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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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Posted on: 2008/3/26 1:05
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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While we're at it, lets not forget about the 20,000 (and counting) wounded U.S. soldiers. And the massive increase in suicides. What 2, 3, 4 tours in Iraq is doing to them is a terrible thing that we will be reading about in the years to come. Of course right wingers will call them big babies like they have Vietnam veterans.

Also, Ronald Reagan DID NOT end the cold war. That's a myth the right keeps pushing to try and make it so. 50 years of U.S. foreign policy took down the Soviet Union. That's a fact.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 22:02
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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Scotter +2, it is indeed a myth that Republicans are frugal whereas Democrats engage in profligate spending. Bush & Co have squandered our surplus and made our deficit skyrocket and given numerous tax breaks/concessions to the wealthy. And if the government is going to engage in excessive spending, at least use it on the American public (education, infrastructure, healthcare, etc.) not weapons. The Republicans have done a masterful job at manipulating this fiction. I saw that Krugman piece which was quite telling. This country is increasingly turning into something like Brazil where you can have two societies while eviscerating the middle class over time. Regarding the war, I'd rather vote for Barack or Hillary than see McCain extend our presence there indefinitely. This article posits otherwise. Also, I am so tired of people painting Barack like he's some commie leftie liberal. I think they honestly do that because of his mixed heritage and his free-thinking mother (how cool was she). He is more moderate but perhaps people are speaking relatively (liberal in contrast to Cheney and those other nut jobs) from www.commondreams.org

Published on Monday, March 24, 2008 by TruthDig.com
A Conscientious Objection
by Chris Hedges
Those of us who oppose the war, who believe that all U.S. troops should be withdrawn and the network of permanent bases in Iraq dismantled, have only two options in the coming presidential elections-Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney. A vote for any of the Republican and Democratic candidates is a vote to perpetuate the occupation of Iraq and a lengthy and futile war of attrition with the Iraqi insurgency. You can sign on for the suicidal hundred-year war with John McCain or for the nebulous open-ended war-lite with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, or back those who reject the war. If you vote Democrat or Republican in the coming election be honest with yourself-you have voted to allow the U.S. government to continue, in some form, the campaign that needlessly kills ever more Americans and Iraqis in a conflict that has become the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history and a crime under international law.

?When will the American people actually vote to give to the world more than bombs and missiles, sweatshops, dubious science, frankenfood, poverty and misery?? Cynthia McKinney, the presidential candidate in the Green Party primaries, told me. ?Not only do we need an immediate, orderly withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, we need an end to the militarism that has placed U.S. troops on the soil of over 100 countries. A true peace agenda means a complete redefinition of security. I remain convinced that if people in Haiti, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua can vote a peace and justice agenda into power, then so too can we.?

Examine the proposals on Iraq offered by Clinton and Obama. They talk about withdrawing some troops, but they also talk about leaving behind forces to protect U.S. bases in Iraq, assigning troops to train the Iraqi army and continuing the fight against ?terrorism.? Clinton and Obama do not throw out numbers, but a rough estimate would be 40,000 or 50,000 troops permanently stationed in Iraq. Obama, his advisers say, will also not rule out continuing to use private security companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq. The war would not end under a Democratic administration. It would drag on until the mission collapsed and the U.S. retreated in humiliation. And when pressed, the Democratic candidates have admitted as much. Tim Russert in the New Hampshire debate asked the Democratic candidates to guarantee that all U.S. troops in Iraq would be home by 2013. No one, including John Edwards, was prepared to make such a commitment. Dennis Kucinich, the only Democratic candidate who opposed a continuation of the war, had been excluded from the debate. When the question was asked he was standing outside the hall in the snow with supporters to protest his exclusion.

But the lust for militarism by Clinton and Obama does not end with Iraq. The two remaining Democratic candidates back the occupation of Afghanistan. They defend Israel?s indiscriminate bombing of Lebanon, which killed hundreds of Lebanese, destroyed huge parts of Lebanon?s infrastructure and left U.S.-manufactured cluster bombs littered over southern Lebanon. Clinton and Obama praise the right-wing government in Jerusalem and callously blame the Palestinian victims for the suffering inflicted on them by Israel. They support, in open defiance of international law, the 40-year Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the draconian siege of Gaza, dismissing the grim humanitarian crisis it has unleashed on the 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in the world?s largest open-air prison.

