Here's a great ten dollar 'investment' - assuming you have $10 (which I don't!)
The author of this bestseller, Glenn Greenwald, continues to BANG AWAY AT the Decider in Chief and his minions.
As our Great American Hero bangs away at disbelieving the US intel community when HE SO CHOOSES (the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran) - he cherry picks intel on Pakistan.
We're headed for more war if we don't watch the warmongers and there are again ominous sighs.
(I've said that way back - is it Syria? Is it Venezuela? Is it Pakistan? Is it Iran? Who the freak is it ..? and we already had Lebanon, folks! And an Israeli attack on Syria .. )
What we DO know is this .. there must be a military authorizations act passed before he gets the US tax dollars to pay for his many excursions.
The White House fears an AUMF vote on IranIt has been obvious for some time now that the Bush administration is signaling to its most extremist supporters that it is committed to waging war against Iran. The President has been giving speeches this week which are almost verbatim copies of the "war-is-inevitable-against-Iraq" speeches he gave at exactly this time four years ago. An ecstatic John Podhoretz finally got the message today:
Bush Will Strike Iran [John Podhoretz]
The president made it unambiguous yesterday that he will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from going nuclear. In my column today, I call his speech the most important of his presidency since he went to the U.N. on September 12, 2002 to call for regime change in Iraq.
Revealingly, though, the White House is unwilling to really press the issue before the election. The New York Sun today reports, in an article headlined "White House Wary of New War Act For Force in Iran," that the Bush administration is clearly running away from the demand this week by Bill Kristol that Congress vote on a resolution authorizing military force against Iran:
As Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns prepares for a meeting with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council in Berlin tomorrow to discuss imposing tough sanctions on Iran, neither the Bush administration nor some of the most hawkish Republicans in Congress are yet willing to consider military force if those sanctions fail to halt Iran's nuclear program. . .
The idea of putting a war resolution against the Islamic Republic to Congress was floated Monday on Fox News by the editor of the Weekly Standard, William Kristol. . . . "And that would be something, if you did it in the next week or two, that could shake up the election," he added.
Yesterday, however, the proposal received a lukewarm reaction at the White House and from two pro-Bush administration senators.
"As the president has emphasized throughout, we are seeking a diplomatic solution to the problem with the Iranian regime. The president could not have stated it more emphatically on numerous occasions," a spokesman for the National Security Council, Frederick Jones, said.
Another administration official who requested anonymity called the idea "ludicrous" and added, "That's not even a consideration."
The article also reports that Sens. Santorum and Brownback -- two of the most vocal "hawks" on Iran -- are taking great pains to emphasize that they are thinking only about triggering regime change from within, not military action. Sen. Santorum apparently doesn't want Pennsylvania voters voting based on whether they want a new war, this time with Iran.
There is only one reason why the administration and its Congressional loyalists would refuse to have Congress vote on an AUMF for Iran -- because they know Americans don't want a new war. If they thought they could make that case, they would follow the 2002 script which worked so well for them and engineer a vote before the midterm elections, thereby forcing Democrats to vote to authorize the war or be accused of being weak on national security (or, as with Iraq in 2002, both).
But the opposite would happen here. Most Democrats would have no difficulty refusing to authorize a new war, and it is Republicans who would be put in the untenable position of either (a) being perceived as authorizing a whole new war which Americans plainly don't want or (b) opposing the President on national security. As the Sun reports:
Another risk in pressing Congress for a war resolution now is that it could fail to gain enough support.
"Right now the public is vacillating. Something like this, even if it becomes necessary, could well backfire," a conservative foreign policy analyst who requested anonymity said yesterday. "What if the administration can't make the case that Iran is really a menace and the resolution goes down because the CIA sabotages them again?"
So that's all clear enough. The administration has to assure its base that war with Iran is inevitable, but doesn't want that to really be a decisive issue for the election, because they fear (accurately) that they would be on the wrong side with a war-weary American electorate that is extremely angry about the current war in Iraq, let alone averse to a new one. So they are walking this very fine line of feeding their extremist base rhetorically and planning on a war with Iran, while ensuring that the question of whether we want a new war will not be a referendum issue for the midterm election.
