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Connecting the Dots

Posted by Bob · May 15th, 2004 · 30 Comments

A U.S. diplomat wrote,

The September 11 tragedy left us stronger than before, rallying around us a vast international coalition to cooperate for the first time in a systematic way against the threat of terrorism. But rather than take credit for those successes and build on them, this administration has chosen to make terrorism a domestic political tool, enlisting a scattered and largely defeated Al Qaeda as its bureaucratic ally. We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq. The result, and perhaps the motive, is to justify a vast misallocation of shrinking public wealth to the military and to weaken the safeguards that protect American citizens from the heavy hand of government. September 11 did not do as much damage to the fabric of American society as we seem determined to do to ourselves?

We are straining beyond its limits an international system we built with such toil and treasure, a web of laws, treaties, organizations, and shared values that sets limits on our foes far more effectively than it ever constrained America’s ability to defend its interests. — Diplomat John Brady Kiesling, who served under four presidents, in his February 27, 2003 letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell.

I’ll admit that the writers and readers of this blog have more than a passing interest in current events, but what would motivate a career diplomat to resign with such a damning assessment of the current administration?

Sadly, we have to connect what we know to what we’re not told to make sense of all this. For those readers that read only the first paragraph, here is a quick summary.

The Bush administration’s foreign policy plan was not based on September 11, or terrorism; those events only brought to the forefront a radical plan for U.S. control of the post-Cold War world that had been taking shape since the closing days of the first Bush presidency. Back then a small claque of planners, led by Wolfowitz, generated a draft document known as Defense Planning Guidance, which envisioned a U.S. that took advantage of its lone-superpower status to consolidate American control of the world both militarily and economically, to the point where no other nation could ever reasonably hope to challenge the U.S. Toward that end it envisioned what we now call ‘preemptive’ wars waged to reset the geopolitical table. — Steve Perry, Minneapolis City Pages, July 30, 2003

The invasion and occupation of Iraq was planned during the CLINTON administration by members of a key Republican think tank in preparation for the next Republican administration. In short, we’ve been at war for almost ten years.

A neo conservative think tank called “The Project for a New American Century” was established in 1997. The following is copied from their “Statement of Principals” webpage:

June 3, 1997

American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America’s role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.

We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.

As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world’s preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?

We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge. We are living off the capital — both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements — built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. And the promise of short-term commercial benefits threatens to override strategic considerations. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation’s ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead.

We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration’s success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities.

Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

? we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global
responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

? we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

? we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

? we need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.

Elliott Abrams Gary Bauer William J. Bennett Jeb Bush

Dick Cheney Eliot A. Cohen Midge Decter Paula Dobriansky Steve Forbes

Aaron Friedberg Francis Fukuyama Frank Gaffney Fred C. Ikle

Donald Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad I. Lewis Libby Norman Podhoretz

Dan Quayle Peter W. Rodman Stephen P. Rosen Henry S. Rowen

Donald Rumsfeld Vin Weber George Weigel Paul Wolfowitz

There is very little left to the imagination in this statement. America needs to remain militarily unbeatable and be able to project her force anywhere in the world. America should also not tolerate any governments not built upon “American” principals. Basically, it’s the American way or doom to you, you’re either “for us or against us.”

Very scary stuff, especially when you see the names at the bottom of the page: Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz. Three very vocal voices in today’s administration. Three men in positions of incredible influence. Today’s American foreign policy was written in 1997 while awaiting a new Republican administration to carry it out. Wars were inevitable. If 9/11 had never happened, something else would have taken its place. Look at the signatures and look at today. These are invisible dots of huge importance.

How did this policy manifest itself?

The Office of Special Plans was formed by Rumsfeld as a part of the Department of Defense and headed by William Lutti, a former Navy officer and aide to Dick Cheney. The purpose of this office was to collect information from all of the intelligence agencies and build a coherent argument for war with Iraq, to the point of using information that other agencies considered suspect or outright lies. One of the primary sources of intelligence for the OSP was the Iraqi National Congress, a London based umbrella group on America’s payroll to the tune of millions per year. The information from the Iraqi National Congress was considered suspect by the CIA and State Department but was used liberally by the OSP in its reports to Rumsfeld.

The information (and “disinformation”) from this office ended up being a significant part of this administration’s “intelligence” data used in justifying the war. It showed up in speeches and comments made by members of the administration and in briefings of allies. In short, this information that was considered unworthy by other intelligence services was used to sway American and global public opinion.

This administration has had a faith -based intelligence attitude: “We know the answers – give us the intelligence to support those answers” — Gregory Thielman, July 9, 2003, former director of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence (retired in September 2002).

The use of this ‘dirty’ data actually caused a falling out of career intelligence professionals. Is it just a coincidence that so many of them appeared before the 9/11 Commission as whistle blowers? No, people like Thielman, Richard Clark, et al could not stand by and watch a war begin based on fictitious intelligence.

What was the reaction from the military?

It’s pretty interesting that all the generals see it the same way, and all the others who have never fired a shot and are hot to go to war see it another. — Marine Corp General Anthony Zinni (Source: AlterNet.org, September 9,2002).