The Democrats, who took control of the Congress in midterm elections largely because of public dissatisfaction with the Iraq war, have continued to fund the war, ignoring anti-war voters. The party, as a result, has sunk even lower in public opinion polls than the president, to a 19 percent approval rating, according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Clinton and Obama dutifully lined up with most other Democratic legislators to cast ballots in favor of squandering more than $300 billion in taxpayer money on a war that should never have been fought. And, if either is elected, he or she will spend billions more on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will skip the rest of the mediocre voting records of Obama and Clinton, which include pandering to corporate interests, failing to back a universal single-payer health care system, refusing to call for the slashing of the bloated military budget, not urging repeal of NAFTA and the Taft-Hartley Act, which cripples the ability of unions to organize, and not seeking an end to nuclear power as an energy resource. Let?s stick with the war. It is depressing enough.

The anti-war movement bears much of the blame. It sold us out to the Democratic Party. The decision by anti-war activists to accept a moratorium on demonstrations in 2004 in order to support John Kerry ended our chance to build a widespread, grass-roots movement against the war. Kerry, in return for this support, ridiculed and humiliated those of us who opposed the war. He called for more troops in Iraq. He mouthed thought-terminating patriotic slogans to out-Bush Bush. He promised victory in Iraq. He assured voters that he, unlike George W. Bush, would never have pulled out of Fallujah. Anti-war voters stood passively behind him as they were humiliated and abused. And the anti-war movement has never recovered. The groundswell of popular revulsion that led hundreds of thousands to take to the streets before 2006 collapsed. The five-year anniversary of the war was marked with tepid protests that were sparsely attended. Why not? If the anti-war movement gutlessly backs pro-war candidates, what credibility does it have? If it fails to support those candidates on the margins of the political spectrum who stand with it against the war, what is the movement worth? Why not be cynical and go home?

?It is a virus,? Nader said in a phone interview. ?It is self-defeating. What are they doing this for if they can?t push it into the political arena? Is it all theater??

?The strategy of the Democratic Party is to beat the Republicans by becoming more like them,? Nader said. ?How can they get away with that? If they become more like the Republic Party they start eating into the Republican vote. This usually would inflict a price on them. They would lose the left?s vote, but since the left signaled to the Democrats that their vote can be taken for granted because the Republicans are too horrible to contemplate, they get both. As a result, when you put this cocktail together, becoming more Republican to get Republican votes and hanging on to the left because they have nowhere to go, you set up a tug in the direction of the corporations. There is no discernable end to this strategy by the left. When you ask the left they say not this year, sometime later. But when? If it is not now, if it is sometime in the future, when? What is their breaking point? If you do not have a breaking point you are a slave.?

The energy and idealism are out there. Nader, in a March 13-14 Zogby poll, took 5 to 6 percent in a race between McCain and either Clinton or Obama. Nader, among voters under 30 and among independents, polled 12 to 15 percent. If the anti-war movement gets behind him and McKinney, if it stands behind its principles, it could begin to shake the foundations of the Democratic Party. It could re-energize itself. It might even force Democrats to offer voters a concrete plan to withdraw from Iraq.

War is not an abstraction to me. I know its evil. It is time, if we care about the state of the nation, to take an unequivocal stand against the war. If Clinton and Obama do not want to join us, so be it. I support those candidates and organizations that fight back. We should, in solidarity, strike with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on May 1 against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We should support Code Pink?s refusal to pay the portion of our taxes that go to funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But most of all, we should refuse to be suckered by Democratic candidates who use fuzzy language and will not commit to a total withdrawal from Iraq. We owe it to the hundreds of thousands of dead and injured. We owe to those Iraqis and Americans who will die in the coming days, weeks and months. We owe it to ourselves so, at the very least, we can salvage our integrity.

Chris Hedges, who graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, is the author of ?American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.?

Posted on: 2008/3/25 18:21
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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if you don't have time to read the whole thing, here's the crux of the Krugman piece:

"A generation ago the distribution of income in the United States didn't look all that different from that of other advanced countries. We had more poverty, largely because of the unresolved legacy of slavery. But the gap between the economic elite and the middle class was no larger in America than it was in Europe.

