Sunday, October 01, 2006

Glad I ain't a Republican

Holy cow, where to begin? It's impossible to produce a complete catalog of Republican disasters because new ones keep coming faster than anybody can write them down.

Update Oct. 2: Today it's revealed that supercorrupt superlobbyist Jack Abramoff was sending emails about "the upcoming war in Iraq"—more than a year before the U.S. invasion! War planning is among most sensitive of all state secrets, yet here's Abramoff—a man who was not working for the US government, and who had no security clearance—spouting off about the planned invasion of Iraq. Of course, Jack had friends in high places. [See what I mean? One person just can't keep up with the scandals. And if you're tempted to excuse Republican corruption by saying "Democrats do it too," you're kidding yourself. Republicans control all three branches of government. What the government does, they're responsible for.]

The latest (as of 8:04AM October 1): the "family values" and "gays are going to Hell" party has been caught covering up the fact that one of their Congressmen is a sexual predator with a taste for boys. House Republican leaders knew about the problem for at least 6 months (possibly several years) but chose to protect their party's image rather than protect the young victims.

The new book, "State of Denial," by Bob Woodward of Watergate fame, documents the willful negligence of the Bush administration in failing to prevent 9/11. Two months before the attacks, the head of the CIA was so worried that he paid an unscheduled visit to the White House and demanded to see Condoleeza Rice, then head of National Security. He was given the brush-off, and the fact that their meeting took place was concealed from the official 9/11 Commission. Rice now denies that the meeting took place, but she's been caught in so many bald-faced lies that her credibility is zero. It is abundantly clear that alarm bells were ringing everywhere while Bush & Co. did nothing.

The well-orchestrated media campaign to blame 9/11 on Clinton has now been exposed as the cowardly lie it is (how ironic that the Republicans who are now demanding why Clinton didn't do more to catch Osama bin Laden are the same people who loudly criticized him when he tried to do just that). Rice's lies to the contrary, the Clinton administration gave the incoming Bushies a detailed plan for dealing with Osama bin Laden--a plan they sat on for the 8 months leading up to 9/11. Bush couldn't be bothered dealing with the terrorist threat: he was interested in a largely useless missile defense system and a war with Iraq.

Now it appears our armed forces are close to open mutiny against Bush/Rumsfeld. Two distinguished retired Army generals and a Marine colonel have just told a Senate committee that the current Iraq policy is an unmitigated disaster. One, a 31-year veteran and lifelong Republican, put it this way: "Secretary Rumsfeld's dismal strategic decisions resulted in the unnecessary deaths of American servicemen and women, our allies, and the good people of Iraq.…He violated fundamental principles of war, dismissed deliberate military planning, ignored the hard work to build the peace after the fall of Saddam Hussein, (and) set the conditions for Abu Ghraib and other atrocities that further ignited the insurgency" The generals note that the Republican-dominated "rubber stamp" Congress must accept partial blame for this disaster by utterly failing to carry out their oversight duties. The only "good news" you will find about Iraq is the President's propaganda; everybody else knows it's a hopeless mess that didn't have to happen. (According to Woodward, the Administration has been hiding the extent of the violence against our troops, which now averages an attack every 15 minutes, and is expected to get even worse.)

A major intelligence report that the Bush administration has been suppressing for 5 months describes how our Iraq presence has made terrorism worse, not better. Meanwhile, Bush continues to press for dictatorial powers including the right to spy and torture, while he reportedly prepares his "October surprise"--the bombing of Iran.

In 5 weeks, Americans will have a chance to begin to undo the nightmare of the last 5 years. If you want more of the same disastrous incompetence, hypocrisy, and lying, vote for the rubber-stamp Republicans. If you've had enough, vote Democratic.


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