Thursday, September 30, 2004

"I Now How to Lead...."

"I know how to lead" we have been told by Bush over and over and over again.

This assertion never fails to amuse me since his ability to lead instantly begs the question: Is he leading in the right or wrong direction?

Leading, in and by itself, obviously proves nothing. And, given that Bush is clearly leading in the wrong direction, why should he be rehired?

What had been a relatively small number of terrorists before 9/11 increased exponentially, both and numbers and fierceness since Bushites declared war on "evildoers" and invaded, not one, but TWO Arab/Muslim nations. "Evildoers" being all those leaders unwilling to CAVE to Bushite demands.

The results of Bush's "leadership" become sadly clear on close inspection as illustrated in the following articles, These tragedies occurred within a 24 hour span:

New York Times - October 1, 2004

Dozens Killed in U.S. Offensive in Iraq by the Associated Press

SAMARRA, Iraq (AP) -- U.S. and Iraqi forces launched a major assault Friday to regain control of the insurgent stronghold of Samarra, and hospital officials said at least 80 people were killed and 100 wounded.

Troops of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, Iraqi National Guard and Iraqi Army moved into Samarra after midnight, securing government and police buildings in the city 60 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. command said in a statement.

It was not clear if the push into Samarra represented the start of a larger campaign to retake several cities that insurgents have rendered ``no-go'' zones for U.S. and Iraqi troops. Officials have said that recapturing those cities is key before nationwide elections scheduled for the end of January.

The offensive came a day after a string of bombings across the country that killed at least 51 people, including 35 children in a series of blasts as U.S. troops handed out candy at a government-sponsored celebration to inaugurate a sewage plant in Baghdad.

Residents cowered in their homes as tanks and warplanes pounded Samarra. The sound of shelling mixed with the crackle of automatic gunfire continued into the morning. At least three houses were flattened and dozens of cars charred, residents said.

``We are terrified by the violent approach used by the Americans to subdue the city,'' said Mahmoud Saleh, a 33-year-old civil servant. ``My wife and children are scared to death and they have not being able to sleep since last night. I hope that the fighting ends as soon as possible.''

At least 80 bodies and more than 100 wounded were brought to Samarra General Hospital, said Dr. Khalid Ahmed. The hospital was running out of bandages, oxygen and other supplies, he said.

There were no immediate reports of U.S. casualties. Along with U.S. troops, soldiers from the 202nd Iraqi National Guard Battalion and 7th Iraqi Army Battalion were taking part in the operation. Such formations would normally involve several thousand troops.

Water and electricity services were cut off, and troops ordered residents to stay off the streets as they moved from house to house in search of insurgents. A 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew was announced.

The offensive came in response to ``repeated and unprovoked attacks by anti-Iraqi forces'' against Iraqi and coalition forces, the military said in a statement. Its aim was to ``facilitate orderly government processes, kill or capture anti-Iraqi forces and set the conditions to proceed with infrastructure and quality of life improvements.''

``Unimpeded access throughout the city for Iraqi security forces and multinational forces is non-negotiable,'' the statement said.

The military said insurgent attacks and acts of intimidation against the people of Samarra had undermined the security situation in the city, regarded as one of the top three rebel strongholds in Iraq, along with Fallujah and the Baghdad slum known as Sadr City.

The Americans returned briefly on Sept. 9 under a peace deal brokered by tribal leaders under which U.S. forces agreed to provide millions of dollars in reconstruction funds in exchange for an end to attacks on American and Iraqi troops.

In recent weeks, however, the city witnessed sporadic clashes between U.S. troops and insurgents.

Masked gunmen carrying the flag of Iraq's most feared terror group, Tawhid and Jihad, surfaced in force in Samarra on Tuesday, staging a defiant drive through the streets.

Jordanian terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group claimed responsibility for bloody attacks in Baghdad on Thursday, according to a statement posted on a militant Web site.

The authenticity of the statement could not be verified, and it was unclear whether the three ``heroic operations'' it cites -- attacks on a government complex and ``a convoy of invading forces'' -- included the bombs that killed the children.

Grief-stricken mothers wailed over their children's bloodied corpses, as relatives collected body parts from the street for burial and a boy picked up the damaged bicycle of his dead brother.

Some of the children, who are near the end of a nationwide school vacation, said they were attracted to the neighborhood celebration by American soldiers handing out candy.

``The Americans called us. They told us: 'Come here, come here,' asking us if we wanted sweets. We went beside them, then a car exploded,'' said 12-year-old Abdel Rahman Dawoud, lying naked in a hospital bed with shrapnel embedded all over his body.

The wounded were rushed to Yarmouk Hospital, where angry relatives screamed for attention from the overwhelmed doctors, many of whom wore uniforms covered in blood. One woman tore at her hair before pulling back the sheet covering her dead brother and kissing his body.

Deputy Interior Minister Gen. Hussein Ali Kamal said intense military pressure on insurgents holed up in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, was forcing them to turn their bombs on the capital. He said the day's attacks were ``definitely coordinated.''

``They are killing citizens and spreading horror. They have no aims except killing as many Iraqis as they can,'' Kamal told The Associated Press. American jets, tanks and artillery units have repeatedly targeted al-Zarqawi's followers in Fallujah, as coalition forces seek to assert control over insurgent enclaves ahead of elections slated for January.

Earlier, a suicide attacker detonated a vehicle packed with explosives in front of a government complex in the Abu Ghraib area, on the western outskirts of Baghdad. The bombing killed a U.S. soldier and two Iraqi policeman and wounded more than 60 people, including three American soldiers.

U.S. forces guard the compound, which houses the mayor's office, a police station and other buildings, police 1st Lt. Ahmed Jawad said.

In the northern city of Tal Afar on Thursday, a car bomb targeting the police chief killed at least four people and wounded 19, including five policemen, police and hospital officials said. The police chief escaped unharmed.

The latest violence came after the Arab news network Al-Jazeera showed footage of 10 new hostages seized in Iraq by militants seen pointing guns at them. They included six Iraqis, two Lebanese and two Indonesian women, Al-Jazeera reported. It was not clear when or where they were seized.

Nearly 150 foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq and at least 26 have been killed. Some were seized by insurgents as leverage in their campaign against the United States and its allies, others by criminals seeking ransom. << There is more....

New York Times - October 1, 2004

Blast at Shiite Mosque in Pakistan Kills at Least 10 by the Associated Press

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- An explosion ripped through a Shiite Muslim mosque in the eastern Pakistani city of Sialkot during Friday prayers, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens, police said.

More than 100 people were inside the mosque at the time of the blast, Sialkot police chief Nisar Ahmed said, though others said there were at least 500 peopl there.

``Dozens of people have been taken to hospital in critical condition, and I think the casualties and death toll will rise,'' he told The Associated Press.

An angry mob went on the rampage after the blast, and had started pelting police with bricks and stones and wrecking property, police said.

Mosques of Pakistan's Shiite minority have often been targeted in sectarian violence with majority Sunni Muslims. Most of Pakistan's 150 million Muslims live in harmony, but there are radical elements on both sides of the sectarian divide.

The attack comes less than a week after Pakistan arrested a top al-Qaida suspect, Amjad Hussain Farooqi, believed to be behind the kidnapping and beheading in 2002 of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and two failed assassination attempts on Musharraf that left 17 other people dead in December 2003. << And more...

New York Times - October 1, 2004

Worst Violence in 2 Years Kills 28 Arabs and 3 Israelis by Greg Myre

NISANIT, Gaza Strip, Sept. 30 - At least 28 Palestinians and 3 Israelis were killed Thursday as Israeli troops pushed into a densely packed refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip and battled militants darting among the narrow alleys. It was the deadliest day in more than two years in the Middle East.

Late Thursday night, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's security cabinet approved plans to turn the current Gaza incursion into a major offensive aimed at stopping the persistent Palestinian rocket fire from the area, government officials said. The plan calls for soldiers to maintain an open-ended presence in the parts of northern Gaza that are within rocket range of nearby Israeli communities, said one official.

"We have to move forward to make the Palestinians retreat and put them out of range," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Dozens of Israeli tanks and other armored vehicles rolled into northern Gaza on Tuesday night after the latest upsurge in Palestinian rocket fire. The Israeli official declined to say what additional forces might be moved into the area.

In running battles Thursday, the Israelis fired from tanks and armored personnel carriers as they moved deep into the Jabaliya refugee camp, a hotbed for militants and home to more than 100,000 Palestinians on the northern edge of Gaza City. Masked Palestinians fired automatic rifles and antitank missiles and planted explosives along the sandy streets.

Throughout four years of fighting, the Israeli military has been reluctant to enter the congested cities and refugee camps in Gaza, where it is difficult for armored vehicles to maneuver. Even limited Israeli raids in Gaza have resulted in large numbers of casualties among both Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.

However, Mr. Sharon says he is determined to proceed with his plan to unilaterally withdraw Israeli soldiers and settlers from Gaza, and the persistent fighting is complicating his efforts.

"This will only make the prime minister more intent to pursue his disengagement plan," Gideon Meir, a senior official in the Foreign Ministry, said of the latest turmoil. "The Palestinians want to convince the world that Israel is withdrawing because of terrorism. We know this is not the truth."

The combined Israeli-Palestinian death toll of 31 on Thursday was the highest single-day count since Israel carried out a sweeping incursion in the West Bank in March and April of 2002. About half of the Palestinian dead were militants and the rest were civilians, according to witnesses and the staff at Kamal Adwan Hospital, which treated more than 100 Palestinian wounded. At least three teenagers were among the dead, hospital officials said.

