Saturday, July 17, 2004

Some dirty tricks may be what it takes

I see nothing good about this business of the Iraqi prisoners being humiliated.  The revelation has made the administration scramble and squirm, but that's about the only positive thing (depending on your point of view, of course), and that one "positive" is far outweighed by the demeaning treatment of the prisoners.  The whole mess makes me wonder how we have been treating/abusing Iraqis in other prisons, and how we've been treating/abusing prisoners at Guatanamo.  This stuff was being talked about back in January...  I can't believe Rumsfeld and Bush saying the first they heard of it was when it was shown on "60 Minutes".  They MUST have known what was going on!  It sure looks to me as if Bush is no-one to be talking about the "end of the rape rooms" and the "end of torture chambers" in Iraq.
For a while it looked like our troops were going to try and arrest or even kill the cleric Bani-Sadr.  Why would Bush approve of that if at the moment he is trying to repair the damage from the release of all the images of prisoner abuse?  Killing Bani-Sadr would really win over the hearts and minds of the Iraqis, eh?  The people of Iraq will REALLY hate us now (as if many of them don't infinitely hate us already!)  Maybe there's one plus from this whole prisoner mess:  I never thought I would hear Bush utter the words "sorry" or "apologize" about anything...  As for Rumsfeld, I think the smart thing for the GOP to do would be to fire his sorry delusional butt.  However, Bush didn't appear that smart when he responded to all the criticism by giving Rummy a vote of confidence.  Maybe Rumsfeld and the whole neoconservative mentality he represents will become an albatross for the Republicans.  I can only hope.
Speaking of such, I sincerely hope Bush keeps Cheney on the ticket.  Cheney can only be a drag on the GOP.  If Bush was smart, he would dump Rumsfeld and Cheney too...  Maybe Bush IS smart, but the fact that he won't dump these jerks speaks volumes about who really runs the country.  He won't dump them because...  he can't! 
Politically, I think Kerry was astute in making his statement that when he is president he "won't be the last to know what's going on".  The uglier the Iraq stuff gets, the more I desperately hope Kerry wins in November.  While he may not be inspiring, and while he is also a skull and crossbones Ivy League guy like Dubya, and while he is financed by big money like Bush is...  I think he offers the voters a clear ideological alternative to Dubya.  And as long as Dubya keeps screwing up, it will become increasingly hard for the Karl Roves of the world to spin the screw-ups in a way that would fool the voters. 
While Ralph Nader offers a clear alternative to big-time politics, I wish he would get out of the race.  As much as Nader detests the GOP, he seems to have no problem accepting their help as they try to get him onto as many ballots as they can, in order to take away votes for Kerry.  I think Nader would much rather have Kerry in the White House than four more years of the Bushies.  I know I would...  Then again, with Diebold (big Bush contributor in 2000) building many of the new computerized voting machines, and GOP Senator Chuck Hagel on the board of directors of another voting machine manufacturer...  how will we really be sure who the winners are any more in our presidential elections anyway?  Arrrgh. 
How about a paranoid theory about the skyrocketing gas prices:  they will stop and then decline... once Bush gets his energy bill passed.  I guess I must be really cynical for believing the administration is causing gas prices to go up until enough people complain to their senators and congressmen that the necessary "yes" votes are gathered to allow Dubya to drill in the ANWR...  but that's what I'm thinking he may have up his sleeve.  I'd love to know who met with Cheney to draft the administration's energy policy.  Probably a bunch of oil CEOs.  I would love for the Supreme Court to tell Cheney he has to make that information public.  Having his hunting buddy Antonin "Bush Wins the Election 5-4" Scalia on the Supreme Court isn't going to help the cause, but I still hope we can find out before November. 
I don't want our troops getting killed.  I don't want gas prices to be over $3 a gallon by summer, or sooner.  I don't want to see the stock market fall apart or the economy go into the tank.  I hate seeing people lose their jobs and having their jobs replaced by cheaper overseas labor.  I don't want the rich to get richer while the poor get poorer, and I don't want the environment to be raped by money-thirsty conservative interests.  The continuation of all these trends would indeed make Bush look bad, and I do want Bush to look bad enough that putting a positive spin on him will be next to impossible, even for someone as adept as Karl Rove!  But what else could happen to bring that about, without him messing things up worse than he already has?  None of us really, truly want our situation to get worse, either at home or abroad.  Maybe there will be a good scandal.  That would be the ticket!   Maybe someone has compromising photos of Bush with Ken Lay.  Maybe it's time for the Democrats to stoop to the level of the Republicans, and get involved in some GOP-style dirty trickery.  The Republicans have been deserving it, especially for about the last ten years.  Bring on the grimy black-and-whites!


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