From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
A War of Words
January 23, 2005 1:14 PM
The Washington Post dissects the war over the framing of Bush's Social Security plan. It's all about "private" vs. "personal". In 2002, Republicans figured out that "private" didn't poll well, so they made sure all their congressional candidates didn't use it.
So Josh Marshall has started a contest asking readers to find before and after quotes from Republicans who used "private" before 2002 and "personal" after 2002.
7 of the top 10 congressional districts with the greatest percentage of social security recipients are represented by Republicans. 6 of the 10 are in Florida, only 1 of which is represented by a Democrat. Here is a full ranking.
Bush is getting hammered on his plan. His approval ratings are plummeting, now down to 44% (it was 46% the day before the inauguration).
A War of Words
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Read the 84 comments.
Tom from Madison:
Perhaps the silliest part of this debate is the notion that there is a social security "crisis". Something should be done in the next few years, but there is no crisis.
But look at the rest of the Federal Budget. It's WAY out of control! We haven't had a national debate about how to pay for the Iraqi War and the "war on terrorism" in general.
While costs keep increasing beyond projections, the President keeps insisting on cutting taxes. This is fool-hardy. Billions of tax dollars are being spent without a plan to repay them.
Mon Jan 24 2005 6:35 AM
"Something should be done in the next few years, but there is no crisis."
From everything I've read on this subject, it's more like something should be done in the next few DECADES. Whatever the solution, it's certainly not necessary this year or even in the next four years. With all of the problems we face, why choose to tackle this one first? It's ludicrous.
Mon Jan 24 2005 8:20 AM
All of his administration's economic achievements, he said in February 1998, "are threatened by the looming fiscal crisis in Social Security." . . . A number of Clinton's arguments back then sound like Bush's today, if one adjusts for the new figures on Social Security's finances. 'We have a great opportunity now to take action now to avert a crisis in the Social Security system," Clinton said, again in February 1998. "By 2030, there will be twice as many elderly as there are today, with only two people working for every person drawing Social Security. After 2032, contributions from payroll taxes will only cover 75 cents on the dollar of current benefits. So we must act, and act now, to save Social Security."
Sickens me on how these presidents lie.
Mon Jan 24 2005 11:41 AM
People worry too much, after the bird flu wipes out all of our aging elderly we'll have plenty of cash to go around.
I still wish it was an elected decision. I don't want help when I get old. Self-Directed IRA's are wonderful. Oh wait.. that's the pesky personal responsibility bit chewing out of me again isnt it?
Mon Jan 24 2005 12:35 PM
Tom from Madison:
I beleve the nameless one made my point, albeit indadvertently.
Clinton was suggesting taking some action in 1998 so that we wouldn't have a problem 32 years hence, thereby averting a crisis--in 2030!
Mon Jan 24 2005 1:03 PM
Right Wing Robby:
Liberals call themselves progressive, but everytime you try to change anything (SS,public school system etc..) they do whatever they can to obstruct change.
Did Clinton lie about Social Security or did he just believe what George Bush told him?
Did Clinton lie about WMDs? Or did he just take Bush's word for it?
How come when a Republican says exactly the same thing as a democrat, the rep is a liar and the democrat isnt?
Mon Jan 24 2005 1:50 PM
And what action was taken in 1998? 2030 is now 25 years away and still no action.
I don't think the partial privatization of SS will correct any problems for the baby boomers - although it might give me something in 40 years when I retire at age 78, if the socialist state doesn't decide that all "unproductive" citizens have been "volunteered" to take part in assisted suicide. That will be possible since the Supreme Court ruled today that people with a finacial stake can legally kill family members who have money and won't give it up.
In 20 years SS will be a need based program - or else the nanny state will nationalize all those IRAs that belong to the rich and selfish to keep the system afloat as it exists today.
Mon Jan 24 2005 2:28 PM
Tom from Madison:
How about saving the abortion and WMD debates for other threads? I thought we were discussing social security.
Bush has used of lot of Clinton's words but without either the context or the thought. That said, it strikes me as odd to hear conservatives attributing the same words and policies to both Clinton and Bush.
Reminder: Hillary might be running in 2008, so if you REALLY agreed with Clinton in 1998, you'll want to back her for president!
Another reminder: A lot of material facts have changed since Clinton was President. Bush has given us a permanent war state with no end in sight and no rational plan for paying for it.
Getting back to Social Security. The term "crisis" is a relative one. When we had a budget surplus and relative peace, it certainly made sense to address the impending social security shortfall.
It seems obvious to me that we NOW have more pressing budget problems--large and growing deficits. These are mostly caused by Bush spending money we don't have to fight unending wars with undefined budgets. That is the REAL fiscal crisis!
Mon Jan 24 2005 2:58 PM
I just KNEW someone was going to cut & paste Clinton's quote here! Josh Marshall responds, and he's much more knowledgeable than I, so I'll just direct you there.
"After 2032, contributions from payroll taxes will only cover 75 cents on the dollar of current benefits." So 27 years from now, there will be a 25% shortfall in SS benefits. Does that sound like a crisis to you? Does that sound like SS will be bankrupt? By the way, at one point we had a budget surplus that could have taken care of this, but of course Bush has completely obliterated that.
Mon Jan 24 2005 3:27 PM
"Did Clinton lie about Social Security or did he just believe what George Bush told him?
Did Clinton lie about WMDs? Or did he just take Bush's word for it?
How come when a Republican says exactly the same thing as a democrat, the rep is a liar and the democrat isnt?"
The lie isn't simply that Bush says there is a SS crisis, but that he says privatizing SS is the solution to the "crisis." Clinton was suggesting no such thing.
The lie wasn't simply that Bush said Iraq had WMD, but that he said preemptive war against Iraq was necessary because Iraq had WMD. Clinton suggested no such thing.
(And yeah, dhermesc wins the award for best use of a non sequitur.)
Mon Jan 24 2005 4:12 PM
The Bush doctrine is to yammer on about a crisis and then do everything in his power to CREATE one.
"See, ah TOLD ya Iraq was a hotbed for terrism. Scuse me, I got to go chop some wood. Choppin wood is hard work."
Mon Jan 24 2005 6:41 PM
Tom from Madison:
In addition to manufacturing crises as a way of justifying his own pre-determined solutions, Bush has made sure to make $ for himself and his buddies.
Halliburton, Bechtel et al are making big $ from Iraq on no-bid contracts.
McGraw-Hill is making big $ off of No Child Left Behind.
You can bet there are a lot of big buck brokerage firms on Wall St. who have already been been chosen for most favored status in the new Social Security privatization scheme. Mark Haines was on CNBC's Squawk Box parotting the Bush talking points.
In each case the tax-payers are being ripped off and a small group of corporate interests are getting paid off for their patronage of the Bush machine. This kind of influence selling is highly unethical and should result in impeachment.
