September 20, 2006

Follow the leader right into the ditch

George W. Bush doesn't much care for democracy. He doesn't care much what anyone thinks, not his constituents, and certainly not the rest of the world.

And not only does he not defend America's core moral values, standards, and civil rights, but he has actively and consistently used the "war on terror" as an excuse to lower them or destroy them altogether.

One of the series of almost embarassing things that Bush the Lesser has attempted lately, is to go on a podium pounding crusade to argue that he should be able to pervert the Geneva Convention protocols for the treatment of prisoners of war by making up his own definition of what constitutes torture and inhuman treatment.

Bush, in his semi-coherant style, is attempting to argue that the Geneva Accords need "clarification", and right this minute. Even though they've been respected and followed by the U.S. and other "civilized" countries in dozens of wars over the span of over 50 years.

Bush's motivation in this weird quest is to try to shield U.S. agents, and perhaps even members of his administration and himself, from possibly being prosecuted for war crimes.

What Bush is arguing for is akin to you or I committing a murder and then arguing that the law should be changed retroactively so that murder was not a crime back when we did the killing.

He wants to play weasely legal games, aided by the oily Alberto Gonzales, with this long established cornerstone to civilized conflict in order to justify and make legal all the blatantly illegal measures that he's approved of and ordered since 9-11.

No wonder he seems almost panicky and more unhinged than usual when he argues for this. He thinks this might prove a personal embarassment down the road and his legacy might be in danger.

Bush's political survival has always been the guiding principle behind all his decisions, always rising above the good of the country or even the deaths and torture of thousands, including innocent women and children.

The danger that Bush is ignoring is the fact that if he's successful in this effort, future generations of captured U.S. service men and women will be far more likely to be subjected to inhuman treatment and torture.

But true to form, King George can't see past his own nose.

Bush and his regime think that they are literally kings of the world, that everything that has occured prior to Bush is irrelevant. They have such utter disdain and disrespect for history and precedent it's as if they truly think that history began on the day Bush was elected.

They think they're always right, demand to get their way no matter what, consider anyone who so much as questions them as the enemy and throw tantrums if they don't get their way. They act as though there's no one else on earth, and are incapable of seeing beyond their own egos and selfish desires.

This is all too familiar, as it's the kind of behavior we've all seen and endured from 2 year olds.

But now the entire world is suffering for this shallow and incurious dunce's malfeasance and the ideological blindness and utter incompetence of those around him.

Generations of painstakingly crafted argeements, treaties, and protocols are tossed in the trash without a thought if they prove inconvenient to their interest and desire for conquest and power.

Now Bush is insisting that the portion of the Geneva Accords dealing with detention of prisoners who don't fit into the catagory of uniformed soldiers and the use of torture "needs clarification".

This is Bushspeak for saying that he wants Gonzales to come up with some B.S. legal opinion crafted specifically to say that the illegal detention, torture and secretly shipping prisoners to foreign countries to avoid responsibility for torture that they've been doing for years is fine under the terms of the Geneva Convention.

In essence they're demanding that that pesky law against murder be re-written so that the exact type of murder they committed is rationalized away as legal. Retroactively, of course.

But more importantly, and why he seems panicky and extra urgent about it, is that he wants this done before the Republicans lose the house.

In order to keep CIA and others, including his administration, from being tried for war crimes, Bush would rather cover his own ass than protect future generations of U.S. service men and women who will be captured by the enemy.

It doesn't take a really bright person to figure out that if we start to decide what rules of the Geneva Convention we want to follow by disingenously making some twisted legal argument that certain torture proceedures are allowed by the treaty, that it opens the door wide to any country who captures our service men or women to do the same thing.

North Vietnam did this by classifying it's prisoners like John McCain as "war criminals" rather than prisoners of war, and therefore arguing that they didn't have to comply with the Geneva Convention.

Bush is now pounding the lecture and demanding that we should be allowed to do the same thing. Actually, he HAS been doing it ever since 9-11, but now wants to, long after the fact, twist things around to state that it complies with the Geneva Accords.

