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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Not to worry, "the uniter" will fix it

Don't look now, but the whole Arab-Israeli thing is escalating big time. With George W. Bush in charge of keeping the lid from blowing off the whole region. Maybe he should send Karl Rove or Michael Brown right over.

Comments (1)

The Good News? President Bush finally has a plan to solve our incredible budget problems. The Bad News? It's called the End Times.

Posted by: Bill McDonald at July 13, 2006 07:11 AM

When they told Bush that the airport in Lebanon was under attack, he sent the Army here.

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 13, 2006 07:21 AM

Mr Bog - I aint crazy about Bush and he's made mistakes, but I think if anyone has an ironclad solution to fix the Israel/Palestine issue, it would be welcomed.

This problem has existed since 1947 and will probably last unless, and I hope not, Israel is gone. When you have someone like Arafat being held up as a great leader while he was looting Palestine for 30 years, you have to wonder how rational these people.

Posted by: Steve at July 13, 2006 07:31 AM

Invading Iraq didn't help the stability picture much. It's countdown to nuke time over there now.

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 13, 2006 07:43 AM

What can the U.S. do on the ground to help Israel now? Not much, unless you institute a draft. The haters see that -- they aren't dumb.

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 13, 2006 07:46 AM

This problem has existed since 1947

Actually, its been a couple thousand years longer than that....

And Jack- Who exactly are the "haters"??

Posted by: Jon at July 13, 2006 07:59 AM


You just don't get it. You can't be a progressive in Portland (or anywhere else) if you don't blame Bush for absolutely everything that is wrong on this planet. Don't you realize that Bush singlehandedly caused unrest in the mid-East, caused global warming, and drove gas prices up?

You also have to realize that any good things - lack of terrorist attack since 9/11, record low unemployment, etc - are simply coincidence or occurred despite Bush's actions.

Get with the program.

Posted by: tscrib at July 13, 2006 08:14 AM

C'mon, give the guy a break, he's still mourning the loss of his dear friend "Kenny Boy". Oh well, at least that's one pardon he may now use for another convicted good ole boy at the conclusion of his term.

Posted by: genop at July 13, 2006 08:46 AM

Nobody says Bush singlehandedly caused unrest in the Middle East.
Cheney helped him.

Posted by: Bill McDonald at July 13, 2006 08:49 AM

"""You can't be a progressive in Portland if you don't blame Bush for absolutely everything that is wrong on this planet""

While at the same time hypocritically buying into and accepting every single local agenda, claim, plan, word and expenditure without any accounting, documentation or validation.

IMO, the escalating Arab-Israeli battle is a direct result from Israel attempting to work with and grant concessions and compromise to terrorists. Hamas and Hesbolah have shown there is nothing Israel or anyone else can do to bring along any terrorists to anything resembling peace.

Bush or no Bush, if the lid blows off the whole region it will because the UN and the world's powerful peace loving nations have recklessly tolerated terrorism for far too long.

We have arrived at one of those moments in history when stopping the cycle of violence can only be achieved by annihilating the butchers of innocence.

Posted by: Waiting to be killed at July 13, 2006 09:21 AM

Tolerating terrorism? That sounds like you know who the terrorists are and you're letting them go on their way. Terrorists work in the shadows and that's why fighting them is so difficult. If you want to be sure and wipe them out, you have to commit genocide because they are hidden among large populations of non-terrorists. I'm sure you're not recommending that.
Another bad move is to create thousands more terrorists which is the Bush plan. We created Osama and Saddam and now we're growing thousands more. Feel safer yet? One hint: The Bush administration doesn't want you to feel safe, and the War on Terror is their rationale for overriding the Constitution and establishing authoritarian rule. A war that will last forever. War Powers that will last forever. Rigged elections. The formula works and the movie is well underway.

Posted by: Bill McDonald at July 13, 2006 09:36 AM

Steve, your date is off a bit.

You said "This problem has existed since 1947"

Correction, This problem has existed since 1947 BC.

Where was GW then?

Posted by: Abe at July 13, 2006 09:39 AM

The only way to end a pattern of unrelenting small war is to have a big war to end all wars. Didn't Woodrow Wilson already try that?

Posted by: WoodburnBob at July 13, 2006 09:40 AM

Personally I'm happy to see the old Israel back and going Dee Snyder "We're Not Gonna Take It" on the neighborhood. It's been a long time coming. They've tried it "our" way for long enough, it's time to go take care of business.

Posted by: Chris Snethen at July 13, 2006 09:43 AM

And where is Karen Hughes when we really, really need her?

Posted by: Allan L. at July 13, 2006 09:46 AM

In other news, I continued to be puzzled at the incredible drop-off in terror alerts since the 2004 election. What an incredible coincidence.

Posted by: Dave J. at July 13, 2006 09:57 AM

Jack - "It's countdown to nuke time over there now." It already was, well before we invaded Iraq.
Bill - "We created Osama and Saddam and now we're growing thousands more" I couldn't disagree more. Yes, I understand the history of our past relationships and we can debate whether or not they made sense at the time. But we're not creating evil. Nobody "created" Hitler but himself. Also "The Bush administration doesn't want you to feel safe" I don't buy that for a minute. Believe me, I'm no GWB fan, but I think he's sincere when he says that he wants to stamp out terrorism. I don't believe his intent is to keep the pot simmering.

Posted by: Larry at July 13, 2006 10:01 AM

Anybody who can post, with a straight face, the implication that Jack Bog is in cahoots with the "Portland progressives" really hasn't been paying very good attention.

Sayeth tsrib: "You can't be a progressive in Portland (or anywhere else) if you don't blame Bush for absolutely everything that is wrong on this planet."

Posted by: Jud at July 13, 2006 10:21 AM

I don't believe his intent is to keep the pot simmering.

Keeping the pot simmering was one of the primary reasons monkey and crew won on '04--simple as that. Maybe they hope to use the simmering pot to keep control of congress in '06??