Tue Jan 25 2005 6:01 AM
Actually Haliburton is attempting to get out of those "profitable contracts" because there is no profit being made. But then again where would the liberals be without their HALIBURTON cheer? They even screwed up the "no bid" assertion.
"...the work was done under a competitively awarded contract system known as the U.S. Army Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, or LOGCAP. The LOGCAP system came about because of the military's need to perform complex jobs... on sometimes very short notice... Instead of going through a months-long competitive-bidding process for each job, the military came up with LOGCAP. LOGCAP is, in effect, a multi-year supercontract. In it, the Army makes a deal with a single contractor, in this case Halliburton, to perform a wide range of unspecified services during emergency situations in the future. The last competition for LOGCAP came in 2001, when Halliburton won the contract over several other bidders."
As for the "is a 25% SHORTFALL bankruptcy" question, yes it is. Especially when one considers that the shortfall only grows worse as time passes. Only a very dim witted person or a government employee would veiw 25% shortfall as no big deal. Any business that has its expenses exceed it's revenues by 1/3 is out of business in a year or two.
If you don't think so, go to a bank and attempt to secure a loan on a business plan that "only" calls for a 25% revenue shortfall for the forseeable future with anticipation that it will get worse as your business grows.
Tue Jan 25 2005 6:59 AM
Tom from Madison:
You don't have to a liberal to object to wasting tax-payer $ on products and services that were never delivered. There are also plenty of cases of overcharging for fuel and meals. This includes Kellog, Brown, and Root the oft-forgetten HAL subsidiary.
The issue of ripping off the tax-payer will not go away just by labeling it a "liberal cheer." Every American has been robbed by these crooks. The worst part is how Dick Cheney DELIBERATELY set up subsidiaries to do business with "the axis of Evil" in the late 1990s and then, as VP of the US, pre-arranged for contracts in Iraq before the invasion. If there was going to be a war, he and his buddies were going to be sure to make BIG $ off of it. This is CORRUPTION pure and simple. How 'bout engaging those moral values?
Getting back to Social Security, it's an public insurance program, NOT A BUSINESS. A rational discussion of increasing revenues and decreasing expenses would be most welcome. What we have is alarmist "crisis" rhetoric and one proposed solution to a problem we don't have. Once again, it's about putting $ in the pockets of Bush cronies.
Tue Jan 25 2005 7:46 AM
"The Bush doctrine is to yammer on about a crisis and then do everything in his power to CREATE one."
I want to be more clear about what I meant by this. I mean that Iraq wasn't a crisis until Bush got to work on it. Likewise, we can expect Social Security to be in crisis a couple of years from now, if and only if Bush starts making wholesale changes based on suggestions from his ideology-driven band of incompetents.
Tue Jan 25 2005 10:05 AM
The 25% shortfall is based on a highly conservative forecast of GDP growth. If the country continues to grow at anything like the rate it has over the last few decades, the Social Security "crisis" will disappear faster than Bush can say, "The buck stops there."
Tue Jan 25 2005 4:45 PM
"I want to be more clear about what I meant by this. I mean that Iraq wasn't a crisis until Bush got to work on it"
And the democrat responce to this noncrisis was this:
On February 23, while the world breathed a sigh of relief that U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan had pulled the U.S. and Iraq back from the brink of war, Clinton administration officials--no doubt feeling the pressure from the antiwar protests--said that they would "withhold judgment" until they saw the details of what Annan had negotiated. Senator Kerry felt not such qualms. He went on ABC to denounce the settlement, unread, as " a disconnect between the depth of the threat that Saddam Hussein presents to the world and what we are at the moment talking about doing" (New York Times, February 23, 1998).
Kerry then joined two Republican senators, Arlen Spector (Penn.) and John McCain (Ariz.) in calling for the CIA to launch an illegal covert action campaign--described by an unnnamed government official who spoke to the New York Times as "a major campaign of sabotage," including the bombing of power plants--against the government of Iraq (New York Times, February 26, 1998), with the avowed goal of making life in Iraq so hard that people would overthrow President Saddam Hussein.
Wed Jan 26 2005 6:01 AM
That would have been a much more effective policy than hoping Democracy would flower after Iraq was turned into New Lebanon.
Wed Jan 26 2005 1:45 PM
Right Wing Robby:
But thats not kerrys fault. He was just trusting George Bush. Oh wait. I mean, err, he was umm, wait a minute. Kerry was...forget it.
Wed Jan 26 2005 1:52 PM
Kerry says screw the UN let's have the CIA lauch illegal covert action that will result in death and destruction. As shown by the Oil for Food/Weapons/Bribes/Palaces program, the hardships faced by Iraqi people where not shared by their oppressors. Instead Kerry got the war he voted for.
All together now:
What was the question?
Wed Jan 26 2005 2:56 PM
Tom from Madison:
The question is: "Why is Bush manufacturing a crisis concerning Social Security?"
Wed Jan 26 2005 5:39 PM
Right Wing Robby:
You have said that it was ok that Clinton talked about the fixing Social Security because the economic surplus. Also saying its not the right time for Bush to talk about if because of the deficit.
If there is no crisis, why was Clinton talking about it?
Wed Jan 26 2005 5:57 PM
Clinton talked up the crisis in Social Security, because it gave him the leverage to get the congressional porksters to help him balance the budget.
It's OK to say 'there's a crisis coming down the road' and calmly suggest *reasonable* ways to deal with the problem. What's *not* OK is to declare a crisis for the purpose of dismantling an effective, working system which millions of people rely upon for their retirement.
Wed Jan 26 2005 7:07 PM
Clinton was *far* *far* more conservative than Bush is. He balanced the budget. He enacted NAFTA and welfare reform.
Wed Jan 26 2005 7:11 PM
Tom from Madison:
RWR asked "If there is no crisis, why was Clinton talking about it?"
Answer: A REAL LEADER:
1) doesnt' wait until there is a crisis to act. E.g.,Do you wait until your teeth are rotting before you see a dentist?
2) brings all sides together in a rational dialog - i.e. unites doesn't divide.
3) Is prepared to hear better solutions than the one he is proposing--i.e. the whole group is smarter than the factions.
4) doesn't sell the right to solve the problem to his own political supporters for his or their personal financial gain.
Thu Jan 27 2005 4:40 AM
So you admire Clinton for TALKING about the pending crisis but taking essentially no action to resolve it, while Bush is being pilloried for actually making moves to take action.
Kind of like his (Clinton's) views on terrorism - Maybe yak about it about it a bit but leave the actual heavy lifting to successors - too busy chasing interns young enough to be his daughter to actually DO something about it.
Thu Jan 27 2005 5:29 AM
First off, there was NEVER A BALANCED BUDGET in the 1990s. Federal budget deficit spending occurred every year Clinton was president. The debt limits and debt increased every year Clinton was president. Budget deficits where smaller (about 200 BILLION a year), but they where there.
Tom, thanks for helping state my case.
