Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The New York Times closes ranks with Bush on Iraq war

By Barry Grey
30 June 2005

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On Tuesday night President Bush went on national television and rehashed the lies his administration is using to justify the slaughter in Iraq. On Wednesday, the New York Times published an editorial that sums up the position of the so-called “liberal” establishment and the Democratic Party. Oozing evasion and duplicity, the editorial testifies to the commitment of the entire American ruling elite to the war and the complicity of the Democrats in the imperialist enterprise.

The editorial chides Bush for raising “the bloody flag of 9/11 over and over again to justify a war in a country that had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks.” But the conclusion of the Times is not that the perpetuation of this lie exposes the predatory character of the war, but rather that this particular canard has become counterproductive and should be set aside in the interests of “winning” the conflict.

The entire argument advanced by the editors proceeds from the premise that the origins of the war, and the lies used to launch it, bear no relation to the character of the war itself. The only questions that matter are whether the war is “winnable,” and what measures are needed to achieve victory. To this end, the Times urges “Mr. Bush’s critics” to “put aside... their anger at the administration for its hubris, its terrible planning and its inept conduct of the war in return for a frank discussion of where to go from here.”

The content of this “frank” discussion is summed up by referencing a letter “from an opponent of the invasion who urged the American left to ‘get over its anger over President Bush’s catastrophic blunder’ and start trying to figure out how to win the conflict that exists.”

Since, according to the Times, “no one wants disaster in Iraq,” Democrats and Republicans must rally behind the war effort. For its part, the newspaper suggests that more US troops should be sent to the killing fields.

Leading Democrats echoed the same line in their comments on Bush’s speech. “What we need is a policy to get it right in Iraq,” said Massachusetts Senator and 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry Wednesday morning on NBC’s “Today” show. The previous evening he was more explicit. Appearing with Republican Senator John McCain on CNN’s “Larry King Live” program, Kerry agreed with McCain that the US needed more troops in Iraq.

Senator Joseph Biden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and an announced candidate for the party’s 2008 presidential nomination, said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program on Wednesday that “there’s not enough force on the ground now to mount a real counterinsurgency.”

In its editorial, the Times counsels that Bush should not “continue to obsess about self-justification and the need to color Iraq with the memory of 9/11. The nation does not want it and cannot afford it.” With these concluding words, the newspaper offers the administration a blanket amnesty for its past lies, the better to promote new ones.

Chief among them is the claim that the US is occupying Iraq in order to produce a “democratic” country. This is a lie, the newspaper evidently believes, that retains its utility.

Hence the editorial’s references to the “elected government” and the “democratic elections” that installed the current puppet regime. The grotesque claim—retailed by both parties and the entire media—that an election held at gunpoint, in which opponents of the American occupation are excluded, can be democratic goes hand in hand with the equally absurd identification of foreign military occupation with “sovereignty.”

The overarching deception that links all of the others is the claim that a judgment on the desirability and political significance of a US victory in Iraq can be separated from the conspiracy of lies used to justify the war in the first place.

The success of a war waged on the basis of lies—itself a monstrous violation of democratic rights—could only encourage and accelerate anti-democratic tendencies within the US. It would strengthen the most right-wing sections of the ruling elite and further enhance the influence of the military in American political life.

Such an outcome could only embolden the forces that authored the Iraq war to proceed with their plans for other, even bloodier adventures. A number of nations have already been targeted as potential victims of US-style “democratization”: Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, China. A US victory in Iraq would bring the entire world closer to the danger of a new world war.

The fact that the war was based on lies is not some extraneous or secondary question: it speaks to the essence of the war itself. Not that long ago, in the Vietnam era, the revelation that the government lied was sufficient to discredit the war itself. The exposure of President Lyndon Johnson’s lies in the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident played a major role in de-legitimizing the intervention in Southesast Asia.

Now we are told by the politicians of both parties and by the media that the Bush administration’s far more massive and systematic lying in no way diminishes the legitimacy of America’s actions in Iraq.

The US government lied in order to conceal its real aims in invading, without provocation, a country that played no role in the events of 9/11 and represented no threat to the American people. Those aims had—and have—nothing to do with democracy or weapons of mass destruction. They were predatory and imperialist: the American ruling elite invaded Iraq and took over the country in order to seize control of its oil resources and establish a permanent military presence that would give it a huge strategic advantage over its rivals in Europe and Asia. This aggression, following the invasion of Afghanistan, was part of a broader drive to establish US hegemony throughout the world.

The American people had no say in the matter. They were lied to and kept in the dark by all of those who supposedly represent them, and by the media. Moreover, political power in the US, notwithstanding the holding of elections, does not reside with the people, but rather with a financial oligarchy that controls both of the major parties and systematically excludes any working class, socialist alternative.

When the Times declares that nobody wants to see a “disaster” in Iraq, it reveals the indifference of the American ruling elite to the carnage and suffering it has wrought.

The disaster has already happened. The war is the disaster, having to date cost the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqis and reduced the country to ruins—without regular electricity, water, sanitation or jobs for the majority of its inhabitants. The people live under the permanent condition of terror that attends any military occupation, subject to be seized at any moment by American forces or their Iraqi military counterparts and thrown into prison or killed.

Already nearly 1,750 Americans, having been sent to a distant battlefield on false pretenses, are not coming back. They leave behind orphans, widows and shattered families. Then there are the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis maimed by US missiles and bombs, and the thousands of US soldiers who have been permanently crippled and disfigured.

There is the vast squandering of resources—some $200 billion to date—which will ultimately mean new cuts in funding for schools, health care, housing and other essential needs. And there are the poisonous political consequences of the war, including ideological justifications for torture and unprecedented attacks on democratic rights.

What the Times and those for whom it speaks want to avoid is being held accountable for this disaster. The only way to end it, however, is for the US to get out of Iraq.

The Democratic Party and the Times are aware that more and more Americans are coming to this conclusion. In an attempt to confuse and dissipate the rising anti-war sentiment, they resort to two further arguments. The first is stated in Wednesday’s editorial as follows: “...if American forces were withdrawn, Iraq would probably sink into a civil war that would create large stretches of no man’s land where private militias and stateless terrorists could operate with impunity.”

