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Bush disassembles the Amnesty International charges (that means not tell the truth)

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From Bush’s news conference:

I’m aware of the Amnesty International report, and it’s absurd. It’s an absurd allegation.

The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world. When there’s accusations made about certain actions by our people, they’re fully investigated in a transparent way.

It’s just an absurd allegation.

In terms of, you know, the detainees, we’ve had thousands of people detained. We’ve investigated every single complaint against the detainees.

It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of and the allegations by people that were held in detention, people who hate America, people that have been trained in some instances to disassemble, that means not tell the truth.

BUSH: And so it was an absurd report. It just is.

Disassemble means ‘to take apart’. I suppose the word he meant was ‘dissemble,’ but for crying out loud, can’t he get some speechwriters that can write things that he can read?

Just saying that they’ve had ‘thousands of people’ detained doesn’t answer the Amnesty International charges. In fact it’s part of what Amnesty International is using in their charges – that the US has had thousands of people detained without giving them any formal status! And we’re happy to know that they’ve examined all the complaints against the detainees, but what the report is about is complaints by the detainees.

And we wouldn’t have to go on the word of these ‘people who hate America’ if there had been independent observers in Gitmo who did not presumably hate America. There’s normally a presence of lawyers there now, but that was not the case for some time.

It’s obvious that this is just an absurd charge, of course, just absurd! Why? It just is.

A lovely example of an intelligent dialogue with the American people.

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  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    They do have official status, they are being held according to the laws of war which every country would do the same. In fact, holding prisoners of war until hostilities are over was a major advancement in warfare… it provides for the incentive to not kill everyone on the battlefield. Once Al Qaeda surrenders, those people can go home. But as long as the fighting goes on, they stay put. That’s the laws of war and no nation on this planet would do anything different.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    John sez…
    *they are being held according to the laws of war which every country would do the same. In fact, holding prisoners of war until hostilities are over was a major advancement in warfare*

    fascinating take on it, if you are correct and the “detainees” are indeed prisoners of War then they should be held as such, and under the Geneva Conventions we would have every right to do so…in accordance with the Conventions.

    unfortunately, they are NOT being held and treated in accordance with the Conventions, and the Administration’s reasoning behind this (written in large part by the current Attorney General)is that they are “civilian combatants” an das such fall outside the rules of the Conventions…this allows for them to be treated in a much more cavalier fashion.

    just last month a Military Tribunal sent over 200 of these “detainees” home after their approximately 2 years of captivity…time held without a lawyer , or the ability for outside Agencies to observe the conditions…

    and those 200 plus were told they had no cause to be held, and were sent back to Afghanistan.

    a bit different view than what you were stating…and i think you will find it closer to factual accuracy

    objects in mirror may be closer than they appear

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.outragedmoderates.org Thad Anderson

    I guess Amnesty International is “old human rights” the way Western Europe is “old Europe.”

    Since neocons started caring about human rights internationally . . . which happened some time after the Iraq-Al Qaeda link evidence and WMD evidence failed to materialize . . . they’re they experts, and not groups that have put decades of work into the issue.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Amnesty international are a pack of idiots. They rate the US low on human rights in general because we have the death penalty. Take a look at their rankings sometime and how they derive them. They’re slanted against western developed countries in some truly bizarre ways.

    Not that they don’t do some good work, but they are very poor at figuring out what’s a real human rights violation and what isn’t when dealing with some countries.

    Dave

  • Bob

    I find it interesting that there is such great concern for the suffering of the Gitmo prisoners, when at its worst their suffering isn’t even a fraction of the horrors inflicted on people in our regular prison system. I think it is that because they are the enemies of America, in some peoples eyes this elevates them to some kind of noble status as freedom fighters.

  • Bob

    To Gonzo Marx:

    1 necissary requirement for any person to be considered a legitimate combatant & therefore covered by the Geneva Convention, is that you have to wear a clearly distinguishable uniform identifying you as a soldier. Fight in civilian clothes you have no rights, period.

    During the Battle of the Bulge , German commando’s dressed in American uniforms to commit sabatoge behind our lines. When they were caught many were summarily executed (no trial, no lawer), & no one ever challenged the legality of this.

  • Nancy

    Anyone who thinks the US is a free land, or a true democracy, has their head in the sand. We have been neither free, nor a democracy, for many years. We THINK we are, but we’re not: our elections are as subject to fraud & corruption by big business and various special interests as anywhere else in the world, and our administration(s) can certainly hold their own for manipulation, corruption, lying, and perverting the constitution and bill of rights with just about any other on the face of this earth – they just try to hide it more than the rest by wrapping it all in spin, patriotism, and religion, and spoon-feeding their pap to a gullible and unthinking public which (in general) deserves no better due to intellectual laziness, willful stupidity, and lassez-faire apathy, which is what our government counts on instead of active militaristic repression. Why bother with bullets when advertising and publicity can accomplish the same ends with less obviousness? And when caught indulging in this gross manipulation, the only defence required is scorn, denial, and ignoring the issues.

