Archive for September 14th, 2007

This will be short and sweet.

If you have not seen the ad, please click here.

The “pontificating” has been done on the airwaves today by everyone from Chris Matthews on MSNBC to the talking heads at CNN. The issue appears to be whether the ad “helped or hurt Democrats.”

We seem to be the only ones saying this but…NO MORE DEMOCRAT/REPUBLICAN!!!

Say-When supporters are tired of BOTH parties – we want REAL representation and we want it regardless of the party affiliation of the politician.

We want someone to get their heads out of the wallets that seem to surround them once they hit Capitol Hill and start standing up for us.

All of the candidates need to get this and fast – you will NOT win the election in 2008 simply because you are a Democrat and the nation is tired of a Republican administration! We want a candidate that listens to us and puts our interests before his/her own – and at this moment, we’re not terribly inspired by the lot of you.

We don’t care if the ad helped Democrats – did it help We the People? 

OpEd News

By Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret., National Commander, The Patriots

Dear Comrades in Arms,

You are facing challenges in 2007 that we of previous generations never dreamed of. I’m just an old fighter pilot (101 combat missions in Vietnam , F-4 Phantom, Phu Cat, 1969-1970) who’s now a disabled veteran with terminal cancer from Agent Orange. Our mailing list (over 22,000) includes veterans from all branches of the service, all political parties, and all parts of the political spectrum. We are Republicans and Democrats, Greens and Libertarians, Constitutionists and Reformers, and a good many Independents. What unites us is our desire for a government that (1) follows the Constitution, (2) honors the truth, and (3) serves the people.

We see our government going down the wrong path, all too often ignoring military advice, and heading us toward great danger. And we look to you who still serve as the best hope for protecting our nation from disaster.

We see the current Iraq War as having been unnecessary, entered into under false pretenses, and horribly mismanaged by the civilian authorities. Thousands of our brave troops have been needlessly sacrificed in a futile attempt at occupation of a hostile land. Many more thousands have suffered wounds which will change their lives forever. Tens of thousands have severe psychological problems because of what they have seen and what they have done. Potentially hundreds of thousands could be poisoned by depleted uranium, with symptoms appearing years later, just as happened to us exposed to Agent Orange. The military services are depleted and demoralized. The VA system is under-funded and overwhelmed. The National Guard and Reserves have been subjected to tour after tour, disrupting lives for even the lucky ones who return intact. Jobs have been lost, marriages have been destroyed, homes have been foreclosed, and children have been estranged. And for what? We have lost allies, made new enemies, and created thousands of new terrorists, further endangering the American people.

But you know all this. I’m sure you also see the enormous danger in a possible attack on Iran , possibly with nuclear weapons. Such an event, seriously contemplated by the Cheney faction of the Bush administration, would make enemies of Russia and China and turn us into the number one rogue nation on earth. The effect on our long-term national security would be devastating.

Some of us had hoped that the new Democratic Congress would end the occupation of Iraq and take firm steps to prevent an attack on Iran , perhaps by impeaching Bush and Cheney. These hopes have been dashed. The lily-livered Democrats have caved in, turning their backs on those few (like Congressman Jack Murtha) who understand the situation. Many of us have personally walked the halls of Congress, to no avail.

This is where you come in.

We know that many of you share our concern and our determination to protect our republic from an arrogant, out-of-control, imperial presidency and a compliant, namby-pamby Congress (both of which are unduly influenced by the oil companies and other big-money interests). We know that you (like us) wouldn’t have pursued a military career unless you were idealistic and devoted to our nation and its people. (None of us do it for the pay and working conditions!) But we also recognize that you may not see how you can influence these events. We in the military have always had a historic subservience to civilian authority.

Perhaps I can help with whatever wisdom I’ve gathered from age (I retired in 1978, so I am ancient indeed).

Our oath of office is to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Might I suggest that this includes a rogue president and vice-president? Certainly we are bound to carry out the legal orders of our superiors. But the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) which binds all of us enshrines the Nuremberg Principles which this country established after World War II (which you are too young to remember). One of those Nuremberg Principles says that we in the military have not only the right, but also the DUTY to refuse an illegal order. It was on this basis that we executed Nazi officers who were “only carrying out their orders.”

The Constitution which we are sworn to uphold says that treaties entered into by the United States are the “highest law of the land,” equivalent to the Constitution itself. Accordingly, we in the military are sworn to uphold treaty law, including the United Nations charter and the Geneva Convention.

Based on the above, I contend that should some civilian order you to initiate a nuclear attack on Iran (for example), you are duty-bound to refuse that order. I might also suggest that you should consider whether the circumstances demand that you arrest whoever gave the order as a war criminal.

I know for a fact that in recent history (once under Nixon and once under Reagan), the military nuclear chain of command in the White House discussed these things and were prepared to refuse an order to “nuke Russia .” In effect they took the (non-existent) “button” out of the hands of the President.. We were thus never quite as close to World War III as many feared, no matter how irrational any president might have become. They determined that the proper response to any such order was, “Why, sir?” Unless there was (in their words) a “damn good answer,” nothing was going to happen.

I suggest that if you in this generation have not had such a discussion, perhaps it is time you do. In hindsight, it’s too bad such a discussion did not take place prior to the preemptive “shock and awe” attack on Baghdad . Many of us at the time spoke out vehemently that such an attack would be an impeachable offense, a war crime against the people of Iraq , and treason against the United States of America . But our voices were drowned out and never reached the ears of the generals in 2003. I now regret that I never sent a letter such as this at that time, but depended on the corporate media to carry my message. I must not make that mistake again.

Also in hindsight, President Bush could be court-martialed for abuse of power as Commander-in-Chief. Vice President Cheney could probably be court-martialed for his performance as Acting Commander-in-Chief in the White House bunker the morning of September 11, 2001 .

We in the U.S. military would never consider a military coup, removing an elected president and installing one of our own. But following our oath of office, obeying the Nuremberg Principles, and preventing a rogue president from committing a war crime is not a military coup. If it requires the detention of executive branch officials, we will not impose a military dictatorship. We will let the Constitutional succession take place. This is what we are sworn to. This is protecting the Constitution, our highest obligation. In 2007, this is what is meant by “Duty, Honor, Country.”

Thank you all for your service to this nation. May God bless America , and sustain us in this difficult time. And thanks for listening to the musings of an old junior officer.

Respectfully,

Robert M. Bowman, PhD, Lt. Col., USAF, ret.

Brittany Powlison of Berea, Kentucky
I know the plan President Bush drew out is not popular with the Democratic Party. However, to me it looks like he did compromise and that he is [bringing] some troops home. When did war become a video game we can just turn off whenever we want to? As a country we have to be responsible to those we have made promises to (i.e. the Iraqi people.) I think it’s a wise move that President Bush doesn’t take all our troops out at once for the sake of Iraq, its people, and the stability of the government in Iraq.

Jacqueline Satterfield of Philadelphia, New York
This administration is trying to fool everyone again. The 5,700 troops that are coming home for Christmas are troops that were supposed to come home in a normal rotation — I know because my husband is one of those troops! That would be 2nd Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, New York. It only
looks like it’s a concession to the public demand for our troops to start coming home. It’s NOT!

Brenda Tomlin of House Springs, Missouri
I think President Bush is doing a fine job. He is doing what he needs to finish this war. He knows America needs protection and he is doing what is right.

Ann Davis of Bryant, Arizona
It seems every time Bush opens his mouth it gets wider for his foot. His learning disabilities continue — now he has problems counting.

G. Douglas Clarke of Alfred Station, New York
The resident of the White House is claiming credit for troop reductions that would have happened without his orders. He’s saying that when things don’t get worse, that’s improvement. He finally admitted that he plans to leave troops occupying Iraq for decades to come, but wants middle-class Americans to pay for it. I’m not buying any of it.

Al Paglia of Wellington, Florida
I commend the president for staying the course and holding the Iraq government’s leaders to the fire. He is caught between a rock and a hard place. At least Mr. Bush has the strength to stand up to these radicals and show them we will not back down. It is unpopular to keep our military overseas but I am encouraged since the surge began and to undercut it dramatically now would be a huge mistake.

Let him follow the military commander’s advice and at the same time keep pressure on the new Iraq government and things will keep improving. He is starting to bring home some troops which speaks well for him.

Carol Hetman of Fredericksburg, Virginia
Bush really upset me with one big lie last night. He says he is bringing troops home next month and that he plans to bring more home next spring. The troops he is bringing home are on the rotation. He doesn’t tell you that more troops are going back to replace the ones he is bringing home. Show us proof that the troops he is bringing home are not being replaced. And that the troops he is talking about are not the ones on Marine Corps rotation.

How about really bringing troops home? There is a difference in bringing troops home and just talking about the Marine Corps rotation. Let’s try to bring troops home and not replace them. Let’s try to stop lying to the American people. Let’s try to let Iraq run [itself] and fix our own country before we force ourselves on others. Really pull back and allow them to find out what works for them — and if it isn’t democracy then that is just fine. Bring our troops home, soon and safe!

Robert Parker of Santa Monica, California
Bush urged Americans divided over the war to “come together.” Someone forgot to tell him most of America is not divided over the war: we want out.

But it is so sad to see how many do still support this fiasco — out of ignorance. This is precisely why we need to demand that one month’s worth of Iraq’s war fund go to funding teachers and education. And history should be a requirement for all college degrees. This period of history will be looked back upon as a time when people were really stupid generally and easily manipulated.

Michael Short of Atlanta, Georgia
There is strong evidence that, from the start of the Iraq war, Bush intended to have troops in Iraq through the end of his presidency. His messages to America have been a masterful display of misdirection. Whether or not, in their private councils, he and his government foresaw the disastrous effects of the war, I am sick at heart to see the lie perpetuated and to see the cavalier glossing over of the true state of Iraq and horrible mess we have made of things.

Things weren’t good in 2003; they’ve gotten much, much worse. I feel certain that the 36 percent of America that still supports Bush, forced to walk the proverbial mile — or in this case, four years — in the shoes of a Baghdad Iraqi, would realize they are wrong to support this man’s policies. Unless they believe that one American [life] is worth at least 100 dead foreigners and that it is America’s right to hog the world’s resources, irrespective of where they’re found.

Gary Marcy of Scott City, Kansas
What a direct and straightforward speech. It’s too bad Jack Reed didn’t listen to it. He must have been busy primping in the bathroom and practicing his Democrat response. I thought President Bush did a superb job of laying the facts out in an organized manner, easy for all to understand — and that’s no small feat considering the trouble he has reading from a tele-prompter.

Where President Bush emphasized the positive aspects of the progress made so far, Mr. Reed could only dwell on the negative, as so many other Democrats have done in their endless drivel and whining sound bites and speeches — always addressing how negative this war on terrorists and state-sponsored terrorism is being waged. Thank God the voters will have the last word on these matters.

Rob Haines of Erie, Pennsylvania
The president seems unable to accept that thousands of Iraqis who are trying to flee Iraq. Now that Syria has for all intents and purposes closed its borders, those people are trapped. Rhetoric without substance. [Reporters] should be asking the administration to provide facts and figures to support claims made by W.

William Zeitler of McLean, Virginia
Very disappointed. It now looks like Bush wanted to have a substantial permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq all along, but didn’t want to tell the American people.

It is Bush who is exacerbating the violence in Iraq by keeping [U.S.] troops there as an occupying force. The more troops there are in Iraq, the greater the violence and the greater justification for additional U.S. troops to quell the violence. So if we follow the Bush policy, there will be a never-ending cycle of violence and the troops will never come. Some legacy.

Clyde Gault of Ocala, Florida
Well-written and very well-done. I am proud to have a president who stands on principle instead of checking to see if the idea is popular or not. Thanks to him for a job well-done.

Here’s what this means in the type of dollars we understand

It’s as if you had a $5000 credit  line and could not make your minimum monthly payment, so you raise your credit limit so that you can put that minimum payment on your credit card. Makes sense!?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday approved an $850 billion increase in U.S. borrowing authority to $9.815 trillion in order to avoid a default as the government nears its credit limit of $8.965 trillion.

The committee approved the bill on a voice vote and it clears the way for the full Senate to take action most likely by early October. As of last Friday, the federal debt stood at $8.923 trillion and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has been urging Congress to act quickly to avoid unnerving financial markets that are already jittery over rising mortgage foreclosures.

The amount approved by the finance panel would allow the government to continue borrowing into 2009, well after next year’s presidential and congressional elections. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat expressed concern that the debt issue could “become a political football” during next year’s campaigns.

“The increase of $850 billion would be the third largest debt limit increase in U.S. history,” Baucus said.

The U.S. House of Representatives already approved the credit increase when it passed the 2008 budget blueprint earlier this year.

It will be the fifth increase in the U.S. credit limit since President George W. Bush took office in 2001 when the U.S. debt stood at $5.6 trillion.