In the deadliest single episode, an Israeli tank fired a shell toward Palestinian militants who had just hit an armored Israeli vehicle with a missile, wounding three soldiers, the military said. The tank shell killed seven Palestinians and wounded about 20, with civilians accounting for most of the casualties, according to Palestinian witnesses and the hospital.

Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, the Israeli Army commander in Gaza, acknowledged the civilian casualties and expressed regret. He also accused the militants of using civilians as shields.

The Israelis bulldozed about 20 homes on a narrow road leading into the camp, apparently to allow better access for armored vehicles, Palestinian residents said.

Muhammad Dahlan, a former Palestinian Authority security chief in Gaza and still an influential figure, said in a statement that the Israeli operation would "result in a blood bath on both sides, because the Palestinian people cannot remain silent in the face of this aggression."

On the Israeli side, a kindergarten teacher was shot dead while on her regular morning jog along a road linking three Jewish settlements on the northern edge of Gaza, just a couple of miles from Jabaliya.

With a heavy fog providing cover, two Palestinian gunmen breached a fence that protects both sides of the road. The gunmen fatally shot the teacher and then gunned down an army paramedic who arrived moments later outside the Nisanit settlement. Israeli soldiers shot both gunmen to death, officials said.

In a settlement with 300 families, most with small children, virtually everyone knew the slain teacher, Shula Batito, 36, who had run the kindergarten for more than a decade.

Also, an Israeli soldier was killed when two Palestinians opened fire with rifles and grenades at the entrance to a military post near Jabaliya. The Palestinians were then shot to death, the military said.

Israel has staged repeated raids into northern Gaza, but at best the rocket fire has been reduced only temporarily.

Despite the large military presence, Palestinians fired a rocket on Wednesday night that killed two children, ages 2 and 4, in the Israeli town of Sederot, close to the Gaza border.

Israelis were outraged by the deaths, which came just before the beginning of Sukkot, the fall harvest festival. Officials warned that the military operation in Gaza would be intensified, and Thursday's fighting appeared to confirm that.

But it is unclear whether the Israelis will be able to stop the rocket fire. The Palestinians fired two more rockets at Sederot on Thursday. One hit a factory, but no one was hurt.

Palestinians are able to set up and fire their homemade Qassam rockets and then flee, all within minutes, making it difficult for the Israeli forces to find them. Most have been fired by the Islamic faction Hamas, which claimed responsibility for the attack that killed the two children.<< And more....

New York Times - October 1, 2004

Bombing in Lebanon Wounds Cabinet Minister by the Associated Press

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) -- A car bomb exploded Friday in central Beirut, wounding a former Lebanese Cabinet minister and killing his driver, officials said.

Former Economy Minister Marwar Hamadeh reportedly suffered minor wounds and was in stable condition. His political party had him resign from the government last month to protest Syrian interference in Lebanese political affairs.

It was not clear in Hamadeh was the target of the blast. The explosion occurred near the American Community School and the International College, both U.S. organizations, a security official said on condition of anonymity.

Security officials sealed off the area as firefighters struggled to extinguish the fire caused by the explosion. Several parked cars in the area were damaged and broken glass from nearby buildings littered the street.

Hamadeh is a member of Druse leader Walid Jumblatt's parliamentary bloc, which last month voted against extending pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud's term for another years.

The Al Manar television quoted an official in Jumblatt's Progressive Socialist Party as saying that Hamadeh suffered ``minor injuries'' in the explosion.

Syria is the main power broker in Lebanon and has based thousands of troops here since the early stages of the 1975-90 civil war. Jumblatt is an ally of Syria but rejected Damascus' decision to support the extension of Lahoud's mandate.

The United States and United Nations opposed Syria's perceived interference in Lebanon and called for the election of a new Lebanese president.

Jumblatt, a former warlord and Cabinet minister, has urged Syria to stop interfering in internal Lebanese affairs. He withdrew Hamadeh and two other ministers from the Lebanese Cabinet last month to protest the extension of Lahoud's term.

Car bombings were frequent during Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war, in which more than 150,000 people died. << The question then becomes: How can a war against hatred be won by triggering more hatred?

Introducing John Kerry

In roughly two hours the first Kerry - Bush so-called debate will take place.

Those of us who strongly support Sen. Kerry realize he is an intelligent, experienced, thoughtful individual. But, after the vicious campaign that has been launched againt him, it's no wonder that millions of Americans don't have a clue who the real Kerry is.

The following article should help those interested in getting to know his real persona:

t r u t h o u t Perspective - Thursday 30 September 2004

Introducing John Kerry By William Rivers Pitt

Everyone knows John Kerry by now, right?

He's the tall guy who went to Vietnam and then wounded himself three
times to get his medals, while simultaneously conning the bureaucracy of the
Navy into giving him citations for valor. Or he's the guy who volunteered
for Vietnam, and then volunteered for Swift Boat duty, and then was wounded
three times while serving with distinction. He's the guy who opposed the war
upon his return and thus became a traitor, or he's the guy who opposed the
war upon his return and thus became a hero.

The John Kerry people know is a fellow of wealth and privilege, a rich
man who married richer, a silver-spoon type of guy who lives in the most
expensive neighborhood in Boston when not gallivanting from one townhouse to
another. The John Kerry people know is a Forbes, and a Winthrop. The John
Kerry people know isn't all that trustworthy because of his wealth, because
despite notions to the contrary, we are still a society based upon class
struggle. It is an article of faith among the 90% of Americans who aren't
rich that those with money aren't to be trusted. That this same measure of
distrust isn't extended to George W. Bush is a triumph of 'regular fella' marketing.

That is the Kerry people know, or think they know, thanks to this
brainless campaign season. This is the Kerry created by commercials, by
inane debate on the national cable news channels, by reporters who believe
the shortest way to the truth is a straight line in the other direction.

There is another John Kerry to whom America deserves to be introduced.

The story of any person begins with their parents. John Kerry was born
to Richard Kerry and Rosemary Forbes, who met in Paris just before the war.
Richard Kerry, marked early in life by the suicide of his father and the
death from polio of his sister Mildred, became a student of the law who
eventually distinguished himself in the Foreign Service during the
Eisenhower years. Rosemary, despite her Forbes and Winthrop heritage, was
not spared her own deep trials. When the Nazis invaded Paris, Rosemary had
to flee the city on a bicycle. She spent weeks foraging for food, hiding in
barns and cellars, avoiding German soldiers and falling bombs, until she
finally reached Lisbon and boarded a ship bound for Boston.

How do the ordeals of parents affect the fate of the child? Because of
his father's government service, John Kerry saw the world, and came to know
the art of diplomacy. He learned very young that there is much beyond the
borders of America to value. His time abroad with his father shattered the
quiet xenophobic tendencies many Americans get with mother's milk.

Because of his mother's narrow escape from the Nazi armies, John Kerry
learned that there is indeed evil in the world which no amount of money or
privilege can deflect. Living in post-war Berlin during one of his father's
diplomatic postings, Kerry saw the bombed-out buildings, the refugees who
were everywhere, and the tens of thousands of people who left everything
behind to flee the Soviet sector. Kerry learned that such evil must be
confronted. In the experiences of his parents, John Kerry developed the
nuanced, intricate and informed view of the wider world that has since
defined his life.

Of course, he came from privilege. Educated at the exclusive Fessenden
School, and then at the super-exclusive St. Paul's School, and then at Yale
University, Kerry was surrounded by the scions of wealthy families and was
afforded an education available to only the richest few. In order to fit in
with his fellow students, Kerry should have adopted the attitude of
world-weary condescension, of laid-back expectancy, which marked children of
the wealthy Eastern Establishment in that time and place.

He didn't. Inspired by teachers like Reverend John Walker, who taught
those privileged children at St. Paul's about the realities of race in
America, and later by President John Kennedy, whose call to service
motivated millions, and always by his father Richard, who taught by word and
example that service to country is the highest calling, John Kerry became a
man of action and of ambition. Here was no callow youth marking time until
his family's money became his money. Kerry became active in politics, and
augured his life towards government work.

John Kerry served in the Navy from 1966 to 1970, volunteered for combat
duty in Vietnam, and earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, three Purple
Hearts, two Presidential Unit Citations and a National Defense Medal. Upon
his return from the war, he became centrally involved with Vietnam Veterans
Against the War, helped to create Vietnam Veterans of America, and brought
the realities of Vietnam into living rooms all across America. He served as
a prosecutor in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, beginning in 1976. From
1977 to 1982 he served as First Assistant District Attorney, during which
time he successfully battled organized crime, prosecuted and jailed the
number two crime boss in New England, fought for victims' rights, and
organized rape counseling programs.

From 1983 to 1985, John Kerry served as Massachusetts Lieutenant
Governor, and transformed what had been a symbolic position to one with
muscle. He organized Governors all across the country to combat a new and
disturbing reality - acid rain caused by industrial pollution that was
destroying lakes, rivers and the country's water supply. This activity began
what has since become a lifetime of activism to protect our environment, a
lifetime of activism that has made John Kerry perhaps the most effective
fighter for environmental protection in American government.

In 1985, John Kerry was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he has served
for the last 19 years. Coming into the Massachusetts delegation under the
long shadow of Edward Kennedy, who had already cornered the
hail-fellow-well-met market of Massachusetts retail politics, Kerry worked
to the strengths he had inherited from his parents and became a master of
national and foreign policy issues. It would take a great deal of ink to
detail the committees he served on, the legislation he shepherded into
passage, the arguments he championed and the policies he pushed.