    I find it troubling and deeply depressing that on the revelation of the identity of “Deep Throat”, 30 years after Watergate, we are still saddled with an administration and a president even more powercrazed, arrogant, secretive, and corrupt than ever. Would that some new patriotic Deepthroat would arise to expose and depose this monstrous regime as well.

  • Eric Olsen

    I would like to see a detainee disassemble – that would be impressive

  • Nancy

    Yah, it would, indeed. Actually, seeing anybody disassemble would be interesting.

  • Eric Olsen

    if they disassembled then reassembled elsewhere, it would be like the Star Trek “teleporter,” or was that “transporter”?

  • Nancy

    ‘Transporter’. Now, having disassembled, would the subject then still exist in order to be able to reassemble, or would disassembling render existance moot?

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks, I’m a bit Trek-rusty – I believe it’s a temporary state of discombobulation which presupposes the arrow of time, resulting in recombobulation barring technical snafu

  • Nancy

    Well, even Dr. ‘Bones’ didn’t like those things. But they did the disassembling; I thought we were talking about individuals who self-disassembled?

  • Eric Olsen

    good point

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>I find it troubling and deeply depressing that on the revelation of the identity of “Deep Throat”, 30 years after Watergate, we are still saddled with an administration and a president even more powercrazed, arrogant, secretive, and corrupt than ever. Would that some new patriotic Deepthroat would arise to expose and depose this monstrous regime as well.<<

    Nancy, you must not be old enough to remember Watergate, because if you think things this administration has done are even in the same league with the Nixon administration then you’re abyssmally ignorant of that era.

    Dave

  • http://www.publichealthpage.com MDE

    When you talk nonsense then you can be misunderestimated and keep your defiability about what you meant that was quoted out of context.

  • JR

    Nancy, you must not be old enough to remember Watergate, because if you think things this administration has done are even in the same league with the Nixon administration then you’re abyssmally ignorant of that era.

    Is John Dean likewise abyssmally ignorant of that era?

    In the three decades since Watergate, this is the first potential scandal I have seen that could make Watergate pale by comparison.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    John Dean is a despicable political opportunist, and I might note that he was one of the point men for the public deception campaign associated with Watergate.

    JR, do you remember any of the crimes associated with Watergate? Not questionable policy decisions, actual felonies committed by special operatives assigned the job of criminally disrupting the US political process?

    Does Bush have a ‘black bag’ team? Are his agents breaking into offices, planting bugs, blackmailing people, stealing records, threatening reprisals against members of congress and the like?

    Give me a break.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Bob..
    i am well Aware of the definitions, and if you read what i commented closely you will find that i made the same point, and quoted the legal counsel as Source for the decision.

    my cooment was to factually correct John B. mis-statement essentially laying out the same Facts as you did.

    of course, i then added some more Facts to it in order to enlighten and to try and give a larger View of the circumstances.

    hope that helps explain…

    a sfor the comparison of this present Administration to Nixon’s…i tend to agree with John Dean on this one..Nixon was an amateur by comparison.

    Excelsior!

  • Eric Olsen

    it is time for the ass-kissing of terrorists to end: the motto of Gitmo should be, “We will disassemble your ass”

  • Eric Olsen

    okay, I was kidding

  • JR

    Does Bush have a ‘black bag’ team? Are his agents breaking into offices, planting bugs, blackmailing people, stealing records, threatening reprisals against members of congress and the like?

    I don’t know.

  • http://www.publichealthpage.com MDE

    re: “Does Bush have a ‘black bag’ team? Are his agents breaking into offices, planting bugs, blackmailing people, stealing records, threatening reprisals against members of congress and the like?”

    Good questions.

    He is surrounded by folks willing to orchestrate public deception campaigns – ‘for our own good and protection’, we understand.

    Mark

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    MDE, every president has people around him whose job is to spin the truth and present things the way the administration wants them. That’s not criminal. Nixon had people he ordered to go out and commit felonies for him. That’s a whole different world.

    Dave

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    and in the case of this administration, the presentation of the ‘gilded facts’ was known as stovepiping.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    ‘Stovepiping’? I wonder what the origin of that term is. Peculiar.

    Dave

  • Richard

    This administration make Nixon’s look like Nancy Drew. Nixon tried to protect out enviornment with far reaching enviromental protection laws. Bush and his team are changing them, making them less effective.

  • Richard

    re: “Does Bush have a ‘black bag’ team? Are his agents breaking into offices, planting bugs, blackmailing people, stealing records, threatening reprisals against members of congress and the like?”

