Why I Still Oppose Our Invasion
 and Occupation of Iraq


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Saturday, June 05, 2004

Was Susan Estrich drunk yesterday when substituting for Alan Colmes on Hannity & Colmes? Even by the standard of her usual sycophancy, she was over the top. She said, more than once, how much she liked Sean Hannity and guest Newt Gingrinch, how they were her friends. She kept leaning so far back in her chair that she was almost horizontal. At one point she was getting so buddy-buddy with Newt it looked like she was ready to jump over and give him a lap dance. She also made sure we knew that Ann Coulter, another guest, was her friend. She seemed to take great delight in stating that Air America was "failing." (I don't know that to be true in any case). Estrich is filling the role of compliant, house liberal so well, "Doormat" Colmes better watch out for his job. Addendum: I forgot to mention, Estrich said that people come up to her in the bathroom and ask her how she could work for Fox, and that she replies "Are you hiring me?" Estrich seemed very proud of that response. Estrich is a law professor at USC. What, is she starving? She's so desperate for money she has to hire herself out as a house liberal at Fox?

Jack Clark 5:41 PM [+]  
Post #108648280259561228

As now reported concerning the recent floods in Haiti:
The toll is more than 2,600 dead and missing in Haiti, 700 dead and missing over the border in the Dominican Republic. The missing are presumed dead.
So Haiti lost as many people in the flood as we lost in 9/11. And Haiti's population is only about 7 million people, 1/40 of ours. So proportionally, it's like we had lost 120,000 people on 9/11. And Haiti is a desperately poor country. The victims' families won't be getting over $1 million each as have the 9/11 victims' families. So much was made of the world's sympathy for us after 9/11. Where is the world's outcry and sympathy and help for the Haitian victims? Virtually non-existent. A non-story. Are Haitians any less deserving of sympathy and aid than us? Are Haitians any less human than us? Any less children of God?

Jack Clark 5:35 PM [+]  
Post #108648212568889406

The thought occurred to me that when the right-wing imbeciles prattle on mindlessly about how our country was founded on "Judeo-Christian principles" or (as Bill O'Reilly says in his inimitably obfuscatory fashion) "Judeo-Christian philosophy", nowhere in the Bible is the concept of democracy present. Enlightened despotism (kings) maybe, but no democracy. And isn't democracy the hallmark, the fundamental principle of our form of government? Interestingly though, there is one Judeo-Christian principle that is enshrined in the Constitution, although not one the right-wing pseudo-Christians would want to draw attention to. To what am I referring? Slavery. Both the Old and New Testaments condone holding human slaves, and, so does the Constitution.

Jack Clark 5:21 PM [+]  
Post #108648158384299286

Searing Uncertainty for Iraqis Missing Loved Ones
Khraisan al-Aballi, 39, a trader, said his family's home in Baghdad was raided by American troops on April 30, 2003, during the lawlessness that followed the American invasion. He said his brother, Duraid, 47, had mistaken the American soldiers firing their guns for thieves and might have fired back. Duraid was shot and, the last his brother saw him, was lying in the house bleeding from his right side.

Khraisan al-Aballi and his 80-year-old father were taken into custody, and for 10 days, he contends, he was tortured: stripped naked and forced to stand and kneel for hours; kicked and beaten with a stick; ordered to confess with a gun to his head.

The charge, he said, was that the family had been harboring one of Iraq's former vice presidents, Izzat Ibrahim — a man Mr. Aballi said he had never met.

At one point, he said, an interrogator said to him: "You think you are speaking to a fool, but you are a liar and a criminal. We are going to take you and your family to a very deep hole."

He was finally reunited with his father, who was bleeding from his face and had been forced to listen to his son's torture. They were released then and have tried, fruitlessly, to find Duraid.

A year later, Mr. Aballi still has the marks from the handcuffs on his wrists, as well as a deep scar of anger at Americans who he says moved too quickly from suspicion to torture and have not respected Iraqis enough to provide information as basic as whether his brother is alive or dead.

"You know why?" said Mr. Aballi, who worked through the account of his family's ordeal with tears, many cigarettes and much difficulty. "It's because they have absolute force. No one sees what they do."

"They were right," he said. "They said, `We are going to put you into a very deep hole.' "
More of Rush Limbaugh's frat initiation-type pranks.

Jack Clark 5:21 PM [+]  
Post #108648128798549759

The Fine Arts of Food and Politics, From a Gore Veteran
Though she sometimes deplores the Republicans' rough-and-tumble campaign tactics, she says the Democrats need to adopt them. 'With the Democrats you always feel like you're fighting with one hand tied behind your back,' she said. 'They say, `You can't do that, Donna,' or, `Don't tell us you're doing it.' And I'm, like, `If you're going to level the playing field, you have to hit back just as hard.' '

...Ms. Brazile is pro-labor, anti-capital punishment, pro-choice — and also a Scripture-quoting Roman Catholic.
Donna Brazile says this, but when she's on Fox, I certainly don't hear her hitting back very hard at all. If she's going to quote scripture, she should quote Matthew 25:31-46 and hit the right-wing pseudo-Christians back as hard as they so richly deserve to be hit.

Jack Clark 5:16 PM [+]  
Post #108648096693803356

The dishonesty and propaganda-like nature of Fox is exemplified in Sean Hannity, who this week was still repeating the line that the prison torture in Iraq was limited to "7 or 10 or 12" soldiers. It's been crystal-clear for weeks that the abuse extended far beyond that, and to other prisons and countries.

Jack Clark 5:09 PM [+]  
Post #108648064278522832

Ronald Reagan dead at 93  Just goes to show ya that the devil rules the world, not any just God. This mass murdering bastard (eg, Central America 1980's) lives until 93, while tens of thousands less than half that age were murdered with his approval. I was always hoping that he'd drop dead of a heart attack way back then. It's been a long wait.

Jack Clark 2:08 PM [+]  
Post #108646972820892615

Friday, June 04, 2004
Local 226, 'the Culinary,' Makes Las Vegas the Land of the Living Wage
Ask people here why Las Vegas is the nation's fastest-growing city, and they point to the thriving casino industry and to its ever-growing appetite for workers.

But there is another, little understood force contributing to the allure of Las Vegas, a force often viewed as the casino industry's archnemesis. It is Culinary Local 226, also called the Culinary, the city's largest labor union, an unusual - and unusually successful - union that has done a spectacular job catapulting thousands of dishwashers, hotel maids and other unskilled workers into the middle class.

In most other cities, these workers live near the poverty line. But thanks in large part to the Culinary, in Las Vegas these workers often own homes and have Rolls-Royce health coverage, a solid pension plan and three weeks of vacation a year.
This is what happens when you have a strong union fighting for its members. Everybody wins. As opposed to when a Wal-Mart comes to town, small businesses die and wages are pushed down for everyone. Also check out this companion article.

Jack Clark 9:11 PM [+]  
Post #108640871310014248

Liberal Activists Lukewarm on Kerry
[T]he threat from Nader loomed over the meeting. Jorge Rogachevsky, a professor of Latin American studies at St. Mary's College in St. Mary's, Md., said his support was 'drifting' to Nader again because he believed Kerry was putting forward a right-of-center agenda, rather than reaching out to progressives.

'I won't back a right-wing Democrat just because I hate Bush,' Rogachevsky said.
I'm wrestling with this too. Kerry has gotten me really annoyed, but then I think of looking at and listening to Bush for four more years...

Jack Clark 9:06 PM [+]  
Post #108640840307276321

The Serious Implications Of President Bush's Hiring A Personal Outside Counsel For The Valerie Plame Investigation  /;This is by John Dean. A lot of speculation, but could portend the future.

Jack Clark 9:04 PM [+]  
Post #108640827408725419

Democrats Seek Special Halliburton/Cheney Counsel
House Democrats urged a special counsel on Wednesday to probe whether Vice President Dick Cheney broke the law through any involvement in the award of a government contract in Iraq to his old company, Halliburton Co.

For the second day running, Democrats demanded more answers to questions raised by a newly unearthed Army e-mail that said Cheney's office "coordinated" action on a contract to rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure that was awarded to Halliburton.
Will this effort have legs?

Jack Clark 9:03 PM [+]  
Post #108640820209841660

Negroponte's Record in Honduras Does not Inspire Confidence About His Appointment as US Ambassador to Iraq  The mass murderers of the 1980's are resurrected to kill again.

Jack Clark 8:42 PM [+]  
Post #108640696435274426

Beware of "Credible Intelligence"  Exposure of how Ashcroft's recent warning was based on a claim by a one-guy-with-a-fax-machine "terrorist" organization. Also in here is info about Bush's counsel's warning to him that he could be prosecuted for war crimes if a subsequent adminstration interpreted the law differently than the Bushians.

Jack Clark 3:44 PM [+]  
Post #108638908298322318

Thursday, June 03, 2004
NYT's Apologies Miss the Point  Good piece on the mass media's longtime conservative tilt, using as one example what I've noted before, parroting the government line on Central America during the Reagan years.

