Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ken Silverstein, Dave Lindorff, Betty, Cedric & Ty

Hump day! Almost the weekend. Sometimes when I'm sitting down in front of the computer it will just hit me that this has been going on for two years now (my site) and it really doesn't feel like that. As slow as Congress moves, the world seems to be moving about 10,000 times faster.

Okay, Silly Tomasky wrote in the Washington Post last weekend that impeachment would destroy the Democrats chances in 2008. Which really isn't true but it also beside the point. If you don't get it, this is from Ken Silverstein's "Keep Your Politics Out of My Impeachment:"

There are other arguments I have with the Post piece. Tomasky acknowledges that Republicans didn't suffer politically when they impeached President Bill Clinton in 1999 and even "retained control of both houses of Congress" in the following year’s election. But he says the reverse would happen now because the Republicans are ruthless whereas "defensive Democrats" are always quick to scamper back to the safety of "bland [political] terrain." So maybe the Democrats should be more like the Republicans instead of following Tomasky’s advice and scurrying back to bland terrain.
He also says with alarm that the country is evenly split on the question of impeachment, and predicts a bloody fight if impeachment goes forward. "Do we really want to drag the country through that?" he asks. "The thought of it--months of rancor, name-calling and mud-slinging that would almost certainly end in defeat for the impeachers--depresses me beyond words." I would expect (and hope) that the 2008 elections will be filled with rancor, name-calling and mud-slinging. Should the Democrats spare the country that and just concede defeat now?
Finally, Tomasky blasts the administration, writing, "Bush and Cheney--and conservatism in general--have wrecked our civic institutions and darkened our civic impulses. Nothing is beyond politicization . . . When everything is subordinate to politics, civic institutions and impulses suffer." But the whole crux of Tomasky's argument is that in the case of impeachment, everything should be subordinate to a politics, specifically an analysis of what's best for the Democratic Party.
In the end, impeachment should be pursued if Bush violated the constitution and put aside if he did not. No one knows for sure what the political consequences of that course would be but that’s not the fundamental question. And here's one thing we do know: when the Democrats decided not to seek the impeachment of President Reagan following the Iran/contra affair, the result was the weakening congressional branch and enablement of the all-powerful executive as practiced under George W. Bush.

I think Silverstein's right. If the Democrats ever actually stood up for the people (instead of against the people), there might not be 'close' (or stolen) elections anymore. Back in May, we wrote "Editorial: The Party of Stella Toddler" (The Third Estate Sunday Review) and that's really still true. The Democrats refuse to act and always promise they'll act next time. Then next time comes and they're still not acting. That's why there's still no end to the illegal war. And saying it better than I just did is Dave Lindorff. Here's a part of his "Democrats Aren't Wafflers, They're Wifflers:"

If you assume that the Democratic Party leadership is not a bunch of idiots, then the only alternative theory has to be that they think that we are.
How else to explain this continuing failed "policy" of so-called progressive Democrats in Congress of passing terrible legislation and claiming that they will "fix it" later?
The approach seems to have first been developed early in the 1990s, when Bill Clinton came up with his disastrous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gays in the military. Everyone knew it was a shameful climbdown from his campaign promise to end discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military, but the claim, and that the policy was doomed to failure, but Clinton and his supporters claimed that they’d "at least" get that lousy policy adopted and then they'd "fix it" later.
They never did.
The same approach was taken to welfare "reform." Everyone could see that throwing people off of welfare after one five-year stretch in an economy that had no jobs and no childcare to offer was going to create more poverty and hardship, but Democrats promised that before that dire day came, they’d "fix it."
They never did and poverty rates have soared in America.
Likewise with the Clinton-era "Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act," which pandered to right-wing clamor for get-tough laws after the Oklahoma City bombing by undermining habeas corpus. "We'll fix it," the liberals promised.
They never did, and it paved the way for the vitiation of habeas under President Bush.
Democrats in Congress since 9-11 have continued with this cheap ploy, hoping that by voting for crappy legislation, they can get "cover" from attacks from the right, while hanging on to liberal support with the false promise that later they will "fix it."
They did this when they provided their overwhelming backing for the USA PATRIOT Act and for its extension. They did it with the Military Commissions Act that seeks to retroactively legalize torture,
And now they've done it with the revision--destruction really--of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
In a sense, the Democratic backing for full funding of the Iraq War and occupation through September was the same kind of thing. "We'll fix this in October," was the mantra, as they provided Bush with all the money he wanted to keep the slaughter and killing going through the summer.
What makes this "strategy" (if it can even be graced with such a name) so shameless and deceptive is that the Democratic leadership knows that with their slim majority in House and Senate, they don't have a chance in hell of passing any corrective legislation, any more than they did when they were in the minority. Even with their small majority, if they could manage to pull together enough Democratic and liberal Republican votes to pass a bill, for example, to "fix" the FISA law and bring presidential spying under some kind of oversight, that bill would be vetoed in a flash by the president, with no chance of an override.

