Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bush No Churchill

I'm not looking forward to another John Kerry presidential run. But he did make a good point in his defense of flip-flopping, published in yesterday's Washington Post. For years, conservative war cheerleaders have claimed Winston Churchill as a patron saint, portraying the ol' English bulldog as the epitome of wartime determination and citing him as a model of never-waver leadership. In this article calling for George W. Bush to change his administration's Iraq policy, Kerry notes that Churchill was not merely bullheaded and places one of Churchill's stirring remarks in its proper context:

President Bush and all of us who grew up in the shadows of World War II remember Winston Churchill -- his grit, his daring, his resolve. I remember listening to his speeches on a vinyl album in the pre-iPod era. Two years ago I spoke about Iraq at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., where Churchill had drawn a line between freedom and fear in his "iron curtain" speech. In preparation, I reread some of the many words from various addresses that made him famous. Something in one passage caught my eye. When Churchill urged, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in," he added: "except to convictions of honour and good sense."

This is a time for such convictions.

Indeed. But for Bush to reconsider the wisdom of his actions in Iraq would be rather surprising. In his book, that would hardly qualify as Churchillian.

Posted by David Corn at December 26, 2006 10:05 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

The post reminds me of another Churchill quote:

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

~ Sir Winston Churchill

Thanks for all of your work.


O'Reilly said...

When you start a war in the middle east to protect your country from nuclear weapons that do not exist in a country that does not have a problem with terrorism...

and as an afterthought, you stay to build a democratic government that acts like a democracy and respects minority rights...

and then after 4 years of war the country descends into civil war replete with death squads posising as police departments...

and then a blue-ribbon group says to you, "You are in DENIAL"...

and then you decide to send more troops,

you just might be midguided and incompetent redneck.

Gerald said...

Hitler Bush has enslaved Nazi America to his policies of mass murder and war crimes.

Gerald said...

Let me remind you: Eleanor Clift is one of my foxes

Gerald said...

Good for what ails you

Gerald said...

Nazi America is deep into class warfare: time to kill off the poor and the middle class

You can kiss my ass if you think that I am going to be used as cannon fodder to protect the asses of the rich and their spoiled, bratty children.

Gerald said...

So how do we break this abuse machine? How do we resurrect the American Dream?

Back to reality, right? Well, no magic formulas, but surely first things first is to SEE THINGS LIKE THEY ARE. And that means coming out of denial about thinking of our country as a Democratic Republic.

In our dreams! Our country is light years away from being a Democratic Republic. Out country is a Dictatorship of the Rich and we should find non political strategies (e.g., national boycotts, demonstrations, etc.) to dramatically share our nation's vast wealth.

Of course, the giving-away-the-farm centrists would call this socialism, but doesn't Jesus Justice say it better?

In any event, AT LEAST we should be like an abused wife who when talking with a friend, suddenly glimpses that her husband (American elites) is a total monster.

Gerald said...

There is little time left

Gerald said...

Frankly, I believe that we are running out of time. I would be very happy if this was not the case, but I believe it is. I hope I'm wrong. To wake up and hear on the radio or TV while you are making the coffee that Iranian jets have just attacked the American aircraft carrier Eisenhower, and that hundreds are dead, and that we retaliated with a salvo of Tomahawk missiles and that B-52's are at this moment dropping bombs on Tehran and on suspected nuclear facilities is not an outrageous scenario. I waited until after Christmas to write this, and I'm glad that I'm finally getting it into print. Frankly, I have done just about everything I can to stop this. I will continue to write about events and also voice my opinions. I hope I will never have to say I told you so. I hope I write a column that says "Boy, I was a Jackass on that Iran Prediction!" Let's see. Meanwhile don't let up on your elected officials. Don't let Bush start another war. Enough is enough.


Gerald said...

A Christmas Reminder from the Mother of an Iraq War Veteran: While Bush "Decides" (Again and Again and Again), Soldiers Die
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Mon, 12/25/2006 - 6:11am. Reader Contribution
A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary

On Tuesday reporters from the Washington Post interviewed President Bush.

