Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Posted by PeterAt Large

(A sad note before starting, Bush. I was telling you yesterday about Noah Purifoy's wonderful art work. Today I hear from an alert reader what I had missed myself: the artist died a couple of years ago in a fire, apprarently started when he fell asleep while smoking. He was found sitting in a wheelchair in his smoke-filled home, according to this report, with burns over 90 percent of his body. What a terrible end for so gifted a man!)

Bipartisanship. Now there's a mouthful. The word is as hard to say as its meaning is to practice, it seems, these days. I'm tickled by your own idea of bipartisanship, Bush. You seem to believe, in all sincerity, that it's enough to announce that you're open to new ideas--and then exclude all those that don't coincide with your preconceptions. On Iraq, for example, you're ready to listen to anyone with fresh ideas, you say, but not to anyone who fails to embrace your concept of "victory." (I've heard at least three pundits in the past couple of days who say they shudder at the sound of the word. I myself said as much in these pages not too long ago. As I hear it, most analysts agree that victory is likely to prove elusive, at best, and yet this idee fixe is standing solidly between you and any possible solution.)

Off the list of admissable new ideas, we hear, for this very reason, are several that have been floated in unison by both your friends and foes: some limited form of partition, designed to keep sectarian factions from each others' throats (Sen. Joe Biden's long-standing theory); approaching Syria and Iran, among other neighbor states, for advice and help (even your good friend Tony Blair put this one out in his transatlantic meeting with the Baker gang yesterday); and a timed withdrawal that would put the Iraqi "government" on notice that they need to take care of themselves as soon as possible.

The problem with the latter, of course, is that old Powell warning: "You break it, you own it." It would seem churlish, to say the least, after causing such deadly chaos there with our friendly invasion, to step back and simply tell the recipients of our benificence to go fix it. Partition does present all kinds of practical difficulties, obviously, and it flies in the face of your notion of a unified and peaceable government setting a noble example to the rest of those benighted people in the Middle East who fail to appreciate the niceties of freedom and democracy. As for direct talks with Syria and Iran--well, that would involve an awful lot of humble pie and nose-holding on your part, having scoffed at them and scolded them so roundly in what passes for your foreign policy.

So I do see the problem there, Bush, really. But "new ideas" are, after all, new ideas. You might need to bend your head around them. Soon. I don't hold out much hope for the Baker gang. As old friends of your papa, I think they're going to cop out, if only to save face for you, the Bush family, and its place in history.

Meantime, your Republicans are rubbing their hands over the apparent discord among top Democrats over leadership. Don't worry, Bush. I do believe they'll get past their differences and learn to work together. They might even learn to work with you, if you prove to be more open on other fronts than on Iraq. I believe also that they'll work for bipartisan solutions, if only for survival reasons, until the next election.

Given all the mouthings on both sides on the subject, I do love Michael Moore's magnanimous expression of bipartisan generosity in the letter on his current website--and also posted yesterday by a reader of these pages in the comment section. Thanks to him for bringing it to my attention. Moore's satirical bite offers more than a good chuckle, it also carries a whole lot of truth. Check out this "Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives", Bush. This one's worth reading.


Carly said...

P: I heard that a lawsuit against Rumsfeld is being brought in Germany over torture.

Here's the meat of J Conyers letter to Dems today. Why dump Dean? Is he hot to impeach?

"Thus, in my opinion it serve’s no one’s interests but the Republicans for anyone, including my friend James Carville, to suggest dumping DNC Chairman Dean less than three days after the most sweeping Democratic Congressional victory in more than thirty years. As many of you also know, I have agreed with Speaker-to-be Pelosi that impeachment is off the table. Instead, we agree that oversight, accountability and checks and balances – which have been sorely lacking for the last six years – must occur. I have nothing but respect for those who might disagree, but that is where I come out.

Having devoted a considerable amount of time and attention to detailing the many abuses of the Bush Administration, I firmly believe that we have brought these matters to the attention of the American people and the mainstream media, and that their verdict was reflected in the elections on November 7. I consider the now famous “basement hearings” and the issuance of my “Constitution in Crisis” Report to be among the watershed achievements of my more than forty years in Congress.

I also remain committed to the seminal issue of election reform. As one who held several hearings in the immediate aftermath of the Ohio debacle and went on to author “What Went Wrong in Ohio,” I believe more than ever that we need a paper trail on voting machines. We also need to strengthen our laws to put an end to intimidation schemes, like the stealth robo-calls voters received before the election. I intend to introduce legislation next Congress concerning these matters.

Additionally, none of us should underestimate the continued anger and vitriol of our political opponents, even after the election they are engaged in a permanent campaign to discredit Democrats and thwart our agenda of change. You need to go no further than the November 9 editorial in the supposedly mainstream Investors Business Daily, which smeared not only me but my constituents, writing, "[Michigan congressman John] Conyers led the defense of Bill Clinton in last decade's impeachment hearings and is clearly out for blood. So are many of the constituents he serves." Pejorative and prejudiced statements like this should have no place in our political discourse.

I am hopeful that I will be selected as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee is one of the most important committees in the House, and has jurisdiction over the Justice Department, the civil rights laws, criminal laws, the civil justice system, the courts, immigration laws, antitrust laws, patent and copyright laws, bankruptcy laws, administrative law, and Constitutional amendments. If I am selected as Chair, I believe it will place us in a position to make real and meaningful changes for the good of the American people."

John Conyers, Jr.

Carly said...


"In a study billed as the “first systematic mapping” of an ideology sometimes called jihadism, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has found that Mr. bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, have had a relatively minor influence on the movement’s intellectual foundation. Among the network’s ideologists, they have come to be seen more as propagandists than strategic thinkers.

And while the two Qaeda leaders have released a flurry of video and audio messages to their followers over the past year, the study found that the scholarly work of a group of Saudi and Jordanian clerics — most notably Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, a Jordanian — seems more likely to influence the next generation of Islamic militants.

As a result, the authors found, the death or capture of Mr. bin Laden and Mr. Zawahri would do little to slow the spread of jihadist ideology.

“It would be a blow in terms of the emotional impact, but in terms of the larger movement that the foot soldiers are being recruited into, it wouldn’t put much of a dent into it at all,” said William McCants, the chief author of the new report, “The Militant Ideology Atlas.”

The 382-page report, a kind of who’s who of the global jihadist movement, examines the most influential and widely read texts among the thousands of tracts in Al Qaeda’s online library, known as the Tawhed."

PK said...

I believe at this point all he is doing is trying to stave time to get as much built, to stay there, as possible. The only way he can do that is keep yelling 'stay the course'. At this point were are there for no reason. He knows it too. If we left, there may be a 3 way with that country, all three taking a part of the country. Then again it may brake out in full scale war. But they need to take care of themselves now. Saddam is out of the picture, unfortunately it may be because of hanging, but he will be out of the picture. We then have no more business there. Where all this money is going is beyond me... it was supposed to be for the reconstruction of what we bombed the hell out of. But those from the area, in talking to the media, sure don't tell us that. He's not going to listen to anyone, he's just got a mouth that flaps all the right words, and does nothing. And plans to do nothing. Just as it was with Valerie Plame. The man is a pathological lier. He can't talk to Iran, he wouldn't know what to say. He has no, absolutely no, memory bank. He can't talk without a script or cue cards. The only people that could do anything would be Clinton or Powell, maybe even Carter. That's not an option. They can walk and chew gum at the same time. New ideas? How about some of the old ones that were working:)? Went into Michael Moore's link, great stuff! I signed the petition he had in there too. Well, it's late, I'm tired, nite Peter, enjoy your week-end...