Subject: Israel Did Start This One
Really! I guess you also haven't heard about the precipitating cause, namely that ISRAEL ABDUCTED TWO CIVILIANS FROM GAZA the day before the first Israeli soldier was captured.
CHOMSKY: "Gaza, itself, the latest phase, began on June 24. It was when Israel abducted two Gaza civilians, a doctor and his brother. We don't know their names. You don’t know the names of victims. They were taken to Israel, presumably, and nobody knows their fate. The next day, something happened, which we do know about, a lot. Militants in Gaza, probably Islamic Jihad, abducted an Israeli soldier across the border. That’s Corporal Gilad Shalit. And that's well known; first abduction is not. Then followed the escalation of Israeli attacks on Gaza, which I don’t have to repeat. It’s reported on adequately."
[BuzzFlash Note: The violence between Israel and its neighbors is a grave concern to us all. BuzzFlash's position is spelled out in our editorial, While Civilians on Both Sides Perish in ME, Bush Goes from Pig Talk to Shi*! -- A BuzzFlash Editorial; and in our July 15th article, Under Six Years of Failed Bush Policies, The Middle East Crisis Has Intensified -- A BuzzFlash News Analysis. We encourage our readers to read both essays. In the Mailbag, we will post varied viewpoints and observations reflecting our readers' understanding, not just our own editorial position.]
Subject: Lame Bush Tries To Make Pig Jokes
I just saw clips of Bush's press conference with the new German leader, courtesy of Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. Damn, that Bush is every embarassingly bad 'comedian' ever seen...mentions the pig they are eating for dinner 3 times...German premier remains stone-faced as Bush attempts to bring his humiliating brand of humor to the European press corps, certainly making every American want to disappear rather than claim this idiot as our own. I'd love to see a giant hook come out on the stage and drag him away. It's time to get the look-alike out.
Peggy in Massachusetts
Subject: Brian ... Mailbag of 7/14/06
Brian, I am going to be short about this...not any long tirade...I understand your grief about the way some are feeling about this country right now...but, I don't think a day goes by that someone, on the other side...tells me if I do not like the way this country is being run...why don't I just take my things and leave? Maybe someone said that one too many times to Suzanne. Think about it...
Shirley ... St. Louis
Subject: Iraq-Bush Tour
It's a mystery to me ... why if things are going so well in Iraq, so many schools and hospitals are being built/rebuilt, elec. & water restored, why Bush or at least Condi doesn't tour Iraq with their press corps and let Americans see how wonderful the results of their invasion? The republicans complain the Democrats can say nothing good about the results of Bush's invasion, let them put "their" results on plain view. Democrats, don't expect that the majority wish for Democratic leadership in House & Senate will prevail in Nov. 2006. Republicans control the vote counting machines and will make sure there are enough rigged votes to keep them in control.
Baker City, OR
Subject: Shirley of St. Louis
In so many instances I have lately found that Shirley and I sometimes think alike... I have voted every preidential year since I was 18 and that was the year that Eisinhower became president ... (You can do the math)...and this is the first year that I may not vote...I haven't decided for sure yet...
I keep hearing everyone saying "We have got to vote this admistration out of office"... When I hear this it infuriates me...No matter how many of us vote...what will it matter if the voting machines are fixed for the Republicans...as we know they were in 2000 and 2004? I keep getting calls from local Democrats about voting, and I tell them all the same thing..."If you would like my vote ...then get rid of the electronic voting machines."...
Well maybe Shirley and I can start to feel a little hope...Since RFK JR has filed a "whistle blower" law suit against these machines and their owners...but it won't be very long before November gets here ... so I guess we will have to wait and see... If in my county there are electronic voting machines...I will not be going to the polling booth...I figure at my age, it would just be a waste of my time and energy and my health...so Shirley...we shall see what happens OK?
[BuzzFlash Note: Don't rule out absentee balloting yet.]
Subject: Plame Attacks!
