraged at a feature that attacked Howard Dean for efforts to appeal to Hipanic voters. Indeed many Hispanic voters want the same thing many voters want, including a decent job with decent wages, health care and retirement benefits, and the opportunity to own their own home and raise children in a good crimefree neighborhood with the opportunity for their children to go to college. The Democrats support much of this through the private business sector by strong support for labor unions who have private business to worker contracts that offer good wages, retirement and health care benefits. Yet Republicans on this site attacked Dean and the Democrats, calling them "socialists" and complaining that Democrats are making thepoor dependent on them by offering them social safety net programs. The support for private contracts between business and workers and strong unions has nothing to do with social welfare programs. In fact government does not have to offer social programs to workers who receive health care, retirement benfits and decent wages. This saves government tax funds when businesses fairly compensate their workers.

There is a serious right wing disconnect with reality, resorting to cheap labeling and "socialist baiting". This is classic Joe McCarthy type political filth. To tar Democrats as disloyal Americans. Karl Rove represents this same sort of poisoned outlook. Make Democrats appear to be virtually the same as terrorists. And because John Kerry was a veteran against the Iraq War, countless features and commentaries on Polipundit straight out called John Kerry a "procommunist" and a "traitor" to America. And some right wing commentators like Robert Novak are even now falsely claiming that Democrats are rejoiceing that Iraq is not going well. This is an outrageous smear. Democrats are heart broken on a daily basis at the terrible stories of fine men and women killed in Iraq. For Novak to claim Democrats rejoice at Iraq not going well is a ghoulish smear.

Even more offensive in the Polipundit commentaries, some even referred to Hispanics as only working at landscaping or mowing lawns, and picking fruit. This is an insulting racist stereotype as most Hispanics hold normal jobs just like any other American sector. Funny none of the right wing comments mentioned U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. He certainly does not mow lawns or pick fruit for a living. Hispanics are doctors, lawyers, business executives, as well as factory workers, mechanics, and sales clerks. Some of my relatives are Hispanic, from Brazil. None of them mow lawns or pick fruit for a living. Some still live in Brazil and are lower level government officials. I was personally insulted at the classless racist values that the Republicans on Polipundit displayed, yet somehow this website has actuallly been nominated for website awards. Somehow even a racist statement on Polipundit claiming that the U.S. military is being ruined by "too many" Blacks and Hispanics was not enough to deny this website from awards consideration.

I futher explained that some of my relatives are Basque, representing that part of Spain. And an absurd comment attacked the Basques as only terrorists, a completely ignorant and racist lie against this major ethnic group from part of Spain. The Basque people have an entire region of Spain to themselves, including a president and a parliament. Yesterday, popular President Juan Jose Ibarretxe was re-elected in this basque region. While many Basques favor independence from Spain, they favor a peaceful and diplomatic path to this goal. Only a small number of political criminals and extremists in the basque community are responsible for extremist violence. Attacking all ethnic Basques as terrorists is racist ignorance of the worst variety.

And of course, rather than intelligently offering reasonable views on Polipundit, debating issues in a normal rational manner, many on Polipundit simply land highly personal and sometimes clearly racist attacks on opposing views. One comment once falsely alleged that my grandfather was a "rapist" to stiffle debate on an issue. I took great outrage to this completely groundless and madeup falsehood. My grandfather was born in Norway, and learned English in England. He was a dashing man who was a captain of a major merchant ship, the Ipswitch, which was many tons in merchant ship class. While bringing war supplies to English, Austrailian and American troops, the Japanese Navy captured him and tortured and flogged him, in an attempt to gather allied troop position information from him. My grandfather displayed great character, and refused to give his Japanese torturers the information they attempted to force from him. This is a portrait of character. The complete dirty lie that my grandfather was a "rapist" was made up as simply a lie to stiffle my reasonable political opinions. his how the politics of hate operates. Destroy those they oppose through the "big lie".

In the same way, complete lies to destroy the character of John Kerry with the "Swift Boats Ads" was another dirty smear trick with the fingerprints of Karl Rove all over it. Karl Rove is the grandson of the hateful German Nazi Party official, Karl Roverer, who owned a German engineering company and designed and built the Birkenau death camp with the sole purpose of eliminating Jews in Europe. To disguise this murderous family history, the Roverer family shortened their name to Rove. But the truth is that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as the same hateful family values of Karl Rove were expressed this week in his slander about Democrats reactions to 9/11.

More and more the Republican Party is home to corrupt values of racism, lies and dirty tricks. This is nothing like the Republican Party I was once a member of, or Hillary Clinton either. Both Hillary Clinton and I have reregistered as Democrats. The Democrats better represent the values I can embrace by far these days. Whether it's thinly disguised hate against gay Americans, racist smears against Hispanics or Blacks, or character smears against those the political right disagrees with, more and more the Republican Party is becoming an extremist home for the radical right. The Grandson of the Birkenau death camp engineer, Karl Rove is becoming a more common figure in the Republican Party, an extremist who destroys his rivals by smears and groundless attacks on their patriotism. Karl Rove is an evil man. And many right wingers who have become Republicans are destroying this respectable party by abusing it for unLincolnlike conduct. Lincoln was a man of great character and prayer. He learned to read with the only book in his house, the Bible. It shaped his entire character. Lincoln was comparable to Moses for freedom for the slaves , andcomparable to Job for his intense and long suffering life and presidency. Lincoln was a very great man. He was an American saint. Karl Rove's family values of a grandfather who deliberately sought to gas Jewish children shaped the values of Karl Rove. This is the seed of Karl Rove, the seed of a mass murderer and evil. The Republican Party needs far more Lincoln's and far less Rove's. The politics of hate brings nothing productive to American politics.

Five Silly Myths About The Iraq War

Here are five silly popular myths about the Iraq War that are debunked. While support for the war is dropping, there are still large pockets of Americans who subscribe to one or more of these myths. Yet each silly myth has an explanation that explodes the myth as nothing but a merely foolish popular belief that is hardly supported by facts:

1. The U.S. Is Opposed To Terrorism: This is hardly correct. The answer is that America only opposes the terrorism it opposes, and supports the terrorism it supports. In 2003, in Iraq, America bombed terrorist bases of the Mujahedin-e Khalq(MEK) in Iraq, during the war against Saddam Hussein's government. But all of that has now changed. The Bush Administration has signed a ceasefire agreement with this antiIranian government terrorist organization and appears to be covertly supporting this organization despite the fact that the MEK has been involved in bombings and other terrorist acts in Iran. The MEK is supplying the Bush Administration information about the Iranian nuclear research programs, and is considered the best source of intelligence the CIA has currently about Iranian nuclear goals. For this reason, America looks the other way and is silent on any terrorist bombings that MEK members are involved in Iran, no matter how many civilian lives are taken, including women and children. And Richard Perle, another strong Bush Administration supporter recently was a keynote speaker at an MEK fundraising event in the U.S., sponsored by a front organization for this terrorist organization. In fact Perle shared keynote address responsibility with MEK terrorist organization head, Maryam Rajavi, who used a videophone link from Paris to address the fundraiser. Some terrorist organizations are allowed to openly fundraise in America, and figures closely linked to the Bush Administration are seen closely linked supporting their activity.

