Friday, February 23, 2007

A Civil War for the Democrats?


Here's my latest "Loyal Opposition" column from www.TomPaine.com. Please visit that site regularly....By the way, The Washington Post is reporting today that Democratic Representative Jack Murtha's plan for the Iraq war, mentioned below, is withering due to opposition from within his own party....


The Democrats' Iraq Civil War
David Corn
February 22, 2007
www.Tompaine.com


A few days ago, a senior Capitol Hill Democratic aide called to tell me he was worried. The aide feared that his party would soon find itself split over the Iraq war.

Progressive House Democrats are pushing for a cutoff in funding, he said, not caring that such legislation would put their colleagues from less-liberal districts in a bind. Moderate Democrats, the aide said, will not likely want to vote against military spending for Iraq and face the criticism (justified or not) that they are not supporting the troops. Even though the war is unpopular and Bush and the Republicans are on the run, we'll be dividing ourselves, said the aide, who works for a legislator who favors a funding cutoff.

The following day, a prominent liberal thinker in Washington told me he was concerned that Democratic leaders and antiwar activists are swinging behind Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Jack Murtha’s plan to attach restrictions to Iraq war funding. Murtha's proposal would prohibit money from being used to deploy troops to Iraq who are not fully equipped, fully trained and fully rested. That plan cannot win a majority, this thinker said; putting it up to a vote would only rip apart the party. The Democrats, consequently, would look weak and not achieve anything, but they still would give the Republicans the chance to accuse them of undermining the soldiers in the field. Couldn't antiwar Democrats and activists, this liberal asked, find a more mature and sophisticated strategy?

A civil war may be brewing in the Democratic Party over Iraq. There are Democrats who want to take immediate and concrete steps to end the war. They want to force withdrawal through legislation. And there are Democrats who essentially do not want to go first. They want to push President George W. Bush to clean up the mess he made so that he, not the Democrats, will bear responsibility for how the war ends (which could be nastily). Both sides were able to agree on a nonbinding resolution decrying Bush's surge and declaring support for the troops. But now that such a resolution has passed in the House and died in the Senate, the issue is, what's next?

In the House, the main Democratic action at the moment centers on the Murtha plan, which would attach his severely limiting conditions to the newest round of funding for the Iraq war. "We're gonna stop this surge," Murtha said during a recent interview with MoveCongress.org, an antiwar group.

Republicans have gleefully dubbed this approach a "slow bleed"--as in wounding the troops. And it is a way of ending--or limiting--the war without calling for withdrawal. Since the Pentagon could not meet the standards Murtha would set--for instance, there are not sufficient numbers of armored trucks for the troops being deployed to Iraq as part of the surge--the surge could not go forward.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has endorsed Murtha's proposal, but it is far from clear that she can steer the entire Democratic caucus behind Murtha, who chairs the defense appropriations subcommittee. Thus, there will be a debate among House Democrats--and it may be a hot one--when Congress in a few weeks considers Bush's $93 billion funding request for Iraq. (Murtha also intends to attach a condition to the appropriations legislation that would prevent the president from attacking Iran without congressional authorization.) And as the Murtha fight ensues, there will be House Democrats who will be pushing for a more direct and total cutoff of funding--a position Murtha does not support.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have their own divisions. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has called for initiating a withdrawal but has rejected a cutoff in funding. "I think that sends the wrong message to our troops," he said a few days ago. "We're going to support our troops, and one way to support them is to find a way out of Iraq earlier, rather than later."

Levin and Sen. Joseph Biden Jr., D-Del., who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee and who is running for president, are considering modifying the authorization for the invasion of Iraq Congress granted Bush in October 2002 to limit American troop missions there to supporting and training activities, not combat. Levin noted that such an approach would avoid a constitutional showdown with the Bush about presidential war powers and would be more politically palatable than turning off the funding tap.

So the Democratic leaders of the key committees in the Senate are opposed to the plan Pelosi is backing. That certainly is a good start for an intraparty mud wrestle. And Republicans--who were scared by the apparent antiwar message of last November's elections‚ are now enthusiastically preparing to exploit this split and attack the Democrats for "bleeding" American GIs in the field. The GOPers have an obvious political strategy: Make the issue not the war but the Democrats' response to the war.

And there's another political dynamic at work: Democratic presidential politics. There is no matter more important for most Democratic primary voters than ending the war. So each of the party's presidential wannabes is compelled to distinguish him- or herself from the others on the war. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., explaining that nonbinding resolutions are not enough, proposed setting a legislative cap on the number of troops in Iraq to block the surge. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., last month introduced legislation that would commence a phased withdrawal from Iraq on May 1. Former senator John Edwards, trying to elbow his way into the Hillary & Barack Show, has suggested that current legislators in Congress ought to defund the war. All this positioning will shape how the public perceives the Democrats' approach to the war‚ and make it all the tougher for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada to lead his troops. It's difficult for a colonel to order captains who are trying to become generals.

The GOP does have its own splits. Seventeen Republican House members voted with the Democrats in favor of the nonbinding resolution, and seven Republican senators sided with the Democrats in a losing effort to pass an identical measure. (Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who is considering a presidential bid, has said that he is "open" to the Murtha plan.) But since the Republicans no longer control Congress and the numbers of their Iraq defectors are not great, their internal divisions at this point are not as consequential as those within the party in charge of Congress.

It will be nearly impossible for the Democratic Party to derive a unified position regarding what to do in Iraq--mature or not--with so many moving pieces, competing views and different needs. There is, in a way, a race against the clock-and that clock is the ground reality in Iraq. If the situation in Iraq does not improve and the surge does not succeed, there will be even more public disenchantment with the war and more political opportunity for a tougher stance, such as direct defunding. But that opportunity will likely not present itself before Democrats have to consider the new funds for the war. Can they have an internal disagreement over what to do without it becoming ugly, without alienating grassroots Democrats who want the party to pass binding legislation to stop the war now, and without handing Republicans potent political ammo to use against them now and in the future? Ending a war -- even an unpopular one -- is not easy work for politicians.

Posted by David Corn at February 23, 2007 01:42 PM

87 comments:

O'Reilly said...

Fitz!

capt said...

Giuliani To Run For President Of 9/11
(satire)



NEW YORK—At a well-attended rally in front of his new Ground Zero headquarters Monday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani officially announced his plan to run for president of 9/11.

"My fellow citizens of 9/11, today I will make you a promise," said Giuliani during his 18-minute announcement speech in front of a charred and torn American flag. "As president of 9/11, I will usher in a bold new 9/11 for all."

If elected, Giuliani would inherit the duties of current 9/11 President George W. Bush, including making grim facial expressions, seeing the world's conflicts in terms of good and evil, and carrying a bullhorn at all state functions.

"Let us all remember how we felt on that day, with the world watching our every move, waiting on our every word," said Giuliani, flanked by several firefighters, ex-New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and Judith Nathan, his third wife. "With a campaign built on traditional 9/11 values, and with the help of every citizen who believes in the 9/11 dream, I want to make 9/11 great again."


More HERE

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

"Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit."
~ Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)


capt

Robert S said...

Do I detect a little deja voodoo all over again?

David B. Benson said...

O'Reilly --- Fitz?

capt said...




[…]

Whilst we wait, I have a confession to make… until about two weeks ago I didn't know why "comments" on my posts (and others on FDL) usually started off with "FITZ!" I always thought that it was some kind of blog-speak slang that I didn't know about. Not being of Irish decent, I definitely knew that it wasn't referring to me. I literally only put two and two together on what/who "FITZ!" was referring to once the trial started. (Please bear in mind that I was only recently clued in to what "lol" meant). Granted, I knew who Fitzgerald was, but sometimes I need numerous hits over the head for me to say "oh, I get it."

