Neo-Conservatives are bad for America


neocons+straussIt’s been extraordinary watching how neocons have made everything up, down, everything black, white and everything evil, good and back again.  In the process they have managed to weaken America, tarnish her image in the world community and imperil the world.  In my wildest of conspiratorial dreams, I surmise they are responsible for the election of Barack Obama in order to undo some of the damage they have done, but they have not kept themselves out of the policy making apparatus of government; they are rather firmly entrenched there and have installed gate keepers at every door of the branches of government.  Rahm Emmanuel in the executive, and policy wonks at State, two previously mentioned here on the pages of Miscellany101.  They are not working in the best interests of the US; American interests take a back seat to interests feuled by tribalism and history they want to rewrite in order settle old scores at the expense of an unconcerned and uninitiated American public.  Sure most of it is based on OIL, oil, Israel and logistics, but personal aggrandizement and wealth also play a part in their deception.

So while going through my daily reading I wandered on this article which reinforced these notions above.  What picqued my interest and aggravated my anger was the explicit statement that Saddam wanted the help of America and would have entered into a defense pact with the US in order to defend him against Iran.  That’s not altogether surprising since Saddam fought the Iranians before in the 80s for eight years, at no expense to US personnel or materiel.  Saddam wanted to talk to Bush about that and if he had been successful in pitching the idea all the American lives killed and money wasted at great expense to the country could have been avoided with an even better policy result!  But Bush was convinced to ignore Saddam’s overtures, no doubt with the blessings of the many neocons entrenched in his government who advised against such acceptance.  Instead these people using fascist tactics of deception and the increased powers of the state  got Bush to promote the lie of WMDS and consequently,  America has  installed  a pro-Iranian regime, and destabilized one of the largest Arab speaking countries of the region.  All this happened because neocons have been pitching the idea of regime change to Democrats and Republicans alike since the mid 90s.

They have managed to pitch war at the expense of peace before, when they similarly got Bush to ignore Iranian attempts at rapprochement with America in 2003.  Now a second US administration is being led by the nose with the help of a belligerent ally, Israel, that wants a war and ostensibly drag America into it, with a country that wants peace and is willing to  make major concessions towards that aim.  Such a war would not be in the interests of America and could prove to be more costly than even the Iraq debacle.  The authors of American government advised this country in its infancy from foreign entanglements and that advice still reverberates throughout time but there are few in government who are able to hear it because of the noise being made by neoconservatives and their spin doctors.  The fact that Obama has further embraced them, making government positions a revolving door for the enemies of America to spin, deceive and escalate and involve this country in military adventures means there isn’t much that has changed with his election.  It’s time for Americans to show neocons the door.

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The Elephant party with an un-Elephant like memory


The  ‘era of big government is back’ screamed the headline with a quote from republican minority leader John Boehner, talking about the stimulus package President Obama is trying to implement. “My question to my Democratic friends is how are you going to pay for it?”, claims Boehner and my answer to him would be why don’t we try to recoup all the money wasted on the Iraqi misadventure, that was documented here

Overall, the Defense Contract Audit Agency has found $4.9 billion in overpricing and waste in Iraq contracts since 2003. US auditors have identified another $5.1 billion in expenses charged without documentation.

“Clearly there has been some significant level of corruption,” says Steven Kosiak, director of budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

But the biggest problem may be the waste that results from doing big-budget projects quickly, with little oversight, in a war-torn country.

“Fraud has not been a significant component of the US experience in Iraq … waste is another matter,” said Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq, at a House hearing on February 15.

here

The three top auditors overseeing contract work in Iraq told a House committee of $10 billion in spending that was wasteful or poorly tracked. They pointed to numerous instances in which Defense and State department officials condoned or otherwise allowed poor accounting, repeated work delays, bloated expenses and payments for work shoddily or never done by U.S. contractors.

and here.

Though Defense has long been notorious for waste, recent government reports suggest the Pentagon’s money management woes have reached astronomical proportions. A study by the Defense Department’s inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn’t properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S.

Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units. And before the Iraq war, when military leaders were scrambling to find enough chemical and biological warfare suits to protect U.S. troops, the department was caught selling these suits as surplus on the Internet “for pennies on the dollar,” a GAO official said.

Let’s not forget the $700 billion with a “b” Bush got Congress to approve that would place no restrictions on the administration of that money other than requiring semiannual reports to Congress.  That some of that money went on to build up the personal wealth of many people at the expense of the American taxpayer is without question.

The 116 banks that are receiving billions in taxpayer-provided bailout money this year actually paid out $1.6 billion in compensation and benefits to their top executives last year – even though the results at some of these institutions were so poor that they would soon have to turn to Washington for a government-engineered rescue.

The $1.6 billion was paid out to nearly 600 executives at the 116 banks that have so far accepted federal money to bolster their financial foundations, The Associated Press concluded after a review of U.S. securities filings. In addition to salary, the compensation included bonuses paid in both cash and stock. The benefits reaped by top executives included the use of company jets for personal purposes, personal chauffeurs, home-security services, country-club memberships and professional-wealth-management services, the news service said.

