Sunday, March 19, 2006




No Bravery Only Sadness
After three years of turmoil and sickening mass horror...When should we again use pre-emption to go to war? Bush took this powerful tool of last resort and
turned it into something viewed as a self indulgent ideology, ego maniacal
drive towards aggressive militarism and staunch unilateralism, USA imperial
globalization and greedy excessive desire to possess the world's waning supply of oil.

Bush's Iraq war has made us weaker! If ever we will need to use the "strike first" strategy to protect ourselves against a REALTHREAT it will be seen not as a "best defense is a good offense" but as just another BULLY MANEUVER FROM THE SIMON LEGREE AMERICANS.

Please read the short article below on this Sunday March 19, 2006, the third anniversary of Bush launching his Bush Doctrine of preemptive war, an ideological plan to take sovereign countries and make them a part of the Neocon imperialist vision of "corporate globalization".

Thank you, thinkingblue

When should U.S. attack first?
Only as last resort. Fri Mar 17, 6:58 AM ET
A year after Sept. 11, 2001, the USA was still smarting from the horrific blow, and the national mood was one of apprehension. Even though the United States had successfully routed the Taliban regime from
Afghanistan, along with the al-Qaeda training camps they harbored, mastermind Osama bin Laden had gotten away. Fear of terrorists striking again on U.S. soil was high.

Into this heightened sense of vulnerability,
President Bush introduced what would become known as the "Bush Doctrine" - the idea that the United States should strike at enemies before they strike first. As in sports, Bush said, the best defense is a good offense.

That idea, known more formally as "pre-emption," had always been a part of the U.S. defense arsenal. But rather than keep it where it needs to be, as a rarely mentioned and rarely used alternative, Bush made it central to his approach to the world. He trumpeted it, in September 2002, in a wide-ranging review called the National Security Strategy.

What happened next was a blunder of historic proportions that has made Americans less, not more, safe. The Bush Doctrine became the rationale for invading
Iraq, a foe unrelated to al-Qaeda, three years ago this weekend. Better strike at Saddam Hussein, was the message, before he could strike at us with the weapons of mass destruction that, the intelligence showed,
he was developing.

As the world now knows, the intelligence was wrong.
Saddam had neither ties to bin Laden nor weapons of mass destruction. The cost of this misapplication of pre-emption - in U.S. lives, money and credibility - has been incalculable.

So what has Bush learned?

Officially, at least, not much. On Thursday, the White House published its first National Security Strategy since the one that enshrined the Bush Doctrine. Perhaps not surprisingly for an administration loath to admit error, the document casts Iraq as a pre-emption success. "With the elimination of Saddam's regime, this threat has been addressed once and for all," it declares. The pre-emption policy "remains the same."
Talk about learning the wrong lessons.

The Iraq invasion, far from being a success, provides a cautionary tale about just why strike-first needs to remain, as in the past, the final option. In Iraq, it vaulted to the top of the agenda. Key administration figures - notably Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - had been itching for a war with Iraq long before 9/11. After the terror attacks, they asserted links between Saddam and al-Qaeda where there was none. Because the administration rushed into war without building alliances, few countries joined in.

After three years of turmoil, Iraq stands on the brink of civil war. Al-Qaeda operatives who weren't in Iraq before have gone there to fight U.S. forces. Neighboring
Iran is increasingly influential with Iraqi Shiites, compounding the nuclear threat Iran presents.

Worse, because of Iraq, the U.S. ability to use pre-emption in the future, when it might really be needed, is weakened. Most of the world sees the USA as a global bully and its intelligence as suspect. U.S. forces are overstretched. And getting backing for a new pre-emptive attack from a public made wary by the Iraq experience would be difficult.

Bush's trademark is to stick to his guns. Changing his approach now, at least publicly, is not his style. But there are signs that he might, in fact, have learned some of the lessons from Iraq.

influence of the Iraq hawks is waning. A pragmatic secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, is guiding a broad diplomatic charm offensive. And beyond the defensiveness over Iraq, the new security strategy emphasizes diplomacy.
In Iraq, the
Bush Doctrine has been much like that Wild West dictum: Shoot first, ask questions later. Now it's time to return pre-emption to its proper place in U.S. foreign policy: for use only when the threat is imminent, the intelligence is bulletproof, and the use of military action is the last resort, preferably with allies on board. Then make sure you have a plan for what to do next.



The "Bush Doctrine" is the bald neoconservative justification of U.S. global military domination...

Globalization: Good or Bad?

Are War and Globalization Really Connected?

Three Years Of Happyfun War! 1,100 days of brutal violence and death, grinding you down to a numb little nub. Thanks, Dubya!

- By Mark Morford, SF Gate ColumnistFriday, March 24, 2006
You've endured three more birthdays. There have been three Academy Awards ceremonies, three new Super Bowl champions, three full winters and three summers, three complete cycles of jean styles and hemlines and pleat cuts in the fashion world and there has been the rise and very quick fall of roughly 146 horrible TV shows you never even saw.

Your skin has changed. Your teeth have worn down. Your bones have shifted in their sockets. Your fingernails grew another 4 inches and you consumed roughly 5,850 pounds of food and 600 pounds of meat and your hair grew about a foot and a half.

There have been killer hurricanes and earthquakes and devastating tsunamis, heat waves and cold fronts and dramatic shifts in the general temperament of the Earth. Ice caps are melting more rapidly. Billion-year-old stars finally gave up and blinked out. Young wine has aged nicely. Babies born three years ago are now walking and eating with utensils and uploading digital photos to their MySpace pages via their cute little Nokia cell phones. Times, of course, have changed.

