Thursday, February 28, 2008

I Hate The War

The illegal war will not end with lies. It will not end because the bulk of Panhandle Media drops all standards and pushes the lie that Barack Obama is "anti-war." He is not.

When he was running for the US Senate (which was not in 2002), Elaine and I went to one of his fundraisers. He made a pretty, little speech and then began to mingle. We asked him about Iraq. He was, after all, the "anti-war" candidate, right? He was opposed to the illegal war before it began, after all.

As Elaine and I have both noted (before he ever declared his intent to run for president) he wasn't for withdrawing troops. His attitude was that "we" were in Iraq now and "we" would have to say. Elaine and I immediately left (and, no, we didn't contribute a dime).

Somehow he's continued to be perceived as "anti-war." He's offered nonstop nonsense on Iraq and it doesn't hold up and it doesn't call for an end to the war. But he has enablers like Amy Goodman (who stays silent) and Tom Hayden (who feels the need to write "What Barack really meant was . . ." column) and Laura Flanders (who can't stop lying long enough to call him out for using homphobia as a campaign strategy in South Caroline) and . . . Go down the list, it is a very long, long list.

Since he declared his run for the Democratic nomination, all sorts of idiots and buffoons have e-mailed both Elaine and I suggesting we must have misheard. Many go on to practice the Tom Hayden strategy of saying, "Well what he really must have meant . . ."

What does the following mean?

The War on Terror has to be vigorously fought. Where we part company is how to fight it, because Afghanistan in fact was not a preemptive war, it was a war launched directly against those who were responsible for 9/11. Iraq was a preemptive war based on faulty evidence-and I say that not in hindsight, or Monday-morning quarterbacking. Six months before the war was launched, I questioned the evidence that would lead to us being there. Now, us having gone in there, we have a deep national security interest in making certain that Iraq is stable. If not, not only are we going to have a humanitarian crisis, we are also going to have a huge national security problem on our hands-because, ironically, it has become a hotbed of terrorists as a consequence, in part, of our incursion there. In terms of timetable, I'm not somebody who can say with certainty that a year from now or six months from now we're going to be able to pull down troops.

That's Barack Obama in his 2004 Senate run, October, 2004. This is Mr. Bravery in a public debate with non-threat Alan Keyes.

Bambi didn't get into the Senate and suddenly back off ending the illegal war. Bambi's never called for ending the war. He didn't think it was a good idea. He thinks the Afghanistan War was 'worthy' (something Laura Flanders disagrees with but you'll notice she's never called him out on that -- Bill O'Lielly on Fox "News" she can stand up, but with Bambi she falls silent). He lied Tuesday night in the debate, falsely claiming it was hard for him to take a stand in the midst of a 'high-stakes' run for the US Senate.

He is not the anti-war senator. He gave a speech in 2002 before the illegal war started. While running for US Senator, he disappeared his speech. He wasn't in the Senate in 2002 and he's stated publicy and repeatedly that he didn't know how he would have voted if he had been in the Senate at the time. But these days he likes to pretend those statements were never made. From the January 9th "Iraq snapshot:"

The New York Times? I believe we last noted Bambi telling them he didn't know how he would have voted in the January 4th snapshot: " Obama tells Monica Davey (New York Times, July 26, 2004) he doesn't know how he would have voted if he'd been in the Senate. Two years later, he's telling David Remnick (The New Yorker) he doesn't know how he would have voted." Bill Clinton noting the disappearence of the speech Obama is now so proud of? Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon (then at The Black Commentator) pointed that out before Bambi made it to the Senate (the date of that is addressed later in the snapshot). Bruce Dixon (Black Agenda Report) reminded people of that again on December 12th of last year.

Get it? Mr. "Judgement Matters" didn't know how he'd vote, if he had been in the Senate in 2002, until 2007 when he wanted to run for president.

