I believe Bush and his neoconservatives are fascists in conservative clothing. So obvious are they with their arrogant power grabs and total disregard as to what is good for WE THE PEOPLE. Actually, they are harming America and sending us all to HELL IN A HANDBASKET. But my belief in this was somewhat
WATERED-DOWN, (after all, I really don't know what goes on behind closed capital doors and being a liberal I am always ready to give anyone
THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT) that is until today.
Now without a doubt, I KNOW they are taking us on the route Hitler took his country (Just like Hitler, Bush refers to America as HIS to do with whatever he pleases...) just read this from CAPITAL HILL BLUES ... "With every revelation, we learn more and more just what a dangerous despot Bush is, a madman with the power to wage war at will, destroy the Constitution on a whim and invoke his own perception of unchecked Presidential power by ignoring the system of checks and balances that used to be part of our system of government."
Or this from scottsmith blog ..."You know, I get the impression that George W. Bush really doesn't understand the concept of checks and balances as it relates to government. I think he really believes his government is an autocracy, and has used the attacks of 9/11 to justify an alarming abuse of power by the executive branch. Bush believes that, since we are at war, the Constitution essentially grants him unlimited power to protect America. But we're not at war -- Congress hasn't declared war -- and what we're supposedly at war with is a noun. Terrorism. Ostensibly to prevent another 9/11 attack from happening. However, the Bush administration does not strike me as a bunch of people with their act together, and they are power-mad. Secret military courts, holding
suspects indefinitely without benefit of counsel, suspending the Fourth Amendment in the hunt for Al-Qaeda terrorists -- all this and more to present the illusion of safety, the illusion of security. Despite all of our efforts, Osama Bin Laden remains at large, and the Bush dministration would rather just put their collective heads in the sand and pretend the man doesn't exist anymore. For all we know, he is regrouping with his operatives in planning another attack. And what we do know about Al-Qaeda is that they our patient, willing to wait years before carrying out an attack, and the 9/11 Commission recently gave the Bush administration poor marks in homeland security preparedness. The report, issued on Dec. 5, 2005, gave the administration "more F's than A's," 41 grades in all to measure the progress of the administration in implementing security proposals by the 9/11 Commission... I have my
doubts that any report concluding that what the Bush administration's wiretapping program was illegal would result in any change in the program. Bush will do what he wants, for as long as he wants, while there is a Republican majority in Congress. There seems to be only a handful of Republicans who have openly criticized Bush and his administration's programs. Benjamin Franklin quite possibly had predicted the state of U.S. politics, circa 2006, when he said, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." And thanks to the sheep of the "red" states, who blindly support Bush as if he were royalty, our government is moving slowly but surely down that path. Welcome to the Bush autocracy."I am telling you AMERICA, this is not just gibberish from disgruntled liberals... This is a dreadful, frightening situation. Please read this from BUZZ FLASH'S MAUREEN FARRELL...
"God Is With Us": Hitler's Rhetoric and the Lure of "Moral Values" by Maureen Farrell"God does not make cowardly nations free." -- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
A couple weeks ago, while asserting that the Founding Founders intended for the U.S. government to be infused with Christianity, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that the Holocaust was able to flourish in Germany because of Europe's secular ways. "Did it turn out that, by reason of the separation of church and state, the Jews were safer in Europe than they were in the United States of America?" One might expect regular citizens to be ignorant of history, but a Supreme Court Justice? Does he imagine that the phrase "Gott mit Uns" was a German clothier's interpretation of "Got Milk"?
Scalia asked a congregation at Manhattan's Shearith Israel synagogue. "I don't think so."
If photographic evidence of the Third Reich's Christian leanings were not enough, Hitler's own
speeches and writings prove, at the very least, that he presented many of the same faith-based arguments heard in America today. Religion in the schools? Hitler was for it. Intellectuals who practiced "anti-Christian, smug individualism"? According to Hitler, their days were numbered. Divine Providence's role in shaping Germany's ultimate victory? Who could argue? In other words, there is enough historical evidence to color Scalia deluded. Writing for Free Inquiry, John Patrick Michael Murphy explained:
"Hitler's Germany amalgamated state with church
. Soldiers of the vermacht wore belt buckles inscribed with the following: "Gott mit uns" (God is with us). His troops were often sprinkled with holy water by the priests. It was a real Christian country whose citizens were indoctrinated by both state and church and blindly followed all authority figures, political and ecclesiastical.