This type of argument goes under the heading of justifying new crimes with old ones. In reality, the US intervention has arguably done more to fuel sectarian and ethnic tensions and violence than anything carried out by Saddam Hussein.

As for the claim that a US withdrawal would create a vacuum that would be filled by terrorists intent on harming the American people: Can any sane person deny that the US occupation of Iraq does more every day to foment anti-American hatred and create terrorist recruits than any fatwa by Al Qaeda?

Finally, there is the last resort of scoundrels: the argument that we have to stay the course in order to support our troops. Here, those who are responsible for placing American men and women in harm’s way—on the basis of lies, and in pursuit of selfish and predatory aims—hide behind the very troops they have victimized.

Why are the New York Times and the Democratic Party so intent on continuing the war? Because they speak for a political establishment that supports the project of global hegemony. Whatever disagreements emerge between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, they are always over tactics, not aims. They all believe that the economic and political viability of American capitalism depends on US domination of the world’s strategic resources—such as oil—as well as international markets and sources of cheap labor.

They fear, moreover, that a Vietnam-style defeat would profoundly discredit the existing social and political order in the eyes of the American working class, with far-reaching and dangerous consequences.

The lineup of all factions of the American political establishment behind the war—and against the majority of Americans who oppose it—demonstrates that the struggle against the war is inseparably bound up with a struggle against the entire social and political system. Just as it is not possible to discuss “where we go from here” in Iraq outside of a discussion of the origins of the war, it is not possible to seriously oppose the war without opposing the capitalist system which gave rise to it, and the American financial oligarchy which authored it and in whose interests it is being waged.

The starting point for a struggle against the war must be the demand for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all US troops. The US government must pay full reparations for the destruction it has wreaked in Iraq, and reparations to the families of US soldiers killed in the war, as well as to soldiers wounded in the fighting.

All those involved in the criminal conspiracy that produced the war must be held accountable both politically and legally. They must be placed before an independent tribunal and tried for war crimes.

This will not happen of itself. The Socialist Equality Party calls for the development and building of a new independent mass movement against war and social reaction. It is clear that the fight against war cannot be directed just against the Bush administration. It must also be a fight against the administration’s accomplices in the Democratic Party.

It is necessary to break out of the straightjacket of the two-party system. Already it is obvious that, in advance of the 2006 congressional elections, both parties are working to frame the debate on the war along the lines of how the war can be won. This must be rejected. The only legitimate response to the killing in Iraq is the demand for the withdrawal of all US troops.

There is enormous opposition to the war among the American people, and it is growing. There is also political confusion. How could it be otherwise when the government lies systematically and the media either covers up the lies or minimizes their significance?

What is needed is a fight to link the growing opposition to the war to rising social discontent over the attacks on workers’ jobs, wages and pensions. There is a profound connection between militarism abroad and the ever-greater concentration of wealth at home, between foreign predations and the assault on the working class within the US.

The struggle against war requires a break with the Democratic Party and the building of a mass, independent party of the working class fighting for the socialist reorganization of society.

Murdering Chimp_junta mother fuckers attack hospitals and doctors in Iraq

Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **

26 June 2005

Urgent request for help from the west of Iraq

An urgent humanitarian crisis is unfolding in occupied west Iraq. The
Doctors for Iraq Society is calling on you to act NOW.

US occupation soldiers have conducted simultaneous military operations
in cities across the west of Iraq. Between May- June 2005, the heaviest
of these attacks took place in the cities of Haditha and Al-Qa’im. These
cities and surrounding villages are home to an estimated 300,000 people.

Eyewitness and medical personnel in the area have described how US
soldiers prevented food and medication reaching Haditha and Al-Qa’im and
targeted the cities two main hospitals, medical staff and ambulances.

US soldiers violated the Geneva Convention and international law by
preventing civilians from accessing healthcare. Eyewitnesses reported at
least one patient being shot dead in his bed on a hospital ward. Doctors
were prevented from assisting patients and civilians in need. A number
of doctors and medical personnel were killed in the attack and
others were arrested by US forces in the hospital. They were later
released, along with the hospital manager who was detained for two days.

The huge military operations in the area have caused widespread damage
and an unknown number of civilians were killed and injured during the

Video footage shot by doctors shows a badly damage medical store in the
Haditha hospital and damaged surgical theatres. The medical store
contained medicine and equipment for all hospitals and medical centers
in the west of Iraq. Staff and patients say
the damage was carried out by “by violent and barbaric US soldiers.”

The Doctors for Iraq Society and other Iraqi organizations working in
the area are asking for urgent assistance from outside Iraq to help
equip the hospital with medication and other essential supplies.

Medical staff need basis such as medicines, surgical sets, laundry unit,
laboratory equipment and surgical sets.

Staff and patients also need urgent protection from the ongoing brutal
actions of US occupation forces who continue to violate international
law by carrying out attacks on patients and medical staff in Iraq.

The Doctors for Iraq Society is calling on human rights organizations to
conduct an urgent investigation into what happened in Haditha and
Al-Qa’im, and to take testimonies from eyewitnesses and medical staff in
the area.

For more information contact about the attack and
the specific of the hospital contact Doctors for
Iraq Society at :>

Or / Dr. Salam Ismael at :>
For media enquiries contact>

Dr. Salam T. Ismael
General secretary
Doctors for Iraq Society>>

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bush at Fort Bragg—fear-mongering, lies and desperation

Editorial Board Statement
29 June 2005

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President Bush’s speech before a captive audience of 740 troops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina Tuesday night was a repellant spectacle. It combined the pack of lies that the country has heard over and over again for nearly four years with appeals to backwardness, ignorance and fear, all intended to quash the mounting popular opposition to the war in Iraq.

Filled with non sequiturs and self-contradictory arguments, the speech asserted yet again that the unprovoked US invasion and occupation of Iraq were in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, and that Iraq remained the frontline in the “global war on terror.”