Also worthy of note:

… that only four of these men and women had themselves served in the military, and three of those had done their time in the reserves… — Scheer, Scheer & Chaudry, The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq (2004) Akashic Books and Seven Storis Press, at p. 22.

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So, the invisible dots start connecting and we see a very intentional campaign begun in the 1990’s come to fruition. The Bush foreign policy is less effected by 9/11than it is by 6/3/97.

At this point I have to give credit to Chrisopher Scheer and his book “The Five Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq”. His lecture and book have been remarkably enlightening. I would strongly encourage anyone with more than a passing interest to get this book since everything discussed in this article is all from chapter one! I will let Christopher take you through the additional sources and documentation. It’s a facinating read and I am sure, regardless of your position, that you’ll be left thinking.

In review: a plan by a neo conservative think tank generates a vision that affects this administration. That vision is deemed worthy of being put into play by any means, including deceiving America and the world. The result of this vision is a “Pax Americana” that allows a the world to flourish, as long as you share American values.

It’s a bad movie plot or a horrifying reality. Or both.

Categories: The War President


30 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nat // May 15, 2004 at 1:40 pm


    It’s all been a vast right-wing conspiracy!

    This is a pointless discussion!! Particularly for you people who think there weren’t any WMD to begin with. In his comments on the prior thread, Rick says that if Bob posts that there were no WMD then, instead of insulting Bob and calling him a weasel and so forth, Nat should prove that Bob’s contention is incorrect.

    In other words, Rick and Bob want Nat to perform the impossible feat of disproving a negative. Nat can’t prove that there weren’t any WMD. He can’t prove the entire invasion wasn’t staged on a Hollywood set. Nat can’t prove Gary Bremer, the little greaseball Moqtada, Kofi Anan and Ayatollah Sistani aren’t all actors.

    Nat can’t prove that Kerry and Kennedy didn’t have a wild night of gay sex. Nat can’t prove Hussein didn’t sleep in a hole in the ground and he can’t prove that W doesn’t sing karaoke in the White House family quarters every night and they’ve never showed it on Liberal TV…err….CBS/PBS/NBC/ABC/CNN or Al Jazeera (same thing).

    Nat can’t prove that Teresa Heinz-Kerry isn’t actually a Russian spy with a well disguised accent. At some point, it just becomes a meaningless exercise!!

    What would be acceptable instead of “weasel”? Dolts?

  • 2 Rick // May 15, 2004 at 2:14 pm

    I don’t believe that’s what I said at all, Nat. But — no surprise here — you’ve apparently decided that what I did say isn’t within your ability.

    So the next best thing? Red herring for dinner.

    Thanks for playing.

    I thought you were leaving unless you got an apology?

  • 3 Mark // May 15, 2004 at 5:08 pm

    Note: As a concession to Rick, I will try not to refer to the pResident (who routinely assigns nicknames to others) by the oh-so-appropriate moniker he picked up while still in Texas.

    It appears that the integrity issue Bob discusses is starting to get traction. The latest Newsweek poll shows that pResident Bush’s approval rating is now down to 42%. No occupant of the White House since World War II who had an approval rating below 50% at this point in an election year was ever returned to the White House by the voters.

    The primary reason voters give for their disapproval of pResident Bush is, you guessed it, the astounding mess he created in Iraq. Now comes Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is quoted in today’s papers as saying that if the new government set to be installed in Iraq come June 30 “asks” us to leave, we’ll be out so fast it’ll make your head spin. As we all know, the newly installed government will be a puppet of pResident Bush’s handlers, and will do whatever it’s told to do. If Karl Rove and Karen Hughes tell the Iraqis who are appointed to run their country (sound vaguely familiar?) to “ask” us to leave, our troops will be home before Labor Day.

    Will this be enough to save the appointed pResident? Only time will tell.

    Let’s say that, in theory, if Kerry had a 15-point lead in the polls going into the election, it would make it very difficult for the scoundrels who own and control the electonic voting machines to manufacture a Republican “victory.”

    U.S. Senator Max Cleland was leading by ten points in Georgia last year going into election day. The electronic machines spat out a very dubious “victory” for his Republican opponent. Amazingly, there was no uproar.

    But, as noted above, the public is starting to grow wiser and more wary of the G-O-P talking points that have previously turned into “gospel” when repeated ad nauseam by the Republican-owned and Republican-controlled mainstream media (we’re talking here about the major networks, cable news outlets, and large newspapers — not the Sun Yung Moon-owned Washington Times, daily bible of the G-O-P).

    So — my theory is that if Kerry is up by 15 points or more going into election day, it’s going to take much more than computer programmers and much more than five Supreme Court Justices to keep the current pResident in the White House.

    Hope springs eternal!

  • 4 Bob // May 15, 2004 at 6:26 pm

    It’s all been a vast right-wing conspiracy!

    In short, yes. The “Pax Americana” was born of Republican frustration and put into action by this administration, so yes, it’s all right-wing.

    In other words, Rick and Bob want Nat to perform the impossible feat of disproving a negative. Nat can’t prove that there weren’t any WMD.

    You’re in a tough spot but so am I.

