Friday, February 29, 2008

Bomb Bomb McCain – Self Immolation by Lobbying

The NEW YORK TIMES and Bomb Bomb McCain, two high viz. players, rolling in the public muck together is splendor in gutter. Both deserve each others opprobrium.

The NEW YORK TIMES, at least in my time, has been dead wrong on major issues and has editors sacked for carelessly overlooking spurious content of stories. My awakening to the fallibility of TIMES dates way back to the advent of Fidel Castro when the paper promoted him as an agrarian reformer. It even insisted he was not a Communist. More recently, it splattered itself ignominiously on its pages with its coverage of the run up to the Iraq war with Judith Miller's pandering to the Israeli Lobby and Neocons on phantom Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

Hysterical attacks on the paper by the Conservatives for picking on Bomb Bomb McCain for his sticky relationships with lobbyists and the possibility of a female lobbyist trading sex with him for influence, really appear at this stage to be more smoke than fire.

Bomb Bomb has hired Robert Bennett, the attorney for the damned, a supreme fixer for pols in a pickle to defend him, even if there are no legal charges pending. When asked by the press whether lawyer Bennett will press for a retraction by the the TIMEs or whether to sue for defamation of character, Bennett replied negatively, saying that Bomb Bomb just wants to get the whole thing behind him and concentrate on his presidential campaign – HMMMMMMMM – not exactly the posture of an innocent, outraged man. If the Republican spin machine can use this messy affair to rally their ranks and squeeze out contributions, their conservative base is even more gullible than even I suspected. Loyalty apparently trumps brains in that Party. Bomb Bomb is awash in Lobbyists with them even running his Senate office and campaign. By any measure, Bomb Bomb selection as the Republican candidate for president is one of last resort by the party. His party remains split as Rev. Huckabee continues to stick pins in him, merrily continuing pursuit of delegates; he is apparently funded by God.

Lawyer Bennett was President Clinton's defense attorney against Ms. Paula Jones. CARAMBA

Bomb Bomb has never appealed much to me. His character was never an asset. Never considered him a military hero, despite five years as a POW. (See my blog dtd 7 Feb 08 – Bomb Bomb McCain's Candidacy etc.) I was particularly disturbed over the endless use of his incarceration as a peg for pity in his political campaigns. What surprised me was that after his Keating Five influence peddling scandal, that he would carelessly jump into that slimy pit again. My expectation was he would be ripped apart for his blind support of the Iraq war and now for his delusional promotion that the surge is working. By many observers Bomb Bomb has a rancid personality – has a hot temper – so his judgement is easily clouded by rage; it is a matter of time before the press will finally stick a fork in him. His contrition for his missteps will not be accepted this time as they were for the Keating Five episode and signing that paper for the enemy in Hanoi.

Never cast judgment on another man's philandering is a good rule to follow; there are always unknown circumstances – so far no blue dress with Bomb Bomb's DNA yet has been discovered. The fact that ladies trade sex favors for influence goes back to Salome or even later in the Court of Louis XVth with Madam Pompadour – to Hollywood starlets looking for roles – to secretaries working her way up through the glass ceiling in lobbying firms.

The Plum book is a book that describes about 7000 federal patronage jobs a new US president can appoint. Understood, but unwritten in it are also free federal limousine rides, health care, steady pay, and all the women you dare to plank. Anyway that is what the wags believe. They figure all this just comes with the Washington, DC power turf. So whether Bomb Bomb was involved immorally in any such way does not perturb me much, unless he was obsessively driven to trade his political influence to a lobbyist for a sweet dalliance – old, short, balding men always have a stronger need for love. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

USA Lurching to Empire

IT IS THE NATURE OF NATIONS TO RISE, FATTEN AND TO FALL – This quote from an under graduate course years ago on international relations still sticks with me as an analytical tool to explain the vicissitudes of the ebb and flow of national power. It is particularly acute today as the US squanders its blood and wealth in the delusional pursuit of empire.

The US rose in the 19th century. Under the rubric of MANIFEST DESTINY, it captured land from Mexico; it also fought a bloody civil war and transformed itself into an international power in a mighty industrial revolution. By the end of the 19th century it picked off territory from the Spanish crown in the Spanish American War. It had become an even more acquisitive nation as it took territory well beyond its borders.

