The following are January 2007 “Quick Quips” with the newest ones on top:
A DISTURBING COMPARISON OF THE BUSH AND NIXON PRESIDENCIES
Astonishingly, we are forced to look back on the Nixon presidency with almost nostalgia. His administration’s lies, criminal conduct and violation of basic rights seem almost minuscule in comparison to that of the present president. And, comparing the current wholesale dismantling of everything for which this country once stood makes Nixon appear to be nearly a model of bipartisan cooperation, rational thought, and action based on advance research grounded in reality. The truly fascinating aspect is that if Nixon were seeking office today, he would be rejected by his party for not being vicious enough.
THE ONE IRAQ WAR STRATEGY THAT MIGHT HAVE WORKED ONCE UPON A TIME
It’s fascinating in hindsight that there actually was one strategy which Bush could have pulled in Iraq and walked away triumphantly with a resounding win having an enormous moderating influence on the region.
Instead of the botched “nation building” and self styled “spreading of democracy” he is currently attempted, he could have gone in, simply smashed Iraq’s military and everything in sight, then immediately pulled out leaving them their chaos and promising to be back with worse if Iraq ever even thought of crossing US interests again such as by seeking WMDs.
Iraq probably would still be in the mess it is today, with sectarian violence, a sham of a national government, without electricity or infrastructure and possibly seriously weakened visa vi Iran. BUT, all those things are happening anyway and we wouldn’t be looking like the weak, ineffectual idiots we do now. Nor would it have cost us the trillions of dollars and thousands of unnecessary deaths and injuries. Although it still would have been stupid and hypocritical to launch such a pre-emptive invasion, at least we wouldn’t be facing the possibility of some day soon getting kicked out of Iraq as now is starting to look increasingly likely. Too bad there are no do-overs in international affairs. Too bad the Supreme Court picked the wrong guy to put in office.
THE ADMINISTRATION’S INABILITY TO ACKNOWLEDGE
THE PAUPERCY OF ITS TROOP SURGE POLICY
It’s a fine irony that the Republican Administration, which basically emasculated most bankruptcy protection rights for people who exhaust their resources, is unable itself to declare “bankruptcy” of policy in Iraq. Bush will never have sufficient resources available to ever “win” in Iraq and can’t afford the price of just pulling out. He’s permanently condemned, much like all those he stuck in debtor hell, unable to admit mistakes were made and start afresh.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S “HOUSECLEANING” OF ANY REMAINING DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CAREER ATTORNEYS WHO ARE NOT FANATICAL PARTY LOYALISTS
Attorney General Gonzales is quietly replacing the US Attorneys in various judicial districts with political hacks. Confirmations by Congress used to be required for each key appointment, but thanks to some provisions of the so-called Patriot Act no one apparently bothered to read at the time, Gonzales is now free to install his own “heckofajob Brownie” types in office. It is not clear whether is it simply the usual Bush Administration contempt for competence or a pre-emptive strike against efficacy of future criminal investigations into Bush activities. Either way, it seems to prove the Republican eternal insistence that they are the “anti-crime party” is a myth.
THE APPARENTLY BASELESS ASSUMPTIONS UPON WHICH THE TROOP SURGE IS JUSTIFIED
Has anyone else noticed how much the White House's entire Iraq War promotion scam is like those Nigerian fraud schemes that constantly plague our e-mails, both as to the techniques used and the public's astonishing gullibility? No wonder there seems to be no way to stop either con game.
THE DEMOCRAT’S RESPONSE TO THE STATE OF THE UNION PABLUM
Senator Jim Webb’s response to the President’s Address concluded with the thought that the Democrats “will be showing [Bush] the way.” Perhaps instead what the Democrats should be doing is showing Bush the "door." It's time to file a bill of impeachment so that investigations can begin using subpoena power to determine whether, as suspected, high crimes and misdemeanors have occurred in office. As traumatizing as the process is, the Founding Fathers believed in its efficacy and enshrined it in the Constitution for good reason. It is a tool we have been granted to cleanse the political system. Let’s use it.
THE DISCLOSURE THAT THE DIEBOLD COMPANY WAS EVEN MORE LAX ABOUT VOTING MACHINE SECURITY THAN PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED
It was recently revealed that Diebold, the company responsible for the unsecure paperless voting machines, uses a universal key to open all those machines, which means of course that anyone with a copy of the key can taint the votes. Worse yet, the nincompoops in charge of the company apparently left a photo of that very key on a company website which has allowed anyone who wants to produce working copies. Horrifying, especially when you stop to realize that the head of Diebold has publically indicated his desire to have Republicans in power in perpetuity. I guess we should be thankful that Bush and his cohorts like the Diebold CEO have turned out to be so utterly incompetent in the long run. Otherwise, our Democracy would already be dead.
