Archive for Iraq War

Maher: GOP "Zombie Lies won't stay dead." (VIDEO)

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zombie lies bill maher

On Real Time last night, Bill Maher's rant was a particularly good one, all about how the GOP perpetuates lies. He started out mocking (what else?) politicians in both parties and how they invented their own euphemism for lying: "I misspoke." He then went on to nail Republicans on one of their own rules: "When they get caught in a lie, they don't have to stop telling it," as opposed to Democrats, who are more apt to admit their lies and correct the record. Maher noted that Dems understand that "there's this thing called observable reality." Republican talking points, he continued, "which have been disproven, remain! Like a guest who's been asked to leave a party, but does not! It reminds me of a horror movie where you think you've killed the lie, but it won't stay dead. Which is why I call them "Zombie Lies."

He came up with a whole ballot box full of examples, such as the mythical Obamacare "job killer" (that didn't happen) and "death panels" (there were none), not to mention the big bad "government takeover" of health care (that never materialized). He brought up nearly as many Zombie Lies as the House GOP has ACA repeal bills. He slammed "trickle down" economic policies, fracking, you name it. Watch:

Take it away, Bill Maher:

Finally, New Rule: Now that there's been an uproar over all the neocons who lied about the Iraq war with no consequences, someone must tell me why there isn't a similar uproar over all the Republicans who lied about Obamacare with no consequences.

It's been four years since the bill passed. Has anybody come across even one death panel? The next liberal to tell a Republican "You’re entitled to an opinion but not your own facts" should really just admit they’ve never seen Fox News....

Zombie Lies are neither alive nor dead-- like Dick Cheney...

They pass a Zombie Lie down to dumber and dumber people who believe it more and more...

And when you think the Zombie Lie has finally gone to die at the Idea Hospice of the Absolutely Stupidest People on Earth, there it is being retweeted by Donald Trump.

bam

Big hat tip to Heather over at Crooks and Liars for the video.

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Iraq is "beyond our control. There is no such thing as the Iraqi people."

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a Gold Star father's point of view iraq afghanistan war Jeff Wilfahrt

Before I get into an impressive op-ed piece on Iraq, allow me to remind you of my buddy Jeff Wilfahrt, someone who you should get to know:

We've been on the radio together and we continue to email back and forth. He is never at a loss for providing unique insight and commentary on the frustrating events of the day. That's him above, holding a photo of his son. You can read about the remarkable Wilfahrts, and watch them on The Rachel Maddow Show, by following the links above.

That image came to mind when I read an op-ed by Joseph J. Ellis in today's Los Angeles Times. Ellis is a professor of history at Williams College and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation," among other books. He starts of his piece with his explanation of how the U.S. goes to war:

The triggering event is often a sudden crisis that galvanizes popular opinion and becomes the immediate occasion for military intervention but subsequently is exposed as a misguided perception or outright fabrication.

He then goes on to chronicle war after war that prove his point, including the Iraq War:

[T]he dark shadow of 9/11 hung ominously over all deliberations in that moment, so the CIA bent the arc of the evidence to fit the fabrication, a cowed Congress went along and the bulk of the American media endorsed the deception. Dissent became unfashionable.

Ellis points out how we erroneously decided to pursue "the creation of a democratic government in the middle of the Middle East." That move, along with all that deception by BushCo and a very accommodating press, caused many of us non-believers to do this:

banghead

And all those political and journalistic pundits who got it dead wrong the first time around, and who now blame President Obama for failing to maintain a residual U.S. military presence in Iraq, need to be called on their credibility. For they fundamentally underestimated the tribal, ethnic and religious loyalties that dominate the Middle East and that make any Jeffersonian version of a secular state in Iraq impossible for the foreseeable future... In truth, there is no such thing as the Iraqi people. 

He then comments on the commentators, a pastime we apparently we have in common. Their focus, he says, is on damage control. And that is a "hubristic assumption" that got us into this hot mess in the first place. We created a catastrophe a BushCo ago, and there was no way, and is no way, to regain what we never had: control.

Ellis drives home the point that "permanent U.S. military presence will only further empower the Islamic extremists in the ensuing conflict."

That has already happened. To quote Jeff from the image at the top, "...Let us try using books, pens, and paper instead of just guns. Bring the living home, the dead are already here."

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GOP addiction to war leads to "culture of defendency" turning them "all into warfare queens"

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priority fail gop fail culture of defendency

Jon Stewart is brilliant. I rarely use that word, but it applies here. Last week on The Daily Show, he devoted another of many segments to GOP hypocrisy, this time how it applies to spending enormous amounts of money on war. He exposed their hypocritical addiction to budgeting for wars, but not for domestic needs. And then he popped out with the best phrase coinage I've heard in a long, long time: "Culture of defendency" and "warfare queens".

We have a winner:

Jon Stewart:

You do know terrorism isn't the only thing Americans would like to be protected from... [And then he went on to enumerate issues here in the U.S., like crumbling infrastructure]...

Chris Matthews to Jeff Sessions:

"So you have faith that the cost of this war in casualties, and the cost of like a half a trillion dollars, the risk in terms of getting people in the world not liking what we're doing, which is fairly obvious, it is all worth it, 'cause if we do fail-- things fail-- and we come home, and after we come home and it fails over there, they go back to some military coup... isn't that a danger that we can't change the course of a country if we're only going to be there a limited amount of time?"

Sessions:

"I don't believe that's gonna happen."

What?!

Unlimited money to go over there, "I don't think anything bad's gonna happen"... Well how about spending some money on cleaning up the mess you made here at home for the veterans?...

I'm worried. I'm really worried about the Republicans, their inability to wean themselves off of military intervention.

They have a culture of defendency, if you will. And I believe it's turned them all into warfare queens. And I think we need to cut them off for their own good.

gop fail streetcar named we're always wrong

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Time to apply the Lemon Law to Dick Cheney

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Anyone else becoming weary of the same old Iraq drivel pouring out of the mouths of former BushCo war cheerleaders the way word salad pours out of the mouth of Former Alaska Half-Gov Blabette McDimBulb? Seriously, guys, championing a fraudulent invasion that produced nothing but death, PTSD, maiming, a destabilized Middle East, and an economic toilet flush is getting to be redundant, more ludicrous, and increasingly embarrassing and boring. Read our lips: Anyone defending Dick Cheney should self-deport to Gitmo. The Lemon Law most definitely applies here, as one letter-writer ingeniously explained.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Jonah Goldberg plays his own questionable game in this piece, but surely most of us can keep our eyes on the pea in his shell shuffle. ("A questionable game of 'shut up' on Iraq," Op-Ed, June 23)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his policy brethren were the architects who created a war in Iraq that turns out to have been both unnecessary and, now, an utter disaster. These folks didn't just have opinions that were wrong; no, they made policy decisions that have led to catastrophic results.

That's why their current self-serving opinions and their preposterous attempts to revise history are contemptible, and richly deserve all the derision that can be mustered.

John de Jong, Long Beach

***

Goldberg reminds us that he supported the Iraq war, and he states that he still thinks that the arguments in favor were superior to those against.

What arguments would those be? Iraq had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq. We were not greeted as liberators. Democracy has not flourished, and the promised capitalist paradise has not emerged.

Goldberg should write another column so he can clarify for us just which arguments he still supports.

Cheryl Holt, Burbank

***

The Lemon Law:

A car salesman knowingly misconstrues facts concerning a car he is trying to sell you. The purchase is made and the car eventually falls apart, but you have recourse — the law, fines and perhaps even jail for the dealer.

With Iraq, we have a similar scenario but with hundreds of thousands dead, trillions of dollars lost and a treating of the wounded that will go on for many years.

Would you ask the car salesman his opinion on your next purchase? Would you ask the same individuals who lied us into the horrors of a 10-year military engagement for advice now?

Stephen S. Anderson, Hacienda Heights

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Overnight: Lauren Mayer: I'm Sick of Dick (Cheney)

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<Lauren Mayer Dick Cheney

LAUREN MAYER

Lauren Mayer is a singer/songwriter/pianist who writes comedy songs about everything from Supreme Court decisions to the Kardashians. She proudly supports leftist causes including equal pay, reproductive choice, fair minimum wage, addressing climate change, and marriage equality.
Note: Lauren's CD is now available!! Hear clips or purchase CD/downloads at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/laurenmayer8. It is also on iTunes and will soon be on Amazon!

I'm tired of the Dick and Liz duo too!

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Between the Shiite & Where the Sunni Don't Shine

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It's just one giant mess in Iraq, most likely exacerbated by our invasion over a decade ago. And the question is whether or not we should get involved again.

I say no. But it's not up to me..

This morning, I was excited to welcome Juan Cole to the program. Unfortunately for me, a power surge knocked me off the air just moments before I was to call him. Needless to say, when I did get Juan on the line, I was a bit frazzled, and all the pages I had up on my computer had closed, leaving me a bit more tongue tied than usual.

But I always appreciate his input... probably best today found on his website at JuanCole.com. While you're there, check out "Obama Prepares for Drone War in Iraq" and prepare to be pissed!

Juan Cole has a new book coming out on July 1, The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East I'll try to get him back on for another chat then, and hope to not be interrupted so rudely next time!

In the first hour, as we do every Monday morning, I spoke with Howie Klein during our regular segment "The Steve Israel Hour, sponsored by Little Debbie".  Today, in addition to talking about Debbie Wasserman Schultz' apparent loyalites to Big Pharma and the for-profit prison industry (as evidenced by her opposition to medical marijuana), we talked about the big newspaper story on her cooking practices (can you say fluff piece?)

Howie brought a few stories too, including one about Barbara Lee's failed amendments to the Defense Appropriations bill, and another about the Democrats who are just fine with the NSA's domestic surveillance programs, thankyouverymuch.

I'm off to get a new uninterruptible power source before tomorrow's show, when we'll talk with the always awesome Thomas Frank, and the always funny GottaLaff!

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Email from a vet: "The strange attachment to the f**kers who killed us"

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iraq war smaller

I was part of an email exchange today that included the following from two colleagues who I've gotten to know and admire over the years. Their heartfelt commentaries on Iraq, war, and Team Bush punctured my heart. They made such raw sense, their words and thoughts were so powerful, so passionate, and so compelling, they'll likely haunt me for some time. The first is an unfiltered flood of astute and fierce commentary by a vet.

With their permission, I am now sharing the emails with you, verbatim.

Whether you agree or disagree with the author, what is indisputable is that these words were written by someone who's been through hell and back. They're painful to read. He was there and knows what he's talking about, as opposed to the usual blathering pundits, so-called experts, and BushCo chickenhawks:

I was watching Glenn Greenwald and Paul Rieckhoff have themselves a grand old dick off. Dicks were waved, measured, and assessed like they were wine snobs in Napa during the first pour.

Yeah, they're both dicks. So's Maher that fucknozzle, shithead's not even very funny anymore.

What I saw in Rieckhoff though, reminded me of exactly what I went through. As my illusions of war, national pride, honor, all of that happy shit faded, I quickly created new illusions to cling to.

Without them I probably would have melted down completely. I had to hold on to the illusion that I somehow waded through all that shit for some kind of reason. That somehow, through all of that, I managed to salvage some measure of personal honor. Other folks went apeshit, did the raping, did the atrocity, but not me. Yeah, bullshit isn't it?

I was there. I was in it up to my fucking neck.

Did anything save me? Nope. All I finally was able to cling to was the hard bitten, hard won wisdom of the boonie rats.

When shit climbed up on us, when somebody was an eyelash away from going completely over the fucking edge, somebody would open their grimy fucking mouth to say,

"Fuck it man. Don't mean nothing."

That's how we got through. That's what we used to step ourselves back.

Fuck it man, don't mean nothing. Most of the time right after that somebody else would chime in with, "Yeah. Don't mean nothing. Fuck it, ruck up, press on."

The politics that sent us there were bullshit. Fuckers like McNamara in the Pentagon, Westmoreland in his air conditioned well-fed bunker in Saigon (Here's a quick strategic guide for you, if you need to live in a bunker in the capitol of your area of operations, you ain't winning jack fucking shit anytime soon troop) knew the truth of what was going on as well as Cheney, Bush and all those motherfuckers knew.

They knew and they did it anyway. Motherfuckers.

I quit asking all those existential questions, quit looking for the fucking meaning of it, because I realized there wasn't anything there to be found.

Rieckhoff and his companions are still clinging to the illusions that kept them alive, maybe even kept them from going absolutely bug fuck.

It has to mean something to them. Hell, they can lie enough to tell themselves that a lot of it actually fucking worked.

I won't challenge them. It's his life, and his fucking process, he has to walk that shit alone.

Besides, the only comfort I can give him is to put an hand on his shoulder and say,

"Fuck it man, don't mean nothing, it never fucking did. Deal with it and go from there. You'll fucking sleep better."

A response to that email produced some of the most effective imagery I've encountered on this topic:

Some guys (like Cheney, et. al.) can't bear the thought of losing, so like gamblers they keep playing a losing game, telling themselves that if they stay in long enough they eventually get to "win."

I had this image of George W. Bush sitting at the slots with a bowl full of dog tags in his lap, shoving them into the machine one after another and pulling the lever, muttering, "If you don't quit, you don't lose."

President Bush Endorses John McCain For President

Iraq war dog tags Source Wikimedia dot orgImage: Wikimedia.org

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