Friday, September 07, 2007

Remember why we're in Iraq

While it has become rare, amazingly I still encounter people that think we're at war against Iraq because they're the terrorists that attacked us.

Once again, al Qaeda, based in Afghanistan, attacked us. We invaded Afghanistan with the minimum possible troops in order to push out the Taliban, who were providing safe haven to al Qaeda. We stopped short of killing or capturing the army of terrorists, because the master plan was to keep them alive.

Iraq has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. The brutal civil war in Iraq was started by the US invasion, as it was designed to do. Indeed, this has attracted foreign terrorists to come to Iraq to fight Americans, but most of those are inspired by the horrors that we have unleashed on the Iraqi people.

Dubya's war against Iraq is about oil and money. Plain and simple. If anyone still has any lingering doubts at all, you need to watch Iraq for Sale and Uncovered: The War on Iraq from BraveNewFilms. Also, read the latest summary in Rolling Stone.

Here's a summary of the Rolling Stone article from

The Rolling Stone has a long article about the vast sums of taxpayer money pouring into the coffers of sleazy US contractors in Iraq -- and how that money isn't being used to make things better for anyone but the ultra-rich in the US.

In short, some $8.8 billion of the $12 billion proved impossible to find. "Who in their right mind would send 360 tons of cash into a war zone?" asked Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. "But that's exactly what our government did."

Because contractors were paid on cost-plus arrangements, they had a powerful incentive to spend to the hilt. The undisputed master of milking the system is KBR, the former Halliburton subsidiary so ubiquitous in Iraq that soldiers even encounter its customer-survey sheets in outhouses. The company has been exposed by whistle-blowers in numerous Senate hearings for everything from double-charging taxpayers for $617,000 worth of sodas to overcharging the government 600 percent for fuel shipments. When things went wrong, KBR simply scrapped expensive gear: The company dumped 50,000 pounds of nails in the desert because they were too short, and left the Army no choice but to set fire to a supply truck that had a flat tire. "They did not have the proper wrench to change the tire," an Iraq vet named Richard Murphy told investigators, "so the decision was made to torch the truck."

In perhaps the ultimate example of military capitalism, KBR reportedly ran convoys of empty trucks back and forth across the insurgent-laden desert, pointlessly risking the lives of soldiers and drivers so the company could charge the taxpayer for its phantom deliveries. Truckers for KBR, knowing full well that the trips were bullshit, derisively referred to their cargo as "sailboat fuel."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Happy labor day

What did dubya do to celebrate Labor Day weekend?

Get ready for this one - he wanted to gut the American trucking industry and open the border to potentially unsafe, uninspected trucking from Mexico. American companies would have to compete with Mexican wages and their rules - no limits on number of hours driven in a row, no environmental or safety checks on the trucks, no drug testing on drivers, no healthcare for workers, no US safety training. If that's not enough, it would open the door for smuggling illegals, drugs, weapons, even terrorists

Fortunately, Congress - even the Republicans - saw this as potentially devastating to America, and voted against Bush 411-3. However, Bush just declared Congress irrelevant and chose Labor Day to announce that he will allow this anti-American action. The party line is that America will have to take them to court to uphold the law, and they'll delay the ruling as long as possible.

Big business is demanding this because they can use it to push Mexican wages down to American truckers – even though this will be very detrimental to national security, highway safety and US standard of living. Sound ridiculous? Well, it is. Unfortunately, it's also true. Try typing "mexico trucks" into

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Yet another rat flees the ship

Tony Snow, the Fox "news" propagandist that was the latest Bush spokesperson to leave, was refreshingly honest. After his tenure of dancing around questions, avoiding answers, and regurgitating idealistic talking points, Tony simply said that he's going to cash in on fame that being White House press secretary has given him - and make more money in the private sector.

To let you know how far removed from reality his values are - his job paid around $170,000 - and Snow claims that he had to take out a loan to survive on that pittance. This, coming from the administration that fought tooth and nail to prevent the minimum wage from increasing from $5.15 an hour.

Snow is also battling cancer, so like most liberals that actually value life (rather than just throw out sound bites to that effect), I wish him a full recovery.

Important to make a first impression

When he was first appointed to be President, dubya came out with his dream budget, expanding the size of government spending to unprecedented levels, and racking up a multi-generational debt.

Bush's government spending increases, however, were not to benefit the country. His first budget included a massive cut to the US highway system. He allocated $9B to the entire country, a fraction of what is needed for the most basic upkeep, and the cost of 3 weeks of his war against Iraq.

This was designed to allow infrastructure, which includes bridges on the interstate system, to decay. This way, when responsible parties won back the White House, they'd have to focus their energy on repairing damage.

Can anyone think of a reason this is a bad idea? If not, keep voting Republican.