Hitler, like some of the today's politicians and preachers, politicized "family values." He liked corporeal punishment in home and school. Jesus prayers became mandatory in all schools under his administration. While abortion was illegal in pre-Hitler Germany, he took it to new depths of enforcement, requiring all doctors to report to the government the circumstances of all miscarriages. He openly despised homosexuality and criminalized t."For anyone wanting even more proof, Mein Kampf is chock full of the Fuhrer's musings on God. ("I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord," Hitler wrote). But anti-Semitic rants aside, some of Hitler's religious musings are interchangeable with Mr. Bush's.
Hitler was raised a Catholic and spoke of his faith in God, yet, singling out his rants against religion, politicians and pastors continue to characterize him as a pagan barbarian. Such distortions are convenient -- particularly in an age where propaganda concerning "moral values" is readily gobbled up and Christian nation legislation waits in the wings -- but, to paraphrase the Bible, overlooking the truth will not make us free.calia, who also cited the Bible to claim that government "derives its moral authority from God
," is hardly alone in his assertions. Leo Strauss, the philosopher who has influenced neoconservativism, and by proxy, George Bush's America, felt that religion, like deception, was crucial to maintaining social order. Meanwhile, neoconservative kingpin Irving Kristol has argued similar points
-- bragging about how easy it is to fool the public into accepting the government's actions while arguing that America's Founding Fathers were wrong to insist on the separation of church and state. Why? According to Jim Lobe, it's because religion, as Strauss and his disciples see it, is "absolutely essential in order to impose moral law on the masses who otherwise would be out of control."We must all stay very vigilant and watch every move these despots are making in front of our eyes or BEHIND OUR BACKS... OR... we will follow the people of Germany in the history books and future generations will read, not only, The Descent Into Barbarism the story of how Germany, a stable and modern country, in less than a single lifetime led ... the Third German Empire... ending with the demise of Nazi
Germany in 1945.
BUT ALSO... "DESCENT INTO BARBARISM...THE STORY OF HOW AMERICA, A STABLE AND MODERN COUNTRY, IN LESS THAN A SINGLE LIFETIME LED... the BUSH EMPIRE CHANGED AMERICA, INTO A MURDEROUS DISASTER ... ENDING WITH THE DEMISE OF NEOCON AMERICA IN 2020... Amen,thinkingbluePS: Please read the following articles very carefully, they all give clues as to what is in store for us all in FASCIST AMERICA and upon digesting this information... Any person who will still vote in November 2006 for a politician who supports this fascist regime... I say to you..."YOU WILL BE TO BLAME FOR AMERICA'S DOWNFALL!"Bye-Bye Miss American (First Amendment) Pie
by Doris Colmes
Deputy District Attorney Richard Ceballos was outraged. He had just been disciplined after writing internal memos alleging that a police officer had blatantly lied in order to obtain a search warrant. But, when he continued to urge his supervisors to dismiss this pending criminal case because of the very specific police misconduct involved, Caballos’s advice was not only rejected, but he was transferred to a lesser job farther from his home, and denied a promotion. The result of Caballos’s indignation with the apparent collusion between the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Court System was a lawsuit against county officials in which he alleged that those county officials, including then district attorney Gil Garcetti, had retaliated against him for speaking out within his office.
As reported by David G. Savage of the Los Angeles Times, the case did not fly in Los Angeles County, and, eventually, wound up at the Supreme Court. So, what’s the big deal about this kind of thing? Happens all the time:Employees find something either unethical or illegal being done by their employers, "blow the whistle," the problem gets fixed and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
Not this time: This time, the entire First Amendment was eliminated. When the Supreme Court was done with this case, the Constitutional Rights of the First Amendment which provides Americans with freedom of speech, was no longer available for public employees outraged by the misdeeds of their employers or co-workers. As stated in Public Citizen on June 1, 2006, the Supreme Court came to a 5-4 decision in the case of Ceballos v Garcetti, deciding that, as of May 29, 2006, when this edict was handed down, government whistle-blowers will no longer be protected by the First Amendment
The Miami Herald, on June 5, 2006 said it all: "Informed, courageous workers who dare to point out malfeasance or dangerous conditions in their workplace do not have First Amendment protection for free speech in statements they make ‘pursuant to their official duties.’ This includes reporting any and all levels of guilt in every governmental system, including police, courts, public education and healthcare, along with all the others. Now, if someone inside the government rips us off, oh well, we’re just the taxpayers and therefore expendable.