You don't hear that reality. You hear a lot of lies. November 2nd, the New York Times felt the need to allow two reporters to lie in an article on Bambi. From the November 2nd "Iraq snapshot:"

On the subject of Iran, Barack Obama appears on the front page of this morning's New York Times. War pornographer Michael Gordon and Jeff Zeleny who lied in print (click here, here and here -- the paper finally retracted Zeleny's falsehood that should have never appeared) present a view of Barack Obama that's hardly pleasing. Among the many problems with the article is Obama as portrayed in the article -- and his campaign has issued no statement clarifying. The Times has the transcript online and from it, Barack Obama does mildly push the unproven claim
that the Iranian government is supporting resistance in Iraq. Gordo's pushed that unproven claim repeatedly for over a year now. But Obama's remarks appear more of a reply and partial points in lengthy sentences -- not the sort of thing a functioning hard news reporter would lead with in an opening paragraph, touch on again in the third paragraph, in the fourth paragraph, in . . . But though this isn't the main emphasis of Obama's statements (at any time -- to be clear, when it pops up, it is a fleeting statement in an overly long, multi-sentenced paragraphs), it does go to the fact that Obama is once again reinforcing unproven claims of the right wing. In the transcript, he comes off as obsessed with Hillary Clinton. After her, he attempts to get a few jabs in at John Edwards and one in at Bill Richardson. Here is what real reporters should have made the lede of the front page: "Presidential candidate and US Senator Barack Obama who is perceived as an 'anti-war' candidate by some announced that he would not commit to a withdrawal, declared that he was comfortable sending US troops back into Iraq after a withdrawal started and lacked clarity on exactly what a withdrawal under a President Obama would mean." That is what the transcript reveals. Gordo really needs to let go of his blood lust for war with Iran.
Writing up a report, Gordo and Zeleny are useless but, surprisingly, they do a strong job with some of their questions. The paper should have printed up the transcript. If they had, people might be wondering about the 'anti-war' candidate. He maintains Bill Richardson is incorrect on how quickly US troops could be withdrawan from Iraq. Obama states that it would take at least 16 months which makes one wonder how long, if elected, it would take him to move into the White House? If you can grab a strainer or wade through Obama's Chicken Sop For The Soul, you grasp quickly why he refused to pledge (in September's MSNBC 'debate') that, if elected president, he would have all US troops out of Iraq by 2013: He's not talking all troops home. He tries to fudge it, he tries to hide it but it's there in the transcript. He doesn't want permanent military bases in Iraq -- he appears to want them outside of Iraq -- such as Kuwait. But he doesn't see the US embassy in Iraq -- the largest US embassy in the world as a base. However, he does feel that even after the illegal war was ended, US troops would need to remain behind in order guard the embassy and the staff. In addition, it becomes clear that he will keep US troops in Iraq to train the Iraqi police. Because?
The reporters don't think to ask. Here's a slice of reality, the US military is not trained to train police officers. Here's another to drop on the plate, Jordan was training them. Jordan got pushed aside around the half-way mark of 2006. If Obama wanted to pull US troops out of Iraq, the most obvious solution is to turn over the duty of training police officers to a non-military force. Along with needing those for trainers, he needs some to protect the trainers. Gordo gets to the point asking, "So how will you protect the trainers without forces in Iraq?" His answer is an embarrassment, he could keep the trainers out of potentially difficult situations. And in Iraq, that would be where? In addition, he would keep troops in Iraq for counter-terrorism (but not, he insists, counter-insurgency). If this doesn't all sound familiar, you slept through this spring and summer when Congressional Dems tried repeatedly to convince the American people that "all troops out of Iraq" could also mean that US troops stay to train, as military police, to fight terrorism, etc. While he's off talking al Qaeda in Iraq (a small number and one most observers state will be forced out by Iraqis when US troops leave) and working in more attacks on Senator Clinton, it's noted that he has "a more expansive approach to Iraq than she does in that you identify in your plan the possiblity of going back into Iraq to protect the populartion if there's an all-out civil war. . . . And providing monitors to help the population relocate and go after war criminals. Those are three elements -- those are new missions for Americans after Iraq that she doesn't postulate." What follows is a comical exchange:

Obama: But they aren't necessarily military missions.

NYT: But how do you go back into Iraq without military forces?

Obama: No, no, no, no, no. You conflated three things. The latter two that you are talked about are not military missions. Let's just be clear about that.

NYT: An armed escort is not a military mission?

Though Obama says he wants "to be clear," he refuses to answer that yes or no question and the interview is over.
So let's be clear that the 'anti-war' Obama told the paper he would send troops back into Iraq. Furthermore, when asked if he would be willing to do that unilaterally, he attempts to beg off with, "We're talking too speculatively right now for me to answer." But this is his heavily pimped September (non)plan, dusted off again, with a shiny new binder. The story is that Barack Obama will NOT bring all US troops home. Even if the illegal war ended, Obama would still keep troops stationed in Iraq (although he'd really, really love it US forces could be stationed in Kuwait exclusively), he would still use them to train (the police0 and still use them to protect the US fortress/embassy and still use them to conduct counter-terrorism actions.

