Friday, September 7

Olbermann on the Great Iraq "Wait and Switch"



Last night Keith-O's latest report on Iraq did a masterful job of breaking down exactly how the administration has been pulling a giant bait and switch confidence game since before the war when George Tenet originally told George Bush - there were no WMD's based on credible sources and was ignored.

It was "too late. This isn't about WMD anymore - it's about Regime Change" was the answer.

I think it's well past time we seriously considered some "Regime Change" of our own.

Since before the war the Administration has been playing us all for suckers. It's been a long standing elaborate confidence game. Bush grand strategy in Iraq is clear and simple and would fit on a postage stamp and still leave plenty of room - "Just Wait."

During a press conference today at the G8 summit in Russia, President Bush told President Vladimir Putin that Americans want Russia to develop a free press and free religion “like Iraq.” To laughter and applause, Putin responded: “We certainly would not want to have same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, quite honestly.”

BUSH: I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq, where there’s a free press and free religion. And I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia will do the same thing. I fully understand, however, that there will be a Russian-style democracy.

PUTIN: We certainly would not want to have same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, quite honestly.

BUSH: Just wait.


"Just wait" - that's been the "strategery" all along. Also known as the "Sun will come out tomorrow" view. Bet your bottom dollar.

This is made even more evident by former Colin Powell Chief of Staff Col. Lawrence Wilkerson.

WILKERSON: Well, I think some neo-cons in the administration might have had that as a goal but I think the highest level of leadership in the administration‘s goal was quite clear and it was made clear by the fact that there was so little planning for post-invasion Iraq. The plan was to stay 90 to 120 days and then to substantially reduce the American presence. We would leave some hard stand for aircraft and so forth so that we could use Iraq as a lever in the Middle East in general, but we wouldn‘t have a substantial troop presence there after 90 to 120 days. That was the plan.

OLBERMANN: Year after year since that plan didn‘t happen, didn‘t turn out the way it was planned or not planned as the case may be, Democrats have gotten burned when the administration dangles this possibility of some kind of withdrawal. Why did the Democrats seem incapable of dealing with Mr. Bush on the terms we now know to be his as described in that biography and described again today in “USA Today” by Mr. Bolten that he wants a sustained presence there that outlasts his own term of office?

WILKERSON: Well, let me address that issue first. I think I‘m being proven correct here in my openings some months ago that the administration, particularly Vice President Cheney, had made a strategic decision that they could not fix the situation in Iraq, therefore they were going to do their best to simply pass it on to the next administration without too much damage to, they hope, the Republican party in their hopes to win the White House again in 2008. I think this is justification of the view. I believe they think they can‘t do anything really well in Iraq right now, so they‘re going to pass it on to the next administration.



That's it, in a nutshell. Everytime we fall tragically short of accomplishing any of our goals in the region, the Bushies reset the goal posts. That is exactly what has already happened with the deeply deceptive Patreaus President's report in Iraq. They've already been totally outed by the GAO while trying to cook the books on the surge escalation.

Ilan Goldenberg writes that one explanation for the contrary reports is because the military is not counting deaths from car bombs. The National Security Network notes that Petraeus has made a number of statements about the results of escalation that have been contradicted by Iraqi government data, independent media reports, and other U.S. agencies.

NSN writes, “The numbers have raised such alarm bells that a member of the Iraq Study Group, former ambassadors and leading academics have written to Congress asking them to look into the validity of U.S. government claims.


This plain a sober analysis of simple facts has of course been attacked by the wingers who've said the General Accounting Office "isn't qualified" to - uh - account for events in Iraq. (Considered the fact that by the same standards the President, Vice President and most of their staff including SecDef Gates aren't qualified to run a war - the point is moot) They've now got their new neo-con attack poodle O'Hanlon repeating their discredit and dismiss strategy that Cheney used so effectively on Joe Wilson, now claiming that the GAO report is "flat-out sloppy" when his own data and reports - borrow from the GAO.

How stupid must he feel now?

