A Freeway in Hell

My thoughts on the nature of our late capitalist society. The title should give some clue what I think of that! US 101 or I-80 as metaphor for our imperatives. Besides worrying about what sort of black hole we are speeding into, I like airships. One reason being the almost inescapble desire to have one to get out of a traffic jam!

Location: Sonoma County, California

Grew up a military brat, Californian-in-exile, reactionary libertarian-essentially spent the 70s on Mars, for I am hearing impaired and I did not know what the music was saying. Generally still don't unless I listen to it over and over or find the words captioned on a movie or somewhere on line. Came "back" to California to begin my adult life, have not lived elsewhere since. No regrets there despite our problems here. Have studied physics, more math than most human beings will ever need, worked on spaceship projects (well, one) at JPL. Lived with a wonderful disabled person who lives no more--L Natasha Littletree RIP October 2004. I have a life plan, just kind of vague on some of the short-term stuff.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Mission and purpose of Big Brass Blog

Melissa McEwan, AKA Shakespeare's Sister has been pulling together the Big Brass Blog to unite our efforts to bring Bush and his minions (or masters, whatever, they all look like flying monkeys to me) to an accounting specifically for the war on Iraq. The "Downing Street Memos," if only they were more widely known to the US public, are a damning indictment, an indication that the alleged grounds for war were fabricated. But let Sister Shakes express it:

  1. After Downing Street is a Coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups, which launched on May 26, 2005, a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress to begin a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

  2. The name is a reference to the Downing Street Memo, a British memo recently made public in the London Times, which contained the minutes (pdf) of a secret July 2002 meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

  3. After Downing Street reports: In response to the release of the memo, John Bonifaz, a Boston attorney specializing in constitutional litigation, sent a memo to Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, urging him to introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House to impeach President Bush. Bonifaz's memo, made available today at www.AfterDowningStreet.org, begins: "The recent release of the Downing Street Memo provides new and compelling evidence that the President of the United States has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq. If true, such conduct constitutes a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution."

  4. Congressman Conyers is now seeking 100,000 signatures to sign a letter on the Downing Street Inquiry. Information available at Raw Story and dKos .

  5. Sign the letter here. Write to your Congresspeople here.

Another Salon article by Juan Cole, is that Tony Blair had to convince George Bush to go after al-Qaida in Afghanistan, and Bush would only do so in exchange for Britain's support of the Iraq invasion:

"Astonishingly, the Bush administration almost took the United States to war against Iraq in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11. We know about this episode from the public account of Sir Christopher Meyer, then the U.K. ambassador in Washington. Meyer reported that in the two weeks after Sept. 11, the Bush national security team argued back and forth over whether to attack Iraq or Afghanistan. It appears from his account that Bush was leaning toward the Iraq option.

"Meyer spoke again about the matter to Vanity Fair for its May 2004 report, 'The Path to War.' Soon after Sept. 11, Meyer went to a dinner at the White House, 'attended also by Colin Powell, [and] Condi Rice," where 'Bush made clear that he was determined to topple Saddam. "Rumors were already flying that Bush would use 9/11 as a pretext to attack Iraq," Meyer remembers.' When British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Washington on Sept. 20, 2001, he was alarmed. If Blair had consulted MI6 about the relative merits of the Afghanistan and Iraq options, we can only imagine what well-informed British intelligence officers in Pakistan were cabling London about the dangers of leaving bin Laden and al-Qaida in place while plunging into a potential quagmire in Iraq. Fears that London was a major al-Qaida target would have underlined the risks to the United Kingdom of an 'Iraq first' policy in Washington.

"Meyer told Vanity Fair, 'Blair came with a very strong message -- don't get distracted; the priorities were al-Qaida, Afghanistan, the Taliban.' He must have been terrified that the Bush administration would abandon London to al-Qaida while pursuing the great white whale of Iraq. But he managed to help persuade Bush. Meyer reports, 'Bush said, "I agree with you, Tony. We must deal with this first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq."' Meyer also said, in spring 2004, that it was clear 'that when we did come back to Iraq it wouldn't be to discuss smarter sanctions.' In short, Meyer strongly implies that Blair persuaded Bush to make war on al-Qaida in Afghanistan first by promising him British support for a later Iraq campaign."

...Finding out if this underreported outrage is true is an important part of the inquiry for which After Downing Street is fighting. That President Bush's entire presidency has relied on his ostensibly unique ability to "keep America safe," even though he had to be cajoled into going after the party truly responsible for 9/11, is not only an outrage, but a national disgrace.

Of course I agree. Back in 2002 I knew that Bush had always meant to make war on Iraq and didn't need inside information to disbelieve any and all of his claims; for that matter I doubted the basic wisdom of invading Afghanistan and certainly believed Bush was making a mess of that effort too. That Bush promised the invasion of Iraq would be a "Lightning War," which is of course English for "Blitzkreig," was merely the added outrage that prompted me to write my Senators (Boxer and Feinstein, I'm in California) to urge them to listen to nothing these proven liars/incompetents had to say. Sadly, Feinstein informed me she had classified information leading her to support the President's bid for war, which she did. Idiot. The Dems could not have stopped the war train perhaps, but at this point, and last November for that matter, they, and we, would be better off if they could say it was not their train wreck now. And they can't say no one warned them; plenty of people better informed than me could see this was all nonsense.

But it is nice to have evidence. Now it is important for people to know it exists.


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