November 20, 2006

A Taste of Right-Wing Hate Mail

After one of my previous articles - "More Lies: Bush Finally Comes Clean On Secret CIA Prisons" - I received some very interesting hate mail from a few readers who felt they needed to give me a piece of their minds. While almost all of the feedback I've received over the years has been from fellow progressives encouraging me to continue to voice their same ideas and concerns, for some reason this article in particular seemed to trigger a variety of right-wingnut backlash. In the spirit of Al Franken's "Hate Mail" segment on Air America, I thought it would be interesting to share this feedback with my readers, and even respond to their criticism...


Nice reporting, sport. I guess you don't do any writing for Fox News, huh?

Can you offer any valid reasons WHY the general public would have benefited from knowing about "secret" prisons? There IS something to be said for what you don't know, won't hurt you.

Maybe you should try a new writing style; one with a little tact and grace, you might get through to more intelligent people. As it is, the only idiots who believe what you have to say are the blind sheep who remain loyal to the losing party, just because they know no better.

My response:

You're right about one thing - I don't do any writing for Fox News. FNC is clearly recognized as a right-wing, conservative, Bush Administration lapdog. Their motto of "Fair & Balanced" is the biggest joke/lie in the mainstream media, as they produce a format with Bill O'Reilly & Sean Hannity slinging garbage which is rarely accurate, uniformly conservative, and almost always pro-Bush.

My issue with the secret prisons is not the fact that he kept them secret, as you seem to suggest. I'm not okay with these prisons now that they're no longer secret. The fact of the matter is that the United States has been torturing prisoners, and proudly continues to do so. I'm not okay with torturing prisoners. I don't believe that the information gleaned from tortured prisoners is necessarily accurate (one of the false justifications for the war in Iraq came from a tortured prisoner who gave them what they wanted to hear just to stop the torture), and I believe that our mistreatment of prisoners puts our own soldiers at greater risk.

As for my writing style being untactful and ungraceful - Thank You! This is exactly what I hope to hear from right-wing sheeple like yourself. Tact is for negotiators, and gracefulness is for figure-skaters. I tell it like I see it, and I pull no punches. If it hurts - too bad. Get over it.

You may not choose to believe this, but you have the intelligent people and the idiots mixed up. The intelligent people know that Sadaam Hussein and Iraq did NOT have weapons of mass destruction, and had NO connection to al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and the attacks on 9/11 (perhaps you'd like to download the Senate Intelligence Committee report - 7mb pdf). It's idiots like yourself (the minority, btw) who watch Fox News and still think Sadaam Hussein was the one who attacked us on 9/11 and that the war in Iraq is justified.

#2 (copied-and-pasted unedited):
Who gives a shit if we torure a few terrorists. I dont think any real person in this country objects and for those that do, they need to be deported to Afghanistan. Stop hammering Bush and go on your merry faggot ways and get some other folks killed by the terrorists. Personally as a Verteran I find your writings disgusting, uneducated and you are obviously morally confused. Just my opinion of course. I am a network engineer with two masters degrees and have seen much of the world. Apparently you didnt pick up the body parts of a loved one on Sep 11th. And if ou did and still have the veiws you do , Check yourself in to the nearest State hospital.
My Response:

I think one of the biggest differences between you and me is that I DO give a shit. (btw.. for a guy with two masters degrees, I'm surprised you never learned how to use a spellchecker.)

How can we be sure that the people renditioned to secret 'black site' prisons, for extraordinary torture, are all terrorists? Isn't this type of brutality the same reason we labeled Sadaam a vicious dictator? You assume & accept that the Bush Administration is telling the truth, and you trust them. I, on the other hand, have watched the Bush Administration very closely over the last 6 years, and have seen them lie to us repeatedly and consistently. I don't trust them... at all. That's why I'm a big fan of oversight, transparency, and checks-&-balances in our government. These are the things that the Bush Administration has mutilated. These are the unspoken casualties of war.

