MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS
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Connecting The Dots
Bush Is Losing It
By Larry Kelley
"You can be killed just as dead in an unjustified war as in one protecting your home."-Will Rogers
First he lost the House and the Senate and then he lost his beloved Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. And finally, the president was told by Henry Kissinger, his Iraq advisor, that he had lost the war in Iraq. Winning the war, Kissinger said, was "not possible." George was so distraught, he flew to Vietnam, the last place we lost a war, and promptly announced that the US would have won the Vietnam War "if we had stayed longer."
Along with all of this, the International Committee of the Red Cross, based in Switzerland, has opened a War Crimes Portfolio, charging "war crimes against humanity" by the US President, Vice President, Defense Secretary, military commanders and the majority of Senators and Congressmen. This is only the second time a War Crimes Portfolio has been opened against civilian and military leaders, the first being in 1943 against the Nazi Germany Empire and its chancellor Adolph Hitler, reports Sorcha Faal on the PowerHour website.
So what's a beleaguered president to do? Obviously, buy land in Paraguay, which apparently he did.
Foreign news agencies, including the Latin American News Service, are reporting that Bush has purchased almost 100,000 acres in northern Paraguay, near the borders of Brazil and Bolivia. Rumors of the purchase began with Prensa Latina, the state-run Cuban news agency.
Erasmo Rodriquez Acosta, governor of the Alto, Paraguay region where Bush's new acquisition reportedly lies, told one Paraguayan news agency there were "indications" the land was situated in Pasode Patria, near Bolivian gas reserves and the Guarani indigenous water region and that part of the purchase includes an ecological reserve, Fundacion Patrie, with which Bush is affiliated, reports Faal.
Luis D'Elia, Argentina's undersecretary for Social Habitat in the Planning Ministry, says the purchase is "surprising" and "raises regional concerns, threatening local natural resources," while sending a "bad signal" to the governments of the region. The land is only a few miles from a US military base, Mariscal Estigarribia, and most of it belongs to private companies, D'Elia said.
Writer Paul Schnelzer reports that the US and Paraguay have an extradition treaty with one (big) exception: "political offenses." Paraguay has been a popular hideout for Nazi's and other war criminals and has had relations with the Bush family dating back to the president's grandfather Prescott Bush. "Poppy" Bush, the president's father, was CIA chief in 1976 during Operation Condor, a covert intelligence plan to eliminate left-wing opposition groups in South American countries, including Paraguay.
The New York Times reported in 2001 on a recently declassified State Department document which indicated that US military and intelligence officials were involved with and may have sponsored the plan.
Jenna Bush, the president's 24-year old daughter, recently took a 10-day trip to Paraguay, officially with UNICEF, the UN children's agency which released few details about the program involving Jenna, citing security concerns.
Local news media reported that Jenna dined with Paraguay's President Nicanor Duarte and his family at their official residence and met with US Ambassador to Paraguay James Cason.
But reporter Faal writes that Jenna used the United Nations group "to cover her mission to Paraguay to arrange the massive land purchase," adding that Russian intelligence analysts report that she made the purchase of the 98,842- acre ranch on behalf of her father and the Bush family.
While Jenna was securing the family's future, her twin sister Barbara seems to have had her purse pilfered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, despite being surrounded by Secret Service. CNN reports that she lost credit cards and a cell phone and that the president had recently directed the Secret Service to give his daughters "as much freedom as possible."
Meanwhile, ABC reports a member of the White House travel staff was beaten and robbed in Hawaii.
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In Hanoi for an economic summit, Bush actually told reporters that the lesson he learned from Vietnam was that "we'll succeed unless we quit." The president should get detention. Even his current teacher, Henry Kissinger, the man who kept Vietnam going ad infinitum, recently told the BBC that military victory in Iraq is "no longer possible."
CBS reports that the Army Manual is being re-written to include an item Rumsfeld seems to have ignored: protection for civilians. The United Nations reports that over 3700 civilians were killed in Iraq in October, the highest monthly total since the war began. When asked at a press conference if extended military divisions would be home for Christmas, the recently retired Rumy answered, "I don't know. I'm not Santa Claus." Anything but. A week after he announced his retirement, Rumsfeld and other American officials were named in a lawsuit filed in Germany by civil rights legal groups for suspected war crimes stemming from the treatment of prisoners in Iraqi and Cuban military jails.
Janice L. Karpinski, the former commander at Abu Ghraib who was relieved of her command and demoted to colonel after the abuses came to light, traveled to Berlin to offer to stand as a witness. The suit, filed on behalf of 12 detainees, asserts they were subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation, withholding of food and sexual humiliation.
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After winning the House and the Senate (if you count Lieberman), the Democrats had to show they could still be losers. Incoming House speaker Nancy Pelosi lost her first real battle when she tried to shoe-horn John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, the anti-war curmudgeon, in as the new majority leader. House Democrats chose Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland instead.
Former presidential loser John Kerry has been spending most of his air time defending his so-called "botched joke" when he should be explaining his botched election bid, which saw him concede the "04 election before all the Ohio votes were counted.
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"Poppy" Bush in a recent speech, said he is "deeply hurt" when his son, the president is criticized. Associated Press reported that when a member of the audience shouted, "we don't respect your son," the former president was "stunned" and his voice "quivered in response." No problem. He'll be big in Paraguay.
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