As I've noted in the past, the only hope for stopping or standing up to the radicals in the White House was if Republicans did it. This is a sad situation, but true. The media plays the Dems as if they're some side show and use them as props, never giving their views or policies any serious attention. The Dems are so impotent that one wonders why they even show up at the Capitol.

Republicans have taken a few small shots at Bush & Co. in the past when the stupidity from the White House has gone so far over the line that even the incredibly disciplined and lock-step Republicans couldn't swallow it.

Now it's taken two statements by Colin Powell, and the opposition in the senate by Sen. John Warner and Sen. John McCain in addition to several former members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to get a little press coverage of just how stupid and ill-considered Bush's petulant insistance that the Geneva conventions mean what he says it means, so there.

In his desire to cover his own ass and spare him the embarassment of having people hauled before war crimes courts, he's endangering all future soldiers, all but assuring that our troops will be sugjected to horrible treatment and torture.

This is the way he always operates. He simply puts NOTHING above his political future and power, no matter if in doing so it results in the deaths of thousands of innocent people, even if they're Americans. We've seen it in this "war on terror" as well as the aftermath of Katrina, and far too many other instances.

Consider the scenario if Bush gets his way and is allowed to hide behind a legal perversion designed to make what he's already guilty of ordering "OK".

The U.S. will be no better than Vietnam, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, or any other rougue state. It will no longer have any claim to have higher standards than it's opponents, and it will have thrown away what moral authority it has earned.

It will confirm to those in the mid-east and around the world that we are indeed barbarians as radical leaders have assured them we were, and take away the ability to righteously condemn the barbarity of terrorists.

And not only that, but it will fuel a downward spiral to even more barbaric and morally depraved actions by all parties to conflicts.

Bush wants to lead us down into the moral gutter with the "terrorists".

Should we follow?

18 Comments:

At 9/20/2006 5:19 PM, Anonymous Political Geek said...

I'd rather hunt with Cheney than vote republican.

 
At 9/20/2006 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"George Bush does not defend America's core moral values, standards and civil rights" - wow, quite a statement coming from someone who believes in the right to kill an innocent baby.

Quite a statement from someone who has nothing but glowing kudos for a man who stained up blue dresses in the Oval Office.

Amazing.

If you had a clue, and I listened to Bush's press conference last Friday, he is attempting to do nothing more than define and (his word) 'clarify' the ambiguous language in Article III of the Geneva Convention.

 
At 9/20/2006 11:25 PM, Blogger tiz said...

I saw an ad right before the news calling Bruce Braley a "greedy trial lawyer". It's funny how the RNC ridicules legal tiptoeing when it's Braley or John Edwards doing it. As you said, the Geneva Conventions have been around for a while. It's funny nobody else from either party has tried this if it has been so unclear for so long.

I don't know if I'd agree that Bush is all that concerned with his political future though. I think he knows he's a lame duck and, barring a purge of all liberals from academia, his "legacy" has been shot to hell. I think this was/is a gambit. I think the RNC realizes they're about to lose the house. A Democratic house means Bush and more importantly the Republicans close to him (Frist, Jeb Bush, Rice, etc) have uncertain political futures. If this happens the GOP now has a presidential contender they can use in 2008 and say "He stood up to W when nobdoy else would", yadda yadda. Basically, this issue and all of the press it's getting helps McCain, Warner and Powell clean their hands a bit of a soon-to-be even more unpopular president.

Modivations aside I will say they and Graham did the right thing by fighting this. The cynical side of me just can't help but think this was all very well put together so the GOP can have a "not-Bush" candidate in 2008 (although I'd like to think McCain especially is above this). The GOP just needs to get the memo out to the bible-thumpers who would keep any of these guys from getting past the primary. Maybe tell them god needs them to register D and keep Hillary from being nominated. ;)

 
At 9/21/2006 12:36 AM, Anonymous zopufila said...

i cant wait to hear the republicans explanations as to why this is justified.

 
At 9/21/2006 11:51 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 21:23

And just how did Clinton's pecadillos harm democracy, or harm the moral standing of our country?

