Tag Archives: Bush

Is Obama Pulling A Bush?

Ironically, the Barack Obama administration is being accused by British MPs and human rights groups of using the same tactics as did George Bush on cases involving the use of torture on prisoners. Secret CIA documents held by the Foreign Office detail the interrogation and treatment of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident still held at Guantanamo prison. His lawyers asked the courts to release information about the interrogation and were told it would risk Britain’s national security after the United States threatened to stop its agents from working with British agents. Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the United States had made clear there would be threats to national security if the information was revealed.

The Obama(or is is Bush) White House defended the High Court’s ruling saying: “The US thanks the UK government for its continued commitment to protect national security information.” Hogwash. We elected Barack Obama in order to end the farce about always citing “national security” to protect torture. How does information concerning the abuse of prisoners link to “national security?” Shame on Obama.

Time For A Change At The Veterans Administration

Among the great tragedies that occurred during the Bush administration was ignoring the needs of those who served their country. Initially, even as Bush plunged the nation into war, he cut VA staff and money allocated to a variety of issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There was a nonchalant attitude in the VA regarding emerging issues facing those who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and ongoing sloppy administrative work toward ensuring veterans were paid. The level of income necessary for services fell to a low amount of yearly income which meant many veterans no longer were eligible for VA services.

Newly appointed Veterans Administration head, former General Eric Shinseki, promised to completely overhaul the entire organization and make it veteran friendly. He told Congress the wait time for disability payment results would be sharply reduced from the current six month delay. It is fortunate the VA now has as its head a man who served the nation rather than a politician who does the bidding of the president.

Ethiopian Troops Leave Somalia-Another Bush Fiasco!

Two years ago, President Bush urged the Christian Ethiopian government to invade Muslim Somalia because the American president did not believe Islamic fanatics should be allowed to rule. In the Bush version of “democracy,” the man from Texas decides who is the right believer in “democracy” and who is not. The last departing Ethiopian troops are abandoning their bases and headed home after two years of more chaos and destruction in Somalia. The Somalian government has reached an agreement with the main opposition, the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia. The two sides are meeting to finalize arrangements for power sharing.

Two years have passed during which hundreds of thousands of Somalians were displaced or killed or brutalized by one group or another. Any sensible person would have known in 2006, urging a Christian nation to invade a Muslim one was an invitation to disaster. But, to George Bush, “disaster” is his middle name.

German Wins Rendition Case Against CIA

The long nightmare for Americans will not be over for many years since it will require time to digest the Bush violation of Constitutional and international human rights. Khaled el-Masri, a Lebanese-born German national, was abducted by the CIA in Macedonia in 2004 and flown to Afghanistan to be interrogated on terrorism charges. The court awarded Masri nearly a million dollars in compensation for the abuse he endured. He was a victim of the CIA rendition program which resulted in him being beaten and bullied for nearly five months while being held in Afghanistan. CIA agents could not terrorize individuals in America so they were sent to foreign locales where people were not protected by constitutional procedures.

Mr. el-Masri also filed a lawsuit against the United States but the Supreme Court upheld the decision to reject the case on national security grounds. It is important for the soul of America to bring to justice all officials in the Bush government who created the rendition program and subject them to legal procedures as a warning to others that justice will triumph over those who violate the Constitution.

Who “Won” War In Gaza?–The Dead?

Israeli newspapers say, “we’ve achieved what we wanted” while Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, boasts about a great victory. One is reminded of the old cartoon in which the last two people left on Earth are brandishing weapons and boasting about defeating their enemies and “winning.” Israel, for the moment, has been able to reduce rocket attacks, and Hamas, for the moment, is able to boast they are still alive and kicking. The people of Gaza are back at restoring their facilities, and destroyed tunnels are being rebuilt along with the return of smugglers who will make use of them. Hamas believes it is engaged in a long struggle which, ironically is the same attitude held by the Israelis.

The major problem confronting peace in the Middle East is the view now being held by more and more Israelis and Palestinians that compromise is not part of the story of “victory.” Logic suggests if two nations will not budge, there is no compromise. If two nations refuse to accept a positive view of the future, the present will become the future.