How long will it take the swift boaters to start sliming Valerie Plame?
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: Well, they started in 2003, didn't they?]
Subject: Headlines For NY Daily News Item with BuzzFlash Headline "... but Remember Israel Did Not Start This."
With regard to your headline, I really have to disagree. I think Israel DID start this, and that we, the United States, are abetting this. Israel is far too agressive and unfair in the treatment of the Palestinians.
Abbas almost had Hamas on board with regard to getting ready to negotiate with Israel. Hamas had unilaterally observed a cease fire with Israel. Israel deliberately destroyed the attempt at peace by Palestine and has actively been destroying the peace process since Nethanyahu.
I have been informally tracking for the last couple years, and every time there seems to be a chance for peace, Israel, not Palestinians, have been the first to bomb. And as for Israel's claims to have a right to strategically bomb the Hamas leadership, Israel ALWAYS made sure there was lots of collateral damage so that the Palestinians WOULD engage in reprisals.
And when the predictable reprisal occurred, the American media would blame the Palestinians, ignoring Israel's initial bombing. Somehow that was okay and not provocative, according to our media, because that was an act of the Israeli government.
Many Americans don't realize that Israel is ILLEGALLY, occupying the West Bank. Many Americans don't realize that land is illegally being seized from Palestinians. Heck, I did not realize that until deep into the 1990's, way after the Oslo accords.
Like many Americans, I thought Israel was observing its own borders and perfectly innocent when those bombs would go off. But Israel has its share of guilt and that needs pointed out.
There is another side. I am not saying that the Palestinians are wholly right, simply that they are not wholly wrong, either. There will be no peace unless the Palestinian, as well as Israeli, concerns are addressed either. And the Palestinian concern is their land. And since I don't believe Israel wants to give up the land in the West Bank, I am leery of Israelis' claims to want peace. In fact, conflict allows Israel to grab more.
And that land grab is not being addressed by the US media. It is in the back pages or deep in the news stories.
Subject: Don't Blame Gore!
As someone who spent 15 years volunteering on election campaigns when I lived in Florida, I must strongly object to articles by Greg Palast and Terry Curtis that falsely blame Al Gore for Bush's theft of the 2000 elecion. The blaming of Al Gore for Bush's act of treason has no basis in fact. The truth is, Al Gore did all he could short of starting a civil war to save democracy in America in 2000. It's time to hold the DNC, Senate democrats and the pro Bush media for their failure to defend democracy against Bush's broad daylight coup d'etat in 2000.
I think it's shameful that people who've never worked on an election campaign in Florida think they know what happened there. Since Greg Palast refuses to report on any other part of Bush's theft of the 2000 election other than the illegal felon purge that he personally uncovered, I don't think he has any credibility to say overall what happened in Florida in 2000. Palast and Curtis blaming Al Gore for the crimes of the Bush election stealers is like blaming crime victims for what the crimminals who attacked them have done.
Subject: Lesson time
H5050 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—HOUSE July 12, 2006 (
Mr. EMANUEL asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. EMANUEL. Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the President said we would continue to be wise about how we spend the people’s money. Now, this is true. We actually have a Director of Lessons Learned at the White House, who is paid over $100,000.
Maybe I can save the taxpayers $100,000 by running through a few lessons this White House should have learned:
Lesson 1. When the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of State say you are going to war without enough troops, you are going to war without enough troops.
Lesson 2 learned. When $8 billion is missing from Iraq’s reconstruction and $2 billion disappears from Katrina relief, you need a little accountability.
Lesson 3 learned. When you have turned the corner in Iraq more times than Danica Patrick at the Indy 500, it means you are going in circles.
Lesson 4 learned. When the National Weather Service tells you a category 5 hurricane is heading for New Orleans, a category 5 hurricane is heading for New Orleans.
I would also ask the President why we are paying for two Ethics Advisors and a Director of Fact Checking. They must be the only people in Washington who get more vacation time than the President. Maybe the White House can consolidate these positions into a Director of Irony.