    1 – According to various readings I’ve looked at (sorry, I’d have to go back and figure out where I saw this) Iraq WAS chasing chemical and biological weapons before Gulf I. Saddam made the decision not to use them against the coalition knowing that, if he did, he could not broker a deal to keep himself in power. He did not concern himself with coalition retribution against his troops as much as he knew that the coalition would never let him stay in power. It was all about him.

    After Gulf I, he DID use them against his own people not so much to show he had them, but to demonstrate to the Arab world that he was still ‘powerful’. (Just not powerful enough to beat a coalition against him). In a way, he was putting the dog out so that any neighbors that may have been thinking Iraq could be taken down would see that he still had teeth.

    So this part of the argument is easy to prove by both of us. We know about chem / bio weapons.

    2 ? Saddam?s son-in-law was head of the nuclear weapons research. He and another high ranking nuclear scientist defected and told the West that Saddam had attempted to build a nuclear weapon.

    Here?s where it gets shaky. The son-in-law supposedly said that Saddam had tried and failed and, in the aftermath of Gulf I, decided it was too risky to have this stuff around. Again, his decision was based on keeping power and he knew if the world found out he was building a nuke they would just overrun his country. Son-in-law was supposed to have told the West that all the technology to build a nuke was destroyed.

    It should be easy to ask son-in-law again, just to clarify his position but alas, son-in-law decided to return to Iraq and was killed in less than 48 hours.

    Saddam?s constant game of annoying the west (about WMD, about inspections, etc) was all just a way to continue to show power to the Arab world. He, Saddam, could continue to frustrate the US even after Gulf I. He also could also keep Israel worrying and that was a feather in his cap from other Arabs.

    Here is where Western intelligence had to find a source to prove son-in-law was right about the destruction of the labs. Here is where Western intelligence had disagreements and failures.

    In lieu of all that, the intelligence services all agreed that the data was sketchy at best. It would take a ?leap of faith? to connect those dots and say that those labs were still operational.

    That ?leap? was one that this administration was willing to make to get the plan started. This is where I have integrity issues with this administration. TOO many foreign services looked at the same data and none of them would make that ?leap? with exception of Britian.

    Consider: just before the invasion, the UN Weapons Inspectors were in Iraq and not finding anything. The administration kept playing the ?we have intelligence? card (to get the country ready for war). This intentional ?leap of faith? intelligence was never provided to the UN Inspectors. Had the intelligence been good, why didn?t they just point the UN to the labs and prove Saddam was lying?

    Because we were going to war, regardless. The Wolfowitz plan demanded establishing a presence and then bases all throughout the Middle East and Iraq was a prime location.

    Nat can?t prove (fill in the blank)

    That?s too bad. I was hoping to see this whole thing through a new perspective.

    What would be acceptable instead of “weasel”? Dolts?

    No, you can continue to call yourself ?Republican?, thanks for asking.

  • 5 Rick // May 15, 2004 at 6:29 pm

    Heh…I guess in the end all I can say is that people may use whatever terms, etc., they wish to use. I merely suggested that decency might call for paying the proper respect while making one’s arguments.

    Heck, even during the ugliest of fights, I think, the House of Lords still refers to “the Honorable So-and-So” — even when the person saying it thinks that the Honorable So-and-So is a…well, “So-and-So.” I believe our Senate follows a similar tradition.

    Of course, weaker arguments and/or extreme disrespect wherein one can’t even bear to fake social niceties can interfere with that.

    And I’m not dictating terms under which one may have a discussion. If I were doing that, some people would have been shut out a loooong time ago.

    If you wish to use “Shrub,” that’s your choice. I gave reasons why I thought it was inappropriate. You’re under no compulsion to agree or adhere.

    And, frankly, what’s the difference between “Shrub” and “pResident”?

  • 6 Nat // May 15, 2004 at 7:05 pm

    Bob writes:

    “This is where I have integrity issues with this administration”.

    Hey Bob-Oh, please hold on while I pick myself up off the floor where I was convulsed with laughter at the idea that you, a Liberal and Clinton supporter, have “integrity” issues with the Bush Adminstration!!!!


    By comparison with their predecessors, the Bushies are a bunch of pikers!!

    Pop quiz: Who’s the only US President who settled a sexual harassment suit after first denying he even knew the plaintiff? Who’s the only US President who has been convicted of perjury? Who’s the ONLY US President that comes to mind when the words “semen stained dress” are uttered?

    I think you know the answer.

    As someone who has watched all the Presidential races since 1972 I would have to say that the issue isn’t that Bush lied. Lying goes on ALL THE TIME at the highest levels of government and the corporate world, by lawyers from the best law schools and people with MBAs from the top B schools.

    The problem was, Bush DIDN’T LIE AT ALL. After 8 years of one lie after another, the media just didn’t know how to take the truth. The tragedy of the appalling Clinton mal-Administration is that, now, everyone assumes the President of the US is lying as soon as his lips start moving.

    I have every confidence that what President Bush gave as his rationale for going to war was, in his mind, the absolute truth. I think George W Bush is a man of his word and I trust him implicity whereas I would not trust Clinton even to give the correct time of day.

  • 7 Mark // May 15, 2004 at 7:24 pm

    My observations of pResident Bush remind me of a comment Abraham Lincoln once made about a political opponent. Lincoln said, “It is obvious that he has a high regard for the truth — he uses it so sparingly!”

