Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Another Face-off/Abizaid and McCain on More Troops/Murtha on Pelosi's "Total Crap"

Yep, it's time for a new episode of featuring Jim Pinkerton and yours truly. After our last pairing, two--count 'em, two!--viewers wrote in to hail our "chemistry." Thus, blogginghead-in-chief Bob Wright requested that we meet again on the field of honor. And once more, we agreed more than we should have--especially on the war. (I hate when that happens.) But ever faithful to those who want to see pundit blood on the screen, we tried mightily to accentuate our differences when they did occur. And the differences mostly came when the discussion turned toward immigration and Pinkerton predicted a popular uprising against the elites on this issue. He envisions main-street Americans waving pitchforks at Washington politicians (Ds and Rs) who are willing to let more immigrants into this great land of ours. Since last time we did BHTV a pal of mine gave me grief for not challenging Pinkerton on the topic of John Kerry's botched joke, I made sure to deride Pinkerton's prediction of an immigration-fueled revolution. Other than that, we got on just fine. It certainly is a sign of the times that the Washington editor of The Nation and the former domestic policy chief for Bush the First can concur on so much. Look at what the neocons have done.

UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE DAY: General John Abizaid, head of CentCom, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee about Iraq: "More American troops would have been advisable in the early stages." But he did brush back Senator John McCain, when the leading GOP presidential contender advocated sending more troops now to Iraq. McCain is painting himself into a corner with his call for more troops. He's running against the public mood--and against the White House--on this critical issue. What can save him? The Dems succeeding in pushing Bush to withdraw (or redeploy) troops. Presuming such a move does not lead to peace and stability in Iraq, McCain will be able to say, "See, if you had listened to me...." But short of that, he's tying one big millstone to his presidential ambitions.

SELF-REVELATION OF THE DAY: Roll Call is reporting that at a meeting with Blue Dog Democrats yesterday, Representative Murtha, the majority leader hopeful, said of Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi's grand political reform package, "It's total crap." Murtha, who has been endorsed by Pelosi in his fight against Representative Steny Hoyer for the majority leader post, did say he'd vote for it. But this was one heckuva admission from the fellow who Pelosi wants by his side.

Posted by David Corn at November 15, 2006 03:44 PM


Saladin said...

Hell yeh! If we'd sent more troops into that meat grinder more could have been maimed and killed, not to mention receiving a lethal dose of DU poisoning! What were they thinking?? If you're going to lie to start wars, not to mention the really BIG lie that kicked it off, namely 9/11, you might as well kill as many birds with a single stone as possible!! RIGHT? Fucking idiots.
Capt, I saw that picture on the Rense site, it totally gave me the creeps because that is really what it boils down to. Check this one out:
Our vulturous politicians
(I will work on uploading pictures when I have more time)

Saladin said...

Saw the Russo film Freedom to Fascism last night. I couldn't get through the whole thing because it pissed me off so much. I knew we'd been set up for a fall, I just didn't realize how insidious the plan was, my god the people are so clueless. The good that could have been done. Instead we just got the crumbs.

capt said...

"Our only political party has two right wings, one called Republican, the other Democratic. But Henry Adams figured all that out back in the 1890s. 'We have a single system,' he wrote, and 'in that system the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold, the bread and circuses.'" : Gore Vidal - The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

"If a baseball player slides into home plate and, right before the umpire rules if he is safe or out, the player says to the umpire - 'Here is $1,000.' What would we call that? We would call that a bribe. If a lawyer was arguing a case before a judge and said, 'Your honor before you decide on the guilt or innocence of my client, here is $1,000.' What would we call that? We would call that a bribe.

"But if an industry lobbyist walks into the office of a key legislator and hands her or him a check for $1,000, we call that a campaign contribution. We should call it a bribe." : Janice Fine - Dollars and Sense magazine

Read this newsletter online

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

The Coming Sellout

The Democrats won't deliver on the war

Antiwar voters who thought they were ushering in a new era of sanity in the realm of U.S. foreign policy are very much mistaken: the election was a measure of voter aspirations. But the politicians are selling them out, and rather quickly. Usually they wait a while longer before breaking their campaign promises – to do it this early, and in so brazen a manner, betrays the real contempt our "leaders" have for voters and the party rank-and-file.

The Washington elite has managed to reinterpret the election results, widely seen as a referendum on the war, into a rationale for inaction, as per Gloria Borger:

"The public will be watching [the Democrats'] approach to Iraq. Voters don't want to relitigate the decision to go to war; most, in fact, were co-conspirators. Nor are they interested in providing future Democratic presidential candidates with the proof that they were lied to about Iraq's weapons, so they can excuse their pro-war votes."