It is time for a new direction.
Subject: Flag-Draped Coffins
You just had to wonder how long the ad with the flag-draped coffins would stay up. And once again, when the pubbies start to complain, we cave in. Show those coffins. It's not us putting the bodies in them. Show this on a commercial, with a voiceover; "If 2,500 of these don't bother you, vote Republican. If this brings a lump to your throat, or a tear to your eye, vote for change. Vote Democrat."
There is no disgrace in showing a flag-draped coffin. Each one carries a hero, an American doing a job--an ill advised job--to the best of their ability. I can see why the republicans don't want them shown--it opens people's eyes. But when we cave in to the opposition, those eyes close again. They have been closed for far too long. Democrats, let's get our spine, and our country, back.
Subject: Your Headline: Bush Fails Because He Doesn't Know How To
Succeed: It's Really That Simple
Though there is no argument to be made that Bush is a moron and doesn't know the difference between sh** and Shinola, it is wrong to point out that "Bush Fails because ...".
In fact, Bush has succeeded incredibly well (obviously not Bush himself, but his handlers and controllers). It's just that you're not looking at the right goals.
The book you sell by Greg Palast ("Armed Madhouse") documents this very well.
Bushco's real goals have clearly been to:
1) Create $100/barrel oil, with the US in control of a goodly fraction of the supply -- mission actually accomplished.
2) Reverse the role of the US government as the "honest broker" between the weak and the strong, but rather create a fascist alliance between big business and the government -- mission actually accomplished.
3) Recognize that maintaining the living standards that the rich wish to maintain depends on inequality, and that foreign countries are no longer so "willing" to be exploited, hence, create a structural inequality in the United States which will be very difficult to reverse -- mission actually accomplished.
4) Reinforce and continue the myth that US "suburban society" can continue to go on happily and without interruption in a world of violently competitive acquisition for "peak oil," and that social adjustments will not be necessary -- mission actually accomplished.
5) Structurally cripple the US government with debt so that it cannot properly function -- mission actually accomplished.
6) Create conditions under which competent civil servants will leave the Civil Service, effectively "dumbing down" both management and professional ranks of the Civil Service for years to come, again seriously compromising the ability of the government to act -- mission actually accomplished.
Subject: To Sue the Pants Off Conservatives
Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame have a strong case against Cheney, et al., for their criminal use of classified intelligence. Unfortunately, the criminal prosecution is focusing on perjury rather than the illegal compromise of Valerie Plame's cover.
While conservatives cry treason against The New York Times, they internally snicker at exposing the Wilsons to grave peril. Civil litigation will force the exposure of White House czarist techniques long employed to punish their critics. The Bush administration will likely play the state secrets card in an attempt to prevent the evidence from ever being heard. At least the White House attorneys will have to divert billable hours from legitimizing torture to defend their clueless leader and his demented president of vice.
There are innumerable actions that have harmed millions of Americans and human beings worldwide for which this administration and Republican Congress are civilly and criminally liable.
The leader on this legal front in the fight for the Constitution is the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU is the preferred whipping boy for conservatives. The Blighted Right turns even Whiter when they are challenged by the defenders of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The conservatives have been busy quietly and not so quietly writing legislation that grants themselves and their corporate benefactors immunity from criminal prosecution and civil liabilty. Global hegemonists have written their own ticket giving transnational corporations and international banking cartels power to supercede local laws of sovereign countries in which they set up shop. The federal judiciary is infested with hyperconservative judges appointed during the terms of Reagan, Bush the Elected and Baby Huey.
As God condenmed the Israelites to wander in the desert until the offending generation had died off, many lawsuits will have to be pursued for years until the offensive cadre of federal judges either retires or expires. This scenario can be avoided if sanity returns to the legislature and they clean house, starting with the White House.
It is a sad and startling commentary when the only recourse left to the American people is to sue their plutocratic leaders. The spirits of the founding fathers are certainly weeping.