This is hardly a new feature for American foreign policy, to support some terrorists, but to fight others. During the Reagan Administration, massive covert CIA funding for terrorist Mujahedin training camps to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was undertaken. In fact this is how both the Taliban and Al Qaeda organization got their start, with CIA funding and backing. In fact with Saudi Arabian support, Osama Bin Laden was brought to Afghanistan to organize and set up Mujahedin terrorist camps to battle the Soviets. And once the Soviets left Afghanistan, and elements of the Mujahedin fighters took control of the country, the more radical elemnts of the Taliban and Al Qaeda eventually took control in Iraq. Soon Al Qaeda took up a new war, one against America. Al Qaeda was like a Frankenstein monster that turned on it's creator, the U.S., and many insurgent leaders of the foreign fighters in Iraq are former leaders of the successful war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. In Nicaragua, similar support for the antigovernment Contras was also funded by the Reagan Administration. It was the illegal Reagan foreign policy of support for terrorist organizations that is responsible for the problems with Al Qaeda today.

Officially, the U.S. State Department today claims that the MEK is a terrorist organization, but it is the covert support for this organization that is creating problems with foreign fighters in Iraq. Iran has responded to the continued U.S. support for MEK by sending agents like Zarqawi into Iraq to battle Americans and MEK members. And Iran is allowing an organization to train up to 1 million potential fighters to go into Iraq to battle Americans and also Israel until the American efforts to support MEK terrorism cease. Yet the American public knows little of this cycle of violence in Iraq caused by a failed policy of supporting terrorist organizations like the MEK by the U.S.

How the Bush Administration expects peace in Iraq with support for this cycle of violence is a good question. It is yet another policy of this administration that makes no sense.

2. We're Fighting Terrorists In Iraq So We Don't Have To Fight Them In America: This is so foolish that it hardly needs an explanation. But the answers are obvious. There are foreign fighters from terrorist organiztions all throughout the MideEast and Norhern Africa that are sending foreign fighters into Iraq to battle the Americans. Our continued presence there moltivates new fighters to pour from nations all over the MidEast and Northern Africa into Iraq. And the MEK conflict with Iran, also sends in foreign fighters like Zaqawi as Iranian agents to battle the Americans and the MEK both. There is no promise from any terrorist organization sending fighters into Iraq, that they will not change tactics and stage another 9/11 attack in the U.S.

In fact, between the first attack on the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993 and the more devastating attack on September 11, 2001, eight years passed. It appears to take terrorists several years to plan a large scale attack in the U.S. , compared to the daily planning of attacks in Iraq. Yet there is no promise that terrorists will not strike here again because of any Bush Administratioin homeland security plans. A bloody chainsaw murderer from Canada entered this border security recently, and was only arrested days later when walking down a highway with with a bloody T-shirt. In fact with so many terrorist camps in so many countries organizing against the American effort in Iraq, the chance of another future attack in the U.S. is greatly increased not diminished.

This is a another sign of a Bush Administration failure. If and when another 9/11 attack occurs, the Bush Administration will go from hero to goat in public opinion for their efforts against international terrorism. America is not touching the terrorist camps through the world. Everyday these organizations train more fighters and raise more funds. Without stopping these international training camps and fund raising organizations, there is absolutely no way the American homeland security can be secure or the Iraq War can be successfully won. This is a losing battle without an international effort or support to stop these foreign terrorist camps.

3. The Insurgency In Iraq Is In It's Last "Throes": Attacks have increased to nearly 70 a day in Iraq. One general now claims the insurgency is just as strong as 6 months ago, despite four high level U.S. Marine assaults on border villages involving foreign fighters and insurgents who control many towns outside of Baghdad. And with fresh foreign fighters pouring into Iraq each day from numerous nations in the MidEast and Northern Africa, and acting on the antiAmerican Islamic moltivated Arab nationalism of a MidEast without American influence, more and more fighters will pour into Iraq. The insurgency will continue to worsen as foreign training camps and fundraising efforts get further organized and send even more fighters into Iraq. And with the stunning upset of a even more hardline candidate in Iran to lead that country, expect more foreign fighters from Iran plus a renewed effort to develop nuclear weapons to threaten Israel and to stand up to the U.S. Iraq and the MidEast policy towards terrorism is a Bush Administration failure from almost any objective and honest view.

4. People Who Criticize The Iraq War Are Helping The Enemy: This is hardly true. The Bush Administration policies are simply not working in Iraq. There is is only a further cycle of terrorism and foreign fighters. And this threatens not only Iraqi security and causes a cycle of violence there, but could mean highly organized terrorist attacks here in the U.S. homeland in the future. If the Bush policies are not working, and if world terrorism is only growing stronger with these policies, then it is the Bush policies that are failing and threatening a peaceful Iraq and putting homeland U.S. security at future risk. Any good American wants America secure and Iraq peaceful.

5. Iraq Is Mostly Secure: This is absolutely false. Insurgents or foreign fighters actually control many of the villages or towns outside of Baghdad. And in Baghdad, where the American presense is the most visible, insurgents and foreign fighters challenge this city's security on a daily basis. Many of the 70 attacks in Iraq each day, are in this main city. And even in the heavily forified American military command "Green Zone", the security situation is very dire. No Congressperson can sleep overnight in the heavily fortified "Green Zone" because security and safety are so much in risk. No Congressperson can even use a restroom without two armed guards because of safety concerns. Journalist tell of the extreme danger and risk even reporting from Iraq. And any wise American dignitary will wear a helmut, bulletproof vest and travel in highly secure armed American soldier company. Kidnappings are common among reconstruction workers, whose parent companies hire mercenary soldiers to defend what few reconstruction projects that remain in Iraq, not stalled by the extreme violence.

Unemployment is 70% in Iraq. Only 12% of Iraqis have electrical power. Now two million people in Iraq have no water. There is no way to flush toilets or get drinking water at home. Hunger and near starvation are now far worse than the days of U.N. sanctions and Saddam Hussein family theft of Oil For Food funds. This is hardly a picture of Iraqi security. Iraq is a very dangerous place.

The Bush Administration which was reelected on homeland security and Iraq War issues, yet is a failure in nearly every regard. Americans should not expect a good outcome in either critical area with the current failed policies. American security and the Iraq War require new leadership. America simply cannot be secure with the current failed policies.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Red State Values?

In 1964, thanks to the influence of "Dixiecrat" turned Republican, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Mississippi had gone from a strongly Democratic state to a strong part of the early formation of "Red" states. Very conservative Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater went on to win 87.1% of Mississippi's vote while Lyndon Johnson went on to a massive landslide nationally. In fact Goldwater carried only 6 states, his home state of Arizona, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi.

In this election year backdrop, three civil rights workers from CORE( Congress Of RacialEquality), Michael Schwerner, 24, Andrew Goodman, 20, and James Chaney, 22, traveled to Mississippi investigate church fires and to register Blacks to vote in the 1964 presidential election. On August 4, 1964 the bodies of these three civil rights workers were found. Each had been shot.

