Archive for April, 2006

Today’s North Korean Moment

Events | Posted by admin
Apr 18 2006

Here’s the musical number from chidren who survived Hurricaine Katrina and were given the chance to perform at the White House Ester Egg hunt:

Our country’s stood beside us
People have sent us aid.
Katrina could not stop us, our hopes will never fade.
Congress, Bush and FEMA
People across our land
Together have come to rebuild us and we join them hand-in-hand!”

No word on whether the chorus was sung:

Ah! Our brilliant and beloved General
Ah! Our exalted leader George W. Bush

UPDATE: Here is the Bill Maher rebuttal.

Heck of a job, indeed.

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
Apr 14 2006

Was Rumsfeld personally involved in torture at Guantanamo? Human Rights Watch says it has evidence.

Army report on al-Qaida accuses Rumsfeld (Guardian UK):

Donald Rumsfeld was directly linked to prisoner abuse for the first time yesterday, when it emerged he had been “personally involved” in a Guantánamo Bay interrogation found by military investigators to have been “degrading and abusive”.

Human Rights Watch last night called for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate whether the defence secretary could be criminally liable for the treatment of Mohamed al-Qahtani, a Saudi al-Qaida suspect forced to wear women’s underwear, stand naked in front of a woman interrogator, and to perform “dog tricks” on a leash, in late 2002 and early 2003. The US rights group said it had obtained a copy of the interrogation log, which showed he was also subjected to sleep deprivation and forced to maintain “stress” positions; it concluded that the treatment “amounted to torture”.

However, military investigators decided the interrogation did not amount to torture but was “abusive and degrading”. Those conclusions were made public last year but this is the first time Mr Rumsfeld’s own involvement has emerged.

Worst. Defense. Secretary. Ever. — who just happens to work for the — Worst. President. Ever.

Coincidence?

Of course not.

As funny as a crutch.

Local | Posted by admin
Apr 13 2006

Wow. Tracy and his conservative posse of comment writers know how to pick the perfect targets. If they put half the effort toward tackling wasteful military spending, the federal budget would be in surplus.

Moses has us listed for an April Fool’s Joke. Unfortunately, Minneapolis schools are the real joke.

[Full post here. Take a gander at the comments, too. Truly compassionate conservatism at work... not.]

The joke isn’t the Minneapolis public schools, or suburban public schools, or public schools in general. The really sad joke is that too many critics of public education do not direct the same critiques towards other, truly wasteful spending in the public sector or the private sector. The Pentagon and the Robb Report get a free pass while teachers and service sector workers (SEIU members mentioned here) get trounced constantly. If the Anti-Strib was a school playground, these people would be the bullies.

As an argument, “support our troops” goes unquestioned in the land of right-wing criticism. “Support our children” and their future, however, gets scrutinized, criticized and yelled down without much hesitation.

Of means and ends in the world of nuclear proliferation.

Just Thoughts | Posted by admin
Apr 08 2006

It seems that irony is alive and well in the Bush administration. Hell, irony is having a major, blow-out, lampshade party there.

US considers use of nuclear weapons against Iran (Yahoo! News):

The administration of President George W. Bush is planning a massive bombing campaign against Iran, including use of bunker-buster nuclear bombs to destroy a key Iranian suspected nuclear weapons facility, The New Yorker magazine has reported in its April 17 issue.

The article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said that Bush and others in the White House have come to view Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a potential Adolf Hitler.

“That’s the name they’re using,” the report quoted a former senior intelligence official as saying.

A senior unnamed Pentagon adviser is quoted in the article as saying that “this White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war.”

The former intelligence officials depicts planning as “enormous,” “hectic” and “operational,” Hersh writes.

One former defense official said the military planning was premised on a belief that “a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government,” The New Yorker pointed out.

Let’s untangle this a little: If Hersh is correct, our nation’s government is considering the use of nuclear weapons to prevent another nation from developing nuclear weapons.

Has your head returned from that “huh?-wha?-huh?” state yet? Mine hasn’t.

Bunker-busting nukes are seen by some military strategists as “tactical” weapons designed to take out a single target. If only it were that easy. During the 1970s and 1980s, the US and USSR considered the development and use of battlefield nuclear weapons in their East-vs-West war-game scenarios, only to find that the use of “tactical” nukes on the battlefield risked flaring into a full-fledged, strategic, and global nuclear holocaust.

While we don’t face the clear risk of a nuclear armageddon that existed during the Cold War, I imagine that we would face a severe and disastrous backlash from the rest of the world were we to use bunker-busting nukes against Iran. We would surely receive severe criticism from the global community of nations were we to even use conventional bombing against Iran.

Congress needs to get its act together on this one by passing a resolution that reminds the president that he needs a Congressional declaration of war before it can act and cannot fall back on previous resolutions to justify a new war against another nation. Better than that, we need to elect a new body in the House and Senate that will not roll over for the president and has no problem with asserting Congress’ oversight powers.

In 2002 and 2003, the administration warned everyone — quite falsely — of Iraq’s nuclear weapons and the potential for the appearance of a mushroom cloud over an American city. I don’t limit my fears to our nation alone. The appearance of a mushroom cloud anywhere in the world should shake all of us to the core. During the Cold War, a nuke that displayed a US flag on its casing instilled the same dread and fear as the nuke with a Soviet flag. While we should all be concerned about a Iranian-flagged nuke today, we should not forget that a US nuke has not transformed into some angel of peace, democracy and security since the end of the US-Soviet rivalry. It remains as deadly, unpredictable and dangerous to the security of our world as ever.

Preventing nuclear proliferation around the world is important. So, too, is reducing and eliminating the nuclear stockpiles that exist. Using existing nuclear weapons to take out potential nuclear weapons is not a justifiable strategy to prevent proliferation. If anything, such an effort could increase international tensions and result in a greater conflict than we already have at the present time in Iraq and Afghanistan.