interlude 110606


dripping with grief

face become obsidian
arms, legs driftwood
belly sewer
guts snakes
lungs gravel
mouth boulder
tongue girder
hands, feet anchors
balls ants
cock minnow
heart tumor
brain isopropyl
ears miasma

demon jackal shit batrachotoxin;

alive, diamond

soul attached to other stars

Impeachable? Or Treasonous?

Is there not some chosen curse, some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven, red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man who owes his greatness to his country's ruin! - Joseph Addison

Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution [Presidential Oath of Office]:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
The emphasis is mine.

I have seen not one minute speck of evidence that George W Bush has preserved, protected, or defended our Constitution. He has taken the document and shredded it, laughed at it, ignored it, disparaged it, and stomped it into the dirt.

Signing statements; executive orders; circumvention; calumny; black ops; secrecy . . . in the interest of national security, my ass!

I think impeachment is insufficient. Perhaps arrest, imprisonment, and trial for treason is in order. There are many who feel he should be given up to the world community to be tried for crimes against humanity. And what of his cabinet and advisors?

That phrase, "to the best of my ability." Although I disagree with all of you who claim this administration is "incompetent", I do entertain the notion that he has been "unable" to fulfill his sacred obligation to the US Constitution . . .

He and his administration have been constrained from doing so by their masters. They have been paid to do the job of radical capitalist globilization. Everybody works for somebody. Our government, alas, works not for us.

While we're at it, we should engineer a preemptive strike of our own: the possible next Speaker of the House, Nancy "The Ghost" Pelosi, has already ruled out impeaching Bush. Pelosi, and perhaps the entire Congress, might be locked up for complicity and conspiracy.

From Answers.com . . .

trea·son (trē'zən) pronunciation

1. Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.
2. A betrayal of trust or confidence.

[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman treson, from Latin trāditiō, trāditiōn-, a handing over.]
Have not George Bush and Dick Cheney violated allegiance to the Constitution, the document which is the basis of our country and its sovereignty? Have they not consciously and purposefully acted to aid our enemies by energizing the forces of hate and terror and turning the world against us, thus endangering the very safety and liberty they have sworn to protect? Have they not cynically and totally betrayed our trust and confidence? Have they not handed over the power of the people to multinational corporations and the engines of globalization, selling out and denying us our rights?

Has not the Congress co-conspired in these very same acts, supporting the Administration's policies, failing to represent us and keep us informed and safe? Are the members not all traitors in allowing the executive to wage wars they have not declared? From Wikipedia:
Under the War Powers Clause, only Congress may declare war, but in several cases it has, without declaring war, granted the President the authority to engage in military conflicts . . . Although the executive branch and the Pentagon have asserted an ever-increasing measure of involvement in this process, the U.S. Supreme Court has often reaffirmed Congress' exclusive hold on this power (e.g. Burns v. Wilson, 346 U.S. 137 (1953)).
Furthermore, Article 1, Section 9 states, "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it . . . No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

Unless I missed it, there is no rebellion or invasion. Congress has not per se violated this section, because it is the Executive which has done so. But in failing to oppose this action, Congress has again abdicated its solemn responsibility. Here is the oath of office taken by every member of the House of Represenatives:
I, Loyal Citizen of the Republic, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
"All enemies, foreign and domestic . . ." Clearly, a strong majority in Congress violate this oath, often with "purpose of evasion". Senators, by the way, take the same solemn oath. Same obligations. Same abdication.

Please notice that in each of these oaths, support and defense of the Constitution is key. Supporting this document may take the form of amending it, in a process that insures that it is not amended easily or precipitously. According to these oaths, failure to adhere to the Constitution without amending it is criminal.

And have we not all betrayed our country and each other by walking quietly away from two stolen presidential elections, shrugging our shoulders and saying, "well, wait until next time?" Now there is no "next time", for the next time and the time after that will be like the last time. Same script, different actors, same directors and producers. We're just an audience for the greatest horror show ever made. Popcorn anyone? Coca-Cola? Valium? Razor blades? Anyone? Anyone?

