BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
PROMINENT WAR HAWK AND ASPIRING PRESIDENT-TO-BE HILLARY CLINTON TODAY
USED HER CONCILATORY SIDE TO REACH OUT TO PEOPLE SHOCKING MANY WHO HAD NOT SEEN THE SIDE SINCE SOMEWHERE AROUND 1998.
IN WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN A PERSONAL TRIUMPH THAT REMINDED MANY WHY THEY ONCE LIKED HILLARY CLINTON, SHE INSTEAD USED THAT SIDE TO SELL LOWERED EXPECTATIONS.
"WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER NOW," SHE SAID WITH GENUINE FEELINGS. "THE IMPORTANT POINT IS THAT DEMOCRATS ARE UNITED."
IMMEDIATELY RADARS BEGAN GOING OFF.
"AND WE HAVE PUT FORTH PLANS -- WE'VE ALL VOTED FOR PLANS TO BEGIN THE PHASED DEPLOYMENT OF OUR TROOPS. I THINK WE'VE GOT TO KEEP THE FOCUS ON THE PRESIDENT. YOU KNOW, THE PRESIDENT RUSHED US TO WAR."
LIKE A PUSHY KID TRYING TO START SOMETHING, CLINTON TRIED TO PLAY THE POPULACE AND SOME AREN'T BUYING IT.
SAID A CONSULTANT FOR BARACK OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN, "OH NOW WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER? NOW? SHE VOTED FOR THAT WAR. BUT NOW WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER? 'RUSHED US TO WAR'? IS IT TOO HARD FOR HER TO SAY 'LIED US INTO WAR' OR IS 'LIED' AND 'PRESIDENT' TOUCHING ON SOMETHING TOO PERSONAL FOR HER?"
THE CONSULTANT THEN RUSHED TO ASSURE US THAT HE WAS SPEAKING ONLY FOR HIMSELF AND NOT THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN. HE DID, HOWEVER, OFFER TO LEAK SOME LEGAL FILES ON THE CLINTON'S MARRIAGE IF WE WERE INTERESTED.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
On KPFK's Connect the Dots with Lila Garrett today, Garrett spoke with US House Reps Barbara Lee and Dennis Kuckinich -- both of whom voted against the Pelosi measure and Dennis Kucinich is also running to be the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2008.
Garrett: What is good in this bill?
Lee: Just having the House of Representatives establishing a timeline is good. Whether you agree or disagree with the timeline, whether it's enforceable is another question.. . .
Garrett: Barbara Lee, we want to know what's enforceable? Is the banning of permanent bases enforceable? Is the banning of torture enforceable?
Lee: It's enforceable if the Bush administration wants to follow the law. But, remember now, he's going to veto this bill and, remember, the only enforceability that you can require on a supplemental bill is taking him to court -- Congress can take the Bush administration to court. But how many times have you seen the Congress take the administration to court?
Lee went on to note the things in the bill such as its attempt to address avian flu and other non-bird related and, certainly, non-Iraq related issues.
Garrett: You have a lot of good things here but my question is how much of it is enforceable and what you're telling us is that really, basically, none of it is enforceable because he has the option should he decide that the circumstances warrant it not to follow this bill, isn't that true?
Lee: Yeah, that's the waiver positon but also remember he's going to veto it . . .
For those who missed it, the answer to Lila Garrett's question, which she asked more than once, is that the Pelosi measure cannot be enforced -- or as Garrett noted near the end of the interview, "The bill forces him to do nothing." (Contractors and a number of other issues -- including Iran were discussed. Jeremy Scahill also was on the program to discuss his book on the mercenary company BlackWater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army which is a BuzzFlash premium -- those unable to listen to Garrett's interview can also check out BuzzFlash for their interview with Scahill.) Garrett then spoke with Kucinich in an interview taped right after Friday's vote.
Kucinich: I voted against it and I voted against it because it will continue to fund the war through the end of the president's term. That President Bush is talking about vetoing it is no small comfort. The Democrats essentially bought the war and now President Bush is saying even that isn't enough.
Garrett: The bill has contained with in it, some people will argue, and some of the Democrats argued, some very positive things. The president wanted 93 billion dollars to continue the war and he got it, but there were 25 billion dollars worth of things, some of which were very worthwhile, 1.7 billion for the health care for the veterans, there was money for child and spousal abuse, there was money for contractor control, there was money that banned permanent bases, banned torture, that provided troop readyness. What's your response to the so-called positives in this bill?
Kucinich: Are you kidding? The war's going to keep going through the end of President Bush's term. No amount of attempt to sweeten this is going to make it anything but a mess. We need to get out of Iraq, the Democrats have the power to do it. Why they chose not to excercise it today is beyond me but I will tell you this that the American people are going to have a rising demand for peace, they're fed up with this war, they're fed up with the Democratic party not standing up for the people, And frankly the idea that somehow we can end the war somehow we can end this war if we just give it a little more time? Baloney. You end the war by ending a war you don't end the war by letting it go for another year or two. And it's the same kind of thinking that got us into Iraq -- says, "Well, you know, we don't have any other alternative to go and attack Iraq and now we're saying we don't have any other alternative but to keep the war going for a year or two until we figure out what to do with it. We got to stop this war and I voted against it.