The best illustration of the man Senator John Kerry became, the man we
now see standing for President, came when he decided to wage war against one
of the most far-reaching and dangerous criminal enterprises ever seen in the
world. In 1988, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, or BCCI, was
a highly respected international financial institution which catered to the
most powerful of the powerful. BCCI had allies all through Washington D.C.
and across the world.

The public reality of BCCI changed completely when John Kerry, fresh
from his lead role investigating the Iran/Contra scandal, was tasked to run
down Iran/Contra drug connections as chairman of the Subcommittee on
Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations. Very soon, Kerry
discovered damning BCCI connections not only to Noriega and the laundering
of drug money, but to a massive international network of dirty cash moving
to and from the most dangerous people in the world.

Immediately, Kerry met with opposition from power-players in Washington.
Everyone - literally everyone, from both parties, including President George
H.W. Bush, whose son George W. had enjoyed BCCI financing for one of his
doomed oil businesses - pressured Kerry to back off. Instead, Kerry took the
information he had gathered and gave it to New York District Attorney Robert
Morgenthau. Morgenthau agreed to begin a criminal investigation into BCCI.
By 1991, the investigation had blown up what Morgenthau described at the
time as "one of the biggest criminal enterprises in world history."

Journalists David Sirota and Jonathan Baskin, writing for Washington
Monthly, published an article titled 'Follow the Money', which chronicled
Kerry's work against BCCI. In their article, Sirota and Baskin state, "As
Kerry's subcommittee discovered, BCCI catered to many of the most notorious
tyrants and thugs of the late 20th century, including Iraqi dictator Saddam
Hussein, the heads of the Medellin cocaine cartel, and Abu Nidal, the
notorious Palestinian terrorist. According to the CIA, it also did business
with those who went on to lead al Qaeda. And BCCI went beyond merely
offering financial assistance to dictators and terrorists: According to
Time, the operation itself was an elaborate fraud, replete with a 'global
intelligence operation and a Mafia-like enforcement squad.'"

"By July 1991," continued Sirota and Baskin in their article, "Kerry's
work paid off. That month, British and U.S. regulators finally responded to
the evidence provided by Kerry, Morgenthau, and a concurrent investigation
by the Federal Reserve. BCCI was shut down in seven countries, restricted in
dozens more, and served indictments for grand larceny, bribery, and money
laundering. A decade after Kerry helped shut the bank down, the CIA
discovered Osama bin Laden was among those with accounts at the bank. A
French intelligence report obtained by The Washington Post in 2002
identified dozens of companies and individuals who were involved with BCCI
and were found to be dealing with bin Laden after the bank collapsed, and
that the financial network operated by bin Laden today 'is similar to the
network put in place in the 1980s by BCCI.' As one senior U.S. investigator
said in 2002, 'BCCI was the mother and father of terrorist financing

Here is a man who came from a level of privilege most Americans have
never known. He could have become what so many children from the upper
echelons of money and power become - callow, shallow, lazy, biding his time
until he got everything he thought his position granted him, leaning on
powerful family friends to make up for the shortcomings that arise from an
idle life and the sense that the world owes him whatever he desires,
believing that making money and enjoying position are the alpha and omega of

John Kerry went in the opposite direction. He was raised to believe that
privilege has its duties, that public service is the alpha and omega of
life, and has worked every day to fulfill the obligations his parents and
his education and his own deeply-held beliefs instilled in him. In his fight
against BCCI, he revealed himself to be a man of great purpose, of mission,
who refused to bow before the altars of status quo and go-along-to-get-along
that are all too worshipped in Washington.

A life of service and study crafted a man of depth, of intelligence, who
can see all the sides of any issue and incorporates all available data
before making a decision. The opponents he has faced and defeated throughout
his career have enjoyed painting him as vacillating, as indecisive, as a man
who holds several positions at once in order to cover his political
backside. In truth, these incomplete views on John Kerry are born from a
modern political landscape that cannot fathom a man who is judicious,
contemplative and thorough, because such attributes have been all too absent
from our political discourse.

Judicious, contemplative and thorough. In a dangerous world, made vastly
more dangerous by politicians who think in violent black and white because
simplicity polls better and fits into soundbites, a man like John Kerry may
seem out of place. He is, in fact, in exactly the right place at exactly the
right time.


Author's Note This article is dedicated to my father, who was born in
a small Southern river town, who heard Kennedy's call, who volunteered for
Vietnam, who returned to spend his entire professional life as a public
servant in a variety of government positions. He was not born into the same
privilege as John Kerry, but the fact that their lives have followed
incredibly similar tracks speak volumes on the character of each man.

William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and international bestseller of
two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The
Greatest Sedition is Silence.'

Time for a smile or two....


Well, it isn't Fair and Balanced, but for your amusement...

" A new poll says that if the election were held today, John
Kerry would beat President Bush by a double digit margin. The White
House is so worried about this, they're now thinking of moving up the
capture of Osama Bin Laden to next month." -- Jay Leno

President Bush has unveiled his first campaign commercial,
highlighting all of his accomplishments in office. That's why
it's a 15-second spot." -- Jay Leno

"President Bush says he has just one question for the
American voters,'Is the rich person you're working for better
off now than they were four years ago?'" --Jay Leno

"Kerry is well on his way to reaching his magic number of 2,162.
That's the total number of delegates he needs to win the
Democratic nomination. See, for President Bush it's different.
His magic number is only 5. That's the number of Supreme Court
judges needed to win." -- Jay Leno

"There was a scare in Washington when a man climbed over the
White House wall and was arrested. This marks the first time a
person has gotten into The White House unlawfully since President Bush."
- David Letterman

"The White House is now backtracking from its prediction that
2.6 million new jobs will be created in the U.S. this year.
They say they were off--by roughly 2.6 million jobs." -- Jay Leno

"In Louisiana, President Bush met with over 15,000 National
Guard troops. Here's the weird part: nobody remembers seeing him
there." -- Craig Kilborn

"President Bush said he was 'troubled' by gay people getting
> married in San Francisco. He said on important issues like this the
people should make the decision, not judges. Unless of course we're
choosing a president, then he prefers judges." -- Jay Leno

"There was an embarrassing moment in the White House earlier
today. They were looking around searching for George Bush's
military records. They actually found some old Al Gore ballots." -- David Letterman

"The big story now is that President Bush is coming under attack
for his service in the National Guard. The commanding officers
can't remember seeing Bush between May and October of '72.
President Bush said, 'Remember me? I'm the drunk guy.'" -- Jay Leno

"On 'Meet the Press' yesterday President Bush was asked what he
would do if he lost the election and Bush said, 'Phhh, you mean
like last time?'" -- Jay Leno

"This week, both John Kerry and Wesley Clark are making
campaign appearance with the guys who saved their lives in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, President Bush is campaigning with a guy that once
> took a math test for him." -- Conan O'Brien

"President Bush released his new $2.4 trillion federal budget.
> It has two parts: smoke and mirrors." -- Jay Leno

"Bush admitted that his pre-war intelligence wasn't what it
should have been. We knew that when we elected him!" -- Jay Leno

"As you know President Bush gave his State of the Union
Address, interrupted 70 times by applause and 45 times by
really big words." -- Jay Leno

"President Bush said that American workers will need new skills
to get the new jobs in the 21st century. Some of the skills they're
going to need are Spanish, Chinese, and Korean, because that's where
the jobs went." -- Jay Leno

"President Bush wants to build a space station on the moon. And
from the moon, he wants to launch people to Mars. You know what
this means. He's drinking again." -- David Letterman

"The new Prime Minister of Spain has called the war in Iraq a
disaster, and plans to bring his troops home as soon as possible. In
fact, President Bush is so upset at Spain that he is now
threatening to close down the border between Spain and the US." -- Jay Leno

"The U.S. Army confirmed that it gave a lucrative fighting contract
in Iraq to the firm once run by the Vice President Dick Cheney
without any competitive bidding. When asked if this could be conceived as
Cheney's friends profiting from the war, the spokesman said, 'Yes.' '--
Conan O'Brien

"Dick Cheney finally responded today to demands that he reveal
the details of the Enron meetings. This is what he said. 'He met
with unnamed people, from unspecified companies, for an
indeterminate amount of time, at an undisclosed location.' Thank God he
cleared that up." -- Jay Leno

"Plans are being discussed as to who will replace Dick Cheney if he
has to resign for health reasons. It's not easy for President Bush.

He can't just name a replacement. He would first have to be
confirmed by the oil, gas and power companies." -- Jay Leno

"President Bush spoke briefly to reporters before playing a
> round of golf in Crawford, Texas, earlier today. This raises the
question: Shouldn't the guy who is really running the country
and who has had like 20 heart attacks be taking the vacation?" -- Craig Kilborn

"The White House has now released military documents they say
prove George Bush met his requirements for the National Guard.
Big deal, we've got documents that prove Al Gore won the election."
Jay Leno<<

Bush's Political Dogma of Faith....

The reason this election is, by far, the most important in modern U.S. history, is described in the following insightful article by Frank Rich.

In their efforts to manipulate the "unwashed masses" right-wingers use "God" and "Jesus" as the main characters to cement the GOP's "base." Religion is used unabashedly as a political tool by morphing religious dogma of faith into political dogma of faith:

"So why didn't we go into those other countries in the axis of evil, North Korea or Iran? Never mind. To ask such questions is to be against God and "with the terrorists."

