Click for a full report.

Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007



Oregon Peaceniks Call For Bush's Public ExecutionBy SG Many of the impeachment hard-liners saved their talking points for Sunday's face-to-face with the man many consider to be Oregon's most liberal member of Congress. A handful were hostile, calling Blumenauer a "coward" for not calling ...Sweetness & Light -

Bulletin from the Troops Out Now Coalition

TUES, SEPT. 25, 3 P.M.

The demonization of Iran taking place in New York is meant to prepare the people for war.

The demonization of Iran taking place in New York is meant to prepare the people for war.

Join us at the White House in an emergency protest, Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. to demand:NO WAR ON IRAN!

As Iran's president prepares to speak to the UN General Assembly, a tsunami of pro-war propaganda is being aimed against yet another oil-rich country in the Middle East.

The Troops Out Now Coalition, which is currently staging an Encampment at the Capitol to tell Congress to stop funding the war against Iraq and instead fund people's needs at home, will be marching to the White House to tell Bush:Get out of Iraq and stay out of Iran!TONC calls on progressive organizations and the anti-war movement to join it and stand against the racist demonization of Iran.

The Bush administration is trying to divert attention from its crimes in Iraq, where an immense humanitarian crisis rages because of the war and continued occupation.The world's No. 1 terrorist lives in the White House!Join us on the Lafayette Park side of the White House for a 3 p.m. protest. Don't let the oil billionaires start yet another war!

Novick Calls for Impeachment Investigation of Bush Administration

Wiretapping & Misuse of Intelligence

Remarks delivered at a September 18, 2007 press conference

Thank you for joining me here today.

Last week, John Frohnmayer entered this race for U.S. Senate, offering a strong statement on an important issue of the day: whether the conduct of this President constitutes grounds for impeachment.

At the time, I gave an incomplete response and I wanted to provide voters with my full views on the issue.

As a candidate for Senate, I am hesitant to call for impeachment, because the Senate sits in judgment in an impeachment proceeding, and obviously, I believe the President and members of his Cabinet are entitled to present a defense before judgment is rendered.

I do, however, believe that an impeachment investigation by the House of Representatives is strongly warranted by the facts, on at least two grounds: the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, and the false – and possibly deliberately misleading – statements made by the President and others to justify the invasion of Iraq, including perhaps most famously the 2003 State of the Union speech alleging that Iraq had attempted to obtain uranium from Africa as part of a nuclear weapons program.

I am fully aware of the political calculations that have brought many Washington DC Democrats to put impeachment proceedings off the table. It would be divisive. It would distract Congress and the country from other business. Both true. But I believe that it would set a very dangerous precedent to say that we will simply overlook the possibility that a President violated the Constitution, or misled a nation into war, because we are concerned about division and distraction. Regardless of the outcome, if we are ever to expect honesty and accountability from another American president, we cannot ignore evidence of dishonesty and illegal activity in the current Administration.

The President has admitted that he authorized the wiretapping of U.S. citizens outside of the legal oversight set forth in FISA. The ad hoc and continually shifting justifications for these violations set out by the President and his administration have been generally derided by legal scholars. Again, if I were in the Senate it would be my obligation to listen to and carefully consider those arguments before rendering judgment. But if the President’s arguments are not legally valid, I believe it is the obligation of the House to impeach the President for violating the Constitution and the law, and that it would be the Senate’s obligation to convict. No President should be allowed to violate the Fourth Amendment and engage in illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

As to the ‘sixteen words’ about an attempt to obtain uranium from Africa, it is clear that senior Administration officials were well aware that there was not credible intelligence to support that statement. Then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice has refused to respond to Congressional subpoenas to answer the question of whether she knew that the President’s statement was based on discredited information.

Rice should be required to answer that question, in light of the clear evidence that her deputy, Stephen Hadley, was directly warned by CIA director George Tenet that the ‘intelligence’ about Africa was not credible when similar language was removed from an October 2002 presidential speech in Cincinnati. It still is unclear how and why that language found its way back into the President’s 2003 address.

If Condoleezza Rice knew that those words would appear in the State of the Union, and was aware that those words were not based on credible intelligence, I believe that she committed an impeachable offense. If the President knew that those words were not based on credible intelligence, I believe that he committed an impeachable offense.

There is historical precedent for impeaching a President on both of these grounds: illegal electronic surveillance and misleading the American people. The precedent is Watergate. The Articled of Impeachment in Watergate included the following:

Article 2, item 2

He misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other executive personnel, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct or continue electronic surveillance or other investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office

If the law was violated in this case, I do not believe that a claim of ‘national security’ makes an otherwise impeachable offense unimpeachable.

With regard to misleading the American people, the Watergate articles included the following:

Article I, item 8:

making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation had been conducted with respect to allegations of misconduct on the part of personnel of the executive branch of the United States and personnel of the Committee for the Re-election of the President, and that there was no involvement of such personnel in such misconduct.

I believe that if misleading the American people about the investigation of a burglary is an impeachable offense, misleading the American people about justifications for a war must be an impeachable offense.

Finally, I would like to thank John Frohnmayer for raising this issue in this campaign. If an underdog Democratic candidate had been the first to raise the issue, I have no doubt that I would have been accused of partisanship and recklessness. Perhaps I should have done so in spite of that. But independent John Frohnmayer’s courageous statement put the issue squarely on the table, and made it impossible for any candidate, myself included, to sweep it under the rug.

The Fire At FireDogLake

Update: Jules makes note, as well.

Looks like whatever fire they have going at FireDogLake has resulted in a total meltdown. Bush should be impeached for holding our troops "hostage". And they wonder why we call them the nutroots.

Last night we heard the President of the United States declare that he would refuse to allow US troops to come home from Iraq until they achieved “success” as he and only he defined success. “Return on success,” he told the troops, adding that “the more successful we are, the more can come home.”

Mr. Bush also called for Congress and the American people to unite behind his polices. He did not ask for their guidance, nor offer to work out a united policy in genuine consultations with both parties. His approach was unilateral, as it has always has been.

What should Congress do with a President that defiantly tells the nation that he will hold over 100,000 soldiers hostage unless they achieve a “success” that is essentially undefined and likely unachievable? Has Congress so limited its constitutional role that there is nothing more to do but send the hostages more weapons and rations and tend to their wounds and their families?

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Even if Bush and Cheney were not removed from office, impeachment ...BuzzFlash - Chicago,IL,USAThere are plenty of reasons to hold immediate joint impeachment hearings for both Bush and Cheney. It is obvious that Bush is relying on his devoted ...See all stories on this topic

Q&A: Jack CaffertyTIME - USAOne new poll says that a majority of people favor impeachment for President Bush. Your reaction? I'm not the least bit surprised. There's a case for taking ...See all stories on this topic

Obey wrong on impeachmentThe Capital Times - Madison,WI,USABut we appreciate that Obey does not try, as some prominent Democrats do, to question the validity of the arguments for impeachment. ...See all stories on this topic

Dozens of protesters call for Bush's impeachment in RenoLas Vegas Sun - Las Vegas,NV,USA(AP) - Dozens of protesters rallied Saturday outside the federal building in Reno to demand an end to the Iraq war and the impeachment of President Bush and ...See all stories on this topic

News Republic editorial: Impeachment talks detract from other key ...Baraboo News Republic - Baraboo,WI,USABut she's a smart politician, and she knows that if she works to get either man hauled in front of Congress for impeachment proceedings, the Democrats won't ...See all stories on this topic

House lacks votes to impeach Bush, Hinchey saysKingston Daily Freeman - Kingston,NY,USAA simple majority, or 218 votes, is needed in the House of Representatives to approve articles of impeachment against a president. ...See all stories on this topic

MoveOn: Should We Move On to Impeachment?By ralphlopez has, in democratic fashion, started an online poll to give people a chance to say whether Moveon should be moving on to impeachment, and why. The following is how I feel, and anyone who feels the same can feel free to ...MyDD -

US Senate Candidate, John Frohnmayer on his call for Bush ImpeachmentIndependent candidate for US Senate, John Frohnmayer, a Bush 41 appointee as head of the NEA, makes the case for impeaching President Bush based on the President exceeding the authority granted him in the US Constitution.Digg / upcoming -

MoveOn Polling About ImpeachmentBy ammasdarling Nancy Pelosi took impeachment "off the table" during the 2006 elections and John Conyers, chair of the Judiciary committee, had Cindy Sheehan and dozens of activists arrested when they sat in at his office in July of this year. ...Daily Kos -

Betsy Cramer on Santa Barbara Impeachment Resolution - Probably ...I don't know whether there is sufficient interest in Santa Barbara for our City Council to adopt a resolution favoring impeachment of the president. Quite a few cities have done so, but after the lightblueline fiasco, it's unrealistic - Impeach... -

Tampa's Back Door Ways ... (OR...): Laughing me ARSE off at FREDDIEThis is a BLATANT strike at the homeless and at education. ..... ELEVEN THOUSAND HOMELESS (1); Ed Dickau The Precinct Master Gave me the NOD (1) ......

Tampa's Back Door Ways ... (OR...): Dying to help the Americans in ...Senator Edward M. Kennedy ..... Donate for Tim Johnson Campaign (1); ELEVEN THOUSAND HOMELESS (1); Ed Dickau The Precinct Master Gave me the NOD (1) ........

Group Wants City Council To Reconsider Impeachment ResolutionWISC - Madison,WI,USAThe Dane County Impeachment Coalition is making a push to get the City Council to reconsider a resolution calling for an impeachment investigation against ...See all stories on this topic

The Urgency of Impeachment: An Exchange of Letters with My ...Huffington Post - New York,NY,USAYou are against proceeding with that impeachment because you fear it will diminish the ability of the House to achieve bipartisan consensus on more ...
Impeachment: the Cure for Every ProblemBy The Editor at IP(The Editor at IP) If 218 Members sign a discharge petition, the Speaker of the House must schedule the legislation for a floor vote. House Republican leaders should consider a discharge petition on the impeachment legislation.The Influence Peddler -

The Impeachment Gang Gets Together TomorrowShe insists there's still time to boot leaders from office: "The Bill Clinton impeachment for sex took two months," she says. "Bush and Cheney have 15 months to destroy this country ... Our real goal is take the i-word of the closet. ...Riptide 2.0 -

More Than Ever, Impeachment Is the CureBy Scarecrow No one mentioned that impeachment is and always has been the logical remedy for an out of control President. Holding US troops hostage to an impossible, ill-defined mission, causing the unnecessary deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands ...Firedoglake -

MoveOn: Should We Move On to Impeachment?By Ralph Lopez has, in democratic fashion, started an online poll to give people a chance to say whether Moveon should be moving on to impeachment, and why. The following is how I feel, and anyone who feels the same can feel free to ...Daily Kos -

Anti-War/Impeachment Protests PlannedBy Leslie Robinson Thousands are expected to march on Washington DC on Saturday as organizations that are promoting the impeachment of President Bush and Vice-President Cheney combine with Iraq anti-war groups for a massive protest. ...Colorado Confidential - Front Page -

Where Impeachment is Taken Seriously ... The Streets of San FranciscoBay Area Indymedia - San Francisco,CA,USAWhere Impeachment is Taken Seriously ... By Everyone But Nancy Pelosi By BEN TERRALL On January 6, 2007, two days after Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the ...See all stories on this topic

Lester Dore: Ald. Clear wrong -- we must speak up on impeachment issueThe Capital Times - Madison,WI,USAI recently wrote to Ald. Mark Clear to ask him to reintroduce the resolution in the City Council to recommend impeachment of President Bush and Dick Cheney ...See all stories on this topic