Here's one point I would add to the above. If Democrats had passed their own legislation and gone on vacation, Bully Boy would have vetoed it and they could have screamed, "Look who's not making America safe!" It's like they try to play his game but they're too stupid to know how to play to win. Instead of standing up to him, like Lindorff points out, they go to the right of him to tell voters "US TOO!!" and then they get all bent out of shape when people point out how little (or no) difference there is between the two parties.

Now, a question, why is it every time I do an excerpt of Dave Lindorff's writing, Elaine and I both end up with people e-mailing who hate him? I'm not talking about community members or my regular readers, I'm talking about the freaks (they love the Chipster!) who just seem to hate Dave Lindorff. I saw the message at his site this week about how it had been hacked and my first thought was, "Could it be that guy that keeps e-mailing trying to tell me 'the truth' about Dave Lindorff?"

So is impeachment going to move? I don't think it has to do with what the people want because I say we want it. Who's standing in the way? Dems in Congress. And put Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoywer and John Conyers at the top of the list. Okay at The Third Estate Sunday Review this weekend, we didn't have time for a roundtable we'd planned. There were a lot of issues we wanted to roundtable on. When there were problems getting pieces up online (Flickr kept refusing to load illustrations), Betty, Cedric and Ty wrote "John Conyers Is No MLK (Betty, Cedric & Ty):"

Last week, we shared our feelings regarding a member of Congress, John Conyers. During the pieces that addressed Conyers, we made clear our opposition to sicking the police on activists practicing civil disobedience. For reasons that only Rev. Lennox Yearwood can answer, he's decided to back away from an intial strong stand.
Regardless of what his reasons were (and we are aware that he was under attack), we stand by our statements. We don't give a damn what anyone says about us. As African-Americans, we're fully aware that at least a third of the discussions going on in our community are 'ranking' and 'scoring' and 'cracking.' You can listen to a five minute burst of flow on Aretha Franklin's weight with cracks about her eating only to hear the dee jay then play one of her records and talk about how amazing her voice is.
So if anyone thinks our Black voices will be silenced, think again.
a supposed piece on race, we felt Yearwood was cracking . . . on Whites. Yearwood offers that Whites writing things like 'Conyers is no MLK' was "deeply disrespectful" to "many" in the community. Gee, our phones didn't ring once. Was this a national poll?
No one in our families complained, no one in our (Cedric and Betty's) churches complained when we shared print outs of that column and similar ones. Apparently a Black Bougie-Bougie got a hold of Yearwood's ear and he's confused that with actual African-Americans.
While we missed that version in Gladys and the Pips' song, we're not surprised.
Yearwood writes, "I would say to my White progressive friends that they should be careful who they condemn for not following in the steps of the late Dr. King if they themselves have not been prepared to walk in those steps and be champions of the consistent fight for social justice." Well let these two Black brothers and this Black sister say it: John Conyers is not following in the footsteps of MLK.
Let us all note our OUTRAGE that MLK is being reduced to something that can be cited (as a comparison) by only African-Americans. That notion is deplorable. We encourage everyone to use MLK as a touchstone. He does not "belong" to one segment of the people, he belongs to all and we will not stand silent while he is ghetto-ized or his status as an international hero is reduced to "Black guy who marched."
John Conyers is no MLK. Your first clue is that MLK couldn't have been elected to Congress. Even were he alive today, it wouldn't happen. That's because MLK wasn't Marty & The March the way he is Disney-fied today. He was against illegal wars. He was against imperialism. He was against injustice. Reducing him solely to race does him a HUGE disservice and that bull might fly with the mainstream media but it doesn't belong among the left.
John Conyers is no MLK. Your second clue is that he stood. He didn't cower. Not even when he was shot down. He knew that day was coming and he didn't sit around wondering how to protect himself. He was on a mission to make the world a better place. Conyers is a coward who will not stand up to Nancy Pelosi. She took impeachment "off the table." If he put it back on the table, he'd find he had too much support from the people for Pelosi to monkey around with his seniority rights to chair a committee.
John Conyers is no MLK. Your third clue is that MLK stood up even when he knew the risks. He was slammed by the press in his final years and that was due to the fact that he refused to be silent. Conyers operates by political calculations. He is a COWARD.
John Conyers is no MLK. Your fourth clue is that the powers-that-be saw MLK as a threat that needed to be cut down while Conyers, over 70-years-old, retains his seat in Congress. Cynthia McKinney may have lost her seat but she never lost her voice even when the same sort of elements that cut down MLK during his life went after McKinney. And, if you missed it, Yearwood, when Pelosi gave the orders that there would be no support for McKinney, Conyers didn't violate that rule either. She'd announced she's be speaking about the incident with the police and she WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE THE FULL SUPPORT OF THE BLACK CAUCUS. She didn't have any of their support. It was a White woman, Marcy Kaptur, one member of Congress and only one, who had the guts and convictions MLK lived by, who said, "I will stand with you, Cynthia" while her colleagues avoided McKinney like she had the plague.
After Kaptur made it safe, a few others joined McKinney.
So save the speeches about how noble John Conyers is and how it's wrong to say he's not like MLK. MLK stood for what was right and Conyers has lived his Congressional life refusing to rock the boat.As we said last week, he's old, he's tired, it's past time he gave up his seat and let some new blood in. The only disgrace has been what he has done to his own image.
Betty, Cedric and Ty