Isn't it wonderful how a pundit sitting in Washington can mind-meld with the great, unwashed masses and channel our inner thoughts and desires? Fifty-eight percent of the American people believe the Bush administration deliberately misled the public about Iraq's alleged "weapons of mass destruction," and it stands to reason that they are not exactly pleased about it. Surely they deserve some explanation, some accounting of the truth, even if punishment of the perpetrators is too much to expect.

And what's this about the American people being "co-conspirators"? Let's see if I get this straight: if Americans were lied into war, they have no right to know who lied, or why they did so – and we are all just as guilty as, say, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, two of the main disseminators of the lies, because, after all, we fell for it. By this same standard, a philanderer's wife is a "co-conspirator" with her husband in his infidelity because she believed him when he told her he was faithful. She should have known better than that!

Borger's fanatic centrism allows her to see what she wants to see, to divine the "real" motives behind the great realignment of 2006 without citing a single poll:

"Voters blamed the administration for mismanagement and incompetence, and that's what they want to end. They want the war to end, too – but in the right way. If that doesn't happen, voters in 2008 could be looking for someone to take the fall. They'll ask: Whom do we blame? The people who got us into the war? Or the ones who got us out?"

I have news for Borger, who really ought to get out more: the American people are already asking 'Whom do we blame?' That's why they hope and have every right to expect that plenty of subpoenas will be forthcoming from various congressional committees. Borger disagrees:

"What they do not want is a slew of subpoenas by Democratic committees, finger-pointing about intelligence failures, scapegoating, and more talk of filibusters. Now that Donald Rumsfeld is gone, how many more times can the president cry uncle? He lost; the Democrats won. Let the governing begin."

In other words, let the cover-up begin.


*****end of clip*****

Did I mention Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown?


titchaba said...

Think Kerry Played Charlie Brown in this production.

titchaba said...

Why is my comment followed by a trashcan?

erling krange said...

"Our only political party has two right wings, one called Republican, the other Democratic. But Henry Adams figured all that out back in the 1890s. 'We have a single system,' he wrote, and 'in that system the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold, the bread and circuses.'" : Gore Vidal - The Decline and Fall of the American Empire.

To us Europeans, this is an interesting aspect. Most European countries have more than two political parties to choose from. In Norway, we have 6-7 parties ranging from left to right, with a couple in the center. We don't have an "all mighty" President, but we do have a King, which has no real power anymore. He is more like a "public relation" person promoting Norway abroad. Every Friday he is in charge of a cabinet meeting, but has no political power. The real power in Norway is being taken care of by our parliamentry system, which consist of the Government and the Parliament. The Government govern by support from the Parliament, and they have to implement what the majority of the Parliament tells them to do.
We like to think that this system, even though it's not perfect, are the best way to exercise democracy. This political system has, over the past 50-60 years, given us a welfare state that we are sincerely proud of.

Visit these sites: and


erling krange said...

Crown princess' ailing father has no regrets
Sven O Hoeiby, whose lifestyle has sparked nearly as much discussion as his daughter's before she became Norway's crown princess, says he has no regrets. Hoeiby remains seriously ill after surgery for lung cancer. Hoeiby has at times been estranged from his daughter, the former Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoeiby, but now says both she and her husband, Crown Prince Haakon, have visited him in the hospital and even brought their children. "That was fun, not least because they had the children with them," Hoeiby told newspaper VG on Tuesday. "I hadn't seen Marius (Crown Princess Mette-Marit's son from an earlier relationship) since the christening, and (soon-three-year-old Princess) Ingrid Alexandra ran around like a whirlwind in a wheelchair." Hoeiby, long divorced from Mette-Marit's mother, danced with Queen Sonja at his daughter's royal wedding in 2001. His relationship to the royal family since has been chilly at best. Palace officials generally refused to comment when Hoeiby kept up his high-profile partying, married an ex-stripper and willingly worked for gossip magazines. "I don't think my lifestyle should bother Haakon and Mette-Marit so terribly," he told VG. "My image, if you can call it that, was created long before they got together." Hoeiby turned 70 on Tuesday, and claimed that "family means a lot." Asked whether he would have done anything differently, he said "no," adding that he'd had a lot of joy in life and had experienced more than most people, for better or worse. He admitted to being mentally plagued by his illness, as well as physically. "It's not so easy to fight yourself up any longer," he said. "Eight weeks in bed breaks you down mentally." Hoeiby said he enjoys getting letters and greetings from people he doesn't even know, and he praised the staff at Soerlandet Hospital in Kristiansand, where he's been since undergoing surgery at the National Hospital in Oslo earlier this autumn. He doesn't think he'll ever move back to his apartment in nearby Vaagsbygd, and expects he'll wind up in a nursing home. Contact with other people, though, is the most important for him. "The best therapy for me is to talk with folks," he said.
Aftenposten English Web Desk


This guy, a former journalist and author, has been a friend of mine for years. Sure, he loved to hang out at his favorit pub, and when his daughter got married to the Crown Prince, he decided not to change his lifestyle, which resulted in that the Royal Court cut him off. Uncledad, you would like this guy!


erling krange said...