Thu Jan 27 2005 6:17 AM
Tom from Madison:
the credit for the deep hole you're in is all yours! It's like the budget deficits we have now. Republicans are drastically increasing spending and simultaneously cutting taxes. Our current large deficit belong to the Republicanst just as the MUCH smaller deficits of the 1990s belong to the Democrats.
Guess what? Republicans are leaving MASSIVE DEBT for future generations. In my book, that's just plain irresponsible. I'd be interested in hearing what kind of fuzzy math you have to do to rationalize this kind of fiscal irresponsibility.
Social security is in essence an Insurance program that is working, but needs small adjustments to ensure solvency 30 years down the road. Privatization is another reverse Robin Hood scheme for putting $ in the corporate hands of Bush supporters without accountability.
Thu Jan 27 2005 6:49 AM
"Guess what? Republicans are leaving MASSIVE DEBT for future generations."
They said the EXACT same thing about Ronald Reagan...
Thu Jan 27 2005 7:19 AM
I guess the democrat's who ran up over HALF the national debt are blameless because they can't add and subtract? I hate the fact that Bush has run up HUGE deficits, I would have voted democrat in a second if they had offered up a fiscal conservative, but all Kerry had was a plan to spend more and a secret on how he was going to pay for it.
To be honest I wish the democrats would get their shit together and at least take back the House, the all Republican House, Senate and Whitehouse has proven to be as adapt to spending other people's money as the democrats where 30 years ago. The policy of gridlock works better then the two party system when it comes to governing. But the bumpersticker rallying cries of "We'll Spend More, Just Smarter" and "Ask Me How I'll Raise YOUR Taxes" just seems to be turning voters off for some reason.
Thu Jan 27 2005 7:37 AM
Tom from Madison:
tomaig: Thanks for making my point. Bush 41 couldn't keep cutting taxes precisely because of Reagan's deficits. It's bound to catch up with you. Remember the "Read my lips..." quote?
dhermesc: True, Dems did run up the deficits during a different time. However, some of the government expenditures during that time paid off very well. E.g., The GI Bill, Headstart, and the Peace Corps.
On the other hand, Viet Nam was a deadly,foolish, expensive quagmire like Iraq is now. Nixon sure helped with that part of nation debt generation.
Reagan also liked to give big $ to war efforts. Terrorists like Osama Bin Laden owe their existence to Reagan's H U G E funding of the Mujahideen in the 1980s. Let's not forget the support given to Saddam during the Iraq / Iran war in the 1980s either. Both of these were REPUBLICAN-ideas!
...Kerry advocated pay-as-you go, like Clinton did. Face it, Bush has been much more irresponsible with the US treasury than Clinton was or Kerry would have been. A war with simultaneous tax cuts is a prescription for disaster. Remember Milton Friedman's book: "There's no such thing as a free lunch."
Thu Jan 27 2005 8:49 AM
Of course. if you want to continue in that nonsensical line of argument, then I'm sure you're offended by that rascal FDR - he actually allied himself with that murdering tyrant, Stalin.
Thu Jan 27 2005 8:54 AM
Pay as you go? What the Hell does that mean? Kerry planned on over TRILLION dollars of new spending and offered no plan as to how to pay for it. If you agree with his numbers it was only a HALF TRILLION dollars in new spending. Rolling back the Bush tax cut would have left the nation with even greater deficits then faced now, like over 700 BILLION a year - using Kerry's own numbers, and that's assuming the tax incease didn't throw the country into another recession.
Clinton had the benefit of the "Peace Dividend" and spent ever dime of it. He also faced a Republican controlled House fom 1994 on that limited his ability to pass additional programs, don't suppose you remember the press term "GRIDLOCK" do you? Turns out that was a good thing. Clinton also adopted welfare reform as his own after the "Contract with America" forced it on him. He took the "if you can't beat'em join 'em" attitude on the item.
As for funding the Mujihideen, you must remember the Taliban was in its infancy and never got a dime of that money from the US. I know people of darker skin tones all look alike to you, but they are differant.
Thu Jan 27 2005 9:09 AM
Tom from Madison:
tomaig: wrong again.
1) FDR's siding with Stalin in WWII was all done out in the open with the full approval of congress and the vast majority of the American People. It was in response to a REAL THREAT. This is the way a democracy is supposed to work.
2) Reagan waged a secret campaign in Afghanistan. The American people were left out of the loop.
3) Reagan's donation of weapons to Saddam was UNNECESSARY and immoral. It put a lot of innocent people in harms way when the US was in not in imminent danger.
4) We are counting on the trust of a lot of those same people now. Not surprisingly, we don't have it.
dhermesc: If you really believe in the contract with America, you'd be for term limits and a balanced budget now. Why are voting for the biggest deficits in history?
...Reagan created a bombed-out Afghanistan, a situation where the Taliban could thrive. If you were interested in helping the people of Afghanistan, you'd be outraged at what his policies accomplished there.
Finally, why are you making a baseless charge of racism against me? I noticed neo-cons like to sneak this stuff in. It tells me that you are WEAK in CHARACTER and not confident in your position.
Thu Jan 27 2005 10:17 AM
So you (and the american public) were unaware that, after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, we were trying to get them out? Or that we lent assistance to the enemy of the country which captured and held Americans hostage for 444 days?
Do you think our desire to see Iran defeated was some sort of surreptitious shadow campaign?
Thu Jan 27 2005 11:07 AM
Tom from Madison:
I'm talking about the subjet of the book: "Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History"
Are you unaware? Let me remind you, the American people weren't told that this is what their tax dollars were going for. Let me remind you further that Al Qaeda would not have existed if Osama Bin Laden hadn't been empowered by this initiative.
Have you also forgotten about Iran-Contra? At one time this was covert and illegal as well.
As bad as the 444 hostage days were, they were nothing compared to the beheadings and other loss of life we're seeing today. Ultimately the operation to arm Iraq to fight Iran FAILED MISERABLY, although the weapons were successfully used by Saddam to gas his own people. Nice going Ronnie!
As I said before, today George Bush is counting on the trust of the Iraqi people. Not surprisingly, this too isn't working out!
Thu Jan 27 2005 11:49 AM
American people didn't know the US was supporting the Afghans against Soviets? The only ones that didn't know had their heads up their ass. In 1986 Reagan publicly met with four Afghan resistance leaders, headed by Burhanuddin Rabbani, and announced that the US would support their cause by providing arms and funds. This stated policy (hardly a secret when it announed to the press) of the US had the support of the UN through United Nations General Assembly Resolution 37/37 that had been passed early in the war.
I don't think you're a racist, I just think you're plain ignorant. Your tendancy to group all people together by their varying skin tones and religion only reinforces that suspicion. Your thinking that Afghan=Mujahidin=Taliban shows extremely limited knowledge on the Afghan war, the region, and even the time frame. About the only thing you got right was that Reagan was president for part of the war and that the US lent support, the rest as little relation to actual events.
