"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it" -Mark Twain
I cannot recall during my lifetime when a politician has polarized America to the extent that George W. Bush has. He took office in 2000 promising to work with people of all political stripes and unite the nation. Instead he has forced his right-wing agenda upon the American people and the world, and empowered a bunch of lunatic-fringe neo-cons to drag this country in the wrong direction on all fronts, completely dividing the nation.
Read on to see why George W. Bush and his right-wing Republican agenda pose such a dangerous threat to America's future.
King of the Chicken Hawks
The myth: George W. Bush is a brave patriot, unafraid to serve his country and worthy of leading our troops into combat. The reality: During his stint in the National Guard, George W Bush failed to show up for his annual physical exam. During the period 1972-1973, commanders in Texas and Alabama say they never saw him report for duty, and records show no pay to Bush when he was supposed to be on duty in Alabama. See the following:
Yes, CBS did a very poor job by not doing their homework and citing false documents that showed George W. Bush’s service record in the National Guard was sugarcoated. Anyone will agree this is poor journalism (unlike the Fox crowd, who say anything on Fox must be true - end of story - shut up). But what about that same CBS story that showed former Texas Speaker of the House Ben Barnes speaking in the flesh. He came forward and said that he abused his position’s power by helping Bush and others get a coveted slot in the National Guard in 1968 to avoid going oversees to Viet Nam.
See where questions are raised about why Bush's files are missing paperwork and required reports resulting from him missing his scheduled physical exam: CNN: Bush Military File Lacks Required Records
And why would someone in the Texas Air National Guard just decide that he's going to throw away hours of flight training, provided at taxpayer's expense, skip a physical exam, the result of which will be to end his career as a fighter pilot, and then go to Alabama to help a friend campaign for an election? Could you or I could get away with a stunt like this? Did you know that in 1972 the military was in the process of introducing wide spread drug testing? See the article in the Nation, "Why Bush Left Texas" that offers some explanations for Dubya's behavior, and if true, seriously challenge Bush's essential appeal as a military steward and guardian of societal values.
See where Bush broke his contract with the U.S. government by not joining an Air Force Reserve unit when he moved to Massachusetts from Texas in mid-1973: Reuters: New Questions Raised on Bush Military Record
See how Dubya used his influence as Texas governor to purge embarrassing details from his National Guard files: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-02-11-bush-guard-usat_x.htm
During the 2004 presidential campaign, the swift smear veterans launched a viscous attack on John Kerry, attempting to discredit his decorated service during the Viet Nam war. What are the facts here? John Kerry received three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star while serving his country during the Viet Nam war. How could anyone who values military service possibly consider George W. Bush a heroic patriot, more worthy to be Commander in Chief than John Kerry? What does this say about the integrity of George W Bush, when he dishonorably serves our country, then paints himself as a brave patriot? And what does this say about those who champion a man with such a disreputable, cowardice background?
A Modern-day Vietnam
Why are we in Iraq? Some Republicans contend that the Iraq war has the same legitimacy as WWII. Asserting that our entry into the Iraq war under George W. Bush has the same merits as entering WWII under FDR is ludicrous. In WWII we were fighting two enemies, one that was occupying its sovereign neighbors, most of whom were our allies, and the other that had attacked us. This is certainly not true of Iraq.
The real question today is why did Dubya lead us into Iraq. Close to 50% of Americans think it was the wrong thing to do.
Talk about flip flop. First it was weapons of mass destruction. Naw, they've already been captured by the aliens as reported at http://www.insanereagan.com. Well then, it must be because of the terrorists. Naw, W's daddy already told us that we'd be less safe from terrorists if Saddam is ousted (see http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0820-07.htm).
Well then, maybe it's because the nation was bordering on recession, oil prices
were skyrocketing, and an election was around the corner. Now we're
getting somewhere. You can choose from these articles showing links
between oil and the Iraq invasion:
Or maybe it's because Dubya got his marching orders
from the Saudis. Maybe now we're nothing more than hit men for the Saudis
-- we do all of their dirty work and they finance our debt.
See where Sen. Bob Graham has exposed what he
believes were national security cover-ups and manipulations by the Bush
administration to hide the Saudi’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
And it’s not just the Democrat senators who are realizing that we have our own modern-day Vietnam unfolding before our very eyes. Check out what two top Republican senators have to say about Dubya’s mismanagement of Iraq: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-09-15-sens-iraq_x.htm. Check out what our own military leaders have to say about the Iraq disaster: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1305441,00.html. And even Dubya himself is calling it a ‘catastrophic success.” What in the heck does that mean? Well at least he got half of it right: http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/29/bush.sunday.ap/
A War Based on Lies
06-OCT-2004: AP: U.S. Report Finds No Evidence of Iraq WMDs
String of Failures
30-APR-2004: Torture at Abu Ghraib
12-OCT-2004: Politics drive U.S. military strategy in Iraq
29-OCT-2004: FBI probe grows into Halliburton contract
07-DEC-2004: CIA memo says Iraq situation is deteriorating
07-DEC-2004: FBI agents uncover abuse at Guantanamo
08-DEC-2004: Rumsfeld grilled by disgruntled troops
17-DEC-2004: Republicans call for Rumsfeld's resignation
Let's look at the chief architects of Bush's failed mission in Iraq. Known as the neo-cons (a.k.a. neo-con-artists) because of their neo-conservative, hawkish approach to dealing with world problems, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz are two of the most dangerous people in Bush's right-wing administration.
The following are just some of the examples of how these two fanatics have failed our country.
Did you know that in January, 1998 an obscure, ominous-sounding right-wing policy group called Project for the New American Century, or PNAC - affiliated with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Bush's brother Jeb - urged then-President Clinton to invade Iraq? Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz signed and sent a letter to Clinton urging such an invasion. The neo-cons had been planning an Iraq invasion since before Bush ever took office. They used the 9/11 attacks as a catalyst to implement this plan, exploiting the political climate which followed to do anything they wanted as long as they could relate it to national security and the Middle East. This is well documented in an article published in the Philadelphia Daily News.
An article in the Sunday Herald says that PNAC authored a secret blueprint for U.S. global domination in a paper entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century." The report calls for the US to 'fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars' as a 'core mission,' and it spotlights China for 'regime change,' saying 'it is time to increase the presence of American forces in southeast Asia'. This, it says, may lead to 'American and allied power providing the spur to the process of democratization in China'.’
According to the Herald, the report hints that, despite using WMDs as the reason for the Iraq invasion, the US may consider developing biological weapons, which our nation has banned, in decades to come. It says: 'New methods of attack -- electronic, 'non-lethal', biological -- will be more widely available ... combat likely will take place in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes ... advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.'
Doubting Those Who Know
These Pentagon civilians also ignored advice early on from military men that more troops would be needed for the operation. This left the lines of supply dangerously unguarded as American troops sped toward Baghdad. Once Baghdad fell, it was painfully obvious that there were not enough troops to maintain order.
General Eric Shinseki, the then Army chief of staff, publicly declared in the winter of 2003 that several hundred thousand troops would be required to conquer and occupy Iraq. After making this statement, he was essentially cut off at the knees by Rumsfeld. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was contemptuous: Shinseki's estimate was "wildly off the mark," Wolfowitz told a congressional hearing. Shinseki was later forced to resign because he spoke the truth about the troop requirements. Rumsfeld is not the first military tyrant to dismiss subordinates that disagree, leaving him surrounded by yes-men - does anyone recall the Stalin purges? As recently as 06-OCT-2004, Bush appointee Paul Bremmer, the former top American administrator in Iraq, reaffirmed Shinseki's assertion, saying President Bush had not sent enough troops to secure Iraq.
An independent panel that included two former secretaries of Defense and a separate investigating team led by two Army generals heaped yet more withering criticism on the Pentagon's handling of Iraq after the invasion. The findings dealt with the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, and they rejected the Bush administration's claim that the Abu Ghraib mistreatment was the work of a few rogue soldiers. The number of military police and military intelligence specialists who will be charged with criminal wrongdoing may be limited, but the panel traced some of the blame all the way to the office of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. The arrogant "we know best" attitude of the Pentagon's civilian leadership demands condemnation. The halfhearted acceptance of responsibility that Rumsfeld offered in his testimony in May before the Senate and House armed services committees doesn't let him off the hook for failing to provide consistent guidelines on the treatment of prisoners. Nazis were hung for lesser offenses after WWII.
Of the $18.4 billion Congress approved in 2003 for Iraqi reconstruction, only $1.1 billion has been spent under Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz because of violence and other problems. The infrastructure in Iraq lays in ruin, with no real progress being made to repair it -- raw sewage runs in the streets, electrical power is out for days, there are gasoline shortages, etc. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel called that record "beyond pitiful and embarrassing; it is now in the zone of dangerous."
