International lawyers and anti-war campaigners have reacted with astonishment after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle said that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal.
In a startling break with the official White House and Downing Street lines, Mr Perle said in London on Wednesday: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."
President George Bush has consistently argued that the war was legal either because of existing UN security council resolutions on Iraq - also the British Government's stated view - or as an act of self-defence permitted by international law.
But Mr Perle, a member of the defence policy board, which advises US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, said that "international law . . . would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone", and this would have been morally unacceptable.
So reported Oliver Burkeman for The Age on November 21, 2003. Last year, Elizabeth Edwards explained the position of some of those (including her husband) who voted for the resolution (see Ruth Conniff's "Elizabeth Edwards Interview" ):
And the resolution wasn't really to go to war. The resolution, if you remember, was forcing Bush to to the U.N. first. Of course, we expected him to actually listen to the U.N., which didn't happen. The resolution was actually a slowing technique.
73 Senators voted for it, 23 against. Those voting for it on the Democratic side included Max Baucus, Even Bayh, Joe Biden, John Edwards, Dianne Feinstein, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, John Breaux, Harry Reid, Jay Rockefeller (a point Bambi got wrong in Ohio), Maria Cantwell, Tom Harkin, Chuck Schumer, Jean Carnahan, Conrad Hollings, Max Cleland, Hillary Clinton, Johnson (SD), John Kerry, Herb Kohl, Mary Landrieu, Tom Daschle (a Bambi advisor), Chris Dodd, Robert Torricelli, Blanche Lincoln and Byron Dorgan.
That's a lot of names. And the 'logic' of the nut-jobs on the left (The Nation, et al.) is that Hillary Clinton's vote in 2002 is her death. It didn't show good judgement, they say all this time later. Apparently, her endorsing Obama would absolve her of her sins since Daschle (uber friend to lobbyists) and Rockefeller, Kerry (among others) now endorse Bambi. If their judgement is so 'flawed,' one would think that he'd worry more about distancing himself from them.
Bambi didn't vote in 2002 because he wasn't in the Senate. That's confusing to some and Panhandle Media hasn't bothered to enlighten them. Bambi gave a pretty speech. That's all it was. He was in the Senate in 2005, in 2006, in 2007 and today. His voting record is no different from Hillary's . . . when he shows up for the vote (he skipped out on the Iran resolution vote over the summer and then wanted to slam her for her vote while claiming he was "against" it -- if only they allowed "present" votes in the US Senate, he could have a sparkling 'record').
Hillary has stated her vote was a mistake and that she wouldn't do it over with hindsight. Obama not only didn't vote (because he wasn't in the Senate) he spent 2004 repeating he didn't know how he would have voted if he had been in the Senate. As late as the fall of 2006, he was still repeating that claim. It's only in 2007, while running for president, that he finally knows how he would have voted in 2002: against! Well the world doesn't let you wait five years to make up your mind on what to do or not to do.
The Little Liars of the Left pretended they were going to apply standards to the candidates. That never happened. You need to look at The Progressive, at The Nation and other print outlets from the left and 'left' and try to find the Hillary supporter. Find the person who writes articles and blogs at the magazine site in support of Hillary. We say "The Nation" here and I always think people grasp what we're saying but that's not the case as was brought home today when a student was complaining about The Nation and another student thought one writer was being referred to. The Nation allows John Nichols, The Airs (Berman and Melber), Richard Kim, Laura Flanders, Katha Pollitt, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Patricia J. Williams, Tom Hayden, Robert Scheer and assorted other lower case names to weigh in over and over (Jon Weiner, the Pooper, Gilligan, etc.). This is not one person. Over at The Progressive, Matthew Rothschild and Ruth Conniff write articles on the campaign and post online at the magazine's site. Amazingly, with all those voices, there's not one that supports Hillary.
You need to grasp that and wonder how it happens? When the nation's Democrats are split how is it that the would-be-elites (actual elites don't beg for money) are all in agreement? Find any issue or past presidential campaign when they were all in agreement. You won't find it.
