Sunday, July 22, 2007

Paul Craig Roberts -- Defrocked!!!

I have been carrying on an adulation regarding Stanford Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, the darling of the neo-conservative liberal poseur Alexander Cockburn; only to find out recently through an exploratory combined congratulatory letter and admonishment that he really considers himself as an unabashed trickle-down godfather of supply side economics and further feels that he is a man of the people as he views Ronald Reagan to be as well. Were it not for the combined poisoning of the 'well of truth' of both these souls of the Wall Street Journal pundit pool along with David Brooks I would have considered it an unfortunate anomaly. But upon contacting Mr. Roberts it appears that he actually believes that he is carrying the crucifix of humanity right alongside the Pontiff of Putriditity Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Get this:


I have been enjoying your articles while allowing for the Republican tag which may provide some sort of credibility for Alex Cockburn in his insular isolated global sphere, I would like to ask you to make the change to progressive and drop the Republican tag which carries no distinction for any prescient being since WWII. Like David Stockman your allegiance to Reagan Patrician authoritarianism is something which hinders your street credibility in the modern world of justice. Get off this foolishness and break away and become human. Please do it now!!

(Paul responds)
Stockman was the opposite of loyal to Reagan. Don't
know what
you mean by pat. auth. Reagan was a man of the people
disliked by the Republican establishment. So was I

You said:

Reagan was a man of the people
disliked by the Republican establishment. So was I

Ed Meese, People's Park police riot, a killing, Iran Contra, Guns for Drugs: Any of these things jog your memory?

The tenured middle class patricians and the old money but not the people.
Not the people of whom Lincoln spoke, "God must have loved the common people because he made so many of them."

Certainly not the people whom he sent the national guard and the dogs after.
He was not the man of the people but rather "The Man", as in the hobnail boot on the neck of a citizen.

The people hated Reagan and still do. You are a much better human being than him, and need to maybe break away from the association with him.
That was my suggestion.

Anyway you may still disagree but I want you know that I like your writing and your willingness to stand up to the current excessively dangerous government we find ourselves under now. Kudo's

Mike Jordan

Paul Responds:

the people loved Reagan, the most popular president of
the post war era
you are misinformed

Paul I couldn't agree less-

Ronald Reagan had less than 20% support of the country at the height of his popularity:
A media president, media manipulated into media prominence just like the current liar president and media darling G. W. Bush.
In 27 years you are the first person I have ever met who liked Reagan.
Upon hearing he had been shot, my fellow working, suffering Americans in San Francisco were hoping for a fatality.
We travel in different circles to say the very least.
The "love" for Ronald Reagan had to do with his 20 Muleteam Borax Days and GE Theatre and his good looks in a bathing suit when he was a lifeguard as a young man.
These images created a host of false impressions where silly hayseeds equate photogenic qualities found in actors for honesty and decency. Women swooned over him and men shaved their body hair to look like him to win back their wives. This was not the acceptance of a diligent politician but rather red hair dye and makeup assisting star glamour which has been well chronicled by the insiders in his inner circle. Joan Quigley at the request of his wife Nancy was more significant in creating the fiction of Reagan than any other person excepting perhaps George Bush Sr. who manipulated intelligence in the background and threatened committee members including John Kerry to make Ron look good during Iran Contra and the constant murders of civilians by intelligence agents like Eugene Hassenfus in their immoral efforts to over throw duly elected governments. Ronald Reagan renewed the horror show in Central America and is the main reason governments in "the south" started pushing their people up over the border here which is threatening to collapse our economy completely. The economic fictions which Reagan sold to a desperate and undereducated American population regarding supply side BS was perfectly packaged by his advisor's which I presume you call yourself one.

If the American people had the intellectual tools to adequately assess the policies of Ron Reagan he would be right at the bottom just above George Bush.
But then you seem intent to peg your entire output and achievement on this guy even though you have valid points to make outside of the area of this Ronald Reagan blindspot. My suggestion is to break free of this guy and go out and rub elbows with the dirty teaming masses and find out what you have been studiously avoiding because you could be a much better writer if you cut this albatross from around your neck. You are a good writer, be better!

One man's opinion. Oh and by the way John F. Kennedy Jr. was a post war President with real staying power in the popularity polls and if you were to poll today he would beat your man Reagan in a landslide. But in the end it's about deeds and not popularity and both men are tarnished.

See No Evil, Speak No Truth

Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 04:01:07 PM PDT

A month ago, Ali Hassan al-Majid -- better known in the media as "Chemical Ali" -- was sentenced to death. Ali was condemned for his role in use of poison gas on two Kurdish villages, including the attack on Halabja, where several hundred people (at the very least -- possibly several thousand) were killed on two horrible days in 1988. The people in Halabja that day were subject to a deadly cocktail of mustard gas and nerve agents that left the streets littered with bodies.

The use of chemical weapons against civilians was one of the justifications cited often in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Though Halabja was fifteen years in the past by the time "Chemical Ali" landed on a playing card, the Kurds who had fallen a decade and a half earlier became a rallying cry for invasion.

