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George Bush is a Terrorist's Best Friend
"An evil symbiosis does exist between Muslim terrorists and American politicians, but it is not the one Republicans describe. The jihadists need George W. Bush to sustain their cause. His bloody crusade in the Middle East bolsters their accusation that America is out to destroy Islam. The president has unwittingly made himself the lead recruiter of willing young martyrs. . . . "More to the point, it is equally true that Bush desperately needs the terrorists. They are his last frail hope for political survival. They divert public attention, at least momentarily, from his disastrous war in Iraq and his shameful abuses of the Constitution. The 'news' of terror -- whether real or fantasized -- reduces American politics to its most primitive impulses, the realm of fear-and-smear where George Bush is at his best." -- William Greider
"We now know that from the very beginning, the Bush administration and its allies in Congress saw the terrorist threat not as a problem to be solved, but as a political opportunity to be exploited. The story of the latest terror plot makes the administration's fecklessness and cynicism on terrorism clearer than ever. -- Paul Krugman
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posted by Lorenzo 2:33 PM
The Growing Threat of Fascist Christians
(Onnesha Roychoudhuri, AlterNet, July 19, 2006)
One of the first pieces I did on the Christian right was on the ex-gay movement. What struck me going to the Exodus Conference was that it takes place in this whole entire parallel universe. They have their own psychologists, psychological institutions and their own version of professional medical literature. The amount of books, magazines and media, and the way it almost duplicated everything that we have in our so-called reality, is remarkable. What struck me years later when I was reporting on the Bush administration was that the parallel institutions that I had first come into contact with were replacing the mainstream institutions -- especially in the federal bureaucracy. . . . In the Department of Health and Human Services, the people they hired to formulate sex education policy, at both the national and international level, didn't come from the American Medical Association or the big medical schools. They're coming from places like the Medical Institute for Sexual Health, which is this Christian Nationalist medical group. . . . There's this group called the Population Research Institute -- another one of these parallel institutions. They're radically anti-family planning and claim that population control policies are part of this "one-world conspiracy" to cull the population of the faithful so that the "one-world government" can more easily assert its control. On the website it said that not only is overpopulation a myth . . . Christian Nationalism is a political ideology separate from evangelicals. Evangelicals are about 30 percent of the American population. Christian Nationalism is a subset of 10-15 percent. It's less a religion than it is an ideology about the way America should be governed. It has this whole revisionist history claiming that America was founded as a Christian nation, that the separation of church and state is a fraud perpetrated by seculars. . . . Now, there is job training, drug treatment and preschool programs that are totally separate. The job is 100-percent taxpayer funded, but they can say in the help-wanted ad, "Christians only." . . . Bush wanted to get the Salvation Army aboard the faith-based initiatives. The Salvation Army then brought in a consultant to Christianize certain divisions. He asked the human resources director at the Salvation Army headquarters, Maureen Schmidt, whether one of the human resource staffers at the social services division, Margaret Geissman, was Jewish, because she had a "Jewish sounding name." Schmidt told him that she wasn't. So then he went to her and said, "I want a list of homosexuals who work there." . . . Among liberals, there is always talk about fascism and there's a kind of agreement that you can't talk about it more publicly without sounding like a lunatic. You don't want to sound like you're comparing Bush to Hitler. We have no language to talk about the intermediate stages of this kind of thing. But there are these really unmistakable parallels to fascism, not as a government system, but to fascism in its early stages. Before fascism is a government, it's a movement. It's not born in power, it comes to power. I think it's time to talk about fascism or another word for it. Christian Nationalism is one way to talk about it. But there are things that are going on that are not normal, they're not politics usual. . . . These things are always subtle and gradual, but there are moments when all of a sudden you think "Oh, they're drawing up lists of people who are gay at public agencies." I don't want to be alarmist, but this is actually quite alarming.
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posted by Lorenzo 7:35 AM
40,000 US Troops Have Deserted
(Ana Radelat, Gannett News Service, 05 August 2006)
Since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted, the Pentagon says. More than half served in the Army. . . . Those who help war resisters say desertion is more prevalent than the military has admitted. . . . "They lied in Vietnam with the amount of opposition to the war and they're lying now," said Eric Seitz, an attorney who represents Army Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to the war in Iraq. . . . Watada is under military custody in Fort Lewis, Wash., because he refused to join his Stryker brigade when it was sent to Iraq last month. . . . Watada said he doesn't object to war but considers the conflict in Iraq illegal. . . . Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said deserters aren't traitors because they’ve done nothing to help America's enemies. . . . Because today's military is an all-volunteer force, troops seeking objector status must convince superior officers they’ve had an honest change of heart about the morality of war. . . . The last time the US military executed a deserter was World War II. But hundreds face court-martials and imprisonment every year. . . . Members of the armed forces are considered absent without leave when they are unaccounted for. They become deserters after they’ve been AWOL for 30 days. . . . [ALSO SEE: George W. Bush Is A Certified Deserter] . . . Army spokesman Hilferty said the Army doesn’t try to find deserters. Instead, their names are given to civilian law enforcement officers who often nab them during routine traffic stops and turn them over to the military. [NOTE TO DESERTERS: Don't drive!] . . . Commanders then decide whether to rehabilitate or court-martial the alleged deserter. There's an incentive to rehabilitate because it costs the military an average of $38,000 to recruit and train a replacement. . . . Jeffry House, an attorney in Toronto who represents Magaoay and other deserters, said there are about 200 deserters living in Canada. They have decided not to seek refugee status but instead are leading clandestine lives, he said. . . . Like many of the people helping today's war resisters, House fled to Canada to avoid the Vietnam War. About 50,000 Americans sought legal residency in Canada during the Vietnam era.
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posted by Lorenzo 11:09 AM