Today, we're completely out of line with other advanced countries. The share of income received by the top 0.1 percent of Americans is twice the share received by the corresponding group in Britain, and three times the share in France. These days, to find societies as unequal as the United States you have to look beyond the advanced world, to Latin America. And if that comparison doesn't frighten you, it should."

Posted on: 2008/3/25 14:13
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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Not to mention that fact that his policies led to a smaller federal government

Define 'smaller'... It's such an enduring myth that Republicans are smaller spenders; it just ain't so. These are US Dept. of Treasury numbers:
http://www.lafn.org/politics/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart.html



Quote:
...he only ended the cold war

He only spent the Soviet Union into the ground ('Star Wars', my @ss...) Again, take a look at his debt increases.



and as far as who his tax cuts (and anti-union efforts) were targeted for (and here's a clue - it's not you, JohnGalt, if you live in Jersey City, NJ), read this article by Paul Krugman, MIT PHD economist who was on Reagan's CEA (Council of Economic Advisors):
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/ ... the_great_wealth_transfer


Reagan laid the groundwork for our current Wal-Mart America - but he was quite the salesman, I'll give you that.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 13:24
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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Bush's War

(Documentary -- PBS, Mon.-Tues. March 24-25, 9 p.m.)

By BRIAN LOWRY

'Frontline's' special 'Bush's War,' written, directed and produced by Michael Kirk, traces the controversial conflict in Iraq.


Resized ImageProduced by Frontline and Kirk Documentary Group. Executive producer, David Fanning; producer-writer-director, Michael Kirk; co-producer, Mike Wiser.

Reporter: Jim Gilmore.

While broadcast news continues mostly avoiding anything that resembles genuine news in primetime, "Frontline" devotes a delicious 4? hours to deconstructing the steaming mess in Iraq, with enough internal bickering ("Friendships were dashed") and turf battles to make for great historical drama. Producer-writer-director Michael Kirk doesn't turn over many new leafs, but he assembles the old ones in a compelling, polished manner that intelligently connects the dots to show where the Bush administration's grand aspirations went howlingly wrong. In terms of PBS' ongoing battle to justify its existence, "Bush's War" ranks as a formidable foot soldier.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney are, in essence, the central players in this narrative, which begins with the Sept. 11 attacks and the duo's immediate desire to seize on those events as a rationale to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks dubs Cheney the "Moby Dick of the Bush administration," whose voice consistently swayed President Bush toward pursuing whatever "extraordinary powers" would be required to combat the terrorist threat.

Rumsfeld, meanwhile, so charming and quotable in the war's early days, drafted an in-hindsight-laughable original attack plan involving 75,000 troops -- less than a fifth of the 400,000 the Army had advocated.

Yet both men were consummate political infighters, overwhelming more restrained voices within the administration, including then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was marginalized, and his successor Condoleezza Rice, who was forced to resort to a kind of spying on Rumsfeld -- who didn't respect her -- in order to stay in the information loop.

Powell's deputy Richard Armitage refers to administration brass being seduced by the "siren song" of a successful campaign in Iraq that would theoretically reshape the Middle East in all kinds of fabulous ways.

At the same time, senior Bush officials manipulated the media, leaking stories (such as those regarding "weapons of mass destruction" reported by Judith Miller in the New York Times) that its representatives subsequently cited in interviews, consciously creating "an echo effect."

Part two segues from the prewar jockeying to the conflict's prosecution and the utter lack of planning for a postwar insurgency. What follows plays like a how-not-to manual for nation-building, helping explain the parade of failures during the post-invasion years, with inexperienced generals, no clear lines of authority and ill-considered decisions, such as disbanding the Iraqi army and thus putting thousands of idle, armed men onto the streets.

