Saturday, November 24, 2007

remember Murtha?

This week was the 2 year anniversary of Rep. John
Murtha's call to redeploy troops out of Iraq. Since
then, 1,786 U.S. soldiers have died...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Vietnam vet describes witnessing waterboarding

[Tom Ricks is the Pentagon correspondent for the
Washington Post. Below is an email that Ricks
received from retired Army Col. Stuart Herrington, a
veteran military intelligence officer.]

* * *

Here is my take on your specific question concerning
why some out there think it (waterboarding) works, and
what might you be missing. In the interests of
disclosure, I have seen waterboarding attempted in a
hostile environment once, against a 19 year old rural
woman who had the misfortune to live in an area
regularly frequented at night by Viet Cong units. With
her entire family wailing in the courtyard of their
straw home, she writhed on the ground, trying to throw
off the four men who had her pinned down with a poncho
over her face while the team leader poured water onto
the poncho. She told the PRU who were doing it
nothing, insisting she did not know, and appeared
close to death before they stopped. It could not be
determined whether she knew nothing, or was just
willing to die rather than provide the nightly
visiting schedule of the local VC cadre.

I told both the PRU leader and his Agency advisor that
I would not accompany them again if they were going to
treat villagers in this manner. It is inconceivable to
me that anyone who has ever witnessed this tactic
would not consider it torture. I also think the debate
about whether a given harsh interrogation practice is
technically "torture" or merely a "coercive
interrogation technique" is the kind of hair
splitting, legalistic smokescreen argument that folks
love to toss out these days.

Now to the issue: There is a consituency of frustrated
Americans, in and out of government, who want to
believe that waterboarding or the like works. They
want to get even with the enemy; to avenge the losses
of 9-11; and obtain information to prevent a repeat.
Or they want to eliminate the "terrorists" in Iraq who
beheaded our citizens and who use indiscriminant,
"cowardly" tactics to kill our troops and Iraqi
civilians, and they think that this is one way to
accomplish this goal. To such folks, "taking off the
gloves" has an emotional appeal to it. The foe are
animals; they don't deserve to be treated with respect
they don't give to our guys. To such armchair
warfighters, things like waterboarding pose tempting
shortcuts to get the information we need to save
American lives. In addition, the person who might bite
on such an approach is able to turn to many authority
figures and role models who will reassure him that
this is the way to go, whereas those experienced
intelligence professionals who can give many reasons
to counter the appeal of these techniques tend not to
hold the spotlight.

. . . Now stir in a heavy dose of persuasive drama in
shows like "24," which show the American hero
brutalizing prisoners and invariably getting the hot
intelligence he needs to save a city in a matter of
moments (not counting the break for a commercial). How
persuasive is that to many viewers? I can tell you
that it was certainly persuasive to some young Army
interrogators I taught last year at Ft. Sam Houston. .
. .

Almost no one who has interrogated people would deny
that there could be this or that specific case wherein
some kind of torture or coercive tactic might cause a
prisoner with a low threshhold of pain, or who has
faltering loyalty to his cause, to cough up valid
information. That is always possible. Anyone can
conjure up a construct that would show a harsh tactic
as effective in a specific case.

But this does not make the tactic right, legal,
morally correct, wise for our country's policy,
effective, or defensible, and such a hypothetical does
not begin to compensate for the damage done to our
country and its stance as a "shining city on a hill"
when our people stoop to the kinds of conduct that we
have condemned over history when practiced by the
Gestapo, the North Koreans, the Chinese, the
Islamists, or whomever.

120 veterans commit suicide each week

In 2005, there were at least 6,256 suicides among
those who served in the U.S. armed forces. That’s 120
each week. Veterans aged 20 through 24 had the highest
suicide rate among all veterans, estimated between two
and four times higher than civilians the same age.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Clarence Thomas's 15 cent price tag" by Andy K.