You've got the links, use them. As noted in the November 6th snapshot, days later Tom Hayden was there to pimp for Bambi. He went by the front page article and not the interview transcript offered online. He would later do another column noting the transcript but still pimping Bambi.

Barack Obama is not going to end the illegal war. Tom Hayden went ga-ga last week over two lines in a Houston, Texas speech: "I opposed this war in 2002. I will bring this war to an end in 2009!" [We addressed it here last week and Ava and I note it here.] Now that's sop tossed out to the masses. Bambi's always defined the "dumb" war ending with the removal of "combat" troops. As outlined above, he would leave in many other groupings (and is okay with permanent bases in Kuwait). But let's stop a moment and pretend that Saint Bambi is the saint so many liars and fools are making him out to be. If he meant what he said -- and even allowing that he's just talking about "combat" troops -- doesn't he owe Bill Richardson an apology? When Richardson stated troops could be home within a year, Obama said (repeatedly) that Richardson was wrong. He repeatedly insisted it would take 16 months -- and he was just referring to "combat" troops.

I realize a lot of liars and fools ditched common sense because it interfered with wet-dreaming over Bambi, but the public record is the public record. If "combat" troops can be removed in 12 months (they actually can, but he said they couldn't), he owes Bill Richardson an immediate public apology.

But he doesn't believe that they can come out and that was an off the cuff lie he tossed out in Houston and it hasn't been examined. Tom Hayden rejoicing (over two lines) isn't "examination." Barack's never examined.

As noted in today's snapshot, Bambi advisor (and key planner and contributor to the slaughter in East Timor) Dennis Ross weighed in: "In terms of Iraq, Dennis Ross argues in The New Republic that it's time for Hillary and Barack 'to compromise on withdrawal from Iraq.' He wants to argue (wrongly) that the escalation has worked (at least somewhat -- it's not worked at all). Ross futher wants to maintain that 'if withdrawal is truly to be used as a lever to help broker such understandings" political understandings, "the approach to withdrawal needs to be more flexible and not driven by a rigid timetable.' Yes, we've heard that 'logic' every year of the illegal war (we've even heard it from Bambi himself)." Dennis Ross' column may shock some but Bambi's advisor is not saying anything Bambi hasn't repeatedly said himself (including in the public debate with Alan Keyes in October 2004).

Now Hillary Clinton's judged by her advisors. That's not the case for Bambi. One of his advisors is Zbigniew Brezezinski. ZB's claim to fame is turning Afghanistan into a slaughter field (to draw the USSR in!) and creating the climate for the current Afghanistan War all before 1981. Somehow, that's not a major concern. And though Bambi's been a Senate schill and lackey for the nuclear industry, we're told by liars like Sammy Power that Bambi's a no-nuker. Does a no-nuker have Brezezinski as an advisor?

Am I the only one who ever visited the Carter White House? I remember it very clearly, the little "toys" (replicas) of nuclear weapons decorating Brezezinski's office. Has he ever publicly rejected those "toys" he took so much pride in, the ones he maintained were the only things keeping the United States "free"? No, he never has. And that's still his attitude but for some strange reason, Bambi's advisors don't lead to probing of Bambi.

Take Sammy Power, A Problem From Hell herself. She goes on Democracy Now! to proclaim (aired this week, on Monday) that the US military needs to go into Sudan. Our Modern Day Carrie Nations has been pushing that for years now. She is a War Hawk (though the lie is that she was against the Iraq War -- she must have been against it very quietly). As we noted in Monday's snapshot, Julie Hollar explains exactly what's wrong with that crap. The article, "The Humanitarian Tempatation" (Extra!) is available online. I will try to include a link to it in the snapshot tomorrow. It's an important article and one that refutes the "humanitarian" interventionists like Sammy Power.

