secrets

..... .....
click photos for audio...cnnn tv...book...xmas

Xmas

stories
'toons
verse

News

headline editors needed
today's news
most mailed
news archives
features archives
mainstream feed
progressive feed
opinion feed
about us
contact us

Alito

record
DINOs
defeat Nelson (D-Ne)

Libby

indictment
plame:stories
updated timeline

Disaster

Timeline
Bush Watch
New York Times
Washington Post

Info

bush bio
cheney bio
bushlexia
impeach?
democrats

Opinion

brasch
clothier
christine
fisher
floyd
higgs
interviews
ireland
jenkins
leopold
mickey z
miller
ostroy
partridge
politex
pringle
smith
southard
stasi
uhler
van wey
weiner
guests

'Scripts

MSNBC
CNN
PBS NEWSHOUR

Arts

politexts
our novel
toons
comedy
canada
garlic
songs
poems
demonology
texas politics

Special

words
lies
media
economy
nukes
theocons
neocons
u.s. id card
fascists
social security
votes

Family

family timeline
anti-semitism
dyslexia
midland
drugs
dwi
abortion
awol
gossip

Activism

voter march
what can i do?

Archives

bush trivia
1st 100 weeks
need to know
go kyoto

NEWS: papers | google | update | most mailed | previous | mainstream | progressive | opinion | home | contact

Saturday, December 17 through Sunday, January 8 2006


Bush Watch will be on vacation from Saturday, December 17 through Sunday, January 8. However, daily feeds from mainstream and progressive news sources will be available at Bush Watch each day. Just click on "mainstream" or "progressive" above.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
by the editors of Bush Watch
...get our headlines in your e-mail

Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
Excerpts From World Opinion
...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

Xmas: Bill O'Reilly and his "War on Christmas":
Being Right and Wrong in the name of the Christ
Dr. Gerry Lower

On the second day of December, Fox News Network reported the results of their "opinion dynamics poll" regarding Bill O'Reilly's statement that "There is a war on Christmas in the U.S. today." Of those responding to the poll, 42% said they agreed with Bill's statement. The majority, 48% of those polled, were in disagreement with O'Reilly's statement, and the other 10% essentially said, as always, that they did not know anything (1). In this instance, those who know nothing are in a desirable position because of the high probability that neither active side in the debate knows what they are talking about.

It is O'Reilly's notion that his "War on Christmas" is being hotly pursued by liberals and atheists and those who would have the audacity to agree with the radical notion of separating church and state. Bill just came unhinged, you see, by the media's use of the term "Holiday trees" in place of the term "Christmas trees" - which Bill dutifully interpreted as an effort by evil people to remove Christ from Christmas. In Bill's Old Testament world, it is an absolute requirement that its adherents live in the Here and Now, no history allowed, no evolution allowed, no cultural context allowed. It makes for ignorance defined.

Meanwhile, Fox News is making effort to sell "Holiday" decorations with Bill's name on them (2), a pair of balls to hang on what better be your "Christmas" tree. It makes a little money for Fox News Network and Bill gets his name hanging from some dupe's tree. Bill has taken an overt path to ignorance bordering on the psychotic, while Fox News has taken an overt path to religious hypocrisy bordering on the psychotic (3). Together, they have accomplished the impossible, i.e., to be right and wrong at the same time.

Bill is, of course, entirely right in claiming that there is a "War on Christmas." At the same time, Bill is extraordinarily wrong to assign his wrathful blame to liberals and the detractors of religion and capitalism. Surely Bill must know that wars are far more prone to stem from right wing, conservative interests. It was against these interests that the Revolutionary War was fought. Surely Bill must know that the war on Christmas began long ago, shortly after WWII, when capitalism took over both political parties, leaving America with only liberal and conservative capitalists at the helm.

In the interest of clarity, then, it is worthwhile to consider the real war on Christmas and its causes, of which Bill O'Reilly is entirely ignorant and oblivious, due largely to the enormous degree to which he has allowed his thought to be compromised by greed-driven capitalism and everything that is wrong with America....

Opinion: Hope This Doesn't Make You Sick, Paul Krugman (excerpts)

...The past quarter-century has seen the emergence of a vast medical-industrial complex, in which doctors, hospitals and research institutions have deep financial links with drug companies and equipment makers. Conflicts of interest aren't the exception - they're the norm. The economic logic of the medical-industrial complex is straightforward. Prescription drugs and high-technology medical devices account for a growing share of medical spending. Both are products that are expensive to develop but relatively cheap to make. So the profit from each additional unit sold is large, giving their makers a strong incentive to do whatever it takes to persuade doctors and hospitals to choose their products.

The tools of persuasion go beyond hiring cheerleaders as sales representatives. There are also financial inducements, sometimes disguised, sometimes blatant. A few months ago, Reed Abelson of The New York Times reported on a practice in which device makers give surgeons who are in a position to choose their products (with others paying the cost) lucrative consulting contracts, in some cases running to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Above all, the line between medical researcher and medical entrepreneur has been blurred. In her book "The Truth About the Drug Companies," Marcia Angell, a former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, writes that small companies founded by university researchers now "ring the major academic research institutions ... hoping for lucrative deals with big drug companies." Usually, she says, "both academic researchers and their institutions own equity" in these companies, giving them a strong incentive to make the big drug companies happy.

The point is that the whiff of corruption in our medical system isn't emanating from a few bad apples. The whole system of incentives encourages doctors and researchers to serve the interests of the medical industry....

Drugged Congress

Senate Provision Would Inoculate Vaccine Makers, Andrea Stone
Up To $16 Million In Drug Company Stock Investments Conflict
42 U.S.Senators Out of Vaccine Vote
, U.S. Newswire

Xmas: This Year's White House Xmas Card

Happy holidays to you, unless you are not me. Blue crayons and bubble bath. Who turned off the lights? No one will listen to me anymore. Gabba gabba gee, booga booga woo. See? What happened to the pretty songs and the cheers? What happened to all those creepy praying sycophants? Wow, that was a big word for me to write. The voices are getting louder, Mommy. Laura is muttering in pig Latin from over in the corner, rocking back and forth. No one is listening. Rubber band peanut butter sponge bath. Oh my God, I need a drink. What's that smell? Is my time almost up yet? Can I go home now? Happy holidays, America. The GOP loves you. Kidding. -- George W. Bush (aka Mark Morford)

To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
by the editors of Bush Watch
...get our headlines in your e-mail

Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
Excerpts From World Opinion
...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

Xmas: How The Theocon Grinches Are Trying To Steal Christmas, Adam Cohen (excerpts)

Christmas's self-proclaimed defenders are rewriting the holiday's history. They claim that the "traditional" American Christmas is under attack by what John Gibson, another Fox anchor, calls "professional atheists" and "Christian haters." But America has a complicated history with Christmas, going back to the Puritans, who despised it. What the boycotters are doing is not defending America's Christmas traditions, but creating a new version of the holiday that fits a political agenda. The Puritans considered Christmas un-Christian, and hoped to keep it out of America. They could not find Dec. 25 in the Bible, their sole source of religious guidance, and insisted that the date derived from Saturnalia, the Roman heathens' wintertime celebration. On their first Dec. 25 in the New World, in 1620, the Puritans worked on building projects and ostentatiously ignored the holiday. From 1659 to 1681 Massachusetts went further, making celebrating Christmas "by forbearing of labor, feasting or in any other way" a crime.

The concern that Christmas distracted from religious piety continued even after Puritanism waned. In 1827, an Episcopal bishop lamented that the Devil had stolen Christmas "and converted it into a day of worldly festivity, shooting and swearing." Throughout the 1800's, many religious leaders were still trying to hold the line. As late as 1855, New York newspapers reported that Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist churches were closed on Dec. 25 because "they do not accept the day as a Holy One." On the eve of the Civil War, Christmas was recognized in just 18 states. Christmas gained popularity when it was transformed into a domestic celebration, after the publication of Clement Clarke Moore's "Visit from St. Nicholas" and Thomas Nast's Harper's Weekly drawings, which created the image of a white-bearded Santa who gave gifts to children. The new emphasis lessened religious leaders' worries that the holiday would be given over to drinking and swearing, but it introduced another concern: commercialism. By the 1920's, the retail industry had adopted Christmas as its own, sponsoring annual ceremonies to kick off the "Christmas shopping season."

Religious leaders objected strongly. The Christmas that emerged had an inherent tension: merchants tried to make it about buying, while clergymen tried to keep commerce out. A 1931 Times roundup of Christmas sermons reported a common theme: "the suggestion that Christmas could not survive if Christ were thrust into the background by materialism." A 1953 Methodist sermon broadcast on NBC - typical of countless such sermons - lamented that Christmas had become a "profit-seeking period." This ethic found popular expression in "A Charlie Brown Christmas." In the 1965 TV special, Charlie Brown ignores Lucy's advice to "get the biggest aluminum tree you can find" and her assertion that Christmas is "a big commercial racket," and finds a more spiritual way to observe the day. This year's Christmas "defenders" are not just tolerating commercialization - they're insisting on it....The Christmas that Mr. O'Reilly and his allies are promoting - one closely aligned with retailers, with a smack-down attitude toward nonobservers - fits with their campaign to make America more like a theocracy, with Christian displays on public property and Christian prayer in public schools. It does not, however, appear to be catching on with the public. That may be because most Americans do not recognize this commercialized, mean-spirited Christmas as their own.