I get mad all the time. I've only seen Cedric upset a few times. One when Koo Koo Katrina was dissing Harry Belafonte and another time was when people were trying to say Rosa Parks only mattered to African-Americans. He wrote about being pissed about that and he talked about it in roundtables. He was really mad about what Yearwood wrote. So were Ty and Betty, but he was really, really mad. We'll probably address that this weekend.

And that's it for me tonight. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" and there's a link to Bill Moyers because the impeachment special is being re-run so heads up to that:

Wednesday, August 8, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, the US military and the British military both announce deaths, a dawn air attack by the US on a residential area kills civilians, war resister Eli Israel tells his story, meet "The Other Iraq," and more.

Starting with war resisters. Camilo Mejia is the first war resister to return to the US and refuse to return to the US. Stephen Funk is the first war resister to refuse to to Iraq period. Eli Israel is the first known war resister to refuse while serving in Iraq.
At Courage to Resist, Eli Isreal tells his story. He writes of growing up "in the custody of state of Kentucky," living on the streets, attempting to join the Marines at 16 but having no diploma and no GED so being turned down. Israel got his GED, took some college courses and, at 18, enlisted in the military. After leaving the military, he re-enlisted in 2004. In Iraq he was "a JVB Agent -- the JVB (Joint Visitors Bureau) served as protective service for 'three star generals and above' and their 'civilian equivalents'. This included the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," etc. and "when we didn't have any missions at JVB, it was common for us to be called on for 'search and cordon' operations and other infantry assignements". Israel writes:

I claimed like many that my actions during these missions were justified in the name of "self-defense." However, I came to realize it was that my perception was wrong. I was in a country that I had no right to be in, violating the lives of people, and doing so without regard to the same standards of dignity and respect that we as Americans hold our own homes and our lives to.

I had taken and/or destroyed the lives of people who were defending their families from being the "collateral damage" of the day. Iraqi boys are joining groups like "Al Qaeda" for the same reason street kids in the U.S. join the "Crypts" and the Bloods". It's about self protection, a sense of dignity, and a way of making a stand.

The young man whose father and cousin we "accidentally" killed, and whose mother and siblings cry every time the tank rolls through the neighborhood, doesn't care about who Osama Bin Laden is.