Earlier these civil rights workers were arrested by a sheriff who claimed they were "speeding". And just after their release from jail, Edgar Ray Killen, a Ku Klux Klan official was to mastermind their murders. Mississippi failed to bring Killen to justice, until just this week. A full 41 years had passed before a Mississippi court would bring to justice to the mastermind of the three murders. But even with this 41 years of cowardice, the jury still refused to bring murder charges, and instead returned the lesser manslaughter charges against Killen. But a judge redeemed the jury's lesser charge and brought the maximum 60 year sentence against this man who escaped justice for so many years.

Justice finally came to Edgar Ray Killen. But all the years of justice denied, and the jury ducking out of murder charges presents a terrible moral vision of "Red" state values. The lesson seems to be if you mastermind murder in Mississippi for racially moltivated reasons, you'll be brought to justice in 41 years, and found guillty of a charge less serious than murder eventually, if you live long enough.

This hardly will send a chill up the spine of any would be murderer. Some people in Mississippi better take a good look at the "Red" state values they hold dear. In most states a murderer would face immediate arrest and a speedy trial. It wouldn't take 41 years.

Killen is a pathetic old man of 80, who requires portable oxygen. He won't face execution like the cold blooded execution of the three young men he masterminded. But instead he'll spend his days in anice comfortable prison hospital ward. Despite his evil, and despite his hate, Killen will receive mercy that he did not offer the three young victims.

But despite this evil, Killen has the opportunity to repent. To have faith in God and his son, Jesus. And despite his evil, Killen has an opportunity for full forgiveness from God. This is what is so wonderful, a man may have committed a great evil. But God can still forgive any evil. This mix between justice and forgiveness should prevade the final days of Killen. His debt to society for the long delayed justice must be paid. But he has the opportunity to seek full forgiveness from God. There were two criminals on the crosses with Jesus. One remained nasty to the end. But the other had a repentant heart. The great tragedy for Killen is not to take up this opportunity. To die without the forgiveness of God is indeed the greatest tragedy of all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

U.S. House Seeks To Raise Flag To Religious Item Status

In a seriously moral question, and as a an act of political grandstanding, the U.S. House has voted for a constitutional ban on American flag burning. This goes far beyond the respect all Americans should have for their country and the flag that represents America. It is the attempted elevation of the American flag to religious status by Congress.

This is a direct affront to the prohibitions in the Torah and Christian Old Testament Bible, not to worship any item as a religious article, or a "golden calf" other than God. Several years ago, some religious persons such as Jehovah's Witnesses had to go to court to prevent their children from being forced to make a form of prayer to the flag in the guise of the "flag salute". Being a good citizen who respects America and the flag as a symbol of America is one thing, but this next step by Congress is a further elevation of the flag to sacred religious status.

There are already some religious persons, such as Gerald Flurry of the Philadelphia Church Of God that already speculate that the terrorist problems that America face are a fulfillment of the promised Biblical curses for a disobedient nation promised as "terror" in the Bible. The question is, if America begins to officially protect the flag as a religious article, will God further punish America with more curses? This raises some serious questions when one of the most important violations of God's law is officially embraced by a politically moltivated Congress.

And those are the religious questions raised. But what about the secular questions?

The Founding Fathers of America did not intend for there to be any prohibitions on free speech. The First Amendment was intended to be an absolute, that was intended to protect even the most controversial or offensive speech. Yet both courts, police agencies and lawmakers have steadily sought to chip away at this basic premise that American freedom is build upon.

At one time American leftists such as communists were rounded up by the government for no crime other than publishing a political newspaper. And although some sexually offensive speech is not constructive to a Christian walk, many have been arrested, imprisoned, fined and had business assets seized by government for claimed "obscene" speech violations. Political protestors have had a steadily stream of restrictions on their ability to protest policies they disagree with. Some claimed offensive broadcasters like Howard Stern have been fined for claimed "decency" violations in broadcasting. And offensive organizations such as Nazis and KKK members have been denied the right to march, which an organization like the ACLU had to go to court to protect their rights to also express their political views in a free America.

Not all speech is pleasant or morally uplifting. Yet in a free society like America, there seems to have been no effort from the founding fathers to limit protest or even offensive speech. In fact the Boston Tea Party, protesting a tax to be paid to the King of England, was an early form of protest embraced by the founding fathers.

Now years after a single communist protestor burned a flag during a Republican Convention in Reagan's day, Congress is seeking to politically grandstand to again by a further weakening of America's free speech promises. American values like free speech are what are supposed to seperate America from totalitarian societies. Indeed so many American soldiers have given their lives for American values embraced in the nation's Constitution and contained in the Bill Of Rights. Now a politically moltivated Congress wants to limit those freedom ideals.

America's flag should be treated respectfully as a symbol of America. But should not be elevated either to religious staus or weakened from Bill Of Rights political protection if used for political protesting of American policies. Besides the rare examples of politically moltivated flag burning, what other supposed "disrespectful" acts may be punished under a flag protection bill. Is a red, white and blue painted racecar respectful or disrespectful. What about clothing. Are flag dyed clothing, a sign of respect or disrepect. And what about how retailers treat all the flags they sell in stores. Most of these are inexpensive items made in China. After 9/11 one Portland, Oregon grocery store, Albertsons had so many American flags left over that were unsold, that they threw them by the hundreds into a dropbox with rotted vegetables and rats crawling over them. Is this disrespectful, or simply a normal marketing operation for Albertsons for dealing with a cheaply made Chinese commodity that did not sell well.

Congress raises too many bad legal questions with the flag amendment. And this is from a Congress constantly seeking to limit legal liabilities or court cases, yet seems to want to create so many more court cases for all the new questions this raises. And a further question is this, the flag burning prohibition bill is not actually amending the U.S. Constitution, but the Bill Of Rights. Can the Bill Of Rights be abridged or not? This is whole new legal question. Congress may limit the rights of so many injured parties to sue for injuries, but now seems to want to create years and years of expensive court cases centered around this flag amendment if passed. But then again, just what do you expect from politicians.

Vietnam Comes Calling

In the first high level visit by an official of Vietnam in 30 years, Vietnam has signalled a further willingness to have excellent trade and diplomatic relations with the United States. And while no Communist government is all that great, with significant problems with human rights, religious freedom, lack of free expression, censorship, lack of free elections, nonetheless, just like in the case of China, Vietnam's willingness to cooperate with trade to the United States gives room for a significant opening to slowly improve all the limitations on freedom and human rights abuses over time.

Some governments like Cuba with a strong antiU.S. sentiment by Castro in the early 60's where nuclear missiles were to be placed on America's doorstep was a serious act that has so far made good relations with this nation difficult to impossible. And North Korea's nuclear threats, lack of cooperation in the world community, international traffic in Nodong missiles, makes this nation the world's worst Communist menace state.

But the more reasonable line of the Communist governments of China and Vietnam, with the high level of trade creates a cooperative environment for peaceful resolution of issues of difference. Other nations like Cuba and North Korea should take such cues and signal a similar willingness to cooperate with the United States and create a climate of trade and other reforms that improve the lives of citiizens of these nations suffering from great poverty. In China and Vietnam, the lives of the average person are greatly benefitting by the high volume of trade, although political rights and human rights still lag far behind. But trade is the key to such future improvements. If the leaders of Cuba and North Korea were not so selfish, seeking only a world class lifestyle for themselves, while their people suffer, then they would make overtures to the United States and seek trade and a more cooperative environment.

All nations of the world should be on good speaking and trade terms. Conflict with nations is not productive. God fully expects mankind to cooperate with one another and to peace resolve conflicts. But the current world situation is far from ideal. Only with the future world government promised in the Bible by Jesus will the world be run with an ideal government. Until that time, all efforts to minimize conflict and peacefully resolve differences should be undertaken.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Just Like "Capricorn One"

In the 1978 SciFi drama, "Capricorn One", a failed space effort to land on mars forces the American government to stage a phony mars landing on a Hollywood set. The White House has taken a big cue from this using a Hollywood set to fake success from their failures for a photo-opt event.

On January 22, 2003, the White House used an empty warehouse owned by J.B. Logistics Shipping Company to stage a "Capricorn One" event. A huge painted canvas was contracted to a graphics company to be appear as a full warehouse of American manufactured goods to the cameras. This is a classic Hollywood visual trick. Painted canvases appear as vast locations to a camera, as the eye cannot tell the difference on film. Once placed in this empty warehouse, this painted canvas appeared like a successful American factory full of American manufactured goods waiting to be shipped.

White House staffers were handed costumes and were dressed as factory workers, for this propaganda play for the cameras, and empty boxes that were marked as "Made In China", had phony large "Made In America" labels pasted on to add more realism to this propaganda film. Bush then gave an address claiming how strong the American economy supposedly was, in this Hollywood type set for this White House propaganda film. Former Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin had similar propaganda films made. Most Russians had never seen Stalin, so a handsome actor was used in widely distributed propaganda films to portray Stalin. Most Soviet citizens believed their leader to be this handsome actor, instead of the cruel and twisted actual Soviet leader. In the same way, an empty warehouse is made into a Hollywood set for Bush White House propaganda films to mislead the public about the American economy.

But it doesn't end with that. Both Dick Cheney and Dr. Condoleezza Rice both have coordinately claimed to the press that the Iraqi insurgency is in it's final "throes" in the last few days. Yet no evidence of this exists. In fact the insurgency appears far stronger than ever. Just this morning 26 or more have been killed, and possiby more than 80 wounded in coordinated car bomb, machine gun and mortar attacks. In the last two days, more than 20 were killed in a popular restaurant. And each day brings new American dead as well. Insurgent attacks across Iraq now number about 70 a day. Reconstruction projects are stalled because of violence. Only 12% of Iraqis now have electricity because of violence. And hunger and poverty among the Iraqi public are growing. Disatisfaction in the Iraq government is growing in response to the worsening life for many in Iraq. And 2,000 American Marines backed by aircraft bombings are locked in fierce fighting with dug-in insurgents who control many villages outside of Baghdad. Yet in coordinated false statements, both Cheney and Rice falsely claim that Iraqi insurgents are in their final "throes", intended to mislead the public for propaganda purposes.

Whether it's making use of propaganda films with painted sets and costumes, or false media statements, this administration trades in outright lies and falsehoods to promote it's messages. In this regard this administration is no better than that of Hitler or Stalin who also made extensive use of propaganda films and false public statements to promote their message for their own corrupt governments. Corrupt governments trade in propaganda and lies. The Bush Administration is no exception.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Senator Biden May Seek Presidency

Given the massive foreign policy failures of the Bush Administration, the possibility that Senator Joseph R. Biden of Delaware may seek the presidency is most welcome news. Unlike the Bush Administration, Senator Biden has great expertise on foreign affairs matters. While a moderate voice of wisdom, Senator Biden speaks with an honest voice on important foreign policy issues. By contrast, many in the Bush Administration promote a mythical view of the deteriorating world situation in serious troublespots like Iraq, North Korea or the Iranian nuclear threat. Dr. Rice often acts as a "cheerleader" for absolutely nonsensical viewpoints that are little rooted in reality. Senator Biden is honest and forthright by comparison.

When the Bush Administration wraps up 8 years of failures and disinformation on so many issues, the public may yearn for an honest man like Senator Biden to get America back on track. Senator Biden's news that he may run for president is indeed good news to elevate an honest debate on seriously flawed Bush Administration policy . Good luck to you Senator.

Insurgency "In The Last Throes"?

Dr. Condoleezza Rice and others in the Bush Administration are promoting the view that the Iraqi insurgency is in the final "throes". Yet no evidence exists to prove this to be true. Insurgent attacks across Iraq have now increased to about 70 per day. Just today new violence with three car bomb attacks killed 18 more people. Another American soldier was killed by a car bomb. Yesterday 23 people at a popular Baghdad restaurant were killed in a attack. In the normally far safer Kurdish held North, another attack took 20 lives. Entire villages are controlled by insurgent or antiU.S. forces outside of Baghdad. A massive U.S. effort to clear insurgents pouring in from the Syrian border, means that insurgents are not only coming in from this direction, but from the Iranian border side as well. More and more Iraq is becoming like Afghanistan, where the government only has strong control over the capitol city, Kabul, with Taliban supporters or forces strong or in control in much of the countryside.

The role of the Secretary of State seems to often be that of a "cheerleader" for the absurd and failing Bush Administration policies. Before the start of the Iraq War, Dr. Rice used the image of a "mushroom cloud" to frighten American's to support the drum beat to the Iraq War. It was another way in which American opinion was shaped to create support for the war.

The continued American presense only acts as a magnet for more insurgent training and more violence in Iraq. And Congress unfortunately added $500 million in a military spending bill for permanent military bases in Iraq. But this continued presense only self-perpetuates this war. The people of Iraq need to tend to their own defense as soon as possible.

Americans should support the Kucinich-Jones troop withdrawal resolution. Otherwise the cycle of violence will only worsen. Only 12% of Iraqis now have electrical power. Hunger is increasing, as is poverty. And daily violence takes more and more lives. The insurgency is hardly in the last "throes". The Kucinich-Jones resolution is the only hope to improve the situation in Iraq. The current policy benefits no one but the insurgents.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Iraq Simply A Magnet For Jihadists - The Kucinich/Jones Bill For American Troops To leave Iraq Is The Only Answer To This Cycle Of Violence

If the current large scale military effort by the Americans proves anything, it's that Iraq is simply a magnet for insurgents. This proves the need for Congress to support the Kucinich-Jones American troop withdrawal proposal in Congress as soon as possible because instead of the American presense bringing stability, fighters from Sudan, Algeria, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and many other nations are drawn like a magnet to Iraq to fight Americans. When these fighters cannot touch Americans, they then turn to violence against Iraqi citizens who are thought to support the American efforts. This cycle of killing and instability will not stop until American soldiers leave Iraq, and the people of Iraq are in charge of their own security. Iraq had an effective police force and military once before, why the current police force and military is so undisciplined and similar to the failed Vietnamization of the Vietnam War is something of a mystery. But America simply cannot continue to stay in Iraq. Our continued presense promotes more Arab nationalist regional insurgency and Jihad against this unwanted Western presense in Iraq. It violates the values of those follow the Muslim faith in a very orthodox form.