Just like when Iraq Foreign Minister Sabri told Tenet that "Saddam destroyed his WMD's in 1991" and was blown off. They didn't listen to him or the Gen. Hussein Kamel who'd said the same thing back in 1996, the Energy Dept who said the aluminum tubes were harmless and the UN Inspector who said our WMD Intel was Garbage, instead they listened to liars like Curveball, Ibn Sheik al-Libi and the Niger Forgeries. Today we're seeing the exact same situation repeated over and over again. The truth is being blown off. The facts are being ignored and the lies promoted as valid. Bush is claiming a great victory in Al Anbar, a wonderful validation of the "surge" when the truth is that the Sunni Militia in Anbar province had decided to fight against al Qaeda before the surge even began.

``In Anbar you're seeing firsthand the dramatic differences that can come when the Iraqis are more secure,'' Bush told U.S. troops, a friendly sea of soldiers and Marines dressed in camouflage uniforms. ``You see Sunnis who once fought side by side with al-Qaida against coalition troops now fighting side by side with coalition troops against al-Qaida.''

In truth, the progress in Anbar was initiated by the Iraqis themselves, a point Gates himself made, saying the Sunni tribes decided to fight and retake control from al-Qaida many months before Bush decided to send an extra 4,000 Marines to Anbar as part of his troop buildup.


There it is in black and white. The Sunni's turned on al Qeada themselves after they had successfully manage to ethnically cleanse the area (either by killing or intimidation) of all oppossing Shia. They had effecively WON their local civil war and simply turned against al Qeada to completely lock down their control of the area.

Sunni and Shia are self-segregating because they're either dead or they've fled the area.

That's how the fighting will eventually be ended, not by the ineffective and corrupt Iraqi Police or Army, not by their joke of a government - but by gradual implementation of their own "final solution."

Peace through Genocide.

Meanwhile, we just stand by and wait... and wait.. and wait, until Bush can quietly sneak out the back door, and when the next President finally start to clean this fracking mess up with some actual diplomacy - Bush will take all the credit.

See, it's a perfect plan. Just wait.

Vyan

Thursday, September 6

The Real Rudy: Command Center



Jerry Hauer (Former head of Emergency Management for NYC): Giuliani got caught in a lie by Chris Wallace (on Fox News). There was no backup or "virtual" Command Center. Rudy just wanted it within walking distance of City Hall

Blaxmyth - Set the Bomb Off



This video was produced as part of the Bodog Music Battle of the Bands, this one being the winner for the South Central Ghetto Metal Band Blaxmyth which guaranteed their becoming one of the final four bands in the competition. Ultimately they reached and final (which were broadcst live last night on Fuse) and even though they weren't the overall contest winners, they certainly showed that you can go quite a ways even if you defy conventional wisdom.

Inspired D-Roc, the late drummer for Body Count, Blaxmyth pick up where a great many bands have begun before, groups such as Fishbone, Follow For Now, Sevendust, 24-7 Spyz, Civil Rite, Bozaque and Living Colour who were all affiliated with the Black Rock Coalition in the early 90's. It's good to see someone still carrying forward the torch.

P.S. Both Body count and Living Colour are still recording and releasing records.

Vyan

Wednesday, September 5

Olbermann Special :Comment: Playing with the Troops

Monday, September 3

Lies, Damn Lies and Working the Surge

The narrative seems to be fairly obvious already - Bush and his supporters seem fully poised to trot out Gen Patreaus on Sept the 11th and bold facedly claim that "The Surge Is Working" just as was claimed Sgt Aguina at Yearlykos.

But then again, it just might be that what BushCo is selling is probably going to be rejected on delivery. Listen as Wolf Blitzer shoots Rep. Boustany (R-LA) down in flames for echoing the false Patreaus claims that "Sectarian Deaths in Iraq are Down".





Rather than let Boustany blather away - Blitzer corrected him using a recent LA Times Report.

Bombings, sectarian slayings and other violence related to the war killed at least 1,773 Iraqi civilians in August, the second month in a row that civilian deaths have risen, according to government figures obtained Friday. In July, the civilian death toll was 1,753, and in June it was 1,227.

In terms of Iraqi dead people, those numbers are high and getting worse despite the increased military troop levels of the United States — the so-called surge — having been in effect over the past couple of months.

Oops.

But then let's pay close attention to the semantic trick being played here - Rep. Boustany didn't say that civilian deaths were down he said that sectarian violence was down - and one wonders, how does he know whether this truck bomb or that truck bomb was sectarian or not? If these were "insurgents" why didn't they attack U.S. or coalition troops?