Subject: Reflecting on Some Select Words of Wisdom From Our Decider...
BUSH: “Israel has a right to defend itself.”
Up to and including, Mr. President, the carrying-out of asymmetrical, inhumane, scorched-earth, military strikes against nearly defenseless masses of civilians?
What about the nuclear option (that would be "nucular" to you, Sir)? Does Israel have the right to defend against the Hezbollah mosquito brigades by "nuking" all the major population centers in Lebanon? Is that what you think, Mr. President?
BUSH: "The best way to stop violence is to understand why the violence occurred in the first place."
Exactly, except when 19 moderately educated, seemingly affluent and astonishingly committed young Arabs simultaneously commandeered 4 U.S. airliners with precise, suicidal intent, flying them into such world-class icons as the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Capitol of American Government, did the Wiseman forget to counsel everyone about the need for reflection—a timeout, taken to think in earnest about “why the violence occurred in the first place”?
As much as anything, Mr. President, it is our total lack of diligent reflection that fuels our deadly games (and losses) in the Middle East, today.
BUSH: "The best way to stop the violence is for Hezbollah to lay down their weapons, and to stop attacking … and, therefore, I call upon Syria to exert influence over Hezbollah."
Let me see if I have this right…
Bush—a man who is willing to exercise exactly zero of his own influence attempting to convince Israel to curtail its catastrophic deconstruction of an entire nation (Lebanon)—now suggests that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ought to exert Syrian influence over Hezbollah in order to get them to lay down their, ah, well, ah, their "pitchforks." Pitchforks, certainly when one considers the asymmetrical proportion of Israel's military advantages. After all, Israel enjoys the very latest of both American and Israeli destructive technologies and materiel—all significantly subsidized by American taxpayers. When it comes to destructive capabilities and/or WMD, these two simply have no match. This is particularly true when they are combined.
BUSH: “I talked (Bush speaking about his recent advice to Russian President Vladimir Putin) about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq where there’s a free press and a free religion, and I told him a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same.”
Putin’s reply: “We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy that they have in Iraq.”
Ouch! As these two interlocutors eloquently demonstrate, one man’s freedom is frequently another man’s Abu Ghraib. In any case, Mr. Putin, having narrowly survived excretion from the bowels of one overtly over-reaching, totalitarian, imperialistic and now-defunct regime, appears unlikely (as opposed to another Cowboy that I know) to again bet all the state’s marbles on a capacity to impose homeland-style “freedom” and "Democracy" in the lands of the unwilling.
Subject: Weep, and Then Act
Step away from your television pull a chair up to the internet type "al jazeera" into Google, search for "Robert Fisk," ("What I am seeing each day in Lebanon is an outrage") pay the portfolio fee, read everything he can manage to post from Beirut, weep. Are you stunned that an American president refuses to call for a cease fire -- the very least a sane person might do?
Subject: The National Anthem Revisited
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting everywhere, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave, o'er an incinerated world and the ashes of the dead.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The Solution
We as Democrats have been victims of republican voter scams that have given the Republican Party the upper hand in lots of local races that could be either won or properly challenged by a Democrat. With every election that is stolen by crooks no matter what their party affiliations our Democracy is threatened. When our right to vote is stolen or denied our beloved Constitution has no meaning, freedom no longer exists. We are championing the noble cause & I plan to become an active member of the community without a doubt.
I believe that it is important to understand how the repugnant Republicans are stealing these elections & put together the proper strategy to deal with the issue at hand. My goal is to keep this issue alive until either I am confident in the system that we are using or the supporters of our cause are aware enough to realize & become even more vigilant then I am about this issue.
This article is long but a MUST READ. It is proof that we need to put together a campaign to watch for the theft of votes IN BATTLE GROUND STATES for sure.