The peoples of Beijing, Mexico City, Mogadishu, Kathmandu, Budapest, Kiev, and others rage in the streets in response to such atrocities. We draw our curtains and watch it on TV.

In November, 2005, President George W Bush declared that our Constitution is "just a goddamned piece of paper." His actions say the same thing. Congress does nothing. Numb or dumb, we just turn away and hope it will somehow disappear or be a bad dream. Treason? If not, then what?


Before I go, I just want to plug a blog I have recently found: Sine.Qua.Non has been added to my "Resources and Recommemdations" list as a "Daily Read". This guy is great and is more than deserving of our readership and support.


One other quick note. Although it's been up for quite awhile now and there are only six votes, the P!oll responses are 100% in favor of a Bill Moyers for President campaign. He has said he won't do it. I respect that, but we have two years to persuade him. So why don't you vote? It may be more satisfying and effective than a vote on Tuesday.


November Surprise and Other Comedies

So. If you believe and trust the "polls", which I don't, the Democratic Party might take control of the House and has some sort of shot at the Senate. Do not, however, ever, ever, ever underestimate the je ne sais quois of the Repugnicant Rover. I haven't been watching the gubernatorial "contests" and never have been sure what they mean (having lived in Massachusetts with the likes of John Volpe, Ed King, and Mikey Dukakis, and in California with Jerry Brown).

I live in bright red state and neither Senator is up for re-election. My congressman is a middle of the road classic white liberal running against an absolute idiot who also happens to be black.

The November Surprise predicted in the title will be little, if any, surprise at all: the colors of the graphic may change from red to blue in some states, but there will be absolutely no other change. None. Nada. Ne Rien Pas. Nyet.

The black forces, eager to hide the pea under a different shell for awhile, have simply shifted the flow of money. The bucks are no longer funding Republican neoconservatives . . . now they're buying Democratic neoconservatives. The wars will not end. The march to war against other countries will not drop a step. The gap between rich and poor will not narrow. Tax breaks for the rich will not be repealed. Powerful people in Washington and in the churches will continue to put their hands where they shouldn't: in all sorts of forbidden cookie jars, not to mention chemical stashes.

That The Prince of Darkness has repudiated Bush's invasion of Iraq (implementing The prince's policies), that the military media is calling for Rummy's head (or whatever) mean nuttin' hunny.

The MSM has been given permission to refocus the sheep. "24" may not have another season; "Law and Order" may shrink down to "SVU" and "CCP" (Corporate Creep Patrol).

During VietNam, Country Joe sang, "What are fightin' for?" And now I wail, "What are we votin' for?"

The Dems, by the way, have a golden opportunity to serve the same masters whom the Repubs served: with the contractors bailing out of Iraq, our military will soon follow (after incurring useless and damnable casualties for a few months). They'll probably be sent back after the country is totally reduced to a smoldering desert with about 10,000 people huddling in the ruins of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, the military, with a brand new Secretary of Offense, will simply redeploy to Venezuela. After all, it's clear that Hugo Chavez and Lulu are Weapons of Mass Distraction, ready to invade our vulnerable shores and borders with terrible thoughts of socialism and caring about the poor and all that immoral stuff.

Folks, the Democrats going along with The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang's agenda has not been some sort of clever holding action. They have not been scheming to "run right", then turn left once they've "won" it all back. They really meant every vote! The best they will do is send up a "social agenda smoke screen" to hide their own dirty deeds, holding the poor hostage as the Bushites have, until recently, held The Christian Wrong Right.

I am not voting. It is the only way I can in good conscience support true democracy in this country. I'm proud of my stance. I pretty much don't care what anybody thinks. The last two presi-dunce-y'all elections were not so much stolen as bought. So will these mid-terms. So will '08. And I ain't buyin' it 'til there's something to buy.

