Thursday, August 31, 2006

Olbermann's Rebuttal to Rumsfeld's Idiocy

Seriously, how blind are conservatives these days? Why do they let charlatans like Rumsfeld say what he says? The following is Kieth Olbermann's rebuttal to Rumsfeld's idiotic speech the previous day in which he called opposers of the war in Iraq appeasers of terrorists.

That about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused… is simply this:
This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely. And as such,
all voices count — not just his. Had he or his President perhaps
proven any of their prior claims of omniscience - about Osama Bin
Laden’s plans five years ago - about Saddam Hussein’s weapons four years ago
- about Hurricane Katrina’s impact one* year ago - we all might be able to
swallow hard, and accept their omniscience as a bearable, even useful
recipe, of fact, plus ego.
But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own
arrogance, and its own hubris.
Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or
intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to
Katrina, to the entire "Fog of Fear" which continues to enveloppe this
nation - he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies, have - inadvertently
or intentionally - profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.
And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and
the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the
Emporer’s New Clothes.
In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised?
As a child, of whose heroism did he read?
On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day
to fight?
With what country has he confused… the United States of
America?
—–
The confusion we — as its citizens - must now address, is
stark and forbidding. But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when
men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and
obscured our flag. Note - with hope in your heart - that those earlier
Americans always found their way to the light… and we can, too.
The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and
this Administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the
terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for
which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City,
so valiantly fought.
—-
And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country
faces a "new type of fascism."
As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew
everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he
said that — though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.
This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.
—-
Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble
tribute… I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist
Edward R. Murrow.
But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I
come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of
us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew
everything, and branded those who disagreed, "confused" or "immoral."
Thus forgive me for reading Murrow in full:
"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," he said, in 1954.
"We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction
depends upon evidence and due process of law.
"We will not walk in fear - one, of another. We will not be
driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history
and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men;
"Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to
defend causes that were - for the moment - unpopular."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Democrats ARE Strong on Terror

Well said Mr. Frank, well said! He lays it out in an op-ed in the Boston Globe, how the real war against terror is taking place in Afghanistan. How many Democrats voted for the war in Afghanistan? All but one! So there goes the argument that Democrats are soft on terror. The real battle against terror is in Afghanistan. Don't let the wiley charlatan Republican leaders fool you. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Even Bush admitted this just recently. So.....what are we doing in Iraq?

Cut Through the Hysteria and See the Man Behind the Wizard

Over on Talking Points Memo, Matthew Yglesias cuts through the bullcrap that keeps spewing out of right wingers's mouths. It's funny when you actually look at all the facts just how hyperparanoid conservatives are. They really believe this crap. They really are blinded and foolish. Moreover, I think they are attempting to divert attention from the debacle in Iraq, the horrendous non-actions with Katrina, and so on. Take a look at Santorum here in Pennsylvania talking up Iran as the "enemy of our generation!"

Let's crunch the numbers shall we. Yglesias links to several citations about military budgets in the Middle East. Let's take a look, shall we.

Iran's 2005 military budget at $6.2 billion

Iran's defense budget remains a fraction of the expenditure of its Arab neighbors in the Persian Gulf in per capita terms, according to the latest edition of Military Balance.

The spending by Iran is also the least as a percentage of the country's gross national product (GNP) in the region with the exception of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Military Balance, published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, puts Iran's defense budget for 2005 at $6.2 billion.

Saudi Arabia spends $25.2 billion - Israel spends $9.6 billion on military budget

And according to that source, the United States spent $478 billion in 2005 on defense. If you think about it, proportionally speaking, we're not getting the bang for our buck......

Meanwhile, Pakistan increases military budget by 15%

Pakistan recently unveiled a 1.09 trillion rupee (USD $18.16 billion) national budget for 2005-2006. The budget increased defense expenditures from 194 billion rupees in 2004-2005 to 223 billion rupees, a rise of more than 15%. Spending on development will also rise, and the overall increase in expenditures is 21%.

The largest single item is for the country's debt payments, which amount to more than 300 billion rupees. The government also vowed June 6 to undertake a wide network of roads, dams and other infrastructural work under the 272-billion-rupee Public Sector Development Program.

Pakistan also is a dictatorship, sits on nuclear weapons, and is where Bin Laden is purpotedly hiding....Does it strike anyone that this is odd?

Currently the entire world is spending nearly One Trillion Dollars!!!! on arms sales and military expenditures, with the United States taking about 45% of the total. Spencer W. Kimball was right.

We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel -- ships, planes, missiles, fortifications -- and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan's counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior's teaching.

Calls for Peace fall on deaf ears in the last days

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bush Hosts Kazakh Dictator at White House

Showing that they really do not stand for democracy in any and all places around the world, Bush and Cheney are hosting Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Oh by the way, Kazakh sits on a bunch of oil......just FYI

Cheney shows just how duplicitious he really is:

In addition to Nazarbayev's upcoming visit, Vice President Cheney went to the former Soviet republic in May to praise him as a friend, a trip that drew criticism because it came the day after Cheney criticized Russia for retreating from democracy. The latest invitation has sparked outrage among Kazakh opposition.

so.......as long as they are our dictators, they are okay?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Irony: Religious Zealots Want War

I made the following comment on Belgravia Dispatch:

Isn't it interesting that on both sides the only parties that really want to fight each other are the religious zealots, both in Christian and Muslim world.....more secular people want to live in peace.

It's a shame really, what better way to further undermine the good names of Christ and Mohammed than this? That religious fanatics on both sides of the isle advocate war and murder.....

Can we trust the Lord to protect us from our enemies? Or do we look to the "priests of Baal" for our protection?

Missile Defense Shield Shenanigans

Rumsfeld is up in Alaska visiting the MDS main hub and saying foolish things about North Korea, how NK is not a threat to South Korea, (even though NK could probably wipe out Seoul in half an hour with all its forces just 30 miles from Seoul!). But we've never known Rumsfeld to be a bright guy. In any case, look at the following report and see how the generals are "lowering their expectations," "moving the goalposts" so that the main objective of their missile defense shield test is NOT to destroy the target, but merely SPOT the target!

"We are not going to try to hit the target," said Scott Fancher, head of Boeing Co.'s ground-based missile defense program. "It is not a primary or secondary test objective to hit the target."

After a tour of the missile interceptor silos here Sunday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said that although he wanted to see a "full end-to-end test," he was patient. He rejected suggestions that the system should try to hit the target this time.

"Why not proceed in an orderly way with the kind of the test expert people [want to do]?" Rumsfeld told reporters. "They do not have to do it to demonstrate to you."

Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry "Trey" Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said it was "possible" the kill vehicle would take out the missile even though that was not a goal. But the military, he said, is focused on making sure a redesigned kill vehicle is able to spot the target missile, distinguish between its booster stage and warhead, and communicate with the control centers on the ground.

"This is about as good as it gets in terms of a system test," Obering said.

The general has said several times that he believes the missile defense system can shoot down a long-range North Korean missile aimed at the United States.

What?!?!?!? What the!?!?! After billions of dollars spent, the best they can come up with is a system where they are so afraid to test an actual HIT that they only want their target to be spotted?

I smell a political ploy here. Lower the expectation to just "spotting the target," so that when the missile actually destroys the target they can crow and gloat and bow and worship at their god of steel and iron actually doing its job of protecting them. I wonder though what will happen when America's "priests of Baal fail to call down fire". Will Americans realize the folly of trusting the arms of flesh for their protection?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Krauthammer Is Just Itchin' For a Fight With Iran....

you can read it in his op-ed in the Washington Post.

Realistically speaking, the point of this multilateral exercise cannot be to stop Iran's nuclear program by diplomacy. That has always been a fantasy. It will take military means. There would be terrible consequences from an attack. These must be weighed against the terrible consequences of allowing an openly apocalyptic Iranian leadership to acquire weapons of genocide.

The point of the current elaborate exercise in multilateral diplomacy is to slightly alter that future calculation. By demonstrating extraordinary forbearance and accommodation, perhaps we will have purchased the acquiescence of our closest allies -- Britain, Germany and, yes, France -- to a military strike on that fateful day when diplomacy has run its course.

Yeah, you go get them! Can you sense the fate of inevitability? All the "multilateral diplomacy" is just a show, just a ruse, in his eyes. It's only meant to delay the inevitable. War with Iran. What a sad little man is Mr. Krauthammer. Why are people listening to him?

On Iran.....

The Royal Institue of International Affairs at Chatham House in England has released a report in which they assert that Iran is now the key power in the Middle East and Iraq. It reports:

"There is little doubt that Iran has been the chief beneficiary of the War on Terror in the Middle East," says the report from Chatham House's Middle East Programme.

"The United States, with coalition support, has eliminated two of Iran’s regional rival governments - the Taleban in Afghanistan in November 2001 and Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq in April 2003 - but has failed to replace either with coherent and stable political structures."

I bring this up on the heels of Republican representative Hoekstra's report criticizing America's lack of clear intelligence on Iran, or more cynically said, American intelligence not fitting Mr. Hoekstra's ideology. Mr. Hoekstra is in line with those who would like to pop the head off the snake in Iran, irregardless of what the facts on the ground are. Similarly to the situation in Iraq, even though Powell said in February 2001 that the sanctions worked and Saddam hadn't reconstituted his weapons programs, and that no WMDs were found in Iraq, these fearmongers and warmongers don't particularly care. Ah, the inconvenience of not having the facts fit the ideology.....

The problem, as is evidenced today in the Middle East, is that our own strategy, Bush's Doctrine, Cheney's One Percent Doctrine, gave the Middle East to Iran on a silver platter.

Saddam is a Sunni, and Sunnis are a minority in Iraq, at about 30% or so. The large majority in Iraq are Shi'ites, at about 60% or so. The remainder are Kurds and other smaller groups. Iran is 90% Shi'ite. The Shi'ites in Iraq have been looking towards help from Iran for decades against Saddam. Saddam was what kept the Iranians in check from dominating Iraq. Now Saddam is gone and through democratic processes, the Shi'ites with strong ties to Iran now control Iraq---or at least the Shi'ite portion. The Sunnis knew what would happen the moment Saddam was taken out: Iran would take revenge on them for their aggresive war against Iran. That's why they revolted against the US occupation and have been fighting so hard against the Shi'ites.

The stupidity of Bush's Doctrine is that it did not destroy terrorism, nor terrorists. As I've quoted numerous times, Porter Goss, head of CIA testified in front of the Senate that Islamic jihadists were using the War in Iraq as a recruiting tool for more recruits. The stupidity of Bush's Doctrine is that it exacerbated terrorism so now we are far less safer than ever before. The stupidity of Bush's Doctrine is that so much of our effort has been expended in Iraq at such a high cost that can we even afford or have the tools and recruits needed for a real fight against a real enemy anytime soon? The stupidity of Bush's Doctrine is that he has not asked Americans to sacrifice to pay for this war, and now we will be in red financially as far as the eye can see. Tell me what business can run on red indefinitely? How can a country run on red indefinitely? At some point, it will do us irreprable harm. When will that moment be? I doubt it will be in Bush's lifetime. I doubt he will be around to pay this debt. He'll leave it on future generations. The stupidity of Bush's Doctrine is that our children and our children's children will come to hate our selfish and selfserving generation. This will be considered the worst time in American history!

I am curious if conservatives can actually name one "success" in Bush's Doctrine so far. Yes, you've removed Saddam, but now Iran runs Iraq. Is that really a "success?" Yes, Lebanon broke the bands of Syrian bonds, but you sacrificed the Cedar Revolution on the altar of Israeli defense. Is that a success? The Taliban still kill Americans and foreigners and those who work for foreigners in Afghanistan. Is this a success? 3400 Iraqi civilians were killed in July of violent deaths. Is this a success? Is that what you view as a successful strategy? Three times British Muslims have attempted to murder their own or Americans, twice succeeding. Is this success? Take a look at the State Department's Travel Warnings pages and see what they say. For example, this is what they say about Iraq: The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Iraq, which remains very dangerous. Is this success? Some might say, "we haven't had enough time yet." But, it took Roosevelt three and a half years to thoroughly defeat his enemies and fundamentally alter the entire world. We've now been in Iraq for three and a half years. Why is it still so dangerous to go into just one country? Is this success?

On Iran though, it seems that Republicans don't want peace. CATO's Justin Logan has the following to say about the neo-conservative strategy:

Neoconservative grumbling about diplomacy is nothing new, but this tone has become increasingly common. Regarding Syria, Iran, anywhere, if diplomacy can’t provide a slam-dunk, total, and complete resolution of all the issues, then it’s held out as a worthless exercise in jaw-jawing.

To some extent the point is well-taken: Diplomacy can be difficult, and can fail, and it always produces temporary, imperfect solutions. But that’s the point: all foreign policies produce temporary, imperfect solutions. Crusading in search of silver bullets puts us in predicaments like those of Iraq.