Xmas Song: It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It's the most wonderful time of the year
While everyone's cooking and nobody's looking
Civil Rights they'll deter.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

It's the most wonderful time of the year
With the dems jingle bellin' the 'pubs keep on yellin'
More tax cuts they'll steer.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

It's the hap - happiest season of all
With those Iraqi greetings at insurgent meetings
As they plan to call.
it's the hap - happiest season of all.

There'll be parties for fixers, lobbyists at mixers,
and snorting of lines of snow.
There'll be scary Bush stories and Rumsfeld all gory
like 'pub Christmases not long ago.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
The poor lose their toesies, their hearths won't be cozy
'though fuel trucks are near.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

by Edward Pola and George Wyle, with changes by Jerry Politex

To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
by the editors of Bush Watch
...get our headlines in your e-mail

Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
Excerpts From World Opinion
...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

Opinion: 12 Wishes For Santa, Bernard Weiner

Let us stipulate that maybe much in the list below is not going to happen. But one sits on Santa's lap not for the certainty that the presents requested will be under the tree on Christmas Day, but because we can voice our hopes out loud to a stand-in for our preferred deity that perhaps, just perhaps, a few of our wishes will be granted. With that understood, here is what I -- representing, I think, a goodly number of Americans roughly from the center-left to the center-right -- want for Christmas. Oh please, Santa, make at least some of these come true....

Opinion: Bubble Boy Demonstrates He's Really In A Bubble, Maureen Dowd (excerpts)

Never ask a guy who's in a bubble if he's in a bubble. He can't answer. 'Cause he's in a bubble. But the NBC anchor Brian Williams gamely gave it a shot, showing the president the Newsweek cover picturing him trapped in a bubble. "This says you're in a bubble," Brian told W. "You have a very small circle of advisers now. Is that true? Do you feel in a bubble?" "No, I don't feel in a bubble," Bubble Boy replied, unable to see the bubble because he's in it. "I feel like I'm getting really good advice from very capable people and that people from all walks of life have informed me and informed those who advise me." He added, "I'm very aware of what's going on." He swiftly contradicted himself by admitting that "this is the first time I'm seeing this magazine" - his version of his dad's Newsweek "Wimp Factor" cover - and that he doesn't read newsmagazines....

Brian struggled to learn whether W. read anything except one-page memos. Talking about his mom, Bubble Boy returned to the idea of the bubble: "If I'm in a bubble, well, if there is such thing as a bubble, she's the one who can penetrate it." "I'll tell the guys at Newsweek," the anchor said impishly. "Is that who put the bubble story?" W. asked. First he didn't know about it, and now he's forgotten it already? That's the alluring, memory-cleansing beauty of the bubble. The idea that W. is getting good advice from very capable people is silly - administration officials have blown it on everything from the occupation and natural disasters to torture. In the bubble, they can torture while saying they don't. They can pretend that Iraqi forces are stronger than they are. They can try to frighten people with talk of Al Qaeda's dream of a new Islamic caliphate - their latest attempt to scare Americans into supporting the war they ginned up. "Whether or not it needed to happen," the president told the anchor, "I'm still convinced it needed to happen." The Bubble Boy can even contradict himself and not notice....

W.'s contention that he's informed by people from all walks of life is a joke, as is his wacky assertion that he can "reach out" to the public more than Abraham Lincoln because he has Air Force One. Lincoln actually went to the front in his war, with Minié balls whizzing by. No phony turkey for him. The president may fly over all walks of life in Air Force One or drive by them and hide behind dark-tinted windows. In his bubble, he floats through a comforting world of doting women, respectful military audiences, loyal Republican donors and screened partisan groups - with protesters, Democrats, journalists, critics and coffins of dead soldiers kept at bay. The president's bubble requires constant care. It's not easy to keep out huge tragedies like Katrina, or flawed policies like Iraq. As Newsweek noted, a foreign diplomat "was startled when Secretary of State Rice warned him not to lay bad news on the president. 'Don't upset him,' she said."

Quips: Theocons belive that every time someone says "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas," an angel dies of AIDS. --Jon Stewart

To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
by the editors of Bush Watch
...get our headlines in your e-mail

Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
Excerpts From World Opinion
...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

Class War: The Country Club Has Won, America Has Lost, Kent Southard

Recently I had occasion to have lunch with the new ambassador to Great Britain. Ok, it was a catering gig, and I gave him his mixed vegetables. The ambassador was having a farewell lunch with the employees of his car dealerships here in Orange County. There was a short talk, and Q&A, and at the end I was a bit flummoxed - the ambassador was a Bush man, self-evidently, and his employees by and large embodied the kind of rote attitudes inculcated by exclusive FOX news viewing. But the ambassador himself was of an entirely different breed - if he was in the oft-vulgar world of car dealerships he was not of it. The ambassador was gracious, well-spoken, reserved, refined. He had kind and correct things to say about Bill Clinton. Mystified, that evening I did a google on the man - his father started the car dealership empire; his father also is credited with convincing Ronald Reagan to run for governor in 1966. He has been on the board of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art - 'Cars are my business,' he says, 'art is my passion.'

 So now I see it. The ambassador is the kind of individual you would get sometimes in the rich, when a wealthy and possibly culturally rude man would marry a beautiful, refined and high-minded woman, and given that the father is mostly absent anyway, the children take after the mother. So he uses the family business to fund his life of art, yet he remains loyal to the powers that be that gave him his comfortable life.

 I got to think that the ambassador was the kind of Republican I might have ended up being, had I been born into that level of money, or even if my family hadn't divorced and fractured, with all that entailed. But then I would still have the moment of my first encounter with the country club mind-set. Aides to George W. Bush say that he is characteristically very cold in private; his mother's remarks at the Astrodome show the family line, the country club breeding....

Election Fraud: Why Bother to Vote? Ernest Partridge

Dear Dr. Dean,

Every week I get dozens of solicitations from the Democratic National Committee, from the Democratic Senate and Congressional Campaign Committees, or from various Democratic candidates and office-holders, each of them asking for contributions. “You can help us achieve victory next November,” I am told. If by “victory” is meant a majority vote cast at the polls, then the Democrats achieved “victory” in 2000, 2002 and 2004. And yet, the Republicans remain in control of the Congress and the White House.

Small wonder! Republicans build the voting machines, Republicans write the secret software, Republicans count and compile the totals. The Republican machines allow no auditing of the vote totals they report. So Republicans have the ability to “win” elections, regardless of the will of the voters.  There is compelling evidence that they have done just that. And so, if nothing is done to end the privatization of our elections and to introduce reliable verification, the Republicans will "win" again in November 2006 and then in 2008. Today, eleven months before the mid-term election, the outcome is fore-ordained – as certain as Soviet elections under Stalin, and Iraqi elections under Saddam. For, as Stalin said, "Those who cast the votes decide nothing, those who count the votes decide everything.”

In the United States today, the GOP counts most of the votes, and there are no means to verify up to 80% of those votes. In view of this dreadful situation, when the Democrats ask me for a contribution I must reply: “What’s the point? It’s already been settled! What remains is an empty charade.”...

Predictions: The Mid-Term Elections, Sean Gonsalves

Proof is in the pudding. And here’s the pudding – in the form of predictions about next year’s mid-term elections. You can expect strong voter turnout and races that will be too close to call; virtual dead heats. I’m talking about running neck and neck. The winners will have won because they were able to carry the state, appeal to swing voters, stay on message, and get out the vote. But how long will they be able to ride the coattails? For as long as they are able to resonate with voters, win a landslide election and claim a voter mandate. Of course, in order to pull this off, the political winners will have to connect with the voters and be willing to stand up to the Washington bureaucrats, but not back down to the special-interest groups....But if I had one piece of advice to pass on, I’d say avoid cliches like the plague.    

Big Bush Lies: Definition of a Lie: "2. Something that misleads or deceives" (Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary)
Bush Lie #5 (of 55): "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 -- and still goes on. That terrible morning, 19 evil men -- the shock troops of a hateful ideology -- gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions. They imagined, in the words of one terrorist, that September the 11th would be the 'beginning of the end of America.' By seeking to turn our cities into killing fields, terrorists and their allies believed that they could destroy this nation's resolve, and force our retreat from the world. They have failed."
Source: President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended, White House (5/1/2003).
Why This Statement is A Lie: This statement was misleading because by referencing the September 11 attacks in conjunction with discussion of the war on terror in Iraq, it left the impression that Iraq was connected to September 11. In fact, President Bush himself in September 2003 acknowledged that "We’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th."

To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
by the editors of Bush Watch
...get our headlines in your e-mail

Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
Excerpts From World Opinion
...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

Bush Republicans: 13 Steps Toward Killing Our Country , Andy Ostroy

The Bush spin machine was on overdrive this week, spreading more of its oligarchic gospel. Spreading more lies and deception, that is. And the Republican-controlled Congress lent its usual helping hand. Let's recap, in no special order, some of the more notable accomplishments this week in the Kingdom of Corruption and Cronyism....

