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Archive for Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Stumbling block

February 28, 2006

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To the editor:

Sen. Pat Roberts continues to insist that hearings are not needed to determine whether the Bush administration's domestic surveillance activities have broken the law. I have written to him directly several times about my concerns. In those letters, I reminded him that he has a responsibility as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee to use his position not to cover for the administration but to ensure that it follows the law. He appears to be choosing party loyalty instead.

Sen. Roberts trusts President Bush not to abuse his powers. However, a proper investigation will assure us all that presidential powers are being kept in check, as the founders intended. Supporters of domestic surveillance keep insisting that people who have nothing to hide should have nothing to fear. Congress needs to take this advice and not shy away from bipartisan hearings, which will reassure Americans across the political spectrum if they find that proper oversight was in place, and will help hasten reforms if they find that it was not.

This is a very difficult subject for a lot of Americans, because we all want our country to be safer. But if we trade off our constitutional rights against the illusion of safety, in the end we all lose. The American people must regain trust in the way our system works; hearings are the only way to make that happen. Kansas' senior senator needs to stop being a stumbling block to progress and help ensure that the president is acting within the law.

Andrea Zuercher,

Lawrence

Comments

mefirst 8 years, 1 month ago

We weren't the only ones who kicked ass. Remember, we entered the game late. MILLIONS died in Europe. They fought their asses off too and they lost a lot.

I don't think the Civil Rights movement, the Women's movement etc., and our own cultural changes can be blamed for the mistakes of our foreign policy. Perhaps our need to open up new markets in Communist countries led to the world turning their back on us.

Though I agree, that domestically, our culture is in trouble. Our values are totally skewed and our children are taught that they're the center of the universe. No respect for their parents, authority, life. I could go on FOREVER!

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rightthinker 8 years, 1 month ago

"I believe there once was a time when the U.S. and Americans in general were viewed very positively by the rest of the world. What happened to those days? What got in the way of that?"

That's very true and it was for about 20 years after we kicked *ss in Europe and the Pacific. This is only my opinion and we all know what they say about opinions, for the next 25-30 years, while we were obsessed with Vietnam, a new liberalism, the Cold War, race riots, burning bras, drugs, rock n roll, Watergate, Reaganomics, self-gratification, yuppies, impeaching Bill Clinton etc etc etc, those who viewed us as arrogant, powerful and decadent were plotting our demise--now we have to confront the outcome of our arrogance/oblivion.

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mefirst 8 years, 1 month ago

With every bomb that drops, we create more animosity and hatred directed at ourselves. Why, not because we're killing the bad guys, but because we''re killing family members, friends, neighbors, many of them innocent with no real stake in the outcome of our war on terror.

I agree, the U.S. does give a great deal in "good" aid. We also give a great deal of aid in the form of weapons and dollars for military spending. We have a lot to gain from their corrupt governments. We benefit from these Third World nations who keep their own people down--often it's the most corrupt world leaders who serve the U.S. interests at the expense of their own people.

I don't have all the answers and I'm not naive enough to believe we can "kill 'em all with kindness..." I'm not proposing that we abolish the military, but I think it's way past time we look honestly at ourselves and our policies.

I believe there once was a time when the U.S. and Americans in general were viewed very positively by the rest of the world. What happened to those days? What got in the way of that?

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rightthinker 8 years, 1 month ago

"We do not have the resources to take on the whole world."

And that, mefirst, is exactly what we are about to see in the next 5-10 years.

I respect your opinions, and some are certainly valid and at least you have some ideas unlike many posters. But with all due respect, try telling those things you've stated to the radical element that want us dead.

It seems to me we are helping poor people in many countries, how much can you give to get these people on their feet when their own corruption makes a mockery of our charitable side. We do need better better diplomacy I agree, but call me a pessimist; there are many all over the globe who don't want to talk to us, they want to make the US disappear.

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mefirst 8 years, 1 month ago

Your "bomb then to smitherines" idea has NEVER worked. It's the basis of all this anti-AMericanism that you complain about. Why can't people understand that our arrogance...if they don't do what we want them to do, we'll bomb the $hit out of them, gets us NOWHERE. In fact, it breeds defiance.