Thus, for example, if a co-worker sees a public education official sexually abuse a child, or sees his cop cohorts stealing weed from the evidence room and then "lightin’ up" in the cruiser, it’s a no-go. And, if a worker within the welfare system witnesses the misappropriation of funds by a criminal employee, to the point that there is a significant cut in aid for the starving children of a homeless family, there will be no recourse. It is "put up with it and shut up about it" all the way.
Let’s take a look at the Court which handed down this edict: In the majority were Samuel A. Alito, Jr. (the court’s newest justice), as were Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.
The Bush administration, also, backed this decision wholeheartedly, citing "The U.S. Government’s interest as ‘the nation’s largest public employer.’" Stephen Kohn, board chairman for the National Whistleblower Center, said, "It’s a devastating decision that, in practice, obliterates protections for about 90% of public workers."
When Justices Scalia, Alito, Roberts, Kennedy and Thomas finalized the removal of First Amendment protection to over that 90% of public workers cited by Stephen Kohn, they effectively shut down all ability to bring to public knowledge any misdeeds whatsoever committed by our government
and/or its employees.
So, why am I raising such a fuss about all of the above? Well, folks, once again, what is happening here and now in the United States of America – our beloved democracy – is exactly what happened in 1930’s Germany. In their final step towards complete empowerment, the Nazi party managed toLoyalty oaths take precedence: Do these oaths define loyalty to whatever branch of corporation or government has hired the person – no matter how insanely or criminally corrupt it becomes? Or do these oaths define loyalty to the ethics, truth and honor that make for a stellar and valuable employee?
take over Germany’s courts. Once that was done, no one, not anyone anywhere in that country, had recourse to the legal system to pursue individual rights.
In Nazi Germany, loyalty oaths meant choosing either blind obedience or choosing death. The SS (Schutzstaffe, translation: "Protective Squadron") was formed as an elite unit, with its own ranks, insignia and uniforms, the duties of which were to protect Adolf Hitler personally and also to administer the concentration camps. At enrollment into their deliberately secretive training, each new, young SS candidate was given a little German Shepherd pup to mentor, train, play with and nurture: Making these pups become trusted and beloved companions was more than encouraged, it was applauded by the commanders.
At graduation, after more than a year-long training period, these S.S. candidates were lined up, with their young dogs sitting obediently at their feet, and were ordered to shoot them. Right then and there. Shoot them dead. And why? It was a simple test of loyalty. Either you live up to your loyalty oath and shoot the damn dog, while – finally – understanding what is meant by "blind obedience" or we do away with you, since you are obviously not a good Nazi. No dogs ever survived. And, thus, when it came to killing kids in the streets, or torturing people in those concentration camps, these men simply followed orders. They had learned the lesson of blind obedience well.
Is this what we are fostering here? Loyalty to a government that is obviously no longer the democracy for the people and OF the people that it started out to be?
Fascism, like fog, creeps in silently till all views are obliterated. One tiny little step at a time, on those proverbial cat’s feet which don’t show claws until it’s too late – until the courts are taken over and there is no further recourse for anyone. All this began well before May 29, 2006. Free speech, for example, had been ruled as permissible only in designated "free speech zones" – on pain of being arrested – just prior to last election’s party conventions. And now, the courts have been preempted. But the clincher for fascism, for dictatorship becoming a fact of life in America, has to do with those infamous "signing statements."
What is a "signing statement?" According to John W. Dean, former presidential counselor: "Suppose a new law requires the President to act in a certain manner – for example, report to the Congress on how he is dealing with terrorism. Bush’s signing statement will flat out reject that law, and state that he will construe the law ‘in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties.’ The upshot? It is as if no law had been passed on the matter at all." (Findlaw.com, January 13, 2006) Since coming into office, President Bush has negated well over 750 (!)congressional bills that have reached his desk, simply because he didn’t like them. Using "signing statements" simply bolsters presidential powers. Are these powers now verging on dictatorship? Is the blatant arrogance of simply "signing away" laws of which he does not approve a rather significant "goose-step" in the march towards fascistic despotism? You decide.
