Afghanistan

Al Qieda

Bush meets Al-Qeda mastermind

Campaign 2004 - A study in negativity

Cost of the War

Foriegn Policies

Goverment Opacity

Guantanemo Bay Detainees

Haliburton

Iraq

Intellectual Property Rights

Patriot Act

Ratings

Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein

Science vs. Dogma in the Bush Administration

Senator Zell Miller speech

Valerie Plame

 

Good Day,

First, you need to understand that I am neither a Liberal nor a Democrat. My friends consider me to be a moderately conservative Republican, despite the fact that I am a registered Independant. I am a moderate on social issues, conservative on fiscal issues.

I was, and continue to be, a vocal critic of Bill Clinton (although truth be told, in the end I believe I tend to agree with more of what he did than what he said he would do) and the legacy he left the office of the President.

Having said that, if Bill Clinton were running against George Bush today, I'd march down to the polling place, hold my nose and vote Bush out of office in a heartbeat. Come November 2004, irregardless of who the Democrats put up as their candidate I will be voting an anti-Republican ticket.

I want Bush out of office so much that I am going to actively work towards putting a Democrat in the White House. And, since I dare not depend on the rest of the country feeling as I do, I'll be voting against any Republican Senators or Congressmen candidates who are also running this election year. I feel that it is absolutely vital that, even if Bush should somehow get re-elected, we will give him as hostile a Congress as humanly possible.

In the following paragraphs, I'll attempt to list all the reasons I feel that George H. W. Bush is a bad choice for President. Some of what is here is simply my own opinion - but I'm going back over a lot of it and trying to find credible sources that support either the opinion itself, or the process or events by which I came to that opinion. I do *not* want to simply be another internet rumor-monger - I encourage critical thought and am quite willing to discuss my opinions in a civilized manner with anyone who is interested.

To be honest, it's not that I feel that President Bush is evil, or even badly-intentioned (I wish it were that simple!), but he is the wrong choice to be leading the country now. Indeed, I suspect that there is no time in our country's history or future where he would be the right choice.

Douglas


Let us consider his competence as a leader in the area of foriegn policy. Is the US considered in a more or less favorable light today, than it was in 2000? Answer - LESS

Let us consider his leadership in the area of domestic policy. Is the US economically better or worse off than it was in 2000? Answer - WORSE


Al Qieda/War on Terrorism - Osama bin Laden, more than any other person on the face of the earth turned George Bush from a lame duck president doomed to a single ineffective term in office, into the President he is today. September 11th gave George Bush the mandate from America that the Florida fiasco should have forever denied him, gave him a Congress that was prepared to roll over and give him whatever he needed to secure the country, and provided him with the most sympathetic foriegn relations that I've seen the US have in years.

In the space of two years, he has squandered that. We are now facing an almost universal objection to all thing American overseas, Congress is as fiercely partisan as ever and the population of the US is bitterly divided over Bush and his policies.


Afghanistan - When the US followed Al Qieda into Afghanistan, I was worried. But the US Government kept on saying - "we have the evidence, but we can't show you". Secret Evidence bothers me. It always has, it always will. But in this case they continued: "We can't show you, but we can show these people". And so they trotted into closed door meetings with all these world leaders, and when they were done, the world leaders came out and said "Yep, they have the evidence and they are right".

So I gave the Administration a 'by' on the Secret Evidence. I supported the war even though we all know that Afghanistan is death to foriegn invaders (as evidenced by the British and the Russian military campaigns in that country).

And what do you know - we won. Err - well, I think we won. It's not very widely reported in the press anymore (Iraq has overshadowed it), but since the administration has put Afghanistan on the back burner, we are still posting troops there, and I believe we are still fighting in the country. But that no longer seems to matter to Bush and company - irregardless of the fact that we have a country to rebuild there in order to keep it from lapsing back into lawlessness, he had other fish to fry.


Iraq - Despite the fact that there has been no definitive proof given to the American people or the world linking Iraq to Al Qieda, the Administration focused in on Iraq as the root of all evil.