Israel writes of the destuction of Iraq, the daily deaths of Iraqis, martial law, the denial of basic services, and more leading to a realization: "The day I saw myself in the hateful eyes of a young Iraqi boy who stared at me was the day I realized I could no longer justify my role in the occupation." So Eli Israel attempted to become a CO but when he informed his superios of that decision, he was immediately isolated and placed under military guard for two weeks after which he was sent to Camp Arifjan for 30 days in prison which became 25 and he's now discharged and "scheduled to be out-processed from the Army within the month and plan on joining forces with anti-Iraq-War movements, such as
Courage to Resist and Iraq Veterans Against the War." That's a synopsis and, again, you can read his story in his own words at Courage to Resist. He concludes, "Objecting to the war and standing up to the miliary was without question, one of the best decisions I have ever made. I made a stand that was the right one, and I have my freedom back as a bonus. Maybe ten years from now those of us resisting from within the military today will be seen as some of the first few to speak the truth and to follow up with action. Even now I have many to remind me that I'm not alone in my thinking, even a majority of Americans who know that all the pieces of this conflict simply don't add up."

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Zamesha Dominique, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty-one US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. IVAW and others will be joining Veterans For Peace's conference in St. Louis, Missouri August 15th to 19th.

Turning to Iraq where the air war continues.
CBS and AP report that a dawn attack on the Sadr City section of Baghdad, a US helicopter attack, has left at least 9 civilians dead (2 women included in the fatalties). Reuters says the number, according to hospital officials, is 13 and note: "Hundres of angry mourners later marched chanting through the streets of the slum after the raid on the eve of a major Shi'ite holy day." BBC offers a series of photos of the mourners which include (a) a man seated on the ground holding his head while a small boy cries next to him, three boys and a man slumped over a table while two women cry, and a photo of marchers which numbers over a thousand -- not the "hundreds" billed -- taking to the treets, walking around buses, clutching their chests and their heads. BBC reports eye witnesses stating children were also killed and that the US military does conceed the point that women and children were present -- obvious point, this is a residential area that was bombed at dawn -- they assert none died. Later the US military is expected to also issue assertions that the Easter Bunny exists. Jaime Tarabay (NPR) notes that officials in "Sadr City say that there were no 30 terrorist killed there were acutally 9 civilians killed and among those were women and children and there were also six people that were injured."

In other violence . . .


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports four Baghdad mortar attacks that claimed 2 lives and wounded twelve, a Baghdad roadside bombing that left three Iraqi soldiers wounded, a Kirkuk roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer (six more wounded), a Kirkuk car bombing left four police officers and a civilian wounded. Reuters notes a bombing in a Baquba barbre shop that claimed 5 lives and left eight more wounded, a Samarra mortar attack that claimed 7 lives, and a Hawija roadside bombing that left one person dead.


Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports two women wounded ("a mother and her daughter") in a shooting attack, while attorney Emad Dosh was shot dead in Najaf and Talai Bilal was attacked in Kufa but survived -- two security guards were wounded. Reuters notes a police officer was shot dead in Dujail and one person was shot dead in Jurf Al-Sakhar and another in Mahaweel.

Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 11 corpses discovered in Baghdad and the corpse of Muthhir Ali was discovered in Kirkuk.
Today the
UK Ministry of Defence announced: "It is with deep sorrow that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of a British serviceman from 1 Squadron, RAF Regiment in Basra City, southern Iraq last night, Tuesday 7 August 2007. The serviceman died as a result of small arms fire attack which occurred at approximately 2030 hours local time during an operation in the Karmat Ali district of Basra City." ICCC's total for the number of British soldiers killed in Iraq is now 166. This follows Monday's announced death in Basra of 20-year-old Craig Barber whom, the UK Ministry of Defense notes, "leaves behind his loving family, including his wife Donna and son Bradley."

And today the
US military announced: "A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier was killed and four others wounded during combat operations in a western section of the Iraqi capital when an improvised explosive device detonated near their patrol Aug. 7." ICCC pegs the number of US service members killed in Iraq this month at 22 thus far and since the start of the illegal war at 3681.

As all this goes on,
Bernd Debusmann (Reuters) offers a story on tourism in Iraq or to what is billed as "The Other Iraq" -- the Kurdish area. Why not? asks the headline. Gee, maybe because of the cross border struggles with Turkey that yesterday's meet and greet with al-Maliki didn't solve. Maybe because, as Steve Negus (Financial Times of London) pointed out a week ago, the census that was supposed to be taken of the area never was and December is when a vote is supposed to "determine the fate of a large oil-rich and bitterly disputed swathe of the country". Or how about James Cogan (WSWS) noting that Massoud Barzani ("president of the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government") has called for "a real civil war" if Kirkuk ("oli-rich" Kirkuk) does not become part of the Kurdish territory.