The damage done in Iraq is incalculable, and not just in material terms. The political damage has been worse and will be far more lasting in its consequences. The Pentagon civilian leadership has squandered much of the good will that Iraqis felt after the yoke of the Ba'ath Party was lifted. Policy is in drift. Forces that are inimical to American interests have rushed in to fill that vacuum.
Rumsfeld Has Trouble Keeping the Lies Straight
Oct. 4, 2004: "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two." —Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on alleged links between Iraq and Al Qaeda. A statement posted on the Pentagon website Oct. 5, 2004 later withdrew Rumsfeld's claim.
Sept. 26, 2002: "We do have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al-Qaeda members." —Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in a report by USA Today.
Bush’s senior Defense Department officials all hold an extremist view of America’s roll in world affairs. If you vote for George W. Bush in November, you will be giving the neo-cons a green light to continue carrying out their plans for further pre-emptive strikes and ill-advised invasions of sovereign nations. The military is already stretched too thin in Afghanistan and Iraq -- how will it provide the manpower necessary for the neo-cons’ plans?
Security Moms -- Get Ready for Reinstatement of the Mandatory Draft
Security moms - that all important block of suburban moms who have the power to determine who the next president will be. They get their name from their concern for the safety of their family. Right now they are leaning towards Dubya, going against their historic tendency to vote Democratic. The reported reason for favoring Bush is because he will supposedly create an environment conducive to raising a family that is safe from terrorists. I wonder if they realize that Dubya's mad rush to invade Iraq has placed the country in a position that may necessitate the reinstatement of the mandatory draft. How safe will that be for their kids? I'm sure those who favor Bush think this war is well worth sacrificing their children's lives.
Did you know that as recently as 05-OCT-2004 there were two bills pending in the House and Senate, S 89 and HR 163, that would bring back the mandatory draft? They call for all 18-26 year olds, men and women alike, to serve their country for two years, and there are no deferments for college. These were introduced by Democrats before the Iraq war started to serve as a political statement that revealed the inequities of conscription.
See the links below to read the bills' contents at the U. S. Government printing office.
On 06-OCT-2004, Republican Tom De Lay and his cronies in the House felt that the buzz surrounding HR 163 was getting too loud, so he squashed the bill in one of the strangest parliamentary maneuvers in memory. Republicans first had to obtain a parliamentary ruling letting them bring up a bill that no one would claim to support. "That's the first time ever, probably, in the history of the United States" that a measure came to the floor in such a fashion, said Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. His panel never held a hearing on the bill, he noted, and to vote on it "is nothing more than a cynical election-year political ploy."
Did you know that a notice appeared briefly last year on a Department of Defense website urging anyone who might be willing to serve as an unpaid volunteer on a local draft board to contact the Selective Service System in Washington. The notice touched off a flurry of news reports speculating that a renewed draft might be in the works, after which the notice quickly disappeared. (A copy of the notice is preserved here in a Google cache. The spot on the DOD website from which it disappeared was here.)
This issue has received enough attention recently to force the Selective Service System to address the issue on its web site. Here's what Selective Service said back on June 14, 2004:
How reassuring. What's funny about their statement is that they have no control over whether they conduct a draft -- it's up to Congress and the President. This kind of reminds me of when my employer says "your job has never been as secure as it is now." I don't know about you, but that's precisely the time that I start asking questions.
If you're still thinking a draft can't happen, read these points from an article in the mainstream news source Indianapolis Star.
As reported at Rock the Vote, and in spite of the indignant pronouncements of Defense Department officials, there is mounting evidence that the Army is stretched to the breaking point and facing deteriorating retention and recruitment efforts. The Army National Guard just missed its 2004 recruiting goal by nearly ten percent and, while the active Army boasts that it reached its target, it had to dip into its Delayed Entry Pool to do so. The Army has recently resorted to adding 1,000 recruiters and is more than doubling recruitment bonuses. It is not clear how the Pentagon plans to maintain significant deployments in the Afghanistan and Iraq combat zones for the next several years, as it expects it will have to do. And what if these fronts deteriorate? The CIA has warned that full-scale civil war in Iraq is a realistic possibility. Alternatively, what if the military is called upon to conduct an intervention and occupation mission in North Korea, Iran, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia? Both candidates for president have stated in sound bytes that they oppose a draft. But what we want to know--what draft-age Americans should be asking--is how the presidential hopefuls will either increase troop numbers and/or change our foreign policy to reduce force requirements and ensure that a draft does not become necessary.
