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BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

Bobert 01 Jan 05 - 08:43 PM
Amos 01 Jan 05 - 08:36 PM
Amos 01 Jan 05 - 08:12 PM
Amos 01 Jan 05 - 07:59 PM
Amos 01 Jan 05 - 07:53 PM
Amos 01 Jan 05 - 07:22 PM
Amos 01 Jan 05 - 07:15 PM
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Don Firth 31 Dec 04 - 08:32 PM
Bobert 31 Dec 04 - 08:05 PM
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Amos 31 Dec 04 - 04:06 PM
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Bobert 28 Dec 04 - 08:15 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 08:43 PM

On 9/11 Bush had a choice to make. Protrect America or protect the priviledged... Everything he has done we later see has done nuthing but take resources from the working class and divert them to the rich...

That's why 9/11 looks so fishy to me...

Especially the invasion of Iraq...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 08:36 PM

Excerpted from an editorial in the Los Angeles Time entitled

Washington Outlook
Bush Sending the Wrong Message as Chaos Smolders in Iraq




Bush's presidency marks the first time the U.S. has significantly cut taxes while at war. Since the federal budget is already in deficit, that means we are effectively passing the bill for this war onto our children through an increased national debt.

The war's political consequences are unfolding in a comparable spirit of buck passing. Wars always surprise their planners. But even setting aside the debate over whether the threat from Saddam Hussein merited the invasion of Iraq, it's clear this war has been complicated by an unusual concentration of mistakes and misjudgments.

The weapons of mass destruction that provided the central justification for the invasion have never been found, and by the best calculation of the CIA, no longer existed. Foreign countries the Bush administration assumed would fall into line after the U.S. moved against Iraq instead refused to provide meaningful help. And after a brilliant campaign against the conventional Iraqi military, the Pentagon has appeared to be blindsided by the persistence and ferocity of the unconventional resistance that followed the fall of Baghdad.

In June 2003, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld dismissed the Iraqi insurgency as mere "pockets of dead-enders." Eighteen months later, U.S. soldiers and Iraqi citizens are still dying in large numbers at the hands of those "dead-enders." And the failure to fully plan for the insurgency is still being felt in what many experts consider shortages of combat troops and appropriate supplies (such as armored vehicles).

Yet the only senior administration official who faced any consequences over the Iraq war has been the most prominent skeptic, outgoing Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who was politely but firmly shown the door after Bush's reelection.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 08:12 PM

From the New York Review of Books, discussing the writing of Stephen Flynn in America the Vulnerable, Harper Collins, 234 pp

In America the Vulnerable, it is not just the movements of American commercial goods that are vulnerable; the Bush administration has failed to safeguard the democratic system, which is its most precious and fragile charge. On one hand, it jiggers with the color-coded alert system, rigs cities with spy cameras, and speaks darkly of secret intelligence that more often than not turns out to have been no real intelligence at all. On the other, it assures us that we are safe in its hands, and that, in Flynn's words, "our marching orders as citizens are to keep shopping and traveling." Government is most to be feared when it treats its people as babies, the way the administration does now.

Flynn is no alarmist. His writing is even-toned to a fault, his manner still that of the unflappable captain on the bridge of the Coast Guard patrol ship, but his warning is explicit: if the war on terror continues to be waged in its present form, it's likely to put democracy itself in peril.

    The secretive, top-down, us-versus-them culture that is pervasive in government security circles must give way to more inclusive processes.... Rather than working assiduously to keep the details of terrorism and our vulnerabilities out of the public domain, the federal government should adopt a new imperative that recognizes that Americans have to be far better informed about the dangers that they face.... How much security is enough? We have done enough when the American people can conclude that a future attack on US soil will be an exceptional event that does not require wholesale changes to how we go about our lives.... We must continue to remind the world that it is not military might that is the source of our strength but our belief that mankind can govern itself in such a way as to secure the blessings of liberty.

These are temperate, wise, and practical thoughts. What is potentially to be feared more, even, than the prospect of another major attack of 9/11 proportions or worse is that, in the second Bush administration now beginning, voices like Flynn's will go unheard, while those of such intemperate terror warriors as Podhoretz and Pipes will be listened to with a respectful attention they in no way deserve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 07:59 PM

From the Politics1 Weblog:

"Contrast these two news stories: (1) The US has pledged $35 million in cash relief for the tsunami ravaged nations. (2) The AP reported this item. "Planned are nine official [inaugural] balls, a youth concert, a parade, a fireworks display and, of course, Bush's second swearing-in ceremony at noon on Jan. 20. The cost will be between $30 million and $40 million, an amount that does not include expenses for security." Do the math: $35 million for humanitarian assistance to a catastrophe that killed over 130,000 people and left over one million people homeless ... and $40 million for a party for rich folks in DC. Good thing to see we've got our priorities right as a "compassionate conservative" nation."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 07:53 PM

Price of Bush Inauguration Party Is Too Rich for Some
By GLEN JUSTICE

Published: December 31, 2004 in the New York Times

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 - Planners for President Bush's inauguration next month have scheduled a full lineup of exclusive parties and receptions for top Republican fund-raisers. But some of those V.I.P.'s say the perks come with a price tag they cannot afford.

Attending the entire slate of events during the three days of inauguration festivities could easily top $10,000 in tickets and other expenses for a fund-raiser bringing a spouse or guest. Some who helped bankroll the president's campaign, particularly young fund-raisers or those participating for the first time, are looking for ways to economize or are just planning to skip official events entirely.

...The inauguration package being offered to top Bush and Republican Party fund-raisers asks for up to $2,500 per person, though both the fee and the events vary depending on how much people raised, according to a Web page run by LogiCom Project Management, the company handling the events and travel arrangements.

The money covers admission to the Jan. 20 swearing-in, the parade, a black-tie ball and special events in Washington landmarks like the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Willard InterContinental Hotel and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Another $2,500 per person is required for admission to one of three candlelight dinners at which the president and vice president will appear the evening before the inauguration. And, of course, there are airfare, hotel and other travel expenses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 07:22 PM

S simple but sincere web-site editor named Huck whose website is called "What the Huck", offers some thoughts on the two waves of death we have recently endured:


"A Tsunami hit Asia like George Bush on steroids. The Tsunami killed over 52,000 in one swoop. The George Bush Tsunami of lies has resulted in 1,326 American deaths. Which Tsunami is worse? The George Bush Tsunami that was a cold calculated lie for political and economical gains. Or the Tsunami which hits without warning that is a random act of nature. When you take a look at George Bush and what he did regarding Iraq as it relates to the Tsunami of life. Maybe George Bush is just a destructive Tsunami of life that we can't control as it causes great destruction to anything or anyone that crosses his path. As we approach the New Year I can't stop thinking of those Americans that continue to die in Iraq for the lies of George W. Bush. As we approach the New Year I can't help but think how hard these holidays have to be on the families that lost their loved ones because of the Tsunami like lies, political agendas, and economic reasons George W. Bush used to initiate this war in Iraq.

    I literally grind my teeth when I see an image of George Bush as I remember the lies he told that have resulted in families losing people they cared about. It seems the more I think about it, the more frustrated I become. Every day that another American life is reported lost I reflect on what resulted in their life being lost. It always comes back to one person, George W. Bush. Yes, one Tsunami was an act of nature that killed over 52,000 people with our warning. But the Tsunami-like act of George W. Bush who intentionally lied about the facts that resulted in the avoidable deaths of 1,326 Americans is far worse.

Click here for your " Ask Huck " comments or questions.

Current Number of Americans Killed or Wounded In Iraq.
Number of Dead is 1,326. Number of Wounded is 9,981.

    I know that talking about this is not going to bring back the 1,326 American Lives lost to date. I know complaining about this won't change the election or anything else George Bush has done to date. Worst of all I now realize that no matter what you or I say, as Americans, is not going to prevent George Bush from doing what ever he pleases regardless of the consequences or continued loss of American lives. The reason is, George W. Bush doesn't care about anyone except George Bush, and the rich that his entire presidency and agenda has been based upon.

    The truth of the matter is you and I don't matter to George Bush. The only things that matter to George W. Bush are those that none of us will ever relate to. Yes President Bush is like an out of control Tsunami. For the next four years we can only sit back and wait for the next Bush Tsunami to rise up, hit, and destroy more of the fabric this country was built upon. With every day that passes. With every American Life that is lost in Iraq. I look at George Bush and ask why. Why would anyone who really cared about this country do everything they could to destroy it.

