Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dead Man Talking

It's a sad commentary when the Executioner of Austin can't even properly hang the Butcher of Baghdad. In one and a half terms as Governor of Texas, George W. Bush presided over more executions than the other forty-nine states combined. He was on a par with Judge Roy Bean with handing out Texas-style justice. They wouldn't allow him to hang anyone, although his "dead-or-alive" mentality may have preferred it. If he had to abide by that sissy lethal injection business, Bush was going to run the most efficient "stick-em and brick-em" operation in law enforcement. He did, however, demonstrate his compassionate-conservative side when supporters of the born-again Christian, Karla Faye Tucker, pleaded for leniency. Bush promised to pray for her before she was put to death, thus making her the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War.

Of course the US Government says the hanging of Saddam was an Iraqi affair and they had nothing to do with it because they were too busy preparing to celebrate Eid. But the entire hooded, lynch-mob was helicoptered into the Green Zone and taken to the execution chamber by US forces. And what was to be a mark of achievement by the elected Iraqi government has been degraded and translated into more outrage and fury in the streets. Bush has managed to do what even Saddam's personal attorney's were unable to do at his sham trial; create sympathy for a tyrant and a killer, and make him into a martyr for Sunni Muslims all over the middle-east. Heckuva job, Bushie. And all over another pesky cell-phone video. Somewhere Michael Richards is saying "I know how he feels." Bush enjoys Western lore. Didn't he ever read the "Ox-Bow Incident?" Disciplined hangmen must be hard to find in Moktada Al-Sadr's army. But Dubya has achieved the motivating reason for his presidency; he's killed Saddam for Daddy. Do we feel better now? Bush used to enjoy showing Saddam's pistol to visitors in the Oval Office. Now, in the words of Lyndon Johnson, "he has his pecker in his pocket."

All of that controversy was unfolding while the Gerald Ford farewell tour dominated domestic news. It's hard to work up any animus over Gerry Ford. Even the sting of the Nixon pardon has lessened with time. What remains is the fact that Ford's actions regarding Nixon subverted the judicial process by offering a blanket pardon for crimes for which Nixon had not yet been charged. I'm no lawyer, but I watch "Law and Order." Nixon should have been required to allocute before receiving his pardon. Otherwise, what's to stop him from stalking and killing John Dean with his bare hands? But Gerald Ford did calm the post-Watergate vitriol as evidenced by George McGovern's confession that he voted for Ford over Carter in 1976, and did offer a soothing presence while presiding over the collapse of Saigon. Other than that, I mostly remember his policy to fight rampant inflation was to print up a bunch of buttons that said "WIN," for "whip inflation now." It didn't work.

Gerald Ford's comments to Bob Woodward published posthumously in the Washington Post show a deference towards the current administration that might have been courteous, but less effective than had they been printed while Ford was alive. Ford said he "very strongly" disagreed with the President's decision to invade Iraq and chastised his former employees Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld by saying, "Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq." As the troika's excuses for war switched from WMD to the US' "duty to free people," President Ford said, "I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security."

While Bush41, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Goober eulogized Ford as a man of wisdom, newspaper readers were discovering that Ford had said "I don't think, if I had been president..I would have ordered the Iraq war. I would have maximized our effort through sanctions, through restrictions, whatever, to find another answer." While Cheney choked up at the funeral podium over the good old days with his boss, Ford had described him as "pugnacious" as vice president and agreed that Cheney had developed a "fever" about Iraq and the so-called "war on terror." The "Accidental President" never claimed to be brilliant, but he had wisdom tempered by war. Something that his proteges never experienced.

Now on the eve of the swearing in of the 110th Congress, Bush is earnestly appealing for bi-partisanship. He has seemingly rejected the Iraq Study Group Report and dawdled for the month since it was presented talking to anyone with an opinion about Iraq, until he heard the one he wants. Had he only spent as much time in consultation before invading Iraq. Now, he can't be rushed. Early reports say that Bush will do what he intended to do all along. He will ignore the American people, the "generals on the ground," particularly General Casey, the Iraq Study Group, and the soldiers themselves by committing up to 40,000 more troops to the flames to try and save face, Nixon style.

If the 110th Congress has been given any mandate at all, it is to bring this Iraqi horror to an end. If the president refuses to submit a plan for withdrawal, but a "surge" instead, he must be stopped, Nixon style. Not with impeachment, but the cutting off of funds for the war for any other purpose than evacuating our troops from Iraq and transporting them home. If Bush thinks he can play bully-boy to a Democratic congress, I believe he is in for a rude awakening. At least, I hope he is. It's too late in Bush's term to devote the daily attention and man hours needed toward preparing impeachment. In any case, we would have to impeach Cheney first, which would only allow Bush to appoint a caretaker vice president, just like Gerald Ford, that he trusts would carry on his tattered legacy and consider a pardon sometime down the road. In such a scenario, we may one day again hear the words, "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over," from President Condoleeza Rice.