All of this happened during the Republican watch, so it’s really disingenuous of Boehner to claim that Obama has returned to big government spending…it’s never gone away or at least not in the last eight years.  With the Republican track record on the economy the way it is, the Party really shouldn’t throw rocks while they live in their glass houses.  My last parting shot at the Republicans who claimed the stimulus package bill was not read before passage comes this

This is not the first time this has happened. It happened with the TARP bailout bill (2008) that was rushed through Congress with few provisions for accountability; the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 which was Congress’ Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout and the PATRIOT Act (2001) that was rushed through Congress before the bill was even printed.

Congressional legislation, which can consist of hundreds or even thousands of pages of text, is routinely drafted by congressional staff members, special interest groups and/or lobbyists and oftentimes is not even read by the members of congress themselves. Although the people, via the U.S. Constitution, have exclusively given Congress the power to write our laws, many of our representatives have delegated this power to their staff members, government agency bureaucrats, special interest groups and corporate lobbyists who prepare much of the legislation.

There’s nothing new to see here people, just move along.

Al-Qaeda pulling for John McCain


Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

That’s not the kind of news John McCain wants to hear so close to the elections, but it’s what intelligence agencies are reporting in their monitoring of the airwaves.  We’ve been told how important it is to have super secret sensitive monitoring of all forms of communications and the best money can buy is saying that Al-Qaeda wants John McCain to win the presidential elections.  That’s not news however, for the same can be said for the 2004 elections when bin laden himself used the old disinformation ploy to claim support for John Kerry’s race against Bush while secretly hoping for Bush to win.

Why would terrorists want their ardent enemies to win elections in order to continue the fight against them? Quite simply the US is paying a greater price fighting terrorism than they are in securing American interests against terrorism, and especially in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. As for the former, it was never a threat against American interests nor those of its allies, and America knew that going into the war.  What that war has done is destabilize an oil producing country and its neighbors, caused a refugee problem that numbers in the hundreds of thousands, if not more, and presented America with the specter of war with another country, Iran.  Afghanistan, a perpetually poor country which had the misfortune of once hosting bin laden now looms large as a staging ground for incursions and another possible war in another Muslim country, Pakistan.  In both conflicts we are no closer to getting bin laden, if you think that was ever our goal, and yet we’ve alienated millions of Muslims telling them in the words of Thomas Friedman to ‘suck on this’.  It would appear to me therefore that Thomas Friedman and bin laden have much more in common than bin laden and the Muslim masses he purports to represent; neither one of them is interested in seeing the peaceful coexistence of Muslims with the West because in post cold war international relations there would be no one to justify the tremendous defense spending currently taking place in world governments, and especially ours. The current budget for defense is twice what it was in 2000 when Bush took office and with fighting taking place on two fronts, the US military will need to be rebuilt at a tremendous expense, no matter who wins the November elections.

The idea that bin laden is an instrument for US foreign policy has traction when one considers the large amounts of money spent to “fight” him and the members of his group, but what is happening on an even larger scale is the fight the US is waging with Muslim societies world wide.  Under the leadership of the neoconservative cabal wing of the Republican Party, Islamofascism has taken expression and become the enemy of our Nation.  It is defined as any body of Muslims who are not ok with the notion that the US can go anywhere, break any law and do anything to fight its perceived enemies and in the process make more and new enemies.  It is a policy of perpetual confrontation which only benefits a large military complex that needs conflict on which to survive, which gets us back again to Osama bin laden who can only survive as a “hero” for Muslims if there is conflict between them and who “he” defines as their enemy, the US. What’s interesting to me is we have more than enough people who are willing to whet the appetite of both parties, the neocons of Washington, and al-Qaeda of some cave in the Hindu-Kush mountain range somewhere.  Perhaps it’s time to break this cycle.

The Nation’s first black president disses the Nation’s aspiring black president


The Clintons wanted to be a political dynasty, much like the Bush family, but Obama got in their way and it has been a rocky road between the two camps ever since.

McCain and the Republican party have some serious problems when matched against a polished performer like Obama so big John along with his running mate, Sara,  have been running scared ever since the Republican National Convention and the hurricanes.  The party that has gone the world over fighting wars of aggression has dodged  behind natural emergencies like Ike and Gustav  and national ones, like the economy, when it comes time to face the American public. So what happens?  Bill Clinton comes to the rescue for the Republicans and bails John McCain out of a public relations problem had it been pursued by the media.  Of course the very fact that Bill was out and about trying to reassure people he wasn’t a party wrecker is a sure sign he sees himself in that role, as do most others.

So the nation’s first black and Jewish president has been a bit less than a rousing endorser of the nation’s second aspiring black president. It also doesn’t help that Clinton views his role as getting out the “cracker” vote for Obama.  Let me ask a simple question here.  Does the use of pejorative terms by someone help the candidate they support, especially in a racially charged campaign as this?  Not likely. So, eight more years of THE REPUBLICAN party, invasions of third world countries, or emerging economies and death and destruction.  Gee, thanks Bill!