   

    Why would George Bush allow any American to be killed based on the lies he told you and the world. How can half of this country still sit back and support a man that, if you're going to be honest with yourself, lied to you for the sole benefit of a very small group of his friends and family. It's not lost on me what this was all about from the very beginning.

    I remember back when the polls showed that approximately 10% of you were against going to war in Iraq. That meant that 90% of America supported going to war in Iraq based on the lies of George W. Bush. Now a couple of years later it's fewer than 50% of America that supports this war in Iraq. But at the same time the lies and manipulation by George Bush and the Bush Administration of the American People continues.

    At what point do you admit that George Bush is wrong, he lied, and those dying in Iraq needs to stop today. Is it going to take someone in each and every one of your families to be killed in Iraq before you can relate to the needless and senseless deaths of Americans as a result of George Bush's actions?

    Is it because for most of you that continue to support this war the dead are nothing but numbers you read in the papers and don't have any affect on you. What would your opinion be of this war if it was your son, daughter, mother, or father who wasn't there to pick up your call next time because they were killed in Iraq as the result of a war based on lies?

    It's always easy to go with the flow and not question the answers in life. Less friction results in limited resistance. At what point to you stop taking the "me" approach, and start taking the "we" as a country approach. Do you need to wait until it's too late and someone you care about is among the dead?

    I personally refuse to let George Bush or anyone else intimidate me into supporting what I know is wrong. This doesn't begin or end with the war in Iraq either. The problem with George Bush goes well beyond that. It has to do with the environment, Social Security, tax cuts, healthcare, and a host of other issues that directly affect you.

    I hope if nothing else you learn from your mistakes. I hope you learned that George Bush is not the person to trust and that he doesn't care for you beyond your vote. I hope you realize that things are going to have to change in this country before it's too late, otherwise your next home might have four cardboard walls and flaps on each end.

    Learn from history. Learn from our mistakes. But most of all take a hard look at what your life has deteriorated into since George W. Bush has become president. Now you tell me how Americans died needlessly in wars based on lies before President Bush took office.

    Was your life and economic standing better before 2000 or after? Do you really see anything positive happening for you in the next four years? Don't you think it's time to start caring again?

    You know you really can make a difference if you try. But if you don't try, then George Bush and his rich friends will win. And in the end that means you lose.

    It starts in 2006 when YOU vote Republican control of the House and Senate out. If not, it won't be getting any better for you. That's not a Tsunami like George Bush lie.

    That's the truth.

Ask Huck

    Ask Huck can be found on the s5000 home page next to the What The Huck article. If you have any questions or comments about s5000 just click on the Ask Huck link and fill out the form. Ask Huck questions and comments will be responded to in upcoming What The Huck articles. s5000 provides the What The Huck articles as part of its many features.

    So if you have any Ask Huck questions or comments go to the s5000 homepage and click on the link next to What the Huck. s5000 will also publish photos of interest in the What The Huck article that you can upload through the Ask Huck link. By using the Ask Huck link on the s5000 home page you can have your responses featured in a future What The Huck article.


Iraq

    No additional American lives were reported lost as of Tuesday. The number of reported wounded soldiers has remained the same. We wish that every day in Iraq ended with no additional losses or wounded.

    The current total dead Americans killed in Iraq remained at 1,326. The total number of wounded reported remained at 9,981. Why have so many died for the Bush lies?

    Don't just make a difference, Be The Difference.



~ Huck"


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 07:15 PM

Predictions for George Bush's Second Term (Excerpted from One Thousand Reasons)

Predictions are rarely accurate, but sometimes history gives us such a clear indication of the future that predictions rise to the level of fate. Such is the case with the second term of George Bush. Now that he claims all that "political capital," he will surely try to spend it, and this is where we expect him to shop:

Social Security. He tipped his hand on this one as soon as the election was over, so this is not even a prediction. Bush will do his best to dismantle it, taking away the guaranteed payments most of us have worked a lifetime for, substituting a gambler's nightmare called privatization. Given the choice, he would simply do away with Social Security -- as part of the New Deal, it represents the kind of government hard-core (and hard-right) conservatives loathe -- but his thin "mandate" failed to deliver enough "capital" for a complete dismantling. He and his kind will take what they can get, which means extra profits for investment bankers, insurance executives, and Wall Street, while the rest of us hand over a portion of our paycheck to be entrusted to private investments.

War: We don't expect him to start another one, but the sound of his saber will be heard worldwide. Meanwhile, the war in Afghanistan continues at a slow boil, and Iraq is spinning out of control, not toward democracy, but toward chaos. Bush will likely send more troops, construct more bases, spend tens of billions more than he claimed, and continue the occupation while claiming that Iraq is now "free."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 07:09 PM

Some commentary on the Administration from -- of all papers -- the Quad City Times:

Bush administration creates its own reality and leaves ours behind



"The aide (a senior adviser to President Bush) said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"

Ron Suskind, New York Times Magazine,

Oct. 17, 2004.

This is the quote that now has some noted bloggers identifying themselves as, "Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community."


Of all the problems that arise from having an administration that chooses not to believe in reality, the one most likely to have irretrievably disastrous consequences is environmental.

The Bush solution to global warming is to declare it does not exist. While this solves the problem for him in the short term, global warming is highly unlikely to be impressed by the news that we are now an empire and can change history.

Just lately, "history's actors" have made a couple of singular contributions to our future that we in the reality-based community will doubtless be studying for some time to come.

The first allows sewer operators to dump inadequately treated sewage into the nation's waterways. The Environmental Protection Agency (a name that becomes more ironic daily) currently requires sewer operators to fully treat their waste in all but the most extreme circumstances, like during a hurricane. The new plan will allow operators to dump sewage routinely any time it rains.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council: "For the last 50 years, standard sewage treatment has involved a two-step process: solids removal, and biological treatment to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites. The new policy allows facilities to routinely bypass the second step and to 'blend' partially treated sewage with fully treated wastewater before discharging it into the waterways."
...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 06:59 PM

Miracles Are Unlikely in Bush's Middle East Gospel

by Charles V. Peña

Charles V. Peña is director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute.

A week after the U.S. presidential election, Secretary of State Colin Powell - often considered the moderate and realist in the Bush administration's first term - defended President George W. Bush's foreign policy record and said he "is not going to ... trim his sails or pull back. It's going to be a continuation of his principles, his policies, his beliefs." At the beginning of December, in Canada, Bush declared that the election was an endorsement of his foreign policy, especially the doctrine of preemption against gathering threats. He also reiterated his vision of spreading democracy in the Middle East. So what should we expect there during the next four years?

In Iraq, more than 18 months have passed since Bush declared "mission accomplished," but the conflict is still unfinished business. Re-taking Fallujah in November was more about real estate than realizing military or political-strategic objectives. Public enemy number one in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was not captured or killed. And it would seem that the vast majority of the 5,000-6,000 insurgents alleged to be in Fallujah simply ran away to fight another day. Indeed, even as victory was being declared, insurgents struck in Mosul and Samarra. More recently, there were back-to-back suicide bombings inside Baghdad's Green Zone.

Iraq has come to resemble the arcade game Whack-A-Mole, where every time you hit a mole as it pops out of a hole another one pops up out of a different hole.

Despite the inability of the American military to put down the insurgency, the Iraqi elections in January are still likely to take place. In fact, the U.S. has almost no choice but to hold elections - even if many Sunnis boycott them and if some segments of the population are unable to vote because of the violence. If elections are not held as promised, the majority Shiites will have every reason to more actively oppose the U.S. occupation and the interim Iraqi government, this time also using violence. Of course, elections are no guarantee of peace and stability either.

Excerpted from The Cato Institute.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Don Firth
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 08:32 PM

Hangin' in. Happy New Year to all three of you!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 08:05 PM

And me, Big Guy...

751...

And Happy New Year to both of you...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 07:30 PM

Wow, Amos, this should make it a whopping 750 posts! Looks, too, it's down now to just you and me.

Happy New Year Amos!

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 04:06 PM

Friday 24th December 2004 (02h06) :
Hold the Bush Administration accountable for its use of torture
2 comment(s).

We must hold the Bush Administration accountable for its use of torture

By Angie Pratt

http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=4863

You want to know why when news of prisoner torture percolated up the channels of the government nothing was done? The answer is quite simple. They condoned the actions. In fact, we now know that they were following an executive order from George W. Bush. This isn't based on hearsay. This isn't a figment of some Massachusetts liberal's imagination. This allegation is based on an internal FBI document obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The document, a two-page FBI internal e-mail, references an Executive Order that states the President directly authorized interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, the use of military dogs, and "sensory deprivation through the use of hoods, etc." The FBI e-mail, which was sent in May 2004 from "On Scene Commander--Baghdad" to a handful of senior FBI officials, notes that the FBI has prohibited its agents from employing the techniques that the President is said to have authorized.