More HERE

David B. Benson said...

I still don't get it.

Duh...

Gerald said...

Although the Democrats frustrate me, they are not killers on a whole and they are not suffering from a mob mentality like the Nazis(aka GOrPs).

Gerald said...

Although the Democrats frustrate me, they are not killers on a whole and they are not suffering from a mob mentality like the Nazis(aka GOrPs).

David B. Benson said...

Globalistan.

Globalistation ==> War

capt said...

Petition VA Sec. Nicholson to Increase Mental Health Staffing


According to a (PDF file) report prepared for the United States House of Representatives Committee on Veterans' Affairs, thirty percent of surveyed Vet Centers said that they need more staff.

- 100% of the surveyed Vet Centers have seen a significant increase in outreach and services for OIF/OEF veterans

- 20% of the surveyed Vet Centers has taken or will take actions to manage this increase, including 'limiting services and establishing wait lists'

- The same report concluded that 'the Administration's failure to adequately increase staffing and other resources for Vet Centers has put their capacity to meet the needs of veterans and their families at risk.'

You can get the full report (PDF file) here.

For more information on the mental strain of war, click here.

More HERE

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

A little keyboard activism.


capt

capt said...

Dave Lindorff: Impeachment: Breaking the Dam in Olympia, Washington



Olympia, WA-- If the state of Washington passes a joint legislative resolution next month calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney, it will be because the 900 people who crammed into this capital city's Center for the Performing Arts last Tuesday evening, and countless others across the state, pushed them into it.

The crowd at the arts center attended an event organized by the Citizens Movement to Impeach Bush/Cheney, a local ad hoc citizens organization in this little burg that had convinced the local city council to make the 1,000-seat auditorium available for a hearing on impeachment.

When I and my two co-speakers, CIA veteran Ray McGovern and former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, came out on the stage, we felt not like political speakers or authors, but like rock stars. The applause was deafening, not just at the start of the program, but after each speaker's points were made.

It was clear that even if the Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says impeachment is "off the table," a sizeable hunk of the American public is hungering for a taste of it.

More HERE

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

Go Washington!


capt

capt said...

Scary Small: New Tracking Chip Size of a Dust Grain



The world's smallest and thinnest RFID tags were introduced Tuesday by Hitachi. Tiny miracles of miniaturization, these RFID chips (Radio Frequency Identification chips) measure just 0.05 x 0.05 millimeters. "RFID" refers to small electronic devices that use a tiny antenna to transfer small amounts of data for identification purposes.

The previous record-holder, the Hitachi mu-chip, is just 0.4 x 0.4 millimeters. The mu-chip RFID tag looks like a speck of dust on a human fingertip. The "powder type" tags are some sixty times smaller, barely noticeable next to a human hair (powder RFID).

The new RFID chips have a 128-bit ROM for storing a unique 38 digit number, like their predecessor. Hitachi used semiconductor miniaturization technology and electron beams to write data on the chip substrates to achieve the new, smaller size.

Hitachi's mu-chips are already in production; they were used to prevent ticket forgery at last year's Aichi international technology exposition. RFID 'powder,' on the other hand, is so much smaller that it can easily be incorporated into thin paper, like that used in paper currency and gift certificates.

More HERE

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

A grain of dust?


capt

O'Reilly said...

Fitz, as in Patrick Fitzgerald, recently finished making a case against Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby for lying and obstructing justice in the government's investigation of who leaked the classified identity of a CIA NOC, Valarie Plame.

It seems, from evidence presented at trial, that the who that leaked is Scooter Libby under the direction of Dick Cheney but Fitz can't prove it yet because Libby is lying to protect the guilty parties.

In Fitz's closing argument he explained "There is a cloud over Dick Cheney." Fitz has enough goods to question Cheney's actions in this public forum. THAT is NEWS.

If that son of bitch, Cheney, leaked classified info about a CIA NOC as an act of political retribution toward the CIA agent's husband, Cheney must be impeached.

Fitz! is the supportive cry for the principled prosecutor who doggedly pursued the case, in spite of all the right wing propoganda that would have him quietly walk away. Fitz is a rather conservative guy but he believes in the rule of law not partisan favoritism and cronyism.

David B. Benson said...

O'Reilly --- Thank you.

Fitz! Fitz! Fitz!

capt said...

"People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.": James Baldwin Biography - Fiction Writer, Essayist, Social Critic, 1924-1987

=
".The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism: Emma Goldman Biography - Anarchist, Feminist, Labor Advocate, 1869-1940

=
"It's amazing how people can get so excited about a rocket to the moon and not give a damn about smog, oil leaks, the devastation of the environment with pesticides, hunger, disease. When the poor share some of the power that the affluent now monopolize, we will give a damn.": Cesar Estrada Chavez Biography - Farm Workers' Union Founder, Human Rights Activist, 1927-1993

=
The greatest of fault, I should say, is to be conscious of none: Robert Carlyle (1795 - 1881).

===

NEW - NEW - NEW

ICHBLOG.EU without the bells and whistles. Click here for text only version of the site (great for dialup users)!

http://www.ichblog.eu/text/

===

Read this newsletter online http://tinyurl.com/dy6yy

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

"All candidates are pro-Israel"



Who are we going to vote for on the Republican side? You have Brownback, Gilmore, Gingrich, Giuliani, Hagel, etc.

On the Democratic side, you have Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Obama, Edwards, Gravel and the list goes on.

What is the common link to all these candidates? All the hopefuls for the office of the president have put the interest of Israel ahead of the best interest and security of the United States. Why?

The Bush administration talks of democracy, but when the Palestinian people voted the wrong faction (Hamas) into power, according to the Bush administration, the United States wages economic war on the Palestinians.

The one-sided policy of the United States in regard to the Middle East makes the United States out as the enemy of any country seeking justice.

The United States has used its veto power in the United Nations numerous times to defeat any attempt to rein in the expansion of Israel into Palestinian land. Why?

The presidential candidates mentioned above must not be Israeli lobbyists but Americans first.

They must put the interest and security of the United States above all else.

More HERE

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

Interesting but the problem is not with just AIPAC or Israel it is the monetary influence.


capt

capt said...

Clinton Draws a Line in the Sand over Iraq


Fully a year before she died, columnist and arch Bush critic Molly Ivins wrote: "Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone. ... Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her."

And then there's Ralph Nader. He admits that there are good anti-war candidates, but that if Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, he would be more likely to run.

Clinton has drawn the line in the sand over Iraq. She will not admit that her vote to authorize Bush to use military force in a unilateral, unprovoked war based on lies was a mistake. She is open to a military strike on Iran. Her latest message to voters: "There are others to choose from." Anti-war voters already know that, and are lining up behind candidates Barack Obama, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and, perhaps before long, Ralph Nader.


More HERE

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

HRC's refusal to admit error sounds like Bunnypants and president Cheney. It is an issue of her judgment so the question is sincere and her vote fair game. Her answer is not acceptable.

I am hoping to hear more from the candidates about preemption as a failed policy and violations of international peace as war crimes. It might even get good ratings so the MSM could embrace the idea.



capt

capt said...

Israel seeks all clear for Iran air strike



Israel is negotiating with the United States for permission to fly over Iraq as part of a plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

To conduct surgical air strikes against Iran's nuclear programme, Israeli war planes would need to fly across Iraq. But to do so the Israeli military authorities in Tel Aviv need permission from the Pentagon.

A senior Israeli defence official said negotiations were now underway between the two countries for the US-led coalition in Iraq to provide an "air corridor" in the event of the Israeli government deciding on unilateral military action to prevent Teheran developing nuclear weapons.

"We are planning for every eventuality, and sorting out issues such as these are crucially important," said the official, who asked not to be named.

