Friday, January 14, 2005

To say that I'm not looking forward to this inauguration is like saying that the apocalypse may ruffle my feathers. Bad enough that it's happening at all, but Bush seems also intent on raping the corpse.
President Bush's second inauguration will cost tens of millions of dollars -- $40 million alone in private donations for the balls, parade and other invitation-only parties. With that kind of money, what could you buy?

--200 armored Humvees with the best armor for troops in Iraq.

--Vaccinations and preventive health care for 22 million children in regions devastated by the tsunami.

--A down payment on the nation's deficit, which hit a record-breaking $412 billion last year.

If you need me I'll be at the bottom of a bottle of Merlot.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sweet Jesus
What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq? The Pentagon’s latest approach is being called "the Salvador option"—and the fact that it is being discussed at all is a measure of just how worried Donald Rumsfeld really is. "What everyone agrees is that we can’t just go on as we are," one senior military officer told NEWSWEEK. "We have to find a way to take the offensive against the insurgents. Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing." Last November’s operation in Fallujah, most analysts agree, succeeded less in breaking "the back" of the insurgency—as Marine Gen. John Sattler optimistically declared at the time—than in spreading it out.

For for those of us young-uns who are too young to remember what a fabulous undertaking El Salvador was, here's a bit of a lesson.
The 1980 election of Ronald Reagan as President of the United States changed American policy in El Salvador dramatically. The new U.S. administration worried about Communist expansion in Central America and viewed the El Salvador military government as a potential barrier against Communism. The Reagan administration substantially increased both military and economic aid to El Salvador.

The civil war raged on in El Salvador, fueled by U.S. aid to the Salvadoran military. The government harshly repressed dissent, and at least 70,000 people lost their lives in killings and bombing raids waged against civilians throughout the countryside. The country's infrastructure had crumbled, and the nation appeared to be no closer to its goals of peace, prosperity and social justice than when the process began. Then, in 1989, the murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter at the University of Central America shocked the international community into action.

Ladies and gentlemen, George W. Bush's Free Iraq. God forgive us.

Sen. John Kerry, whose seemingly shifting positions on the U.S. war in Iraq plagued him throughout his presidential campaign, came to this war- torn capital Wednesday to see for himself whether the country was moving toward stability or deeper into chaos.

Kerry, who repeatedly charged during the presidential campaign that President Bush had botched the war effort, was greeted warmly by U.S. soldiers in Baghdad.

U.S. soldiers approached Kerry inside the restaurant of the Rashid Hotel, asking him to pose for photographs and sign T-shirts. The star-struck restaurant manager insisted on serving Kerry the restaurant's specialty, a plate of grilled chicken and lamb.

(via Kos)