But there's a lot more to it than that. I care very deeply about how people are treated. I care very strongly about our Constitution and how our country was built on a foundation of rights, protections, and tolerance for diversity. And, I care unequivocally about the truth, and that the people who we elect to positions of responsibility, tell us the truth with unmitigated honesty. The Bush Administration has rarely been honest with the American people, as evidenced by the 6-year disparity between what they've said and what they've done, not to mention the multitude of documentation & evidence that has surfaced over the years debunking their claims.
Since you're a veteran, I certainly owe you a debt of gratitude. I have the utmost respect and thankfulness for our men & women in uniform who have given of themselves and put themselves at risk to protect us. Granted, I have criticized the rare occurrence of soldiers who have abused their authority (i.e. the atrocities of Haditha & Ishtaqi). However, I have also been extremely supportive of our troops while criticizing the Bush Administration and the mission.

I think it's deplorable that your fellow soldiers were sent into harm's way under fraudulent circumstances and without proper protections. I think it's deplorable that so many of your fellow soldiers have been killed and/or maimed in an effort to fuel the military-industrial-complex's greed. And, I think it's deplorable that your fellow soldiers have returned only to find that their benefits have been cut.


You are such a know it all. Why don't you join the muslim fascists and kiss up to those you love?

My Response:

I am not a Muslim, and I'm certainly no fan of fascism. In fact, I believe that the Bush Administration has brought our country perilously close to a fascist state. Yet, they've managed to label "our enemies" as "Islamic Fascists", in their patently hypocritical and paradoxical 'doublespeak'. Before you start throwing around the word 'fascist', I suggest you do a little research. I have.

As for kissing up to those I love, I hope my wife appreciates all the kissing up I can muster.

November 16, 2006

Put Impeachment Back On The Table

As much as I've despised the Bush neo-conservative cabal in the White House over the past six years, I was truly taking the 'wait-and-see' approach in terms of President Bush's behavior in the post-11/7 world. I was right there with Speaker-Elect Pelosi that the new Democratic-controlled Congress should progress forward with initiatives that will help the American people, rather than bog Congress down with non-stop impeachment hearings that might make the Democrats look vindictive and possibly even risk the chances of capturing the White House in '08.

Even in my last article I was advocating a cautious approach. I was willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt - a chance to re-align himself to the mandate of the American people. I was willing to wait and see what he did when the Democrats put legislation in front of him to sign that he's habitually opposed, such as raising the minimum wage or federal spending on embryonic stem-cell research. Would he finally sharpen his veto pencil, or concede to the will of the American people?

One last big push

In the last 9 days since the election, President Bush's behavior has made it such that I must advocate for Impeachment as soon as possible. This "Special Iraq Report" from the UK's Guardian is clearly the straw that broke my camel's back (for the umpteenth time). The American people have clearly spoken that we are not in favor continuing to fuel this disgrace in Iraq, yet President Bush is now preparing to send in up to 20,000 more troops for "one last big push". The last time President Bush increased troop strength in Iraq the level of violence and the body counts all rose. Duh!!! All he did was give them more targets!

If George W. Bush had any common sense (which we know he doesn't) he would listen to all of the experts telling him that the solution to this crisis is political, not military. The solution to this crisis is to resolve the problems, not wait it out until you can declare victory, all the while laying down a blanket of divisiveness with rhetoric of "evil", "enemies", and "winning". Clearly, George W. Bush is not the man to resolve this problem. His arrogance will not allow him to change his strategy because, in his mind, that would be defeat.

No more Mr. Nice Guy for me. I say impeach this bastard (and his evil Veep) so that this world can move on! We cannot wait another 2 years.

November 13, 2006

"It was a thumpin' "

President Bush's attitude at his news conference the day after a disastrous election for the Republican party was conciliatory. After six looooong years of Republican (lack of) leadership in Congress under this presidency, the people of the United States have decided to replace the rubber-stamp, echo chamber that Congress has been, with a real Congress which reflects the nation's true opinion. Here are a couple more gems from that news conference. See if you pick up on a theme...

I told my party's leaders that it is now our duty to put the elections behind us and work together with the Democrats and independents on the great issues facing this country.
I told Congresswoman Pelosi that I look forward to working with her and her colleagues to find common ground in the next two years.
I believe that the leaders of both political parties must try to work through our differences. And I believe we will be able to work through differences. I reassured the House and Senate leaders that I intend to work with the new Congress in a bipartisan way to address issues confronting this country.
What's changed today is the election is over, and the Democrats won. And now we're going to work together for two years to accomplish big objectives for the country.

Did you pick up on the theme? After six years in office, all of the sudden, NOOOOOOOW, the President is ready to "work together" with the Democrats in Congress. When the Democrats were in the minority, Bush couldn't care less what they thought. He basically likened them to terrorists and terrorist appeasers. The Democrats were the gum that stuck to his shoe. But NOOOOOOOW that the Democrats have a majority, he'll work with them.

