canarypapers

Posts Tagged ‘truth

The Bush-Obama Doctrine: A 12-Step Program for Seizing Control

with 3 comments

Patting Ourselves on the Back

Shortly before Christmas, President Obama called Yemen President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to congratulate his success in their recent air strikes.  On the surface, this would seem odd, since Obama was the one who ordered the deployment of the U.S. missiles and drones that successfully blew apart upwards of 80 to 100 human beings, many of them collateral damage, as they’re called  — the innocent men, women and children who were killed during the pre-Christmas blitzes. Odder, still, are the mixed messages that came from the White House in the wake of the air strikes. In one breath, we were told that President Obama ordered the  bombings (which is, yes, every bit as odd as if some foreign president were to order air strikes on U.S citizens to retaliate for our leaders’ terrorist acts). In the next breath, we were told that America could neither confirm nor deny a U.S. role in the air strikes. “We are not going to get into any details at this point,” one US official said.

Odd.

But if you consider the source for a moment, it begins to make better sense.

The Strange Case of Doctor Obama and Mr. Bush

There are two Americas, you see. One is the idealized America. This is the America that created the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights; the America that finally found the gumption, even if it was an act of self-preservation, to put an end to slavery. This is the America that initiated the New Deal during the Great Depression; the America that — 45 years ago this week — waged a War on Poverty and created programs such as Medicare and Head Start and, for a while, made progress in dismantling the cycle of illiteracy, poverty and oppression; the America that passed the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts; the America that created national parks and has at times, despite opposition, persevered to protect the environment. This is the America that drafts historic documents professing our aspirations to the democratic ideal that all men are created equal, endowed with certain unalienable Rights, among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is the America that voters overwhelming voted for in the fall of 2008.

The other America, our alter ego, is not quite the stuff of lofty, historic documents but, instead, weaves history from the shadows. Our alter ego is, for lack of a better word, the real America. This is the America that was secreted to North American shores with the Puritans and unleashed onto the Salem witch hunts; the America that justified the industry of kidnapping and selling human beings into slavery; this is the America that turned a blind eye to the Red Shirts and to Jim Crow law; this is the America that stonewalled anti-lynching laws; the America that violently fought to preserve slavery then, 100 years later, violently fought to preserve segregation; this is the America that replaced slave code with black code with Jim Crow with racial code; the America that dismantled Johnson’s War on Poverty and told us that greed and ostentatiousness were sterling qualities, if not inalienable Rights. This is the America that touts the values of democracy, then overthrows democratically elected leaders so that we may install corrupt dictators of our choosing; the America that sleeps in the shadows with Pol Pot, Pinochet, Rios Mont,  Noriega, Sadaam Hussein and Osama bin Laden; the America that simultaneously demonizes, yet arms, trains and funds war criminals from Israel to Afghanistan and Colombia; the America that trades arms, drugs and money to bankroll our crimes against humanity, then pretends under oath to not recall these deeds.

On special occasions, our alter ego parades its idealized twin, vociferously waving flags and extolling the virtues of our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our Declaration of Independence, while secretly loathing and warring against both the spirit and letter of the law contained within these documents.

When politicians such as Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin talk about the “real America,” this is the one to which they are referring — our alter ego — the America of Westwood Pegler, Joseph McCarthy, Lee Atwater and Karl Rove; the secret America of Richard Nixon, Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George Bush Jr. and Sr. This is the America that believes that the ends (money, oil, gas, gold, diamonds, titanium, etc.) justify the means (death squads, torture, extraordinary rendition, buying corrupt leaders, dealing in drugs, funding and arming terrorists, genocide, covert wars, and bending & breaking the spirit and the letter of the law). This is the America of Dick Cheney. Turns out, this is also — much to the dismay of the American voters — the America of Barack Obama.

Given the source, then, Obama’s congratulatory call to Yemen President is not really so odd. The mixed messages coming from the White House are understandable, given the inherent difficulty of keeping the facts straight on those occasions when necessity summons our alter from the shadows to perform front and center on the world stage. Americans will surely forgive Obama, too, for his lack of recall on who actually ordered the bombings. After all, we are engaged in a (call it what you will) war on terror, which means anything goes.

Bonfire of the Panties

According to the official version of the story, our best intelligence tells us that there are “credible threats” being waged against our interests in Yemen. As proof, we need look no further than the outrage being expressed by the Yemen people over the bombings, followed in quick succession by the underpants bomber. The official version, however, has neatly ignored three other facts that have been alleged to be part of the story: (1) that a well-dressed Indian man tried to assist the underpants bomber to board the plane without a passport in Amsterdam, (2) that one, possibly two men videotaped the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, and (3) that a second man from this same flight was arrested at the airport after being fingered by bomb-sniffing dogs, while waiting in the room with the other passengers who had been sequestered for questioning in Detroit.

Regardless of the facts, it is clear to anyone watching the news or listening to our president that Yemen is — as accused — a hotbed of al Qaeda danger, intent on attacking American “interests” in the area.

What has not been made clear is the exact nature of our “interests” in the area. Sure, we have embassies there. And these embassies have been the target of threats for decades now. Why the sudden impetus for a pre-emptive strike on the people of Yemen? It can’t be oil. After all, as the media has repeatedly and painstakingly tutored us over the past week or so, Yemen is slated to run out of oil in 10 years. This proves that the recent air strikes and the underpants bomber are not, as the more skeptical among us have become conditioned to automatically suspect, another war for oil.  Therefore, it must indeed be true: Yemen has replaced Afghanistan (and, later, Iraq) as the new world hub of terrorist activity.

Either that, or its the gas.

According to a 2007 issue of the Oil and Gas Journal, Yemen’s proven natural gas reserves totaled 16.90 trillion cubic feet.  Construction began in 2005 to build the $4.1 billion plant to liquefy the natural gas for shipment, with Hunt Oil (part of the Bush-Cheney rat pack) holding a 17.2% stake in the project and poised to share with Asia two-thirds, or 4.5 million tons of Yemen’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports per year. The first LNG shipments reportedly left Yemen within the last 2 months. Also integral to U.S. “interests” in Yemen is, of course, its location (location, location) on the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, through which the U.S. must pass to ferry its loot.

The Yemen LNG deal is similar, albeit not nearly as lucrative as the LNG deal tentatively struck in Iraq via the 2008 “‘Heads of Agreement” with Shell, (aka “the Shell gas agreement rip-off”), set to be finalized after the Iraqi elections in early 2010. This agreement would give Dick Cheney’s partners in crime at Shell full control of all the Iraqi gas wealth in the south for 25 years. Add to this whatever other progress the Cheney rat pack has made with privatizing Iraqi gas and oil, plus the various PSAs, PSCs, TSAs and other acronyms that now form the jewels in America’s crown in the wake of our heroic battle with al Qaeda in Iraq, and you have what George W. Bush might call, “Mission Accomplished.”

Our pipe dreams in Afghanistan are a bit more complex and yet to be fully hammered out, but the tentative arrangement is to send a surge some 30,000 troops who will be deployed at strategic locations along the pipeline in time for the TAPI construction start sometime in late 2010 or early 2011.

Regardless of the ends, the means are more or less the same, no matter what the country — Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan or Yemen. The blueprint works something like this:

The Bush-Obama Doctrine (or, A 12-Step Program for Seizing Control of  a Country’s Assets)

  1. Determine what you want from the country (e.g. control of oil, gas and other minerals, and/or control of pipelines and shipping lanes).
  2. Build a case for a war on terror.
  3. If there is no terrorist group in the country, just make something up. Your paid AIPAC counterterrorism experts can help you with this by fabricating evidence of  terrorism and terrorist plots. Alternately, you can create a terrorist/insurgent/rebel presence by  staging a pre-emptive, covert war, which will not only destabilize the government, but will cause a spike in violence that can be blamed, rightly or not, on al Qaeda. (NOTE: Sometimes a terrorist attack — either “real” or thwarted — can help to rally a stubborn American public into supporting a war. Here, your pals at the CIA and the aforementioned counterterrorism experts at SITE, IntelCenter and MEMRI will be invaluable, as they can raise false flags faster than you can say, “underpants,” plus manufacture the necessary evidence, such as fake audios, videos and intercepted terrorist communications to substantiate the terrorist attacks and/or threats).
  4. Direct your media to report 24-7 on the official story, giving them ample fodder for speculation and fearongering. Stick to your story no matter what. And don’t worry if your facts don’t add up, or if the only leaks you can provide are from White House sources and military officials who are “only authorized to speak on the condition of anonymity.” As Dick Cheney proved, when it comes to terrorism, people are so easily scared, that they will view any threat of a terrorist plot as credible, no matter how flimsy the set-up.
  5. Ignore people who complain that the facts don’ t match up. If witnesses come forward and dispute the official story(as the Haskells and others did with the underpants bomber story), either forbid them to talk, (in the interest of national security) or ignore them. This way, no one will listen to them but the alternative and “fringe” media, which will brand these witnesses as crackpots or conspiracy theorists.
  6. Pat yourselves on the back as you watch Congress and the American people — as if on cue — begin waving flags, thumping Bibles and demanding war.
  7. Escalate the existing war, meting out both clandestine and overt efforts as Congressional funding and oil/gas-field strategy dictate.
  8. When international humanitarian and civil rights groups express outrage at the massive human suffering (genocide, ethnic cleansing, violence, brutality, murder, rape, starvation, disease, etc.) we’ve inflicted on the innocent citizens of the country, either blame it on the terrorist/insurgents/rebels, or declare the accusations to be nothing but a bunch of liberal propaganda lies. If Amnesty International or any of your other enemies accuses you of war crimes, label them naive terrorist appeasers.
  9. Grease the requisite palms to foster the creation of a specialized NGO humanitariaGn relief agency, and/or utilize some of the existing Christian relief agencies (such as Save the Children,  CARE and others who similarly funded by the defense industry) to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the country. The promise of protection, food, shelter and medical care to a brutalized population of sick, starving, scared, homeless people is an excellent tool for coercing  cooperation and compliance. Too, these relief agencies are very efficient at re-directing their contributions into the “right” pockets.
  10. When the citizens in the attacked country fight back (aka “playing right into your hands”) label them terrorists, insurgents and/or rebels, which will neatly vindicate your justifications for going to war in the first place.
  11. Escalate the war to crush the terrorists/insurgents/rebels.
  12. Repeat steps 10 and 11 until you’ve achieved your goal (see Step 1).