"The only way to do this is to fly through US-controlled air space. If we don't sort these issues out now we could have a situation where American and Israeli war planes start shooting at each other."


More HERE

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

So IF we allow Israel to attack we will be responsible as much as if we attacked Iran ourselves.


capt

Robert S said...

Army refiles charges against soldier Fri Feb 23, 6:56 PM ET

FORT LEWIS, Wash. - The Army has refiled charges against a lieutenant who refused to serve in Iraq, about two weeks after his first court-martial was declared a mistrial.

First Lt. Ehren Watada, 28, who refused to deploy with his unit last June, faces the same allegations he initially faced — missing movement and conduct unbecoming an officer — and could be sentenced to a dishonorable discharge and six years in prison if convicted. The Army has not set a date for a second court-martial.

"We're back to square one," Fort Lewis spokeswoman Leslie Kaye said Friday.

Watada's first trial began early this month but ended abruptly when the judge, Lt. Col. John Head, said he did not believe the soldier fully understood a pretrial agreement he signed admitting elements of the charges. As part of that agreement, the Army dropped two of the charges against him, lowering his potential sentence to four years.

***********************

What a crock of shit. Lt. Watatda fully understood the stipulation he signed. He acknowledged that he did not deploy to Iraq, in order that he not obey an illegal order. It is his motive for refusal, and legality of the war itself, that the judge would not allow to be entered into trial. Any other characterisation of events is simply duplicitous and not to be considered worthy of journalism.

Saladin said...

The dems are doing what they're best at, wasting time while trying to look important.
Capt, the US and Israel are two peas in a pod, it's only a matter of time until they bless Iran with that special kind of neocon democracy, you know, the kind where they liberate you from your resources and your life.

capt said...

Tell Congress to Impeach Cheney First



Vice President Cheney was a key architect of the illegal and disastrous invasion of Iraq. Behind the scenes, Cheney was in charge of assembling bogus "evidence" of weapons of mass destruction, both by "stovepiping" evidence from paid liars and by visiting the CIA to personally intimidate analysts who disputed those lies. In public, Cheney uttered the Administration's most egregious and bald-faced lies, especially about Iraq's non-existent nuclear program. When his nuclear lies were exposed by Ambassador Joe Wilson, Cheney led the criminal campaign to attack Joe Wilson, including "outing" Wilson's wife Valerie Plame to reporters. By "outing" Plame, Cheney destroyed Plame's covert network which was fighting the spread of weapons of mass destruction in Iran and elsewhere. Cheney's former chief of staff, Scooter Libby, committed perjury and obstruction of justice to keep Cheney from being indicted for his role in outing Plame. Cheney adamantly refuses to take any responsibility for the war or for his crimes. To hold Cheney accountable - and to deter future Vice Presidents from committing similar crimes - Congress must begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney immediately.

More HERE

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

Might as well sign the petition. It couldn't hurt!


capt

capt said...

Ten Reasons to Impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney



I ask Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney for the following reasons:
1. Violating the United Nations Charter by launching an illegal "War of Aggression" against Iraq without cause, using fraud to sell the war to Congress and the public, misusing government funds to begin bombing without Congressional authorization, and subjecting our military personnel to unnecessary harm, debilitating injuries, and deaths.

2. Violating U.S. and international law by authorizing the torture of thousands of captives, resulting in dozens of deaths, and keeping prisoners hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

3. Violating the Constitution by arbitrarily detaining Americans, legal residents, and non-Americans, without due process, without charge, and without access to counsel.

4. Violating the Geneva Conventions by targeting civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances, and using illegal weapons, including white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new type of napalm.

5. Violating U.S. law and the Constitution through widespread wiretapping of the phone calls and emails of Americans without a warrant.

6. Violating the Constitution by using "signing statements" to defy hundreds of laws passed by Congress.

7. Violating U.S. and state law by obstructing honest elections in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.

8. Violating U.S. law by using paid propaganda and disinformation, selectively and misleadingly leaking classified information, and exposing the identity of a covert CIA operative working on sensitive WMD proliferation for political retribution.

9. Subverting the Constitution and abusing Presidential power by asserting a "Unitary Executive Theory" giving unlimited powers to the President, by obstructing efforts by Congress and the Courts to review and restrict Presidential actions, and by promoting and signing legislation negating the Bill of Rights and the Writ of Habeas Corpus.

10. Gross negligence in failing to assist New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina, in ignoring urgent warnings of an Al Qaeda attack prior to Sept. 11, 2001, and in increasing air pollution causing global warming.

More HERE

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

Here is another petition.


capt

Robert S said...

The downside of impeach Cheney first would, of course, be the possibility of a viable GOP successor as candidate in 2008. I see no barrier to tandem impeachment, simply because it hasn't happen previously. Many trials have multiple defendants.

I should amend my above comment to mention that Lt. Watatda also stipulated to commments he made about the Coward-in-Chief in order to keep journalists from being compelled to give testimony.

capt said...

Saturday Morning cartoons

HERE

Thanks Bob Geiger!


capt

capt said...

Chris Matthews, "standards" and "defin[ing] deviancy downward"



On Thursday's edition of Hardball, Chris Matthews once again spent a significant portion of the show talking about his favorite topic: the Clintons' marriage, and whether Bill Clinton will "distract from this campaign ... because of personal behavior."

There's nothing new about that. Peering into the Clintons' bedroom window (figuratively, of course) is what most turns Chris Matthews on (figuratively, of course).

No, what was interesting about this particular edition of Hardball was that among Matthews' guests was former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY), currently a lobbyist and campaign adviser to Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Did Matthews ask Molinari six times whether Giuliani will "behave" during the campaign? Whether Giuliani would be a "good boy"? Of course not; Matthews reserves such questions for Clinton supporters.

Even as Molinari darkly hinted "there is this whisper campaign that there is something that we don't know about the Clintons," Matthews refused to ask her the sort of badgering, probing questions about Giuliani's personal behavior he frequently asks about Hillary Clinton.

Which made us wonder: What has Matthews said about Giuliani in the past? We know that now Matthews touts Giuliani as the "perfect candidate" to replace Bush, declares that Giuliani "looks like president to me," compares Giuliani to JFK, and gushes over Giuliani's "street cred."

More HERE

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

Goofball! (I think Saladin is right)


capt

David B. Benson said...

capt --- Saladin is always right. Except, of course, when she is wrong. ;-)

kathleen said...

Have been in D.C. for the last week at the Libby trial (just had to see part of it up close). Started sitting in on Tuesday Feb 2oth, for both sides closing remarks. Sat in the main court room. Had a birds eye view of the jury, Fitzgerald and Libby. I will share at some time what I witnessed, after I head home next Tuesday. Hope to witness the jury verdict.

The one thing I want to share at this time are my observations of the camera crews outside of the Prettyman courthouse. At around 5 p.m every day Libby and his entourage exit at the side of the building. Around 10 cameramen (not one woman) wait for the Libby team. Libby's car is all ready waiting ourside the door. One would think that Libby would want to get into his car immediately, but no Libby and his wife stop and pose for the cameras. Libby stands stationary at the car door turning his head one way holds that pose as the cameras click away and then turns his head the other way and then holds that pose as the cameras continue to click away. It is extremely disgusting. The MSM has made him a star, and he is happy to comply.

On Wednesday his wife came out the revolving door stood in front of the cameras with her hands folded in front of her waiting (it seemed like eternity) for the cameras to start flashing. They did not. If not have for her obvious arrogance I would have felt bad for her. Her actions revealed a pleasure in what she seemed to believe as self importance, this display of an inflated ego was pathetic. The Libby came out and the cameras started flashing and he began his posing exercise.