Is it really necessary to answer these bogus claims yet again? These were the arguments the administration attempted to sell to the American people before the invasion, manufacturing phony intelligence about meetings between Iraqi agents and Al Qaeda that were debunked well before the first troops were sent in.

Once again Bush employed the injunction that we not forget “the lessons of September 11.” But what are those lessons? No Iraqis were involved in the 9/11 attack, and there was no link between the organizers of that crime and the regime in Baghdad. If there is anything to be learned, it is that the Bush administration seized upon the hijack-bombings—or allowed them to take place—as a pretext for executing longstanding plans to conquer Iraq and its vast oil wealth.

The central justification given when the war was launched—the alleged threat from Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction”—went entirely unmentioned in Bush’s half-hour address.

Bush now casts the war and the continuing occupation of Iraq as a struggle for freedom and democracy. But his speech testified to the disintegration of democratic processes within the United States itself.

He appeared before massed troops, under discipline to sit through his lies and stupidities. He addressed the nation not from the Oval Office, as a democratically elected leader, but from Fort Bragg, so as to project the image of a war-time “commander-in-chief.” Under Bush, this designation has been transformed from an affirmation of civilian control over the military to a byword for militarism and an imperial presidency answerable neither to the law nor the populace.

The basic assumption of those who wrote the speech was that the American people are nothing but fools who can be endlessly manipulated. In an attempt to dissuade the majority of Americans from their well-founded conclusion that the war should never have been launched and withdrawal should begin, Bush claimed “we have made significant progress” over the past year.

He chose the date of his speech to coincide with the first anniversary of what was proclaimed the “handover of sovereignty” to an Iraqi regime headed by a former CIA agent. This was but one of numerous “turning points” that produced only growing resistance and carnage. Since that date, more than 900 US troops have been killed, along with uncounted thousands of Iraqi civilians.

The number of daily attacks and the number of US troops killed over the past month both stand at nearly double what they were a year ago. For the Iraqi people themselves, the conditions of life are worse now than they were a year ago. Violence is endemic, with the US occupation forces and their Iraqi puppets controlling nothing outside of Baghdad’s heavily fortified “Green Zone.”

Less power is being generated today than a year ago, with most people having electricity for only six to eight hours a day. Clean water and adequate sanitary facilities are lacking, producing widespread illness, particularly among children. And at least 40 percent of the population remains unemployed.

Added to these horrendous conditions is the oppression of foreign occupation, with Iraqis deprived of all essential democratic rights—including the right of life itself—by an all-powerful US military force. There is no “sovereignty” under conditions in which 140,000 American troops are deployed in Iraq.

These are the conditions that have given rise to mass resistance which the American military has proven powerless to stop.

Bush’s attempt to dismiss this resistance as the work of “foreign fighters” and “ruthless killers converging on Iraq” is ridiculous. The American military now runs a vast prison system in Iraq, holding well over 10,000 so-called “security detainees.” Out of these, barely a few hundred are non-Iraqis.

As for the “foreign fighters,” Bush noted that they “have come from Saudi Arabia and Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya.” These are countries whose people share with the Iraqis common language, culture and history of anti-colonial struggle. If they are “foreigners,” what are the US troops?

Describing the enemy that the US occupation army confronts in Iraq, Bush declared: “They are waging a campaign of murder and destruction. And there is no limit to the innocent lives they are willing to take... men with blind hatred and armed with lethal weapons who are capable of any atrocity... they respect no laws of warfare or morality.”

He could well have been talking about his own government, which launched an illegal war of aggression that has claimed an estimated 100,000 Iraqi lives. It has used bombs, missiles and napalm against civilian targets, and reduced Fallujah, a city of 300,000, to ruins. On a daily basis it carries out raids, killing innocent civilians and detaining others.

To justify these crimes with a load of Manichaean rubbish—presenting US imperialism’s dirty colonial war as a struggle for “good” against “evil”—is to appeal to everything that is backward, ignorant and fearful in America.

“We fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand,” Bush said. If Iraq is where people are “making their stand,” it is because it is their country, and they will never accept its conquest.

Bush made the unlikely claim that the bloody catastrophe in Iraq is inspiring people throughout the Middle East. If anything, the events there have provoked mass revulsion and outrage in the region. Bush sought to claim credit for elections in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon, though votes in the former have been taking place for several years, and in the latter for decades.

There was, underlying the specious claims of progress and vows to “complete the mission,” a definite strain of desperation. Bush has often chosen to use soldiers as extras in his televised performances, but this time his audience was somber, interrupting his speech with restrained applause just once—and then at the prompting of a White House advance man. No doubt, back-to-back tours in Iraq and the prospect—enunciated by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld—of a dozen more years of fighting has dampened enthusiasm within the ranks.

The speech concluded with an appeal for American youth to consider a “military career”—a bit of hustling for the military that was prompted by a disastrous decline in recruitment, posing before the Pentagon the potential shipwreck of the all-volunteer army.

At the same time, Bush invoked the need for “sacrifice,” without ever spelling out what he meant. He suggested merely that Americans fly the flag on the 4th of July to show their support for the troops. Nowhere in his speech did he acknowledge that nearly 1,750 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq, or that his administration has expended approximately $200 billion on the war.

The clear implication, however, was that the killing and dying, and the squandering of vast sums will continue indefinitely. The speech constituted a warning. The American ruling elite is not about to accept another Vietnam. It has no intention of allowing popular opposition to force an end to the war.

This is not to deny the existence of divisions within the political establishment over the conduct of this war. The Democrats have emerged as the faction pushing for more decisive action and criticizing the administration for mismanaging the war effort. No less than the Republicans, they are committed to “completing the mission” in Iraq, i.e., subjugating its people by military force and assuring US hegemony over the oil-rich Persian Gulf.

The Democrats’ chief foreign policy spokesman Senator Joe Biden praised Bush for speaking to the American people on Iraq, declaring, “Unless we regain their support, we’re in real trouble.” He repeatedly warned that there are not enough US soldiers on the ground, and suggested that more force is needed to do the job.