Of the Causus Belli that President Bush listed as reasons for invading Iraq, two stand out.
1) That Iraq posses Weapons of Mass Distruction, and has the capability to use them against the United States. To date, no evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction have been found.
2) That Iraq was actively conspiring with Al Qieda and was involved in the 9/11 attack. However, the 9/11 commission, whose report was released on 6/16/2004, was emphatic that not only did Iraq not have active links with Osama bin Laden, but that they had rebuffed his overtures. (source: New York Times, MSNBC)

Sadam committed many, many offenses against his fellow countrymen and women, and was probably just about as evil a man as ever walked the face of the Earth. But George Bush is the one who ordered a country destroyed for the sins of that single man.

It is unlikely that we will ever know just how many people Sadam killed, but I suspect it is also unlikely we will ever find out how many people died in the subjugation and occupation of Iraq - we only keep track of the Americans who are wounded and killed.


Iraqi Detainee being held by the US at Abu Gharaib, Iraq.

5/7/04 Update - The picture that I think will haunt the United States for years. It will certainly be a picture that I will associate with the Bush administration.

Don't get this wrong. I am aware that these acts were carried out by U.S. servicemen. It shames me, as a veteran, to be associated with such acts. I have faith that the individuals who were directly involved will face judicial and/or non-judicial punishments, in accordance with the UCMJ.

I have somewhat less faith that those who directed, or allowed, the conditions that fostered the impression that such actions were allowable will face the bar of justice.

While the Pottery Barn has denied that this is their rule, I think that it certainly fits the situation. "If you break it, you've bought it." And I'd certainly like to know what happened to the sign that once graced the President's desk "The buck stops here".

10/14/04 Update - Still think that Abu Gharaib was a isolated incident involving only a few rogue soldiers? CNN is reporting that 28 soldiers are being implicated in the 2002 death of two Afghans. This, IMHO, is the direct result of the Bush Administration directing that the Geneva Accords were not applicable to some prisoners.

 


Valerie Plame - The wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was sent to Africa to check out claims about Iraqi purchases of nuclear material, she was 'outed' as a CIA employee by 'highly placed administration officials'. As I understand it, this is journalistic shorthand for "someone in the White House".

How can anyone serving in the White House not understand just how serious uncovering our Intelligence operatives is. How can our President stand by someone like this?

More Information
http://www.ospolitics.org/usa/archives/2003/09/02/the_valeri.php
http://www.markarkleiman.com/archives/cat_valerie_plame.html
http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/03/12/con03369.html
http://www.prospect.org/webfeatures/2004/02/waas-m-02-12.html
http://www.counterpunch.org/giebel10022003.html


Haliburton - The Vice President has ties to this company, which then gets awarded one of the largest 'no-bid' contracts of the Iraq War. Regardless of how separate Cheney and Haliburton actually are now, this fails the 'appearance of impropriety' test.

More Information
http://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/report.aspx?aid=366&sid=100
http://people.uncw.edu/zervosg/PR238/Cheney.htm
http://corpwatch.radicaldesigns.org/article.php?id=2471
http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/profiles/haliburton/haliburton4.htm#Iran
http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2003/3050halliburton.html


Opacity of Government - Remember the screaming fights over the 'secret' meetings Hillary Clinton had while working on the failed Health Care reform back in the Clinton presidency? Obviously Bush has, because his entire administration is about as opaque as a brick wall.

More Information
http://www.bespacific.com/mt/archives/003288.html
http://www.insightmag.com/main.cfm?include=detail&storyid=229694


Intellectual Property Rights - While the DMCA was proposed and enacted prior to the Bush presidency, it has been exploited by the RIAA and MPAA in ways undreamed of during his time as president. Whole areas of the 'Fair Use' doctrine have been thrown into disarray as the lawyers of these two associations go on their witch hunts. While there was, and continues to be, a real concern about Intellectual Property and how emerging technology might affect it - they answer here has been limited to the comic book character 'Hulk' - smash and destroy.


Patriot Act - This act decreases our civil rights in direct proportion to the increases in powers it gives to the government. It was a knee-jerk reaction to a tragic event in our history - and it needs to go away.

More Information
http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/Terrorism/20011031_eff_usa_patriot_analysis.php
http://www.cdt.org/security/usapatriot/analysis.shtml
http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=12126&c=207


Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - We are holding more than 600 foriegn nationals at the Navy Base in Cuba. They have never been tried, have no access to lawyers or the legal system. They have committed no crime in US jurisdiction, at least no crime that has been submitted to a jury of any kind. They are being held 'indefinitely' and some were as young as 15 (or younger) when they were taken.

