Thursday, October 5

Republicans don't care about our kids

Sure, they like to make a big stink everytime some violent sicko attacks a school or a child -- bleating loudly that Democrats would led perverts abuse your kids but when it comes to prevention, Bush and the GOP are completely AWOL. From Thinkprogress:
In the past few weeks, the nation has been stunned by the rash of school shootings in Colorado, Wisconsin, and at an Amish schoolhouse in Pennyslvania. President Bush said he was “saddened and deeply concerned” about the shootings and plans to convene a summit of education and law enforcement experts to discuss federal action that can help communities prevent violence.
But the facts of the matter are very different from the caring compassionate conservative picture painted by the President.

– In 2006, Bush proposed a five percent cut for youth and crime prevention programs. Bush’s 2005 budget proposed a 40 percent drop in juvenile-crime prevention, following a 44 percent cut in 2004.

– The Bush administration has repeatedly recommended eliminating federal funding for the Safe and Drug-Free Schools
and Communities State Grants program
, which works on juvenile-crime prevention.

– Since 2001, Congress has voted to retain the Grants program over the administration’s objections, but at reduced levels. Funding for the program was $439.2 million in 2001 but fell to $346.5 million this year, with $310 million recommended for 2007.

More than half the nation’s school districts receive $10,000 or less per year to fight violence and substance abuse — “too little to make a difference” according to an Education Department official.

Not only are Republicans failing to protect Congressional Pages from their own members, even though they had warnings over two years ago, they're failing to protect all our children and trying to somehow pin the blame for everything on George Soros ...
When asked about a groundswell of discontent among the GOP's conservative base over his handling of the issue, Hastert said: "I think the base has to realize after awhile, who knew about it? Who knew what, when? When the base finds out who's feeding this monster, they're not going to be happy. The people who want to see this thing blow up are ABC News and a lot of Democratic operatives, people funded by George Soros."

He went on to suggest that operatives aligned with former President Bill Clinton knew about the allegations and were perhaps behind the disclosures in the closing weeks before the Nov. 7 midterm elections, but he offered no hard proof.

"All I know is what I hear and what I see," the speaker said. "I saw Bill Clinton's adviser, Richard Morris, was saying these guys knew about this all along. If somebody had this info, when they had it, we could have dealt with it then."

and gays
There have been a number of signals through the course of the day that the last gambit of the GOP House leadership will be to blame the Foley debacle on a cabal of gay staffers who hid and/or enabled Rep. Foley's behavior for years. The idea being that they are to blame rather than the leadership.

That may sound like a plot turn out of a bad novel. But with the times we're living in I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

Fordham, the staffer who just turned on Hastert, is openly gay, as is at least one other central player in the drama. Fordham's word now threatens to take down the whole House leadership. So they're going to throw everything at him.

- which is completely, absolutely, pathetic, but perfectly in character for the GOP.

Vyan

Tuesday, October 3

What if it was one of your kids?

I don't really have to ask this question. My wife's son from her first marriage has already lived through exactly what these pages have gone through - and worse. His own father molested him.

He didn't want to admit it for a long time. But the medical evidence was conclusive. Later, and again some in the family didn't want to admit it, the sonuvabitch tried to rape my wife's sister.

And yet people didn't say anything. Her nephews who pull the bastard off their own mother said nothing. They let it go on... and on. Nobody told my wife until after she finally left the bastard and took her son with her.

Former Rep. Foley has admitted he was himself molested as a child by a member of the clergy. My feeling on this are as those spoken William Petersen as FBI analyst Will Graham in the 1985 film Manhunter (the Michael Mann precursor to "Silence of the Lambs") .. "As a child, my heart bleeds for him. Someone took a little boy and turned him into a monster. But as an adult... as an adult, he's irredeemable."

I admit that Foley may not quite be that far gone. He clearly needs help, But still these people, Foley, Hastert and Beohner have betrayed and failed our young. They've betrayed the most vulnerable among us. Give them a blastocyst to rally around and they'll move heaven and earth. Give them a poor brain-dead woman, and they'll stop time and magically pull the President away from his glorious vacation clearing brush on his horseless, cowless, ranch. But give them real live breathing and thinking children... and they fail. Every time.

