Have conservatives, instead of embracing what many consider Judeo-Christian values actually embraced Roman mythical virtrues such as militarism, a cartoonish ideal of masculinity, and the annihilism of perpetual war as virtues ( much like Bin Laden and followers have), rather then the values of the humility, tolerance, and peace. I’m not saying they have succeeded, but haven’t the so-called thinkers of conservatism placed a kind of cerebral detachment in place where justice, passion for life, and perspective should be. As recently as yesterday I read the plea to never forget what they did to us on 9-11. The writer is obviously still alive, the us in fact includes non-americans, non-conservatives, and non-christians. America as a nation will never forget 9–11, but one can’t help but wonder if in the mind of the neocon or Bush conservative the day will ever be reached on which it can be said that now the score is even. Will the far Right shed their arrogance and acknowledge that 9-11 isn’t something that just happened to them.That while I think revenge has its place, didn’t someone once say that an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. Has the fever and fear of the Far Right in fact turned 9-11 and Bin Laden into a propaganda tool, a verbal weapon with which it continues to use to deflect any criticism of its actions or policies. Democracy & Peace
“It’s hard for some in our country to connect the rise of democracy with peace,” Bush said in Louisville. “History has proven that democracies yield the peace.”
But again – while it may be nice to think of democracies as inherently peaceful – the historical reality is often quite different.
Even in ancient times, democracies often were the instigators of war. Democratic Athens broke the Peace of Nicias in 418 B.C. by attacking undemocratic Sparta. The Roman Republic waged war on its neighbors for centuries before it became an empire.
Even in American history, the democratic government of the United States has waged war against Native Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans and even against other Americans in the Civil War. In modern times, the United States also has gone to war without direct provocation, most notably in Vietnam in the 1960s and in Iraq now. (my note-I think it can be argued that early on there was reason to believe that it was right for Kennedy to show an American presense in Vietnam. With China’s support communism was spreading at an alarming rate in Asia. That Johnson and Nixon bungled things is another story.)
European democracies have a similarly spotty record. Great Britain fought to maintain its empire even after the monarchy had given way to democratic institutions. The same was true for France, which fought colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria in the years after World War II.
In Germany, Adolf Hitler exploited opportunities created by democracy in his rise to power, as his nationalist socialism resonated with voters suffering economic deprivation and harboring anti-Semitic prejudices. After winning the largest number of seats in parliament, Hitler engineered his fateful appointment as chancellor in 1933.
Before 9-11 Bush’s approval ratings lanquished in the fourties, yet Bush had close to an 80% approval rating just after 9-11, the nation was willing to put aside partisan politics and show national unity in the face of adversity. Bush had about the same high level of support to persue those responsible for 9-11 into Afghanistan. Well over 10,000 citizens of Afghanistan have been killed, over 30,000 Iraqi men, women, and children and the man who is responsible for 9-11 has released a new tape. He’s able to release that tape because after three years he’s still free. What is the reaction to this humilating failure of our Bunnypants-in-chief, its all Michael Moore’s fault:
“You’d think the only focus tonight would be on destroying Osama Bin Laden, not comparing him to an American who opposes the war whether you like him or not. You want a real debate that America needs? Here goes: If the administration had done the job right in Tora Bora we might not be having discussions on Hardball about a new Bin Laden tape. How dare Scott McClellan tell America that this Administration puts terrorists out of business when had they put Osama Bin Laden out of business in Afghanistan when our troops wanted to, we wouldn’t have to hear this barbarian’s voice on tape. That’s what we should be talking about in America.” — John Kerry
If Bush held up a big green frog and called it a puppy everyone would think what a loon we have for a president, yet Bush has done just that. Everytime Bush says Iraq is the front in the war on terror he’s either in deep mental straights or he really doesn’t have a clue what to do about terrorists who have no real state/nation. Imagine if the FBI went after serial killers in the same unfocused way that Bush has gone after Bin Laden. If anyone is weak on terrorism, its George Bush.
The war in Iraq is a major distraction from the fight against terrorism. As the report issued by the Army War College states, “In conflating Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Osama bin-Laden’s al-Qaeda, the administration unnecessarily expanded the GWOT (Global War on Terror) by launching a preventive war against a state that was not at war with the United States and that posed no direct or imminent threat to the United States at the expense of continued attention and effort to protect the United States from a terrorist organization with which the United States was at war.”
To not a few people the latest attempts by the Bunnypants administartion to exploit 9-11, terrorism, and fear to extend its power from presidential to king is just another con in a lengthening list of incompetent and inept attempts to rule rather then govern. I covered some of this territory yesterday, but as usual Glenn Greenwald offers more legal detail more eloquently then I am able to…. The Justice Department tries again
The need to defend George Bush’s law-breaking has put the DoJ in the position where it can defend him only by expressly advocating a theory of presidential power that really does bring us to the John Yoo vision of a President who – even in times of a permanent and undeclared war, and even against American citizens – can exert unlimited and unchecked powers (“Neither statute . . . can place any limits on the President’s determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the President alone to make.”)
That’s no longer the Yoo theory. It now describes the expressly claimed power of the Bush Administration. It is difficult to overstate how radical and consequential this development is.
and remember Al Gore’s recent speech:
Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution? If the answer is “yes” then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited? If the President has the inherent authority to eavesdrop, imprison citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can’t he do?
I guess I’m what’s come to be known recently as a Patrick Henry Democrat, give me less security and more freedom. Frankly, political correctness aside, a raghead fundamentalist nutcase like Bin Laden is hardly a threat to my freedom. The only treal threat to my freedom is in the Whitehouse and his sheep-like supporters.
The culture of corruption is growing like spores in a petri dish, Insider Trading in Frist and Delay’s Office: Story Growing
Tom Chambers Art Montages, worth a look especially for the growing legions of Photoshop amateurs.
Martin Luther King and The Montgomery Story in comic book form. Very well done.
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“O sage Pangloss,” cried Candide, “what a strange genealogy is this! Is not the devil the root of it?” “Not at all,” replied the great man, “it was a thing unavoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of worlds; for if Columbus had not caught in an island in America this disease, which contaminates the source of generation, and frequently impedes propagation itself, and is evidently opposed to the great end of nature, we should have had neither chocolate nor cochineal. It is also to be observed, that, even to the present time, in this continent of ours, this malady, like our religious controversies, is peculiar to ourselves. The Turks, the Indians, the Persians, the Chinese, the Siamese, and the Japanese are entirely unacquainted with it; but there is a sufficing reason for them to know it in a few centuries. In the meantime, it is making prodigious havoc among us, especially in those armies composed of well-disciplined hirelings, who determine the fate of nations; for we may safely affirm, that, when an army of thirty thousand men engages another equal in size, there are about twenty thousand infected with syphilis on each side.”
“Very surprising, indeed,” said Candide, “but you must get cured. “Lord help me, how can I?” said Pangloss; “my dear friend, I have not a penny in the world; and you know one cannot be bled or have a clyster without money.”
from Candide by VOLTAIRE