As for the balanced budget, if anyone made that a serious policy commitment I'd vote for them. The problem is no one in Washington is even considering balancing the budget anytime in the near future.
Thu Jan 27 2005 11:58 AM
Tom from Madison:
apparently you didn't read the book and don't know any of the history you pretend to know. In case you want to order the book, here's the link [it's much better than ANYTHING written by Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh]:
The scope of the CIA operations in Afghanistan did not come to light until years after it had already been going on. The idea got started under Jimmy Carter in 1979, but the covert funding to the tune of hundreds of millions of $ was done secretly during the Reagan Administration in the early 1980s. Much is STILL classified.
The only Americans who knew about it were CIA and some members of Congress who had clearance. It wasn't reported in the press.
By the way, I have NEVER lumped together Afghans, Mujahideen and Taliban. I'd appreciate it if you WOULD QUIT LYING ABOUT MY POSITIONS! I don't need to lie to make my point. Apparently YOU DO!
Thu Jan 27 2005 1:10 PM
The US only began to OVERT support of the Afghans under Reagan. The COVERT operations started under Carter - before the USSR even invaded. The USSR as even stated the cause for the Afghan invasion was Carter's funding of the radical Islamics on the Soviet's border. Another fuckup for peanut face.
As for your claim of not lumping the Afghans, Mujahideen and the Taliban together:
"Reagan also liked to give big $ to war efforts. Terrorists like Osama Bin Laden owe their existence to Reagan's H U G E funding of the Mujahideen in the 1980s."
If your not lumping them together, how did funding the Mujahideen turn into funding OBL? OBL was a SAUDI funded project gone awry. The Taliban never emerged as a distinct organization until after the Soviets had been driven out.
THE USE OF CAPITAL LETTERS DOES NOT MAKE UP FOR LACK OF ACCURATE INFORMATION. Unlike you (and Dan Rather) I don't rely on a singular source for my information, so no I didn't read an abscure book by an equally obscure author.
Thu Jan 27 2005 1:43 PM
The above is my post.
Thu Jan 27 2005 1:44 PM
Tom from Madison:
Class is IN SESSION.
From Information Please Almanac:
USSR Invades Afghanistan
The 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan galvanized bin Laden. He supported the Afghan resistance, which became a jihad, or holy war. Ironically, the U.S. became a major supporter of the Afghan resistance, or mujahideen, working with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to set up Islamic schools in Pakistan for Afghan refugees. These schools later evolved into virtual training centers for Islamic radicals.
By the mid-1980s, bin Laden had moved to Afghanistan, where he established an organization, Maktab al-Khidimat (MAK), to recruit Islamic soldiers from around the world who later form the basis of an international network. The MAK maintained recruiting offices in Detroit and Brooklyn in the 1980s."
THE CONNECTIONS ARE PART OF HISTORY.
I am connecting the pieces HISTORICALLY, not lumping together Afghans, Taliban, and Muhahideen as brown skinned people the way you so pathetically suggested! Aren't you ashamed of yourself?
Thu Jan 27 2005 2:23 PM
Tom from Madison:
"Charlie Wilson's War" [by George Crile] is hardly obscure.
Au contraire, it was a best seller. Amazon has it ranked 3,885 on their sales rank list compared to 4,947 for "Who's Looking Out for You?" by Bill O'Reilly.
By the way, I generally don't rely on a single source of information for anything. That principle applies particularly to posts by dhermesc and the neo-con troll brigade. The weirdest, most disturbing part is how so many of the neo-con faithful come here to tell their lies.
In the last few months, the same people have been willfully mis-representing history, apparently hoping that nobody will notice or take the time to correct them. WOW!
Thu Jan 27 2005 2:58 PM
Bush predicted Social Security would go bust by 1988:
The guy just makes shit up as he goes along. I'd like some ballsy reporter to ask the president how Social Security survived past 1988, when Bush predicted that it would go bankrupt without privatization.
Thu Jan 27 2005 3:58 PM
Please do a little research before you make an @$$ of yourself...
SS WAS facing major problems in the early 80's, that's why Reagan's administration took action and put off the problem.
But that's really the problem, it just put the problem off. Bush is trying to, at the very least, inspire talks like this that will eventually lead to a more permanent fix of SS rather than just kicking the ball down the road.
Bush is absolutely sticking his neck out on this one, and that's what makes him such a great leader.
Thu Jan 27 2005 6:07 PM
Bush said that Social Security was doomed to bankruptcy by 1988, unless it was privatized. He just made that shit up wholesale.
Does Bush remind anyone else of the con artist in "The Music Man"? He just sails into town and mesmerizes everyone with his tales of freedom for the Middle East and doom and gloom for Social Security. He'll be long gone with his presidential pension and book deals by the time people realize that he was as full of shit as they come.
Thu Jan 27 2005 11:19 PM
Really, the main point to be made about Social Security is that it is a guaranteed-gotta-be-there safety net. It's not to be gambled with in any way. We cannot ethically put millions of seniors out on skid row, because they are not wise enough to invest in winner stocks.
Remember, that for every winner, there's going to be a loser. The winners are probably all the people who *don't* have to rely on Social Security. The losers are going to be like the employees at Enron, who had their life savings foolishly tied up in their company stock, and watched it all disappear in a matter of days.
Fortunately, those people can rely on Social Security, so they don't have to die of pneumonia in some back alley or under a bridge. *This* is the importance of Social Security. Not betting it on the horses, like Dubya wants to do.
I probably won't need Social Security. But, what I want, and what I need is to live in a country where I don't have to spend all my time helping old people out of the rain and buying them soup.
I want the government to continue it's world-class program of providing a dependable safety net for seniors. We do this today by investing the money in what has been historically the safest and most reliable place - the United States of America.
Thu Jan 27 2005 11:46 PM
Tom from Madison:
I agree with Paul. All the points made about retirees also apply to those with disabilities.
Fri Jan 28 2005 5:50 AM
Tom: Normally I do not argue with bipolar schizophrenics, and after reading your posts I am reminded why. Having read a book created by person who couldnt cut it with C-BS hardly makes one an expert on the books subject. As a child I read The Wizard of OZ, and even saw the movie, doesnt make me an expert on tornadoes. For all your posts and boasts you have never established the connection between Reagans (and Carters) funding of the mujahideen and OBLs or the MAK. Its like drawing the conclusion that the US supported Mao's take over of China by being involved with fighting the Japanese during WW2.
Im still trying to figure out your fascination with Bill O'Reilly. Is he the boogey man that keeps you awake at night, or do thoughts of tall balding authoritative men just randomly wander through you mind at various times of the day? Personally I dont watch FOX News (no cable or satellite), and I dont listen to talk radio. Id no soon quote OReilly as a RELIABLE source than I would Dan Rather.
