Saturday, July 30, 2005
I going fricking crazy with these lying conservatives! Tamara Williams (LTE, Herald, Saturday July 30th) made so many misstatements (which she sources from right wing radio) that it’s hard to believe that any conservatives know what the hell they are talking about. I do not expect this to be printed, although I would LOVE it if you did, but at some point, once again, you have got to stop letting these idiots tell lies in your newspaper. It is people like Ms. Williams (and of course, the Bush crowd) that are forcing my family and many of our friends out of the country. My wife and I are both public school teachers with Master’s degrees. We are applying to teach in an international school, and intend to leave the US, perhaps permanently, because of the idiots that run it and the idiots that live in it. Please realize that you are contributing to this exodus.
Here is what happened (as briefly as possible) in the Balkans – and you can look any of this up, it’s all available:
1) Colin Powell (active General at the time) told NATO that the US would not contemplate military intervention in the Bosnian-Serbian conflict without UN approval, on April 27, 1993. At the same meeting NATO said that if intervention was to be used, there needed to be clear political objectives. The first American soldiers arrived in Macedonia on 10th June as part of a NATO-UN security force designed to protect safe areas for Bosnian Muslims, and to prevent conflict from spilling beyond currently embattled territories. The UNPROFOR (United Nations Protection Force) was highly critical of NATO’s unwillingness to act directly and emphatically in the Bosnian conflict, when it was clear that there was a flagrant humanitarian crisis, including “ethnic cleansing” – genocide. Thus, there was strong international pressure for US and NATO intervention. When the Dayton peace accords were signed on December 14th, 1995, and by the end of 1996, a NATO stabilization force of approximately 30,000 troops remained, with some 5,000 Americans. Clinton took into consideration that keeping troops in the region may negatively affect his re-election campaign and yet chose to keep them there alongside the other NATO troops. These troops were not fighting insurgents or trying to gain territory. They were a peacekeeping force.
2) In June of 1998, when it was clear that Slobodan Milosevic was going to continue his ethnic cleansing mission against Albanians Muslims in Kosovo, NATO resolved to intervene against the Serbian government. This was transparent. The US (as a part of the NATO body) agreed to support this mission, and announced its intentions to do so in August. It should also be noted that there was considerable debate within NATO about intervention, and that intervention was strictly because of the humanitarian crisis being placed upon the Albanian population in Kosovo. NATO did not support the Kosovo rebels in their desire to separate from Serbia, and feared that their intervention would promote such a separation. It was because of such debate, and the desire for diplomacy to win over military strikes, that it took until March of 1999 for the US and NATO to be decisive about military action, and only because the Serbian government refused all international pressure to sign a peace treaty with the Kosovars, and has amassed 40,000 troops in Kosovo after the Kosovars had signed a peace treaty which included non-separation from the Serbian state. In all of this, President Clinton was transparent with the American people, and had the full support of the international community (with the exception of Serbian ally, Russia – and even Russia objected to Serbia’s actions, they just didn’t want to set precedent for breakaway regions) and the NATO alliance. If anything, the impeachment hearings allowed president Clinton less political maneuverability than he would otherwise have had, precisely because he knew his motives would be questioned – and yet military action was a joint NATO decision. Clinton then faced criticism for not acting swiftly enough to avert the humanitarian crisis. It was a no win situation for Clinton – in his words “I was left with a bunch of bad choices.”
3) THE POINT IS: Bill Clinton never lied about Kosovo. He lied about Monica Lewinsky. And that didn’t cause anyone’s death. The stark differences between Clinton’s war and Bush’s war are numerous. Clinton exhausted diplomacy; Bush didn’t. Clinton had full allied and international support; Bush didn’t. Clinton had effective intelligence, had precise objectives, met them, and left; Bush didn’t. Clinton was transparent from the start that his objective was humanitarian; Bush lied to get us into war based in conjured specters of WMD, then when they didn’t materialize he claimed that the mission was for “liberation.” Clinton had no need to deflect his impeachment hearings with a military conflict, he wasn’t up for re-election; Bush was. The Balkans have no OIL; Iraq does.
People like Tamara Williams clearly have NO IDEA what they are prattling on about, and to give them any space in a respected journal only serves to diminish the credibility of that journal. Once again, a lie by a conservative requires 2 full paragraphs from someone who actually knows what they are talking about to debunk.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
(Continuing fiction(?) by The Left Shue
Dear Diary, (July 19, 2005)
Well I hardly know where to begin. It's been almost six months since I last wrote and life in DC has been so hectic. There have been so many votes and then there is the re-election thing. Mark W just won't take the hint and go away! (But more on that later)
As you know, we have had a few more votes for Iraq money. It seems to be getting easier now that Joe Biden and Hillary are getting everyone in line. Nobody wants to jinx their chances in 2008 by making them vote for and then against money for our war. I feel pretty good because that is one less thing for me to worry about at home. I mean I HAD to vote with the party didn't I? (wink wink) It sure made it easier with Patty voting with ME this time. Let the lefties beat up on her this time.