After denying for so long that Iraq is in the midst of an open Civil War, Bushies now wish to claim that the non-war is now "over" although the bodies continue to pile higher and higher. Is this supposedly all the work of Al Qaeda? All 2000 of them?

Similarly Gen Patreaus seems to be making the same distinction between run-of-the-mill death and sectarian death:

General Petraeus told The Australian during a face-to-face interview at his Baghdad headquarters there had been a 75 per cent reduction in religious and ethnic killings since last year.

But these claims doesn't seem to jibe with like - the facts (via McClatchy).

Violence remains endemic, with truck bombs in two northern Iraqi villages claiming the largest single death toll of the war — more than 300 confirmed dead and counting. North of Baghdad, another truck bomb destroyed a key bridge on the road linking the capital to Mosul, the first successful bridge attack since June.

And while top U.S. officials insist that 50 percent of the capital is now under effective U.S. or government control, compared with 8 percent in February, statistics indicate that the improvement in violence is at best mixed.

U.S. officials say the number of civilian casualties in the Iraqi capital is down 50 percent. But U.S. officials declined to provide specific numbers, and statistics gathered by McClatchy Newspapers don't support the claim.

Or The AP

* Iraq is suffering about double the number of war-related deaths throughout the country compared with last year — an average daily toll of 33 in 2006, and 62 so far this year.

• Nearly 1,000 more people have been killed in violence across Iraq in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2006. So far this year, about 14,800 people have died in war-related attacks and sectarian murders. AP reporting accounted for 13,811 deaths in 2006. The United Nations and other sources placed the 2006 toll far higher.

• Baghdad has gone from representing 76 percent of all civilian and police war-related deaths in Iraq in January to 52 percent in July, bringing it back to the same spot it was roughly a year ago.

Nor are U.S. Troop Casualties down during the Surge.

June-July-August 2003: 113 American troops died

June-July-August 2004: 162 American troops died

June-July-August 2005: 217 American troops died

June-July-August 2006: 169 American troops died

June-July-August 2007: 260 American troops died

This magic smoke-screen of deaths that aren't real deaths is wearing so thin even Katie Dumb as Rocks Couric can see through it.

Well, I was surprised, you know, after I went to eastern Baghdad, I was taken to the Allawi market, which is near Haifa, which was the scene of that very bloody gun battle back in January. And, you know, this market seems to be thriving. And there were a lot of people out and about. A lot of family-owned businesses and vegetable stalls.

And so, you do see signs of life that seem to be normal. Of course, that’s what the U.S. military wants me to see, so you have to keep that in mind as well. But I think there are definitely areas where the situation is improving.

Just as Rep. Tauscher recently pointed out - this is all Death By Powerpoint.

I will tell you that when you get in the Green Zone, there is a physiological phenomenon I think called Green Zone fog," said Tauscher. "It’s death by powerpoint. ... It’s always that their argument is winning."

In all fairness it may be true that in some areas of Baghdad things have improved, just as they've improved in the al-Anbar province where rather than surge, we cut and ran leaving the job of maintaining the peace to the local Sunni Militia.

But then again just as one area gets better, others get a whole lot worse. On August 15th the Deadliest Attack of the Entire War Took Place in a quadruple bombing in Northern Iraq.

BAGHDAD, Aug. 15 — The toll in a horrific quadruple bombing in an area of mud and stone houses in the remote northern desert on Tuesday evening reached at least 250 dead and 350 wounded, several local officials said Wednesday, making it the deadliest coordinated attack since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Rescuers and recovery teams were still digging through as many as 200 flattened houses, and the death toll could still rise significantly, the officials said.

"It is impossible for us to give an exact figure for the dead and wounded," said Dr. Kifah Kattu, director general of the hospital in Sinjar, a few miles north of where the explosions occurred. As an example, he cited one village in the area of the explosions, called Al Aziz, where he said 40 of the village’s simple homes had been obliterated and no dead or wounded had yet been recovered.

Open Markets over here vs 200 flattened houses over there?

Sure that's "progress" if you happen to be running in circles.

It's clear that the Bushies have long felt the big problem with this War has simply been that not enough "good news" has been getting out, that they've simply had a massive PR problem and that just like a political campaign all they need to do is stay on message to finally break through. So naturally they've decided to simply invent some good news!