The 20th century witnessed the fattening of America. It won two world wars in the first half of the 20th century. As it developed the capability to project power, with nuclear weapons, strategic bombers, Trident submarines, missiles and aircraft carriers, it was crowned as a super power. This status was enhanced with the implosion of the Soviet Union. It smashed Serbia and occupied some Balkan states. America became another Rome; it was an amazing history; but it grew too fat too quickly; by the last half of the 20th century, there were signs of old age already appearing. It became apparent that our diplomacy was tragically inept. It failed to extricate America from international problems created by the US force of arms.

It fought a vicious war in Korea that ended up as a draw. This was followed by an agonizing war in Vietnam which was lost. The century ended with Daddy Bush's Somali adventure and his unfortunate, misguided invasion of Kuwait. We now understand that Kuwait invasion was the prelude for the disastrous invasion of Iraq.

By the beginning of the 21st century there were signs of the FALL. Under GW Bush, the US failed to detect the 9/11 Jihadist attack on the US mainland. Bush's response was to occupy and invade Iraq and Afghanistan. He is now predictably stuck in both places, bleeding and paying. He still has not killed or captured bin Laden. Screwballs in the Republican Party want to hit harder and expand the wars to Iran and into Pakistan. Pathetic Democrats, in the main, bury their heads in the sand, afraid to intervene in the madness

Gibbon's turgid books on THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE explain Rome fell from internal rot. This apparently was the basis for permitting the barbarians crossing its frontiers and sacking Rome, finally ending the empire. The US now in the 21st century has allowed a variation of the barbarians,i.e., illegal aliens, to penetrate its borders with relative impunity. Like Rome, it also lacks the political will to stop this invasion.

As the 2008 political presidential election shapes up, there is little hope the candidates, whoever is elected, will curb the fall of the American empire. Bomb Bomb McCain, Bill's wife and Obama all want open borders and a form of amnesty for the invaders. None have a solution to our wars or economic woes – all want to spend money we do not have – we can expect more continuity, more disasters, despite all their collective bleating over change.

As history inexorably takes its course, suggest a stiff drink, continue to bear arms and do not permit Chico to repair his heap on your lawn. You do what you can do. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Democrats Race To Out Race Race – 2008

TOTE THAT BARGE LIFT THAT BALE – African Americans have been doing that for the Democratic Party for a long time. There have been benefits for them such as President LB Johnson passing a civil rights bill. African American athletes, entertainers, media personalities judges and politicians garner top dollar for their services; there are those who have made fortunes in business catering mainly to an African American market; still others have broken through the glass ceiling in the board rooms. But all this success does not seem to trickle down to the blacks in the urban ghettos and rural slums. Blacks still sit in our jails way out of proportion to their number in the US; only about 60 per cent finish high school; and about 80 per cent come from one parent homes.

Republicans have Condoleezza, General Powell, and Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas. These figures may instill pride in the African American communities, but have had little traction promoting black political interests. Rumors are Powell is now flirting with supporting a Democratic presidential candidate in 2008. After the Bush Administration debacle at Katrina, serious black Republican support is long gone.

Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have been the public relations face of the African American Community; mainly acting as civil rights proponents and anti-black defamation defenders – their records have been mixed, with sometimes misguided actions. Black Comedian Bill Cosby, a strong proponent of black bootstrap self help, has been condemned by most of the African American establishment as out of the mainstream.

Relationships between the Black Community and the Democratic leadership up until now have been paternalistic. Much to Bill Clinton's chagrin, this has changed with the advent of Obama. President Clinton foolishly inserted race into the campaign by comparing razor sharp Obama with mumbling, stumbling Jesse Jackson. Jackson now supports Obama, so the plot thickens. Much of the Black leadership in Congress is still caught between personal loyalty to the Clintons and rolling thunder that is Obama.

At this point in the primaries, it is obvious Obama is galvanizing the black vote as never before. These voters have been told over and over in voter registration drives by Democratic organizers that it is ONE MAN ONE VOTE. If Obama wins the pledged delegates in the primaries, the popular vote and a majority of states and the nomination is tossed to Bill's wife by super delegates, the Blacks will be outraged with such a brokered outcome, with fury turning into the streets. One thing for certain, Obama has changed the political consciousness of the African American Democratic voters. Their pride and expectations are high.