Clearly George W. Bush doesn't do anything outside of his own self-interest, or the self-interest of his neo-con cabal, until he's forced to do so. And I can't thank the American people enough for restoring true oversight (checks-and-balances) back into our federal government.

A new era of oversight

I can't express enough the importance of oversight. I've written reams and volumes about this rubber-stamp Congress and Bush's unchecked power, but please indulge me in one last metaphor. Some children might recognize the saying: "You cut and I'll choose". When one last piece of pie had to be shared between two children, and there was no adult around to make sure the slice was even, that's how we handled it - "You cut, and I'll choose". This was a sure-fire way to make sure the one who sliced the pie, did so evenly. Fairly. Justly.

Perhaps the next person Bush nominates for the Supreme Court won't be a right-wing extremist. Perhaps he'll think twice about taking us into ANOTHER unjustified war (Iran or North Korea). And perhaps the decisions the Bush Administration makes over the next two years will be peppered with whether or not those decisions will prevail over the Democrat-controlled Congress. I know some things we WON'T be hearing in the next two years - "... an up-or-down vote!" and "... the Nuclear Option...".

A referendum against conservative politics

The media and the pundits are all analyzing what this election has meant to our country, our politics, and our mainstream values. Clearly this election was a referendum against the 'stay-the-course' strategy in Iraq, but I think there's a lot more behind the voting results. I believe this election proves that our values, beliefs, and opinions are more progressive & moderate than conservative. I believe this election proves that the Republican party has shifted too far to the 'right'. I believe this election proves that the Bush Administration's policies and all their happy talk are not cutting it for middle class. And I believe that the people in this country are fed up with the corruption in our government. This election has been a cleansing exercise. The lawmakers associated with Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay, and the culture of corruption are not invited back to the table.

Hurry up and get it done

As a sign of how much disdain George W. Bush has for the new Democratic majority, take note on his actions in the immediate aftermath of the election. Notice how he said that the next few weeks are going to be very busy. Notice how he's trying to steamroll through the initiatives he knows won't pass in the next Congress such as making his tax cuts permanent. Notice how he ALREADY steamrolled through the Torture Bill... er... The Military Commissions Act. Notice how he's trying to re-nominate John Bolton AGAIN for Ambassador to the United Nations. This is a sign of someone who clearly is not poised to 'work with' the Democrats.

The I-word

The blogoshpere is now abuzz with talk about impeachment. Even though Nancy Pelosi profoundly took impeachment "off the table", there're already discussions about investigations, hearings, and subpoenas. Believe me, no one would like to see George W. Bush booted out of office more than me. However, I wouldn't want to have Bush impeached only to be left with President Cheney. Talk about jumping from the frying pan to the fire!

The Democratic leadership is astutely proceeding in a very careful way so as to ensure the appearance that they're trying to progress. They're trying to move forward. They're trying to do their jobs, work for the benefit of the American people, and not be perceived as vindictive. They're not trying to settle a score with the man (the team) who's (mis)lead our country into an unjustified war and literally bankrupted our treasury. I commend the Democratic leadership team for their insight, their foresight, their poise and their patience.

Now that the Democrats have the majority in both houses of Congress, chair the committees, and control the legislative agenda, we'll see how President Bush reacts to the initiatives that are put in front of him to sign. I have every confidence that the Democratic-controlled Congress will be putting forth legislation to the betterment of the American people, such as raising the minimum wage, implementing the 9/11 commission recommendations, lowering the interest rates on student loans, actually funding the 'No Child Left Behind' mandates, and allowing the government to negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies for pricing for Medicare.

If Mr. Bush now becomes the obstructionist, then I say we move forward with the Impeachment process, for both him and Vice-President Cheney. Let's see how much he's REALLY willing to 'work with' the Democratic majority. He talks a good game, but he's lied about everything else, so I have no confidence in his sincerity. Let's see if he's REALLY willing to start the troop re-deployment process from Iraq. Let's see if he's REALLY willing to submit to oversight and scrutiny. Let's see if he's REALLY willing to get warrants before wiretapping American's telephones. Let's see if he's REALLY willing to sign bills withOUT signing statements.

These next two years are gonna be fun!