Aside from Iraq, there have been some other interesting votes. We got to vote on a whole new position in the Intelligence Department. Some guy named Negro-something. I'm not sure what it's all about but he was just in Iraq and the president really likes him so I figured it was kinda like the Condi Rice deal. I got some nasty emails about that one - something about war crimes and abuses in Central America but they were mostly from that same group of radicals in Seattle. The staff usually filters all that for me but there are so many sometimes, it's hard to catch them all. I figure, so long as I feed them Enron, they will settle down. Just a couple of weeks ago, we got to vote on CAFTA. I have to tell you it was such a cool deal. I talked this one over with Patty and came up with this really great win-win plan. You know how important that Microsoft and Boeing money is to the campaign. Well, I was able to take this vote to protect Bill's intellectual property rights and make it look like I was voting to protect the farmers in Eastern Washington! Brilliant, don't you think?
Well, of course the lefties back home (especially that Mark W) are really coming down on me for that one but guess what? The strategy seems to be working. The folks in Eastern Washington are getting after the folks in Seattle for not wanting to protect the farmers and, with Patty voting for it too, they are having to go after her too which takes some of the stuff off of me. Paul and the rest of the state party folks are still working the "gotta hold that seat" game plan and it seems to be picking up more support. My friends who watch the lefty message boards tell me that the "hold that seat" crowd are doing a great job. Just the other day that Dino guy that gave Chrissy such a hard time said he wouldn't challenge me next year so it looks like I might be home free here. I sure hope so. Patty says that, if I win this one, I should be pretty safe in 2012 (can you believe I am even thinking about 2012?).
Well I will close this for now. I have to decide what I am going to wear and say at this fancy dinner thing in Everett on Saturday night. They love me there. In fact they are having this dinner in my honor. They have that big boat that George W flew his jet onto parked up there I think. I should say something about our glorious war effort. They'll like that. I am looking forward to a good time. Until next time...........MC
Monday, July 11, 2005
I couldn't help but write a lengthy response, which I sent to them and encouraged them to print as a guest editorial since it is far too long for an LTE.
"Your editorial in this Saturday’s Herald (We must keep resolve in war against terrorism) was entirely oversimplified. It is precisely this dumbing down of intensely complex issues that has led us into our current dilemmas, and will ultimately prolong the “war on terrorism,” if it can be called such, with increasingly dire results.
Churchill’s declaration of steadfastness against the Nazis is inappropriate for our situation with Islamic extremists. The Nazis were aggressors who sought to dominate Europe and subjugate or exterminate entire peoples. We, however, are in Iraq illegally. With all of the recently exposed information from our ally’s intelligence agencies, any argument counter to this conclusion is pointless, much as the Bush administration would like to ignore it. These insurgents are no less “freedom fighters” than were the death squads that the US supported in Central America. They want us off their sovereign soil, soil that we had no right to be on in the first place. What we should have learned from Vietnam is that no sovereign nation will stand long for occupation.
You then claim that the Taliban was “quickly ousted” after our invasion. You neglect to identify what has happened to the Taliban since we diverted our attention to Iraq. They have regained territory and authority in many places in Afghanistan because we do not have enough troops there to maintain an authoritative presence, nor is the replacement government in Afghanistan capable of successfully fighting a civil war to eradicate the Taliban influence. We may well have missed a vital and singular opportunity to capture Osama bin Laden (remember him – the one that actually attacked us?) by diverting our military to Iraq unnecessarily.
You state correctly that diplomacy is a key to “lasting solutions” but when has this administration ever exercised diplomacy. This is a “git the varmints” Yosemite Sam-style foreign policy if ever there was one. I remind you that the Republicans were essentially willing to scuttle 200 years of Senate operations in order to stack our circuit courts with their own “extremist” judges. If diplomacy is truly a key to progress in the Middle East, then it is doomed because Bush refuses to even compromise with his own political rivals (and, I might add, he is much supported within his own party for his ‘no compromise’ attitude.)
A continued presence in Iraq will only serve to prolong the war against these particular terrorist entities. We must realize that by our own definition of terrorism (using violence to achieve political goals) we too fit that bill. I wish I were joking. In doing so we have neglected security in vital areas in our own country, particularly our cargo transportation infrastructure and chemical and nuclear plants, which are daily undermanned in terms of necessary protections.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have mired our military in a conflict that was built on lies, has no foreseeable end, and has undeniably served to swell the ranks of the terrorists who see the United States and her allies as the aggressors and invaders in a war for resources and empire. As Bush continues to bomb Iraq, so will the terrorists continue to retaliate as we saw this week in London. As Bush ‘strengthens his resolve’ so will the terrorists strengthen theirs. What do they have to lose? We have left our own homeland unprotected as our fighting men and women serve halfway around the world. The obvious injustice of the war is taking its toll on military recruitment as the public slowly wakes to the reality of enlistment under this current administration.
If we are ever to come out of this conflict we must be realistic and honest with ourselves about the reasons for our involvement in Iraq, and attempt to understand their complexity. We must also be willing to accept their harsh realities, such as we might not always be on the right side of world events. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but sooner or later we will have to take that medicine."