Horoscope for ImpeachmentProminent astrologer, Corinne Monnard Marcus, mentions impeachment in her forecast for the coming season in her analysis of the Autumnal Equinox. An event in Minneapolis, Minnesota demonstrates that Representative Ellison and House ...Digg / upcoming -

Horoscope for ImpeachmentBy ImpeccableLiberalCredentials(ImpeccableLiberalCredentials) In keeping with that forecast, I am off to attend the pro-impeachment visibility at the Conyers/Ellison event for HR 676 - here are the details: 1-3 pm at The Historic Heights Theater in Columbia Heights just north of Minneapolis, ...Peace, Love and Erica Campbell -

Impeachment Watch: ENOUGH!By forbodyandmind Below the fold, another in my Impeachment Watch roundup series, this time covering the Sept. 15th protests, impeachment, Blackwater, MoveOn, and more. The Jena 6, Habeas Corpus, and the Webb troop rotation bill will have to wait. ...Daily Kos -

First impeachment is off the table, now fillibuster too?By regular_guy First impeachment is off the table, now fillibuster too? From a recent New York Times editorial, In Search of a Congress:. "We support the filibuster as the only way to ensure a minority in the Senate can be heard. ...Bear Republic Action Group -

I wrote you yesterday about efforts to get the Metro NY newspaper to publish these ads. We’ve had a significant response from people who wrote The Metro publisher and suggested avenues for media attention. Thanks for the letters, which were thoughtful and heartfelt ... and urgent.

We still need more funds to publish!

There was a mistake in yesterday’s message. It should have read:

“On Thursday Metro newspaper in NYC refused to run an ad headlined “Who is the Real Nuclear Threat” from the World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush regime in its September 21 issue. The reason given by the publisher was that the content was “too inflammatory” for the prominent back page. On Friday, a second ad “One Million Dead in Iraq” was first rejected for placement on the September 25 back page explicitly because of its content. Then they offered placement on the back page at a price almost four times higher than what was originally agreed upon.”

We were offered an inside page to run the “One Million Dead in Iraq” ad. However, we want it to run on the back page, which is much more visible.

In the meantime, in what is a disastrous capitulation to the terms being set by the Bush regime against those who oppose the war, the New York Times Public Editor, Clark Hoyt, wrote today in "Betraying Its Own Best Interests" on the controversy over the Times publishing the MoveOn ad, "By the end of last week the ad appeared to have backfired on both and fellow opponents of the war in Iraq and on The Times. It gave the Bush administration and its allies an opportunity to change the subject from questions about an unpopular war to defense of a respected general with nine rows of ribbons on his chest, including a Bronze Star with a V for valor. And it gave fresh ammunition to a cottage industry that loves to bash The Times as a bastion of the ‘liberal media’".

Hoyt says the Times should not have published the ad because it amounted to “an attack of a personal nature” on Petraeus, a public official. Hoyt does not speak to the content of the ad, which accurately said “General Petraeus has actually said American troops will need to stay in Iraq for as long as ten years.”

The betrayal going at The Times with this editorial is of the public space for dissent even at the price of $65,000 for an ad running stand-by. It’s been the case since 2003 that if you want to challenge the official narrative, you have to buy space. What will it mean when even that avenue is closed?

Friends, dissent is not an abstract principle these days. The Bush regime is openly preparing the political ground for an air attack on Iran, even while we know the Pentagon has the military plans ready to go. Whether Bush and Cheney are able to do so has a lot to do with how much protest there is in the country against such an attack. That’s the reason we’re timing ads with Tuesday, when Bush speaks at the United Nations.

Putting fear of Congressional sanction or investigation, saying that MoveOn should be “thrown out” of the country, as John McCain did, is backed up with new police powers that have already led to unprecedented police powers in the U.S.

We, including the publishers of newspapers, either stand up the bullying, or get what we accept.

You can reach World Can’t Wait at 866 973 4463.

And, donate generously to get these ads published in more newspapers. Write me if you have ideas and can help.