The other day in The New York Times a letter writer exclaimed that George Bush was the “greatest friend Israel ever had.” Is Israel today in a safer and more secure position than it was in 2001? The only American president who ever brought together Arabs and Jews in a treaty of peace that has endured was Jimmy Carter, the one president most Israelis hate. No wonder there is no peace in the Middle East.

Dismantling The House Of Bush Stone By Stone

In less than a week, the house of death, destruction, and oppression that Bush constructed over eight years is being dismantled stone by stone as a breath of fresh air sweeps America. President Barack Obama ending the ban on providing federal funds to foreign family planning organizations that offer abortions or information concerning abortion. It will allow US funds to be given organization which work with poor people throughout the world on family planning issues and provide contraceptives to those seeking to curtail increasing the size of their families. Family planning groups hailed the move which they believe will end discrimination against poor people by enabling them the same access to information and contraceptives as provided middle and upper class families.

Most probably some anti-abortion groups will be upset, but they should recognize that women all over the world need protection against an unwanted pregnancy and there is need to reduce family size among poor people. Bush portrayed himself as a “compassionate Conservative,” but the bottom line is the only people for whom he showed compassion were those with high incomes.

Obama Policy Is Talk With All Without Preconditions

In a sharp break with the foreign policy approach of George Bush, the Obama administration made clear its intention to enter into discussions with any nation without insisting on any pre-condtion. Obama said he was willing to talk with Iran and believes honest and open diplomacy is the best way to ensure that all nations engage in fruitful talks in order to achieve peace. The new administration made clear any talks would b “tough and direct’ and the United States would work to end the spread of nuclear weapons. “In carrying out this diplomacy, we will coordinate closely with out allies and proceed with careful preparation. Seeking this kind of comprehensive settlement with Iran is our best way to make progress.”

An important goal of American foreign policy toward Iran is achieving a diplomatic breakthrough which will assist forces of reform in that nation to gain power.

Russia Seeks A New Start With The US

The Bush administration has transformed American relations with Russia into an ongoing confrontation due to policies that ignored the concerns of the Russian government about its security. The Bush plan to build missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic was a deliberate attempt to intimidate Russia by offering bogus reasons such as the need to prevent “rogue nations” from attacking Europe. Why should the United States construct missile bases to defend Europe when the European Union is perfectly capable of implementing such a plan? The American support of Georgia without seriously investigating the situation regarding South Ossetia only resulted in disaster for all concerned.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it hoped “the new people in the White House will learn from the mistakes of their predecessor.” The world hopes so.

British View Of Obama

Mary Dejevsky, writing in the Independent, noted that Obama’s speech entailed a rebuke for everything that George Bush represented from his ideological absolutism to his dependence on military force to his inept handling of the Katrina hurricane. “In a way, the whole Inauguration Day, with its measured choreography, was a cleansing.. Mr. Obama’s unity is not just about national solidarity but about equality and harmony between races. ” Obama spoke to a nation that was moving away from traditional views about race, and his election sent a message to the world of hope and a desire to move forward from the disastrous years of George Bush.

Ironically, cites Ms. Dejevsky, the incompetence and arrogance of George Bush whose politics have lowered America’s reputation in the world, were the stepping stones that enabled a black man to become president of the United States. The spirit of the new president could be summed up in two words– unity and freedom. The malign shadow of the Bush administration with its disdain for other views and disrespect for the Constitution and world opinion, still lingered but Barack Obama was promising not just America, but the world, a new birth of freedom.

Bush Experts-It’s Not Us–It’s Them!

George Bush and Dick Cheney insist there were WMD in Iraq and Republican administrative leaders insist the financial crisis has nothing to do with Bush economic policies but are the fault of nations like China. Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, insists, “In the years leading up to the crisis, super-abundant savings form fast-growing nations such as China and oil exporters…. put downward pressure on yields and risk spread everywhere.” The assumption of such statements is that nations which do not run deficits are responsible for economic problems in nations that run enormous deficits by reducing taxes and becoming engaged in crazy wars.

What if George Bush had NOT passed the ridiculous tax cuts which benefited the wealthy of America and helped transform a Clinton surplus into a Bush deficit? America fed on the money of others to run up enormous debts so Bush people are now claiming China and the others should not have loaned money to America. Is there anyone in the Bush administration who can admit that mistakes were made?