They make excuses. It's the Democrats fault, even though not a single democrat was even made aware of what was going on. Tolerance and Diversity of gays is to blame, if only they could have really nailed that GAY BASTARD FOLEY. (What and lose a prime House seat in Palm Beach, FL -- are you kidding?) It's the media's fault, because ABC want's to make up for 5 hours of LIES on the 5th anniversary of 9-11.

Bullshit.

This is the truth and they can't handle the fucking truth.

They failed our children in the House of Representatives. Imagine having such a wonderful oppurtunity to actually serve democracy, to be part of the Constitutional process - only to be betrayed this way?

They've failed our children in the schools with their ridiculous "No Child Left Behind Act", a program so riddled with failure they had to pay so-called journalists to shill for it. They've failed them with deliberate Sex Mis-education which has nothing if not put more young people at risk of pregnancy and STD's. They've heaped a mountain debt upon the backs of the young, while dancing off to Scotland golf courses - and the brothels of Saipan - laughing with their tax cut kick-backs and lobbyist lucre.

And they've failed our young soldiers fighting their wars of ego and hubris in Iraq, with insufficent armor and contaminated water.

ENOUGH.

The excuses have to stop, right F-ing now. I'm sick of this shit.

You should be too.

Vyan

Hastert: Asshole

Hunter has this one. Prepare your stomach.

Simply amazing. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, on Rush Limbaugh's show, says it's all the Democrats' and the kids' fault:

SPEAKER HASTERT: There were two pieces of paper out there, one that we knew about and we acted on; one that happened in 2003 we didn't know about, but somebody had it, and, you know, they're trying -- and they drop it the last day of the session, you know, before we adjourn on an election year. Now, we took care of Mr. Foley. We found out about it, asked him to resign. He did resign. He's gone. We asked for an investigation. We've done that. We're trying to build better protections for these page programs.

But, you know, this is a political issue in itself, too, and what we've tried to do as the Republican Party is make a better economy, protect this country against terrorism -- and we've worked at it ever since 9/11, worked with the president on it -- and there are some people that try to tear us down. We are the insulation to protect this country, and if they get to me it looks like they could affect our election as well.
In two thin, mean paragraphs, Hastert manages to say that it's all a conspiracy by Democrats and/or by Foley's victims, and he says the kids who dared report the child sex predator the GOP had been shielding in their ranks are trying to "tear down" efforts to protect this country against terrorism. He says he's the "insulation" to protect this country -- when all the press reports out there say America would be stupid to trust Dennis Hastert to protect a Boy Scout troop.

This guy is just sick.

He doesn't get it, even today -- he thinks having a sex predator in Congress, knowing about it for at least a year and doing flatly nothing to even investigate how bad it was, not after Alexander knew about it, not after Shimkus knew about it, not after Reynolds knew about it, not after Boehner knew about it, not after Hastert himself was told about it, not even informing the Republican or Democratic members of the Page Board itself, is just another political thing to be "handled" on the Rush Limbaugh Show. And so now he's attacking the victims who finally did come forward, after nothing else worked, and saying that exposing the predator is all a plot against him and Republicans.

Hastert needs to go. It's done. He has no compass for leadership -- or even for remaining in Washington.

I'm with Hunter on this one. This isn't about Foley, it's about leadership and responsibility. Yet again, a set of Republicans has completely, totally failed at his reponsibility to protect the public. And this time it's with children. Children. This is not about partisanship - when Cynthia McKinney "hit a cop" she lost her primary. William Jefferson is still rattling somewhere under the bus having lost a massive amount of Democratic support.

Hastert has already been called to resign by Michael Reagan and even the Moonie Times - he should be toast.

But...

Apparently he got his wing-nut talking points this morning because Sean Hannity is singing the same sick self-absorbed tune.

Worse, some Conservatives, regardless of Newt Gingrich's claim that they might have been accused on "Gay bashing" are proceeding to do exactly that even though being a pedophile has nothing to do with being gay. Suddenly they've all turned into arm-chair psycotherapists - like Bill Frist with a videotape on Meth: Just look...