Needless to say, millions of Americans have fallen into that TRAP as the wall that separates church and state continues eroding:

New York Times - September 30, 2004

Now on DVD: The Passion of the Bush by Frank Rich

You can run but you can't hide: Oct. 5 will bring the perfect storm in this year's culture wars. It's on that strategically chosen date, four Tuesdays before the election, that the DVD of "Fahrenheit 9/11" will be released along with not one but two new Michael Moore books. It's also the release date of the equally self-effacing Ann Coulter's latest rant, of a new DVD documentary, "Horns and Halos," that revisits the Bush mystery year of 1972, and of an R.E.M. album, "Around the Sun," that gets in its own political licks at the state of the nation.

When Dick Cheney and John Edwards debate in Cleveland that night, Bruce Springsteen will be barnstorming in another swing state, as the Vote for Change tour hits St. Paul. All that's needed to make the day complete is a smackdown between Kinky Friedman and Teresa Heinz Kerry on "Imus in the Morning."

Of the many cultural grenades being tossed that day, though, the one must-see is "George W. Bush: Faith in the White House," a DVD that is being specifically marketed in "head to head" partisan opposition to "Fahrenheit 9/11." This documentary first surfaced at the Republican convention in New York, where it was previewed in tandem with an invitation-only, no-press-allowed "Family, Faith and Freedom Rally," a Ralph Reed-Sam Brownback jamboree thrown by the Bush campaign for Christian conservatives. Though you can buy the DVD for $14.95, its makers told the right-wing news service that they plan to distribute 300,000 copies to America's churches. And no wonder. This movie aspires to be "The Passion of the Bush," and it succeeds.

More than any other campaign artifact, it clarifies the hard-knuckles rationale of the president's vote-for-me-or-face-Armageddon re-election message. It transforms the president that the Democrats deride as a "fortunate son" of privilege into a prodigal son with the "moral clarity of an old-fashioned biblical prophet." Its Bush is not merely a sincere man of faith but God's essential and irreplaceable warrior on Earth. The stations of his cross are burnished into cinematic fable: the misspent youth, the hard drinking (a thirst that came from "a throat full of Texas dust"), the fateful 40th-birthday hangover in Colorado Springs, the walk on the beach with Billy Graham. A towheaded child actor bathed in the golden light of an off-camera halo re-enacts the young George comforting his mom after the death of his sister; it's a parable anticipating the future president's miraculous ability to comfort us all after 9/11. An older Bush impersonator is seen rebuffing a sexual come-on from a fellow Bush-Quayle campaign worker hovering by a Xerox machine in 1988; it's an effort to imbue our born-again savior with retroactive chastity. As for the actual president, he is shown with a flag for a backdrop in a split-screen tableau with Jesus. The message isn't subtle: they were separated at birth.

"Faith in the White House" purports to be the product of "independent research," uncoordinated with the Bush-Cheney campaign. But many of its talking heads are official or unofficial administration associates or sycophants. They include the evangelical leader and presidential confidant Ted Haggard (who is also one of Mel Gibson's most fervent P.R. men) and Deal Hudson, an adviser to the Bush-Cheney campaign until August, when he resigned following The National Catholic Reporter's investigation of accusations that he sexually harassed an 18-year-old Fordham student in the 1990's. As for the documentary's "research," a film positioning itself as a scrupulously factual "alternative" to "Fahrenheit 9/11" should not inflate Mr. Bush's early business "success" with Arbusto Energy (an outright bust for most of its investors) or the number of children he's had vaccinated in Iraq ("more than 22 million," the movie claims, in a country whose total population is 25 million).

"Will George W. Bush be allowed to finish the battle against the forces of evil that threaten our very existence?" Such is the portentous question posed at the film's conclusion by its narrator, the religious broadcaster Janet Parshall, beloved by some for her ecumenical generosity in inviting Jews for Jesus onto her radio show during the High Holidays. Anyone who stands in the way of Mr. Bush completing his godly battle, of course, is a heretic. Facts on the ground in Iraq don't matter. Rational arguments mustered in presidential debates don't matter. Logic of any kind is a nonstarter. The president - who after 9/11 called the war on terrorism a "crusade," until protests forced the White House to backpedal - is divine. He may not hear "voices" instructing him on policy, testifies Stephen Mansfield, the author of one of the movie's source texts, "The Faith of George W. Bush," but he does act on "promptings" from God. "I think we went into Iraq not so much because there were weapons of mass destruction," Mr. Mansfield has explained elsewhere, "but because Bush had concluded that Saddam Hussein was an evildoer" in the battle "between good and evil." So why didn't we go into those other countries in the axis of evil, North Korea or Iran? Never mind. To ask such questions is to be against God and "with the terrorists."

The propagandists of "Faith in the White House" argue, as others have, that the president's invocation of religion in the public sphere, from his citation of Jesus as his favorite "political philosopher" to his incessant invocation of the Almighty in talking about how everything is coming up roses in Iraq, is consistent with the civic spirituality practiced by his antecedents, from the founding fathers to Bill Clinton. It's not. Past presidents have rarely, if ever, claimed such godlike infallibility. Mr. Bush never admits to making a mistake; even his premature "Mission Accomplished" victory lap wasn't in error, as he recently told Bill O'Reilly. After all, if you believe "God wants me to be president" - a quote attributed to Mr. Bush by the Rev. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention - it's a given that you are incapable of making mistakes. Those who say you have are by definition committing blasphemy. A God-appointed leader even has the power to rewrite His texts. Jim Wallis, the liberal evangelical author, has pointed out Mr. Bush's habit of rejiggering specific scriptural citations so that, say, the light shining into the darkness is no longer God's light but America's and, by inference, the president's own.

It's not just Mr. Bush's self-deification that separates him from the likes of Lincoln, however; it's his chosen fashion of Christianity. The president didn't revive the word "crusade" idly in the fall of 2001. His view of faith as a Manichaean scheme of blacks and whites to be acted out in a perpetual war against evil is synergistic with the violent poetics of the best-selling "Left Behind" novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins and Mel Gibson's cinematic bloodfest. The majority of Christian Americans may not agree with this apocalyptic worldview, but there's a big market for it. A Newsweek poll shows that 17 percent of Americans expect the world to end in their lifetime. To Karl Rove and company, that 17 percent is otherwise known as "the base."

The pandering to that base has become familiar in countless administration policies, starting with its antipathy to stem-cell research, abortion, condoms for H.I.V. prevention and gay civil rights. But ever since Mr. Bush's genuflection to Bob Jones University threatened to shoo away moderates in 2000, the Rove ruse is to try to keep the most militant and sectarian tactics of the Bush religious program under the radar. (Mr. Rove even tried to deny that the wooden lectern at the Republican convention was a pulpit embedded with a cross, as if a nation of eyewitnesses could all be mistaken.) The re-election juggernaut has not only rounded up the membership rosters of churches en masse but quietly mounted official Web sites like as well. (Evangelicals and Mormons have their own Web variants on this same theme, but not the Jews, who are apparently getting in Kerry just what they deserve.) Even the contraband C-word is being revived out of sight of most of the press: Marc Racicot, the Bush-Cheney campaign chairman, lobbed a direct-mail fund-raising letter in March describing Mr. Bush as "leading a global crusade against terrorism."

In this spring's classic "South Park" parody, "The Passion of the Jew," in which Mr. Gibson's movie tosses the community into a religious war, one of the kids concludes: "If you want to be Christian, that's cool, but you should focus on what Jesus taught instead of how he got killed. Focusing on how he got killed is what people did in the Dark Ages, and it ends up with really bad results." He has a point. It's far from clear that Mr. Bush's eschatology and his religious vanity are leading to good results now. The all-seeing president who could pronounce Vladimir Putin saintly by looking into his "soul" is now refusing to acknowledge that the reverse may be true. The general in charge of tracking down Osama bin Laden, William G. Boykin, has earned cheers in some quarters for giving speeches at churches proclaiming that Mr. Bush is "in the White House because God put him there" to lead the "army of God" against "a guy named Satan." But all that preaching didn't get his day job done; he hasn't snared the guy named Osama he was supposed to bring back "dead or alive."

"George W. Bush: Faith in the White House" must be seen because it shows how someone like General Boykin can stay in his job even in failure and why Mr. Bush feels divinely entitled to keep his job even as we stand on the cusp of an abyss in Iraq. In this pious but not humble worldview, faith, or at least a certain brand of it, counts more than competence, and a biblical mission, or at least a simplistic, blunderbuss facsimile of one, counts more than the secular goal of waging an effective, focused battle against an enemy as elusive and cunning as terrorists. That no one in this documentary, including its hero, acknowledges any constitutional boundaries between church and state is hardly a surprise. To them, America is a "Christian nation," period, with no need even for the fig-leaf prefix of "Judeo-."

Far more startling is the inability of a president or his acolytes to acknowledge any boundary that might separate Mr. Bush's flawed actions battling "against the forces of evil" from the righteous dictates of God. What that level of hubris might bring in a second term is left to the imagination, and "Faith in the White House" gives the imagination room to run riot about what a 21st-century crusade might look like in the flesh. A documentary conceived as a rebuke to "Fahrenheit 9/11" is nothing if not its unintentional and considerably more nightmarish sequel.<<

Sunday, September 26, 2004

A clear difference between European and U.S. attitudes toward war on terrorism

"These European countries have expressed a more quiet but collective resolve to work within an international consensus to fight terrorism. In the eyes of many European counterterrorism specialists and officials, the Bush administration's reliance on conventional military means can serve to provoke more terrorism."

There is no doubt that the approach taken by Bush-Cheney and their "neoconservative" cohorts has led to more rather than less terrorism by occupying not one, but two Arab/Muslim nations where where nationalism and tribalism trumps "democracy and freedom" comes from within.

As we all know, the world supported the U.S. incursion into Afghanistan since it was clear that bin Laden and his cohorts had planned the 9/11 attack and the Taliban was playing host to these individuals.

On the other hand, it was also clear that there was no poof whatsoever that Saddam had anything to do with the tragedy and most of the the world refused to jump onboard the Bushite train when it left the station headed for Baghdad.

"For the United States, the response to Sept. 11 was to launch a "war on terrorism," one cast in terms of good and evil and marked with somber ceremonies, fought more with armies than with indictments. But for Spain as well as for France, Germany, and Britain, all countries that have suffered a history of terrorist violence, the focus is a "struggle" against a criminal element."

The difference in approach = the difference in objectives.

Europeans are fighting a war against terror that is best fought by intelligence agencies in coordination with law enforcement.

Bush-Cheney-Wolfowitz-Rumsfeld-Feith, on the other hand, have a totally different objective in that they used 9/11 to justify restructuring the Arab/Muslim world in their image by military means when necessary and threats/bribes/coercion when otherwise deemed effective.

Bush-Cheney and the newly installed "neoconservative" cohorts such as Wolfowitz, Abrams, Libby, Bolton, Feith, Perle and others had been itching to restructure the Middle East ever since they presented their "Project for a New American Century" to President Clinton who said "thank you" and largely ignored them.

Once the tragedy of 9/11 occurred, they used it to justify the implementation of their "Project" and, faster than you can say Iraq, they morphed the face of Osama into that of Saddam and...were off to the races. Never admitting, of course, their ultimate goal.

Bushites like to compare Afghanistan and Iraq to the establishment of democracy in Germany and Japan after WWII totally disregarding the fact that these were industrialized, homogeneous societies who, after long years of suffering and total defeat, were indeed ready to embrace freedom and democracy.

BIG difference....

"Many European analysts say they believe the Bush administration has manipulated the emotions of Americans by playing up the fear of terrorism with its system of alerts and its rhetoric. European observers wonder why the American public has not reacted against this, and, based on the findings of a recent trans-Atlantic opinion poll conducted for the German Marshall Fund, a large majority of Europeans hope American voters will react by choosing John F. Kerry over Bush in November."

Europeans are not alone in wondering why Americans have not reacted against this clear abuse of power and, they are not alone. Roughly 50% of Americans wonder too. It's the other 50% who have not quite realized that they've been manipulated by the powers-that-be into thinking that they are "safer" by occupying a nation where terrorism was non-existent before Bushites decided to go after a pathetic ol' guy hiding in a cave whose only goal at this point in time was...SELF-preservation.

"Trinidad Jimenez, the spokesman on foreign affairs for the Spanish Socialist Party, said: "We know terrorism, but we are not afraid of it. . . . We know it needs to be confronted, but we have come to understand that it must be confronted intelligently, effectively, and within the framework of international and national law.

"Words in this debate matter. The world was fed fear to sell the war in Iraq, and the conservatives here tried to manipulate words to stay in power," said Jiminez, referring to the previous government's initial assessment that Basque separatists carried out the Madrid bombings. "We will not be intimidated by Washington trying to say we were weak on terror. In fact, we find it offensive."

Yes, words matter indeed. And the words used by Bush and his cohorts have antagonized friend and foe alike.

As I listened to arrogant, selfrighteous right-wingers I could not help but wonder if their goal was to trigger more rather than less terrorism given that they've done such a great job of achieving the former.

I listened to a "neocon" the other day proclaiming: Arabs/Muslims only RESPECT force.

Key word: "Respect." NOTHING could be further from the truth.

True. RESPECT is key to winning the war against hatred is not earned by dropping missiles and/or bombs on individuals who are largely helpless facing the most powerful military machine in the world.

Once we have "regime change" in the U.S. and Israel and leaders who understand that humiliating Arabs/Muslims is what triggers terrorism...the war will be won.

As long as Bush and Sharon remain in power...all we'll get is more bloodshed as the vicious cycle continues unabated.

Boston Globe - September 26, 2004

Europe's terror fight quiet, unrelenting By Charles M. Sennott, Globe Staff

MADRID -- A city-bound train rumbled along with purpose on the same commuter line where bombs inflicted brutal carnage more than six months ago, killing 191 people and wounding hundreds in the worst terrorist attack in Europe in decades.

Passengers read their newspapers, snoozed, and chatted, as, on a day this month, a digital clock clicked to 7:38 a.m., the moment on March 11 when members of a Moroccan terrorist cell inspired by Al Qaeda set off the first of 10 bombs stuffed inside backpacks along the train line.

There was no visible increase in security on this suburban Madrid train, and there is no sense of panic among commuters. The mood suggests that Spaniards, hardened by decades of struggle against terrorism, have moved on from the attack -- and that the Europeans have responded in vastly different ways than the Americans to the threat of global terrorism.

For the United States, the response to Sept. 11 was to launch a "war on terrorism," one cast in terms of good and evil and marked with somber ceremonies, fought more with armies than with indictments. But for Spain as well as for France, Germany, and Britain, all countries that have suffered a history of terrorist violence, the focus is a "struggle" against a criminal element.

These European countries have expressed a more quiet but collective resolve to work within an international consensus to fight terrorism. In the eyes of many European counterterrorism specialists and officials, the Bush administration's reliance on conventional military means can serve to provoke more terrorism.

The contrasting strategic visions translate into diverging tactics on the ground. The US confrontation with terrorism turns now on a long-term commitment of troops in Iraq. Spain's newly elected prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, fulfilled a campaign promise to pull Spanish troops out of Iraq, but also increased Madrid's commitment to peacekeeping in Afghanistan. And at home, Spanish authorities have staged a series of raids against Islamic extremist cells, making numerous arrests.

"When Spain pulled out its troops, it was completely wrong to say the Spanish people had gone soft on terrorism," said Gijs de Vries, the European Union's first counterterrorism chief, a post created in response to the Madrid bombing to help European countries coordinate efforts against terrorism. "They were instead exerting their belief that the war in Iraq was not connected to the war on terrorism, and that in fact it undercut the war on terrorism."

De Vries, of the Netherlands, said confronting terrorism needs to combine conventional military force, police investigations, and a political dimension that is "more than just hearts and minds, but truly analyzing the context and the conditions that create terrorism." He said the United States and Europe had cooperated very effectively in many ways, especially in criminal investigations, but that the United States had unnecessarily alienated many of its allies by relying too heavily on a military response and consistently undervalued the political dimension.

Zapatero has politically reunited his country with France and Germany, which have led Europe's opposition to the war in Iraq. Spain's former conservative prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar, had aligned himself with President Bush and had supported the war in Iraq.

On the week that Spain marked the six-month anniversary of the bombings, Zapatero welcomed President Jacques Chirac of France and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany to Madrid. Zapatero and his Socialist Party were swept into power just three days after the bombings.

Zapatero derided the now-infamous comment by the US secretary of defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, disparaging "old Europe," which had opposed the Iraq war. "You have before you three fervent pro-Europeans," Zapatero said. "This is not just any meeting . . . and I am glad to say that old Europe is as good as new."

The three leaders agreed to share police databases and vowed closer cooperation in the continent's fight against terrorism. They also agreed to pursue a united approach to address the anger and despair among Muslims in the Middle East and those who come as immigrants to Europe, and who sometimes become recruits for terrorist groups.

Across Europe, terrorism has claimed 5,000 lives in the past three decades, in attacks from such groups as the Irish Republican Army, the Basque separatist group ETA, anarchists, Italy's Red Brigades, Arab nationalists, and Islamic militants.

This month, the European Union released a report it had commissioned to reassess Europe's ability to confront terrorism. The study was compiled by an independent group of counterterrorism and military specialists. It showed that Europe must increase its capacity to intervene in regional conflicts worldwide, and to help root out security risks at the source.

To do this, the report said, leaders must stress the importance of reexamining outdated notions of protecting states in favor of an approach that protects people and that offers a wider and more interlocking concept of security. "In an era of interdependence, Europeans can no longer feel secure when the rest of the world is insecure," said the report, which was published Wednesday.

The report also emphasized a need to complement conventional military means with improved civilian elements, such as police and their trainers who can provide assistance in peacekeeping missions and in the promotion of democracy and the rule of law.

The report also illustrated the differing approaches of the United States and Europe.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush and his administration responded with a swift invasion of Afghanistan to crush the Taliban government that provided logistical support for Al Qaeda. Then, the administration pushed toward the buildup for the war in Iraq, ignoring widespread opposition among longtime allies.

After the attacks in Madrid, Spaniards reacted with a demonstration of collective resolve that brought 10 million people to the streets to protest the terrorists, as well as Spain's involvement in Iraq. The new government deployed investigators to follow up leads and penetrate Moroccan cells with purported links to Al Qaeda, which turned out to be behind the attacks.

Antiterrorism police have arrested 68 people in connection with the train bombings, including 20 believed to have been directly involved. The suspects are alleged to form a web that ranges from Moroccan cell-phone store owners who perhaps unwittingly helped the terrorists obtain and program phones used to trigger bombs, to Spanish nationals who helped secure some of the explosives, to a core of 20 militants who more actively took part in planning and coordinating the bombings.