    For the record, Nat, it was what we learned about Nixon that destroyed the trust Americans once had for the presidency.

    And frankly, if Americans had been more aware of what Lyndon Johnson was doing when he did it in regards to Southeast Asia, it would have started before Nixon.

    Up until Nixon, the news media handled presidents with kid gloves. The rabid, blood-thirsty “hunting” of presidents peaked during the Clinton years. With the current appointed pResident, we’re back to the kid gloves treatment again.

    Republican John Dean says that the things the current gang are doing are immeasureably worse and more dangerous to our national security and our national traditions than anything his former boss, Richard Nixon, ever dreamed of doing. Yet the lap-dog Republican-owned media let them get away with it.

    As someone who made my living as a news reporter when I was a young man, I feel qualified to say that the coddling of pResident Bush by the media is totally and absolutely shameful.

    Reporters should not go after politicians as if they were opponents. But to refuse to ask the tough questions, to refuse to hold the men and women in positions of power accountable for their actions and their words (and for the times when their actions and their words don’t match) — THAT is inexcusable and disgraceful.

  • 8 Mark // May 15, 2004 at 7:28 pm


    Who is the only occupant of the White House who comes to mind when “lying about reasons for going to war” is used in a sentence?

    When you start screaming about people like House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas and our own Governor Gang-Bang, then I think you would have made a case for the feigned outrage you portray over President Clinton. Until then, stop being so blatantly and transparently duplicitous.

    I like a bumper sticker my wife and I own. It says “Republicns screw the country. Democrats just screw.”

  • 9 Mark // May 15, 2004 at 8:55 pm

    Interesting reading in Saturday’s New York Times.

    United States Senator Lindsey Graham is a 20-year veteran of the United States Air Force. He is extremely upset over what was going on in the prisons under our watch in Iraq. Graham says, “I don’t want to compare my military and my country to the Republican Guard and Saddam Hussein. If that is our standard, we have already cheapened ourselves.”

    Graham says that getting to the bottom of the prison mess is potentially much more important than anything that happened during the failed impeachment of Bill Clinton.

    Graham is a…


  • 10 Rick // May 15, 2004 at 8:57 pm

    Which President comes to mind when you say, “Breaking and entering”?

    Which President comes to mind when you say, “there ought to be limits to freedom” because people poke fun on websites?

    Which President comes to mind when you say, “If you question what we say, you’re unpatriotic. If you’re a foreigner and you question what we say, you’re a terrorist. If you’re either one and you question us, you’re giving succor to the enemy”?

    Which President comes to mind when you say, “In spite of constitutional guarantees relating to freedom of speech, you better STFU or you are clearly against the United States, if you disagree with a particular governmental administration”?


    Oh, and I forgot. Who comes to mind when you say, “It’s okay for me to say you are drooling with vituperative hate-filled faces, but you cannot point out any illogic in my arguments”?

    Who’s the freakin’ idiot who apologized to Nat?

  • 11 Bob // May 15, 2004 at 11:11 pm

    Tonight I went to the airport to pick up my wife from a very long business trip. As I was pulling into the hourly parking lot, I realized that there was a homecoming in progress.

    Lots of men and women in khaki camos (BDUs to those who know) were being embraced by friends and family after being in Iraq for a year. The Army Air National Guard Unit of the 144th Fighter Wing had returned.

    It was hard not to get caught up in all the joy I was surrounded with. I am intimately aware of homecomings like this having spent five years on active duty, two of those years deployed overseas in Seventh Fleet. It was not hard for those feelings to bubble to the surface.

    My joy was tempered when I realized this Wolfowitz / Cheney / Rumsfeld “Pax Americana” would create so many of these homecomings. It would also create the bitter homecomings of coffins, flag draped coffins.

    The reasons for some of those coffins I am in agreement with. Running terrorists off the map is one of them.

    But forcing other sovereign nations to be “for us or against us” is just horrible. American values are not infallible and our culture, quite frankly, sickens me at times.

    It will cost my children’s children a lot of money to pay back what we have just begun. I’m not sure the plan is worth that, or knowing that somebody’s children’s children will be put in harm’s way for this “vision”.

    The tree of democracy does indeed have to be watered by the blood of tyrants on occasion, but I fear that we are becoming the tyrant.

    Nat, you had a real chance to prove something here. I was hoping for the lucid Nat to show up and counter these connections I drew. I WANTED to be proven wrong because this whole thing frightens me.

    I want GroundPounder’s son to be a Marine and stand for something. I want him to see his kid off to Parris Island with a clear heart, that the integrity in the child is matched by the integrity of the country.

    America once stood for noble purpose. Drop the Clinton shit here and focus on the bigger issue.

    We either ARE or we AREN’T what we used to be.

    Nat, do YOU see the inherent costs and dangers in attempting to mold the world to our image?

    Nat, are YOU concerned that, according to the “Pax Americana”, military action is required so often?

    Nat, would YOU be able to send YOUR child into the military knowing what you know about this vision?

  • 12 Nat // May 16, 2004 at 10:56 am

    Oh yeah. The Liberal whine song. What kind of cheese would you like with that whine, Bob?

    You’re right, Bob, let’s not have a military at all. Let’s just let the nice bin Laden man and all his friends work out their angry feelings in whatever way they want. And then we will give them money afterwards…err…if they let us live, of course, and tell them that “we understand” their rage because America is bad.

    Yes, Bob, Americana and Pax Americana are evil scourges on the face of this planet. How dare the Bush Administration stand up to these nice Islamic militant people? Who are we but a bunch of greedy capitalists and who are all on Haliburton’s payroll, to oppose these people who are angry because … why?

    BECAUSE WE ARE AN EVIL, CORRUPT, IMMORAL influence on those nice Islamic militant people. We’re scum. They ONLY hate us because we are bad. It’s all our fault. We have have oppressed these people all these years when really what we should have been doing was giving them all free healthcare.

    Oh yeah, Bob, let’s put all these nice prisoner people up in the Four Seasons or the Waldorf Astoria. And let’s elect a man with the mien of funeral director – the lugubrious John effing Kerry – to negotiate the transfer of America’s sovreignty to the UN because we are bad, bad people. We are oppressors. We are capitalists. Oh, and the ultimate sin, we support Israel.

    Yeah, Bob, you’re right. Thanks for showing me the light. All that patriotism stuff was dumb. I think if we surrender to the UN right now, as Kerry wants us to do, and if all these nice Islamic mullahs take over our country then there won’t be any more problems in Iraq.

    Yay! No more problems in Iraq. Bob’s happy!! America is a Muslim-Socialist workers paradise! Mark’s happy! All women are banished to the home and cannot show any part of their bodies except the eyes! abi’s happy!

    Oh, but wait! If we elect the Funeral Director Kerry and he surrenders to Kofi Annan, as he’s already dying to do, why that will mean it’s over for Israel. And then Rick will not be happy!

    Sorry, Bob. Your Kerry/Socialism program is not going to work. Do you have a Plan B?

  • 13 Nat // May 16, 2004 at 11:08 am

    Oh, and one more, thing, Bob.

    Tomorrow’s probably not going to be a good day for you to make your daily call to the DNC to get your talking points. All the Liberals will be out of the office attending GAY MARRIAGE ceremonies in Massachussetts.

  • 14 Nat // May 16, 2004 at 1:20 pm


    Hey buddy, it’s me again, the voice of reason.

    Hope you enjoyed that ride to the airport IN YOUR SUV!!! You know, Bob-O, after Kerry’s people are done re-writing the Constitution to remove all references to God and to promote gay marriage as part of the national education curriculum; why then they’re going to take away your Suburban, you gas-guzzling hypocrite, you.

    Yeah, they’re going to re-write all the laws to remove any “gender bias” and any possible bias against homosexuals and every form of sexual perversion. Your kids are going to be taught in school that being gay is an “alternate lifestyle” -just like being a heterosexual. Kerry wants your kids to be taught that alternative lifestyles are “normal”.

    Yes, and you’ll have to own a fuel-efficient automobile, Bob. No gas guzzling SUVs will be allowed once Kerry and his Politburo pals get their hands on the levers of power. Sounds like a Yugo is in your future.

    And forget the Christmas holidays, Bob. You won’t be getting that after Kerry’s people re-write the holiday schedule to eliminate Christmas. Yes, that will be Kerry’s payback for getting the Mullah vote.

    Of course, Kerry can say this because his State is promoting GAY MARRIAGE, Bob. And, as you know, Kerry does not own an SUV (unless he’s speaking in Michigan) – it’s his family that owns the SUV. And, as you know, Kerry is a Catholic but he fully supports the murder of children…err…partial birth abortion.

    Yeah, Bob. Enjoy your last few days of freedom under the hated Bush Administration. Because in the future, when the Funeral Director and the Swimmer from Massachussetts take over, your life is going to be owned by the State. You’ll be getting free healthcare, Bob, but YOU won’t be free anymore.

    Think about that next time you go off on an ugly rant about the one man who is trying to save America from extermination by madmen and/or being taken over by another Clinton-style fraud.

  • 15 Mark // May 16, 2004 at 4:06 pm


    Have you read the United States Constitution? You talk of “removing” references to God from the Constitution. There are none there now. Never have been. Not one. Look. You’ll see for yourself. And it’s no accident that there are no references to God. It was highly debated at the constitutional convention. Such references were left out for many good reasons. The ministers who opposed leaving references to God out of the Constitution predicted the imminent demise of our country as a result. Thankfully, they didn’t know what they were talking about.

    Christmas? It is an old Pagan holiday that some in the Christian church co-opted. People have been lighting fires and giving gifts at the Winter Solstice since pre-history. December 25th was the birtday of Mithra (the focal point of Mithraism, a religion once very popular in the Roman Empire, a religion older than Christianity, and a religion with rituals and mythology amazingly similar to Christianity).

    People in the British Empire and its former colonial possessions, including most of the United States, didn’t celebrate Christmas much until the late 19th Century. In fact, it wasn’t even a national holiday in the United States until the late 1800s. Queen Victoria (whose family was German) had a lot to do with popularizing Christmas celebrations in the British Empire, as did Charles Dickens with his work, “A Christmas Carol.”