Republican strategists obviously recognize the dangerous opening which Democrats have but which, as always, they are thus far either too obtuse or too fearful to exploit. The President has clearly committed to a war with Iran. His most fervent supporters are saying that. He is using exactly the same language and reasoning to justify that war as he used when leading this country into Iraq. If Republicans control both houses of Congress in 2007, a war with Iran is inevitable, all while we continue, as the President vowed, to stay mired in Iraq. But that -- Iran -- is a war which Americans don't want.
It would be truly disgraceful to allow this election to be held without having that issue be front and center. But Democrats are sitting back defensively and passively allowing George Bush and Bill Frist to shape the debate (do we want to appease our Nazi terrorist enemies? do we want aggressive defenses against terrorism?), while Democrats do little other than react defensively ("how dare you accuse us of appeasement" and "we're against terrorism, too, even though we want the President to comply with the law") or use meaningless gimmicks to avoid substantive positions ("we want a no-confidence vote on Don Rumsfeld," as though it's Rumsfeld's "management" that is the problem, or "let's ban al-Maliki from Congress because he condemns Israel").
Democrats need to take a position on these issues of war -- a clear, real position -- and then make that the issue to be voted on. Iraq obviously ought to be front and center, the administration's attempts to pretend that that war doesn't exist notwithstanding. But the President's warmongering agenda is now beyond dispute -- read John Podhoretz, or the President's speeches. Democrats can't let the White House get away with riling up its base with war promises while not paying a price with an electorate that doesn't want more wars.
Democrats need very unambiguously and aggressively to tell Americans that continuing to allow the President's party full and absolute control of our government will -- as the President has essentially vowed -- ensure that we start new wars in our short-term future. Make Americans aware of what is really at stake, offer them that clear contrast, and then make the case as to why allowing the administration to start new wars is both imprudent and dangerous. The White House doesn't want a referendum on a war against Iran for exactly the reason Democrats ought to make it one.
About the Author
This review of Glenn Greenwald stands out:
An earlier quote (page 15) sums up the why: "Unbridaled extremism and contempt for the legal limits imposed by Congress and the Courts."
The author does a fine job of quoting from the Federalist Papers to illustrate just how severe are the violations of the intent of the Founding Fathers by the incumbent President.
This book, which ends with an Epilogue on Iran and the fact that the incumbent President is using the terrorism card to justify any action anywhere, does not make the case for impeachment as ably as another book (see below). It focuses mostly on the NSA wire-tapping.
I strongly recommend this book be bought and read together with Senator Robert Byrd's Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency and The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office by Dave Lindorg and Barbara Oshasky." Below is an extract from my review of the latter book:
BEGIN EXTRACT The Republicans set the stage for hard-ball when they actually impeached President Clinton, not for having oral sex with an intern, but for lying about it. This book lists ten specific documented reasons for impeaching President Bush:
1. Stole Florida election in 2005.
2. Lied on Iraq to Congress, the Public, and the United Nations.
3. 9-11 Cover-Up and Obstruction of Justice.
4. Violated Rights of Citizens including Habeas Corpus.
5. NSA Program to Listen to Citizens without Warrant.
6. Violated International Treaties Including Geneva Convention.
7. Actively Encouraged, as a Policy, Use of Torture.
8. Gross Negligence on Hurricane Katrina.
9. Iraq Contract Corruption--Bremer "Lost" $8 billion in cash, sole source awards, and gross negligence in managing the peace.
10. Stole Ohio election in 2004.
This book is not just an indictment on the specifics, it is also a very useful primer for citizens on the purpose and process of impeachment. END EXTRACT.
Both books, together, make it clear that any time the American people want to force Congress, on threat of not being re-elected, to impeach this President, he is toast. The question then arises, are *enough* citizens paying attention?
Sometime after reading this book, I read three books that focus on the failure of Congress:
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy)
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders
I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that we need to dump virtually every single Senator and every single Representative, demand an Electoral Reform Act, and end the 'wnnier take all" nonsence for both the Congressional leadership positions and the Cabinet. Transpartisan leaders with a balanced budget, that's the ticket!