Posted by: jimbo at July 13, 2006 10:25 AM

Bush should use his magic weather machine and wipe them all out.

Posted by: Anthony at July 13, 2006 11:06 AM

Put John Kerry, Al Gore and Hillary in a room. Tell them to assume that they are the President. Ask them exactly what they would do today about this two-front war.
See what kind of vague, "go to the UN"" bulls**** answer you would get. Madeline Albright "you hurt my feelings" dribble, without any substance. Ronald Regan once said that any jackass could kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one.
It's a lot easier to be against global warming os talk about New Orleans. At least some of those murderous terrorists are afraid of W. They'd vote for Hillary...

Posted by: brother gary at July 13, 2006 11:12 AM


"Tolerating terrorism?"

Yes, that's what Israel has done and many in this country want to follow their model.

We know who the terrorists are and like Israel the real task to wipe them out is hobbled by those who think negotiations ans consession will work.

Their's is the formula for a permanent state of war.

Sure "Terrorists work in the shadows and that's why fighting them is so difficult"

We will have to kill 'some' innocent people in order to wipe them out.

If you allow that possiblity to disallow all efforts to battle evil, evil would have won long ago.

Declaring it "genocide" and a "bad move" to kill the enemies is just a way to label and bash the Bush administration.
These absurd declarations and mind reading Bush's motives have you incappable of viewing our enemies as they are.

You've dreamt up a "lost Constitution" and "authoritarian rule" and are afraid to kill the terrorists for fear of creating more.

What a perfect recipe for failure.

Why is it that we never read any remedies from the Bush haters other than retreat?

What is Israel supposed to do? Now?
What is the Iraqi government supposed to do? Now?

Do you think all they need do is distance themselves from the US and peace will follow?

Posted by: Kill or be killed at July 13, 2006 11:13 AM

See what kind of vague, "go to the UN"" bulls**** answer you would get.

As opposed to our Uniter-Decider President who's currently packing his bags for his annual Crawford vacation. What's the difference?

Posted by: Chris Snethen at July 13, 2006 11:47 AM

Don't you guys realize that what set this whole thing off was Hezbola decided to cross into Irael and kidnap a couple of their soldiers because they were upset a W's handling of Katrina.

Posted by: tscrib at July 13, 2006 12:27 PM

My apologies - By 1947 I meant founding of modern Israel. However saying Bush created this is like blaming Clinton for 9/11, it doesn't come up with a solution.

Even if he pulled everyone out of Iraq now, odds are Iran would keep feeding Hezbollah to keep the Israel provocations up. When you have leaders like Iran's stating Israel should not exist, I don't think Bush (or any American or UN-type) is going to fix that.

Posted by: Steve at July 13, 2006 12:40 PM

Remedies other than retreat? In Iraq for example? The smart move would have been not to go in. Not having a good solution to Iraq speaks more about the dumbness of the plan, than a desire to retreat. I also find it interesting how Bush supporters moan saying everything is blamed on Bush. Meanhwile if this had come close to going right anywhere near the Middle East, you'd be bragging non-stop about how this was a result of Bush's great moral clarity and decisive leadership.

Posted by: Bill McDonald at July 13, 2006 01:22 PM

The more compassionate response to terrorism is to arrest, convict and isolate from society terrorists. This should be undertaken multinationally with a tribunal composed of judges from member nations empowered to summon, prosecute and convict offenders. Perhaps the world court could refurbish Alcatraz? Once the threat of mass destruction is neutralized, then communication and conciliation might be a viable alternative to death of innocent victims. Sorry, just cannot settle for a kill or be killed mentality.

Posted by: genop at July 13, 2006 02:47 PM

genop, what on Earth has given you any impression that islamo-fascist terrorists who are willing to butcher innocents on purpose, decapitate journalists and contractors, and die to eradicate the planet of "infidels" can EVER be reasoned with? Arrest them and isolate them from society, and hopefully "communication and conciliation might be a viable"? Eradicate them is the ONLY solution.

Posted by: tscrib at July 13, 2006 03:06 PM

Tscrib so may we expect that you are on your way to your local recruiting office?

Posted by: Don Bevington at July 13, 2006 03:28 PM

tscrib, dropping daisy cutters in urban areas is also "butchering innocents on purpose." Your arguments for eradication mirror exactly what the islamofascists say about the U.S. You and the islamofascists are on the same side of this argument: you all want to destroy each other, and don't care how many innocents get in the way. Have fun eradicating each other in your deadly global football game. I just wish we could send all of you war-mongers on both sides to the moon to kill each other so the rest of us don't have to get involved.

Posted by: Sam at July 13, 2006 03:31 PM

"The Islamic resistance warns against targeting civilians and the infrastructure," a statement read on Hizbullah TV said. "It (resistance) specifically announces that it will quickly shell the city of Haifa and nearby areas if the southern suburbs and the city of Beirut are subjected to any direct Israeli aggression," the statement said.

Ironic, those Hizbullies.

Wasn't the Israeli/Lebanese border quiet until Hizbullah decided to kidnap additional soldiers?

Worse yet, Hizbullah and Hamas agents frequently attack purely civilian targets in the name of martydom. I believe they have lost the right to complain about civilian casualties.

Posted by: Mister T at July 13, 2006 03:54 PM

Please Sam, there's no moral equivalence between the US/Israel and Muslim extremists. How often does the U.S. intentionally target innocents? How many innocent civilians have been intentionally targeted and killed by us?

Did the US hijack and fly jumbo jets into Muslim terrorist office buildings (911)? Did we blow up their ships (USS Cole)? Did we blow up their trains, buses and subways(Israel, London)? Did we brutally torture and decapitate them (everywhere)? How about their embassies (Norway, Denmark)? Did we hold over 300 of their children hostage in a school and then shoot them in the back when they tried to flee(Beslan)?

Why are Muslim extremists part of and responsible for virtually every current conflict on the planet?

