What does seem clear is that one of the principal factors accounting for the reluctance of Democrats to advocate de-funding is that the standard corruption that infects our political discourse has rendered the de-funding option truly radioactive. Republicans and the media have propagated — and Democrats have frequently affirmed — the proposition that to de-fund a war is to endanger the “troops in the field.”
This unbelievably irrational, even stupid, concept has arisen and has now taken root — that to cut off funds for the war means that, one day, our troops are going to be in the middle of a vicious fire-fight and suddenly they will run out of bullets — or run out of gas or armor — because Nancy Pelosi refused to pay for the things they need to protect themselves, and so they are going to find themselves in the middle of the Iraq war with no supplies and no money to pay for what they need. That is just one of those grossly distorting, idiotic myths the media allows to become immovably lodged in our political discourse and which infects our political analysis and prevents any sort of rational examination of our options.
That is why virtually all political figures run away as fast and desperately as possible from the idea of de-funding a war — it’s as though they have to strongly repudiate de-funding options because de-funding has become tantamount to “endangering our troops” (notwithstanding the fact that Congress has de-funded wars in the past and it is obviously done in coordination with the military and over a scheduled time frame so as to avoid “endangering the troops”).
For those who needed a reminder, this is what a spine looks like:
And as usual, Keith Olbermann is eloquent as well..
Now four years after the war was won, we still do not have a contract with a legitimate Iraqi government to remove the oil from Iraqi sands. What is wrong with those Iraqi’s. Don’t they want our oil revenues to rebuild their country?
The holdup seems to be what is known as the PSA’s (production sharing agreements). These clauses guarantee US oil companies 70% of the profits up to amortization and 20% after that, whereas everywhere else in the world, the going standard rate is 10% of profits to oil companies, with 90% flowing back to the country. This oil bill must be passed before the Iraqi congress goes on recess May 31st, just 8 days from the date of this posting.
The oil companies estimate that it will cost between 1$ and 1.50$ to extract a barrel of Iraqi gold, the premium of all crudes. At today’s prices of 75$ a barrel this rate of return would be equivalent of kicking a baby in its face and stealing its candy.
Iraqi resistance understands this. And yet this insider’s fact has not even made our evening news.
Note this: Bush and Cheney have resorted to threatening the al-Maliki government with a withdrawal of American forces if they don’t pass the Oil Law. And the effect on the Iraqis is . . . “OK, go ahead and leave. We’ll start planning for that contingency now.” This means that Cheney and Bush just shot their wad, and lost.
Those who think that Muslim countries and pro-terrorist attitudes go hand-in-hand might be shocked by new polling research: Americans are more approving of terrorist attacks against civilians than any major Muslim country except for Nigeria.
The survey, conducted in December 2006 by the University of Maryland’s prestigious Program on International Public Attitudes, shows that only 46 percent of Americans think that “bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians” are “never justified,” while 24 percent believe these attacks are “often or sometimes justified.”
Contrast those numbers with 2006 polling results from the world’s most-populous Muslim countries – Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. Terror Free Tomorrow, the organization I lead, found that 74 percent of respondents in Indonesia agreed that terrorist attacks are “never justified”; in Pakistan, that figure was 86 percent; in Bangladesh, 81 percent.
24 percent of Americans. I wonder what the overlap with the Bush approval ratings is.
And what a shame we can’t get those 24% in an open market together…
Nokia’s recent announcement heralding the arrival of “widgets” is further proof that the entire mobile industry is a rudderless ship furiously innovating in circles.
Having lost sight of consumer sentiment years ago, all sectors of the industry seem to be clamouring to give every crackpot idea a chance in a desperate attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Nokia used to set the benchmark for everyone else, being renowned for its simple and snappy user interfaces, exceptional reliability, great battery life, and fantastic call quality.
Unsurprising to everyone else, is that these qualities are still paramount to the average consumer. That a company that got so many things right is now trying to distinguish itself with “widgets” is a telling depiction of how the mighty have fallen.
I think a large part of the reason the iPhone gets so much attention is that the industry badly needs a shake-up, as this opinion piece demonstrates…