Turning to Japan where recent elections shifted the power.
David Pilling (Financial Times of London) reports that the Democratic Party of Japan "took control of the upper house Tuesday" and "is considering introducing a bill to end Tokyo's logistical support in Iraq" meaning curtailing "the supply flights the Japan Air Self-Defence Force flew to Baghdad and northern Iraq from Kuwait."

Could that increase the cost of the illegal war for the US? On the topic of the cost . . .
On July 31st, Gordon England, the US Dept. Secretary of Defense, appeared before the House Budget Committee of the US Congress and declared, "As Secretary Gates has said, the Department is firmly committed to an open and transparent dialogue with the Congress about war costs." Though only 8 days ago, England's remarks are already laughable. Today Tom Vanden Brook (USA Today) reports that the Pentagon is now insisting that $750 million is needed immediately in order "to urgenly airlift needed armored vehichles to troops facing roadside bombs in Iraq." As Cedric and Wally pointed out Monday, the House just approved $459.6 billion in funding to military spending. Nicholas Johnston (Bloomberg News) reported this was "for fiscal year 2008". John Nichols (link goes to CBS) observed there was "virtually no debate" before the House approved the bill and that the "amount does not include the extra $147 billion Iraq war funding that the Bush administration has demanded that Congress approve when the Congress returns from its August recess." This latest last minute funding request comes as the cost of the illegal war continues to mount and not that long after noises about how Americans would not be paying for the illegal war in piecemeal, that the American people needed to know the true costs of the illegal war. In fact, one of the people decrying this sort of "haphazard, piecemeal funding" was the Bully Boy of the United States himself on May 10th. At the end of last month, Walter Pincus (Washington Post) noted Congress gave the Defense Department "$1.7 billion for military construction in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007, according to CRS [Congressional Research Service], but offered no breakdown of how the money was spent." Dropping back to December 2006, Carl Hulse (New York Times via IHT) noted that the Democrats who had just won control of both houses in the November elections were "planning to assert more control over the billions of dollars a month being spent on the conflict [Iraq] when they take charge of Congress in January." Hulse quoted two tough talkers. In the Senate, Kent Conrad declared, "They have been playing hide-the-ball, and that does not serve the Congress well nor the county well, and we are not going to continue that practice." From the House, John Spratt who stated, "We need to have a better breakout of the costs -- period." Possibly, Hulse misquoted Spratt and he really said "breakout of the costs -- period period period"? Ellipses would certainly make more sense when Spratt is quoted by Tom Vanden Brook today sounding ready to toss around the (public's) money without asking any questions such as why the Pentagon's only now interested in shipping the vehicles or what pork the Pentagon can eliminate on their own instead of expecting the US tax payers to foot the bill for every goody on their wish-list. Noting the waste in the bloated budget, John Nichols wondered "why was there no serious debate on the Pentagon budget? It's not just that the Bush administration and its Republican allies in Congress continue to use the war on terror as an excuse to enrich defense contractors such as Dick Cheney's Halliburton. As Winslow Wheller, a veteran of 31 years working with mostly Republican senators on defense issues and a former assistant director of evaluations of national defense programs with the U.S. Government Accountablility Office, 'Now in control of Congress and having made multiple promises to restore oversight of the war in Iraq and the executive branch in general, the Democrats have been successfully rolled by the White House, the military services, and the big spender pundits'." To repeat, July 31st, Dept. Secretary of Defense Gordon England stated to Congress that "the [Defense] Department is firmly committed to an open and transparent dialogue with the Congress about war costs."

Turning to US politics. Yesterday
the AFL-CIO hosted a 'debate' with Democratic hopefuls for the 2008 presidential nomination (Mike Gravel was not present). US Senator Barack Obama is hindered by how much of his genuine rage (and he's got rage) he can show. He declared, at one point, "I find it amusing that those who helped to authorize and engineer the biggest foreign policy disaster in our generation are now criticizing me". He declared? Well, he moved his lips. Samantha Power scripted that line. Samantha Power who immortalized herself with the autobiography A Problem From Hell (oh, it's not an autobiography? well with that title . . .) Barack Obama yesterday: "the biggest foreign policy disaster in our generation are now criticizing me." Samantha Power August 3rd "the worst strategic blunder in the history of US foreign policy." Sammy, get your axe. Or at least your Blackberry. The odor of Samantha Power lingers over the Barack Obama campaign and not merely because she was perviously an advisor to Obama. It's also because you look a bit unhinged when you mass mail, as Power did last week, your thoughts on Obama to "Interested Parties." Where Babmi can't show more than spunk, Power can. She will do it, she can do it, and she will bloody well control the White House!

That's actually how the unhinged Samantha Power plays out to many -- and for good reasons that aren't limited to the fact that she fires off those e-mails not from her own personal e-mail account but from the account she has as "Founding Executive Director, Harvard University Carr Center for Human Rights Policy". As
Noam Chomsky (ZNet) noted, in response to a question about Sammy Power, "A little more interesting is Power's tacit endorsement of the Bush doctrine that states that harbor terrorists are no different from terrorist states, and should be treated accordingly: bombed and invaded, and subjected to regime change"; "It's of some interst that Power is regarded -- and apparently regards herself -- as a harsh critic of US foreign policy. The reason is that she excoriates Washington for not paying enough attention to the crimes of others."; and "From a desk at the Carr Center for Human Rights at the Kennedy School at Harvard, that's doubltess how it looks."

The Carr Center?
Tom Hayden (writing at The Nation, link goes to Hayden's site) asked last month: "Should a human rights center at the nation's most prestigious university be collaborating with the top U.S. general in Iraq in designing the counter-insurgency doctrine behind the current military surge?" Hayden goes on to reveal how The Carr Center's Sarah Sewell steered the creation of "the new Army-Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual" which not only white washes the US involvement in the Salvadorian death squads of the Reagan years, it also seeks to use academic discipline to abuse a people. Hayden cites Stephen Biddle ("Baghdad adviser to Gen Petraues") explaining the real purpose of the plan the Carr Center took part in: "to manipulate both Shi'as and Sunnis into depending on the US occupation for self-protection." As Hayden points out, "counter-insurgency, being based on deception, shadow warfare and propaganda runs counter to the historic freedom of university life." As noted before the academy is abused today by the US military recruiting anthropologists to figure out how to lie and trick Iraqis. They've also found some psychologists eager to do their bidding and encourage torture which is a topic Amy Goodman again revists on today's Democracy Now! with The New Yorker's Jane Mayer and the ACLU's Jameel Jaffer.

But let's not leave Sammy Power just yet.
Hayden notes: "Power is a close adviser to Sen. Barack Obama who supports a withdrawal of US combat troops by next year with exceptions for 'advisers' and special units to battle al-Qaeda. Power, who worked last year in Obama's Washington DC office, writes that even the proposed combat troop withdrawal can be reversed if Iraq's condition continues to worsen. Intentionally or not, the cautious, complicated Obama proposal as described by Power leaves open the likelihood of thousands of American troops remaining in counter-insurgency roles for years ahead. If that is the limit of legitimate debate at Harvard, the Pentagon occupation of the academic mind may last much longer than its occupation of Iraq, and may require an intellectual insurgency in response." The Carr Center is a collaborator in an illegal war and that reality is only surprising to anyone who doesn't grasp the realities of Sammy "Get me the axe!" Power.

While the War Hawk Loons seek ever more war, today
The Toledo Blade editorializes on "Iraq's demise" noting that "the United States has essentially destoryed Iraq as a country" and concluding, "The only action left, assuming that the people of the United States do not want to take on Iraq as a project for the next 20 or 30 years, is to state categorically that we have done all that we are going to do there and leave."
In other news,
Matthew Rothschild (The Progressive) notes that even on something as mild as censure ("just a public spanking"), the Dems in Congress can't get it together and that if they really believe impeachment "would tie up" everything, what's their problem with censure? Cynthia Cooper (FAIR's Extra!) points out that the mainstream media ignores the prospect of impeachment or mocks it and makes false comparisons such as claiming Bully Boy isn't as awful as Tricky Dick: "But the 'consensus' on Nixon came after five months of inquiry by the House Judiciary Commitee, complete with subpoenas, sworn testimony and a staff of 100. A full consensus only emerged days later, when the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Nixon to release tapes that contained damning comments by the president, and Nixon resigned." In disgrace, he resigned in disgrace. No offense, but let's not forget that detail. He was a petty crook and he left in disgrace. On PBS, Bill Moyers offered a serious discussion on impeachment. That one hour look (including guests such as John Nichols) at impeachment on Bill Moyers Journal is repeating and can also be viewed, listened to or read online currently.