Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bubble Brain, or Bush Meets the Press

After watching Bushy's animated press conference this morning, I decided that he is best called President Bubble Brain, commander-in-chief of Bubble World. Bobbing and weaving and flapping his arm like a lame chicken, he launched his usual rant about 9/11 changing everything and about Americans believing prior to 9/11 that no one could attack them here. No one challenged him by asking, for example,"Who were the World Trade Center Bombers?" Or asking, "Dude, did you grow up during the Cold War? Did you ever 'duck and cover?'"

Those of us who grew up under the mushroom cloud know damn well that we can be obliterated in nanoseconds. Bushy himself played to that knowledge and fear when he and his minions cooked up the "yellow cake" for Saddam's nuclear weapons program. The Interstate Highway System was justified as civil defense, after all, against the Communistas. Star Wars, the vaunted, outrageously expensive, nonworking missile defense system is supposed to protect us from nuclear missile attack--and it long predates 9/11/2001. The only way you cannot have known in your bones that the oceans were no protection from ICBMS was if you had a Bubble Brain--that is, air where grey matter should have been.

Bushy's devotion to the notion that the world "changed after 9/11" verges on the hysterical. His world did "change." From what the scribe of power, Bob Woodward, and others report and from what the dog can tell by listening to him and reading his own words, Bushy believes he was chosen by God in the wake of a disaster he slept through, and conversion experiences of that sort--visitations, really--are associated with hysteria. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The world did change for Bushy. It did not for everyone else, and they need to learn that or risk becoming as delusional as he--only he is far more dangerous.


Just floating in is news from the AP that a military jury at Fort Meade, Maryland, has found Army Sgt. Michael J. Smith guilty on six of thirteen counts of using his dog to traumatize risoners at Abu Ghraib, even to the point of making them defecate on themselves. His dog, a black Belgian shepherd, has presumably been reassigned and retrained--"presumably" is in this instance laced with irony. Smith was, AP reports, convicted on "two counts of maltreatment of three detainees, one count of conspiring to make a contest of making detainees soil themselves, dereliction of duty, assault and an indecent act." Nothing is said of torture. With the first Army dog handler convicted last July and another Army dog handler scheduled for trial in May, it is worth remembering that three Navy dog handlers refused to join in the prisoner abuse, refused to slime themselves and their dogs, refused to do something they knew to be wrong. We need more people like them, for judging from today's press conference I would have to say that the Bushbucker-in-Chief has slipped his tether, and there's no telling where he will crash and who he will injure or maim.

Bushbucking Reality

For a sense of how far gone the Bushies are, compare the Bushbucker-in-chief's boastful version in yesterday's Ohio speech about the assault against the Turkmen in Talafar in 2004 and again in 2005 with Juan Cole's account (scroll down) of the August 2005 attack on the Turkmen in Talafar, primarily the Sunni Turkmen. The assault involved American troops and Iraqi Shiite and Kurds, who, according to Cole targeted Sunnie Turkmen and in so doing annihilated the Turkish government, because the Turkmen. The ethnic attacks continue.

I'm listening to the Bushbucker-in-Chief's press conference. The man appears out of control--shrill, combative, arms flailing, obsessed as always with 9/11 and perpetuating his pre-invasion lies about Saddan, WMD, and his attempts at diplomacy--that is to get Saddam to give up weapons he didn't have. Leaving Iraq will "embolden al Qaeda," not to mention "Islamist Fascists." Now, he is becoming incoherent in trying to talk about the virtue of spreading liberty and democracy because democracies don't wage war. Someone should now ask why he refuses to recognize the Palestinian people's selection of Hamas. Someone should ask him about torture. The man can't be followed. Now he's rambling about the "natural rights" upon which America is based. Makes one's head spin in circles backwards.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

What's a Pilgrim To Do?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." That's attributed to George Orwell--attributed because no one can find the actual source text--and comes to me from an erstwhile historian.

Today's Diogenenes Award--presented sporadically to the person or persons who expose the abuses of power, official lies and deceits, and popular urban myths and legends to the cold light of reason--goes to Eric Schmitt and Carolyn Marshall of the New York Times for exposing the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners by Task Force 6-26, a U.S. Special Operations force at Camp Nama's Black Room, a former Saddam torture chamber, near Baghdad at least in 2003 and 2004. These sadists had as their motto: "No Blood, No Foul," meaning, Schmitt and Marshall report, that if the prisoners didn't bleed, the torturers couldn't be prosecuted. These brave soldiers were charged with tracking down, Abu Musab al-Zargawi, and while they seem to have been rather adept at torture and congratulating themselves for abusing prisoners, they were lousy trackers. Clearly, as has been said in study after study, torture does not produce anything approaching "truthful," or useful testimony. Schmitt and Marshall lay it out, so here let me say, as I've said before, that the torture of prisoners appears to have been authorized at the highest levels of the U.S. government and that it must be investigated and prosecuted vigorously through the ranks for the war crime it is.

