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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:32 PM
Original message
Awakening - an attempt at synthesis and a tough question
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 08:32 PM by BelgianMadCow
I want to share with DU the re-awakening I felt tonight.
Allow me to recapitulate in my own words some recent History first.
Old-time Duers you can skip straight to my questions at the end.


In december 2000, the election would have gone to Al Gore had all the votes in Florida been counted. The counting of votes,the basis of a democracy, was stopped by the US Supreme Court.

Al Gore, in his role as outgoing VP and president of the senate, had to affirm Bush as the president elect. During that session of congress, many members of the Black Congressional Caucus protested fiercely against the injustice that was being done and wanted to challenge the result as many thousands of voters in Florida They did not have the support of even ONE senator. The outpooring of raw emotion from these representatives of the people can only be likened to all the people of colour screaming, crying and pleading for help after Katrina. They, too, were ignored.

On the 20th of January, Bushs inauguration parade turned into a mass protest. Protesters lined the streets the president drove by, egging his car and eventually causing the president to flee and cut short on the traditional white house lawn walk. A day that will live in infamy.

In the months after his inauguration and during the summer, Bush spent 42 % of his time on holiday. We now know that Richard Clarke, a true patriot and the top counterterrorism advisor to four administrations, had a burning desire to inform the new government of the threat Al-Quaeda posed, now that it was known they were behind the Cole bombing.
But he was demoted and ignored, no longer worthy to stay a member of the principals meeting. CIA director George Tenets code red briefing about Al-Quaeda to Condoleeza Rice in July 2001 probably caused John Ashcroft to stop flying commercial planes, and the threat from planes in the sky used against buildings was grave enough for Bush to sleep on a carrier during a G8 summit in Genua. But no comprehensive actions were taken by th Bush administration. The warnings were ignored. As Will said, it was no accident. It was policy. Ashcroft, responsible for law enforcement as Attorney General, of course was too busy covering statues with nude breasts and did not want to hear anymore of terrorist warnings.

Of all those who were warned, only one has apologized. "I have failed you, and this nation". Richard Clarke.

Obviously, Bush was also aware of the threat, as the august 6 2001 presidential daily briefing was titled Bin Laden determined to strike in US. The title was uttered by Rice in the 9/11 commission as if it was a run of the mill pdb title. The 9/11 widows knew better. This was why the White House had tried for ages to keep it a secret. This was also the worst piece of lying and theatre about such a grave matter in my lifetime.

What exactly happens next, is hard to say. I can only guess at what Bush was thinking while he stays reading My Pet Goat after he was told a second plane had hit. Or why he said "thats one bad pilot was his first reaction when he heard what happened. This, from someone who received the Pdb and slept on a carrier because of such a threat? One need only watch Symbolmans An American Requiem on to know that to this day, many questions remain unanswered.

Is Richard Clarke summoned at once? Yes, to try and establish a link between 9/11 and Iraq. That is where Bush and Rumsfeld wanted to go immediately. He is not asked about Al-Quaeda.

Heavens forbid that the country would take a long hard look at those who commited the attacks, mostly Saudis and members of a network headed by Osama Bin Laden. Hell no, America is owned to a considerable degree by Saudi-Arabia (Citigroup, AOL, Carlyle group, 6 to 7 % of US investment comes form them). The Saudis have played guardian angel investor to several of Bushs failing business ventures as well. GHW Bush, on the board of the Carlyle group (see here), was in a meeting with a Bin Laden (also an investor) on the morning of 9/11. Ah, and who helped the Taliban to grow? The US, when they were sponsoring them against the Soviet occupation.

So instead, while the entire country is grounded, the Bin Ladens are flown out without being questioned. After all, Prince Bandar is not called Bandar Bush for nothing, he is a friend of the family.
Thats one thing that happened FAST.

Of course, there was also an investigation. The congressional one came out with 28 pages redacted out. These pages are supposed to deal with the money trail and the Saudi involvment. Wouldnt wanna let that little thingie come out, would we.

There was another investigation into the biggest attack on american soil since Pearl Harbor. The administration only agreed to it, once again, after public pressure. Who can have anything against an investigation in Gods name? And why? It was alloted a budget of only 14 Million, and was designed to be a whitewash from the beginning. The facts about the July 2001 threat meeting between Rice and Tenet that have come out in Woodwards book State of Denial, and the admission that these were left OUT of the commission report, prove this beyond a doubt.

A patriot act was written, taking away liberties at an unprecented rate. No more egging for the Boy in the Bubble, here come the free-speech zones! Freedom is on the march! Somewhere around this time, the government starts wiretapping without warrants and torturing people (albeit in secret prisons outside of the US). The legal justification is based on the power of the unitary executive. Things would be a heckuva lot easier if I was a dictator.

And the Taliban and Al-Quaeda? Oh, they were attacked al right. It did take two months before boots were on the ground, and eventually they let OBL escape at Tora Bora.

Bush went around proclaiming we are at war for civilisation and said OBL is just one face, I really dont spend that much time about him. After all, the UNOCAL pipeline deal that was being negotiated in the beginning of 2001 had finally gotten the green light from Hamid Kharzai (newly installed leader of Afghanistan and a former UNOCAL advisor).

He had other plans in mind (PNAC, 1998). The political capital of 9/11 was not to be wasted. But as the intelligence community was not really cooperating all that well to come up with a link between Iraq and Al Quaeda, not even when pressured by Cheney, they had to make up new intelligence agencies run by political hacks who operated without oversight, such as the Office of Special Plans (OSP). After all, fixing the facts around the policy as the Bristsh Downing Street Memo said the US was doing, is hard work. And, lo and behold, a case for war was made, presented to the people in the US in the State of The Union and to the UN in a speeech that Colin Poweel himself thought was "Rubbish".