But through it all, through your life for the past 1,100 days like an undercurrent of cold black blood, like an unshakable stench deep in your nostrils, like a disturbing stain you simply cannot get off your shirt, our country has been at war. Endless, raw, insidious, interminable.

Body bags filling up every single day. Death tolls rising. Hundreds of billions of your tax dollars hurled into a gaping sewer of death and destruction. Thousands of dead American kids, many more on the way. Corruption and scandal and gross war profiteering, Halliburton and the Carlyle Group and Lockheed Martin and the insidious dumbing down of military recruitment standards (because we're running out of disposable soldiers) to go along with Donald Rumsfeld's black-eyed sneer. Endless.

Do you remember the sweet little halcyon moment way back when, when America was slightly more globally respected and Iraq seemed like a bad but temporary dream and even the most hawkish Bush-gropin' war proponents were saying, Hey America, don't you worry your confused fear-addled little head, we'll be in Iraq for absolutely positively mark-my-words no more than three months, maximum -- OK, maybe six. Remember when they said that there was simply no way this war could run us more than about $10 bil and maybe cost, at the very most, a couple of dozen U.S. casualties? Wasn't that cute?

Do you remember the time of pretty brainwashed thoughts and insidiously patriotic dreams? Before the darkness and the disgust, before 20,000 killed, maimed and disabled American soldiers, before we illegally detained thousands and brutally tortured hundreds of Iraqis, before the wiretapping and the Patriot Act and the disgusting lack of accountability and before America's reputation in the Muslim world was turned to rancid hummus?

And now, here we are. March 20 marked the three-year anniversary of the start of our quick-'n'-cheap, three-month Iraq occupation/invasion. It is a moment to reflect on what we have accomplished. We have accomplished this: global contempt and colossal debt and a culture of death and intolerance. How very proud we are. Thank you, George.

The threat of terrorism is higher than ever. Iraq's vicious fundamentalist factions are on the verge of civil war. The Middle East is more volatile because of our president's God-sucking warmongering than Saddam or Osama could have ever wet-dreamed. There is a song by Bright Eyes called "We Are Nowhere, and It's Now." Dead on.

Have you heard all this before? Of course you have. It has become our national refrain. It is the subtext to all we do. It is printed on our nation's bloodstained business card.

And now, a sort of bleak but bitterly livable numbness has settled in. We are like a person with a ghostly fatal disease, limping around with a hacking cough and blood in our eyeballs and an awkward forced smile, pretending all's well and we'll make it through A-OK when deep down we know something has been permanently torn and shredded and incapacitated and there is no medicine for it except maybe wholesale sociopolitical revolution.

Ah, but there is little value in hammering Bush for his gross incompetence anymore. He now has the third lowest approval ratings of any president in American history. The vast majority of Americans, from liberals to heartland GOPers, are disgusted and fed up. From the grossly miscalculated war to the grossly incompetent Katrina response to enough scandals and misprisions to make Nixon look like Jimmy Carter, Bush's mark in our history books is guaranteed to be nothing but a vulgar child's scrawl. With a cross.

But it doesn't really matter. Bush is still immune, blind and dumb and still refusing to admit a single mistake, and yet he cannot be punished or impeached, if for no other reason than those who would do the impeaching are of his own party and they are simply loath to admit how very severely wrong they were about just about everything. Hey, that sort of thing is what costs you elections.

The bad news is, even the most liberal estimate says we are locked in. We cannot leave Iraq, not now, not in a few months, perhaps not for years and years, not if we don't want the region to instantly devolve into a worse hell pit than it already is. The quagmire is too deep, the mess too wide, our supposed allegiances too shaky and the region sliding so quickly to the precipice of civil war that to exit now would be disastrous beyond even what Saddam could've accomplished on his worst day.

All we are left with is the larger question: Can we possibly learn anything from this? Is it possible to mature and progress as a nation, as a humanitarian force, as a result of our horrible mistakes, of our ability to be so easily misled and beaten down by a cabal of sneering neocon leaders who would just as soon shoot you as give you a handshake and a cigar?

After all, Vietnam taught the Powers That Be, well, nothing at all, except how to better crack down on dissent and manipulate the media and inject huge gobs of unwarranted fear into the bloodstream of the populace so they may launch their vicious and inhumane wars without so much damn hassle.

America has a notoriously short memory. What happened to all that hair you cut? What about all that food you ate? Where are all the bodies we've burned and blown up from Afghanistan to Baghdad? What sort of legacy is this? Will you simply be reading this column again in exactly one year, at the four-year marker of our ongoing happyfun death march, wondering where the time went?
These might sound like rhetorical questions. Maybe that, after all, is the problem.
Thoughts for the author?
E-mail him.

Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and Friday on SF Gate and in the Datebook section of the SF Chronicle. To get on the e-mail list for this column, please click here and remove one article of clothing. Mark's column also has an RSS feed and an archive of past columns, which includes a tiny photo of Mark probably insufficient for you to recognize him in the street and give him gifts.

As if that weren't enough, Mark also contributes to the hot, spankin' SF Gate Culture Blog.


Flash Animations - No Bravery, Only Sadness in Your Face

James Blunt is a gifted British musician that has seen war himself. He wrote a song called "No Bravery" while he was stationed in Kosovo. "Billy Pilgrim" uses that music in this powerful animation that captures the anguish of the war, and ends with the photo of Blake Miller. See it here. Another excellent flash animation, is done to the same song by the young woman who created Check out Ava's Work.



Warning very Graphic REAL PICTURES OF WAR


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