And, just as in 1930’s Germany, there is no protest. Some eyeball rolling perhaps – and then back to watching "American Idol." But that’s what Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda maestro counted on: A nation of "Sheeple" whose primary value system is "NIMBY," ("Not In My Back Yard.") Meaning that, unless an individual employee is directly affected by not being able to speak up and inform others of governmental misdeed which he/she has directly witnessed and of which he/she has proof, it don’t matter a bit.
What’s next? Will persons be arrested for writing articles of dissent? Will persons be "disappeared" for exposing corruption à la Patrick Fitzgerald in the Plame incident? Hey, why not? That is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany: Dissent, speaking out, became a crime. And bringing one’s cause to court simply caused amusement for the judges. Just Google Pastor Niehmueller….(that is, if our courts decide that we will still be allowed uncensored access to Google within the foreseeable future.)
June 26, 2006Doris Colmes, MSW, [send her mail] is an independent writer in Portland, Oregon. Her book, "The Iron Butterfly" was published in 2002,and she received the Kay Snow Award for non-fiction in 2003. She can be reached via:
www.doriscolmes.com.Copyright © 2006 LewRockwell.com
If that isn't enough to scare the BEJESUS out of you... Wait until you read this next COMMENTARY. thinkingblue
Presidential power grab; Bush picks and chooses the laws he'll enforce or ignore
David Sarasohn, THE OREGONIAN Saturday, June 24, 2006
Lawyers, for obvious reason, like to know what the law is.
They like to know what the legislators who wrote the laws intended, and what the courts think the laws mean.
Which may be why they get nervous when President Bush says none of that matters.
"When the president's method of dealing with legislation he doesn't like is to say that he doesn't intend to enforce it," said Michael Greco, president of the American Bar Association, "that has a very serious implication for the separation of powers in our country."
Why study law when all you need to know is how the president feels about it?
Which is why, earlier this month, the ABA board of governors voted unanimously to name a task force to look at Bush's breathtaking use of signing statements on 750 laws,explaining which parts he planned to follow and which parts he planned to flip into the presidential wastebasket.
So far, Bush has issued more signing statements than all previous presidents put together — with almost three years of legislative picking and choosing to go. By 2008, the federal statutes could look like a set of paper doll cutouts.
So far, among the signing statement greatest hits, the president has waved off congressionally enacted language that protected federalwhistle-blowers, that required the government to report its uses of the Patriot Act to Congress and that created a strong inspector general in Iraq.
But when asked what signing shrug-offs particularly bothered him, Greco immediately noted the president's scissoring out Sen. John McCain's amendment against torturing prisoners.
"There you have an example of Congress agonizing over an issue, debating it, reaching a decision on behalf of the American people," Greco said, "and the president says,'I'm not going to enforce it.'
Which is not the way his law books say it's supposed to work, and why the ABA president sees "serious constitutional issues."
So far, Bush is the first president since Jefferson to go this long without vetoing a bill. But as Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe points out, "In a way, these are better than vetoes."
Unlike a veto, a signing statement lets the president keep what he wants and drop the rest, and Congress can't override it.
Best of all, "signing statements generally pass without notice in the public, and there's a good chance nobody will notice," Savage wrote.
Compared with all those advantages, what's a few constitutional problems?
That's the question for the ABA panel, the highest-powered legal group since the O.J. Simpson defense team.
It includes the dean of Yale Law School, the former dean of Stanford Law School, a former FBI director, a former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and former Rep. Mickey Edwards, R-Okla.,who declared:
"I think one of the most critical issues for the country right now is the extent to which the White House has tried to expand its powers and basically tried to cut the legislative branch out of its own constitutionally equal role."
Of course, this does leave the question of what Congress has been doing while its constitutional powers have been pruned like a laurel hedge.
Last month, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressed surprise at the extent of "presidential signing statements where the president seeks to cherry-pick which parts of the statute he will follow," and declared that he would hold a hearing on the subject.
But since then, Specter has said that signing statements will be just one among a number of issues that he wants to take up the next time the attorney general comes by the committee.
The president's extensive use of signing statements to pick the laws he'll enforce and the laws he'll ignore may make it hard to be a lawyer, or an article of the Constitution or a branch of government allegedly equal to the executive.
But as Savage points out, the tactic offers the president lots of benefits: It greatly expands his power, and mostly nobody even notices.
Savage didn't even mention the greatest advantage of signing statements:
Congress lets the president get away with it.
Sarasohn is an associate editor at The Oregonian of Portland, Ore. He can be contacted at davidsarasohn(at)news.oregonian.com)
One more article to awaken awareness TO THE FEAR FACTOR going on in our beloved country... thinkingblue
June 26, 2006
Playing Politics With Iraq
By BOB HERBERT
If hell didn't exist, we'd have to invent it. We'd need a place to send the public officials who are playing politics with the lives of the men and women sent off to fight George W. Bush's calamitous war in Iraq.
The administration and its allies have been mercilessly bashing Democrats who argued that the U.S. should begin developing a timetable for the withdrawal of American forces. Republicans stood up on the Senate floor last week, one after another, to chant like cultists from the Karl Rove playbook: We're tough. You're not. Cut-and-run. Nyah-nyah-nyah!
"Withdrawal is not an option," declared the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, who sounded like an actor trying on personas that ranged from Barry Goldwater to General Patton. "Surrender," said the bellicose Mr. Frist, "is not a solution."
Any talk about bringing home the troops, in the Senate majority leader's view, was "dangerous, reckless and shameless."
But then on Sunday we learned that the president's own point man in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, had fashioned the very thing that ol' blood-and-guts Frist and his C-Span brigade had ranted against: a withdrawal plan.
Are Karl Rove and his liege lord, the bait-and-switch king, trying to have it both ways? You bet. And that ought to be a crime, because there are real lives at stake.
The first significant cut under General Casey's plan, according to an article by Michael Gordon in yesterday's Times, would occur in September. That, of course, would be perfect timing for Republicans campaigning for re-election in November. How's that for a coincidence?
As Mr. Gordon wrote: "If executed, the plan could have considerable political significance. The first reductions would take place before this fall's Congressional elections, while even bigger cuts might come before the 2008 presidential election."
The general's proposal does not call for a complete withdrawal of American troops, and it makes clear that any withdrawals are contingent on progress in the war (which is going horribly at the moment) and improvements in the quality of the fledgling Iraqi government and its security forces.
The one thing you can be sure of is that the administration will milk as much political advantage as it can from this vague and open-ended proposal. If the election is looking ugly for the G.O.P., a certain number of troops will find themselves waking up stateside instead of in the desert in September and October.
I wonder whether Americans will ever become fed up with the loathsome politicking, the fear-mongering, the dissembling and the gruesome incompetence of this crowd. From the Bush-Rove perspective, General Casey's plan is not a serious strategic proposal. It's a straw in the political wind.
How many casualties will be enough? More than 2,500 American troops who dutifully answered President Bush's call to wage war in Iraq havealready perished, and thousands more are struggling in agony with bodies that have been torn or blown apart and psyches that have been permanently wounded.
Has the war been worth their sacrifice?
How many still have to die before we reach a consensus that we've overpaid for Mr. Bush's mad adventure? Will 5,000 American deaths be enough? Ten thousand?
The killing continued unabated last week. Iraq is a sinkhole of destruction, and if Americans could see it close up, the way we saw New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, they would be stupefied.
Americans need to understand that Mr. Bush's invasion of Iraq was a strategic blunder of the highest magnitude. It has resulted in mind-boggling levels of bloodshed, chaos and misery in Iraq, and it certainly hasn't made the U.S. any safer.
We've had enough clownish debates on the Senate floor and elsewhere. We've had enough muscle-flexing in the White House and on Capitol Hill by guys who ran and hid when they were young and their country was at war. And it's time to stop using generals and their forces under fire in the field for cheap partisan political purposes.
The question that needs to be answered, honestly and urgently (and without regard to partisan politics), is how best to extricate overstretched American troops â€” some of them serving their third or fourth tours from the flaming quicksand of an unwinnable war.