The core cell has been dismantled, according to Spanish law enforcement officials. A suspected mastermind of the operation, Rabei Osman Ahmed, is awaiting extradition from Italy under a new EU extradition agreement. A second purported coordinator is in custody in Spain and a third was killed when he exploded a bomb as police tried to capture him, authorities said.

German and French counter-terrorism officials have also made significant gains in disrupting Islamic militant cells through sweeps and key arrests. However, these countries have also suffered setbacks in obtaining convictions. In some cases this is because the FBI and CIA are reluctant to share intelligence on Al Qaeda; in others it is because the kind of information obtained by the United States is deemed inadmissible in European courts.

The Zapatero government has worked to build bridges with the immigrant Muslim community, , and the new foreign minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, has gone on a diplomatic offensive to improve ties with its neighbor, Morocco, and other Muslim countries, relations that were frayed by Aznar's support for the war.

Many European analysts say they believe the Bush administration has manipulated the emotions of Americans by playing up the fear of terrorism with its system of alerts and its rhetoric. European observers wonder why the American public has not reacted against this, and, based on the findings of a recent trans-Atlantic opinion poll conducted for the German Marshall Fund, a large majority of Europeans hope American voters will react by choosing John F. Kerry over Bush in November.

European terrorism specialists, government officials, and counterterrorism investigators from different political leanings say that understanding the difference between the US and Europe's approaches to terror begins with language.

"The semantics are very important," said Gustavo de Aristegui, a leader of the right-of-center Popular Party and a terrorism specialist. He is Basque and is shadowed by a bodyguard because of a perceived ETA threat.

"For America to keep using the phrase 'war on terror' reflects a deep misunderstanding of the threat we face," said Aristegui, who has held postings in the Middle East and whose father, also a diplomat, was killed in Lebanon by Syrian shelling during the civil war.

"Calling what we face a 'war on terror,' " he added, "is a semantic trap that legitimizes a criminal element as a group worthy of being called an enemy in a conventional sense, and worthy of being a force with which we can engage in war. We need to have language that reflects the reality, and the reality is we need to close the faucet of good guys going into the pool of bad guys."

The Bush administration has expressed disdain and distrust of any approach to the fight against terrorism that sees it as anything short of a war, and has questioned Kerry's ability to confront the threat.

In Iowa on Sept. 7, Vice President Dick Cheney said: "If we make the wrong choice [then the danger is that we'll get hit again, that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and that we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mindset, if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts and that we are not really at war."

Trinidad Jimenez, the spokesman on foreign affairs for the Spanish Socialist Party, said: "We know terrorism, but we are not afraid of it. . . . We know it needs to be confronted, but we have come to understand that it must be confronted intelligently, effectively, and within the framework of international and national law.

"Words in this debate matter. The world was fed fear to sell the war in Iraq, and the conservatives here tried to manipulate words to stay in power," said Jiminez, referring to the previous government's initial assessment that Basque separatists carried out the Madrid bombings. "We will not be intimidated by Washington trying to say we were weak on terror. In fact, we find it offensive."

The differences between the United States and Europe were evident in the aftermath of the two attacks: While Americans rallied around the flag, Spaniards chose a less political symbol -- a white hand.

At public vigils, millions of Spaniards held up hands painted white, a symbol that for a decade has been used to protest Basque terrorism -- making the point that those with clean hands outnumber and will defeat those whose hands are stained with blood.

On the commuter train recently, Maribelle Marcos said friends from her working-class suburb had been killed in the bombings.

"We will never forget what happened, and the mourning isn't over, especially not for the families," she said as the train pulled into the capital's Atocha Station, ground zero for the attacks. "But we also know you can't let terrorists change who you are. If you do, they win."<<

U.S. news media failing the American people....

That the U.S. news media has failed the American people for at least the past 20 years is obvious to anyone who goes through life with its eyes wide open.

Issues that matter in our lives are treated as afterthoughts or, are totally omitted while issues that are peripheral, at best, are repeated over and over and over again.

Were it not for the Web, it would be very difficult to keep up with what is truly going on around the world:

"The American mainstream television news media, in whole and in part,
has CATASTROPHICALLY FAILED the American people and is singularly
RESPONSIBLE for the untimely deaths of tens of thousands of innocent
people. It is not too late for them to reverse course, to take again the
simple rules and requirements espoused by Murrow and Mencken and place
them at the forefront of their institutional mission. Nothing less than
the basic stability of our republic is at stake."

t r u t h o u t Perspective - Tuesday 21 September 2004

Your Media is Killing You* by William Rivers Pitt

The American mainstream television news media, in whole and in
part, has catastrophically failed the American people and is singularly
responsible for the untimely deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people.

The trajectory of this plunge is easy to chart. The 1980s saw
unprecedented DEREGULATION of the rules pertaining to the ownership of
media outlets. Thus began the combination and CONSOLIDATION of dozens of
differing viewpoints under the iron control of a few massivecorporations.
The many voices became one voice, and a dullard's voice at that.

The opening year of the 1990s saw the push towards our first war in
Iraq. Rather than hold to basic standards set by Edward R. Murrow and
the other giants of journalism - see it for yourself, do the legwork,
because the American people deserve to know what is happening - the
mainstream television news media decided their best course was to allow
themselves to be hand-fed by the Pentagon. No footage, no reports, no
news whatsoever would be released to the public without first passing
through Defense Department screeners. The American people learned from
this that war looks like a video game, that death is remote, that
victory is a simple matter of pushing a button.

After surrendering their integrity to governmental and military
entities which lie as a matter of course, the mainstream television news
media learned with the trial of O.J. Simpson the simple truth espoused
by H.L. Mencken: "No one ever went broke underestimating the
intelligence of the American people." Day after day, for sixteen months,
every television was filled around the clock with soap-opera
entertainment passing itself off as news. The American people, deprived
of substantive information about the world around them, learned that
real news is only about celebrities.

Then came the greatest entertainment-as-news extravaganza of all
time: The Monica Lewinski scandal and the impeachment of a President who
lied about sex. As an athlete will lose muscle tone if he stays away
from the gym or the playing field, so did the intellectual muscles of
the media atrophy after years of avoiding the basic efforts required in
their field. Why run a scoop down about the war if I can just publish
this Pentagon-prepared battle assessment? Why investigate Whitewater and
the death of Vince Foster when I can just regurgitate this fax I just
got from the Republican National Committee's media headquarters? If I
can just get in front of the camera with a salacious bit of gossip, I
can become an anchor. For many 'journalists,' the inflated nonsense of
the impeachment was their "White Bronco."

Meanwhile, during the period beginning with the O.J. trial and
concluding with the impeachment extravaganza, the Taliban was taking
control of Afghanistan in the wake left by the completion of our
anti-Soviet policies in that nation. A man named Osama bin Laden was
preparing to attack anything and everything American he could get close
to. UNSCOM weapons inspectors under Scott Ritter were taking Iraq's
chemical and biological warfare capabilities apart literally brick by
brick, and the sanctions against that nation, which were killing
hundreds of thousands of civilians, were also reducing Saddam Hussein's
conventional arsenal to a large collection of formidable paperweights.

One threat was on the rise, another was on the wane, but this is
boring stuff compared to ill-fitting leather gloves and a stained blue
dress. The American people were never provided the full scope of the
security issues facing their country, because the television news media
they relied upon didn't want to put in the work. Often, when
then-President Clinton acted to address these security issues, he was
accused of "wagging the dog," i.e. manufacturing unimportant threats to
obscure the really important stuff, like whether or not he purchased
gifts for Lewinski at the Big Dog store on Nantucket.

Think of these points - media laziness, media complicity with the
powers-that-be, media obsession with fantastically unimportant gossip
and tabloidism - and then remember those tall buildings in New York
collapsing to the ground. Perhaps the 'journalists' involved could have
been focusing on other things before that dark day?

Sunday night's episode of the CBS News program '60 Minutes' had a
long, detailed and graphic expose on the fighting that recently took
place in Najaf and Fallujah. All of the commercials for the program,
however, focused on the '60 Minutes' interview with New England Patriots
coach Bill Belichick. It was a clever bit of sleight-of-hand; by now,
Americans have been well-trained to spurn whatever tiny molecules of
substantive news that might somehow blunder across their screens,
because the truly important stuff has more to do with who is sleeping
with J-Lo and how Ben feels about it.

Sports is, of course, the champion distraction. Listen to any sports
talk radio show; if the American people could rattle off housing or
budget statistics, if they could quote from memory the casualty
statistics from Operation Iraqi Freedom, the way they can tell you in
half a second how many doubles Manny Ramirez hit in his rookie season,
half-bright loafers like George W. Bush would never have a prayer in
American politics. Perhaps CBS knew this. Millions of viewers made time
to watch Belichick, and were treated to a bloody and terrifying and
accurate view of the Iraq occupation that has been thoroughly,
completely and utterly absent.

For more than two years now, this column space has been dedicated to
describing, with all truth and verified data in hand, the mess an
invasion of Iraq would create. This column was among the first to
declare that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that any
alleged connection between Osama bin Laden and the government of Iraq
was laughable on its face, that democracy was a pipe dream in Iraq, that
we would not be greeted as liberators, and that any military action in
Iraq based upon these unfounded claims would result in a destabilized
Middle East, a world filled with furious former allies, and an ocean of
blood spilled by American soldiers and Iraqi civilians.

All of this has come to pass.

How is it that little, with its limited resources and
small staff, got it right time and again while ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC,
CNBC, CNN and Fox - with their massive financial resources and their
huge pool of reporters - got it so totally and continuously wrong? The
answer comes in two parts.