Collateral damage is one thing, and the U.S. is losing soldiers in order to minimize it. Terrorists target innocent people. These two concepts are not equivalent.

Posted by: Chris McMullen at July 13, 2006 04:06 PM

Bill questions:
"Remedies other than retreat? In Iraq for example?"

...and then Bill answers:

"The smart move would have been not to go in. Not having a good solution to Iraq speaks more about the dumbness of the plan, than a desire to retreat."

Bill, is that the best answer to your own question?

What a weak response!!!

Did you notice that you did not even answer your own question?

You asked (my paraphrase) "what to do in Iraq other than retreat", and then you answer by pretending that we can go back in time and change Bush's stupid move (attack Iraq) with (presumably...how presumptive of me :) to a better move (uh, I dunno, Bill doesn't even go there. Maybe Bill wanted a more Clinton-esque response, like the response the US gave on the first World Trade center bombing, back in 1993. But Bill doesn't say that, I can only guess.)

Bill, why don't you answer your own question?

What should we do today?... (given the facts are that TODAY we are already in Iraq and no amount of Bush bashing changes that fact, even if what you say is true, that Bush going into Iraq was a huge mistake.)

Posted by: anon at July 13, 2006 04:07 PM

Welcome to your "Simpsons" Interlude of Applicability.

Bar Patron #1 (to Bar Patron #2): Let's fight!

Bar Patron #2: Them's fightin' words!

[#1 and #2 exchange punches, bar brawl erupts.]

And now back to your regularly scheduled screeds.

Posted by: Anahit at July 13, 2006 04:26 PM

"How often does the U.S. intentionally target innocents?"

Pretty often over the last 100 or so years, beginning with TR's invasion of the Phillipines.

"How many innocent civilians have been intentionally targeted and killed by us?"

Over 100,000 Iraqis in a brutal and unprovoked bombing campaign and ground assault launched in 2003, plus the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis who suffered and died throughout the 1990s because of the sanctions we imposed. Millions of Japanese with flame throwers followed by two nuclear bombs in WWII (see the movie "the Fog of War"). Millions of Vietnamese in the 1960s and 1970s. Plus the victims of the death squads we propped up in Nicaragua and El Salvador in the 1980s. That's just off the top of my head. Read some Noam Chomsky for more examples and exact figures.

Collateral damage IS one thing: the deaths of innocent bystanders, phrased in sterilized terminology to make Americans feel OK about themselves. You're right about the lack of moral equivalence, though: the sheer numbers of innocent deaths intentionally caused by the US with its unrivaled Weapons of Mass Destruction dwarfs anything the Islamofascists have managed to muster so far, or at least until they are able to launch a nuke. They'll have to launch quite a few to begin to approach our body count, however.

Happy Thursday!

Posted by: Sam at July 13, 2006 04:41 PM

Actually, Sam, the figures on civilian casualties in Iraq is credibly thought to be somewhere between 20k-30k, not 100k like you read from Code Pink's website. And I believe the question involved civilians that were "intentionally targeted". That figure would be a big fat zero. We don't intentionally target civilians. There is, inevitably and regretably, collateral damage when we strike military targets or target terrorists hiding amongst civilians. It is unfortunate, but necessary.

Your attempt at establishing moral equivalence (or actually painting the terrorists as having the moral highgroud!) between us and the terrorists is sickening. You pretty much epitomize why so many on the right identify the anti-war left as "hating America". Thanks for the recent election victories - keep'em coming. Good day.

Posted by: tscrib at July 13, 2006 05:22 PM

Try again Sam. The LA Times reports 30,000 - 50,000 deaths in Iraq.

"At the Baghdad morgue, the vast majority of bodies processed had been shot execution-style. Many showed signs of torture -- drill holes, burns, missing eyes and limbs, officials said. Others had been strangled, beheaded, stabbed or beaten to death...

But Health Ministry records do differentiate causes of death. Almost 75% of those who died violently were killed in "terrorist acts," typically bombings, the records show. The other 25% were killed in what were classified as military clashes. A health official described the victims as "innocent bystanders," many shot by Iraqi or American troops, in crossfire or accidentally at checkpoints. "


Sure doesn't sound like the U.S. is intentionally trying to kill civilians.

Moreover, Saddam Hussein was the reason sanctions were imposed. If he capitulated, there would have been no sanctions. Of course, the UN-Led oil for Food program was a real winner....

BTW, it's pretty well documented Hussein killed about 300,000.

"Human rights groups believe about 300,000 people were killed during Saddam's 24-year rule, which ended when U.S.-led forces toppled his regime in 2003."


And don't forget, 7,000,000 Chinese civilians died during Japan's invasion circa WWII. Hiroshima was a major supply and logistics base for the Japanese military -- Nagasaki would never have happened if Japan surrendered after the first bombing.



Maybe you should actually pay attention to history Sam, instead of reading Noam Chomsky.

Posted by: Chris McMullen at July 13, 2006 05:38 PM

I'll back up Sam and suggest that anyone interested should get ahold of Stephen Kinzer's Overthrow. If you'd like to know why the Iranians think of us as the "Great Satan", I'd suggest you read Kinzer's All the Shah's Men.

Start with Hawaii, which was a sovereign nation prior to the machinations of Americans with the support of the US government, add Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Phillipines (in which the US military could only be described as "butcherous"), then Panama, Guatamala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Iran, South Vietnam, Chile, Panama again, Grenada, Afghanistan, and then Iraq, the United States government has had an ongoing tendency to meddle in the domestic affairs of other nations. This has usually resulted in our propping up some of the most despotic regimes in the modern world. These meddlings were never without the loss of innocent lives and their effects affected even more innocent lives, like those in Iran who suffered for 25 years under a despot supported by the US and his despicable secret police, SAVAK, which was trained by the CIA and the Israelis. Add in the innocents killed by bombing in places like Cambodia, Laos, Sudan, Lebanon, and Libya and the number of innocents goes up. Then add in the innocents who died at the hands of despots like Pinochet, who were propped up by US diplomatic, military and economic assitance. Then add in all the innocents who have died at the hands of client nations and leaders who benefitted from our military and economic support (read here Israel).

