Saturday, July 05, 2014

Back to Iraq, Congressman Roskam?

At his 2006 debate with challenger Tammy Duckworth, Illinois Sixth District congressional candidate Peter Roskam had this to say when asked what his strategy was to win the Iraq war? "I don't have a strategy to win in Iraq; I have a goal, that it end well, so we don't have to go back." That response was politically brilliant. Roskam, like anyone remotely informed about that failed, criminal war, knew it was unwinnable. But he also knew that as long as we stayed there we could never be pushed out in defeat. So instead of answering the unanswerable, he offered a bromide sure to soothe his conservative base who tend to mindlessly support senseless American military interventions. It was also a nod to the war party that Roskam wouldn't be a pesky war critic like Republican congressmen Ron Paul (TX) and Walter Jones (NC). Those truth tellers become quickly marginalized by the war party.

In the following seven and a half years, Roskam parlayed that war party support to become House GOP Chief Deputy Whip, the No. 4 House GOP leader. And while the Iraq war gobbled up trillions of dollars, killed 4,489 GI's, physically injured or or mentally damaged hundreds of thousands more, and devastating Iraq, Roskam offered not a peep of criticism. When he did speak up it was to cement his allegiance to the war party with statements like, "The Sixth District is not a 'cut and run' district," or "We didn't go into Iraq with full force." Roskam made those egregious statements early on and has since been quiet as church mouse. Visit his website, search Iraq war and see what pops up:




In all three old citations Iraq is only mentioned tangentially. These links deal with Roskam's real interests of supporting Israel's foreign policy over those of the United States, and his relentless opposition to providing decent health insurance for the 40 millions uninsured. Roskam's avoidance of dealing with the Iraq catastrophe is back on the front burner now that Iraq is in collapse from the war his slavishly supported. But don't expect Roskam to champion our return to Iraq anytime soon. Unlike unrepentant war criminal Dick Cheney and warmongering senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, ginning up a return to Iraq on every news show, Roskam has learned his war party lessons well: vote the war party line but pretend these failed military incursions don't exist.

That is my congressman Peter Roskam: paid to represent the Sixth District; functioning as a lobbyist for the war party.

Friday, July 04, 2014


The body of a 238 year old, affectionately known as Uncle Sam, was found on Capitol Hill in Washington DC today. Crime Scene Investigators placed police tape around the body believing foul play was involved.

Given his age, Uncle Sam showed signs of extreme elder abuse. Most of his assets had been siphoned off to engorge the money belts of the very rich, and fund criminal wars that have killed hundreds of thousands. His eyes had been taped shut to prevent him from seeing the damage being done and his ears were plugged to ward off cries of the unemployed and the untreated sick and the poor. His jaw was wired shut to prevent his screams for help. His arteries - the highways and bridges that carried the commerce so vital to his economic well being - were clogged and crumbling, not from old age but from senseless neglect. His cholesterol level had topped 14 trillion. The paid public servants responsible for his well being were seen imbibing a strange brew of tea and sophistry that drove them into a frenzy of unprecedented meanness towards their benevolent Uncle. As they danced around the corpse they were heard chanting: "Government is not the solution: government is the problem".

Police broke up the mob but made no arrests.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Don't fret ladies; Barack's got your back

It only took a week but the Supreme Court crafted a decision even more dreadful than McCullen v. Coakley, which allowed fanatical abortion protesters to exercise their fiery free speech by piercing the 35 foot buffer zone Massachusetts wisely enveloped around harangued women entering abortion clinics. Yesterday's dual judicial abortion in Burwell v Hobby Lobby, and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell consigned nearly a third of working women to the potential for having a boss, claiming to be a Christian, dictate they can't get the proper reproductive health care mandated by government health care reform, simply because it offends the boss's so called religious beliefs. The ruling leaves those tens of millions with a Hobson's Choice: forget about getting urgently needed relief from reproductive slavery or go deep in debt to pay for it. A popular IUD can cost up to a month's pay for a minimum wage gal.

But the same guy who fought for and willed into law that 21st century health care law lifting American's less fortunate out of the health care basement, will likely display more Christianity toward those now endangered women than the folks at Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Specialty Cabinets could only dream about. The president will surely counter this heartless move by the companies and the Court by extending the provision already in place exempting religious organizations, by requiring contraceptive services to be paid for by the insurance provider, or partially by the government itself through tax credits.    

