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Saturday, 4 September 2010

Bush Wimp

Bush Wimp
Bush is a cowardBy Jack BalkwillOnline Journal Contributing Writer"I rode a tank in the generals' rankwhen the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank"Mick Jagger, "Sympathy for the Devil" July 15, 2003 - Bush is a coward. I am the one who took his place in Vietnam, so I should know.Corporate media have convinced the masses of a fictitious warrior Bush, who is a hero. This has been effective, as a neighbor recently told me, "If Gore had been elected, he wouldn't have had the guts to attack Iraq." My heart sank when I heard that, as I cannot fathom how it "takes guts" to order bombs to be dropped on children. Only cowards can do such things. Cowards who desert from war themselves while insisting that the working class bleed and die for the excesses of their national security state.I have marched for peace many times with friends who are war veterans, and others who are long veterans of the peace movement. I opposed all of the Bush wars - the invasion of Panama, Afghanistan, the various Iraqi Wars. I opposed Daddy Bush's arming Saddam and protecting him politically for so long. Daddy Bush was the pilot who bailed out on his crew, leaving them to crash and die in WW2. Cowardice runs deep in the Bush family.During the Vietnam War, when Bush deserted from the Texas National Guard, the National Security State found itself to be one short on cannon fodder, so they sent me. A member of the peasant class, I was expendable. Bush loved the war up to the point of actually risking his own "investment class" ass, to employ a favorite term of his father. He supported the war mind you - has always enjoyed killing, setting the all-time execution record for governors, though brother Jeb has competed well in Florida.I was at Fort Meade, Maryland, for three months prior to being sent to Vietnam. My military bosses assured me they had friends in the Pentagon who could keep me from going to war. A lieutenant was dispatched to the Pentagon with a full-time job of wandering the halls in pursuit of this. The friends proved to be less powerful than believed, and I became an advisor to combat units for US Army Vietnam and Military Assistance Command, traveling all over the country to daily witness the hatred, greed and delusion of war, the lowest activity of my species.I was an ignorant kid who knew nothing about what was happening. Nothing in my life had prepared me for understanding. My working class father voted Republican, because Eisenhower was a Republican and like him, a World War Two vet. I didn't even know there was a peace movement, as I was sent before it surged in 1966. The Stars and Stripes newspaper in Vietnam was so full of propaganda that by comparison the Wall Street Journal is objective on national security matters. I didn't know that the South Vietnamese government was a corrupt cesspool hated by its people and forced down their throats by old fashioned imperialism. Most of us went in order to avoid prison (we also had the choice of suicide, taken by more than 60,000 vets of that war since). My heroes are those who oppose war, which is the only sane approach to it. Those who stand up to the warmongers have suffered greatly, often beaten and jailed, and sometimes murdered for that position. Martin Luther King, Jr., appeared to know where it would get him when he said, "I may not get there with you..." He had called the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" not long before the bullet tore into his flesh. But the cowardly Bush can't get enough of war.I have been under fire for days at a time, with such fear beyond fear that it really requires a new word. Those who order wars never see the bleeding or hear the screams. I have seen rivers of blood and have given thanks for the insane roar of battle when it hid the screams of my comrades, to keep me from going entirely mad. But Bush can order a war casually, just before his golf game.In a nightmare I faced Bush and said "You cowardly son of a bitch, I took your place in Vietnam." I could see in his glazed, alcoholic eyes the denial which kept him from understanding. His handlers convinced him that if he put on a flight suit and flew to an aircraft carrier, he must be a hero (even if it cost $800,000 as it underscored the hypocrisy of his "fiscal conservative" claim, habitually unnoticed by corporate media as the national debt soars).On 9/11, when the nation needed leadership, Bush hid at an Air Force Base. The most protected person on the planet went into hiding, not because he was in danger, but because he is a coward. I cannot imagine another president who would have hid like that. Even the spineless Nixon would have seen it is the job of a president to go to the White House and assure the masses that everything is under control.The Democrats seem unable to locate an issue with which to oppose Bush, most having voted for everything he's requested to date. May I suggest the truth? The single image Bush has promoted is flag-waving hero of the Republic. The evidence proves he is a coward.Jack Balkwill is a Vietnam veteran who has won national writing awards for poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Mr. Balkwill owns the web site Liberty Underground of Virginia (LUV). Mr. Balkwill encourages your comments and can be reached at HIGHTOWER: Dishonoring America's TroopsBy Jim Hightower, AlterNetJuly 15, 2003There's the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, and other badges and decorations to honor America's fighting men and women - but there should be one more medal for some of our top officials who are also so richly deserving of public recognition in times of war: The Dishonorable Badge of High-ranking Hypocrisy. Among the deserving are George W. Bush and all the other hyper-hawks of both parties who talk so loudly about duty