Debra Sweet,Director, The World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime

Portland Demands that Congressman Blumenauer Push for Bush ImpeachmentAssociated Content - Denver,CO,USAA common theme of many of those who spoke directly to the Congressman, the Democratic Representative from Oregon's Third District, was that of impeachment ...See all stories on this topic

The verdict is inUW Badger Herald - Madison,WI,USALikewise, on the impeachment vote, we have little doubt Mr. Judge won't be voting Republican in 2008, but again he chose not to stoop down to the ...See all stories on this topic

IMPEACHMENT is put "on the Town Hall table" by citizens (video)By Joe Anybody / Ben Waiting She eloquently gets those in favor of Impeachment to stand up and then as in the spirit of Peter Pan's "Tinker Bell" she asked all those to clap if you "Believed in Impeachment" The Town Hall Meeting participants in the theater were up ...portland indymedia - newswire -

Lester Dore: We Must Speak Up on Impeachment IssueLester Dore: Alderman Clear wrong -- we must speak up on impeachment issue. Dear Editor:. On Monday, I joined in a demonstration in front of Sen. Herb Kohl's office on Mifflin Street. I was reading the names, ages, ranks and dates of - Impeach... -

Town hall crowd calls for Bush impeachmentBy The Oregonian At a lively town hall meeting Sunday, billed as a discussion about "peace and accountability," emotions directed at US Rep. Earl Blumenauer ranged from calm to screaming mad. Nearly all of it was about one subject: Impeachment of Breaking News Updates -

David Swanson Speaks to South Florida Impeachment CoalitionBy Matthew A group of Impeachment activists from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, Florida have formed the South Florida Impeachment Coalition. We are busy lobbying members of Congress and asking them to co-sponsor Cong. Kucinich's H. ...

Letter BoxBrattleboro Reformer - VT, United StatesI urge you to support the impeachment process and encourage you to join with your colleagues in the House who are committed to pursuing an immediate end to ...See all stories on this topic

Locals say impeachHomer Tribune - Homer,AK,USAAmy Bollenbach, chair of the Homer Citizens for Impeachment group that has grown to 30 members since its inception four weeks ago, said the movement is ...See all stories on this topic

Novick joins calls for Bush (subscription) - Portland,OR,USABy JULIA SILVERMAN / AP Calling for the impeachment of President Bush is catching on among those vying to take over Republican Gordon Smith's seat in the US...See all stories on this topic

Conyers/Ellison in Minneapolis Town Hall Meeting on Health Care ...OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USAImpeachforPeace requested a Minneapolis Town Hall meeting on Impeachment from Ellison's office months ago and it was put on the calendar for. ...See all stories on this topic

Yalies for the Impeachment of Bush-CheneyBy Ralph Lopez ... and thus prone to peccadillo, but George Bush and Dick Cheney have so grievously violated their oaths of office to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States" that the only remedy is impeachment. ...Daily Kos -

AND 55 Mark C Miller and Craig Barnes on Systematic Election FraudBy (Craig S. Barnes) IMMEDIATE ACTION: Please voice your impeachment opinion (for or against) by calling House Speaker Pelosi's office at 202-225-0100 or call the toll-free capitol switchboard and ask for Pelosi's office: (800) 828-0498 - (800) 459-1887...Impeachment Podcast -

Yalies for the Impeachment of Bush-CheneyBy ralphlopez A call for the impeachment of a president is not one to be taken lightly. But when the foundations of constitutional government are in mortal danger, it is time to raise our full voices. Politicians will always be politicians and thus ...MyDD -

On the Rehabilitative Power of ImpeachmentBill Cope: "(S)peaking as a dedicated Democrat, I don't want future Democratic presidents exercising Bush hand-me-down imperial powers any more than I want future Republican presidents doing it. This goes beyond party loyalties. -

Novick Calls for Impeachment By At a press conference earlier today, democratic US Senate candidate Steve Novick called for the US House to begin impeachment proceedings for President Bush. The statement was a response to independent candidate John Frohnmayer's call ...