The first part is the degree to which these nationally broadcast
news stations have become compromised by the corporations that own them.
The ownership of the media is key to understanding the process. Take the
example of General Electric, owners of NBC, MSNBC and CNBC. This company
is one of the largest defense contractors in America; they get paid
every time we go to war, and yet we somehow believe they will tell us
the truth of war, even though it affects their profit margin. Such
thinking is folly.

Take the example of AOL/TimeWarner, owner of CNN. This company lives
and dies by the 'outsourcing' of American technological jobs overseas,
where labor is cheaper. Do you think they will tell a straight story
about the economy with so much on the line? Such thinking is folly, and
never mind the fact that AOL/TimeWarner's largest investor is a Saudi.
So much for the truth about who really supports Osama bin Laden and
international terrorism. So much for the truth about what really
happened on September 11, and why.

The decision by the mainstream television news media to get into bed
with the very entities they are supposed to stand watchdog against has
been a mortal one. Once it becomes acceptable to get your reporting from
Defense Department and military spin-doctors, without doing any work on
your own, the GAME IS OVER. What started with the Gulf War as a new
'reporting' technique has become an INSTITUTIONALIZED process of
standing as MOUTHPIECE for those who deserve the strongest SCRUTINY.

The White House and Defense Department boys know this, and EXPLOITED
it ruthlessly in the run-up to the Iraq invasion. Immediately after the
9/11 attacks, the Bush administration sought to capitalize on the tragedy by using
it as an excuse to invade Iraq, something the power-pitchers in the administration
HAD WANTED for more than a DECADE.

A shadowy and little-known media consulting company called The Rendon Group got a $100,000-a-month contract from the Pentagon right after the attacks. The Rendon Group was getting paid to offer media strategy advice. Or, in other words, PROPAGANDA.

The Rendon Group has been around a long time, and stands at the
center of the media's FAILURE to report accurately on the invasion and
occupation of Iraq. The Rendon Group has received close to $200 million
from the Pentagon and CIA over the last several years to spread
anti-Hussein propaganda far and wide. One of the first steps they took
was to create in 1992, out of absolute thin air, the Iraqi National Congress.
The Iraqi National Congress, and its most famous spokesperson
Ahmad Chalabi, are entirely the CREATION of a media strategy company
doing the bidding of the United States government.

Since 1992, the Iraqi National Congress has become accepted
completely by the mainstream news media as a legitimate group. They were
embraced by the American Congress under Newt Gingrich and given HUNDREDS
of MILLIONS of DOLLARS. They were, with the help of the aforementioned
Congress, the driving force behind the passage of the Iraqi Liberation
Act in 1998, an Act which made the removal of Saddam Hussein a matter of
American law. All this for a group made out of nothing by what amounts
to a media consulting company.

The post-9/11 money paid to the Rendon Group returned handsome
dividends for the investment. Rendon creation Ahmad Chalabi, who has
since been accused of giving vital national security secrets to Iran,
arranged an interview between Judith Miller of the New York Times and an
Iraqi defector named Adnan Ishan Saeed al-Haidieri. al-Haidieri claimed
to have personal knowledge of the vast and growing stockpiles of Iraqi
weapons of mass destruction. Miller, thinking Chalabi and the Iraqi
National Congress were worthy sources, believed al-Haidieri and printed
an exclusive report on the threat posed by Iraq in the Times.

Time and a little legwork has since exposed al-Haidieri as a total
fraud, but Rendon's propaganda got out there; as the New York Times
goes, so goes the rest of the mainstream media. Miller's report,
released in 2001, created a LANDSLIDE push towards war, and allowed
George W. Bush to sell the American people a frightening and utterly
INACCURATE portrait of why war was necessary, and necessary now.

Companies like The Rendon Group are a bellweather for exactly how
DEPRAVED our journalistic institutions have become. Millions of dollars
in government contracts are there for the taking by anyone who wants to
scam the media with bogus stories. The media is more than happy to
oblige, because it relieves them of having to put the necessary work in.
Meanwhile, stories that might negatively affect the parent companies go
by the boards, and everyone is happy.

Well, almost everyone is happy. The families of 1,033 American
soldiers who have died in Iraq aren't happy. The families of the 17,000
or so American soldiers who have been 'medically evacuated' from Iraq
for things like missing legs and faces aren't happy. The families of the
20,000 or so civilians killed in the invasion of Iraq aren't happy, and
a lot of them are taking their unhappiness to the streets with grenades
and rifles so they can make more American families unhappy by killing
American soldiers.

Don't look to the mainstream television news media for an apology or
a reversal of course anytime soon. They can't report the truth now. To
do so would expose them as the incompetent lapdogs they have become, and
as anyone who has ever screwed up at work knows, the hardest person to
face after a grievous error is the person you find in the mirror.

The second part of the answer to that question - How is it that
little got it right time and again while the entire
mainstream television news media got it wrong? - is simplicity itself.

We put in the work. We did the research in triplicate. We talked to
the people who knew the score. We took the time. We cared. We understood
that September 11 did not require us to click our heels and say "Yes
sir!" to whatever balderdash Mr. Bush and his crew spouted. Quite
completely the opposite is true. We understood that September 11 made it
more important than ever for us to be very, very good at what we do.

The American mainstream television news media, in whole and in part,
has CATASTROPHICALLY FAILED the American people and is singularly
RESPONSIBLE for the untimely deaths of tens of thousands of innocent
people. It is not too late for them to reverse course, to take again the
simple rules and requirements espoused by Murrow and Mencken and place
them at the forefront of their institutional mission. Nothing less than
the basic stability of our republic is at stake. >>

A lady NOT easily fooled....

For insightfulness and wit, few exceed Maureen Dowd

This is a lady who is definitely NOT easily fooled as are, unfortunately, roughly 50% of Americans, according to the polls.

New York Times - September 26, 2004

Dance of the Marionettes by Maureen Dowd

It's heartwarming, really.

President Bush has his own Mini-Me now, someone to echo his every word and mimic his every action.

For so long, Mr. Bush has put up with caricatures of a wee W. sitting in the vice president's lap, Charlie McCarthy style, as big Dick Cheney calls the shots. But now the president has his own puppet to play with.

All last week in New York and Washington, Prime Minister Ayad Allawi of Iraq parroted Mr. Bush's absurd claims that the fighting in Iraq was an essential part of the U.S. battle against terrorists that started on 9/11, that the neocons' utopian dream of turning Iraq into a modern democracy was going swimmingly, and that the worse things got over there, the better they really were.

It's the media's fault, the two men warble in a duet so perfectly harmonized you wonder if Karen Hughes wrote Mr. Allawi's speech, for not showing the millions of people in Iraq who are not being beheaded, kidnapped, suicide-bombed or caught in the cross-fire every day; and it's John Kerry's fault for abetting the Iraqi insurgents by expressing his doubts about our plan there, as he once did about Vietnam.

"These doubters risk underestimating our country and they risk fueling the hopes of the terrorists," Mr. Allawi told Congress in a rousing anti-Kerry stump speech for Bush/Cheney, a follow-up punch to Mr. Cheney's claim that a vote for John Kerry is a vote for another terrorist attack on America.

First the Swift boat guys; now the swift dhow prime minister.

Just as Mr. Cheney, Rummy and the neocons turned W. into a host body for their old schemes to knock off Saddam, transform the military and set up a pre-emption doctrine to strike at allies and foes that threatened American hyperpower supremacy, so now W. has turned Mr. Allawi into a host body for the Panglossian palaver that he believes will get him re-elected. Every time the administration takes a step it says will reduce the violence, the violence increases.

Mr. Bush doesn't seem to care that by using Mr. Allawi as a puppet in his campaign, he decreases the prime minister's chances of debunking the belief in Iraq that he is a Bush puppet - which is the only way he can gain any credibility to stabilize his devastated country and be elected himself.

Actually, being the president's marionette is a step up from Mr. Allawi's old jobs as henchman for Saddam Hussein and stoolie for the C.I.A.

It's hilarious that the Republicans have trotted out Mr. Allawi as an objective analyst of the state of conditions in Iraq when he's the administration's handpicked guy and has as much riding on putting the chaos in a sunny light as they do. Though Mr. Allawi presents himself as representing all Iraqis, his actions have been devised to put more of the country in the grip of this latest strongman - giving himself the power to declare martial law, bringing back the death penalty and kicking out Al Jazeera.

Bush officials, who proclaim themselves so altruistic about bringing liberty to Iraq, really see Iraq in a creepy narcissistic way: It's all about Mr. Bush's re-election.

As The Chicago Tribune reported, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage alleged that Iraqi insurgents have stepped up their bloody attacks because they want to "influence the election against President Bush."

At a recent G.O.P. fund-raiser, House Speaker Dennis Hastert claimed that terrorists would be happier with a Kerry presidency. "I don't have data or intelligence to tell me one thing or another," he said, but "I would think they would be more apt to go" for "somebody who would file a lawsuit with the World Court or something rather than respond with troops."

Faced with their dystopia, the utopians are scaling back their grand visions for Iraq's glorious future.

Rummy suggested last week that a fractional democracy might be good enough. "Let's say you tried to have an election, and you could have it in three-quarters or four-fifths of the country, but some places you couldn't because the violence was too great," he said at a hearing on Capitol Hill, adding: "Nothing's perfect in life."

At a Pentagon briefing on Friday, Rummy also blew off Colin Powell's so-called Pottery Barn rule that if we broke Iraq, we own it. "Any implication that that place has to be peaceful and perfect before we can reduce coalition and U.S. forces, I think, would obviously be unwise, because it's never been peaceful and perfect," he said. "It's a tough part of the world."