    We now have the Patriot Act so these actions aren’t as necessary

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    So, bad environmental policy trumps conspiracies and felonies? Come again?

    Dave

  • Richard

    Felonies don’t killpeople by the thousands necessarily, oh and don’t forget the possiblities of changing your childrens genetic structure!

  • Nancy

    But I DO remember: in fact, I got to be sitting in the ‘audience’ at the courthouse when the Supremes handed down the decision that Nixon’s confidential records were not, in fact, confidential. What I most remember is the incredible silent rush of (media?) people out the doors, as if they’d been sucked into a vacuum in outer space; presumably to report it: but aside from a slight rustling, almost noiseless.

    Whatever, I am well aware of the details of Nixonian misbehavior. Both were involved up to their hocks in subverting the elections; in Nixon’s case, he got caught via his henchcreatures; in Bush’s, apparently no one cares except those probably disenfranchised. Same crimes, different times due to changed public ethics and mores (and probably a lot more money being spread around: Nixon didn’t have the kind of big business, multinational contacts W does), and I believe a general public acceptance of, if not acquiescence to, hanky-panky by politicians. We’ve become ‘used’ to it, so to speak. Nixon was also a far less personally appealing critter than W is, and the ‘science’ & cynicism of PR was far less slick than it is today.

  • Richard

    Dave, If you don’t think Bush’s bad environmental policy trumps conspiracies and felonies, you’re abyssmally ignorant of environmental issues.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Except, of course, that the MIT/CalTech report definitively disproves the election tampering theories and relegates your position to the tinfoil hat world, Nancy.

    Dave

  • http://www.publichealthpage.com MDE

    Richard, not to make lite of your concerns about the environment, but – think positive, dude. Maybe the genetic changes you point out will lead to the rapid evolution of a new species – homopeacefultypeguys

    Mark

  • Nancy

    Didn’t catch that report, Dave. Last I heard, the Pres. of the voting machine mfgr. – who also just happens to be the Ohio elections super – had vowed to “deliver” the Ohio vote to Bush, which I thought was rather a stupid thing to say, and wondered why he was allowed to keep the position, given its gross conflict of interest. Ya gotta admit, that was pretty blatant. Whether it turned out true is, as you point out, another matter.

    And what’s wrong w/my tinfoil hat? It keeps the Martians out.

  • BillB

    >MDE, every president has people around him whose job is to spin the truth and present things the way the administration wants them. That’s not criminal.<

    No but it’s unethical. Especially when you’re supposedly standing in the “light of the lord!” Transparency reigns!!!

    What’s amazing, as Nancy correctly points out, is how we’ve come to view such nonsense as acceptable. It is, however, somewhat understandable. There are powerful interests that are perfectly content with things as they are.

    It doesn’t have to be a conspiracy, though it may be, just a bunch with common interests that are not in the country’s best interest.

    In the end if we demand more, we will likely get it.

    Dave’s take reminds me of DP Moynihans dumbing down theory. It applies to civic responsibilities as well as academics.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Didn’t catch that report, Dave. Last I heard, the Pres. of the voting machine mfgr. – who also just happens to be the Ohio elections super – had vowed to “deliver” the Ohio vote to Bush, which I thought was rather a stupid thing to say, and wondered why he was allowed to keep the position, given its gross conflict of interest. Ya gotta admit, that was pretty blatant. Whether it turned out true is, as you point out, another matter.<<

    That quote was taken out of context. It’s really not at all what he was saying, and it was also not said as president of Diebold. In his private life he was a GOP volunteer, and he was talking about the efforts of their phone bank and volunteers to get out the vote. It had nothing to do with the voting machines and he was speaking only for himself. This is why you haven’t heard much made of his comment since the days right after the election, because it became so easy to slap down anyone who tried to bring his statement up in an argument.

    Dave

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    only thing that really bothered me about the whole Diebold thing..remember, i am an electronics technologist…they claimed they could not provide a machine that woudl leave an accurate paper trail…

    Diebold makes ATM’s..that leave a PEFECT paper trail..

    so they can track to 1 penny out of a billion dollars…but can’t generate a receipt for a vote?

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I believe the paper trail business all originated in the fact that diebold bid the contract for certain states without including a paper receipt in the bid and manufactured those machines without printerst. Subsequently they were not willing to provide printers without additional payment which the states in question were unwilling to pony up at the time. I believe the same diebold machines, or similar ones, do exist with printers in some other states where the bid specs included the ability to provide a paper receipt.

