Friday, May 25, 2007

More evidence in support of impeachment?

In an NBC article that came out this AM, it appears that US intelligence services presented detailed analysis of what would probably happen if we invaded Iraq and, as you might expect, the information was apparently ignored by the Bush administration. Perhaps not essential to, but certainly supportive of a call for impeachment.

Unfortunately, because this information was also made available to congressional intelligence committees, and they gave Bush a blank check to invade Iraq anyhow, it undercuts somewhat the high moral ground upon which Congress could build an impeachment case. Besides, there is nothing in the intelligence analysis that civilian experts outside the government didn't say loudly and frequently before the invasion. And for many of us outside the goverment, it was equally clear that the case for invasion was a pack of lies cooked up by Bush, Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Powell (and no doubt other less well known sub-demons in the administration). Yet those members of Congress who voted to authorize the war (especially those Democrats who did so) claim that they had no idea that the reason for invasion (WMD) was a total lie, cooked up by the administration.

The utter unbelievability of this position -- and the fact that there were braver members of Congress (eg Sen. Byrd) who did argue against the war and did maintain that the justification for war was nonsense -- makes the case for impeachment even more difficult, at least for prominent democrats like Hilary Clinton and other Democrat hawks. An impeachment based on "who knew what and when did they know it" would inevitably make Congress look almost as bad as Bush (a fact which is reflected in recent polls showing that the public esteem Congress and the President about equally - which is to say not very much). So maybe this has something to do with the apparent reluctance of Congress to bring this rogue adminsitration to justice for its misdeeds.

However, events that have occurred since the war began, including willfull violations of the Geneva Conventions, illegal domestic intelligence activities, and, in general, a Justice Dept run amuck, seem like quite sufficient grounds for impeachment even without the issue of the cooked intelligence that Bush and his fellow thugs used to start the war.

So what's the problem, Congress!?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Half the story - as usual

As Gaza is imploding, the AP just reported that State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Israel had shown “great restraint” in exercising its right to self defense and warned Hamas it would never achieve a Palestinian state unless it chose peace and worked with Fatah.

How quickly the US government and our media forget (or cover up) history. Let us not forget that the Hamas government came into office as the direct consequence of an election the United States endorsed -- until we got a result we didn't like. Then, instead of seizing an opportunity to work with Hamas -- a group that arguably actually represents Palestinian ideals and intentions -- the USA and Israeli rushed to erect a cordon sanitaire around the Palestinians in order to financially choke them to death. Financial aid and taxes due were frozen in order to make it impossible for Hamas to operate.

Prior to the election in which Hamas came to power, Fatah was considered corrupt and incompetent and Hamas was valued (by Palestinians) as a better alternative. But because of their vocal hatred for Isarael and its decades-long occupation, Hamas and all Palestinians have been put into an impossible situation. Israel and the USA will accept no government in the Palestinian Territories that does not a priori endorse the status quo with respect to Israel and its control of territory. Israel and the USA will not accept any negotiation that does not in advance accept the Israeli position of whatever is to be negotiated.

Now, as internal political pressures resulting from the impossible existence that has been forced upon Palstinians leads to war between the factions, the propaganda organs of the US government issue nonsense like the above-quoted gem. And, when the whole situation blows up totally and there is sufficient chaos, we will most likely see (another) invasion by Israel followed by more pompous platitudes from our own government about why such an action is necessary, justified, and "restrained."

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

What to do when your addicted relative has bankrupted the family

In a recent article in Business Week Online ("Roads to riches") author Emily Thornton describes plans in process to sell or lease major portions of US public infrastructure, especially roads, to private investors. The reason is that the public authorities controlling these public assets are so cash strapped that they need to sell the roads, tunnels, bridges, etc in order to pay off huge debt.

The situation is like that of a family that is ruined financially by a bread winner who won't work, but who keeps raiding the family checking account to pay for booze or drugs or gambling. Eventually, the family has to sell off its belongings in order to stay afloat. George Bush is that addictive bread winner. His tax cuts have squeezed federal programs and offloaded some of that squeeze onto states and municipalities, which now have to find money for programs formerly supported in whole or in part by federal monies. At the same time, Bush has raided America's checkbook for an unjustified, unnecessary, unwinnable and very expensive war.

Like a ruined family, America now has to sell off its roads and bridges to private investors in order to stay afloat. And, like a ruined family, once all the belongings have been sold and the bank has been paid off, the family ends up with nothing. There will be a lot of nothing in many Americans' futures, thanks to the profligacy of the Bush administration.