Mini-Ed: How Sock-Puppet Politicians Reward Corporations, Screw The Average Joe

Tax Illogic
by Post
10 Dec 2005 at 12:00am
LET'S GET THIS straight. The House of Representatives, committed as it is to fiscal discipline, has made the tough choices and agreed to savings of $50 billion over the next five years from mandatory spending programs. A good portion of this amount comes from programs for the poor. Painful, perhaps, but necessary, you might argue. Except -- and this was no surprise to anyone who's been watching this masquerade of budgetary responsibility -- having muscled through these spending cuts, the House, in the space of two days this week, passed $95 billion in tax cuts. Overall, the House has approved $108 billion in tax cuts this year. Just because it keeps doing so in slices doesn't mean it doesn't add up to one expensive pie. Because lawmakers are simply slapping another one-year Band-Aid on the alternative minimum tax rather than addressing the underlying problem of its growing and unintended impact on middle-class taxpayers, the real five-year budget drain is apt to be bigger.

Scrooge in the House
by Derrick Z. Jackson
10 Dec 2005 at 5:00am
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that $70 billion of the $95 billion in tax cuts will go to households making over $100,000. That category accounts for 14 percent of households. According to the center, that 14 percent will get 74 percent of the money. The Brookings Institution's and the Urban Institute's Tax Policy Center calculate that the top 20 percent of American households would get 88.9 percent of the House's tax-cut benefits while the bottom 20 percent would get only 11.1 percent. Twenty-four percent of the benefits would go to Americans who make more than $1 million a year. Such people make up only 0.2 percent of the population. This is not only Scroogian, it is, ''unmoral, uncaring and without compassion," said Georgia Representative John Lewis.

Bush Watch Mini-Ed: As Bush Watch has been saying since before Bush was elected in 2000, the Republican strategy is to create an impossibly high deficit, giving them an excuse to cut programs for the poor and middle class. Mean-spirited? You bet. That's what happens when corporations and their CEO's run the government, with sock-puppet Presidents and Congressmen that they elect through their vast wealth. Now the President and Congress are paying them back, at our expense.
--Politex

Tom Tomorrow: Bill O'Reilly: Bah, He's A Humbug!

To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
by the editors of Bush Watch
...get our headlines in your e-mail

Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
Excerpts From World Opinion
...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

Food Fights: Politics On Your Plate, Mickey Z.

As most of us in America wallow in a season of gastronomical over-indulgence, here's some food for thought: In the late 1960s, thanks to Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers (UFW), deciding whether or not to buy grapes was a political act. Three years after its establishment in 1962, the UFW struck against grape growers around Delano, California...a long, bitter, and frustrating struggle that appeared impossible to resolve until Chavez promoted the idea of a national boycott. Trusting in the average person's ability to connect with those in need, Chavez and the UFW brought their plight-and a lesson in social justice-into homes from coast-to-coast and Americans responded.

"By 1970, the grape boycott was an unqualified success," writes Marc Grossman of Stone Soup. "Bowing to pressure from the boycott, grape growers at long last signed union contracts, granting workers human dignity and a more livable wage." Chavez is perhaps best known for the grape boycott, but in line with his collective soul, he was always the first to admit that it was not entirely his idea. In fact, he was initially against the boycott until his co-workers explained that the best method was not to boycott individual labels, but all grapes. In this way, the grapes became the label itself....

Another food-related struggle for freedom, dignity, and humanity just marked 25 years since its inception: Food Not Bombs (FNB). Created in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1980, FNB was the brainchild of Keith McHenry and seven other activists. "We came out of the Clamshell Alliance," says McHenry, " [which was] trying to shut down Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. It was a collection of mostly anarchists but also included Quakers and the Red Clams, who were socialists." FNB is responsible for starting hundreds of autonomous chapters throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia...where food that would otherwise be thrown out is recovered and transformed into hot vegetarian meals that are then served to the homeless and at protests and other events.... By linking the national problem of homelessness with the larger issue of rampant militarism, McHenry's goal is to address "the inhumane agenda of the government at both the personal and international levels" as a path towards beginning a nationwide debate.

Big Bush Lies: 10 Reasons Why We Can't Believe ANYTHING Bush Says, Frank Rich (excerpt)

1. The latest White House bumper sticker, "Plan for Victory," multiplied by Orwellian mitosis over nearly every square inch of the rather "Queer Eye" stage set from which Mr. Bush delivered his oration at the Naval Academy....The first New York Times-CBS News Poll since the Naval Academy pep talk, released last Thursday, found that only 25 percent of Americans say the president has "a clear plan for victory in Iraq."...
2.The specifics were phony, too: Once again inflating the readiness of Iraqi troops, Mr. Bush claimed that the recent assault on Tal Afar "was primarily led by Iraqi security forces" - a fairy tale immediately unmasked by Michael Ware, a Time reporter embedded in that battle's front lines, as "completely wrong." No less an authority than the office of Iraq's prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, promptly released a 59-page report documenting his own military's inadequate leadership, equipment and training.
3. As breathlessly heralded by Scott McClellan, [the Bush "Plan for Victory"] brochure was "an unclassified version" of the strategy in place since the war's inception in "early 2003." But Scott Shane of The New York Times told another story. Through a few keystrokes, the electronic version of the document at whitehouse.gov could be manipulated to reveal text "usually hidden from public view." What turned up was the name of the document's originating author: Peter Feaver, a Duke political scientist who started advising the National Security Council only this June. Dr. Feaver is an expert on public opinion about war, not war itself. Thus we now know that what Mr. McClellan billed as a 2003 strategy for military victory is in fact a P.R. strategy in place for no more than six months.
4. An obscure Defense Department contractor, the Lincoln Group, was caught paying off Iraqi journalists to run upbeat news articles secretly written by American Army personnel and translated into Arabic (at a time when American troops in harm's way are desperate for Arabic translators of their own). One of the papers running the fake news is Al Mutamar, the Baghdad daily run by associates of Ahmad Chalabi.... As Mr. Chalabi helped feed spurious accounts of Saddam's W.M.D. to American newspapers to gin up the war, so his minions now help disseminate happy talk to his own country's press to further the illusion that the war is being won.
5. [Lincoln Group CEO] Mr. Bailey has had at least four companies since 2002, most of them interlocking, short-lived and under phantom names. Government Executive magazine also discovered that Mr. Bailey "was a founder and active participant in Lead21," a Republican "fund-raising and networking operation" - which has since scrubbed his name from its Web site - and that he and a partner in his ventures once listed a business address identical to their Washington residence. This curious tale, with its trail of cash payoffs, trading in commercial Iraqi real estate and murky bidding procedures for lucrative U.S. government contracts, could have been lifted from "Syriana" or "Glengarry Glen Ross."
6. The more we learn about such sleaze in the propaganda war, the more we see it's failing for the same reason as the real war: incompetence. Much as the disastrous Bremer regime botched the occupation of Iraq with bad decisions made by its array of administration cronies and relatives (among them Ari Fleischer's brother), so the White House doesn't exactly get the biggest bang for the bucks it shells out to cronies for fake news....
7. Until he was unmasked as an administration shill, Armstrong Williams was less known for journalism than for striking a deal to dismiss a messy sexual-harassment suit against him in 1999. When an Army commander had troops sign 500 identical good-news form letters to local newspapers throughout America in 2003, the fraud was so transparent it was almost instantly debunked. The fictional scenarios concocted for Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman also unraveled quickly, as did last weekend's Pentagon account of 10 marines killed outside Falluja on a "routine foot patrol." As the NBC correspondent Jim Miklaszewski told Don Imus last week, he received calls within hours from the fallen's loved ones about how the marines had been slaughtered after being recklessly sent to an unprotected site for a promotion ceremony....
8, 9, 10. Though the White House doesn't know that its jig is up, everyone else does. Americans see that New Orleans is in as sorry shape today as it was under Brownie three months ago. The bipartisan 9/11 commissioners confirm that homeland security remains a pork pit. Condi Rice's daily clarifications of her clarifications about American torture policies are contradicted by new reports of horrors before her latest circumlocutions leave her mouth. And the president's latest Iraq speeches - most recently about the "success" stories of Najaf and Mosul - still don't stand up to the most rudimentary fact checking....

Sunday Funnies:

Pokie the Punisher
Killing for closure; Execution 101; Eye for an Eye (By Mark Fiore)
Right Responds to Critics
'Nothing you say is worth listening to.' (By Tom Tomorrow)
Democrats Still Waiting For Just the Right Moment to Have an Actual Idea
(By Ward Sutton)
Cartoon: Prez of the Board: Come Fly With Me..., Steve Bell
Cartoon: Condi's Rendition Of Cheney's Tortured Prose, Martin Rowson

We're Watching: Chris Nolan's "Batman Begins" (Warner Brothers)

To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
by the editors of Bush Watch
...get our headlines in your e-mail

Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
Excerpts From World Opinion
...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

Report: How Do Americans Feel About Torture? , William Fisher

If the Bush Administration listens to the American public, rather than to Sen. John McCain, it needn’t be too worried about the issue of torture of suspected terrorists. Results of two recent polls by major public opinion organizations show that a substantial majority of Americans believes that such treatment is justified, that torture is still being carried out, and that soldiers, rather than official policy, are responsible. A poll by the Pew Research Center found that of the 2,006 people it surveyed from the general public, 46 percent believe that torturing terror suspects to gain important information is sometimes (31 percent) or often (15 percent) justified while 17 percent thought it is rarely justified and 32 percent were opposed. And a survey of 1,010 Americans by Harris Interactive finds that by a 66 to 32 percent majority the American public believes that torture of prisoners by Americans has taken place in Iraq and Afghanistan The Harris poll found that 61 percent of those who believe that torture has taken place (or 41 percent of all U.S. adults) also believe that it is still happening in spite of the public disclosures of events that took place in Abu Ghraib prison.