The problem is many Americans will see some "success" in the current American effort near the Syrian border in Iraq, and think that America is somehow turning the corner. But this is hardly the case. Just like Vietnam, Americans may have won every major battle, but lost the war. Iraq is very similar. Americans can win battlefield victories over the insurgents, yet this hardly touches the Jihadist camps that span the MidEast, or brings overall stability to Iraq. As long as an American presense remains, foreign fighters and homegrown Sunni insurgents will continue and intensify their attacks. Hopefully Congress will have an honest debate on withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The Kuncinich-Jones proposal is a serious attempt to force the people of Iraq to tend to their own security, and to eventually restore stability and peace to Iraq. No one wants to see cruel insurgents take control of Iraq. But this becomes more likely as more extremists organize all throughout the Muslim world in response to the American presense in Iraq. A government by the people of Iraq, without the American presense would go a long way towards undermining this Jihadist moltivation to create an endless cycle of violence in Iraq.

The current large scale military effort by American soldiers has scored some success. Freeing hostages, preventing torture, preventing further carbombings, and capturing weapons or preventing insurgents from violence are indeed good. But the problem is that this task becomes unending. It is the continued American presense that spurs this insurgency. And many Sunnis feel powerless in Iraq and become domestic members of this insurgency as well. From 1917 until 1958, Britain fought a losing war in Iraq. The anticolonial sentiment against Britain kept this insurgent war alive against britain for 41 years, despite massive British airstrikes on villages, and mustard gas attacks and firebombings of entire villages. The cycle of violence in Iraq will not slow or stop until American troops, considered by generations of Iraqis to be a force similar to colonial Britain leave Iraq.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

How To Become A "Blue Chip" Attorney

Around the courthouses of America, attorneys flourish in bountiful quantity. Often so many, that they seem like a dime a dozen to the casual passerby of any courthouse. But only a few attorneys break from this pack to manage near superstar status. By defending a celebrity in a high profile case is this stairway to stardom in the legal world. 54 year old, Tom Mesereau, joined this elite club with his stunning complete victory for defendant Michael Jackson last week. In the 1940's and 50's, Jerry Giesler was the defender of celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin and Zsa Zsa Gabor. And only a few years ago, F. Lee Bailey and flamboyant, Gerry Spense were headlining names in law.

The late Johnny Cochran, was not only the most prominent and respected member of the West Angeles Cathedral, but also the most respected attorney known in the Black community. His respected character made him a trusted and respected name in defense of criminal cases. His complete legal victory for O.J. Simpson elevated his law practice to superstardom. Now Tom Mesereau joins this elite group of superstar American attorneys. A high profile case brings a wealth of advertising of a lawyer's actual skills, whether the trial is televised or not by the high number of sound bites and other media exposure that a lawyer receives.

The day to day, high profile cases of celebrities, with constant news coverage, and daily watercooler talk in the workplace, create an environment where the legal wares of an attorney are given advertising that they normally could not buy. It is an unprecended opportunity to advertise oneself, and the resulting fame means many more cases. Celebrity for the defense attorney snowballs.

Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, has long promoted the ethic standard that all attorneys should do at least 15% of their work Pro Bono for indigent clients who need a good defense but cannot afford such services, and many like Tom Mesereau are known for the large amount of Pro Bono services that he offers. With a reputation of decency towards the indigent, as well the complete Jackson victory, despite some seemingly damning evidence in the public's mind about Jackson, Mesereau has gained a tremendous clout advantage with the Jackson case, as well as increased respect from judges. A great legal mind will respect another.

Some other attorneys who have raised their recent "blue chip" value have been one's like Gerald Schwartzbach, who was able to raise benefit of "reason doubt" standards in the minds of jurors of the Robert Blake case. This seemed an incredible achievement considering the absurd gun explanation offered by Blake. But the benefit to Gerald Schwartzbach is to be able to spin a terrible Blake explanation into an acquittal. And this raises the status of Schwartzbach immensely, although like O.J. Simpson, the public will probably continue to have frayed feelings towards Blake, whose acting career seems to have hit a huge dry patch years ago. The celebrities may not escape popular public sentiments, but the legal representation are elevated by the sheer skill of their defense, regardless of their client.

Roy Black is another high profile celebrity attorney. His acquittal of William Kennedy Smith on rape charges undoubtably made his services high profile enough, that right wing radio commentator Rush Limbaugh has retained Black's services for his prescription drug fraud legal problems. And Bruce Cutler won managed three acquitals for John Gotti, undoubtably influenced the unconventional rock music producer, Phil Spector to seek his services for his murder trial of actress, Lana Clarkson. Sucessfully defending Gotti from some serious charges, certainly says much of an attorney's legal skills. This certainly gave Cutler new clout in the legal world.

But even attorneys who fail to acquit their high profile clients, still manage to raise their "blue chip" status. Leslie Abramson may have failed to acquit the Menendez brothers, yet her reputation was brought to superstar staus by this high profile case. And Mickey Sherman who failed to acquit Michael Skakel of murder charges, still made a public statement for his polished skills.

A high profile attorney may be far better to gain an acquittal because of their skills at raising "reasonable doubt" standards in the minds of jurors, that a poorly paid legal aid attorney cannot, because of a far more limited defense budget or more limited skills. It says much for shopping for the right attorney, and the wealthy of society are far better able to do this. The class justice aspect is a prime feature in that the wealthy can afford high priced "blue chip" representation, while many poorer clients are often forced into plea bargains due to a far more thrifty defense with less skilled attorneys. These less skilled attorneys, due to case load, as well as fears of their own shortcomings in legal skills, often push their clients in the plea bargain direction. An innocent client will often plead to a 4 or 5 year sentence than face 20 to life for an uncertain trial that a less than confident attorney fears facing.

The wealthy can pay for justice with vast finances. The poor pay with their lives. This is yet another of the injustices of life. And another injustice is that some attorneys live in shabby apartments or drive crummy automobiles, while others are millionaires with endless wealth and advantages in life. Inequality touches those in this legal sphere as well. Life isn't fair. And why some attorneys become superstars and others do not is not only based on skill, but the luck to land such a prominent case with plenty of cameras and publicity. And cases like the Michael Jackson case or the O.J. Simpson case, that drag on for weeks or for months, mean plenty of camera time for the defense attorneys. This is far better than the "15 minutes" that Andy Warhol once claimed everyone receives in fame.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Reality Check For The Unending Iraq War

Conservative North Carolina Congressman, Walter Jones, a Republican has formed a curous bipartisan group of supporters which include progressive Rep. Dennis Kucinich, of Ohio, Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, and right wing Rep. Ron Paul, who is a Republican who ran as a Libertarian Presidential candidate to propose a timetable for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. While this bill is unlikely to pass at this time, it will provide a vehicle for a serious debate on the huge mistake of Iraq. This is a very important debate for our nation to have at this time.

For the last two years, America has been misled by the Bush Administration into one absurd untruth after another involving Iraq WMD's that don't exist, absurdly premature claims of victory or stability, or phony misinformation claims of exaggerated numbers of Iraqi national forces trained to defend their own nation, when very few combat ready troops actually exist. The reality is exactly like Rep. Jones sees it, "After 1,700 deaths, over 12,000 wounded and $200 billion spent, we believe it is time to have this debate and this discussion on this resolution".

If the people of Iraq intend to truly run their own affairs, then it is time for them to get serious to defend their own nation against terrorism . But unfortunately, the training of Iraqi forces seems to mirror the failed Vietnamization experiment of the Vietnam War. And the continued U.S. presense only encourages more terrorism and more instablity acting as a magnet for radical regional Jihadists, who seek a MidEast free of Western interests or control. The elected government of Iraq needs to honestly pull their country together and ask for the patriotism and the nationalistic interests of the Iraqi people to defend their own nation and make a democratic Iraq flourish and stand on it's own. But if there is so much ineptness and corruption among some members associated with this government of Iraq, and a lack of will of the Iraqi people to even defend their country, then there is no way to make this country stand on it's own, with or without American troops occupying Iraq. In Vietnam, American went down this wrong path once before. The corrupt government of Thieu, and the lack of serious intent of most Vietnamese to defend this government of South Vietnam made a victory impossible. It was only a matter of time before America would lose this conflict.

Iraq and Vietnam are nearly mirror nationalist conflict images of one another. The American presense is largely unwelcome in both nation's and encouraged more conflict in both war situations. In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh was a former American ally that American troops fought side by side with his Vietminh forces to battle the Japanese in the 1940's. After the war with Japan, Ho Chi Minh expected the U.S. to back his independence drive against French colonial governent rule, but the U.S. backed the French instead. And even though it was well known to America that Ho Chi Minh was a Communist, during the forties this didn't matter. But by 1958, in a white hot Cold War climate dominated by Joe McCarthy and others, Communism was a deeply feared commodity. During 1958, the first American military advisors entered Vietnam. And by the time of Kennedy Administration, America was well on the path to war in Vietnam against the Communist government of the North that wanted to reunify the country. It didn't matter to many in the South that the Communists of the North wanted Vietnam to be a single state once again, as the South broke apart from the North and would not participate in elections, fueling this nationalst civil war. And as America entered the war, Ho Chi Minh sought the military aid of the Soviet Union, setting up a proxy war in Vietnam and battle of wills between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Vietnam was misintrepreted by both of the superpowers as an important "domino" in whether the U.S. or the Soviets would dominate the world, instead of the nationalist dispute and civil war between the people of Vietnam for their own self-determination. Today after 58,000 American dead and 1,000,000 Vietnamese killed, America once again has a good relationship with Vietnam, with many exports coming to America including Nike shoes, Canon ink jet printers, food products, clothing and many more items. This is the cruel lesson of war. Both sides suffer horrible losses, only to end up with a state of relations similar to the relations the warring sides once had before hostilities got the better of the good judgement of both sides leadership.

Iraq is very similar. There is a strong sense of Arab nationalism that has it's roots in the anger over the British colonial rule that begun in 1917 after WWI, and extended past WWII, until the British were thrown out in the 1958 rebellion. In 1920 to 1930, Britain found the insurgency so strong that Britain resorted to massive mustard gas attacks against entire villages and use of armored vehicles to crush the civilians of Iraq who opposed the British colonial government. For 41 years, Britain tried to hold on to Iraq against the nationalist will of the Iraqi people. America is the new Britain in Iraq. In the view of many Arabs, America has poisoned their land with our influence. This draws nationalists and foreign Jihadists like a magnet to attack not only Americans, but Iraqis seen as collaborators. To many Arabs, their part of the world must be set free from the rule of a Christian world they see as evil and corrupt. This makes victory highly unlikely in Iraq for America. Nationalist interest fueled warfare is simply too difficult for any superpower in history to overcome. The Soviet loss in Afghanistan is another bitter lesson of the failure of a superpower to control a nationalist uprising. The conflict with Jihadists and other nationalists is simply unending. New fighters will always replace the fighters killed in combat with the Americans. Unless America wants another 41 year losing war like the British lost in Iraq, then the best policy is to push the elected government of Iraq to quickly encourage the patriotism of their young men to defend their own nation, so America soldiers can leave and take away this source of Jihadist conflict. Jihadists actually prove their faith in Allah by challenging a superior opponent. And America is unfortunately seen as the greatest "Satan" in the Muslim world.

The vote on the Jones bill will almost certainly fail, or be vetoed by the Bush Administration. But it at least is starting a mature debate on a nationalist conflict that is unwinnable in Iraq. Representative Jones was the Congressman who once pushed the absurd "freedom fries" proposal after American disappointment over the failure of France to support the Iraq War mistake. This is a sign how much both Rep. Jones, and much of the country has grown. Those that oppose the war have been proven right. Iraq is a mistake, and is an unwinnable war against Arab nationalism. As many Americans that can be sent to Iraq in a misguided mission of "American security" or in a mistaken sense of fighting the "War On Terrorism", many more Jihadists will take up the fight against America pouring into Iraq from all Arab nations. The best thing America can do is begin to leave the conflict, and as America withdraws, violence should also in turn lessen. It's time for patriotic Iraqis's to start to defend their own nation. Just like Vietnam it has been proven that America cannot do that for one side against another in a civil war based on strong nationalist sentiments. America should welcome a mature debate on Iraq, replacing two years of misguided American partiotism and flag waving that has no mature understanding of America following in the footsteps of the bloody historic mistake of British colonialism in their losing 41 year war from 1917 to 1958 in Iraq.

Bring on this important debate.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Iran's Rigged Election & Terrorists America Tolerates

On Friday, Iran will stage their "rigged" election. With religious leaders banning many true reformers from participation, once again Islamic cleric, Akban Hashemi Rafsanjani is very likely to again be elected President in Iran. There is a tremendous yearning from the Iranian public, especially the young, for an end to strict Islamic control of their lives, yet without truly legitimate and free elections in Iran, no substantial change in Iranian-U.S. policy is expected. Today Rafsanjani gave an interview to CNN that sounded faintly like supporting a "detente" with the U.S., yet Mr. Rafsanjani is certainly not trust worthy or a moderate by any stretch. His offer rings hollow.

In December, this very same cleric, Rafsanjani in an address given in a Mosque called on all Muslim states to use nuclear weapons to annihilate Israel. And it looked likely that either the U.S. or Isreal would soon act militarily to bomb Iran's nuclear research sites. In fact, former UNSCOM arms inspector, Scott Ritter claimed that Bush had already signed off on a plan to use the U.S. military for a series of aerial bombing attacks on Iranian nuclear research sites set for June. But then in a recent White House visit, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, brought a top Israeli military officer who shared new Israeli intelligence information that Iran has dug their nuclear research program sites into extremely deep fortified bunkers that the 500 uranium tipped smart bomb "bunker busters" that the U.S. sold Israel would not be able to penetrate these fortified bunkers, and such an attack on Iran would not take out the research sites. Israel had been practicing for these bombing missions using Turkish airspace in an agreement reached with the U.S. and Turkey. But the "bunker busters" the U.S. sold to Israel are as advanced as the U.S. has in their arsenial, and since they will not penetrate, the military option by the U.S. , or by proxy state Israel was simply out of the question.