The Crazy Cockburns. That's now the only adjective that fits that insane family. You've got self-loathing lesbian Laura Flanders who, days after Bambi puts homophobes onstage in North Carolina, shows up to plead with him to break with . . . Richard Daily. You've got her unclae Alex who thinks the way to rev up web visits is to publish topless photos of women. And you've got Patrick who writes about the rape of an Iraqi girl by ignoring it. He turns it into exclusively a Shia and Sunni split and can't stumble across the ongoing femicide.
This left and 'left' crowd that can't agree on anything else knows that Hillary doesn't belong in the White House. When that crap first started up, it was fine. Back then, it appeared that they weren't holding Hillary to an unfair standard and that they'd delve into realities about Bambi as well. That never happened. The clue should have been Professor Patti going on KPFA and maintaining that Bambi voted against the 2002 authorization and having an on-air meltdown when a caller pointed out that he didn't because he wasn't in the Senate and that he had voted non-stop for war funding since getting into the Senate.
Again, the country is split but 'left' print media isn't. Doesn't that strike you as strange? Hillary carries New Hampshire and Texas (among others) and shouldn't a print magazine be reflective of the country? Especially when it's called "The Nation"? But that's not what's happening and you need to be asking why that is? In Real Media were there such a lack of diversity, they would be asking questions internally. But Panhandle Media doesn't ask.
Or take Democracy Now! If CNN did what Amy Goodman has done, there would be huge outcries. For those who missed it, she doesn't bring on Hillary supporters unless they're present to debate Obama supporters. (Dolores Huerta had to face not one but two Obama supporters.)
Now Obama supporters can and have (many times) come on by themselves. Obama supporters, in the case of Melissa Harris-Lacewell and others, can come up without Amy telling the audience that they are supporting Obama (in Harris-Lacewell's case, she was also part of his campaign). They get to yammer on and on without question, without debate. They never have much to say, if you pay attention. Even the great Grace Lee Boggs (a Bambi supporter so she was allowed to gas bag solo) couldn't find a genuine reason to support Bambi. She spoke of the 'movement' and Ava and I will be addressing the selling of that Sunday. But where was Paul Krugman, Joe Wilson or any of the many other frequent Democracy Now! guests in the recent past to sing Hillary's praises? No where to be found.
How does "the people's radio" avoid the fact that Obama used homophobia to scare up votes in South Carolina? They did. Not just Amy but all her Pacifica co-horts. This week we saw KPFA's The Morning Show decide to give us a look into how Texas would vote and someone thought the best way to do that was to bring on Obama supporter Jim Hightower. There was no Hillary supporter. For those who missed it, Hillary won Texas. When KPFA aired the Texas debate last month, they brought on a host of Obama supporters (Laura Flanders, the Squeaky Voiced Professor, Tom Hayden, and the non-Latino "expert" who stated Mexican-Americans don't vote). How does that happen?
Independent media supposedly is about a 'diversity' of 'voices.' So how did they all end up singing from the same hymnal? It's a question you should be asking. Those with tax-free status should be prepared to answer because tax-free status can be pulled and if that should happen, get ready for the death of Panhandle Media.
If they had to go back right now and justify their coverage, they couldn't. They didn't practice journalism (some don't even know what it is -- and before a Panhandle Media type e-mails, this site is not journalism, I don't make that claim). They didn't honor their listeners. Hillary supporters were calling KPFA during their 'debate' coverage to take part in the promised 'call ins.' None of those callers were put on air. On the station's blog you could find Hillary supporters but they weren't represented in the questions asked or the 'experts' invited. How anyone could mistake "NYC by way of San Francsico and England" Laura Flanders for someone knowledgeable on either Texas or Ohio strains credibility.
Hillary won Texas but the 'experts' that night said it wouldn't happen, they said Latino voters didn't vote, they said a lot of things. They were wrong. FAIR rightly points out that the voices who were correct about the Iraq War before it started are shut out and that the shut out should not happen. What about the gas bags in Panhandle Media who were wrong? When do we hear the call for them to be shut out?
