Monday, August 07, 2006

by Larry Beinhart, Huffington Post
[DUCHESS NOTE ... Good article and commentary on the reality of healthcare and Medicare in this country and how Republican Lites like Hillary Clinton continually support insurance/drug industries for profit. Jonathan Tasini says Medicare for ALL and supporting people, not the drug or insurance industries. Vote in the NY state primary on Sept 12th for Tasini and get rid of bad blood like Clinton. It's very much time for a change, a big change.]

LETTER TO THE NY TIMES EDITORS REGARDING CLINTON, TASINI & LIEBERMAN [Thanks to Rob Jereski for sharing. He speaks with truth & clarity. Bravo!]
Dear Editors ... Your article comparing the fallout of Senator Clinton's support of the war in Iraq with Senator Lieberman's adopts a bewildered tone while discovering that, as per the piece's title, "Clinton Dodges Political Peril for War Vote" (news, August 5th). The paper of record should conduct a poll to determine how many voters recognize the name of her opponent in the Democratic Party primary, JohnTasini, whose challenge you characterize as "token". The results will indicate that most New York State voters eligible to support Tasini have yet to hear of him. And the blame will lie squarely on the same media sources, including the paper of record, which facilitated the Iraq debacle by ignoring obvious sound alternatives before the war and playing along with the Bush Administration, and Congress, and their march to war.


So there was Hillary Rodham Clinton grandstanding for the television cameras last week, giving Donald Rumsfeld a carefully scripted chewing out for his role in the Bush administration’s lunatic war in Iraq. Casual viewers could have been forgiven for not realizing that Senator Clinton has long been a supporter of this war, and that even now, with the number of pointless American deaths moving toward 2,600, her primary goal apparently is not to find an end game, but to figure out the most expedient political position to adopt — the one that will do the least damage to her presidential ambitions. Mrs. Clinton is trying to have it both ways. A couple of months ago, she told a gathering in Washington: “I do not think it is a smart strategy either for the president to continue with his open-ended commitment, which I think does not put enough pressure on the new Iraqi government.” She then added, “Nor do I think it is smart strategy to set a date certain.”

Slick Willie has morphed into Slick Hilly, as the carnival of death in Iraq goes on.

Mrs. Clinton is just one of the many supporters of the war who should have known better from the beginning, and who are now (with the wheels falling off the Iraqi cart and public support for the war plummeting) engaged in the tricky ritual of rationalization. The favored “it’s not my fault” explanation is that the war was always a grand idea, but the Bush gang was so dopey it fouled up a good thing. If only they’d sent in more troops. If only they hadn’t disbanded Saddam’s army. If only they’d turned right instead of left, or left instead of right, Iraq would be an oil-rich, free-market, democratic paradise, even as we speak. I’m not trying to give a pass to Mr. Rumsfeld, President Bush, Dick Cheney or any of the rest of the war-loving, high-strutting, muscle-flexing men and women in this most dreadful of administrations. These are the individuals who drove us into the flames of Iraq that so far have consumed scores of thousands of lives. But they could have — and should have — been stopped by wiser heads.

This was a war that never should have happened. There was a legitimate war for the United States to fight in Afghanistan, but that was not enough for the administration. The Bush gang wanted a war with Iraq, and less-than-courageous politicians like Mrs. Clinton and many others lined up as enablers to help make that war happen. Many of the Democrats in Congress supported the war only because they remembered the price paid by party members who stood against the first gulf war, a stand that became an embarrassment when the war was easily won and was therefore popular. Despite the rationalizations now suddenly on the lips of so many, the problem with the current war in Iraq is not the way it was conducted, but the fact of the war itself. It was launched amid blinding, billowing clouds of deceit. There was never any legitimate reason for the war. Iraq had not attacked the U.S. and there was no imminent threat of attack.

The U.S. went in with guns blazing (“shock and awe”) like Matt Dillon shooting up the dusty streets of Dodge City. Only this was the real world, and the result has been unending tragedy. The American occupation of Iraq was guaranteed, sooner or later, to provoke a sustained and bloody resistance, and it was inevitable that terror would be the resistance’s most effective tool. It was also certain that if the Shiites were empowered, there would be widespread retaliation for their many years of suffering under Saddam, and then the inevitable counter reaction of the suddenly disempowered Sunnis, and so on. None of this was a secret. The warnings came from around the world before the first shot was ever fired.

Mrs. Clinton, other Democrats and whatever sensible Republicans may still be out there should be getting together to work out a plan for an orderly withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. This was not a war we were ever going to win. It’s time we brought our involvement to an end. Americans no longer support this war, and there are few things more empty of meaning than dying in a war that one’s fellow citizens — safe at home — have already given up on. We went into Iraq with bombs falling and guns blazing, insisting all the while that we were bringing the Iraqis the gifts of freedom and democracy. Instead, we gave them terror, chaos and civil war — in other words, a whole new generation of misery and mass death. Shock and awe, indeed.


NEW YORK, NY: Senate Candidate Jonathan Tasini today released the following statement regarding Hillary Clinton's publicized remarks regarding Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and her call for his resignation:

"My opponent is getting much attention for her criticism of Donald Rumsfeld yesterday. But it’s just more bluster from Sen. Clinton. If you’re a Senator who voted to authorize the invasion, who has continually supported the war and occupation, has continually voted for war funding, has continually undercut fellow Congressional Democrats (like John Murtha) when they move to extricate our country from the Iraq disaster, then she should not be allowed to get away with pointing fingers at others. If there was and is an efficient way to prosecute this war, Clinton owes it to the American public to spell that out. If she could have prosecuted the war effectively, why didn’t she lay out her plan all these years? Until she gets specific, citizens should view yesterday’s confrontation with Mr. Rumsfeld as little more than politics on Sen. Clinton’s part."

"Let’s face it: Most Americans view the war that Sen. Clinton supported and supports as a mistake. It isn't about how effective the war was prosecuted. It is entirely about this having been an illegal and immoral war that has cost our country dearly--and Sen. Clinton is trying to obscure her record by shifting the focus to Rumsfeld. Most people want a timetable for withdrawal. She does not and has repeatedly voted for prolonging the war, and the many deaths the war continues to cause. All the verbal acrobatics about Rumsfeld’s failures should not obscure the fact that Sen. Clinton has been wrong on the war all along, especially in her undermining of fellow Democrats who want to reverse course. She remains wrong today, despite her theatrics yesterday."

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Coercion cannot but result in chaos in the end. Gandhi

By Elizabeth Benjamin, Times Union
[DUCHESS NOTE: Thank you David H in sharing the above article. And thanks to Linda Z in sharing the two articles below. You both rock the house!]

By Dave Lindorff

By John Chuckman,


Ray McGovern, BuzzFlash
The White House and Fox News Channel are still trying to convince us that things are going just fine in Iraq.

In this interview with George Stephanopoulos, Ned Lamont proves why he has a double-digit lead in polls leading up to this Tuesday's pivotal Connecticut Democratic primary.


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