Saturday, December 09, 2006

Inviting the terrorists in

President Bush promulgates many fallacies to the American people but the greatest fallacy of all of them must be his "we'll fight the terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here" adage. Every time he or one of his mouthpieces uses it in the media, it's like the elephant in the room. How can these "journalists" not call out the president on that line every time?

First of all, we're already fighting them here, even though we're also fighting them over there at the same time. Secondly, if a terrorist really wanted to take the fight to us in our homeland, why would he go to Iraq where he'll face nothing but the most battle-hardened American troops on the alert for terrorists? He could instead come straight through our vast unprotected ports to our own soil where millions of lax Americans are in huge groups in unhardened locations to fight us.

The Iraq Study Group Report says that in Iraq, "most attacks on Americans still come from the Sunni Arab insurgency." They are "former elements of the Saddam Hussein regime, disaffected Sunni Arab Iraqis, and common criminals," not terrorists. It goes on to say "most wish to restore Sunni Arab rule in the country. Some aim at winning local power and control."

Al Q'aeda, on the other hand, is just a "small portion of the violence in Iraq." Even at that, al Q'aeda in Iraq is now run by Iraqis, for the most part, and composed of Sunni Arabs. The Iraq Study Group found that "al Qaeda's goals include instigating a wider sectarian war between Iraq's Sunni and Shia, and driving the United States out of Iraq." These are not terrorists that would suddenly pack up and leave their homes in Iraq and come to a land as foreign to them as the USA is just because American troops leave Iraq -- driving the troops out of Iraq is precisely the stated goal of the insurgency.

Bush's foreign policy is, in fact, creating the opposite effect of fighting terrorism. The Iraq war has actually caused an increase in global terrorism. Meanwhile, thousands of miles of our remote borders are wide open to anyone who wants to cross them, it has been demonstrated that the Department of Homeland Security is very vulnerable to and unprepared for a major terrorist attack, and our National Guard is not protecting us on American soil because they're deployed in Iraq. Sadly, fighting "terrorists" in Iraq is actually exposing us to a greater risk of being attacked by them here in our homeland.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Something to think about?

An email is being forwarded around the Internet with the Subject "Something to think about?" What is this thought-provoking content? Supposedly, the email was started by one Pam Foster of Pamela Foster and Associates in Atlanta. It is purportedly a letter to a family member serving in Iraq. Here is Foster's rant:
Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001?

Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan , across the Potomac from our nation's capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania ?

Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?

And I'm supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was "desecrated" when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet? Well, I don't. I don't care at all.

I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.

I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia .

I'll care when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi tells the world he is sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.

I'll care when the cowardly so-called "insurgents" in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.

I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.

I'll care when the American media stops pretending that their First Amendment liberties are somehow derived from international law instead of the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights.

In the meantime, when I hear a story about a brave marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don't care.

When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college-hazing incident, rest assured that I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank that I don't care.

When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed "special" food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being "mishandled," you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts that I don't care.

And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled "Koran" and other times "Quran." Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and ---- you guessed it - - - I don't care ! ! ! ! !
As the Subject asks, I thought about it. I thought that I could understand Foster sending a letter like that to a son stationed in Afghanistan. However, it makes no sense in the context of him being in Iraq. I guess Foster didn't hear that his commander in chief himself admitted, "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th." Perhaps she didn't know that before Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq:

  • Iraq was a secular nation. Concerned about the threat to his control over her, Hussein suppressed Islamic fundamentalism in Iraq.
  • Hussein had no substantive involvement with al Q'aeda. Usama bin Laden considered Hussein to be an infidel because of his secularism.
  • Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. Tied down by international forces, Iraq posed no imminent threat to its immediate neighbors, let alone the USA.
  • There was no terrorism in Iraq. Other than the abuses Hussein perpetrated over his own people, there was no security threat to Iraqis.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The laming of the duck

One of the risks of exercising too hard is that it can actually make the person exercising lame. President Bush is now finding that he has exercised his executive powers too hard. Recent judicial activity is making Bush's executive powers more and more lame.

US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has validated that the NSA surveillance program (which includes secretly eavesdropping over US citizens on American soil) authorized by Bush is a shameful act. In ruling that the program violates US citizens' privacy and free-speech rights and illegally skirts review by the special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, she wrote, "There are no hereditary kings in America, and no powers not created by the Constitution."

Even Representative Jane Harman (self-proclaimed Democrat and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee), long a supporter of the Iraq war, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the NSA spy program, is having a change of heart. Blasting the administration for refusing to provide legal opinions and authorizations for its wiretap program, interrogations policy, and detentions of accused terrorists, Harman said Friday that, "The administration has too often operated under vague legal guidelines, pursuant to secret legal opinions generated by few and vetted by almost none."

Speaking of detentions of accused terrorists, a lawsuit filed by two Brooklyn detainees hopes to hold federal law enforcement authorities responsible for their open-ended, "hold-until-cleared" policy for detainees is moving forward in the federal courts in New York. Top administration officials were denied their request to have the case dismissed. In another case, the federal government agreed last week to pay $2-million to settle a lawsuit filed by an Oregon attorney who was arrested and jailed for two weeks in 2004 after the FBI erroneously linked him to a terrorist attack in Spain.

Also last week, a Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that key portions of a presidential order blocking financial assistance to terrorist groups are unconstitutional. The judge ruled that two provisions of an executive order signed just days after the 9/11 attack are too vague because they allow the president to unilaterally designate organizations as terrorist groups and broadly prohibit association with such groups.

Fortunately for Americans' liberties, the judiciary is beginning to lame Bush's excessive executive powers. Let's hope for the sake of the principles upon which this country was founded that this trend continues.

What Americans believe

Americans believe*:
  • There is a civil war in Iraq now.
  • With regard to Iraq, the US government should set a timetable for withdrawal.
  • It was a mistake to take military action against Iraq in the first place.
  • It is a good thing that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will be stepping down.
  • The nomination of Robert Gates, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), by President Bush to succeed Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense will make no difference to the situation in Iraq.
*Harris Interactive poll, 11/20/2006

Bush disagreeing with his Marines

The commander in chief apparently only believes in one way communication. The message he's sending down is directly contradicted by the message being sent up by his troops.

In a speech Bush gave in Latvia last week, he said "I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete," speaking about his war in Iraq. He went on to say, "We can accept nothing less than victory."

Apparently, Bush did not read a classified Marine Corps intelligence report released in August. The report stated "the social and political situation has deteriorated to a point" that US and Iraqi troops "are no longer capable of militarily defeating the insurgency in al-Anbar," a Sunni dominated province in Iraq where the insurgency is at its strongest.

Yes, Bush made his speech three months after the report was released. But things did not improve in the time that transpired. The day before Bush's speech, a senior US intelligence official said, "The fundamental questions of lack of control, growth of the insurgency and criminality" remain the same.

Let's review: Bush insists that he will not pull the troops from Iraq and that he will only accept victory there. Meanwhile, his Marines say they are not capable of militarily defeating the insurgency. These opposing perspectives cannot be reconciled in spite of the fact that Bush claims he takes his cue on the Iraq war from the leaders in the battlefield.