Kirk deftly links these mistakes to various high-profile events, including administration fears that the intelligence community was undermining them (leading to the revelation of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity) and mounting pressure for on-the-ground intel that gave rise to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

"Bush's War," notably, comes at a point where the administration has again called for public television's budget to be slashed. If the best defense truly is a good offense, then nothing could endorse the service more powerfully than this sobering documentary -- a genre that finds little toehold within the current primordial ooze of broadcast TV journalism.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 7:28
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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FRONTLINE | "Bush's War" | Preview of Night 1 | PBS March 24 and March 25 FRONTLINE Bush's War Mar 24 & 25 @ http://www.pbs.org/frontline/bushswar/ On the 5th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, FRONTLINE presents the definitive documentary analysis of "Bush's War" http://www.pbs.org/frontline/bushswar/ From the horror of 9/11 to the invasion of Iraq; the truth about WMD to the rise of an insurgency; the scandal of Abu Ghraib to the strategy of the surge?for six years, FRONTLINE has revealed the defining stories of the war on terror in meticulous detail, and the political dramas that played out at the highest levels of power and influence. Now, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the full saga unfolds in the two-part FRONTLINE special Bush's War, airing Monday, March 24, from 9 to 11:30 P.M. and Tuesday, March 25, 2008, from 9 to 11 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings). Veteran producer Michael Kirk ("The Torture Question," "The Dark Side") draws on one of the richest archives in broadcast journalism?more than 40 FRONTLINE reports on the war on terror. Combined with fresh reporting and new interviews, "Bush's War" will be the definitive documentary analysis of one of the most challenging periods in the nation's history. Following the broadcast: a new TV/Web experience. View the entire "Bush's War" online, integrated with more than 100 video clips of key moments since 9/11, drawn from FRONTLINE's robust online video archive and integrated into a master annotated chronology of the war

Posted on: 2008/3/25 7:16
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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scooter wrote:
Quote:
obama's near socialist robin hood economic policy will be a disaster for the middle/upper middle class and the economy right now


and this nutty stuff just makes me crazy- this country started skewing to the right about 30 years ago, starting with Reagan (Nixon would be wa-hay too far left for the Republicans of today...) - and nobody's taken it on the chin more than the middle class during the transfer of wealth to the top .5% - check some census data.

sigh. with posts like that, maybe we get what we deserve.



Yeah, Reagan was a horrible President, he only ended the cold war, brought Patriotism back after Watergate and a dismal Carter administration. Not to mention that fact that his policies led to a smaller federal government, lower taxes, and job growth and made the military something to be proud of. Peace through Strength. I agree with your stance on the current administration for the most part, but do not lump President Reagan in with George W. Bush and his neocon cronies.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 3:51
"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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obama's near socialist robin hood economic policy will be a disaster for the middle/upper middle class and the economy right now


and this nutty stuff just makes me crazy- this country started skewing to the right about 30 years ago, starting with Reagan (Nixon would be wa-hay too far left for the Republicans of today...) - and nobody's taken it on the chin more than the middle class during the transfer of wealth to the top .5% - check some census data.

sigh. with posts like that, maybe we get what we deserve.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 2:47
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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I know, jennymayla - and I'm one of the complainers too, especially about Healy and the city council - I'm not putting myself above anybody.

But incompetence and corruption are one thing - with Bush Jr., Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld - well, there's real evil there.


Real evil.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 2:40
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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Look on the bright side, reelection is almost here. And of the 3 candiates, i am happy to say they all seemed ok(although obama's near socialist robin hood economic policy will be a disaster for the middle/upper middle class and the economy right now).

Anyways cant wait to see how this plays out, i still have my bet on hilary.

ps ron paul for 2012!

Posted on: 2008/3/25 2:38
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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scooter wrote:
...and untold tens of thousands of Iraqis.


With all our talk about pet snakes, whole foods, and dog leashes, just thought I'd mention it.


Thanks for posting this. Important perspective. I would normally argue that the two things (the dead and JC trivial crap) aren't mutually exclusive but I've lost my ability to be a wise-ass amidst those numbers.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 2:06
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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Scotter, +1, think we sometimes forget about all the Iraqi civilians who have also perished. I think I read it was around 500,000. This is the man who said unabashedly with that obnoxious grin on his face, "I am for the haves and the have mores" and has caused such havoc and untold misery for years to come and with no accountability or consequences whatsoever. It's truly unconscionable.