I have not read Clarence Thomas' new book, but in the
Times' review and in the New Yorker's review, there is
a consensus that he is a very, very angry man. First
his father abandoned him. Then his mother abandoned
him. And he was forced to live with his grandfather
who beat him repeatedly, whipped him regularly, never
hugged him, and disowned him when Clarence dropped out
of Catholic seminary. (He dropped out when one of the
priests at the seminary cheered the assasination of
Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Mostly, though, he's angry at northern white liberals
who gave him the affirmative action quotas that made
it possible for him to attend Yale Law School.

His argument is that once he got to Yale, no one
respected him because the white students assumed he
was there only because of Yale's affirmative action
quotas. When he graduated, he affixed a price sticker
to his actual law degree (the sticker says "15 cents")
as a symbolic fuck-you to the white liberals who
insulted him with this worthless degree from Yale Law

In Thomas' eyes, the only thing worse than a blatant
Southern white racist is a closeted Northern white
racist. Fair enough.

Yet, Ronald Reagan hired him to be the chief of the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commision... because
Thomas was black. And George H. W. Bush appointed
Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court... because Thomas was

Needless to say, Thomas adores Reagan and Bush. To
quote from the New Yorker: "Thomas's rhetoric against
traditional civil-rights dogma became more strident,
even as he became an ever more prominent beneficiary
of it. In other words, Yale and Reagan treated him
the same way, but he hates one and reveres the other."

Monday, November 12, 2007

opinion poll

A CNN poll of Americans released last week asked
respondents: "If the U.S. government decides to take
military action in Iran, would you favor or oppose

70 percent said they would oppose it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

torture expert Rudy Giuliani

QUOTE #1. Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem
Begin describes being tortured by sleep deprivation at
the hands of the KGB:

"In the head of the interrogated prisoner, a haze
begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his
legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to
sleep ... Anyone who has experienced this desire knows
that not even hunger and thirst are comparable with
it. I came across prisoners who signed what they were
ordered to sign, only to get what the interrogator
promised them. He did not promise them their liberty;
he did not promise them food to sate themselves. He
promised them -- if they signed -- uninterrupted
sleep! And, having signed, there was nothing in the
world that could move them to risk again such nights
and such days."


QUOTE #2. Rudy Giuliani campaigning in Iowa yesterday:

"And I see, when the Democrats are talking about
torture, they're not just talking about even this
definition of waterboarding, which again, if you look
at the liberal media and you look at the way they
describe it, you could say it was torture and you
shouldn't do it. But they talk about sleep
deprivation. I mean, on that theory, I'm getting
tortured running for president of the United States.
That's plain silly. That's silly."


QUOTE #3. From the State Department's 2006 country
report on Iran:

In recent years authorities have severely abused and
tortured prisoners in a series of "unofficial" secret
prisons and detention centers outside the national
prison system. Common methods included prolonged
solitary confinement with sensory deprivation ... long
confinement in contorted positions ... threats of
execution if individuals refused to confess ... SLEEP


Iran tortures. America doesn't.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Giuliani on waterboarding

Here's what Giuliani has to say about waterboarding,
in reponse to a question about Attorney General-choice Mukasey's
refusal to say that the tactic amounts to torture:

“Well, I’m not sure it is either. It depends on how
it’s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends
on who does it. I think the way it’s been defined in
the media, it shouldn’t be done. The way in which they
have described it, particularly in the liberal media.
So I would say, if that’s the description of it, then
I can agree, that it shouldn’t be done. But I have to
see what the real description of it is.”

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ann Coulter: Bill Clinton is a homosexual

DEUTSCH: Before we’re off the air, you were talking
about Bill Clinton. Is there anything you want to say
about Clinton? No?


DEUTSCH: OK. All right. Did you find him attractive?
Was that what it was?


DEUTSCH: You don’t find him attractive?

Ms. COULTER: No. OK, fine, I’ll say it on air.

DEUTSCH: Most women find him attractive.


DEUTSCH: OK, say it on air.

Ms. COULTER: I think that sort of rampant promiscuity
does show some level of latent homosexuality.

DEUTSCH: OK, I think you need to say that again. That
Bill Clinton, you think on some level, has — is a
latent homosexual, is that what you’re saying?

Ms. COULTER: Yeah. I mean, not sort of just completely
anonymous — I don’t know if you read the Starr report,
the rest of us were glued to it, I have many passages
memorized. No, there was more plot and dialogue in a
porno movie.

[The conversation swings a bit before Deutsch moves it
back to Big Gay Bill.]

DEUTSCH: I’m not paying any attention. I’m still stuck
on Bill Clinton. Don’t — now, isn’t that an example of
mean-spirted? Isn’t that just a mean-spirited low
blow? No pun intended.
Ms. COULTER: No. Which part of what I said?

DEUTSCH: I think this…

Ms. COULTER: Well, you can read high crimes and
misdemeanors if he wants some low blows.

DEUTSCH: OK. No, no. Here’s a — here’s a president of
the United States…

Ms. COULTER: There’s merely a comment.

DEUTSCH: …a former president of the United States, and
just saying, `You know what? I think he has latent
homosexual tendencies.’

Ms. COULTER: No. I think anyone with that level of
promiscuity where, you know, you — I mean, he didn’t
know Monica’s name until their sixth sexual encounter.
There is something that is — that is of the bathhouse
about that.

DEUTSCH: But what is the homosexual — that’s — you
could say somebody who maybe doesn’t celebrate women
the way he should or just is that he’s a hound dog?

Ms. COULTER: No. It’s just random, is this obsession
with his…

DEUTSCH: But where’s the — but where’s the homosexual
part of that? I’m — once again, I’m speechless here.

Ms. COULTER: It’s reminiscent of a bathhouse. It’s
just this obsession with your own — with your own

DEUTSCH: But why is that homosexual? You could say

Ms. COULTER: Right.

DEUTSCH: You could say nymphomaniac.

Ms. COULTER: Well, there is something narcissistic
about homosexuality. Right? Because you’re in love
with someone who looks like you. I’m not breaking new
territory here... why are you looking at me like that?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kanye West vs. 50 Cent: It's Win-Win!

From New York Magazine:

Who will win? Well, it doesn't really matter — both
records are distributed by the same evil, faceless
corporation, and Universal Music Group CEO Doug Morris
will get a new pony no matter what.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

the most important moment of Petraeus' testimony

[To his credit, I'm surprised Petraeus didn't
regurgitate Bush's talking points like a good soldier
is supposed to. Instead, he dodged the question
twice. I'll bet his non-answer infuriated the White

SEN. JOHN WARNER (R-VA): "I hope in the recesses of
your heart that you know that strategy will continue
the casualties, stress on our forces, stress on
military families, stress on all Americans. Are you
able to say at this time if we continue what you have
laid before the Congress here as a strategy, do you
feel that that is making America safer?"

PETRAEUS: "Sir, I believe that this is indeed the best
course of action to achieve our objectives in Iraq."

WARNER: "Does that make America safer?"

PETRAEUS: "Sir, I don't know, actually. I have not sat
down and sorted out in my own mind. What I have
focused on and been riveted on is how to accomplish
the mission of the Multi-National Force-Iraq."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"rethinking my theories of Pelosi's motives" by Andy K.

Ever since the 2006 Congressional elections, I've been
convinced that the Dems have deliberately avoided
ending the Iraq war because: 1) they don't want to be
typecast as unpatriotic wimps by GOP tough guys like
Giuliani; and 2) they don't want to be blamed for the
inevitable civil war/genocide that will accompany the
withdrawal of U.S. troops.

I think I was wrong. It's worse than that. Earlier
tonight, Keith Olbermann suggested to Frank Rich that
the reason the Dems won't end the war is because this
bloodbath is good politics for the Dems: they intend
to use it as a campaign issue in 2008.