Ben Stein, American Spectator:

    On the one hand, we have a poor misguided Republican man who had a romantic thing for young boys. He sent them suggestive e-mail. I agree, that’s not great. … I hope it won’t come as a surprise to anyone that a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys.

Linda Harvey, WorldNetDaily:

    Open or suspected homosexuals should never be elected. The problem with homosexuals is that they frequently don’t have common sense and don’t acknowledge appropriate boundaries. Weird sex, public displays of “affection” and nudity, and sex with youth are built into the “gay” sub-culture.

Jonah Goldberg, National Review:

    The funny thing is that you would think the left — particularly the gay left — would be a bit more interested in not having 16 and 17 year old teenagers classified as young children for legal/sexual/political purposes. If that were the case, then a whole lot of dirty old men would need to be prosecuted for felonies when they pick up street hustlers.
Wall Street Journal, editorial:

    But in today’s politically correct culture, it’s easy to understand how senior Republicans might well have decided they had no grounds to doubt Mr. Foley merely because he was gay and a little too friendly in emails. Some of those liberals now shouting the loudest for Mr. Hastert’s head are the same voices who tell us that the larger society must be tolerant of private lifestyle choices, and certainly must never leap to conclusions about gay men and young boys.

I'm so glad to see some Republicans are as informed and sensitive as ever. They're ready to blamed the abused at the drop of a hat, yet Foley is this "poor lonely man".

Here's an accurate Profile of Pedophile:

Pedophiles don't have signs on their backs or neon arrows pointing over their heads.

It's easier to believe that the "dirty old man in the park", rather than the clean-cut bus driver down the street, is a pedophile.

Pedophiles aren't confined to our Catholic churches. They are in Protestant churches, synagogues, and mosques. Some of them are teachers, counselors, scout leaders, truck drivers, factory workers, and youth ministers. In fact, they are wherever children can be found, irrespective of age, race, education, occupation, class, social standing, or income.

Celibacy isn't the reason priests prey on children. Sexual attraction to children, and sexual gratification from children, are the reasons.

The Exclusive type of pedophile is attracted to children only. The Non-Exclusive is attracted to both children and adults.

A pedophile will not stop on his own, and will not turn himself in, because he does not take responsibility for his behavior and denies that he's doing anything harmful. He will abuse until he's caught.

If a child tells us he or she has been sexually abused by someone, be it family, friend, or trusted adult, we are obligated by law to report it to a child abuse hotline, police, or local children's services agency.

This wasn't political, it should've have become political. Now it is.

Sack the lot of them.

Vyan




Update:Surprising almost no one except the GOP, ABC Now reports that Foley had internet sex with a page, which finally explains why Mark made such an hasty exit from Congress just hours after being initially interviewed. He knew there was a lot more dust under that rug - I'll bet.

Al Qaeda Threat Warning to Rice : 10 on a Scale of 10

From Judd at Thinkprogress:
Condoleezza Rice describes her briefing with CIA officials George Tenet and Cofer Black on July 10, 2001 as relatively unremarkable. Here’s how her spokesman Sean McCormack described it yesterday:

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack [said]… the information Rice got “was not new'’ and didn’t amount to an urgent warning. “Rather, it was a good summary from the threat-reporting from the previous several weeks,'’ McCormack said in a statement from Saudi Arabia where Rice is traveling.

Earlier in the day, Rice questioned whether the meeting even happened and said that it was “incomprehensible” the meeting included a warning that U.S. interests faced an imminent threat from al-Qaeda.

Here’s how the briefing was described by the officials who prepared it, according to McClatchy:

One official who helped to prepare the briefing, which included a PowerPoint presentation, described it as a “10 on a scale of 1 to 10″ that “connected the dots” in earlier intelligence reports to present a stark warning that al-Qaida, which had already killed Americans in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and East Africa, was poised to strike again…

“The briefing was intended to `connect the dots’ contained in other intelligence reports and paint a very clear picture of the threat posed by bin Laden,” said the official, who described the tone of the report as “scary.”

Rice also considered the August 6 President’s Daily Brief, entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike US,” an historical document.

State of Denial: Bush at War, Part IIIA lot has been said about this meeting ever since it was revealed by Bob Woodard in his new book "State of Denial" that George Tenet and Cofer Black went to Condoleeza Rice with this intense Powerpoint Presentation.

