Although much has changed in the USA: public opinion of George and his war of choice for profit have tanked and Congress changed in November '06, everything else has gotten worse. Besides the obvious loss of our freedoms, BushCo in tandem with Congress Inc, has increased worldwide Islamic Jihadism and fueled intense hatred of US corporate imperialism. The dead and mutilated bodies keep piling up in Iraq and the flag-draped coffins are surging home under the mainstream media’s radar. The people of Baghdad have gone without water for days now and anyone of us can go to any faucet in our homes and pour ourselves a glass of safe water. The Iraqis are human, goddamnit, and their lives count, too! By our inaction, we form a union of callousness and violence with our federal employees. 535 members of Congress are about to go on undeserved vacations while our troops and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering under the most direst of circumstances and BushCo are poised to invade Iran and we all know Gonzo may have to resign and George will use the sleazy recess appointment process to foist another criminal on us.
Congress and BushCo have dismal approval ratings, but what does that say about "We the People?" It says that in our Representative Republic, "We" have no say. That's because many of us believe that our responsibilities in that Representative Republic are fulfilled in the voting booth. If we don't stand up to the people whom we employ and pay and make sure our votes count literally and for what we stand for, then we are doomed to being ruled by the ruthless elite who get their legislative orders from the special interests.
As Congressman John Conyers wrote over a year ago in his fabulous treatise on the crimes of BushCo called, Constitution in Crisis, "We have seen so many transgressions by this Administration that it is easy to forget last week's scandal amid this week's new outrage. I am hopeful that compiling all of these events of the last few years will help wake all of us up to the gravity of these matters and the cumulative damage to our country."
Wake up America…the situation is indeed grave and we have three branches of government (and a complicit "fourth estate") that are committed to politics and profits before people.
Nothing is going to change until we put people before the politics of profit or the profit of politics.
The above, noted by Mia, is from Cindy Sheehan's "I'm Perturbed As Heck" (Common Dreams).
It is amazing to hear the talking point from some gas bags that we have to be 'non-partisan'. That was the winning strategy for 2002, right? Oh, it was the losing strategy. But, as Sheehan rightly points out, how do you strategize over dying? Over the destruction of your own country? Coming to agreement with a movement that has destroyed this country and claimed countless lives is nothing to strive for. Giving a little to a crowd of totalitarians is shameful.
Acting as if an illegal war is something we can agree to disagree on, is cowardice. Forget the votes they think they have in Congress currently (or, knowing them, the ones they know they'll line up in 2008), if Congress got serious about the illegal war, the public support would be there and it would drive other members of Congress to join them. Even members of Bully Boy's party. "We don't have the votes" was never a solid excuse for caving in the past. Now that they have control of both houses, "we don't have the votes" is not only idiotic it ignores the very real fact that the people are the bosses of Congress. With approximately 70% of Americans wanting US forces out of the Iraq war, those 'vote counters' betray their understanding of democracy and of the country.
And as they do that, the dying continues.
They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)
Last Sunday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 3648. Tonight? They've announced 3669. The dying's not stopping. Join Iraq Veterans Against the War, Tina Richards and Military Families Speak Out in speaking the truth: Fuding the war is killing the troops. That is reality. It's reality because without funding the illegal war would stop. It's reality because whether it's a week with one announced death or 30 (or more), the dying continues.
Today the US military announced: "Two MNC-I Soldiers died of wounds suffered during combat operations in Baghdad August 5." And they announced: "A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed and two others were wounded during combat operations in a western section of the Iraqi capital Aug. 4." And they announced: " One MNC-I Soldier died of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated next to the Soldier’s vehicle during combat operations near Baghdad August 4, 2007."
Funding the illegal war is killing Iraqis. No one seems to notice much but the daily count is back to the 100s. Not for one day or for two. It's back to that number it was when the UN decried the 100 daily dead. It happened again on Sunday. Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 mortar attacks in Baghdad with at least 11 dead and sixteen wounded today, 1 dead from a Baghdad car bombing, 1 body guard for Hazim al-Araji is dead (four more wounded) from a Baghdad attack, the Imam of Khadhraa was shot dead at his home and two of sons wounded "as they screamed for help seeing their father being killed in front of them," 18 corpses were discovered in Baghdad, outside Kirkuk two were wounded from a roadside bombing, and 6 corpses were discovered in Mosul. For today's violence, McClatchy is reporting 38 dead or discovered dead. Reuters reports three police officers wounded in an attack in Baghdad (gunfire), 2 dead from a car bombing in Mahmudiya, a "tribal leader" dead today in Suwayra after being attacked Saturday and not recovering from the attack, and a prisoner in Badoush prison (outside Mosul) was killed. We're not done with Reuters, they also report 60 corpses discovered in Baquba. That's 64 for Sunday. That's 102 dead on Sunday.
It's already Monday in Baghdad now and Reuters reports a Tal Afar truck bombing that claimed 25 lives. Alexandra Zavis (Los Angeles Times) reports that puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki, has refused to accept the resignations last week of the six cabinet ministers. Not surprising, al-Maliki refuses to accept reality.