...But the Pew survey also found a pronounced divide between attitudes of the general public and those of more influential Americans. Of the 520 opinion leaders -- academics, news media leaders, military and foreign-affairs experts, religious leaders and scientists – polled on the same issue, no more than one in four believes that torture of terrorist suspects can be sometimes or often justified. Pew reported that strong opposition to torture is particularly pronounced among security experts, religious leaders and academics, majorities of whom say the use of torture to gain important information is never justified. Nearly half (48%) of scientists and engineers also take this position, as do military leaders (49%), the Pew survey found....

Sen. McCain, an Arizona Republican and Vietnam-era prisoner of war, has introduced legislation that would ban cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners by the U.S. military, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and private contractors. McCain has been locked in a struggle over the measure with the Bush Administration, particularly Vice President Dick Cheney, who has demanded an exemption for the CIA. But the Senate vote approving the measure was passed 90-9 on a bipartisan basis, despite the administration’s threat to veto it. However, a veto would be difficult for the President, since the McCain measure is attached to a “must-pass” defense department spending bill that provides funding for the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill is likely to come to a Senate vote soon after members return from their Thanksgiving break next week....

Report: Bush's "Universal Death Squad", Chris Floyd

The much-belated, poll-prompted outcry of a few U.S. elected officials against the widespread use of torture by the Bush administration -- following years of silent acquiescence in the face of incontrovertible evidence of deliberate atrocity -- is a welcome development, of course. But it has left an even more sinister aspect of Bushist policy untouched, one that likewise has been hidden in plain sight for years.

On Sept. 17, 2001, President George W. Bush signed an executive order authorizing the use of "lethal measures" against anyone in the world whom he or his minions designated an "enemy combatant." This order remains in force today. No judicial evidence, no hearing, no charges are required for these killings; no law, no border, no oversight restrains them. Bush has also given agents in the field carte blanche to designate "enemies" on their own initiative and kill them as they see fit.

The existence of this universal death squad -- and the total obliteration of human liberty it represents -- has not provoked so much as a crumb of controversy in the American establishment, although it's no secret. The executive order was first bruited in The Washington Post in October 2001. We first wrote of it here in November 2001. The New York Times added further details in December 2002. That same month, Bush officials made clear that the edict also applied to U.S. citizens, as The Associated Press reported....

We're Reading: John Mortimer's "Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders" (Viking)

We're Listening: "Harry the Hipster Digs Christmas" (Viper's Nest)

To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


Friday, December 9, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
by the editors of Bush Watch
...get our headlines in your e-mail

Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
Excerpts From World Opinion
...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

Report: New Orleans, Forgotten, Forgotten... , William Fisher

Three months after Hurricane Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast, Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans faced a "town hall meeting of several hundred displaced constituents" but had few answers to questioners seething with anger, frustration, confusion and hopelessness. The questioners, evacuees who were approximately 75 per cent African-Americans, had been urged by Nagin to return to New Orleans from distant but temporary locations where they were trying to put their shattered lives back together. They had been promised trailers, electricity, running water, and help finding jobs. But the stories they told Nagin and his top lieutenants revealed that they were deeply mired in government red tape, misinformation, no information and an apparent lack of interest. Their seething disapproval of every level of government was palpable....

Meanwhile, Katrina has been gradually but steadily disappearing from prominent coverage in newspapers and on television. With President Bush no longer visiting the stricken areas, the media has apparently moved on.In an interview, Rev. Tim Simpson of the Christian Alliance said, "With all of the coverage that this disaster received and with it having damaged the Bush administration's credibility so severely, it is amazing that these people have been so quickly forgotten by our government and that the administration has so blithely moved on to other things like immigration reform, as if the Gulf Coast was even stable, much less repaired." He added, "What this problem needs is some sustained attention by the executive branch. The President needs to pay more attention to the Gulf and less to giving his second term an 'extreme makeoverâ'. If people thought he was doing something to make the lives of average Americans better in the first place, he probably wouldn't need an extreme makeover!"...

Poll Watcher: Mr. Bush Promises To Continue Rebuilding, , Jerry Politex

On Wednesday Bush described his administration's success in rebuilding the economy, roads, electrical systems, schools and other public buildings: "We're helping...rebuild their infrastructure and...economy and build the prosperity that will give all...a stake." Perhaps if Bush felt that a similar response would boost his poll numbers, he would be talking about New Orleans the way he's talking about Iraq, and the people of New Orleans know it: "In an emotional and sometimes contentious hearing [of a US congressional committee hearing New Orleans citizens] said they believed racism played a key part in the aftermath of the disaster and that they were still suffering without basic services and feared that promised help and housing would never arrive," according to a report in The Age.

As the holiday season arrives, "about half a million people -- survivors as well as the emergency workers who went to their aid -- may need mental health services, the US Department of Health and Human Services estimated."We don't have our medical system here. It's gone. That's a big problem," said Dr. Frank Minyard, New Orleans coroner. "I think it's going to end tragically for some of our citizens," reports the AP. According to a December 6 New York Times graph, here are the key changes in New Orleans since Katrina:

  • Unenployment has increased 200% to 15.5%
  • The labor force has decreased by 33% to 465,000
  • Only 10% of city buses are operational
  • Half of the homes are still without gas service
  • Only 46% of the hotels in the metropolitan area are fully oprational
  • 70% of the met area's restaurants are still closed
  • Only 1 of the city's 116 schools are open
  • FEMA has spent $19 Million of its $21 million allocation

    "In effect, New Orleans remains in a state of emergency more than three months after it was officially declared. While some people - particularly those with their own transportation and children in private schools - have been able to start remaking their homes and lives, most everyone else remains in a holding pattern," the New York Times reports.

    Cartoon: Condi's Rendition Of Cheney's Tortured Prose, Martin Rowson

    Verse: Ode Bob Woodward

    Bob Woodward had an ax to grind
    When Plamegate he critiqued.
    We've finally learned that Woodward
    Was the first to get that leak.

    He failed to tell his audience
    His viewpoint might be skewed
    By personal involvement
    When he anti-Fitz talk spewed.

    His attitude on conflict rules?
    To him they don't apply.
    This former journo hero
    Has left ethics high and dry

    To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


    Thursday, December 8, 2005

    Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
    by the editors of Bush Watch
    ...get our headlines in your e-mail

    Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
    Excerpts From World Opinion
    ...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

    Mini-Ed: Bush And Terrorism: A Neglected Back Story, Jerry Politex

    In the opinion piece by William Fisher that follows, we learn that on Tuesday "A former Florida professor, Sami Al-Arian, 47, accused of helping to lead a terrorist group that has carried out suicide bombings against Israel, was acquitted on nearly half the charges against him and the jury deadlocked on the rest including charges he aided terrorists. The case was seen as one of the biggest courtroom tests yet of the Patriot Act's expanded search-and-surveillance powers."

    While this story is being reported in the U.S. mainstream press this week, what we're not being reminded of is its previous news reports: Al-Arian, a Muslim leader and Democrat, worked to get out the Bush vote in Tampa during the 2000 presidential campaign (Washington Post), Newsweek published a photo of Bush, Laura, and the Al-Arian family at a Florida campaign stop (Boston Globe) [photo here], where Bush called Al-Arian's son "Big Dude" (Newsweek), and Al-Arian discussed the Justice Department's terrorism policy on secret evidence with Bush. "When he debated Al Gore later in the year, Bush even made a point of bringing up the secret-evidence issue."(MSNBC). According to the National Review, " The Bush campaign in 2000 very determinedly reached out to Muslim voters. Indeed, Muslim-Americans may have tipped the election to George Bush. One survey suggests that the 50,000 Muslim voters of Florida, normally staunch Democrats, reacted to Al Gore's selection of Joe Lieberman as his running mate by voting 80% for Bush."

    In 2001 Al-Arian was invited to the White House to attend a briefing of Muslim-American leaders, his son was given a congressional internship, and, when "Big Dude" was later ejected from a White House meeting on faith-based initiatives, Bush sent the Al-Arians a letter of apology (Washington Post) "and ordered the deputy director of the Secret Service to apologize as well." (National Review) In Mike Isikoff's MSNBC story, we learned that the "Secret Service had flagged Al-Arian as a potential terrorist prior to his visit to the White House." One would think the mainstream press would have found all of this to be an interesting back story to this week's turn of events. (documentation) --Politex

    You Be The Judge: Progress In U.S. Terrorism Prosecutions? , William Fisher

    Amidst charges that President Bush and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are inflating the number of criminal prosecutions for terrorism, five cases shed light on the administration’s mixed record of convictions during 2005....These cases provide context for assertions by President Bush, his Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, and many other senior administration officials, that "federal terrorism investigations have resulted in charges against more than 400 suspects, and more than half of those charged have been convicted."

    But, according to an analysis of the DOJ’s own records by the Washington Post, the numbers are misleading. The paper claimed that 39 people -- not 200, as officials have implied – have been convicted of crimes related to terrorism or national security”. “Most of the others were convicted of relatively minor crimes such as making false statements and violating immigration law -- and had nothing to do with terrorism”, the analysis shows. “For the entire list, the median sentence was just 11 months.” Said The Post, “Taken as a whole, the data indicate that the government's effort to identify terrorists in the United States has been less successful than authorities have often suggested. The statistics provide little support for the contention that authorities have discovered and prosecuted hundreds of terrorists here.