In the course of pooh-poohing talks with the Syrians, for example, we’re regaled with tales of how past dialogues have failed to wean them away from their client Hezbollah, and how the Assad regime is still, well, nasty. Since Iran hasn’t agreed to capitulate before even coming to the negotiating table, the supposed uselessness of diplomacy is demonstrated.

But the point isn’t to hold diplomacy out as the way to magically eliminate foreign policy problems. There is no way to eliminate problems in foreign affairs entirely. But diplomacy is a tool for managing crises, and for finding limited areas to cooperate or compromise.

By setting the standard for diplomacy so high as to demand a nice, neat, tied-up-with-a-ribbon solution in order to prove success, neoconservatives are framing the debate such that diplomacy is always a sure-fire “failure.” That’s harmful, because it misconstrues the choices and unnecessarily limits our options.

It makes it hard to see neo-conservatives interested in desiring anything but war. This is clearly the case when you read Max Boot articles and op-eds. They really think violence will solve their problems. The important question is, why are people listening to them?

Iran and Intelligence; Iraq and 9/11; Bush and America's Psyche

Three things. All related. All showing the bamboozlement continues.

First.

A Republican prepared report criticizes the intelligence community for not keeping up with Republican ideology on Iran. That's basically the gist of it.

A key House committee issued a stinging critique of U.S. intelligence on Iran yesterday, charging that the CIA and other agencies lack "the ability to acquire essential information necessary to make judgments" on Tehran's nuclear program, its intentions or even its ties to terrorism.

The 29-page report, principally written by a Republican staff member on the House intelligence committee who holds a hard-line view on Iran, fully backs the White House position that the Islamic republic is moving forward with a nuclear weapons program and that it poses a significant danger to the United States. But it chides the intelligence community for not providing enough direct evidence to support that assertion.

"American intelligence agencies do not know nearly enough about Iran's nuclear weapons program" to help policymakers at a critical time, the report's authors say. Information "regarding potential Iranian chemical weapons and biological weapons programs is neither voluminous nor conclusive," and little evidence has been gathered to tie Iran to al-Qaeda and to the recent fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, they say.

The report relies exclusively on publicly available documents. Its authors did not interview intelligence officials. Still, it warns the intelligence community to avoid the mistakes made regarding weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq war, noting that Iran could easily be engaged in "a denial and deception campaign to exaggerate progress on its nuclear program as Saddam Hussein apparently did concerning his WMD programs."

Darn, Mr. Hoekstra, sucks when the facts don't fit your preconceived ideology, don't it? Mayhap you should follow the facts, not fears.

Second

Bush is now going negative on the war in Iraq. He now says that this war strains the nation's psyche, and that not following his plan could be worse. Really? Worse than a destabilized Iraq? Worse than an Iraq with strong Iranian influence now? Worse than 3400 civilians dying per month from violent deaths? Worse than our credibility being shot in the Middle East? Worse than having tens of thousands of Iraqis chanting "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!"

So what is worse Mr. President?

Oh, and when will a member of the "press" corps actually do their job and "press" him to elaborate?

Finally

Did Iraq have anything to do with 9/11? Not according to Bush, but we know who really runs this kingship, don't we.....




Israeli Military Leader Admits Mistakes

Israel's top military leader admits mistakes in handling the war on Hezbollah. Ah, if only America's top military leader (Mr. Rumsfeld) would be this honest.....

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ah Those Sweet Sounds.....

What are they? A Conservative saying Bill Clinton was right. It is a beautiful sound. Much rejoicing abounds. :)

A Look at Bush's Talking Points

Over on the Huffington Post, Bob Harris shows Bush's notes in his press conference on Monday. As Mr. Harris says towards the end, "Pretty damn depressing."

Fearmongers and The Domino Effect

Once again, yet another fearmonger writes how terrible it would be for the United States to leave Iraq to its own troubles. This particular fearmonger says that what will happen will be that Iran will then take over Iraq, because, after all, 60% of Iraqis are Shi'ites, like most Iranians.

Didn't we hear this argument before? The Domino Effect. Why go into Vietnam? To stop the Soviets from converting one nation into communism that would then lead to others, and others until the US is left alone, (so powerfully effected in the movie Red Dawn). But is that what happened in Vietnam? Did Vietnam's neighbors and other countries around the world turn to communism in the dreaded Domino Effect?

What fearmongers like Mr. Rassam fail to mention is that we CHOSE to enter Iraq and create the destabilized situation that now exists there. Iran could not create a strong influence in Iraq if it were not for our ineptitude! In other words, WE GAVE IRAN IRAQ ON A SILVER PLATTER! and now these fearmongers complain about Iranian influence in Iraq. What foolishness! Mr. Rassam, what do you think kept Iranian influence at bay in Iraq? Mr. Rassam, why do you think Ronald Reagan and Donald Rumsfeld were doing in the 1980s supporting Saddam's aggressive and illegal war on Iran? Why do you think they supported this monster then? Now you created a vaccum into which strong Iranian influence fills the void. It is people like YOU, Mr. Rassam, that GAVE the Iranians Iraq. When will people like you be held accountable?

Bush's Horrible Press Conference

Fred Kaplan on Slate has a great breakdown of Bush's terrible press conference. Oh where are the journalists who ask tough questions? Why do they let him off the hook so easily!

How Easily Some Americans Advocate War.....

Take a look at this from Mario Loyola, obviously not one of the sharpest saws in the toolbox. He recommends the following action on Iran, after Iran barred UN nuclear inspectors to view one location:

If this story is true, we should bomb the facilities right now. Article 51 of the U.N. Charter preserves the right of self-defense in cases of armed aggression. For Iran to hide a batch of LEU is not only a violation of the nonproliferation treaty, but also, strategically speaking, an act of armed aggression, because it is the last moment at which the scope of Iran's enrichment activities can be known with any certainty. Assuming the story is true, if we don't attack now, the optimal window for self-defense will close and any future military operation may have to be much more expansive in scope and would have a greatly diminished probability of success. At least now we know where this batch of LEU is. Within days the batch could be at another — totally clandestine — facility. And we will then find ourselves in a brave new world.

Woah, talk about the politics of fear! Not only is this full of fearmongering, but Mr. Loyola doesn't seem to know what an "act of armed aggression" is, or what Article 51 of the UN Charter is about. Matt Yglesias responds well on Talking Points Memo to this falsity:

Since in times of peace conservatives usually make no bones about the fact that they don't care about international law it's hard for me to understand why they go in for such tortured legal rationalizations about starting them. Article 51 preserves the "inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations." It's right there in the text -- armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations. Violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty is not an armed attack against the United States or any other country. This is pretty clear-cut. If anyone would have an Article 51 case in the event of the Loyola Plan being implemented it would obviously be Iran, the country subjected to an armed attack (veto power comes in handy here).

