Sunday, June 22, 2008

Proud to be an American

As we come to our annual national birthday, our love of country takes a variety of expressions. For many, July 4th is simply an excuse for a party: hot dogs, apple pies, red white and blue tablecloths and beer specials at the local Wal-Mart.
For others, it is a chance to reflect on the majesty of our history and diverse culture—a chance to look back on our past to envision our possible futures. And still for others, unfortunately, it is simply a time of pride. Yes, I use the word “unfortunate” when comes to mindless American pride, for as anyone knows who has read much of the Bible: “Pride goeth before the fall.”
Recently, in their continuing effort to demonize Obama, mainstream media latched onto a comment by his wife, Michelle, concerning pride in America. Even though the quip was made back in February, lacking sufficient current avenue to blacken his image, the GOP and their propagandists (otherwise known as network news) have gone back to dredge up a speech in Milwaukee where Michelle Obama said, “People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and … for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”
Obviously the remarks of a terrible, terrible person, deserving immediate rebuke. That condemnation came quickly enough from the most appropriate of channels, the wife of Republican candidate, Cindy McCain. Two days after Michelle Obama’s quip, Cindy McCain stepped up to dutifully chastise her by exclaiming that she, Cindy McCain, was ALWAYS proud of America. This, of course, forces us to ask the question:
Is Cindy McCain oblivious to the point of being brain-dead, or is she simply lying? Chances are that both Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain were making ill considered overstatements, ignoring both the good and the evil that have made American history since there has been an America to make history.
Having been born in 1955, Cindy McCain is old enough to have experienced half a century of American history first hand and not all of it was joyous. Was she proud at 8 years old when her president was gunned down on a Dallas city street? Was she proud both when Johnson used the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to launch the war which would make her husband a POW for five years and then equally proud when the whole thing was shown to be based on a lie?
How proud did Iran-Contra make her, when our leaders were caught secretly selling weapons to our sworn enemies to fund an illegal war half way around the world against a democratically elected government where our allies were led by drug dealers who in fact used US military airplanes to smuggle cocaine into the US? Which part made her prouder, when Oliver North was imprisoned or when Bush 41 pardoned North, who would go on to run for senator claiming to have a record that demonstrated his love and pride of country.
Or what about the S & L scandal of 1980s where President Bush’s brother Neil was one of the leading bankers in a fraud that cost first consumers, then a federal bailout, over half a trillion dollars? Or how about, on a more personal note: how proud was she when the results of that S&L scandal led to the Senate Ethics Committee condemning five senators including her husband for obstructing an investigation into Charles Keating’s Lincoln S&L which bilked the American public to the tune of more than three billion dollars
Or later, in 1994, how proud was she of America when she herself was accused of being a drug addict and having the whistleblower who drew attention to it fired to shut him up? Was she proud of the way Americans cheered then candidate Bush as he trashed his then opponent McCain’s reputation and painted him as a dangerous PTSD whack-job?
Curious yesterday, while on a street corner protesting for impeachment with a couple of freshly minted high school graduates, I asked them about their pride in America. They said that over the last 8 years they’d had little to be proud of except those protesting against Bush policies. Once upon a time, that number used to include John McCain. Was Cindy as proud of him then as she is now?
Are you?
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of Arizona

Thursday, June 12, 2008


If you think Bush has done wrong or is guilty of the 35 counts Kucinich has posted, AND if you live in this part of AZ, here's who to call:
Rep. Trent Franks

Washington, D.C. Office:
1237 Longworth House Office Building,District of Columbia 20515-0302Phone: (202) 225-4576Fax: (202) 225-6328
Glendale Office: (more district offices)
7121 West Bell Road, Suite 200Glendale, Arizona 85308Phone: (623) 776-7911Fax: (623) 776-7832

Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio In the United States House of Representatives Monday, June 9th, 2008 A Resolution
Article I Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.
Article II Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.
Article III Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.
Article IV Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.
Article V Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.
Article VI Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114.
Article VII Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.
Article VIII Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.
Article IX Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor
Article X Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes
Article XI Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq
Article XII Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources
Article XIIII Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries
Article XIV Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency Article XV Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq
Article XVI Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors
Article XVII Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives
Article XVIII Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy
Article XIX Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to "Black Sites" Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture Article XX Imprisoning Children
Article XXI Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government
Article XXII Creating Secret Laws
Article XXIII Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act
Article XXIV Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment
Article XXV Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens
Article XXVI Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements
Article XXVII Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply
Article XXVIII Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice
Article XXIX Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Article XXX Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare
Article XXXI Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency Article XXXII Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change
Article XXXIII Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911. Article XXXIV Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001
Article XXXV Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Patriot Would Have to Say Impeach

Forget all the years of suspecting that liberal antiwar protesters not-so-secretly hated America. Forget the years of thinking that whenever some wingnut on the television was calling Bush a liar that the wingnut was actually the liar and it was all just politics as usual. Forget every time you gave Bush the benefit of a doubt on the war.
It’s official: he was lying.
Last week two major clarifications were made regarding the record of veracity when it comes to George W. Bush. Former Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, dropped his bombshell in his new book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception. In no uncertain terms McClellan explains that the build-up to Iraq was a propaganda program knowingly based on lies, deceptions, and distortions. The guy who actually did the lying has come out and detailed the whole plan.
There never needed to be an Iraq War, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis did not have to die. Our children did not have to learn the words Abu Ghraib, or Fallujah, or hear of Korans thrown in toilets. We did not have to determine our own feelings about waterboarding or what the tolerable level of sexual harassment is for private contractors in a war zone.
But wait there’s more: Also June 5, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued their official report insisting “top administration officials engaged in a deliberate, systematic and sustained propaganda campaign to manufacture support for the unnecessary, unjustified and illegal invasion of Iraq.”
Let me say that again: It’s official, he was lying. There’s a lot of you out there who owe Scott Ridder, Joseph Wilson, Ray McGovern, William Fallon, Richard Clarke and millions of protesters around the world an apology.
It’s true. All of those people who have been telling you Bush was lying, that the war is based on lies, 935 of them officially, they weren’t hurting our country, those patriots were trying to save it.
In the words of the Baltimore Sun’s Michael J. Marsalek “Such behavior must not go unpunished in a nation of laws.” We cannot ignore that our country has been intentionally deceived into taking a brutally wrong path. It wasn’t a mistake, it was a crime. The only moral option is impeach.
The people who insist that they care about this country, that doing what is right matters to them must now address this terrible wrong that has been foisted on our country, if we the people of the United States are to have a country of law, a country that earns respect in the world.
Starting now, the GOP or anyone else who chooses to champion Bush must cede the position of moral authority, for they are, in effect, consciously championing the sale and further manufacture of these lies, particularly the supposed Christian Religious Right of the Republican Party. At a very basic fundamental level, supporting the ideals of Christianity and the Bush agenda are, as liberals have long claimed, a contradiction in terms.
People who claim to support a Prince of Peace and a message of mercy are then forced to also endorse Black Sites, Black Water, and Extreme Rendition? Any person who would claim to be a Christian in the first place would have to condemn the idea of war in general and in particular this Bush War in Iraq on very basic moral grounds. Christians are supposed to be opposed to murder, torture, theft, deceptions, all of which have been hallmarks of the Bush administration.
Again and again American indignation has found a way to focus on some Democratic peccadilloes and buy into the false morality that sex is worst than violence. But where once or twice individual Democrats have unfortunately screwed one or two willing participants, the Bush regime has continually screwed millions at home and billions aboard, despite our pleas for mercy.
Of course mercy is a Christian value, one Bush has repeatedly, proudly dismissed as weakness. No wonder these days George Bush is less popular than dental plaque. If you’re OK with killing people for a lie, destroying the homes of millions, maiming and crippling then abandoning tens of thousands of our own soldiers, squandering trillions and raping our social services, all for a lie, then I guess you might still support Bush, but what kind of a person would you be? Not a Christian, and not a patriot.
It’s time to impeach. Call, write, do something.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of Arizona