The US has a history of over 100 years of consistantly violating its own principles of justice and democracy, resulting in the killing of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocents, and the subjegation and suffering of millions more under the boots of US supported tyrants. We still train protofascist secret police types in the finer points of torture and inflicting terror on their own populations in the School of the Americas. And all this does not take into consideration the arms dealers that, with tacit US government support, sell US surplus weapons and ammo to any tinpot dictator type to arise in the African continent.

And now we have an administration which winks at torture and has dismissed international accords on the treatment of prisoners, suggesting that the Geneva Accords are a "quaint tool of the past". That just points to the US as a rogue nation. A killer nation. And, yes, a killer and torturer of innocents.

Learn your own friggen' history.

Posted by: godfry at July 13, 2006 05:39 PM

Bush is the Butcher, and Saddam is the Victim?

Are you high?

Posted by: Mister T at July 13, 2006 05:53 PM

"Eradicate them is the ONLY solution" Don't you mean the FINAL solution? I think Nietzsche had something to say about how one should be careful when you do battle with monsters you need to be careful that you do not become a monster yourself, but I think it's too late for that. We can't kill all our enemies because we make them a lot faster then we can dispose of them so it is really kind of a supply problem.

Posted by: Tom at July 13, 2006 06:48 PM

You guys chiding me for suggesting we "eradicate our enemies" are either not getting the point, or are stereotyping racists. I'm not saying we should wipe out every Muslim in the mid-East. I'm saying we should kill every damn terrorist. Is that really so hard for you to understand? Kill all of those that are willing to kill themselves so long as they take out a few of ours or a few innocents to further the cause of obliterating all "infadels". No? Yeah, you're right. We should coddle the poor dears, convert Alcatraz into an island retreat and make sure they get a soft, comfy bed while they await trial. How silly of me.

Posted by: tscrib at July 13, 2006 07:46 PM

Bush is the Butcher, and Saddam is the Victim?

No...Saddam was one of our butchers, until we turned on him. Where the hell do you think he got all that weaponry? Where the hell do you think he got the toxic gases he used on the Iranians and the Kurds? How come Bushit was so sure that Saddam had WMD?....'Cause we had the receipts! Saddam was one of OUR clients.

Just like Usama bin Laden...another one of our clients.

US foreign policy has been oh so shortsighted for nigh on to 100 years now. We are now reaping the terror that we had sown years ago.

Also, when you start talking about terrorism, think about how many nuclear weapons the US has pointed at indeterminate targets throughout the world. Who are the real terrorists?

Posted by: godfry at July 13, 2006 07:52 PM


Tell me you don't actually believe that all evil despots are working for the CIA. Or that verything they do before or after their CIA affiliation will forever remain America's fault.

Saddam was on the payroll for a while: it was classic "balance of power" politics (the U.S.S.R. was supporting Syria, if it makes you feel any better) because he kept Iran in check.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

But Saddam didn't remain on the payroll forever and he didn't stay bought.

He also clawed his way to power in a bloody coup that HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE UNITED STATES. Then there was that rape of Kuwait thing.

At the risk of sounding like Archie Bunker, if you hate this country so much, why not move to the sunny side of the street in one of those countries meets your ideological litmus test. Canada, perhaps? Mexico, quizas? Russia, Komrad? Everything is just coming up roses there, and they haven't invaded anybody in the past 30 years. I would try and stay out of jail in Mexico, and heaven forbid if you need an honest cop. Better not sign up for a heart bypass in Canada, not if you're in a hurry. Moscow makes D.C. look safe.

Maybe Stockholm...mmmm not bad unless you pay taxes...They have very tight immigration policies, though: you probably couldn't get a residency visa.

Posted by: Mister T at July 13, 2006 08:26 PM

"I'm saying we should kill every damn terrorist. Is that really so hard for you to understand?"
Understanding isn't the issue the devil is in the details. I'd be a little more inclined to have faith in your position if we had managed to take out Osama Bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks. The inability to even find him after FIVE YEARS doesn't make me confident that we can win the global war on terra no matter how much money we spend or how many people we kill but there is no convincing people who think God is on their side whether they call him Allah or Holy Father.

Posted by: Tom at July 13, 2006 08:52 PM

"Actually, Sam, the figures on civilian casualties in Iraq is credibly thought to be somewhere between 20k-30k, not 100k like you read from Code Pink's website."

What's the URL?

" And I believe the question involved civilians that were "intentionally targeted". That figure would be a big fat zero."

Oh really? We didn't drop tons and tons of explosives on urban areas in and around Baghdad knowing we would kill babies, old ladies, puppy dogs etc? Didn't we call it "Shock and Awe", a synonym for "terrorize"?

"There is, inevitably and regretably, collateral damage when we strike military targets or target terrorists hiding amongst civilians. It is unfortunate, but necessary."

That's exactly how Osama justifies 9/11, London and Madrid bombings, etc. You and he are peas in a pod, or more accurately Red Sox fans and Yankees fans, fiercely allegiant to your own team, blind to its shortcomings, and critical of the other's. I don't want to participate in your silly global domination game.

"Your attempt at establishing moral equivalence (or actually painting the terrorists as having the moral highgroud!) between us and the terrorists is sickening."

Look at the hard numbers, bud. Our body count is way higher. We naturally have the high score because we have all the WMDs. We don't have the moral high ground because we perpetuate most of the terror. We set a precedent of attacking and occupying a country that did not threaten us and could do us no harm.

" You pretty much epitomize why so many on the right identify the anti-war left as "hating America"."

I never said I hate America. Criticizing the government is the most patriotic thing an American can do. Blind allegiance to authoritarian rule is profoundly unAmerican though. Read some Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

" Thanks for the recent election victories - keep'em coming."

You can thank Ken Blackwell, Katherine Harris, Justice Scalia and Diebold for your "victories."

"The LA Times reports 30,000 - 50,000 deaths in Iraq."

Let's assume that's the accurate figure. What positive result have all those deaths accomplished?

"Sure doesn't sound like the U.S. is intentionally trying to kill civilians."

Again: dropping daisy cutters in urban areas IS intentionally killing civillians.

"Maybe you should actually pay attention to history Sam, instead of reading Noam Chomsky."

Thanks, but I will take the most important intellectual alive over the anonymous handful of twentysomethings who write Wikipedia. There is more history in Chomsky's head then all of their heads combined.

And citing other country's atrocities does not erase our own.

Thank Bush for Israel's increasing aggression. He set the precedent. Welcome to WWIII.

Finally, tscrib and Chris, I hope you enjoy your time stateside before you redeploy to Baghdad. Good luck over there deactivating roadside bombs, and hopefully your parents have enough extra cash to cover your bullets and body armor. Thank God there's constant electricity and running water in the Green Zone, if only a couple hours a day in the rest of the country. Don't worry, Rumsfeld says the insurgency will only last about 12 more years (though he "doubted six months" pre-invasion).
Good night!

Posted by: Sam at July 13, 2006 09:49 PM

Sam: you lose all credibility when your screed includes Diebold and Katherine Harris in the same sentence.

Diebold was the solution to a deeply flawed voting and ballot counting process; Diebold was not the cause of it.

Posted by: Mister T at July 13, 2006 10:01 PM

"Diebold was the solution to a deeply flawed voting and ballot counting process; Diebold was not the cause of it."

What was the "deep flaw"? That Gore would have won if there had been a complete hand recount?

Posted by: Sam at July 13, 2006 10:05 PM

Oh, God. Not again. Sigh.

There is too much, let me sum up:

1) There's very little Bush can do about this now. However, the situation is partially the product of five years of near-total lack of the United States' help finding a solution over there. This administration may not have been able to prevent it, but it didn't even really try.

2) "How many innocent civilians have been intentionally targeted and killed by us?"

In responding to this, Sam exaggerates. But he's on the right track: we have deliberately targetted civillians in large numbers. One occasion comes easily to mind: the Tokyo firestorm raids. 80,000 to 200,000 civillians killed in one raid, most likely more than either nuclear strike. The tactics deliberately maximized civillian damage. The US firebombed 67 Japanese cities.

Oh, and don't forget Wounded Knee and all that came before.

That said, there is little or no evidence that we have targetted civillians deliberately, recently, on a large scale, and as a matter of high-level policy.

3) There is no moral equivalancy, but it's an empty argument anyway. We are responsible to our own Maker (or history, or whomever) for our own actions. It matters not how depraved the enemy may be; if we throw away our own honor and ideals when fighting them, we have lost something precious.

4) Most everyone here survived the cold war. Al qeida, hamas, hezbollah, iran, palestine, syria, and those guys in Florida put together are a dinky little pissant threat compared to what the Russians are left with even today, let alone the threat we faced in 1980 or so. Islamic militants lack the ability to destroy our nation, culture, or religion, no matter how much they may or may not wish to do so. Grow a little backbone and stop being such scaredy-cats, the scary swarthy monsters are not going to blow you up this week.

Now y'all shut up and go to bed.

Posted by: Alan DeWitt at July 14, 2006 12:52 AM

Mr. T:

No, I do not believe all evil despots are working for the CIA. Just all too many, considering this country's dedication to extending democracy throughout the world. I'm saying I'm tired of our being policy hypocrites.

So... Your answer to dissatisfaction with the unprincipled approach to US foreign policy is that those dissatisfied go elsewhere? Why don't you turn that around and realize that if you don't like democracy, there are plenty of nations throughout the world that could accomodate your penchant for authoritarianism and hypocrisy? I'd actually like my country to adhere to the principles it repeatedly evokes in its statements to the world....not lies fabricated to enrich the shareholders of Halliburton.

As for getting chummy with Saddam, blame Reagan. See this: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/press.htm

Curiously, this was in the same time frame of the infamous Iran-Contra affair, where the US government was illegally selling missiles to Iran and using the profits to illegally support the Contras harrass the legitimately elected government in Nicaragua.

Thus, the US was selling weapons to both sides and chumming it up with Saddam. Ronnie Reagan brought this all about...Of course, he had no recollection of ever authorizing the Iran-Contra sales, despite what Col. Oliver North had to say. But then, we now know why Ronnie had such problems remembering much of anything.

That "enemy of my enemy is my friend" sorta loses its emphasis in such circumstances. And those would be Repugnantcan circumstances. Reagan circumstances. It's s dumshit, short-sighted policy.

Posted by: godfry at July 14, 2006 10:04 AM

Why don't you turn that around and realize that if you don't like democracy, there are plenty of nations throughout the world that could accomodate your penchant for authoritarianism and hypocrisy?

Ok, hypocrisy I will agree with...but please cite any evidence we are under authoritarianism, and lost democracy. I must have missed the news report.

Posted by: Jon at July 14, 2006 12:36 PM

An administration which tries secretly to torture, eavesdrop, rig elections, decimate years of struggle in enacting environmental protection, ditto consumer protection, ditto union activism, and finally simply ignores laws with which it disagrees. C'mon this is as authoritarian as it gets in a so called democracy. We now live in a Country where a minority rules. Wake up!

Posted by: genop at July 14, 2006 02:50 PM

Time to re-adjust your tinfoil hat, Genop.

I've yet to witness any secret government hit squads raiding mosques and DNC meetings; dragging undesirables off to be interrogated and tortured. When's the last time anti-Bush demonstrators were mowed down by US tanks and machine guns?
Left-wing, anti-Bush websites and blogs are still up and running. Why is that?

You should try living under Castro or Chavez (along with Cindy Sheehan) and see what real authoritarian rule is like.