How does someone as foolish and ignorant like Mr. Loyola get not only a pulpit from which to spew out his vitriol, but even have a readership? What does this say about his readers?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Bambozzlement Is Complete

Yes, Republicans really believe Democrats are soft on terror. They really bought into Rove's lie. Jonathan Chait has a great analysis of Republicans, normal lay members, as well as knowledgable pundits and bloggers (like Andrew Sullivan), truly believing in their hearts that only Republicans are strong on terror.

Oh when will they wake up?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Good Devotional on Wars and the Gospel

R. Kirk Belnap gave a great devotional at BYU entitled "Wars, Rumors of Wars, and Wise and Faithful Servants." It is nice to see church leaders emphasizing the importance of showing love and charity to our friends, neighbors and enemies around the world. Would that all Mormons learn this and stop advocating wars.......

The Difference Between America and Britain

Here is why we cannot follow Britain's example in profiling Middle Easterners. Take a look at this article which shows how Pakistanis in America fit in with Americans, compared to Pakistanis in Britain.

Yet one major difference between the United States and Britain, some say, is the United States’ historical ideal of being a melting-pot meritocracy.

“You can keep the flavor of your ethnicity, but you are expected to become an American,” said Omer Mozaffar, 34, a Pakistani-American raised here who is working toward a doctorate in Islamic studies at the University of Chicago.

Britain remains far more rigid. In the United States, for example, Pakistani physicians are more likely to lead departments at hospitals or universities than they are in Britain, said Dr. Tariq H. Butt, a 52-year-old family physician who arrived in the United States 25 years ago for his residency.

The Evil Pedophiles

New York Times has a great article on the dangers of pedophiles and their increasing sophisitcation. Forget terrorists, these are the worst of the worst kinds of people out there! Put them in jail for the rest of their lives. Keep them away from the children!

Keep These In Mind

In debating the situation in Iraq, two particular incidents must be kept in mind of deliberate lies to keep the discussion within a certain Republican script. One is Colin Powell speaking in Egypt in February 2001 about the sanctions in Iraq. He says:

We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions -- the fact that the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq...

That link to the Memory Hole also quotes Powell in a Senate Subcommittee, as well as Condolezza Rice who also thought Iraq was weak.

The second is probably more pernicious. Who out there thinks that Saddam kicked the inspectors out in 1998? Go ahead, raise your hands. Take your hands off the keyboard for a second and raise them if you think so. Now take a look at this.

Since January 1999, the Washington Post has spun a tall tale about the 1998collapse of U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq and the U.S.-British airstrikesthat followed. Not only has the Post rewritten Iraqi history, but thepaper's new version of events contradicts its own coverage from the time ofthe airstrikes. Despite running several letters to the editor pointing outthe mistake, the paper has repeated the error again and again. How manytimes can one newspaper get the same fact wrong?

The story centers on the Iraq crisis that broke out on December 16, 1998.Richard Butler, head of the United Nations weapons inspection team in Iraq,had just released a report accusing the Iraqi regime of obstructing U.N.weapons checks. On the basis of that report, President Clinton announced hewould launch airstrikes against Iraqi targets. Out of concern for theirsafety, Butler withdrew his inspectors from Iraq, and the U.S.-Britishbombing proceeded.

The Washington Post reported all these facts correctly at the time: ADecember 18 article by national security correspondent Barton Gellmanreported that "Butler ordered his inspectors to evacuate Baghdad, inanticipation of a military attack, on Tuesday night."

But in the 14 months since then, the Washington Post has again and againtried to rewrite history--claiming that Saddam Hussein expelled the U.N.inspectors from Iraq. Despite repeated attempts by its readers to set therecord straight in letters to the editor, the Post has persisted inreporting this fiction.

Not only did Saddam Hussein not order the inspectors' retreat, but Butler'sdecision to withdraw them was--to say the least--highly controversial. TheWashington Post (12/17/98) reported that as Butler was drafting his reporton Iraqi cooperation, U.S. officials were secretly consulting with him abouthow to frame his conclusions.

As the website says, the Washington Post was not the only one to say this. This is President Bush in the 2002 State of the Union address:

This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens; leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections; then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.

FAIR also shows a comparison in news media sources, comparing what they said in 1998 with what they said in 2002 to show how the lie was produced. Take a look.

"Butler abruptly pulled all of his inspectors out of Iraq shortly after handing Annan a report yesterday afternoon on Baghdad's continued failure to cooperate with UNSCOM, the agency that searches for Iraq's prohibited weapons of mass destruction."

-- Newsday, 12/17/98


"The reason Hussein gave was that the U.N. inspectors' work was completed years ago, before he kicked them out in 1998, and they dismantled whatever weapons they found. That's disingenuous."

--Newsday editorial, 8/14/02

Here is the Neo-cons website, Project for the New American Century, that also shows this lie:

"But just five days later, Kofi Annan struck yet another "deal" with the Iraqi dictator--which once more gave U.N. inspectors permission to inspect--and Saddam won again.

Of course, much has changed since President Clinton gave that speech. The situation has gotten worse. Ten months after Saddam accepted Annan's offer, he kicked U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq for good."

This website offers even more proof of what officials from Clinton to Butler actually said in 1998, and it wasn't that Saddam kicked out the inspectors.

This article catalogs Bush's way of lying, setting up the straw men and changing the words to fit a careful script. Evil. That's what these men are.

I wanted to get this post to keep a reminder of these events that otherwise might get lost to history, because the lies keep being spoken so loudly that they might just soon be held as the truth. And that would be a travesty.

Bush says nobody in his administration tried to link Saddam to 9/11. Ha! More Orwellian nonsense. Thankfully the good people at Talking Points Memo have several links and here that prove otherwise. Here is Cheney saying it is irresponsible to not see the connection between Al-Qaida and Iraq. Here is Cheney further discrediting himself as an honest man. There's plenty more out there.

8/29/06 Update:

Bush says that Iraq pullout will be decided by future presidents,

President Bush suggested yesterday that US troops might stay in Iraq beyond his presidency, which ends in 2009, saying at a press conference that the issue of removing troops from the country ''will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq."

but meanwhile, he said this earlier:

I believe it is the job of a President to confront problems, not pass them on to future Presidents and future generations. (Applause.) And in the last four years, we have faced some problems. We faced a recession, corporate scandal. We passed tough laws now to make it abundantly clear, we will not tolerate dishonesty in the boardrooms of America. (Applause.)