From a domestic policy point of view, there is not much difference between Obama and Bill's wife. From an international standpoint the gap is greater – Obama understands the stupidity of the Iraq War. Bill's wife still does not as she skips rope, keeping the war alive, trying to keep her pro Israeli NYC constituency loyally coughing up campaign funds. While Hillary has Bill's foreign policy flops, Holbrook, Berger and Albright, Obama has recruited Berzinski who at least put the Israeli/Egyptian peace treaty together under Jimmy Carter – something a Jewish American SecState or NSC chief just could not negotiate – as a matter of fact, the pro Israeli Lobby nervously is pressing Obama to swear unabashed fealty to the Jewish State.

Here is a MOUSE THAT ROARED scenario. Puerto Rico has a Democratic Caucus on 7 June 2008. It is the last contest for the Democrats and involves 63 pledged delegates and 7 super delegates. Puerto Ricans are American citizens, but since the island is a territory, those who live on the island cannot vote in the general presidential elections; so it is unclear why island Puerto Ricans have a hand in picking a US presidential candidate. Based on the local political circus and corruption, let the bribes begin... Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret

Photograph: Etching Unos a Otros by Francisco Goya

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Bomb Bomb McCain's Candidacy & Other Rude Comments

Now it is official. Karl Rove, GW Bush's former White House political pistolero has finally decided to move to the Fox news network. Just a question of time: Would the White House move to Fox or Fox to the White House? There was never much difference. At least now we can update our flow charts.

Last week there was a propaganda puff piece produced by FOX news network on the twilight days of the Bush presidency. When GWB was asked about his accomplishments in 7 years of office, he said first off that his two daughters developed into fine ladies despite the spotlight glare of the presidency. Doubt the history books will note this, but after Bill Clinton's brother tribulations that required a presidential pardon to fix, this has to be meritorious in comparison. Responding to a question on his philosophy of government, the president replied that he was motivated by his lust to impose freedom in the world – he managed to link freedom to God, but failed to explain the 26,000 detainees under US control in Iraq. Bush still has not divined that his bible did not codify the Bill of Rights – there is much love of God in the Old and New Testaments, but not much on freedom or choice. There is, however plenty of fire and brimstone; lots of damnation if one strays from the word.

Picking Bomb Bomb McCain as the presidential candidate in the 2008 election was self inflicted auto-da-fe for the Republican Party. Or if you prefer, ritually jumping into the volcano with your senatorial and congressional candidates – at least 26 Republican congressional representatives have already decided not to run for reelection. Self serving Senators like Lott, to avoid new restriction on lobbyists, have already quit early to peddle influence for big bucks.

Right wing radio talk show hosts such as Limbaugh and Ingraham are having strokes contemplating Bomb Bomb's candidacy; upset over his tax, illegal immigration, and campaign financing policies. They, however, adore his pro-life and Iraq war positions. Maybe I miss the point – how can you protect innocent unborn and at the same time promote slaughter in a war of choice such as Iraq?

Some of Bomb Bomb's political ads feature his time as a POW, in a bed in a North Vietnam infirmary... Maybe I am old school – there is nothing heroic about being a POW unless you escape or risk your life for one of your stricken comrades. Bomb Bomb did neither, as a matter fact, under torture he was disloyal; by confessing to air piracy and signing a document, Bomb Bomb was in contravention to the US military Code of Conduct. As far as being heroic for not stepping ahead of his fellow POWs for early release, when offered the opportunity by the enemy, that is precluded by article III of the US Military Code of Conduct.

Opportunity research by the Democrats may get hold of Bomb's Bomb's North Vietnamese dossier and that might be exciting reading. POWs, in the main are victims of circumstances beyond their control. McCain is no exception in his case. He was shot down over Hanoi and wounded when he parachuted into the arms of the North Vietnamese. He was brutally treated in captivity and he broke; others with him did not.

The American people owe him a debt of gratitude for service under any circumstance. Whether his military service should be used to promote him as a presidential candidate is another judgement that goes well beyond his performance of duty in wartime. My view is he should not be President of the US. There is still that little piece of paper in Hanoi with his signature.

Your choices will be a squalid Clinton co-presidency, Roll-the-Dice Obama or Bomb Bomb with 100 years of war and no idea of how to solve economic problems. There is no one on a white horse to the rescue. In Bomb Bomb's case if unelected, he can join "has beens" coach Mike Ditka and former Senator Bob Dole to sell erectile disfunction drugs on TV.

Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.