    Dave

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    not the way i got it in the trades..

    the states were told “we can’t do that”, as for the ones that do have paper print trails..i have only seen photos and some of the design schematics, and they appear to only have the printers themselves as a difference…the techs working on the “paperless” versions hook into the same serial port (RS-232) for their diagnostic and programming prints as are used for the paper trail versions…

    not having actually been inside of one, and not in possession of either clear digital photos of the entire internal assembly, nor complete schematics…i cannot verify for a certainty as to the Fact of the matter…but all the peripheral components required save the printer seem to be there, the motherboards, power supply and controlling I/O circuitry appear identical…

    for what it’s worth, merely for the sake of Thought…not Argument….k?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Right, so they can be hooked up to provide a paper trail, they just weren’t. From what I heard this is because the original bid didn’t include that option – which is typical with government contracts. If they’re not totally specific the contractor can cut corners and still meet the specs, or come back and hit them up for more money for what they forgot to include in the specs.

    Dave

  • M Paulding

    “Dissemble” was “word of the day” on Dictionary.com the day before his press conference. Now, you know how he learns the English language. Why don’t all of you so-called conservatives chip in and enroll him in their premium content?

  • M Paulding

    Better yet, enroll yourselves in Dictionary.com at the same time. Then you’ll understand what ‘fixing the intelligence and the facts to the policy’ means.

  • Nancy

    That the President of Diebold – who also just ‘happens’ to be Ohio state elections commissioner, would make such a statement in ANY capacity is appalling as well as rightly inciting suspicion: he should not have been in that position to begin with, but after that little spiel, in context or out, he should have been removed if he didn’t have the common sense and decency to remove himself. Elections officials, like the president and Ceasar’s wife, not only should but MUST be above suspicion. Let’s put it this way: the Bush administration’s penchant for fiddling with election results is widespread enough that we had no less than four other countries offer to monitor our elections to make sure they were on the up-&-up, including good ol’ Fidel, tongue in cheek – but the others were not. That plus Karl Rove still being in the center of the mix said more to me about GOP intents and modus operandi than anything else. Frankly, anything even peripherally involving Karl Rove in ANY capacity render the credibility of it suspect. Like it or not, the best thing that will ever happen to the GOP for its own good will be for that amoral, vicious maggot to cork off. Let’s hope it’s soon.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Nancy, apparently for you there is no coincidence and there is no innocent mistake, so long as a Republican is involved. That’s fine for you, but it’s not a terribly realistic view of the universe and it’s not going to get you taken terribly seriously by anyone ratiional.

    Dave

  • MCH

    I disagree, Nalle. I find Nancy’s view of the universe much more rational and less hypocritical than your phoney diatribes.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’m sure you do, MCH, but you live under a bridge and eat goats.

    Dave

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    the “Under the Bridge” Party is a “big tent” that welcomes all

    and as a rastafarian friend said to me “i and i like de happy goat, mon..bar-b-q- is tasty making”

    Excelsior!

  • Nancy

    No: in these circumstances, given these people with the degree of education, etc. and privilege that they have, I do NOT believe in “coincidence or innocent mistakes” any more than I believe in the tooth fairy – and the politics of anyone perpetrating such humbug makes no difference. That fact that YOU seem to uncritically accept and swallow such lame excuses is not only not a terribly realistic view of the universe, but it’s not going to get you taken seriously by anyone rational.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Why is it more realistic to look for loony conspiracies under every rock than to assume that people behave in relatively consistent and sensible ways most of the time?

    Why is everything a Republican does motivated by evil for you? Most Republicans aren’t evil people. They don’t want to rig elections, they want to win them fairly. And if they were going to rig an election they sure wouldn’t say so publicly.

    Dave

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    why is the idea that a republican may have done something unseemly deemed ‘loony’?

    face it, the ‘intelligence’ was stovepiped straight to the top because the stuff coming through normal channels wasn’t ‘strong enough’ to support the administration’s conclusions.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Mark, that’s not what we’re talking about here. Nancy is ranting about the election, not the WMD silliness.

    Stovepiping the intelligence is an entirely different situation, and while it’s not a conspiracy as such, it’s not nearly as speculative as some of the theories on the election.

    Dave

  • http://www.bigtimepatriot.com Big Time Patriot

    Here is what I find most disturbing about the Administrations justifications for not allowing these people to have trials or rights. It boils down to the fact that the administration has given them a label, “terrorists”. It is just a labeling process since there has obviously been no conviction in any courts to prove such a label. Just the labeling process apparently justifies any action on any human being.

    This is disturbing because this labeling process is EXACTLY THE SAME EXCUSE THE RUSSIANS USED to justify the Gulag’s.

    Take one of Cheney’s or Bush’s or Rumsfeld’s justifications of Guatanemo and subsitute the words “enemy of the state” each time they say the word “terrorist”.

    See? If you accept the labeling, the arguments are just as convincing as the arguments that Saddam and Russia used to drag people off the streets and torture them.

    However, if you decide that a labeling process is NOT enough for the greatest Free country on Earth, if you decide we can do BETTER than labeling when it comes to human rights, well, this administration needs to be held accountable.

