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Posts Tagged ‘Bush Administration’

The responsibility of a country is not in the hands of a privileged few.  We are strong, and we are free from tyranny as long as each one of us remembers his or her duty as a citizen.  Whether it’s to report a pothole at the top of your street or lies in a State of the Union address, speak out!  Ask those questions.  Demand that truth.  Democracy is not a free ride, man.  I’m here to tell you.  But, this is where we live.  And if we do our job, this is where our children will live.  God bless America.
     —    Joseph C. Wilson IV (played by Sean Penn)
Former United States diplomat who’s wife (Valerie Plame) was depicted as a CIA “operative” outed by the White House during the Iraq War
The quote is taken from the movie:  “Fair Game
[I will leave it to future historians to settle the dispute of Ms. Plame’s status, the reason for Mr. Wilson’s trips to Africa and whether or not the Bush Administration publicly “outed” a government asset.   —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2017 Play Well With Others
2016 Surviving And Challenging
2015 On Destroying Historic / Archaeological Sites
2014 Magical Power
2013 How Awesome Would That Be
2012 Two Views
2011 Still Looking For Examples
2010 Giants Win Away 3 – 2!!

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There is a pattern here; in fact, pretty much the same story can be told about energy policy, environmental policy, health care policy, education policy, and so on.  In each case the officials making policy within the Bush administration have a history of highly radical views, which should suggest that the administration itself has radical goals.  But in each case the administration has reassured moderates by pretending otherwise —  by offering rationales for its policy that don’t seem all that radical.  And in each case moderates have followed a strategy of appeasement, trying to meet the administration halfway while downplaying both the radicalism of its policies and the trail of broken promises.  The young Kissinger had it right: people who have been accustomed to stability can’t bring themselves to believe what is happening when faced with a revolutionary power, and are therefore ineffective in opposing it.
I should admit at this point that I am not entirely sure why this is happening — why we are now faced with such a radical challenge to our political and social system.  Rich people did very well in the 1990s; why this hatred of anything that looks remotely like income redistribution?  Corporations have flourished; why this urge to strip away modest environmental regulation?  Churches of all denominations have prospered; why this attack on the separation of church and state?  American power and influence have never been greater; why this drive to destroy our alliances and embark on military adventures?  Nonetheless, it’s increasingly clear that the right wants to do all these things.
    —    Paul Krugman
From his book: “The Great Unraveling
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On This Day In:
2013 Embrace Serendipity
2012 Your Order, Please
2011 Well Enough Anyway

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Beyond that, the civilian leadership did not rally the country round the war; it insisted on both guns and butter, a short-term, short-sighted formulation that created awful psychological dilemmas, among both those who served and those who did not.  Among them was the inequality of sacrifice.  It was a bankrupt policy, fundamentally immoral and essentially divisive.
   —   Ward Just
From his book: “Military Men
[If you close your eyes, you can still picture President Bush standing in front of a sign saying “Mission Accomplished” or (shortly after 9-11) hearing him advise Americans to show the terrorists they can’t win by going out to the nearest mall and doing some shopping.
For the first time in American history the country went to war and refused to pay for it.  In fact, the Bush Administration carried the cost of the war (and other national security costs) “off books” so it would not be “considered” part of the national budget.  We have now been engaged in Afghanistan for over a decade and are only recently out of Iraq.  We have tens of thousands of unemployed and injured veterans, and, on television, we see private charities asking for funds to assist the injured vets and their families.
What we should be doing is raising the taxes on the “one-percent” to fully pay for the on-going war effort, the retraining of veterans who have chosen to return to civilian life, and for those injured vets and their families, full pay for their recovery and support.  No family should be out of pocket one-red-cent to be housed near a veteran recovering from a war-related injury.
But what do I know?  I’m just a liberal Democrat…
Actually, Mr. Ward’s book was written back in the early 1970’s and this quote is describing U.S. participation in the Vietnam War, not our recent conflicts in the middle-East and Asia.   —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2013 I Never Saw A Moor
2012 Fill In The Blank
Not For Naught
Cliff Notes To Life?
2011 Conference Games Sunday

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Memorial Day Graveyard at dawn

We thank you for your sacrifice…

Remarks by Secretary Eric K. Shinseki
A Memorial Day Message from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki
Washington, DC
May 30, 2011
Today, we pay homage to those who placed themselves on the Altar of Freedom for love of country.  Memorial Day is a time for remembrance, reflection, and respect — for honoring the men and women who gave their lives in service to the Nation.
On the last Monday of May each year, we observe moments of silence and moments of tribute to acknowledge the sacrifices by these brave few for principles greater than self. In answering their calls to duty — at Tarawa and Normandy, Seoul and Chosin, the Ia Drang and Khe Sanh, and at Baghdad and Mosul, the Shahe’ Kot, Korengal, and Marja, or any of a host of other crossroads of conflict — these American men and women stood their ground, held back the dark forces of oppression and destruction, and advanced our founding principles, ideals, beliefs, and values about the right of self-determination.  They cherished liberty and loved freedom enough to lay down their lives to preserve our way of life.
Many lie in final rest in our national cemeteries.  Whether at Gettysburg, one of our country’s first national cemeteries, or at Washington Crossing, our most recent dedication, each VA national cemetery is a sacred place of honor befitting the great deeds and sacrifices of the Fallen.
More than 3.7 million Americans — Veterans of every war and conflict, from our Revolution to the Global War on Terror — have been laid to rest in these hallowed shrines.  The quiet serenity, pristine nature, and strict adherence to time-honored Service traditions make our cemeteries the healing places where families and friends can remember and honor those who gave, in President Lincoln’s words, “the last full measure of devotion.”
This Memorial Day, a Nation at war prays for peace and the safe return of our sons and daughters, even as it exacts justice from those who trampled our most cherished principles.  Now, as then, in addition to our prayers for peace, we pray for the families of the Fallen.  And we pray for the Almighty’s continued blessings on this great and wonderful country of ours.
[The above photo and remarks have been taken from the Department of Veterans Affairs web site.   —   KMAB]
[The following is taken from the Wikipedia biography about General (now Secretary) Shinseki:
“General Shinseki publicly clashed with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during the planning of the war in Iraq over how many troops the U.S. would need to keep in Iraq for the postwar occupation of that country.  As Army Chief of Staff, General Shinseki testified to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that “something in the order of several hundred thousand soldiers” would probably be required for postwar Iraq.  This was an estimate far higher than the figure being proposed by Secretary Rumsfeld in his invasion plan, and it was rejected in strong language by both Rumsfeld and his Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, who was another chief planner of the invasion and occupation.  From then on, Shinseki’s influence on the Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly waned.  Critics of the Bush Administration alleged that Shinseki was forced into early retirement as Army Chief of staff because of his comments on troop levels, but the claim is disputed.
When the insurgency took hold in postwar Iraq, Shinseki’s comments and their public rejection by the civilian leadership were often cited by those who felt the Bush administration deployed too few troops to Iraq.  On November 15, 2006, in testimony before Congress, CENTCOM Commander Gen. John Abizaid said that General Shinseki had been correct that more troops were needed.”
I remember watching the evening’s news clips of General Shinseki’s Congressional testimony and thinking – “there sits the last honorable General on active duty”.  When he was later proven correct, I smiled to myself and wondered how many of our losses could have been avoided if the General’s testimony had been received by an equally honorable Congress.   —   KMAB]
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