The question is not if we want a draft, but rather whether or not Dubya's ill-planned disaster in Iraq, combined with possible future international developments, may necessitate a draft.
In Bed with the Pharmaceuticals
Republicans espouse the virtues of free trade, except when it cuts into the profits of their greedy corporate contributors. Under the prescription law passed by Bush, cheaper drugs from overseas can only be imported if they are deemed safe by the secretary of health and human services. Well surprise, the Bush administration has refused to make such a designation, arguing that it can't ensure the safety of such drugs. See the following links for details:
New Depths of Corruption
Here's a new way the Republicans have discovered to further corrupt the political process. They take political donations through so-called charities. Wink wink. Check out the article at ABCNews.com. Though it's available to both parties, the Democrats have not been unscrupulous enough to take advantage of it.
Tom DeLay was going to use this tactic, but he got cold feet. I guess he was overcome with a sudden sense of integrity -- yeah right -- probably realized the ridicule in the "liberal" media would be too great. See http://www.rncnotwelcome.org/media/111403times.html.
So I wonder if I could donate, then sue for fraudulently misrepresenting a charity. Oh, wait, I forgot that Dubya wants to limit my right to sue under the pretext of "frivolous lawsuits." What happened to the Republican idea of less governmental intervention?
Corporate Accountability - Who Needs It?
Speaking of law suits, yes, the Republicans want to restrict our right to sue a doctor or corporation when he/they have negligently or maliciously done harm to us. In fact, they’ve already done this in Texas, amending the Texas constitution through popular vote. (See where Texans bought this hook, line and sinker as reported in the Houston Chronicle.) Republicans cloak this in language that warns of physicians and small companies unable to operate because of the high cost of insurance due to frivolous lawsuits. Well, if you dig deeper, you’ll find that high insurance costs have very little to do with frivolous lawsuits (less than 1%) and much more to do with fat cat greed and stock market losses in the early 2000’s. Eliminating our right to keep large corporations accountable via law suits is just what the Republicans and big CEOs want - more power eroded from the little guy. Just check these web sites for what’s really motivating the Republicans:
What Fiscal Conservatism?
Republicans like less governmental spending and fiscally conservative policies, right? So why has George Bush run up the largest deficit in the history of the country? And at the Republican National convention in September, 2004, Dubya promised a whole slew of new government programs, including new health clinics in every county in the country - how does he plan to pay for all of this?
How Does One Lose This Many Jobs?
George Bush will be the only president since Herbert Hoover before the great depression to lose jobs during his administration. See the statistics reported by the Democratic Policy Committee.
I Hope You Like Poverty Wages
I hear people everywhere complain that there is no loyalty anymore between employees and employers. The big wedge here, of course, is the constant reality of layoffs and the offshoring of good American jobs. Republicans encourage this behavior by backing tax loop holes that reward companies that offshore their jobs. And these same employees that live in constant fear of job cutbacks will go out in November 2004 and vote for Dubya. This reminds me of a good joke I heard recently: What’s the definition of a stupid Republican? One that makes less than $250,000 per year.
Is a Flat Tax Really Fair?
On its surface, a flat tax sounds like the ideal vehicle for our government to fund its operations. But if you dig just a little and give it some thought, you'll see that it's actually a regressive tax that unfairly puts the burden on those at the bottom of the economic ladder and provides a free ride for those at the top.
Let's say it costs $30,000/year to provide sustenance for a typical family. This includes rent, food, fuel, transportation, clothing -- stuff you cannot live without. Let's also say we have the 20% Republican dream flat tax.
For a family making $45,000 a year, they spend $30,000 on sustenance, and $9,000 on taxes, leaving them with $6,000 discretionary income, or 13% of their income. Another way to look at it is they spend 150% of their discretionary income on taxes.
For a family making $90,000 a year, they spend $30,000 on sustenance, and $18,000 on taxes, leaving them with $42,000 discretionary income, or 47% of their income. Another way to look at it is they spend only 43% of their discretionary income on taxes.
Now let's look at millionaires, sitting by the pool waiting for their dividend checks. They spend $30,000 on sustenance, and $200,000 on taxes, leaving them with $770,000 discretionary income, or 77% of their income. Another way to look at it is they spend only 26% of their discretionary income on taxes.