So as promised, I'm offering a couple of banners which I designed. The guys at Stop Me Before I Vote Again leaked these last week, but I'm not gonna be possessive. Please rip them and use them in good health. You don't have to attribute them to me nor link here (though it would be nice, since I'm "running" (oh, god, I said it!) for a slot in the next Koufax Awards, probably "Wider Recognition").

The only thing I ask is that you copy and paste the banner(s), rather than image source link to them here. That would be the polite thing to do. In addition to making them available here, I will also put them in my footer - way down underneath my Anti-War Webring Banner.

Observation Post 110406

If it's broke, bury it. NYT reports closure of Iraq auditor's office [tip of the hat to The Agonist]:
Congress Tells Auditor in Iraq to Close Office by JAMES GLANZ
Investigations led by a Republican lawyer named Stuart W. Bowen Jr. in Iraq have sent American occupation officials to jail on bribery and conspiracy charges, exposed disastrously poor construction work by well-connected companies like Halliburton and Parsons, and discovered that the military did not properly track hundreds of thousands of weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces.

Mr. Bowen’s office has inspected and audited taxpayer-financed projects like this prison in Nasiriya, Iraq.

And tucked away in a huge military authorization bill that President Bush signed two weeks ago is what some of Mr. Bowen’s supporters believe is his reward for repeatedly embarrassing the administration: a pink slip.

The order comes in the form of an obscure provision that terminates his federal oversight agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, on Oct. 1, 2007. The clause was inserted by the Republican side of the House Armed Services Committee over the objections of Democratic counterparts during a closed-door conference, and it has generated surprise and some outrage among lawmakers who say they had no idea it was in the final legislation . . . Plus Ça Change, Plus C'est La Même Chose. While Nancy Pelosi thinks impeaching Bush is a bad idea (doesn't want to set a precedent, obviously, nor to endanger the continuation of the war), Howard Dean assures us we'll "stay the course". Joshua Frank:
DNC Deja Vu: 2004 All Over Again

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has promised there will not be a change of course in Iraq if the Democrats take back Congress. Potential House leader Nancy Pelosi has assured voters that impeachment is not in the cards for Bush, either. Yet the liberal establishment is beaconing antiwar voters to clamor for the Democratic Party next Tuesday. It seems like 2004 all over again.

I recently disparaged the positions of progressive media critic Jeff Cohen and The Nation magazine for not supporting independent antiwar candidates, and instead calling for more of the same: i.e. voting for the Democrats even though we disagree with them on the war and a host of other issues. If we want to take on Bush, they argue, the Democrats have to take back Congress, and only then can we start to build a genuine progressive movement.

In the meantime, however, the war will rage on and Bush will remain at the helm of Empire with Congress's blessing. As the Washington Post reported on August 27, of the 46 candidates in tight House races this year, 29 oppose a timetable for troop withdraw. That's a whopping 63% of Democrats in hotly contested races who have exactly the same position on the war as our liar-in-chief, George W. Bush . . .Billmon gives fair warning.
I should be jumping for joy over these predictions, if only because I hate the bloody Republicans and the bloody conservatives so bloody much. But instead I'm filled with foreboding. If the Dems are going to win this year it's better, I suppose, that they win big -- big enough to discourage the reptiles from playing any post-election games, big enough to be billed as a mandate for change, big enough to wipe the smirk of Karl Rove's face forever. But it should be understood that even a crushing loss next week will only wound the GOP machine, not kill it, and a wounded, cornered animal can be very dangerous. Which is why I wasn't very happy to read this communique from William Lind:

The third and final act in the national tragedy that is the Bush administration may soon play itself out. The Okhrana [a czarist spy agency, one of Lind's little jokes] reports increasing indications of “something big” happening between the election and Christmas. That could be the long-planned attack on Iran.

