A Paranoid Thought

I’ve had a paranoid thought. Unfortunately, since Bush took office these seem to come true.
In 1968 the Nixon campaign sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks, to give Nixon an advantage in the election, because people hated the war and and end to the war would help Humphrey win. Then the Nixon administration kept the war going – many say for the purpose of using it in the 1972 elections. Remember, Kissinger announced “Peace is at hand” immediately before the 72 elections. Robert Parry writes,

According to now overwhelming evidence, the Nixon campaign dispatched Anna Chenault, an anti-communist Chinese leader, to carry messages to the South Vietnamese government of Nguyen van Thieu. The messages advised Thieu that a Nixon presidency would give him a more favorable result.
Journalist Seymour Hersh described the initiative sketchily in his biography of Henry Kissinger, The Price of Power. Hersh reported that U.S. intelligence “agencies had caught on that Chennault was the go-between between Nixon and his people and President Thieu in Saigon. … The idea was to bring things to a stop in Paris and prevent any show of progress.”
In her own autobiography, The Education of Anna, Chennault acknowledged that she was the courier. She quoted Nixon aide John Mitchell as calling her a few days before the 1968 election and telling her: “I’m speaking on behalf of Mr. Nixon. It’s very important that our Vietnamese friends understand our Republican position and I hope you made that clear to them.”
Reporter Daniel Schorr added fresh details in The Washington Post’s Outlook section [May 28, 1995]. Schorr cited decoded cables that U.S. intelligence had intercepted from the South Vietnamese embassy in Washington.
On Oct. 23, 1968, Ambassador Bui Dhien cabled Saigon with the message that “many Republican friends have contacted me and encouraged me to stand firm.” On Oct. 27, he wrote, “The longer the present situation continues, the more favorable for us. … I am regularly in touch with the Nixon entourage.”
On Nov. 2, Thieu withdrew from his tentative agreement to sit down with the Viet Cong at the Paris peace talks, destroying Johnson’s last hope for a settlement. Though Johnson and his top advisers knew of Nixon’s gambit, they kept Nixon’s secret.

So … could the Republicans again be playing out a similar scenario again – keeping the war going now, so they can pretend to end it just in time to get credit before next year’s elections?

Iraq Calmer

There is good news. Let’s hope it lasts: Powerful roadside blasts decline in Iraq – Los Angeles Times,U.S.

Defense officials said Thursday that Iraqi insurgents have sharply curtailed the use of their most powerful roadside bombs, weapons American officials have repeatedly charged are being smuggled into the war zone from Iran.
. . . The decline in such attacks, Odierno said, coincided with a drop in the number of U.S. military casualties, civilian killings and overall deaths.

Thousands Return to Safer Iraqi Capital,

In a dramatic turnaround, more than 3,000 Iraqi families driven out of their Baghdad neighborhoods have returned to their homes in the past three months as sectarian violence has dropped, the government said Saturday.
. . . “In the past three months, the ministry did not register any forced displacement in the whole of Iraq,” said Nawrous, who is a Kurd.
The claim could not be independently verified, but, if true, it would represent a dramatic end to the sectarian cleansing that has shredded the fabric of Baghdad’s once mixed society.

Bush Demands Gas Rationing, Draft, Tax Increases For War!

President Bush today called for gas rationing, a draft and tax increases to fight the greatest threat the country has ever faced.
Bush to Democrats: ‘We are at war’

President Bush compared Congress’ Democratic leaders Thursday with people who ignored the rise of Lenin and Hitler early in the last century, saying “the world paid a terrible price” then and risks similar consequences for inaction today.
… “Unfortunately, on too many issues, some in Congress are behaving as if America is not at war,” Bush said during a speech at the Heritage Foundation.
… Bush said denial that “we are at war” is dangerous. “History teaches us that underestimating the words of evil, ambitious men is a terrible mistake,” Bush said. “Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. And the question is, will we listen?”

What? I’m sorry? You’re saying he was asking for the right to wiretap without warrants, and nothing else?
Oh … never mind.

