Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Name:
Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Unaccountable

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Congress has allowed Bush to ordered the National Security Agency to secretly collect information on American citizens on a scale unmatched since the intelligence reforms of the 1978. Bush has become drunk with power and his Republican controlled Congress have been his enabler.

Arrogance: Bob Woodward's "Bush at War" quotes Bush as saying: "I'm the commander...I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

Theocracy: Bush said: "God told me to strike al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike Saddam..."

Unrestrained Power: In "Losing America", Sen. Robert Byrd reveals that prior to the Iraqi war resolution some senators were almost terrified at the prospect of being labeled "unpatriotic," if they voted against the resolution. He doubted that some members fully comprehended the magnitude of Bush's grab for power and that Congress was relinquishing its Constitutional authority and responsibility. Byrd's concern was that Bush was given a "blank check" for the unrestrained use of military power, when Congress surrendered its congressional prerogative to declare war. Byrd concluded; "Never in his view has America been led by such a dangerous head of state."

Dictatorship: Laurence Wilkerson, chief of staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell claims Cheney and Rumsfeld aides argued "that the president of the United States is all-powerful, that as commander-in-chief the president can do anything he damn well pleases".

Fascism: Sinclair Lewis predicted: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.”

Democracy: Michael Parenti's "Superpatriotism" points out: "We are told that during times of crisis we must trust the president. Democracy is not about trust; it's about distrust, accountability, public exposure and responsible government."

"Chesty" Puller

On 11/17/05, Rep. John Murtha said: "For two and a half years, I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited... Because we in Congress are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, it is our responsibility, our obligation, to speak out for them. That's why I am speaking out. Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home."

Trash talking bravado such as: "Real Americans won't wimp out"..."Bring it on"... "Cowards cut and run; Marines never do.", serves to get Americans killed unnecessarily.

During the Korean War, the Communist Chinese entered the war by swarming across the frozen Yalu River and Chosen Reservoir in northern Korea. Marines under the command of "Chesty" Puller were forced to withdraw and redeploy. "Chesty" Puller became a Marine Corps legend partly because he was a combat veteran that had earned five Navy Crosses, but also because of his open disdain for politicians.

A reporter asked him how he felt about the Marines retreating for the first time in history. He replied: "Hell were not retreating. Were just attacking in another direction." In fact, they were fighting their way south to a seaport to be evacuated. They brought their dead and wounded with them in temperatures that reached 30 degrees below zero.

Rep. John Murtha doesn't suggest that we cut and run. He advocates redeployment, because the lives of the grunts on the ground come first. Puller and Murtha recognize that "avoiding humiliation" is political hype.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Longstreet

At Gettysburg, Gen. James Longstreet tried in vain to convince Robert E. Lee that "Pickett's Charge" was the wrong strategy. Gen. Lee rejected his suggestion that the Confederate Army be redeployed between Gettysburg and Washington. A strategy, which would allow Lee to select the battlefield and prepare defensive positions on the high ground. Lee rejected Longstreets advice and "Pickett's Charge" became the turning point of the Civil War.

On 11/17/05, Rep. John Murtha sought to convince our Commander- in- Chief to redeploy the troops. West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd described Bush as "Hubris thy name is Bush", because we are dealing with the most arrogant Commander-in-Chief in the history of this country.

Murtha voted for the Iraqi war resolution, but the former Marine was choking back tears as he told reporters how he's been struggling with this issue. He said; the military has done its job and it's time to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis. He called for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops, which staggered over the next six months could be done safely. Murtha a decorated combat veteran of Korea and Vietnam, spent 37 years in the military and 30 year as a member of the House of Representatives.

In 1965, Under Secretary of State George Ball recommended the U.S. cut our losses in Vietnam. He had recognized the quagmire, but LBJ and Nixon claimed to be looking to bring our troops home with honor. Consequently, an additional fifty-five thousand Americans died. When does a steadfast leaders firm resolve become stubborn stupidity? How many more Americans will die in Iraq before a Republican Congress admits it is the President's honor which is the real issue?

If our troops are not withdrawn before Nov. 2006, they will continue to be sitting ducks until Bush is out of office.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Cut and Run?

Retired Marine Corps Colonel John Murtha is a Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania. Murtha spent 37 years in Marine Corps, earned the Bronze Star and two purple hearts. For the last thirty years he's been one of the most respected voices in Congress on military issues.

Recently, Murtha declared; "the war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It's a flawed policy wrapped in illusion... Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk... The American public is way ahead of the members of Congress. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq. But it's time for a change in direction...It is evident that continued military action is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region."

The newest member of Congress, Ohio Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt took the floor of the House and claimed she had received a phone call from a Marine colonel in Iraq, who asked her to send Congress a message -- stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message -- "that "cowards cut and run; Marines never do."

In 1983, Ronald Reagan pulled our troops out of Lebanon after a suicide bomber killed 241 Marines in their Marine barrack. Did Reagan cut and run?

Bush and his supporters in Congress have given us a false choice of cut and run or stay the course. Historian James Chase has pointed out that staying the course makes as much sense as a sailor having been blown off course, continuing to blunder aimlessly across the ocean.

John Murtha didn't suggest, that we cut and run. In fact, his plan was one of redeployment. He called for immediate redeployment of our troops consistent with their safety. He suggests the creation of a quick reaction force in the region, and an over-the-horizon presence of Marines. Murtha recommends that we diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Covert Agent

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson wrote an article in the "New York Times", which contradicted Bush's assertion in his 2003 State of The Union Address that Iraq was trying to obtain uranium from Niger. Wilson knew Bush's claim was false and that he had purposely deceived Congress and the American people to gain support for the invasion of Iraq. A day after Wilson shared his conclusions in the Times, the White House finally acknowledged Bush's assertion; "did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of The Union Address".

The President knowingly misled Congress in his State of the Union Address. Normally, this would be an impeachable offense, but with a Republican controlled Congress it will not happen and Democrates don't want it to happen. Meanwhile, the war grinds on without any end in sight.

Joseph Wilson was acting ambassador to Iraq, under the first President Bush, prior to the start of the Persian Gulf War. Under Clinton, he served our country as an ambassador in African countries. Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame Wilson served this nation for a total of 43 years. Valerie Plame Wilson worked overseas on assignments in areas related to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. She worked as a covert agent to recruit foreigners who knew murky deals involving WMDs.

After Joseph Wilson publicly shared his information about Bush's false claim in the State of the Union Address, Republican columnist Bob Novak revealed Valerie Plame Wilson's identity as a covert CIA agent. She had meticulously crafted her cover over a period of 18 years. Novak has acknowledged that he learned her identity from a top official in the White House. Revealing Mrs. Wilson's identity is viewed as political payback for her husband revealing the truth about Bush misleading Congress in his State of the Union Address. The threat of a nuclear weapon was the key component in gaining support for the invasion of Iraq. By revealing Mrs. Wilson's identity, the Bush regime served notice to all other conscientious citizens that there would be a price to be paid for contradicting this president.

Our enemies are now aware that the spouse of every ambassador is a potential CIA covert agent. Potential foreign agents have seen a CIA officer betrayed by officials in her own government.

Former senior member of the U.S. intelligence community, Michael Scheuer has decades of experience in national security issues. Concerning the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, he asserts: "To have someone exposed deliberately and, on top of that, for political reasons, I think, yes, it probably sends a chill throughout the clandestine service."

James Marcinkowski, former CIA Officer insists: "The issue here is, how are you going to tell agents that their identity is going to be protected when this government can't even protect the home team."