How to Steal An Election
A Solution For The Faulty Voting Machines / How They Steal Votes
I understand the importance of knowing how to counter Republican strategies in close races. I believe that this is the perfect dedication I can contribute myself to. I am a true believer in the fact that the term Guard The Vote should be the term that links many individual organizations to unite under one main cause to Guard The Vote, I consider us to be allies in the same Patriotic cause & regardless of your Group or organizations title this Guard The Vote Strategy. The cause is to deputize Volunteers to guard & monitor the vote count in 06 preparing for 08.
Guard The Vote is a term that I donate to the Democrats Moderates & Independents. This is my gift I contribute in support to my love for our Constitution. Guard The Vote is just a term that will motivate large numbers of Grass Roots Democrats to unite on the mere statement alone “Guard The Vote.” What I have learned about the Democratic Party’s Grass Roots supporters are hungry for a single message that will motivate them & unite them as one. There is no more important term to unite under than to Guard The Vote.
Guard the vote is an action term that if said by the right people will spark a fire under new contributions & highly motivated volunteers to take on the historical assignment of monitoring polling stations with the special security badges with the term Guard The Vote on them to assure to the public & poll workers that committed volunteers will be dedicating our valuable time attempting to guard the votes from the crooks.
Coming Soon: Guard The Vote.com
Subject: Six Years of Failed ... the Middle East Crisis
I don't know who you got to write this s**t, but maybe, just maybe, you could find someone who has followed the issue and knows the history to write something that demonstrates a basis for their opinion? Maybe? If you had, and they had simply examined the evidence of the most recent PA and Israel elections, they would not have "suspected that the majority on both sides simply want peace!" It seems to me that your author suffers from the same fundamentally flawed presumption as George Bush regarding the conflict!
If you had, gotten someone who knows something about the history of the conflict and not just MSM BS, then they would have observed the trends in the peace talks and elections of both the PA and Israel, and would certainly have recognized that the PA has continued to promote militant politicians - most recently putting a terrorist organization, Hamas, in power, while Israel has continued to elect leaders who pacify the international community, making concession after concession, only met with continued terrorism! AND MAYBE! JUST MAYBE, they would have identified the reality that the PA, along with the entire Arab world, only believe they will have peace when they have annihilated Israel! It's called ISLAM, and if you don't know that then you don't know s**t about the Middle East or the continued terrorism that is happening throughout the globe! BUT if you did, or your writers did, then they would also have realized the PA has FOREVER had the backing of the jealous international community (examine the UN resolutions against Israel and those, nonexistant ones, against the PA).
Although this conflict has been going on for over 60 years, if someone just objectively examines the true history of the conflict, the patterns are quite evident. Just as they are for Islam!
It seems to me that if you fail to recognize the evidence of brain-washing, it strongly suggests you're a product of it.
Subject: Lamont, Diebold, Democrats and Kissin Joe!
Will the Democrats borrow the GOP's Diebold machines to vanquish Lamont? Lieberman has huge republican support in Connecticut. I'm sure they will be happy to accommodate him with their electronic gadgetry and election stealing savvy. The Democrats can also use the standard roadblock tactics that worked so well in Florida.
I watched the Gore-Florida debacle minute by minute in 2000 and never did I perceive any cohesive, rock solid Democratic party leader support behind Al Gore. It was like our party leaders were hiding in the bushes. No pun intended. I believe most top Democratic leaders have sold out to Corporate America and care not one iota about our nation and its citizenry. Greed has a stranglehold on them that is as strong as that on the republicans.
Changing course! It was revealed on MSNBC yesterday that Israel began planning an attack on Lebanon five years ago shortly after Bush took control of America. The oil barons and America's corporate war complex bosses must be pissing in their jeans with glee. Our government supplies Israel with all its weaponry and billions of dollars to do our bidding. Is this why Lieberman is so in love with Bush and the GOP ?
Will an attack on Syria be in the offing in the near future? Syria would not be as big a militaristic challenge as Iran with Israel in close proximity. It is an election year in America. Hell if Bush and the congress can get a real knock down drag out going in the Middle East, America can postpone its elections indefinitely.