They're even more cynical than Bush...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The surge is working

Measuring our progress in Iraq:

June-July-August 2003: 113 Americans killed
June-July-August 2004: 162 Americans killed
June-July-August 2005: 217 Americans killed
June-July-August 2006: 169 Americans killed
June-July-August 2007: 229 Americans killed (so far)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

"How Rupert Murdoch Will Sabotage American Capitalism" by Andy K.

There are only 3 great daily newspapers left in the
United States, and that sad fact says more about the
decrepit state of American journalism than it says
about the magnificence of The New York Times, The
Washington Post, or The Wall Street Journal. Of
these, The Wall Street Journal is arguably the most
important because the planet is owned by corporations
and the men who own these corporations have the time
and patience to read only one newspaper: The Wall
Street Journal.

I have mixed feelings about The Journal, because their
news and business coverage is impeccably trustworthy,
thorough, and objective, while their right-wing
Editorial page is a shameless cheerleader of Big
Business. And so I am amused to learn that the
hypocrites who write The Journal's pro-capitalism
Editorials devoted almost the entire June 6th edition
of their Editorial page to denouncing Rupert Murdoch.

Up until May 1st, the Wall Street Journal's own stock
was trading at $36 a share, and then Murdoch offered
to buy every share for $60 each. How can the
hypocrites at the Journal who worship free market
capitalism possibly oppose such a lucrative offer?
They must be naively unaware that free trade and open
markets solve all problems!

As you probably know, Rupert Murdoch is the Republican
asshole who owns Fox News and And even
by the grotesque standards of lowbrow mass media (I'm
talking Time Warner, Disney, NBC), Murdoch is the
sleaziest of the sleaziest: for 40 years, he's been
purchasing unprofitable decent newspapers (The New
York Post, The Times of London, etc.) and converting
them into profitable pieces of shit. Murdoch himself
has already admitted that he is "sometimes frustrated
by the [Wall Street Journal's] long stories." In
other words, say goodbye to the Journal's

Contrast Murdoch's "journalism" to the competition's:
during the first 3 months of 2007 daytime programming,
Fox News devoted only 6 percent of their air time to
the Iraq war, compared with 18 percent at MSNBC and 20
percent at CNN. But what Fox lacks in gravitas, it
makes up for in sensationalistic voyeurism: Anna
Nicole Smith received 17 percent of Fox News'
programming time. (Predictably, the Nielson ratings
have consistently ranked Fox as the most popular cable
news network in America.)

The Wall Street Journal is owned by the Bancrofts: a
family of millionaires who desperately want to be
billionaires. In their defense, they hate Rupert
Murdoch. Murdoch has promised the Bancrofts that he
will not debase the Wall Street Journal franchise by
publishing naked boobies on Page 3, although
considering that he DOES publish naked boobies on Page
3 of his own London Sun newspaper, Murdoch's solemn
vow is painfully insincere, and the savvy Bancrofts
know it.

Given that Rupert Murdoch has no respect for literacy
(not to mention decency), I've decided that his bid
for The Journal isn't entirely bad. Yes, he'll ruin
the damn paper. And that's an unfortunate loss for
American journalism. But more importantly, Murdoch is
in a unique position to seriously damage American

Considering that this is the only newspaper that the
executives on Wall Street actually read, Murdoch will
inadvertently make them dumber and less informed than
they already are. Rather than educate them with
objective, thorough reporting, Murdoch will uneducate
them with his unreliable propaganda.

Oh how amusing it will be to watch the markets be
sabotaged! And considering that American capitalism
managed to survive (and grow exponentially) during 40
years of communist threat, wouldn't it be delightfully
ironic if it was finally killed by the sleaziest
capitalist who ever lived? Who would have thought
that the greatest threat to capitalism would be
capitalism itself!

There are many scenarios of how this will play out,
but the most likely will involve China. Some
background: when the Chinese government complained to
Murdoch that his satellite TV service was delivering
the BBC's uncensored coverage of China's fledgling
democracy movement, Murdoch dropped the BBC from his
satellite system. When China complained that his
MySpace subsidiary was being used to challenge China's
authoritarianism, Murdoch agreed to let the Chinese
government censor MySpace.

In fact, the Pulitzer-prize winning reporters who work
at the Journal's China bureau bravely wrote a letter
to the Bancrofts reminding them that Murdoch "has a
well-documented history of making editorial decisions
in order to advance his business interests in China."
In other words, say goodbye to the Journal's

American executives who will be gambling billions of
dollars of capital on China, will be doing so
ignorantly after Murdoch takes over. If another SARS
epidemic hits Shanghai, rest assured that the
Journal's wealthy readers will be the last to know
about it. If China's Da Qing oil field continues to
decline in oil production, the gullible Americans who
run General Motors' and Ford's subsidiaries in China
will be clueless.

In short, capitalism's greatest newspaper will soon be
as trustworthy, thorough, and objective as Fox News.
And that's bad news for capitalism.

Monday, July 2, 2007

on vacation with Mitt Romney's family

This guy is a fucking nut. An excerpt from the Boston
Globe 6/27/07:

Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus,
the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier
and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd
built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride
more comfortable for the dog.

As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the
way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the
rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of
trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid
was dripping down the back window, payback from an
Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind
for hours.

As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of
disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into
a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed
down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the
highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would
grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis

The Friedman Unit

From Wikipedia:

The Friedman Unit is a reference to New York Times
columnist Thomas Friedman's repeated use of "the next
six months" as the time period in which, according to
Friedman, "we're going to find out...whether a decent
outcome is possible" in the Iraq War. Friedman had
been making such six-month predictions for a period of
two and a half years, on at least 14 different
occasions, starting with a column in the November 30,
2003 edition of The New York Times, in which he
stated: "The next six months in Iraq—which will
determine the prospects for democracy-building
there—are the most important six months in U.S.
foreign policy in a long, long time." The term has
been used in general to describe any pronouncement of
a critical period for the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Such pronouncements have been made by numerous
politicians and military officials involved in the

"The MySpace Boycott Everyone Ignored" by Andy K.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The frivolous liberal bloggers are commanding the sheep to boycott the upcoming Congressional Black Caucus' presidential debate, and most of the sheep (Obama, Clinton, Edwards, Dodd, Richardson) are obediently following orders. Why? Because the debate will be televised on Fox News. Consider the logic: no liberal would dare suggest a boycott of the MSNBC debate, even though NBC is a subsidiary of General Electric, which sells weapons to the Pentagon. GE and Fox News both have crucial roles in the war machine, but in the minds of liberals, fictional propaganda is more despicable than real weapons.

Kucinich and Biden are appalled by the sheep's anti-Fox fetish. Said Kucinich: "I've taken issue with Fox News' coverage," but, he added, "I've also taken issue with the New York Times and other news organizations around the world." Kucinich continued, "Fox broadcasts the World Series, too, but is it any less of a World Series because it's on Fox?"

Hey sheep: if I told you that and Fox News are both owned by the same Republican asshole (Rupert Murdoch), would you take down your MySpace profile?

I didn't think so.

"Bush: 'no comment' on weapons sales to Iran" by Andy K.

From the Associated Press, 6/11/07: "[The House of
Representatives voted] to ban the Pentagon from
selling leftover F-14 fighter jet parts sought by

Wait, stop. How the fuck can Bush possibly have 'no
comment' on a bill banning weapons sales to Iran?!?
Karl Rove can't possibly be so stupid that he's
unaware that supporting this bill is a no-brainer.