"Really, the main point to be made about Social Security is that it is a guaranteed-gotta-be-there safety net. It's not to be gambled with in any way. We cannot ethically put millions of seniors out on skid row, because they are not wise enough to invest in winner stocks"
Paul, I agree that Social Security is a needed safety net, but as it currently exists it will not stand. Even though it has operated with a surplus from its inception it has absolutely no reserves. The SS surplus has been spent by the federal government and replaced with worthless IOUs that have no market value.
The proposal made by Bush is modest at best. Currently 12.4% (6.2 employee & 6.2 employer) of every persons wage up to 87,000 ($10,788) is paid into Social Security every year. Bush is proposing that people be given the OPTION to have a mere 2% (max $1,740) put into a private account, the government still gets 10.4% (max $9,048). Lets say the average person that decides to take advantage of this is depositing a $1000 a year, and that person works for 40 years, even at conservative market rates they will have an account worth more then $200,000. If the person has the misfortune of dying at age 65 without collecting a dime (like my dad did) the account can be passed on. Beats the Hell out of an IOU with no market value that disappears upon death. Mean while Social Security has collected their 10.4%, or if the person elected not to take advantage 12.4%.
Fri Jan 28 2005 7:06 AM
Above is mine.
Fri Jan 28 2005 7:07 AM
A little empirical evidence for all the privatiz...I mean, "personal account," freaks:
"And so, at the exact moment that America contemplates replicating this disaster, many in Britain -- some conservatives included -- are looking more and more kindly on American Social Security as a model for reform. The National Association of Pension Funds, a group of employers who sponsor the nations largest schemes, is urging government not to expect the private sector to shoulder the burden of keeping the nations elderly from poverty. Chief executive Christine Farnish notes that its actually cheaper for the state to carry the risk, adding that in looking for a system that offers the best combination of modest guaranteed retirement beneﬁts delivered at low cost, the U.S. Social Security program seems the best model. It doesnt have to make a proﬁt, and it delivers efﬁciencies of scale that most companies would die for, she says."
But hey, according to dhermesc, just because it's recorded history doesn't mean you should believe it. Freakin nihilist.
Privatization does not return on any significant portion per the individual, investment firms will reap billions in fees (what I suspect is the real reason behind Bush's plan), and makes the system - which is intrinsically sound - less stable. Period. Everything else is pure propaganda. Privatization has been tried in a number of countries and each has left its safety net pension system worse off...aka Einstein's definition of insanity.
Fri Jan 28 2005 8:22 AM
Tom from Madison:
check out Chapter 2 of the 9/11 Commission Report. It will help you connect some of the dots. Like Dave said, it's about recorded history. Apparently you're in denial.
As I said before, you must profoundly lack confidence in your position if you're resorting to personal attacks on people you don't know.
...love him or hate him, Bill O'Reilly is on the scene. He has sold a lot of books. People like RWR and other neo-cons seem to care what O'Reilly says. Maybe you ought to ask THEM what the fascination is. As I mentioned earlier Crile's book, Charlie Wilson's Secret War, sold a lot more on Amazon than O'Reilly's latest. It was a best-seller, whether you read it or not.
Fri Jan 28 2005 9:36 AM
"The SS surplus has been spent by the federal government and replaced with worthless IOUs that have no market value."
You can thank Bush's tax cuts for that. He used the Social Security surplus to trick people into thinking that we had all this excess cash which had no place to go and needed to be returned to the American people. The smart thing to do would have been to use the money to pay down the debt, which would put the country in a very good financial shape to handle all sorts of events - wars, social security shortfalls, etc.
Good financial management is at the top of this liberal's wish list for president.
Fri Jan 28 2005 12:28 PM
I'm not really liberal though. I'm fiscally conservative and socially liberal. But, I sort of like to call myself a liberal, because it distinguishes me from the neoconservatives.
Fri Jan 28 2005 12:29 PM
"check out Chapter 2 of the 9/11 Commission Report. It will help you connect some of the dots. Like Dave said, it's about recorded history"
Actually I suggest you read the 9-11 Commission report, Chapter 2, page 56. As you stated it is recorded history. 2nd paragraph, OBL and MAK "had their own sources of support and training and they received little if no assistance from the United States". Go home and drink the Kool aid. I can't beleive you dumbasses quote sources that contradict your own claims.
Fri Jan 28 2005 2:37 PM
From the 9/11 Commission report:
"The international environment for Bin Ladin's efforts was ideal. Saudi Arabia and the United States supplied billions of dollars worth of secret assistance to rebel groups in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet occupation."
Even though Bin Laden had his own sources of funding, he benefited from the U.S. creating a large pool of battle-hardened militants from which he could recruit his followers.
Most of us thought that supporting the Afghan rebels was a good idea at the time, but even the daftest neocon has got to admit that it backfired big time on us, and should cause us to *seriously* reconsider any actions on our part which can provide free battle training to what is still a somewhat primitive and extreme part of the world.
The Iraq war is *free battle training* for Islamic jihadists. Bush has created a whole generation of radicalized and experienced soldiers whose one goal in life is to exact revenge for America murdering their families and friends, and turning their cities and shrines into rubble.
Remember, the goal is to *reduce* the number of terrorists who are out to kill us, not *increase* their numbers. Bush got it backwards.
Fri Jan 28 2005 3:17 PM
Tom from Madison:
Thank you Paul.
Fri Jan 28 2005 5:01 PM
"Remember, the goal is to *reduce* the number of terrorists who are out to kill us, not *increase* their numbers. Bush got it backwards."
Bush is treating this "war on terror" as zero-sum. It is not. Stamp out tyranny for good? Holy shit, he is asking for it. I believe that Bush's radical agenda will be met accordingly with a commensurate radical response from those we inflict death and destruction upon. This is NOT zero-sum.
"Making us safe" involved reconstructing our good image through benevolent actions and scaling back abrasive and arrogant foreign policies. To Bush, it means using violence and death to beat the Gap countries into submission, while exhausting our poor military to its breaking point. These radical endeavors will be met with radical responses. Bush is recruiting terrorists with each passing day in his foolish, self-absorbed pursuit to be known forever as the guy that ended tyranny. This man is severely detached from the realities of how cultures relate and progress with each other.
Politicians really like to declare war on things such as drugs, crime, and poverty, because of the inherent political points in looking tough. People like to hear that a politician is "tough on crime". It gets votes. The Bush machine is nothing more than a huge power concentrator, half beholden to MNC's and half to the insane neocon agenda - especially most efficient at its use of language to develop and market a specific image to the huge inattentive public. If there is one thing the bonehead does really well, it's distort for advantage.
The language professionals groomed through stints in Neocon think-tanks have been gearing up for this power grab for decades and are far superior at conjuring images with maximal political return - no matter how absolutely misguided or outrightly deleterious to the country. The Dems are just now realizing this and trying to jump start a comparable counter to the nonsense spewed forth from coordinated conservative radio pundits, paid-off "commentators", and behemoth think tanks devoted to polishing turd policies that are harmful to the public at large and only benefit the wealthy.