<http://select.nytimes.com/2006/06/26/opinion/26herbert.html?hp=&pagewanted=printThis piece was so good I had to write to Mr Herbert: thinkingblueDear Mr. Herbert, Thank you for writing such a poignant Op Ed Piece... "Playing Politics With Iraq". Sometimes, I feel like I am living in a foreign place. I don't understand why people can't see what is happening to us, We The People of the United States, the backbone of this country. Why do so many rationalize away the atrocities these madmen in high offices have perpetrated upon us. It's as though the whole country have become lemmings and are following one another into oblivion, as the neocons watch and can hardly hold back the paroxysm of joy at such a site. thinkingblue.blogspot.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I put a link to this forum above but it was so superb, I had to place a partial text from it here: Please click the link below to read more...thinkingblueComplacency and the Fouth Ammendment
Friday, April 27, 2001 - The U.S. Supreme Court, by the narrowest of margins, has all but nullified the Fourth Amendment of the nation's Constitution.
Any cop, in any town, at any time, at any place, for any reason can now order the driver of a vehicle to pull over to the curb and submit to a total search of his (or her) property - pockets, purse, clothes, car trunk, glove compartment, suitcase, briefcase, ashtrays, cargo trailer. And, possibly, the garage and house.
Welcome to tyranny.
If a mom is seen by a policeman driving her children home from soccer, but her kids aren't wearing seat belts, she can be stopped, handcuffed and hauled to jail. Her car and all of her possessions, including her children, can be confiscated, searched and held by the state.
That's now the law of the land. And if they can invade our vehicles on such flimsy grounds, how safe are our homes?
Millions of American soldiers died on battlefields - from the Revolutionary
War to the Civil War to two world wars to Vietnam - for Americans' freedom.
And then, on April 24, 2001, millions of other Americans were denied that freedom, by a 5-4 vote of nine black-robed justices who have never heard the sound or felt the percussion of an enemy's assault.
The Cold War is over, the foreign guns have been silenced.
The enemy now is among us, stalking our homes, our neighborhoods, our towns and our cities from within our own borders.
Our freedom no longer is defining us; it is diminishing us.
We are so neglectful and ungrateful of our freedom that it has abandoned our sense of values.
We have become too comfortable.
Yes, we have - all of us, you and I.
We argue about things like growth and traffic congestion and student achievement and the daily stock-market closings and day-care moms and weather reports and interest rates and vacation plans and Oscar nominations and the barking dog down the block, yet we don't pay even the slightest attention to things that are really important.
Things like the Supreme Court saying it is OK for a policeman to arrest a woman - while her kids are watching their mom being handcuffed as a common criminal - for the $50 offense of not having her children strapped into their seat belts.
And, while they're at it, the cops can search her car, her purse, her clothing and her body.
And not just hers.Yours, too.
This is why we fought world wars in the name of freedom and our Constitution?
This posting is going to go on forever... I keep getting articles that are too important to let go... Please read this next one by Harroon Siddiqui... It's a winner. thinkingblue
Nobel Laureate Flays Bush
By Haroon Siddiqui
The Toronto Star
Thursday 01 June 2006
Gunter Grass, celebrated German novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, sculptor and commentator, is a living legend. When this Nobel laureate speaks, people listen.
His address in Berlin to the annual Congress of International PEN, the worldwide organization of writers, had been much anticipated, especially given his long admonition to intellectuals
to speak up on the political and moral issues of the day.
He himself has done so all his life, most famously against the Nazi past and contemporary neo-Nazism and xenophobia. He has not always been right, of course, having opposed post-Cold War German unification.
Grass, at 78 still spry and energetic, quickly gets into his topic, "The hubris of the world's only superpower," and proceeds to offer a sweeping critique.
His words find resonance among the writers gathered here, including another Nobel laureate, South African novelist Nadine Gordimer.
"Armed force is used by this superpower to defeat the terrorism it is itself responsible for," Grass says, citing Osama bin Laden, the by-product of American support
for Afghan jihadists in the 1980s. "The war (on Iraq), deliberately started in blatant disdain of the laws of civilized societies, produces still more terror."
Yet George W. Bush is searching for new enemies and targets.
"Dictatorships, and there are plenty to choose from, are referred to as rogue states and threatened vociferously with military strikes, including the deployment of nuclear weapons. But it only further stabilizes the fundamentalist power systems in those countries.
"Whether the term 'axis of evil' is used to refer to Iran or North Korea or Syria, politics could not be more stupid and hence more dangerous. Yet the entire world is watching and pretending to be powerless."