You should take that, like you should take everything else you read on the Internets, with a grain of salt. But the logic of an attack is hard to ignore. War with Iran would not only be the quickest, most effective way to throw the Dems back on the defensive, it would also completely preempt, and bury, any post-election pressures to set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. (As Lind notes in his dispatch, it could also make it impossible to withdraw without losing an Army, but that's another story.)

But even if a November or December surprise isn't on the drawing boards, the historical pattern suggests a period of danger may lie ahead. The last two lame duck years of any president's second term are traditionally devoted to foreign policy, as the White House's domestic clout fades and the political focus shifts to the succession question. For most presidents, this usually means launching or intensifying ambitious diplomatic or peacemaking efforts, such as Clinton's bid to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in one swift go at Camp David.

But Bush (or Cheney, take your pick) isn't like "most presidents." His diplomatic efforts, with few exceptions, have all reached what appear to be dead ends -- with the Israelis and the Palestinians, with the Iranians and probably with the North Koreans, although with Kim Jong-il who the hell knows? . . .Paul Krugman reports on newest "mission accomplished" at NYT [through truthout]:
Bechtel, the giant engineering company, is leaving Iraq. Its mission - to rebuild power, water and sewage plants - wasn't accomplished: Baghdad received less than six hours a day of electricity last month, and much of Iraq's population lives with untreated sewage and without clean water. But Bechtel, having received $2.3 billion of taxpayers' money and having lost the lives of 52 employees, has come to the end of its last government contract.

As Bechtel goes, so goes the whole reconstruction effort. Whatever our leaders may say about their determination to stay the course complete the mission, when it comes to rebuilding Iraq they've already cut and run. The $21 billion allocated for reconstruction over the last three years has been spent, much of it on security rather than its intended purpose, and there's no more money in the pipeline.

The failure of reconstruction in Iraq raises three questions. First, how much did that failure contribute to the overall failure of the war? Second, how was it that America, the great can-do nation, in this case couldn't and didn't? Finally, if we've given up on rebuilding Iraq, what are our troops dying for?

There's no definitive way to answer the first question. You can make a good case that the invasion of Iraq was doomed no matter what, because we never had enough military manpower to provide security. But the lack of electricity and clean water did a lot to dissipate any initial good will the Iraqis may have felt toward the occupation. And Iraqis are well aware that the billions squandered by American contractors included a lot of Iraqi oil revenue as well as U.S. taxpayers' dollars.

Consider the symbolism of Iraq's new police academy, which Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, has called "the most essential civil security project in the country." It was built at a cost of $75 million by Parsons Corporation, which received a total of about $1 billion for Iraq reconstruction projects. But the academy was so badly built that feces and urine leak from the ceilings in the student barracks.

Think about it. We want the Iraqis to stand up so we can stand down. But if they do stand up, we'll dump excrement on their heads.

As for how this could have happened, that's easy: major contractors believed, correctly, that their political connections insulated them from accountability. Halliburton and other companies with huge Iraq contracts were basically in the same position as Donald Rumsfeld: they were so closely identified with President Bush and, especially, Vice President Cheney that firing or even disciplining them would have been seen as an admission of personal failure on the part of top elected officials.

As a result, the administration and its allies in Congress fought accountability all the way. Administration officials have made repeated backdoor efforts to close the office of Mr. Bowen, whose job is to oversee the use of reconstruction money. Just this past May, with the failed reconstruction already winding down, the White House arranged for the last $1.5 billion of reconstruction money to be placed outside Mr. Bowen's jurisdiction. And now, finally, Congress has passed a bill whose provisions include the complete elimination of his agency next October.

The bottom line is that those charged with rebuilding Iraq had no incentive to do the job right, so they didn't . . . The original mission was not "to drain the swamp", but to create one, then fill it with alligators, and charge us billions in doing so. No problem. Good job.

Beware! A wikipedia scare!
A post and discussion, "Wikipedia hijacked by malware" at digg.