Political reasons for Bush to support the ban:
1a) It's great politics to be tough on national
2a) Iran is bad
3a) The F-14 is defunct and no longer in production,
so the corporate war profiteers (Boeing, Lockheed)
won't lose money
4a) Israel

Political reasons for Bush NOT to support the ban:
1b) It's a bipartisan bill and Democrats are bad
2b) Bush doesn't read the newspaper, so he's unaware
of any of this
3b) Bush would never admit that for the first 6 years
of his Presidency the Pentagon was still arming Iran
4b) Bush deliberately WANTS to arm Iran, so that he
can justify yet another war against a dangerous rogue
regime that we armed

The pragmatist in me believes #3b is certainly a
possibility-- after all, Dubya HATES to admit that
he's ever made a mistake. But BushCo is a savvy
political machine, and Rush/FoxNews/Hannity would spin
it to make it look like it was originally Bush's idea
that the poser Democrats are trying to take credit

Simply put, the political reasons to support the ban
are far more persuasive than the political reasons to
oppose the ban. Unless the real reason is #4b... and
if that's the case, then logical reasoning is
irrelevant to the violent psychopath we've got in the
White House.

John Edwards and the populist label

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Andy sent me a New York Times Sunday Magazine piece on John Edwards.
He broke the "long, long, long article" down with three brief excerpts:

Excerpt #1:

When I asked Edwards if he blamed large corporations
or the wealthiest Americans for inequality, he
appeared briefly confused by the question. "No — no,"
Edwards repeated, shaking his head. "I just don't
think blaming helps, to be honest with you. What's the

In fact, the more you talk to Edwards, the more
apparent it is that the populist label doesn't quite
fit. While he talks incessantly about economic
injustice, Edwards isn't proposing anything (beyond an
oil-company windfall tax, which Hillary Clinton has
also embraced) that would strike a serious blow
against multinational corporations or the top tier of
American earners. Even in his rhetoric, Edwards seems
to deliberately avoid stoking resentments or pitting
one class against another the way a true populist
would, unless you count taking a few easy shots at

"Edwards is not in any way attacking the rich or
corporations." says Robert Reich, with a note of
disappointment. "He's not explaining one fundamental
fact of modern economic life, which is that the very
rich have all the money."

Excerpt #2:

The decision that most complicates Edwards's political
message, though, is his affiliation with Fortress
Investments, the hedge fund where he worked in 2006.
Strictly speaking, hedge funds aren't especially
nefarious enterprises in American life, but as a
symbolic matter, they represent exactly the kind of
exclusionary wealth that has led, more than anything
else, to the gross inequality that Edwards deplores.
(More than symbolically, Fortress has invested in
exactly the kind of subprime-mortgage dealers that
Edwards has repeatedly castigated for preying on the

Excerpt #3:

It doesn't help when Edwards tries so hard to
establish his affinity for the common man that it
makes you wince. When the Fortress story first
surfaced, for instance, he told The Associated Press
that he joined the hedge fund partly because he wanted
to learn more about the way markets affected
inequality. This is rather like saying you hired a
stripper in order to better understand the
exploitation of women. Another cringe-worthy example:
In April, The A.P. asked the announced candidates in
both parties what their dream job would be if they
weren't in politics. It was meant to be an amusing
exercise. Barack Obama said he'd be an architect. Bill
Richardson said he'd play center field for the
Yankees. Rudolph W. Giuliani said he'd be a sports
announcer. What was Edwards's dream job — the
alternate life he lay awake fantasizing about, had he
not become a millionaire lawyer and politician?

"Mill supervisor."

