|By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-242-91.balt.east.verizon.net - 18.104.22.168) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 4:37 pm: Edit Post|
Former Peace Corps Volunteers for Clark soldier on
Former Peace Corps Volunteers for Clark soldier on
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Unsustainable: Increasing Unilateralism-Decreasing Credibility
Weekend announcements from the Bush administration bear watching...
Bush Plans Aid to Build Foreign Peace Forces
Facing a chronic shortage of foreign troops for peacekeeping missions, President Bush has decided to launch an international drive to boost the supply of available forces...A plan...calls for the United States to commit about $660 million over the next five years to train, equip and provide logistical support to forces in nations willing to participate in peace operations. The campaign, known as the Global Peace Operations Initiative, will be aimed largely at Africa by expanding the peacekeeping skills of African forces and encouraging international military exercises in the region... But African forces developed under the program could be used in peace operations anywhere in the world...And the program also sets aside some assistance for armies in Asia, Latin America and Europe to enlarge their peacekeeping roles as well. Pentagon officials...stressed that the plan...is not meant as a unilateral U.S. effort...
Meanwhile, the Bush administration is unraveling under the weight of its own loss of credibility.
Losing Control - Tom Paine
Echoes of Watergate fill the air: a president is charged with misdeeds. He is besieged by plans gone awry, betrayed by underlings blowing whistles, harassed by a once-compliant press and barraged by querulous demands for data, documents and testimony. George W. Bush, who reveres power, is losing his own as events in Washington and Iraq, and their public portrayal, slip from his grasp. His predicaments are rooted less in Lord Acton's adage that "power corrupts" than its corollary that power seduces its holders into overestimating their strength and ignoring its limits. Bush has an inflated sense of several variants of power: bending others to one's will, be they subjects, messengers, adversaries or enemies; silencing dissent; protecting secrets; and building and preserving credibility. The latter is especially important in an election year...
Are Bush and Neo-Cons Finished? - Intervention Magazine
The events and revelations of the past two weeks should have, by now, removed all reasonable doubt that George W. Bush’s stewardship of the nation has been an unmitigated disaster born of willful misjudgments, willful ignorance, unlawful deceit, and an arrogance rooted in Bush’s belief that he has God on his side...
All this before Joseph Wilson's book: The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity comes out on April 30th.
Note: "Jerseyshore" on the CCN has posted an Amazon.com site linked to Clark Democrats at the Democratic Underground. All books purchased through this link contribute to paying down Wes Clark's campaign debt!
Posted by EGB at 11:23 AM | Comments (1)
Monday, April 19, 2004
Slam Dunk Case - Tenet Re: MWD in Iraq
Last night Bob Woodward was interviewed by Mike Wallace on CBS's 60 Minutes about his new book Plan of Attack.
Woodward, who made his name as an investigative reporter slowly revealing the Watergate scandal, has once again exposed startling facts by documenting the run-up to the Iraq war. This time, however, he openly interviewed 75 government officials, including George W. Bush, and allowed 60 Minutes to read the transcripts. There is no reason to doubt Woodward's veracity, although the White House will do its best to insinuate reasonable doubt.
Among the facts revealed: $700M was secretly diverted from congressionally approved funds for Afghanistan to prepare for the Iraq war; Tommy Franks was not happy about the diversion, but lied in a press conference that Iraq was not on the table; Bush conferred only with Condi Rice and Karen Hughes in the final decision to go ahead with the war (he knew Cheney and Rumsfeld were on board); Cheney and Rumsfeld told the Saudi ambassador, Prince Bandar (showing him a classified map) even before Bush had informed Secretary of State Colin Powell; there was an oil price-presidential election agreement between the Bush administration and the Saudis (although one wonders if the oil men in the administration are not able to affect short-term oil prices without assistance).
Excerpt: Gets to a point where in July, the end of July 2002, they need $700 million, a large amount of money for all these tasks. And the president approves it. But Congress doesn't know and it is done. They get the money from a supplemental appropriation for the Afghan War, which Congress has approved. …Some people are gonna look at a document called the Constitution which says that no money will be drawn from the Treasury unless appropriated by Congress. Congress was totally in the dark on this.
A Heady Mix of Pride and Prejudice Led to War - NYTimes
Book: 'Afghan war meeting' was about Iraq - Indianapolis Star
Airing of Powell's Misgivings Tests Ties in the Cabinet - NYTimes
World mislead about Iraq war - The Australian
It's Patriot's Day in Massachusetts; here's news about our favorite patriot: Former Democratic national candidate criticizes Bush - USA Today
There are efforts afoot to regularly post Clark's appearance schedule on the internet--will keep checking. Kerry needs this man in his cabinet.
Posted by EGB at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)
Sunday, April 18, 2004
In the interest of addressing larger themes on the weekends, especially after another week of astounding Bush and Co. revelations and unilateral initiatives, we offer excerpts from an article published by Joseph S. Nye, Jr. (Boston Globe, March 28, 2004). Professor Nye is dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard University, and author of Soft Power: The Means of Success in World Politics.
The March 11 terrorist bombings in Spain show that the threat of terrorism remains dire. Removing Saddam Hussein from power did not reduce that threat, and intelligence agencies warn that it has in fact increased Al Qaeda’s ability to recruit. At the same time, the Iraq war has proven costly to America’s ability to attract others to our larger cause. The Bush administration has properly identified terrorism as the central focus of our foreign policy, but has been much less successful in choosing the most effective means to combat it. The administration understands hard military power, but it has largely failed to combine it with equally important soft power—the ability to get the outcomes we want by attracting others rather than coercing or paying them.
Despite initial outpourings of sympathy following 9/11, anti-Americanism has increased sharply over the past two years, with serious consequences for American foreign policy. A survey released two weeks ago by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press shows that the damage to our reputation has only worsened since the Iraq war. When asked in an earlier Pew poll to what extent the United States ‘takes your interests into account,’ a majority in 20 out of 42 countries surveyed said ‘not too much’ or ‘not at all.’ We are squandering our soft power.
Posted by EGB at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)
Friday, April 16, 2004
European Press Review: Middle East Mistakes and Offers from Terrorists - Deutsche Welle
European papers had scathing criticism toward Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unilateral plans for the occupied territories--and George W. Bush's support of them...
Mubarak shocked by Bush support of Israel plan - San Diego Union Tribune
...Bush's support for the plan will make it difficult for the U.S. to serve as a neutral broker as it tries to promote the 'road map' to peace that calls for the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005, Mubarak said. He also complained, as he did in a speech Wednesday at Rice University in Houston, that the initiative should not be taken without input from the Palestinians...
9/11: The price of incuriosity - NYTimes editorial (April 15)
Posted by EGB at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)
Thursday, April 15, 2004
More Blows to America's Credibility
Settlements over peace - NYTimes editorial
So much for the constructive mediator. In a costly blow yesterday to America's credibility as an honest broker for a Middle East peace, President Bush endorsed Israeli plans to retain some West Bank settlements and to essentially reject the Palestinians' 'right of return'...
Bush stands firm on Iraq, war on terror - CNN
Citing a conviction 'deep in my soul,' President Bush vowed Tuesday night to stay the course in Iraq and the war on terror, and predicted American voters will stick with him come November. 'I don't plan on losing my job,' Bush said during his first prime time news conference of the year...
Last night Charlie Rose hosted an excellent program with Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt, regarding Iraq and the advice he gives Bush, and Oliver Stone, regarding his film, "Looking for Fidel."
Frontline special rebroadcast, April 15th: The Man Who Knew, about John O'Neill, the FBI's leading expert on al Qaeda, who quit during the summer of 2001 and took a job as head of security for the World Trade Center.
Posted by EGB at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)