We do not have the resources to take on the whole world. Our military has proven vulnerable. We may be a super power, but we're not Superman. The reality of the situation is that we need to examine our foreign policy. We need to recognize that pre-emption, dominance, making demands, deceit, and bombing people Aren't working.

What's the solution? You don't want to hear my thoughts on that because it doesn't involve beefing up the military and bombing "the animals" in the world's poorest nations.

My solution involves turning our attention to what people need, not what corporate America needs, not what GWB needs, but what do the poorest people on this planet need?

Maybe they need us to get the hell out of their countries. Completely out.

Maybe they need us to stop supplying weapons and military aid.

Maybe they need us to set an example for what real diplomacy and democracy look like. Diplomancy and democracy do not equate to bombing the $hit out of people.

Perhpas they need us to start investing in our educational system, so we can educate our population in a way that leads to solutions to the world's most pressing problems i.e. dwindling resources, poverty, environmental concerns, hunger, health.

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rightthinker 8 years, 1 month ago

And one comment I forgot to make, we have become a nation that other little bullsh*t third world nations see as a nation they can screw with since Vietnam, and up to and including most specifically the 90's (I won't even mention any names). So, here we are. You do remember 9-11..gotta admit, as horrific as it was, pretty damned ingenious plot.....hmmmm, wonder if we could ever pull something off like that only in a military/wartime sense?

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rtwngr 8 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, mefirst, greed. That "take over Iraq for the oil" scheme really worked. We're swimming in oil now. WMD? You think because we didn't discover a stockpile of them that they didn't exist? You can prove they didn't exist? What makes you so sure that a new dictator will move into the vacuum left by Saddam's departure? The last time I checked there was an elected government in Iraq. It's not a perfect government but it is an elected government just the same. One last point: Have you talked to any of the troops returning from Iraq? I have and they cannot believe the type of coverage that we hear. Most of them find it unconscienable that our media portrays Iraq in the light that it does. To a person they all state the progress and good that is being done in that country, every day, that is never told. Some that I have spoken to volunteer to return for another tour in Iraq. The story that gets lost here is that someone, sometimes, has to go and intercede for those that cannot defend themselves. God bless them all including GWB.

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rightthinker 8 years, 1 month ago

merfirst: "but standby, there will be some radical leader to step in and take his place...just as soon as all the dust from this impending war settles."

rightthinker- "just keep enough troops and operatives now to kill any threats, that's right, kill."

It's just obvious that you libs would rather "wallow in the mire" as Jim Morrison put it.

At least I have a partial solution, which is very well what the Bush adm. is planning, but I see that as a viable option. These people are proving to be the Viet Cong all over again and let them do what they want TO EACH OTHER ON THEIR SOIL, but take care of the treacherous ones right on the spot, kill them one by one as they are identified and trust me, they will very, very quickly get the message, or they will all be dead, whatever comes first.

Is see yourworstnightmare didn't follow thru per my earlier posting request and just offer one simple idea. I know things are bad there and may never be able to instill the notion of democracy in those animals over in the mid-east, so we start being more proactive on stopping the threat from spreading. And if Iran does not comply, bomb them into submission and turn their sandy miserable god forsaken land into glass. And if N Korea starts up with anything, bomb them into submission and take out Kim Jong Il....it is an absolute necessity at this point. Kill or be killed, we've all heard that. What do you want mefirst, it be you or them?

Here's the bottom line, half of the Arab world wants us annihilated, the other half has utter contempt for us as well as half of the rest of the world. This is not totally GWB's fault, although this is reaching critical mass the past 3 or so years. Intelligence, a beefed up military on the ready and start protecting our soil, let the arabs and Isreal handle their problems once and for all. And every other nut that surfaces, quietly assassinate them. Sounds harsh, but look down the road and you know the alternative.

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mefirst 8 years, 1 month ago

rightthinker--our job in Iraq is done? So, what have we accomplished?

We didn't find the WMDs; we sure haven't spread democracy; I don't feel any safer now than I did before the Iraq war; and yes, Saddam's gone, but standby, there will be some radical leader to step in and take his place...just as soon as all the dust from this impending war settles.

This whole fiasco is another example of the neo-cons' short-sightedness, lack of perspective, contempt for the reality of the situation, all fueled by incredible greed masked by a phony agenda.

Gee, I thought God was on our side in this battle. Hmmm.

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rightthinker 8 years, 1 month ago

Let's make this real easy for you nightmare:

Just once, come back with a "What I think we should do" response. Dont' bring up Bush or conservatives or me or anything. I'll give you a chance to prove you have just one idea. Please refrain from revisiting the past, just focus on the future if you're capable. I doubt you will do this or be able to do it without making a complete fool of yourself, but try it anyway.

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yourworstnightmare 8 years, 1 month ago

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yourworstnightmare 8 years, 1 month ago

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rightthinker 8 years, 1 month ago

"More evidence that you are an idiot.

Also more evidence that you cannot think for yourself. Your guru Billy F. Buckley recently wrote that the Iraq war is a failure and that the US should get out and let the crazies kill themselves. So naturally, being an idiot, you have done a 180 and now subscribe to this philosophy.

Geez, you are an idiot who cannot think for himself.

The neocons are now turning against the war. We'll see what happens to "stay the course" and "if we leave now we will abandon the Iraqi people." Pure political prevarication."

No yourbestwetmare, you're wrong again. I USED to read The National Review and Buckleys stuff too, but I don't anymore. I honestly did not read that article or any other article saying anything to that effect. I do think for myself and instead of sitting around all day hating the prez, I go on what I see now and historically and good old fashioned intuition (something I'm thoroughly convinced liberals don't have because their hatred of GWB supercedes it). You can call me an idiot all you want if it soothes your pea brain. The fact is, we've done our part over there, just keep enough troops and operatives now to kill any threats, that's right, kill. I know you libbies hate that "kill" word, but that's what's gonna happen to alot of us if we dont' re-shift our worldwide military/intel take.

You liberals need to get off the GWB rants and start thinking about the next 5-10 years max. If you think the current prez has made mistakes and is a blunder, the next one had better be very very smart and just plain lucky and that probably won't get him/her through. Wake up libs and look at the big picture and get off your partisan, Bush hating obsession.

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yourworstnightmare 8 years, 1 month ago

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derf 8 years, 1 month ago

The truth is the truth, wherever it comes from.

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rightthinker 8 years, 1 month ago

whats so terrifying souki, that's obviously what they want to continue to do...we've deposed a mass murdering dictator and killed his likewise punk boys, we've set them up a government, we've been patroling and trying to keep the peace for three years and they now appear to be on the verge of civil war.

unlike libs who just whine constantly with no answers, here is mine: pull out about 75% of the troops, put operatives in and start "eliminating" any and all threats....they'll soon get the message I promise you. Then we completely overhaul our intel strategy and start concentrating on 110% effective intel here and abroad. you think it sounds crazy, remember what this wacked out right wing nut said 5-8 years from now. It will make sense. And I'm not just talking about the mid east arabs, I'm talking about intel to all the countries that are hot spots: China, N Korea, Phillipines, Afganistan, Pakistan, India, Venezuala and even Mexico. Their will be a draft bet onit within 5-10 years tops. We are deep sh*t nationally and globally.

We have done our job in Iraq...get out!

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Souki 8 years, 1 month ago

"Well, I voted for Bush twice, supported the war, but as a Republican, I'm saying: GET OUT AND LET THOSE MURDERING SONS-A-B*TCHES KILL EACH OTHER OFF. THEY'RE THIRD WORLD ARABS AND THAT'S ALL THEY'VE EVER KNOWN."

Terrifying.

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observer 8 years, 1 month ago

spoken like a true right wing conservative,

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rightthinker 8 years, 1 month ago

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b_asinbeer 8 years, 1 month ago

So, what does the Bush administration have to lose by making sure powers are not being abused? Why are they so against it? If they don't want to be subject to an investigation it means that he knows he screwed up (again!) and broke the law. But if he didn't do anything wrong, he's got nothing to worry about. So, conduct the investigation already!

I hope Mr. Bush gets rid of the "I'm the president, so I'm always right" attitude (Anyone remember Nixon?).

I'm wondering how the Bush-supporters would argue against a simple checks-and-balances procedure. After all, nobody is above the law...so they shouldn't have a problem, right? That's not what Mr. Bush thinks apparently.

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