    Remember George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware to attack Hessian (German) troops on Christmas Day? Christmas wasn’t a big deal to Washington’s troops. Catholics and Lutherans, though, have a much longer history of celebrating Christmas. Washington knew the Germans (mostly Lutheran and Catholic) would have had more than their share to drink the night before (Christmas Eve), making Christmas Day an ideal time for a surprise attack.

    Going a little further back, celebrating Christmas was actually a crime in early Puritan Massachusetts. The Puritans didn’t want anyone celebrating Pagan holidays.

    These are a few of the reasons I have always found Christians who claim this holiday to be theirs alone a little bit anoying. They stole it from everyone else! We don’t mind sharing, mind you. But don’t say something started with your crowd when you were the last ones to arrive at the party.

    Read about Easter sometime, too, Nat. The word itself is the name of a Pagan god. Many rituals and activities Christians associate with Easter come directly from more ancient Pagan traditions.

    Read some history sometime, Nat. You might find it fascinating. The danger is you might learn a few things that could shape your view of the world. I think it’s a risk worth taking.

  • 16 Bob // May 16, 2004 at 9:09 pm

    The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. –Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher

  • 17 Bob // May 16, 2004 at 9:18 pm

    Partial transcript of Meet the Press, Sunday May 16, 2004 between Tim Russert and Colin Powell.

    MR. RUSSERT: Thank you very much, sir.

    In February of 2003, you put your enormous personal reputation on the line before the United Nations and said that you had solid sources for the case against Saddam Hussein. It now appears that an agent called “Curve Ball” had misled the CIA by suggesting that Saddam had trucks and trains that were delivering biological chemical weapons.

    How concerned are you that some of the information you shared with the world is now inaccurate and discredited?

    SECRETARY POWELL: I’m very concerned. When I made that presentation in February 2003, it was based on the best information that the Central Intelligence Agency made available to me. We studied it carefully. We looked at the sourcing and the case of the mobile trucks and trains. There was multiple sourcing for that. Unfortunately, that multiple sourcing over time has turned out to be not accurate, and so I’m deeply disappointed.

    But I’m also comfortable that at the time that I made the presentation it reflected the collective judgment, the sound judgment, of the intelligence community, but it turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and, in some cases, deliberately misleading. And for that I’m disappointed, and I regret it.

    (Emphasis mine)

  • 18 Bob // May 16, 2004 at 9:38 pm

    Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid.
    Heinrich Heine (1797 – 1856)

    Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.
    Euripides (484 BC – 406 BC), The Bacchae, circa 407 B.C.

    Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865), letter to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, July 18, 1864

    All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)

    War is not nice.
    Barbara Bush (1925 – )

    What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
    Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948), “Non-Violence in Peace and War”

    War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.
    Jimmy Carter (1924 – )

  • 19 Bob // May 16, 2004 at 9:47 pm

    that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from this earth.

    Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

  • 20 Nat // May 17, 2004 at 7:03 am


    That’s the sound of Bob PARROTING the lies of the Liberal leftwing. Hey, Bob, try talking about the truth for once:

    * The semen-stained dress
    * The Marc Rich bribe…err…”pardon”
    * The $400,000 “fee” paid to Rodham’s brother
    * The theft of White House furniture
    * The disbarrment
    * The Impeachment
    * The aspirin factory in the Sudan
    * The bribes…err…illegal campaign donations
    * The “I never had sex with” lie
    * The transfer of missile guidance technology to the Communists
    * The negligent disregard of the development of Al Queda
    * The campaign funds Rodham received from terrorists
    * Rodham’s support for Palestinian terrorism
    * The Paula Jones sexual harrassment suit settlement
    * The use of a Gestapo-style secret police to harass and intimidate political opponents
    * The long trail of bodies and “suicides” between Little Rock and Washington
    * The rape of Juannitta Broaderick
    * The $100,000 “capital gain” from a “$1,000 investment in cattle futures.
    * The beyond coincindence number of convictions of people associated with the Clintons. Example: a the Deputy Attorney General
    * The Rose Law firm billing records
    * etc, etc, etc.

    So, Bob. You can cut-and-paste, huh? Maybe, Bob, just one time, you might want to actually write something instead of just PARROTING biased and bigoted leftwing propaganda with your cut-and-paste mentality.


  • 21 Mark // May 17, 2004 at 8:10 am


    One of the biggest problems I have with neo-cons is that their behavior flies in the face of the moral code I try to live by. That code teaches, among other things, that spreading false gossip is the moral equivalent of murder. Like murder, it cannot be undone, and is therefore most likely unforgiveable (this code also teaches that before you can go to God to seek forgiveness, you must first seek forgiveness from the person you harmed).

    By refusing to take me up on a $5,000 offer I made to you if you would offer proof of one particular example of the many lies you like to repeat, you have in essence admitted that you are gleefully willing to spread rumors that you know to be false.

    On numerous points in your post above, you continue this contemptable behavior. You should be ashamed.

    Numerous times in my life, Christians have tried to convert me to their view of the universe. I explain to them there are two reasons I could never be a Christian. The first is that I have read history. The second is that, even if I have not read history, I have seen how people who call themselves Christians behave toward others. Judging from their living example, it’s a philosphy I would want absolutely nothing to do with.