Or fester like a sore…

Once upon a time, Barack Obama conjured dreams of our forefathers, of the men upon whose shoulders he stood. He spoke to the American dream — to that idealized notion of a country and a people who aspire to do good things, to live up to that democratic ideal that all men are created equal, endowed with certain unalienable Rights, among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is the America that voted Obama into office, and this is the America that will suffer the repercussions of his turncoat presidency. But it was, for a time, a lovely dream, wasn’t it?

America simply cannot continue on this path. The need to drastically change our energy policy is no longer a debatable proposition. It is not a question of whether, but how; not a question of if, but when. For the sake of our security, our economy, our jobs and our planet, the age of oil must end in our time. Barack Obama, May 2007

Our cause is just, our resolve unshaken.Barack Obama, speaking in early December, 2009, on his decision to deploy a surge in Afghanistan

America will forgive Obama for omitting words such as liquefied natural gas, profit sharing agreements, TAPI, pipelines, death squads, mercenary armies, torture, war crimes, or extraordinary renditions to CIA black sites in Yemen in his Nobel Peace Prize speech and in his recent statements on Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan. We’ll forgive him, too, for neglecting to mention crimes against humanity in the soaring rhetoric of his lovely speeches. After all, we are embroiled in a war on terror. This is no time to quibble over semantics.

_______________________________

by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

_______________________________

FOR A CLOSER LOOK:

American Everyman Blog – An informative compendium of well-researched information contained in 3 articles from the author’s “Understanding the Panty Bomber Mythology” series:

Library of Congress (Federal Research Division) Country Profile: Yemen, August 2008 (see page 11 for info on Yemen’s proven natural gas reserves plus info on 2/3 split (4.5 million tons per year) slated to be exported to the U.S. and Asia beginning in 2009)

The Public Record: Halliburton, KBR Plead Guilty to Cheney-Era Bribery Charges (February 2009) Article detailing the bribes paid by Cheney-Halliburton-KBR and Shell to the notoriously corrupt Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and some of his subordinates to win a lucrative construction contract for a natural gas liquefaction plant.

Voltaire.net’Nigerian Terrorist Patsy Yet Another CIA Ploy in US-backed Buildup of al Qaeda in Yemen Civil War’ (includes video)

Voltaire.net – Interview with Webster Tarpley : “The War on terror is a myth” Webster Tarpley’s analysis of U.S. imperialism and the events since 9-11, including Obama’s war on Pakistan and on the geopolitical relationships between the U.S., Russia, Iran, Pakistan and China.

Voltaire.netAfricom’s Covert War in Sudan: Under the Guise of Humanitarian Intervention (by Keith Harmon Snow)

Canarypapers: The U.S. War Machines Leaves an Ugly Slick of Oil & Blood Takes a closer lo0k at Africom and the coincidence of alleged al Qaeda activity near the shipping channels, mineral mines and oil/gas fields where, for years now, the clandestine U.S. wars on terror have been reaping lucrative deals for the Cheney rat pack.

Radio Free Europe: U.S. Airport Terminal Closed Over Security Alert U.S. authorities temporarily closed a terminal at the Newark, New Jersey, airport in the eastern United States after a man walked through a screening checkpoint exit into the secure side of the terminal without apparently undergoing a security check. (RHETORICAL QUESTION ON THE ABOVE ARTICLE: Are we to believe that a man simply walked past security at the screening checkpoint? Does any one who’s been to an airport in recent years actually believe this story?)

Salon: Cruise Missile Attacks in Yemen by Glenn Greenwald

LA Times: Yemen Dismisses al Qaeda Threat as “Exaggerated”

St. Pete for Peace: This site has a host of links detailing Obama’s statements, stances and “accomplishments” throughout his political career

Telegraph UK: Abu Ghraib abuse photos ‘show rape’ – Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged.

Washington Post: U.S. announces more security aid to Yemen; Britain to host meeting on nation Typical media article that parrots the official story.

ThinkProgress: Hersh: Cheney ‘Left A Stay Behind’ In Obama’s Government, Can ‘Still Control Policy Up To A Point’ Article on Seymour Hersh interview with Terry Gross (NPR). Quote from interview:

“They call it a stay behind. It’s sort of an intelligence term of art. When you leave a country and, you know, you’ve driven out the, you know, you’ve lost the war. You leave people behind. It’s a stay behind that you can continue to contacts with, to do sabotage, whatever you want to do. Cheney’s left a stay behind. He’s got people in a lot of agencies that still tell him what’s going on. Particularly in defense, obviously. Also in the NSA, there’s still people that talk to him. He still knows what’s going on.”

Asia Times: Big Oil’s ‘secret’ out of Iraq’s closet Article that untangles the web of lucrative oil, gas and pipelines deals that have emerged from the U.S. wars on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan

Dennis Kucinich interview in which he proposes to restore the constitutionally mandated role of Congress in declaring (or not) war.

Lastly, consider these words — any of which would not sound at all odd coming from the mouth of Barack Obama:

Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that. It won’t be a World War III…. It has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil. It has nothing to do with the religion…. People say ‘Where’s the smoking gun?’ Well, we don’t want to see a smoking gun from a weapon of mass destruction. With a weapon of mass destruction you’re not talking about 300 people or 3,000 people being killed, but 30,000 or a hundred thousand.”” — excerpts from Donald Rumsfeld’s CBS interview in November 2002 (4 months before the start of the Iraq war) explaining both the brevity of the impending war, along with the insistence that the impending pre-emptive strikes were about weapons of mass destruction, period. Not oil.

If we were to allow our enemies to prevail in Iraq, the violence that is now declining would accelerate — and Iraq would descend into chaos….  Out of such chaos in Iraq, the terrorist movement could emerge emboldened — with new recruits, new resources, and an even greater determination to dominate the region and harm America. An emboldened al Qaeda with access to Iraq’s oil resources could pursue its ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction to attack America and other free nations. — George W. Bush March 2008

For us to walk away from Iraq I think would have at least that bad an effect, probably worse, because if al Qaeda were to take over big parts of Iraq, among other things, they would acquire control of a significant oil resource. Iraq has almost 100 billion barrel reserves, producing 2.5-3 million barrels of oil a day. If you take a terrorist organization like al Qaeda and give it that kind of revenue, there’s no telling the amount of trouble they could get into.– Dick Cheney April 2008

The United States pursues no claim on Iraq’s territory or resources.Barack Obama, February 2009

Advertisements

The Children of Palestine: A Photo Essay on Israel’s War Crimes in Gaza

with 28 comments

UPDATE JUNE 5, 2010. This page gets linked to by a lot of lunatic sites. Pearls before swine. I considered removing this post, just to avoid fueling the fires of the racist, anti-semitic, xenophobic, tea-bagging, hood-wearing, “take back my country” mob who visit here and somehow feel vindicated in their hatred and violent rhetoric after viewing these photos. Earth to anti-semites: I’m not on board with you. I don’t hate Jews. I don’t hate anyone, and neither should you. Problem is, you do hate. You wish ill-will and death on total strangers based on… what? Their ethnicity? Their skin? The country they were born to? Their religion? Your religion? Don’t even try to make like you’re serving some greater cause. It was a cause like yours that murdered the innocent children you see on this page.

_______________

I could write until I’m even bluer in the face, but the fact is, I’ve been profoundly ill over the past month and don’t have the mental or physical energy I’d like to devote to writing on Israel’s deplorable, reprehensible, illegal slaughtering of the citizens of Gaza. Here, I’m going to work from the axiom that a picture is worth 1,000 words, prefacing the horrors, below, with some comment on one of Israel’s more reprehensible lies: “human shields”

Israel would like the world to believe that the pictures of these children serve as further indictment and evidence of Hamas terrorism. What a clever propaganda ploy: blame the deaths of women and children on the enemy. Tell the world that Hamas is using these people as “human shields” so that, when the photos of mangled babies, children and women arrive over the news wires, it can all be blamed on Hamas, not on Israel’s bombs, which are blasting Gaza’s hospitals, mosques, universities and homes into oblivion.