Now. do you think the government released this e-mail freely? Nope. It took a federal judge in response to a freedom of information request lawsuit brought by the ACLU to force the release of this information. Why? Because the Bush Administration knows it is guilty of sponsoring the use of inhumane interrogation methods against Moslem detainees.

The Bush Administration has slipped down the slippery slope and fallen into Satan's den. The God that George Bush claims to speak to is not the one that Jesus speaks about. Torturing prisoners is not an activity that Christ would approve of. Christians around the world need to stand up and declare these actions immoral.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 04:03 PM

Excerpted from Counterbias:

The Arrogant Administration


December 31 2004
Counterbias.com
Scott C. Smith


I'm beginning to think that a prerequisite exists before one assumes a position with the Bush administration: applicant must be arrogant. Just like George W. Bush.

We've seen many examples over the last four years of Bush administration arrogance. Take Attorney General John Ashcroft's remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Dec. 7, 2001 as an example. Ashcroft said, referring to critics of the Patriot Act, "To those who pit Americans against immigrants, citizens against non-citizens, to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve…they give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil." (...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 02:05 PM

DUBYA IS BAD. HIS FATHER WAS WORSE.

(Excerpted from the New Republic on-line edition of Dec 27)

Sins of the Father
by Tom Frank

Only at TNR Online | Post date 12.27.04
 E-mail this article


In the late 1990s, as Americans found themselves learning more than they cared to know about Arkansas courtship rituals, the name Bush began to inspire sentimental feelings. Bill Clinton's predecessor, it was said, had at least shown respect for the office. If he'd never managed to achieve the common touch, neither had he been accused of disrobing and offering suggestions such as "Kiss it" within minutes of making someone's acquaintance. In 1999, The New York Times noted that Bush I was now "basking in the glow of a surprisingly early, and positive, reassessment of his stewardship."


Oddly enough, the arrival of George W. Bush didn't quell the longing for George H.W. Bush; in fact, for some Americans, it only intensified it. Just six months into the younger Bush's presidency, Fareed Zakaria was already writing in Time that Dubya should "embrace his own family values" and emulate his father, who was, in fact, "a pretty good president." Once Dubya began to anger much of the world, others chimed in. The elder Bush was "a master of personal diplomacy," reminisced columnist Maureen Dowd, an "old-school internationalist who ceaselessly tried to charm allies as U.N. ambassador and in the White House." Her colleague Thomas Friedman took Bush nostalgia even further. Days before the 2004 election, Friedman wrote, "The more I look back on the elder Bush ... the more I find to admire." He concluded: "Yes, next Tuesday, vote for the real political heir to George H.W. Bush. I'm sure you know who that is." (Friedman meant John Kerry.)


This was, really, going a bit far. Even in a world where the spectrum of political belief is bounded by the poles of Bush I and Bush II--a world in which, evidently, Friedman and others are now dwelling--surely some norms, such as avoiding nostalgia for our worst chief executives, must be respected. True, whatever your political beliefs--liberal, conservative, libertarian, other--Dubya has done something to bother you. Anyone who invades Afghanistan, occupies Iraq, expands Medicare, passes No Child Left Behind, flouts the Kyoto Protocol, pushes a Constitutional amendment on marriage, sinks the dollar, cuts taxes, and proposes dynamiting the New Deal is bound to step on a toe every so often. But is our current president bad enough to warrant something as drastic as the rehabilitation of Bush I?


Perhaps we should cheer up. In reality, there's something worse than the mix of ideological belligerence and lack of scruples that characterizes Dubya's administration. That would be the mix of cynicism, demagoguery, and ineffectiveness that characterized the presidency of his father


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 01:56 PM

Washington's New Year War Cry: Party On!


By FRANK RICH

Published: January 1, 2005



ON the fourth day 'til Christmas, the day that news of the slaughter at the mess tent in Mosul slammed into the evening news, CBS had scheduled a special treat. That evening brought the annual broadcast of "The Kennedy Center Honors," the carefree variety show in which Washington's top dogs mingle with visitors from that mysterious land known as the Arts and do a passing (if fashion-challenged) imitation of revelers at the Oscars. This year, like any other, the show was handing out medals to those representing "the very best in American culture," as exemplified by honorees like Australia's Dame Joan Sutherland and Britain's Sir Elton John. Festive bipartisanship reigned. Though Sir Elton had said just three weeks earlier that "Bush and this administration are the worst thing that has ever happened to America," he and his boyfriend joined the president and Mrs. Bush in their box. John Kerry held forth in an orchestra seat below.

Advertisement


"The Kennedy Center Honors" is no ratings powerhouse; this year more adults under 50 elected to watch "The Real Gilligan's Island" on cable instead. But I tuned in, curious to see how this gathering of the capital's finest might be affected by the war. The honors had actually been staged and taped earlier in the month, on Dec. 5. That day the morning newspapers told of more deadly strikes by suicide bombers in Mosul and Baghdad, killing at least 26 Iraqi security officers, including 8 in a police station near the capital's protected Green Zone. There were also reports of at least four American casualties in other firefights.

But if anyone at the Kennedy Center so much as acknowledged this reality unfolding beyond the opera house, it was not to be found in the show presented on television. The only wars evoked were those scored by another honoree, John Williams, whose soundtrack music for "Saving Private Ryan" and "Star Wars" was merrily belted out by a military band. (Our delicate sensibilities were spared the sight of an actual "Private Ryan" battle scene, however, lest the broadcast risk being shut down for "indecency.") The razzle-dazzle Hollywood martial music, the what-me-worry Washington establishment, the glow of money and red plush: everything about the tableau reeked of the disconnect between the war in Iraq and the comfort of all of us at home, starting with those in government who had conceived, planned, rubber-stamped and managed our excellent adventure in spreading democracy.

Ordinary people beyond Washington, red and blue Americans alike, are feeling that disconnect more and more. On the same day that CBS broadcast the Kennedy Center special, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 70 percent of Americans believed that any gains in Iraq had come at the cost of "unacceptable" losses in casualties and that 56 percent believed the war wasn't "worth fighting" - up 8 percent since the summer. In other words, most Americans believe that our troops are dying for no good reason, even as a similar majority (58 percent) believes, contradictorily enough, that we should keep them in Iraq.

So the soldiers soldier on, and we party on. As James Dao wrote in The New York Times, "support our troops" became a verbal touchstone in 2004, yet "only for a minuscule portion of the populace, mainly those with loved ones overseas, does it have anything to do with sacrifice." Quite the contrary: we have our tax cuts, and a president who promises to make them permanent. Such is the disconnect between the country and the war that there is no national outrage when the president awards the Medal of Freedom to the clowns who undermined the troops by bungling intelligence (George Tenet) and Iraqi support (Paul Bremer). Such is the disconnect that Washington and the news media react with slack-jawed shock when one of those good soldiers we support so much speaks up at a town hall meeting in Kuwait and asks the secretary of defense why vehicles that take him and his brothers into battle lack proper armor."


From An editorial in the Times

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 08:54 AM

The New York Times Op Ed from December 24th -- excerpt:


It's like watching your son playing in traffic, and there's nothing you can do." - Janet Bellows, mother of a soldier who has been assigned to a second tour in Iraq.

Back in the 1960's, when it seemed as if every other draftee in the Army was being sent to Vietnam, I was sent off to Korea, where I was assigned to the intelligence office of an engineer battalion.

Twenty years old and half a world away from home, I looked forward to mail call the way junkies craved their next fix. My teenage sister, Sandy, got all of her high school girlfriends to write to me, which led some of the guys in my unit to think I was some kind of Don Juan. I considered it impolite to correct any misconceptions they might have had.

You could depend on the mail for an emotional lift - most of the time. But there were times when I would open an envelope and read, in the inky handwriting of my mother or father or sister, that a friend of mine, someone I had grown up with or gone to school with, or a new friend I had met in the Army, had been killed in Vietnam. Just like that. Gone. Life over at 18, 19, 20.

I can still remember the weird feelings that would come over me in those surreal moments, including the irrational idea that I was somehow responsible for the death. In the twisted logic of grief, I would feel that if I had never opened the envelope, the person would still be alive. I remember being overwhelmed with the desire to reseal the letter in the envelope and bring my dead friend back to life.