Posted by: Chris McMullen at July 14, 2006 04:10 PM

If the Democrats win back the House this year, can we all agree that the elections are still rigged?

Or maybe GenoP will simply think that the Dictatorship is simply tossing a few crumbs to the tweedle-dumb in order to maintain the "illusion" of fair elections.

What if a Democrat wins the White House in 2008? Should we assume that Diebold switched teams, or that the Dirty Republicans didn't have the guts to steal three in a row.


Posted by: Mister T at July 14, 2006 06:32 PM

"as authoritarian as it gets in a so called democracy" Hey fellas, read that line several times and realize the distinction. Subtle I know, but a distinction from what I think you thought my point was.
Well, I'd best batten down my "tin foil hat" and "grow up" - eh?

Posted by: genop at July 14, 2006 11:03 PM

"so called democracy" certainly suggests that you no longer believe ours is a functioning Democracy.

Your guys lose a couple of elections, and the guys who win are despots? Because they won?

Posted by: Mister T at July 15, 2006 06:48 AM

Your guys lose a couple of elections, and the guys who win are despots? Because they won?

First, nobody has "my guy" for decades.

Second, the 2000 election was not won by Bush, but Bush was placed into power by a judicial coup, wherein five members of the Supreme Court ignored their own judicial philosophy and the US Constitution to select Bush as president.

Those five justices should have been impeached, tried and convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors, removed from office and sent to prison. Instead, because we had a majority in the House that was copecetic with that illicit decision, they sat on their thumbs and put their brains into neutral.

Posted by: godfry at July 15, 2006 10:25 AM

Mister T:

I pity the fool who doesn't read Vincent Bugliosi's "Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President." Bugliosi is the star Republican prosecutor who put Charles Manson away. He makes a convincing case that backs up Godfry's above accusations. It's only 166 pages; you can read it in one sitting. Used starting at $.50! Buy it at the following link today:


Check out this one also, though at 362 pages it's quite a bit more exhaustively researched with facts on American election fraud throughout history:


Happy Reading! And good luck remaining in a subsequent state of denial!

Posted by: Sam at July 15, 2006 11:10 AM

Bugliosi sells books: he's not a constitutional law expert. He knew that 50 million Gore voters made for a robust target market. His Republican party affiliation doesn't make him the keeper of the Truth.

I'll make this very simple. Bush won Florida on the first count, and on the mandatory recount. The Florida Secretary of State certified Bush as the winner: Al Gore sought a judicial remedy in the form of the Butterfly Ballot (see: http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/election/suit1.pdf) lawsuit filed by his Democratic Shills.

Gore also filed a suit to force another recount (the third time which these ballots would be handled) in the three most heavily Democratic counties WHICH HE HAD ALREADY WON BY A WIDE MARGIN. Typically, county recounts are only sought where a candidate failed to win a majority: in fact, Gore won these counties by a larger % of ballots than there were registered Democrats in each county.

Al Gore wasn't interested in a recount of the entire state; rather, he simply wanted to go on a fishing expedition in the three counties most likely to contain disqualified ballots in his favor.

Remember: Katherine Harris didn't count the votes, she merely tabulated the results from each county. She was certainly no more or less partisan than Secretary of State Bradbury, or the party hack that "selected" Governor Gregoire on the third recount in WA.

Because Al Gore sought a judicial remedy in the State Courts, the Bush Campaign (eloquently represented by James Baker III) sought to move it into the Federal Courts WHERE IT BELONGED.

WHY? Because we have an equal protection clause codified in the 14th Amendment which requires that voters in one state are not afforded greater influence than voters in the other 49 states. Had the Florida Supreme Court been left to adjudicate the case, A STATEWIDE RECOUNT WOULD HAVE INCLUDED A NEW & MORE LENIENT definition of a completed ballot.

More importantly: Article II, section 1, clause two of the U.S. Constitution gave the Florida LEGISLATURE (not the Supreme Court of Florida) complete (or "plenary") power to decide the terms under which their electoral college representatives would be chosen. The Florida Legislature could have chosen to pick their electors by majority vote; they could have assumed responsibility to oversee/police a statewide recount; or, the could have decided to flip a coin. Put simply: the Florida Supreme Court has no standing in the matter of how electors are chosen by the Florida Legislature.

If you want to argue that the Florida Supremes get to pick the U.S. President, why wouldn't you permit the U.S. Supremes to overrule them?

As you may recall, the Florida Legislature was never called into session.

Posted by: Mister T at July 15, 2006 01:00 PM

If you want to argue that the Florida Supremes get to pick the U.S. President, why wouldn't you permit the U.S. Supremes to overrule them?

Two reasons

1. The members majority of the SCOTUS which gave the presidency to Bush in 2000, in large part, if not in toto, held to the judicial principle of federal non-involvement in state powers. Selection of electors is, as you have noted, a state function, not a federal one. Ergo, those justices violated their own judicial principles to support the selection of Bush as president.

2. Amendment XII of the U.S. Constitution, which is an amendment to Article II of the same document, explicitly delineates the process whereby electors cast their ballots and what processes are used in the event of a clouded or disputed election. In no place does it include the Supreme Court. The SCOTUS had absolutely no place in the whole thing. Ergo, I agree with Bugliosi, who IS an attorney. Are you? Given your dismissal of Bugliosi, why the hell should I even give your opinion any credibility at all?

Additionally, it is my understanding that the vast majority of constitutional law specialists throughout the land were appalled at the Gore v. Bush decision...up to and including Justice Stevens, who opined in his dissenting opinion that, "What must underlie petitioners’ entire federal assault on the Florida election procedures is an unstated lack of confidence in the impartiality and capacity of the state judges who would make the critical decisions if the vote count were to proceed. Otherwise, their position is wholly without merit. The endorsement of that position by the majority of this Court can only lend credence to the most cynical appraisal of the work of judges throughout the land. It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today’s decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.

I respectfully dissent."