Grass quotes liberally from the blistering speech given last year by British playwright Harold Pinter in accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature: "The United States supported and, in many cases, engendered every right-wing military dictatorship in the world after World War II - Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador and, of course, Chile ...
"Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place in those countries ... but you wouldn't know it. The crimes of the U.S. have been systematic, constant, vicious, and remorseless but very few people have actually talked about them.
"You have to hand it to America. It has exercised quite a clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's brilliant, even witty, a highly successful act of hypnosis. How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal?"
Having cited Pinter, Grass adds his own condemnation of "the hypocritical method of keeping the body count" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Although we meticulously keep count of the victims of terror attacks - terrible though their number is - nobody bothers to count the dead caused by American bombs or rocket
The death toll from America's "three Gulf Wars," as he called it - "the first one having been fought by Saddam Hussein against Iran, with support from the United States" - runs into
hundreds of thousands.
"In Western evaluation, not only are there first-, second- or third class
citizens among the living, but also among the dead."
As for Bush and Tony Blair, he says, "whenever their lies lack persuasive power, they put God into harness.
Hypocrisy is written all over their faces.
They are like the priests and missionaries of old who used to bless weapons and carry death with their Bibles into distant countries."
The enormity of U.S.-initiated death, destruction and torture, places a burden on the citizens of democracy to be more vigilant: "Who wanted this war? What are the lies that have
disguised its true purpose? Who profits from it? Whose shares go up because of it?"
In a post-speech interview, I ask Grass about governments ignoring the electorate between elections, as those did in Britain, Italy and Spain, which joined the war on Iraq despite
overwhelming public opposition.
"In the last 10 years, lobbies have become stronger than the government, in the U.S. and other democracies," Grass responds. "They cannot change policy, for example, on health without the pharmaceutical industry, or farming policy without the farm groups. Lobbies are too powerful," the most powerful being the ones wanting war.
Even though Germany resisted the Iraq war, there has been a change of atmosphere since the election of a conservative government (just like in Canada).
"There are voices in this country saying, 'the U.S. is our ally, we have to stand by it, we have to do this and we have to do that for it.
"I hope it will not develop like that in Canada," Grass says.
Haroon Siddiqui, the Star's editorial page editor emeritus, appears Thursday and Sunday.
Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of
truth. –Mahatma Gandhi ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This so-called ill treatment and torture in detention centers, stories of which were spread everywhere among the people, and later by the prisoners who were freed… were not, as some assumed, inflicted methodically, but were excesses committed by individual prison guards, their deputies, and men who laid violent hands on the detainees.
Can anyone tell me who said that? Was it:
A) George W. Bush
B) John Ashcroft
C) Donald Rumsfeld
D) Someone else
If you answered “someone else", you’d be right. It was Rudolf Hoess, SS Kommandant of the infamous Auschwitz death camp where over 2.5 million people were murdered.
Conservatives, who love to call Liberals whiny, get whiny as hell when the Bush administration is compared to Nazi Germany, or to fascism in general. Guess what, though? The comparisons are beginning to come through more and
more. From ON THE ROAD TO TYRANNY!
CLICK HERE OR BELOW PICTURE TO SEE JON STEWART HILARIOUS TAKE ON THE MIAMI SEVEN
By: John Amato @ 11:35 pm
Jon Stewart takes a look at the case known to many as "The Miami Seven." He examines the careful and decisive evidence told to us by Alberto Gonzales:
Gonzales: These individuals wish to wage a quote: "full ground war against the United States."
Stewart: Seven guys? I’m not a general. I am not anyway affiliated with the military academy, but I believe if you were going to wage a full ground war against the United States, you need
to field at least as many people as say a softball team.
Please Alberto, don’t take any questions-you were doing just fine up until then. That was followed up by some careful analysis of the men involved in the plot.
A: One of the individuals was familiar with the Sears Tower- had worked in Chicago and had been there-so was familiar with the tower, but in terms of the plans it was more aspirational rather than operational.
Stewart: No weapons, no actual contact with al-Qaeda, but one of them had been to Chicago…
PICTURES SAY A THOUSAND WORDS...
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THE IMPEACHMENT OF GEORGE W BUSH.
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COMMON ERRORS IN ENGLISH
Graphic REAL PICTURES OF WAR
CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use it!