    The DOJ’s campaign to round up and detain alleged terrorists began under then Attorney General John Ashcroft almost immediately following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. During that period, large numbers of people -- primarily Arabs and other Muslims as well as South Asians – were arrested by the DOJ and held without charges or lawyers in jails run by immigration agencies. No one caught up in this dragnet was ever accused of any terror-related crime. Some were released, often after being held incommunicado for months. Some claimed to have been beaten or otherwise mistreated. Most were deported for immigration violations – not a criminal offense under U.S. law. David Cole, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and author of "Enemy Aliens," asserts that the "centerpiece of the domestic war on terrorism has been preventive detention."

    "In the first seven weeks after Sept. 11, the DOJ admitted to detaining nearly 1,200 men as suspected terrorists, nearly all foreign nationals," he said. "It subsequently adopted two anti-terrorism immigration initiatives that were aimed at men from Arab and Muslim countries on the theory that they were more likely to be terrorists. Those programs led to the detention of nearly 4,000 more people. Yet of these, not one stands convicted of any terrorist offense. The administration's record is zero for 5,000." In a number of cases since then, the DOJ has conducted numerous high-profile press conferences accusing people of terror-related offenses, only to be prevented from bringing these charges in court because torture had been used to extract confessions from the targets. Evidence obtained through torture is not admissible as evidence in a U.S. court....

    Xmas: How The Theocon Grinches Are Trying To Steal Christmas, Adam Cohen (excerpts)

    Christmas's self-proclaimed defenders are rewriting the holiday's history. They claim that the "traditional" American Christmas is under attack by what John Gibson, another Fox anchor, calls "professional atheists" and "Christian haters." But America has a complicated history with Christmas, going back to the Puritans, who despised it. What the boycotters are doing is not defending America's Christmas traditions, but creating a new version of the holiday that fits a political agenda. The Puritans considered Christmas un-Christian, and hoped to keep it out of America. They could not find Dec. 25 in the Bible, their sole source of religious guidance, and insisted that the date derived from Saturnalia, the Roman heathens' wintertime celebration. On their first Dec. 25 in the New World, in 1620, the Puritans worked on building projects and ostentatiously ignored the holiday. From 1659 to 1681 Massachusetts went further, making celebrating Christmas "by forbearing of labor, feasting or in any other way" a crime.

    The concern that Christmas distracted from religious piety continued even after Puritanism waned. In 1827, an Episcopal bishop lamented that the Devil had stolen Christmas "and converted it into a day of worldly festivity, shooting and swearing." Throughout the 1800's, many religious leaders were still trying to hold the line. As late as 1855, New York newspapers reported that Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist churches were closed on Dec. 25 because "they do not accept the day as a Holy One." On the eve of the Civil War, Christmas was recognized in just 18 states. Christmas gained popularity when it was transformed into a domestic celebration, after the publication of Clement Clarke Moore's "Visit from St. Nicholas" and Thomas Nast's Harper's Weekly drawings, which created the image of a white-bearded Santa who gave gifts to children. The new emphasis lessened religious leaders' worries that the holiday would be given over to drinking and swearing, but it introduced another concern: commercialism. By the 1920's, the retail industry had adopted Christmas as its own, sponsoring annual ceremonies to kick off the "Christmas shopping season."

    Religious leaders objected strongly. The Christmas that emerged had an inherent tension: merchants tried to make it about buying, while clergymen tried to keep commerce out. A 1931 Times roundup of Christmas sermons reported a common theme: "the suggestion that Christmas could not survive if Christ were thrust into the background by materialism." A 1953 Methodist sermon broadcast on NBC - typical of countless such sermons - lamented that Christmas had become a "profit-seeking period." This ethic found popular expression in "A Charlie Brown Christmas." In the 1965 TV special, Charlie Brown ignores Lucy's advice to "get the biggest aluminum tree you can find" and her assertion that Christmas is "a big commercial racket," and finds a more spiritual way to observe the day. This year's Christmas "defenders" are not just tolerating commercialization - they're insisting on it....The Christmas that Mr. O'Reilly and his allies are promoting - one closely aligned with retailers, with a smack-down attitude toward nonobservers - fits with their campaign to make America more like a theocracy, with Christian displays on public property and Christian prayer in public schools. It does not, however, appear to be catching on with the public. That may be because most Americans do not recognize this commercialized, mean-spirited Christmas as their own.

    Verse: Would Jesus?, Doug Long

    George, you've done a lot of killing.
    And you do it with aplomb.
    Perhaps you would be willing
    to say: Who would Jesus bomb?

    You've killed thousands in Iraq,
    And you keep on killing more.
    There's some info that we lack:
    Would Jesus start a war?

    You knew before your war began
    Your reasons wouldn't fly.
    So won't you tell us if you can:
    To whom would Jesus lie?

    It's almost time now to adjourn,
    So won't you let us court your
    Opinion on this big concern:
    Who would Jesus torture?

    To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


    Wednesday, December 7, 2005

    Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
    by the editors of Bush Watch
    ...get our headlines in your e-mail

    Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
    Excerpts From World Opinion
    ...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

    Insta-Ed: Who does Judge Samuel Alito Jr. think he's fooling by presenting himself as a reasonable jurist? Here's a guy whose entire career seems to be based on interfering with women's lives. He wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade, condoned the strip search of a 10-year-old girl and belonged to a conservative alumni club that resisted the admission of women to Princeton. --Maureen Dowd

    Opinion: How To Stop Bully Bush, Bernard Weiner

    During the campaign [Bush] almost always appeared before hand-picked supportive audiences, and how he almost never gives major foreign-policy speeches these days except before supportive military audiences. Ordinary American civilians who may or may not agree with all his policies are not to be included in the democratic process; as Bush famously told one citizen who expressed mild disapproval, "What do I care what you think?"...

    It's plain that the Bush Administration believes (or at least suspects) that its own arguments, if presented straight, won't pass muster with the American populace, or, in the case of the purchased news stories in Iraq, that country's public. The Administration's versions of the truth won't be enough to convince readers, viewers or voters-- for good reason, as they derive from a greedy, mean-spirited ideology -- so propaganda is employed to fool the public. You'll recall that the White House Iraq Group, the unit established to "market" the war to the American people, had a devil of a time coming up with a successful selling tool. Should they tell the truth, that the war was necessary as part of a long-term campaign to control the huge oil/gas energy fields in the Mideast and to alter the geopolitical map of that region? No, that wouldn't fly with the citizenry, they figured; nobody wants their kids killed or maimed for imperial adventures created by ivory-tower ideologues who made sure never to put on their country's uniform in times of war....

    Bush may make a few accommodations prior to the 2006 election -- withdraw thousands of Guard and Reserve troops, for example, and promise more withdrawals -- in order to seem to be in line with the public mood. But the war will continue, with bombing from the air taking the place of any boots missing on the ground, and the imperial goals of dominating the region and controlling the energy fields will remain operative. No matter how long it takes, Bush is willing to sacrifice the lives of U.S. troops and spend the treasury into bankruptcy for "the mission"; he believes the war against radical Muslims is his holy work and he won't back down unless absolutely required to do so. Besides, keeping the American citizenry on a constant fear-boil, Rove believes, provides openings through which to slip Bush&Co.'s domestic agenda. In short, it's long since time for us to respond to the bullies in charge of our foreign and domestic policy, to remember the lessons of history when insecure leaders are not confronted early enough...

    Opinion: Condi's Tortured Prose, Maureen Dowd (excerpts)

    Our secretary of state's tortuous defense of supposedly nonexistent C.I.A. torture chambers in Eastern Europe was an acid flashback to Clintonian parsing.... But in Bill's case, he was only talking about smoking a little joint, while Condi is talking about snatching people off the street and throwing them into lethal joints. "The United States government does not authorize or condone torture of detainees," she said. It all depends on what you mean by "authorize," "condone," "torture" and "detainees." Ms. Rice also claimed that the U.S. did not transport terrorism suspects "for the purpose of interrogation using torture." But, hey, as Rummy likes to say, stuff happens.

    The president said he was opposed to torture and then effectively issued regulations to allow what any normal person - and certainly a victim - would consider torture. Alberto Gonzales et al. have defined torture deviancy downward to the point where it's hard to imagine what would count as torture. Under this administration, prisoners have been hung by their wrists and had electrodes attached to their genitals; they've been waterboarded, exposed to extreme heat and cold, and threatened with death - even accidentally killed.

    Does Ms. Rice think anyone is buying her loophole-riddled defense? Not with the Italians thinking of rounding up C.I.A. officers to ask them whether they abducted a cleric in Milan. And with Torquemada Cheney slouching around Capitol Hill trying to circumvent John McCain, legalizing torture at the C.I.A.'s secret prisons, by preventing Congress from requiring decent treatment for U.S. prisoners.... When Ms. Rice was a Stanford professor of international relations, she would have flunked any student who dared to present her with the sort of willfully disingenuous piffle she spouted on the eve of her European trip. Maybe she figures that if she was able to fool people once with doubletalk about W.M.D., she can fool them again with doubletalk about rendition.