Jack Clark 10:00 PM [+]  
Post #108632522918393706

Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Media Fall Short on Iraq, Venezuela
The Bush administration has been pushing for 'regime change' in Venezuela for years now, painting a false and exaggerated picture of the reality there. As in the case of Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction and links to Al-Qaeda, the Administration has gotten a lot of help from the media.
Just like in Central America in the 80's, and all over the world all the time.

Jack Clark 9:02 PM [+]  
Post #108614895853077953

Those Who Hate "Liberals" Really Hate a Free America
The rightist 'conservative' media moguls who hate 'liberals' actually hate a free America.

Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, Hannity and O'Reilly, the Weekly Standard and Wall Street Journal---they all rant at some unspecified species allegedly left of center.

But right from its birth, America has been the very definition of a liberal nation.

Today's Foxist ditto-heads would have hated all America's founders: Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Paine, and even the father of the modern corporate state, Alexander Hamilton.

All were liberals, both classic and modern. The documents they wrote---the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights---all were the definition of liberal.

Rush's 'conservative' rightists would have hated them then. And though they won't admit it, they hate them now.

As for ending slavery, Ann Coulter would have SCREAMED at Abe Lincoln. The Emancipation Proclamation would have INFURIATED Hannity. The Gettysburg Address would have ENRAGED O'Reilly. And don't even MENTION the environmentalism of U.S. Grant or Teddy Roosevelt.
Great column! And nice to see the Foxian scum being exposed again and again.

Jack Clark 8:57 PM [+]  
Post #108614862804836388

American Liberalism's Achilles Heel
[T]he Democrats' timidity reveals a long-standing failure that haunts American liberalism. There is no fire in the belly, no smelling of blood. There is no willingness to move in to batter the wounded opponent so that the standard-bearer can step in and finish him and his misguided policies off in the fall. In short, there is no willingness to risk a little in order to maybe turn the country around.
Boy, does he hit the nail on the head!

Jack Clark 8:51 PM [+]  
Post #108614831071730056

A Political Sacrament
The bishops -- indeed Pope John Paul II himself -- have repeatedly taught that Catholics, if they are to put their faith in action, must consider a wide range of issues involving economic and social justice when entering the voting booth.

This is precisely the argument that pro-choice Catholic politicians want to make. Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, and others have begun to argue that, with the exception of abortion, the Democratic Party is closer to Catholic social teachings on questions like capital punishment and the decision to wage war than is the Republican Party.

But this line of reasoning is fraught with peril. For the pope, the bishops and -- if polls are to believed -- for most practicing Catholics, abortion is the taking of innocent life and therefore violates the most fundamental of human rights. By contrast, the pope's opposition to capital punishment is conditional, not absolute, and the church's application of just war principles is open to reasoned debate. When it comes to abortion, there is far less room for discussion.
Let's see now, what did Jesus say about abortion. NOTHING. What did Jesus say about feeding the hungry? If you don't do it, you go to hell. There's nothing "conditional," or "opened to reasoned debate" about whether it's ok to let people starve to death. So instead of setting up the straw men of capital punishment and going to war, why doesn't this columnist talk about the life-and-death issues that right-wing pseudo-Christians do side with the Devil on?

Jack Clark 4:28 PM [+]  
Post #108613249818462358

In Their 20's, Thinking About War
To the Editor:

Joshua Foer has omitted the most critical reason his privileged classmates at Yale have had such overwhelming support for the war in Iraq: there is no military draft.

This conflict is being fought by working-class and poor kids who joined the military as a viable economic option. The undergraduates at Yale would be shutting down the campus if we had a universal draft with no college deferments.
How true. Indeed, had there been a universal draft with no deferments, I don't think the Bushians could have sold the war.

Jack Clark 4:00 PM [+]  
Post #108613084910477760

The Public Editor: Weapons of Mass Destruction? Or Mass Distraction?  Coming on the heels of the editors' mea culpa, this additional -- and extremely verbose -- apologia adds nothing. Too little too late, and galling for that reason.

Jack Clark 3:58 PM [+]  
Post #108613072979624220

Scant Evidence Cited in Long Detention of Iraqis
Hundreds of Iraqi prisoners were held in Abu Ghraib prison for prolonged periods despite a lack of evidence that they posed a security threat to American forces, according to an Army report completed last fall.

...General Ryder, the Army's provost marshal, reported that some Iraqis had been held for several months for nothing more than expressing 'displeasure or ill will' toward the American occupying forces.
Freedom of speech, Bushian style. Just what they'd like to do to us dissenters here.

Jack Clark 3:56 PM [+]  
Post #108613058028393049

Fearing Terror, and the F.B.I. (2 Letters)
To the Editor:

Re 'Spain Had Doubts Before U.S. Held Lawyer in Blast' (front page, May 26):

A very scary thing about the false arrest and imprisonment of Brandon Mayfield, based on a faulty copy of a fingerprint and other supposed evidence, is the realization that he could have been declared an enemy combatant and held without legal representation and recourse.