This week's hideous attack in Mosul reminded me of those long ago days. Once again American troops sent on a fool's errand are coming home in coffins, or without their right arms or left legs, or paralyzed, or so messed up mentally they'll never be the same. Troops are being shoved two or three times into the furnace of Iraq by astonishingly incompetent leaders who have been unable or unwilling to provide them with the proper training, adequate equipment or even a clearly defined mission.

It is a mind-boggling tragedy. And the suffering goes far beyond the men and women targeted by the insurgents. Each death in Iraq blows a hole in a family and sets off concentric circles of grief that touch everyone else who knew and cared for the fallen soldier. If the human stakes were understood well enough by the political leaders of this country, it might make them a little more reluctant to launch foolish, unnecessary and ultimately unwinnable wars.

Lisa Hoffman and Annette Rainville of the Scripps Howard News Service have reported, in an extremely moving article, that nearly 900 American children have lost a parent to the war in Iraq. More than 40 fathers died without seeing their babies.

The article begins with a description of a deeply sad 4-year-old named Jack Shanaberger, whose father was killed in an ambush in March. Jack told his mother he didn't want to be a father when he grew up. "I don't want to be a daddy," he said, "because daddies die."

Six female soldiers who died in the war left a total of 10 children. This is a new form of wartime heartbreak for the U.S.

We have completely lost our way with this fiasco in Iraq. The president seems almost perversely out of touch. "The idea of democracy taking hold in what was a place of tyranny and hatred and destruction is such a hopeful moment in the history of the world," he said this week.

The truth, of course, is that we can't even secure the road to the Baghdad airport, or protect our own troops lining up for lunch inside a military compound. The coming elections are a slapstick version of democracy. International observers won't even go to Iraq to monitor the elections because it's too dangerous. They'll be watching, as if through binoculars, from Jordan.

Nobody has a plan. We don't have enough troops to secure the country, and the Iraqi forces have shown neither the strength nor the will to do it themselves. Election officials are being murdered in the streets. The insurgency is growing in both strength and sophistication. At least three more marines and one soldier were killed yesterday, ensuring the grimmest of holidays for their families and loved ones.

One of the things that President Bush might consider while on his current vacation is whether there are any limits to the price our troops should be prepared to pay for his misadventure in Iraq, or whether the suffering and dying will simply go on indefinitely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 11:44 PM

Whatever.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 09:00 PM

Typical insightful and constructive remark, Martin. Let us know if you decide to mature, although I know it is late.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:15 PM

This is waht I was talkin' about on another thread... Seems the Pentagon has a 25 year stategy and has wars planned up the wazoo...

And the beat goes on...

And, fir the record here? Amos is my hero for his vigilence. If I weren't so gtol danged busy trying to make a sanged living and pay my fair sahre of taxes that I'd like to think went toward HUD or the Dept. of Ed, I'd be here shoulder to shoulder with him but...sniff... I can't be..

Keep hammerin', Amos, keep a hammerin'...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 07:29 PM

Shopping for War
By BOB HERBERT

Published: December 27, 2004


You might think that the debacle in Iraq would be enough for the Pentagon, that it would not be in the mood to seek out new routes to unnecessary wars for the United States to fight. But with Donald Rumsfeld at the apex of the defense establishment, enough is never enough.

So, as detailed in an article in The Times on Dec. 19, Mr. Rumsfeld's minions are concocting yet another grandiose and potentially disastrous scheme. Pentagon officials are putting together a plan that would give the military a more prominent role in intelligence gathering operations that traditionally have been handled by the Central Intelligence Agency. They envision the military doing more spying with humans, as opposed, for example, to surveillance with satellites.

Further encroachment by the military into intelligence matters better handled by civilians is bad enough. Now hold your breath. According to the article, "Among the ideas cited by Defense Department officials is the idea of 'fighting for intelligence,' or commencing combat operations chiefly to obtain intelligence."

That is utter madness. The geniuses in Washington have already launched one bogus war, which has cost tens of thousands of lives and provoked levels of suffering that are impossible to quantify. We don't need to be contemplating new forms of warfare waged for the sole purpose of gathering intelligence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 06:06 PM

I know. I am sure the innocent Germans got tired of hearing about their problems too, but those who stand and do nothing do not serve.

I do not enjoy being led by a sociopath. Nor do I think it very well for the planet.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: DougR
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 04:43 PM

Sigh. And I thought we had seen the last of your very own private thread Amos. Well, I guess a few days is better than ...what? Nothing?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:27 AM

Excerpt from The Sociopathic Bush Administration

- by Mary Shaw

When Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was recently questioned by a U.S. soldier regarding the shortage of armor to protect our troops in Iraq, his insensitive response seemed to suggest that armor is for sissies, because even armored humvees can explode. The lack of compassion and lack of empathy exemplified by his response reinforced my belief that the Bush administration consistently displays clear signs of collective sociopathic behavior.

Let's take a look at some of the characteristics of sociopathic behavior, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association, and see how they fit:

1. Callousness, lack of empathy, irresponsibility, and reckless disregard for the safety of others: In addition to Rumsfeld's most recent display of callousness and reckless disregard, President Bush routinely exhibits these symptoms.
Childhood friends have described how the young George W. Bush would attach firecrackers to frogs and blow them up. Decades later, as Governor of Texas, Bush mocked and ridiculed convicted murderer Karla Fae Tucker's desperate plea for her life. Today, President Bush sends our young people to Iraq to fight an out-of-control war based on lies, ships American workers' jobs overseas, runs up the budget deficit, and sets out to put Social Security into the hands (and pockets) of Wall Street brokers, with apparently no consideration for how this reckless behavior will affect average Americans. He and those closest to him remain safe in their money-padded cocoons, far removed from the reality that their actions create.

2. Glibness and superficial charm: George W. Bush won votes with his casual, down-home style. He won the support of the heartland's cupcake moms and NASCAR dads by coming across as a regular guy. At the height of the 2004 campaign season, when asked which candidate they would rather have a beer with, 43 percent responded that they would rather have a beer with President Bush, compared with 25.1 percent for John Kerry. But Bush's frozen smirk betrays a glibness that tells us that his underlying agenda does not include buying a round at the local saloon for the common folks.

3. Deceitfulness: George H. W. Bush deceived the nation when he said, "Read my lips: no new taxes." But that lie did not cost thousands of innocent lives. George W. sent our young men and women into Iraq to fight a war based on false
allegations: Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, ties to al- Qaeda, and a grave and gathering threat to America. Vice President Cheney still clings to some of these stories, and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice herself tapdanced around the truth in her testimony before the 9/11 Commission.
This administration does not let facts get in the way of their agenda.

4. Grandiose sense of self: Having won reelection with 51 percent of the vote (hardly a landslide), George W. Bush described his victory as a "mandate." He claimed to have earned "political capital" during the campaign, which he now intends to spend. The other 49 percent of the voting public will just have to accept it. After all, as Bush told an Amish group in July of 2004, "God speaks through me."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:20 AM

In The Cabinet of Incuriosities (N.Y. Times) Ron Suskind discusses the necessary qualities of a Bush cabinet member -- first and above all, compliancy.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 22 Dec 04 - 02:25 PM

An excerpt from a highly vocal individual of the Liberal perusasion, concerning the gentle drift of the United States towward National Socialism:

12/22/04 "ICH" -- When the thunderous clouds of fascists past and corporatists present finally dissipate over the vast lands of the United States, leaving in its wake a nation recovering from the violent downpours of mass lunacy, fear and collective schizophrenia that have caused a dustbowl-style drought of humanity in the nation of gluttonous undertakings, it will finally be seen, beyond the enveloping haze of post 9/11 hypnosis hindering American visibility, the devastation of what was done to us and what has been done to the world in our name, oftentimes with our willing consent and through our complicit guilt through silence and acquiescence.

The shock and awe storm of the Amerikan Nazis will inevitably one day pass, as all tyrannies eventually do, yet what will remain to haunt us, what will tug at our conscious for years to come, will be the dishonor and shame upon our society for the human malice spawned in the minds of so many millions of Americans. For the Amerikan Nazi phenomenon has with the passing of each sunset grown and mutated beyond the small cabal of criminal corporatists, power hungry warmongering fascists, military-industrial complex elites, delusional Zionist-first neocons, religious Bible-Belt fundamentalists and profit over people capitalists. Today, the cancer is spreading far and wide, infecting those residing inside the belly of the beast, afflicting first and foremost the most unenlightened and ignorant among us.