Supporting our troops revisited. From ICH, "There has never been an American army as violent and murderous as the one in Iraq" by Martin Lukacs. Clips:
“The bad news,” investigative reporter Seymour Hersh told a Montreal audience last Wednesday, “is that there are 816 days left in the reign of King George II of America.”

The good news? “When we wake up tomorrow morning, there will be one less day.”

Hersh, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine, has been a thorn in the side of the U.S. government for nearly 40 years. Since his 1969 exposé of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, which is widely believed to have helped turn American public opinion against the Vietnam War, he has broken news about the secret U.S. bombing of Cambodia, covert C.I.A. attempts to overthrow Chilean president Salvador Allende, and, more recently, the first details about American soldiers abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

During his hour-and-a-half lecture – part of the launch of an interdisciplinary media and communications studies program called Media@McGill – Hersh described video footage depicting U.S. atrocities in Iraq, which he had viewed, but not yet published a story about.

He described one video in which American soldiers massacre a group of people playing soccer . . .

If Americans knew the full extent of U.S. criminal conduct, they would receive returning Iraqi veterans as they did Vietnam veterans, Hersh said.

“In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation,” he said. “It isn’t happening now, but I will tell you – there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq.” . . .More outing? Finally, RINF has published what it claims is the full membership list of the secret Yale club, Skull & Bones. The problem is that they don't say where/how they got it nor do they provide corroborating proof. Remains to be seen where this goes; whether anyone will pick it up and/or back it up.

Categories: war, elections, Iraq+reconstruction, war+profiteering, troops

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Mr. America . . . Tear Down This Wall!

Imagine that you are a cinderblock. Imagine that all of us Americans are each a cinderblock. And that we are part of a wall. We are stuck in that wall, unable to move, unable to escape.

The mortar binding us all together in this impenetrable wall is an iron-like mixture . . . of lies. We are all bricks in a wall of lies. It's too late to opt out of being a part of the wall - we're already there. In fact, we've become so embedded in the wall, that we're unable to struggle for one tiny nanometer of wiggle room.

We are the wall, impervious, impenetrable. Those of us bricks who do see and hear the truth are unable to act on it. We're stuck.

Be clear . . . it isn't that the wall is between us and the truth. It isn't that the truth is on one side and we're on the other. Truth is, in fact, all around us, on both sides.

We haven't always been the wall. But the wall is, in truth, older than we can remember. It certainly wasn't built by the Bush Administration, although they have contributed steely strength to the mortar of lies. The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang would not have been able to perpetrate such lies if the wall was not already fully in place. Here is just a soundbite from Robert Parry at OpEd, with "All the President's Lies" . . .
Bush . . . appears confident that he can continue to sell a distorted interpretation of the evidence to a gullible U.S. public. Basically, it appears that the President believes that the American people are very stupid.
Many Americans are as dumb as a bag of bricks. Bush knows that the rest of us are frozen.

A sense of how the wall came about is ably described by this quote from a comment on a post ("Fine Passages from Elsewhere") at Andrew Bard Schmookler's See No Evil:
Excerpt [quoting a German university philologist who lived through the WWII Nazi era]:

But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and the smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked – if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ‘43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ‘33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jew swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in – your nation, your people – is not the world you were in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed…
This Newsweek piece by Evan Thomas and Andrew Romano in August of this year, "History: How American Myths Are Made", focuses the matter:
The story of workaday men and women rising to greatness is one of America's most cherished myths. As a term, myth is much misunderstood; hearing it, many people take the word to mean "lie," when in fact a myth is a story, a narrative, that explains individual and national realities—how a person or a country came to be, why certain things happen in the course of a life or of history, and what fate may have in store for us. Myths are a peculiar hybrid of truth and falsehood, resentments and ambitions, dreams and dread. We all have personal myths running through our heads, and some chapters would withstand fact checking while others would fail miserably.