The incident shows how necessary it is for the security of Americans that no citizen -- and perhaps no person -- be able to be held outside the judicial system for any reason.
To the Editor:

The news that an American lawyer, Brandon Mayfield, was released after being improperly detained in connection with the Madrid terror bombing points out the reality that even the most conscientious attempts to pursue justice can go astray.

That fact prompts this consideration: What if Mr. Mayfield had been tortured to extract 'actionable intelligence'?
What great points are sometimes made in the letters section.

Jack Clark 3:46 PM [+]  
Post #108613000726265419

More Genocide
Demographers at the U.S. Agency for International Development estimate that at best, "only" 100,000 people will die in Darfur this year of malnutrition and disease. If things go badly, half a million will die.

This is not a natural famine, but a deliberate effort to eliminate three African tribes in Darfur so Arabs can take their land. The Genocide Convention defines such behavior as genocide, and it obliges nations to act to stop it. That is why nobody in the West wants to talk about Darfur — because of a fear that focusing on the horror will lead to a deployment in Sudan.
This is another powerful column by Nicholas Kristof on genocide in full sight the world is once more letting happen.

Jack Clark 3:43 PM [+]  
Post #108612982739284643

NYTimes.com Review - Don't Tread on Joseph Wilson  This is what Joseph Wilson in his book said about Sean Hannity:
Sean Hannity was ''easily one of the least interesting people I have ever spoken to'' and he has ''no idea what he is talking about, at least on foreign policy, and does a great disservice to his audience.''
Sounds accurate to me. This is Michael Kingsley on Bill O'Reilly:
For several years, in the world of political journalism, David Brooks has been every liberal's favorite conservative. This is not just because he throws us a bone of agreement every now and then. Even the most poisonous propagandist (i.e., Bill O'Reilly) knows that trick.
"Poisonous propagandist" I like the ring of that. It's good to see these Foxian fearmongers being publicly called what they are.

Jack Clark 3:40 PM [+]  
Post #108612963114383734

Agreement by U.S. and Rebels to End Fighting in Najaf
The agreement, hammered out between Mr. Sadr and Iraqi leaders and approved by the Americans, requires that the fighters of the Mahdi Army get off the streets -- and if they are from other cities, to leave -- and for the Americans to pull most of their forces out of the city. The Americans can still maintain a handful of posts inside the city and send soldiers on patrol...

Allowing the Mahdi Army to continue intact, as long as it remains off the streets, is a major concession to Mr. Sadr. In another, Iraqi officials agreed to "suspend" the arrest warrant for him that cites his suspected involvement in the murder of a rival cleric in April 2003. That represents, at least for now, a reversal for the Americans, who have said repeatedly that they intend to "kill or capture" Mr. Sadr and "destroy" the Mahdi Army.

In a news conference on Thursday, American officials insisted they had not altered that policy, but they said the timing of any action against Mr. Sadr was open to negotiation.
"American officials" are shameless bs artists, aren't they?

Jack Clark 3:36 PM [+]  
Post #108612936773846801

A Real Nuclear Danger
While the Bush administration has been distracted by the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it has neglected the far more urgent threat to American security from dangerous nuclear materials that must be safeguarded before they can fall into the hands of terrorists. That is the inescapable conclusion to be drawn from a new report that documents the slow pace of protecting potential nuclear bomb material at loosely guarded sites around the world.

...The most plausible explanation is that the administration has focused so intensely on Iraq, which posed no nuclear threat, that it had little energy left for the real dangers. Indeed, the Harvard researchers said that if a tenth of the effort and resources devoted to Iraq in the last year was devoted to securing nuclear material wherever it might be, the job could be accomplished quickly.
It's either unbelievably gross negligence, or does the conduct of the Bushians rise to the level of intent? It's almost like those bastard Bushians want us to get nuked. If that happened, they could certainly declare martial law and cancel elections.

Jack Clark 3:31 PM [+]  
Post #108612911872937582

Monday, May 31, 2004
Cheney Coordinated Halliburton Iraq Contract: Report
A Pentagon e-mail said Vice President Dick Cheney coordinated a huge Halliburton government contract for Iraq, despite Cheney's denial of interest in the company he ran until 2000.

..."As vice president, I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts led by the Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the federal government," Cheney told NBC's "Meet the Press" in September, Time said.
For this type of lie, can Cheney be impeached, or whatever it's called when you get rid of a sitting VP?