What about the liars? Like Paul Rogain Loeb who goes on Uprising this week and presents to listeners (most of whom don't know him -- for good reason) that he's a John Edwards supporter who came over to Bambi's campaign when the reality -- by his own lousy Christmas day column -- is that he supported both Obama and Edwards all along (giving money to both campaigns -- by his own admission). How does that qualify as informed or truthful? It doesn't.
But nothing they have offered has qualified as either. It's qualified as lies and distortions. Since Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! is presented as a news program (I have no idea, she hasn't done any reporting since right after Hurricane Katrina) and not a public affairs program, she really can't get away with slanting her program the way she has. Since she has tax-free status, she really can't allow her program to be used as one candidate's campaign organ. But she did that. She was pimping so hard one week, she included Chris Dodd's endorsement in her headlines and, the next day, included it again. As the lead headline. One endorsement. For those who missed it, she never noted Robert F. Kenney, Kathleen Kennedy and Kerry Kennedy's endorsement of Hillary. Never. The only time it came up on the program (days after the fact) was when Dolores Huerta brought it up. Goodman had no comment. She pimped Caroline and Ted Kennedy's endorsements. She buried those endorsing Hillary over and over.
She invited a lunatic on to discuss Nevada -- a man who wrote that "Hillary's hearing voices" -- and she presented him as a journalist and as impartial. She never told her audience he was supporting Barack Obama. You can't do that. You can't do that and maintain your tax-free status.
Panhandle Media chose the candidate to back. Panhandle Media pimped a 'movement' before there was one, they fawned and flattered and flat out lied to create one. How did that happen?
Was the pimping ever really about what was best for the country? No. It was about a number of things including sexism, including hatred of both Clintons, including wanting to demonstrate their 'power' (they have none) and so they all sang like one great big choir. Someone needs to close the church.
When you read Crazy Alex Cockburn's ditherings on Hillary Clinton (remember he knows, just knows, of a drug cartel!), you may remember he and his partner wrote, in 2000, that there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties. So why does he pull punches on Bambi and act like he's Ike Turner when writing of Hillary? If he believes there's no significant difference between the two parties, why the hell is he so concerned with what they're doing?
The mistake that Bob Somerby continues to make is ignoring Panhandle Media. That's where the attacks start, that's where they bubble up from. In the 80s, The New Republic was used to attack Democrats with the line "Even The New Republic says . . ." Right now, that line of attack is directed at Hillary and it's coming from all of Panhandle Media.
Laura Flanders who could write and speak in defense of unfair press about Condi Rice (about Condi Rice!) joins in the attacks on Hillary. Well, she's not much of a feminist to begin with. That was evident even before The Nation magazine took over her show. She carved out a niche for herself at FAIR by holding the "women's chair" and that's really all she did. Did she ever write about Abeer? No.
Panhandle Media has demonstrated it doesn't believe in fairness, that it doesn't believe in a diversity of voices and that those with tax-free status should have their exemptions immediately pulled. They've also demonstrated how stupid they are because it wouldn't have taken very much work to feature a sole voice in favor of Hillary. If they were really clever, they could have gone with an inept writer to be that voice (although in Panhandle Media aren't they all inept voices?). They didn't do that. Somehow in the alleged diversity of Panhandle Media there was no voice supporting Hillary. When half the Democratic Party (actually more than that when you realize the number of Republicans and "Independents" Bambi's dragging in) is for Hillary, how is it that our supposedly representative Panhandle Media -- "Community radio!" cries Amy Goodman everytime she's sticking her hands in your pockets -- couldn't find one voice representing half the Democrats in this country?
Remember when Panhandle Media was concerned with astro-turf? Isn't it funny that The Nation is fully aware of the astro-turf efforts the Obama campaign has used to pressure delegates and reporters but they haven't said a word about that? (We'll be noting one effort on Sunday in our TV commentary -- it's especially 'cute' because the person behind it then referenced it on TV -- without acknowledging the source -- creating an echo chamber of an echo chamber. "I start it! I reference it! It's a trend!") One endorser of Bambi in Congress only learned today about the astro-turf campaign and feels he was taken in. His office is going through those astro-turf efforts to determine how many were actually from constituents. And, of course, the astro-turf efforts go on against Stephanie Tubbs Jones but no one in Panhandle Media can say "STOP IT!" or even tell you about it.
