Friday, July 20, 2007

War Made Easy


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Here is a quote from this clip- the words of Lyndon B. Johnson;

"The peacemakers are out there on the field. The soldier and the statesman need and welcome the sincere and the responsible assistance of concerned Americans. But they need reason much more than they need emotion. They must have a practical solution and not a concoction of wishful thinking and false hopes, however well intentioned and well meaning they may be. It must be a solution that does not call for surrender or for cutting and running now. Those fantasies hold the nightmare of world war three and a much larger war tomorrow."

Now, this quote sounds eerily like many quotes and the logic being bantered around today regarding the Occupation of Iraq. Take note that we essentially lost the conflict in Viet Nam. World War Three did not ensue. Then, as now, calls for an orderly withdrawal were rejected as emboldening our enemy to attack America. Instead of facing reality we sunk deeper and deeper into a morass of delusion, horror and futility. The conflict left nearly sixty thousand of our own men dead and countless other wounded and/or scarred for life mentally, physically and spiritually. The toll on the families those men came from and the blot that the conflict left on the soul of America has yet to heal.

Also there were millions of Indochinese that died. The legacy of the destruction that our blindness, pride and arrogance left on that population is unfathomable to most Americans then as now. All of this horror was propelled by the fear of communism and the refusal to empathize with those we called our enemy. In the end- the whole thing was a disasterous waste. Everything we thought about our enemy, all our dire predictions about what would happen if we withdrew were absolutely false. Are we so deluded by the caustic political discourse today that we are both unable to take lessons from history or see what is right in fron t of our face? Even addressing this question is now seen as defeatism and cowardice in the minds of many. Watching millions of my fellow citizens turn off their brains and be intimidated by this tired, used, hollow argument about cutting and running is stunning...sobering...shameful, crushing and mournful. Its tantamount to watching someone you love cave in to the schoolyard taunt of "Chicken" and then doing something that causes permanent damage to themsleves and the community at large. Watching fellow Christians being driven by fear into blessing mass violence, the fever of warfare and the toxic political discourse of today is especially disheartening. It makes me sick and it makes me weep.





Irony of Ironies

One definition of irony is as follows: incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs.

I find it obscenely ironic that the neoconservatives and the allies of the presiding administration- the most vocal critics of media bias, censorship, political spin, revisionism, partisan politics, political theater and so forth are in fact guilty of these crimes to an astonishing degree. These folks also are terrified by the fairness why do you think that is? That is not a rhetorical question. Seek and then offer an answer.

Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona denounces Bush administration's political interference

WASHINGTON | President Bush’s first surgeon general testified Tuesday that his speeches were censored to match administration political positions.

He was prevented from giving the public accurate scientific information on issues such as stem-cell research and teen pregnancy prevention, he said.

“Anything that doesn’t fit into the political appointees’ ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried,” Richard Carmona, surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, told a congressional committee. “The job of surgeon general is to be the doctor of the nation, not the doctor of a political party.”

Carmona’s remarks were the latest in a series of complaints from government scientists about what they say are administration efforts to control — and sometimes distort — scientific evidence in order to support policy decisions. NASA scientists have complained of pressure to tone down warnings about global warming. EPA officials have said that technical information on power plant emissions and oil drilling have been ignored.

Carmona’s testimony drew a pointed rebuke from the White House. Officials suggested that any breakdown in communicating health information to the American people was ultimately a failure on his part.

One of his major accomplishments as surgeon general was a report on the dangers of secondhand smoke. Its release was delayed for political reasons, he said. Other reports on mental health, emergency preparedness and global health issues were blocked, he said.

Also testifying were former surgeons general C. Everett Koop and David Satcher, who served in the Reagan and Clinton administrations respectively. Carmona said their testimony showed that political interference was “a systemic problem,” but that several former surgeons general told him they had never seen it rise to the levels he encountered.

excerpt: Carmona said he was ordered to mention President George W. Bush three times on every page of his speeches. He also said he was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings.