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KaelGotRice
KaelGotRice

Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 1584
Posted:Primaries are on! Winner will be the representative of their party in the national presidential elections this fall.



Obama takes Iowa for the Democrats!

Huckabee takes Iowa for the Republicans!



Good independent site to browse that covers their issues:

http://www.issues2000.org/Barack_Obama.htm

http://www.issues2000.org/Mike_Huckabee.htm





http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/state/#IA



GWARRRRRRRRRRRR!



4 days until New Hampshire vote for democrats! and 3 days for Wyoming's republican vote-



Discuss. biggrin


To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:I think it's a pity to see the US having to decide between the first possible woman or the first possible African American president in history.

Both would be highly favorable... to bad that Hillary is no African American or Obama is a woman...

Could work on that?

Any which way it will be interesting to see a democrat cleaning up the republican mess "again"! History repeating itself.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:Who cares what race or sex they are? I'm not going to vote based on someone's sex or race. I'm pretty sure that's some form of discrimination. It doesn't make them qualified to run the country

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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The Tea Fairy
The Tea Fairy

old hand
Location: Behind you...
Member Since: 2nd Jul 2004
Total posts: 853
Posted:I'm not sure FT meant that people's voting would be based on sex or race, but just that it is still between these two outcomes... first female president of the US or first African-American president of the US... either one will be setting a historical precedent (hehehe, a precedent president!) ubbrollsmile

Idolized by Aurinoko

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind....

Bob Dylan

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natasqi
natasqi

addict
Location: Perth
Member Since: 4th Jul 2007
Total posts: 489
Posted: Written by :DarkFyre


We are being bombarded all the presidential mad2 over here in NZ.



Same in Oz. In fact, I don't think I even knew who Kevin Rudd was until 6 months before the election, but I've been hearing about American candidates for over 12 months now. AAAHHH!!

Please someone enlighten me. When do your final elections actually count so I can have some real news?

I'm already stuck in rural Aus and cats up trees or 12 yr olds participating in state competitions are currently #1 news items...
*cries*


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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted: Written by :bluecat


 Written by :Pele



I was shocked when recently in england to see how Hillary was painted as this sweet woman being picked on.
confused




er. which newspapers were you reading to get this view? most of the coverage in the UK is pro-obama, and portrays hillary as a schemer with a party machine on her side...

and most UK folks i've been chatting to are in agreement that Obama was just telling it like it is tongue



Really?
That is refreshing.
I was watching some news broadcast and it was all about how Hill was just being picked on. I was shocked!

I agree that Obama is just telling it how it is, and you know that is something I am completely in favor of. wink

Simta, what I meant by confused is if you track her platform, her reform statements and her stances on policy...they change all the freakin time. She switches to whatever people tell her too, and that is sad. As such, she comes across confused, if you look at her statements over the course of a few months. Obama is pretty steady in comparison.

FiF, no one is saying that is why they are voting (although, in some areas it has been shown that blacks are voting for Obama and women for Hill). Obviously, platforms should be the main concideration, but we all know that it is not always that way.

Natasqi, these are all prelims to determine if Hill or Ob will be running for the Democrats. The election is actually in November, so much more time to wait. wink


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:Seeeeee!

I don't think either of them have a decisive platform. Obama is full of catchphrases. I have yet to hear anything of substance


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:I've seen the media pitying Hillary too Pele, even my local newspaper ran an article about how the rest of the media is being mean and disrespectful to her by calling her Hillary, and not Sen. Clinton and such.. Personally I think it's a load of BS when her own logo is just a giant HILLARY, she's trying to play both sides but it's failing miserably in my eyes..

#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Absolutely Lurch!

The whole "Hillary" plan of attack is so that she can distance herself from her husband by not using his name.
confused

If she stood by him, and believed he was a great president, wouldn't she wear it with pride then?

Actually FiF, if you go to the 08 candidate website, it does put out all of their platforms. I've also YouTubed some of the past debates and discussion and really listened to what Obama has had to say, esp about change, tax reform, education reform and the war. Popular media only covers mudslinging. The political sites (and sometimes CNN) are the ones that have shown her inconsistency long before she entered this race, along with his consistency.