    The continual spreading of false gossip by people who call themselves Christian, the absolute duplicity and jealousy shown by a completely unnatural obsession with Bill Clinton’s sex life (coupled with silence about sexual misbehavior on the part of Republicans) reminds me of a verse I heard as a child. Something along the lines of, “by their works, you shall know them.”

  • 22 Nat // May 17, 2004 at 8:22 am

    Sarin gas used in Iraq!

    Oh, but Bob says “the Iraqis had no WMD”!!


    Turn on your TVs and you can watch yet another GAY MARRIAGE!

    Hey, Bob. Do you have any cut and paste offerings on this great achievement of the Liberal Democrats?

    Isn’t this but a foreshadow of the demeaning of America that a disastrous Kerry Administration would bring?


  • 23 Mark // May 17, 2004 at 8:52 am


    There WERE no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when pResident Bush said there were, and members of his own administration have admitted this.

    As much as neo-cons enjoy telling lies about people on the other side of the political aisle, they are go absolutely ape when people tell the truth about Republicans.

    At a public event many years ago, someone shouted to President Harry Truman, “Give ’em hell, Harry!” Truman responded, “I have never given anyone hell. I just tell the truth, and the Republicans THINK it’s hell!”

    Truer words were never spoken. And they still apply today.

  • 24 Rick // May 17, 2004 at 11:27 am

    Nat continues posting insults and/or ignoring previous posts, repetitively re-stating his comments as if no one has responded to them yet and seldom responding to any questions, including one I’ve re-stated to him in at least four separate posts of my own.

    Although I cannot understand his true motivations, this appears to show him to be a dishonest participant in what has obviously become a one-sided discussion. It seems to me that when he accuses Bob of “PARROTING lies of the Liberal left-wing[,]” he’s overlooked the fact that most of Bob’s statements are backed by evidence — sometimes by quotes from the very people with whom Nat claims to side.

    If there is anyone here who is behaving as a parrot would behave, it’s Nat. He seldom provides any reasons for believing that he’s actually reading other people’s posts. He does occasionally pull out a piece of a sentence someone else has said and spit it back accompanied by invective.

    This is the sort of thing that parrots do. They are incapable of understanding human speech, but they are good at repeating snippets of it. The problem is that they don’t know what the snippets mean, so frequently they will mix together newer snippets they’ve heard with variations on snippets they’ve heard in the past.

    For Nat, those snippets include squawking about semen-stained dresses as if every “Liberal” against whom he inveighs wore them, or kept them stored in the most hallowed of places. He squawks that we insult the President he so unfailingly admires — even while he insists that illegal acts which the President himself has denounced are perfectly acceptable — all the while continuously listing charges against a past President that have been proven false. (The “rape” of Ms. Broaderick being the most obvious. Even high-level Republicans have indicated this to be false. High-level Republicans seldom fit in the class of “Liberals.”)

    My advice to others is to do what Nat is unable to do. Do not respond to Nat in kind, if you feel that you must respond to him at all. Like any other parrot, the more he is stimulated, the more he squawks. There’s no need for a consistent Pavlovian response to such squawkings; like any other parrot, Nat is incapable of understanding what you’re saying and he proves that more than once a day by ignoring whatever you have said, except for perhaps one or two words of your posts, which he then gets confused with other snippets he squawks.

    I have been asked (repeatedly) to deal with his insulting and contentless posts. I have so far rejected this because, for one thing, I think he’s the best example of what’s wrong with an Administration that also chooses not to understand that it is responsible for governing the entire nation and not just for catering to the whims, needs and desires of a small group of rich CEOs. I also believe that an occasional measured response to Nat helps to lay out the facts that support a “regime change” in the United States.

    Remember, in responding to Nat, that he isn’t listening. Insulting him therefore isn’t only unnecessary to making your points, it doesn’t even register. After all, you will recall that he insisted he would not be posting again unless and until he got an apology, but has continued to post the same things again and again in spite of not having received one. So, instead of bothering to insult Nat, when there seems to be a need to respond to what he has said, use it as an opportunity to lay out a case for those who do read the posts and who may not already know what the facts of whatever it is you’re discussing.

    Nat will squawk and insult you, but this will provide a nice counterpoint to your reasoned arguments. To the extent that you behave with a decorum not available to our green-plumed friend, the noise he creates will both provide you a nice launching pad for more reasoned arguments and make them appear all the stronger.

    I may implement moderating of non-registered users in the next few days, but even if I do that, I intend to allow nearly all posts to go through unfiltered, blocking out only spam, as I have done in the past.

    It’s my personal belief that Nat advances the causes of those he opposes; heck, my biggest concern lately is that he’s so very outrageous that people would think I was paying him to make Republicans look bad.

    So let’s develop thicker skins. Let him squawk. And let his squawking enhance the reasoned arguments you may wish to present.

  • 25 nick meyer // May 17, 2004 at 11:39 am

    Nat, check your e-mail and get back to me. Nick

  • 26 Nat // May 17, 2004 at 1:24 pm

    And the losers cry “deal!”

    So many accusations. Where to start?

    First, it’s obvious that the Liberals can’t play by their own rules. Liberal Rule #1 is “make rules only for OTHER people”. They want to call President Bush “Shrub” and “pResident” but then they cry “foul” when their own idol, the contemptible, corrupt and morally bankrupt Bill Clinton is called out.

