Thursday, May 14, 2009

Democrats love war

House passes $96.7 billion bill funding wars in Iraq and Afghanistan via

The House has approved $97 billion for military and diplomatic efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The measure also would pay for anti-flu programs and for additional cargo planes the Pentagon doesn't want.

The 368-60 vote on Thursday reflects bipartisan support for troops in harm's way overseas.

Democrats doing what they love to do. Spending billions of our money on war. Oh, they highlight the few token Democratic voices that oppose this. For instance, the article highlights Rep. Obey as someone who's growing critical of the war in Afghanistan. But here's the joke. It's his bill.

Title: Making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Obey, David R. [WI-7] (introduced 5/12/2009) Cosponsors (None)

That's the lying Democrats in a nutshell. They pretend to oppose the war. They pretend to be critical of the policy. But when you look closely, its their name on the bill as the chief sponser of the bill.

So, what do you think matters most to the Afghani and Pakistanis who are dying in increasing numbers. That Rep Obey made some mealy mouthed comments that are kinda-sorta critical of the policy? Or that he just played a leadership role in shepherding through Congress another $100 billion to pay for more killing?

Been saying it for years. With Democrats, you have to watch the ACTIONS. The ACTIONS of Democrats like Obey, Obama, Pelosi, Reid and most of the rest is that they love these wars, and that even when Americans are struggling economically, they gladly give the Pentagon everything its wants, no questions, no strings. In fact, they even added on more money for cargo planes the Pentagon says it doesn't want.

The Democrats try to claim during election season that we must all vote Democrat to keep the Republicans from power. But, if the Republicans didn't exist. If the entire House was only just the Democrats, the war would continue, completely fully funded, by a vote of 200-51.

If you hear the talk, just laugh. Their actions scream that they aren't serious in what they say.

For an interesting intellectual exercise, compare how the Democratic leadership pushes through war funding, that is quickly and efficiently, with how they act on items EFCA or allowing judges to adjust mortgage terms in bankruptcy. The Democrats only seem ineffectual when they want to be. When it comes to giving hundreds of billions to generals or bankers, they are quick and efficient.

PS ... My local, phony liberal Democrat, DeGette, voted for more war and death and destruction. When in front of her very anti-war constituents, she's puts up a fake progressive front that pretends to oppose the war. But, there's her name, signed in blood, approving yet another $100 billion for more war, death and destruction. Typical Democrat. To see how your local Dem voted, click here.

PPS... To end the war, we need to REPLACE 157 members of Congress. How many will we replace in 2010?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The limits of liberalism

The limits of liberalism by Lance Selfa on Socialist Worker.

Another very good piece that's worth following the link above to read the whole thing.

But this modus operandi is becoming a bit of pattern. Already, the administration's policies to address the financial crisis--from the bank bailouts to the rigged "stress tests"--appear to have been designed to disrupt Wall Street's business as usual as little as possible. For this reason, liberal economists like Nobel Laureates Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz have denounced the administration's policies as, at best, keeping "zombie banks" on life support--or, at worst, robbing taxpayers.

All of this dismays liberals who believe that they have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enact overdue reforms. Instead, they see the administration compromising with big business that has interests in making whatever reforms are passed as toothless as possible

Ok, but here's what the 'liberals' mentioned in this piece don't get. Today's Democratic Party exists precisely to make sure that 'once-in-a-generation' opportunities for reform DO NOT get enacted. The role of the Democrats in today's American political system is to divert energy away from real reform. The role of the Democrats is exactly what Mr. Selfa says in his piece. To make sure that even when the Republican brand crashes and the people run them out of town, that business proceeds as usual with as little disruption to Wall Street as possible.

The Democrats are supposed to use the popular anger against Republican policies to gain power when people get upset at the Republicans. But then, once in power, the Democrats will a) continue the same policies as much as is possible, and b) actively work to block any real reforms that the people might be demanding.

See the piece just below this one on the page about how Sen. Baucus is handling 'health care' reform for an example. The real reform that most of the American citizens would want is declared immediately 'off the table', the interests of the insurance companies, HMO's and big pharma companies are well represented and looked after, and the cops are called should someone dare to stand up and try to talk about national health insurance.

That's no accident. That's the Democrats doing precisely the job they are well paid to do.

A Populist Health Care Rebellion

A Populist Health Care Rebellion by Kevin Zeese via

As the hearing began, and Sen. Baucus was speaking a group of about 30 nurses, dressed in their red hospital uniforms, stood up and turned their backs on Baucus. They had pinned to their backs: “Nurses Say: Stop AHIP. Pass Single Payer.” (AHIP is America’s Health Insurance Plans – the health insurance industry lobby.)