GRAPHIC CONTENT) The body of one of three Palestinian siblings from the Al-samoni family, killed by an Israeli tank shell, lies in the mortuary of  Al-Shifa hospital, on January 5, 2009 in Gaza City. Seven members from the Al-samoni family were killed including the mother, three children and a baby, when an Israeli shell struck their house south of Gaza city. Israel is intensifying its wide-scale ground assault against the Gaza Strip in an effort to put an end to Hamas rocket attacks against the Jewish State. From Getty Images.

January 5: The body of one of three Palestinian siblings from the Al-samoni family, killed by an Israeli tank shell, lies in the mortuary of Al-Shifa hospital, on January 5, 2009 in Gaza City. Seven members from the Al-samoni family were killed including the mother, three children and a baby, when an Israeli shell struck their house south of Gaza city.

________________________

Of course, it goes without saying that it would be difficult to engage in a wanton, fullscale bombing campaign on one of the most densely populated regions on earth — with 1.5 million people packed into 146 square miles — without killing babies and children, who comprise nearly half of the entire population. It also goes without saying that those who persist in blindly supporting Israel’s hideous war crimes would need some justfication for condoning the killing and maiming of the innocent women, children, babies and, yes, men that compose the “collateral damage” of Israel’s bombs and the “human shields” of their propaganda campaign.

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANSAnd speaking of propaganda, check out the photo, left,  of NY Mayor Bloomberg, visiting an Israeli child in the hospital — the photo-op intended to leave us with the impression that this child is somehow a victim of the war, which is a lie. This is simply an Israeli child in the hospital (perhaps getting his tonsils removed?) , as contrasted with the photos, below, which are real-life photos of children maimed and killed by Israel — just over the past 2 days, alone!

I encourage you to look at these photos with both eyes open, and then write your legislators, write to your editors and, most importantly, write to Obama, via change.gov. He needs to hear our outrage over the ongoing U.S. support of Israel’s reprehensible behavior, both in general and, specifically, their genocide campaign against the people of Palestine.

A wounded Palestinian boy is treated at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, after an Israeli missile strike early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. Israeli forces pounded Gaza Strip houses, mosques and tunnels on Monday from the air, land and sea, consolidating their grip in the territory's northern half without quelching the rocket fire that provoked Israel's bruising, 10-day-old offensive. Gaza health officials reported 524 dead and nearly 2,000 wounded since Israel embarked upon its military campaign against Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers on Dec. 27. From AP Photo by HATEM MOUSSA.

January 5: A wounded Palestinian boy is treated at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, after an Israeli missile strike early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

_______________

A dead Palestinian infant is brought to the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, after an Israeli tank shell hit a house early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. Israeli forces pounded Gaza Strip houses, mosques and tunnels on Monday from the air, land and sea, consolidating their grip in the territory's northern half without quelching the rocket fire that provoked Israel's bruising, 10-day-old offensive. Gaza health officials reported 524 dead and nearly 2,000 wounded since Israel embarked upon its military campaign against Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers on Dec. 27. From AP Photo by ASHRAF AMRA.

January 5: A dead Palestinian infant is brought to the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, after an Israeli tank shell hit a house early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

________________________

Wounded Palestinian children arrive for treatment at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, after an Israeli strike early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. Israeli forces pounded Gaza Strip houses, mosques and tunnels on Monday from the air, land and sea, consolidating their grip in the territory's northern half without quelching the rocket fire that provoked Israel's bruising, 10-day-old offensive. Gaza health officials reported 524 dead and nearly 2,000 wounded since Israel embarked upon its military campaign against Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers on Dec. 27. From AP Photo by ASHRAF AMRA.

January 5: Wounded Palestinian children arrive for treatment at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, after an Israeli strike early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

____________________

A relative reacts in front of the bodies of three children killed by an Israeli tank shell, Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. Israeli forces pounded Gaza Strip houses, mosques and tunnels on Monday from the air, land and sea, consolidating their grip in the territory's northern half without stopping  the rocket fire that provoked Israel's bruising, 10-day-old offensive. Gaza health officials reported 524 dead and nearly 2,000 wounded since Israel embarked upon its military campaign against Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers on Dec. 27. From AP Photo by ASHRAF AMRA.

A relative reacts in front of the bodies of three children killed by an Israeli tank shell, Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, early Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

______________

An ambulance worker carries the body of a boy from the Al-Samoni family as he arrives at the Al-Shifa hospital on January 5, 2009 in Gaza city, Gaza Strip. Seven members from the Al-samoni family were killed including the mother, three children and a baby, when an Israeli shell struck their house south of Gaza city. Israel is intensifying its wide-scale ground assault against the Gaza Strip in an effort to put an end to Hamas rocket attacks against the Jewish State. From Getty Images.

An ambulance worker carries the body of a boy from the Al-Samoni family as he arrives at the Al-Shifa hospital on January 5, 2009 in Gaza city, Gaza Strip.

_________________________

Palestinians carry a boy into Shifa hospital in Gaza City, wounded during the Israeli army operation in Gaza, Sunday Jan. 4, 2009. Israeli ground troops and tanks cut swaths through the Gaza Strip Sunday, bisecting the coastal territory and surrounding its biggest city as the new phase of a devastating offensive against the Hamas group gained momentum. From AP Photo by ASHRAF AMRA.

January 4: Palestinians carry a boy into Shifa hospital in Gaza City, wounded during the Israeli army operation in Gaza, Sunday Jan. 4, 2009.

_______________

Palestinian medics carry the body of a boy, killed by an Israeli shell, at the hospital in Gaza January 4, 2009. Israeli troops and tanks split the Gaza Strip and ringed its main city on Sunday in an offensive against Hamas militants but civilians trapped in the Palestinian enclave suffered more bloodshed. At least 34 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed on Sunday as Israeli shells slammed into houses and Gaza's main shopping district, medical sources said. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

January 4: Palestinian medics carry the body of a boy, killed by an Israeli shell, at the hospital in Gaza January 4, 2009.

__________________

A Palestinian medics wheel a boy, injured during the Israeli operation in Gaza, into Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. Israeli ground troops and tanks cut swaths through the Gaza Strip early Sunday, cutting the coastal territory into two and surrounding its biggest city as the new phase of a devastating offensive against Hamas militants gained momentum. From AP Photo by MAJED HAMDAN.

January 4: A Palestinian medics wheel a boy, injured during the Israeli operation in Gaza, into Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009.

___________________

A wounded Palestinian boy is carried into a hospital in Gaza January 4, 2009. Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants battled in Gaza on Sunday after Israeli troops and tanks invaded the coastal enclave in the most serious fighting in the conflict in decades. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

A wounded Palestinian boy is carried into a hospital in Gaza January 4, 2009.

___________________

AK84165927

January 4: A wounded Palestinian boy is helped as he arrives at a hospital on January 4, 2009 in Gaza City, Gaza.

__________________

A Palestinian medic carries a wounded boy into a hospital in Gaza City on January 4, 2009 as Israeli troops continue its ground assault in Gaza. The half dozen hospitals in Gaza cannot cope with more patients and casualties are overflowing out of regular wards into corridors as Israeli troops push deep into Gaza. At least 40 people have been killed since Israel launched the night-time offensive yesterday after eight days of air strikes in which at least 485 Palestinians died and more than 2,400 were wounded, Gaza medics said. From Getty Images by AFP/Getty Images.

A Palestinian medic carries a wounded boy into a hospital in Gaza City on January 4, 2009.

____________________

A wounded Palestinian boy is carried into the Al-Shifa hospital on January 4, 2009 in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Israeli shells killed at least 12 Palestinian civilians and wounded 40 others when they exploded in Gaza City's main shopping area, medics and witnesses said. Israel has so far carried out over 700 air strikes in Gaza within the last week and over 400 Palestinians are reported to have been killed. From Getty Images.

A wounded Palestinian boy is carried into the Al-Shifa hospital on January 4, 2009 in Gaza City, Gaza Strip.

_____________________

Palestinian doctors attend to a wounded boy in Beit Lahia hospital in the northern Gaza Strip on Januray 3, 2008. Israeli artillery on Saturday bombarded the Gaza Strip in a dramatic escalation of the campaign against Hamas after a week of air attacks which have left more than 450 Palestinians dead. From Getty Images by AFP/Getty Images.

January 4: Palestinian doctors attend to a wounded boy in Beit Lahia hospital in the northern Gaza Strip .

____________________________

A Palestinian medic carries the body of a girl, killed by an Israeli shell, at the hospital in Gaza January 4, 2009. Israeli troops and tanks split the Gaza Strip and ringed its main city on Sunday in an offensive against Hamas militants but civilians trapped in the Palestinian enclave suffered more bloodshed. At least 34 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed on Sunday as Israeli shells slammed into houses and Gaza's main shopping district, medical sources said. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

January 4: A Palestinian medic carries the body of a girl, killed by an Israeli shell, at the hospital in Gaza January 4, 2009.

_____________________

A Palestinian girl cries during the funeral of a relative that was killed in an Israeli air strike  in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009. Israeli ground troops and tanks cut swaths through the Gaza Strip early Sunday, cutting the coastal territory into two and surrounding its biggest city as the new phase of a devastating offensive against Hamas gained momentum. From AP Photo by FADI ADWAN.

January 4: A Palestinian girl cries during the funeral of a relative that was killed in an Israeli air strike in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009.

