Welcome to the United Nations General Assembly #61 in New York City! I'll be calling it UNGA61 for short, if you don't mind. It just kicked off yesterday, but most of you Faux News viewers probably didn't realize that it's actually a week-long event with leaders of countries big and small speaking, too. Your Commander-in-Chief, err, Friend-in-Jesus, err, Bushworld CEO, err, President of the United States spoke yesterday. Video and transcript are available at the Crawford Ranch North website, here.
I told you in an earlier entry about the new White House website convention of supplying a "fact sheet" that seems to accompany every public speech George Bush gives nowadays. I can only imagine that it's Karl Rove's idea to be able to bullet-point some talking points and even expand on things not specifically said in the speech itself. Perhaps Rove is just trying to combat that pesky, little, credibility monkey the Bush administration has been carrying around on its back since January 20th, 2001. Perhaps it's just a way to boil it all down, so NASCAR fans can have something to parrot on Rush Limbaugh radio call-in shows.
In his address to the UNGA61 members, Bush spent about 20 minutes giving his infomercial for the "Broader Middle East." We've all heard it -- 9/11, blah, blah, blah, terrorists, extremists, ideology, democracy, and of course -- purple ink-stained fingers.
Actually, Bush delivered a calm, cool and collected speech compared to the last several weeks of hearing him speak here or try to answer questions from our U.S. media about torture, rendition and kangaroo courts, lately. Two things did seem to stand out to me when I watched and listened to our president's address to the world leaders.
First, standing in front of world leaders, Bush decided instead to speak to the people in the countries in his BushWorld Broader Middle East:
Today, I'd like to speak directly to the people across the broader Middle East: My country desires peace. Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false, and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam, but we will protect our people from those who pervert Islam to sow death and destruction. Our goal is to help you build a more tolerant and hopeful society that honors people of all faiths and promote the peace.
Honestly, I only wish it were that simple. Doesn't Bush even realize how impossibly hypocritical he sounds talking about propaganda, confusion and even terror?
Second, when he referred to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he started that topic off with "The world must also stand up for peace in the Holy Land." I have to say, my heart skipped a beat. In his pause between sentences, I thought for sure he was about to say something next that certainly was going to toss gasoline onto the still smoldering effigies of Pope Benedict laying around the main streets of some cities in the world.
Back to the fact sheet
After speaking directly to the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine, (and others) the double-plus-good fact sheet at the Crawford Ranch North says:
Freedom, By Its Nature, Cannot Be Imposed - It Must Be Chosen.
Perhaps U.S. citizens now need to choose not to support the rubber-stamping Republicons this November that enable Bushworld democracy at the barrel of gun. Let's be clear. I'm not bashing the idea of democracy. I'm just calling a liar and a hypocrit, "a liar and a hypocrit."
View more editorial cartoons by Lalo Alcaraz here.
It seems like the Republicons in power in Washington D.C. have found the issue they can run up the flagpole for this year's election -- immigration. They've framed the issue and the debate in such a way as to appeal to their core constituency. Clues of this purposeful framing is found in the language that they use.
Rather than solving the problem of "undocumented workers," Republicons can get tough and crack down on "illegal aliens." Look at the language used for their proposed laws:
Secure Fence Act
Alien Gang Removal Act
Criminal Alien Removal Act
Alien Smuggler Transportation Act
Dangerous Alien Detention Act
I understand that immigration reform is a serious issue. At the same, I can't help but be a little cynical when I see language the politicians use. Knowing that fear and xenophobia can get them re-elected, they seem to have successfully taken a portion of the immigration issue and turned it into a crime and homeland security issue. And of course, billions of dollars will have to be spent for more law enforcement, detention facilities, and border security technology. (news conference video)
There are serious issues with how the federal government handles the immigration problem. The recent 'get tough on enforcement' stance can have both sad and cynical unintended consequences, though.
