Saturday, May 01, 2004

Joe Wilson Interview--Regrets Contribution to Bush Now 

SoonerThought carries Ambassador Wilson's interview with David Corn.

I thought he would be the better of the two Republican
presidential candidates then in the running. When he talked
about compassionate conservatism, it seemed as if he was
interested in reprising the first Bush administration. I had
been happy with parts of its foreign policy. But after Bush
lost the New Hampshire primary and tacked hard to the right in
South Carolina to beat John McCain, it was clear to me he was
not a good choice. I declined to sign a letter of former
ambassadors supporting him. About that contribution--I was
wrong. I admit my error.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Dispatches from Iraq, Part 1 

Christian is an aquaintance of my friend, Jenny. He's in Iraq working as a contractor (an actual contractor, not one of those “contractors” who rape inmates and start firefights). He’s sending dispatches back to let everyone know what it’s like living and working over there.

Kuwait - April 23, 2004

This is Christian writing from Kuwait. This is my first dispatch from the Middle East. By now, I think I've included all those who expressed an interested in the newsletter. If you should wish to stop receiving these e-mails, let me know and I will remove you.

As most of you already know, I am working with Louis Berger (the US contractor responsible for many development infrastructure projects) on rebuilding the various Iraqi ministries needed for a successful government - transportation, communications, health, and justice. I have a year contract and will be living and working in the Green Zone. My role is to manage payroll and perfrom various admin task. I may even participate in the hiring process for recruiting Iraqis.

I don't yet know how often I will write these. It totally depends on the situation on the ground in Baghdad. I will write as often as experience dictates. That is, as I experience things that I feel are important I will write them down and report them (This is also depends on my internet access).

Many of you expressed an interest in this newsletter since you wanted to get an inside perspective. I must admit, that is one of the many reasons I signed up for this. I really want to know what is going on and why.

I don't yet know what things I can or cannot write about so don't be suprised if there are any voids of info that I don't touch upon.

I also don't yet know how much internet access or time I will have so don't be alarmed or surprised if I don't write you back immediately regarding any individual e-mails or questions.

I guess that about covers it.

Just a few days into my stint and it has alread been an adventure!
Read the rest at The Invisible Library

John McCain: Patriot 

In case you haven't heard, Nightline is paying a tribute to America's fallen tonight. The program will consist of nothing more than a reading of the names of those killed in Iraq, along with their photographs.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group, which controls stations which reach 24 percent of American households, has instructed their ABC affiliates not to air the broadcast.

John McCain provides the proper response. Any more conservative 'troop supporters' care to follow suit?

The Center for American Progress has more info about Sinclair (scroll down).

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Welcome to the soapbox 

I'm trying something a little different for me over on my blog and have my first interview. This has been in the works for a few months. I think I'll do some more of these (my next one will hopefully be an interview with someone from Planned Parenthood). The aim for me is to learn and hear other people's viewpoints that I haven't experienced, or don't understand, or don't know enough about, or even not support. I want to keep the interview open and friendly. Oh, and I think I want to keep it local to Fresno County or the Central Valley. First up is an interview with Robin McGehee on being gay and gay marriage. You can read the interview here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Free Trade Talks -- WTO could make US remove subsidies 

For the first time a third world nation has successfully challenged a first world nation in international trade talks.

In a landmark preliminary ruling, the WTO has decided that the US is violating international trade rules. If this ruling is held up in the final decision in June, all first world nations could be forced to comply with the rules they now impose on third world countries.

Perhaps the most important effect of this ruling is that it is a first step against the unfair demands made by many first world nations in trading with the third world. Often the former demand that the latter eradicate all subsidies, only to continue subsidizing their own products. As a result, third world producers are left unprotected and cannot stay adequately competitive in a market where only first world produces are 'allowed' (behind the scenes) to subsidize.

The ruling would also have significant domestic implications for the US. Bush could lose the major farm belt support if he eliminates subsidies for crops.

The full article on The WTO ruling against US subsidies

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Meet The Press 

You know how the President usually sends out small dogs to defend his name? For example, you'll see Cheney, or Rumsfeld, or Powell, or Condi, go on the Sunday talk shows or Larry King or whatever to take the hit for Bush and spin things in his favor.

Has anyone noticed- and found it really weird- that Saudi Arabian Prince Bandar bin Sultan is now taking on the role of Bush defense man?

I like that Russert, today, had Bandar on to defend Bush for the first half of the interview, and the second half was Russert asking Bandar about all the anti-Semitic, pro-Islamic Militant stuff he's in favor of. Works out great. For example:


MR. RUSSERT: But, Prince, here's the question. This is a photograph of you with the president down at his Crawford ranch. He brought his family. Alison Walsh of The New Yorker wrote you are almost a member of the Bush family. That was her interpretation after doing an enormous amount of research.

No More Than Five Minutes Later:

MR. RUSSERT: Prince, the former general consul to the Department of Treasury, David Aufhauser...


MR. RUSSERT: ...a professional, a lawyer, testifying under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Question: "With regard to the trail of money ... and whether it leads in some cases to Saudi Arabia?" Aufhauser: "In many cases it is the epicenter." Question: "And does that trail of money also show money going to al Qaeda?" Aufhauser: "Yes." "Is the money from Saudi Arabia a significant source of funding for terrorism generally?" Aufhauser: "Yes. Principally al Qaeda but many other recipients as well."

This was the scene in April 2002, when your king [had] a state-sponsored telethon--and look at these pictures--raised over $92 million and the money was "for Palestinian martyrs"...


MR. RUSSERT: ...suicide bombers who blew up Israeli children, school buses, restaurants. Here's the Treasury Department of the United States saying that Saudi money is funding al-Qaeda. You're having telethons raising money for Palestine suicide bombers, and you sit here and say, "How could people say these terrible things about us?"

PRINCE BANDAR: Yes, I say that very easily because nothing stands still. If you are saying before 9/11 we didn't have our thing together, yes, but nor did you. Look what 9/11 is showing. However, since...

MR. RUSSERT: This was April of 2003.


For whatever reason, people still plan to vote for George W Bush.