Tens of millions of Americans are being transformed into conduits of barbarism and catalysts of violence, regenerating the evil of racism against an entire population of purposefully scapegoated innocents whose only crime is belonging to a group the Amerikan Nazis have chosen as the necessary enemy from which to unleash perpetual war for perpetual profit. The deliberate conditioning of tens of millions of citizens by the Amerikan Nazis into purveyors of mass murder and violence accepting and indeed deriving pleasure from the death of 100,000 innocent Iraqis should send shockwaves throughout the world that perhaps a communal lunacy has infiltrated a large segment of the American people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 08:00 PM

In this editorial, the New York Times credits Bush with deeper insght than average on the Palestinian-Israeli evolution and with wisely disregarding "received wisdom".

This is unusually fulsome praise for the Times for Mister Bush, whom they usually excoriate.

At least they had the courage to change their minds this once.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 12:20 AM

An excerpt from the Washington Post's article describing Chevy Chase's original speech:

After actors Alec Baldwin and Susan Sarandon delivered speeches accepting their Defender of Democracy awards, Chase took the stage a final time and unleashed a rant against President Bush that stunned the crowd. He deployed the four-letter word that got Vice President Cheney in hot water, using it as a noun. Chase called the prez a "dumb [expletive]." He also used it as an adjective, assuring the audience, "I'm no [expletive] clown either. . . . This guy started a jihad."


Chase also said: "This guy in office is an uneducated, real lying schmuck . . . and we still couldn't beat him with a bore like Kerry."



My sympathies to Mister Chase. I suspect he may have laid his pearls before swine again...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 08:56 PM

An excellent chuckle at the SECDEF's expense can be found in Maureen Dowd's latest column.

God grant we can still laugh.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 09:25 PM

In Defense of Chevy Chase's Right to Call Bush a Dumb Fuck



 By Jackson Thoreau

 Excerpted from this page

I've long liked Chevy Chase , but now I like him even more. He joins Jon Stewart and Bill Maher as my favorite comedians.


 To stand up and call Bush a dumb fuck at a hoity-toity event like one hosted by the People for the American Way in mid-December [see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3216-2004Dec15.html ], takes some guts. Chase just said what most of us want to say, but doubt we would if we had a national stage like Chase has and had to worry about pissing off fans who pay to see our movies and acts.


And I don't know why Democrats and liberal-types have to apologize for, and distance themselves from, Chase, such as some with the People for the American Way and others on Fox shows like Hannity's did. They come off sounding like wimps, and maybe a lot of liberals are wimps [as are a lot of conservatives, especially those who talk tough but don't act on the talk, such as the chicken hawks who wimped out on going to Vietnam ].


Don't call Chase's remarks offensive and act like Bush is a legitimate U.S. president. Just say Chase's opinions are his own and leave it at that. I mean, if Cheney, who is supposedly a moral statesman, can use the f-word on the floor of Congress, a comedian can surely use it at an awards ceremony.


Bill O'Reilly, that purveyor of morality who paid millions to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit by an employee after transcripts revealed he admitted to having extramarital affairs amid phone sex with her, was indignant at Chase daring to "disrespect" the president this way.


O'Reilly and others overlook how Bush & co. have desecrated the office with the way they lied and cheated to get there, and the way they have lied and cheated since. Bush disrespected the Constitution, including in violating the part about the president and vice president living in separate states. He said he supported the will of the people, then worked to stop the legal counting of votes. He is among the most dirtiest campaigners in American history. History will show that his campaign engaged in high-tech cheating and intimidation tactics in 2004. He doesn't deserve respect. And Chase reminds us of this in an effective way.


 O'Reilly asked on his recent show for examples of Republicans who have publicly cussed at or called Democrats or opponents profanities. Bush and Cheney themselves have done that numerous times, including last June when Cheney told Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-Vt.] on the god-damned SENATE FLOOR to go "fuck yourself." Right-wingers like Joe Scarborough, who allegedly had an affair with a female employee who died in his office in a weird way, continue to gloat about that.


 How about Bush calling a reporter a major-league asshole in public in 2000? Did Cheney or Bush apologize for those statements? HELL, NO! Other examples are in a column I wrote a few months back for numerous sites, including the Moderate Independent at http://www.moderateindependent.com/v2i19thoreau.htm .


 And journalist Jeanne Wolf said on O'Reilly's show that no one will defend Chevy Chase . So I am doing so in this column.


Instead of Dems apologizing and sucking up to Republicanazis, we need to stand up to the bullies like Chase did. We need more national celebrities to call Bush a dumb fuck. Some people say Bush is not so dumb, that he may not read books or position papers or even the Cliff Notes his staff prepares, but he does run campaigns that win, even if he cheats.


 That's not the point. The point is Bush doesn't deserve respect. He's not in the White House legitimately - even if you don't think he cheated in 2004, which he did, there is the more widely acknowledged cheating to take the White House in 2000. He shouldn't have even been in the position to run in 2004. Calling him a dumb fuck is reminding people that Bush is illegitimate. He's a presidential bastard, besides being a dumb fuck. I don't care if you think I'm unpatriotic for defending Chase and calling Bush a dumb fuck myself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 10:15 AM

Portland, Maine's Herald opines in this piece:

The White House must love 'opposite day'

Copyright © 2004 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
 
It is a favored tactic in the Bush White House to take on tough criticism by boldly asserting the opposite.


Keeping clean air regulations from forcing further cuts in emissions is labeled a "clear skies" initiative. Judicial nominees who would bring the government into our bedrooms are defenders of liberty. And a scheme to gut Social Security and turn it into a money machine for the securities industry is a plan to "strengthen" that same system.

The latest in this series of 180-degree misdirections - reminiscent of when kids play "opposite day" - was Bush's assertion at a White House conference last week that moving forward with his proposals on Social Security would send positive signals to financial markets.

Say what?

Let's be clear about the what the president wants to do. He wants to put the nation another $2 trillion in debt so that, over time, he and his conservative supporters can eliminate the Social Security system as we know it.

Follow link for balance of editorial.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 05:49 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats on Saturday said U.S. soldiers in Iraq lacked adequate body armor and plated vehicles because of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's flawed leadership.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, in the Democrats' weekly radio address, blasted the Pentagon under Rumsfeld for "a litany of serious miscalculations" including underestimating the Iraqis resistance and failing to give troops enough protective equipment even though Congress gave it all the money it requested.

"The Pentagon says the lack of protective equipment is a matter of 'logistics.' No it's not. It's a matter of leadership," Durbin said.

"Those responsible for planning this war were not prepared for the reality on the ground, and many of our soldiers have paid the price," he said, citing nearly 1,300 U.S. service members who have died in Iraq and more than 10,000 injured.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 12:26 PM

From The Washington Post:

...Because of the incompetence or indifference of this nation's civilian leadership of the war, Americans in Iraq are living with an increased risk of death.


All the official transcripts of White House signing ceremonies for every defense spending bill, all the presidential proclamations for Veterans Day and every prepared statement by the secretary of defense before a congressional committee include the same stock phrase. U.S. troops are invariably referred to as "the best trained, best equipped" ever. Best equipped? To call today's American troops in Iraq the "best equipped" is more than an exaggeration; it is bilge, baloney and cruel.


An America coming out of the Great Depression somehow found the leadership and the will to build and deploy around the globe 2.5 million trucks in the same period of time that the incumbent U.S. government has failed to get 30,000 fully armored vehicles to Iraq.


The Bush administration has appropriated $34.3 billion on a theoretical missile defense system -- which proved again this week to be an expensive dud in its first test in two years, when the "kill vehicle" never got off the ground to intercept the target missile carrying a mock warhead -- but has been able up to now, according to congressional budget authorities, to spend just $2 billion to armor the vehicles of Americans under fire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 10:53 AM

Kris Kristofferson, urging action to stop the genocide underway in Darfur:

"Mr. Bush bemoaned Mr. Clinton's use of the White House for sex with an intern, and he was right to do so. But it's incomparably more immoral, and certainly a greater betrayal of American values, for Mr. Bush to sit placidly in the White House and watch a genocide from the sidelines."

Read the whole excellent piece here.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 07:30 PM

ANd look how he solved it!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 06:52 PM

Hitler had exactly the same problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 06:41 PM

Well, gol danged...

Looks as if Bush is so good at starting wars that he's gone a started another one without even knowing it?

Huh, you say...

That's right. Goergie Porg has started *Cold War II*!!!!! Looks as if Russia and China have agreed to hold military manouvers together signaling an alliance that can't be viewed as anything but Cold War tactics...

Now, throw in China bankrollin' Bush's spending spree, the outcome of this Cold War certainly looks to be different than the last one...