The nurses left the room to applause.

Then doctors, nurses and advocates stood up and one by one and spoke directly to Senator Baucus.

DeAnn McEwen, a registered nurse from California said: “Today is Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale said if there were none to hope for any better, there would never be any better. This country needs a single payer health care system.”

Then, another RN from California stood up: “People at the table have failed Americans for 30 years. We want single payer at the table. We want guaranteed health care so we can give the care we need, when we need to give it.”

She was followed by Dr. Judy Dasovich of Springfield, Missouri, who said “We request that single payer advocates be allowed at the table. Health care should be for patients not for profits.”

Dr. Steven Fenichel of Ocean City, NJ followed adding: “It’s a sense of outrage that brings me to your Senate chambers today. These people were entrusted by the American people to serve the American people’s interests. And they are just serving the interests of the insurance companies and drug companies – the people be damned.”

Jerry Call, a member of Physicians for a National Health Program from South Thomaston, Maine was the final advocate from the audience, speaking for the majority of Americans shut out from the discussion, and saying: “Sixty percent of Americans and sixty percent of physicians want single payer. Why aren’t sixty percent of the people up front not single payer representatives?”

All five were arrested and taken away for booking. They were charged with Disruption of Congress, the same offense I will go to court for on May 26th.

Yes my friends, under this wonderful progressive leadership that we get from the Democrats, trying to speak to Congress about national health insurance is a crime. Try it, and you end up led out of the room in handcuffs.

Of course, people should try to address a congressional hearing in the traditional way. That is by going and testifying before the committee. But, in this case, that avenue has been denied. Our lovely Democrats have issued an imperial degree that single payer health care can not even be discussed. So, they hold hearing after hearing where the representatives of the health insurance companies get a seat at the table, while the supporters of national health insurance are barred from testifying.

"Disruption of Congress". Apparently that's the charge for daring to get in the way of a bunch of Senators who all take money from the health insurance industry as they try to find ways to give more money out of your pocket to the people who bought them.

Must kill more people! Kill! Kill! Kill!

Back to the Balkans by William Lind via Counterpunch.

Now, it seems, our distinguished secretary of state, Madame Clinton, wishes to revisit the scene of the crime. Perhaps looking about for something more promising than fighting Pashtuns, she is rumored to want another round with the Serbs. The demands, this time, are to be Serbian recognition of Kosovo’s "independence" (Kosovo is not a country and never has been; there are no Kosovars, only Serbs and Albanians who live in Kosovo) and the destruction of Republika Serbska, the Serbian portion of Bosnia.

The Democrats seem to be in an unusually blood-thirsty mood. Not happy with keeping the Iraq war going in perpetuity, nor with escalating the Afghan war and, nor with expanding that war into half of Pakistan, and not happy with saber rattling against Iran and letting it slip that they are happy with a war there as long as it happens when they are ready for it, they now apparently want to stir up the Balkans as well.

Boy, I'm sure glad we elected the peace party in the last election.

Just in case people forget, here's Mr. Lind's description of the after effects of the last Democratic 'humanitarian' war in the Balkans.

In fact, the two previous rounds of Balkan fighting and American and NATO meddling have left unstable situations needing only a spark to erupt. Bosnia is a hothouse creation, a figment of the globalist elite’s imagination. Like Oakland, there is no there there. It is a Croat-Muslim "federation" neither party accepts. The Croats want out, and the Muslims want to cut the Croats’ throats. All that keeps the lid on is the money that pours from the foreign troops who occupy the place.

Kosovo remains a festering boil, home to jihadists, drug distribution networks, and other 4GW elements of every sort. Serbia won’t give it up, and the Albanians will not rest until every Serb is gone or dead and every Serbian church or cultural monument is obliterated.

Afghan Govt: US Strike Killed 140 Civilians

Afghan Govt: US Strike Killed 140 Civilians from

An Afghan government commission has concluded that 140 civilians were killed in the United States air strikes in the Farah Province last week

I put this up for several reasons. One is to point out that there is a cost in Obama's escalation in Afghanistan. This story is unique only in the larger than average number of people killed.

Second, it follows a very familiar US military propaganda pattern. First we hear of the event, usually from non-US sources. Stories start to come out about a large number of people killed in a US attack. The first step in the US propaganda campaign is to deny it ever happened. The US military obviously plays for time, so they do this stall first. And probably just hope the story goes away. When the story doesn't go away, they then admit to a lower number of murders, they usually claim that they killed 'terrorists' instead of innocent civilians, and they usually try to blame the other side for somehow faking or creating the massacre.

