Notes From The Overground

Progressive-minded weblog devoted heavily to politics and media with some music and popular culture sprinkled throughout working on the assumption that anything that comes out of Washington or the mass media is bogus propaganda unless proven otherwise.

Created by Tom

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Saturday, April 26, 2003
Dogs of War Playing Poker

Collect all fifty-two!!!

Friday, April 25, 2003
One-On-One With The COC

If you liked Dan Rather's chat with Saddam Hussein, you'll love this...

Tom Brokaw's sit-down with Dubya scheduled to air tonight should be riveting. A controlled prime-time interview filled with softballs so as to ensure that public opinion is further massaged to the neocon's liking. A New York Times article hits on the major points, especially this gem:

Mr. Bush gave a detailed account of how the war looked from his perspective as commander in chief. He said he had some initial concerns about the first blow of the war, his last-minute decision to bomb a home in Baghdad where an agent had reported that Mr. Hussein and his sons might be spending the night.

"I was hesitant at first, to be frank with you," Mr. Bush said, "because I was worried that the first pictures coming out of Iraq would be a wounded grandchild of Saddam Hussein."

How telling. Bush's own statement gives away his insensitivity toward "collateral damage." Rather than being concerned that his strategic strike would kill or wound a young child, Dubya is more worried that images of an injured young one would shed some bad P.R. light on his invasion. That's compassionate conservatism.

He spoke at length of his confidence that WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION™ will be found in Iraq, thus giving credibility to his war.

"I think there's going to be skepticism until people find out there was, in fact, a weapons of mass destruction program," he said.

Despite that, he expressed confidence that American forces would eventually find chemical and biological weapons.

Just as he was confident that election 2000 would eventually go his way. How could one not exude confidence when one's used to the game pieces just mysteriously falling in one's favor. It's good to be the heir to a wealthy family with friends in powerful places.

Bush also describes that gut-wrenching day he gave Tommy Franks the go-ahead to start the war he had been eagerly anticipating like a child waiting for Christmas morning...

The meeting in the White House situation room on March 19 at which he gave Gen. Tommy R. Franks the go-ahead to begin the war was "an emotional moment," Mr. Bush said.

"I then went outside and walked around the grounds, just to get a little air and collect my thoughts," he recounted.

Oh, what depth...

The "president" managed some sophisticated barbs against the French (because what good is a COC if he can't be petty and undiplomatic?)...

Mr. Bush had nothing nice to say about President Jacques Chirac of France, who led the opposition to a United Nations resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq. "I doubt he'll be coming to the ranch anytime soon," Mr. Bush said, saying it appeared to many in his administration "that the French position was anti-American."

And he launched some volleys toward the Turks and anyone else who would dare defy his regime's grandeur, blaming them for the fact that the war was more difficult than anticipated.

"Because, for example, we didn't come north from Turkey, Saddam Hussein was able to move a lot of special Republican Guard units and fighters from north to south," Mr. Bush said.

But he didn't forget to throw a threat or two toward Iran, as well:

For the first time, Mr. Bush acknowledged that he was concerned about power vacuums in Iraq "being filled by Iranian agents." On Wednesday, the White House said it had warned Iran not to interfere with American efforts to build an "Islamic democracy" in Iraq.

Finally, Bush began to define his plan for the Israeli/Palestinian peace process:

He also said that he would "work hard to achieve a two-state solution" in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and that he now had an opportunity to attempt that. "I think it will accelerate" he said of the peace process, "and, hopefully, greatly." But he added, "I'm not so sure what that exactly means." (Emphasis added)

Neither do we, Georgie. Neither do we...

Thursday, April 24, 2003
Media Looting

Aside from utterly failing to uphold their constitutional duty, members of the American media can also add stealing to their resume. Jules Crittenden of the Boston Globe and Benjamin James Johnson of (wait for it...) Fox News (yes, that Fox News, the venerable bastion of respectable journalism) were allegedly caught smuggling paintings and other valuable items out of Iraq.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Just shut up and let us rescue you!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2003
Manifesto Destiny

At this point, as the Bush army has for all intents and purposes finished the latest battle in their "war on terrorism" and are poised to "rebuild" Iraq, it is wise to look back on how we got here. We have an executive branch shielded in secrecy engaged in some never-ending jihad against an open-ended abstraction ("terror"), passing out favors to the rich while cutting social programs that actually help people, and attacking civil liberties, all the while screaming into their media/propaganda amplification systems. How did we arrive at a strange period in American history where the nation that we grew up with is, in media critic Mark Crispin Miller's words, unrecognizable? We must look at the major events that have unfolded since the mid-1990s, a time when the right-wing doctrinaires of the Reagan/Bush I heyday were lividly bitter over the fact that the Democrats had beaten them and were playing their own political game in D.C.