California Fires – Where is the National Guard?

Gov. Bill Richardson asks, Daily Kos: Where is the National Guard?,

Today, we all extend our sympathies and prayers to those devastated by the wildfires in California. Millions of Americans are impacted by this natural disaster.
… It is a sad irony that yesterday, the very day I sent fire crews to California, 300 more New Mexico National Guard members were sent to Iraq. Just when we need them most at home, more of our brave men and women, true public servants, are sent away to a war we cannot win.
[…] Today, as the fires rage, California has National Guard men, women, and critical equipment thousands of miles away in Iraq.
They need to come home. We need them here.
This has gone on long enough. When a national disaster hits, our states depend on the National Guard. Right now, President Bush is robbing Peter to pay Paul to continue his disastrous adventure in Iraq, and when tragedy hits us here at home, Americans are stuck with the bill. This cannot continue.
Bush won’t end this war. Congress must. And they must end it now.
… Join my call at www.getourtroopsout.com to push Congress to begin ending this war now. Not in January, not next spring, not next year – now.

War Profiteering and Corruption — Here Is Something You Can Do

Frank Rich’s column today, Suicide Is Not Painless, talks about the systematic corruption of defense contracting, especially where Iraq is involved.
Here’s the thing. You and I read the blogs, so we already know at least something about what is going on. You and I know about, for example, the truckloads of cash that were shipped to Iraq to be handed out in bricks. We know about the $9 billion that just disappeared. But most people in the country are not exposed to the information that blog readers take for granted, haven’t heard about it, and would have a hard time believing that anything like this is going on. I’m serious. But remember, a huge chunk of the population still thinks that Iraq attacked us on 9/11 – or was at least involved – and there’s a big chunk that believes that weapons of mass destruction were found.
There is something we can all do to help. Today’s column about the corruption should be sent around by e-mail to people who don’t usually read blogs.
Please help with this by e-mailing it to people. People need to know about the corruption and fraud that our huge “defense” budget is generating. If more people understood what is going on, there would be less vulnerability to Republican propaganda that says cutting military budgets – or even having hearings looking into the corruption – is unpatriotic. That kind of talk is nothing but a game to keep the corruption going, but it will keep working unless more people learn about what is going on and where their money is going.
The Abramoff corruption machine was modeled after the defense-contractor scheme, but was tiny and amateurish in comparison. (For example, the Abramoff operation didn’t actually buy entire media companies as a way to help keep people from learning about the racket, as defense contractors have done.)
Please read Frank Rich’s column today, and please, please send it to friends and relatives who might not otherwise see what is going on. And ask them to send it on to others!
Please read it, and e-mail it to others. Then, after you have done that, read Billions over Baghdad, another story about the massive corruption.

Nine Months Ago

Nine months ago the Republicans were saying that real patriots should just shut up – for six to nine months.

It’s all totally irresponsible. It’s just unbelievable. The president is sending over a new commander, he’s sending over troops, and the Democratic Congress, in a pseudo-binding way or non-binding way, is saying, ‘It won’t work. Forget it. You troops, you’re going over there in a pointless mission. Iraqis who might side with us, forget it, we’re going to pull the plug.’ It’s so irresponsible that they can’t be quiet for six or nine months and say the president has made a decision, we’re not going to change that decision, we’re not going to cut off funds and insist on the troops coming back, so let’s give it a chance to work. You really wonder, do they want it to work or not? I really wonder that. I hate to say this about the Democrats. They’re people I know personally and I respect some of them. Do they want it to succeed or not?

SO, OK, it’s been nine months. Can we talk now?

Bush Vetoes Children’s Health Care — Say Money Must Be Used For War

Bush vetoes bill on children’s health care,

President George W. Bush on Wednesday vetoed a measure to expand a popular children’s health care program, launching the first in a series of major battles with Democrats over domestic spending.
… Democrats have vowed to lobby Republicans who voted against the bill to try to get them to switch their votes. The party plans a series of television ads attacking Republicans over the children’s health issue, including one featuring a mom with a chronically ill child.
Bush, with 16 months left in his presidency and waging an unpopular war in Iraq, has also threatened to veto a series of annual funding bills to keep domestic spending within his proposed limit of $933 billion.