If it wasn't for the Republicans acting like a bunch of sex obsessed perverts and breathlessly detailing very lurid detail, no one would have had to contend with it.

Also, the rest of the world didn't think us any less moral. On the contrary, they laughed at the Republicans and were amazed at our prudishness and couldn't believe that we'd nearly bring the government and the country to a halt over such minor and ridiculous matters.

I don't think breaking the constitution and the law when it involves torture and death and war can even be mentioned in the same breath as getting a blow job in the White House.

To try to draw an analogy is simply false, as what Bush has done and is attempting is an abuse of power, whereas what Clinton did would have been nothign had it not been for the fake-moral Republicans. (and of course, a few of them had to resign because of their much worse sexual indiscretions because of it.)

 
At 9/21/2006 3:19 PM, Anonymous paladin said...

Speaking of the Braley/Whalen brawl, when will TV manufacturers or the FCC invent some sort of v-chip so that those of us who live in IL do not have to suffer through the constant negative ads generated for IA political races and the Mr. Moneybags George Soros financed 527 ads during presidential election years?

Besides really pissing me off, I think it's hilarious that a millionaire trial lawyer and a millionaire businessman are fighting it out over who is richest and who represents the rich. Only in America!

Please Iowa, spare those of us who don't have a dog in the Braley/Whalen and Culver/??? fight your election year porn. Please!

 
At 9/22/2006 6:51 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

We don't want those ads over here in Iowa either... I thought the same thing when they flashed "Greedy Trial Lawyer" on the screen, that the next screen should say "Paid for by a Greedy Restaurant and Hotel owner."

 
At 9/22/2006 7:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope,

You call taking a worldwide-accepted Intelligence community statement on WMD's as fact a 'lie' on Bush's part, yet when the President of the United States specifically and directly lies to the Grand Jury and the American people on a point of fact, you want to excuse it?

Regardless of anything else - this is a sad commentary on your moral expectations of your President.

(And please do not deflect this by discussing WMD's).

 
At 9/22/2006 11:14 AM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

It's "Alberto" but the reasoning is flawless.

 
At 9/22/2006 12:34 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon, 7:24.

No, the sad commentary is that you're so twisted that you equate a lie about an affair which did absolutely NOTHING to harm this nation or anyone else, to a lie that lead to the deaths of THOUSANDS of U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children, and which mired us in conflict for decades to come.

To even think of the two in the same manner is simple insanity.

You better check your thought process and evaluate your sense or morality.

And of course you don't want to discuss WMDs. There's nothing to discuss. No WMDs, all lies, none of the facts pointing to the fact that there were none was ever mentioned and was buried, people who stated that Bush and company were lying were fired or ignored.

There's nothing else to say. Defending such a massive and criminal attempt to decieve the country into a war of choice by saying that a few of our allies said, "well... I guess maybe.." isn't exactly a good defense.

Again, if in your world you hold a blow job and a war in which thousands die as morally equivilent, then you need to sort out your life.

 
At 9/22/2006 1:04 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

UMR...

Thanks for that catch. It's been corrected.

This entire post was a hastily written mess, but I slapped it up because the news was already a couple days old, with the intention of cleaning it up when I had the chance.

Unfortunately, as you could see, I didn't get around to it.

I hope it's cleaned up and a little more readable now.

And whose reasoning is flawless? Gonzales'?

 
At 9/22/2006 3:33 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Yours, as presented in the post.

Gonzo couldn't reason his way out of a wet paper bag. The Geneva Convention protections are "Quaint"--my Aunt Fanny.

Of course now they want to involve the Congress. Sure, after the monarchy failed.

The whole thing is made more sickening when CPowell (Mr. Vial of Anthrax) gets strongly on both sides of the issue of prisoner treatment. What a freaking hypocrite! At lease Perle and Wolfy are just straightforward colonialist neocons.

 
At 9/22/2006 7:08 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Ah yes, it looks nice and clean, Dope. You would make a great speechwriter...for Hugo Chavez.

 
At 9/22/2006 8:52 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Gee, ya think?

But aside from that handy dismissal, care to dispute anything in the post?

Do you not see a large degree of truth in what I wrote?