On Monday's Democracy Now!, Juan Gonzalez raised serious questions from Bambi's advisor (whom Amy Goodman gushes might be the Secretary of State in a Bambi White House):

JUAN GONZALEZ: Yeah, I have one last question, having watched many of these debates, as, on one hand, he argues that the arrogance of old of the United States around the world needs to change; on the other hand, he has argued to sharply increase the size of the US military, I think, by 90,000 troops, when this country already has a military budget that is equal to the rest of the world combined. Why does the United States need more military troops?
SAMANTHA POWER: I think because, much more than I, anyway, he has spent the better part of the last decade spending time with military families and has some sense of just how broken the military is right now, at its bending or its breaking point, from the standpoint of overstretch, from the--and this, I'm talking really specifically about soldiers [. . .]

More military troops are needed. Why? Sammy Power needs the military to fight the wars that will never satisfy her blood lust but she hopes, how she hopes. Sarah Sewer (aka Sarah Sewall) is another Bambi advisor. Sewer can be considered the "Mother" of the new counter-insurgency manual. (New? It's highly plagiarized -- the Bambi connection!) Apparently her appearence on PBS (Charlie Rose) at the end of December wasn't seen by many. From Ava and my "TV: Charlie Rose by any other name would still be as bad:"

For those not in the know about Sewer, when not appearing on TV to look like an unwashed freak who just pulled her hair to one side, is a Bloody War Hawk. Some call her a War Whore, but we try to avoid that term and just call her a War Hawk with an "ugly" sometimes tossed in. As a War Hawk she operates out of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy which is really just a fancy way of saying she's a Destruction Pusher. There's no place on the globe that she doesn't feel her big nose can be stuck in and should be stuck in. Granted, it is a large beak, a ski run -- if you will, and it probably is difficult for her to contain it in her so-so dwellings, but not only does no one need to see it, no one wants to.

Charlie Rose and Sarah Sewer decided to have a private conversation on public television. If you missed it, Charlie Rose whimpered that it was too bad that you didn't hear candidates plugging the counter-insurgency work of Sewer and Monty McFate. "You don't hear candidates talk about this," whined Chuckie. Sewer corrected him, "We do actually." She was referring to Bambi who she pointed out "gave a speech" that was all about Sewer's desire for Eternal War but the press focused on other things. Charlie felt the need to purse his lips in self-satisfaction and say of that speech, "I'm familiar with some of the people behind the scenes that you know." He means Sammy Power -- who advised Bambi once he was in the Senate.

Yes, we are back to A Problem From Hell herself. As Ava and I noted:

Monty and Sewer worked on a little thing called the US Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. You may have seen that piece of War Porn advertised. Ourselves, we remember the third of the page advertisement that ran in the October 2007 issue of The Progressive (page 28) which included a blurb from The Problem From Hell Sammy Power. When Our Modern Day Carrie Nations is blurbing you, you know you're on the path, if not the eve, of destruction.

That is correct, Sammy Power is a chief advisor to Bambi. Has been for years now. And Sammy Power lovers her some counterinsurgency. Somehow Tom Hayden -- allegedly opposed to counter-insurgency -- avoids that issue. (He called Sewer out once.)

We're not even up to Jeremy Scahill's report. Scahill spoke with an unnamed advisor to Bambi (everyone assumes it's Sammy Power):

A senior foreign policy adviser to leading Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has told The Nation that if elected Obama will not "rule out" using private security companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq. The adviser also said that Obama does not plan to sign on to legislation that seeks to ban the use of these forces in US war zones by January 2009, when a new President will be sworn in. Obama’s campaign says that instead he will focus on bringing accountability to these forces while increasing funding for the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the agency that employs Blackwater and other private security contractors.

Mercenaries are a-okay with Bambi. The advisor makes statements (sounding just like Power -- she always tries to sound 'reasoned' and sad-of-heart when promoting her wars) that Bambi will be inhereting the war and blah, blah, blah, so much can only be done, blah, blah, blah. Power (or whomever) appears to be channeling Henry Kissinger who made those exact same excuses for Tricky Dick.

This is not an anti-war candidate and people need to stop kidding. Panhandle Media needs to stop pimping. Despite some hedging, Jeremy Scahill told the truth on Democracy Now! today:
"I think the reality is that neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton are actually going to be in the business of permanently ending the US occupation of Iraq." Hedging? Scahill asserts ("I think") that Bambi's moving to the right because he's anticipating running against McCain. No, he's not moving to the right for that reason. He is to the right. And Panhandle Media better get serious real damn quick because people aren't going to forgive them. They've already schilled non-stop for a War Hawk they've promoted as "anti-war." They've embarrassed themselves (I'm not referring to Scahill and I'm certainly not referring to Juan Gonzalez) and people will not forget this. They will not forget that they were lied into supporting a candidate because Panhandle Media stacked the deck repeatedly and flat-out lied.

