Tag Archives: Bush

VA Leader Emphasizes He Serves Veterans Needs

One of the ignored issues of the George Bush administration was its failure to respect and honor the needs of those who served. During his initial years in office, Bush did little to enhance the ability of the Veterans Administration to expand counseling services to those who had been in combat. Newly appointed VA Secretary Eric Shinseki who was a former combat soldier and chief of the American armed forces, sent an open letter to all veterans in which he made clear, “the Department of Veterans Affairs has a solemn responsibility to all of you, today and in the future.” He promised to reorganize the department so it could more effectively serve needs of veterans. Joe Davis of the VFW said he was pleased the leader of the VA, “is communicating in simply language that his customers are his No. 1 priority and the reason his department exists.”

Too often the past few years veterans have been ignored even in death when President Bush would not allow pictures of those who died.

Turkey Says New Era Dawns In Middle East

President Abdullah Gul of Turkey said it was time for all nations in the Middle East to recognize with the departure of George Bush as president, there were now new opportunities to establish peace in the region. “We are in a new world. A new era has begun with the new administration in the US, with its message that it gives to the world.” Gul will shortly be meeting with leaders of Iran to discuss possibilities for new economic cooperation and he pin pointed the need to deal with issues of instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He believes President Obama is trying to break from Bush policies which made impossible any compromise in the region. Ironically, the new administration in Washington places Turkey and America on the same page of opposing nuclear weapon development in Iran.

Gul indicated he is prepared to offer his services as a mediator in establishing new relations between the United States and Iran. He also is working to bring together Syria and Israel. This new opportunity unfortunately arrives just as a right wing group assumes power in Israel which remains doubtful of any possibility for peace with Palestinians. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will have to make clear to Israel the time has arrived for new thinking and whatever happened in the past is over. The world wants new approaches to peace.

Can Russia Persuade Iran Of Anything?

President Barack Obama is betting that improving relations with Russia will result in that nation working with him to exert pressure on Iran to halt its program of nuclear development. Alexander Khramchikhin, a prominent researcher with the Institute for Political an MIlitary Analysis, does not believe Russia has as much influence over Iranian decision making as believed to possess by the Americans. He notes that aside from using its veto power to block UN actions in the Security Council, the Russians wield scant power over the Iranians. Washington would like Russia to halt sale of surface to surface missiles, but, beyond that, there is little that outside nations can do to thwart Iranian nuclear development.

We are living with another aftermath of the Bush era. There were numerous times since 2001 when Iran reached out to solve its problems with the United States and each time was thwarted by the Bush administration. Perhaps, the only leverage possessed stems from the drop in the price of oil which increases pressure on Iran to take action to improve its economic conditions to meet rising unemployment and a dramatic drop in its income.

Bush’s Military Legacy!

George Bush is resting in Texas, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are living good lives and will never suffer from the financial crisis which impacts the nation. As the former president cuts wood and pretends he knows something about being a cowboy, does he ever reflect on what he did to the lives of thousands of young men and women in this country? Army officials now estimate that as many as 18 soldiers killed themselves in February. Two are confirmed as suicides and the remaining 16 are under investigation. Seventeen of the dead are male, one female, and 14 occurred in the United States while four were overseas. Last year, eleven soldiers committed suicide. February’s figures did represent a slight drop from the 24 suicides in January.

Bush defenders undoubtedly will argue he can not be blamed for each and every soldier who commits suicide. One assumes they believe these men and women would have killed themselves had there been no Iraq war. George Bush tried to hide the fact people were dying by not allowing photos of returning coffins. However, he cannot cover up the deaths caused by suicide.

Bush Organized Torture System Says UN Leader!

Dr. Martin Scheinin, United Nations Rappoteur on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms identified the United States along with other nations which have created a system based on secret prisons, torture and other activities that result in violation of human rights. He states quite frankly the so-called war on terrorism has been used to cover up abuse of humans and the use of torture in order to elicit confessions. He has evidence that employees of the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom personally interrogated detainees who had ben tortured by the Pakistan intelligence service. He also cites the Tony Blair government for cooperating with the torture of individuals. “I am trying here, on the basis of the law, to indicate that there cannot be a very big difference between torturing and looking on while others torture.”

Dr. Scheinin charges that nations which took part in the infamous “war on terror” engaged in the very practices they were charging the enemy utilized. A real question emerging from his study is the question of who gave “the actual operative orders.” Are you reading this Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld? The three stooges are guilty of crimes against humanity!

Criminal President Omar Bashir Dodges Arrest

President Omar al-Bashir is trying to rally his nation around him as the International Court of Justice(ICC) pursues efforts to arrest the man who is most responsible for the deaths of over 200,000 in Darfur and the raping of thousands of women. The ICC is expected to issue an warrant for his arrest this week charging him with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The typical response of one who is guilty of crimes is to go on the offense and blame those who seek his arrest for also being guilty of crimes. “Where was international justice during the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the bombing of Gaza, and crimes committed in the prisons of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib?” He charges it is a western plot against a true believer in the rights of Muslims.

In all fairness, President al-Bashir, has raised valid points concerning war crimes. Why doesn’t the International Court of Justice offer along with trying him to issue warrants for George Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld for their war crimes? In this way, the world can put four criminals on trial and show people on planet Earth that no one is immune from being tried for war crimes. So, President Bashir, would you accept a trial before the ICC if the three American stooges were also placed on trial?

Secretary Gates On Bush And Obama

The United States has a new president whom most Republicans believed would not support the military and would act in an indecisive manner once in office. Secretary of Defense was asked on “Meet The Press” to compare the two men in terms of style. Gates noted, “I think that President Obama is somewhat more analytical. And, he makes sure he hears from everybody in the room on an issue. And, if they don’t speak up, he calls on them.” Gates believes that Bush was “interested in hearing different points of view, but didn’t go out of his way to make sure that everybody spoke if they hadn’t spoken before.” Of course, another major difference is that Bush wanted to be surrounded by “yes” people who knew it was wise to repeat back what the leader had said or face the consequence of not being allowed in his presence.

Admiral Mullen commented that President Obama was “anxious to get the military’s input to all his decisions.” In the lead up to the disastrous invasion of Iraq, many American military leaders insisted they lacked sufficient troops in order to control Iraq but Bush listened to the noted military expert, Don Rumsfeld, and the rest is history.

International Report Blasts US War On Terrorism

One of the most prevalent myths over the past eight years is that America’s fight against “terrorism” somehow is furthering the goal of destroying violent wars and brutality in the world. In 2001, there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq, in 2001, the Taliban and al-Qaeda were not fighting and controlling large parts of Pakistan, and in 2001, the Taliban were confined to Afghanistan. A panel of jurists issued a report, “Assessing Damage, Urging Action” which blasts the Bush effort against “terrorism” as a disaster for human rights. Arthur Chasklalson, former chief justice of South Africa, comments: “in the course of this inquiry, we have been shocked by the extent of damage done over the past seven years by excessive or abusive counter-terrorism measures. The result is a serious threat to the integrity of the international human rights legal framework.”

The group noted that many countries now justify their abuse of people by citing the Bush program against terrorism. Of course, one man’s “terrorist” is another man’s “hero.” The American colonists who rebelled against England in 1776 certainly fit the Bush definition of being “terrorists” but since Bush is an American he justifies their actions on grounds they were right. In the Bush version of human rights, if you believe your actions are right, then anything you do is justified on grounds if “they” win the outcome will be worse.

The American people have spent the past several years watching and applauding violations of human rights as portrayed on the TV show, “24” which depicted using any form of abuse on grounds there was a “ticking bomb” someplace and you had to save the nation. It is time to put aside “24” and return to the United States Constitution.

Listen Obama!–Czechs Protest US Missile Bases!

One of the greatest con games that George Bush engaged in was creating the myth that somehow “rogue nations” might send missiles toward Europe which required the United States to construct missile bases on the border of Russia. The prospect of infuriating the Russian people apparently never bothered the cowboy from Texas but to people in the Czech Republic the idea of making Russia an enemy did not go over as the best idea in the world. Over 300,000 Czechs have signed a petition protesting the missile bases and a delegation of people including mayors of 30 municipalities have gone to Brussels to protest to the European Union against the American bases. Most opinion polls indicate a majority of the population is not supportive of constructing missile bases against so-called “rogue nations” when any intelligent person knows they are directed at Russia.

Barack Obama has to support the people of the Czech Republic and halt construction of bases that are of no military value and only serve to destroy relations with Russia. When Bush initially proposed the bases, then President Putin offered to allow America to establish the bases in Russia and have joint control. Of course Bush rejected the proposal because there was never any idea in his mind the bases were aimed at North Korea or Iran.

Of course, the question President Obama might pose is: why is the United States engaged in building missile bases in Europe to defend Europe against missiles from unknown sources?

Obama Rethinks Bush Missile Plans

President Obama has decided to slow down any plans for missile defense systems in Poland or the Czech Republic which were the ideas of George Bush. The missile system was supposedly designed to deal with missiles from “rogue nations” but everyone with common sense knew they were aimed at Russia. Obama will either drop the plan or use the idea of dropping the missile system as a bargaining chip in negotiation with the Russians. The president is hesitant about investing huge sums for a project that is of dubious value. Why should the United States be involved in developing missile systems to protect Europe?

When Bush first proposed his plan, the Russian government offered use of its bases in order to develop a system for such missiles. Why not take up the Russian plan? It ends hostility with Russia and creates a system that would not be that expensive.