Senate blocks bill on Iraq combat toursKansas City Star - MO,USAMark Warner Mark Warner and Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., right, wait to be introduced at a fund raiser at the Chesapeake Convention Center in Chesapeake, Va., ...See all stories on this topic


From The Sunday TimesSeptember 16, 2007Alan Greenspan claims Iraq war was really for oilGraham PatersonAMERICA’s elder statesman of finance, Alan Greenspan, has shaken the White House by declaring that the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil.In his long-awaited memoir, to be published tomorrow, Greenspan, a Republican whose 18-year tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve was widely admired, will also deliver a stinging critique of President George W Bush’s economic policies.

However, it is his view on the motive for the 2003 Iraq invasion that is likely to provoke the most controversy. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says.Greenspan, 81, is understood to believe that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the security of oil supplies in the Middle East.Britain and America have always insisted the war had nothing to do with oil. Bush said the aim was to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and end Saddam’s support for terrorism.

The disenchantment of the American public with the burdens it has borne alone for nearly four years has generated growing demands for some form of unilateral withdrawal, usually expressed in the form of benchmarks to be put to the Baghdad government which, if not fulfilled in specific time periods, would trigger American disengagement.

But under present conditions, withdrawal is not an option. American forces are indispensable. They are in Iraq not as a favour to its government or as a reward for its conduct. They are there as an expression of the American national interest to prevent the Iranian combination of imperialism and fundamentalist ideology from dominating a region on which the energy supplies of the industrial democracies depend.

Matthews Rants: 'Should We Put Exxon Signs Up Over Arlington Cemetery?'
By Geoffrey Dickens September 17, 2007 - 19:08 ET

Chris Matthews might as well have chanted "No Blood For Oil" throughout the Monday edition of MSNBC's "Hardball" as he sounded like an anti-war protestor as he charged that U.S. servicemen and women were spilling blood for Big Oil, as he questioned: "Are we fighting for the American oil companies for Mobil and Exxon? And they are making these enormous profits because of access to oil over there...Should we put Exxon signs up over Arlington Cemetery and Mobil signs up there, like they have at baseball stadiums?"

Pivoting off a David Shuster report that claimed Alan Greenspan "provided evidence" that the Iraq war has been "fought for oil," Matthews devoted much of the September 17 edition of "Hardball" to that conspiracy theory. The following is Shuster's report followed by Matthews's various "No Blood for Oil," rants:

David Shuster: "No blood for oil has long been a rallying cry for activists against the Iraq war and as the marchers demonstrated again this weekend a top Washington insider, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan provided evidence that bolstered the controversial argument the Iraq war was launched and continues to be fought for oil. In his book, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures In A New World, Greenspan writes, quote, ‘I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows, the Iraq war is largely about oil.'

It's a huge problem for the Bush administration when there's any evidence to suggest 3800 American soldiers have died to keep oil prices down. Former Fed chair Alan Greenspan is one of the most respected and influential voices in the country. So administration officials are speaking about the Iraq war and are trying to re-frame the issue."

The Oil Factor The Oil Factor
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTMLKissinger. Kissinger unveils the. unveils the Project. Project. Independence ... Al Qaeda fighters equipped and trained. Source:. Blood and Oil - Similar pages - Note this
Kissinger Admits Iran Attack Is About OilCenter for Research on Globalization, Canada - Sep 21, 2007The fact that the Iraq invasion was about oil is a familiar cliche that was even acknowledged by Alan Greenspan last week. "So what? We need that oil," the ...

From Greenspan to Kissinger Oil WarriorsCounterPunch, CA - Sep 19, 2007(Kissinger himself refers to his concerns about Iran as "truisms.") But these claims have not been accepted as obvious in US political life. The Iraq was ...

Kissinger: Stay In IraqAtlantic Online - Sep 17, 2007A lot of one's judgment on this is bound up with how much interest one believes the West still has in protecting oil supplies. But unlike Alan Greenspan, ...