That's not only dishonest, that's not helping to end the illegal war.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So 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 3969. Tonight? 3973. 27 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.

We're still on what prolongs the illegal war. Just Foreign Policy wants to raise awareness of the death toll? Well how do they intend to do that? Supposedly by tracking deaths.

However . . . Today is February 28, 2008 and their number is 1,173,743. The problem? That was their number on February 10th as well. They haven't updated their counter in weeks. It has been at least 18 days. Wow, someone tell Dana Perino so she can mention it in a press briefing, "No Iraqi deaths in 18 days!"

Now no one's going to take them seriously when they can't bother to update their damn counter. They're new. They're not established. They aren't ICCC. They have no history online and now reporters have no reason to mention them. Mention them? Two dailys were toying with mentioning their counter in an end of February piece. Offering it as a "high" count. But that's not happening now (and probably never) because they refused to update their counter. Supposedly that counter was started to raise awareness of Iraqi deaths and to provide some numbers we could all use to grasp how many were dying. But they don't have time to update the total.

One of them has time to again slam Hillary Clinton. Are they trying to end the illegal war or are they trying to get Barack Obama into office? The two goals are not the same. They can lie, they can delude, but the goals are not the same. They've made their name "crap" to Real Media which, if only one of the two dailys had included them for the month of February, would have included them in future months. They can forget it now. No one cares. No one sees them as serious (in the big press) because if they were serious, they'd be updating their damn counter.

They made time to slam Hillary. And, in their awful post, someone showed up to slam Hillary as well. She couldn't call out Barack Obama. As Rebecca notes, she and I are no longer endorsing Cindy Sheehan. If she's serious about ending the illegal war (let alone about having left the Democratic Party and having realized how she was used), she would be calling out both Hillary and Barack. Instead, she just calls out Barack.

Sorry to Cindy Sheehan but I can't endorse that. I'm not saying "Don't vote for her!" if you're in the eighth district (in California) and I'm not saying, "Don't donate to her!" if you're anywhere in the country. But I am saying I can't endorse her. That was the only endorsement I had made. I made it because of what she had done and because, by her writing, she had grasped how she was used to prolong the illegal war and elect Democrats who would pretend to want to end the illegal war. Barack Obama is not planning to end the illegal war. Cindy has repeatedly (and recently) written columns calling out Hillary. She won't write a word about Barack. Today, she's just leaving snide comments on a thread that's bash Hillary and praise Bambi.

That's dishonest. When people are saying "F--- Hillary" and other trash and praising Bambi, if Cindy's about calling War Hawks out, it's incumbent upon her to note the reality of Bambi. She didn't. She commented multiple times. She had ha-has about Hillary.

I'm not interested in it. I have no endorsement for any election now. Due to her work to end the illegal war, I was happy to make her the only endorsement I would publicly offer. That's gone. I'm not interested in liars or fools and Bambi is not about ending the illegal war so refusing to call him out makes you one or the other. It doesn't make you a candidate worth endorsing. Either you lack bravery or you refuse to see reality. Neither ends the illegal war.

Rebecca (on the phone) pointed out that it's not just Hillary, it's also Nancy. Where's Cindy Sheehan calling out Harry Reid? Where is she calling out any man? To be clear, if she called out Hillary and Barack, no problem. But she's not doing that. She's got a standard for Hillary and denial for Bambi. The reality she should have grasped when she realized she was being used was that she was steered to Hillary. After which, she called her out. But why didn't Peace Mom get paired with "Anti-War" Senator? We've got a lot of liars in the peace movement and they orchestarted a lot that's only now evident. They orchestarted Cindy into meeting with Hillary. They're the same ones who protest Nancy Pelosi but don't protest anyone else. It seems less about ending the illegal war and more about settling some scores.

There's no problem with having a standard where you call out War Hawks? But applying that standard sometimes and other times not isn't about ending the illegal war. It's about prolonging it and we won't be a party to that, I won't be a party to that. Much happiness to her, but if she's not able to call out the War Hawk Bambi, she's not someone I can endorse. So the endorsement is withdrawn.

If you don't see the problem, read Margaret Kimberley's latest at Black Agenda Report on how it wasn't necessary for The Nation to endorse Bambi.

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