    Quips: Rejected Pentagon stories for Iraqi papers:
    "Osama's Orgy: The Tape Al Jazeera Won't Show You"
    "Iraqi Security Forces Cheer Tot With Kitten Rescue"
    "Bomber's Report From Afterlife: No Virgins!" --John Tierney

    To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


    Tuesday, December 6, 2005

    Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
    by the editors of Bush Watch
    ...get our headlines in your e-mail

    Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
    Excerpts From World Opinion
    ...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

    Insta-Ed: Just in time for Christmas travel, our Department of Homeland Security will allow scissors with 4" blades to be taken on board airplanes, along with screwdrivers up to 7" to unscrew them, turning the scissors into 2 knives that looked just as lethal as boxcutters when a congressman showed the makeshift weapons on TV last night. The excuse for providing take-on weapons to would-be terrorists given by a government rep was limited funds for security checks. I guess that 1% of the population that received the lion's share of the Bush tax cuts travels in private or government jets. Australia has announced it will not follow the U.S. lead. --Politex

    Opinion: THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF FAKE NEWS, William Fisher

    The story of the Pentagon’s latest PR efforts was revealed last week by the Los Angeles Times. It said that many of the articles were presented in the Iraqi press as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists. The stories trumpet the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops, denounce insurgents and tout U.S.-led efforts to rebuild the country. The Times reported that while the articles are basically factual, they present only one side of events and omit information that might reflect poorly on the U.S. or Iraqi governments. Records and interviews indicate that the U.S. has paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of such articles, with headlines such as "Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism," since the effort began this year, the newspaper wrote. The articles are received from the military and translated into Arabic and then placed with Iraqi media, both print and broadcast, by the Lincoln Group, a Washington D.C.-based public relations firm which is under contract to the Pentagon. Lincoln’s website boasts of its extensive network of relationships with Iraqi journalists....

    Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT) recently returned from a trip to Iraq and wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal in which he pointed to Iraq's "independent television stations and newspapers" as evidence of the "remarkable changes" there. “I have just returned from my fourth trip to Iraq in the past 17 months and can report real progress there. Last week, I was thrilled to see a vigorous political campaign, and a large number of independent television stations and newspapers covering it.” In coordination with President Bush’s speech last week at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, the administration published a "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq". Among its claims: "A professional and informative Iraqi news media has taken root…More than 100 newspapers freely discuss political events every day in Iraq.”...

    Congressional Democrats said the Lincoln Group’s activities were the latest example of questionable public relations practices by the administration. In an earlier case, payments were made to columnists, among them conservative commentator Armstrong Williams, who secretly received $240,000 for promoting “No Child Left Behind”, the administration's education initiative. "From Armstrong Williams to fake TV news, we know this White House has tried multiple times to buy the news at home," Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, said. "Now, we need to find out if they've exported this practice to the Middle East."...

    Martin Kaplan, Associate Dean at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and director of its Norman Lear Center, told IPS, “Anyone who recalls the good-news propaganda than ran in the state-run communist press even as the Soviet Union was collapsing will find what the Bush Administration is doing in Iraq creepy.  It sends a deeply troubling message about what they think democracy is.  But given their demonization of dissent in the United States, it sadly comes as no surprise.”

    Opinion: Fight Theocon Illiteracy By Studying Science, Nicholas Kristof (excerpt)

    The best argument against "intelligent design" has always been humanity itself. At a time when only 40 percent of Americans believe in evolution, and only 13 percent know what a molecule is, we're an argument at best for "mediocre design. But put aside the evolution debate for a moment. It's only a symptom of something much deeper and more serious: a profound illiteracy about science and math as a whole. One-fifth of Americans still believe that the Sun goes around the Earth, instead of the other way around. And only about half know that humans did not live at the same time as dinosaurs.

    In the U.S. and most of the Western world, it's considered barbaric in educated circles to be unfamiliar with Plato or Monet or Dickens, but quite natural to be oblivious of quarks and chi-squares. A century ago, Einstein published his first paper on relativity - making 1905 as important a milestone for world history as 1066 or 1789 - but relativity has yet to filter into the consciousness of otherwise educated people. "The great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the Western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had," C. P. Snow wrote in his classic essay, "The Two Cultures."

    Without some fluency in science and math, we'll simply be left behind in the same way that Ming Dynasty Chinese scholars were. Increasingly, we face public policy issues - avian flu, stem cells - that require some knowledge of scientific methods, yet the present Congress contains 218 lawyers, and just 12 doctors* and 3 biologists. In terms of the skills we need for the 21st century, we're Shakespeare-quoting Philistines....This disregard for science already hurts us. The U.S. has bungled research on stem cells, perhaps partly because Mr. Bush didn't realize how restrictive his curb on research funds would be. And we're risking our planet's future because our leaders are frozen in the headlights of climate change. In this century, one of the most complex choices we will make will be what tinkering to allow with human genes, to "improve" the human species. How can our leaders decide that issue if they barely know what DNA is?

    Intellectuals have focused on the challenge from the right, which has led to a drop in the public acceptance of evolution in the U.S. over the last 20 years, to 40 percent from 45 percent. Jon Miller, a professor at the Northwestern University medical school who has tracked attitudes toward evolution in 34 countries, says Turkey is the only one with less support for evolution than the U.S...."

    *Of course there's no guarantee that having more doctors in Congress will improve the scientific sophistication of that august body. Senate majority leader Bill Frist is a doctor; yet, he was perfectly willing to throw out what he learned in med school to get evangelical votes during the Schiavo fiasco. --Politex

    Big Bush Lies: Definition of a Lie: "2. Something that misleads or deceives" (Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary)
    Bush Lie #4 (of 55): "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."
    Source: Interview of the President by TVP, Poland, White House (5/29/2003).
    Why This Statement is A Lie: This statement was misleading because it claimed the purpose of the trailers was to produce biological weapons without disclosing that engineers from the Defense Intelligence Agency who examined the trailers concluded that they were most likely used to produce hydrogen for artillery weather balloons.

    To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


    Monday, December 5, 2005

    Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
    by the editors of Bush Watch
    ...get our headlines in your e-mail

    Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
    Excerpts From World Opinion
    ...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

    Insta-Ed: Want to be an op-ed writer in the mainstream press but want to tell the truth? Be like the clown in King Lear: write comedy. That way, you can be truthful and your readers can pretend they don't believe you. Who's going to believe a clown! Here's an example to get you started. --Politex

    South America: Why American Corporations Say "No MAS" to Morales , Jason Miller

    According to an entry in Wikipedia, " As of December 4th, 2005, [Socialist Evo] Morales is consistently ahead in the [Bolivian presidential polls] at around 32% of the vote. There have been over 100,000 election judges sworn in as the country prepares for the elections on December 18th....Preliminary polls have placed Morales and the Movement Toward Socialism in an uncomfortable three-way tie with center and right wing forces and urban majority leaders Jorge Quiroga and Samuel Doria Medina, with only a few points' difference, showing how much of a "close call" the 2005 Bolivian presidential election will be." What follows is a defense of Morales by Jason Miller, an American activist whose affiliations include Amnesty International and the ACLU....

    Opinion: What's Trickling Down Isn't Cash, Paul Krugman (excerpt)

    it's hard to convince people that the economy is booming when they themselves have yet to see any benefits from the supposed boom. Over the last few years G.D.P. growth has been reasonably good, and corporate profits have soared. But that growth has failed to trickle down to most Americans. Back in August the Census bureau released family income data for 2004. The report, which was overshadowed by Hurricane Katrina, showed a remarkable disconnect between overall economic growth and the economic fortunes of most American families.

    It should have been a good year for American families: the economy grew 4.2 percent, its best performance since 1999. Yet most families actually lost economic ground. Real median household income - the income of households in the middle of the income distribution, adjusted for inflation - fell for the fifth year in a row. And one key source of economic insecurity got worse, as the number of Americans without health insurance continued to rise. We don't have comparable data for 2005 yet, but it's pretty clear that the results will be similar. G.D.P. growth has remained solid, but most families are probably losing ground as their earnings fail to keep up with inflation.

    Behind the disconnect between economic growth and family incomes lies the extremely lopsided nature of the economic recovery that officially began in late 2001. The growth in corporate profits has, as I said, been spectacular. Even after adjusting for inflation, profits have risen more than 50 percent since the last quarter of 2001. But real wage and salary income is up less than 7 percent. There are some wealthy Americans who derive a large share of their income from dividends and capital gains on stocks, and therefore benefit more or less directly from soaring profits. But these people constitute a small minority. For everyone else the sluggish growth in wages is the real story. And much of the wage and salary growth that did take place happened at the high end, in the form of rising payments to executives and other elite employees. Average hourly earnings of nonsupervisory workers, adjusted for inflation, are lower now than when the recovery began.

    So there you have it. Americans don't feel good about the economy because it hasn't been good for them. Never mind the G.D.P. numbers: most people are falling behind....

    Tom Tomorrow: A Neocon Dialogue

    To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


    Sunday, December 4, 2005

    Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
    by the editors of Bush Watch
    ...get our headlines in your e-mail

    Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
    Excerpts From World Opinion
    ...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

    Mission Accomplished: Big Oil's Occupation Of Iraq, Heather Wokusch

    The Bush administration’s covert plan to help energy companies steal Iraq’s oil could be just weeks away from fruition, and the implications are staggering: continued price-gouging by Big Oil, increased subjugation of the Iraqi people, more US troops in Iraq, and a greater likelihood for a US invasion of Iran. That’s just for starters. The administration’s challenge has been how to transfer Iraq’s oil assets to private companies under the cloak of legitimacy, yet simultaneously keep prices inflated.

