Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bush's Iraq and Bhutto -- An American Foreign Policy Disaster: The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the would be and probable Pakistani president, is disastrous for the US. The voice of an avowed US supporter and democracy proponent in a sea of tyrannies, is silenced. She wasn't perfect but she was all we had. Her death, I believe, is yet another nail in the botched Bush foreign policy coffin with the deadly possibility of nuclear arms in the hands of a near anarchistic state ready for the terrorist plucking.

Much of the Middle East chaos now is related to President G.W. Bush and his utterly disastrous Iraq fiasco. Iraq has emboldened violent extremism, especially Al Qaeda, in an area in which they did not exist before. I imagine they think they are now marching to Pretoria. The ill conceived, ill planned and ill perpetrated Iraq venture has created nothing but violence -- despite the so called surge success -- in a bad neighborhood milieu that has been a violent tinderbox ready to explode. Iraq has destabilized that region into fragmented warring pieces which will take years, decades and maybe even centuries to sort out. If we get that far.

Pakistan, harboring and blindly acquiescing to a constellation of potential terrorists, has always been the most important nation state to consider. Iraq, though, took the real target, Pakistan/Afghanistan, and put US blood, treasure and resources into the state of Iraq which had nothing to do with the attack on 9/11 or anything to do with supporting global terrorism as we so sadly found out. Our resources, blood and treasure were spent in the wrong war, at the wrong time and in the wrong place.

Hezbollah still exists in Lebanon and works its heinous magic, Gaza democratically elected Hamas and haunts Israel, Iran is the big man on the block and Syria has influence it could only formerly dream of. Even though these Islamic fundamentalist states and groups are of different stripes, in the long run, Al Qaeda's message resonates and violence rules the day. So they push on.

Bhutto, a moderate, potential and much needed US ally in a central part of the Middle East is now dead and Bin Laden still lives. Those facts alone should hold the G.W. Bush team accountable for the biggest foreign policy disaster in US history. Oh yes, the Pakistani nukes live on as well. I hope the world does too.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Now the fox-guarding-the-chicken-coop Justice Department wants to delay the investigation of torture. At long last have they no shame? Where are those who might indict and defeat these utter law breaking hypocrites? Where is the media who should be pounding away in print, microphone and camera illuminating all the scandals every hour of every day until these criminals are punished for what they have done and finally leave us to end this national nightmare?

I feel like I am in an occupied country drowning in a quagmire of political sewage and there is no one to throw me a life raft; not the Congress which is inept and especially not the media which is supposed to do its job and question everything but does not or forgets five minutes after the next scandal story breaks. The media has systemically failed to perform its responsibilities of skeptically vetting every piece of information coming from the den of lies of this administration? Instead of vetting the operative word is forgetting which is exactly what Congress and the media have done with the plethora of information it has which has led to an utterly incalculable amount of deceit, death and destruction perpetrated by an administration which has no conscience. At long last what has become of our country if those who have committed treason, treachery and torture do not pay a price for the illegalities they have committed.

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If you don't watch Keith Olbermann on MSNBC at 8:00 p.m. and Bill Moyers weekly on PBS Friday evenings at 9:00 p.m. you ought to. They are both a breath of fresh air given the polluted and corporately usurped media landscape. Olbermann's broadcast is staggeringly brilliant and his occasional "comment" within that broadcast absolutely stunning. I wrote the following (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) which appears on the Moyer's web page.

I was riveted by the Keith Olbermann interview as I watch Keith on MSNBC, without fail, every evening at 8:00. Finally finally there is a brilliant voice of dissent which questions and indicts Bush and his cronies taking them to task for those policies which make Bush the worst president in US history. I feel as if I am in an occupied country drowning in the swill and quagmire of this utterly corrupt administration's lies, deceit, and injustice which has cost so many lives and so much treasure. Bush, the Republican party, and even a few Democrats have used 9/11 to transform this nation into a near tyranny. The ever-so-few like Keith Olbermann throw a life raft to me and, I believe, to the preponderance of this nation. Bill Moyers, thank you for still another wonderful program. You, too, help save me from the black hole of utter hopelessness.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Machiavellian Mitt -- the necessity for the separation of church and state: God save us from presidential candidate Machiavellian flip-flopper- in-chief, Mitt Romney. Why is God so easily and, indeed, necessary to infuse in the American electoral debate? Why cannot the separation clause of the US Constitution be absolute and unalterable? I see the marriage of religion and politics as a distinct liability in the American political arena today as well as an egregious Constitutional assault. In history, the alliance of faith and state spelled trouble and still does. In this country right wing Christian and other religious zealots have gained a seat at the table of power. Candidates, especially Republicans, must cater to their base which is made up largely of fundamentalist faiths even ones which sometimes harbor cult-like beliefs. They hold the rest of us hostage and crush debate, scientific truth and cultural advancement.

Religion is not truth. Religion is about belief. If there are six billion people on this planet then I submit there are probably six billion different conceptions of what God is or isn't. Contrary to what Mitt Romney says, the two -- religion and science -- often in history have not been compatible. I see our culture drowning in the quicksand of religious fanaticism which drags the advancement of humankind with it. From stem cell research which could help people to the absolute and unalterable truth of evolution, religion, in my opinion, has suppressed veracity, caused great harm, been responsible for great division and is guilty of much destruction. For once can we please elect a leader who understands the necessity of church/state separation so that all of us can enjoy the fruits of what reason and science can bestow.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sent this to the Globe after reading their front page article on the subject of DNR by a reporter Patricia Wen. The article was about a woman ruminating and not being able to sign a Do Not Resuscitate order for her mother who had reached the end of her life. Wen actually very nicely answered my email. Perhaps they will print it I wrote the following:

The Anguish of DNR: I read with interest an article in the Globe on the Do Not Resuscitate issue by Patricia Wen. My mother, who was a quadriplegic for over twenty years because of a mis-diagnosed benign spinal tumor, suffered much. In addition, because of the tumor she also experienced a massive stroke. She spent those years in a wheelchair basically helpless. Mercifully, she died in a nursing facility at age 82 in a split second when her heart simply gave out. My father, who suffered five years from multiple myeloma, a painful blood cancer, died similarly at age 78. I have personally known disabling illness throughout my own life as well and because of that I have been keenly aware of what my own mandate will be when the time presents itself. I have already made my wishes known that I do not want to be kept alive through tubes, machines or any other Herculean instruments if those instruments will merely sustain my life but not improve it.

Truly, I do not know why this is such a difficult issue. In my opinion, much of this difficulty springs from the fact that we are an overly optimistic and death denying culture. For some reason many feel that even at a geriatric age death still seems wrong and unnatural. As much as I love family and friends, I believe death at a certain time is not wrong but quite naturally right. Death allows others on this earth to live. Without death this planet, already stretched in population to the max, would be an even more intolerable place to inhabit. There will come an end time for all of us. To extend the inevitable through extreme machinations for no purpose but to keep a person's heart and diaphragm going because those around that person are unable to let that person go, I believe, is in and of itself, inhumane. We would do well, I think, to realize when we give a child life we also give him/her death. Death often brings, I believe, a relief from never-ending suffering and its presence is an inescapable fact of life no matter how much we find it difficult to bear.