Monday, October 17, 2005

Why some Dems are war hawks

From silly to stupid: now that Clinton and Biden have started their run for the White House (don’t believe me? check your mailbox for campaign fund solicitations from said folks), perhaps it’s time we started hounding them in re: their war hawk positions on “staying the course” in Iraq. It would be pretty fucked up if we bounce one war president only to have another one of the opposition party pop up to take his place. And while you’re at it, send The New York Time’s Tom Friedman a stink bomb or two; that idiot ought to go into hiding. Half of this shit is his fault.

If you’ve been tearing your hair out trying to understand why Democrats like Lieberman, Biden and Clinton have taken such un-progressive views on the continuing occupation of Iraq, you might want to pop over to The Nation and check out this article by Ari Berman on the “strategic class,” that group of pundits, hothouse thinkers and has-been academics who help shape Democratic foreign policy thinking.

A clip:

As one example, Stephen Walt, a leading foreign policy expert and academic dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, says that "Brookings [Institute]was basically supportive of the war in Iraq. If Brookings is signing on to a major foreign policy initiative of a Republican Administration, that doesn't give the Democratic mainstream much room to mount a really forceful critique of the incumbent foreign policy." Much of Kerry's campaign platform--with its calls to add 40,000 troops to the military, preserve the doctrine of pre-emptive war and stay the course in Iraq--read as if it had been lifted verbatim from a Brookings strategy memo.


At the bottom of the pyramid are the liberal hawks in the punditocracy, figures like New Republic editor Peter Beinart, Time writer Joe Klein and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. These pundits, along with purely partisan outfits like the Democratic Leadership Council's Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), help to both set the agenda and frame the debate. The journalistic hawks churn out the agitprop that the more respectable think tanks turn into "serious" scholarship, some of which eventually becomes policy, or at least talking points, when adopted by the politicians.

Dinosaurs all; bloody-red-meat-eating dinosaurs, bound and determined to make the future into an Orwellian nightmare of perpetual warfare. Just because they say they’re Democrats doesn’t make it so. A war hawk is a war hawk, gentle readers, and very bad news for all concerned. Think Lyndon Johnson.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

High Crimes and Misdemeanors

While the general public has been reluctant to march on Washington in any kind of numbers that really count or write scathing letters to the editor en masse and newspaper editorial pages dare not speak the name for fear of corporate reprisals, it seems that the public’s boiling resentment of the President’s war in Iraq, a raft of other things and most particularly his bungling of the Hurricane Katrina response has caused a huge percentage, possibly a majority (albeit a slim one) to seriously consider whether or not this President should be impeached.

I’ve been of the opinion that he should have been denied the office in the first place and for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that he obtained it by theft and with the unconstitutional connivance of the Supreme Court, and while we’re at it, certain members of the Supreme Court should be impeached as well. Still, better late than never, I suppose.

Impeach Bush Coalition, a blog and grassroots group dedicated to the exposure of the lies that brought on the Iraq war, has commissioned a poll by Ipsos Public Affairs (via the offices of the good people at to determine the exact temperature of the public’s boil:

“If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable by impeaching him.”

Yes: 51% Average among all voters polled, regardless of party affiliation, with the “No’s at 44%, with 8% either not caring or misunderstanding the question. Details here.

A poll conducted by Zogby International back in June found 42% willing to consider impeachment, but the Katrina fiasco no doubt kicked the public’s sentiment past gnashing-of-teeth and into tar-and-feather mode.

OK, let’s do it.

Possible grounds (this is just off the top of my head; I’m sure with a little digging you can add more charges with just a cursory review of this president’s recent history):

High crimes

Illegal invasion of a sovereign foreign nation

Unconstitutional use of the armed forces

Unconstitutional suspension of habeas corpus

Authorizing assassination, torture and kidnapping

Illegal detention of foreign nationals (multiple counts)

Illegal detention of US citizens (multiple counts)

Illegal declaration of a national emergency

Crimes against humanity (multiple counts)

Misappropriation of government funds ($8 billion US in cash gone missing in Iraq)


Malfeasance in office: appointment of incompetent cronies to do the nation’s business

Malfeasance in office: pathological lying about everything to everybody

Malfeasance in office: smirking in public

Just a passing thought here. If this many people think that Bush might be ripe for impeachment, one wonders just how long they have been considering this option in the back of their minds. I mean, 50% is a huge number, and to have someone respond, you know, right out, “yeah, let’s start thinking about impeachment,” probably means they’ve already been considering it for some time. Yeah, OK, a silly thing to point out, but that’s what blogs are for, right?