When both of them were in the car being driven away from the courthouse, I watched their faces closely. They were laughing as Libby's wife flipped her hair back and Libby smirked. Indicating to me that they ultimately know Libby will not do any time for this very serious crime. They have at least 5 million which was raised by the Libby Defense Fund. to protect him.

This is our Justice System for you. The system that Fitzgerald asked us to trust during the indictment announcement quite some time ago. Fitz said "truth is the engine of our judicial system". While U.S. prisons are filled with people who have committed non-violent crimes and disadvantaged and desperate people. Libby and those who sytematically outed an undercover agent who put her life on the line to protect the National Security of our nation. What we know about Plame is that she investigated the path and sales of WMD's. Instead of doing time Libby will more than likely get rich off of his crimes.

The hypocrisy within our system is outrageous and criminal!

I have never been more convinced that the web and the blogs are the place to get one's information. The MSM has not changed much since the failings of the MSM in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The majority are clearly part of the governments machine, not part of providing us with truth.

If you have not ordered the "Anatomy of Deceit" by Marcy Wheeler it is well worth it.

I will catch up with my reading of Corn Folks comments. And will share more about the trial next week.

kathleen said...

Robert S. I really like John Deans suggestions of Impeaching lower level officials (three articles at John Dean Findlaw) so that they can not re-enter a future administration, as Feith, Wurmser and others have done.

RicK said...

Kathleen,

I was limited to FDL's live-blogging. I am jealous.

Saladin said...

"Saladin is always right. Except, of course, when she is wrong."

Mr. Benson, I believe that statement applies to everyone.

Gerald said...

Still no verdict in the Libby case!

Praying Each Day: February 24

Please join me and pray 24/7!!! For each inhale of our breath is God's gift to us!!! For each exhale of our breath is our thank you to God!!!

Gerald said...

Naomi Klein

George Hitler and his Nazi cabal are driving Americans insane!

Gerald said...

It's happening here

Gerald said...

Kathy Kelly

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- There are some people who are always wrong.

White House occupants, for example...

Gerald said...

Oh, my!

He was one of the reasons for war!!! That is why 4,000 soldiers killed and 25,000 maimed for no reason!!! Oh, my!!!

Gerald said...

Oh, my! Part 2

Nazi America loves her murderous ways!!!

Gerald said...

Oh, my! Part 3

The smaller bombs do not always explode on impact, which means they can continue to kill innocent civilians years later.

Just like in Lebanon and the cluster bombs laid by Nazi Israel with Nazi America's warm wishes and blessings!

Gerald said...

Oh, my! Part 4

Robert S said...

Psychics 'hired to find Bin Laden'
by BEN CLERKIN - Last updated at 11:54am on 23rd February 2007


Psychics were recruited by the Ministry of Defence to locate Osama Bin Laden's secret lair, it was claimed yesterday.

Newly declassified documents revealed that the MoD conducted an experiment to see if volunteers could 'see' objects hidden inside an envelope.

It is claimed the ministry hoped positive results would allow it to use psychics to 'remotely view' Bin Laden's base and also to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

However, after running up a bill of £18,000 of taxpayers' money, defence chiefs concluded there was 'little value' in using psychic powers in the defence of the nation and the research was taken no further.

The study, conducted in 2002, involved blindfolding test subjects and asking them to 'see' the contents of sealed brown envelopes containing pictures of objects and public figures.

The MoD tried to recruit 12 'known' psychics who advertised their abilities on the Internet, but when they all refused they were forced to use 'novice' volunteers.

The report, released under the Freedom of Information Act, shows 28 per cent of those tested managed to guess the contents of the envelopes, which included pictures of a knife, Mother Teresa and an 'Asian individual'.

But most subjects, who were holed up in a secret location for the study, were hopelessly off the mark. One even fell asleep while he tried to focus on the envelope's content.

A former MoD employee who received a copy of the report said the timing of the study must have been related to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nick Pope, who ran the MoD UFO research programme and worked at the ministry for 21 years, said: "It can only be speculation, but you don't employ that kind of time and effort to find money down the back of the sofa.

"You go to this trouble for high-value assets. We must be talking about Bin Laden and weapons of mass destruction."

The MoD last night defended its decision to fund the secret tests despite the questionable use of taxpayers' money.

And Mr Pope said: "I don't think this was a waste of public money. Many people will say so, but I think it is marvellous that the Government is prepared to think outside the box.

"And this is as outside the box as it gets."

************************

Psychics? Well, Here's Next Week's Headlines:

Britney Spears Sports [Im]Peach Fuzz

Anna Nicole Smith Still Dead

Bin Laden Claims Paternity in Anna Nicole Smith Case

(O.K. just joking on the last one)

Gerald said...

Nazi Israel

This is an open letter to Nazi Israel. You keep threatening to nuke Iran either do it or shut up and stop egging your lapdog, Nazi America, to do your dirty work. Why not become the second Nazi state to use nuclear weapons against humanity. You have nuclear weapons and you only abide by your rules and no other rules can apply.

You do not want anyone else to have nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Your foreign policy along with Nazi America and Nazi England is death and destruction in the Middle East so the people will have to focus on survival and not enhancement in the quality of life for the people in the Middle East.

We keep hearing about the holocaust during WW II but your policies and practices are killing Lebanese and Palestinians in the area. You have created unrest for years in the Middle East and you have increased your nuclear stockpile for years. You have also broken accords and treaties that were signed. You have planted cluster bombs in Lebanon that are still killing the Lebanese people. You are also practicing genocide against the Palestinians. Any nation in the Middle East that pursues a better quality of life you will put forth efforts to undermine the nation.

The holocaust was a terrible part in human history but why is their silence about the eleven million non-Jews who were killed by Hitler and the twenty-nine million people who were killed by Stalin. Currently, your Nazi friends in Nazi America, like Hitler Bush, Hitler Cheney, their Nazi cabal and the PNAC, are planning to exterminate six billion human beings because they profess that planet, Earth, can only sustain five hundred million people. Why is there silence from Nazi Americans, the Nazi MSM, and the Nazi corporations in Nazi America?

Yes, Nazi Israel, you should join Nazi America and be the second country to nuke humanity and show your true colors as a Nazi state to satisfy your murderous lust against humanity. Everlasting and true evil can be found in Nazi America, Nazi England, and Nazi Israel.

Sincerely,

Gerald

capt said...

When God Sanctions Killing, The People Listen



New research published in the March issue of Psychological Science may help elucidate the relationship between religious indoctrination and violence, a topic that has gained renewed notoriety in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. In the article, University of Michigan psychologist Brad Bushman and his colleagues suggest that scriptural violence sanctioned by God can increase aggression, especially in believers.

The authors set out to examine this interaction by conducting experiments with undergraduates at two religiously contrasting universities: Brigham Young University where 99% of students report believing in God and the Bible and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam where just 50% report believing in God and 27% believe in the bible.

After reporting their religious affiliation and beliefs, the participants read a parable adapted from a relatively obscure passage in the King James Bible describing the brutal torture and murder of a woman, and her husband's subsequent revenge on her attackers. Half of the participants were told that the passage came from the Book of Judges in the Old Testament while the other half were told it was an ancient scroll discovered in an archaeological expedition.


More HERE

Gerald said...

A quote from capt's article on God and torture or violence!

I prefer my God to be a God of love and mercy!

"To the extent religious extremists engage in prolonged, selective reading of the scriptures, focusing on violent retribution toward unbelievers instead of the overall message of acceptance and understanding," writes Bushman "one might expect to see increased brutality."

We must pursue Jesus' message of "Love one another as I have loved you."

Gerald said...

I do not always surf to the Infowars website but it is a good website with much information. When I first started posting, Alex Jones was one of my main to go guy for information. Give it a look from time to time!

Gerald said...

Noam Chomsky

David B. Benson said...

Somewhere I read an advert stating that Nosterdamnmoose predicts a war, 2007-2012.

Seems to have the dates wrong...

Gerald said...

DBB, Gordon Thomas in his book, "Seeds of Fire," predicts a war with China by 2015. Cheney is starting to strike up the band for a war with China. By 2015 we will have at least 800 military bases and most bases will have nuclear bombs and missiles. Even though we will flatten China, the nuclear fallout could impact heavily on Nazi America. I do not want to sound like a doomsayer but the vibes and visions that I have do not bode well for our future.

Gerald said...

It is quite possible that our planet will have no more than 500 million inhabitants left after the nuclear holocaust sometime before or during 2015.

capt said...

A Digital Life



New systems may allow people to record everything they see and hear--and even things they cannot sense--and to store all these data in a personal digital archive



Human memory can be maddeningly elusive. We stumble upon its limitations every day, when we forget a friend's telephone number, the name of a business contact or the title of a favorite book. People have developed a variety of strategies for combating forgetfulness--messages scribbled on Post-it notes, for example, or electronic address books carried in handheld devices--but important information continues to slip through the cracks. Recently, however, our team at Microsoft Research has begun a quest to digitally chronicle every aspect of a person's life, starting with one of our own lives (Bell's). For the past six years, we have attempted to record all of Bell's communications with other people and machines, as well as the images he sees, the sounds he hears and the Web sites he visits--storing everything in a personal digital archive that is both searchable and secure.

Digital memories can do more than simply assist the recollection of past events, conversations and projects. Portable sensors can take readings of things that are not even perceived by humans, such as oxygen levels in the blood or the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Computers can then scan these data to identify patterns: for instance, they might determine which environmental conditions worsen a child's asthma. Sensors can also log the three billion or so heartbeats in a person's lifetime, along with other physiological indicators, and warn of a possible heart attack. This information would allow doctors to spot irregularities early, providing warnings before an illness becomes serious. Your physician would have access to a detailed, ongoing health record, and you would no longer have to rack your brain to answer questions such as "When did you first feel this way?"

More HERE

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

Some interesting possibilities.



capt

Gerald said...

Wasting time in the Middle East

capt said...

===
"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.": P. J. O'Rourke - (1947- ) US humorist, journalist, & political commentator

=
"The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government of the U.S. since the days of Andrew Jackson.": - Franklin D. Roosevelt - (1882-1945), 32nd US President November 21, 1933 - Source: in a letter written to Colonel E. Mandell House

=
"No truly sophisticated proponent of repression would be stupid enough to shatter the façade of democratic institutions.": Murray B. Levin
Source: Political Hysteria in America, 1971

=
"It is weakness rather than wickedness which renders men unfit to be trusted with unlimited power." -- John Adams, 1788

=
"Freedom is never an achieved state; like electricity, we've got to keep generating it or the lights go out." -- Wayne LaPierre

=
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams

===

Thanks ICH Newsletter!

Saladin said...

"Saladin --- There are some people who are always wrong."

I would alter that to say "some people who are always evil."

Being wrong is something that can be corrected, evil is hopeless.

Gerald, I love your forthright statements, the truth about the real axis of evil is painful, but true.

O'Reilly said...

Kathleen,

So great to read your post about your trip to DC and observations at the Libby Trial. I look forward to more.

I wonder if Scooter's confidence is boosted by an understanding that a pardon will come by January 2009, or if its an act, or self-assured rightousness.

He knows his defense was piss poor. He is hoping to jury gets wrapped around a pole.

There is a cloud over Dick Cheney...

Froomkin writes:
This case is about how the defendant, Scooter Libby, then the chief of staff to the vice president of the United States, obstructed that search for truth. It's about how the defendant obstructed the search for truth by lying repeatedly to the FBI while it was doing its investigation. It's about how the defendant appeared before a federal grand jury in this courthouse, raised his right hand, took an oath, swore to tell the truth, and then violated that oath repeatedly by lying to the grand jury both about how he had learned that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and what he did with that information.

The evidence in this case will show that the defendant lied repeatedly both to the FBI and the grand jury.

In short, what the evidence will show is that the defendant learned that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA directly from the vice president himself, and that the defendant discussed the fact that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA with multiple government officials in June and July 2003, and he also talked to more than one reporter on more than one occasion about Wilson's wife working at the CIA, and also gave the information to the White House press secretary, a man whose job it was to talk to the press.

When the FBI and the grand jury asked questions about what he did, the defendant lied. He made up a story. He told the FBI and the grand jury that all he told reporters was stuff he had heard from other reporters, rumors he was told that he didn't even know if they were true. In fact, you will learn that the defendant went so far as to say that he first learned -- or learned it as if it were new -- on Thursday, July 10, 2003, from Tim Russert that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA he said he was startled by this information and taken aback.

You will also learn through the course of this trial, that on Monday, July 7th, the defendant told the White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer, that he had hush-hush information that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA on the morning of Tuesday, July 8th, the defendant told New York Times reporter Judith Miller that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.

You can't learn something startling on Thursday that you are giving out on Monday and Tuesday.

How do we get to the point where the chief of staff to the vice president of the United States is lying repeatedly to the FBI and to a grand jury? Well, that's the story of this case.

O'Reilly said...

Marcy Wheeler's book, Anatomy of Deceit is an excellent read. If you're going to buy it online, consider buying it via the link at FireDogLake to help support their gavel to gavel coverage of the trial. LINK Checkout their nightly Politics.TV video recap of the day's events while you're there.

O'Reilly said...

LINK

Gerald said...

I, too, would like to thank kathleen for sharing with us information on the Libby trial and for her activism. Activism is important to try and keep our democracy functioning. Personally, I believe that we are not a democracy but a fascist state under the control of goons and thugs.

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: February 25

Gerald said...

Foreign devils in Iranian Mountains

Nazi America has been at war with Iran for at least 25 years.

Gerald said...

What goes around, comes around!

A good article to read!

Gerald said...

Since Nazi America has been at war with Iran for at least 25 years in covert ways, why is now the time to openly go to war. The reason is that Hitler wants to create chaos and declare martial law so he can cancel the 2008 elections. Plus, Hitler wants to test his conventional nuclear weapons on Iran. Hitler cannot stop himself. He craves to see vaporized human bodies and human flesh.

Gerald said...

The NYT has a story that the Christian right or as I call them the bushian right has a difficult time finding 08 candidate.

The difficulty centers around the fact that the bushian right cannot find a bigger liar and someone more sinister than George Hitler.

Well, bushian right, you goon and thug squad you have hooked up with a loser and now you cannot find a bigger loser. Serves you right!!!

It is not difficult to understand from a goon and a thug squad whose god is a punishing and vengeful god and not a God of love and mercy.

Now bushian right wallow in your own crap and filth.

That is another reason why the bushian right will have George Hitler push hard for war so he can declare martial law in 08 and cancel the elections.

Gerald said...

Jesus, please remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.

How Great Thou Art

Gerald said...

On Eagles Wings

Gerald said...

A Big Mistake

Gerald said...

Hermann Goering said precisely what George Bush has done. He told how to take the people to war. "That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." Although Bush has probably never heard of Goering, he's following his playbook, to the letter.

Gerald said...

A Woman in the WH?

Linda is one of my foxes and so I acquiesce to her thoughts.

Gerald said...

What rails me instead are Mrs. Clinton's frequent statements over the past four years in support of the War on Iraq. What ails me is her inconsistency. What angers me is her continued funding of the war. What infuriates me is the ease with which she sends young Americans to fight a war that can force them to kill or be killed. What saddens me is that Mrs. Clinton as a woman offers no more hope for peace than the supporters of this war who are men.