While the mass media interrupted their prime time schedules to broadcast Bush’s speech, some commentators expressed concerns afterwards that the president had failed to supply any new arguments or policies to reverse the sharp decline in support for the war. This failure is not a matter of poor speechwriting. Like it or not, the administration confronts an objective reality in Iraq where everything it has asserted or predicted has been refuted by events.

In concluding his remarks, Bush declared, “When the history of this period is written, the liberation of Afghanistan and the liberation of Iraq will be remembered as great turning points in the story of freedom.” On the contrary, when the history of these events is written, the US interventions will be cited as turning points in the resurgence of naked imperialist aggression on a scale not witnessed since the fall of Germany’s Third Reich.

The decisive issue posed by the eruption of American militarism is the need for the building of a political movement against war, independent of the Democrats and Republicans and based on the American working people. Such a movement must begin with the demand for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq. It must reject the entire fraud of the “war on terror,” and insist that all those who conspired to launch the war in Iraq be held responsible both politically and criminally.

See Also:
Washington in crisis over opposition to Iraq war
[28 June 2005]
The Washington Post and the Downing Street memo
[22 June 2005]

Pump up the cult
Gene Lyons

Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Ask Karl Rove for an apology? Not me. Apologies are appropriate for foolish remarks made in the heat of argument. Rove read from a script. The White House handed out copies. Besides, what would an apology from that flabby little apparatchik be worth? He’s the human equivalent of a fear-biting dog: His Master’s Voice. "Conservatives," Rove said, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban. In the wake of 9/11, liberals believed it was time to submit a petition. I am not joking." No, he was fabricating. The House gave President Bush the authority to attack the Taliban and Osama bin Laden by a vote of 420-1. The Senate voted unanimously, 98-0. To my knowledge, nobody mentioned therapy.

The usual Washington pundits say Rove wasn’t attacking Democrats, only "liberals." Oh, really? Rove claimed that the party chairman, Howard Dean, opposed fighting the Taliban. In fact, Dean supported the Afghan war. He criticized Bush for letting bin Laden escape in order to pursue his obsession with Saddam Hussein.

Rove also alleged that Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin’s poorly worded response to an FBI report detailing torture by American soldiers at Guantanamo Bay "certainly [put] America’s men and women in uniform in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

See, it’s not torture that inflames opinion in the Muslim world, it’s what American politicians say about it. In other words, according to Bush’s right-hand man, Durbin, the Senate Democratic whip, wants to see American soldiers killed.

That’s how desperate the White House has become to distract attention from the disaster in Iraq and the propaganda campaign that got us there. The idea is to pump up the Bush cult of personality, equate dissent with disloyalty and warn wavering Republicans that they, too, can be smeared. It’s as cowardly as it is contemptible.

In response, let’s return to that famous Downing Street memo of July 22, 2002. Written by the head of British intelligence, it stated that Bush had already decided to overthrow Saddam, "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Instead of debating the meaning of "fixed," Bob Somerby’s inimitable Web site The Daily Howler asked a simple question: What happened next? Based on Bob Woodward’s "Plan of Attack," a book Bush personally urged the reporter to write, Somerby lays out the evidence. It ain’t pretty.

That summer, Bush insisted publicly that war wasn’t what he wanted. To White House chagrin, his father’s foreign policy team, Gen. Brent Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker, wrote articles warning that invading Iraq could become a major strategic blunder—basically what Gen. Colin Powell also thought.

While Bush vacationed in Texas during August 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney gave bellicose speeches declaring that there was "no doubt" that Iraq would soon acquire a nuclear arsenal. He warned that Saddam "could then be expected to seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of a great portion of the world’s energy supplies, directly threaten America’s friends throughout the region, and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail."

In reality, the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate claimed only that Saddam maintained an "infrastructure capable of producing" chemical weapons and possible "low-level theoretical R & D" regarding nukes.

In September, the drumbeat became relentless. Using the anniversary of 9/11 as its focus, the administration leaked to The New York Times a bogus story about Iraq acquiring aluminum tubes for centrifuges to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condi Rice appeared on the Sunday talk shows. Rice memorably warned, "We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

Again, that’s not what intelligence experts thought, as John Judis and Spencer Ackerman reported in an unjustifiably neglected June 30, 2003, article in The New Republic. Next came Rummy claiming "bulletproof" evidence of operational links between Iraq and al-Qa’ida that didn’t exist. On Oct. 7, 2002, Bush himself warned that "[t] he Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and atomic weapons." He claimed that Iraq had "unmanned aerial vehicles" capable of "missions targeting the United States." Their actual range was 300 miles; too short to allow, say, Oklahoma to target Austin, Texas. During his State of the Union message in January 2003, Bush made his now infamous reference to Saddam’s supposed attempts to buy uranium in Africa based upon a crudely forged document whose suspect origins were already known. Did they fix the evidence? To borrow a phrase, it’s a "slam dunk." Karl Rove doesn’t want you to know it.


"Thomas Mann, the eminent presidential scholar at the Brookings Institution, put it this way last week in an interview with The Hill, the journal on the desks of all members of Congress:

"Republicans have to defend a war that was very badly planned and is costing much more in blood and treasure than the public was led to believe. Democrats struggle to define and agree on alternative policy that doesn't simply write off the sacrifices already made by our armed forces and accept defeat."

In other words, the die has been cast; we have crossed both the Tigris and the Euphrates. But if history is our guide, it will take six more years to declare peace with honor, one more time. As if most of us, Iraqis aside, did not already know that this war is over. We tried the impossible again, with the usual result -- and it will take time to craft a noble rationale for what we have done to ourselves."

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The rape of Fallujah by Gen. Mark Kimmet & Chimp_junta continues unabated

Aljazeera.Net - Violence in Iraq and US presence: "Consider the current situation in Falluja: According to a recent article by Daud Salman, of the 65 schools severely damaged by the American assault on Falluja, only one quarter have been repaired. Of these few, many are being used as American bases and staging points for military operations. "

Chimp_junta creates its own car bombers so it can pretend to "negotiate" with them--Death on the cheap.