Of course our good friends over at RedState have been johnny-on-the-ball with this one.

I've just about had it with the “he said, she said” game by the press. Why are we not more skeptical of these "experts" who criticize the Bush Administration after talking to a few "insiders" looking for publicity? A journalist writes a book, and suddenly he's an expert on what essentially amounts to gossip.

The NY Times reported today that members of the 9/11 commission were "alarmed" to learn that Condoleezza Rice was informed in July of 2001 by CIA Director George Tenet about an imminent attack from al Qaeda, according to a new book, State of Denial, by journalist Bob Woodward. Secretary of State Rice of course denies this saying she has no recollection of any such meeting. Who could blame her? Big surprise there. So who’s right?

Ignoring the obvious ridiculousness of claiming that Bob ("All the President's Men/Bush At War Parts I &II") Woodard is just "suddenly" becoming on expert on various White House goings on. But it turns out, yet again, that Rice is the one whose wrong as was explained by Roger Cressey on Countdown last night.
OLBERMANN: My first question, you‘re now consulting within a firm with Richard Clarke, who was at that meeting on July 10, on the central question of whether Rice was warned then of an attack on the U.S. Do we know who‘s right here, Woodward or Secretary Rice?

CRESSEY: Yes, she was warned. I mean, there was a meeting. It was George Tenet, Dick Clarke, another individual from the agency, Cofer Black, and Steve Hadley. And what it was, Keith, was a briefing for Dr. Rice that was similar to a briefing the CIA gave to us in the situation room about a week before, laying out the information, the intelligence, laying out the sense of urgency. And it was pretty much given to Dr. Rice and Steve Hadley in pretty stark terms.

OLBERMANN: The $500 million Cofer Black action plan against bin Laden, would have read like crazy talk if that had been presented to her as Woodward describes it?

CRESSEY: Not crazy talk, but because in some respects, that‘s what we did after 9/11, although, as much as I love and respect Cofer, I don‘t think we would have been able to bring his head back in a box then, because, frankly, all the CIA sources in Afghanistan stunk, and that was part of the problem.

But that type of aggressive, robust covert action is ultimately what was implemented after 9/11.

CRESSEY: There have been reports that neither Secretary Rice nor director Tenet nor Mr. Black had told the 9/11 commission about the meeting on July 10. NBC News learned that the 9/11 commissioner Richard Ben Veniste and Rice‘s friend Philip Zelikow (ph), who was the executive director on the panel, in fact did interview Tenet about the meeting. Can you reconcile those two accounts for us?

CRESSEY: Yes, actually Andrea Mitchell did some great reporting on this today. There was that meeting, it was January 28, 2004. George Tenet spoke about the July 10 meeting extensively. And as a matter of fact, it is in the notes, the transcripts of that meeting that are now contained in the National Archives.

But according to the Right, this is all just payback for "Path to 9/11". Redstate revisted:
Conservatives know what really drives all of this. In the aftermath of Bill Clinton's emotional debacle of an interview with Fox News Sunday, the Left is poised to replace the blame for 9/11 on the shoulders of the current Clinton family counterpoint, Condoleezza Rice or any other poor sap in the Bush Administration at which they can throw mud.
Ok, when exactly did Bob Woodward join the left? He's been a staunch Republican and supporter of Bush for quite some time, some would argue that up until this book he'd tossed journalistic integrity out the window in exchange for access. In fact, I'd argue that point -- particularly regarding his previous two books about Bush at War:

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: He is terrific. He’s a great journalist, and I look forward to reading it. He’s talking about a pretty complex set of discussions about military issues and diplomatic issues, and I’m sure it will be — be fantastic. [CNN, 4/25/04]

DAN BARTLETT: I think Bob Woodward has done a pretty — particularly good job of describing how complicated of a process it is for a commander in chief to do two real important but sometimes conflicting responsibilities. [CNN, 4/25/04]

BARTLETT: We’re urging people to buy the book. What this book does is show a president who was asking the right questions and showing prudence as well as resolve during very difficult times. This book undermines a lot of the critics’ charges. [Washington Post, 4/21/04]

JOHN KING, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: But what is most striking is that, here at the White House, they say read the book. They believe it shows — it paints the picture of a president who asks the right questions, the tough questions, before going to war and then decided that he was right in launching that war. [CNN, 4/19/04]

But now it's clear that once he started asking questions that the Bushies didn't like, his access, particularly to the President was completely cut-off.