By 2004, at least 48% were still in dissent. Now those numbers are even greater, as the total dishonesty and corruption of the current administration has become even more apparent.

That the American public should countenance the witch hunt that was the impeachment of Clinton, while allowing the far more egregious impostures and travesties of the Bush administration go uncensured is sufficent enough evidence for me that our information is being manipulated. That Diebold is a huge contributor to the Bush campaign and the Republican party is even more reason to suspect that manipulation of the ballot counting is occurring and the Repugnantcans are the ones with tainted hands.

Bush, Cheney and the whole superstructure of our present government needs to be removed. I'd love nothing better than to see that idiot chimpanzee we call a president and his corrupt and venal vice-president frog-marched in chains and orange jump suits to the cell that was waiting for their buddy Ken Lay.

Throw the bums out! The "Contract with America" has become the "Contract On America".

Posted by: godfry at July 15, 2006 01:38 PM

Amendment XII of the U.S. Constitution refers only to Electors and disputes relating to the Electoral College; NOT to the individual precint, county, or state ballots that lead to the selection of Electors.

Florida Statutes delegate the legislatures responsibility for the choosing of electors to the people of Florida. The will of the people is determined by each county's Canvassing Board, which were required to relay their results to the Secretary of State no later than 5:00 p.m. November 14th.

The Florida Legislature had defined this date with such specificity, because it was designed to mesh with the safe harbor provisions of the Electoral college while still allowing for both a protest period (pre-tabulation) and a contest period (post-tabulation). Ironically, the intervention of multiple courts and venues extended the protest period while compressing the contest period.

The majority US Supreme Court opinion recognized that extending the time permitted (for a third recount) would have made it impossible to comply with the safe harbor deadlines, thereby subjecting the Electors (representing the roughly six million "legal" Florida votes that had been accurately tabulated) to challenge.

Inevitably (give the stakes), this would have led to a protacted crisis in which the U.S. Congress would have been forced to determine whether to respect the findings of the Florida Supreme Court, or the Legislature's delegated authority holder, the Secretary of State.

Notably, Florida Statutes at that time allowed a manual recount "only to correct an error in the vote tabulation"...

From Wikipedia.Org
The canvassing board did not discover any errors in the tabulation process in the initial mandated recount. The Bush campaign sued to prevent additional recounts on the basis that no errors were found in the tabulation method until subjective measures were applied in manual recounts.

If the winners of close elections are going to be determined by multiple court challenges, then we ought to be pressing for a national voter database, with national I.D. cards, and uniformity of ballots, counting and tabulation procedures, and protest/contest legislation.

It has been reported that 179,855 ballots were not counted in the official tally of Florida's 2000 election because they contained some defect or mistake. If you want a judge (or any group of judges) adjudicating the "intent" of nearly 180,000 ballots that were legally deficient, then most state's elections laws will need to be revised.

A consortium of 8 media outlets actually conducted that exhaustive recount (including the aforementioned 180,000 deficient ballots) and determined that Bush won by every legal definition. The only exception: if the "Overvotes" (where two Presidential Candidates were selected) were included on a statewide recount. That would be an illegal and unprecedented recount: Florida Law stipulates that voting for two candidates in the same race disqualifies your vote in that race.

Here's the link to the recount:

Ultimately, if you want a scapegoat for Gore's loss in 2000, you ought to blame Gore's advisors for not making better use of Bill Clinton in the South, and (obviously) Florida.

Time for a walk in the park with my son. See Ya!

Posted by: Mister T at July 15, 2006 03:45 PM

Uniter not divider, eh?

Posted by: Tateless Tattler at July 15, 2006 03:52 PM

You can maintain the "Bush stole the election TWICE" dogma if you want to...I believe it diminishes the credibility of the American Left, and (by association) the Democratic Party. That suits me fine.

I have pasted links to three hotbeds of American Conservatism: the Washington Post, The Nation, and Harvard's Department of Govt. (posted online by CalTech)...A bunch of revisionist party hacks no doubt.

The Harvard Study concludes:

First, presidential overvotes are invalid and, therefore, voters who cast them effectivelydisenfranchise themselves. This can impact representation insofar as groups of voters withhigh overvote rates can lose the ability to elect officials who represent their interests. In particular, our identification of a Democratic bias in presidential overvoting in 2000 impliesthat numerous Democrats in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties discarded opportunitiesto ensure that their preferences for Al Gore were counted.




Posted by: Mister T at July 15, 2006 07:56 PM

I have never believed there was ever any conspiracy involved in the election of George W. Bush for President. Conspiracies always involve a very complex sequence of events that always defy probability so I tend to think the simplest explaination is the closest to the truth. George Bush was elected by simpletons which make up the majority of voting Americans. Why shouldn't a nation of idiots elect an idiot for their president? As Henry Kissinger said about Nixon, "He may be a meatball, but he is our meatball."

Posted by: Tom at July 15, 2006 09:10 PM

I would agree except for one thing, Tom.

It was the Democratic stalwarts of Florida who could have made Gore the 43rd President of the United States, EXCEPT they were too stupid to vote correctly.

Simpletons corrupt good policy making on both sides of the partisan divide.

Posted by: Mister T at July 15, 2006 10:12 PM

Where Egypt failed against Israel, using might against might, tank against tank, do you get a sense that maybe North Vietnamise Guerilla tactics, from Lebanom might give Israel a bit of a problem

Posted by: Joe Guess at July 16, 2006 06:34 AM

Where Egypt failed against Israel, using might against might, tank against tank, do you get a sense that maybe North Vietnamise Guerilla tactics, from Lebanom might give Israel a bit of a problem

Posted by: Joe Guess at July 16, 2006 06:36 AM

I think it is going to get interestig in Lebanon and Palestine, when North Vietnam tactics are employed against Israel

Posted by: Joe Guess at July 16, 2006 06:43 AM

You're really not following very closely here, are you, Mr.T?

