Wednesday, November 30, 2005

NYT: "Bush to Outline Broad Iraq Plan; Push on Training" (David E. Sanger & Eric Schmitt)

Mr. Bush continued to emphasize that American forces cannot withdraw before their job is done. "I want our troops to come home, but I don't want them to come home without having achieved victory," he said in brief comments to reporters in El Paso during a visit to the Mexican border. "And we've got a strategy for victory." The president was describing a speech he plans to give Wednesday at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

The above is from David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt's "Bush to Outline Broad Iraq Plan; Push on Training" in this morning's New York Times. And how scary is it that his stated "plan" is not that different then Hillary Clinton's? (As evidenced by the e-mail that twenty members have forwarded to the site.)

Stay the course Hillary (we'll leave the obvious joke to Rosie O'Donnell), says no one would have voted for the war if they'd had all the information the administration had. But we've got to stay, we've just got to stay. (Again, refer to O'Donnell.) The AP feels the e-mail (sent out to at least a thousand people) was her effort to better position herself if she decides to run in 2008 (for the presidency).

If she thinks that sop is going to please her constituents (who are against the war in large numbers and want the troops home -- her office has seen the polling results), she's kidding herself.

Once upon a time, she knew how to speak up for what was right. If she can't find that voice, she's going to have a hard time running for president and, should she win the nomination, her Republican opponent may position her or himself as the person to bring the troops home. That may seem shocking to some but for years the Republican Party was seen as the party that hurt the economy and the Democratic Party was seen as the party that got the country into wars. Bully Boy notwithstanding, there's a strong isolationist streak that still runs through the Republican Party. (Doubt it? Listen to Nicky K beg and beg, in column after column, the Republican Party to do something about Sudan. What you thought all his feminism bashing was designed to woo liberals?) Chuck Hagel could tap into that sentiment. (He's already positioned to do so, some might argue.)

Lloyd e-mails to note Matthew Rothschild's "Bush's Bloody Strategy for Victory" (This Just In, The Progressive):

Even former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has decried these human rights abuses. "People are doing the same as Saddam’s time and worse," he told the London Observer.
"We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated. A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations."
Cheney and Rumsfeld have been trumpeting the Salvador option for some time now.
During the 2004 Vice Presidential debate, Dick Cheney said, "Twenty years ago, we had a similar situation in El Salvador. . . . And today, El Salvador is a whale of a lot better."
Donald Rumsfeld said virtually the same thing right after the election. "The Iraqi people can find much to admire in El Salvador’s recent history," Rumsfeld said in San Salvador on November 11, 2004.
Cheney and Rumsfeld implicitly were putting their seal of approval on the tens of thousands of civilians the Salvadoran death squads tortured and murdered.
Rumsfeld even invoked the murdered Salvadorans to bless the U.S. invasion of Iraq. "For millions of Salvadorans back then, peace and prosperity was little more than a distant hope," he said in San Salvador. "In that struggle for freedom, many lives were lost. I think they would be proud to know that . . . soldiers from a peaceful and democratic El Salvador are today fighting alongside U.S. and coalition forces to help to secure freedom and prosperity for the people of Iraq."
Bush, for his part, is so ga-ga with messianic delusions that he doesn't care about the deaths along the way, [Seymour] Hersh contends. "He doesn’t feel any pain," one former defense official told Hersh. "Bush is a believer in the adage, 'People may suffer and die but the Church advances.' "
All the more reason for those of us in the peace movement to demand not only to bring the troops home, but to bring this bloody war to an immediate end.

There was a time, long ago, when Hillary Clinton would've been comfortable making similar calls. Where is that voice today?

Anne e-mails to note Juan Gonzalez's "Sickened G.I. Fights for Vets" (New York Daily News via Common Dreams):

Iraq war veteran Gerard Matthew had a terrible nightmare six weeks ago. He dreamed he was killing his year-old baby daughter.
Matthew awoke in a panic in his Bronx apartment. He rolled over in his bed and realized his precious Victoria was sleeping peacefully beside him.
The baby, born June 29, 2004, is missing three fingers and most of her right hand, and Matthew, 31, keeps fighting off the depression and guilt.
His wife, Janise, became pregnant shortly after he returned from Iraq. He arrived suffering from an illness the Army doctors couldn't explain. One side of his face swelled up each morning. He had constant migraine headaches, blurred vision, blackouts and a burning sensation when he urinated.
The couple suspected from the start that the baby's deformity had something to do with Matthew's illness.
A few months after Victoria's birth, this column revealed that Matthew, a specialist with the 719th Army National Guard Transport Company, had tested positive for depleted uranium exposure in screening tests sponsored by the Daily News.
Matthew was the fifth of 10 New York Army National Guard soldiers - the others were all members of the 442nd Military Police unit - to show signs of depleted uranium exposure in tests conducted for The News by a scientist at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.
Depleted uranium is a low-level radioactive material that has been used by the Pentagon since the Persian Gulf War in artillery penetrators and in the plating for M-1 tanks.
Opponents of DU say the microscopic radioactive dust released by exploding shells can lodge in a person's lungs for years and cause physical or genetic damage. But Pentagon officials have repeatedly defended its use as safe.
All 10 guardsmen tested by The News had been sent home from Iraq in 2003 with similar, unexplained illnesses. They all said that Army doctors tried to dissuade them from getting tested for DU.

Juan Gonzalez co-hosts Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. (Of course. But it provides our transition.)

Rod passes on the information about today's Democracy Now!:

Tune in to Democracy Now! on Wednesday 11/30 for interviews with Stanley Tookie Williams and Lori Berenson
See Democracy Now! for full audio, video and transcripts
A Conversation with Death Row Prisoner Stanley Tookie Williams
Two weeks from the date of his scheduled execution, Williams speaks from death row with Democracy Now! about his case, his life and his redemption. Williams helped start the Crips street gang. But behind bars he has become a leading advocate for the end of gang violence. He has written nine books and has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is scheduled to die on Dec. 13.
Lori Berenson Commentary from Prison Marks 10th Anniversary of her Arrest
On the 10th anniversary of the arrest of U.S. citizen Lori Berenson, her father, Mark Berenson, reads a commentary she released from prison. She was convicted in 1995 in Peru by hooded military judges of collaborating with the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. She is scheduled for release in November 2015.
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