Sharp rise in number of UK battle casualties
By Andy McSmith
Published: 16 November 2006
The Independent UK
One British soldier was seriously wounded in Iraq every three days during October, one of the highest rates of battle casualties since the conflict began in March 2003. The figure is double the average monthly casualty rate for the first nine months of 2006. The main British field hospital in Iraq, Shaibah "Role 3", has treated more than 7,600 British soldiers and civilians since the invasion - 283 of whom were seriously wounded in battle - more than the total number of British troops now in the country. More than 4,500 were sufficiently ill to need airlifting home. A comparison of the latest figures on the MoD website with those posted a month ago suggest the number of Britons wounded in action, the number admitted to hospital for other reasons, and the number airlifted out are all rising.


erling krange said...

Peace activist mourns loss of son killed in Iraq
By Ian Herbert
Published: 16 November 2006
he ndependent UK
The prospect of war with Iraq has long since concerned the veteran peace protestor Anni Rainbow. In October 2002, she galvanized dozens to join a protest in Yorkshire which, she declared, was, "not something just for activists and campaigners but for everyone who is concerned about what we are being dragged into."
Now, Ms Rainbow is experiencing at first hand the sense of personal loss wrought by the conflict which she dreaded. She has lost her eldest son, Corporal Matthew Cornish, 29, to the conflict and is being treated in a Leeds hospital for a stroke she suffered soon after hearing of his death.
Despite disability which has confined her to a wheelchair in recent years, Ms Rainbow, has maintained Tuesday night vigils at the United States signals intelligence station at Menwith Hill near Harrogate, North Yorkshire.


erling krange said...

US plans last big push in Iraq
Strategy document calls for extra 20,000 troops, aid for Iraqi army and regional summit
Simon Tisdall
Thursday November 16, 2006
The Guardian

President George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make "a last big push" to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration's internal deliberations. Mr Bush's refusal to give ground, coming in the teeth of growing calls in the US and Britain for a radical rethink or a swift exit, is having a decisive impact on the policy review being conducted by the Iraq Study Group chaired by Bush family loyalist James Baker, the sources said. Although the panel's work is not complete, its recommendations are expected to be built around a four-point "victory strategy" developed by Pentagon officials advising the group. The strategy, along with other related proposals, is being circulated in draft form and has been discussed in separate closed sessions with Mr Baker and the vice-president Dick Cheney, an Iraq war hawk.
Point one of the strategy calls for an increase rather than a decrease in overall US force levels inside Iraq, possibly by as many as 20,000 soldiers. This figure is far fewer than that called for by the Republican presidential hopeful, John McCain. But by raising troop levels, Mr Bush will draw a line in the sand and defy Democratic pressure for a swift drawdown.


capt said...

titchaba said...
Why is my comment followed by a trashcan?

That is the "delete" icon. If you want to delete a comment you made you can click on the little trash can.


kathleen said...

Jesus Mary and Joseph I wish the MSM would get off Kerry's botched sentence! The bulk of what he had to say hit the nail on the head!

The Amercan people had had enough!

American soldiers have had enough!

And the Iraqi people have had enough!

Of the Bush administration's lies that have caused so much DEATH AND DESTRUCTION!

David if you bring up Kerry's powerful words again, why not focus on the bulk of what he said, not on the botched sentence!


With Congressman Lantos in the head seat of International Relations and if Harman gets the head seat of the Congress Intelligence committee, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict will not witness any movement or improvement at all!

Congressman Lantos was on C-span the other morning he called the study "The Israeli Lobby" by Mearsheimer and Walt a "conspiracy theory".

Lantos pushed the legislation to cut off the Palestinians including humanitarian aid! Harman and Lantos are pro-Israel no matter how many UN resolutions Israel is in violation of, or International laws Israel breaks!

capt said...

"The Amercan people had had enough!"

I know I have.


Saladin said...

Tom Paine

Falling In Line On Israel

The election of a Democratic majority in the House and Senate is unlikely to result in any serious challenge to the Bush administration’s support for Israeli attacks against the civilian populations of its Arab neighbors and the Israeli government’s ongoing violations of international humanitarian law.
The principal Democratic Party spokesmen on foreign policy will likely be Tom Lantos in the House of Representatives and Joe Biden in the Senate, both of whom have been longstanding and outspoken supporters of a series of right-wing Israeli governments and opponents of the Israeli peace movement.
Opponents of the Israeli peace movement? I guess that answers a lot of questions. They don't want peace, unless it is on their terms.

circular_illogic said...