The right may cover their eyes and pretend this is "he said, she said" - or that Woodward suddenly has an "agendy", his information is "poorly sourced" or dissappears like "cotton candy" - but as you truly look closer it doesn't dissappear, it hardens into cold hard reality.

Rice was warned, repeatedly, and did nothing - except call for more meetings.

But wait it gets worse, Richard Ben-Veniste, who had originally claimed that the 9/11 Commission had no knowledge of this meeting has reversed his position and now states that they did know (just as Cressey describes). To me, these revelations have echoes of the Ben Sliney incident.

Sliney who played himself in the film United 93 (as a forward thinking man of action and basically the films lead character) was the FAA Hijack Co-ordinator on 9/11, which was also his first day on the job. In reality Sliney initially declined the offer of military assistance for an "intercept" of the aircraft even after they had realized that a hijacking was underway, but of course - this fact was left out of the film.

Intercepts of this type were in fact extremely common. According the Sen Mark Dayton's statements during the Condoleeza Rice confirmation for Secratary of State there were 62 successful intercepts of the "normal" type (where fighter planes are scambled to shadow and follow a no responsive aircraft), during 2001 prior to the 9/11 hijacking and over 100 such intercepts during 2000.
"I'm tired of the lies" Dayton stated in exasperation.
Such intercepts were under within the power of the FAA Hijack Coordinator (Sliney) to request. Not fully understanding his own authority, Sliney made no such request until after American Flight 11 had already hit the World Trade Center Tower 1.

History is being re-written right under our noses.

What this also reminds me of is the fact that in 2001 the FAA distributed a CD-ROM presentation to airlines and airports that cited the possibility of a suicide hijacking. This information and the fact the FAA's own Intelligence unit received over 50 warnings of possible suicide hijackings during that summer was kept Classified by the Bush Administration for five months after the completion of the 9/11 Report, and not released until after the 2004 election was over and Rice had been confirmed as the new Secretary of State replacing the just fired Colin Powell.

It's quite possible and in fact highly likely that portions or even all of the Powerpoint briefing that Tenet provided to Rice -- and according to McClatchy Newspapers were later to also shown to Rumsfeld and Ashcroft -- were also Classifed.

In all fairness to all involved, even Rice, federal law would prevent them from revealing any details of this meeting - even to the 9/11 commission unless they had the proper security clearances. It appears that Tenet's interview with the commission was done privately, and may have been restricted IMO -- (just as the full contents of the infamous Aug 6th PDB once were) - but since that time has been declassified. This would explain why they might first deny any knowledge, but it doesn't explain why they didn't take any action what so ever against Bin Laden and Al Qaeda even after their involvment in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole was confirmed.

The very temerity of the arguement that this is some kind of journalistic payback for "Path to 9/11" or that ABC's timing on revealing the Foley scandal are some clumsy attempt at "balance" is just plain insulting. "Path to 9/11" was packed with politically charged lies and distortions of the truth.



But the truth is clear: Clinton tried (to stop al Qaeda), while Bushco simply stood by and let 3000 people die.

Vyan

Monday, October 2

Through the Looking Glass...

I had a dream the other night - nightmare actually. It was absolutely horrible. Terrifying.

Everything seemed normal. People went to work. Lived their daily lives. They seemed oblivious, but something was deeply, sickly wrong. It hung like a thick invisible cloud over me, my friends, family - over the country. I looked around to see what it was, but I could only see glimpses. Awful images in the corner of my eye that were far too devastating to face directly. An awful tragedy. The screaming of jets overhead followed by thousands dead in thunderous column of smoke, fire and dust. Bodies crushed into powder.

I turn away, but everywhere I look - it's worse.

The sounds of machines, tanks, explosions, far over the hill - out of sight - out of mind. Cordite burns my nose. Blood trickling into the gutters. Getting thicker every hour. Not too quickly so that the people walking by notice. They still shop, and dine alfresco - they still laugh - but they can smell it. I know they can.

