What news should I mention here? Saudi Arabia and Iran are financing Russian upgrades to Syria's defense systems (more) to defend against potential attacks from US forces, or I could mention how Afghanistan is still a total mess (more), let alone Iraq which gets worse every day (more). Saddam is even said to be in good health (more), and plotting his return to power (more). Meanwhile, the Saudi ambassador warns the US to expect new terror attacks on US soil (more), with the US acknowledging that thousands of al-Qaeda troops are poised to strike back at the US for its invasion of their lands (more).
We ended the rule of one of history's worst tyrants, and in so doing, we not only freed the American people, we made our own people more secure.
- George Bush Jr.
Crawford, Texas, May 3, 2003
But don't worry — the US, well, the US defense sector anyway, continues to get very wealthy, supplying 28% of all weaponry on the planet, making it the largest arms dealer in the world (more). It's not alone though; include four of the other G8 countries (Russia, France, Britain, and Germany) and you'll come up with 2/3 of the weaponry sold on the planet. Thankfully Italy and Canada have banned military exports if there's any chance they'll be used in human rights abuses, and Japan has gone even farther and banned military export altogether. In the military money file, it turns out the Pentagon has misplaced one trillion dollars as well as 56 planes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missiles (more). Ooops!
America is losing its way at home and in the world. We have no money to rebuild America's cities, but we have money to blow up cities in Iraq.
- US Rep. Dennis Kucinich
As a new civil war brews in America between local (US) governments and the Bush regime (more), we're told that “Politics should be regarded as less like an exercise in producing truthful statements and more like a poker game, and there is an expectation by a poker player that you try to deceive them as part of the game.” (more)… Um… I understand things may be moving in that direction, but isn't it clear that when democracy is built on a battle of who's the better liar that the process has fundamentally failed and we need to scrap this implementation?
In any case, the one story that I really wanted to draw attention to was this quote from Mike Van Winkle at the Justice Department (more), in regards to issuing “terrorist threat” warnings any time there's a (peaceful) anti-Bush or anti-war demonstration:
If you have a protest group protesting a war where the cause that's being fought against is international terrorism ... you can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist act.
That is, since Bush has chosen to fraudulently fly this “terrorist killer” banner, anyone who opposes him must support and be a terrorist. As you know from the recent quorum hubbub in Texas as well as some of the judiciary staffing moves by the Bush regime, attempts are being undertaken to shift the US from a two party democracy to a “unitary government” (ie. a democracy where you only have one choice; kind of like Iraq was)…
They want to change the rules of the Senate itself in a raw bid for unitary government, run out of the White House. We should not and we cannot let the Senate or the federal judiciary become mere arms of any political party or any president.
- Sen. Patrick Leahy
Americans already have far less political choices than almost every other Western nation; it's only one very small step and they'll be left with no choice at all, and their “votes” will do nothing but prop up a militaristic totalitarian police state. If you're in America, you need decide when the time comes for you to defend your rights and your homeland. If you're not in America, you need to start deciding just how long you're willing to risk sharing the world with this growing threat…
Don't expect politicians, even the good ones, to do your job for you. Politicians are like weather vanes. Our job is to make the wind blow.
- David R. Brower (more)