I remember President Bush’s rush to war in Iraq: While proclaiming that war was the “last resort,” the President was clearly impatient. UN sanctions were actually working well. According to the Wikipedia,
The United Nations located and destroyed large quantities of Iraqi WMD throughout the 1990s in spite of persistent Iraqi obstruction. Washington withdrew weapons inspectors in 1998, resulting in Operation Desert Fox, which further degraded Iraq’s WMD capability. . . .While various leftover weapons components from the 1980s and 1990s have also been found, most weapons inspectors do not now believe that the WMD program proceeded after 2002, though various theories continue to be put forward. . . . In late 2002 Saddam Hussein, in a letter to Hans Blix, invited UN weapons inspectors back into the country. Subsequently the Security Council issued Resolution 1441 authorizing new inspections in Iraq. The carefully-worded U.N. resolution put the burden on Iraq, not U.N. inspectors, to prove that they no longer had weapons of mass destruction. . . .In January 2003, United Nations weapons inspectors reported that they had found no indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active program. . . .On March 7, 2003, Hans Blix’s last report to the UN security Council prior to the US led invasion of Iraq, described Iraq as actively and proactively cooperating with UNMOVIC, though not necessarily in all areas of relevance and had been frequently uncooperative in the past, but that it was within months of resolving key remaining disarmament tasks.
But this was not good enough for Bush and Cheney, who clearly chose to believe the old intelligence reports, and other “worst case” assessments, and to disbelieve the UN reports. Or maybe they just lied. It was clear to me at the time that, shortly after the war on the Taliban in Afghanistan, and despite assurances that war was a “last resort,” Bush wanted to invade Iraq. His body language was clearer than his words. (more…)
In an unexpected development this morning, our two senators split on the bellicose Kyl-Lieberman resolution against Iran, which reminds me of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution on the eve of the Viet-Nam war. What was unexpected (to me) is that Akaka voted for it, and Inouye against. At least this is better than Lieberman’s previous anti-Iran resolution, which passed 97-0. But it still must leave Vice President Cheney smiling.
The resolution itself does not call for military action. However, by declaring part of Iran’s national defense forces as a terrorist organization, it provides an easy rationale for Cheney’s desire for more war. (more…)
Today, the Star-Bulletin published my op-edâ€”but without the links or references. So here it is, with links.
September 17 is Constitution Day, and begins a week of celebrations honoring the Constitution of the U.S. But missing from the headlines is this truth: our Constitution is in crisis!
- President Bush authorized illegal warrantless wiretaps, in violation of the fourth amendment of the Constitution;
- Vice President Cheney has committed multiple crimes against the Constitution, according to a conservative Republican, Bruce Fein;
- Bush, Cheney, Rove and Gonzales have conspired to undermine the Constitutional balance of powers by ignoring Congressional subpoenas and circumventing judicial oversight mandated by law (e.g. FISA courts).
And this is probably just the tip of the iceberg (see George W. Bush versus the U.S. Constitution: the Conyers Report ).
Our representatives in Congress took an oath of office, required by the sixth article of the Constitution of the United States, and their oath states: (more…)
Frosty’s lament today is hardly an isolated concern. There’s more here:
Primary Challenges Haunt Democrats, by BooMan (Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 11:07:06 AM EST). This blog includes a quote from Rep. Neil Abercrombie about the disconnect between what the anti-war group wants, and what the Democratic representatives feel able to deliver. This is also revealed in a recent national poll by Andy Kohut that aired on PBS September 19, 2007.
ANDREW KOHUT: Yes, I mean, I think, with respect to the Democrats, that’s the case, because what we saw also is the percentage of Democrats saying that their leaders are not doing enough to push Bush on Iraq. In July, that percentage was 54 percent, and in September, it was 61 percent.
It is also reflected in my op-ed piece today in the Star Bulletin, “Follow the Constitution: Initiate impeachment.” I am totally frustrated by Speaker Pelosi’s declaration that impeachment is off the table. (more…)
these days i find myself generally pissed off at the democratic party, both on the national scene and here in hawaii.Â now, i’ll admit that i’ve never been a huge fan of the party to begin with, as i feel it offers (nationally anyway) only moderate differences in policy to the republicans.Â anyone who doesn’t think the dnc is just as much in bed with big business as the republicans is, in my opinion, simply fooling themselves.Â but i digress…. (more…)
A health care forum was held this afternoon at the University of Hawaii Architecture auditorium. It was organized by Progressive Democrats of Hawaii, with Josh Frost as event organizer*. The panelists included Ah Quon McElrath, Social and Labor Justice Activist, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Representative John Mizuno, Vice Chair of the Hawai’i State House Legislative Health Committee, and Fred Dodge, M.D. I estimate that were at least 150 people in the audience, in an auditorium that seats about 200 people. I’m not going to try to give a complete review here; please feel free to add anything important by leaving a comment.
Josh got things going with a few announcements, including information about Progressive Democrats of Hawai’i. He mentioned our S.H.I.P.S. platform, with its 5 planks: Stop the war; Healthcare for all; Impeach Bush & Cheney; Public funding of elections, and Sustainable environment. This platform drew substantial applause, especially the Impeachment plank. (more…)
I truly believe that this country needs to develop a system for single-payer universal healthcare. Doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon nationally… perhaps we can make something happen locally? I plan to attend this forum on Saturday (details below) and hope it will help illuminate the next steps toward that goal.
HEALTHCARE FOR EVERYONE (click for flyer)
A FORUM ON THE NEED FOR A UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN HAWAII AND THE U.S.
Date: Saturday September 15
Time: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Where: UH Manoa Architecture Auditorium (more…)
The reception accorded Mike Gabbard by some Democratic elected officials has provoked more anger, disgust and demoralization among Hawaii progressive Democrats than any other single event in recent Hawaii political history.
I have had many people tell me they are going to resign from the Party and, while I have talked many of them out of taking that final step, I do believe that many of them, while not quitting the Party, will simply drift away, disheartened and demoralized.
It is true that the Rules of the Democratic Party make it almost impossible to deny membership to any registered voter who applies to join. But certain Party elected officials, mosty notably U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka and State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa enthusiastically embraced Gabbard’s switch. That was unneceasary. When these Democrats embraced Gabbard, they gave him a new lease on life. They took a man whose politics had been anathema to most Democrats and lent him their credibility, saying, in effect, that Mike’s politics are acceptable to them. (more…)