'Iraqi forces' leader reportedly denies negotiations between resistance, US ': "

06/26/05 - - Text of report by Hiba Hani in Baghdad entitled 'Committee combating occupation denies negotiations with the Americans', published by London-based newspaper Al-Hayat web site on 26 June

Iraqi forces opposed to the occupation affirm that the rumours about US attempts to negotiate with the resistance are 'a mere fabrication'. They also affirm the existence of attempts by the United States 'to create parties that seemingly oppose it, but which it actually controls and uses to suppress the real trends that reject the occupation and the political process stemming from it'."


Dirty fucking chimp_junta using napalm and other outlawed weapons on innocent civilians

Incinerating Iraqis; the napalm cover up: "Incinerating Iraqis; the napalm cover up

by Mike Whitney

06/27/05 'ICH' - - 'You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Robert Duvall, 'Apocalypse Now' (1979)

Two weeks ago the UK Independent ran an article which confirmed that the US had 'lied to Britain over the use of napalm in Iraq'. (06-17-05) Since then, not one American newspaper or TV station has picked up the story even though the Pentagon has verified the claims. This is the extent to which the American 'free press' is yoked to the center of power in Washington. As we've seen with the Downing Street memo, (which was reluctantly reported 5 weeks after it appeared in the British press) the air-tight American media ignores any story that doesn't embrace their collective support for the war. The prospect that the US military is using 'universally reviled' weapons runs counter to the media-generated narrative that the war was motivated by humanitarian concerns (to topple a brutal dictator) as well as to eliminate the elusive WMDs. We can now say with certainty that the only WMDs in Iraq were those that were introduced by foreign invaders from the US who have used them to subjugate the indigenous people. "

Link to this outrageous story...

Washington in crisis over opposition to Iraq war

By Bill Van Auken
28 June 2005

Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

President George W. Bush has been forced to renew his efforts at selling the war in Iraq to the American people under conditions in which Washington’s military adventure has turned into a quagmire and popular support for a withdrawal of US troops has reached an all-time high.

Bush is set to deliver a rare prime-time television address Tuesday night, using massed troops at Fort Bragg in North Carolina as his backdrop. The setting is itself highly significant, casting the president once again as the war-time “commander-in-chief,” accountable to no one because of his control over the US military.

The administration’s recent attempts to portray anyone questioning its policy in Iraq as a traitor and accomplice in the death of American troops is a measure of its growing desperation in the face of a sea-change in public opinion.

Recent polls have shown fully 60 percent of the American people favoring US withdrawal from Iraq. They further indicate that more Americans blame Bush for the war (49 percent) than Saddam Hussein (44 percent). More than half of those polled say the war was “not worth fighting,” and that it has contributed nothing to the security of the US, while fully three-quarters believe that the current casualty levels are unacceptable.

What is Bush’s response? In a radio address from the White House Saturday he previewed the thrust of his upcoming televised speech—essentially a call to stay the course in Iraq and maintain a brutal and hated military occupation, in the name of “freedom” and the struggle to defeat “terrorism.”

“Now we will see that cause to victory in Iraq,” Bush declared. “A democratic Iraq will be a powerful setback to the terrorists who seek to harm our nation.”

Bush made it clear he intends for US troops to be killing and dying in Iraq for years to come. He declared, “Our military strategy is clear: We will train Iraqi security forces so they can defend their freedom and protect their people, and then our troops will return home with the honor they have earned.”

Even those most optimistic about the fledgling Iraqi security forces say that it will take five more years before they are in any position to fight on their own. Less sanguine observers question whether the goal will ever be reached, given the identification of these forces with a despised foreign occupation and their infiltration by the Iraqi resistance.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gave his own estimate Sunday, stating in a television news interview that the “insurgency could go on for any number of years. Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, ten, twelve years.”

After more than two years of a war that has claimed tens of thousands of Iraqi lives together with those of nearly 1,750 US military personnel—and at a cost of nearly $180 billion—the administration envisions another decade of carnage in Iraq and a permanent US military occupation.

Meanwhile, US military commanders have begun to distance themselves from the false optimism exhibited by the administration—summed up in Vice President Dick Cheney’s claim last month that Iraqi resistance to the US occupation was in its “last throes.”

Testifying before Congress last Thursday, US Central Command chief Gen. John Abizaid said “there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago,” while “the overall strength of the insurgency...was the same as it was six months ago.” Pointing to deepening military morale problems, he added that soldiers were starting to “ask me the question whether or not they’ve got support from the American people.” Asked about Cheney’s remark, the general replied, “I’m sure you’ll forgive me from criticizing the vice president.”

The continuing setbacks suffered by the US military, the mounting casualties, and the growing popular opposition have emboldened the administration’s nominal political opponents in the Democratic Party to criticize the conduct of the war—while swearing their allegiance to same cause proclaimed by Bush. For the most part, the Democrats’ reproach of the administration starts from the call for more troops and greater national unity behind the war effort.

The clearest enunciation of this reactionary policy came from Senator Joseph Biden, the chief Democratic foreign policy spokesman and an early contender for the party’s 2008 presidential nomination. Speaking before the Brookings Institution last week, Biden declared, “I want to see the president of the United States succeed in Iraq...His success is America’s success, and his failure is America’s failure.”

What America is Biden talking about? Success in a war launched on the basis of lies and for the predatory aim of asserting US hegemony over the strategic oil reserves of the Middle East will not benefit American working people. Rather, the aims of this war are bound up with the interests of a financial oligarchy that is pursuing an equally rapacious campaign to destroy the living standards of workers in the US itself.

The Democratic senator went on to urge a united effort to “regain the confidence of the American people.” He called for a “new compact between the administration and Congress to secure the informed consent of the American people for the remainder of the job... so that they will give the president the time we need to succeed in Iraq.”

What once passed for a liberal media has sounded a similar note. Thus, the New York Times began a June 25 editorial debunking the administration’s linking of Iraq to the September 11, 2001 attacks and ended by insisting, “If things are going to be turned around, there has to be an honest discussion about what is happening.”

