Democrats & Liberals Archives

August 2007 Archives

August 31, 2007

Neoconservative Fight for Democracy

Neoconservatives, and especially the biggest neoconservative, President George W. Bush, favor spreading democracy as a way to fight terrorism. How many times did I hear Bush talking about a democratic Iraq? Enough to make me sick. Did I ever hear a word about a democratic Saudi Arabia? Or a democratic Pakistan?

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Diminished Returns

Hundreds of billions of dollars spent, much of it wasted, thousands of American lives ended, tens of thousands wounded in body and mind. The army is stretched to the point that the surge cannot be kept up past April of next year. There has been a cost to this war, a great cost. We should expect something out of it. What are we told though? Keep on deferring your expectations until later.

» Continue reading "Diminished Returns"

August 30, 2007

The GAO-Petraeus-Crocker-Bush Report

When he instigated the "surge," President George W. Bush promised to write a report in September on how well the "surge" is going. Then, somehow, the report was assigned to General Petraeus, and after awhile, Ambassador Crocker was asked to report too. And now we hear from the General Accountability Office (GAO). What's going on?

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August 29, 2007

So-called Military Contractors Lean More Towards 'Military' than 'Contractor'

A lot has been written about the increasing role of "military contractors" in Iraq. Blackwater, CACI, and others have made headlines. So many contractors are being used by both the U.S. military and intelligence branches that Amnesty USA (5/23/06) claimed that the U.S. was "outsourcing the war on terror."

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Stop the Surge Now

Democrats are being inundated by the "surge." After anticipating and preparing for the September reports of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker that the "surge" is not solving the problem but needs a little extra time to work its wonders, President Bush is planning to ask for more money after the presentations to assure that the "surge" "works."

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August 27, 2007

Gonzales resigns...

It is being reported (link) this morning that embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, President Bush's most ardent supporter and winner of the G. Gordon Liddy award for blatant ignorance under fire, finally, after months and months of ridiculous testimony, has resigned.

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August 24, 2007

The Experts' View on Terror

Bush and several other Republicans say we're winning the "war on terror," and with a little patience we will win the Iraq War. Democrats and a few Republicans say we are not winning. Who is right? Maybe there are experts around who can tell us. Foreign Policy magazine together with Center for American Progress have a Terrorism Index, where they survey more than 100 real foreign-policy experts.

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Secrecy for Thee, Not for Me!

This is what really fricking annoys me. Our dear National Intelligence director seems to have revealed more about the program and FISA wiretaps in one interview than the New York Times has revealed in three years of reporting. I'm sure our friends on the other side will justify this as a political defense of the program.

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August 23, 2007

A Benchmark Made of Oil

You have heard about the benchmarks that Iraqis need to achieve. Once they do this there would be political reconciliation and then American troops would be able to go home. Sounds great. But have you stopped to think about these benchmarks? One of them concerns oil.

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Save For Being a Tragedy, This Would be Hilarious

Before the current Iraq War started, and even up to this very moment, anyone who dared question the wisdom of the war was likely to be accused of having "Vietnam Syndrome". Apparently coined by Henry Kissinger, this phrase refers to the idea that people have been so traumatized by the Vietnam War that they see every subsequent war through that dark lens.

» Continue reading "Save For Being a Tragedy, This Would be Hilarious"

August 22, 2007

The Radicalism of Rigidity

What makes an idea, an ideology, a politician or a political party too extreme or too radical? The language of left, right, and center applied to politics reinforces a misapprehension that there is a linear measure against which any idea or politician can be measured to determine whether they are extreme or "centrist". But dangerous radicalism can raise its head anywhere along the mythic spectrum, as can worthy concepts.

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Look What We've Done

It has often been documented that we didn't have a plan for peace when we invaded Iraq on false pretences. But the sectarian war that we have stirred there could never have been anticipated, not by hawks like Wolfowitz, not by doves like Murtha. It simply couldn't, and didn't, occur to them that by now masked gangs of men would be dousing five-year olds in gas, and setting them alight.

» Continue reading "Look What We've Done"

August 20, 2007

Free-Market Cave-in

Yesterday we were told that the 6 miners trapped for a couple of weeks in the Utah coal-mine cave-in may never be found. This unfortunate news comes after 3 of the rescuers died in their efforts to rescue the trapped miners. Nine people died and many more are suffering to maintain conservative principles expressed by 3 phrases: ownership society, free markets and self reliance.

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August 16, 2007

Obama Gets It

Yesterday in New Hampshire, Barak Obama made a statement that showed great understanding of the conflict we're fighting in Afghanistan -- and Iraq, for that matter. He said, "We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there."

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August 13, 2007

Democrats are United

While Republicans are so divided they cannot find a presidential candidate they can work for, Democrats are united. Sure there is the battle among Clinton, Obama and Edwards. But it is clear that whoever wins the Democratic primary will be supported wholeheartedly by all Democrats, regardless of whether they are moderate DLC people or liberal netroots.