One of the reporters asked Bush if he'd made decisions regarding Iraq. Bush responded, "I have not. And we'll spend some more time -- Secretary Gates, as he indicated, is going to head to the region at some point in time. I need to talk to him when he gets back. And I'm going to take my time to make sure that the policy, when it comes out, the American people will see that we are -- have got a new way forward..."

While President Bush was talking about taking his time Tuesday, Cpl. Joshua D. Pickard age 20, of Merced CA was killed in Iraq.

While Gates was in Iraq Wednesday, discussing options with local military commanders there, three more soldiers were killed and six more were wounded.

Bush talks of a "surge" and a "new way forward"...but in reality, the majority of his advisors and even the public are against sending more troops.

Bush has been known to surround himself with people who share his "vision."

His unrealistic and idealistic visions are causing increasing bloodshed and increasing violence in Iraq.

To quote from a statement by Senator Harry Reid, December 19, 2006: "It's been two weeks since the Iraq Study Group released its plan to change the course and bring our troops home. Since then, the President has been on a "fact-finding" tour of his own administration -- apparently ignoring the facts presented by those in the military who know best. The President needs to put forth a plan as soon as possible, one that reflects the reality on the ground in Iraq and that withdraws our troops from the middle of this deadly civil war."

On December 20 these soldiers took their last breath while Bush was taking his time to decide what to do next:

Spc. Scott D. Dykman, 27, of Helena, Mont., died in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered from an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.

A Dismounted MND-B Patrol was struck by a roadside bomb southwest of Baghdad, killing Spc. Robert J. Volker, 21, of Big Spring, Texas, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

One Marine assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division died Dec. 20 from
wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.

On December 21, these soldiers were killed:

Three Marines and one Sailor assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died Thursday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.

Lance Cpl. Ryan J. Burgess, 21, of Sanford, Mich.

Lance Cpl. Ryan L. Mayhan, 25, of Hawthorne, Calif. Burgess and Mayhan died Dec. 21 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. They were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Other soldiers, whose names have not been released yet, have also given their lives while Bush takes his time and tries to build support for his "surge."

I wonder how many more soldiers will die while Bush celebrates his holidays at his ranch in Crawford Texas?

Carol Korreck
Mother of Iraq Combat Vet

Gerald said...

A Grim Christmas for Iraqi Children

Gerald said...

Pope: God Teaches Us to Love the Vulnerable
Presides at Christmas Midnight Mass in St. Peter's

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 25, 2006 (ZENIT.org).- By coming a child, God taught us to love the youngest among us and the weak, Benedict XVI said in his Christmas Midnight Mass homily.

"The Child of Bethlehem directs our gaze toward all children who suffer and are abused in the world, the born and the unborn," the Pope said at the Mass he presided over in St. Peter's Basilica.

"God teaches us to love the little ones," the Holy Father said. "In this way he teaches us to love the weak. In this way he teaches us respect for children."

The Mass was broadcast by 84 television stations in 47 countries.

The Pontiff turned his attention "toward children who are placed as soldiers in a violent world; toward children who have to beg; towards children who suffer deprivation and hunger; toward children who are unloved. In all of these it is the Child of Bethlehem who is crying out to us; it is the God who has become small who appeals to us.

"Let us pray this night that the brightness of God's love may enfold all these children."

Benedict XVI exhorted: "Let us ask God to help us do our part so that the dignity of children may be respected. May they all experience the light of love, which mankind needs so much more than the material necessities of life."

Our neighbor

With the birth of Jesus, God "is no longer distant. He is no longer unknown," the Pope continued. "He is no longer beyond the reach of our heart.

"He has become a child for us, and in so doing he has dispelled all doubt. He has become our neighbor, restoring in this way the image of man, whom we often find so hard to love. For us, God has become a gift. He has given himself. He has entered time for us. He who is the Eternal One, above time, he has assumed our time and raised it to himself on high."

The Pope said that "Among the many gifts that we buy and receive" at Christmas, "let us not forget the true gift: to give each other something of ourselves, to give each other something of our time, to open our time to God."

At the Midnight Mass the Prayers of the Faithful were said in German, Portuguese, Arabic, Pilipino, Polish and French.

