Xark began as a group blog in June 2005 but continues today as founder Dan Conover's primary blog-home. Posts by longtime Xark authors Janet Edens and John Sloop may also appear alongside Dan's here from time to time, depending on whatever.
These people are out of their minds, displaying the kind of fanaticism that goes beyond laughable and into the dangerous. Michael Scheuer, appearing on Fox News, tells Glenn Beck ""The only chance we have as a country right now is" for bin Laden to "detonate a major weapon" in U S. Yep, they are WISHING for Americans to die so that they can push their political agenda.
It's time for Republicans to call these people what they are and to distance themselves from such lunatics and a network that promotes them. Seriously, folks, come back to reality.
There are times in the history of our nation when
our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to
the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon
to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old
habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes.
Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must
either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is
such a moment.
“Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing
100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean
carbon-free sources within 10 years. This goal is achievable,
affordable and transformative. It represents a challenge to all
Americans – in every walk of life: to our political leaders,
entrepreneurs, innovators, engineers, and to every citizen.”
Well. There's a simple, visionary plan from a guy whose life has earned him the credibility and stature to propose it: Reverse the trend in carbon emissions, end our dependency on foreign oil (thereby changing our relationship to the Middle East) and kick start our economy with new industries, new products, new services, new public works projects.
We rallied around Kennedy's call to put a man on the moon in 10 years and to do other grand things, "because they are hard." Well, we've got a better reason to do this: Because it's going to save our sorry asses.
Sure, we'll have the usual people telling us this is just more stupid libtard stuff. And to put it bluntly, screw 'em. They've had their time, and they blew it.
Anyway, I've just started a group at MyBarackObama.com to encourage the explicit adoption of this challenge. I'll post the URL as soon as it gets processed.
(Editor's note) Say what you want about reporter Sy Hersh, but remember this: History gets the last word. His coverage of the Bush Administration's wars just keeps on getting confirmed -- months, even years later, yes, but that's the way things go in the world.
So what does Hersh have to say about the NIE on Iran's nuclear weapons capabilities? Here's a transcript of what he had to say to Wolf Blitzer on CNN last night (-dc)...
"A nation," he heard himself say, "consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation." He opened his eyes and confirmed Brown there, his partially disassembled pistol in his hand. The cleaning, lubrication, and examination of the gun's inner workings was ritual, conducted every few nights, though as far as Milgrim knew, Brown hadn't fired the gun since they'd been together.
"What did you say?"
"Are you really so scared of terrorists that you'll dismantle the structures that made America what it is?" Milgrim heard himself ask this with a sense of deep wonder. He was saying these things without consciously having thought them, or at least not in such succinct terms, and they seemed inarguable.
"The fuck --"
"If you are, you let the terrorist win. Because that is exactly, specificially, his goal, his only goal: to frighten you into surrendering the rule of law. That's why they call him 'terrorist.' He uses terrifying threats to induce you to degrade your own society."
Brown opened his mouth. Closed it.
"It's based on the same glitch in human psychology that allows people to believe they can win the lottery. Statistically, almost nobody ever wins the lottery. Statistically, terrorist attacks almost never happen."
There was a look on Brown's face that Milgrim hadn't seen there before. Now Brown tossed a fresh bubble-pack down on the bedspread.
"Good night," Milgrim heard himself say, still insulated by the silver membrane.
Brown turned, walking silently back into his own room in his stocking feet, the partial pistol in his hand.
Milgrim raised his right arm toward the ceiling, straight up, index finger extended and thumb cocked. He brought the thumb down, firing an imaginary shot, then lowered his arm, having no idea at all what to make of whatever it was that had just happened.
-- Drug addict and hostage Milgrim lectures his captor during a rare moment of semi-lucidity in Chapter 29 of author William Gibson's latest novel, Spook Country.
"There was no doubt in my mind that this stuff (the explicit images) was gravitating upward. It was standard operating procedure to assume that this had to go higher. The President had to be aware of this."
That's the two-star general who was tasked with investigating the program of torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib, the same man who was forced into retirement this year. Hersh hit the talking-head circuit last night to promote it. On what planet is this not front-page news? Everywhere?
But even that may be too much of a plan for where we stand today.
Say, anybody out there have a plan for solving our Iraq problem? Anybody think that if we just do X, everything will simply fall into order and we'll march out to smiles and waves from our new Iraqi allies?
I don't have a plan and I don't believe in any magic X. My advice to Democrats is simple: Don't trust any simple solutions. This is why it never bothered me that Democrats didn't offer any detailed plans for fixing Iraq in either 2004 or 2006: Solving complex international problems by centralized political planning is seldom a good idea.
Original White House intentions aside, it is safe to say that we are in the mess we face today because America's political leadership didn't listen to the voices of wise counsel within its professional ranks. Jay Garner was replaced by the disastrous Paul Bremer. Dissent among senior officers was squelched to such an extent that otherwise loyal generals found themselves in revolt against the stubbornly wrongheaded edicts of Donald Rumsfeld. Democratic critiques from Capitol Hill were not heard at all.
Solving Iraq will take more than grand political plans and arbitrary deadlines. The best thing the Democrats can do right now is to make sure that the White House opens its ears to the voices it has long ignored. Bring in the mavericks and heretics from Spookworld, the State Department, the armed forces and both parties. Empower the smart people who have been ignored for the past four years. Try diplomacy and reach out to other nations as well. Remember that we have an executive branch for a reason.
A general direction change is fine, but I hope the Democratic plan for Iraq goes something like this: Rescue America's smart professionals from the political wilderness to which they have been consigned, and use what clout you have to make sure they get a chance to help us steer our way out of this tricky passage.
I've read the defenses, some of them from people I consider well-intentioned, but I cannot escape the overwhelming sense that yesterday was a sad, sad day for the United States. I suspect history's verdict for this short-sighted failure will be harsh on both the Administration and Congress, but far worse, I expect that American soldiers will suffer horribly for this act of retroactive political ass-covering.
...the bill immunizes U.S. officials from prosecution for cruel,
inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees who the military and the
CIA captured before the end of last year. It gives the president a
dominant but not exclusive role in setting the rules for future
interrogations of terrorism suspects.
Written largely, but not
completely, on the administration's terms, with passages that give
executive branch officials discretion to set details or divert from its
protections, the bill is meant to provide what Bush said yesterday are
"the tools" needed to handle terrorism suspects U.S. officials hope to
And yes, I understand that the terrorists who oppose us are often sadistic, remorseless butchers. But the fact that our enemies commit far more heinous acts doesn't mitigate the fact that the Congress of The United States of American just authorized state use of more "humane" forms of torture.
If the cost of security is that we must become more like our enemies, then I guess I don't care that much about safety. Honor is priceless, and these actions have sullied it. If you feel differently, that's your right, but I doubt that you'll be proud of that position five years from now. So I guess we'll just wait and see.