Funny thing. Both Bush and Reagan held power by decreasing taxes, driving unprecidented debt yet Reagan spent it on a military that wasn't used and that, among other factors, helped the US win Cold War I. Bush has also spent heavily on the military but has used it (quite unwisely) and cranked up the War that purdy much ended under Reagan...

How much more Bush America can survive???

Everything he touches turns to sh*t...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 04:29 PM

How To Talk About the Deficit
A lesson in the art of avoidance from the Bush economic conference.
ByTimothy Noah
Posted Thursday, Dec. 16, 2004, at 2:24 PM PT
http://slate.msn.com/id/2111173/

President Bush is holding an economic conference this week at the White
House. The whole thing is about as spontaneous as a wrestling match; even
David Brooks called it a "pseudo-event." So I'm not particularly surprised
that, at today's session on the budget deficit, nobody suggested that taxes
be raised. Republicans always oppose raising taxes. It did surprise me,
however, that even a staged conversation about the deficit could take place
without anyone proposing a specific budget cut.

Conservatives in general, and the Bush administration in particular, favor
budget cuts. At the conference, President Bush said there were going to be
"some tough choices on the spending side," and he boasted that "non-defense,
non-homeland discretionary spending" had increased at a rate of less than 1
percent over last year. But "non-defense, non-homeland discretionary
spending" is a tiny sliver of all the money that the government spends.
Overall, the federal government this year spent an estimated 5 percent more
than it spent last year, and that's only counting expenditures through
November. Bush doesn't like to cut spending; he likes to say he likes to cut
spending. In truth, Bush spends just as freely as a Democratic president
would, if not more. The only significant difference is that Bush is bleeding
domestic programs in order to increase spending on the military and homeland
defense. Bush's hypocrisy about government spending is so naked that a whole
new ideology, "big government conservatism," had to be invented in order to
explain it away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 04:28 PM

ush's economic summit
The Boston Globe Saturday, December 18, 2004
President George W. Bush's two-day economic summit was an exercise in
political propaganda that attempted to hide the underlying economic problem
for the administration over the next four years: The government is spending
far more than it is taking in and needs to raise taxes to make up at least
part of the difference.
.
Instead, participants in the summit - dominated by the president's
supporters - focused on proposals to block anti-business lawsuits (a
perennial issue for Republicans) and allow partial privatization of Social
Security (a new favorite of the party). The budget turnaround, from a $236.4
billion surplus to a $413 billion deficit over the last five years, was
mentioned in passing, but only as a way for participants to praise Bush for
pushing tax cuts that supposedly revived the economy.
.
A strong case could have been made for a quick stimulus package to pre-empt
a deep recession following the stock market collapse and the 9/11 attacks.
But nobody at the conference made the point that Bush used his narrow
victory in 2000 to destroy the bipartisan consensus of the 1990's that
balanced the budget. His tax cuts, if kept in place, will reduce federal
revenues far into the future without regard to their impact on the
government or the economy as a whole.
.
The Congressional Budget Office notes that federal spending, growing at a
3.5 percent rate in the 90's, has soared to a 6 to 7 percent growth rate
under Bush. Much of that can be attributed to the war against terrorism, but
it made no sense to embark on the invasion of Iraq while simultaneously
cutting taxes, as Bush continued to advocate throughout his first term. And
the Medicare drug benefit, which Bush pushed through Congress last year,
will put more pressure on the budget when it takes effect in 2006. The
program lacks the price restraints necessary to keep it under control.
.
Instead, the summit participants talked about Social Security as if it were
in crisis, rather than a long-term manageable problem. The president and
Joshua Bolton, his budget director, did suggest that tough spending choices
would be necessarily to reduce the deficit, but no one was ready to offer
specifics. Even if all unnecessary spending were eliminated, essential
federal programs would require more funding than is possible when revenues
shrink to an unreasonably low percentage of the gross domestic product -
16.5 percent, according to the CBO.
.
Participants at the summit also barely focused on the decline of the dollar,
but foreign investors' tendency to put their money elsewhere is a sign that
the Bush administration and Congress are pursuing polices that threaten
American economic leadership. Despite Republican rhetoric, Americans are far
from overtaxed. The Bush administration is underperforming in its essential
role as guardian of the U.S. economy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 08:17 PM

Bush Administration and Oil Companies Want Arctic Meltdown

by
Wayne Madsen

[Petroleum elites are benefiting from oil scarcity, because it raises
prices. But they also fear oil scarcity, because it raises costs and
eventually makes business impossible. And since the oil industry is also
impeding the large-scale development of alternatives while continuing to
encourage rampant consumption, scarcity of fossil fuels may eventually kill
them. They don't seem to mind. Maybe the pursuit of world-destroying
policies is some kind of compensation for their own mortality --- you know,
if I can't live forever, I think I'll take the rest of you down with me.
Such a policy is neither government nor business; it's the melodrama of a
big dysfunctional family whose patriarchs are finally going crazy - just
when their power is at its height.

Here's another metaphor: the Petro-Administration of Cheney-Rice-Bush is
like a psychotic who tries to play chess: indifferent to the rules, he
simply steals the opponent's king off the board, claims victory, and burns
the whole chess-set in the fireplace.

In the following shocker by Wayne Madsen, we learn that there are people
high up in Washington who regard the apocalyptic melting of the polar ice
caps as a good thing. Why? It will clear new shipping lanes for the
exploitation of Arctic oil and gas.

About six years ago I published an essay in the Massachusetts Review called
"Scarcity and Compensation in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick." I learned that
the American whaling industry did not end because petroleum replaced whale
oil; whaling stopped because the animals had been "harvested" almost to
extinction, and the only place left to catch them was in the perilous ice
floes of the Arctic Ocean. In 1873 thirty-three out of forty whaling ships
cruising in the Arctic were destroyed by ice. 1

Today the American oil industry finds itself back up in the Arctic, chasing
petroleum (not whale blubber). But this time, pollutants from its own
product have warmed the globe, and instead of destroying our ships, the ice
is just melting out of the way! What a wonderful way to settle an old score.
- JAH]

November 11, 2004 0900 PDT (FTW) -- Washington, DC. Speaking off the record,
scientists studying the current warming of the Arctic region intimated that
some officials in the Bush administration saw the loss of Arctic ice and the
resultant opening of sea channels such as the Northwest Passage of Canada as
a good thing for the exploration and retrieval of oil and natural gas from
the endangered region.

Over 300 international scientists have just completed an extensive 1200-page
report documenting their exhaustive 4-year Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
study on the rapid warming of the Arctic. The study was commissioned by the
Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee at a
ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council in Point Barrow, Alaska in 2000.
On November 8, the scientists released a 144-page summary of their findings
at a press conference in Washington, DC.

As if out of a scene from the Roland Emmerich's climate disaster movie, "The
Day After Tomorrow," the U.S. State Department is criticizing the
international panel's call to slow down Arctic warming by curbing greenhouse
emissions into the atmosphere. The State Department, according to some
scientists, is echoing the positions of oil companies and
anti-environmentalist pressure groups like the Cato Institute and Heritage
Foundation, in dismissing the recent report on Arctic warming. In fact,
President Bush has repeatedly referred to previous scientific studies
pointing to the effects of global warming as "silly science" based on "fuzzy
math."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 08:14 PM

Ex-Military Lawyers Object to Bush Cabinet Nominee
By NEIL A. LEWIS

Published: December 16, 2004


WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 - Several former high-ranking military lawyers say they
are discussing ways to oppose President Bush's nomination of Alberto R.
Gonzales to be attorney general, asserting that Mr. Gonzales's supervision
of legal memorandums that appeared to sanction harsh treatment of detainees,
even torture, showed unsound legal judgment.

Hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination are
expected to begin next month. While Mr. Gonzales is expected to be
confirmed, objections from former generals and admirals would be a setback
and an embarrassment for him and the White House.

Rear Adm. John D. Hutson, who served as the Navy's judge advocate general
from 1997 to 2000 before he retired, said that while Mr. Gonzales might be a
lawyer of some stature, "I think the role that he played in the one thing
that I am familiar with is tremendously shortsighted."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 05:59 PM

A New York Times editorial reveals that the bloody consequences of Bush's war-mongering are beginning to be appraised -- not the cost in limbs and lives snuffed out, but in the ruthless destruction of sanity caused by participating in psychotic, institutionalized violence and the destruction of others..


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 08:28 AM

Amos - debasing the medal of honor was right on.

