The Bush family has been characterized in various ways including the Bush dynasty, crime family or syndicate. George Bush is just the latest in a line of unsavory characters but clearly the bad or worst seed and, in the eyes of most honest observers, the least worthy of an unworthy lot. He was supposed to be the latest in the Bush family line chosen to lay another golden egg for the dynasty but turned out instead to be an ugly duckling who's just been an embarrassment and much worse because of the course he chose and his rigid ideological obstinacy to change even in the face of failure.
The Bush family considers itself among the special chosen ones if based only on its royal heritage. The family is connected by blood to every European monarch on and off the throne including every member of the British House of Windsor. That relationship is more than familial and extends to the president's father having close business dealings with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip who themselves are connected to the notorious Carlyle Group that also employs GHW Bush as a "senior consultant" and master-rainmaker/fixer-arranger at a very high price for his services. Add a comment
Suddenly the whole Litvinenko business is looking more like Austin Powers than James Bond.
Aha. â€˜The Trail of Poison Leads To Moscowâ€™ deduced the Spiegel yesterday, as a number of BA flights were grounded. What kind of secret agents leave their dabs everywhere they go? Itâ€™s like sticking up a bank while posing in front of a CCTV camera not wearing a mask.
Back at Londonâ€™s Millenium hotel, traces were found on the floor of a room and on the light switch. A source told the Telegraph, â€˜ . . looks like they dropped the stuff on the floorâ€˜.
For sure the â€˜bungling amateursâ€˜ dropped it all over several aircraft, too. How is this possible? Polonium 210 emits only a few centimetres and wonâ€™t pass through a paper bag. Did they carry a big lump in a string bag? But what do I know. Especially when newspapers quote â€˜Expertsâ€™ and â€˜Security Sourcesâ€™. Add a comment
by Tom Engelhardt
The Iraq Study Group Rides to the Rescue
Finally, the President and the New York Times agree. In a news conference with the Iraqi Prime Minister last week, George W. Bush insisted that there would be no "graceful exit" or withdrawal from Iraq; that this was not "realism." The next day the Times, in a front page piece (as well as "analysis" inside the paper) pointed out that, "despite a Democratic election victory this month that was strongly based on antiwar sentiment, the idea of a major and rapid withdrawal seems to be fading as a viable option."
In fact, in the media, as in the counsels of James A. Baker's Iraq Study Group, withdrawal without an adjective or qualifying descriptor never arrived as a "viable option." In fact, withdrawal, aka "cut and run," has never been more than a passing foil, one useful "extreme" guaranteed to make the consensus-to-come more comforting.
On Wednesday, at the end of a gestation period nearly long enough to produce a human baby, the Baker committee -- by now, according to the Washington Post's Robin Wright, practically "a parallel policy establishment" -- will hand over to the President its eagerly anticipated "consensus" report, its "compromise" plan that takes the "middle road," that occupies a piece of inside-the-Beltway "middle ground," and that will almost certainly be the policy equivalent of a still birth.
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I startled some guy in the next lane at a red light when I shouted at my radio today. A semi famous network newscaster had come on opining how former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack could easily take the 2008 Iowa caucuses as a favorite son, resulting in a subsequent focus on South Carolina, which is John Edwards territory and this might all work out to upset the Hillary Clinton Applecart Express. AAIIIIEEEE! The guy next to me barely missed a covey of walkers as he peeled out.
I mean, okay, I know, political projection is as predictable as a spilt glass of milk before nap time at a day care center for hyperactive four year olds. But for crumâ€™s sake, a little common human decency por favor. Weâ€™ve barely finished showering off the crap flung in the midterms and need a moment or so to send our clothes and our souls out to the dry cleaners. Or burn and bury them then buy new ones.
Youâ€™d think these pundits could use a bit of time off themselves. Enough slack to recycle a few lame sports analogies and plant a couple of specious rumors. At least until the New Direction Congress is inaugurated. The 110th doesnâ€™t even start work for more than a month. Shouldnâ€™t they be able to break the seal on their stack of monogrammed Post- It notes before we start talking about an event occurring at the very end of their term? Iâ€™ve seen jailhouse marriages with longer honeymoons. Just ask Duke Cunningham. Or Bob Ney. Ã˜r Mark Foley.
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Chances for a change in the direction of US Middle East policy are extremely unlikely. The reason is the growing power of the Jewish Lobby in Congress, the massive Zionist propaganda campaign in all the mass media, Olmertâ€™s â€˜nose leadingâ€™ of Bush, and a host of related activities. The end result is that Congress will not withdraw or reduce US troops and war funding for the Iraq War. Bush, with the support of McCain and Clinton, Liebermann, Reid and Hoyer, will push for more troops in pursuit of an all-out blood bath in Baghdad. The Baker Iraq Study Group under siege from the Zioncons and Zionlibs will be unable to deal with Israeli violence against Palestinians or enter into a dialogue with Syria and Iran on any but the most narrow and unpromising terms.
Bakerâ€™s Iraq Study Group and the Lobbyâ€™s Preventive War
- â€œOlmert said Israel and other countries in the area should be thankful to the United States and Bush. He said the Iraq war had a dramatic positive effect on security and stability in the Middle East as well as strategic importance from Israelâ€™s perspective (my emphasis) and of moderate Arab states. Olmert said he was satisfied with the position Bush took on Iran which went further (my emphasis) than in their previous meeting in May. â€œIranâ€™s role in the conversation was quite clear, very serious and very significant and I left the meeting with an outstanding feeling,â€ said Olmert.â€
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently published an editorial that said of Bush: "His pronouncements now bear no resemblance to reality." Now? Oh, never mind.