I cannot support Hillary!!!!!

Robert S said...

For a little light Sunday reading, may I suggest:

Hugo Chavez's Social Democratic Agenda
by Stephen Lendman | Feb 25 2007 - 8:38am


***************************

Not short.

Gerald said...

Hillary, you should finish out your term as senator and retire with your husband. Enjoy your life with Bill and do not advocate more killing of our young men and women!!! War is for losers. Winners find flexibility in compromising with differences. The Iraq war and the Iran war are wrong and immoral. Nazi America continues to be run by goons and thugs.

Gerald said...

Powerful words from Linda Milazzo! Who cannot love someone like Linda? Linda, you borrowed my thoughts exactly!!!

I've waited my whole life for a woman President of the United States. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I've known my whole life there would be a woman President of the United States. Not based on supposition. Or desire. But on the clear reality that women are proven leaders. Arbiters of wise council, comfort, logic, humanity, humility, character, insight and calm. They are worldly, educated, observant and physically and emotionally strong. Yet for 200 plus years, American women have lacked equality.

Gerald said...

Linda, I cannot vote for Hillary because Hillary does not meet my criteria of God's greatest creation.

Let me explain! Of all of God's creations a woman is God's greatest creation, especially if she possesses nurturing and sensitivity. I do not believe Hillary meets the nurturing and sensitivity level to be one of God's greatest creations.

As one of God's creations Hillary is great but she is not to the level of greatest creations. Hillary, being pro-war will never cut it with me!!! War is outmoded and it serves no purpose. Mature and normal people do not choose war over peace.

Robert S said...

In US, record numbers are plunged into poverty: report AFP
Published: Saturday February 24, 2007


The gulf between rich and poor in the United States is yawning wider than ever, and the number of extremely impoverished is at a three-decade high, a report out Saturday found.

Based on the latest available US census data from 2005, the McClatchy Newspapers analysis found that almost 16 million Americans live in "deep or severe poverty" defined as a family of four with two children earning less than 9,903 dollars -- one half the federal poverty line figure.

For individuals the "deep poverty" threshold was an income under 5,080 dollars a year.

"The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005," the US newspaper chain reported.

"That's 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period," it noted.

The surge in poverty comes alongside an unusual economic expansion.

"Worker productivity has increased dramatically since the brief recession of 2001, but wages and job growth have lagged behind. At the same time, the share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries," the study found.

"That helps explain why the median household income for working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for five straight years.

"These and other factors have helped push 43 percent of the nation's 37 million poor people into deep poverty -- the highest rate since at least 1975. The share of poor Americans in deep poverty has climbed slowly but steadily over the last three decades," the report said.

It quoted an American Journal of Preventive Medicine study as having found that since 2000, the number of severely poor -- far below basic poverty terms -- in the United States has grown "more than any other segment of the population."

"That was the exact opposite of what we anticipated when we began," said Dr. Steven Woolf of Virginia Commonwealth University, a study co-author.

"We're not seeing as much moderate poverty as a proportion of the population. What we're seeing is a dramatic growth of severe poverty."

US social programs are minimal compared to those of western Europe and Canada. The United States has a population of 301 million, but more than 45 million US citizens have no health insurance.

*****************************

Compare with the Venezualan model above.

Saladin said...

Apartheid looks like this
Jonathan Cook joins a watchdog group on duty in the West Bank, documenting abuses and numberless humiliations that characterise the daily life of ordinary Palestinians under occupation


APARTHEID IN PROCESS: We leave the small Palestinian town of Azzoun, close by the city of Qalqilya, and head directly north towards another city, Tulkarem. A trip that should take little more than a quarter of an hour is now all but impossible for most Palestinians.

"This road is virtually empty, even though it is the main route between two of the West Bank's largest cities," Nomi points out. "That is because most Palestinians cannot get the permits they need to use these roads. Without a permit they can't get through the checkpoints, so either they stay in their villages or they have to seek circuitous and dangerous routes off the main roads."

We soon reach one of the checkpoints Nomi is talking about. At Aras, two soldiers sit in a small concrete bunker in the centre of the main junction between Tulkarem and Nablus. The bored soldiers are killing time waiting for the next car and the driver whose papers they will need to inspect.

A young Palestinian man, in woollen cap to protect him from the cold, stands by a telegraph post close by the junction. Bilal, aged 26, has been "detained" at the same spot for three hours by the soldiers. Nervously he tells us that he is trying to reach his ill father in hospital in Tulkarem. Nomi looks unconvinced and after a talk with the soldiers and calls on her mobile phone to their commanders she has a clearer picture.

"He has been working illegally in Israel and they have caught him trying to get back to his home in the West Bank. The soldiers are holding him here to punish him. They could imprison him but, given the dire state of the Palestinian economy, Israeli prisons would soon be overflowing with job-seekers. So holding him here all day is a way of making him suffer. It's illegal but, unless someone from Machsom Watch turns up, who will ever know?"
===========
This is what the obamas and pelosis and clintons etc. are swearing our undying support and allegience for.

Saladin said...

Haaretz.com

Report: 3 Gulf states agree to IAF overflights en route to Iran
According to the report, a diplomat from one of the gulf states visiting Washington on Saturday said the three states, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, have told the United States that they would not object to Israel using their airspace, despite their fear of an Iranian response.

Al-Siyasa further reported that NATO leaders are urging Turkey to open its airspace for an Attack on Iran as well and to also open its airports and borders in case of a ground attack.
=========
Getting all the ducks in a row? Where the hell are the dems? Are they going to stop this? Or, would that be a failure to support the troops?

capt said...

Scientists Make Explosive Discovery About Nature Of Supernovae



North Carolina State University astrophysicists have answered a long-standing question about the nature of one of our galaxy’s most famous supernova explosions, discovering a new class of supernova in the process.

Dr. Stephen Reynolds, astrophysicist in NC State’s College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, along with colleague Dr. Kazik Borkowski and a team of scientists from NASA, Rutgers University, and the Naval Research Laboratories, set out to determine whether the Kepler supernova, which occurred in 1604 A.D., was a core collapse supernova or a thermonuclear supernova.

They revealed their results in a press conference today at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society.


More HERE

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

There is a very cool picture at the link.



capt

Gerald said...

Saladin, the attack on Iran is etched in stone. Our world is going to hell!!!!! Sad, it is truely sad!!!!! Fortunately, I am experiencing more internal awareness of problems from a weak heart and I may not be here to experience the murder of my brothers and sisters in Iran. All I can hope for is a God of mercy will judge me!!!!!

capt said...

Iran sends rocket into space



Iran claims to have fired its first rocket into space.

"The rocket was carrying material intended for research created by the ministries of science and defence," the head of Iran's aerospace research center, Mohsen Bahrami, told Iranian TV.

The BBC reported that previously, Iran had relied on Russia to transport its satellites into space.

The launch came at a time of tension over Iran's nuclear program, which Iran says is for energy production and the United States and other countries suspect is for weaponry.

Iran launched its rocket as members of the U.N. Security Council consider how to respond to the country's refusal to meet last week's deadline to freeze its nuclear fuel production.

More HERE

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

Wait until the moonbats get a hold of this one.



capt

Gerald said...

Peace Train

Sad, it is truly sad that my brothers and sisters will be murdered in Iran!!!!! Dear God, please have mercy on me a sinner!!!!!

capt said...

Abdullah: Golden opportunity for Palestine



King Abdullah of Jordan said a new Palestinian unity government must recognize Israel.


The king said on Israel's Channel 2 TV that it's time for Israel to be "fully integrated into the neighborhood," CNN reported Sunday.