    But Bush & Co. and their Big Oil cronies might have found a simple yet devious solution: production sharing agreements (PSAs). Here’s how PSAs work. In return for investment in areas where fields are small and results are uncertain, governments occasionally grant oil companies sweetheart deals guaranteeing high profit margins and protection from exploration risks. The country officially retains ownership of its oil resources, but the contractual agreements are often so rigid and severe that in practical terms, it can be the equivalent of giving away the deed to the farm.

    Since Iraq sits on the world’s third largest oil reserves, the PSA model makes little sense in the first place; Iraq’s fields are enormous and the exploration risks are accordingly miniscule, so direct national investment or more equitable forms of foreign investment would be in order. But as a comprehensive new report by the London-based advocacy group PLATFORM details, the PSA model “is on course to be adopted in Iraq, soon after the December elections, with no public debate and at enormous potential cost.”...

    On Bob Woodward: All The President's Media Whores, Frank Rich (excerpt)

    Mr. Woodward knows more about the internal workings of this presidency than any other reporter. He has been granted access to all its top officials, including lengthy interviews with the president himself, to produce two Bush best sellers since 9/11. But he was gamed anyway by the White House, which exploited his special stature to the fullest for its own propagandistic ends....In her famous takedown of Mr. Woodward for The New York Review of Books in 1996, Joan Didion wrote that what he "chooses to leave unrecorded, or what he apparently does not think to elicit, is in many ways more instructive than what he commits to paper." She was referring to his account of Hillary Clinton's health care fiasco in his book "The Agenda," but her words also fit his account of the path to war in Iraq. This time, however, there is much more at stake than there was in Hillarycare.

    What remains unrecorded in [Woodward's] "Plan of Attack" is any inkling of the disinformation campaign built to gin up this war. While Mr. Woodward tells us about the controversial posturing of Douglas Feith, the former under secretary of defense for policy, there's only an incidental, even dismissive allusion to Mr. Feith's Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group. That was the secret intelligence unit established at the Pentagon to "prove" Iraq-Qaeda connections, which Vice President Dick Cheney then would trumpet in arenas like "Meet the Press." Mr. Woodward mentions in passing the White House Iraq Group, convened to market the war, but ignores the direct correlation between WHIG's inception and the accelerating hysteria in the Bush-Cheney-Rice warnings about Saddam's impending mushroom clouds in the late summer and fall of 2002. This story was broken by Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus in Mr. Woodward's own paper eight months before "Plan of Attack" was published.

    Near the book's end, Mr. Woodward writes of some "troubling" tips from three sources "that the intelligence on W.M.D. was not as conclusive as the C.I.A. and the administration had suggested" and of how he helped push a Pincus story saying much the same into print just before the invasion. (It appeared on Page 17.) But Mr. Woodward never seriously investigates others' suspicions that the White House might have deliberately suppressed or ignored evidence that would contradict George Tenet's "slam-dunk" case for Saddam's W.M.D.'s. "Plan of Attack" gives greatest weight instead to the White House spin that any hyped intelligence was an innocent error or solely the result of the ineptitude of Mr. Tenet and the C.I.A....

    Joan Didion was among the first to point out that Mr. Woodward's passive notion of journalistic neutrality is easily manipulated by his sources. He flatters those who give him the most access by upholding their version of events. Hence Mary Matalin, the former Cheney flack who helped shape WHIG's war propaganda, rushed to defend Mr. Woodward last week. Asked by Howard Kurtz of The Post why "an administration not known for being fond of the press put so much effort into cooperating with Woodward," Ms. Matalin responded that he does "an extraordinary job" and that "it's in the White House's interest to have a neutral source writing the history of the way Bush makes decisions." You bet it is. Sounds as if she's read Didion as well as Machiavelli....

    We're Watching: Terry George's "Hotel Rwanda" (MGM)

    Sunday Funnies:

    A story by Republican House leaders (By Mark Fiore)
    America: A Brief Parable (By Tom Tomorrow)
    Nixon vs. Cheney (By Ward Sutton)
    Cartoon: Bush's "Victory" Strategy, Steve Bell

    To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.

    Saturday, December 3, 2005


    Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
    by the editors of Bush Watch
    ...get our headlines in your e-mail

    Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
    Excerpts From World Opinion
    ...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

    Chaos In Iraq: Gross Incompetence or Sinister Policy?, Chris Floyd

    The recent revelations about the virulent spread of death squads ravaging Iraq have only confirmed for many people the lethal incompetence of the Bush Regime, whose brutal bungling appears to have unleashed the demon of sectarian strife in the conquered land. The general reaction, even among some war supporters, has been bitter derision: "Jeez, these bozos couldn't boil an egg without causing collateral damage."

    But what if the truth is even more sinister? What if this murderous chaos is not the fruit of rank incompetence but instead the desired product of carefully crafted, efficiently managed White House policy?

    Investigative journalist Max Fuller marshals a convincing case for this conclusion in a remarkable work of synthesis based on information buried in reams of mainstream news stories and public Pentagon documents. Piling fact on damning fact, he shows that the vast majority of atrocities attributed to "rogue" Shiite and Sunni militias are in fact the work of government-controlled commandos and "special forces," trained by Americans, "advised" by Americans and run largely by former CIA assets, Global Research reports.

    Opinion: Bush Failing Democracy At Home And Abroad, Maureen Dowd (excerpts)

    When Bush officials weren't telling us fairy tales about the big, bad W.M.D. in Iraq, they were assuring us that the unprovoked war would be a kindness for Iraq, giving it democracy. But they are not just failing to bring democracy to Iraq as they help Iranian-backed mullahs install an Islamic republic with Saddamist torture chambers. They are also degrading democracy in America. They've tarnished American moral leadership with illegal detentions, torture, secret C.I.A. prisons in countries only recently liberated from the Soviet gulag, and Soviet-style propaganda both at home and in Iraq.

    Guess the Bush administration didn't learn anything this fall when federal auditors said it had violated the law by buying favorable news coverage of its education polices. Bush officials got right back into the fake news business, paying to plant propaganda in the Iraqi press. They outsourced this disinformation campaign to something called the Lincoln Group - have they no shame? You have to admire Scott McClellan, the president's spokesman. He kept a straight face when he called the U.S. "a leader when it comes to promoting and advocating a free and independent media around the world." He added, "We've made our views very clear when it comes to freedom of the press."

    Exceedingly clear. The Bushies don't believe in it. They disdain the whole democratic system of checks and balances.

    We're Listening: John Taverner's "Akathist Of Thanksgiving" (Sony)

    To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News or http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


    Friday, December 2, 2005

    Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
    by the editors of Bush Watch
    ...get our headlines in your e-mail

    Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
    Excerpts From World Opinion
    ...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

    Impeachment: Faith-Based Bush Vs. His Reality-Based Job, Walter C. Uhler

    ...Like America's evangelicals, we should have taken Bush at his word in 1999, when he smugly asserted: "Nobody needs to tell me what I believe. But I do need somebody to tell me where Kosovo is." Unfortunately, too few of us failed to state that what he was offering us—a core of ignorance and incompetence, especially in foreign affairs, shrouded by faith in Jesus—was inadequate for presidential decision making. As a consequence, America not only got a President to whom God supposedly confides, but also a President who permitted a cabal led by Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and a handful of Zionist neocons to show him where Iraq is. Now—given his debacle in Iraq—it should be obvious to all Americans that even confiding with God doesn't compensate for Bush's brain....

    But while the American public has allowed its views to be influenced by facts—even if belatedly—President Bush has not. And that's...why Americans should pay no attention to his "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." It's based upon pure faith! His record as a candidate and as President richly supports the conclusion that no set of facts can compete with the faith Bush places in his faith.... Readers of Ron Suskind's excellent New York Times Magazine article, "Without a Doubt" (October 17, 2004) will recall Bruce Bartlett's troubling observation about Bush. Although a Republican and former adviser to Ronald Reagan, Bartlett nevertheless said: Bush 'truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence. But you can't run the world on faith."

    A senior adviser to Bush told Ron Suskind that guys like Suskind were "'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'" Then he added: "'That's not the way the world works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors …and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." Is there anyone out there who can't envision an Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin implementing such evil, totalitarian practices? For me, it's simply the...reason to refuse to take Bush's "new" strategy seriously. It's simply one more "new reality" that "history's actors" want us to study.

    Why attempt to sort out this bogus document when we know both the dishonesty inside it and the totalitarian tactics behind it? And, if it's true (as "current and former military and intelligence officers" have told Seymour Hersh) that Bush "disparages any information that conflicts with his view of how the war is proceeding," then there is no alternative for us fact-based folks—other than pressuring Congress to remove him (and the nefarious Cheney) from office by way of impeachment.

    Big Bush Lies: Bush Lied In Iraq "Victory" Speech, Think Progress (excerpt)

    [In his recent "victory" speech,] President Bush claimed that Iraqi security forces “primarily led” the assault on the city of Tal Afar. Bush highlighted it as an “especially clear” sign of the progress Iraq security forces were making in Iraq: "The progress of the Iraqi forces is especially clear when the recent anti-terrorist operations in Tal Afar are compared with last year’s assault in Fallujah. In Fallujah, the assault was led by nine coalition battalions made up primarily of United States Marines and Army — with six Iraqi battalions supporting them…This year in Tal Afar, it was a very different story. The assault was primarily led by Iraqi security forces — 11 Iraqi battalions, backed by five coalition battalions providing support. "

    [After the speech,] TIME Magazine reporter Michael Ware, who is embedded with the U.S. troops in Iraq who participated in the Tal Afar battle, appeared on Anderson Cooper. He said Bush’s description was completely untrue: "I was in that battle from the very beginning to the very end. I was with Iraqi units right there on the front line as they were battling with al Qaeda. They were not leading. They were being led by the U.S. green beret special forces with them. Green berets who were following an American plan of attack who were advancing with these Iraqi units as and when they were told to do so by the American battle planners. The Iraqis led nothing."