10 comments:

Gregg said...

Well spoken. Well considered. I ran over to Chris Murphy's celebration in New Britain, CT, on Tuesday before he left to go to Washington to take Nancy Johnson's republican spot in CT(5TH). I asked him to step outside for a minute, gave him some eye contact (right out of 1969), and suggested that if he did not become too disillutioned in DC, as I expect he will to some degree, that a lot needs to be done and movement needs to be felt by the people.
I think that any momentum at all, whose waves can be small but need to be palpable out among the masses, will allow for a continued sense of hopefulness. If the 110th falls on its ass, and nobody does the Mr. Smith goes to DC thing, then we could be in for the dull thud of the pent up dreams of rationality as they drop back down to our overly warm and more fecally contaminated soil.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why some folks lament the execution of human predators. It is an aspect of natural selection...it is a way of saying, 'you have been selected against, because you add nothing to the survival of the species. We must dispense with your seeds'. And, yes, Bush screwed up. He threw a rock into a hornet's nest. The problem now is that the passivity of the Democrats may get us killed. How would you like someone like Alan Colmes watching your back? I think that there should be more balance in this blog. It comes across as a front for the Democratic Party. The Republicans suck, but so do the Democrats...just in different ways. Do you really think that the Democrats are going to save the day(ha,ha,ha!!!)? Both parties work overtime to screw this country up in amazing and creative ways. If anything we need less interference from these assholes regardless of their party affiliation. Why not be a little more anti-establishment? Everyone must get stoned...

Anonymous said...

You're right about there being no real difference between the party affiliation of the fools who run this country.One of the biggest problems with the government is the unwise use of tax money. It would be interesting to see the results of an experiment in which a large sum of money is equally divided between representatives of the government and a group of lobotomized patients at a mental hospital. I would wager that the real difference in the value of the results of the spending between the two groups would be negligible. I would just as soon throw money at the apes on Monkey Island at the zoo as give tax money to the government.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Randy...if we withdraw the troops from Iraq, what are we going to do to prevent the slaughter of those Iraqis who stood with us? Just allow them to be wiped out like we did to the Vietnamese when we withdrew from Vietnam? If so, then we are about as trustworthy and honorable as vipers, only without the unsightly scales.

jimbob said...

If they impeach Bush and Cheney together, we will have President Robert Byrd. How's that for a sobering thought? I'm heading for the bathroom, I feel a surge coming.

Anonymous said...

Apparently nothing but empty suits are running the country, so what does it matter? We are suffering from a dearth of leadership in this country and that is because no honorable man will enter the political arena. If one did, he would soon become a whore like the rest of them.

Anonymous said...

Mubarek of Egypt says Hussein made into martyr.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1983658,00.html

davethedog said...

"And the Evil Ones shall be humbled and brought low." These are the days before the White House aides will be saying, Mr. President, your helicopter awaits". Just like Nixon's trip to sab Clemente, Bushes trip back to Texas will be the same, with my hippie-mocassin up his ass!

I must give the credit where it is due. Randy brought down these bastards with his blog. They messed with his and must now suffer the consequences. Hail Randy, I salute you!!

Also, Bush with his stupidity has assured that the war will be the main topic going into the 2008 election. This is the death knell for Republicans and will guarantee the ushering in of a new Democratic age. President Hillary Clinton has a nice ring to it. Vice-President Gus Hall Jr., how does that sound?

Ane we all have Randy to thank for this. He brought them down.

Rock and Roll Bros.

davethedog

Steve said...

Clinton and Hall? Mmmmmm sounds like you are a socialist hippie. Even when I was a long haired musician I never considered myself a hippie. I don't buy into that crap. But if you want to redistribute your wealth go right ahead. Sheee Heeeee

i.m.small said...

LIKE LAWYERS STOOD IN PAKISTAN
Lord, every lawyer to a man
(And woman, I suppose)
Let take a cue from Pakistan
Judicially as those

That there did struggle for the rule
Of law before one man´s;
So let us emulate--but who´ll
Likewise break stupor´s trance?

Now is the time for taking suit
Of those who gave the orders
Or tacitly permitted: brute
Their deeds have had recorders.

None ought to be proclaimed exempt
By virtue of his standing--
How Cheney drips with his contempt,
Or Rumsfeld, "free" from branding.

Even most popular of all
Executives be held
Accountable--held to the wall
So I might add, dispelled

All semblance of immunity
Based upon holding office:
Laws have been broken, this we see,
Which not a thing to scoff is.

Nor even retroactive make
Exemption for complicit
Parties--such firms as dared laws break
So let the laws revisit.

Democracy demands fair law
So Gerald Ford was wrong
Pardoning Nixon: cretins saw,
Emboldened and made strong.

Cheney averred, whatever action
A president committed
Was thereby lawful--his attraction
Since Nixon was acquitted

De facto to the spoils of power--
Jurists, and men of law
(Women too), let now come the hour
To strike malfeasance raw.