I can see a TV. The News doesn't explain the blood. They speak of weapons not found. Urgent Memos ignored. Meetings not held. Desperate requests for assistance and a change in strategy unheeded. The President talks about our enemies and their relentlessness. He says that we are in the midst of a great stuggle of civilizations, one we can not afford to lose. He rails at those who disagree with him, even within his own party and says it's "Unimaginable to think"...anything other than what he tells us to think. He says that the opposing party has grown weak, would "appease" that enemy. His Secretary of Defense warns of their "Moral Confusion". The Speaker of House says they want to coddle terrorists.

War heroes are accused of being cowards if they dare criticize the President and his policies. Diligent CIA operatives working to uncover the missing weapons have their covers blown for the sake of political expediency. Jobs to help the public and reconstruct the destruction of war are doled out based on someones political leanings, not their qualifications.

A young woman walks into a shopping center, opens her jacket to reveal blocks of some substance taped to her body and then disappears in a flash of light and smoke. The screams are deafening. It happens again. And again... and again.

Through the thickening smoke I see children being raped by soldiers with our flag on their shoulder.

I see innocent men, women and children being rounded up - hooded, freezing, doused in cold water, nearly drown while held upside-down, buffetted by loud noises - unable to sleep for days, weeks even - some are sexually assaulted, but no one hears their cries. No one can move to aid them.

No judge will take their case. No trial is scheduled. No charges filed. No relief is possible. Habeaus Corpus is obliterated, like in the country of some third-world tin-pot dictator. But that country is now our home.

The sound becomes background noise against the sound of the traffic, everyone is too busy... in too much of a hurry to worry about that nagging inch on the back on their ear. So they shove the earphones of an IPOD into them. 2000 songs in your pocket - more than enough to cover up the smoke, the stench, the blood. It's too much trouble to scratch that inch, too dangerous. And when the IPOD stops working they keep themselves too busy to be concerned by watching the unfolding mystery and saga of a latest lone single missing blonde teacher/cheerleader/bride/debutante/pagentress/ex-model/stripper.

Shocking Bread. Aweful Circuses.

Our leaders bleat about a "Culture of Life" yet hundreds of thousands are slaughtered by warring tribes in Africa and our government does nothing, then vows to stay the course on that plan of inaction.

A massive storm approches and leaves a devastated American city in it's wake. Those who promised to protect us, to shelter us from such storms - stand by and withhold supplies while the city drowns in it's own sewage. More thousands die. Some claim the survivors are better off living as homeless "refugees" than in poverty. Only a few are offended by the crassness of the remark.

I feel like I'm being watched. I want to call someone, but I'm afriad. The phones are tapped. All of them. No warrants are issued, none are needed the President claims. Our emails are being tracked. Our libraries are being monitored.

We have to be afraid of what we say, who we talk too, how we think. I refuse, knowing that it puts everyone I love at risk. But the real truth is - no one is listening. Not anyone that counts. Not the public, they've gone voluntarily deaf and blind to the carnage.

One lone broadcaster dares to speak up, only to become the target of a mock domestic terrorist attack.

Allegations of voter fraud abound, but aren't taken seriously. We try to fence ourselves off from the world, but the real dangers are from inside the walls, not outside.

Yet -- at the same time, a male prostitute pretending to be a reporter can walk in and out of the White House a hundred times and no one notices. Congressmen are taking bribes from one of the White Houses best friends, Cavorting with hookers, even soliciting from the male teenage pages who attend them. No one in Congress asks what happened to the armor our troops were supposed to receive, no one asks why their water is contaminated, no one asks why civilian contractors receiving 5-times their pay for doing the same job, while the red-ink side of the ledger is starting to cover the entire page and flow directly into the torrent of blood filling the gutters. American blood and Iraqi blood. Our blood. Our treasure. Wasted.

It seems there's no way to staunch the flow. No way to end the suffering. Even with the ruling party now in complete, total disgrace and failure it still seems that they just might retain control, barely - How is that even possible? How is that even conceivable?