He said diplomacy in the Middle East now has its last opportunity to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

"I think the circumstances in the Middle East have changed so much that really this is our last opportunity. We have all this momentum moving in the right direction at the moment," Abdullah told the Israeli TV interview.

"This is the golden opportunity that is in front of all of us," Abdullah said.

Abdullah said the new unity government must abide by the demands of the Mideast Quartet -- the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations. Their demands include recognizing Israel and renouncing violence.

More HERE

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

The "He said diplomacy in the Middle East now has its last opportunity to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute." sounds ominous - reminds me of a funny quote:

Dr. Dolittle: You're an endangered species!

Archie: Is that a threat, buddy?

From Dr. Dolittle 2



capt

Gerald said...

I will now await for a nuclear holocaust!!!!!!!!!!

Gerald said...

capt, good article but will Nazi Israel renounce the genocide of Palestinians???

Saladin said...

Capt, maybe if Israel would abide by the 60+ UN resolutions they are currently in violation of, and abide by the borders agreed upon, Palestine would be able to recognize Israel. As it stands, which line are they supposed to endorse? Israel can't seem to stop invading and occupying their neighbors territory, which makes it very difficult to know where the State of Israel begins and ends.

Gerald said...

The Gospel of Nonviolence

Gerald said...

The Gospel of Non-violence

By M. K. Gandhi

The Law of Our Species

I am not a visionary. I claim to be a practical idealist. The religion of nonviolence is not meant merely for the rishis and saints. It is meant for the common people as well. Nonviolence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute. The spirit lies dormant in the brute and he knows no law but that of physical might. The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law-to the strength of the spirit....

The rishis who discovered the law of nonviolence in the midst of violence were greater geniuses than Newton. They were themselves known the use of arms, they realized their uselessness, and taught a weary world that its salvation lay not through violence but through nonviolence.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Ahimsa

I know only one way-the way of ahimsa. The way of himsa goes against my grain. I do not want to cultivate the power to inculcate himsa...The faith sustains me that He is the help of the helpless, that He comes to one's succour only when one throws himself on His mercy. It is because of that faith that I cherish the hope that God will one day show me a path which I may confidently commend to the people.

I have been a 'gambler' all my life. In my passion for finding truth and in relentlessly following out my faith in nonviolence, I have counted no stake too great. In doing so I have erred, if at all, in the company of the most distinguished scientist of any age and any clime.

I learnt the lesson of nonviolence from my wife, when I tried to bend her to my will. Her determined resistance to my will, on the one hand, and her quiet submission to the suffering my stupidity involved, on the other, ultimately made me ashamed of myself and cured me of my stupidity in thinking that I was born to rule over her and, in the end, she became my teacher in nonviolence.

The doctrine that has guided my life is not one of inaction but of the highest action.

I must not...flatter myself with the belief--nor allow friends...to entertain the belief that I have exhibited any heroic and demonstrable nonviolence in myself. All I can claim is that I am sailing in that direction without a moment's stop.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Character of Nonviolence

Nonviolence is the law of the human race and is infinitely greater than and superior to brute force.

In the last resort it does not avail to those who do not possess a living faith in the God of Love.

Nonviolence affords the fullest protection to one's self-respect and sense of honour, but not always to possession of land or movable property, though its habitual practice does prove a better bulwark than the possession of armed men to defend them. Nonviolence, in the very nature of things, is of no assistance in the defence of ill-gotten gains and immoral acts.

Individuals or nations who would practice nonviolence must be prepared to sacrifice (nations to last man) their all except honour. It is, therefore, inconsistent with the possession of other people's countries, i.e., modern imperialism, which is frankly based on force for its defence.

Nonviolence is a power which can be wielded equally by all--children, young men and women or grown-up people, provided they have a living faith in the God of Love and have therefore equal love for all mankind. When nonviolence is accepted as the law of life, it must pervade the whole being and not be applied to isolated acts.

It is a profound error to suppose that, whilst the law is good enough for individuals, it is not for masses of mankind.

For the way of nonviolence and truth is sharp as the razor's edge. Its practice is more than our daily food. Rightly taken, food sustains the body; rightly practised nonviolence sustains the soul. The body food we can only take in measured quantities and at stated intervals; nonviolence, which is the spiritual food, we have to take in continually. There is no such thing as satiation. I have to be conscious every moment that I am pursuing the goal and have to examine myself in terms of that goal.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Changeless Creed

The very first step in nonviolence is that we cultivate in our daily life, as between ourselves, truthfulness, humility, tolerance, loving kindness. Honesty, they say in English, is the best policy. But, in terms of nonviolence, it is not mere policy. Policies may and do change. Nonviolence is an unchangeable creed. It has to be pursued in face of violence raging around you. Nonviolence with a nonviolent man is no merit. In fact it becomes difficult to say whether it is nonviolence at all. But when it is pitted against violence, then one realizes the difference between the two. This we cannot do unless we are ever wakeful, ever vigilant, ever striving.

The only thing lawful is nonviolence. Violence can never be lawful in the sense meant here, i.e., not according to man-made law but according to the law made by Nature for man.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Faith in God

[A living faith in nonviolence] is impossible without a living faith in God. A nonviolent man can do nothing save by the power and grace of God. Without it he won't have the courage to die without anger, without fear and without retaliation. Such courage comes from the belief that God sits in the hearts of all and that there should be no fear in the presence of God. The knowledge of the omnipresence of God also means respect for the lives even of those who may be called opponents....

Nonviolence is an active force of the highest order. It is soul force or the power of Godhead within us. Imperfect man cannot grasp the whole of that Essence-he would not be able to bear its full blaze, but even an infinitesimal fraction of it, when it becomes active within us, can work wonders.

The sun in the heavens fills the whole universe with its life-giving warmth. But if one went too near it, it would consume him to ashes. Even so it is with God-head. We become Godlike to the extent we realize nonviolence; but we can never become wholly God.

The fact is that nonviolence does not work in the same way as violence. It works in the opposite way. An armed man naturally relies upon his arms. A man who is intentionally unarmed relies upon the Unseen Force called God by poets, but called the Unknown by scientists. But that which is unknown is not necessarily non-existent. God is the Force among all forces known and unknown. Nonviolence without reliance upon that Force is poor stuff to be thrown in the dust.

Consciousness of the living presence of God within one is undoubtedly the first requisite.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Religious Basis

My claim to Hinduism has been rejected by some, because I believe and advocate nonviolence in its extreme form. They say that I am a Christian in disguise. I have been even seriously told that I am distorting the meaning of the Gita, when I ascribe to that great poem the teaching of unadulterated nonviolence. Some of my Hindu friends tell me that killing is a duty enjoined by the Gita under certain circumstances. A very learned shastri only the other day scornfully rejected my interpretation of the Gita and said that there was no warrant for the opinion held by some commentators that the Gita represented the eternal duel between forces of evil and good, and inculcated the duty of eradicating evil within us without hesitation, without tenderness.

I state these opinions against nonviolence in detail, because it is necessary to understand them, if we would understand the solution I have to offer....

I must be dismissed out of considerations. My religion is a matter solely between my Maker and myself. If I am a Hindu, I cannot cease to be one even though I may be disowned by the whole of the Hindu population. I do however suggest that nonviolence is the end of all religions.

The lesson of nonviolence is present in every religion, but I fondly believe that, perhaps, it is here in India that its practice has been reduced to a science. Innumerable saints have laid down their lives in tapashcharya until poets had felt that the Himalayas became purified in their snowy whiteness by means of their sacrifice. But all this practice of nonviolence is nearly dead today. It is necessary to revive the eternal law of answering anger by love and of violence by nonviolence; and where can this be more readily done than in this land of Kind Janaka and Ramachandra?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hinduism's Unique Contribution

Nonviolence is common to all religions, but it has found the highest expression and application in Hinduism. (I do not regard Jainism or Buddhism as separate from Hinduism).