Bush's surprise visit to Anbar today underscores this beautifully.

"President Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq on Monday, using the war zone as a backdrop to argue his case that the buildup of U.S. troops is helping stabilizing the nation." On his way to the APEC summit in Australia, Bush made a detour to Iraq, landing at an air base in a remote part of Anbar province. Accompanied by security aides Condoleezza Rice, Robert Gates, and Stephen Hadley, Bush’s visit came just hours after British forces completed their pullout from Basra. "Residents of Basra cheered the withdrawal."

We've heard the Bush Admin try to kneecap the leaked GAO report that points out that few of the security and political benchmarks which had been required for Iraq have been met.

Bushies have argued that these benchmarks were designed to "lock in on failure".

I know it's been four whole months since the Iraq Supplemental Bill was passed which made these Benchmarks a part of the LAW - but let's just jump in the way back machine (also known as the Google) and point out just who came up with these benchmarks in the first place? The Bush Administration did.

"The benchmarks - the Iraqis agreed to it, the president agreed it," said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who heads a House subcommittee that controls defense spending. "We're saying to them, 'Well, let's put some teeth into the benchmarks.'"

Although those teeth were severely filed down by Bush's Veto - they remain. And now the Bushies want to claim that their own benchmarks are too negative, simply because - they've failed to meet nearly all of them?

It's like giving someone an open-book test and they come back at the end of the class and say their dog snuck into the room and ate all the answers right off the desk.

Just for the record these were the questions the Administration asked itself to answer via the Iraq Supplemental Bill which...

  • Establishes 18 benchmarks on which to measure the Iraqi government’s performance;
  • Restricts use of foreign aid to the Iraqi government should they fail to make meaningful progress;
  • Requires the President to certify that the Iraqi government deserves these funds even if they fail to perform as promised;
  • Requires the Administration to testify before Congress and an independent assessment by the General Accounting Office on the performance of the Iraqi government;
  • Requires the President to submit a report on the combat proficiency of Iraqi security forces;
  • Requires the President to redeploy our troops if the Iraqi government concludes our presence is no longer desired;
  • Restricts use of Defense Department funding until Congress receives information about contractors in Iraq; and
  • States official U.S. policy precludes no permanent military bases in Iraq, no torture of detainees, and no designs on Iraqi oil.

The Entire Point of The Surge was to establish a buffer which would allow the Iraqi Government to accomplish the above. That was the Test and both the Iraqi Government and the Bush Administration HAVE FAILED.

Now they want more time - a lot more time - according to a new book on BushCo.

In Robert Draper’s book on the Bush presidency, "Dead Certain," Bush says the goal of his Iraq strategy is to play it out until "October-November." That is when he hopes the Iraq troop increase will finally show enough results to help him achieve the central goal of his remaining time in office: "To get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence," and, he said later, "stay longer."

So in order to accomplish his true goal of simply keeping us in Iraq for the foreseeable future - Bush and his cronies plan to outright lie to Congress.

It's not like they haven't done it before.

But this time the odds of their pulling yet another Jedi Mind Trick on Congress seem a little slim if even weak-willed corporate media lapdogs such as Blitzer and Couric can see through the fog of cute semantic tricks like referring only to supposed "sectarian violence" and focusing on pockets of relative calm while a hurricane of death surrounds you.

– Attacks in June "reached their highest daily average since May 2003, showing a surge in violence as President George W. Bush completed a buildup of U.S. troops."

– The "number of unidentified bodies in the capital has risen again to pre-surge levels over the last two months," concluded a report by IraqSlogger.

– Today’s National Intelligence Estimate concludes that "the level of overall violence, including attacks on and casualties among civilians, remains high; Iraq’s sectarian groups remain unreconciled; AQI retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks; and to date, Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively."

This time we need to point out that implmenting the al-Anbar solution doesn't mean increasing the Surge, it means by-passing the local government, the Iraqi Army and the police and working directly with the people - and the Sunni & Shia Militias - to help fight al Qeada and bring peace. It means DIPLOMACY - not more soldiers.

There is of course the possibility that this just might destabilize the Shia dominated government that we helped install and have continued to prop up despite their complete and total dysfunction. Some prices are worth paying IMO.