Jack Clark 9:05 PM [+]  
Post #108606271961141044

The Marine's tale: 'We killed 30 civilians in six weeks. I felt we were committing genocide'
"In a month and a half my platoon and I killed more than 30 civilians," Mr Massey said. He saw bodies being desecrated and robbed, and wounded civilians being dumped by the roadside without medical treatment. After he told his commanding officer that he felt "we were committing genocide", he was called a "wimp".
This entire article is pretty intense.

Jack Clark 12:50 PM [+]  
Post #108603301965333319

From Bush, Unprecedented Negativity: Scholars Say Campaign Is Making History With Often-Misleading Attacks
The charges were all tough, serious -- and wrong, or at least highly misleading. Kerry did not question the war on terrorism, has proposed repealing tax cuts only for those earning more than $200,000, supports wiretaps, has not endorsed a 50-cent gasoline tax increase in 10 years, and continues to support the education changes, albeit with modifications.

Scholars and political strategists say the ferocious Bush assault on Kerry this spring has been extraordinary, both for the volume of attacks and for the liberties the president and his campaign have taken with the facts.
If only the Bushian lie machine could be exposed to the general public in a way they'd understand...

Jack Clark 12:38 PM [+]  
Post #108603228312163747

Gay supporters denied communion at Chicago Mass  Jesus never said a word about abortion. He did say something very powerful about feeding the hungry and helping the sick: if you don't, you go to hell. So why don't the Bishops consider failing to help 11,000,000 children dying every year from hunger and/or preventable disease worthy of denying communion? Just asking.

Jack Clark 12:23 PM [+]  
Post #108603141239940544

Some Find Ties to CIA, Baath Party Worrisome
As leader of Iraq's interim government, Iyad Allawi will have to convince his countrymen that neither his long-ago membership in the Baath Party nor his longtime CIA connections will keep him from leading Iraq in just seven months to its first free elections.
Yet another aspect of this fine gentleman: Exiled Allawi was Responsible for 45-Minute WMD Claim
The choice of Iyad Allawi, closely linked to the CIA and formerly to MI6, as the Prime Minister of Iraq from 30 June will make it difficult for the US and Britain to persuade the rest of the world that he is capable of leading an independent government.

He is the person through whom the controversial claim was channeled that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction could be operational in 45 minutes.
Gee, you'd think this would disqualify him, but to the Bushians, it's probably a plus, since he gave them false ammo to beat the drums of war with.

Jack Clark 11:42 AM [+]  
Post #108585614182773760

Prisoner Abuse Not Limited to Abu Ghraib
Several U.S. guards allege they witnessed military intelligence operatives encouraging the abuse of Iraqi prison inmates at four prisons other than Abu Ghraib, investigative documents show.

Court transcripts and Army investigator interviews provide the broadest view of evidence that abuses, from forcing inmates to stand in hoods in 120-degree heat to punching them, occurred at a Marine detention camp and three Army prison sites in Iraq besides Abu Ghraib.
Even Fox has to admit this now. Maybe soon even its own commentators like Sean Hannity will get the message and stop talking about 7 bad apples.

Jack Clark 11:40 AM [+]  
Post #108585603365746628

Study: Al Qaeda Increasing in Strength
Despite losses around the world, Al Qaeda has more than 18,000 potential terrorists and its ranks are growing because of the conflict in Iraq, a leading think tank warned Tuesday.
Good job, George. Here's another article about the study: Al-Qaeda Boosted By Iraq War, Warns Think-Tank

Jack Clark 10:18 AM [+]  
Post #108550550975621439

Sunday, May 30, 2004
Rewards of a 90-Hour Week: Poverty and Dirty Laundry
Most laundry workers earn less, often far less, than the minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. Gabriela Mendez, a veteran of six Manhattan laundries, said one paid her $230, or $3.19 an hour, for a 72-hour week, while at another she earned $220, or $2.45 an hour, for a 90-hour week.

She and other workers boil over with tales of oppressive conditions or abusive bosses. Some said their employers hit them for taking a long lunch or fired them for being out sick for a day; others said they saw co-workers collapse from the heat.
Those employers should be thrown in jail, as punishment, and as a deterrent to others.

Jack Clark 11:03 PM [+]  
Post #108598340191022162

Poll Stunner: Veterans Deserting Kerry:
Veterans now prefer Bush over Kerry by a whopping 13 points - 54 to 41 percent.
A typical Newsmax misleading headline. Nobody expects Kerry to win the veterans vote. The question is, how much better for Kerry is 51-41 than what the Democrat usually gets. I bet it's much better.

Jack Clark 10:55 PM [+]  
Post #108598293750589060

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