One example would be the aftermath story of the small, one-factory town, likely to be repeated all over the country. As reported by CNN:
STILLMORE, Georgia (AP) -- Trailer parks lie abandoned. The poultry plant is scrambling to replace more than half its workforce. Business has dried up at stores where Mexican laborers once lined up to buy food, beer and cigarettes just weeks ago.
This Georgia community of about 1,000 people has become little more than a ghost town since September 1, when federal agents began rounding up illegal immigrants.
The sweep has had the unintended effect of underscoring just how vital the illegal immigrants were to the local economy.
The humor in any joke is based upon a twist of some truth. The common joke about the idea of building a 700-mile-long border fence in the American southwest is, "Whose going to build it? Are you going to have Mexicans building it and then ask them to kindly get back on their side of the fence?"
The toddler's mother, Melinda Duckett, gave interviews (1,2,3) to the news media, but seemed uncooperative to local police and other observers. Unlike the toddler's estranged father, Joshua, Melinda did not take a polygraph. She also seemed very vague about her whereabouts and activities during the day leading up to reporting Trenton missing.
One of the interviews Melinda Duckett gave was with CNN Host Nancy Grace. Grace kept asking why she would not take a polygraph. (transcript) Hours before the show was to air, Melinda Ducket was found dead from an apparent suicide at her grandparent's house. (video) That was the reason for the squadron of news helicopters I witnessed hovering over a local subdivision of homes.
The upcoming national elections and the anniversary of 9/11 have the nation and our politicians talking about Iraq. Most of the talk gets boiled down by the media to a cartoonish and juvenile level that reminds me of that classic song lyric by The Clash, "Should I stay or should I go?" Few people in the Dumbocratic or Republicon political party have anything more to offer than hatred for each other. Bullshit bumper sticker phrases like "cut and run" and "stay the course" do not help Americans understand the reality of our options concerning Iraq. Politicians that use these phrases should not be supported or re-elected.
I am supportive of those fewpoliticians, from either party, that dare question the Bush/Cheney administration and their blind maintenance of the original neocon fantasy in the Middle East. It is not working. The recent speeches by the president, and the subsequent parroting of talking points by the rubber-stamp Republicons, are nothing more than arrogant, drowning old white men that are too stupid to remove the war profit gold from their pockets to save themselves.
In order to improve the situation in Iraq, one would have to have some clear understanding of it. The Bush/Cheney administration is verifiably delusional. The only other explanation is that they know the truth and are simply lying to the people of the country in order to stay in power, politically.
It's no wonder that Dubya decided to quote so-called communications from Osama bin Laden in his latest speeches. Both Dubya and Osama sound like Baghdad Bob and have no credibility. Zero.
Regular readers know that I like to put links in my blog to the White House. I think people should listen more carefully to the communications coming out of the Bush administration, since we know that they aren't very prone to tell the American people very much.
One thing I've noticed over the years at the White House site is that the Bush/Cheney administration fully understands that Americans are reluctant to believe them nowadays. Recently this year, the White House website has now taken to adding some cute links to supplemental "Fact Sheets" that bullet point their delusions into the adminstration's talking points for propaganda pundits.
"Since the September 11 attacks, America is safer, but we are not yet safe."
I read this and see a dependent clause that is a continuing pathological lie combined with an independent statement that is an ongoing excuse for the political, philosophical and bureaucratic failures of this administration for the last half decade.
The administration's own Strategy for Success in Iraq calls for monitoring the three tracks they have defined: Political, Economic and Security. The Political track is falling apart as evident by the obvious Kurdish desire for independence from Baghdad. The Economic track is failing, because we are spending billions per month to prop this neocon experiment up. The Security track is failing because the Defense Department is too scared to admit failure by changing their tactics beyond the current whack-a-mole security operations.
To fix the security problems would require more U.S. troops, or Iraqi troops, in order to quell the violence in Baghdad or the western Anbar province, or growing Shia southern violence, or should the Kurds bail out from the idea of a unified Iraq.