This has forced the U.S. to two options. One is to very reluctantly accept some sort of diplomacy path with Iran. But Rafsanjani is a twofaced political and religious leader. He talked slightly concilitory in the CNN interview today. But in December urged the nuclear annilation of Israel as a form of duty by Muslim states. And Rafsanjani is one of the strongest supporters of the late Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution as well as the American hostage taking crisis. If Rafsanjani can cause either the U.S. or Israel harm or destruction, then that would be his first choice. Rafsanjani may sometimes talk more moderately than a radical leader such North Korea's Kim Jong Il, but is every bit as much of an antiU.S. enemy bent on her destruction. Even if the U.S. would free billions in Iranian assets frozen by the U.S. after the hostage taking crisis, it would not soften the conflict between the two nations. These assets are only likely to be freed after a substantially reform minded government should gain control in Iran.

It is well known that much of the young people of Iran favor a big change of their hardline government. Yet without truly free elections, the U.S. now has a strange relationship with the MEK terrorist organization as a terrible second choice to reforming Iran's govenment. In 2003, U.S. forces bombed MEK bases in Iraq, that have been used to stage terrorist attacks across the border inside Iran. And publicly, the U.S. State Department classifies the MEK as a terrorist group. But just like Rafsanjani, the Bush Administration is also playing coy between public comments and actual policy. The Bush Administration signed a little known cease fire document with the MEK, and the CIA has been using the MEK information on the Iranian nuclear program as it's main intelligence source. And some such as Richard Perle have almost leaned to financial or other support to this terrorist organization by the U.S. In fact Perle even spoke at a fundraising charity event sponsored by an MEK front organization, with Perle sharing keynote address duty with MEK head, Maryam Rajavi who addressed the event with a video address from Paris.

The MEK is a strange bedfellow for the U.S. to have as a quasi-ally. The MEK(Mujahedin-e Khalq) is a an organization that combines marxism with Islam. And this revolutionary organization is hardly any prodemocracy organization by any stretch of the imagination. They would simply trade the authoritarian control of the clergy dominated Iranian government for an authoritarian marxist government with less of an Islamic religious control element. The MEK seeks to undermine the nuclear ambitions of the Iranian government because with nuclear arms, the current Iranian government is very strong. And the U.S. finds itself supporting the MEK as a sort of ally, because of the mutual opposition to both the current Iranian government and to nuclear plans by Iran. Just like North Korea, a weak nation can stand up to the U.S. with nuclear weapons. Both Iran and the U.S. know this fact. Nuclear arms are antiIraq-style invasion insurance by a weak nation. So because of the Bush doctrine in Iraq, many states no doubt desire nuclear arms as antiU.S. invasion insurance. If MEK helps to undermine Iran's intentions along this line of thought, then the Bush Administration finds them at least temporarily useful.

There are other opposition organizations to the current Iranian government, the National Liberation Army Of Iran, the People's Mujahedin Of Iran, and the Nationial Council Of Resistance Of Iran. However, the MEK is the strongest of the organized efforts to oust the Iranian government. And it is highly likely that the recent terrorist bombing in Iran was by elements of the MEK organization. And the White House seemed to be silent on this act of terror, a possible sign of silent support for any efforts of this organization to oust the current Iranian government. This Bush White House is not strongly anticommunist like previous Administration's such as the Reagan Administration. In fact, the Secretary of the Iraqi Communist Party, an economist was actually brought in to the Governing Council in Iraq as a junior member by the Bush Administration. Most Americans do not know this fact.

This was a major departure from the Reagan Administration's anticommunist hardline. After the 1979 Afghanistan invasion by the Soviet Union, Reagan usedthe CIA to sponsor mujahedin terrorist fighters to help to oust the Soviets. In fact, with the cooperation of Saudi Arabia, Osama Bin Laden was recruited to set up terrorist training camps in remote areas of Afghanistan to train fighters to battle the Soviets. This eventually brought the Taliban to power, and the Al Qaeda camps were a favorite son that helped bestow a defeat on the Soviets and brought thisc strongly Islamic government power in Aghanistan. And in fact, many of the insurgent leaders in Iraq are former leaders or top fighters formerly funded by the Reagan era U.S. CIA efforts or part of the anti Soviet mujahedin Afghanistan fighters. In fact, even the warfare of the Chechen fighters is influenced directly from CIA training. The terrible attack on a school in which teachers and students were killed was directly from CIA training of mujahedin fighters in Afghanistan who were trained to slit teachers throats as a form of terrorism. This is why the insurgents in Iraq are so difficult to defeat, they are excellent students of the worst CIA skills in murder and mayhem.

The U.S. created the problem with Osama bin Laden during the Afghanistan War and learned nothing. Now the Bush Administration is finding itself in an increasingly cozy relationship with another group of terrorists, the MEK. The American CIA is largely responsible for many of the problems with terrorism today. And the Iranians use leaders such as Zarqawi in a similar manner as a proxy warrior for their efforts in Iraq to battle the Americans. This is why the evil of terrorism does not go away. The CIA thought terrorist efforts in Nicaragua and in Afghanistan were a new "safe" form of proxy combat compared to the stalemate in the 1950's Korean War or the defeat in Viernam. Instead this evil is now hard to eradicate. The U.S. and other governments who claim to oppose terrorism often actually use terrorists as proxy warriors. To paraphrase a classic Pogo quote: I've seen the enemy and he is us.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

History Repeats Itself In Iraq

Despite so many overly optimistic statements about Iraq from the Bush Administration, the sad fact is that history is repeating itself in this country. Bush reportedly told Rev. Pat Robertson at one point before the war that he didn't expect any American war dead. And Donald Rumfeld promotted the vision of Iraqi residents welcoming American soldiers with flowers thrown at their feet, similar to the palm leaves thrown on the ground to welcome Jesus into a Middle Eastern city. But just like in the case of Jesus, fortunes are sadly prone to change. Jesus was welcomed one week. Then horriby tortured and murdered as his political enemies sought to end his life a week later. Even with good intentions, fortunes sometimes horriby change for the worst.

After much long combat during WWI, Britain decided to set up a colonial regime in Iraq. In the minds of the British this was somehow "good" for the people of Iraq. Yet it only seemed like a variation of the of the old colonial policies of past Britain, rather than a true peacekeeping effort, simply to control a nation where it was assumed that the people of that nation were somehow incapable of running their own affairs.

In 1917, Britain established this colonial rule over Iraq. However by 1920, a powerful Iraqi insurgent effort became so strong, that Britain resorted to terrible tactics to control Iraq. In a bloody10 year military campaign, Britain used aircraft and armored vehicles to attack entire Iraqi villages. Mustard gas and firebombings to pacify entire Iraqi villages were used by the British in terrible combat against the Iraqi insurgents and population between 1920 and 1930. After this somewhat less lethal efforts by the British continued until in a rebellion in 1958, Britain left Iraq in defeat. Even Winston Churchill, one of the victors over Hitler and the Germans was not able to put together a winning military strategy to defeat Iraqi insugents.

Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration offer a constant flurry of hopeful statements about the Iraq War situation. In every statement, some sense of hope is just around the corner is always promotted. Yet the history of Iraq paints a grim picture. In their 1917-58 struggle to control Iraq, Britain could not assert control over this nation. And just today, a new round of insurgent attacks took many more lives. Within months, the number of American war dead will equal that of the War Of 1812. Later it will equal that of the Spanish-American War. In the future it will equal that of Korea and then Vietnam. History unfortunately repeats itself. Just like colonial Britain, no matter America's intentions in Iraq, it is very difficult for any power to assert themselves over Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld never bothered to take history into account in his Iraq War plans. Now America is stuck in the same situation as Britain in it's losing 1917-58 war in Iraq.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Class Justice In America

The verdict in the Michael Jackson case follows the pattern of class juctice in America. It is very difficult to convict the wealthy and the powerful of any major crime, only more minor offenses. Martha Stewart was the only recent exception, but that was partly due to the fact that her legal representation let her down, and the jury felt she would not have to serve long if convicted. But for a major crime, highly paid legal representation can parade endless witnesses and be able to meet and surpass the standards for acquital based on "reasonable doubt" standards.

Poorer defendants are often sent to prison without the benefit of a real "trial". Because of "three strikes" laws, mandatory minimum sentences, tough sentencing grids, etc., a poorer defendant usually accepts a "plea bargain" whether guilty or not, or whether evidence exists or not. Serving 4 years on a plea bargain is better than serving 43 if a person loses at trial. And the average defendant is likely to be convicted with a legal aid attorney, which often put in far less effort. A private attorney could cost $70,000 on up to millions, which most poorer persons cannot afford.

Of course the prosecution's main witness impressed the jury as a "grifter" and other problems existed in the Jackson case. Yet the trend is clear. The wealthy and powerful are difficult to ever convict of any major crime, while the poor, whether guilty or innocent usually serve time by being forced into "plea bargain" deals. This is the sad state of class justice in America.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Bush Legacy: Billions For War, Crumbs For The Poor

In the 2000 election, and again during the 2004 election, the slogan that Bush was a "compassionate conservative" was rolled out. This was intended to counter the moral obligation to the poor as a deeply held moral value among liberals and other geniunely compassionate persons, as well as to soothe the conscience of Bush voters that he was an acceptable moral choice for a voter. But soon after the 2000 election, and again after the 2004 election, this slogan was quickly rolled up and put away in a closet, not to be an active part of the agenda of the White House.

The events of September 11, 2001 did require some tough actions to defend America against further terrorist aggression. But a legitimate effort against terrorism that flourished in Afghanistan, soon was abused by the 32 members of the Bush Administration who were either members of the military contractor funded PNAC(Project For The New American Century), major stockholders in defense contractor industries, or executives and CEO's of major military contractors to create another mass market for more government purchases of high priced military wares. Iraq seemed like a perfect excuse. As far back as 1997, members of the PNAC wanted to restart the old 1990-1991 Gulf War with Iraq, considering it a very weak and easy to beat opponent, crippled by years of U.N. sanctions, UNSCOM arms inspections, as well as periodic Clinton era bombing attacks on radar sites that tracked U.S. reconnaissance flights. Yet even a January 26, 1998 letter addressed to President Bill Clinton by Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton, was unclear whether or not WMDs even existed in Iraq, yet urged action against Iraq. "We will be unable to determine with reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons", was the less than certain language used in 1998 to describe Iraq's highly questionable WMD "threat". Yet with bold confidence Bush, Condoleeza Rice and others boldly proclaimed a serious threat to America when it was known that UNSCOM inspectors had destroyed all long range weapons, except for very few carefully hidden, like a handful of SCUDs which had no range to hit U.S. targets. Other than a few relatively ineffective weapons like this, Iraq had no potential to cause the "mushroom cloud" that Dr. Rice warned of, or the absurd exaggerations of Bush used to merely inspire fear in the American public to bang the drums for an elective war to profit the military contractor interests which puppeteer this White House and it's foreign and military policy.

But this elective Iraq War has proven to be a major mistake just like Vietnam. And the Iraq War has so far cost $176 billion, or $1,584 per American household, or $704 per American. It has also claimed 1,674 American soldiers, and wounded 12,350 more. It is rapidly catching up with both the War Of 1812 and the Spanish-American War in number of soldiers killed, and will exceed these numbers within a year or so. And the costs of this war are competing for federal budget dollars along with the huge Bush tax cuts for the wealthy against the basic safety net for the poor in a classic "guns vs. butter" showdown.

The huge costs of the Iraq War could have fully funded all world hunger programs for seven years, instead 27,000 children die each day in the world of starvation. The huge costs of the Iraq War could have provided 105,406,180 children full health care for one year. The huge costs of the Iraq War could have provided 23,314,985 children a full year of the Head Start preschool program. The huge costs of the Iraq War could have provided 3,050,590 teachers or 1,584,96 units of housing for the poor, elderly or disabled. The list goes on and on.

Now because of the Iraq War, the war at home is preserve funding for the basic housing related programs from cuts from the "compassionate conservative" Bush Administration. There are proposed cuts in the Section 8 housing choice voucher program, proposed huge cuts to the Community Development Block Grant, including a proposal to shift this from a HUD program to the Department Of Commerce to simply streamline this program down by cutting off massive numbers of elderly, poor and disabled, who most likely will become homeless. Other programs like the HOME program, as well many youth and other programs are also facing huge cuts.

At one time, Bush promoted the phony hope that private ownership of homes by the poor would be a major prioriy. But with the election over, only the military contractors and the wealthy who profit from massive tax cuts are being looked after.

The poor of America certainly seem to have lost the "guns vs. butter" battle of budgets so far. The poor don't usually hire lobbyists, organize or often even are greatly encouraged to vote. Some cannot read or write. Some are medically or mentally handicapped. Many have little job skills. Some are simply elderly, who worked at a job with little benefits or have little Social Security funds to live on. A place to live and some groceries to eat are vital basic ingredients for life.

A basic safety net for the poor is vital. During the Roosevelt and again during the Johnson Administrations daring new efforts to provide a basic safety net for the poor of America helped to improve their lives greatly. Now the "compassionate conservative" Bush Administration is cutting this safety net down, one knot at a time. It is a moral obligation to provide basic help to the poor, disabled and elderly. Private services, such as church run programs are often hit and miss efforts. Some food programs only offer a couple bags of groceries a month. This is hardly enough for one person to survive all month, let alone a familiy. At least the $149 a month in government Food Stamps is a more secure program that is set up to promote an understanding of money management for the poor that use it, and at least provides the major part of a month's food coverage before these funds run out.

It is the moral obligation of all Christian's, as well as progressives to oppose immoral cuts to vital food and housing programs for the poor, as well as to question an immoral elective war like Iraq that has no end in sight, and has only promoted and endless cycle of terrorism and killing and violence that has actually worsened the lives of most people in Iraq. Under Saddam Hussein, people in Iraq lived in oppression and fear. Under the unending Iraq War, people in Iraq are oppressed by a endless cycle of violence and death and even worse poverty. This is hardly a quality improvement in the lives of these people. And the huge costs of this war come at the cost to the lives of poor in America. There are no winners in war except the big arms contractors and the coffin makers. Progressives are called by God to act to protect life and the quality of life of the poor and to end war.