In the US, Laura Bruno (Daily Record) reports the arrest of Michael B. Silva at his apartment. Bruno's not much of a reporter because she either didn't ask or didn't tell why police were sent to the apartment. (The military sent them.) To read her account, it's not only natural for the police to show up at someone's door asking about a self-checkout, it's also reasonable for them to demand a search (which is how Silva was discovered). Did they even have a warrant for a search? Another thing Bruno doesn't ask or doesn't tell. Silva served in Iraq prior to his self-checkout. How the police ended up at his apartment or why they thought they had reason to search are topics we're all, like Bruno, supposed to ignore. Don't shake the construction too roughly, it will fall apart.
Dave Lindorff and Barbara Olshanksy wrote a book on impeachment. Kayla asked that we note this: "Here's an offer you can't refuse! Read Chapter 1 of The Case for Impeachment for free at no obligation. Just go to the Barnes&Noble catalog page or the Powell's Books catalog page and click on the 'read a sample chapter' button (then buy the book!)". Using those links, you can read chapter one (I don't know if it's in PDF format or not, I do know it's a brilliant book). Kayla also notes this from Lindorff's "Tomasky on Impeachment: The Dumbest Advice the Democrats Ever Got" (This Can't Be Happening):
First, impeaching Bush and Cheney is not a matter of Democratic strategy and partisanship. It is a matter of defending the Constitution and the republic against an unprecedented threat. It is a matter of the members of Congress acting in accordance with their oaths of office, which call on them to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Impeaching this administration is what the American public wants Congress to do. In the face of a media black-out, or of mainstream media ridicule of the idea of impeachment, a majority of Americans--Democrats, independents and even many Republican--nonetheless knows better and wants these men impeached. Without even having good access to information about the grim details of the president’s and vice president’s crimes, and with the pundits like Tomasky and O’Reilly in full negative mode, the American people know a threat to their country when they see it.
And second, impeachment is a process, not an action. It was the hearings on impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, televised and presented to the American people live, unmediated by glib corporate reporters, that convinced the American people and the politicians in Congress that Nixon deserved to be impeached. While there was great public skepticism about impeachment at the start of those hearings, when only 25 members of the House signed on, by the end of the hearings, the public was in favor, and three articles of impeachment were voted out of the committee, all of them with Republican support, and one of them by unanimous vote. It was the hearings, and the resulting wave of public revulsion against Nixon, that led Republican leaders to go to the president and tell him that he had to resign or he would lose the impeachment vote in the House, and that he would lose a trial in the Senate, and probably even end up in jail.
Tomasky has to know that the same thing is even more likely to occurf in the case of an impeachment hearing into the crimes of Bush and Cheney--crimes which are far more serious and more far-reaching than those of Richard Nixon.
It doesn't matter that Democrats have only a narrow margin in the House and a razor-thin majority in the Senate (no one, before impeachment hearings began, thought there was a chance that the Senate, with some 40 Republican members at the time, would ever oust Nixon in an impeachment trial either). What matters is standing up to the wholesale destruction of Constitutional government that is taking place under Bush and Cheney.
The real question is not the one posed by Tomasky about whether impeachment is "good for the Democrats"; it is what will be left of America and our Constitution if Bush and Cheney are not impeached before they leave office in January 2009.
Pru gets the last highlight. From Great Britain's Socialist Worker, "Gordon Brown shows his backing for George Bush's 'war on terror':"
Gordon Brown sent a clear message this week to all those who have despaired of the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and hoped that he would stand up to George Bush and bring the troops home.
On his trip to meet George Bush in the US, Brown made clear his devotion to the "strong relationship" with the US, and that Britain would continue to play a central role in the "war on terror".
Much of the media responded by looking for any difference between Brown's relationship with Bush and Blair's.
Brown said, "Afghanistan is the frontline against terrorism." Bush says it is Iraq.
Blair and Bush used to wear open necked shirts when they met. Brown and Bush wore suits this week.
Brown will stand together with Bush in pushing through an imperialist project in the Middle East.
Bush said, "There is no doubt in my mind that Gordon Brown understands that failure in Iraq would be a disaster for both our countries."
In the Washington Post newspaper, Brown wrote, "It is our shared task to expose terrorism."
He added, "All of us must be vigilant in our determination to prevent attacks and defeat the forces of terrorism. And it is the values we share that make us best placed to succeed."
The reality of what that means is continuing carnage in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The rhetoric over terrorism is translating into Brown's plan to increase detention without trial in Britain.
He has said that in the next session of parliament he wants to reopen the debate on raising the 28-day limit on the amount time that police can hold a suspect without charge.
The limit was extended to 28 days only 18 months ago. It is already the longest maximum period of detention without charge in western Europe.
The proposal for a 90 day period was narrowly defeated when put forward by Tony Blair in 2005.
But Brown has called for a "consultation" on increasing the time to up to 56 days, supporting police claims that they need yet more time to detain people to collect "evidence" in terrorist cases.
Brown also announced he is intending to bring in a "unified border force" to boost the "fight against terrorism".
This would create a "highly visible" force that would bring together immigration and customs officers.
He is also calling for a speed up to the introduction of identity cards.
Other measures include support for using email and telephone intercepts as evidence.
Yet more draconian laws won’t mean an end to terrorism. It is Britain’s support for the US’s war that leads to terrorism.
In his Washington Post article, Brown said, “We must expose the contrast between great objectives to tackle global poverty and honour human dignity and the evils of terrorists who would bomb and maim people irrespective of faith, indifferent to the very existence of human life."
In a sense he is right. But it is an apt description of his "special relationship" with Bush and the carnage they preside over.
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