Nations are the same way. In America, the underlying faith is that in a truly free and democratic society, every man and woman has the potential to realize greatness, that freedom and openness liberate and ennoble ordinary citizens to do extraordinary things. The Triumph of the Common Man is a myth deeply rooted in American culture, and unlike some popular myths, it is true enough. Tom Hanks may have played a fictional character in "Saving Private Ryan"—the small-town American called to arms—but World War II was won by a million citizen soldiers very much like him.

There is, unfortunately, another, less admirable myth that Americans concoct to explain crises and disasters. It is rooted in the paranoid streak that runs through pop culture, the conspiracy theories that blame some sinister (and usually make-believe) Other for whatever went wrong. In 1950, many frightened Americans wanted to know: how could Russia have gotten the bomb so soon after America won World War II? There must be traitors among us! railed Sen. Joe McCarthy and other conspiracists, as they tore up the country looking for communists under every bed.

One might expect Hollywood's Oliver Stone to drum up a conspiracy theory to explain 9/11. He is, after all, known as the director of a movie, "JFK," that essentially accused Lyndon Johnson, the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff of killing President Kennedy. That Stone did not go to the dark side to explain the attacks of September 11 tells us something about the American sensibility toward that day. True, Stone was under pressure from the studio not to make the story political or conspiratorial. It is also true, though, that public-opinion surveys show that many Americans (42 percent in a recent Zogby poll) believe the government must be covering up something about 9/11, and many blame Bush for using the attacks to justify invading Iraq. Scaremongers on the Internet and Michael Moore's entertaining but outlandish "Fahrenheit 9/11" have fueled popular suspicions of devious plots. . . .

Myths evolve as circumstances and needs change. The Founders at first portrayed Lexington and Concord as an unprovoked attack on innocents; "Bloody Butchery, by the British," proclaimed a printed broadside of the time, illustrated with 40 small coffins. The propagandists were trying to stir up sympathy for the rebellion and a desire for revenge. Only a later generation of popularizers, who wanted to inspire a young democracy, stressed the bold resistance of the Minutemen who "fired the shot heard round the world." . . .
That is how the wall was built. If you sniff, you can smell the stench of boiled frogs in the hardened mortar . . . and also in your clothes, your hair, your Starbuck's latte.

What are these lies which bind us? Let's enumerate a few, contrasting them with the truth . . .

  • With all our faults, we're still "the greatest country in the world." The evidence against this myth is overwhelming. Let's look at some statistics provided by Infoplease:
    * The US ia not among the top ten countries with lowest infant mortality rates;
    * Nor is it a top tenner in life expectancy;
    * The US does't make the top 30 list of countries with the least disparity of income between rich and poor;
    * We are only 10th on the list of most livable countries;
    * We are 14th in the world in per capita foreign aid spent;
    * . . . "on any given day more than 2 million people are incarcerated in the United States, and that over the course of a year, 13.5 million spend time in prison or jail. African Americans are imprisoned at a rate roughly seven times higher than whites, and Hispanics at a rate three times higher than whites . . ."
    * We are the 17th (of 159 countries studied) most corrupt country on the planet;
    * The US is responsible for 48% of the world's military expenditures and has the highest per capita expenditure military expenditure ($1,604).

  • Through democracy, we will prevail. It has worked in the past, it will get us through again. The system works. The system may "work", but it works only for a few very rich and powerful people and cabals. By committing to "representative democracy" the framers ensured an extremely limited participation by the people. With their vast resources, some of them virtually invisible from the outside, these "insiders" have managed to nullify the only avenue - voting. We can now vote all we want, but we vote for lies, then our votes are stolen.

    Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States exposes and catalogues the truth here.

  • We are strong, with the best, the mightiest, military in the world. The truth: we may indeed possess the most advanced technology, but we just haven't "won" any wars for a very long time. It is a myth that we won either world war. We certainly haven't won the Korean War. We didn't win in VietNam. We didn't win "The Cold War". We are not winning the "War on Terror", nor will we.