It helpfully added: “Of all the justifications for invading Iraq that the administration juggled in the beginning, the only one that has held up over time is the desire to create a democratic nation that could help stabilize the Middle East. Any sensible discussion of what to do next has to begin by acknowledging that.”

Having disposed of all of the patently false pretexts for the war, the Times promotes the ideological big lie pushed to the fore by the Bush administration itself in its second term, identifying the pursuit of US strategic interests by means of war and colonial-style occupation as a global crusade for democracy. This, it suggests, is a “sensible” sales pitch for those trying once again to con the American people.

Similar views prevail as well among the more left-wing spokesmen of the Democratic Party. Former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal, writing in the Guardian, lamented, “Bush’s light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel vision can only accelerate the cycle of disillusionment. His instinctive triumphalism inevitably has a counter-productive effect.” Popular disillusionment with the war, so evident in the opinion polls, is seen as a cause for concern, rather than encouragement.

And New York Times columnist Bob Herbert Monday published his second column beginning with the unequal burden borne by working class youth in the war and concluding with the clear suggestion that reinstituting the draft is in order.

The precipitous decline in public support for the war is the product of the unrelenting carnage in Iraq, together with the realization by broad layers of the population that they have been systematically lied to by the administration, the Democratic Party and the media, all of which are profoundly discredited.

The suggestion by leading figures within the administration that the growing rejection of the war is the fault of a biased press is ridiculous. The American mass media is no less culpable than the Bush administration itself for dragging the American people into a war based on lies. It has systematically censored from its reports any indication of the depth of antiwar sentiment and has excluded from its stable of pundits virtually anyone expressing the widely held desire for an end to the occupation of Iraq.

The near universal dismissal by the American media of the significance of the so-called Downing Street memo—the British document confirming that the Bush administration “fixed” US intelligence to provide a false justification for an unprovoked war—is one more example of the media’s complicity in this aggression.

The media and the Democrats are united with the Bush administration in their determination to exclude the “W” word from public debate. Withdrawal of US troops, the public is told again and again, is not an option. It would unleash bloodshed, sectarian violence and regional instability—the very things that the invasion and occupation themselves have produced.

But the shared concern of Democrats and Republicans—their public recriminations notwithstanding—goes beyond the immediate political and military conjuncture in Iraq. What is involved is the shattering of the US government’s credibility, which has far-reaching implications for both foreign and domestic policy.

Beyond the fate of Iraq itself are the implications for the fundamental strategy embraced by both big business parties: the utilization of US military power to offset the decline in the global economic position of American capitalism by seizing control of markets and resources. Iraq is by no means the last war on Washington’s agenda. Victory there is seen within the political establishment as laying the foundations for the next war of aggression.

Bush himself has repeatedly talked about fighting “the new wars of the 21st century.” Vice President Cheney, addressing the graduating class of the US Air Force Academy at the beginning of this month, said that many of the cadets had wished “that you could graduate on September 12 and take your place in the first war of the 21st century.” He assured them, however, “... you will play an historic role in the great victories to come.”

Where are these next “great victories” to be realized? Iran is clearly in Washington’s crosshairs. The Financial Times noted Monday that Cheney, Rumsfeld and others within the Bush administration welcomed the electoral victory of the so-called Islamic hard-liner in the country’s presidential election. They clearly hope it will pave the way for confrontation and war.

Military aggression is equally possible against any number of other countries, including oil-rich states such as Venezuela and Nigeria, as well as named enemies like Syria, North Korea and Cuba.

The decline in public tolerance for such military adventures has dire implications for the ruling establishment. Under conditions of unprecedented social polarization within the US, war and the threat of war have become the essential glue for holding society together and legitimizing a government that defends the interests of a tiny financial oligarchy against those of the vast majority of working people.

Moreover, a repudiation of the war by the American people represents an indictment of the entire political setup in the US. There is no faction within the ruling elite that can credibly point to the record and claim, “We opposed this war.” The Congress, both big business parties, the media and the corporations are all implicated.

The growth of popular opposition to the war has come entirely from below. It finds no serious reflection in the political deliberations of the US government or in the narrow and reactionary range of opinion that is permitted by the mass media. It therefore has profoundly revolutionary implications and has provoked deep concern within the all sections of the ruling establishment.

The Socialist Equality Party calls for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq. We categorically reject the arguments of those so-called liberals who claim to oppose the war, but insist that such a withdrawal is unthinkable. The worst possible outcome of the war in Iraq would be a US “success.” If Washington is able to claim a victory, it will inevitably use it as the springboard to new and greater acts of military aggression that ultimately will place in question the survival of humanity.

Along with an immediate withdrawal, the SEP insists that all of those responsible for plotting and launching this illegal war be held accountable, both politically and judicially. They should be brought before an independent tribunal and tried for war crimes.

The united front of Democrats and Republicans behind the war—and against the majority of Americans who oppose it—underscores the unbridgeable chasm that separates the entire political establishment from the working people. It raises directly and urgently the task of making a political break with the Democrats and the two-party system, and establishing an independent party of the working class based on a socialist and internationalist program.

See Also:
The Washington Post and the Downing Street memo
[22 June 2005]
Bush faces growing opposition to Iraq war
[18 June 2005]

Monday, June 27, 2005

Hear ye Hear ye...Audio from hero Scott Ritter!

Scott Ritter: US at War with Iran

"We declared a war on terror and those who practice terror," said Ritter. "Are we going to declare war on ourselves?"

On June 23, 2005, Scott Ritter spoke to 110 people at a fundraiser for Traprock Peace Center at the Woolman Hill Meeting House. Before the presentation, Ritter met with 30 people over dinner at Woolman Hill. Hear his presentation and the question and answers, complete and unabridged. Sunny Miller moderated the event, introducing Ritter and reading questions from the audience.

