Elections, The EU, Idiotic British Government, Beit Hanoun

Before mentioning the American Midterm Elections, lets take a moment to look southward. Does anyone remember when Ronald Reagan and George Bush (the first), along with Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, et. al., went about selling arms to Iran to fund their support for an anti-government terrorist organisation in Nicaragua? Those fighting against the government in Nicaragua were called the "contras," and they were working specifically on bahalf of the US government against the leftist-socialist president Daniel Ortega. Most recently, Oliver North flew to Nicaragua to specifically campaign against Ortega. Well, it didn't work.

We can factually state, now, that Daniel Ortega has won (and this is not a projection) the Presidency of Nicaragua, returning after over 15 years away. I'll bet Reagan is turning over in his grave.

Before touching on the U.S. elections, I would like to ask, with all due respect, who is the idiot in the EU government that decided, JUST WEEKS after the US passed a law doing away with the 800 year old concept of Habeus Corpus (the ability to ask for a fair panel to decide wether it is legal (or not) for you to be detained), and also putting in the hands of the untrustworthy US president the ability to singlehandely decide what constitutes torture, that the EU has decided to set up a high level group to work on increasing "anti terror" cooperation with the US. Just typing it makes me want to go wash my hands.

I would also like to mention to the British people that, every time you (as consistantly happens) tell your government to stop acting like a slave to the US, your government slaps you in the face. The british parliament has passed a law making it possible for the US to demand, and immediately receive, any British citizen that they demand (on "terror" grounds) without having to provide any evidence whatsoever. However, if the British government requests (not demands, requests) someone to be extradited from the US, they must carry the burden of proof that this person needs to be sent to Britain. Good luck with that.

In the western Middle East, the IDF has pulled out of Beit Hanoun after their "Autumn Clouds" operation leaving 50+ dead and hundreds more wounded, in addition to intense destruction of housing and infrastructure. As The Guardian reports, "Israel pulls out, leaving a trail of death."

On the American elections, already "glitches" in the voting system are popping up all over the country, with problems reported in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, Colorado, Indiana, and Oklahoma. However, voter turnout seems to be approaching an unprecedented level for a midterm election. All of this is discussed in articles in The Guardian and RTE (Ireland).

I also have statement of fact to make: Joe Lieberman is not a Democrat, or an Independent-- he is a Republican.

VOTE BY PARTY ID TOTAL Lieberman Lamont Schlesinger
Democrat (39%) 32% 66% 2%
Republican (26%) 71% 9% 20%
Independent (35%) 54% 36% 9%

VOTE BY IDEOLOGY TOTAL Lieberman Lamont Schlesinger
Liberal (26%) 27% 70% 3%
Moderate (53%) 55% 37% 8%
Conservative (21%) 66% 13% 20%

"It will represent a significant change in the balance of power between the Executive and Legislative branches" of the United States government -Wolf Blitzer, CNN, on the democrats being projected to win control of the House of Representatives.

No, it won't. In general, the democrats are still, by and large, quite conservative. They want to stay in Iraq, they want to "win." The question, as posed by Chuch Schumer, was how much of an agressive foreign policy people will support... not that they want to stop the conservative imperial agenda, just that they don't want to do it the same way.

We can hold out hope that they might shine some light into the dark corners of the US government, and it is an important first step in initiating change... but it is not the end of the fight. It is only the beginning.


Kel said...


I am aware of Blair giving the US the power to extradite Brits to the US and that this same right is not reciprocated. The British government has no similar right to extradite Americans to the US. It is simply shocking but is also fairly typical of Blair's attitude towards Britain and the US where he appears to see us as something akin to a 51st state.

And I have also written about what the Israelis are doing in Palestine. The terrible truth is that even with the Dems taking the House nothing will change as they are as blatantly pro-Israeli as the Repugs.

Kel said...

Sorry, when I said, "The British government has no similar right to extradite Americans to the US", I meant UK. Obviously.

misneach said...


I am constantly astounded at the way that Blair shirks all of his responsibilities to his population in favor of doing whatever it is that the bush administration wants on such a consistant basis. What on earth could be in it for him to make him Bush's lapdog? Did he sell his soul to Bush to get elected or something?

It seems as well that the Dems have taken the senate. On the one hand it makes me feel slightly vindicated that there are enough sane americans to come out at an election like this and scream out (indirectly) at their president, but at the same time it really feels like a hollow victory.