And I do feel it's rather disingenous and a bit irresponsible for leaders in this country to dismiss out of hand, without examination whatsoever, the remarks of the leaders of other countries. After all, it is likely that they reflect the feelings of the majority of people on the planet.

There were things in the speeches by Chavez and the Iranian president that may have given pundits something to jump on them about, but it seems, as I say, rather arrogant to not devote so much as two seconds to what they were actually saying.

Why not debate that?

And I see that Charlie Rangel and Pelosi have decided to elbow out Republicans by denouncing a foreign leader for daring to criticize Bush at the U.N.

That's the same sort of jingoistic blather that we've been aflicted with by the right, but at least it might serve to imunize them from being portrayed as aligned with Chavez and Musharef or whatever his name is.

Good effort at heading the wing-nuts off at the national security pass.

 
At 9/22/2006 8:55 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Gee, ya think?

But aside from that handy dismissal, care to dispute anything in the post?

Do you not see a large degree of truth in what I wrote?

And I do feel it's rather disingenous and a bit irresponsible for leaders in this country to dismiss out of hand, without examination whatsoever, the remarks of the leaders of other countries.

After all, due to the misrule of Bush, it is likely that they reflect the feelings of the majority of people on the planet.

It's Bush's blatant servitude to spreading capitalism at the point of a gun that has elevated these leaders to prominence in the first place.

The rest of the world is desperately looking for leaders to oppose what they see as a reckless bully nation bent on empire and economic conquest without the slightest regard for soverign nations or their people's right to determine their own destiny.

There were things in the speeches by Chavez and the Iranian president that may have given pundits something to jump on them about, but it seems, as I say, rather arrogant to not devote so much as two seconds to what they were actually saying.

Why not debate that?

And I see that Charlie Rangel and Pelosi have decided to elbow out Republicans by denouncing a foreign leader for daring to criticize Bush at the U.N.

That's the same sort of jingoistic blather that we've been aflicted with by the right, but at least it might serve to imunize them from being portrayed as aligned with Chavez and Musharef or whatever his name is.

Good effort at heading the wing-nuts off at the national security pass.

 
At 9/23/2006 10:18 AM, Anonymous paladin said...

One thing that is missing in this screedy little hate-fest is no one is asking where the hell the Democrats are during one of the most important debates concerning the future of our country. Don't you hold your own Party accountable for ANYTHING?

The Democrats, as usual, are standing on the sidelines, framing this as an "internal" Republican problem. This is why Democrats don't deserve to win----they don't have the stones to lead, or even to stand up for what they (supposedly) believe in.

Or do they believe in anything, except getting elected?

The Democrats' behavior in all this has been shameful. They demand Bush give them more information, more decision-making power, and more consultation, yet at the first whiff of controversy, they head for the hills like scared Hares.

Pathetic.

(Can't wait to see what excuses for Dem inaction show up here---yeah, the Democrats are just innocent victims of Karl Rove and aren't responsible for their own moral and intellectual paralysis during this most important time. Yeah, that's the ticket!)

To political geek: I'd rather hunt with Cheney than ride in a car with Ted Kennedy. Har!Har!

 
At 9/24/2006 10:12 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

First, I honestly do know how to spell "at least", my fingers just forgot.

Paladin,

Six years the executive branch has been trying to elbow the congress out of any tribunal/prisoner interrogation issues and now you want to bark that democrats don't have a position. The neocons have been telling the senate, particularly, that they don't need one. Just write the Halliburton checks and shut up.

I find it a bit more than passing strange that suddenly, with an election imminent, the Wolfowitz administration wants to share responsibility with the Congress.

Even if you were 100% correct and no democrat has any clue about warfare or terror, that doesn't absolve these folks of the responsibility to have a plan with defined objectives. BTW, I think you might find that Senator Levin and Rep. Harman have some fairly well-conceived idea about how a counterinsurgency war should be fought.

 
At 9/27/2006 2:32 PM, Anonymous paladin said...

Here's someone who agrees with me who isn't a right-wing, radical conservative asshole.

Read it and weep.

 

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