    I’d love to know the name of just ONE “high ranking Republican” who said he did not believe the tragic, obviously sincere and heartfelt story of Juannitta Boarderick. Poor girl – she was raped by Clinton and then he smears HER reputation!?! Isn’t that what you lawyers call “double jeopardy”?

    Rick says that Nat “does not respond to questions” aimed at him. Well, Nat could, likewise, harp on the same thing – but Nat is bigger than that. Nat is still waiting for someone to point to one move on the economy the Clinton Administration made that contributed to the faux “boom” of the ’90s.

    Also, if Nat responded to every question, Nat would be here all day and Nat actually has a life. Because someone asks a question of Nat, does this mean he is honor-bound to answer it? Where is the rule that says that? Nat has said he does not respond to triteness and banality. Copying and pasting the words of some obscure Englishman with no other comment is what …? A post Nat MUST respond to? Please.

    Nat has, in fact, vigorously responded to the irresponsible allegations that President Bush began the Iraq war because it was all part of a vast-rightwing-conspiracy. Nat DID NOT ask for an apology for this – as has been incorrectly stated here twice already – Nat said he was not going to post on a board if such irresponsible AND TOTALLY UNPROVEN allegations continued to be made.

    We are IN Iraq. Constantly hurling insults at President Bush and questioning his motives for authorizing the commencement of an invasion – one that was approved by a UN Resolution and by the US Congress – serves NO purpose.

    I note that the Liberal obsession with President Bush is either because they are fascinated by him or they intuitively understand their own nominee – a bombastic BORE – is of no interest to anyone. The Liberals refuse to admit it but NO ONE wants to talk about the Undertaker Kerry. Why don’t you Liberals run Bella Lugosi as your nominee? At least Lugosi was a walking corpse with some personality?

    Finally, let me say that even if the Liberals cut my hands off I would use my feet to vote for President Bush. If the Liberals cut my feet off, I would use my nose to click on the George W. Bush for President box on the screen. And if the Liberals cut …. well, you get the picture.


  • 27 Mark // May 17, 2004 at 2:21 pm

    This is a general comment, and not directed toward anyone in particular.

    It is my observation that those who refer to themselves in the third person do not make a favorable impression on anyone else. An impression is made, to be sure. But it is certainly not favorable.

    I don’t know precisely what Rick is alluding to in his post above, but I must admit I am starting to question the wisdom of allowing posts from those who:

    1) admit that they are lying; and/or

    2) never offer any supporting facts to buttress the talking points they hear on the radio or read on the web.

    As entertaining as it may be (at times) to play with posters of this ilk, much as a cat plays with a mouse, it is frankly no challenge — thus reducing it to the level (at times) of being a bit of a bore.

    Serious discussion and respectful debate with points supported by verifiable facts would be more enlightening, definately more fun, and would at least present a challenge. Finding right-wingers who are capable of more than regurtitating the talking points of the day is no easy task. But I am hopeful that there may be a handful of people somewhere who could meet those qualifications.

  • 28 Groundpounder // May 17, 2004 at 3:38 pm

    Nice work Bob.

    So, the United States of America is officially in the Empire building buisiness. I don’t find that particularly surprising, nor do I find it particularly disturbing.

    After WWII it was impossible for this country to move back into isolationism. We were the only industrialized nation whose industrial base, infrastructure, and military were not just intact, but flourishing. It would have been utter foolishness to allow that kind of momentum to fade.

    The technological advances that we have come to expect, come on the back of weapons research. The technology is available for civilian application much sooner that it used to be. It’s very profitable, and beneficial.

    I don’t see the PNAC think tank as a group of arch villians. I do believe that these men and women truely do have what they believe are the best interest of this country at heart. Do they profit? Certainly. But not in ways that the majority of us would consider. These people are empire builders. This is an intellectual pursuit for them. The majority of think tanks would fall into this catagory. All of these organizations are established to influence policy. What we have here is a group that has placed themselves in a position to set policy. Know that these people have vision. It may not jibe with ours, but they have vision that far exceeds even that of the individual with an exceptional mind. I am not so arrogant to believe that I could comprehend even a fraction of what they concieve.

    I’m not saying that I agree with their vision. I would probably go so far as to say that it is a damnable heresy. The Constitution is a wonderful document, concieved by brilliant minds, hammered out in forges fueled by the blood of men who selflessly gave their lives in defense of this great nation. That any individual or group of leaders would intentionaly circumvent the parameters established by this document is cause for great concern. The same may be said about the individual who would amend the constitution to allow for the free advancement of their cause. Caution is the watch word.

  • 29 Mark // May 18, 2004 at 6:37 am

    While I don’t agree with everything Groundpounder has to say, I do agree with some of his(?) other points.

    I will commend Groundpounder on a thoughtful, well-written piece that was devoid of rabid attacks or or unnatural obsessions with other posters on this site.


  • 30 Bob // May 18, 2004 at 8:27 am

    Well said!

    When I connect the dots I get concerned that there are so FEW people with this vision and these few people are driving the administration.

    I would like someone to explain this vision in some terms that don’t make it sound like we’re taking over the world, just cuz.

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