As he said after the early looting in Iraq: "Stuff happens." <<

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Four more years?

"Free societies are hopeful societies. And free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Sept. 17, 2004

"That's why I went to the Congress last September and proposed fundamental—supplemental funding, which is money for armor and body parts and ammunition and fuel." --George W. Bush, Erie, Pa., Sept. 4, 2004

"I didn't join the International Criminal Court because I don't want to put our troops in the hands of prosecutors from other nations. Look, if somebody has done some wrong in our military, we'll take care of it. We got plenty of capability of dealing with justice." -- George W. Bush, Niceville, Fla., Aug. 10, 2004

Bush Vows Harm To U.S.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," he said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." Washington, D.C. 08.05.04

"[Reagan] didn't take himself so seriously that he got kinda bunched up in his airs," Bush told NBC anchor Tom Brokaw. (NYP, 06.07.04)

"But the true strength of America is found in the hearts and souls of people like Travis, people who are willing to love their neighbor, just like they would like to love themselves."—George W. Bush, Springfield, Mo., Feb. 9, 2004

"More Muslims have died at the hands of killers than—I say more Muslims—a lot of Muslims have died—I don't know the exact count—at Istanbul. Look at these different places around the world where there's been tremendous death and destruction because killers kill."—George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2004

Let's Commensurate With Bush

"I want to remind you all that I -- in order to fight and win the war, it requires a expenditure of money that is commiserate with keeping a promise to our troops to make sure that they're well-paid, well-trained, well-equipped." Bush, 12.15.03

"As you know, these are open forums, you're able to come and listen to what I have to say." --George W. Bush, 10.28.03.

"The ambassador and the general were briefing me on the -- the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world. And we will find these people and we will bring them to justice." --Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2003 "" --George W. Bush, 10.27.03.

"This is historic times....whether they be Christian, Jew, or Muslim, or Hindu, people have heard the universal call to love a neighbor just like they'd like to be called themselves. --George W. Bush, 10.09.03.

"Washington is a town where there's all kinds of allegations. You've heard much of the allegations. And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it. And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources, or people outside the information—outside the administration."
--George W. Bush, Chicago, September 30, 2003

"...that's just the nature of democracy. Sometimes pure politics enters into the rhetoric."
--George W. Bush, Crawford, Tx., August 8, 2003

"Security is the essential roadblock to achieving the road map to peace."
--George W. Bush, July 25, 2003

Bush Has Steadfast..."It's very interesting when you think about it, the slaves who left here to go to America, because of their steadfast and their religion and their belief in freedom, helped change America."? George W. Bush, Dakar, Senegal, July 8, 2003

LOOK WHO'S TALKING...""You've also got to measure in order to begin to effect change that's just more?when there's more than talk, there's just actual?a paradigm shift."?- George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., July 1, 2003

BUSHLEXIA..."All up and down the different aspects of our society, we had meaningful discussions. Not only in the Cabinet Room, but prior to this and after this day, our secretaries, respective secretaries, will continue to interact to create the conditions necessary for prosperity to reign." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 19, 2003

LOOK, A MEANINGLESS PREDICTION..."We are on the look. We will reveal the truth. But one thing is certain. No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the Iraqi regime is no more," the president says. --George W. Bush, Radio Australia

BUSHLEXIA..."The true strength of America happens when a neighbor loves a neighbor just like they'd like to be loved themselves." --George W. Bush, Elizabeth, N.J., June 16, 2003

BUSHLEXIA..."I am determined to keep the process on the road to peace." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 10, 2003

"We are making steadfast progress." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 9, 2003 more

BUSHLEXIA DOUBLE-DIP..."I recently met with the finance minister of the Palestinian Authority, was very impressed by his grasp of finances."?Washington, D.C., George W. Bush, May 29, 2003

"Oftentimes, we live in a processed world?you know, people focus on the process and not results."?Washington, D.C., May 29, 2003 more

"Israel has got responsibilities," Mr. Bush said. "Israel must deal with the settlements. Israel must make sure there's a continuous territory that Palestinians call home." (The White House, which late in the day produced a transcript of Mr. Bush's remarks, put the word "contiguous" in parentheses after "continuous," to indicate that "contiguous" was what Mr. Bush had meant.) --New York Times, 06.04.03

"All up and down the different aspects of our society, we had meaningful discussions. Not only in the Cabinet Room, but prior to this and after this day, our secretaries, respective secretaries, will continue to interact to create the conditions necessary for prosperity to reign." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 19, 2003

"We ended the rule of one of history's worst tyrants, and in so doing, we not only freed the American people, we made our own people more secure."--George W. Bush, Crawford, Texas, May 3, 2003

"I don't bring God into my life to?to, you know, kind of be a political person." --Interview with Tom Brokaw aboard Air Force One, April 24, 2003

"You're free. And freedom is beautiful. And, you know, it'll take time to restore chaos and order?order out of chaos. But we will."?-G. W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 13, 2003

"All of us need to step back and try to figure out how to make the U.N. work better as we head into the 21st century. Perhaps one way will be, if we use military force, in the post-Saddam Iraq the U.N. will definitely need to have a role. And that way it can begin to get its legs, legs of responsibility back." --Azores, March 16, 2003

"I know there's a lot of young ladies who are growing up wondering whether or not they can be champs. And they see the championship teams from USC and University of Portland here, girls who worked hard to get to where they are, and they're wondering about the example they're setting. What is life choices about?" --Washington, D.C., Feb. 24, 2003

"It is wonderful to be here at Harrison High. I'm honored to be in the presence of the principal, Donnie Griggers. I want to thank he and his staff -- (applause) -- he and his fine staff for putting up with the entourage." --Kennesaw, Georgia, 02.20.03

"Now, we talked to Joan Hanover. She and her husband, George, were visiting with us. They are near retirement?retiring?in the process of retiring, meaning they're very smart, active, capable people who are retirement age and are retiring."?Alexandria, Va., Feb. 12, 2003.

"I want to thank members of my administration who are here who will be involved in the implementation of some of the initiatives that I've outlined to the United States Congress. The Secretary of Education is here, Rod Paige, behind me. John Ashcroft is here... And, most importantly, Alma Powell, secretary of Colin Powell, is with us." --White House, 01.30.03

"The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself."?Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan. 29, 2003

Should any Iraqi officer or soldier receive an order from Saddam Hussein or his sons or any of the killers who occupy the high levels of their government, my advice is don't follow that order," Bush said. "If you choose to do so, when Iraq is liberated, you will be treated, tried and persecuted as a war criminal." ?St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 22, 2003

"It's money that -- that will recognize that power is best when it's disbursed to the people we're trying to help." ?Washington, D.C., Jan. 14, 2003

"Perhaps the biggest problem is that we have passed children from grade to grade, year after year, and those -- child hadn't learned the basics of reading and math." ?Washington, D.C., Jan. 8, 2003

"One year ago today, the time for excuse-making has come to an end." - ?Washington, D.C., Jan. 8, 2003

"I think the American people?I hope the American?I don't think, let me?I hope the American people trust me." -?Washington, D.C., Dec. 18, 2002

"There's only one person who hugs the mothers and the widows, the wives and the kids upon the death of their loved one. Others hug but having committed the troops, I've got an additional responsibility to hug and that's me and I know what it's like." ?Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2002

The law I sign today directs new funds and new focus to the task of collecting vital intelligence on terrorist threats and on weapons of mass production." --George W. Bush, White House, Nov. 27, 2002

Bush Praises Wellstone's Conviction By The Associated Press, Friday, October 24, 3:36 PM

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP)--"President Bush called Sen. Paul Wellstone 'a plainspoken fellow' who did his best for Minnesota and the United States. 'I would like to express my deep condolences for the loss of the Senate,' Bush said shortly after hearing of Wellstone's death Friday. 'And also, I would like to express my condolences to the bereaved family.'"

"I was proud the other day when both Republicans and Democrats stood with me in the Rose Garden to announce their support for a clear statement of purpose: you disarm, or we will." --George W. Bush, Oct. 5, 2002, Re Iraq debate in Congress White House Transcript

"There's an old...saying in Tennessee...I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says Fool me once...(3 second pause)... Shame on...(4 second pause)...Shame on you....(6 second pause)...Fool me...Can't get fooled again." --George W. Bush to Nashville, Tennessee audience, Sept. 17, 2002, MSNBC-TV --Politex, Sept. 17, 2002, 10 PM

to hear bush mangle that "old texas saying" click here.
"Did you catch Dubya calling Saddam a "homocidal maniac" on TV today? Long "o," "homocidal"! --Jay, Sept. 16, 2002

I just heard Bu$h in his Iowa speech about 'growing the economy' explaining how, if we give more tax money back to busnessmen, that allows them in his words: "to produce a 'gooder' service." He said this three times, so I am sure of what I just heard. I am sure he meant 'produce a "better" service.' Where the heck did he learn english? --Steve Marshall, Sept. 16, 2002

Actually, Steve, Bush is slurring "good or service." He tried to correct this speech problem last week, and the discouraging results are reported below. --Politex

"When they demand or good a service in our society, somebody is more likely to produce it." --George W. Bush, Indiana, circa Sept. 5, 2002. WP, Sept. 10, 2002 "There's no doubt in my mind that we should allow the world worst leaders to hold America hostage, to threaten our peace, to threaten our friends and allies with the world's worst weapons." --George W. Bush, South Bend, Indiana, Sept. 5, 2002. Official White House Site <<

I rest my case....