Friday, May 21, 2004

Bill Buckner in Iraq???

Now I know why we're losing.

From today's Times article, Dogs and Other Harsh Tactics Linked to Military Intelligence:

A new time line provided by an Army spokesman also showed that the involvement of military intelligence personnel in abuses at Abu Ghraib began in October 2003. The first reported episode involved soldiers assigned to the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center, months before the major criminal investigation initiated in January into misconduct at the prison, which focused on the involvement by military police.

Three enlisted soldiers from the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion were fined and demoted in the incident, whose broad outlines have been reported previously. An Army spokesman, Lt. Col. Billy Buckner, declined to identify the soldiers involved or the details of the incident, citing privacy concerns.

Why didn't we put in Stapleton? Was McNamara asleep at the wheel again?

5/23/04 Here he is again: A spokesman for the 18th Airborne Corps, in Fort Bragg, N.C., identified Captain Wood as having been sent to Afghanistan in July 2002 as Company A's interrogation platoon leader, and having later assumed the duties of "operations officer in charge of the Bagram Collection Point." In a written statement sent Friday, that spokesman, Lt. Col. Billy Buckner, said Captain Woods had been assigned to the 519th Battalion at Abu Ghraib. But other Army officers have described her as having served as the officer in charge of the interrogation center there, under Lt. Col. Steve Jordan, a reservist who served as its director.

Bed It Like Beckham

Here's an article on MSNBC about a new art exhibit. It's a 107 minute film of David Beckham sleeping. I'd rather see Becks playing myself but I'm a purist.

RIP Nick Berg

Here's Nicholas Berg's father's piece from The Guardian.

Kerry's new slogan

"Let America Be America Again"

From a Langston Hughes poem.

It's a start. Kerry must be positive, hopeful and optimistic to win. He can't simply be against Bush's policies. And the majority of voters won't know or care what his policies are. They're too busy working -- that's what increased productivity is, fewer people working harder -- if you're in the modern American work force, you know what I'm talking about. Voters will respond to their general impression of the candidate. Do they like him? Is he going to be a good leader? Do they trust him?

I like this slogan because it reflects what has been coming out of me for the last few weeks every day when I turn on my computer to see the latest war atrocities. "This is not my America!" I think to myself, "This is not my country. I want my country back. We are better than this."

Kerry needs his own great line. John F. Kennedy: Ask not what your country can do, ask what you can do for your country. Robert Kennedy: "Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not." Bill Clinton: I still believe in a place called hope. Martin Luther King: I have a dream.

John Kerry: Let America be America again.

It's a start.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Don't Get Bush-Whacked Again

This article by Hal Crowther in the Independent Weekly is a comprehensive indictment of Bush the mad war president.

My favorite names for the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

Prances in Flightsuit
President Bushit
The Smirking Chimp
Little Bush
Bush the Lesser
Preznit I-gotta-Gun (Democratic Veteran)

Bread and Circus

Circus has cheered me up this morning. I hereby abandon politics for sports! For me, yesterday proved a veritable trifecta: Curt Schilling wins another for the Red Sox (THIS IS THE YEAR); Calgary Flames heading to the Stanley Cup finals (I want the Stanley Cup go to a Canadian team in what may be the final year of the NHL as we know it); and Liverpool F.C. finally dumps Emile Heskey. I know, I know, I'm a little late on the Heskey signing, but I just heard about it. Why he is still being chosen for the England National team is beyond me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Found a Little Optimism

It can be helpful to look back in time for guidance. H.L. Mencken had it right:

In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

Here's another Mencken gem:

God is a Republican, and Santa Claus is a Democrat.

Random Thoughts about Politics

Here it is my first day blogging & I haven't figured out yet how to link to the Kerry contribution page. Any help out there?

Kerry must win November 4th. Even with Diebold and the Supremes and Karl (Revenge of Atwater) Rove and all that money lined up against us, I believe Kerry's going to win in a landslide. There's just no upside in Iraq that can be achieved by then. Bush got the war he wanted. Unfortunately for him, as his father knew, it's a quagmire. Guess he should have consulted the father downstairs.

June 30th, June Shmirtieth, ain't gonna make one bit of a difference. People take 30 days to close on a house, and that's a small transaction governed by rules and customs that have been refined for decades. And we're going to have an "entity" to "hand over" an entire, messed up country to on June 30th? You've got to be kidding me.

I take it back about Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) for Attorney General. Not unless we have seats to spare in the Senate.

Another landslide prediction: Next Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting goes to Sy Hersh.

I burst into tears tonight watching the news. Film of children in Gaza, bloodied and limp, being carried to ambulances by frantic men. What is this going to solve?

If the media had not accepted their muzzling by the Bush Administration, public opinion would have turned against this war long ago. Film at 11 would change perceptions in weeks.

The slogans of the 60s keep running through my head. All we are saying, is give peace a chance. War is not healthy for children and other living things. What are we fighting for? I don't give a damn.

Signing off, maybe I'll be in a more optimistic mood tomorrow.

Good morning Vietnam!

Someone wiser than me described the war in Iraq as "Vietnam on crack". It certainly seems to be spiraling out of control with astonishing speed.

Today yet another panel sits before a Congressional committee and accepts full responsibility for the heinous violations of the Geneva Conventions in the US prisons in Iraq, yet claims to have done nothing wrong. Abezaid, Miller and Sanchez aren't much like Abraham, Martin and John but they pretend to be. Such high-minded language they hide behind. The Bush Administration two-step: Accept responsibility, without consequences.

If I were a Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Subcommittee, I'd cede my time to Jack Reed of Rhode Island. I've been really impressed by his ability to ask questions. Short, precise questions that the witnesses must answer yes or no. Questions that yield answers. Not the long-winded prefaces followed by several questions that so many of our senators subject us to. Of course, he's a lawyer. And from the sounds of it, a lawyer who actually practiced law.

Attorney General Reed sounds pretty good to me.

Robert Byrd may be old, but he is still sharp as a tack. We are so impatient in this media age, spit it out, get on with it, but in his own gently slower way he is spot on.

I still can't believe John Kerry floated John Warner's name as a potential Defense Secretary in his administration. Maybe it's just my chafing at the overly-cordial manner Warner and so many senators indulge in. But I still see him as an apologist for the Defense Department and the military.

Did anyone hear what the protesters were yelling at the 9/11 hearing today? I heard "radios", which I assume refers to the catastrophic failure of the Fire Dept.'s radio system which contributed to the deaths of the 343 FDNY that awful day. I thought someone else yelled "Motorola", which I assume is connected, but don't know how.

Well, that's it for my first post. More to come.