We faced a terrorist attack and war. Because we confronted these challenges with focus and resolve, our nation is on the path to a better future. If America shows weakness or uncertainty in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This is not going to happen on my watch. (Applause.)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Israel Breaks the Cease-Fire

Is Olmert this politically dumb? Doesn't he realize that this will play extremely poorly in the court of public opinion to break the cease-fire with a commando raid and a missile launch? Isn't that what Hezbollah did to start this conflict, launch a few missiles and a commando raid? What are you thinking Olmert?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Federal Judge Orders a Halt to NSA Warrantless Surveillance

Good work! This is a step in the right direction for America. This is a step back to what the Constitution actually states, not what a King believes.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cheney: Incompetent Wimp

Well said, Mr. Sullivan, well said!

It is my rallying cry, Mr. Sullivan. But, if it is yours, are you willing to vote for a Democrat, Mr. Sullivan? That's the only way you'll get rid of Cheney, Bush, and Rumsfeld.

Maybe There Is Hope for the Future After All....

Andrew Sullivan, a conservative, an originally a backer of the Iraq War, now quite rightfully questions this alleged British terror plot, with some hard questions that have not been answered by either British or American officials. Maybe there is hope for the future after all. Maybe conservatives will also start seeing through the slime that the emperor has no clothes, that there is a simple ordinary man behind the wizard. Com'on Conservatives, wake up!

Trusting in the Arm of the Flesh

I agree with President Spencer W. Kimball, a prophet of the Lord:

In spite of our delight in defining ourselves as modern, and our tendency to think we possess a sophistication that no people in the past ever had -- in spite of these things, we are, on the whole, an idolatrous people -- a condition repugnant to the Lord.

We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel -- ships, planes, missiles, fortifications -- and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan's counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior's teaching:

"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:44-45).

We forget that if we are righteous the Lord will either not suffer our enemies to come upon us -- and this is the special promise to the inhabitants of the land of the Americas (see 2 Nephi 1:7) -- or he will fight our battles for us (Exodus 14:14; D&C 98:37, to name only two references of many). This he is able to do, for as he said at the time of his betrayal, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53). We can imagine what fearsome soldiers they would be. King Jehoshaphat and his people were delivered by such a troop (see 2 Chronicles 20), and when Elish's life was threatened, he comforted his servant by saying, "Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (2 Kings 6:16). The Lord then opened the eyes of the servant, "And he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" (vs 17).

What are we to fear when the Lord is with us? Can we not take the Lord at his word and exercise a particle of faith in him? Our assignment is affirmative: to forsake the things of the world as ends in themselves; to leave off idolatry and press forward in faith; to carry the gospel to our enemies, that they might no longer be our enemies.

We must leave off the worship of modern-day idols and a reliance on the "arm of flesh," for the Lord has said to all the world in our day, "I will not spare any that remain in Babylon" (D&C 64:24).

Ammon and his brothers went to the Lamanites trusting in the Lord to protect them. They went not to war with them but to preach to them. Peace is possible. But you have to want peace. You have to trust in the Lord. Can Americans do this? I think we can. But we must stop fighting!

The Birth Pangs of the New Middle East

Thank you Bush for handing to Iran such a victory. Take a look at these reports from the region. They should show pretty clearly who really won.

Lebanese Blast Arab Rulers, Praise Iran and Syria

Syria, Iran more powerful than ever

Syria warns Israel over Golan

This is the really dangerous one. Syria is telling Israel that it will learn from Hezbollah how to fight and remove Israel from the Golan Heights. Thank you Bush. This is exactly what Israel needed.

Iran wants new Middle East without US, British meddling

They should know. It was the British and Americans who in Operation Ajax removed a democratically elected leader of Iran, just because British Petroleum was unhappy that Iran had nationalized their oil production. Sucks when it cuts into a company's profits, don't it.

Many Arabs, sadly, see things Assad's way

All this because Bush gave Israel the green light to take Hezbollah's bait on July 12. Oh the future is going to be messy.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Christian Conservatives Use Churches to Increase Voter Turnout

In a sign that shows that Republicans cannot stand on their own principles and philosophies, Christian Conservatives are using churches to drive voter turnout in November. It doesn't matter that their policies are failures, as long as you get the ardent coming to the "Party of God."

Of course you won't find Republicans claiming that today, because "party of God" means something in Arabic. It means Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, Thank You Israel!

While Republicans use foreign wars for political purposes back home, Israel is showing us that they fight for the protection of their lands and their people. Thank you Israel for being an example to us. In Israel, Israelis can see when their government is failing and actually want to do something about it.

Thank you Israel. Please be safe.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Politics of Fear and Smear

an excellent analysis of the politics of Bush and Cheney. Will Americans fall for this sham again? What do you think?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

An American Indian elder described his own inner struggles this way: "Inside of me there two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time." When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, "The one I feed the most."

— Native American Proverb

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Loss of Israeli Invincibility

Time magazine has an excellent analysis of the problem now facing Israel due to its hubris and pride in its modern technology, and in its failure to defeat 4000 guerrillas in Lebanon.

Today's 'situation' is not one that agrees with most Israelis. Promised a swift, knock-out punch against Hizballah's Islamic militiamen, Israelis are now being told that in order to neutralize Hizballah — forget about destroying them — they must brace for a bloody ground attack in Lebanon that could cost hundreds of soldiers' lives. Increasingly, Israelis are asking: how could a militia force of only 4,000 fighters withstand a prolonged beating by the mightiest army in the Middle East — and still keep pelting Israeli cities with rockets?

Once the cease-fire starts, both sides will surely claim victory. Nasrallah will declare himself a new champion of the Arab world for having survived the Israeli onslaught and terrorized 1.5 million Israelis with his blindly flung rockets. (In Palestine's West Bank, recordings of his speeches and ballads of Hizballah warriors are hot sellers.) The Israelis can argue they pushed back Hizballah from the border, killed hundreds of their fighters and replaced enemy militiamen along the border with regular Lebanese army troops and tough international forces. Israel may even be able to exchange its own Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners for two captive Israeli soldiers.( A third soldier was kidnapped by Palestinians militants Hamas, and a senior Hamas official told TIME that his release will depend on what Hizballah decides to do with its two Israeli hostages.) But many Israelis are worried that if they stop fighting now, they will have lost a weapon far more valuable than any "bunker-buster" — the Israeli army's aura of invincibility. And for that loss in this Lebanese war, more than any other casualty, Olmert and his top generals may pay dearly.