    America can do better than spreading democracy via a governmental labeling system. We can try to support justice and truth. If you don’t trust government beurocrats to get your tax bill right, why would you trust them to be responsible for how people are labled as terrorists?

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    ah, i see.

    i don’t think their was any conspiracies with the election….just a general rove-driven march full ‘o half-truths.

    but that can be applied to both sides, really (except for the ‘rove’ part, of course)

  • http://www.bigtimepatriot.com Big Time Patriot

    “threatening reprisals against members of congress and the like”

    Hmm, it’s true, the Bush Administration doesn’t have special operatives for that. It makes the threats itself or via Cabinet Members.

  • Nancy

    Persons of all parties are venal and usually ruled by their (unfortunately) worst instincts, especially where politics comes into play. I don’t spike the Repubs for this any more than I would Dems, were they in the position to have done the same…but they weren’t. And the Republicans were. And no, people with the amount of savvy and sophistication endemic to a CEO or whatever of a corporation, or the supervisor of elections for an entire state, are neither innocents or naive. But they DO get cocky and arrogant and shoot their mouths off, thinking they’re unassailable, as in this case. If someone on Kerry’s side had said the same thing, being in the same position, I would have been equally certain they had dirty tricks in mind with the election, and that would not have suited me either. I don’t want either side to win via scumbag tactics. And I don’t like scumbags in either party. My inclination is to shoot or hang ALL politicians (and their goonies) who are less than sterling. I don’t ask any more of any of them but that they meet the basic standards of ethics and behavior I set for myself, and expect of those people I associate with: you don’t lie; you don’t steal; you don’t take money from A with your left, and from B with your right – in fact, you don’t take money at all; you don’t accept gifts – from anybody, for any reason; you don’t play fast and loose with rules; you don’t act like you’re above the law; if you want to keep a clean reputation, you do not associate with riffraff and scum; you don’t ‘mis speak'; you don’t abuse your power; nor do you do anything questionable and ‘on the edge’. In short, I expect my elected representatives of either party to behave like honorable, honest persons. For whatever reasons, this particular season the Republicans seem to be the party with the mostest; I suspect because W. tends to attract and associate w/scumbags, who, like flies after carrion, follow in his wake, scenting a fellow. IMO you’d have to go back to good ol’ Grant to find anyone more wretched than W, altho Grover C. was also in that unesteemed group. I could lambaste a few Ds as well, starting with the sterling example of good ol’ Teddy K., the Hero of Chappaquiddik (sp?). I suspect his seat is a gift of the Catholic Church establishment (and they do still wield power in them parts) as well as paid for w/Kennedy dough, because no one with half a brain and an ounce of integrity would vote for him, or his family members, on their own less-than-outstanding merits.

    Yeah, there are a few sterling Republicans. Unfortunately, they’re way in the majority. Ditto the Dems. I found it quite telling that in the last election, people were more voting against this one or that one than FOR anyone in particular. Obviously we need a ‘neither of the above’ choice as well.

  • Nancy

    Nancy is ranting about ALL of it: the elections (both), the WMDs, the increasingly lame excuses/justifications for going to Iraq, the outrageous explosion of the deficit, the lack of concern for 4+ million citizens w/no insurance, the widening and blatant gap between the rich and the rest of us, the coziness of the adminstration members w/an entire spate of vicious corporate scams, 1600+ Americans dead for NO justifiable reason, congress being hand in glove and arm in arm w/lobbyists and special interests to the detriment and betrayal of the electorate they’ve sworn to serve, and on and on and on. If I rant more about the Republicans these past 6 years, it’s because they’re the ones in the driver’s seat. Should the Dems get in and do as badly as the current Rs, I guarantee you, I will be at their throats as well. Rage at betrayal has no preferences for political parties.

  • Nancy

    And just to finish it all off, I may as well say that to justify the war in Iraq as for the purpose of bringing “democracy” to the Iraqis is the lamest excuse of all. First off, the Iraqis are losers. Politically incorrect? So what. Losers. If any of them had had half the gumption of a camel, they’d have thrown off Saddam by themselves long ago. But they didn’t, and they weren’t going to. Why? Because the generic culture of the middle east is NOT oriented to democracy, but to exactly the kind of dictatorship (usually more benign, but not always, as history will bear me out) which still prevails, has prevailed since the dawn of so-called civilization, and probably always will. We spill our blood and waste our money for nothing. Nothing worth those kinds of sacrifices, anyway. These people aren’t interested in fighting for an abstraction like ‘democracy'; if they did, these outside terrorists and suicide bombers wouldn’t last a week. If we leave, they’ll resume fighting with the Israelis. And failing that, they’ll go back to fighting each other, just as they have for the past 12,000 years. It’s their culture, it’s their way of life, and it’s even more their religion than Islam: the tribal life and all the accompanying conflicts, etc.