In Arabia, the Holy Father prayed that all those who link themselves with the faith of Abraham live "the spirit of dialogue, mutually understanding and collaboration, in order to create works of peaceful coexistence among peoples."

Gerald said...

Where is the pro-life movement when it comes to the vulnerable children of Iraq and soon to be the children of Iran with our readiness to attack the Iranian women and children with our "conventional nuclear weapons"?

They are silent and giving tacit approval to our endless mass murders and war crimes.

Gerald said...


Gerald said...

Nazi America's evil, vile, and wicked ways are not going unnoticed by my God!!!!!

Gerald said...

Remember God works in mysterious ways!!!!!!!!!!

Gerald said...

The glory of God is man fully alive. St. Irenaeus

The glory of Hitler Bush is man fully and totally dead. Gerald

Gerald said...

America's Democracy Spreads

Gerald said...

Since we are ruled from Washington, and our democracy is a kind of make-believe, men such as Mr. Rahman, who are plentiful in supply, in order to further their careers and to earn the dosh that comes from the West, have to accept that America wishes to democratize us at all costs. And ‘all costs’ includes human costs. One wonders: at what price are people willing to give up their conscience?

Gerald said...
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Gerald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerald said...

The unconquered son
By Jeff Zervas
Online Journal Guest Writer

Dec 22, 2006, 02:15

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In keeping with the Yuletide spirits of generosity, peace on Earth, and joy to the world, Uncle Sam O’Claws and the compassionate conservatives keep piling gifts under the corporate Christmas tree.

While the taxpayers pinch pennies for presents, the world’s most expensive government continues filling the world’s largest punch bowl for the world’s principal arms merchants.

No sooner has the snow settled after one arms procurement storm than another strikes.

Recently, ex-Secretary of Defense “Frosty the Snowjob” Rumsfeld could not explain “how his department came to squander nearly $30 billion leasing several hundred new tanker aircraft that its own experts had decided were not needed.” Then, true to character, the human smart bomb couldn’t explain why he didn’t know what he didn’t know. Ho ho ho!

Also, being seasonally correct, this year’s congressional elves donated $1.4 billion to purchase 20 of the trouble-ridden F-22 fighter aircraft. They are the most expensive fighter planes in history and were designed to counter the Soviet air forces, an enemy that no longer exists. There were no F-22s on the Pentagon’s Christmas wish list, yet no one will be standing in line to return those stocking stuffers or ask for a refund!

Conservative? Bah, humbug.

If we truly desire frugality, maybe we should turn over the reins of government to old St Nick. After all, as a private citizen, with a low budget, he’s ruled the Christmas skies for centuries. He puts Nicholsonian Economics to work in his everyday life and routinely achieves spectacular results without a silly swagger.

Furthermore, he’s highly accountable. He never accepts foreign bribes, he always accomplishes the mission, and kids are safe around him. He delivers the goods with a low tech All Weather Sleigh, equipped with an efficient Rudolph 4-Leg propulsion system guided by standard Red Nose avionics. He even has his own uniform which, to make it more official, could be adorned with a few ribbons by Mrs. Claus. However, the beard would have to go.

Speaking of Mrs. Claus, she has experience keeping the workers in line, out of trouble, and productive. Furthermore, she does that in a frozen homeland with an abundance of candy canes everywhere and no concertina wire in sight. All the work is voluntary, and she doesn’t rely on jackboots, so it’s certainly no gulag.

With a resume like that she could be the first female president, but that would require an auction, I mean election, and she’d have to work away from home. She’d also have to outsource the gingerbread cookies. On the plus side, she’d have a pension and bennies to burn, courtesy of the tax peons.

There are other examples to follow, if only we’d muster the will. For instance, we get the word “magic” because the Magi made do without fancy expensive hardware. They relied on ordinary Camel Personnel Movers, their common sense and a solitary star to direct their deployment. And they finished the job.

Additionally, they came bearing gifts, not bombs or grenades or white phosphorous. They didn’t dispense handouts from the public treasury, they tried to thwart the massacre of the innocents, and they were Persian. They would have made lousy Congress lice, but no one’s perfect.