Subject: George W. Bush Could Have Been a Great President
Yes, it's true...he really could have gone down in history as one of the greatest war time presidents in the history of our country. As ignorant and stupid as he is, it could have happened.
There could have been parades down Pennsylvania Avenue in his honor.
They would have erected a new Memorial between the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial called the Bush Memorial.
A new airport could have been Bush International.
Crawford, Texas would have been remembered in the same breath as Mount Vernon (Washington) and Monticello. (Jefferson)
All he had to do to have received all of these honors would have been to...(Now, get this)...to STAY THE COURSE.
You see, after 9/11 we had the rest of the world on our side, even some of the Arab and Muslim nations.
We were attacked, civilians were killed by Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Most of the world cried with us, felt saddened, and angry, and we had them with us when we decided to go and attack Afghanistan and go after Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorist organization.
We were doing the right thing, fighting back, and on a course to get him and to destroy a major faction of terrorists in the war on terrorism.
George W. Bush was a tough American president who would react and get revenge, and at the same time rid the world of a dangerous, very dangerous terrorist.
Bush was on his way to GREATNESS.
But then something happened. We were gaining ground in Afghanistan, moving in on Bin Laden, perhaps about to capture, or kill him...when George W. Bush seized upon the opportunity to fulfill a vendetta he had been carrying with him for a long time, since 1993-94 and that was to get back at Saddam Hussein for the plot that Hussein had cooked up years earlier, to assassinate George H. W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States.
So what did Baby Bush do, he pulled the majority of the troops from Afghanistan, even though they were getting closer to Bin Laden. They may, even, have had him cornered in Tora Bora.
Baby Bush pulled the troops, and at the same time cooked the evidence, cherry picked at the intelligence, and made a speech to the congress that was filled with deceit and misleading statements, for the purpose of gaining the power to commit our troops to an invasion of Iraq, a sovereign nation with an elected President, Saddam Hussein. (A dubious election, but none the less, a democratic styled election.)
And it was then, and there, that whatever greatness George W. Bush may have had in his future, vanished...forever.
Instead of greatness, George W. Bush will now be remembered as a warmonger, a man who was overwhelmed with a personal agenda, a vendetta, and no matter how many died fulfilling it, he would get Saddam Hussein. And, as we know, he did.
But at what expense? I won't cite the number of dead, we all know it. I won't cite the number of maimed, or injured, or the property destroyed, we all know it, because the expense, as we now see, has been the fact that the entire middle east has been de-stabilized by the actions of George W. Bush.
It might even be, for all intents and purposes, that the destabilization brought on by Bush might be the starting point for World War III, and if it is, there is no telling on the vast amount of destruction and death that may be caused, world wide.
So, now we see that, instead of being remembered as a GREAT WAR PRESIDENT of the United States, George W. Bush will be remembered for the buffoon that he is, the warmonger that he is, and the man responsible for world destruction. He will be remembered as the most evil and worst president in the history of the United States, for as short, or as long, as that time may be.
[BuzzFlash Note: Houston already has George Bush Intercontinental Airport, named for George H.W. Bush.]
Subject: Never Again.........Never Again
There seems to be a lot of condemnation for Israel these days. I don't believe it is justified, and to me, it seems like a lot of hatred for Jews is seeping through the cracks, world wide. I believe there is much more, covert, anti semitism that still exists, all across the planet, including right here in our very own nice "Christian nation" ... At least that's what Christians in the US believe we are, a Christian nation.
So, I ask you this question: If Canada and Mexico wanted to see the destruction of the United States, if they kidnapped a few of our Border Patrol agents, if they lobbed a rocket into Pennsylvania and Arizona, or if they sent in a few suicide bombers every now and then, to blow up the Alamo, or the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor ... what should we do? How should we react if this were going on for years, and years, and years?
You see, my friend, Israel is surrounded by nations that have said, ON THE RECORD, that they all want to see the total destruction of Israel and all of the Jewish people within her borders.