Hinduism believes in the oneness not of merely all human life but in the oneness of all that lives. Its worship of the cow is, in my opinion, its unique contribution to the evolution of humanitarianism. It is a practical application of the belief in the oneness and, therefore, sacredness of all life. The great belief in transmigration is a direct consequence of that belief. Finally, the discovery of the law of Varnashrama is a magnificent result of the ceaseless search for truth.

I have also been asked wherefrom in Hinduism I have unearthed ahimsa. Ahimsa is in Hinduism, it is in Christianity as well as in Islam. Whether you agree with me or not, it is my bounden duty to preach what I believe to be the truth as I see it. I am also sure that ahimsa has never made anyone a coward.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Koran and Non-violence

[Barisaheb] assured me that there was warrant enough for Satyagraha in the Holy Koran. He agreed with the interpretation of the Koran to the effect that, whilst violence under certain well-defined circumstances is permissible, self-restraint is dearer to God than violence, and that is the law of love. That is Satyagraha. Violence is concession to human weakness, Satyagraha is an obligation. Even from the practical standpoint it is easy enough to see that violence can do no good and only do infinite harm.

Some Muslim friends tell me that Muslims will never subscribe to unadulterated nonviolence. With them, they say, violence is as lawful and necessary as nonviolence. The use of either depends upon circumstances. It does not need Koranic authority to justify the lawfulness of both. That is the well-known path the world has traversed through the ages. There is no such thing as unadulterated violence in the world. But I have heard it from many Muslim friends that the Koran teaches the use of nonviolence. It regards forbearance as superior to vengeance. The very word Islam means peace, which is nonviolence. Badshahkhan, a staunch Muslim who never misses his namaz and Ramzan, has accepted out and out nonviolence as his creed. It would be no answer to say that he does not live up to his creed, even as I know to my shame that I do not one of kind, it is of degree. But, argument about nonviolence in the Holy Koran is an interpolation, not necessary for my thesis.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No Matter of Diet

Ahimsa is not a mere matter of dietetics, it transcends it. What a man eats or drinks matters little; it is the self-denial, the self-restraint behind it that matters. By all means practice as much restraint in the choice of the articles of your diet as you like. The restraint is commendable, even necessary, but it touches only the fringe of ahimsa. A man may allow himself a wide latitude in the matter of diet and yet may be a personification of ahimsa and compel our homage, if his heart overflows with love and melts at another's woe, and has been purged of all passions. On the other hand a man always over-scrupulous in diet is an utter stranger to ahimsa and pitiful wretch, if he is a slave to selfishness and passions and is hard of heart.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Road to Truth

My love for nonviolence is superior to every other thing mundane or supramundane. It is equaled only by my love for Truth, which is to me synonymous with nonviolence through which and which alone I can see and reach Truth.

....Without ahimsa it is not possible to seek and find Truth. Ahimsa and Truth are so intertwined that it is practically impossible to disentangle and separate them. They are like the two sides of a coin, or rather of a smooth, unstamped, metallic disc. Who can say which is the obverse, and which is the reverse? Nevertheless ahimsa is the means; Truth is the end. Means to be means must always be within our reach, and so ahimsa is our supreme duty. If we take care of the means, we are bound to reach the end sooner of latter. When once we have grasped this point, final victory is beyond question.

Ahimsa is not the goal. Truth is the goal. But we have no means of realizing truth in human relationships except through the practice of ahimsa. A steadfast pursuit of ahimsa is inevitably bound to truth not so violence. That is why I swear by ahimsa. Truth came naturally to me. Ahimsa I acquired after a struggle.

But ahimsa being the means, we are naturally more concerned with it in our everyday life. It is ahimsa, therefore, that our masses have to be educated in. Education in truth follows from it as a natural end.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No Cover for Cowardice

My nonviolence does not admit of running away from danger and leaving dear ones unprotected. Between violence and cowardly flight, I can only prefer violence to cowardice. I can no more preach nonviolence to a coward than I can tempt a blind man to enjoy healthy scenes. Nonviolence is the summit of bravery. And in my own experience, I have had no difficulty in demonstrating to men trained in the school of violence the superiority of nonviolence. As a coward, which I was for years, I harboured violence. I began to prize nonviolence only when I began to shed cowardice. Those Hindus who ran away from the post of duty when it was attended with danger did so not because they were nonviolent, or because they were afraid to strike, but because they were unwilling to die or even suffer an injury. A rabbit that runs away from the bull terrier is not particularly nonviolent. The poor thing trembles at the sight of the terrier and runs for very life.

Nonviolence is not a cover for cowardice, but it is the supreme virtue of the brave. Exercise of nonviolence requires far greater bravery than that of swordsmanship. Cowardice is wholly inconsistent with nonviolence. Translation from swordsmanship to nonviolence is possible and, at times, even an easy stage. Nonviolence, therefore, presupposes ability to strike. It is a conscious deliberate restraint put upon one's desire for vengeance. But vengeance is any day superior to passive, effeminate and helpless submission. Forgiveness is higher still. Vengeance too is weakness. The desire for vengeance comes out of fear of harm, imaginary or real. A dog barks and bites when he fears. A man who fears no one on earth would consider it too troublesome even to summon up anger against one who is vainly trying to injure him. The sun does not wreak vengeance upon little children who throw dust at him. They only harm themselves in the act.

The path of true nonviolence requires much more courage than violence.

The minimum that is required of a person wishing to cultivate the ahimsa of the brave is first to clear one's thought of cowardice and, in the light of the clearance, regulate his conduct in every activity, great or small. Thus the votary must refuse to be cowed down by his superior, without being angry. He must, however, be ready to sacrifice his post, however remunerative it may be. Whilst sacrificing his all, if the votary has no sense of irritation against his employer, he has ahimsa of the brave in him.

Assume that a fellow-passenger threatens my son with assault and I reason with the would-be-assailant who then turns upon me. If then I take his blow with grace and dignity, without harbouring any ill-will against him, I exhibit the ahimsa of the brave. Such instances are of every day occurrence and can be easily multiplied. If I succeed in curbing my temper every time and, though able to give blow for blow, I refrain, I shall develop the ahimsa of the brave which will never fail me and which will compel recognition from the most confirmed adversaries.

Inculcation of cowardice is against my nature. Ever since my return from South Africa, where a few thousand had stood up not unsuccessfully against heavy odds, I have made it my mission to preach true bravery which ahimsameans.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Humility Essential

If one has...pride and egoism, there is no nonviolence. Nonviolence is impossible without humility. My own experience is that, whenever I have acted nonviolently, I have been led to it and sustained in it by the higher promptings of an unseen power. Through my own will I should have miserably failed. When I first went to jail, I quailed at the prospect. I had heard terrible things about jail life. But I had faith in God's protection. Our experience was that those who went to jail in a prayerful spirit came out victorious, those who had gone in their own strength failed. There is no room for self-pitying in it either when you say God is giving you the strength. Self-pity comes when you do a thing for which you expect recognition from others. But there is no question of recognition.

It was only when I had learnt to reduce myself to zero that I was able to evolve the power of Satyagraha in South Africa.

Source: The Mind Of Mahatma Gandhi


| |

Gerald said...

Gandhi talks of oneness. We are one and the same! We are linked together as one and as brothers and sisters in God.

MY GREAT FEAR IS THAT WE ARE ON THE ROAD TO HELL!!!!!

Gerald said...

This total move toward war stresses me out and I believe that this stress will do me in.

I need to lie down to relax my heart and the activity that is inside me.

capt said...

I made a new thread in case the current thread was getting slow.

Stop gap post for the dial-uppers!

capt