____________________

A wounded Palestinian girl is tended to as she arrives at the Al-Shifa hospital on January 5, 2009 in Gaza city, Gaza Strip. Seven members from the Al-samoni family were killed including the mother, three children and a baby, when an Israeli shell struck their house south of Gaza city. Israel is intensifying its wide-scale ground assault against the Gaza Strip in an effort to put an end to Hamas rocket attacks against the Jewish State. From Getty Images.

January 5: A wounded Palestinian girl is tended to as she arrives at the Al-Shifa hospital on January 5, 2009 in Gaza city,.

____________________

Palestinians try to get an ambulance to transport a badly wounded girl (top) and a man following Israeli artillery shelling in Gaza City on January 4, 2009. Israeli troops pushed deep into Gaza today with thousands of soldiers and scores of tanks battling Hamas fighters and moving toward the capital on a mission to end militant rocket attacks. At least 19 Palestinians were killed in the new fighting as trucks and cars packed with families fled Gaza City and other towns ahead of the biggest Israeli military operation since its 2006 war in Lebanon. From Getty Images by AFP/Getty Images.

Palestinians try to get an ambulance to transport a badly wounded girl (top) and a man following Israeli artillery shelling in Gaza City on January 4, 2009.

____________________

A Palestinian girl cries during the funeral of her brother who was killed after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip January 4, 2009. Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants battled on Gaza City's outskirts on Sunday after Israeli troops and tanks invaded the coastal enclave in the worst fighting in the conflict in decades. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

A Palestinian girl cries during the funeral of her brother who was killed after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip January 4, 2009.

_____________________

GRAPHIC CONTENT)  A wounded Palestinian girl is carried into a hospital on January 4, 2009 in Gaza . Israeli shells killed at least 12 Palestinian civilians and wounded 40 others when they exploded in Gaza City's main shopping area. From Getty Images.

January 4: A wounded Palestinian girl is carried into a hospital on January 4, 2009 in Gaza .

____________________

GRAPHIC CONTENT)  A body of Palestinian girl is carried into a hospital on January 4, 2009 in Gaza . Israeli shells killed at least 12 Palestinian civilians and wounded 40 others when they exploded in Gaza City's main shopping area. From Getty Images.

January 4: A body of Palestinian girl is carried into a hospital on January 4, 2009 in Gaza .

_____________________

A Palestinian woman sits on the floor beside her baby wounded by an Israeli tank shell, at Shifa hospital in Gaza January 5, 2009. An Israeli tank shell killed three Palestinian children in their home in eastern Gaza City on Monday, medical officials said. They said several other Palestinians were wounded in the incident in Gaza's Zeitoun neighbourhood. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the report. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

A Palestinian woman sits on the floor of the Shifa hospital in Gaza beside her baby, who was wounded by an Israeli tank shell on January 5, 2009.

__________________

A Palestinian baby wounded by an Israeli tank shell is treated by doctors at Shifa hospital in Gaza January 5, 2009. An Israeli tank shell killed three Palestinian children in their home in eastern Gaza City on Monday, medical officials said. They said several other Palestinians were wounded in the incident in Gaza's Zeitoun neighbourhood. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the report. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

A Palestinian baby wounded by an Israeli tank shell is treated by doctors at Shifa hospital in Gaza January 5, 2009.

_____________________

GRAPHIC CONTENT) The bodies of three Palestinian siblings from the Al-samoni family, killed by an Israeli tank shell early on January 5, 2009 lie in the mortuary of  Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza City. Seven members from the Al-samoni family were killed including the mother, three children and a baby, when an Israeli shell struck their house south of Gaza city. Israel is intensifying its wide-scale ground assault against the Gaza Strip in an effort to put an end to Hamas rocket attacks against the Jewish State. From Getty Images.

January 5: The bodies of three Palestinian siblings from the Al-samoni family, killed by an Israeli tank shell early on January 5, 2009, lie in the mortuary of Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza City.

______________________

GRAPHIC CONTENT) A relative sits next to body of one-year-old baby Farah Al-Helo as she lies on the body of her uncle Mohammad Al-helo, killed by an Israeli tank shell early on January 5, 2009, at the mortuary of Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza City. Israel is intensifying its wide-scale ground assault against the Gaza Strip in an effort to put an end to Hamas rocket attacks against the Jewish State. From Getty Images.

A relative sits next to body of one-year-old baby Farah Al-Helo as she lies on the body of her uncle, killed by an Israeli tank shell early on January 5, 2009.

______________________

A Palestinian father carries his wounded baby daughter into a hospital in Gaza City on January 4, 2009 as Israeli troops continue its ground assault in Gaza. The half dozen hospitals in Gaza cannot cope with more patients and casualties are overflowing out of regular wards into corridors as Israeli troops push deep into Gaza. At least 40 people have been killed since Israel launched the night-time offensive yesterday after eight days of air strikes in which at least 485 Palestinians died and more than 2,400 were wounded, Gaza medics said. From Getty Images by AFP/Getty Images.

A Palestinian father carries his wounded baby daughter into a hospital in Gaza City on January 4, 2009, as Israeli troops continue its ground assault in Gaza.  The half dozen hospitals in Gaza cannot cope with more patients, and casualties are overflowing out of regular wards into corridors as Israeli troops push deep into Gaza.

_________________

A wounded Palestinian baby is carried into a hospital in Gaza January 4, 2009. Israeli shells killed at least 12 Palestinian civilians and wounded 40 others when they exploded in Gaza City's main shopping area, medics and witnesses said. Israel has so far carried out over 700 air strikes in Gaza within the last week and over 400 Palestinians are reported to have been killed. From Getty Images.

A wounded Palestinian baby is carried into the Al-Shifa hospital on January 4, 2009 in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Israeli shells killed at least 12 Palestinian civilians and wounded 40 others when they exploded in Gaza City's main shopping area, medics and witnesses said. Israel has so far carried out over 700 air strikes in Gaza within the last week and over 400 Palestinians are reported to have been killed. From Getty Images.

January 4: (two photos, above) Medical workers carry wounded Palestinian babies into the Al-Shifa hospital on January 4, 2009 in Gaza City, Gaza Strip.

A wounded Palestinian woman lies with her baby at the Al-Shifa hospital on December 28, 2008 in Gaza City, Gaza. On the second day of cross-border conflict, Israel's air force continued to launch attacks along the Gaza Strip, destroying many buildings belonging to Hamas, including holy mosques, civilian homes and vehicles, work shops, police compounds and a prison, increasing the number of Palestians killed to over 270. From Getty Images.

A wounded Palestinian woman lies with her baby at the Al-Shifa hospital.

Palestinian boys wounded by an Israeli tank shell wait for treatment at Shifa hospital in Gaza January 5, 2009. At least three children were among a dozen Palestinian civilians killed on Monday as Israeli troops pressed home a ground assault on Hamas militants in the face of French-led diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire. The deaths included three children from the Samouni family and their mother when a tank shell hit their home in Gaza city, Palestinian medics said. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

Palestinian boys wounded by an Israeli tank shell wait for treatment at Shifa hospital in Gaza January 5, 2009.

__________________

From right to left, European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero Waldner, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and EU Foreign policy chief Javier Solana pose for a photograph at Livni's office in Jerusalem, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. Israeli forces pounded Gaza Strip houses, mosques and smuggling tunnels on Monday from the air, land and sea, killing at least seven children as they pressed a bruising offensive against Palestinian militants. From AP Photo by DAN BALILTY.

January 5, 2009: Congratulatory spirits prevail among European and Israeli power elites, posing for a photograph at the Jerusalem office of Tzipi Livni, one of three candidates for Israeli Prime Minister in the upcoing Feb. 10 elections.  (PHOTO: From right to left, European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero Waldner, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and EU Foreign policy chief Javier Solana).

After all, it took Israel only 18+ months of starving the people of Gaza, and depriving them of medical supplies, water and fuel — along with the two Israeli bombing campaigns (in August and on Nov. 4, 2008, in which Israel broke the terms of the ceasefire) — to finally  provoke Hamas into returning fire (with its pathetically weak arsenal of rockets, sticks and stones) on November 5th, thereby giving the Israel the necessary justification to kick this well-planned war and propaganda campaign into high gear. If all goes according to plan, the politicans up for election in early February will reap the benefits of showing the Israeli people how very committed their parties are to slaughtering Palestinians. The contest boils down to this: which politician promises to slaughter the most Paliestinians? From the expression on her face, candidate Tzipi Livni (above) is feeling a surge of confidence in the wake of the deaths over the past 2 days.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak (R) meets in his Tel Avivi offices with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg January 4, 2009 in Tel Aviv, Israel. They meet on the day that Israel begins what it calls it's 'second stage,' the ground troops, of their massive military campaign against Hamas assests in the Gaza Strip. One Israeli soldier has been reported killed and dozens wounded after Israel launched a wide-scale ground assault against the Gaza Strip in an effort to put an end to Hamas rocket attacks against the Jewish State. From Getty Images.

January 4, 2009: Still more jubilation from Livni’s opponent, Israeli Defense Minister candidate Ehud Barak (r), as he hams it up for the cameras in this January 4 photo-op with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (l) in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Israel's Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu talks to Israeli children holding a goat during a visit to a shelter in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008. Israel rejected mounting international pressure to suspend its devastating offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza Strip. From AP Photo by SEBASTIAN SCHEINER.