November 08, 2006

And The People Have Spoken...

First of all let me take the opportunity to thank everyone in the country who answered my last plea for a change in direction for the United States of America. I'm sure it was my groveling that put the Democrats over the top in Congress, so I'll take full credit for that.

Oh, who am I kidding... I had nothing to do with it. But, at least I can feel like I've spoken in the majority. The people in this country want a change in ideology, direction, and eventually leadership in the executive branch as well. The people in this country want accountability in our elected officials and real answers to the difficult questions that the Republican Congress refused to ask over the last six years. The people in this country want true checks-and-balances and Congressional oversight in our government. The people in this country are truly concerned about our economy, our environment, our veterans, our elderly, and our children. The people in this country have seen the gap between the wealthy and the middle class widen. The people in this country have paid through the nose in gasoline prices at the pump, while seeing the oil companies announce record (mind-boggling) profits. The people in this country have seen our sons & daughters getting slaughtered in Iraq for a cause that is not just. The people in this country have spoken, and we've sent a very clear message to the Bush Administration - "NO MORE!".

It's Time To Call For Election Reform

I started out on election day very, very nervous. I had heard about some of the problems leading up to election day, and then I read Greg Palast's column of "How They Stole the Mid-term Election" describing in detail about the voter fraud, voter intimidation, and the like. Keep in mind - this article was published at the beginning of election day. I thought "Great, there goes ANOTHER stolen election for the Republicans". But... I spent the whole day in denial praying that the Democratic turnout would overcome the Republican vote suppression. And that's exactly what happened.

At this juncture, even though the Democrats successfully overcame the Rovian tactics and election fraud, I'm still calling for election reform. I think it would be hypocritical to "cut-and-run" from this issue which is so important to our democracy. Sure - Democrats out-voted the Republicans PLUS their dirty election trickery this time, but that doesn't excuse the dirty election trickery. So, here's my proposal for election reform:
  • NO election official should have a partisan affiliation. Some of my most satisfying moments in Tuesday night's election were seeing BOTH Kenneth Blackwell AND Katherine Harris go down in embarrassing defeat. There's a clear message here - that the people of this country want a fair electoral process, and even the appearance or perception of partisanship by an election official is unacceptable.
  • Same-day registration should be a Federal law. This is a carry-over from the last three elections where a multitude of evidence suggests (albeit 'proves') that there was a massive effort to suppress votes by deliberately mishandling the registrations. If the voter can prove citizenship & residence, they should be able to register and vote all in one fell swoop.
  • Election day should be a federal holiday. Along with that, let's take it a few steps further. I would advocate for more standardization in election mechanisms and infrastructure. For example, the allocation of voting machines based on the quantity of registered voters should be uniform to prevent long lines in less-affluent districts, etc.
  • There should be NO tolerance for dirty election trickery. The examples that come to mind are the massive reports of robo-calling to annoy voters, phone bank jamming, and the distribution of messages that the election was on a different day or different location, or that the voter would be arrested at the polls because they were supposedly registered in a different state, or that they didn't have to vote because they voted in the primaries. Will the people responsible for these slimy election tactics ever be brought to justice? Yeah, right.
  • ALL voting machines MUST be verifiable. NO voting machine should exist that records the vote and doesn't provide a paper receipt. All paper receipts should be retained as an audit trail to verify that machine's votes, should the totals be vastly different from the exit poll results in a close race.
  • REAL Campaign Finance Reform. The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act didn't even scratch the surface of how corrupt this system was and still is. Elections need to be publicly financed in order to ensure fairness and remove obligations between lawmakers and special interests.

My hope

My point is that we should not turn our backs on election reform now that we happen to win one election. The problem exists and will continue to exist in 2008 if we don't do something about it. My hope is that the Democrats in control don't fall into that majority party pitfall of corruption, fixing elections, and dirty tactics. My hope is that the Democrats in control will work to unite our country to progress forward for the betterment of all, instead of constantly dividing us against each other. My hope is that the Democrats in control will reach out to our international allies with an outstretched arm of cooperation and partnership, instead of a folded arms posture of arrogance and imperialism. My hope is that the Democrats in control will reign in the unbridled war-profiteering and privatization of our military.

I'm absolutely giddy with excitement after last night's election results. But the fight is not over. It's just gone into high gear.