And still from the people there is no outcry - oh, surely in some corners I can hear the frustration, the rage building - but only on the so-called "lunatic" fringes. The average person, living the Walmart-life, feeling safe and secure in their ignorant bliss - I hear nothing, until I wake up screaming.

At which point I realize, as of course you well know if you've read this far, it was no dream.

But it is indeed, a nightmare.

Vyan

Sunday, October 1

Fox News Anchor Finally Speaks Truth

In an interview with Bill Kristol, Studio B host Shepard Smith finally points out that the War on Iraq has become a complete disaster. Transposed by Dailkos.


SHEPARD SMITH: "Can't you say beyond...beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt that what's happening in Iraq is not working as we had hoped it would happen?

BILL KRISTOL: Yes.

SMITH: That the terrorism is getting worse? That they are feeding off it? Today, one side is talking about secession if they don't get over it, that the sectarian violence is spreading, that we're clearing out one area and not able to hold it and the insurgents ... that stay the course isn't working? Any more than, maybe, cut and run would work? And that everyone seems to know, but won't say the answer is to add troops not take them away? Where are the people who are looking out for our best interests?

Smith's main point here isn't that we should "cut and run", rather than troop levels should be increased so that the violence can be contained. Not exactly a bad arguement, it's too bad noone in the Administration and none of the Generals have said anything like that to the President.

Oops.

KRISTOL: Well, I've said that many many times, so often I've been ridiculed for saying "more troops, more troops, more troops." I hope the president...

SMITH: If they really want to win it! [agitated]

KRISTOL: I agree...I hope...

SMITH: But I think they are just paying lip service to all this! [yelling]

KRISTOL: Well, I hope not because it really wouldn't be the right thing to do and I think President Bush wants to do the right thing and I think he knows there's a problem. He can't probably do anything until election day. I very much hope after election day he takes a fresh look at Iraq, sends enough troops, surges the...goes on the offensive there and plays for victory because..

SMITH: Bill..

KRISTOL: it's just too important to just, you know...

SMITH: It's horrifying that you just said he can't do anything until after the election. We've got men and women over there who are dying every day and you just said that the man who you support can't do anything even though you believe he knows it's wrong.

KRISTOL: I...I...urged him...

SMITH: OK, but what is worse that? What is worse than that, Bill Kristol? This isn't working. Well, isn't that what you are saying?

KRISTOL: It's not working....

SMITH: It's not working.

Well, it' s nice we have an agreement isn't it?

KRISTOL: It's not working, but some of the alternatives would work, would work worse and to be fair to him he has been....look ... I....Two months ago a Democratic senator said to me, I was saying Bush was going to stay the course and I admire him for his sticktoitive.. for his courage on Iraq and he said, "You're kid... You're crazy...everyone in Washington knows he is going to pull troops down before election day. He wants to give those Republican congressional candidates the benefit of seeing troops come home." It is to Bush's credit that he did not do that. We have moved a few more troops into Iraq. Bush has committed...

SMITH: A few more troops. [sarcastically]

KRISTOL: We should... We should ...

SMITH: We're still losing ground in city after city every day...

Yes, we are - because we're playing "whack a mole!" We move into an area, take the insurgents out, we leave - they come back. Gee wouldn't it be nice if the Iraqi troops could move in after we've come through and hold their ground. Maybe if they had the right equipment or their we're too busy planning their next coup attempt. Thank god they had those elections in 2004-05, that solved everything. Not.

Then Kristol begins to admit that what's really driving the way this war is being handled - is politics.

KRISTOL: I agree we should move more, but I think Bush has done...at least he has held his own ...ummm... I don't know...it's going back and forth there right now... I agree we could hit a crisis in two, three, four months unless we surge troops after the election. I thinks its hard to ask Bush to do something in the middle of this election season. We've seen how poisonous this political debate has gotten and I think... I just hope... I think he's right to hang tough and I hope he does the right thing after election day.

SMITH: That's a disgusting and repulsive reality Bill you have to admit that. That we can't do anything about something that is not working and where people are dying until after our elections are over...

Is it a reality, or is it something that we just choose to accept? The President is using the War against the Democrats first, not to mention the Iraqi people. Al-Qaeda and actual terrrorist are running a distant third, if they're even on the list at all. This where Smith truly gets animated.