A PRECONDITION TO THE PRESIDENT’S TROOP SURGE
How about we offer to Bush that he can have his “surge” in troops, more even if his generals are willing to openly state they need it and it would be worth while? BUT, in return, the President must agree that if he cannot finally show “mission accomplished” in, say, six to nine months, then he and Cheney publicly admit they were dead wrong and resign so that someone competent gets a chance. A “put up or shut up” policy in other words.
QANTAS AIRLINE’S REFUSAL TO ALLOW A PASSENGER WEARING AN ANTI-BUSH T-SHIRT TO TRAVEL
According to a BBC new story this week, an Australian traveler was stopped at an airport boarding gate when the attendant saw his T-shirt which had an image of George W. Bush and the words “World’s #1 Terrorist.” He was told the shirt was offensive and a security threat and was asked to remove it.
Sometimes the measure of accuracy of a statement is the length to which the opposition will go to suppress it. Given Bush’s proclivities, I'm surprised Bush did not just have the traveler shot. Perhaps Cheney's memo on that subject had not reached airport security.
BUSH’S BLAMING MALIKI FOR FAILURE TO GET IRAQ UNDER CONTROL
Why should we expect the Iraq Prime Minister to control the Sunnis or the Shiites in Iraq? Poor Maliki must try to govern a genuine democracy where what the majority of voters want actually counts for something unlike Bush’s America where he can’t control Republicans, let alone Democrats, even when he has a near dictatorship going.
ADMINISTRATION ATTACKS ON THE LAW FIRMS ATTEMPTING TO PROVIDE A LEGAL DEFENSE FOR DETAINEES
A Bush official, Charles Simpson the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs, announced a list of the law firms representing accused terrorists should be publicized and those firms ostracized on the grounds that providing such Constitution mandated right to counsel was tantamount to supporting terrorism. Mr. Simpson’s overt desire was to try and punish such lawyers and their firms for defending our Bill of Rights.
Bush’s arrogant cohorts like Mr. Simpson should be careful. By that reasoning, we should also publicize a list of all Republican campaign contributors as being tantamount to supporters of graft, corruption, utter incompetence and, in the case of Mark Foley, apparent pedophilia.
Besides, Bush officials might want to be insisting on the right to defense counsel themselves soon.
REASONS TO RECONSIDER ESCALATING THE IRAQ WAR
There are two comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam that appear to have been missed. Astonishingly, we are rapidly approaching the point (particularly at the approaching $8 Billion dollar a month current expense of staying in Iraq) where in total cost the Vietnam War will be the fiscally cheaper of the two. Vietnam only cost about $660 Billion in today’s dollars.
And, equally counter-intuitively, the ultimate, albeit painful, result of our getting kicked out of Vietnam is a united, apparently peaceful, country that the same greedy warhawks in the White House today tout and visit as a highly desired trading partner of the US and which has never shown any inclination to continue its insurgent terrorist attacks on US troops once we finally left.
Draw your own conclusions. The next time the Prez tries to justify his continuing the Iraq War by claiming his particular quagmire is uniquely different, ask yourself if that is necessarily a good thing.
THE PEREMPTORY AND CIRCUS-LIKE HANGINGS IN IRAQ
When questioned about the botched vigilante-like hangings in Iraq, Bush said “They could have handled things better.” That’s my candidate for understatement of the 21st Century and the kindest possible epitaph for the Bush Administration.
BUSH’S DECISION TO ATTACK AN IRANIAN CONSULATE IN KURD TERRITORY
The only ally among the Iraqi civil war factions Bush still had last week was the Kurds. So, why did he deliberately enrage them by a surprise raid on the Iranian consulate in Kurd territory arresting six diplomats they supposedly had invited? It nearly resulted in some American troops almost getting shot by Kurds at a road block and did result in a promise to shoot Americans if it happened again. Apparently, the decision was attributable to Bush personally. Is there any tactical, strategic or operational decision that Bush is not capable of bollixing?
MORE TROOPS BEING SENT TO THE IRAQ CIVIL WAR
How about a new rule that Bush can’t send any more American boys to Iraq until his own children are drafted in the Army and join the contingent?
THE NUMBER OF TROOPS BEING SENT AS TARGETS
Bush’s sending a minuscule 20,000 more troops to Iraq is like the businessman who is losing money on every single sale, but hopes to make it up in volume.
MORE PROOF REPUBLICANS DON’T REALLY CARE ABOUT U.S. SECURITY
One of the Republican congressmen gave a speech declaring that screening cargo coming into this country from overseas (as the 9/11 Commission has been insisting for years) will add cost to products. True enough, but real security does costs. It’ll probably still be cheaper than the $6,000,000,000 a month we’re spending in Iraq and cheaper than rebuilding destroyed national treasures.
The congressman went on to claim that such cargo screening’ll make us “non-competitive” which isn’t true. He chose not to remember that the cost’d be on incoming goods, not those we export ourselves. It’d actually make our own manufacturers, those few still left in this country, MORE competitive.