November 06, 2006

One Last Plea For Change

On the eve of this mid-term election, I’m getting on my knees and begging all my readers (and then some) to go to the polls tomorrow and vote to change the direction of this country. Yes, that’s what it ultimately comes down to – either your support the direction and policies of the Bush Administration, or you don’t. If you don’t, you MUST cast your vote for the Democrat on your ballot.

Just in case you’re ambivalent about the direction the Bush Administration has taken our country, let’s have with a short review, shall we...


Clearly, this is one of the Bush Administrations biggest failures, in every sense of the word. From the very beginning, well before the initial attack in March of 2003, right up until present day, this venture/project/conquest/invasion/debacle/quagmire has been screwed up in every way imaginable. Volumes have been written on just this subject alone, so I won’t even attempt to speak from authority or experience. However, those who do have the knowledge and experience have clearly spoken their minds with clarity and consistency.

Worse than the way the post-invasion was handled, in my opinion, was the justification for going to war in the first place. The Bush minions sold us on the danger of Sadaam Hussein & his infamous Weapons of Mass Destruction, and scared us into believing that “… the smoking gun [might be a] mushroom cloud…”. The operative question in this is whether the Bush Administration was provided faulty intelligence or they fabricated the faulty intelligence. Those of us who’ve been paying attention know that the myriad of evidence turned up since the post-invasion period, have pointed to the very real fact, that the Bush Administration deliberately fabricated the intelligence to draw us into this disaster of disasters.

Hurricane Katrina

What started out as a natural disaster turned into a very unnatural catastrophe as Bush and his government’s response to this disaster was utterly catastrophic. In the process much was learned by the ignorant among us. Those of us paying attention over the last 6 years have been keen to the loyalty-based, conflict-of-interest, under-qualified appoints Bush made to positions of responsibility in his administration (though Brownie did a heckuva job). We’ve been keen to Bush's disdain for the middle class and working class Americans in this country. We’ve been keen to Bush's leadership style of do-nothing, ignore, deny and avert accepting responsibility. And, we’ve been keen to George W. Bush’s hypocrisy, lying, arrogance, and lack of sound judgment. Bush’s reaction to this difficult period in American history was a classic revelation of his character. But like I said – those of us who HAVE been paying attention were not surprised.

The United States Constitution & Bill of Rights

This was the last straw for me. It was bad enough that Bush was deregulating every industry and letting big business write its own legislation. It was bad enough that Bush pulled the US out of every significant treaty and pissed off so many international leaders so as to single-handedly escalate the nuclear arms race. It was bad enough that Bush gave outrageous tax breaks to rich people and unruly corporations so as to balloon the deficit and national debt and literally bankrupt our treasury. But, when he started f**king with the Constitution and knowingly breaking the law, I just lost it.

Between the torturing of detainees, the warrant-less wiretapping of phone calls & electronic communication, the decimation of Habeas Corpus, the No-fly list, the USA Patriot Act, and the theft of both the 2000 & 2004 elections, we truly live in fear in this country. However, the ones we fear are not the terrorists. It’s not Osama or al Qaeda. No. We fear our own government. We fear for our children’s future in a country which will be forever re-paying for the greed of this administration. We fear about paying for our children’s education, filling our gas tanks, trying to make ends meet, and honoring our obligations. We fear about breathing clean air, climate change, and the future of our planet. We fear about our jobs, our careers, and staying gainfully employed in the wake of the devastating recession of 2001/2. We fear about traveling abroad knowing that so many people in so many countries despise us. We fear that our sons & daughters in the military may not come home to us because our government carelessly put them into harm’s way out of greed & arrogance, and without sufficient equipment, training, preparation, planning, & justification.

The United States Constitution is THE most important thing in our country. It’s more important then any of the people or artifacts. It’s more important then any of the buildings or monuments. It’s more important then any of the religious icons. Simply put, the Constitution is absolutely paramount because it defines our way of life. It’s what our ancestors and predecessors have been fighting and dying for for hundreds of years. It’s the reason that we SHOULDN’T live in fear, because it provides us rights & protections from our government.

I certainly don’t mean to belittle the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Without a doubt the loss of nearly 3000 people and the subsequent damage to the property and health of those involved in the aftermath is not to be taken lightly. Furthermore, it is certainly important that we as a country act on this vicious attack and punish those responsible. And, it’s important that we protect ourselves from future & further attacks by those who would want to harm us.

However, none of that is as important as our Constitution. No action should be taken (or should have been taken), in the wake or aftermath of September 11, 2001, to undermine or roll back any rights or protections afforded to our citizens by the Constitution of the United States. Too many people have died for it, and we’ve worked too hard to evolve it to where it is now, or at least where it was before the Bush regime declared war on it.

In conclusion

As my mother-in-law always used to say - "So there you have it". There you have your choice. Either we stay the course, not just in Iraq, but in the way this country has been run (into the gutter), OR we send the message that we want a different direction for our country. Either we're happy with the decisions this decider has been making, OR we put checks-&-balances back into the Federal government. Either we continue to give Bush and his cabal of neo-conservative extremists a blank check to rape our country (and several others), or we pull in the reigns of oversight.

November 01, 2006

Binary Thinking – Another Reason To Oust The Republican Majority

As I was listening to The Young Turks interview with Ari Melber of 'The Nation' Tuesday morning, there was one phrase that really jumped out at me. He referred to Bush's "binary thinking" as one of the major reasons why his own base has abandoned him.

At the same time I was recalling Monday night's episode of "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart - not the scripted content, but the finale of clips as the show ended just before transitioning to "The Colbert Report". There were 3 very brief clips from Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Bill O'Reilly, and Lynne Cheney, all parroting the exact same Republican talking point:
"Don't you want to win the war on terror?"

And then I thought back to the myriad of President Bush's speeches over the last five years talking about winning and losing the "War on Terror".

This ideological method of 'binary thinking' is precisely what's wrong with the neo-conservatives in Washington today. These asinine hacks think of our national defense in terms of winning and losing, and have NO idea how to behave in the global arena. Why does everything have to be so black-&-white? "You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists!" Bush declared days after September 11, 2001.

Of course... I'm not 'with' the terrorists, but I'm certainly not 'with' George W. Bush either. He manipulated/fabricated intelligence and maliciously lied our country into an unprovoked, pre-emptive war against a small defenseless nation. In the 3 1/2 years following that war, as he's occupied that nation, he's botched every facet of the project to make his military-industrial-complex friends rich, and the United States of America bankrupt. In the process he's made us much less safe, and "our enemies" much more emboldened. He has destroyed our international reputation, and our constitutional rights. And that's just for starters.

The world is not all black-&-white, Mr. Bush. A true leader must look at problems with vision, selflessness, and long-term outlook. A true leader must approach issues with insight and openness. A true leader must listen to arguments on all sides and make decisions that actually resolve the problems. A true leader communicates in such a way that factions aren't offended, embarrassed, angered, ashamed, scorned, or betrayed. A true leader resolves conflicts so that all sides feel like winners. A true leader has integrity. You Mr. Bush, are the farthest thing from a true leader.

It's a tool

The neo-con catch-phrase of "winning the war on terror" is simply a tool. It's nothing but propaganda. It's a tool used for baiting Democrats into agreeing with it so they don't come off as soft on national security. (How else would perfectly good Democrats vote against our own constitution and kill Habeas Corpus.) It's a tool used for keeping the people in our country living in fear in order to fuel the military-industrial-complex. It's a tool used for instituting new laws which go directly against our constitutional mandates and make the executive branch all powerful. It's a tool used for giving George W. Bush and his neo-con cabal a blank check to decimate our environment and alienate our allies.

Shades of Gray

This is the reason we can no longer allow George W. Bush to have a rubber-stamp Congress. It's much too dangerous, and downright psychopathic, to think of the world in black-&-white terms. This is the reason we're still occupying Iraq and we'll continue to occupy Iraq for the foreseeable future – because George W. Bush can't exit Iraq without 'winning'. He has hung his presidency and his legacy on it. The problem is - there's no way to 'win' an occupation. Yet, George W. Bush arrogantly thinks of our occupation of Iraq as a matter of winning or losing. Occupations are not that kind of game. You can't just run out the clock and declare victory because we have more points. No country likes to be occupied by another, and the Iraqi people will fight 'till their last dying breath to defend their country, just as we would (just as we DID in the 1770's). The sooner our leaders in Washington realize this, the sooner we can bring our troops home and give Iraq back to the Iraqis.

Peace is not about winning and losing. Peace is not a 'black-&-white' issue. It's all shades of gray. Peace is about diplomacy, leadership, partnership, trust, and alliances. This world is no place for binary thinkers.