Yeah, I’m aware that my ideas stand a snowball’s chance in Hades. After all, an innocent babe, born of poor parents in a shed amongst livestock, threatened the all-powerful state to such a degree that it thrashed about in a futile, pathetic, irrational, blind rage slaughtering children. Such a grotesque monster cannot be reformed, so it will grow like a hideous tumor until it destroys even itself.

In anticipation, we celebrate Natalis Solis Invicta and the death of the dark times.

Joy to the world!

Jeff Zervas is a wild old snowboarding crank who has observed that most people have a problem with authority. They trust them too much.

I had to copy the entire article because for some reason I could not link it.

capt said...

They say that God is everywhere, and yet we always think of Him as somewhat of a recluse.

~ Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)

capt said...

"The man who craves disciples and wants followers is always more or less of a charlatan. The man of genuine worth and insight wants to be himself; and he wants others to be themselves, also." -- Elbert Hubbard - (1856-1915)

"Loud speech, profusion of words, and possessing skillfulness in expounding scriptures are merely for the enjoyment of the learned. They do not lead to liberation."-- Adi Shankaracharya (c. 650) Hindu reformer

"The real searcher after truth will not receive the old because it is old, or reject the new because it is new. He will not believe men because they are dead, or contradict them because they are alive. With him an utterance is worth the truth, the reason it contains, without the slightest regard to the author. He may have been a king or serf -- a philosopher or servant, -- but the utterance neither gains nor loses in truth or reason. Its value is absolutely independent of the fame or station of the man who gave it to the world." -- Robert G. Ingersoll - (1833-1899) American political leader, orator

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - (1749-1832)


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capt said...

Today's Headlines

From: antiwar.com

Court: Execute Saddam Within 30 Days

Talabani: Iranians Arrested by US Were Invited

US Says Arrest of Diplomats Highlights Iran-Meddling Charge in Iraq

Basra Govt Furious Over Deadly UK Raid on Police Station

Tuesday: 75 Iraqis, 4 GIs Killed; 145 Iraqis, 3 GIs Wounded
Troop 'Surge' Plan Faces Growing US Opposition

US Deaths in Iraq Exceed 9/11 Count

Generals Give Way on US Troop Numbers in Iraq

Old Iraq Strategy Lives on in Weekly Progress Reports
Israel to Remove Some West Bank Roadblocks

Olmert: Palestinians Will Soon Feel Major Improvement in Daily Lives

Israeli DM, Military Oppose Olmert Plan to Remove Checkpoints

Israeli Military Intel Official: Syria Is Serious About Peace Talks

Olmert Sets Demands for Syria Talks

capt said...

Lab work to identify 2,800-year-old mummy of shaman: scientists

Chinese scientists are conducting laboratory work hoping to identify a 2,800-year-old mummy presumably of a shaman in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The well-preserved mummy of a seemingly Caucasian man with a Roman nose and deep-set eyes was unearthed from a cluster of ancient tombs in 2003 and research work has been going on ever since.

Archeologists found the mummy most intriguing because a sack of marijuana leaves was found buried alongside the corpse.

The mummy remains intact in its original outfit despite the passage of time: leather hat, heavy coat and boots, huge earrings of copper and gold, a turquoise necklace, a copper laced stick in the right hand and a bronze ax in the left, according to Li Xiao, head of the heritage bureau in Turpan.

Inside the leather coat, the man was wearing a dainty brown and red mantle, and his hands were crossed in front of his chest, said Li.

"From his outfit and the marijuana leaves, which have been confirmed by international specialists to be ingredients for narcotic, we assume the man had been a shaman and had been between 40 and 50 years old when he died," said Li, a noted historian in Xinjiang.

He said the corpse is about 1.2 meters long and its legs are at least 80 centimeters.

Li and his colleagues are taking fabrics from the mummy's clothes for laboratory work, hoping to identify the mummy and unravel more mysteries of shaman clothing, culture and religion.

The mummy was the best preserved one among some 600 excavated in 2003 from a cluster of 2,000 tombs in Turpan. Archeologists assume the tombs, which dated from the Bronze Age to the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), belonged to several big clans.

The tombs also produced a wide variety of stone implements, bronzeware, color chinaware pieces and knitwear.

Source: Xinhua