The congressman could a mental lightweight (which is possible considering his party affiliation) or it could be the congressman in question is getting “campaign contributions” from our foreign competitors or perhaps thinks more 9/11s would be good for his party. Either way, he’s a bigger threat to this country than Osama.
ALTERNATE SOURCES FOR THE SURGE IN IRAQ BOUND TROOPS
If the President wants to send more boots to Iraq as cannon fodder, why doesn’t he draft from that long list of incompetent political hacks he keeps nominating to head agencies like FEMA or become judges? They won’t do any good there, but at least when they got killed, it wouldn’t be the unmitigated tragedy it is every time our real soldiers are wasted.
LET’S STOP CALLING IT THE “IRAQ WAR.”
From now on, the fiasco in the Middle East ought to be known as “Bush’s War” and his alone. He must like war. He’s started plenty of others. His Wars against the Middle and Lower Classes, Gays, Minorities, the Elderly, the Ill, the Constitution and the Environment are all going strong. Yes sir, the President is quite a Warrior, except of course when it’s his own precious skin that might come under rifle fire.
WHY BUSH DID NOT WANT TO ATTEND FORD’S FUNERAL
In retrospect, it’s no wonder current president Bush hated going to former president Ford’s funeral and wanting it to be small and short. Ford was the polar opposite of Bush, at least within the Republican Party. Ford actually listened to the military on military matters. He also listened to outsiders, experts and opposing party members. He did not demonize or belittle opponents. He treated people and the press with respect. He actually seemed to like people and enjoy their company. He was polite and patient. He was reasonably intelligent and had read history and law. He did not lie about bad news or cover up his mistakes. He did not start wars for selfish or theoretical purposes. He felt war profiteers should be punished. He truly believed that part in his oath of office about defending the Constitution. He did not attempt to frighten the public for political advantage or sponsor political ads he knew were false. Frankly, Ford as a dead man would make a better president than Bush alive.
WHY BILL O’REILLY SHOULD NEVER BE CONFUSED WITH JOURNALISM
Cooperation, consensus, conciliation and compromise are nothing but curse words to pundits, particularly those like O'Reilly who are proven so consistently incorrect.
The name calling, shouting, bullying and microphone cutoffs that is their trademark are either proof that they have little personal confidence in the persuasiveness of their arguments or proof of their incompetence as interviewers. Either way, why is anyone still listening to them? How many times must listeners sample yellow snow to finally realize it is not for consumption?
WHY FORD ONLY DESERVED A MINOR FUNERAL
Other than the fact that he is dead, why are we praising former President Ford? But for him, we would not have Rumsfeld and Cheney today. But for them, we might not have Bush. Besides, his pardon of Nixon prevented investigation into the crime. Shouldn’t his pardon have come, if at all, after Nixon’s conviction?
THE RUSH, FRATERNITY PARTY-LIKE, TAUNTING EXECUTION OF SADDAM
Given how many people Bush executed as Governor of Texas, you’d think even he could somehow manage to accomplish the execution of Saddam with a modicum of propriety, solemnity and decorum. Guess not.
Only Bush could have screwed it up bad enough so that a heartless dictator comes across as sympathetic in his last moments and makes the executioners look like drunken frat boys. Only Bush could have somehow converted a death that most people would have normally cheered into a martyrdom and a galvanizing cause for enlistment of more terrorists.
Is there anything Bush cannot make worse? The only thing I am grateful for about Bush is that he is so incompetent his assault on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and democracy hopefully will not be successful.
BIPARTISANSHIP IN BUSH’S DICTIONARY
A definition of Bush so-called bipartisanship when Republicans are in power: “I’m going to do what I want. End of discussion.”
A definition of Bush so-called bipartisanship when Republicans are not in power: “Do what I want because I say so. If you don’t, I’ll brand you as aiding terrorists.”
[Special January 1, 2007 Note: the following submission marked the 500th submission of a letter to the Editor of the state’s largest newspaper, a task reluctantly initiated in the last century when George W. Bush first publicly insisted he was the best man possible out of a hundred million or so to run our country. Obviously, not all the letters have been on that topic, but you must admit he and his appointees have certainly provided an unending supply of things deserving comment. While the number of my submissions has been substantial, none has been a repeat. Hopefully, my sincerity, concern, and the applicability of the thoughts set forth are obvious. In any event, it is my earnest hope that you favorably consider publishing this one to mark the occasion.]
HOW NOT TO BRING THE COMPETING GROUPS OF IRAQ TOGETHER
Compare and contrast Iraq’s very strange trial and abrupt lynching of Saddam with South Africa's orderly Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings. The former almost certainly exacerbated the dangerous Sunni/Shiite strife and divided that country further, while the latter almost certainly eased the Black/White tensions upon the end of apartheid thereby cleverly reuniting the country to the extent possible. Of course, it is probably not really fair to compare Iraq and South Aftrica though since South Africa was benefitted by the presence of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nelson Mandela while poor Iraq got stuck with ol’ HeckofaJob George Bush.
[more irreverence at http://resistence-is-possible.blogspot.com]