I say all this apropos of the title to Jim's column, "A War of Words". Sorry for the length, and I'll end my hot air with a quote from Lincoln, perhaps the most beloved Republican president (whose name, not coincidentally, is invoked ad nauseam by Bush):
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the safety of our country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people, until wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed.
Fri Jan 28 2005 6:19 PM
Tom from Madison:
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
(*After a pause.*) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"
It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.
--the end of Mark Twain's "The War Prayer"
Sat Jan 29 2005 6:01 AM
Right Wing Robby:
Did you hear that? Its was the liberals falling on the wrong side of history yet again.
Go Ted Kennedy!
Mon Jan 31 2005 6:57 AM
Mike of the Great White North:
wow... posting has really been down latley i noticed (myself included)
i can only surmise everyone is too busy laughing so hard that they puke after hearing the inauguration speech. I mean common... using freedom and liberty for 20% of the vocabulary of the speech is just downright lame, pandering to the lowest common denominator. Ahhh but whos counting?
The last line is f'n priceless because it's so TRUE. enjoy.
Stewart in 08!
Tue Feb 1 2005 9:25 PM
Right Wing Robby:
I guess you were asleep this weekend. Let me highlight a few pieces so that you might catch up with the rest of the world.
There are many many more, not that Canada would allow them there.
Wed Feb 2 2005 1:14 PM
Wed Feb 2 2005 1:45 PM
I don't just read op/ed and commentary for hard news. That's just me, but it says a lot about the poster. And I am curious how much all that slanted commentary cost us taxpayers.
I am glad that there wasn't too much carnage, if 44 dead is good news, but disturbed by the lack of Sunni turnout - that is ominous and if anything, underscores the secular problems that will inevitably lead to conflict, probably civil war. The election was significant, I agree. But let's face it. We could send troops to Djibouti, stage an election and celebrate how great and benevolent we are. Seriously, let's not break our arms patting ourselves on the back here.
So, the question is now how long the right wing erection from the election will last. And how much longer taxpayer-funded Bush propaganda will beat that drum of success, diverting attention from the continued reality of the past 1.5 years.
We've heard the administration proclaiming vindication and 'mission accomplished' before. A wi...I mean, a man once said: "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice...won't get fooled again."
By the way...I managed to find a copy of an official Iraq election ballot. Check it out:
Wed Feb 2 2005 2:19 PM
Notice the ballots were done by Diebold.
Wed Feb 2 2005 2:22 PM
Wed Feb 2 2005 2:46 PM
Mike of the Great White North:
Ah we get a lot of the same shite news up here that you get down there RWR... no need to get your knickers in a knot.
But once again you do what you do so well and thats miss the point. W's speech was ladden with so much BS rhetoric about 'freedom' and 'liberty' and Stewart rightly pointed out something you and your rightwing cronies cannot resolve. You can talk a good game all you want, but when your still shaking hands with dictators and autocrats then your hypocracy just blooms.
Thats right, just keep waving at the camera, smiling and shaking hands with Pakistan, Suadi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Egypt, etc.... let freedom reign indeed. The offer of freedom and liberty are not valid there.
Blowbacks a bitch... i look forward to more. Not that i wanna see more innocent Ameicans get hurt or killed for their governments gross incompitence. I just think that if your gonna keep sticking your hand in the garbage disposal, im not gonna be surprised when your missing a few fingers. And maybe thats what its gonna take for you to learn the lesson. Because your ideological chest thumping, parotting W's call to remake the world is going to take you down that road.
Enjoy your 'free' elections in Iraq, we'll see how long your euphoria lasts. Once they do garner enough power and tell you to get the (*^% out and not bow to US demands, remove your 14 permanent bases and sell you oil at market prices if you feel the need to either run another coup to remove another democratically elected official from power, or maybe you'll just need to 'liberate' them again.
Wed Feb 2 2005 4:32 PM
Somehow, I don't think that freedom marches, carries a gun, or drops 500-pound bombs on houses with little girls inside. But, hey, maybe I've got this freedom thing all misunderstood.
Well, I'm looking forward to the day when we can deploy robots to go invade and occupy other countries. They'll just sit on every street corner and blast anyone carrying a gun or who approaches within the proscribed 10-foot limit. Just like "ED-209" in Robocop.
Recalls the slogan from "1984": 'freedom is slavery'.
Wed Feb 2 2005 6:28 PM
Tom from Madison:
Paul is right. Bush doesn't discuss how many Iraqis have been killed in the act of "liberation." We aren't even counting officially, but the best estimate is 100,000. These innocents didn't ask to sacrifice their lives for freedom, Bush simply presumed it was OK to sacrifice them for the future of their country.
When is the march of freedom going to lead to Saudi Arabia? The 9/11 terrorist money trail leads there, not Iraq. 15 of 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals; none were Iraqi.
By the way, if simply having an election were sufficient, why no celebration every time there is an election in IRAN? It looks like the old double standard to me. Iraqi elections=good; Iranian elections=bad.
Wed Feb 2 2005 6:58 PM
There you go, 1st Iraq was going to be the 51st state a puppet government set up by US for oil, pay back for daddy Bush etc BLAH BLAH BLAH
(hope you like the taste of crow)
1.5 Yes Iraqi people want us out BUT not one second before they are able to take care of themselves. I personally believe our troops will start to come home w/in the next 18 months
2nd The first free elections held in 50 years in Iraq, elections in Afghanistan EVAN the Palestinians voted in their own elections (something no one thought could be done in the middle east), you dont think people in: Syria, S. Arabia, Kuwait are asking themselves why cant they vote too? The writings on the wall for these other monarchies AND THEY are scared $H&*less?!?!?
Do any of you realize the importance of what happened on 30 JAN 05?!?!? Its right up there with: being in Philadelphia at the birth of America, the death of the USSR, the fall of the Berlin wall and we saw it happen we saw history being made!!!!!
LIBERAL came from the word LIBERTY, you people should be HAPPY about this, but I guess you guys think the Iraqi people arent ready for it.
THIS IS A GOOD THING!!!
IF Bush lied about WMD, so did: Kerry, the UN, Germany, France, Clinton and just about everyone else because the world had the same Intel, But we chose to act on it, something Tommy boy forgets to mention (and doesnt take these people/organizations to the same criticism he takes Bush to).
Wed Feb 2 2005 8:20 PM
Tom from Madison:
Causing the deaths of 100,000 people is the kind of action nobody needs. The one who forgets to mention THAT is the President.
Inspectors were on the ground proving peacefully that there were no WMDs right up until the time Bush ordered them out. If you'll recall, Bush gave Saddam an ulitimatum he couldn't comply with BECAUSE HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY WEAPONS TO TURN OVER.
Yes, having elections is a positive step, but it's a small one considering the chaos that still prevails. Any benefits from the election must be balanced against the death and destruction visited on these people. There will likely be many more deaths before a just peace arrives in Iraq.
A legitimate Iraqi government will likely ally itself with its Arab neighbors, not support Israel, and demand that US forces exit ASAP.