KRISTOL: Well, we could do something... we should do something...but I'm just telling you that....

SMITH: The political reality is we can't. [scornfully]

KRISTOL: it's been a poisonous political debate ...both sides.

SMITH: If I were the mother of a father of a young man who dies between now and that election in this war I would be raising holy hell. Wouldn't you?

KRISTOL: Well, no....

SMITH: Wouldn't you, Bill? If you believed that this isn't working...

KRISTOL: No. They do..they're doing..They think they're doing the best the military strategy

SMITH: Do you think they think that, Bill, really?

KRISTOL: I think they, I think so.

SMITH: Because you don't think so, you just said so.

:et me say it again - Oops. A Fox New Anchor actually calling out a lie from a card-carrying member of PNAC? Is this April Fools?

KRISTOL: Well, I've been critical of them. I think they should send more troops, but other people differ. I think Bush is going to reconsider when he thinks uh..after he gets through this election here. I wish he would have reconsidered six months ago. I urged him to six months ago. He chose not to. But to be fair to him, to be fair to him I think he is doing what he thinks is his best for the country and I think he is right, that the alternative of somehow pulling down wouldn't help. And incidentally, for the mothers and fathers who have kids there my solution does not...does not... decrease the chance of casualties. I'm willing to.. I think we may have to take more casualties there.

Ok, so we're losing - what we're doing isn't working, so his solution is to do more of it and enrage the Iraqi people even more severely by increasing our presence? Again, what about the Iraqi's own forces? As Joe Biden pointed out on Face the Nation this morning, we have a combined force of 600,000 troops in the area - and we are still losing ground. Naturally Kristol think all we need to do is send more - and take even more casualties. Terrific.

SMITH: To win! But what they keep saying is they want to win. And yet you talk to soldiers and captains and colonels who come home or who talk to you on the phone or who send you an email and they say, "Look! We win individual battles. We leave the individual battle and go to the next town and the insurgents come back." It's happening in Afghanistan right now!

KRISTOL: I agree.

Yeah, like I said "Whack-a-mole!". So much for that "things are going swimmingly meme".

SMITH: The Taliban had been wiped out. Now the poppy production is up to supplying 92% because we don't have enough people there. So how fair is it to the people of this country and to the world to be in a process that you know is not working, to know what the solutions are, yet because of the election system and the political process you allow a losing thing to continue?

KRISTOL: Well I think we can make it a winning thing, I think Bush will make it a winning thing, It's a democracy. It has drawbacks.

Comment from Dkos - [Wha?!?! STOP THE TAPE! WTF does that mean? Bush could fight the war better if this wasn't a democracy?]

Yeah, sure don't you remember ""I told all four that there are going to be some times where we don't agree with each other, but that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

I agree on Afghanistan,incidentally, that's another place where we're going to have to increase troop levels in the next few weeks.

SMITH: Yeah, but when?

KRISTOL: Soon.

Yeah, any minute after the elections.

SMITH: We'll see. Bill Kristol, good of you to come.

KRISTOL: Thank's Shep.

The weird thing about this is that nothing, I mean absolutely nothing goes on Fox News without having political overtones - and the signals that seem to be being sent here are - frighteningly enough - that the Bush Administration has been too soft on Iraq so far. Just as Bill O'Reilly has argued we need to treat Iraq the same way that Saddam did, these people are neccesarily calling for an end to the war. Not hardly, but at least they realize that something needs to change. I would argue that since our forces our one of the main inspiration for the violence, with over a hundred attacks occuring each day - what we really need is a effective Force Transition Plan.

The job needs to be done, someone needs to stand up against the violence - and the proper solution to that is for the Iraqi's own forces to do it. Instead of under training and under equiping their forces, we need to work vigorously with the Iraqi government - and yes, create deadlines, goals and benchmarks for improvement - to bring their forces online and gradually unit by unit transition their people in to replace ours. It's not a matter of our people "Cutting and Running", creating an effective Iraqi Army IS Mission Accomplished.

If we aren't doing that, then Shepard is correct, all were doing is condeming our soldiers and the Iraqi people to an endless meatgrinder.

Vyan