Admittedly, some may have been the enemies of the United States when they where captured (undoubtedly all are now), and some were taken actively fighting United States forces when we invaded their country - but isn't their disposition now up to the legal authority of that country? How did the United States get into the business of running a Gulag?


International Relations - The Bush II administration has consistantly degraded our relationships with our traditional allies. For example:

  • NATO - I have grown so accustomed to the existance of NATO that, so far as I was concerned, it was a part of the environment. It was and should be. In 2003, however, the Bush Administration put pressure on the individual members of NATO to support his Iraq adventure, and they individually pushed back. Then, as pressure mounted on Turkey to allow US troops to pass through their territory, the Bush Administration invoked the Treaty to assist in the possible defense of Turkey. After a lot of very public political manuevering, and a dubious use of the NATO treaty rules was executed to exclude France and Germany from the critical meeting, all was arranged. Except Turkey declined the US offer.

    Lesson learned: NATO was created and maintained to counter the direct threat offered to the individual countries of Europe during the height of the cold war. Today, the USSR is no longer a threat, and Europe has formed the European Union. NATO is a military club that countries join for prestige, but do not take seriously. It is time to rethink our committments (in money, manpower and material) to NATO. It's time to withdraw our forces from the countries whose governments do not want us there (specifically, Germany).
  • Korea - I can understand the issues that we have with North Korea - we have blocked them from their imperial ambitions for close to 50 years. What I can't understand is why the people of South Korea have sided with them. Very well, we have stood watch on the wall between North and South Korea long enough. If the people of Korea don't want us there anymore, let them take up the watch.
  • North Korea - the first thing the Bush administration did with North Korea, upon entering the White House, was to ignore them. Stopped the diplomatic process cold. Then labeled them as a charter member of the 'Axis of Evil'. North Korea's response? Scrapped the non-proliferation treaty, threw out the inspectors and openly restarted their nuclear program.

    Admittedly, they were working on a secret nuclear program during at least 4 years of the Clinton administration - but now they have full availability to their national resources as well as any clandestine access they developed during that 'black' period.
  • Isreal/Palestine - When George Bush took office, rather than build upon the diplomatic efforts started by previous administrations, he halted our efforts in the Middle East, pending a review. So the intensity of the Palestinian entifada (which was little more than 6 months old when Bush took office) had two more years to gather momentum and intensity before Bush deigned take notice of it, other than to blindly support Isreal's heavy handed attempts to supress the Palestinian uprising.

    Regrettably, while the terrorism being used by the Palestinian cause is reprehensible, the use of targetted assassination by missile and bomb by the Israeli government is no better. But the Bush administration continues to only see the Palestinian atrocities, while turning a blind eye to the Israeli offenses, and this is causing us problems elsewhere in the Middle East. While I believe that Israel must be secure, I deplore the wanton and ill-considered force levels that they are employing against the Palestinians.



Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983
source

More information about this meeting and the relationship Saddam had with Donald Rumsfield is available at:

www.counterpunch.org
www.zmag.org


You should be able to make out President Bush and his wife Laura standing just left of the center of the picture (which, you can see, was taken March 12, 2000 - just 6 months before the 9/11 attack). The bald man standing just to the right of President Bush is identified as Doctor Sami Al-Arian - now accused as a terror-cell mastermind and awaiting trial in Florida.

source


"Scholars and political strategists say the ferocious Bush assault on Kerry this spring has been extraordinary, both for the volume of attacks and for the liberties the president and his campaign have taken with the facts. Though stretching the truth is hardly new in a political campaign, they say the volume of negative charges is unprecedented -- both in speeches and in advertising."
- Washington Post, May 30, 2004


Scientists have "charged the Bush administration with widespread and unprecedented "manipulation of the process through which science enters into its decisions ... More than 5,000 scientists have called for an end to these practices, including 48 Nobel Laureates and 62 National Medal of Science recipients. "
- Union of Concerned Scientists, February 2004


 

Cost of the War in Iraq
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