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Does ROVE See that HE is Next in Line to be Thrown Under the Bus?

Has a back room deal been cut with the Dems like trading baseball cards or marbles? Rove

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Ding dong the Arichtect is Dead: Rove Resigns

According to news reports (link), Karl Rove, the architect of the uber-conservative Republican guard, is resigning at the end of August.

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August 12, 2007

Six for ’06 Revisited

At the end of April, I criticized Harry Reid for failing to get any of the Democrats' "Six for '06" program passed into law. Although this will not be regarded as the most productive Congress in history, I can now report some progress.

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August 11, 2007

Emerging Conflict Over the Arctic

As the sea ice melts in the Arctic, conflict heats up over who it belongs to. The Russians wasted no time at all in sending a submarine to to plant the flag on the ocean floor.

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August 10, 2007

Republicans Love Clinton?

Times have indeed changed. Remember when Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton were the Republicans' favorite punching bag? Nothing either did was good or right. The Clinton-punching bag was in use every minute of every day. Today, it appears that Republicans prefer Hillary Clinton to all the other Democratic candidates for president!

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This Is Your Nation. This Your Nation on Credit. CRACK! Sizzle. Any Questions?

Our fiscal policy is in bad shape, but that should be no surprise to us, given our own fiscal tendencies. We are brought up nowadays in an economy that encourages us to get indebted and stay indebted.

» Continue reading "This Is Your Nation. This Your Nation on Credit. CRACK! Sizzle. Any Questions?"

August 8, 2007

Energy Diplomacy

Energy is so important to civilization that it is a potent instrument of diplomacy. Those of us who were here in 1973 and experienced long waits for gasoline because of the Saudi Arabian embargo know the power of OPEC, the oil cartel. They exercised what may be called the diplomacy of confrontation. When Bush demonizes Chavez of Venezuela he too practices the diplomacy of confrontation. But a new type of diplomacy is possible.

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Help Us Obama-One Kenobi... You're Our Only Hope

A USA-Today / Gallup poll published a couple of days back sees Hillary Clinton rapidly increasing her lead among Democrats.

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August 7, 2007

Nine Angry Old White Men Up Early

Nine! What happened to the other angry old white guy? Who's missing? Seriously, I can't tell these guys apart. Anyhow, according to ABC's online poll, Ron Paul just massively killed all the other candidates. That makes four in a row and that's the last time I'll mention him in this post. Apparently he's unelectable. Here's the transcript of Sunday's early morning debate, and here are the video clips.

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August 6, 2007

Don't Explain the Problem; Just Cut Taxes

How can we win the Iraq War? Cut taxes. How would you reduce crime in America? Cut taxes. How would you reduce the budget deficit? Cut taxes. Is there any time you would raise taxes? No, never. Always cut taxes. This seems to be the position of all Republcian candidates for president, except for Ron Paul.

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Things Republicans Don’t Believe In

Rudy Giuliani has been criticizing the Dems for not using the words "Islamic terrorists" in their debates, the implication being that by not using his magical phrase they are somehow expressing denial of the reality of Islamic terrorism. Using his iron-clad logic, I made a little list of things that Republicans apparently don't believe exist.

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Still doing a heck of job, Bushie

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative branch of the US Congress, reported (link) that US forces in Iraq have 'lost track' of 190,000 weapons in Iraq. Weapons like AK47 assault rifles and pistols were said to be distributed to Iraqi security personnel, but have since gone missing.

» Continue reading "Still doing a heck of job, Bushie"

August 5, 2007

Experience over Observation

Why do we still care, as a party, what Bush and his distinct minority of people care about us. I hear about things like this, and I just can't seem to get my head around why we still think that it's dangerous to risk displeasing this president and his ever shrinking constituency.

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Madness And Some Sanity

Condoleezza Rice's State Department really laid the smackdown on Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo. The idiot told a group of Iowans that as President he would "threaten to bomb the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina, Islam's two holiest sites, to deter attacks on the United States." Madness. I can't think of a better way to lose the war on terror.

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August 3, 2007

Five Questions With Benjamin Orbach

benjamin orbachBenjamin Orbach, a nice Jewish boy from Pittsburgh, lived in Jordan and Cairo and traveled throughout the Middle East for a year right after 9/11 and during the US invasion of Iraq.

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August 2, 2007

The War We Need to Win

Barack Obama made a very important foreign policy speech yesterday. I thought it was terrific. But a lot of pundits - not the least of them, Democrats - in an effort to build more controversy than we already have, attacked specific statements in the 40 minute speech.

» Continue reading "The War We Need to Win"

August 1, 2007

Collapse of Infrastructure

These things don't just happen. We don't see structures like this collapse without there being some serious weakness or design flaw contributing to it. In my studies, I've come across some disturbing statistics about our infrastructure, and this may be sypmtomatic of the decay going on there. I have the feeling that this is going to be a bit of a wake-up call.