An army of outraged ladies and their male supporters, including this one, are surely checking the veto box when considering any 'chatch' from Hobby Lobby or a Conestoga cabinet. And if Jesus would descend to the Heartland, he'd probably pick up a picket sign and stand outside a Hobby Lobby joint till arrested for looking like a crazed hippie.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Attacking Iraq; leaving Iraq - a false equivalency

Bob Schieffer, on Sunday's Face The Nation, parroted the war party's disgusting false equivalency that our December 31, 2011, withdrawal from Iraq may have been just as bad as the original March 19, 2003, Shock & Awe attack. That is the new narrative the Bush war criminals and their fellow war mongers in Congress and the media have teamed up on to salvage their reputations over their heinous promotion of criminal war. Schieffer interviewed several hard line conservatives all moaning about the breakup of Iraq into Kurdish, Sunni and Shi'ite sections, which they claim, with no substantiation whatsoever, presents an direct threat to the Homeland. They all blamed the president's ending of the war as a mistake which brought us to the current crisis. One guest even demanded we postpone our December 31, 2014, pullout from Afghanistan. Schieffer, in his closing comment, said the war was wrong but the pullout was wrong. Without of word of criticism of the war starters, he wondered if Obama didn't try hard enough to ink a deal with Iraq to keep a residual force under US control, something Iraq wouldn't allow. He conveniently ignored the fact that Bush's criminal war splattered Iraq like Humpty Dumpty, never to be put back together again. What Schieffer and his neocon guests don't understand is that folks who start a criminal war deserve to be condemned and jailed. Folks who end a criminal war should be applauded and revered. Face The Nation certainly didn't face up to the neocons' false equivalency.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Supremes featured on Seinfeld episode

Perusing Thursday's Supreme Court decision striking down Massachusetts' 35 foot barrier to protect women entering abortion clinics from 'in your face' harassment, I had a sense of Deja Vu. Sure enough the Supremes' insensitivity to the plight of persons they cannot empathize with was foreshadowed by "The Stall", a Seinfeld episode from 20 years ago. In it, the Supremes were represented by Jane, Jerry's new girlfriend, who refused to aid Elaine, sitting in for our now unprotected abortion seekers, in the next washroom stall, who found herself without toilet paper. "Sorry, I just don't have a square to spare" was Jane's heartless response to Elaine's plight that every normal person comprehends. While not in the written decision, one can visualize Chief Justice Robert's, sitting on his 'throne' writing, "Sorry, ladies, we Supremes, who have a 250 foot buffer to protect us, simply don't have a square foot of buffer to spare." In Seinfeld's world all is righted as Jane is unmasked, allowing Elaine to rush ahead of her on a trip to the ladies room so she could purloin the precious paper and calmly offer "I don't have a square to spare" to her tormentor turned tormented. Alas, life doesn't fully imitate art. The gauntlet for these unfortunate ladies seeking reproductive freedom just got longer and scarier with no relief in sight.

The decision in McCullen v. Coakley may not rise to the earthshaking consequences of the Dred Scott decision, but it sure is dreadful.

The dubious case for dictating Iraq's furure

The Trib's June 28 editorial "The dubious case of splitting Iraq into 3 states" displays the colonialist and paternalistic attitude of the war party's media wing that got us into this mess in the first place. Iraq was a stable buffer against extremism back in 2003 before the Trib and its media shills helped sell our criminal war against Iraq which blasted it into three parts. The Bush war cabinet waged the war as Part II of their reprehensible Middle East Makeover at the point of a smart bomb. Iraq, like Afghanistan, was a prize to conquer, then exploit. Unfortunately for the Bush thugs, the people in Iraq, surveying the murder and mayhem, pushed back. The Kurds grabbed their neighborhood as a new quasi nation, which now includes Kirkuk. The Shi'ites ethnically cleansed the Sunni tormenters from every vestige of power, governmental services and oil wealth as payback for decades of the same. The Sunni's, a majority in a large middle section of Iraq, did what any besieged folks do: they fought back. That is the human way nation states, including the US, have been formed throughout history. But the Trib Editorial Board, looking down from their lofty Tribune Tower, pontificates that such a division is not good for the US. They then demand the following: "This much is clear: al-Maliki must go." That mantra of dictating who can govern a foreign land is something the Trib repeats over and over and over: Hussein must go. Ahmadinejad must go. Assad must go. Mubarak must go. Gadhafi must go. Now it Nouri al-Maliki's turn to walk the war party's plank.

Face it folks. The Kurds and the Sunnis and the Shi'ites in the artificial nation the Brits created in their colonial arrogance of 1920, will decide the future of that pitiful land we have devastated beyond imagination.