If you don't support Isreal you get labeled an anti-Semite. But if you do unwaveringly support Isreal over all others it could be infered as wanting the conflict to continue. Wouldn't this want for continued destruction itself be anti-Semetic? Oy!

capt said...

Iraq denigrating into a rat's nest, general testifies

WASHINGTON - America's top military commander in the Middle East on Wednesday warned the U.S. has only ''four to six months'' to secure Iraq before the country slips into chaos, but rejected the need for more American troops to end the violence.

Gen. John Abizaid, in confrontational testimony before Congress, also warned lawmakers against setting a fixed timetable for the early withdrawal of U.S forces.

''The sectarian violence, if not brought under control soon, can actually destroy our hope for a stable Iraq,'' Abizaid told the House armed services committee.

''The situation could be bleak.''

The U.S. general's testimony followed a contentious two-hour session before the Senate armed services committee, where frustrated lawmakers pressed Abizaid for evidence of progress in Iraq.

''The American people do not want our troops caught in a crossfire between Iraqis if they insist on squandering that opportunity through civil war and sectarian strife,'' said Democratic Senator Carl Levin, the committee's incoming chairman.

Abizaid, who expressed hope last January that U.S. forces could be reduced to 100,000 from 140,000 by the end of 2006, told lawmakers his optimism was misplaced.

The sectarian bloodletting and insurgent attacks remain ''unacceptably high,'' he said, particularly in Baghdad and Sunni-dominated areas such as Al Anbar province.

''I would not say we've turned the corner,'' said Abizaid, who heads U.S. Central Command.


*****end of clip*****

"I would not say we've turned the corner"

Yeah, they just need a few more troops and a few more years and THEN we can turn that corner, eh?


capt said...

Freedom's just another word

What is freedom?

This has always been a fairly obvious question to many non-Americans, and became so fairly recently to thinking Americans as well, after the long promised and much touted elections in Afghanistan and Iraq had come and gone. Finally, some American supporters of the invasion of those two countries woke up to the reality that it was never in the cards to convert them into mini-Americas. Those countries, and indeed every country that the neo-conservatives wish to assimilate into a Pax Americana, have their own cultures that in many, many ways are completely incompatible with US lifestyles and aspirations.

Most obviously, the immediate victims of 21st-century imperialism were conservative Muslim societies, very unlike the Christian/secular mix of the United States. What, then (Americans asked themselves too late), would such people do with the "freedom" so benevolently bestowed upon them by the American invaders? Abandon hundreds of years of culture, convert to Christianity, and vote neo-conservative Zionists into power?

Of course not. It was always much more likely that they would empower Islamic fundamentalists of the exact sort that the US had felt so threatened by in the first place, after September 11, 2001, precipitating the counter-violence of the wars against the Taliban and Saddam Hussein.

The logic of the "war on terror" and its extensions, the attempted assimilation of Afghanistan and Iraq, was and continues to be largely based on imprecise language.


*****end of clip*****

" Abandon hundreds of years of culture, convert to Christianity, and vote neo-conservative Zionists into power?"

Sure, as soon as the bombing stops and they can count their dead and collateral damage (women and children) I am sure abandoning their culture, etc. is top of their list.


circular_illogic said...

House Democrats name Hoyer to No. 2 post
WASHINGTON - Democrats picked Rep. Steny Hoyer (news, bio, voting record) to be House majority leader on Thursday, spurning Rep. Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record)'s handpicked choice moments after unanimously backing her election as speaker when Congress convenes in January.

O'Reilly said...

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to observe national politics from now under January 1 with the following questions in mind (props to Dan Froomkin)

* Is Bush's claim that he wants to work in a bipartisan manner a genuine change -- or a ruse? Watch what he says -- but even more so, what he does.

* What will life be like with oversight? We've just gone through not only six years of congressional obedience, but six years of ignorance. Congressional oversight has historically put enormous amounts of important, otherwise secret information into the public domain -- about the government and the private sector alike. If you think bloggers have been a potent political force thus far -- just wait until oversight gives them better material to work with.

* Is Bush's credibility problem going to become a bigger issue? Will an emboldened Washington press corps more aggressively challenge the accuracy of White House statements? Now that the Washington echo chamber is at least partly owned by the opposition, will the credibility issue start to resonate?

* And what will Bush do about the elephant in the room? I mean, of course, Iraq. Is he ready to accept the brutal reality that things there are getting worse, rather than better? Is he ready to abandon the mythology that the major strategic decisions about Iraq are being made by the military? Is he ready to change not just tactics, but his strategy and his goals?

capt said...

New thread!