So, as a percent of discretionary income, the guy at the bottom spends more on taxes than he keeps, the guy in the middle spends 46% on taxes, and a millionaire near the top only spends 26% on taxes. That's not fair.
The Communists Had Pravda, Republicans Have Fox News, Et. Al.
The Republican right-wingers are always whining about how liberal the media is. For an expose of how Rupert Murdoch and his right-wing minions at Fox News (a.k.a. Faux News) filter the news for a pro-Republican slant, check out http://www.outfoxed.org The communists had Pravda, the Nazis had Goebbels, and the Republicans have Fox News.
See the Seattle Times article for a report from the University of Maryland that shows the poor, ignorant right-wingers that watch Fox News are less informed than the rest of us, not having a clue about important facts of the Iraq war.
Oh, and what about Clear Channel, ABC Radio, Ann Coulter, alleged sexual pervert Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and the corpulent drug addict Rush Limbaugh? You can't get much more right-wing than this, and it's tough to find anyone spreading more misinformation.
Faux News Is At It Again
Fox News pulled two big gaffes over the weekend after the first presidential debate. In the first gaffe, Carl Cameron, chief political correspondent for Fox News, fabricated a story with false, denigrating quotes from Kerry, and it was published on FoxNews.com. In the story, Cameron attributed the following quotes to Kerry: "Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!" "It's about the Supreme Court. Women should like me! I do manicures." "I'm metrosexual — he's a cowboy." Metrosexual? What in the heck does Carl do in his free time? Can some sexually frustrated Republican tell me what a metrosexual is? Fox News later retracted the story, saying, "On Friday, FOXNews.com posted an item purporting to contain quotations from John Kerry. The item was based on a reporter's partial script that had been written in jest and should not have been posted or broadcast. We regret the error, which occurred because of fatigue and bad judgment, not malice." No, the angelic right-wingers at Fox would never intentionally spread malicious propaganda.
The second gaffe just illustrates what ignorant automatons the network must rely on to spread its right-wing propaganda. In this case they were duped by a Republican 527 group called "Communists for Kerry", a.k.a. the Hellgate Republican Club (doesn't sound like there are any family values here). In preparing a story after the debate, Fox News reporter Jane Roh interviewed one of the "Communists for Kerry" supporters, and quoted him as if he were an actual Kerry supporter: "We're trying to get Comrade Kerry elected and get that capitalist enabler George Bush out of office," said 17-year-old Komoselutes Rob of Communists for Kerry. (See a cleaned-up version of the report here.) The whole thing was a prank from a Republican parody group, but Fox News just didn't get it. See yet another retraction of the original story in which Fox states, "For a Friday report on this Web site following the first Bush-Kerry debate, a member of Communists for Kerry managed to persuade a FOXNews.com reporter that he was indeed a Kerry supporter. His true feelings subsequently were misrepresented in a story that was published here over the weekend. FOXNews.com regrets the error. From now on, polygraphs for everybody." [Maybe IQ tests for the Faux News reporters would be more effective.]
CBS gets smeared all over the mainstream media for their gaffe regarding false memos, but Fox News continuously spreads pro-Republican misinformation 24 hours-a-day without any repercussions at all. So tell me again how the media has a left-leaning bias.
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire
Move Over New York Times, Here's the Lone Star Iconoclast
Poor Dubya, he can't even get the endorsement of the newspaper in his adopted home town of Crawford, Texas. Read all about it here.
Is Science now Un-American?
Yes, this is real folks. Dubya's administration has mandated the sale of a book in our national park book stores that states the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood, not by geologic formations. What's next? Burning witches at the stake... A flat earth...
The World According to a Bush Supporter
Are Bush supporters really as ignorant as we suspect? The University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) and Knowledge Networks, a California-based polling firm, recently conducted a survey of Bush and Kerry supporters. They found a wide gap between the perceptions of the facts between the two groups, with the Bush supporters being largely misinformed on a number of administration policies and realities. See the table below for highlights of these misperceptions. Joseph Goebbels, the former Nazi propaganda minister, could not have done a better job brainwashing such a large block of supporters.
The Bush Troll
If all of this is a little too intense, check out the comical Macromedia movie at http://flash.bushrecall.org
Outlets for Truth
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The Silent Majority