The democrats have no concrete plan to get the Kyoto protocols passed, to get the US to live up to its NNPT obligations, to dissolve the Iraqi government and constitution and instead create a genuinely democratic government in Iraq (which would include handing back over control of Iraq's oil to Iraq, removing the secular militia influence from the police and army, rebuilding the destroyed infrastructure, doing away with the legal immunity for "coalition" soldiers and mercinaries and bringing perpetrators of normal crimes and war crimes to justice, etc., as is in the will of the general Iraqi population), to repeal the Military Commissions act, declare military tribunals unconstitutional, initiate accountability for US government (including elected officials) and military personnell guilty of violations of international law and treaties (war crimes, torture, etc.), actively engage in diplomacy with countries on the US's hit list (iran, n. korea, palestine, syria, venezuela), suspend military aid to Israel, drastically decrease the military budget (which is basically free research and development capital for big business funded by the US taxpayer) and drastically increase funding for social welfare programs (health care, social security, education), hold the president accountable for his unconstitutional "signing statements," and so on... but none of this will happen. Those who benefit from most of these policies gave almost as much money to democrat candidates as republican ones I'd say, so other than the rhetoric, I don't think we can expect any positive steps.

That just takes the sweetness out of this candy for me.

mariestaad said...

On this, I disagree with you. Senator Biden, along with Chris Shays (a very moderate Republican) and Carl Levin have been working on an Iraqi plan. They would like to have a conference and go over the Baker-Hamilton report and basically hash out the best plan that is possible in such a screwed up military endeavor. Will it be perfect? No. Will it be helpful to Iraqis? Probably not. Will it leave us there for a couple of more years? That's a real possibility. But at least they are DOING something rather than hiding out in the White House, and delusionally insisting that the "mission is going well." Rumsfeld is gone, and so people in the Def. Dept. who have at least a modicum of sanity can offer up their ideas and actually have them listened to. Also GITMO is soon to be addressed as well. It's far from perfect, but it's a step in the correct direction (as opposed to the "right" direction).

misneach said...


I wish I could share your optimism about Guantanamo, but I find it hard to believe that any progress can be made in the US in terms of a) recognising it's illegal nature, b) bringing to justice perpetrators of torture (by Geneva Convention definitions, not by Alberto Gonzales definitions), c) declaring military tribunals unconsitutional, d) repealing the Military Commissions act (or having it declared unconsitutional as in violation of existing laws and the separation of powers between executive and judicial)... however, as it was passed with the help of some Democrat congresspeople, I don't see that happening.

As far as Iraq is concerned, I (again) admire your optimism. I think that, based on past practice, the US government (democrat and republican) is not going to pursue any policies in Iraq that are based strictly on what is in the best interests of Iraqis. I think that such policies would have to include scrapping the current system of government and the current constitution (passed in 2005 under the threat of violence and without the population having had the opportunity to even read it as it was still being revised up to 4 days before the referrendum); nationalisation (as was done by Hussein in the 70s) of Iraq's energy resources and the investment of the proceeds towards necessities such as water, electricity, health care, education, etc. (which would include cancelling lucrative contracts for Halliburton and other major US companies); dealing with the chronic unemployment (in some places as high as 60%) that provides a plethora of recruits for religious extremists; dismantling the large military base (misleadingly called the "embassy" or "green zone") in the heart of Baghdad; immediate and full withdrawl of all occupation forces (in line with the desires of the Iraqi population, which the western media quit polling on the subject due to the overwhelming and damning nature of their responses); repealing legal immunity for US soldiers and US mercenaries operating above the law in Iraq (and subsequently bringing criminals to justice), and so on. However, the vast majority of these items, all necessary for stemming the root causes of the sectarian violence, are viewed as so radical by both parties that they do not even enter public discussion.

I believe that occupying armies (especially ones that, upon the collapse of their original pretexts for invasion, assert that they are there strictly to "bring freedom and democracy") have NO RIGHTS as far as their presence is concerned, ONLY RESPONSIBILITIES. We should not even be discussing what is in the best interests of US soldiers, politicians, or bureaucrats, before we have sorted out what is in the best interests of the Iraqi people. Lets not forget, the US death toll stands at roughly 3000, the Iraqi death toll a staggering 600000. We owe it to them to set things right.

As always, I am honored to provide a venue for your comments.

misneach said...

and how could I forget War Reparations! (as opposed to "aid") or the fact that civil war was a predicted consequence of the US's authored constitution!