Panhandle Media has become all the things they once railed against and a post-election examination will not release from the burdens of their guilt and hypocrisy.
This wasn't the planned topic for tonight. E-mails were touching on various aspects mentioned above as well as noting the need for a delinking. That used to bother me. I used to get sick to my stomach over those. These days, I could care less.
So another one bites the dust. Truthout's gone from the links. As a number of members e-mailed to point out, Marc Ash felt the need to tell Hillary that it was "Time to Bow Out." Marc Ash would better spend his time wondering where the original content on Iraq went at his site instead of offering the non-democratic suggestion that a candidate "bow out." We don't support "Don't Run!" campaigns, we don't support people who think they know best when it's time for a candidate -- any candidate -- to "bow out." If Hillary's not your candidate, don't presume to give her advice on how she should run her campaign. Quit being such a damn busy-body and so against democracy. Again, Iraq content (original as opposed to reposted) left Truthout some time ago. If Ash felt the need to write anything, it should have been to write about Iraq. I'm not remembering him writing much except to tell readers that yes, indeed, Karl Rove was about to be indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald! He said they stood by that story! He said if it didn't happen, sources would be revealed! Where are those sources? They never did get revealed.
There were people saying Marc Ash needed to "bow out" after that fiasco. He didn't need to, he needed to do what he thought was right. He stayed in the game. But he thinks it's his right to tell a candidate -- any candidate -- when it's time to end a campaign?
It's not his right. And certainly voters in Rhode Island, Ohio and Texas made it clear that Hillary was their choice. They didn't need a thumbs up from Marc Ash. Again, maybe it's time for Marc Ash to explain who the "sources" were on that coming-any-day indictment of Karl Rover from Patrick Fitzgerald. If you missed it, Fitzgerald shut down that investigation long ago and Karl Rove never got indicted.
Out, out, damn truth?
Again, who were the "sources"? It's not that Truthout was wrong. At one point or another, we're all wrong and will be many times over. But the "sources" were never revealed as promised. Marc Ash runs that site and is responsible for everything on it. There were calls for him to bow out. (We didn't make those calls and supported them during that and after.) If Marc Ash had listened to 'caring' voices, Truthout would have ceased a long time ago. I do not respect anyone who tells someone not to run or to drop out. I certainly don't respect in-the-tank-for-Bambi people trying to play 'caring' and 'concerned' with regards to the Hillary campaign.
Little men, if they couldn't go after women, they'd have to address their own obvious shortcomings. None of it's ending the illegal war but, if you missed it, Panhandle Media isn't about ending the illegal war. They don't give a damn. You can't ignore war resisters and claim you give a damn. You can't have imposed a silence on the gang-rape and murder of Abeer by US soldiers and claim you give a damn. You can't ignore Iraq day after day and claim you give a damn. Think about that list of writers for The Nation all weighing in on how awful Hillary is and how Bambi pees rainbows and grasp that if only a third of those writers had been assigned to cover Iraq, the illegal war might have some coverage. Didn't happen because it didn't matter to them.
Yet they want to lie and present some great divide between Hillary and Barack on the illegal war. They want to lie and ignore the fact that the person responsible for the US counter-insurgency manual isn't an advisor to Obama (that would be Sewell). They can do that because they don't give a damn and it's been quite obvious that they didn't give a damn for some time. They want your money and they want you to vote how they say. But they're not interested in ending the illegal war.
Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report and link has text and audio) calls it like it is in terms of the damange they have created:
There was only a remnant of a movement left in the United States, before Barack Obama's phenomenal rise. Black and white progressives claim they are prepared to resume agitation after Obama's election -- that they will rev up the movement once again if they discover the new president turns out to be what he has repeatedly promised to be: a corporate Democrat committed to imperial policies abroad, who shuns any analysis or demand that does not conform to his own 'race neutral' -- in practice, 'race blind' -- domestic policies. If progressives truly believe they can turn mass, grassroots politics on and off, like a switch, they are delusional. Large groups of human beings don't act that way. Barack Obama's honeymoon will surely last for years, no matter what crises he mishandles or provokes. Blacks and progressives have neutered themselves.