    So Bush can just spare me the empty, vain rhetoric about wanting to grant these people democracy. Why them and not some other deserving group? Perhaps because some other deserving group isn’t sitting on the biggest oil reserves in the middle east? The administration is SO transparent, they shame plastic baggies. The insult and injury is, they then proceed to lie to everyone about it, as if they thought we were all as stupid and venal as they would like us to be. Granted, some of us are, but I myself resent it. All of it.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Some bits and pieces for Nancy:

    >>Yeah, there are a few sterling Republicans. Unfortunately, they’re way in the majority.< <

    Come again? It's bad that the majority of Republicans are well intentioned?

    >> Ditto the Dems. I found it quite telling that in the last election, people were more voting against this one or that one than FOR anyone in particular. Obviously we need a ‘neither of the above’ choice as well.< <

    So we'd have no president at all? What we need is a third party to put pressure on the two current parties to not nominate their most venal human leeches for the office.

    >>the lack of concern for 4+ million citizens w/no insurance,< <

    You should be even more outraged - it's about 35 million, which is way more than 4.

    >> the widening and blatant gap between the rich and the rest of us,< <

    This is highly debatable. Only the super-rich are getting all that much richer, and they're actually moving away from the normal rich, who are staying even relative to the rest of us. Plus the widening of such a large gap is virtually meaningless to any individual, and certainly has no impact on the economy in general or the welfare of anyone else at a lower level in the population. What you and many others seem to miss is that the increasing wealth of one person does not generally come at the expense of others. If Bill Gates gets richer that does not normally mean that anyone else gets poorer. In fact, it's more likely that everyone else gets richer too, just at a somewhat slower rate.

    >> the coziness of the adminstration members w/an entire spate of vicious corporate scams, 1600+ Americans dead for NO justifiable reason,< <

    Not going to waste time discussing the war with you. You're emotionally unbalanced on the topic so there's no basis for discussion.

    >>congress being hand in glove and arm in arm w/lobbyists and special interests to the detriment and betrayal of the electorate they’ve sworn to serve, and on and on and on.< <

    This is certainly nothing new or different from the last 180 years or so.

    >>First off, the Iraqis are losers. Politically incorrect? So what. Losers. If any of them had had half the gumption of a camel, they’d have thrown off Saddam by themselves long ago. But they didn’t, and they weren’t going to. < <

    Actually, the Kurds did throw Saddam out in the wake of the first gulf war, and the Northern Alliance kept begging us to help them overthrow Saddam during the 90s, but Clinton wasn't interested in providing them with any support at all.

    >>Why? Because the generic culture of the middle east is NOT oriented to democracy, but to exactly the kind of dictatorship (usually more benign, but not always, as history will bear me out) which still prevails, has prevailed since the dawn of so-called civilization, and probably always will. < <

    Actually, the traditional form of government in the middle east is by tribal confederacy, and that tradition does have many democratic elements. And there's no reason why a society which has matured somewhat can't adopt democracy instead of continuing older practices. We did it, and so can anyone else.

    >>We spill our blood and waste our money for nothing. Nothing worth those kinds of sacrifices, anyway. These people aren’t interested in fighting for an abstraction like ‘democracy'; if they did, these outside terrorists and suicide bombers wouldn’t last a week. If we leave, they’ll resume fighting with the Israelis.< <

    So you're with those who think we should have set up Ahmed Chalabi as a new Saddam in Iraq? It's a viable position, but it would not have had the same long-term disruptive impact on the region that our current program has had.

    >> And failing that, they’ll go back to fighting each other, just as they have for the past 12,000 years. It’s their culture, it’s their way of life, and it’s even more their religion than Islam: the tribal life and all the accompanying conflicts, etc.< <

    Actually, since its inception Islam was a unifying force which brought the region together under a single centralized government a number of times for long periods, generally with beneficial results. The Caliphate was a cultural and societal renaissance, and even the Ottoman Empire brought peace and stability to the region.

    >>So Bush can just spare me the empty, vain rhetoric about wanting to grant these people democracy. Why them and not some other deserving group? Perhaps because some other deserving group isn’t sitting on the biggest oil reserves in the middle east?<<

    Iraq’s oil reserves are actually small compared to other countries in the area, and a good portion of them are now controlled by the Kurds.

    The whole concept that this war is being fought for oil is nonsensical. If we wanted to oil all we had to do was buddy up to Saddam or replace him with Chalabi.

    Dave

  • http://watchingthewatchers.org ~A!

    Um, Dave?

    According to http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/iraq.html

    Irag has the third largest oil reserves in the world.

    One thing I have noticed throughout all of you rambling diatribes is that you seem to have very little respect for facts, and prefer a slightly bastardized version of these, known as “spin”.