Marc Sandalow, the Washington Bureau Chief for the San Francisco Chronicle, recently wrote: "There is mounting evidence that the world of public Bush-speak -- from his vigorous support for al-Maliki and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to his rejection of direct diplomacy with Syria and Iran -- bears little relation to what goes on behind the scenes." Mounting? Forget it.
Robert Fisk recently asked about George W. Bush: "How does he do it? How does he persuade himself - as he apparently did in Amman yesterday - that the United States will stay in Iraq 'until the job is complete'?" Persuade himself? I give up.
Frank Rich writes that Bush "is completely untethered from reality. It's not that he can't handle the truth about Iraq. He doesn't know what the truth is." He doesn't? Look at a couple of well-known Bush quotes again: "What's the difference? The possibility that [Saddam] could acquire weapons, if he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger." (Bush on why he lied about weapons of mass destruction.) "I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer." (Bush on why he lied about keeping Rumsfeld on.)
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by Mickey Z.
There are many battles being fought in the name of social justice...some more pitched than others. In general, however, these struggles do not result in victory thanks to a petition, a candlelight vigil, or a ballot pull. In other words, those seeking peace, justice, and solidarity should never underestimate the relentless and brutal power of what they are up against. I am reminded of this every time I re-read "Bridge of Courage: Life Stories of the Guatemalan CompaÃ±eros and CompaÃ±eras," (Common Courage Press, 1995) an amazing book by Jennifer Harbury.
Guatemala (a nation perched on the border of Chiapas, Mexico) is an easy place to overlook. Therefore, if we were to trust the corporate media, our knowledge would be limited to ill-informed, racist diatribes like this from Clifford Krauss of The New York Times (April 9, 1995): "Guatemala required neither Karl Marx nor the Central Intelligence Agency to be consumed by class and ethnic war, and ... The Guatemalan army, currently in the news because some of its officers received secret CIA payments, is essentially finishing the job that the conquistadors started. The cross and the sword may have been replaced by modern counterinsurgency tactics, but the essential driving forces of Guatemalan history remain the same ... the fact remains that Guatemalans do not need prompting to kill one another."
Krauss went on to tell of chickens "sacrificed...to...pre-Columbian gods" and "bizarre" religious cults (Krauss' tactics are indeed for those seeking to absolve the U.S. from any culpability in the wanton destruction of a people). While admitting CIA complicity in the 1954 coup that saw the end of Jacobo Arbenz, Krauss is quick to remind us "modern Guatemalan political history began not with the coup of 1954."
Iran, an op-ed in the The New York Times reported yesterday, began operation of a group of uranium enrichment centrifuges, thus
violating a legally binding demand by the United Nations Security Council that Iran suspend such activities until the international community is confident that the countryâ€™s nuclear program â€œis for exclusively peaceful purposes.â€ Iranâ€™s response was that a suspension would abrogate its rights under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty â€“ even though under international law, it has temporarily surrendered these rights by violating the obligations that condition them.
the â€œobligationsâ€ in question are compliance with the Security Council
resolution calling on it to suspend uranium enrichment activities.
Complying with the resolution is a â€œconditionâ€ of the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT Treaty), according to the Times.
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By Ragnar Redbeard III
â€œWhat kind of a society isn't structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that system.â€
What kind indeed? Certainly not a prodigious society such as ours. Thanks to Capitalism, the United States is replete with opulence, might, and benevolence.
Guided by the brilliant foresight of Hamilton, manacled by men like Keynes, Galbraith, and FDR, and ultimately granted a refreshing degree of freedom by the heroic intellectual efforts of Rand and Friedman, Adam Smithâ€™s â€œinvisible handâ€ has wrought a citadel for those wishing to pursue healthy greed, self-interest, and enlightened oppression. While Capitalism in the United States is still afflicted with the diseases of a mixed economy, government regulation and socialistic tendencies, Americaâ€™s socioeconomic system is far superior to any rival, past or present.
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By Paul William Roberts
On Saturday, December 02, the Washington Post wrote:
â€œThe emerging plan by the Iraq Study Group tries to find a middle road between President Bush's adamant refusal to leave Iraq until the job is done and Democratic demands to pull out U.S. troops. But in achieving unanimity among its Republican and Democratic members, the commission has outlined a strategy with its own political and military risks.â€
The reason this road is less traveled is that it just doesnâ€™t exist.
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One expected more from James Baker and his expensive commission, but perhaps we will yet have cause to thank him. For the uselessness of the ISG underscores a deeper uselessness in American politics generally when it comes foreign policies in which the public (read â€œthe mediaâ€) have developed a level of interest that already has, and will continue to cost votes. In managing to arrive at a â€œplanâ€ upon which all its members could agree, the ISG has merely wasted paper â€“ not to mention taxpayersâ€™ money (a commodity more disposable than toilet paper in Washington). Like so much the long-suffering taxpayer finds himself and herself funding these days, this bi-partisan circle jerk can satisfy only the overpaid and bloated egos participating in the couple of long lunches that were surely all it took to assess the facts and then devise a course of action ignoring them. To the cash whores and corporate crooks whose fingers are always in the till and whose snouts rarely leave the Beltway trough, of course, this latest wasteful disgrace is just another drop of fecal matter in a septic tank the size of the Pacific Ocean.
Normally I ignore religious controversy, but the latest flap surrounding incoming Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, a muslim who intends to take the oath of office with his hand on the Quran, demands comment. If you're not muslim then mind your own business. Here's the bottomline--the Christians who are in an uproar over Ellison's plan and who insist that the oath can only be taken with the Bible probably ought to read the damn Bible. Why? Because the Bible, specifically the New Testament, contains clear instruction about taking oaths. According to James 5:12 (Whole Chapter):
But above all, [James 1:16] my brethren, [Matt 5:34-37] do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.Add a comment
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