Chris Thomas Is Not Silenced

Chris Thomas getting arrested in DC last weekend:

As you can see, Chris wasn’t going to be silenced. I think toward the end there the cops arresting him were chanting too.
Quiz: What does Chris want, and when?
He writes,

There were a lot of arrests in DC last week. By my count there were at least 230 in 4 different actions. I thought my blogging friends might like to hear about them.
As far as my arrest, I actually only decided to cross the police line after I saw Colonel Ann Wright go over the wall and get arrested first (that was after many Vets from Iraq Veterans Against the War first crossed the line).
As you probably know, Colonel Wright was a career military woman (30 years) and was one of three State Department officials who resigned after the Iraq invasion. It actually was really inspiring and humbling to be in a DC “jail” with people who have been arrested many, many times. Probably 70% of the group were women, 15% Veterans (mostly men), and 15% other men. Many of the women were grandmothers. One of them, Maddie, was 84. 90% of the Capitol police were nice. They are on our side, but their superiors seem to be cracking down on activists. (One Codepinker was arrested on Friday for having “No War” pinned to her shirt while walking into the Jefferson Memorial. She was released 24 hours later with paper work that indicated that they “declined to proceed with prosecution” (huh?). They kept us in cuffs on a bus for five hours, then uncuffed us and put us on metal chairs for four more hours. They finally began processing us out at 3 AM (11 hours after our arrest) and finally fed us – get this – bologna, mayo and white bread sandwiches at 5 AM. I got out at 6:30 AM
I went to a teach-in on Thursday where Daniel Ellsberg spoke. He said an action in Iran in the next 15 months is “likely” and stopping that action should be our highest priority. If we take action on this Muslim country, we will do that much more to recruit a generation of people who hate the US.

Another video from last weekend:

Continue reading

All You Need To Know About Petraeus’ Report

Featured today at the Drudge Report this morning:

Following their testimony to Congress, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker will appear exclusively on FOX News Channel on Monday at 9pm EDT for a one hour live interview with Brit Hume… Developing…

That’s really all you need to know about Petraeus and his report, don’t you think? Drudge Report and Fox. Yup.
Will they also give an exclusive interview to Rush Limbaugh this week?
Update – Now the right is trying to change the narrative, claiming that MoveOn.org is calling Petraeus a traitor.

bin Laden’s Statement and Vietnam

From Osama bin Laden’s recent statement,

In the Vietnam War, the leaders of the White House claimed at the time that it was a necessary and crucial war, and during it Rumsfeld and his aides murdered two million villagers. And when Kennedy took over his presidency and deviated from the general line of policy drawn up for the White House and wanted to stop this unjust war, that angered the owners of major corporations who were benefiting from its continuation.
And so Kennedy was killed…

Actually, while Kennedy continued the military advisers that Eisenhower had sent to assist the South Vietnamese government, the Vietnam war got going after Kennedy was killed in November, 1963. The Gulf of Tonkin incident, which provided a pretense for for direct U.S. involvement, occurred in August, 1964. Rumsfeld was Gerald Ford’s Secretary of Defense, beginning in 1975.
But bin Laden justifies his attack on the U.S. by saying we allowed Bush to pick Rumsfeld and Cheney, “despite their horrific and blood history of murdering humans” in Vietnam.
Later, bin Laden says,

So in answer to the question about the causes of the Democrats’ failure to stop the war, I say: they are the same as the reasons which led to the failure of former President Kennedy to stop the Vietnam war.

The mind of a murderer.
UpdateOn PBS’ Newshour yesterday “conservative” David Brooks repeated the right’s talking (smear) point that bin Laden sounds like leftist bloggers:

You read this thing, and it’s like he’s been sitting around reading lefty blogs, and he’s one of these childish people posting rants at the bottom the page, you know, Noam Chomsky and all this stuff.

Lefty bloggers don’t get so many facts wrong.