Friday, July 08, 2005

It's Fuck You Friday

To Saddam Hussein: Fuck you. How dare you plan and execute a hideous attack on civilians in London?

Oh...wait. Nevermind. It's the guy we didn't catch who's likely behind yesterday's atrocity.

Lest anyone think our invasion of Iraq has not, in fact, made us one fucking bit safer, Fox News yesterday went utterly batshit in their coverage of the event, flailing wildly in their attempts to excuse the failed policies of Bush and Blair that led to this disaster.

Sean Hannity had perhaps the most tortured role of all as he attempted to reason that if we hadn't overthrown Saddam, the London attack would have been worse.

Hannity: Isn't this the fact, though, General... that what we witnessed here was pure evil, what we saw on 9/11 was pure evil and doesn't (sic) events like this actually prove that the president is actually right inasmuch as we knew Saddam used chemical weapons and biological weapons against his own people? We knew he wouldn't abide by the cease fire agreement or the UN resolutions. The French told us he had 'em, John Kerry told us he had these weapons. And Bill Clinton did - that we can't take a chance that those weapons with people like him get in the hands of people that commit acts like today?

See, you silly proles? Saddam could have given the chemical and biological weapons he didn't have to the London attackers! Get with the program!

One wonders how Hannity can get through an entire show with his head up his ass.

The Fox clown show continued all day, with Brit Hume musing about the lush pickings on the futures market courtesy of those unfortunate dead British civilians, John Gibson expressing his sadness that it wasn't Paris that had been hit, and Brian Kilmeade dribbling through his asshole that the attacks "work to the Western world's advantage". Aren't these dead civilians great? You can pick up some extra cash for ciggies and beer and gloat that their deaths work to our advantage. Fox loves these terrorist acts, and are apparently hopeful that Bush and Blair can continue to expose our citizens to danger through their utterly failed policies.

The biggest Fox lunatic yesterday, by far, was their deranged "military analyst" David Hunt, who had these gems on the O'Reilly Factor:

HUNT: ...Three: Money. There's too much money in the Muslim world that's unaccounted for that's goin' to terrorist funding. This operation in London took six months to a year, thousands of dollars, passports, logistic cells and you have to get at that money. [What] I mean by that is - the Bank of Saudi Arabia, the Bank of Yemen. If you've got money, we're taking it and redistributing it. I'm talkin' about Biblical Justice to stop this. We've got to get people's attention ...

O'REILLY (overtalks): Let's - let's - let's take the money. What - you can't force banks in the Arab world to tell you where their money ...


O'REILLY: ... is going, can you?

HUNT: No, but I can get inside their bank - and people listening in the business know this. You can get inside a bank's computer - hit "send" and take it. I'm tellin' you - you asked what to do. You get at this money...

HUNT: And a lot of this money is getting to the terrorist organizations. I'm just - this is aggressive. Nobody's gonna like it, but it would definitely get their attention.

HUNT: We have to go after countries, Bill, that have - that are harboring these people, not war with them, but deal with them very, very aggressively.

O'REILLY: Well, ya' got ....

HUNT: Biblical justice.

This insane babble is what passes for commentary on Fox.

So, in a single day, in the face of the butcher's bill our leaders handed us, Fox gave us the full menu of GOP "morality": profiteering, French-bashing, lies about Iraq's nonexistent arsenal, playing a tragedy to political advantage and biblical justice. How exhausted they must have been at the end of the day!

So, a big Friday fuck you to the shameless whores at Fox "News".

Thursday, July 07, 2005

What's Next? Beware.

Despite the curious fact that early reports indicate that an Al Qaeda group no Western intelligence agency has heard of has claimed responsibility (the kind of thing that makes you go...hmmmmm) it's still too soon to determine exactly who was responsible for today's London bombings. Of one detail, however, you can be sure: we'll be affected in the United States.

Bush has already gloried in the spotlight today, strutting and marching to the microphones to tell the assembled press, "I was most impressed by the resolve of all the leaders in the room. Their resolve is as strong as my resolve."

As usual, it's all about him.

No mention, of course, of the "we're fighting them there so they won't fight us here" rhetoric. I suppose we can scratch that new reason for the war in Iraq.

The timing of this attack happens to coincide with the newly-emerging Rove scandal, public support for the war and for Bush plummeting, the public dismissal of his little war chat at Ft. Bragg, and the latest Halliburton outrage. Bush's political handlers must be breathing a sigh of relief to get the public focus back on terra, terra, terra.

How Bush will react here is the concern. On Tuesday's Hardball, former Bush speechwriter David Frum - still an insider in this administration - made a number of statements with an odd emphasis that caught my attention.

FRUM: I'm sure he would love to be the—to appoint the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. But I think it's really quite unlikely that he would choose Gonzales, and not for the reasons that people have been talking about earlier, but for this point.

One of the things that this administration has been very concerned about, especially since 9/11, is restoring executive power, that they see the executive powers worn away in the 1970s and '80s, and they want to bring it back. And that's going to come up in a lot of war issues.

...MITCHELL: David Frum, are there other issues that are more important to conservatives than Roe?

FRUM: ... So, there are property rights issues. There are the same-sex marriage issues. And there are going to be all of these war powers issues that are going to be very important, especially to the president.

MITCHELL: During a period of war and the war on terror.

...FRUM: I think it is a serious point and not just a neat one.

