People talking without speaking People hearing without listening

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Some conservatives still like to portray their party as the party of Lincoln, never mind that hasn’t been true since Dwight Eisenhower. It is more likely that Lincoln as a widely admired figure in American history is just serving duty as a handy scapegoat. Lincoln temporarily violated some laws and still saved the union, the narrative that the far right would like to create for Bush. Only Bush has done more then any president in the last hundred years to weaken the union and has done so with the weakest rationale. It must be a little embarrassing that not even the well oiled Rove spin machine can fool the people of Lincoln’s home state, President Bush, play by America’s rules

The framers of the Constitution created checks and balances within government exactly to prevent this royal approach. If Bush disagrees with bills, he should veto them. Plain and simple.

— This represents the consensus of the Sun-Times News Group of 100 papers in the Chicago area.

Some have argued such as Jacob Weisberg that the current Israel-Lebanon conflict is not Bush’s fault. First that is too simplistic. If Weisburg and the like minded would attempt to be honest and look at the current crisis through a larger frame one may not find a direct line between Bush and the conflict, but you will find one between Bush’s policies and what is happening in Lebanon. ( Before I go on, Weisburg pumps up the myth that Bush deserves for getting Libya to abandon its nuclear weapons program., negotiations with Libya were well underway under the Clinton administration and it was The British that keep the Bush-Bolton team from sabotaging diplomatic progress.) Iran was headed toward a more moderate government away the the old Khomeini regime, it was Bush’s invasion of Iraq that rallied Iranians behind the hardliners

“Until recently, voter apathy and a lackluster campaign had threatened to deliver the poorest turnout in an Iranian presidential election since Islamic clerics came to power in 1979. With increasing pressure from the West over its nuclear program and a flagging economy that has angered Iranians, a marginal turnout could have undermined the legitimacy of the government.

But harsh statements by President Bush on Thursday, denouncing Iran’s elections as a sham because unelected clerics would continue to wield most of the power, allowed them to go on the offensive.

Iran’s television and radio networks, run by the conservative leaders, repeatedly broadcast the U.S. pronouncements and urged voters to strike out at Bush by going to the polls.

Called to rally behind nationalism rather moderation this same rallying cry worked in America in the last election. There are nationalists in every country and they tend to be rather easy to manipulate, they even seem to enjoy it. The victory of the Iranian radicals lead to a stronger relationship with Syria. Iran and Syria both feel emboldened because they see America as bogged down in Iraq. Whether they should feel that way is questionable, but they do none the less. Syria and Iran are supporting Hizbollah and Hamas. From the invasion of Iraq to the Iranian elections are events that have contributed to firing up the worse tendencies of the anti-Israel ideologues in the middle-east.
Israel’s Actions Harm Iranian Democracy Movement

“The events in the Middle East will have a negative impact on democracy in Iran,” Ibrahim Yazdi, secretary general of Freedom Movement, an opposition political group, told The New York Times. “Some might ask Hezbollah why it took those two soldiers hostage. Based on what kind of predictions did it take such a measure? But no one can deny the large-scale invasion of Lebanon by Israel and the destruction of its infrastructure and the crimes it is committing against civilians, women and children. Such acts strengthen [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad’s position.”

If this is the impact of a war in which Iran is only indirectly involved, one can only imagine the negative consequences of any kind of direct U.S. military action against the country. But this hasn’t stopped people like ubiquitous television talking head William Kristol from calling on the United States to attack Iran.

“We might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities,” Kristol writes in the Weekly Standard, the neoconservative flagship he edits. “Why wait?

Does anyone think a nuclear Iran can be contained? That the current regime will negotiate in good faith? It would be easier to act sooner rather than later. Yes, there would be repercussions—and they would be healthy ones, showing a strong America that has rejected further appeasement.”

Tony Blair, a more articulate spokesperson for the United States than anyone in the Bush Administration, has recently spoken of an “arc of extremism’ in the Middle East (a phrase echoing “axis of evil”), an arc that includes Iran and Syria.

People setting the stage for a conflict with Iran need to talk with Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Iranian reformer and feminist.

Hard-liners “will use any threat of military attack as an excuse to crush the democratic movement,” Ebadi wrote in the New York Times in January. “In fact, a military attack would only inflame nationalist sentiments. Iranians remember the U.S. help to Iraq during its war with Iran. . . . Given the Iranians’ fierce nationalism and the Shiites’ tradition of martyrdom, any military move on Iran would receive a response that would engulf the entire region in fire.”

There some burn out on the whole mideast settling in. The arguments from the right fringe, in between unhinged conspiracy theories( Michelle Malkin bears false witness against Human Rights Watch) is really just a replay of the Iraq stategy. In other words, no real plan, no real strategy. Stay on an undefined course. For people who pride themselves on supposedly saying what they mean and doing what they say they’re emmitting an awful lot of fog. Of course the far right pundits and politicians don’t care, the bombs aren’t dropping on them.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.

Fools said i,you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence

lyrics from The Sound Of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel