Day: March 10, 2006

NYT Editorial: Decoding Mr. Bush’s Denials

Previously posted on in November 2005:

November 15, 2005

To avoid having to account for his administration’s misleading statements before the war with Iraq, President Bush has tried denial, saying he did not skew the intelligence. He’s tried to share the blame, claiming that Congress had the same intelligence he had, as well as President Bill Clinton. He’s tried to pass the buck and blame the C.I.A. Lately, he’s gone on the attack, accusing Democrats in Congress of aiding the terrorists.

Yesterday in Alaska, Mr. Bush trotted out the same tedious deflection on Iraq that he usually attempts when his back is against the wall: he claims that questioning his actions three years ago is a betrayal of the troops in battle today.

It all amounts to one energetic effort at avoidance. But like the W.M.D. reports that started the whole thing, the only problem is that none of it has been true.



The Misuse of Intelligence (Bush)

Previously posted on in February 2006. Please excuse the formatting (one big block of text):

More evidence to add to the mountain that already exists.  From yesterday’s NYT.  Once again, please forgive the messed up formatting… or better yet, please let me know how to avoid or easily correct it when cutting and pasting from the web.  Thanks!


Sick Bastard

Previosuly posted on in February 2006. Please excuse the formatting (one long block of text):

More evidence to add to the mountain that already exists.  From yesterday’s NYT.  Once again, please forgive the messed up formatting… or better yet, please let me know how to avoid or easily correct it when cutting and pasting from the web.  Thanks!


The New Yorker: Scowcroft’s View of Bush II: Rise of the Idiot

Previously posted on in November 2005:

Some excerpts to whet your whistle:

Scowcroft does not believe that the promotion of American-style democracy abroad is a sufficiently good reason to use force. “I thought we ought to make it our duty to help make the world friendlier for the growth of liberal regimes,” he said. “You encourage democracy over time, with assistance, and aid, the traditional way. Not how the neocons do it.”

The neoconservatives—the Republicans who argued most fervently for the second Gulf war—believe in the export of democracy, by violence if that is required, Scowcroft said. “How do the neocons bring democracy to Iraq? You invade, you threaten and pressure, you evangelize.” And now, Scowcroft said, America is suffering from the consequences of that brand of revolutionary utopianism. “This was said to be part of the war on terror, but Iraq feeds terrorism,” he said.

A few more excerpts, if necessary. Just skip ahead to the whole article whenever you’re ready:

The desire to undermine or overthrow brutal regimes—to transform them into democracies—is irresistible for many Americans. The realists argue that these global Wilsonians have an unacceptably high tolerance for the kind of instability that the export of democracy can bring. “The United States . . . must temper its missionary spirit with a concept of the national interest and rely on its head as well as its heart in defining its duty to the world,” Henry Kissinger wrote in the third volume of his memoirs. By contrast, the current President, in his second inaugural address, set for America a breathtakingly large mission. “It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world,” Bush said.

For Brent Scowcroft, the rhetoric is not matched by reality. “I believe that you cannot with one sweep of the hand or the mind cast off thousands of years of history,” he says. “This notion that inside every human being is the burning desire for freedom and liberty, much less democracy, is probably not the case. I don’t think anyone knows what burns inside others. Food, shelter, security, stability. Have you read Erich Fromm, ‘Escape from Freedom’? I don’t agree with him, but some people don’t really want to be free.”

Scowcroft is unmoved by the stirrings of democracy movements in the Middle East. He does not believe, for instance, that the signs of a democratic awakening in Lebanon are related to the Iraq war. He sees the recent evacuation of the Syrian Army from Lebanon not as a victory for self-government but as a foreshadowing of civil war. “I think it’s something we have to worry about—the sectarian emotions that were there when the Syrians went in aren’t gone.”

For Scowcroft, the second Gulf war is a reminder of the unwelcome consequences of radical intervention, especially when it is attempted without sufficient understanding of America’s limitations or of the history of a region. “I believe in the fallibility of human nature,” Scowcroft told me. “We continually step on our best aspirations. We’re humans. Given a chance to screw up, we will.”


Cost of the Iraq War (so far)

A few months ago Bush said over 30,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the U.S. occupation began.  We also know a few thousand American have sacrificed their lives along with thousands of people from other countries.  Now the American taxpayer is learning more about other costs, such as the number of dollars being added to the already massive budget deficit.  Here it is, from "WASHINGTON (Dec. 14) – The Pentagon is in the early stages of drafting a wartime request for up to $100 billion more for Iraq and Afghanistan, lawmakers say, a figure that would push spending related to the wars toward a staggering half-trillion dollars

More Leaders From 2005 Take Hits

Hansen Natural (NASDAQ: HANS) staged an intraday reversal after beating fourth-quarter profit views by 13 cents a share and rallying as much as 9% before reversing to close 2% lower on the highest volume in almost a year. This type of action, as a rule of thumb, is a clear sign to take profits (or consider a short). Other leaders from 2005 to get hit recently include OptionXpress (NASDAQ: OXPS), Western Digital (NYSE: WDC), and many others. This is a yellow flag and means new bases can be expected in a good case scenario (for bulls). It can also present shorting opportunities on failed rallies that may develop. Cheers!