Hear this important talk -

mp3 47:08 min; 48 kbps; 16.2 mb

Questions and Answers -

mp3 1:04:57 min; 48 kbps; 22.4 mb

PS...I could not D/L these files with Firefox. You may have to launch Internet Explorer, which works just fine! Amazing audio! A.J. Franklin

Protest against poverty Couple set themselves on fire at Chile's presidential palace

By Bill Van Auken
27 June 2005

An unemployed man and his wife set themselves on fire in front of Chile’s La Moneda presidential palace Thursday to protest their impoverished condition and the government’s failure to provide them with adequate assistance.

Vladimir Poblete, 39, and Ana Perez, 56, driven to desperation, took a bus to Plaza Constitucion in front of the palace in the morning. Wrapping themselves in a tattered Chilean flag, they doused themselves with gasoline and set themselves on fire in front of startled onlookers and scores of police.

Engulfed in flames, they managed to reach the base of a statue of Chile’s former President Salvador Allende, who was murdered in the US-backed military coup of September 11, 1973.

Poblete was reported in grave condition Friday, having suffered severe damage to his lungs from breathing in fire and heat. He was being kept alive on a ventilation machine. His wife suffered burns to her face, neck and hands, but was expected to recover.

A friend of the couple, Carmen Negrete, said that they had decided to stage their grim protest out of despair over their living conditions and inability to get help. She said that she had discussed the plan for self-immolation with them, but didn’t think they would go through with it. She accompanied them to La Moneda, where she begged them not to do it.

“They had nothing to eat and had already sold all of their furniture and were sleeping on the ground,” said Negrete."

Supreme Court upholds government land grabs for developers

By John Andrews and Barry Grey
27 June 2005

Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

The US Supreme Court ruled June 23 that local governments have broad powers to force people out of their homes to make way for private developments, despite the constitutional proviso that government takings must be for a “public use.”

The 5-4 majority in Kelo v. City of New London consisted of the four “liberal” justices—John Paul Stevens, who authored the opinion, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and David Souter—and “swing” justice Anthony Kennedy. Despite the lineup of dissenters—right-wingers William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, along with “swing” justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the decision is deeply anti-democratic.

The ruling openly places the authority of the high court on the side of private developers and their financial backers seeking to force people out of their homes for the sake of corporate profit and personal gain. These narrow private interests and their allies in government now have the imprimatur of the Supreme Court to apply “eminent domain”—the government’s power of condemnation—to seize homes and land parcels for commercial developments such as office complexes, malls, hotels, sports arenas or other privately-owned projects solely on the basis of claims to promote economic development.

Italy gets tired of being mugged by Bush

Italy seeks arrest of 13 CIA agents for abduction of Egyptian cleric: "Italy seeks arrest of 13 CIA agents for abduction of Egyptian cleric
By Barry Grey
27 June 2005

The US practice of abducting terrorism suspects on foreign soil and secreting them to third countries, where they are held without charges and routinely tortured, has been propelled to the forefront of international diplomatic relations with the issuing of criminal arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents accused of seizing an Egyptian cleric on the streets of Milan and shipping him to an Egyptian jail."

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc: WAR CRIMINALS waiting to HANG

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **
More Evidence Indicts U.S.

Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail

ISTANBUL, Jun 27 (IPS) - New evidence on U.S. war crimes and violations of international law was presented at the concluding session of the World Tribunal on Iraq at hearings in Istanbul Sunday.

The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) is a 'peoples' court' set up by academics, human rights campaigners and non-governmental organisations to take an independent look at the Iraq record of the United States and other occupying powers such as Britain. The tribunal was inspired by the Russel Tribunal of the Vietnam war days.

The three-day tribunal, the 21st in a series of meetings held over the last two years, was held against a background of another spurt of violence that left 41 people dead in bombings Sunday. The dead included four U.S. soldiers, three of them women.

The tribunal says it derives its legitimacy from the fact that a war of aggression was launched on Iraq ”despite the opposition of people and governments all over the world.” It adds: ”However, there is no court or authority that will judge the acts of the U.S. and its allies. If the official authorities fail, then authority derived from universal morals and human rights principles can speak for the world.”

The last sitting took place before a 'jury of conscience' that included author Arundhati Roy and Francois Houtart who participated in the Bertrand Russell War Crimes Tribunal on U.S. Crimes in Vietnam. In all 54 persons gave testimony on several aspects of the invasion and the
occupation of Iraq.

”The assault on Iraq is an assault on all of us: on our dignity, our intelligence, and our future,” Roy said at the hearings.. ”We recognise that the judgment of the World Tribunal on Iraq is not binding in international law. However, our ambitions far surpass that. The World
Tribunal on Iraq places its faith in the consciences of millions of people across the world who do not wish to stand by and watch while the people of Iraq are being slaughtered, subjugated, and humiliated.”

Denis Halliday, former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations who resigned in protest against sanctions on Iraq said during his testimony that ”the UN silently accepted the totally illegal no-fly zone bombing by the U.S../UK of Iraq culminating in softening up attacks
preliminary to the unlawful invasion of 2003.”

Halliday said that ”by these various means, the UN has itself destroyed the basic human rights of the Iraqi people through the wilful neglect of Articles 22-28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN failed to protect and safeguard the children and people before and after the 2003 invasion.”

Thomas Fasy, associate professor of pathology at the Mount Sinai School
of Medicine in New York, provided evidence of a seven-fold increase in
congenital malformations of Iraqi babies from 1990-2001.

Fasy also testified that childhood cancers and leukemia in children below five in the Basra governorate increased 26-fold over 1990-2002.

Fadhil Al Bedrani, a BBC and Reuters journalist who was in Fallujah during the November siege, provided evidence of collective punishment of civilians by U.S. forces.

Iraqi women's rights supporter Hana Ibrahim said women suffer 90 percent unemployment, and are often the victims of rape, lawlessness, forced prostitution and kidnappings.

”From the day that the occupation started in Iraq there was a systematic violation of women and their rights,” she said.

Herbert Docena, researcher with the group 'Focus on the Global South' who has studied Iraq's reconstruction and political transition pointed to the economic and political forces behind the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

”As early as February 2003, the U.S. had finished drafting what the Wall Street Journal called 'sweeping plans to remake Iraq's economy in the US's image',” Docena said. ”Just as the U.S. bombed out and physically obliterated almost all of Iraq's ministries, the plan entails the repeal of almost all of its current laws and the dismantling of its existing institutions, except those that already fit in with the U.S. design.”