High on the Bush administration's list of justifications for war against Iraq are President Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons, nuclear and biological programs, and his contacts with international terrorists.

The nuclear and biological programs mentioned in that 2002 Washington Post article proved to be nothing more than hot air, as did the contacts with terrorists, but the use of chemical weapons was real enough -- if not exactly current.

Even the mainstream media back in 2002 recognized that the manufactured outrage over chemical weapons was complicated by our history with Saddam's regime.

Among the people instrumental in tilting U.S. policy toward Baghdad during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war was Donald H. Rumsfeld, now defense secretary, whose December 1983 meeting with Hussein as a special presidential envoy paved the way for normalization of U.S.-Iraqi relations. Declassified documents show that Rumsfeld traveled to Baghdad at a time when Iraq was using chemical weapons on an "almost daily" basis in defiance of international conventions.


The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous items that had both military and civilian applications, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague.

But only a few months later, the media seemed to have developed amnesia on the subject, and though the chemical weapons attacks on the Kurds were frequently mentioned as the war got underway, it's hard to find any mention of US weapons sales to Iraq, much less a connection to St. Ronnie.

Now a new book, A Poisonous Affair, by Joost R. Hiltermann, recalls not just the US connection in the chemical weapon attacks, but how that connection played into Iraq's past, present, and future.

While the international community was quick to condemn the Iraqi regime in the days that followed, within a week the US State Department began floating the suggestion that Iran had also played a role inthe gas attack and even might be responsible for the majority of the chemical fatalities. This contention, which originated in the Pentagon, soon took on a life of its own and helped dilute a UN Security Council resolution that should have condemned Iraq.

Eventually, a watered down condemnation of chemical weapon use was produced that blamed both sides. The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush not only provided chemical weapons to Iraq, they actively covered up the use of those weapons. It wasn't just a matter of standing by, it wasn't even a matter of providing imagery that helped the Iraqis plan their attacks, the US helped to cover up the very same massacres that were later used as justification for the invasion.

Saddam Hussein ultimately proved not guilty of hiding chemical weapons in Iraq previous to the invasion. However, Ronald Reagan was guilty of covering up not just the presence, but the use of chemical weapons against civilians. Having already been caught breaking the law in Iran-Contra, both Reagan and Bush I were anxious to avoid scrutiny of their support for Iraq. As a result, they purposely confused the facts about events in Kurdistan.

When the first western journalists reached the affected areas, this is what they found.

"No wounds, no blood, no traces of explosions can be found on the bodies," he reported. "The skin of the bodies is strangely discoloured, with their eyes open and staring where they have not disappeared into their sockets, a grayish slime oozing from their mouths and their fingers still grotesquely twisted. Death seemingly caught them almost unawares."

As Chemical Ali gets ready to meet the noose -- which should happen any day now -- it needs to be remembered that he had unindicted friends who helped preserve his ability to use those weapons again, and again, and again.

When that platform swings open, will there be a moment's pause in the fishing at Kennebunkport by the man who helped deliver and cover up the weapons Ali used? Will there be a toast from a former Secretary of Defense who justified Saddam's use of chemical weapons, then used them again as an excuse to invade? Will the death be noted between pretzels by the son who used massacres to justify still more deaths?

Will the press -- and the public -- note the passing of a monster, or register the final, brutal result of a cynical, bloody policy made by two generation of men who thought they could manipulate events in the Middle East?

  • ::

Conyers: 3 More Congress Members and I'll Impeach

Conyers: 3 More Congress Members and I'll Impeach

Activism | Congress | Impeachment | Nonviolent Resistance

By David Swanson

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has said that if three more Congress Members get behind impeachment he will start the impeachment proceedings.

I was a guest today on Bree Walker's radio show. She's the progressive radio host from California who purchased Cindy Sheehan's land from her in Crawford, Texas.

Bree attended an event on Friday in San Diego at which Congressman Conyers spoke about impeachment. Her report was extremely interesting. I had already heard reports that Conyers had said: "What are we waiting for? Let's take these two guys out!" But, of course, what we're waiting for is John Conyers. Is he ready to act? It was hard to tell from that comment. In January, Conyers spoke at a huge rally on the National Mall and declared "We can fire them!" but later explained that what he meant was that we could wait for two years and Bush and Cheney's terms would end. Was this week's remark just more empty rhetoric?

It appears to be more than that. Bree Walker told me, on the air, that Conyers said that all he needs is three more Congress Members backing impeachment, and he'll move on it, even without Pelosi. I asked whether that meant specifically moving from 14 cosponsors of H Res 333 to 17, or adding 3 to the larger number of Congress Members who have spoken favorably of impeachment but not all signed onto bills. Bree said she didn't know and that Conyers had declined to take any questions.

Either way, this target of three more members seems perfectly doable. It's safe to assume, I think, that we're talking about impeaching Cheney first. But, even if Conyers is talking about Bush, the target is perfectly achievable.

