After having been gone for a month visiting daughters and grandchildren in Auburn and Monterey, California (and playing music in the Gold Dust Lounge in San Francisco)---it is time to catch up on the bizarre events of the past few weeks.
The U. S. Supreme Court finally told King George that--as the New York Times put it--" even in times of war, the law is what the Constitution, the statute books and the Geneva Convention say it is, not what the President wants it to be." Or, as a California columnist wrote, the Supreme Court said to Bush, "What is it about the rule of law that you don't understand?"
The answer is, of course, there is nothing in Bush's understanding of the law and Constitution that he is bound by if it does not square with his personal hubris and limited intellect. Add to this the fact that Bush has the philosophical depth of a sheet of paper and you have the recipe for continuing degradation of the very American values for which past generations fought and died.
He does not hesitate to block a Justice Department investigation in the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program by denying security clearances to Justice attorneys. Add obstruction of justice to his impeachable offenses!
Now, I have a (not entirely fanciful) suggestion for the upcoming elections: Would that we could somehow arrange for every polling place to have outside its entrance a large screen, upon which voters could see a video loop of the President chewing with his mouth open and---with a cheek bulging full of food--- saying "Yo, Blair", Syria needs to get Hezbollah to "stop this shit!" Then ask the voter if he or she really wants to support this crude, sophomoric image of American leadership. Do we really want an open mouth foreign policy supported by a closed mind?
As we watch the potential for World War Three brutally unfolding in the Middle East, Gary Hart's question in a recent speech should burn on the conscience of every person who voted for George Bush and his neo-cons: Where are those Pax-Americana zealots who predicted a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq would stabilize that part of the world and enhance our security?
Where is Dick Cheney who said, "Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region: extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of jihad, moderates throughout the region would take heart, and our ability to advance the Israel/Palestinian peace process would be enhanced."
Where is Paul Wolfowitz who said the invasion of Iraq "will be an act that will bring more stability to the region. With Saddam Hussein out of the picture, it'll be a much better atmosphere for peace."
Where is Richard Pearl who said, "I think others in the region will look at Iraq and say, 'Why can't we rid ourselves of a regime that's rather similar in some ways to the Iraqi regime?' So the precedence's effect of liberating Iraq may assist in bringing about democratic reform elsewhere."
One hundred civilians a day are dying in Iraq. Over 300 Lebanese and 30 Jewish civilians have been killed in that escalating tragedy. As a ruthless slaughter, kick started by Bush's unnecessary invasion Iraq, rolls across the face of the Middle East, where are those who promised flowers instead of blood on the end of or our gun barrels? And where is "wanted dead or alive" Osama bin Laden?
More importantly, where are the Media who should be asking tough and unvarnished questions? Where are the media who should be exposing the bloody face of "war". Where are the media who should be shining an unrelenting spotlight on the Bush-Cheney-neoconservative-cadre deceptions and lies that brought us to this precipice?