And, of course, they have tried, on several occasions, and with each attempt, they have failed.
But now, now there is a total destabilization of the middle east in effect, thanks to George W. Bush, and the hatred of Jews is coming forth again, not just from the Arab neighbors that surround Israel, but from all parts of our planet with one nation after another condemning the act of Israel in Gaza, and in Lebanon.
So, I ask you, and I ask them ... what would you, as Americans, do if we were the ones surrounded and attacked, over and over and over again, by our neighbors???
What would Germany do if they were constantly being threatened, or attacked, by France, Poland, Italy, etc?
And finally, what would you expect Israel to do, just stand back and continue to take it?
Hell no....NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN, is their motto, referring to the days when Jews stood still and the Nazis killed 6 million of them...NEVER AGAIN...because if they continue to be passive, to allow their borders to be attacked, without fighting back and destroying the aggressors, if need be, then it WILL happen again.
Israel is fighting for survival from being surrounded by vile and despicable neighbors. They can only take so much, as any country would be able to, and then it is time, LIKE NOW, to take the offensive, and KILL, or be killed.
They have already been on the "be killed" end ...with the Nazis...and I say...NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN.
Subject: White House Director of Lessons Learned
In recent days, I've read a great many well-intended offerings for the "White House Director of Lessons Learned." Generally, these suggestions focus on the lessons a sincere administration, dedicated to good governance, might have learned from the catastrophic failures of THIS administration--"Send more troops the next time you invade someone"; "Pay more attention to the National Weather Service during hurricane season"; and so on.
Great lessons all--but I fear the civic-minded souls submitting these suggestions are missing the point of the office entirely. This is not a White House that concerns itself with policy. This is a White House that concerns itself with politics. The "lessons learned" that we're paying $106,641 a year to have directed are more likely to be in the realm of seizing and maintaining power than in the realm of doing a good job of governing the country.
I suspect that Stuart Baker--the Director in question--keeps in his little notebook (or causes to have kept in a little notebook, being a Director and all) a collection of acquired wisdoms intended to guide Mr. Bush's successor presidents in the coming Republican Millennium. They're good lessons, and the rest of us ignore them at our peril.
A few samples:
1. Despite their "Live Free or Die" bumper stickers, various feisty state mottoes, and chest-thumping barroom proclamations, the American people will put up with almost anything--the trashing of their Constitution, the looting of their national treasury, the plundering of their public lands, the desecration of their national honor, the theft of their elections--whatever! Sky's the limit! Go for it.
2. Bellowing like a stuck hog about the "liberal media" every time it reports something stinky about the Party works. Keep it up, even when the media is your wholly-owned subsidiary. Some good citizens will fall for this ruse outright, which is great--but the great masses of mainstream America, even if they smell a rat, will simply quit believing anything they hear. That's almost as good, because then it hardly matters what's being reported about the opportunities offered in Item 1, above.
3. Citizens have short memories. Don't worry about what you said last week--just say whatever works this week. Don't worry about what you got caught doing last week, either. Just brass it out, and they'll forget it. A new world every morning!
4. If you call yourself a conservative Christian, thirty-six percent of the population of this country will support you no matter what you are or what you do, even if nothing you're up to smacks remotely of either Christianity or conservatism ... support you with tears in their eyes, crosses pressed to their lips, and flags waving from their pickup trucks.
Caught red-handed slaughtering pubescent virgins and drinking their blood on the White House lawn? No problem. Explain that a "Preznit needs his strength to duhfind Amerca and faht Terism," get Rush to carry on about fraternity hazings, have Ann write a column about how these "so-called virgins" probably enjoyed being slaughtered, and you're home free. They'll send extra money in to the Presidential Prayer Team, and invest in souvenir coffee mugs that show you sandwiched in between George Washington and Jesus. (Note--thirty-six percent doesn't sound like much, but the judicious application of wedge issues will keep your opposition milling around enough to make it a winning number...)