That is the right and just and moral thing to do. Only by proceeding immediately--and the prospect is for large scale impeachment proceedings and criminal prosecutions--can the U.S. hope to redeem itself, as a society of "laws, not men," and recover its standing in the world. No it is not a PR stunt; it is a necessary expiation for the sins committed in the name of America and democracy.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Chapter and verse, today's New York Times excerpts Michael R. Gordon's and Bernard E. Trainor's Cobra II: The Secret Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, scheduled for publication Tuesday, to show that Saddam feared more than assault by U.S. troops rebellion by Shiites to the south and disgruntled tribes elsewhere, presumably like the Marsh Arabs--ironically the sort of dissolution his own Sunni are now fomenting. The unspoken point in the excerpt appears to be Saddam's recognition that at any moment Iraq could blow into its component parts--something the U.S. should have known. Moreover, as reported elsewhere, Saddam maintained the fiction of WMD to intimidate his enemies at home and in Iran. Previously unreported, I believe, is that Saddam didn't even tell his own generals that the WMD warehouses were bare until three weeks before the U.S. invasion; their morale crashed.

But he did tell the UN inspectors they same thing and provide information the U.S. and Britain ignored in their illegal, immoral war of aggression [the dog's characterization, not Gordon's and Trainor's--at least not in this excerpt].

Gordon and Trainor base this portion of their book on a secret Pentagon history, an expurgated version of which is apparently scheduled for release. We've paid for the whole thing with blood and treasure. We should get it all--the military historians' assessment of what happened when the Supreme Delusionist [George W Bush] and his sucker fish side pal, Blairing Tone, tangled in the sand with the Grand Illusionist [Saddam of the WMDs(not)]. Shake 'n' Bake.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bye, Bye Dubai

The spineless Congress finally did something brave; it told the Dubai company that stood poised to assume management of cargo traffic at 6 US ports to take a hike--in the name of national security. People are being slaughtered daily in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the Taliban is resurgent and tortured in those and other countries. The Bushies flaunt the laws of the land against spying on Americans and daily rub their perfidious incompetence in everyone's face, knowing they face no consequence. Congress can't be bothered with that--or it surrenders by making legal the illegal-- but it will leap at the opportunity to convert xenophobia and bigotry into policy. Score one for courage.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Vintage Bushbucking

The dog didn't quit; he had other work to do. But he can't resist observing that the Bushbucker-in-Chief engaged in classic "bushbucking" when he went to New Orleans and blamed Congress for shorting the recovery effort in Louisiana $1.5 billion, knowing full well that that money, out of 10s of billions, had been diverted elsewhere on the Gulf Coast. He did so, of course, because of the video of him sitting on his thumb during that final briefing the day before Katrina overwehelmed New Orleans, saying only that his government was prepared--right--the same way his government was geared to deal with Iraq. Only the 535 members of the House and the Senate are more moronic than are the Bushbucker in Chief and his henchpersons.

notes toward a elegy [in progress]

What Is Lost?

Bolted through the tree wth a crack
lightning, white as the rain that flamed
down on us, cindered flesh

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bush, Lies and Katrina

Nixon had his audio tapes, except for an erased 18 1/2 minutes, that helped bring him down. Now the chief Bushy has his video tapes, showing him in his shoebox conference room at the ranch in Crawford on August 28, participating by video link in a daily briefing about the potential catastrophe named Hurricane Katrina, then filling the Gulf of Mexico and aiming for New Orleans. Katrina hit the next day. The AP yesterday released the video, and today the Washington Post, among others, builds on the story. On September 1, Bushy said on ABC's Good Morning America that no one could have anticipated the failure of the levees. It's been reported before--in print--but this short video clip shows the power of high speed internet connections and of video itself. That's not Max Headroom at the end of the table, asking no questions, assuring everyone that the government is on top of things--right. Its Bushy, and he can't duck and cover. He lied. He was warned in specific detail, and he sat on his thumbs. This video makes a dog wish that there was one of another daily briefing on another August day when the president was in Crawford and asked no questions after a report on a potential catastrophe.

The only people more incompetent than the Bushies are the members of Congress who have abdicated their institutional and Constitutional obligation to investigate and impeach.