The president—the war on terror threw up, has created a lot of unprecedented legal questions. And we've had a lot of them come before the court. How do you treat these detainees? What if they're an American citizen? What if they're an American citizen captured on a foreign battlefield? And those have been—I think, if you were to look back over the last four years and say, inside the White House, what were the decisions they were most unhappy about, that affect the—made it most difficult for them to do their job, it was those kinds of decisions. And that also is going to be very much on the president's mind

These comments make one curious if the upcoming Supreme Court nomination will have anything at all to do with Roe, or if that will be a mere diversion. It looks more likely that Bush is going to appoint someone who will swing the court to allow for a very broad expansion of Bush's "war powers". This should concern us all.

How Bush responds to this London attack, therefore, will be instructive. Rather than doing the sensible thing - which to date he hasn't done, namely, spending money on security for our own transportation systems rather than handing the treasury over to Halliburton and spending $300 billion dollars in Iraq - Bush may well indeed use the attack to stoke fear in this country and attempt to push through an even more draconian version of Patriot Act II. We know - boy, do we know! - that he'll use any tragedy for political gain and expanded executive powers, and in the days to come the administration response will have to be watched carefully.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Empty Shell

I've written before about Cindy Sheehan, the Vacaville, CA woman whose son was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Since his death, she's taken on an activist role against the war and has begun an organization called Gold Star Families for Peace. She's made extensive media appearances, and was featured in the Congressional forum on the Downing Street Minutes. She recently appeared on Democracy Now and told a horrific story about her meeting with George Bush - the sort of "meet the widders and mourn with them" PR stunt that he often brags about in his speeches when he's unsuccessfully attempting to convey empathy for the families of the soldiers whose lives he so recklessly ended.

She recently did a print interview about this meeting, and it exposes the empty shell of a wrecked soul that our "war president" really is.

So when Sheehan received an invitation to meet privately with President Bush at the White House two months after her son died, the least she could have expected was a bit of compassion or a kind word coming from the heart.

But what she encountered was an arrogant man with eyes lacking the slightest bit of compassion, a President totally "detached from humanity" and a man who didn’t even bother to remember her son’s name when they were first introduced.

Instead of a kind gesture or a warm handshake, Sheehan said she immediately got a taste of Bush arrogance when he entered the room and "in a condescending tone and with a disgusting loud Texas accent," said: "Who we’all honorin’ here today?"

"His mouth kept moving, but there was nothing in his eyes or anything else about him that showed me he really cared or had any real compassion at all. This is a human being totally disconnected from humanity and reality. His eyes were empty, hollow shells and he was acting like I should be proud to just be in his presence when it was my son who died for his illegal war! It was one of the most disgusting experiences I ever had and it took me almost a year to even talk about it," said Sheehan in a telephone conversation from Washington D.C. where she was attending a July 4th anti-war rally.

Sheehan said the June 2004 private meeting with the President went from bad to worse to a nightmare when Bush acted like he didn’t even want to know her name. She said Bush kept referring to her as ‘Ma’ or ‘Mom’ while he "put on a phony act," saying things like ‘Mom, I can’t even imagine losing a loved one, a mother or a father or a sister or a brother.’

"The whole meeting was simply bizarre and disgusting, designed to intimidate instead of providing compassion. He didn’t even know our names," said Sheehan. "Finally I got so upset I just looked him in the eye, saying ‘I think you can imagine losing someone. You have two daughters. Imagine losing them?’ After I said that he just looked at me, looked at me with no feeling or caring in his eyes at all."

Sheehan said what really upset her about the meeting is that Bush appeared to become annoyed and even angry at her daughter Carley, 25, who also attended the White House get-together.

"My daughter said to him directly ‘I wish I could bring my loved one back’ and he said something like ‘so do we.’ Later she told me that after he made his remark he gave her one of the filthiest looks she had ever had gotten in her life.

"I just couldn’t believe this was happening. It was so surreal and bizarre. Later I met with some of the other 15 or 16 families who were at the White House the same day and, sure enough, they all felt the same way I did.

"It’s interesting that they put us each in separate rooms. I heard this was done to prevent any type of group outburst and since it’s easier to control a situation when people are separated. Looking back, all I can say is that the meeting with Bush was one of the most disgusting experiences in my life. "

I saw Sheehan on Hardball a couple of weeks ago. She appeared immediately after a segment with former Bush speechwriter David Frum, who had enraged me when he implied that anti-war protesters were "crazy". Before Sheehan began her interview, she took Frum down for his comment in a perfectly devastating manner. I was so impressed I wrote to her organization thanking her for the interview and for correcting Frum's shockingly un-American neocon spin. I was surprised when, a couple of days later, I got an email back from an AOL account I wasn't familiar with - it was Sheehan herself thanking me for my support and urging me to continue this fight against the war. Very classy. She travels the country speaking out against this war, and any money you can contribute to GSFP keeps her in the fight. Please help if you can.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

When You Lie Down With Dogs...

A real gem today from the Washington Post:

LONDON, July 4 -- President Bush told British Prime Minister Tony Blair to expect no favors at this week's Group of Eight summit of major industrialized countries in return for backing the war in Iraq.

... "I really don't view our relationship as one of quid pro quo," Bush told Britain's ITV1 television in an interview. "Tony Blair made decisions on what he thought was best for keeping the peace and winning the war on terror, as I did."

The poodle Blair is now officially used Kleenex to our warlord. It's bad enough that Bush expressed this sentiment privately to Blair, but then to trumpet his smackdown in a program televised in Blair's own country - a deliberate tactic - illustrates what a complete and utter failure Bush is in the realm of foreign policy. If Rice encouraged this, she's as incompetent as he is.

This public humiliation and repudiation of Blair may seem, to those of us who detest his participation in the Iraq war, a satisfying event. The larger issue of the damage our untrustworthy president does to our reputation in the world, however, remains.

As an aside, note the Orwellian language: starting a war of aggression is now "keeping the peace". It's enough to make your head explode.