Closing down Guantanamo is not enough. The US Government (starting with Bush) has to declare that NO torture will be allowed, the Geneva Convention will be followed exactly, and to prove we mean it, the US must join the ICC. Then maybe the ones who are responsible for the torture (from policy to implementation) will be punished. And a good deal of the repubs are evil, DeLay does belong in jail, and I think you owe Dean an apology.
Letter to the Washington Post in June 2005:
It was six paragraphs into the article titled "Memo: US Lacked Full Postwar Iraq Plan" before the real issue in the Downing Street Memo was raised. That issue was not postwar planning, rather it was the claim that "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." This statement indicates that the Bush administration had already decided on war in Iraq, and the claims of WMDs were being generated to provide a rationale. In early 2001, both Rice and Powell said that Saddam was "contained" and "not a threat" and that they did not believe he has reinstated his WMD programs. A further report (briefing paper) on a July 2002 meeting in Britain was released today in the Times (UK). They report that "The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal." They then go on to describe how issuing an ultimatum concerning weapon inspections in Iraq may result in a rejection by Saddam, and thereby provide a legal basis for a war. That did not happen, however. Saddam did let the UN weapons inspectors into Iraq, and they (like the US inspectors after them) found nothing. Which was exactly what Rice and Powell predicted back in 2001.
To NBC in June 2005:
>REP. WELDON: “No. I call specifically for no war against Iran. The problem is not the Iranian people. It's not even the Iranian government. It Ayatollah Khomeini, his radical religious extremism. He set up a council of nine. They're the problem."
Could someone please tell the stupid Mr. Weldon and the stupid Mr. Russert that Ayatollah Khomeini died in 1989? This is pathetic.
Letter to the LA Times in June 2005:
In the Editorial "Children, Candy, Death" the following statement is made: "Security forces can't stop all attacks; they depend on help from Iraqis to provide intelligence." How about we change that to apply to the recent terrorist attack in London? That would read "Security forces can't stop all attacks; they depend on help from Britons to provide intelligence." Does that make sense to you? Why is it we expect Iraqis to figure out and stop terrorists attacks in their country, yet the same standard is not applied to Britain or even the USA?
Another comment: "One day after the Baghdad tragedy, U.S. officials reported the capture of another key member of Zarqawi's group, the second arrested in a week." How many "key" members (or aides or officials) does Zarqawi have? Either he has thousands of "key" aides or he is recruiting more and more all the time.
And last: "Even those who want coalition troops to leave immediately should understand that a nation can't be built on the bones of murdered children." It seems to me that the reason that some people want coalition forces to leave is because they are seemingly inspiring more violence, and they surely are inept at stopping it.
Letter to News & Observer in June 2005:
I would tell Mr. Bush that Rumsfeld finally said something recently that is correct: "Foreigners don't defeat insurgencies." I would tell Mr. Bush that the US presence in Iraq is promoting instability and chaos and violence, and the longer we stay the worse it will get. We need to get out of Iraq now. That means you, Mr. Bush, have to give up your never-stated reasons behind the invasion of Iraq. You will not get what you want, ever.
Letter to NYT in August 2005:
Mr. Rich states "Twenty-eight months after the fall of Saddam, only "a small number" of Iraqi troops are capable of fighting without American assistance." Seems to me there are a lot of fighting Iraqis right now without any American assistance. There are Shias fighting Shias and Sunnis fighting Sunnis. Is it correct to call them "troops"? I would guess that the word "resistance" would be the more appropriate word. But after months and months of hearing that this is a Sunni-vs-Shia conflict from our corporate press, it looks to me to be a pro-occupation vs anti-occupation Iraqi fight. And that is what I suspected all along - but then, I remembered that 2/3 of the original 'deck of cards' were actually Shias. I also remembered what Powell and Rice had to say about Saddam in 2001 (that he was contained and not a threat), which lead me to suspect that there were no WMDs in Iraq. When you can remember some things, the nonsense often described in our corporate press looks sillier and sillier.
Letter to the Toledo Blade in July 2005:
“While there is a growing recognition in the country that going to war was a bad decision based on nonexistent WMDs, there is also a growing resignation that the U.S. can't up and leave the chaos it unleashed. We know we have to see this nightmare through and it makes us sick.”
That is like saying we have to keep throwing gasoline on this fire until we put it out.