Israel’s third candidate in the upcoming election, Benjamin Netanyahu, takes a different tack altogether in this tender photo-op from last week, as he talks to Israeli children while holding a goat, presumably hoping to impress upon Israeli voters, and the world at large, that he is *not* part of  a cruel terrorist state that slaughters innocents,  but that he really likes children, and (much like his crony, George W. Bush) is rather fond of goats, too.

_____________________________

by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

_____________________________

For more reading:

The Guardian: Gaza: the logic of colonial power (by Nir Rosen) As so often, the term ‘terrorism’ has proved a rhetorical smokescreen under cover of which the strong crush the weak ….

The Nation: This magazine continues its usual offering of quality journalism in its coverage of this war.  Scan through the headlines to find articles on Israel, Palestine and Gaza.

Chris Floyd: This site offers an excellent collection of reputable news articles on the Israeli attack (along with news articles on the other wars). Today’s installments include an article on Israel’s use of phosphorus shells over civilian populations — a *special* type of bomb that inflicts hideous burns to the flesh. Using these chemical weapons over civilian populations is illegal according to the Geneva Conventions, but Israel has so managed to sidestep this law through clever semantics. (NOTE: Chris Floyd’s website, dubbed “Empire Burlesque: High Crimes and Low Comedy in the American Imperium,” is an important addition to any newsgatherers “favorites” list. You may need to scan down the page to find the beginning of the articles.)

More reading from the blogs:

Lenin’s Tomb: A credible and informative blog, sourced with sound links, with analysis and history of the Israeli-Palestine conflicts.

Dennis Perrin’s view on Israel, Palestine and Hamas:
http://dennisperrin.blogspot.com/2008/12/killing-floor-expands.html

Jon Schwarz talks about why the UN caves on Israel:
http://www.tinyrevolution.com/mt/archives/002750.html#more

Bernard Chazelle on the attack as dangerous political strategem:
http://www.tinyrevolution.com/mt/archives/002751.html

The Post-Mortem Lesson from Sarah Palin’s Candidacy: Never Again

with one comment

“Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast” — a McCain aide’s description of the Palin spending sprees

 

sarah-toddAccording to an upcoming Newsweek piece, titled, “Hackers and Spending Sprees” it appears that our fears about Sarah Palin were well-founded, so no one needs to shed any tears over the Republican Party’s arguments, sure to arise in the coming days, painting Palin as the poor little stifled VP candidate, victimized by the McCain campaign’s refusal to just “let Sarah be Sarah.” That she was lacking in the good judgment, ethics and decorum (the most basic qualities you’d expect from any applicant applying for a job as the most powerful leader in the world) becomes only more apparent, the more we learn. We can only imagine the horror of the McCain campaign staffers who, realizing they had a tiger by the tail, were doing well just to keep wraps on the unstoppable force that was “Sarah being Sarah,” as seen in the glimpses offered in this article, which was slated, by pre-arrangement, to be published only AFTER the election.   

At the GOP convention in St. Paul, Palin was completely unfazed by the boys’ club fraternity she had just joined. One night, Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter went to her hotel room to brief her. After a minute, Palin sailed into the room wearing nothing but a towel, with another on her wet hair. She told them to chat with her laconic husband, Todd. “I’ll be just a minute,” she said.

There was also the matter of that spending spree. Of course, those of us who weren’t blinded by stubborn loyalty to the McCain campaign already knew that the debate over Palin’s wardrobe had nothing to do with whether or not she needed the clothes, or whether women are held to different standards than men, or whether it was “sexist” to discuss her wardrobe. No, the debate was over the fact that it was illegal to use campaign funds for clothing purchases, no matter how worthy the cause may have seemed to her supporters. Having said that, it turns out that her wardrobe purchases were not only more extravagant than we knew, but were a source of anger and disgust by McCain campaign insiders, who were “fuming” over the whole ordeal, even as they kept McCain in the dark about her true extent of her purchases. According to Newsweek:

While publicly supporting Palin, McCain’s top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family-clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent “tens of thousands” more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as “Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast,” and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

It bears mentioning that the Newsweek article includes “secrets” about both campaigns, gathered by reporters under the implicit agreement to not publish it until after election day. You’ll find no real shockers in Obama’s closet. This is likely due to the fact that the integrity of the Obama campaign mirrored the integrity of the candidate. Which makes it all the more sad and angering the following news item, reported in this same article:

palin-speechThe Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied. Michelle Obama was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. “Why would they try to make people hate us?” Michelle asked a top campaign aide.

We’ll likely hear more of the truths on Palin in the coming days. Much as we’d like to relegate Sarah Palin to the past, we would be wise to commit these lessons to memory — particularly those poisonous ones, delivered from the stump — as Sarah Palin and her handlers will no doubt be spending the coming days contemplating her political future, which could very well include aspirations for reprising her role on the national stage, come 2012. 

 

Sleeping Overtime: The Media’s Sultry Love Affair with McCain, Rove, Palin & Co.

leave a comment »

On a related note: Canarypapers hits the big time! We are linked, in passing, on the National Journal’s The Hotline/Blogometer page, via the word “here.” Our “here” was the first in a series of 3 illuminated “here” links contained within an excerpt from the conservative blog, Townhall, as they cited examples of the “lefty blogosphere.” We now understand how Navin must have felt, seeing his name in the phone book — in print for the first time! We have arrived. Our bleeding hearts runneth over. 

 

Our bleeding hearts are also beginning to wonder: Now that the media are back in bed with McCain — having elected to prostitute their integrity and show Sarah Palin the proper “deference” by quietly broadcasting her lies without question — how can McCain, Palin, Rove & Co. go about silencing the “lefty blogosphere”? Because, damn it all, we’re still telling the truth. Calling us the “lefty blogosphere” isn’t nearly strong enough to goad us into silence, and we don’t have corporate sponsors to blackmail us into playing step-and-fetch for the Republicans. Clearly, something needs to be done.

I have a suggestion, one that worked well for Bush, Cheney, Rove & Co. Discredit us. Cast us into the minions of the conspiracy theorists. It’s a clever tactic, one that managed to silence a myriad of uncomfortable truths — which the media have abrogated their duty to report over the past 8 years — with many of these uncomfortable truths spawned from the so-called war on terror: torture, illegal detainment, the Military Commissions Act, the Iraq War, 9-11, martial law, unitary executive branch, impeachment hearings, and so on and on and on. (It’d take me the rest of the day, just to list them all). This will work, trust me: Make “lefty blogosphere” synonymous with “conspiracy theorists” and you will  have silenced one of the largest voices of truth in this country. After all, who wants to be accused of wearing a tin foil hat? Could I see a show of hands?

The press loves McCain. We’re his base.Chris Matthews

Let me be the first to commend the McCain team for seducing the media back into bed, proving that sleaze always trumps integrity. I listened with interest to the media’s post-RNC Convention umbrage, as they found themselves branded with the dreaded ‘elitist liberal media’ label, and being accused of ‘biased, sexist and generally unfair coverage’ of Sarah Palin. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, McCain’s superindendent of smear, Steve Schmidt, went and accused journalists of being ‘on a mission to destroy” Sarah with “a new level of viciousness” — the double whammy arriving when campaign manager Rick Davis announced that, until the media showed a willingness to treat Palin “with some level of respect and deference,” she would not be meeting with reporters. 

This had to smart, especially considering that — just four years ago to the day — the darling’s media (Brokaw, Jennings, Schieffer, Dowd, & Russert) were raising glasses with John & Cindy in a double-celebration over McCain’s birthday and George W. Bush’s second coming at the RNC convention. This had to smart, being in the doghouse after such a long romance with McCain, a relationship plainly explained just last week by Bloomberg News’ Albert R. Hunt: “Probably no one in American politics over the last 20 years has had a closer relationship with the national press than John McCain.” This had to smart, knowing that — even as the McCain camp’s accusations against them were lies — the media were faced with a tough choice: keep doing what they’ve been doing for the past 8 years, or grow a spine.  

There was some evidence, at first, that this vertebral vestige of spine was going to reappear, in Cheshire Cat fashion, filling out the empty spaces around the mad grin. The talking heads began talking in earnest, in unison — their outrage palpable. The media almost apologized and almost acknowledged their culpability for complying overlong with Bush-Cheney’s post-9-11 gag order, and for marching lockstep in complicity with Bush-Cheney’s saber-rattling and lies during the lead-up to the Iraq war, and for every other journalistic integrity they’ve abrogated since. “Not again!” the media railed. “Not this time around!” they promised us. We almost believed them, when they promised to treat Sarah Palin the same way they’d treat any political candidate. (Truthfully — and I can now say this out loud — I didn’t believe them. Not one bit. But, still, I chided myself for being so cynical, for thinking, in so many words, “Spare me the phony outrage. Spare me the phony talk about change.”)

Turns out, my cynicism wasn’t wasted. I could cite myriad examples, but I’ll settle on just one. Mid-last week, the McCain, Palin & Rove team concocted a particularly reprehensible lie, rolling it out in a campaign ad, that claimed Obama’s “one accomplishment” was a bill to teach sex ed to kindergartners. The stinger headline read: “Learning about sex before learning to read?”

A responsible media would have reported: “New McCain ad is a blatant lie.” Instead, the media flashed such cloying headlines as “Sex ed for tots?” while giving barely a cursory nod to the truth — the truth being that sex-ed legislation for grades K-12 already existed in Illinois law. The truth being that the bill Obama supported (but didn’t author) gave, first and foremost, parents the right to refuse any and all sex education for their own children. The truth being that the focus of the bill was toward “age-appropriate” sex education, focused on STD and pregnancy prevention for older students, and information to teach all ages, including kindergartners, how to recognize inappropriate behaviors — the goal being to protect children from sexual predators. Few could argue that pedophilia is a sick and increasing presence in our society, and that too many children are falling prey to it.  

One would think that — knowing all too well how many children are falling into the clever traps laid by pedophiles, with some children being lured to their deaths — a responsible media might have taken up the gauntlet and actually discussed the issue of sexual predators of children, and of the measures being taken to protect these children. At the very least, the media could have made lemonade from lemons, using McCain’s lies to open a sorely-needed dialogue about the increase of pedophilia into mainstream sexual appetites of more and more Americans: “What is it about our culture that has caused a sick increase in child predators?” One would think.

Or perhaps not. The media — after subjecting the American public to an 8-year, 24/7 three-ring paparazzi popfest, predominately peopled with the likes of Anna Nicole Smith, Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton — seems to have lost sight of the forest, for the trees. Their transition from pop-star sleazefest into the 2008 election coverage was seamless, marked by a dearth of substantive coverage of the issues, and a proponderance of pablum. This brand of coverage has so blurred the distinctions between statured leaders and pop icons, that Americans seem at a loss to tell the difference between the two — and, worse, to even care that there should be a difference.

It vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.  — Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I could explain the difference to them in 10 words or less (leaders lead; pop icons entertain), but — coming from the blogosphere — my words carry little weight, if any. The banner of credibility is carried by the corporate media, which handsomely pays people called ‘journalists,’ whose job is, by definition, to gather and analyze information and report it to the public. They carry this banner, despite that they have become little more than a mouthpiece for the Republican agenda (if you doubt me, simply turn on the news, any time, any day, except during MSNBC’s evening line-up, and you will see nothing but paparazzi-Palin at her best, peppered here and there with a dash McCain). Why is this? Because the media is a business, not a public service. Their raison d’etre is profit.

Here, the lefty blogosphere has filled a huge gap — in Cheshire cat fashion — as more and more, bloggers are doing the actual work of journalists, gathering and analyzing information, citing sources, and reporting it to the public. All for free. All in the interest of 12-stepping the credulous public away from their dysfunctional relationship with a national media that long ago abrogated its duty to be the voice of integrity and truth. In the old days, this brand of national media broadcasting might have been called by its proper name: libel. In these new, enlightened times, it goes by the name of truth. People believe the media, even as they’ve witnessed the media betray this trust over and over and over during the past 8 years.

Watch and see: In the coming weeks, we’re going to see an awful lot of deference shown to Sarah Palin and team McCain. We’re already seeing it, as the media have begun flapping their hands like trained seals, like anxious parents at a school play, over Sarah’s ability to memorize talking points. They won’t dare question her ability to actually comprehend those talking points. Nor will they question or verify the sources of the lies and disinformation given to them by McCain, Palin, Rove & Co.  The media will simply keep repeating them, without question. In bedding down with McCain, Palin, Rove & Co, the the media may very well be complicitious in installing into the White House the most profoundly unqualified and quite potentially dangerous candidate that’s ever run for high office. The good news is, no one that matters cares.

Written by canarypapers

September 16, 2008 at 10:22 am

The Categorical Lies of Sarah Palin, Categorically Arranged

with 3 comments

A lie keeps growing and growing until it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

 

Retracing the story of Sarah Palin’s career is like traveling through a carnival funhouse of smoke and mirrors. No sooner do you think you’ve finally rounded the corner on Palin’s gallery of clever distortions, dirty tricks and lies, than you’re confronted with another, then another and another, until you realize you’ve traveled an entire catacomb of lies, smoke and mirrors.

 

Here, we are working to assemble the entire funhouse of lies — a motley mix, ranging from little white lies, to boldface whoppers, to the more subtle forms of needle-nosed lies that are currently being molded by team McCain into a propaganda campaign that, so far, shows promise of duping American voters into believing that the McCain-Palin ticket has something to offer besides an empty platform and a plateful of lies.

Because Palin’s lies permeate nearly everything she says and does — and also tend to reflect back and forth through her history — it was tricky to categorize them. (How to organize such a diversity of lies? By topic? By their size? By type? By era?) We finally settled on 3 categories: Sarah’s lies as mayor, governor and vice-presidential candidate. You’ll still find much overlap, with lies about Palin’s gubenatorial record being floated through her VP candidacy, and with team McCain’s lies being puppeted by Palin, and so on. Our facts were drawn from myriad credible sources, all of which are yours for the plucking at the bottom of this post. The quotes are courtesy of Pinocchio, unless otherwise noted.

 

Give a bad boy enough rope, and he’ll soon make a jackass of himself.

 

Mayor Sarah Palin (1996-2002)

 

LIE: Sarah Palin’s mayoral candidacy was built on a platform of bucking a corrupt, good-old boy system of politics.

TRUTH: The centerpiece of Sarah Palin’s mayoral campaign was an evangelical, anti-abortion, pro-NRA platform, which left many townsfolk to puzzle over her perplexing lack of interest in the town’s actual needs, such as roads. Sarah’s candidacy transformed Wasilla’s former electoral spirit from one of a bi-partisan, “friendly intra-mural contest” between neighbors, into a highly polarized, angry, partisan debate centered on evangelic-based, hot-button issues. This tactic not only put her into office, but spurred a rise in evangelism that continues to this day. Sarah was re-elected by a landslide 3 years later. 

LIE: As mayor, Sarah cleaned up the good-old boy system of Wasilla politics and ran a transparent government.

TRUTH: Once in office, Sarah fired nearly all the city department heads (six in all) — most of whom had been loyal to her and helped put her in office. She then used her political power to advance personal agenda and grievances, replacing the fired department heads with her own political hacks, cronies and others who stood to advance her political agenda. As the local newspapers became critical of both her campaign methods and her fractious governing methods, Sarah put a gag order on the city’s department heads, instructing them to get her permission before speaking to reporters.

LIE: Sarah fired Wasilla’s Chief of Police because he didn’t give her his “full support.”

TRUTH: Sarah fired police chief, Irl Stambaugh, because (1) he stepped on the toes of Palin’s campaign contributors by trying to move up the closing hours of the local bars from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. after a spurt of drunk driving accidents and arrests, and (2) because his stand on restricting concealed weapons upset Palin’s National Rifle Association contributors/cronies.

LIE: Sarah didn’t fire police chief. In her own words at the time, “There’s been no meeting, no actual termination.” 

TRUTH: Sarah had already delivered the letter of termination to Police Chief Stambaugh by the time she made this statement. The statement read, in part, “Although I appreciate your service as police chief, I’ve decided it’s time for a change. I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore, I intend to terminate your employment.” As Stambaugh so aptly observed, “If that’s not a letter of termination, I don’t know what is.” Stambaugh had headed the Wasilla Police Dept. since its creation in 1993. Before that, he served 22 years with the Anchorage Police Dept., rising to the rank of captain before his retirement. Sarah replaced Stambaugh with one of her cronies, who said of the early bar closing, “I have a philosophy that every time there’s a new law or new ordinance, we lose a little more of our freedom.”

LIE: In Palin’s words: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending… and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.”

TRUTH: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks totaling $27 million for a town of 5,000-9,000 people over a 3-year period.

LIE: A keen executive, Sarah was a smart businesswoman and a responsible steward of the Wasilla budget.

TRUTH: When Sarah arrived, the budget was balanced. When she left office in 2002, she also left Wasilla with a $22 million deficit. Most of this is due to the ice rink/recreation center, complete with heated seats for the spectators. Sarah failed to get clear lands right before building it the center, which has left the city mired in expensive legal proceedings that continue to this day. Had Sarah stuck around long enough, she could have at least claimed experience in dealing with a huge deficit, which the next president will need in dealing with the federal government’s newly announced $417 billion deficit.

LIE: Sarah did not ask the Wasilla librarian to ban books. She was simply asking a rhetorical question, wanting to know if the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons (now Barker) would remove a book from the shelves, if people were to, say, circle the library in protest of a certain book.

TRUTH: Sarah twice posed such rhetorical questions to the librarian and reportedly cited three specific books, which purportedly include the titles, “Pastor I am Gay” and “Go Ask Alice.”  After the librarian refused, Sarah gave her a letter of termination, but was forced to re-instate her after a large public protest.

LIE: Sarah Palin is family-friendly.

TRUTH: The above is likely true, so long as you’re not her mother-in-law, and so long as you don’t cross Sarah’s political path. Sarah Palin’s mother-in-law, Faye Palin — a pro-abortion democrat, with a respectable history of civic and community work in Wasilla — ran for mayor after Sarah vacated the position in 2002. Faye’s campaign was not endorsed by Sarah, but was, in fact, targeted by Sarah’s political allies, as the race disintegrated into a pro vs. anti-abortion battle, with the word BABYKILLER smattered across Faye’s campaign signs several days before election day. Faye Palin was defeated by one of Sarah’s political cohorts. (It’s not that Sarah opposed her mother-in-law, it’s how she opposed her).

 

Perhaps you haven’t been telling the truth, Pinocchio.

 

Governor Sarah Palin (2006-present)

 LIE: In Palin’s words, “I told Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.”

TRUTH: For one thing, Sarah Palin’s say-so was irrelevant to Congress by the time she entered office, so that — even if she did say ‘thanks but no thanks,’ no one was listening. The funding for the bridge (which she kept) was a done deal. The point being that I would question whether or not she even said ‘thanks but no thanks’ to  anyone other than a mirror. For another thing, Sarah embraced the Bridge to Nowhere — even using it in her political platform while campaigning for governor — but only so long as it was politically advantageous to do so. She joined in a cause, of sorts, rallying to the defense of those poor people from “nowhere” being ridiculed by the liberal media. Once the project became a national ridicule, she jumped onboard with that idea and withdrew her support for the $398 million porkbarrel albatross, a project which McCain was to later blame for the Minnesota bridge collapse that killed 13 and injured nearly 100 people.  In a Sept. 2007 press release, Sarah actually seemed to blame the bridge’s demise on a lack of funding from Congress. Sarah continues, to this day, to brag on her ‘thanks but no thanks’ mavericketynesshood.  

LIE: Sarah Palin sold the governor’s jet on eBay for a profit.

TRUTH: Sarah Palin tried, but failed, three times to sell the jet on eBay. She finally sold it to a Republican campaign donor, a Valdex oil executive named Larry Reynolds, at a $600,000 loss to the state of Alaska.

LIE: Sarah Palin is suing the Federal government to reverse their decision to protect threatened polar bears under the Endangered Species Act because, according to Sarah, their decision wasn’t based on the best scientifc evidence.  

TRUTH: Sarah Palin is suing the Federal government — despite that she’s been given the best scientific evidence by many credible authorities and scientists, whose conclusions were based on studies of declining sea ice habitats (studies which her office chose to withhold from public debate)  — because Sarah  fears this protection will cripple offshore oil and gas drilling in Alaska.

LIE: Sarah didn’t try to pressure Alaska State Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, into firing her ex-brother-in-law, Trooper Mike Wooten. Nor did she fire Monegan for his refusal to fire Wooten.

TRUTH: Sarah, along with her husband and various people from her office, repeatedly called and emailed Monegan for this very purpose. Sarah, et al, vehemently denied this until, in August 2008, an audiotape surfaced, proving they were lying. By then, however, she was already part of a state investigation (with a tab of up to $100,000 for the taxpayers) for abuse of her executive power in the firing of Walt Monegan — an impeachable offense. 

LIE: Sarah didn’t fire Walt Monegan for his failure to fire her ex-brother-in-law, but fired him for not properly addressing bootlegging and alcohol abuse issues.

TRUTH: Several weeks before she fired Monegan, Sarah praised him for his efforts against bootlegging and alcohol abuse issues and, in fact, named him Director of the Alcohol Beverage Board, all of this appearing a bit schizophrenic, when you consider her earlier firing of Police Chief Stambaugh (see mayoral lies, above) in the wake of his efforts to address alcohol abuse issues.

LIE: As commander of the Alaska National Guard, Sarah has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities.

TRUTH: Sarah’s role with the Alaska National Guard is as little more than a figurehead. Upon out-of-state deployment, the National Guard reports solely to the Dept. of Defense, with the governor’s authority ending absolutely when those units are called into actual military service, the exception being for certain in-state deployments, such as floods. In these cases, the Maj. Gen. Campbell of the Alaska National Guard has authority to make decisions. Sarah Palin has never given orders to the Alaska National Guard.  (An aside, of interest here, is that the City of Wasilla’s website has undergone changes in recent weeks, with the addition of National Guard pics at the tops of varoius pages, including the home page. One can only assume this is to bolster Sarah’s military credentials, as there is no National Guard base in Wasilla. Correct me if I’m wrong).

LIE: In Palin’s words: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending… and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.”

TRUTH: In less than two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation.

LIE: As governor, Sarah Palin cleaned out the corrupt good-old-boy system in Alaska politics and replaced it with a clean, transparent, fiscally responsible government.

TRUTH: Sarah bilked, er… billed the Alaska taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office (uh, she’s only been in office for about 19 months), charging a per diem allowance intended to cover the cost of meals and incidental expenses during the governor’s travels. She also billed the state for travel expenses for her children and husband during her travels, PLUS billing the state for expenses and a daily allowance for husband, Todd, during her travels — all to the tune of $43,490. Flight expenses were the most costly, with daughter Piper’s alone totaling nearly $11,000. Lodging was also costly, with one Bristol & Mom jaunt to NYC costing taxpayers $707 per night. A question that remains to be officially asked or answered is whether or not Palin paid taxes on the income from her at-home per diem charges for those 312 nights, as this would be considered taxable income, since being paid to sleep in your own bedroom is not considered a tax-deductible expense by the IRS. This could easily be grounds for a criminal tax fraud investigation, if Palin did not pay taxes on this taxable income. Palin brags that her own personal travel expenses ($93,000) are an improvement over her predecessor, Murkowsky ($463,000), who could offer no comment on these figures to the press, as he was moosehunting.

 

What does an actor want with a conscience, anyway?

 

Vice-Presidentail Candidate Sarah Palin (8/28/08 – present)

 

LIE: Sarah Palin got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States.

TRUTH: Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayoral election and 909 in the 1999 re-election race. Despite that Joe Biden dropped out of the presidential race after the Iowa caucuses, he received a total of 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia during the 2008 primaries.

LIE: Alaska is a wealthy state because of its oil revenues and Sarah’s wonderful executive and budgetary skills, making so much money that the state can afford to cut its own citizens checks from these revenues.

TRUTH: This is a yes, but only because Alaska sucks an exorbitant amount of money from the federal government. Among the 50 states, Alaska rates #1 in taxes per resident, and #1 in spending per resident. Its tax burden is 2.5 times the national average, its spending more than double. The trick is that Alaska spends money on its citizens, then bills the rest of us to pay for it. Alaska ranks number #1 in the country for the absolute amount it receives from Washington, over and above the amount it sends to Washington. Alaska receives more federal aid per capita than any other state.

LIE: The McCain-Paln team will change liberal Washington into a conservative Washington.

TRUTH: Uh, conservative Republicans, Bush-Cheney, have been in office for nearly 8 years, and the Republicans controlled Congress for 6 of those years, until the Democrats took control in 2007.

LIE: Palin’s words on Obama: “This is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the State Senate.

TRUTH: Obama worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. In Illinois, he was the leader on two major, contentious measures: studying racial profiling by police, and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

LIE: Palin’s words on Obama: “The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

TRUTH: You’d not have to listen to many Obama speeches to know this is patently false. Payroll taxes will decrease for 95%  of Americans (an inverse arrangement to the Bush-McCain plan) netting an after-tax increase of income by 5% (averaging approx. $2,000 annally) by 2012 for Americans earning under $250,000 annually. This is according to the Tax Policy Center, a think-tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.  Income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes will be raised for the wealthiest, including individuals and business making over $250,000 annually. Obama will provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum wage workers, with higher credits for larger families. Again, Obama’s plan benefits 95% of Americans, unlike the Bush-McCain plan, which gives disproportianate favor to the wealthiest Americans, which comprise approx. 5% of the population. 

LIE: (and a particularly vile lie, at that, which Margaret Talex of the McClatchy Report called ‘a deliberately misleading accusation’ and ‘a deliberate low blow’ —>). A recent McCain-Palin ad claims that Obama supported legislation to provide sex education to kindergartners.

TRUTH: The legislation for sex education for grades K-12 already existed in Illinois regarding STD and pregnancy prevention. Obama voted to allow local school boards to teach ‘age-appropriate’ sex education, geared toward educating children ages K-12 on how to recognize inappropriate behaviors, as a measure to protect them from sexual predators. One need not dig too deeply into the headlines to see that pedophilia is a sad reality in our society. It is ridiculous and patently sick to insinuate that Obama approved laws to teach young children about the birds and the bees. As one blogger noted, the McCain ad’s claim that Obama approves sex-ed for tots will nonetheless be effective, as the media continue to repeat the McCain-Palin smear, without bothering to dispute it with the outrage it should be disputed. It’s a lose-lose proposition for politicians like Obama, as it takes a lot more words to defend against such outrageous lies than it takes to wage them. The defense is never as powerful as the accusation, and can never quite be disproved in the court of the media. That’s the beauty of a smear campaign. Of course, McCain, Palin, Rove and Co. already know this. 

 

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventualy they will believe it.Adolph Hitler

 

___________________

by Mantis Katz, for the canarypapers

___________________ 

ABC News: Another Controversy for Sarah Palin

Associated Press: Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention

thecanarypapers: Monkeys with Molotovs: The gutter politics of McCain, Palin, Rove & Co.

Librarians Against Palin: ABC Investigates

Anchorage Daily News: Troopergate Inquiry Hangs Over Campaign

Anchorage Daily News: Palin touts stance on Bridge to Nowhere, doesn’t note flip-flop

Anchorage Daily News: State will sue over polar bear listing, Palin says

Anchorage Daily News: Alaska sues over listing of polar bear as threatened

Anchorage Daily News: Oil firms get ok to bother polar bears

Daily Kos: Alaskanomics: How Palin’s State Sucks the Rest of the Country Dry

What Fresh Hell is This? (JD Rhoades’ Blog): The Librarian Who Said No to Sarah Palin, by Tess Gerritsen

AZ Central: Shook up “old boy’s network’

McClatchy: Palin has never ordered Alaska National Guard to Do Anything

Daily KOS: We need grown-ups in the White House (excellent background info, especially with respect to oil and Alaska politics, plus sorting out Sarah Palin’s financial facts vs. fallacies, written by an author whose first choice was not Obama-Biden). Excerpt: It’s 2008 in America, people: the budget is broken, the military is broken, the financial system is broken, our standing in the world is at an all-time low. We need grown-ups in the White House….

Gov. Sarah Palin’s September 2007 Press Release on the demise of the Bridge to Nowhere

Talking Points Memo: Palin Again Recites Lie About Bridge to Nowhere

TIME: Sarah Palin’s Alaskanomics

The New York Observer: The Fairy Tale of Palin the Reformer

The Reality-Based Community: Evidence of Consciousness of Guilt (regarding per diem pay for living in your own home being taxable income)

WinkNews.com: here, you can see McCain’s Sept. 21, 2007 comments on the Bridge to Nowhere.

Wall Street Journal: Record Contradicts Palin’s ‘Bridge’ Claims

Washington Post: Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home — Taxpayers also funded family’s travel

Washington Post: Does the truth matter anymore?

‘Troopergate’ news footage from August 14, 2008 (Palin coverage begins at 0:33). It’s interesting, here, to see a liar perform her craft, as Sarah first denies the charges, then backpeddles a bit when she hears, to her horror, the audiotape recordings that prove she’s been lying.

On the Occasion of the 7th Anniversary of 9-11….

with one comment

On the occasion of the 7th anniversary of September 11th, a call for mourning: A call for mourning for the lives lost, a call for remembrance of all that was lost that day; a call for questions to be asked, and for questions to be answered; A call for 9-11 to no longer be exploited by any political party or person for political gain.

On the occasion of the 7th anniversary of September 11th, a wake up call: a call for mourning, a call for remembrance, a call for truth.

 

The Elephant in the Room – Part 1 of 10

Winner: Best Documentary – London Independent Film Festival. 2008

 The Elephant in the Room is a documentary following British filmmaker Dean Puckett through his journey into the 9/11 Truth Movement: a global movement of ‘conspiracy theorists’ who believe that the official explanation about what happened on 9/11 is totally or partially inaccurate. The filmmakers travel from middle England, across Europe and to New York for the six year anniversary of the attacks, where the film takes one final twist as we are introduced to the 9/11 first responders who are suffering from various grave health difficulties due to the toxic dust that they breathed in trying to help their country during the weeks after this tragic event. Told with a personal hands on approach that avoids advancing any one position, the film asks the question: are these crazy conspiracy theorists? Or is 9/11 Truth a credible political movement?

The Elephant in the Room – Part 2

_______________________________

The Elephant in the Room – Part 3

_______________________________

The Elephant in the Room – Part 4

_______________________________

The Elephant in the Room – Part 5

_______________________________

The Elephant in the Room – Part 6

_______________________________

The Elephant in the Room – Part 7

_______________________________

The Elephant in the Room – Part 8

_______________________________

The Elephant in the Room – Part 9

_______________________________

The Elephant in the Room – Part10 of 10

________________________________________________________________________________

Other films related to 9-11 and truth 

________________________________________________________________________________

An upcoming film: Zeitgeist will premiere on October 2nd, 2008 at the 5th Annual Artivist’s Flim Festival in Los Angeles Film Festival. See trailer and high-definition, 2-hour film (available online thru Oct 3rd) here

________________________________________________________________________________

Loose Change 9-11   See full-length film here.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Check out this website: The FeelGood Foundation works to assist and improve the lives of the 9-11 first reponders and their families. Learn more about them here, where you can also browse their shop and/or make a tax-deductible donation. Below is their mission statement: 

The primary mission of the FealGood Foundation, a non-profit organization, is to spread awareness and educate the public about the catastrophic health effects on 9/11 first responders, as well as to provide assistance to relieve these great heroes of the financial burdens placed on them over the last five years. A secondary goal of our Foundation is to create a network of advocacy on 9/11 healthcare issues. We not only advocate for Ground Zero workers, but show others how they can advocate for themselves and help others through grassroots activism.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Joe Biden: Will He Rip John McCain’s Face Off and Restore Truth, Justice and the American Way?

leave a comment »

It’s pretty bad when the best you can hope for in a VP candidate is that he will rip John McCain’s face off. Today, that’s about as audacious as we dare hope, having nearly lost all hope of seeing real integrity restored to American politics. Sure, we’ll cast our vote for Obama-Biden, even if they, themselves, seem to have lost — if ever they owned — the integrity and chutzpah, to state, outright, that the emperor and his entire entourage are stark-raving naked.

As is, it seems that both Obama and Biden tow the main line, the main line being a veritable sewer pipe full of lies, misinformation and innuendo spit out by Bush-Cheney, then sanctified by the media. And it is this raw sewage that forms the “truths” upon which America’s domestic and foreign policy is built. This was most recently evidenced in Biden’s statement on the Georgia-Russia conflict, when he said, “The war that began in Georgia is no longer about that country alone. It has become a question of whether and how the West will stand up for the rights of free people throughout the region.”

Superman couldn’t have said it better himself. No need to extrapolate on the not-so-subtle nuances of the situation — nuances which, in another time, would have been called by name: the truth.

American politicians, on both sides, have lost their bearings and have taken with them the American people. Our politicians have been reduced — willingly, it seems, even as they’ve been bribed and blackmailed, too — into playing understudies to the real truthsayers on the world stage, reading from a playbook written by swaggering warmongers and disreputable liars & cheats. Biden’s assessment of the Russia-Georgia conflict more or less echoed Obama’s words, which more or less echoed the words of Condi, Bush and McCain. Nowhere in the dialogue-proper of American politics can we hope to hear the truth: “What in the hell is the U.S. doing in the first place, by funding, arming and prodding Georgia to go to war with South Ossetia and, by extension, Russia?”

With few exceptions, truth has evaporated from our polical landscape to the extent that truth, itself, has become so audacious that it offends the sensibilities to even acknowledge that such audacities could be true. But they are. And to ensure that no one speaks these truths, the Bush Administration has effectively, by design, disgraced truth by relegating it to the minions of the conspiracy theorists.

Last February (sometime after Edwards bowed out, yet months before discovering that Edwards was a liar and a hypocrite)we pinned our hopes onto the Obama campaign to forge a renaissance of truthfulness. Then we watched as, molecule by molecule, it evaporated, sort of like a shallow mud puddle on hot summer pavement. At first, we made concessions on his behalf: “He’s doing what he has to do to get elected,” we told ourselves. “The media will fry him if he doesn’t give the appearance of moderating on this particular position.”

But at some point, after staring overlong into that non-descript residual of dust on the pavement, we had to acknowledge the truth that Americans don’t really want truth, and especially if it takes more than 5 words to convey that truth. What the American attention span best responds to is a dummied down, black and white, right vs. wrong version of the truth — something that can be condensed into a sound-byte, emblazed below the talking heads on CNN — a mantra that be quickly transcribed into email missives: freedom fries, the war on terror, the axis of evil, weapons of mass destruction, Barrack Hussein Obama, evil empire, surge success, I’m proud of my country, g.d. America, stay the course, chickens coming home to roost, pledge of allegiance, flag pin, elitist liberal ….

Our politicians more closely resemble the protaganists in dime store novels than the statesmen who forged, then held together our Constitution and our country for over 200 years. But, apparently, this is what the majority of Americans want in their leaders.

After all, it was “they” who voted Bush into office — not once, but twice. And it is “they” who know, but simply don’t care, that the war in Iraq that has killed upwards of 100,00 innocent Iraq citizens was waged on an elaborately designed facade of lies, so that we could steal Iraq’s oil. It is “they” who slather their bumpers in American flags and who rabidly salivate over a one-inch flag pin, yet couldn’t care less that our Constitution and Bill of Rights have been decimated. It is “they” who have gladly surrendered our economy, our jobs, our homes, our health, our Constitutional rights, our environment, our children’s and our grandchildren’s futures over to a band of theives.

It is, therefore, “we” who are out of step with America.

Still…. We haven’t entirely abandoned all hope. Our hope, today, is that Joe Biden — in his infamy for speaking before thinking — will do the right thing and rip John McCain’s face off. You never know. The trend could catch on: it may once again be fashionable for politicians to be so outraged by the b.s. and lies that they will state, outright, for all the world to hear, that the emperor and his entire entourage are stark raving mad. It happened to Nixon in the 1970s. It could happen again.

For this reason, and this reason alone, we are glad to see Biden on the ticket, instead of, say, Jack Reed — an infinitely more qualified politician, who would never have made the cut with Americans: he’s too honest, he’s intellectual, he’s thoughtful, he’s solidly grounded in foreign policy and diplomacy, he’s well-respected on Capitol Hill and, besides, it would have been only a matter of time before the media took note of his height, or perhaps they would have sleuthed out that he drinks lemon in his tea, or perhaps he was the best in his class at West Point — something terribly terrible to entirely disqualify him for the office of vice-presidency.

Written by canarypapers

August 23, 2008 at 5:30 am