The people of the US, still understandably shell shocked, were scared out of their minds with terror alerts who have suspiciously politically expedient timing and are often made of thin air or proven to be a lie. It turns out fake terralerts can even be used to close down a polling station! How cool is that!

And so, the case for war was made.Iraq was gonna be able to launch WMDs in 45 minutes! It was sold by strongly concentrated media. But is was not bought by the americans or the world, as the massive prewar demostrations showed. Ow sorry, focus groups is what Bush called us. He only cares about focus groups that are called Abramoff, you know, the haves and have-mores, the elite. I call youmy base.

The doctrine of preemptive war was born.

That war was reported on by embedded journalists, a term that won Best Euphemism for Propaganda Goebbels Award for 2003. Journalists like my Rudi Vranckx who did not go to embed with US soldiers were threatened, shot at and practically unable to get insurance. Nobody was gonna have images of true war come and spoil this party like they did in Vietnam.

Hell no, there were HUGH profits to be made in no-bid uncapped cost-plus contracts during the war and the rebuilding. Halliburton anyone? You know, the company Cheney was CEO of before becoming VP?

When the war does not go as planned, and the flowerthrowing goes the IED way, the returning coffins are hidden from the public. Bush says to those who think attacking us will make us question our goal, I say Bring 'em on.

2 comma 753 more have been brought home.

You cannot kill another person and not kill a little part of yourself, said a young soldier in Iraq, with hollow eyes, in Fahrenheit 9/11. But as long as there are black or poor neighbourhoods left in the US, and free trade is taking excellent care of that, Army recruiters still find new cannon fodder.

Now, it is reported that 600 thousand Iraqis have died that would not have without the war. Bush says the figure (from the Lancet no less) has no credibility. But they decided they werent gonna do body counts!

Imagine all that blood, and carnage, and mental damage done. All the families torn. All the hatred that automaticaly ensues.

Oh, I pay lip service to the just cause. I post in the pleasant echo chamber/unspin forum that is DU, and am wiser for it. In a very limited way, I try to spread that wisdom. Is that enough?

While wondering HOW all of this could happen the way it did, I came up with three reasons :

1) People just didnt know can be explained, defense has worked before for the germans. I dont hate them anymore.
2) Most poor and middle class people simply do not have the time or energy to get informed and involved. Struggle for survival.
3) All the rest of us are complacent consumers.

I wondered where did my outrage go. And yours? And ours?

I have decided that I belong in the third category and plan to stop my mindless walking along in the rat race. I cannot elaborate further, but tonight, during my second viewing of F911 (was on the major commercial network here), I decided I have to take ACTION.

Freedom isnt on the march people. Its being drummed in a corner. And talking amongst ourselves isnt gonna cut it.
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northamericancitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. K & R Spreading the word, keeping ourselves informed ....
is an important part of Taking Action.

Living outside the US, like you, I find it difficult to do more.

If you have any suggestion....

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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks for your kind words - at the very least I'm gonna speak with $$$
okay, $$.

What I mean is I will not be subliminally sold on any "need" they think up.
I will think a LOT harder about how I spend my money.
And where.
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liberalmuse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. You just brought it all back on one big rush...
the last six miserable fucking years!!! Well done! That being said, what do you propose? Many of us are doing what little we can by educating those around us. I've won a few converts to the truth cause.

I make a pretty measly income, but nevertheless, felt so strongly about the coup in 2000 that I flew up to San Francisco in May 2001 to protest with...300 local Californians. Wow, I really thought more people would be outraged by the USSC handing Bush the presidency. I've been to almost every peace rally. I don't even do fucking Christmas anymore-since Bush invaded Iraq. I just can't get into the season while our soldiers are dying. I've cried my eyes out, threw stuff, screamed at the top of my lungs, unhooked the cable and my worst fear was that I wouldn't go crazy and therefore would have to go through this nightmare sane.

I've written my Congressmen (a lot of good that does when you have two of the most heinous individuals in the Senate from your state). I wrote hundreds of letters for Dean until my hands cramped, knocked on doors and voted for Kerry. I'm still trying to get out of debt from giving money to anyone I thought could beat Bush in 2004. All in all, what I've done is piddly squat.

What do you propose we do? Revolt? It may come to that and I'm thiiiis close to going Bolshevik on right wing ass. If the Republicans steal this coming election, then I will consider this nation in a state of war - Americans against enemies of The Constitution. I won't be hurting anyone for my cause - that's such a right wing, fundie thing to do, and I don't want to be like them. Anyway, I am moving out of this conservative Utah hell hole up to Seattle in the next month. I want to be where other liberals are. I'm not the only one who is fleeing the red zone lately, or has planned to. I just can't stand knowing I could throw a rock into a crowd here and never hit a liberal unless I'm at a peace rally downtown. 3 out of every 4 people I run into voted for Bush, and I can't accept that without getting very angry and bitter. I'm so sick of it all that I wish I could purge all of the Bush years out of my soul in one big Yurk.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I have to be honest and not pretend
that someone like me, on the outside and not nearly as active as you, have any advice to offer.

The state you describe yourself to be in, is exactly where I would hope people are by now. It seems to me you have done all you could reasonably do, and I am only beginning to understand what it takes to be like you where you live.


I also have to be honest, I think DU has a hard core of people really rally up to speed with the (reality based) news, some activists really out there fighting the good fight, but there need to be more of you.

How active is the DU activist corps?
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. sad kick
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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 02:57 AM
Response to Original message
6. Good summary (K&R)
Thanks for the brief review of recent history.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thank you! Constructive criticism welcome
as this thread got nowhere near the reaction I had hoped...
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