So illegal immigrants, it turns out, don't really actually harm the economy as fear-mongers would like you to believe.

"We are simply looking for a pattern across 50 states, and we did not find one," Kochhar said. "We cannot say with certainty that growth in the foreign population has hurt or helped American jobs."

Right-wingers are getting too used to using fear as a policy tool. They ought to start using facts, methinks.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

James Forsyth argues on Foreign Policy Blog "how imbecilic it is to argue that if only Tony Blair hadn't allied himself with George W. Bush in the war on terror there would be no problem" regarding the radicalization of British Muslims. He shows polls taken among British Muslims showing their radical beliefs.

Mr. Forsyth believes that Bush's war on terror is winning....but Mr. Forsyth does not show polls taken among British Muslims before the Iraq war to gauge just when this radicalization took place among British Muslims. It is the argument of those Mr. Forsyth and his neo-conservative friends call "appeasers" that this radicalization took place BECAUSE OF Bush's GWOT, not in spite of. It is not appeasement to criticize a poor choice of policy, but wisdom. To follow a policy that further radicalizes those who we need on our side is pure foolishness and stupidity.

Iraq is a Failed State

....and Foreign Policy Magazine has the numbers. Take a look for yourself and you will see Iraq in fourth place among failed states, only three points better than the Sudan, which is the world's worst failed state.

After three and a half years, this is the state of Iraq?

Heh, Somalia is in better shape than Iraq is, according to the numbers!

Hold Chertoff To His Word

Michael Chertoff:

"We believe that these arrests (in London) have significantly disrupted the threat, but we cannot be sure that the threat has been entirely eliminated or the plot completely thwarted," Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff said. He added, however, there was no indication of current plots within the United States.

I'm going to hold him to his word. I better not hear of any more terror plots against the United States from now until November 2006........

Not Good for the "War on Terror"

Ivo Daalder analyses that the foiled plot in Britain is actually NOT good for the status of the war on terror. I agree. Bush said that in the war on terror, we are to take the fight to the enemy. But.....these apparent terrorists are homegrown Brits. As Mr. Daalder says, what are you going to do, bomb Britain?

More on Shades of World War I

Richard Holbrooke, in an op-ed in the Washington Post also links the current Middle East conflict to the scenario that started World War One. As I read his article, I got the impression that if peace is not found soon, it might well be a similar spark....

Surprise Surprise

The November Congressional elections approach, and wouldn't you know it, the Bush administration is starting to once again reveal terror plots that the government has foiled!

I'm guessing we will hear and see more terror plots either unfolding or being foiled by our government, to highlight just how "good" the Bush administration and Republicans are doing at the 'war on terror.'

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bush Administration Wants to Revise War Crimes Act

Now, why would they want to do that unless War Crimes were committed during the Bush Administration?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Why Rapturists Want Israel At War With Her Neighbors

Israel has few friends in this world. Since their modern rebirth, they have fought many wars, angered many people, and has had only one real ally. Israel is an impressive country. Receiving the most financial support of any country in the world from the United States, they've created a rich, thriving nation in a desert. For comparison, to show just how impressive this feat is, compare Israel to Egypt, which receives the second highest amount of financial aid from the United States, behind Israel. Egypt has the same opportunity to create the same grand country. Instead, Egypt is beset by massive corruption and a dictatorship. Meanwhile, Israel is the stable democracy we wish to see other countries in the region follow.

Israel deserves the aid and support America gives it. However, Israel must be wary when they see Conservative Christians so fully backing anything Israel does. Israel wants peace with her neighbors. In fact, she made peace with two countries, Egypt and Jordan, both of whom wished for Israel's destruction before their peace was made. Conservative Christians (and neo-cons) however, cringe and privately are disappointed, when Israel makes peace with her neighbors. Why?

First, on July 12, Hezbollah made a cross-border incursion, killed eight soldiers and captured two, taking those two back into Lebanon. This occurred on the watch of a new Israeli prime minister who had not seen combat, like Sharon or any previous Israeli PM. Olmert felt like he had to show he was as tough as Sharon, or face revolts from his right in Israel. How to respond? he must have been thinking. Sharon did nothing in Lebanon, focusing solely on Palestine, and it didn't get him much. Now, Olmert thinks it might benefit his presidency to show he can take care of Hezbollah for good. But like the foolish Rumsfeld/Bush duo, he chooses a small force to enter Lebanon thinking that should solve the problem. He learns quickly that Hezbollah ain't no Hamas. Now he has to move his goalposts back and accept Hezbollah still being there. Can he find a political solution that will keep him popular at home? That depends on the Americans. More on them later.

Hezbollah, at Iran's behest, makes the incursion and kidnapping for a prisoner tradeoff, as both Israel and Hezbollah have done numerous times before since 1982. I don't think Nasrallah calculated that the new Israeli PM would react so strongly. However, Hezbollah was ready to show the world just how powerful they really were.

Iran is getting a lot of heat even from allies for its nuclear program. What better way to change the subject and focus of the major powers than to start a conflict between two foes that hate each other and will inevitably be the focus of the world? I'm not sure though which power in Iran ordered Hezbollah to action. Ahmedinejad is not that powerful a prime minister, his fiery rhetoric aside. Most of the power is still with the clerics. In any case, forward they move with their nuclear program.

Bush is faced with more problems than he would like to deal with. It's August for goodness sake!!! "I'm supposed to be on vacation in August!" You can see how tired he is. He is still focused. What does Bush want? He sees the opportunity to use the Israelis for his own purposes. The Israelis must realize that they are being used. Normally America holds them on a tight leash, giving them only a short while to act. They must realize they are an American tool right now.

Bush will use Israel to further isolate Syria's influence in Lebanon, remove Hezbollah and give a slap in the face to Iran, all in this one move. That's what Bush sees. He loves to see Israel pound Lebanon, even though that means sacrificing the only real success he has actually had in regards to democracy in the Middle East. The greater goal for Bush is the punishment of Iran, irrespective of who dies and what is lost.

America solidly backs Israel, as they should, and also as they cannot speak any word considered even possibly anti-Israel, or they'd get the Mel Gibson treatment. If one says that this attack on Lebanon will not give Israel the goals she desires, one is labeled anti-Semitic. That is a bunch of trash. I propone that those who avidly and unabashedly back any and all Israeli military action, are by their intents, anti-Semitic in two ways. I will get to this in a second.

