Archive for the ‘News and politics’ Category

Iraq: Alternatives to ‘Staying the Course to a Train Wreck’

October 12, 2006

A comment I posted on DailyKos on “A DEMOCRATIC ALTERNATIVE TO `STAY THE COURSE’ ”  at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/10/12/05626/364

Problem solver’s point about civilian deaths feeding the violence hits the bullseye. Iraq is tearing itself apart.  Think wild west, American civil war, no order, no justice in a heavily armed land. America (Bush) started the disintegration by removing the totalitarian regime that held it together.
Recent polls in Iraq do indicate that the majority want the US out. I’m guessing that Sunni’s want us out because they want to regain power they lost, Shiites want us out because they sense that they can gain power because of their majority. The lack of security and infrastructure is not winning any hearts for either the US or the fledging Iraqi government. If we leave, the most ferocious sect is likely to win at tremendous human costs- a scenario that may well create a true terrorist state.
 The railroad tracks of trying to hold the entire country and city of Baghdad with an army is indeed the Vietnam scenario that Mikesco notes, a train wreck as well.  Even the Republicans are starting to talk about the need for a third course.
 What would a third course look like? My huumble suggestion is to consolidate: identify a section of Bagdhad that we can secure, provide infrastructure services, and “win over”.  We can withdraw a good portion (2/3rds?) of our troops, increase surveillance with technology, and strike tactically where insurgents show their presence.  Fundamentally, begin the transitionto letting Iraqis own their fate, while keeping a lid on it, and getting out of the way.
 Further suggestions: provide no info on troop withdrawls or movements. Keep the enemy in the dark as to all specifics. Figure out ways to strike quickly, and effectively, but don’t try to cover all the bases all the time.
 FWIW…

Senator Specter Speaks out for the Constitution

September 29, 2006

Bush’s latest gutting of the Constitution, with Congress obligingly cutting the federal courts out of the loop with regard to the legal rights of “detainees” has shown at least one Republican who has read, believes in, and will stand up for the rights in the founding law of our land:

Editorials Hit Congress on New ‘Terror’ Bill

See also: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/25/washington/25cnd-detain.html 

Senator Spector introduced an amendment to retain habeas corpus for detainees — that is the right to challenge their imprisonment. That’s a right that has predated the Constitution for centuries.  Hear, hear, Senator Spector!

My message to him: Thank you for attempting to uphold the constitution and habeas corpus, and to maintain some check and balance while detaining international prisoners. Thank you for helping to keep America the America that we were taught — one that values civil rights, due process, and three branches of government.  Thank you for speaking out that we should not abandon our guiding principles because of fear, that we should not blind ourselves to the abuses that any secret system is bound to inflict, that we should not silence the few caught in a system designed to imprison them who ask for evidence, a court and a fair hearing. Thank you for caring, speaking your conscience, and being an American leader, a hero, for what America really stands for.

For Sale: One Iraq War, stinky and not so cheap

September 14, 2006

Following the one-two media slam by ABC and Bush on 9/11/06, I sent this Letter to the Editor of the San Jose Mercury News:

There is a rule in sales: lead with your weakness. Bush and company are doing this full tilt. With their platform singularly being fear and the “war on terror”, they have to claim that the Iraq war has made us safer. But has it?
  Which is safer? A known, isolated tyrant, or a violent “wild west” anarchy that both encourages and harbors terrorists? Which would result in a safer Middle East? Continued sanctions, embargoes and inspections, or a country embroiled in a civil war, where our troops struggle to prevent thugs, gangs and terrorist cells from committing carnage? Which would have been more effective? Which would have cost fewer hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives?
  Shame on Mr. Bush for using the 9/11 tragedy to sell his policy and military mistakes as protection. Shame on us if we buy the stinking mess in Iraq as “security”. 

Is ABC that stupid?

September 7, 2006

 ABC is about to air a Clinton-bashing 6-hour-long propaganda movie, “The Path to 9/11”. See the Act for Change page:  http://www.workingforchange.com/activism/action.cfm?itemid=21317&afccode=htcct5

I had this to say (some text supplied by the Act for Change template):

If you want a BOYCOTT of ABC, please air your Sept. 11th “docu-drama”

I have three things to say regarding your Clinton-bashing piece by an awoved conservative activist — a scant two months before the national election: boycott, boycott, boycott.

If you want to see all kinds of activists target ABC for airing Bush-loving propaganda, go ahead — make our day. I’m sure there will be more than a few letters to the FCC regarding your stations.

I look forward to your reply to my letter. Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Mr. Rand Wrobel

Retroactive unconstitutional CYA for GWB and the NSA

August 22, 2006

See Act for Change’s Call to stop Sen. Specter’s  Senate Bill 2453 .

 Click here to tell your Senators to reject the Cheney-Specter bill:
http://act.actforchange.com/cgi-bin7/DM/y/epSO0O2PFy0USj0BLpg0EG

Senate Bill 2453 would not only legalize the wiretapping program; it
would also transfer all lawsuits pending against the program into the
secretive FISA court — where they could be dismissed for no reason at
all. Simply put, if we care about our privacy and the Fourth Amendment
to our Constitution, this legislation must be stopped.

Click here to tell your Senators to vote NO on S. 2453:
http://act.actforchange.com/cgi-bin7/DM/y/epSO0O2PFy0USj0BLpg0EG

I would expect illegal wiretaps in Russia.  I would expect the Russian parliament to ex post facto legalize spying against its constitution. I never thought I would see the day Americans would throw out the constitution, due process, probable cause and the checks and balances that restrain law enforcement from trampling civil rights.