And so on. I'm sure BuzzFash readers can supply a great many more "lessons learned" for Mr. Baker to direct, now that they're on the right track.
Subject: Smearing Valerie Plame
The Bu$h Buddies, CNN Headline News amongst them, are not wasting any time in portraying former CIA Agent V.P. Wilson as beautiful, mysterious, sexual. I allude to a "Jeanie" Mose report aired very early both Saturday and Sunday (7/15 & 7/16) mornings. The aspects of losing one's job and placing the entire family in eternal danger are not mentioned.
A real smear campaign, tasteless in the face of alleged treason. George and Buddies must be terribly worried.
Subject: We're All Homer Now
Awhile back there was an international poll that identified Homer Simpson as the character who personifies the typical American. After watching Chimpy the dazed puppet answer a serious question in a German news conference with a repeated reference to the pig they were going to dine on, I said d'oh, that looks bad.
So I changed the channel [to The Simpsons] and there was Apu being arrested at the Kwik-e-Mart for alleged terrorist slurpie tampering. All Chief Wiggum could talk about was the barbecued ribs he was having that night! Again, D'oh!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Gingrich on the Value of Human Life: Its All in the Size of
the State - Sometimes.
Newt Gingrich just expressed the creepy detachment of the neoconservative "realist" in his discussion on "Meet the Press" this morning:
"Remember that when Israel loses eight people - because of the difference in population - it’s the equivalent of losing 500 Americans"
Does that mean, Newt, that when we lost 3000 Americans on 9/11, it was the equivalent of losing 48 Israelis? Or when Israel kills 12 Palestinian civilians in Gaza it is the equivalent of losing 240 Australians? Or when the United States kills 80,000 Iraqis (per the 2004 Lancet study) it is the equivalent of losing 800,000 Americans? I doubt if Mr. Gingrich would agree to the extension of his vapid, amoral equation in some of these directions; and one wonders at his willingness to express it as he does.
Newt needs to get his brain out of the fish-bowl of Napoleonic board-games and Civil War fantasy novels and look around at the real world. Human lives cannot be valued as a proportion of a particular constituency, or has their worth increased or been reduced based on ethnicity or nationality? When a person is blown apart by a bomb it creates a singular, equalitarian dose of pain and grief of which Gingrich and his chickenhawk neocon cohorts appear to be oblivious, yet all too eager to replicate from a safe clinical distance.
If the people at "Meet the Press" lack sufficient self-respect to deny the discredited Mr. Gingrich an appearance on their show again in the future, I would ask that they not permit him the same latitude as they did today to imaginatively augment the belligerence of the rhetoric from the Iranian Government; to draw fictional connections between Venezuela and Middle Eastern terrorists; to present a range of hypothetical scenarios as if they represented clear and present threats from North Korea; and to spin yet other fabrications of which sterile war-mongery is the objective.
Yes the truth is rather grotesque sometimes, just like Condi's incompetence. It must be painful for her whenever someone pierces her little alternate reality bubble. Condi should just click her heels together & pretend to be Dorothy. On second thought that would not be a good idea because Oz is more real than the universe that she has been living in.
Subject: Middle East Mess
I just couldn't believe it on Sunday, the leaders of the G8 countries and their absolutely inane remarks on the escalating war between Israel and Hezbollah! Everyone just seemed to want to go on record as blaming the right party. Considering the extent of the bloodshed and the number of innocent bystanders getting killed, you would think they'd drop everything and find a way to get the warring parties to call a truce and start talking.
The G8: these are the most highly industrialized, wealthiest, most influential nations of the world, right?????
All I could think of when I saw them all lined up at the table uttering their stupidities was: stupid white men (and one stupid white woman). Michael Moore is right!
Subject: July 15 Commentary on the Middle East Conflict
Just wanted to tell you that I am 100% in agreement with your position regarding the fact that this is a 2 sided conflict, and will require a 2 state solution.
Keep it coming...Not enough of the world takes the time to get past the major headlines of the day.