I believe Israel should have, in this case, simply exchanged prisoners, and not take Iran's bait at war. Olmert did not see the bigger picture (and Bush doesn't care that he just got baited by Iran). Iran is playing a smart game here. By forcing Israel into bombing Lebanon, Iran is turning the public opinion tide further away from Israel and America. Iran and her allies can point to the civilian casualties as examples of how little America and Israel care for Arabs and Muslims. Iran and her allies can divert attention away from their own hypocritical horrors. This action has further weakened America's influence in the Middle East. Furthermore, Hezbollah's training far exceeds any previous military that Israel faced, and now Arabs look at Israel and do not see the all-powerful Army it used to see. This is very bad for Israel, for America, and for all the Arab countries around Israel, because it means more conflicts are coming in the future.

I've heard a great recommendation for how Israel can solve its problems. Hezbollah is popular with the Shi'ites in Lebanon because they provide social services, hospitals, and education. Perhaps Israel should provide these services instead. Show the soft side and perhaps they might get more friends then they realize.

I wonder why Lebanese who are fleeing the conflict do not go over the border into Israel for protection. Why do they take flight to Syria?

Back to America....Bush is a conservative Christian. In 1998 he went on a trip to Israel and was moved to tears, singing Amazing Grace, while seeing the Holy Land. What did he feel? Perhaps he knew a few things about scripture and prophecy.

Here is wisdom for Israel. If Christian conservatives are happy and giddy to see you at war, and are cheerleading you on, it is not because that war benefits you, dear Israel, but because this means that Jesus Christ will come again soon to save them, NOT YOU!

Let me share a few things these Christianists (as Andrew Sullivan likes to call them) believe:

Rapture on Wikipedia

What is the Rapture?

The rapture is an event that will take place sometime in the near future. Jesus will come in the air, catch up the Church from the earth, and then return to Heaven with the Church. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, we are given a clear description of the rapture: "the dead in Christ will rise, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord."

The main thrust of this web site is to prove that the rapture will occur prior to the beginning of the tribulation. This has been well researched and documented throughout the site. But, whether Jesus returns for the Church before, during, or after the tribulation, the primary goal is that all people are ready to face the Lord and give an account for their lives.

"What takes place after the Rapture?"

After The Rapture, God will begin executing judgments against unbelievers, during a period called the Tribulation. At the end of the Tribulation all nations will attack Israel, and Jesus Christ will physically return, leading the armies of heaven. At the Battle of Armeggedon they will destroy everyone who is not a believer. Then Satan will be bound, and Jesus will set up the Millennial Kingdom, headquartered in Jerusalem. Jesus and the saints will rule over the nations of the Earth for a thousand years. During this period there will be people born who are not loyal to Christ. However, it usually will not be obvious. Therefore, at the end of the thousand-year period, God will release Satan and let him tempt those who inhabit the Earth. A large group will take up arms against the Lord and be defeated. Then, Christ will judge all who have ever lived, giving rewards to some and punishment to others. Those who were "destroyed" will be cast into the Lake of Fire, i.e., Hell. After that, God will destroy heaven and Earth because they have been polluted by sin. He will create a new heaven and a new Earth, put those who were saved on the new Earth, and rule it forever.

As you see, they believe that the world will turn on Israel and want to destroy her in battle. So what happens when Israel takes the battle to her enemies, in the sight of these Rapturists?

Take a look. These comments were on the Rapture Ready message board, but were taken down when Rapture Ready got too many visitors. But they have been saved, and several bloggers have them saved. Theyrereal, a DailyKos blogger, has posted these quotes as well.

July 11th, 2006, 10:13 PM

Ohappyday

Is it time to get excited? I can't help the way I feel. For the first time in my Christian walk, I have no doubts that the day of the Lords appearing is upon us. I have never felt this way before, I have a joy that bubbles up every-time I think of him, for I know this is truly the time I have waited for so long. Am I alone in feeling guilty about the human suffering like my joy at his appearing some how fuels the evil I see everywhere. If it were not for the souls that hang in the balance and the horror that stalks man daily on this earth, my joy would be complete. For those of us who await his arrival know, somehow we just know it won't be long now, the Bridegroom cometh rather man is ready are not.

July 11th, 2006, 10:26 PM

watcherboy

it has been quite a day today, if you caught all the news; I'm getting the feeling world tension is gonna be high for a long time with increased terrorism and nations being defiant. I don't think it will cool down until after the rapture when the peace deal is confirmed.

July 11th, 2006, 10:30 PM

Chess-guy

...How can we not be excited, our redeemer cometh. We should pray always for the lost. But he is coming. Amen Amen ever so come lord Jesus.

your brother in Christ,

Paul

July 11th, 2006, 11:30 PM

Ifnot4him

Ready, waiting and excited here! Still telling others whenever possible that the rapture could take place at any time because this world is in such a big MESS and evidently it goes through one ear and right out the other.

...July 12th, 2006, 08:15 AM

Bghtnpd4

I am excited beyond words that the struggle of this life may be over soon and I can finally be FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Shelle circles her fist over her head and imitates Arsenio Hall by yelling WHOO-WHOO-WHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

July 12th, 2006, 09:15 AM

Waitin

I too am soooo excited!! I get goose bumps, literally, when I watch what's going on in the M.E.!! And Watcherboy, you were so right when saying it was quite a day yesterday, in the world news, and I add in local news here in the Boston area!! Tunnel ceiling collapsed on a car and killed a woman of faith, and we had the most terrifying storms I have ever seen here!! But, yes, Ohappyday, like in your screen name , it is most indeed a time to be happy and excited, right there with ya!!

July 12th, 2006, 12:46 PM

Kidsintow123

...Our bridegroom and kinsmen redeemer, what a beautiful thought!! To finally see His face!!!

Sound the shofar! Let the Enemy know the alert has been sounded and Yeshua is stepping onto the battlefield.

I am a Jewish princess, my Father is the King of Kings!

Kidsintow123

July 12th, 2006, 05:16 PM

...If He tarries, I will just have time to get my hair and nails done (you know let all I come into contact with know of my Bridegroom and what He has/will do). So i am all spiffied up for Him when He does arrive to take me home. No disappointment, just a few last minute details to take care of to be more pleasing to look at.

...July 12th, 2006, 06:46 PM

lilbitsyspider

Days like today it's all I want. Other days because of others I want one more. But what a privilege to be apart of the rapture. I can hardly wait!!

I propone that these people are anti-Semitic for two reasons.

1. They want to see Israel at war for selfish reasons. They don't particularly care if Israelis die, as long as it hastens the Lord's appearance.

2. They don't realize that Arabs too, are of the tribe of Shem, and therefore Semitic. Anytime one makes a derogatory comment about Arabs, that individual is anti-Semitic.

These "supporters" of Israel only support this and future wars, so that it hastens the Lord's return, so that they, selfishly, will be saved. They are not real supporters of Israel, and should be scorned, and shunned.

I am a Mormon and I do believe the Savior will come, and most likely pretty soon. However, I do not look forward to the violence that hastens his arrival. I look forward to his return to STOP the violence, as apparently we are incapable of doing so ourselves. We, humans, should be ashamed that we cannot solve our problems without resorting to violence. That is not the way of the Lord and of Christians. I am sorry others who profess a belief in Christ are so strong advocates of violence. They do not understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and only further undermine the love the Savior wants us to have one for another. We cannot have charity for those we kill. It is impossible.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Krauthammer Turns on Israel

hmmmm, could Krauthammer be a closet anti-Semite? if you read his op-ed in the Washington Post today, it sure sounds like he is criticizing Israel. Take a look:

Hence Israel's rare opportunity to demonstrate what it can do for its great American patron. The defeat of Hezbollah would be a huge loss for Iran, both psychologically and strategically. Iran would lose its foothold in Lebanon. It would lose its major means to destabilize and inject itself into the heart of the Middle East. It would be shown to have vastly overreached in trying to establish itself as the regional superpower.

The United States has gone far out on a limb to allow Israel to win and for all this to happen. It has counted on Israel's ability to do the job. It has been disappointed. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has provided unsteady and uncertain leadership. Foolishly relying on air power alone, he denied his generals the ground offensive they wanted, only to reverse himself later. He has allowed his war cabinet meetings to become fully public through the kind of leaks no serious wartime leadership would ever countenance. Divisive cabinet debates are broadcast to the world, as was Olmert's own complaint that "I'm tired. I didn't sleep at all last night" (Haaretz, July 28). Hardly the stuff to instill Churchillian confidence.

His search for victory on the cheap has jeopardized not just the Lebanon operation but America's confidence in Israel as well. That confidence -- and the relationship it reinforces -- is as important to Israel's survival as its own army. The tremulous Olmert seems not to have a clue.

I've been called anti-Semitic for saying Israel should not be fighting with her neighbors. But I believe those who advocate Israel fight harder with her neighbors are anti-Semitic. At their core, they don't care about Israel as much as they do about their own selfish goals. This op-ed by Krauthammer proves it.

What have you done for me lately? There is fierce debate in the United States about whether, in the post-Sept. 11 world, Israel is a net asset or liability. Hezbollah's unprovoked attack on July 12 provided Israel the extraordinary opportunity to demonstrate its utility by making a major contribution to America's war on terrorism.

America's green light for Israel to defend itself is seen as a favor to Israel. But that is a tendentious, misleadingly partial analysis. The green light -- indeed, the encouragement -- is also an act of clear self-interest. America wants, America needs, a decisive Hezbollah defeat.

This is Israel's importance to America: "what have you done for me lately?" Yeah, neo-cons are not truly pro-Israel, but rather are using Israel to further their own goals.

All those who are truly pro-Israel should help Israel get back from warfare. Her safety and security in the region is greatly enhanced when she is at peace with her neighbors.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Men Not Working

There are apparently men out there taking advantage of disability insurance and their wives's work, and sitting idly at home, not working. An article in the New York Times lays out the situation well.

In a General Conference talk President Hinckley said the following:

I receive letters from time to time suggesting items that the writers feel should be dealt with at conference. One such came the other day. It is from a woman who indicates that her first marriage ended in divorce. She then met a man who seemed to be a very kind and considerate individual. However, she discovered soon after marriage that his finances were in disarray; he had little money, yet he quit his job and refused employment. She was then forced to go to work to provide for the family.

Years have passed, and he still is unemployed. She then speaks of two other men who are following the same pattern, refusing to work while their wives are compelled to spend long hours providing for their households.

Said Paul to Timothy, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (1 Timothy 5:8). Those are very strong words.

The Lord has said in modern revelation:

"Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken. . . .

"All children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age" (D&C 83:2, 4).

From the early days of this Church, husbands have been considered the breadwinners of the family. I believe that no man can be considered a member in good standing who refuses to work to support his family if he is physically able to do so.

Com'on guys! Off your butts and to work!

Would-Be Citizens Sue U.S. Over Delays

No wonder so many want to just get over to America illegally. Apparently it takes extremely long for immigrants to process their paperwork legally, so much so that they are suing the U.S. to speed up the process.

Ten Middle Eastern and Asian immigrants sued the government Tuesday for allegedly letting their U.S. citizenship applications linger indefinitely by delaying background checks.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the suit asks that a federal judge review the files and administer the oath of citizenship.

It also seeks class-action status to include all immigrants who have been waiting at least six months for naturalization after filing applications at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in Los Angeles.

One Pakistani has been waiting to hear back from U.S. Immigration since 2002!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Finally a Voice of Reason and Reality

What took you so long Mr. Blair?

Blair says the Middle East policy is not working, in a speech in Los Angeles. Blair says the following:

He argued that the battle against Islamic extremism was "not just about security or military tactics, it is about hearts and minds, about inspiring people, persuading them, showing them what our values at their best stand for". In a speech devoted to the war on terror, Mr Blair called for "a complete renaissance of our strategy to defeat those who threaten us". He argued that what was needed to meet the threat from the "arc of extremism stretching across the Middle East" was "an alliance of moderation and reconciliation".

If only we can hear that out of Americans.....

Republicans in Pennsylvania Supporting Green Party

No joke! According to the TPMmuckraker, Republican donors to Santorum's reelection campaign also contributed a ton of money to the Green Party candidate, in the hopes that the Green Party candidate siphons liberal votes from the Democratic candidate.

In other words, the "party of principle," can't stand on their own merits and have to rely on dirty politics in order to win. How sad. Vote Santorum out now!

An Unforgiving Distrustful Nation

Dude, what's with all the ruckus over Mel Gibson drunkenly spewing off anti-semitic remarks? Yeah, that was stupid, yeah that was detrimental to his stature and his career. But let's think about this. Has Mr. Gibson ever done any Jew harm? Has Mr. Gibson ever shunned working with Jews? (He's working for Hollywood, I remind you). Has he also not apologized for his remarks, and tried to make amends? Then why do we have so many bloggers pouncing on him?

For example, Andrew Sullivan alone has 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 posts just in the last few days on Gibson's outburst.

The pile-on comes from left-wing blogs too. Here are all those from Huffington Post on Mel: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 14 15 16.

What has happened to my nation? Have we forgotten how to forgive our trespassers or offenders? I think we have much work to do in our nation, it seems.