We need new medals, I just happen to have one here...

http://www.angelfire.com/md2/customviolins/metalofdishonor3.jpg


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 08:22 AM

According to the Sun Herald:

Lott: Replace defense chief

By MELISSA M. SCALLAN




BILOXI - U.S. Sen. Trent Lott doesn't believe Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should resign immediately, but he does think Rumsfeld should be replaced sometime in the next year.


"I'm not a fan of Secretary Rumsfeld," Lott, R-Mississippi, told the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday morning. "I don't think he listens enough to his uniformed officers."


Rumsfeld has been criticized since a soldier asked him last week why the combat vehicles used in the war in Iraq don't have the proper armor. Both Rumsfeld and President Bush have said more vehicle armor will be shipped to Iraq.


Lott said the United States needs more troops to help with the war. The country also needs a plan to leave Iraq once elections are over at the end of January.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 08:10 AM

Excerpt from the Washington Post:

Presidential Medals of Failure



By Richard Cohen
Thursday, December 16, 2004; Page A37

Where's Kerik?


This is the question I asked myself as, one by one, the pictures of the latest Presidential Medal of Freedom awardees flashed by on my computer screen. First came George Tenet, the former CIA director and the man who had assured President Bush that it was a "slam-dunk" that Saddam Hussein's Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Then came L. Paul Bremer, the former viceroy of Iraq, who disbanded the Iraqi army and ousted Baathists from government jobs, therefore contributing mightily to the current chaos in that country. Finally came retired Gen. Tommy Franks, the architect of the plan whereby the United States sent too few troops to Iraq.


One by one these images flicked by me, each man wearing the royal-blue velvet ribbon with the ornate medal -- one failure after another, each now on the lecture circuit, telling insurance agents and other good people what really happened when they were in office, but withholding such wisdom from the American people until, for even more money, their book deals are negotiated. (Franks has already completed this stage of his life. His book, "American Soldier," was a bestseller.)


I braced myself. Could Bernard Kerik be next? Would we skip the entire process of maladministration, misjudgments in office and sycophantic admiration of the current president and go straight to the celebrated failure?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 15 Dec 04 - 07:54 PM

NYTimes.com > Opinion



   

EDITORIAL
No Bang for Our Cheap Buck


Published: December 15, 2004




The Bush administration's de facto weak-dollar policy - its preferred
"cure" for the American trade deficit - is not working. Yesterday's trade
deficit report shows that imports outpaced exports by a record $55.5 billion
in October. The huge imbalance was worse than the gloomiest expectations.

So far, the administration has been hoping that the weaker dollar will raise
the price of imports, leading American consumers to buy less from abroad,
and will at the same time make our exports cheaper so foreigners will buy
more American goods. That's supposed to shrink the trade deficit and, with
it, America's need to attract nearly $2 billion each day from abroad to
balance its books.

But the dollar has been declining since February 2002 - it's down by 55
percent against the euro and 22 percent against the yen - and the trade
deficit has stubbornly refused to shrink along with it. The falling dollar
has done nothing to diminish America's appetite for foreign goods - such
imports continue to rise at a faster rate than exports. According to
yesterday's report, imports were some 50 percent greater than exports in
October. Much of October's import growth was caused by high oil prices,
which have since subsided. But that's no reason to shrug off the disturbing
evidence of the weak dollar's failure to fix the trade gap. The United
States is now on track for a trade deficit of more than $60 billion next
June.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 15 Dec 04 - 07:44 PM

From MSNBC:

Debasing the Medal of Freedom (David Shuster)



I don't have a problem with Paul Bremer (former US administrator in Iraq),
George Tenet (former CIA director), or General Tommy Franks (led the
invasion of Iraq.)   And I'm convinced that all three did their jobs as best
they could under exceptionally trying circumstances.

However, I couldn't help but get sick to my stomach today as I watched
President Bush award Bremer, Tenet, and Franks the Presidential medal of
freedom. Maybe it was because I spent most of yesterday at Walter Reed Army
hospital, interviewing United States soldiers who are learning how to use
prosthetic legs and arms because their own got blown off in Iraq.   (More on
these courageous young men/women tomorrow on Hardblogger and Thursday night
on Hardball.) Or maybe I just couldn't get over the apparent contradictions
between the record of today's medal of freedom recipients and the
qualifications listed on the web site. According to the medal of freedom
web site, "this great honor is reserved for individuals the President deems
to have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or
national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or
other significant public or private endeavors." The award is "given only
after careful thought, always sparingly so as not to debase its currency."

"Debase its currency." Hmmm. The 9-11 commission blames the CIA and Tenet
for some of the crucial intelligence failures that prevented us from
stopping the terrorist attacks. On Iraq, before the invasion, it was Tenet
who described the existence of WMD as a "slam dunk." Paul Bremer guided
the postwar Iraq effort into chaos and insurgency. And General Tommy
Franks, while leading US troops brilliantly to Baghdad, had no plan once US
troops got there to secure any part of the nation and prevent looting or
sabotage.

Once upon a time, the Presidential medal of freedom was awarded to spies who
quietly risked their life for our nation. And in previous years, the medal
of freedom has been given President Gerald Ford, President Jimmy Carter,
Thurgood Marshall, Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, civil rights leader Rosa Parks,
educator Albert Shanker, former Senator and GOP Presidential candidate Bob
Dole, philanthropist David Rockefeller, and etc. and etc.

My point is that it is a shame to see a meaningful award turned into the
latest political photo-op. I'm glad to hear that George Tenet, Paul Bremer,
and Tommy Franks are doing so well in private life.    But if the Bush
administration wants to review the record of these three, let's have an
honest discussion instead of the historical revisionism and political
theater that was on center stage today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 07:53 PM

Excerpted from Bob Koehler's column at
http://www.commonwonders.com/archives/col267.htm regarding a report
developed by field research in Iraq and published in Lancet magazine, quoted above:


Based on the findings, the researchers were able to estimate a death rate
before and after the invasion. The after rate - excluding the data from the
shattered city of Fallujah, which would have skewed the overall results, so
much greater was the death toll there - was 1.5 times higher than the before
rate, which extrapolates to about 100,000 "excess" dead.

Furthermore, most of the pre-invasion deaths were from heart attacks,
strokes and the like, whereas afterward, according to the Lancet article,
"violence was the primary cause of death. Violent deaths were widespread . .
. and were mainly attributed to coalition forces. Most individuals
reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children. The risk of
death from violence in the period after the invasion was 58 times higher . .
. than in the period before the war."

And most of the deaths were the result of coalition air strikes, leading the
study's authors to conclude that "Civility and enlightened self-interest
demand a re-evaluation of the consequences of weaponry now used by coalition
forces in populated areas."

I'm inclined to word that conclusion just a tad more hysterically: This is
slaughter, Mr. President! In the name of God, in the name of Allah, call it
off. What strategic end is worth what we're doing to the Iraqi people? What
consequences do you think will flow from it?

Your mandate for this war, sir, is based on gross ignorance - that the
collateral carnage we're churning up is minimal, that Iraqi deaths matter
less than American, that because we don't do beheadings we aren't barbaric.

A hundred thousand dead, sir. And counting. When does a conscience kick in?
When do we become worse than Saddam Hussein?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 07:52 PM

This excerpt from Lancet says much about the dubiosu successes in Iraq:

Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey


Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, Gilbert
Burnham



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----
Lancet 2004; 364: 1857-64


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----
Published online October 29, 2004 http://image.thelancet.com/
extras/04art10342web.pdf

SUMMARY:

Background In March, 2003, military forces, mainly from the USA and the UK,
invaded Iraq. We did a survey to compare mortality during the period of 14·6
months before the invasion with the 17·8 months after it.

Methods A cluster sample survey was undertaken throughout Iraq during
September, 2004. 33 clusters of 30 households each were interviewed about
household composition, births, and deaths since January, 2002. In those
households reporting deaths, the date, cause, and circumstances of violent
deaths were recorded. We assessed the relative risk of death associated with
the 2003 invasion and occupation by comparing mortality in the 17·8 months
after the invasion with the 14·6-month period preceding it.

Findings The risk of death was estimated to be 2·5-fold (95% CI 1·6-4·2)
higher after the invasion when compared with the preinvasion period.
Two-thirds of all violent deaths were reported in one cluster in the city of
Falluja. If we exclude the Falluja data, the risk of death is 1·5-fold
(1·1-2·3) higher after the invasion. We estimate that 98000 more deaths than
expected (8000-194000) happened after the invasion outside of Falluja and
far more if the outlier Falluja cluster is included. The major causes of
death before the invasion were myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular
accidents, and other chronic disorders whereas after the invasion violence
was the primary cause of death. Violent deaths were widespread, reported in
15 of 33 clusters, and were mainly attributed to coalition forces. Most
individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children.
The risk of death from violence in the period after the invasion was 58
times higher (95% CI 8·1-419) than in the period before the war.