First, there are Congress Members like Jesse Jackson Jr. who have spoken out for impeachment but not signed onto H Res 333. They should be urged to act now! Second, there are dozens of members who signed onto H Res 635 a year and a half ago, Conyers' bill for an investigation into grounds for impeachment, who have not signed onto H Res 333 yet. Third, one of the excuses citizens often hear from lots of Congress Members for not signing onto articles of impeachment is that not enough of their colleagues have signed on and therefore "we don't have the votes." Well that just changed. Now three more votes is all that's needed to get this machine rolling. Fourth, many of the 14 Congress Members backing H Res 333 have used similar excuses to justify refraining from lobbying their colleagues to join them. That can now end. Our 14 leaders can do more than just put down their names.

Now, if Conyers begins impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee, we should all be clear on what that will mean. If it is serious, it will not mean sending any subpoenas or contempt citations to the emperors' court. Bush and Cheney have already repeatedly refused to comply with subpoenas.

President Richard Nixon did the same, of course, and his refusal to comply with subpoenas constituted the offense cited in one of the three Articles of Impeachment approved by the House Judiciary Committee on July 27, 1974 as warranting "impeachment and trial, and removal from office." But Bush and Cheney have gone further, ordering former staffers not to comply with subpoenas, and announcing that the Justice Department will not enforce any contempt of Congress proceedings.

What the impeachment of Cheney or Bush will be is very, very fast. It will not disrupt or distract from the important business of passing nonbinding resolutions and holding all-night gripe sessions over bills destined to be vetoed. Impeachment in the case of Dick Cheney need not take the three months it did for Nixon or the two months it did for President Bill Clinton. In fact, it could take a day. Here's why:

Bush and Cheney's lies about Iraqi ties to al Qaeda are on videotape and in writing, and Bush and Cheney continue to make them to this day. There was no al Qaeda in Iraq until the invasion.

Their claims about Iraqi weapons have been shown in every detail to have been, not mistakes, but lies.

Their threats to Iran are on videotape.

Bush being warned about Katrina and claiming he was not are on videotape.

Bush lying about illegal spying and later confessing to it are on videotape. A federal court has ruled that spying to be a felony.

The Supreme Court has ruled Bush and Cheney's system of detentions unconstitutional.

Torture, openly advocated for by Bush and Cheney and their staffs, is documented by victims, witnesses, and public photographs. Torture was always illegal and has been repeatedly recriminalized under Bush and Cheney. Bush has reversed laws with signing statements.

Those statements are posted on the White House website, and a GAO report found that with 30 percent of Bush's signing statements in which he announces his right to break laws, he has in fact proceeded to break those laws.

For these and many other offenses, no investigation is needed because no better evidence is even conceivable. This impeachment will be swift. And it will require only a simple majority. We already know that the Democrats can vote as a block if they want to, and that a few brave Republicans might join them.

Whether the Senate will then convict Cheney will depend on how much pressure citizens apply and how much information the House manages to force onto television sets. The latter could be surprisingly large and substantive, since the conflict of an impeachment is certain to generate incredible ratings.

But even an acquittal would identify the Senators to be removed from office by voters in 2008. And Cheney (or Bush) would still have been 100% impeached. Al Gore didn't run for president pretending he'd never met Bill Clinton and pick Senator Joe Lieberman as a running mate because the Senate convicted Clinton (it acquitted).

The timing of Conyers' remark may be related to the steps the White House has recently taken to assert "unitary executive" dictatorial power. Bush has commuted the sentence of a subordinate who obstructed an investigation into matters involving Bush and Cheney. And, as mentioned above, neither subpoenas nor contempt citations will go anywhere. Impeachment is no longer merely the appropriate step that it has been for the past six years. It is now the only tool left to the Congress for use in asserting its very existence as a functioning body of government.

But the timing is also quite helpful to the grassroots movement for impeachment, and rather symbolic. Five years ago this Monday, the meeting was held at #10 Downing Street that produced the Downing Street Minutes. Over two years ago, then Ranking Member Conyers held a hearing in the basement of the Capitol, the only space the Republican leadership would allow him. At that hearing, several Democratic Congress Members for the first time began talking about impeachment. The witnesses at the hearing were Ambassador Joseph Wilson, attorney John Bonifaz, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, and a then unknown gold star mother named Cindy Sheehan. They discussed the evidence of the Downing Street documents, which added significantly to the growing body of evidence that Bush and Cheney misled the Congress about the case for war.

This Monday, Sheehan and McGovern and a great many leaders of the movements for peace and impeachment will lead a march at 10 a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery. We will march to Congressman Conyers office and ask to talk with him about impeachment. We will refuse to leave without either a commitment to begin at once the impeachment of Cheney or Bush or both, or our arms in handcuffs. The same day, groups in several states around the country will be sitting in and risking arrest for impeachment in the district offices of their congress members.

Not everyone will be able to take part. But everyone can take two minutes on Monday and do two things: phone Chairman Conyers at 202-225-5126 and ask him to start the impeachment of dick Cheney; and phone your own Congress Member at 202-224-3121 and ask them to immediately call Conyers' office to express their support for impeachment. Your Congress Member might just be one of the three needed, not just to keep us out of jail but to keep this nation from devolving into dictatorship.