Thu Feb 3 2005 6:14 AM
Just a 100,000 deaths? That's a great improvement over the UN's system
Sanctions have caused 1.6 million deaths, Iraq claims
Last Updated Fri, 28 Dec 2001 17:43:01
BAGHDAD - The economic sanctions the UN placed on Iraq over a decade ago have caused more than 1.6 million deaths in that country, the Iraqi state news agency (INA) said Friday.
The agency, quoting a letter from Iraq's UN mission to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said 1,614,203 people have died since sanctions were imposed on Iraq in 1990. Of that number, 667,773 of the dead are children under the age of five, INA said.
The letter also claims that in 1989, the year before the sanctions were imposed, only 258 children under five died in Iraq.
Thu Feb 3 2005 7:56 AM
"LIBERAL came from the word LIBERTY, you people should be HAPPY about this, but I guess you guys think the Iraqi people arent ready for it."
So what are you saying - "Mission Accomplished"? I've heard that enough times before. I'll be happy when Iraq is stable; and Iraq is semi-democratic; and Iraqis have food, water, and electricity; and when American soldiers no longer have to police the streets of Iraq; and when Al Jazeera stops broadcasting atrocities committed by American troops.
Thu Feb 3 2005 9:48 AM
I agree that the sanctions are a cause for concern, but that doesn't excuse Bush from misleading the American people by lying about the threat of WMD's and lowballing the resources and time it would take to occcupy Iraq. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfenstein estimated it would take on the order of 10,000 to 20,000 troops to do the job. He was off by a factor of at least 10.
It's pretty likely that an initial occupying force of half a million would have enabled us to avoid the senseless looting and pillaging of the country's infrastructure. We could have reduced the number of American and Iraqi casualties by a factor of 10 probably, held elections a year ago, and have a fully trained Iraqi police force and army by now. We probably would not have been forced to lay waste to an entire city - Fallujah.
But, President Clusterfuck had never been to war before. He doesn't read. He doesn't understand numbers too well. He knows how to connect with people. He knows how to sell ideas. But, he doesn't know when his advisors have shit for brains. And he doesn't know to change course when things are going horribly wrong.
Thu Feb 3 2005 9:56 AM
"IF Bush lied about WMD, so did: Kerry, the UN, Germany, France, Clinton and just about everyone else because the world had the same Intel, But we chose to act on it, something Tommy boy forgets to mention (and doesnt take these people/organizations to the same criticism he takes Bush to)."
So, you think that words are more important than actions? You think that a person speaking in belligerant tones is as culpable as a person who shoots up a block of houses?
This another of those things I do not get. When did Republicans become so fascinated with words, to the point where they totally ignore a person's actions, if they like what the person says? Bush's actions in many cases are 90 degrees the polar opposite of what he says. What gives? Why do Republicans choose to ignore what he does, just because he says what they want to hear? How does Iraqi democracy and sovereignty jibe with the existing plans for *permanent* American bases in Iraq. How can you have democracy and sovereignty, and be occupied permanently by a foreign power?
When did Republicans become so brainwashed that they buy into this vile little man, who panicked on 9/11 in front of a class of children? The man could not run a Fortune 500 Company. That much is clear. How in the world is he fit to run this great nation?
Thu Feb 3 2005 10:07 AM
700,000 Iraqi refugees have fled to Syria to escape the occupation and the violence.
Thu Feb 3 2005 10:11 AM
I agree that the sanctions are a cause for concern
1,600,000 deaths are cause for concern? I suppose the Holocaust was cause for a little anxiety. For years these deaths were blamed on the US, but now we know that food was being stolen out of the mouths of the Iraqi people by the very people that claimed to be helping them. The very allies the democrats say were essential to add legitimacy to the war effort. You seem unable to realize that UN would have killed another MILLION or two if it meant more money in their pockets. Is that why the UN was pushing for more time for sanctions to work?
As for panicking under pressure, Bush remained calm, cool and collective as Air Force One was prepped for immediate take off. As compared to the democrat candidate's response:
John Kerry: I was in the Capitol. We'd just had a meeting -- we'd just come into a leadership meeting in Tom Daschle's office, looking out at the Capitol. And as I came in, Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid were standing there, and we watched the second plane come in to the building. And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table and then we just realized nobody could think, and then boom, right behind us, we saw the cloud of explosion at the Pentagon. And then word came from the White House, they were evacuating, and we were to evacuate, and so we immediately began the evacuation.
Larry King Live 7-8-2004
The second plane hit the WTC at 9:03 AM and the plane crashed into the Pentagon at 9:43 AM. For a period of 40 minutes Mr. Kerry did nothing because "nobody could think".
Conversely, the President did think. It took the President seven minutes to vault into action while his staff was preparing his departure. Those were seven minutes the Secret Service had to secure an alternate route for the Presidential motorcade and Air Force One, seven minutes to make the executive decision to ground all aircraft, and seven minutes to make the decision to issue orders to shoot down any aircraft that failed to comply.
Kerry's immediate response was not to check on his family, not to check on any of his Boston constituency where some attack planes originated, not to inquire if the attack was continuing, and for at least 40 minutes he didn't call any federal agency to see where he could be of help. In fact, he waited for 40 minutes to be told what to do.
Thu Feb 3 2005 12:20 PM
Saddam played the shell game with those inspectors every time they were in Iraq, he obstructed, and interfered with their work AND you still cant guarantee me that every square inch of Iraq has been searched for WMD, I dont think anyone can.
Also the worlds inaction as to the Iraqi problem/issue what have you, Saddam gave the world the middle finger for 12 years and nobody did anything INCLUDING US and Saddam thru his shuck & jive took the lives of 1 ˝ million of his own people!
I guess the 800,000 people killed in 3 months in Rwanda mean nothing to you, and we (the world) turned our collective backs on them too (probably because theres no evil American to blame
Thu Feb 3 2005 1:01 PM
Tom from Madison:
Apparently killing 100,000 people is justifiable to some people because Saddam was "playing a shell game". Aside from the huge humanitarian disaster, this is not a way to win friends and influence people.
I hope the neo-con power structure will view the next compelling case for war a little more scrutiny than the last one.
Thu Feb 3 2005 2:05 PM
Mike of the Great White North:
Hey NJ... I still don't know what crow tastes like... but ill assume it taste like Bush. You know.. chicken?
Anyhoo, you made a couple a points that sound optimistic and i hope your right. But the facts continue to rue the day.
1. Indeed if occupation troops do begin massing out of Iraq in 18 months... thats a good start. Too bad the guy who runs your Department of Defence, you know the TOP guy at the pentagon... mr. Rummy, is on record as saying your going to have to keep troop levels at the status quo for years... if not more troops! On top of that, any troops that are shuffled out will have a few weeks/months R&R before being deployed to Iran or Syria on another wild neocon goosechase. But i guess your content.