Kucinich and Garrett then discussed the reality of Iraq today ("bombed their country to smitheerens") and the nonsense behind the attitude that demandes "benchmarks" from an occupied, puppet government. Kucinich then spoke of "making the administration accountable for their actions." Kucinich propsed a national discussion on impeachment. To be clear for those who didn't hear or won't be able to listen, he's proposing a discussion of the topic -- he's not (or not yet) proposing introducing a bill in the House. On why he's now bringing up this issue, Kucinich stated, "I didn't talk about it as long as there was a chance that we could stop this war but with Congress determined to give the president the money he wants to keep the war going, it appears that the war is going to just keep going no matter what and so I think, at this point, we need to get back to how we got into war. We got into war because President Bush and Vice President Cheney lied to the American people. You know what? There's got to be consquences for that. And I think it's time for us to have a discussion so I'd like to hear from your listeners, I'd like to hear from others as to whether or not this is the time to start talking about impeachement and the time to start drawing up resolutions of impeachment.
Garrett brought up a conversation she had with US Senator Ted Kennedy about impeachment where he asked her if she would like President Dick Cheney and Kucinich responded, "When you talk about resolutions you need to use the plural 'resolutions'." To repeat, Kucinich is proposing a dialogue on this issue and, from that, other steps would or would not be taken.
On WBAI's Law and Disorder today, Michael Ratner noted that Anthony Arnove's latest book was IRAQ: The Logic of Withdrawal and asked him about the Congressional measure and what's been proposed by US Senators and presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Barack Obama.
Anthony Arnove: In terms of the proposal that's now in Congress about withdrawal it has about 8 million loopsholes. First of all it refers to combat troops even those combat troops that it talks about setting a timetable for removing from Iraq -- that timetables is based on conditions so in other words at any point along the line they can say "well the conditions require us to continue as an occupying force". Then, of course, it's not calling for a complete withdrawal of troops. It's not talking about the mercenaries that the US is sponsoring in Iraq.
Ratner: Which are probably almost the equivalent of the US soldiers, right? It's over 100,000.
Arnove: Well there are more than 100,000 private contractors. We don't know if all of those are involved as actual mercenaries but certainly the second largest contigent of military force in Iraq is private contractors, not England -- which is what you hear about in the media. But also the plans say nothing about removing US military bases. They don't address the fact that today the US is building the largest embassy it has in the world in Baghdad.
Ratner: It's 300,000 square feet, right?
Arnove: It's just this enormous compound. And it's very clear that they're going to stay that they want to establish military bases, that they want to establish a client regime in Iraq, they want to continue a presence in Iraq and they want to be able to not only control events in Iraq and, of course, control the oil in Iraq. but They want to be able to use Iraq as a staging ground to protect their power in the region particularly vis a vi Iran but also Syria and other countries.
Ranter and Arnove then discussed Antonia Juhasz' op-ed that ran in the New York Times regarding the oil privatization and how the issue was about the control -- who will get it, who won't, a weapon against other countries whose oil needs are growing such as China. Michael Ratner is one of the co-hosts of Law and Disorder (Daliah Hashad, Michael Smith and Heidi Boghosian are also co-hosts) and that's the segment I heard but the firend who phoned (and held up the phone so I could hear) also wanted me to note that today's program features, in music between segments, a very strong acoustic performance of "People Have The Power" by Patti Smith.
I believe everything we dream
Can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth's revolution
We have the power
People have the power . . .
"People Have The Power," written by Patti Smith, originally on her Dream of Life
Which also acts as segue to Howard Zinn who wrote (in The Progressive): "As I write this, Congress is debating timetables for withdrawal from Iraq. In response to the Bush Administration's 'surge' of troops, and the Republicans' refusal to limit our occupation, the Democrats are behaving with their customary timidity, proposing withdrawal, but only after a year, or eighteen months. And it seems they expect the anti-war movement to support them. That was suggested in a recent message from MoveOn, which polled its members on the Democrat proposal saying that progressives in Congress, 'like many of us, don't think the bill goes far enough, but see it as the first concrete step to ending the war.' Ironically, and shockingly, the same bill appropriates $124 billion in more funds to carry the war. It's as if, before the Civil War, abolitionists agreed to postpone the emancipation of the slaves for a year, or two years, or five years, and coupled this iwth an appropriation of funds to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act. When a social movement adopts the compromises of legislators, it has forgotten its role, which is to push and challenge the politicians, not to fall meekly behind them."
Also weighing in is Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan (via AfterDowningStreet.org) -- against the weak measure and against MoveOn while noting, "In 2002 the Democrats authorized Bush to invade Iraq (or any other country he deemed to support terrorism, for example Iran) in hope he would become involved in an unpopular war which would produce a Democratic White House. The Democrats 2007 policy is equally political, and may have the paradoxical effect of producing Republican victories in 2008. The prolongation of the occupation is now opposed by two-thirds of all Americans; we want our troops safely home by this Christmas, not politically chicanery. As a consequence Americans now think even more poorly of Congress than ever; the failure to withdraw from Iraq dropped Democratic support of Congress from 44% to 33% according to the latest Gallup poll. The Democrats failue to stem what has become a Democrats war will be a factor in the 2008 elections."
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