and bravery as they send our troops into their hyped-up wars - yet fail to provide the necessary gear that these very troops need to do battle. I'm not talking about the super-sophisticated, high-dollar, laser-guided missiles, and other video-game technology that dazzles both the hawks and the fawning media (while enriching the profiteering corporations that sell such sexy hardware to the government). Rather, I'm talking about the mundane, low-dollar basics needed to equip the grunts on the ground - stuff like good socks and boots, rucksacks, field radios, pistols, and rifle sights. But these ground troops don't have Gucci-clad lobbyists or make fat campaign donations, so - as incredible as it sounds - they've literally been getting shortchanged while the White House and congress hurl billions of our tax dollars at the likes of Boeing, Lockheed, and Raytheon. An investigative report by the Army tells of our troops in Iraq having to shell out from their own thin paychecks to buy equipment from places like L.L. Bean, because the stuff they've been issued is inadequate, including boots with soles that can't handle the Iraqi terrain, pistol magazines that fail to push the bullets into the chamber for firing, and field radios too weak to reach support units just a few blocks away. One army official complained that a typical mountain climbing expedition is better outfitted than the troops fighting Bush's war.This is Jim Hightower saying... Anytime these hawkish politicians use America's troops for a photo-op backdrop, they should have to wear their Badge of High-Ranking Hypocrisy.
Who's steering this ship?By Bridget GibsonOnline Journal Contributing WriterMy captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still; My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse or will; The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won - Walt Whitman, from O Captain! My Captain!July 15, 2003 - - The news is all about how "accepting" the blame for the botched speech is okay with George W. Bush. It is so nice to realize that words can be "blamed" on someone, anyone, but the one who uses the words.Following the logic of the "blame" routine leads me down an interesting path.If all George W. Bush does, is read prepared speeches written by others, vetted by others, put onto ready to read scrolling devices for his lips of the, does that make the one that utters the words a puppet - a void and vacuous being whose only purpose is to mouth the threats and words of others?If our illustrious president [sic] will not take the responsibility for the content and context in which his words are spoken - and spoken in a constitutionally proscribed duty - then he does not deserve to be called the "leader of the free world."As of July 11, 2003, we had, as a nation, sustained the loss of 212 men and women in combat - combat that was whipped up by the words of George W. Bush and his administration.Descriptions of "mushroom clouds" within the borders of the United States, descriptions of tons of weaponized biological and bacterial materials, descriptions of unending horror at the hands of Saddam Hussein have been placed in the psyche of each and every citizen by the members of George W. Bush's cabinet and crew.If George Tenet was responsible for standing in front of the Congress and the public on January 28, 2003, and uttering words of terror, then an "I accept the blame" statement is not enough.If, eight days later, Colin Powell decided that those words should not be used by him in his testimony before the United Nations, was it because Colin Powell understood the gravity of lying before the world body? Did George W. Bush not understand that by using those words in a constitutionally-mandated report on the state of the union the gravity of lying to Congress and the American people?This lie had been exposed - this forged document regarding uranium from Niger - long before January 28, 2003. This lie was further exposed before March 20, 2003 - the date that George W. Bush launched "shock and awe" on the Iraqi nation.This administration has ignored the truth at each and every turn and has stolen the sons, husbands, brothers, fathers, daughters, wives, sisters and mothers of our fellow citizens. There will be children that will grow up without fathers or mothers.Donald Rumsfeld has said that the losses since May 1, 2003, (the day that George W. Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln) are militarily insignificant. Each and every day, we have lost at least one more of our service men or women. I am certain that their families do not view their loss as "insignificant."George Bush and Tommy Franks have called for those that attack us to "Bring 'em on." How easy and safe it must be for all of us here in our "secured" borders to just wait for the day's numbers to be announced. Two die in landmine accidents, three die of complications from wounds, five die in an exchange of gunfire. My heart aches for each and every loss. Temperatures ranging from 100 to 110 degrees cannot bode well for an entire population who cannot depend on electricity to keep their food from spoiling and their waters from being polluted.We are now told that the cost of the "war" will be $4 billion each and every month and that we will be there for at least four years. My calculations come to $192 billion, not counting the loss of life for the American people and others.We have someone in our highest office who will not take responsibility for his words. Do you think that George W. Bush will take responsibility for the rest of what he has created? George W. Bush demanded that our Congress give him the power to decide who, where and when our military would make this "pre-emptive" attack. George W. Bush demanded that we ignore the reservations of other nations on the United Nations Security Council. George W. Bush ordered the attacks. George W. Bush is responsible.