2. These elections in Iraq will pan out over the next few weeks and we shall see where the end result takes us. Personally i believe that major segments of Iraqies (those in the minority unable to defeat a shite majority) who boycotted the elections will end up turning this into a civil war. And to top it all off, the election was probably ILLEGAL!
By the way, i still can't get over the fact that you villified Clinton for his nation building shinanagans while trumpeting the virtues of Bushs imperial vision. The hypocracy coming from your direction is rank. At least im free of that stench because I villify both equally for both misadventures. And why can't Syrians, Egyptians, Saudi's and Kuwaities have freedom? Because your gov't, whether Dem or Rep. will never allow it to happen when oil is at stake. Now i'm hearing FOX is trying to portray the democratically elected prez of Venezuala as some evil man worthy of deposing. Gee whats in Venazuala? Another coup in the works?(there's that damn crow again)
3. Your last point is another case of a flat out neocon lie. Please stop using it. It's f(&*%(ing annoying. The US lied plain and simple. Dont group the U.N. (ritter/blix), France or Germany or anyone else in your intel game. That was 'Office of Special Plans' intel. You tried to 'share' this intel with other gov'ts but no one bit. And when anyone asked for substantive proof, your guv said it was 'classified' to protect sources Chalabi. If Kerry lied.. thats his stupidity. Guess he wasn't smart enough to ask the real questions that he/Bush/American Media(read rightwing)failed to ask.
On a final note... i still see your sticking to your guns that maybe one day, in the not too distant future, WMD will spring forth from the sands of Iraq, the holy grail of neocons. You apparently either dont read/cant read, or you've missed Kay's fact finding report. If it's really gonne take a fine tooth combing of Iraq's desert to convince you otherwise... go to Walgreens, buy a comb, get the first transport to Iraq and start combing. Lemme know when your done.
----On a side note not related to you, some dumbf#ck out there, i believe it was that nameless twit, made the ridiculous statement that the U.N. was responsible for the 1.5 million deaths due to sanctions. How many times was a resolution brought the the security council to END sanctions only to have it killed by the US/Britain? Here's where i make no distinction between Bush or Clinton. Clintons dumbf#ck sec of state M. Albright stupidly said that 500,000 dead Iraqi kids were worth keeping sanctions in place to contain Saddam. Hope she burns in hell.
Thu Feb 3 2005 4:05 PM
1- this was my opinion about the time frame of troops coming home, I suspect well have some type of presence there for a while (just like we have in: Germany, Japan and Korea oh but you have no problem with that).
2- Illegal how is the Iraqi election illegal, is/was it illegal for the Iraqi people to take the government into their own hands I dont think so, you just dont want to give President Bush the credit he deserves. So I guess the election of Lincoln was also illegal because the southern states didnt vote in the election during our Civil War?
3- the world knew what we knew they just didnt care, Clinton used Iraq to draw attention away from his domestic problems (Monica Missiles) and the mainstream media (CNN, NBC, NY Times, WNPR) were his willing accomplices and Saddam used Clintons weakness to his advantage time and again.
Oh yeah, we went in not only for WMD but to enforce 12 years of resolutions that most of the world either didnt have the cojones to enforce or didnt care because they were busy getting rich off Iraqi oil (for food).
Saddam has the blood of 1.5 million of his own people all over him, those sanctions were put in place because of him.
Thu Feb 3 2005 7:49 PM
"You are judged by the company you keep" Gee what IS in Venezuela? Lets see, a populace that has been peacefully protesting for the most part but angry at the deceit of their current leader because they see it turning into a Socialist state. The Pres of Venezuela is taking his pointers from that great humanitarian: Fidel Castro (Cuba) and we all know what a man of the people he is.
Thu Feb 3 2005 8:01 PM
It's that damned liberal media, at it again!
Looks like now that the election orgy is subsiding, and actual hard data and facts are being obtained, the Iraqi elections enjoyed a significantly lower turnout than was reported by - all together now - that Damned Liberal Media.
I just love being lied to. In fact, I'm gonna go flip on the Fox Commentary Channel right now!
Fri Feb 4 2005 8:19 AM
Mike of the Great White North:
Obviously you didn't read the link regarding the Vienna Conventins regarding an occupying army running an election. Heres another one that should clear it up.
See, it wasn't good for my country back in 47... it sucks even more now.
back to your points....
1. Your opinion doesn't mean dick because the man in charge of your countries defence says different. And your point about Germany n Japan. Japan got nuked twice... nuff said. Germany was surrounded by 93 divisions totalling about 4.5 million allied troops, with over 700,000 of them occupying Germany. Don't forget the Soviets next door either. Germany was razed to the ground and it's people utterly defeated and worn out. This is completely different from the 150,000 in Iraq. Unless you are willing to completely devastate Iraq and pound the civilian population into submission, the insurgency will grow, but if you take that route, it would be worse than living under Saddam eh. I suggest you leave now and leave nation building alone. Your not good at it. I'd rather call it 'Terrorist Cultivation'.
2. No it's illegal because "Under the Vienna Convention, an occupying force has no right to change composition of occupied territories socially, culturally, educationally or politically. This election was based on the laws laid down by former 'Viceroy' American Paul Bremer and is entirely unconstitutional. Bremer personally appointed the overseers for the election"
Letting an occupation force dictate and run elections for a country it occupies is as bad as having a partisan Republican sit on swingstate elections board to certify votes for the presidency... oh wait...
3. The world knew what you chose to ignore halfwit. I'm through f'n with you on this. You wanna sit there and delude yourself, knock yourself out. I guess i've been arguing with you since day one because we both had the same 'intel' right? No, because i had Facts and you had FOX. You wanna take potshots at Clinton. Be my guest. I dont f'n care! It's your foriegn policy, not who's in charge thats the real crux of the problem. Whether its Clinton or Bush, so long as your interventionalist, imperialist crusading ways continue, prepare for more 9-11's.
And you don't like the fact that Venazuela is heading towards Socialist rule? Tough. The people voted and got what they wanted. They peacefully protested Bush's backing of the opposition during the first unsuccessful coup attempt. You tout your high and mighty 51% majority vote for Bush, but damn if any other county surpasses that mark in their voting process. Chavez got 58%, thats an f'n landslide in your books. Pooh pooh if you will, just keep your f'n nose out of Venezuala's internal affairs.
So how's the combing coming along eh?
Fri Feb 4 2005 12:06 PM
Mike of the Great White North:
Oh, i misread your point #1. (a rarity i know) i had thought you were talking about post ww2 occupation of germany and japan. in regards to you having troops there today? actually i do have a problem with that. they used to serve a purpose in containing Soviet expansion as a part of NATO. that role is through. they should leave those countries, and i will be all too happy when germany and japan ask you to leave. now that you have Iraq firmly under your control with 14 PERMANENT bases been built there, you shouldnt need to use either Germany or Japan as forward launching for you imperialism.
Sun Feb 6 2005 7:12 PM