    What I wonder is, which talk show host are you getting your “facts” from? You obviously aren’t looking them up yourself. So who’s feeding you your thought stream?

    ~A!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Irag has the third largest oil reserves in the world. < <

    Hmmm. That's news to me. The CIA site does seem to say it, though. Perhaps the figures I saw were for production capacity. I'll look into it some more.

    >>One thing I have noticed throughout all of you rambling diatribes is that you seem to have very little respect for facts, and prefer a slightly bastardized version of these, known as “spin”.< <

    Can't imagine where you get that idea. I spend most of my time doing the research to make sure the facts in my articles are exactly right, and when there's an error I'll admit it and correct it.

    >>What I wonder is, which talk show host are you getting your “facts” from? < <

    I don't listen to any talk shows. Can you recommend some?

    >>You obviously aren’t looking them up yourself. So who’s feeding you your thought stream?<<

    Since I always cite the sources in my articles – as you’d know if you’d bothered to read them – you ought to know where I get my data from.

    Nice trolling, ,though.

    Dave

  • M Paulding

    Nancy posted:

    >> the widening and blatant gap between the rich and the rest of us,<<

    Dave replied:

    This is highly debatable. Only the super-rich are getting all that much richer, and they’re actually moving away from the normal rich, who are staying even relative to the rest of us.

    Gee, Dave, I guess you’d better check out Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Working Paper 2003-16, “Revised Estimates of Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States”.

    Their research shows that the French have more of a financial meritocracy than the United States.

    Hang in there, Nancy, you’re doing great.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Their research shows that the French have more of a financial meritocracy than the United States.<<

    Which is nice for the French. What does this have to do with anything we’re discussing, again?

    Dave

  • M Paulding

    >>What does this have to do with anything we’re discussing, again?<<

    The fact that the rich in the United States are becoming richer, and the poor are becoming poorer. The study illustrates that France, for example, is now more of a meritocracy, in economic terms, than the United States.

    As to its relevance to the current discussion, I didn’t broach the subject. I’m merely responding with a citation supporting one of Nancy’s points.

  • Nancy

    Thank you, MP, for supporting my assertions w/references; I’m swimming upstream because I frankly don’t have that in-depth reference to those sources you do. I have to go by what I witness and hear from the people I work and live among, what I hear and see from the Media (including advertising, which is pretty revealing), and what I can find time to read, which is pretty much limited to the papers and ‘net. Oddly, I find the advertising to be a great ‘key’ to social and economic conditions: ads directed to the very wealthy to buy another Mercedes, expensive ‘exclusive’ real estate in Switzerland or Denver, designer jewelry, clothes, cars, health clubs, schools, even food! Need I say more? Very little directed to the average person on the street (in this area, at least)who has that kind of disposable income, altho I’m sure we outnumber the filthy rich in this area at least 100,000 to one if not more…BUT there are a lot of filthy rich in this area.

    What I find galling is that if I make an obvious observation, I’m supposed to back it up by citing some obscure, self-appointed pundit or government agency? If I say my neighbors assert the sky is blue, or jobs are declining, I don’t need to cite the damned Drudge report or the Dept. of Whatever for backup, nor do I need them to confirm or validate what I know first-hand: I can look out the window or see the people in the unemployment office for myself. Maybe Dave is in the enviable position of not experiencing these widespread hardships himself, or knowing anyone who is. It must be nice to live in an ivory tower, cushioned by a decent income and reassured your worldview is absolutely correct by the current prevailing adminstration; not having to witness the unpleasant sight of seeing inconvenient homeless persons, or having to listen to neighbors who are one paycheck away from fiscal disaster. It’s just SO annoying, I’m sure, for the rich to have to be subjected to this sort of thing at their doorsteps – which, in my area, they are doing everything in their power to banish from their notice so they can enjoy their obscene wealth without reminders that they are living off resources stolen from and skimmed off of the rest of us. Wish it were me that could do this as well. But it ain’t. So, Dave, I can’t cite obscure government or think tank publications, I can only tell you what I know and observe down here in the mud with the rest of the worms.

  • M Paulding

    Nancy, Dave is playing the oldest academic game in the world. Don’t let it bother you. The evidence you see with your own eyes is always the best evidence. Many of the rest of us see the same things.

    Dave is defending an ideology, and it comforts him. His ideology enables him to rationalize what he sees. Those of us experienced enough to have abandoned ideology, as you appear to have done, tend to see things as they really are. You have obviously lived a lot, even though you may be young, and reality bites.

    As for me, I’m old enough to remember when the Dominican Republic’s dictator, Trujillo, bribed the Congress over sugar quotas. Both Republicans and Democrats were on the take, but mainly the Democrats. There was no investigation because they controlled the place. The Republicans are now solidly in charge, so they’re calling the shots and it’s their turn to cash in, which should come as a surprise to no one.