    Cartoon: Bush's "Victory" Strategy, Steve Bell

    We're Reading: Paul Waldman's "Fraud: The Strategy Behind The Bush Lies..." (Sourcebooks, Inc.)

    To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to
    http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.


    Thursday, December 1, 2005

    Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world
    by the editors of Bush Watch
    ...get our headlines in your e-mail

    Inside Bush Watch: Today's Opinions and Features From Bush Watch Columnists,
    Excerpts From World Opinion
    ...get our opinions and features in your e-mail

    Opinion: New Bush Iraq War Plan Divorced From Reality, NYT Editorial (excerpts)

    It has been obvious for months that Americans don't believe the war is going just fine, and they needed to hear that President Bush gets that. They wanted to see that he had learned from his mistakes and adjusted his course, and that he had a measurable and realistic plan for making Iraq safe enough to withdraw United States troops. Americans didn't need to be convinced of Mr. Bush's commitment to his idealized version of the war. They needed to be reassured that he recognized the reality of the war....

    The address was accompanied by a voluminous handout entitled "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq," which the White House grandly calls the newly declassified version of the plan that has been driving the war. If there was something secret about that plan, we can't figure out what it was. The document, and Mr. Bush's speech, were almost entirely a rehash of the same tired argument that everything's going just fine. Mr. Bush also offered the usual false choice between sticking to his policy and beating a hasty and cowardly retreat....

    Americans have been clamoring for believable goals in Iraq, but Mr. Bush stuck to his notion of staying until "total victory." His strategy document defines that as an Iraq that "has defeated the terrorists and neutralized the insurgency"; is "peaceful, united, stable, democratic and secure"; and is a partner in the war on terror, an integral part of the international community, and "an engine for regional economic growth and proving the fruits of democratic governance to the region."...A president who seems less in touch with reality than Richard Nixon needs to get out more.

    Opinion: "Complete Victory" Doesn't Square With Bush Plan, Burns and Filkins (excerpts)

    Shortly after formal Iraqi sovereignty was restored in June last year, a new American commander, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., joined with a new American ambassador, John D. Negroponte, to order a complete review of the way the Iraq war was being fought. At that point, officers involved in the review have acknowledged, the war on the ground, with insurgents running rampant in Falluja and elsewhere, bore little relationship to what one senior commander called the "illusionist" version put out by the American occupation authority, or by Mr. Bush and other top officials in Washington....

    [In his Annapolis speech Bush] acknowledged problems that have hobbled the American enterprise since the 2003 invasion: An American effort to build up Iraqi forces that went through a top-to-bottom makeover after early deployments of Iraqi troops saw them "running from the fight." Iraqi units that are "still uneven," despite the new American effort to train and equip them that has cost more than $10 billion. A Sunni Arab community that remains largely unyielding, despite months of efforts by Americans seeking to draw them back into the corridors of power....

    Mr. Bush closed with a vow to "settle for nothing less than complete victory," without saying how that squared with the plan to hand over the main burden of the war to the newly trained Iraqi troops who, American field commanders say, have done well in some recent battles but much less impressively in others. Nor did the president say how his rejection of "artificial timetables" would be sustained politically if the plan for American troops to step back decisively in 2006, and for Iraqi units to step forward, falters in the face of the unrelenting insurgency.

    Opinion: Bush Defines Victory In Iraq. Yeh, Right, Bob Herbert (excerpts)

    "We will never back down," said Mr. Bush in his speech at the U.S. Naval Academy yesterday. "We will never give in. And we will never accept anything less than complete victory." I don't think there were many people who believed him. Members of Mr. Bush's own party are nervously eyeing next year's Congressional elections. They would abandon Iraq in a heartbeat if it meant the difference between getting re-elected or having to hunt for a real job. This war (which has already cost the lives of more than 2,100 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis) was cynically launched (it was never about Sept. 11) and incompetently fought (we have never sent enough troops or sufficient equipment), and will be brought to a close by people obsessed not with the security of the United States and the welfare of the troops, but with the political calendar.

    "I will settle for nothing less than complete victory," said Mr. Bush. He then dutifully defined victory as follows: "Victory will come when the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy, when the Iraqi security forces can provide for the safety of their own citizens, and when Iraq is not a safe haven for terrorists to plot new attacks on our nation." Those were some of yesterday's talking points. Here's today's reality: the $6-billion-a-month U.S. military mission in Iraq is unsustainable, as is the political support for the war. There is now a virtual consensus that a significant American troop withdrawal will get under way in 2006. Meanwhile, the Iraqi security forces are ill equipped, understaffed and widely infiltrated by private militia members and insurgents. In many ways, it's an amateurish operation....

    The picture in Iraq is not a pretty one, and there is no indication that substantial improvements are coming soon. If the president gets any of this, you couldn't tell it by his appearance yesterday. He stuck to his talking points. "To all who wear the uniform," he said, "I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your commander in chief." We may not cut and run in Iraq, but with the G.O.P. sweating out next year's elections, the plans are already under way for American forces by the tens of thousands to cut and speed-walk toward the exits. Mr. Bush could have been honest about this yesterday, but he chose not to be....A president who's little more than a bundle of talking points cannot possibly maintain the long-term trust and confidence of the public. There's a disturbing remoteness to President Bush that seems especially odd in a politician who was selected by his party because of his supposed ability to project warmth and the kind of fundamental authenticity that his Democratic opponents lacked.

    Opinion: Key Pillar of Bush Middle East Democracy Initiative Has Collapsed, William Fisher

    A key pillar of the much-vaunted Middle East democracy initiative of President George W. Bush has collapsed – brought down by Egypt’s insistence that Arab governments should have more control over grants from a new fund designed to help indigenous pro-democracy organizations. At an international conference attended by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and designed to strengthen local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society in the Middle East, Egyptian officials pressed for language stipulating that only organizations legally registered with their governments were covered by the new fund, known as the Foundation for the Future.

    Egypt’s law governing NGOs places numerous restrictions on these organizations. The U.S. characterized the Egyptian position as inappropriate. "In our view and in the view of other delegations, this would have circumscribed NGO activity," said a senior U.S. official, who briefed reporters traveling with Rice. The U.S. delegation expressed disappointment with Egypt, which has been a major American ally on key issues, including the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Bush administration's international fight against terrorism. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit reportedly left before the conference ended The foundation has commitments of over $50 million to help nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions and professional associations foster freedom and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. The United States has pledged $35 million.

    Verse: Bush's Recent Speech In Mongolia, Jerry Politex

    Papers at home are talking trash
    So I came here to give you cash
    You folks still back me in Iraq
    And I really love your yaks
    (Ya' don't talk back!)

    Just help me finish up my mission
    And we'll have those Chinese wishin'
    They helped us out in Iraq
    And I really love your yaks
    (Ya' don't talk back!)

    Even though you drink that rancid milk
    And Genghis Khan is of your ilk
    You smoke lots of our tobac
    And I really love your yaks
    (Ya' don't talk back!) more

    To unsubscribe, change your address, or subscribe, go to http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Bush Headline News, http://bushwatch.com/mailman/listinfo/bushheadlinenews for Inside Bush Watch.

    GOP Words: Intelligence n: What Dick Cheney wants and the CIA must provide -- or else. (See, Iraq, weapons of mass destruction)


    Archives: June... July... August... September... October... November... December

    Bush Wrong On...Taxes, The Deficit, Social Security, Energy, Education, Health Care, Nuclear Policy.


    NEOCONS | $$$ | RELIGION | SUPREMES | WMD | CIA | TAXES| ECONOMY | GAYS
    WAR | EGO | LIES | BUSHLEXIA | EMPIRE | BIG BROTHER | AWOL | FAMILY | POLLS


    About Us: Bush Watch is a daily political internet magazine based in Austin, Texas, paid for and edited by Politex, a non-affiliated U.S. citizen. Contents, including "Bush Watch" and "Politex," (c) 1998-2005 Politex. The views expressed herein and the views in stories that you are linked to are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bush Watch. Permission of the author is required for reprinting posted material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. The duration of the working links is not under our control. Bush Watch has not reviewed all of the sites linked to our site and is not responsible for the content of any off-site pages or any other sites linked to our site. Your linking to any other off-site pages or other sites from our site is at your own risk. Send all e-mail to Politex. We reserve the right to post all e-mail messages sent to us, along with the name of the e-mailer. You must specifically request that your e-mail message or your name not be considered for posting, if that's what you desire.


    SPECIAL REPORTS
    Bush And The Carlyle Group
    Bush And The Gravedigger
    Bush And Bin Laden Money
    Bush And The Arab-American
    Bush And Central Asia Oil
    Bush And The Taliban Drug Trade
    Bush And Tony Blair's Speech
    The Bushes And The Bin Ladens

    MORE SPECIAL REPORTS
    Ashcroft Watch
    Keeping The Presidential Record
    The Gore-Bush Media Consortium Report
    Is AOL Censoring Your Information?
    The Threat Of Domestic Terrorism
    Airline Security Stories
    War Poems
    Patriotism
    Tools Of Bioterrorism