A Failure of PoliticsU.S. News & World Report, DC - Sep 23, 2007As former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger aptly wrote, "An abrupt withdrawal from Iraq would not end the war, it would only re-direct it," and might well ...

US fears Iran's control of oil, not nukePRESS TV, Iran - Sep 20, 2007... a region on which their economies depend", claimed Kissinger in his Op-Ed for immediate release entitled: " PUTTING POLITICS ASIDE TO SAVE IRAQ. ...

Shuster: Blood for Oil (or the Dirty Fucking Hippies were RIGHT!)

Of course the majority of Americans who opposed this war from the start would not consider themselves hippies, but that is the broad brush of condemnation that the nationalists always try to paint us with. Maybe we should start calling ourselves Smart Fucking Hippies because we were right about most everything in this war, and BushCo was wrong.

The hardest days will come
As we sit and evaluate
What we have done
Claiming that this war
Was to liberate Iraq
But I see so some other
Mercenaries for hire
under the red, white & and blue
dying for something that
you yourself wouldn't do
our country labors and toils
with sending our troops
marching through enemy soil
Forced to
Trade blood for oil
A debt that will be paid
for by blood and sweat
Coupled with many
years and years of
A rehearsed speech to reach
the people and gain support
Will not change how or why
This war is fought
In the court of public
opinion I am sending
this message
to you
that the slaughter of our
sons and daughters
on foreign soil and the
trading of their lives
for oil
is not a fair trade
and in the days to come
you'll see
that this is the biggest
mistake you could
have made
On Machiavelli

On talkback radio ordinary members of the public have been calling in to say that, while they concede that torture is in general a bad thing, it may nonetheless sometimes be necessary. Some even advance the proposition that we may have to do evil for the sake of a greater good. In general they are scornful of absolutist opponents of torture: such people, they say, do not have their feet on the ground, do not live in the real world.

Machiavelli says that if as a ruler you accept that your every action must pass moral scrutiny, you will without fail be defeated by an opponent who submits to no such moral test. To hold on to power, you have not only to master the crafts of deception and treachery but to be prepared to use them where necessary.

Necessity, necessità, is Machiavelli's guiding principle. The old, pre-Machiavellian position was that the moral law was supreme. If it so happened that the moral law was sometimes broken, that was unfortunate, but rulers were merely human, after all. The new, Machiavellian position is that infringing the moral law is justified when it is necessary.

Thus is inaugurated the dualism of modern political culture, which simultaneously uphollds absolute and relative standards of value. The modern state appeals to morality, to religion, and to natural law as the ideological foundation of its existence. At the same time it is prepared to infringe any or all of these in the interest of self-preservation.

Machiavelli does not deny that the claims morality makes on us are absolute. At the same time he asserts that in the interest of the state the ruler "is often obliged [necessitato] to act without loyalty, without mercy, without humanity, and without religion." The kind of person who calls talkback radio and justifies the use of torture in the interrogation of prisoners holds the double standard in his mind in exactly the same way: without in the least denying the absolute claims of the Christian ethic (love thy neighbour as thyself), such a person approves freeing the hands of the authorities - the army, the secret police - to do whatever may be necessary to protect the public from enemies of the state.

The typical reaction of liberal intellectuals is to seize on the contradiction here: how can something be both wrong and right, or at least both wrong and OK, at the same time? What liberal intellectuals fail to see is that this so-called contradiction expresses the quintessence of the Machiavellian and therefore the modern, a quintessence that has been thoroughly absorbed by the man in the street. The world is ruled by necessity, says the man in the street, not by some abstract moral code. We have to do what we have to do.

If you wish to counter the man in the street, it cannot be by appeal to moral principles, much less by demanding that people should run their lives in such a way that there are no contradictions between what they say and what they do. Ordinary life is full of contradictions; ordinary people are used to accommodating them.

Rather, you must attack the metaphysical, supra-empirical status of necessità and show that to be fraudulent.

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