From the time of their loss to Bill Clinton in 1992, the neocon ideologues were plotting their return to power — a coup d'etat capped off by the election 2000 miscarriage. Before the coup, from 1992-2000, Bill Clinton was the target of their hatred and the symbol of all that was wrong with American government (strange when you consider how conservative and Republican-like Clinton was). The Whitewater/Monica Lewinsky/impeachment debacle that captivated the nation for much of Clinton's second term was the first battle of the neocon revolution. The timing of events could not be more appropriate when one looks at the date the "Neo Conservative Manifesto" was published: June 2, 1997, virtually weeks before the shitstorm of the impeachment scandal splattered the fan.

Although Clinton was not ousted, the neocons won that battle. They weren't in it for a change of power; they were just in it for some blood. They managed to impeach their arch-rival over a blow-job. This boost in confidence fanned the hellfire of their zealotry and gave them the hubristic audacity to defy the constitution, the forefathers, and the voters of their beloved nation, and assume power with the ill-equipped, sociopathic, philistine son of their last fallen leader.

With George Dubya Bush as president the right-wing zealots managed to meld their ideology of a "New American Century" with the interests of their wealthy coffers. They ruled with "compassionate conservatism" for a few shaky months before it all fell into place for them on September 11, 2001: the day "everything changed," the "war on terror" commenced and the climate was ripe for the full implementation of the ideology espoused in their manifesto.

Their manifesto is actually the statement of principles of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a right-wing think tank (they call it a non-profit organization "whose goal is to promote American global leadership") headed by conservative William Kristol. The manifesto begins by expressing their collective frustration with the state of America's foreign policy under Clinton. They call for a new century of American domination in accordance with these points:

• we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

• we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

• we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

• we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

Keep in mind that this was written in 1997 and signed by Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Eliot Abrams among others. These key signers of the neocon's very own "Declaration of Independence" (independence from the rest of the globe, compassion, reality) are all instrumental in running current U.S. foreign policy. Right-wing zealots and throw-backs to Reagan/Bush, the administration that brought you Iran/Contra and got away with it. The happy accident of 9/11 provided the perfect opportunity for the 1997 manifesto to take shape in reality. A stunned public, a cowed Congress, a nation overwhelmed with fear has facilitated this right-wing wet dream. Now, you are either with them or against them — the dead souls of 9/11 are nothing more than a rallying cry for a jingoistic bellicose oligarchy hellbent on world domination.

The new government runs like a well-oiled machine. The coffers and the rulers are interchangeable, facilitating each other's positions. The media (just a faction of the coffers) share a common interest with the hegemony so propaganda is taken care of. Finally, the gestapo enforcement wing under the dutiful watch of righty extremist John Ashcroft is silently, yet systematically, chipping away at civil liberties in the hopes of squashing dissent and making it easier to police through any means with impunity.

The Democrats never had this kind of power and they never will. This is a kind of power fueled by righteous zeal — an almost psychotic belief that this is the way God intends it to be and the perpetrators are only acting out his will. This is the mindset that allows people, fuels people, to commit morally reprehensible acts while still being able to look themselves in the eyes. This is the mindset that forms the seedling of an Osama bin Laden, an Adolph Hitler, a Joseph Stalin. Every aggressive act against a foreign land, every self-serving deal, every stifle of dissent is all in the name of a higher good. It's all a part of the ideology. The Democrats can only hope that the truth behind this regime is fully illuminated. Because if enough Americans, a far more intelligent lot than they're given credit for, see the men behind the curtain for what they really are, they will demand better. And if enough people realize that they are not alone in their dismay, their demands will be louder and democracy will flourish again.

This may sound like the tin-foil-hat talking but the facts of the matter cannot be ignored. An executive branch who cuts taxes on the rich in the midst of a war so that the financial burden falls on the lower-middle-class taxpayer is not to be trusted. A regime that has followed a pattern such as these Bushites have must be held up to the most rigid scrutiny, every act questioned. It is the duty of a citizen in a democracy to hold his or her leaders accountable, especially when the press refuses to do so. Every statement should be scrutinized for misinformation, every bit of propaganda exposed for its hidden truth. Because these people ruthlessly attack their goals with complete disregard for the larger picture; they stole a national election and have taken our greatest national tragedy and used it as a tool to further their ideology.

Click here to cast your vote now in the national referendum to stop the war in Iraq.