MoveOn Is Not Anti-War and Neither Was "Fahrenheit 9/11"

MoveOn Is Not Anti-War and Neither Was "Fahrenheit 9/11"

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I have a love-hate relationship with The Nation magazine nowadays. One week it's Alexander Cockburn's "Beat the Devil" which I love, the next week it's Eric Alterman's "The Liberal Media" which I loathe. Last week Alterman "exposed" Chris Matthews to be pro-Bush. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of "Hardball." In fact, I can't stand the show, so I don't watch it. And I don't need to because my pal Andy K. sends me video clips of the show whenever it's relevant. Andy also sent me this quote from a SF Chronicle piece Matthews wrote in 2002, "This invasion of Iraq, if it goes off, will join the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Desert One, Beirut, and Somalia in the history of military catastrophe. What will set it apart, distinguishing it for all time, is the immense--and transparent--political stupidity."

And here's Matthews, early this year, trying to get Tony Snow to say whether or not Bush will start a war with Iran without congressional approval:

"MATTHEWS: No, I'm concerned because, very much in the years, in the months building up to this war in Iraq, we heard a kind of a drumbeat of the dangers from Iraq and the nuclear weaponry and what we're going to do about it, and then gradually we went to war...

"My concern is we're gonna see a ginning up situation whereby we fall in hot pursuit any effort by the Iranians to interfere with Iraq. We take a couple shots at them, they react, then we bomb the hell out of them and hit their nuclear installations without any action by Congress. That's the scenario I fear, an extra-constitutional war is what I'm worried about.

"SNOW: Well, you have been watching too many old movies--

"MATTHEWS: No, I've been watching the war in Iraq, is what I've been watching."

I first became exposed to The Nation in 1991 and at the time it seemed so Left-wing to me, but I was still in high school. I voted for Bill Clinton the next year, but by 1996 I resented him and wrote-in Nader. The Welfare Bill that Clinton/Gingrich passed was the last straw for me and many others at the time. The next year The Nation cut Cockburn's "Beat the Devil" down from two pages to one page.

Here we are in 2007, The Nation is big "D" Democratic and many people don't seem to remember Bill Clinton's despicable legacy: NAFTA/GATT, the death penalty-expanding Crime Bill, the Anti-Terrorism Bill that was a precursor to the bi-partisan PATRIOT Act. Not to mention his murderous assault on Iraqi civilians. The sanctions he supported killed thousands and he dropped plenty of bombs on the Iraqi people while Congress was impeaching him. Which is why the bumper sticker that reads, "No One Died When Clinton Lied" really should read, "Americans Didn't Die When Clinton Lied." This is a time of phony anti-war entities like MoveOn and Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." Leave it to an American film maker to produce a documentary on the Middle East that doesn't mention Israel. The motivation for that omission is crystal clear if the film is seen not as an anti-war film, but as a pro-Democratic party film. The Palestinian plight is simply not discussed by the Zionist Democratic leadership.

Is Israeli lobbying the story behind the pro-Iran war rhetoric of H.R. Clinton, Barrack Obama and John Edwards? The man who said he "was wrong" to support the Iraq war recently gave a speech in Israel supporting military action on Iran. Direct and to the point, Edwards stressed the "need to keep all options on the table" when dealing with Iran. Obama gave a speech to the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) that was more of the same tough talk on Iran. Obama's a better politician. Stop Me Before I Vote Again's Michael J. Smith compared the two presidential hopefuls, "All in all, (Obama gave) a more polished performance than John Edwards' recent pole-dance for the same outfit."

MoveOn rigidly frames their Iraq war criticism on George W. Bush without a peep regarding his Democratic enablers. It was 2006 when John "A.B.B." Kerry finally supported withdrawing from Iraq, and as late as 2005 he was undercutting Murtha's call for an exit. In regards to the recent $124 billion that the Democrats approved for Bush's war effort, MoveOn has no criticism of their Party. As Cockburn points out in this week's "Beat the Devil," "The focus stays always on Bush, over whom MoveOn will never have influence, as opposed to Democrats, whom MoveOn could have pressured with its 3 million-strong e-mail list."

It looks like the US will be in Iraq at least until 2008. If a Democratic President inherits the war, MoveOn will officially stop acknowledging that the war issue exists.