I have objected to the imposition of the SCOTUS into the entire proceeding. They besmirched the reputation of the Court in even adjudicating Bush v. Gore. They interfered with the established constitutional process. Note that Amendment XII to Article II has no mention of the SCOTUS. Disputed presidential election results are the purview of the House of Representatives...voting as states. I rather suspect that the outcome would not have been much different, given that the majority of the House was, at that time, Repugnantcan. Instead, the majority of the SCOTUS had to demonstrate that they were no 'impartial panel of justices', violate their own judicial principles and breach the Constitution.

As for the Bushit administration, it's top members should have been impeached and removed from office for high crimes and misdemeanors since Dumbya's taking of the oath of office.

Posted by: godfry at July 16, 2006 08:27 AM

The suspected radar guided missile that hit the Israeli Naval Vessel was designed (and probably built) in China, ostensibly sold to Iran, before transshipment to Lebanon.

In the past, Hezbollah presented a smaller profile, because they fought from the cover of urban areas primarily with small arms/mortars.

The IDF are advising all non-combatants to leave Southern Lebanon in anticipation of a comprehensive artillery and bombing campaign that will precede the IDF ground forces going in with a "fine-tooth" comb. One IDF infantry division is already moving north, while all reserves have been called up. The Israelis would not be taking these steps if they didn't plan on following through.

If Hezbollah escapes to the North, or into Beirut, it will be the 1980's all over again, and all structures offering cover to Hezbollah will be reduced to rubble. It will be worse than previous campaigns, (primarily) due to more accurate weapons systems and (secondly) to overcome the perceived weakness of the prior Israeli withdrawal, and (thirdly) because the Israelis want revenge. Hezbollah believes they beat the Israelis once; Israel can't afford to allow them to believe it twice.

Hezbollah still has guerrilla structures and capabilities, but their weapon platforms are more sophisticated than before (ironically, they are also much more difficult to hide from Israeli detection). The ground-to-sea Missile which hit the Israeli Naval vessel

Intelligence experts believe the long-range ground-to-ground missiles capable of hitting Haifa (and further south) were manufactured in Iran, based on Russian (or, less commonly, Chinese) technology.

Here's a link where Hezbollah denied possession of such weapons (but admitted they would like to acquire them) in 2001:


Here's an overview of Iran's current missile programs:


The Israeli Government is unlikely to back down unless a credible military presence (not the Lebanese Army) is inserted into South Lebanon. Until that happens, the Israelis cannot agree to a cease fire, because there is nobody capable of ensuring Hezbollah's compliance (except Iran). I predict several weeks of Israeli air/naval bombardment, followed by a large mechanized ground force.

If Iran undertakes a more active role in this conflict, I believe the Israelis will explode a "small nuke" outside Teheran as a kind of "Hiroshima" style demonstration. If that warning shot fails, they will vaporize Iran.
In the face of this deterrent, it seems unlikely that any Arab state would come to the Iranians defense, but Islamic states around the world (joined by Russia/China/North Korea/France) to press for U.N. Sanctions and an embargo of Israel.

I assume the U.S. would not assume a direct combat roll unless Kuwait or Iraq were attacked by Iran. If the U.S. did come to the direct aid of the Israeli's, it would likely be an attempt to delay the escalation to nuclear weapons.

I doubt the Israeli's would be deterred by U.S. supplications, because they know the first wave of Iranian missiles would target Israel's suspected land-based nuclear arsenal, and they can't afford to lose that capability. If the deterrent fails, "use them or lose them" is a decision that must be made in minutes.

Posted by: Mister T at July 16, 2006 09:29 AM


If you interested in learning something, rather than simply regurgitating what Mother Jones told you, the below link to Cardozo Law School (Yeshiva University) is the best summation that I've read.


Granted, it deals with the law and not the politics of the Florida Debacle.

Posted by: Mister T at July 16, 2006 09:55 AM

Sorry...My quote was from the dissenting opinion of one of the justices involved in the case.

This one elucidates the concerns of another, Justice Breyer: http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/election/electionross5.htm

Your smugness is entirely misplaced.

Posted by: godfry at July 16, 2006 12:22 PM

Mr. T:

I find your musings on the Israeli offensive interesting and rather compelling actually. However, I don't think Israel will willingly utilize nuclear weapons on Iran. I think they know the global response would be devestating. They'd have to be hit seriously first before they could justify using the tactical nuclear weapons. Iran does not have them. If they do, on the outside chance of having obtained uncataloged former Soviet warheads, I'm curious as to what throw distance they have on their ground to ground delivery systems. Do you know?

Posted by: godfry at July 16, 2006 12:38 PM

Also... Since you're so knowledgeable in these things. At whom is our nuclear arsenal aimed?

Posted by: godfry at July 16, 2006 12:41 PM

I could tell you. But then I'd have to kill you.

Posted by: Mister T at July 16, 2006 03:07 PM


I read your link: it sounded more like it was authored by a history professor than an expert on constitutional law. Ironic that he didn't address the merits of the Florida Supreme Courts deeply flawed remedy, nor did he address any specific determination of the SCOTUS.

Instead, he simply gave historical examples of disputed elections that were never elevated to the Supreme Court. This may have been the first and the last, given the improbability of a large (electoral rich) state ending in a statistical tie.

I'm not suggesting it wasn't an interesting perspective, but it made no reference to the specific legal arguments contained in Bush v. Gore. If you take the time to read the Florida Supreme's proposed remedy (take the partial recount advantage and add it to the Gore totals) it should send a shiver down your spine.

Posted by: Mister T at July 16, 2006 03:37 PM

Check it out:


Iraq is going great, right, Bush loyalists? No electricity to deal with 3,000 civilian corpses in June 2006 alone? Children raping, torturing and killing each other daily in wild roaming gangs?

Saddam was an evil killer (when we supported him 20 yrs ago). But this crap wasn't happening before the US invasion and occupation.

Posted by: Sam at July 18, 2006 06:59 PM

[Posted as indicated; restored later.]

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