August 25, 2006

The Neo-cons Just Don't Get It

I've heard more than I've ever wanted to hear about "Terrorists", "Enemies", & "Victory". Recalling a few recent right-wing callers to Air America hosts who've parroted the RNC/neo-con talking points:
  • We live in a different world since 9/11
  • You can't appease terrorists
  • How are you liberals gonna keep me safe from our enemies?
This rhetoric is exactly the problem that we face in our world today. Not only has our conservative/imperialistic/religious/fascist government drilled into us hateful brainwashing (not unlike they do in the Islamic countries), but they have actually initiated, perpetuated and agitated much of the conflict with their rhetoric and actions. Clearly our military-industrial-complex (MIC) of a government has NO desire for peace in this world. After all, that would cut into profits! Can I hear a "Goooooo Capitalism?!?!?!?"

Bush and his minions have repeatedly said that we're going to "... win the War on Terror...", and that "... the United States of America will prevail...". And of course, we "...won't bring our troops home until the mission has succeeded...". However, they have never successfully defined what success really is. They've never successfully defined who our enemies really are. And, most importantly, they've never successfully defined WHY these people (whoever they are) are our enemies. Instead, they just refer to them as "our enemies" and "terrorists", and kept it vague enough to maintain the conflict. Permanent, perpetual war means profits for Dick and the MIC.

Take a step back

A fundamental technique in solving any problem is to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Ask the "WHY" questions. Analyze the situation and history to try to get at the root of the problem.

Terrorism is not our enemy

First of all, as mature, level-headed adults (and it's debatable that many of these right-wingnuts are level-headed at all, let alone mature), we need to acknowledge that 'terrorism' itself is not our enemy. Terrorism is a mechanism. It's an action. It's a tactic that induces fear. Terrorism itself is not our enemy. If it was, George W. Bush would be our #1 enemy. Certainly he has instilled more fear in the American people than any "Islamic Fascist".

So right up front, this "War on Terror" is nothing but a farce. It's an evil scheme to incite perpetual conflict, and hence fuel the MIC and the power-grabbing executive branch of government.

By the way, when we think about the various mechanisms the Bushites have employed to grab power (Patriot Act, NSA warrant-less wiretapping, torturing detainees, etc.) here's one of the best reasons to object (aside from that little matter of being unconstitutional)... If the Democrats ever win back the White House, would you want THEM to have that power? Oh, but I digress...

Here's the problem

No one (in a position of leadership, that is) has actually taken that step back and adequately answered the question - "Why are they our enemies?" Of course the answer to that question is very long & complex, but I believe that these people are our enemies because we've made them our enemies. Not only have we labeled them as such, thereby perpetuating the self-fulfilling prophecy, but we've bullied the Arab/Islamic/Muslim people so much that they have no choice but to distrust us and ultimately hate us:

  • We've repeatedly bullied them into customs which go directly against their culture, religion, & governance
  • We've bullied them into hosting our military bases (don't forget the neo-con's imperialistic PNAC agenda)
  • We've slaughtered hundreds of thousands of their brethren
  • We've occupied their land
  • We've tortured their friends & relatives
  • We've disbanded their military (basically laid them off and created unprecedented unemployment)
  • We've stolen their reconstruction contracts
  • We've used the United Nations to impose sanctions on them for doing things that we routinely do
  • We've repeatedly left them high-and-dry (Did I heard the heroin industry in Afghanistan is now 90% of their GDP? Geez, didn't we invade, er 'liberate' that country too and oust the Taliban?)
  • And to top it off, we egged Israel into battling them in Lebanon (this was basically a test of military power for when we're ready to take on Iran)
This list is certainly not complete. I'm sure with a little more thought and discussion it could go on and on.

Right about now the basic right-wingnut is calling me an unpatriotic, terrorist-sympathizer. I suppose that's their prerogative since we live in a land where the freedom of speech is so highly valued. In the US, people are entitled to their opinions, no matter how whacked-out they are.

So, here's my point

Short & simple. If we had not done all those things, and simply treated these countries & people like partners or neighbors instead of adversaries & conquests, would we be in the mess we're in today?

Neo-con, right-wingnut response: "What mess?"

And that's the problem.

August 14, 2006

It's Time To Start Thinking About Elections

My Fellow Americans,

I'm not trying to sound like the president, but I am trying to send a message to the American people. Even though the next major election isn't until November 7th, it's time for us to start preparing for this most critical of events.