The jury in its ruling ”recognised the right of the Iraqi people to resist the illegal occupation of their country.”

It recommended ”immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all occupation forces” and called on ”the governments of the coalition to pay full compensation to Iraqis for any and all damages, and that all laws, contracts, treaties and institutions created under the occupation that Iraqi people deem harmful or un-useful to them be banished.”

Other recommendations included immediate investigation of crimes against humanity by U.S. President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and every other president of countries belonging to the coalition.

In addition, the jury called for a process of accountability to bring to justice journalists and media outlets that lied and promoted the violence against Iraq, as well as corporations who have profited from the war.

More writing, photos and commentary at

Wake up Calls

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **
June 27, 2005
Wake up Calls

The jury of conscience has just released it’s recommendations after the
culminating session of the World Tribunal on Iraq came to its
conclusion. I’ll post the news story I wrote on this later, which will
provide more details.

I will add now, as a preface to a letter I received just now from an
Iraqi who asked me to pass it on to the American people, that the jury
made the following recommendations:

“The recommendations made by the jury included the demand for an
immediate, unconditional withdraw of all occupation forces, the
governments of the coalition to pay full compensation to Iraqis for any
and all damages, and that all laws, contracts, treaties and institutions
created under the occupation that Iraqi people deem harmful or un-useful
to them be banished.

Other recommendations included immediate investigations of crimes
against humanity for Mr. George Bush, Tony Blair, and every other
president of countries belonging to the coalition. In addition, the jury
called for a process of accountability to begin to bring justice to
journalists and media outlets that lied and promoted the violence
against Iraq, as well as including corporations who have profited from
the war.”

Here is the letter from my friend:
>From an Iraqi citizen to the American people:
We always have thought that you are citizens; away from the savageness
which controls many people in the world because you suffered from the injustice of your
own occupation more than two hundred and fifty years ago. Therefore, you picked up
weapons against the occupiers until you forced him to go out of your state which was a great victory for you.

Naturally, this occupier was giving unreasonable justifications for his stay in your country. Like any occupation, no country ever admit that they occupy some land but always says that they are a liberator of the people who are then unable to govern themselves and so on…

Such reasons cannot change the origin of occupation.

Nowadays, your army is occupying our homeland, destroying our homes and killing our men, women, and our children. The occupation is leaving this country full of chaos to the point we are now facing so many disasters, including suffering from looting and robbery.

Sudden attacks and cruel murders have been perpetrated by your army who then prevent all people from submitting judicial complaints. This encourages all soldiers to kill thoughtlessly without any threat of trial.

We have seen our Holy Quran desecrated by soldiers, but you continue to say your soldiers do not do what the Mogul and Barbarians did in the lands they occupied.

Your soldiers did many immoral acts but your government leaders have done even more.

We, the Iraqi people, do not put the responsibility of this on your shoulders because you are a people and not your government. But when the people have a decision in the fate of their country and decide to go in a direction which only benefits the government, this means that the people are satisfied with their governments’ actions.

When you elected Mr. Bush for the second time, this was a declaration from you of being satisfied with all his acts in violation of the holiness of a state which shares a place with yours in the United Nations Security Council. Has the age of occupation returned back to a place where agreements and treaties and international laws which forbid aggression are useless? When the people who chose to defend their land and reject the occupier are then described by your government as a terrorist? How long have you heard that an occupation which continues will have no resistance against it? Do you refer to the patriots of your own country as terrorists in your history books?

Have you ever heard that there is a peaceful occupation? One that ended in victory for the occupier?

American people, please remember the land of Iraq and remember the Iraqi people and think of yourselves as if you were in our place. In this way you will realize what Iraqis suffer.

I am an Iraqi who bears no grudge against any person all over the world. We simply wish that other people may realize our suffering now, especially the people who do not support their thoughtless governments and their aggressive acts. For the people who support these corrupted governments will be responsible for them, and history will hold them responsible for allowing this tragedy to have occurred.

This will be a shame on their ancestors who will not be able to hide this black page of history.

Thank(s) to the American people for listening attentively, and I am wishing you reasonableness and the ability to comprehend the truth.

More writing, photos and commentary at

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Rove gives 'LIbruLz' thorough tongue-lashing. But did he brush his yellow teeth?

White House aide Karl Rove witch-hunts Iraq war opponents

By Patrick Martin
25 June 2005

In a heavy-handed effort to intimidate opponents of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, top White House political aide Karl Rove delivered a speech Wednesday in New York City that all but accused critics of these wars of giving aid and comfort to the terrorists. Rove declared that while the Bush administration responded to the 9/11 attacks by waging war, liberals responded by offering “therapy and understanding for our attackers.”

He denounced recent comments by Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, who compared the methods used at the US detention camp at Guantánamo Bay to those of fascist and Stalinist dictatorships. The previous day, Durbin had made a sniveling recantation on the floor of the Senate.

Noting that Durbin’s original statement had been rebroadcast on Al Jazeera, Rove said it was “certainly putting America’s men and women in uniform in greater danger.” He concluded, “No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.”

These remarks were a calculated political provocation. Rove delivered them to a convention of the Conservative Party of New York, a rump organization of ultra-rightists that generally lends its line on the statewide ballot to Republican candidates. He spoke in Manhattan, traditionally a stronghold of Democratic Party liberalism, only a few miles from the World Trade Center site where nearly 3,000 people died.

The tone of the speech harkens back to the worst days of McCarthyite witch-hunting in the 1950s, when Republican—and Democratic—redbaiters sought to criminalize every form of left-wing political activity, branding as spies and traitors those who fought for socialist principles or opposed American militarism, racial injustice and corporate domination.

Rove combined allegations of disloyalty and sympathy towards terrorism with militarist demagogy. September 11 was not a time for “moderation and restraint,” he declared. “It was a moment to summon our national will—and to brandish steel.”"