And lastly, today they tested the local civil defense sirens. Since I didn't know what was going on, I did something I rarely do. I turned on the local TV news. They of course told me nothing about why the sirens were going off. But I did see a story about this massacre on the local ABC affiliate. What was striking was that they referred to this event as a 'battle'. That makes it sound very, very different from what it really was. Especially as a 'battle' would imply that American lives were at risk. It also brings to mind images of a larger, violent, chaotic scene, where it would be more understandable that some civilians might be killed.

What this was instead was a pilot, flying safely overhead and in no danger, following an order to blow up some buildings. Reports are sketchy, but nothing I've seen indicates any fighting going on around the buildings. There are general reports of some other fighting in that part of the province, and apparently enough that the villagers decided to take shelter in these buildings.

This is the price people are paying daily for Obama's 'the right war'. And this is the propaganda we are all constantly exposed to about this 'right war'.

PS ... Afghan President Karsai is calling for the end of air strikes in his country. Imagine the gall of that. Look for the stories out of Washington about how the US isn't happy with Karsai to increase again soon. Don't be surprised if you see that this fall the US is suddenly supporting a new puppet in the Afghan elections.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The Anti-Empire Report by William Blum via Znet.

Another highly recommended article. This bit near the end caught my eye.

As the Washington Post reported it: "Clinton played down the latest burst of violence, telling reporters she saw 'no sign' it would reignite the sectarian warfare that ravaged the country in recent years. She said that the Iraqi government had 'come a long, long way' and that the bombings were 'a signal that the rejectionists fear Iraq is going in the right direction'."9

So ... the eruption of violence is a sign of success. In October 2003, President George W. Bush, speaking after many resistance attacks in Iraq had occurred, said: "The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react."10

And here is Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking in April 2004 about a rise in insurrection and fighting in Iraq over nearly a two-week period: "'I would characterize what we're seeing right now as a - as more a symptom of the success that we're having here in Iraq,' he said ... explaining that the violence indicated there was something to fight against - American progress in building up Iraq."11

War is Peace ... Freedom is Slavery ... Ignorance is Strength. I distinctly remember when I first read "1984" thinking that it was very well done but of course a great exaggeration, sort of like science fiction.

Fascinating how Hillary is now saying exactly the same things that the Bush Administration said. Of course, that's nothing new. That's been true all along as Hillary helped to push us into this war. She just tries to hide that when she runs for elections. But still, the fact that the US Secretary of State is saying exactly the same things today that the Bush Administration said about Iraq is very revealing about American democracy.

Stop and think about how we got here. If you rewind back two years, the 2008 election looked to be shaping up as a contest between some Republican, probably McCain, who would run on continuing Bush's pro-war policies, and Hillary Clinton, the Democrat, who would run on a platform of returning the Clinton administration to power. And, since we all know the record of the 1990's, everyone knew that this would be a very Republican-like administration. Especially in foreign policy, where we'd seen the first Clinton administration continue the Bush cold-war against Iraq, start an illegal war in Yugoslavia, and launch missiles whenever they needed a distraction in the news.

The voters in the Democratic Party revolted and rejected this. The voters in the Democratic primaries made it clear that they wanted an alternative to the left of Clinton's Republican-like policies. And it was Obama who capitalized on that revolt. He positioned himself to the left of Hillary. He made hints that he might conduct a foreign policy where we actually talked to countries instead of bombing them. This positioned himself to the left of Hillary who was running around talking about 'obliterating' Iran.

The problem is, it was all a giant fraud. Obama was in no way an alternative to the Reagan\Bush\Clinton\Bush policies. Obama immediately moved to put the senior Clinton people in charge of foreign policy. At least in the areas that he didn't just completely surrender complete control to the Republicans and the generals. And of course, the ultimate symbol of this was to put Hillary in as Secretary of State.

This is very revealing of American elections, and the choices, or lack thereof that are available to the American voters. There was no 'major' candidate in the last election that offered any chance of any 'change' in the direction this country is taking. Given that some 70% of the American citizens have been telling pollsters for several years now that they feel America is 'going in the wrong direction', that's very revealing about American 'democracy'.

Face it, the corporations have no intention of ever giving us a real choice. If the American people really feel we are going in the wrong direction and that its time for a change, they are going to have to reject the candidates with hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate money in their accounts. They are going to have to reject the candidates of the corporate parties. The candidates in the elections that might provide real 'change' are the ones that are ignored or sneered at in the corporate media. The candidates in the elections that might provide real 'change' are the ones that need a volunteer to pick them up at the airport and give them a ride because they don't have the hundreds of millions to spend that the corporate candidates always will have.

None of the 'major' candidates will ever give you any real change.