At least 3 elections over the past 6 years have taught us one very crucial lesson - that the neo-conservative hacks in Washington (and beyond) are well capable of stealing elections through a multitude of devious methods and schemes. The specifics of those schemes and dirty tricks are way beyond the scope of this message, but they are well documented in a variety of publications. The point is that we must prepare for a fight of fights to take our country back from the war-mongering, self-serving, military-industrial-complex known as the Bush Administration.

Verify your voter registration

The first thing that every American should do, upon reading this message, is to contact your local voter registration authorities (city hall, perhaps) and verify your voter registration information. I know this may sound stupid, particularly if you've voted in the past, but believe me it's a necessary step.

One of the dirtiest of dirty tricks the Republicans used in the 2004 election was to phantomly accept registrations in their voter registration drives, and discard registrations which were for the Democratic Party. This caused a countless number of voters to go the polls only to discover that they weren't really registered. Even if they were lucky enough to be provided provisional ballots, their votes would not be accepted.

The point is that every American who registered in the last 6 years should verify that they are truly registered properly. Don't wait until November 7th to vote, only to find out that your registration was never recorded.

Take an active role in the election

Black Box voting has published a 'tool kit' for Americans to step up in our democratic process and help ensure a fair election. You can download the pdf here:

This document will give you a variety of ideas, suggestions, and guidelines for taking part in our democracy. This is not a specifically Democrat vs. Republican divisive thing. This is for ALL Americans. It should be a concern to every citizen of the United States that our elections are fair and honest. Let's face it - over the last 3 elections, it has been anything but fair and honest as many of us believe that Bush & the Neo-cons stole the presidency in BOTH 2000 and 2004.

Ladies & gentlemen, we must take an active role in the 2006 election. We must do everything we can do ensure the election is fair & honest. And we must spread the message, to as large an audience as possible, that status quo in Washington is NOT acceptable. "Stay the course" is not a strategy - it's empty Republican rhetoric born out of failed policies. It's time for a change. A change in leadership. A change in direction. And a change in how the United States of America behaves in this world.

Thank you,

Scott Shuster
American Citizen

August 09, 2006

Why Lieberman Lost

Several weeks ago I wrote an article that explained why Joe Lieberman just doesn't get it. In it I explained how Joe Lieberman was essentially going against the Democratic party & values:

So why (pray tell), would any Democrat, especially one who was altogether screwed over by the lying, scheming, dirty, sleazy, scummy actions of the Bush crime family, be not only supportive of the unjustified war which we all know Bush rushed into with fabricated intelligence, but also supportive of Bush himself?

Not a one-issue referendum

Some out there would like to make you think that this election was all about the war... er... conflict in Iraq. Clearly that was a major factor as Joe Lieberman had been adamantly supportive of Bush's unpopular (not "war" but) conquest-of-a-sovereign-nation that most Americans believe was unjustified. However, I believe it was much more than just the conflict in Iraq that swung a majority of Democrats in Connecticut against their own incumbent Democratic Senator.

Over the last few years Joe Lieberman had not only supported the Iraq conflict, but he supported George W. Bush and the neo-con agenda. He even sounded like a right-winger on many occasions when his rhetoric resembled Republican talking points. Just this past week, as Joe was fighting for his political life, he appeared on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes show hoping that Sean Hannity would boost his approval rating. And once again, I have to say, Joe - you just don't get it. If the kiss of death from Dubya wasn't bad enough, what made you think that a Sean Hannity endorsement would endear you to Democrats?

Has the Democratic party been hijacked by the radical left wing?

This is the spin that the Republicans will be putting on this particular election race - that the Democratic party has been hijacked by the Michael Moore-loving, liberal, McGovernite radicals who hate America. And unfortunately, some ignorant Rush Limbaugh/Bill O'Reilly listeners might actually believe that and leave it at that.

I wish that were the case. If only the Democratic party could be taken over and lead by progressives who have a more peaceful & cooperative vision of America & the world. If only the Democratic party could be directed by sane & sound judgment instead of trying to appear moderate for the sake of appeasing conservatives. If only the Democratic party could be influenced by realists who will admit that Dubya/Darth/Rummy's experiment in Iraq is a mistake, and bring our troops home.

The truth is that this election is a referendum against the neo-con agenda. I hope the other incumbents in Washington take note. Don't tell me I'm unpatriotic and hate America when I speak out against my government. Don't tell me in a time of war I have to rally behind my president when I believe (along with the vast majority of the country) that he's making the absolute wrong decisions and leading us in the absolute wrong direction. And don't tell me to live in fear and that the neo-cons are keeping me safe, while I can plainly see violence & conflict escalating all over the world.

Neo-cons take note. It's time YOU live in fear!