Interpretation Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100000
excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from
coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths. We have shown that
collection of public-health information is possible even during periods of
extreme violence. Our results need further verification and should lead to
changes to reduce non-combatant deaths from air strikes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 07:51 PM

http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/12/14/news/edgiscard.html


Letter from Europe:

Dear President Bush...
Giuliano Amato, Ralf Dahrendorf and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
International Herald Tribune
Wednesday, December 15, 2004

As the political dust settles in your country after a long campaign season,
we urge you to engage promptly in a reassessment of relations with
Europeans. However powerful your country may be, experience has already
demonstrated that you will need allies and functioning global institutions
to preserve your fundamental interests.
.
Your best potential partners remain the Europeans. For all our current
shortcomings, we share basic values, we are committed to democracy and
market economics, and we are strong believers in making multilateral
institutions effective.
.
The hard lessons of the past two years are clear for us as well: If we are
split, we are unable to exercise any significant international influence.
.
There are five important points to make:
.
Be multilateral and effective. The case for working multilaterally is bound
to grow in coming decades. The rise of China and India as economic, military
and diplomatic heavyweights seems certain, and Russia may be heading down
the same path. Only a solid Euro-American core can make international
institutions more effective.
.
A strong Europe makes for a strong alliance. Mr. President, a more
integrated Europe is in America's long-term interests, even though there
will be times when it opposes you.
.
In order to encourage Europeans to rise to the major challenges of our era,
you could offer a series of tradeoffs. For example, you could promise that
if Europeans deliver on our pledges, you will loosen your protectionist
rules on the transfer of military technology. You could offer more of the
top command slots within NATO to Europeans. And you could share more
intelligence with your key allies.
.
Work jointly on the Middle East. Mr. President, in the next four years you
will probably spend more time and energy on the greater Middle East than on
any other international region.
.
Offer the Europeans a quid pro quo: If Europe supports common efforts in
Iraq (some with troops, others by increasing support of the buildup of Iraqi
forces) and commits more financial resources to the reconstruction, America
will uphold its promise of promoting a Palestinian state by 2006. You need
to demonstrate, in deeds not just words, that the United States is serious
about a two-state solution. You should propose to the Europeans that
together we assist and train Palestinian security and police forces and that
NATO play a role in delivering security, together with Arab countries like
Egypt. We Europeans will have to focus our efforts on assisting the rise of
a responsible and accountable Palestinian leadership.
.
On Iran, Europe and America should partly switch sides. You should encourage
the Europeans to consider using sticks, as long as the provisional agreement
with Iran is not implemented; in turn, America should set out what
incentives it is willing to offer Tehran in return for a verifiable end to
Iran's nuclear program.
.
It's also the economy, Mr. President! We have to devise an economic new
deal. The European and American economies remain tightly interdependent and
represent the keystone of the global trading system.
.
The single most relevant action of your first administration as far as
impact on the world economy is concerned was the reversal of the federal
budget from a surplus of almost $250 billion in 2000 to a deficit of more
than $400 billion in 2004. This has provided a powerful stimulus to the U.S.
and world economies, but has also increased the instability of the
international financial system.
.
What we need is a commitment by the United States to gradual fiscal
consolidation, a commitment in Europe to accelerated reform so as to raise
potential growth, and a commitment by China to abandon the dollar peg and to
replace it with a peg to a basket of currencies including the dollar and the
euro. To further this goal, we should encourage growing links between the
G-7 and China.
.
Think of a new strategic forum. To cooperate effectively, the Western allies
have to share decisions. On the American side, this means real consultation
- not just setting the line and expecting us to follow. On the European
side, this means creating a better decision-making mechanism, which has to
be collective.
.
We suggest creating a Contact Group, which would serve as a much more
functional forum between the European Union and the United States than
anything we currently have. NATO is now too large and too reactive to allow
a real strategic discussion.
.
Mr. President, we believe that a new trans-Atlantic deal should be part of
our future. On the basis of our historical roots, it is natural, and even
healthy, for both Americans and Europeans to define our respective
identities in terms of our differences.
.
But we still share bounds of civility and interests in the world that will
be more effectively protected if we do it together. They are equally crucial
to a new trans-Atlantic deal.
.
.
(Giuliano Amato is a former prime minister of Italy. Ralf Dahrendorf, a
member of the British House of Lords, was director of the London School of
Economics. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing is a former president of France. This
article was drafted under the auspices of the Aspen Institute Italia in Rome
and distributed by Global Viewpoint for Tribune Media Services
International.)
.



See more of the world that matters - click here for home delivery of the
International Herald Tribune.
< < Back to Start of Article As the political dust settles in your country
after a long campaign season, we urge you to engage promptly in a
reassessment of relations with Europeans. However powerful your country may
be, experience has already demonstrated that you will need allies and
functioning global institutions to preserve your fundamental interests.
.
Your best potential partners remain the Europeans. For all our current
shortcomings, we share basic values, we are committed to democracy and
market economics, and we are strong believers in making multilateral
institutions effective.
.
The hard lessons of the past two years are clear for us as well: If we are
split, we are unable to exercise any significant international influence.
.
There are five important points to make:
.
Be multilateral and effective. The case for working multilaterally is bound
to grow in coming decades. The rise of China and India as economic, military
and diplomatic heavyweights seems certain, and Russia may be heading down
the same path. Only a solid Euro-American core can make international
institutions more effective.
.
A strong Europe makes for a strong alliance. Mr. President, a more
integrated Europe is in America's long-term interests, even though there
will be times when it opposes you.
.
In order to encourage Europeans to rise to the major challenges of our era,
you could offer a series of tradeoffs. For example, you could promise that
if Europeans deliver on our pledges, you will loosen your protectionist
rules on the transfer of military technology. You could offer more of the
top command slots within NATO to Europeans. And you could share more
intelligence with your key allies.
.
Work jointly on the Middle East. Mr. President, in the next four years you
will probably spend more time and energy on the greater Middle East than on
any other international region.
.
Offer the Europeans a quid pro quo: If Europe supports common efforts in
Iraq (some with troops, others by increasing support of the buildup of Iraqi
forces) and commits more financial resources to the reconstruction, America
will uphold its promise of promoting a Palestinian state by 2006. You need
to demonstrate, in deeds not just words, that the United States is serious
about a two-state solution. You should propose to the Europeans that
together we assist and train Palestinian security and police forces and that
NATO play a role in delivering security, together with Arab countries like
Egypt. We Europeans will have to focus our efforts on assisting the rise of
a responsible and accountable Palestinian leadership.
.
On Iran, Europe and America should partly switch sides. You should encourage
the Europeans to consider using sticks, as long as the provisional agreement
with Iran is not implemented; in turn, America should set out what
incentives it is willing to offer Tehran in return for a verifiable end to
Iran's nuclear program.
.
It's also the economy, Mr. President! We have to devise an economic new
deal. The European and American economies remain tightly interdependent and
represent the keystone of the global trading system.
.
The single most relevant action of your first administration as far as
impact on the world economy is concerned was the reversal of the federal
budget from a surplus of almost $250 billion in 2000 to a deficit of more
than $400 billion in 2004. This has provided a powerful stimulus to the U.S.
and world economies, but has also increased the instability of the
international financial system.
.
What we need is a commitment by the United States to gradual fiscal
consolidation, a commitment in Europe to accelerated reform so as to raise
potential growth, and a commitment by China to abandon the dollar peg and to
replace it with a peg to a basket of currencies including the dollar and the
euro. To further this goal, we should encourage growing links between the
G-7 and China.
.
Think of a new strategic forum. To cooperate effectively, the Western allies
have to share decisions. On the American side, this means real consultation
- not just setting the line and expecting us to follow. On the European
side, this means creating a better decision-making mechanism, which has to
be collective.
.
We suggest creating a Contact Group, which would serve as a much more
functional forum between the European Union and the United States than
anything we currently have. NATO is now too large and too reactive to allow
a real strategic discussion.
.
Mr. President, we believe that a new trans-Atlantic deal should be part of
our future. On the basis of our historical roots, it is natural, and even
healthy, for both Americans and Europeans to define our respective
identities in terms of our differences.
.
But we still share bounds of civility and interests in the world that will
be more effectively protected if we do it together. They are equally crucial
to a new trans-Atlantic deal.


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