  • Our government system is derived from the will of the people; it is "of, by, and for the people". See above. We are not a democracy. Even with the Democratic Party in power, we are an oligarchy and a police state. The government has always either operated independently of the people's wishes and/or has manufactured consent with lies.

    In "The U.S. fear of losing power which it doesn’t have", at RINF, Abid Ullah Jan says:
    Many analysts believe that the United State has failed in Iraq. In fact, it has not.

    Analysts, who measure the American success by the yard stick of Bush and Blair’s rhetoric for democracy and liberation, and the noble causes for invasion promoted by the “mainstream” media, are right in their conclusion. But the problem is that achieving those noble causes was never the objective of war on Iraq and Afghanistan . . .

    In a contest between foreign power and native resistance, foreign power — however much material and military strength it can wield — will always lose regardless of staying in the Urban center or outside in the deserts and mountains. Even in an era when a sense of racial superiority and colonial entitlement led Western nations to have few qualms about subjugating others, eventually native power based on native knowledge and determined resistance would reassert itself. Nowadays the reclamation of power asserts itself much more quickly but it always rises out of the same awareness: this is our land, not yours; it is our life and we must live our way of life.

    The tragedy is that American leadership, both democrat and republican, does not seem to be in a position to understand and recognize that vis-à-vis the world suffering under its de facto colonization, the United States does not now possess the power that it fears losing. This denial of the reality will keep pushing it into more wars regardless of who is in power in Washington. That will ensure the actual failure of the United States and total destruction in the rest of the world it is trying to conquer completely . . .

  • At our core, we all want peace. Our military forces are engaged in a fight for freedom and peace for our people and the people of the whole world. We always have been of the most belligerent countries in the world. Yes, many Americans want peace, but more easily justify aggression after aggression. The list of our wars is easy to find. They have been waged to produce power, not peace. Our wars generate wealth, not peace. Our wars result in hate, creating more wars. Our current wars are stimulating more "terror". That so many of us believe that we must win peace by waging war is even more proof that we've bought the lie, the whole lie, and nothing but the lie.

  • Our economy is strong. We provide many valuable products and services to the people of the world. The truth is that we're in big trouble. As a country and as individuals, we are drowning in debt. It's not just Iraq, although that's an alarming part of it. We just don't own us anymore. We're an economy built on debt and spec. And our currency - "the Almighty Dollar" - is not so almighty. In fact:
    The U.S. Dollar is kaput. Confidence in the currency is eroding by the day.

    A report in The Sydney Morning Herald stated, "Australia's Treasurer Peter Costello has called on East Asia's central bankers to 'telegraph' their intentions to diversify out of American investments and ensure an 'orderly adjustment'....Central banks in China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong have channeled immense foreign reserves into American government bonds, helping to prop up the US dollar and hold down interest rates,' said Costello, but 'the strategy has changed.'"

    Indeed, the strategy has changed. The world has come to its senses and is moving away from the green slip of paper that is currently mired in $8.3 trillion of debt.

    The central banks now want to reduce their USD reserves while trying to do as little damage to their own economies as possible. That'll be difficult. If a sell-off ensues, it will start a stampede for the exits.

    There's little hope of an "orderly adjustment" as Costello opines; that's just false optimism. When the greenback begins listing; things will turn helter-skelter quickly.

    In September, we saw early signs that the dollar was in trouble. The trade deficit registered at $70 billion but the Net Foreign Security Purchases (NFSP) came in at a paltry $33 billion. That means that our main trading partners are no longer buying back our debt which puts downward pressure on the greenback. The Fed had two choices; either raise interest rates substantially or let the currency fall. Given the tenuous condition of the housing bubble and the proximity of the midterm elections, the Fed did neither.

    A month later, in October, the trade deficit hit $69.9 billion but, then, without warning, a miracle occurred. The Net Foreign Security Purchases skyrocketed to a "historic high" of $116.8 billion; covering both months' shortfalls almost to the penny.