Romper RoomBy Geov Parrish, WorkingForChange.comJuly 17, 2003Remember, way back in December 2000, after the U.S. Supreme Court finally stole, er, ruled that George W. Bush would become the next President of the United States? One of the primary themes to emerge - from the ornate hotel lobbies of Washington, from the mouths of AM talk radio hosts, from the new regime's sneering acolytes in cowboy hats and fur-trimmed coats - was that at last, finally, grown-ups would be running Washington, D.C. No more semen-stained dresses. No more fags in uniform and half-assed missile attacks. No more her. No more children running the world. Wrong. At least with Clinton you knew that the most powerful man in the world had reached adolescence, if not much beyond it. But all current evidence suggests that the world is now being run by 7-year-olds. Oh, to be sure, petulant little children are announcing themselves all around the world these days, from surly little bullies like Ahmad Chalabi (who, after spending years on various playgrounds stealing other kids' lunch money, have come home to be handed a shiny new bicycle called Iraq), to the angry little brat in North Korea trying to get his parent's attention ("I've got uranium now! Now I've got a missile! Now I'm arming it! Watch me! I really am! I said I really am! I mean it this time!"). Kim Jong II needs time out and a nap; Chalabi needs reform school. But the most alarming spectacle is in Washington itself, where Peter Pan went and recruited his whole grade school class.The result is calamity almost beyond words to describe: an appetite for cool comic-book foreign policy, emphasis on blowing stuff up, combined with a Never-Never Land insistence on how the world works and economics learned from watching older siblings play Monopoly.Little kids, you'll recall, can be incredibly cruel. And so it is in D.C. these days, a dramatic step down from the last depressing administration, where the Clinton crew (including, no doubt, Janet Reno) had at least discovered girls. This collection hasn't even matured enough yet to learn right from wrong, or that actions have consequences, or even to experience the essential step in human development of understanding that the world doesn't start and stop with them, that other people think and act and feel just like they do. Empathy. Instead, this bunch stays at home, watches TV, and plays army all day. It's a nice day; they should at least go outside and play. Clinton needed to be grounded. Junior needs to have his toys taken away. You want proof? What was Junior's sole major "accomplishment" before daddy's friends got him elected governor of Texas? He used daddy's allowance money and bought a baseball team. These are rich children. Too much attention is being paid to "rich," and not enough to "children." But more and more, the emperor's outgrown clothes are showing, especially in recent days as the little tyke has finally been confronted in public with truths that contradict his carefully constructed play world. First, he really did go outside and play, to Africa, just to get away from it. But reality dogged him there, too, so mostly he's been pouting and insisting that the tooth fairy really does exist, there is a Santa Claus, Saddam really did buy uranium from Niger. ("And all that other stuff I made up last week is true, too!")Frankly, the pile of toys Junior's no longer interested in is starting to clutter the living room floor, and Junior also keeps tripping over his now-discarded Disney videos, too. (He's not much for reading.) It's not like he's ever learned, or been made, to clean up his own messes. And he still believes all the stories in those old videos, too - Iraq's mystery weapons in trailers, made out of propane tanks, and the cool spy-movie ties to Al-Qaeda and stuff. He still can't tell fact from fiction. But confronted with it, he's reacting the way many small, spoiled kids do - by blaming his friends, starting with the one he doesn't know very well, the guy who already lived in his new neighborhood when he got here, little Georgie Tenet. ("Hey, I only made him fall on a play sword! It didn't really hurt.") Every time Junior does this, he squeezes his eyes real tight and hopes it'll all just go away so he can go play army s'more. (He's also supposed to be doing homework - he hates math! - but video games are more fun.) The other little kids in Junior's clubhouse are acting about the same way - except for little Rummy, who likes to torture the neighbor's cats when nobody's looking. Rummy's gonna be trouble when he gets older.For years, the adults around Junior and his little pals have been making excuses for their behavior. All kids are above average. It was a misunderstanding. He didn't mean to break it. He's really not that dumb. He just learns differently. Isn't he cute? The parents are rich, so teachers are circumspect, even when the extra lessons they give don't stick or he makes Family Circus-style mispronouncements.But the behavior coming out of Washington these days has become too destructive, too aberrant to ignore, as it sometimes does when spoiled kids are never reigned in from their excesses. These kids are very spoiled, and their excesses are scaring all the adults in the neighborhood, if not the world. Frankly, it would be a huge improvement if this batch got old enough to discover girls.But that's a long way away, and meantime they're really, really wed to their fantasies and their cruelty and their denials. And their moms and dads don't seem to care. Many, many people could die before Junior and his friends get old enough that they start to learn right from wrong.At this point, the best hope is that they move to another neighborhood.