    It has always been this way. The beauty of our system, however, is that the jerks we have now will ultimately be held accountable by the people, possibly through the courts, possibly through the judgment of history, possibly through the press. That doesn’t mean to say, however, that there isn’t a lot of pain and suffering along the way.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    >>Since I always cite the sources in my articles – as you’d know if you’d bothered to read them – you ought to know where I get my data from.

    Liar You have only recently started to add links, never mind sources – and then they’re wrong much of the time. This I proved easily with the one I had energy for – when you corrected yourself three times, finally putting a up a crybaby “correction” and then I was told to pack it in by the editors because, I guess, I was embarassing you too much. You really do love revisionist history in all its permutations.

    [Edited as requested]

  • Killing Joke

    You don’t sound much like a good journalist to me, Stark. More petulant than objective.

    Why launch an attack on Nalle. I’ve read some of his recent posts and a number of his comments and they seem perfectly sensible and generally useful.

    Two of the ones I read look like straight news reports on events in Europe from a pretty neutral point of view. They look like journalism to me.

  • Bennett

    Well Killing Joke, you’re pretty new around here. Stick around a bit and watch the magic show. The trampling of conversation, the condescending insults, the obscure references, the derailing of threads, the misinformation, the holier than thou posturing, the sidetracking, the obfuscation.

    It’s quite a show, albeit sad and counterproductive . But that just might be the point.

    “Nancy is ranting about the election, not the WMD silliness”

    “Not going to waste time discussing the war with you. You’re emotionally unbalanced on the topic so there’s no basis for discussion.”

    “Perhaps the figures I saw were for production capacity. I’ll look into it some more.”

  • M Paulding

    Since the general topic here is dissemblers, I’d like to throw in the following piece of raw meat from today’s Associated Press.

    June 4, 2005 2:40 PM ET

    “AP Probe on Bolton Finds Disturbing Links to Iraq War”, by Charles J. Hanley, AP

    “John R. Bolton flew to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a UN tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved.

    “A former Bolton deputy says the U.S. undersecretary of state felt Jose Bustani “had to go,” particularly because the Brazilian was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. That might have helped defuse the crisis over the alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war.

    The entire article can be found at editorandpublisher.com

    Gee, I wonder why Bolton didn’t want any chemical weapons inspectors going to Baghdad?

    There must be a full investigation, and we must have it now!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Liar You have only recently started to add links, never mind sources – and then they’re wrong much of the time.< <

    Lie. I looked back through my 86 articles on BC, and starting from the first one I provided sources and relevant informational links and continued to do so in almost every case, except for a couple of pure opinion pieces and book reviews.

    >>This I proved easily with the one I had energy for – when you corrected yourself three times, finally putting a up a crybaby “correction” and then I was told to pack it in by the editors because, I guess, I was embarassing you too much.< <

    I had some errors in an article, and I appreciate the correction, if not the attitude that came with it. And I can live with embarassment and learn from it.

    >> You really do love revisionist history in all its permutations.< <

    Not at all. As a historian I find revisionism extraordinarily distasteful.

    >>But you’re proud you’re not as hate-filled as some of the newcomers< <

    I'd love to see you point to my 'hate-filled' postings. Maybe looking for them would get you to actually read my articles rather than making unfounded attacks.

    >> – so you seem more mild by comparison. You get ridiculous and sad and angry and bullying when it comes to foreign policy – specifically the Middle East, Europe – a terrible place filled with wicked, backward people (communists, Socialist) by your reckoning – and economics.< <

    Where you get these demented ideas I can't imagine. I'm confident that anyone who's read my articles realizes how totally deluded you are. Not liking the EU isn't the result of hating Europe, it's a result of my affection for Europe and my concern that the EU government is leading it down the path to ruin - a position shared by a lot of people in Europe.

    >>You’re a throwback to when the Cold War was all the rage. and you are stuck,< <

    Huh? You really are inexplicable.

    BTW, Temple, check out this post sometime to refresh your memory:
    http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/01/09/141131.php

    I made it when I was brand new to BC and you jumped down my throat with no provocation, accusing me of misrepresenting civilian casualties and basically lying about the Lancet report – which has since had its methodology questioned by The Lancet itself, the government of Great Britain, some of the original authors of the report, and just about every group which has looked at the figures. So, great journalist that you are, you attacked me unfairly on an issue where as it turned out I was absolutely correct. It’s your behavior in response to that well-researched article which gave me a negative impression of you from the very first time I encountered you and you’ve continued to pursue a vendetta against me since then. Very objective of you.

    Dave

  • http://leoniceno.journalspace.com Leoniceno

    Hmm, 72 comments. I had no idea that this post would be so controversial…

    The topic seems to have drifted somewhat, though.