    Not likely. Either the skittish central banks decided to "stock up" on their dollar-denominated investments or the Federal Reserve (and their banking-buddies) is buying back its own debt to float us through the elections.

    This is exactly the kind of hanky-panky that people expected when Greenspan stopped publishing the M-3 last March keeping the rest of us in the dark about what was really going on with the money supply.

    Are we supposed to believe that the skeptical central banks suddenly doubled up on their T-Bills while they're (publicly) moaning about the dollar's weakness and threatening to diversify?

    That's a stretch.

    According to the Wall Street Journal the Chinese Central-bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan stated unequivocally that "We think we've got enough." The Chinese presently have nearly $1 trillion in USD and US Treasuries.


    The United States runs a $200 billion per year trade deficit with China. If they've "got enough" we're dead-ducks. After all, it doesn't take a sell-off to kill the dollar, just unwillingness on the part of the main players to stop purchasing at the same rate.

    Of course, everyone in Washington already knew that doomsday was approaching. That's the way the system was designed from the very beginning. It's all part of the madcap scheme to "starve the beast" and transfer the nation's wealth to a handful of western plutocrats. That's explains why the Fed and the White House whirred along like two spokes on the same wheel; every policy calculated to thrust the country headlong toward disaster. . . .
    That was a clip from "The Dollar's Full System Meltdown" by Mike Whitney at OpEd News.

  • The Bush Administration is an anomaly, a fluke. When it is gone, we will be back to normal. Oh, God no! 'Though this administration might be the most transparent, it is not the first nor will it be the last to act as it does. The most recent predecessor was just as duplicitous and just the latest in a continuing architecture of deceit and deception.

    It is time to redefine "normal" as "same old same old".

  • The USA is the best-educated country in the world. We're the smartest. Oh? Read this:
    U.S. falls in education rank compared to other countries
    Story posted: 10-04-2005 07:07 by Elaine Wu, U-Wire

    The United States is falling when it comes to international education rankings, as recent studies show that other nations in the developed world have more effective education systems.

    In a 2003 study conducted by UNICEF that took the averages from five different international education studies, the researchers ranked the United States No. 18 out of 24 nations in terms of the relative effectiveness of its educational system.

    Another prominent 2003 study, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, shows a steady decline in the performance of American students from grades 4 to 12 in comparison to their peers in other countries.

    In both studies, Finland, Australia, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Netherlands and the United Kingdom beat the United States, while the Asian nations of South Korea, Japan and Singapore ranked first through third, respectively . . .

  • America is devoted to bringing freedom and democracy to all peoples. No. Period. We try to export capitalism, not democracy. Our history of supporting repressive dictatorships and engineering coups against democratic governments is long and disgusting.

  • America and its values are under attack and in serious danger from "terrorists". Our current military and overt and covert foreign and domestic intelligence activities and curtailment of our rights are necessary to protect us. Our military, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq, is fighting not for the freedom of US citizens. As they fight, our own government is assaulting those rights and freedoms. Our military is fighting for multinational corporations and their profits. The longer they fight, the more the world hates us. The longer they fight, the higher the risk of terrorist attacks.

For further reading, try The Freeware Hall of Fame's "American Myths - and their realities" by Rey Barry. At the end of the piece, he lists "ten false myths most Americans believe", each linked to an explanation:

  • "The US separates church and state"

  • "Justice will triumph"

  • "We have self-government"

  • "You cannot be forced to incriminate yourself"

  • "Americans have free speech"

  • "Americans have free radio and TV"

  • "No man is above the law"

  • "Corporate political contributions aren't bribery"

  • "The best is yet to come"

  • "Abner Doubleday originated baseball"

I don't think we're going to tear down The Wall of Lies. We have built it because it's comfortable. The sacrifice required at the personal and national level is not appealing. Neither is the attention, participation, and patience that will be needed.

It is possible that at some point, the wall will come down, but not by our hand.