Oh, and then there's the little detail that the surge can't be sustained past April no matter what. It's far better for our troops and for the Iraqis that we plan for that reality, than ignore it.

They fooled (some of us) once before, but now I think signs strongly indicate that Roger Daltry was right all those years ago, this time "We Won't Get Fooled Again!"

It's far past time we got our troops out of this meat-grinder and got the Iraqi people to take control of their own country - with or without the blessings of the Iraqi government.

Vyan

Sunday, September 2

Larry Craig and the GOP's 19th Nervous Breakdown

They've been through a lot these Republicans. Not that I really care, I'm just saying...

It's been really rough for them, from failing to prevent 9-11, starting then losing the Iraq War, to Jack Abramov, Tom Delay, Brownie, Dubai, Jeff Gannon/Guckert, David Kuo, David Safavian, Claude Allen, Mark Foley, Ted Haggart, James Comey, Carol Lam, Monica Goodling, Tim Griffin, David Iglesias, David Vitter, Donald Rumfeld, Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzale's resignation and now... Larry Craig.

Although I myself have been so overjoyed by some of these developments I could have been found doing a drunken table dance in a Britney Spears schmatta (i.e. bottomless - even though I'm male) watching the GOP bus do donuts on the body Craig's flailing political career strikes me somewhat differently.

The problem I have is the odd familiarity of this particular sad and sordid story from Roll Call.

"At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area," the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that "I could ... see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider."

Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.

Fortunately I happen to remember where I've heard this story before.

Over a decade ago I read "On the Trail of Assassins" the book written by Judge Jim Garrison, which was eventually adapted by Oliver Stone into "JFK." Putting aside the issues brought up by the shooting of Kennedy himself, or the case which Garrison brought in a New Orleans court room against Clay Shaw as a co-conspirator in that shooting, the Craig scene struck me as oddly similar to an event which nearly entrapped Garrison some years after the case had concluded.

Because the Shaw trial had frankly, pissed off a ton of people, including those in the FBI and CIA where Shaw apparently had some connections, Garrison would normally keep his traveling plans confidential. On one of occasion one of his staff warned him that there was a plot against him and insisted on accompanying him to the airport and ensuring he got onto his flight safely, which he did. In the process that assistant was able to discover his flight number, destination and arrival time.

At his destination Garrison went to the bathroom and while he was sitting in his own stall someone else - in a room full of empty stalls - sat down right next to him. Garrison, who during these days was on high alert and who had previously been an FBI agent, decided this was more than a little fishy and decided to leave immediately. Outside the restroom he found a near army of law enforcement waiting to pounce. The entire thing had been a setup to damage him in his next run for New Orleans District Attorney based on a tip-off from his (soon to be former) assistant.

Narrowly, he had escaped it.

(These events were actually filmed for "JFK" and are included on the extended Director's Cut - but the event has been time-shifted forward so that it takes place during the Shaw Trial. I also want to note that this was the only incident in Garrison's book that even broached the subject of Homosexuality - while the Stone film was practically drowning in it, claiming that it was the key link between most of the suspects and Shaw - on this point the book and film are very, very different!)

Compare these event almost 40 years ago to the George Michael arrest in a Beverly Hills Bathroom ten years ago.

George Michael: "Well, I was followed into the restroom, and then, this cop – well, I didn't know he was a cop at the time, obviously – he started playing this game. I think it's called ‘I'll show you mine, you show me yours, and then when you show me yours, I'm gonna nick you!'"

What has been consistent in Michael's story, is that the "officer" flashed him first, and he responded in kind.

Now, I don't know whether Craig is genuinely guilty of these accusations or not, I don't know if he's gay or not -- but I would say that what he's accused here is certainly fairly minor. Exactly what was his crime here - Footsie? Improper hand signals? Clipping?

Rather than fight the charges, or contact a lawyer he choose to do what a lot of people faced with a nuisance ticket tend to do (particularly when they have something to hide and to risk) - settle. He paid about $500 in fines and all jail time was suspended - but that doesn't mean he's literally guilty and even if he is - so what?

If this had been a heterosexual event, say in the back corner of a bar or a nightclub - would it be a matter for the police?

Why is it that David Vitter's phone number showing up in the black book of the DC madam warranted a thunderous ovation for him, but Craig get this response from the GOP before he finally resigned...

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN): "Senator Craig pled guilty to a crime involving conduct unbecoming a senator. He should resign."

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): "I believe that he — that he pled guilty and he had the opportunity to plead innocent. So I think he should resign."

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI): "However, he also represents the Republican Party, and I believe that he should step down as his conduct throughout this matter has been inappropriate for a U.S. senator."

Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN): "While additional concerns are being raised, Senator Craig already demonstrated that he is unfit to serve in the U.S. Congress when he pled guilty. I believe that he needs to step down."

Reps. Jeff Miller (R-FL), Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), Bobby Jindal (R-LA), and Ron Lewis (R-KY): [A handful of Republicans] urged Craig to step down...including Jeff Miller and Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida, Mark Souder of Indiana, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Ron Lewis of Kentucky.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has also stripped Craig of his committee leadership positions and called for a Senate ethics investigation into the affair.

It may be that the vehemence of this reaction by the GOP leaders is simply the result of scandal fatigue. A desire to simply get this one off the table as fast and quickly as possible and not let it linger into next November the way that the Foley scan hung like a black crusty cloud over the Repubs last year.

But then again maybe something else is going on...

Why do we have male cops in bathrooms enticing people like this anyway? Do we have a mad outbreak of Gay PDA's going on?

Would anyone take seriously the idea of a female cop in a female bathroom arresting girls for trying to "hook up"?

Frankly, We all know it's far more likely that surveillance footage of this would wind up on the next edition of "Girls Gone Wild", not the local court house.

And this is why, even as a devout partisan democrat, I can't be proud or happy about the loss of Senator Craig. I'm not suggesting that this was a "set-up" to trap Craig in the way that Garrison alluded to in his book, it's rather that the rank and vile hypocrisy of this process of targeting male gays in this way really should be addressed.

Look at how both Dan Abrams and Joe Scarborough laugh, while Tfucker Carlson describes being "bothered" in a bathroom and then coming back with a friend to "slam the guys head into the stall."

Video

Tucker commits a HATE CRIME and then tries to portray himself as the victim.

Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men’s room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men’s room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.

Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That’s absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn’t angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me.

So at one point the guy was "bothering" Tucker and now that he's been called on it - it's a sexual attack? Yeah, right.

Is that what Larry Craig did, commit a sexual attack by wiping his hand on the bottom of the stall too many times? Did George Michael commit a sexual attack when an undercover cop flashed him? How about Jim Garrison?

This is a big load of BULL AND CRAP.

Yes, there are indeed genuine sexual predators out there who take advantage of the naive and the young. Case in point: MARK FOLEY! But what many, particularly those on the right seem to forget is that what was wrong with Foley wasn't that he was gay, it's that he was/is a predator.

To the right, this distinction is lost. Listen to Gen Peter Pace as he compares homosexuality to adultery.

The right-wing's atavistic terror of the gay, has not been diminished by the passage of time. I've long argued that this is largely because these people are misogynists to the core, and what the truly fear is the idea that another man just might treat them - the same way they treat women.

Shock and Awe!

What this incident shows is that this dread is as strong and virulent now as was during the late 60's, yet at the same time so many of those in the GOP are so extremely GAY. Just look at Gannon/Gucker, Andrew Sullivan, former GOP shill David Brock (now the repentant head of Media Matters) and for that matter the guy who tried to pick Brock up in a West Hollywood nightclub Matt Drudge.

I do not blame Craig for denying being gay, many gay people remain in the closet simply because they can't afford to be out due to the consequences (like Drudge or Melhman), such as those exampled by General Pace, and also the fact that many people have to come to grips with the reality of their own sexuality on their own terms and in their own due time as George Michael eventually did only after his own arrest.

Although another GOPer has bitten the dust and generally that's a good thing for Democrats, in this case it is not. With Idaho Govenor C. L. "Butch" Otter more than likely to appoint a fresh new rubber stamp to Craig's seat - we gain nothing, they lose nothing.

But if we stand up and cheer this, if we revel in taking of this scalp - just what is it that we're really cheering for, the continued hunting, vilification and criminalization of male gays?

Sorry guys, although I'm straight, I'm simply not down with this kind of naked bigotry being something that Democrats should applaud or stand for.

Vyan