From www.commondreams.org

Published on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 by TruthDig.com
Bush?s Legacy of Failure
by Robert Scheer
That idiotic ?what me worry?? look just never leaves the man?s visage. Once again there was our president, presiding over disasters in part of his making and totally on his watch, grinning with an aplomb that suggested a serious disconnect between his worldview and existing reality. Be it in his announcement that Iraq was being secured on a day when bombs ripped through that sad land or posed between his treasury secretary and the Federal Reserve chairman to applaud the government?s bailout of a failed bank, George Bush was the only one inexplicably smiling.

Failure suits him. It is a stance he learned well while presiding over one failed Texas business deal after another, and it served him splendidly as he claimed the title of president of the United States after losing the popular, and maybe even the electoral, vote. It carried him through the most ignominious chapter of U.S. foreign policy, from the lies about Iraq?s weapons of mass destruction to an unprecedented presidential defense of torture.

The totally unwarranted assurance was there this week as the once proud dollar fell into the toilet and the debacle of Iraq and Bush?s other failed Mideast policies pushed oil prices to record highs. The Europeans, who didn?t support the U.S. imperial intervention, are doing much better, not having to pay for guarding besieged oil pipelines while U.S. taxpayers are saddled with trillions in future debt, not to mention 4,000 U.S. military deaths and 30,000 U.S. injuries in a war the administration had promised would be paid for with Iraqi oil revenues. Even in Baghdad last week there wasn?t enough oil to keep the lights on for more than a few hours.

But the president is happy because his legacy issue, the war on terror, is intact. No matter that this week the Pentagon was forced to release a report conducted over the last five years that concluded, after surveying 600,000 official Iraqi documents captured by U.S. forces, that there is ?no smoking gun? establishing any connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. The report was so embarrassing that we taxpayers who paid for it were not going to be told of its existence, even though the explosive conclusions were totally declassified, until ABC News forced its posting online.

The network reported that the Pentagon had canceled plans to issue a press release or make it available by e-mail or otherwise online because, as one Pentagon official put it, the study is ?too politically sensitive.? Damn right it is-Bush squandered U.S. treasure and lives in an effort that had nothing to do with the infamous attack on America. As for the real war on terror against the real al-Qaida, those folks are very much on the rebound, just where they were before the 9/11 attack, building their bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, back on the home front, Wall Street is crumbling, not because of planes crashing into buildings but because the outrageous knaves of finance, freed from the most minimal requirements of public accountability, have been permitted to destroy America?s reputation in the world for financial probity.

In the name of ending what were claimed to be onerous regulations imposed after the Great Depression, this administration accelerated a bipartisan pattern of allowing Wall Street to betray investors with impunity while abandoning the federal government?s obligation, once accepted equally by conservatives and liberals, to ensure our national solvency. This tendency, under way for decades to give the bankers what they wanted-codified in the Financial Services Modernization Act, which was signed into law by Bill Clinton and which permitted banks, stock brokers and insurance companies to merge-was exacerbated by Bush?s appointment of rapacious corporate foxes to watch the corporate henhouse.

They will take care of their own, which is why Bush was smiling, happily posed in that photo op between Henry Paulson Jr. and Ben Bernanke announcing the Bear Stearns bailout, made possible only by the federal government using your tax dollars to pick up the bad debt of the banks. Tape that picture to your wall to remind you, when you open a credit card bill with a 30 percent interest rate-not the 2 percent the Fed will charge banks-or see the increase in your adjustable rate mortgage, of just what your government will do for the really big guys that it will never do for regular folks.

In the years to come, as millions lose their retirement income and homes, we will have occasion to remember Georgie Porgie, who kissed the taxpayers and made them cry before he ran away.

Robert Scheer is editor of Truthdig.com and a regular columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle

Posted on: 2008/3/25 2:01
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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Br6dR wrote:
5 years. 4000 dead. $500,000,000,000. And for what?
The death of the one man who tried to kill Bush senior.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 1:43
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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The tree of empire must be watered with the blood of martyrs. Preferably the blood of lower classes, of course.

Posted on: 2008/3/25 1:19
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Re: 4000 US dead in Bush's folly...
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5 years. 4000 dead. $500,000,000,000. And for what?

Posted on: 2008/3/24 20:32
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...and untold tens of thousands of Iraqis.


With all our talk about pet snakes, whole foods, and dog leashes, just thought I'd mention it.

Posted on: 2008/3/24 20:27
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster
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