Panhandle Media is a sexist medium. It doesn't matter that Katrina vanden Heuvel's in charge of The Nation. In 2007, they printed 491 males and only 149 females. It doesn't matter that Amy Goodman's in charge of Democracy Now! because no self-respecting woman would publish in Larry F***t's H**tler magazine. It took a lot of hatred of women (witness Alex Cockburn running a topless photo of a woman in an 'economic' report) to sell the lie that there was a gulf on Iraq between Hillary and Barack.
But mainly it took a lack of interest in the illegal war to create an "anti-war" candidate who is not for pulling all troops out, who is not for ending the illegal war (he calls it a "dumb" one), who was given the keys to the store long before anyone thought about pressing him on Iraq. After they'd endorsed (after!), Laura Flanders and Tom Hayden both showed up to claim that both candidates needed to have their feet held to the fire. Are they that pathetic or do they think their audience is? There was a time when you had to work for an endorsement. Those days are long gone. [See Margaret Kimberley's "Progressives Cave to Obama" (Black Agenda Report).] And remember what Juan Gonzalez said last week:
About this issue of the Iraq war, as I know there's been much discussion about it and certainly on this show, we early on raised many of the questions in terms of the justifications for the war. But it does seem to me that it's a little bit different being a state legislator in Illinois from a district that's probably very much antiwar and having him being in the US Senate. If he had been in the US Senate and taken the same position at the time, I think that would have been a much firmer stand, that he could say, 'I was against the war from the beginning.' But when you're in a district in Illinois, you're along with about one-third to 40 percent of the American people who at that time were questioning of the war to a large degree, and I think that it was a tougher situation for those who were in the Senate. It still doesn't mean that Hillary Clinton was right in her judgment, but I find it hard to equate the two positions because of the relative differences in where they were at the time.
He said that to Sammy Power who agreed it was "a fair point" and added that "Obma has made the same point" -- not in this campaign. But Sammy Power's a liar propped up by Panhandle Media. As Larry Johnson's "Obama Amateur Hour" (No Quarter) notes, Sammy's back in the news:
Ms Power told The Scotsman Mrs Clinton was stopping at nothing to try to seize the lead from Mr Obama."We f***** up in Ohio," she admitted. "In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio's the only place they can win. "She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything," Ms Power said, hastily trying to withdraw her remark."Interestingly, the people in her innermost circle seem to not mind her; I think they really love her." But she added: "There is this middle circle – they are really on the warpath. But the truth is she has proved herself really willing to stoop."
[. . .]
"You just look at her and think: ergh. But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive."
Oh, yes, that argument again, those stupid poor people. The faux left loves to talk about the poor as long as they never have to actually listen to them. A Problem From Hell Sammy Power demonstrating she's as much of a wack-job as Ann Coulter. And that's the other thing, who would have thought the left and 'left' would traffic in the attacks that Joe Conason and Gene Lyons had long ago documented the right doing? But that's what they've done. Again, there is no remorse that will be sufficient post-election because they've practiced no journalism.
And they certainly haven't covered Iraq.
It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going onSo I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)
Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 3973. Tonight? 3974. 26 away from the 4,000 mark. Just Foreign Policy lists 1,173,743 as the number of Iraqi deaths since the start of the illegal war. As we've noted before, that's been JFP's count since February 10th as well. As noted in today's snapshot, 55 people died in two Baghdad bombings today. Somehow that doesn't advance the count but nothing does. If you've paid attention, you've probably seen that two of the men behind JFP have been weighing in . . . on topics other than Iraq. No one can change the count but they've got an Obama to elect, by golly. The non anti-war "anti-war" candidate. Their priorities seem a bit off, to say the least.
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i hate the war