But I also have another pov. I live in the state Hill is supposedly Senator of. I can honestly tell you, she's done more harm than good here and has lied every step of the way.
I am sure that jades me completely.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:Oh I just have watched the media coverage...I guess you just get soundbites. But I would like to hear it. Not just read it. From what I've heard, I don't know that any of it is realistic with things the way they are. I probably wouldn't vote Obama or Hillary. McCain isn't a good choice either, but he might be able to finish things up in Iraq. Because of his military experience. I trust him more with things in the state they are in.
I don't like any of them. I really don't know if I'm going to vote. None of them really say to me "Yes, I can really help the country"

(I use "really" too often)


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Fair enough fif.

I can't remember a past election I have been able to vote in where I have felt like they could help with confidence.
For me, this one, I do.

I hope that between now and November you find that, no matter who the candidate is.

As much as I don't believe in the process of our electoral system, I still believe voting is important. I guess all those commercials on MTV when I was growing up actually sunk in! lol

(do you really think that you do? wink )


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:I try to keep out repetitiveness such like, you know

Did you see that southpark

Vote or die, bcensored, vote or die


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I didn't see that one. I don't actually watch SP so much.
Was that a Cartman-ism?

I don't think I agree with the "..or die". Maybe vote or eat liver? That might work on alot of people I know. biggrin


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:It was when puffy was going around getting people to vote, in 2000 or 1999

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:I'm just not sure any more. I was leaning to McCain who is the only candidate to have shown real leadership as far as I can tell. Real leadership is something of a lost art in democracy today. It's quite easily discernible by losing votes and being politically expensive. Witness McCain's principled, practical but hugely unpopular stand on immigration reform, or his embrace of Green issues. He is at odds with the republican party on these issues but he took them up anyway. Thats called leadership.
By contrast Hillary in particular is like the French revolutionary watching the crowds flow past her window and saying "I must find out where those people are going so I can lead them there". Obama is just untested.
I want to vote in a candidate with the courage to do the right thing even when politically damaging.
The last leader we had here in the U.K. was Maggie Thatcher and she was hated vehemently by a lot of people but ultimately instituted vital reforms in the U.K.
The U.S. has serious issues with health and pension reform that require a leader to take on powerful interest groups and push for painful reforms at the expense of popularity. Does that sound like a democratic candidate?

On the other hand I don't at all buy into the theory that his military experiance will help in Iraq and recently I've been thrown into a quandry again by McCains repeated hints that he wants to attack Iran. One slip of the tongue is understandable but the hints just keep coming. Ex-military leaders sometimes are the best ones to push for peace because they have nothing to prove and can't be accused of being soft. No civilian prime-minister could have evacuated the Gaza strip, it took Ariel Sharon- a war criminal- to do it. But I'm concerned that McCain wants to attack Iran.

I think I'd still vote for him though. Congress would never sign off on another war.


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:The other thing is that he, McCain is old and has a temper. Both could be bad

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted: Written by :Mascot



I think I'd still vote for him though. Congress would never sign off on another war.







The Congress of the US? We're talking about the same one?

I believe those words were said after Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm...oh wait, those weren't wars, those were police actions so those were okay. rolleyes



I'm sorry but given the history of Congress and the approval of violent actions in other countries, I think they can be bought..er, sorry..I meant "convinced".



I agree fif, and I think McCains temper would set him to push the veto to its limits, quiet honestly.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:Well, I don't think they would vote for it in today's political climate...none of them would get reelected

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:i loved hillarys declaration that she would "obliterate", i think was the term, iran if it launched a nuclear missle on israel in the next ten years, in response to the question of what would be her presidential response to such an event.

extreme situation scenarios make for amusing and interesting politics.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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simta
simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings
Member Since: 11th Apr 2006
Total posts: 1182
Posted: Written by :faithinfire


Well, I don't think they would vote for it in today's political climate...none of them would get reelected



and how many ppl said there was no chance of bush being reelected?


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:not me...I voted for him

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:I admire your candour and the thickness of your skin.

Holding religous beliefs is a red flag to much of the community already but admitting to voting for Bush here is like admitting to devil worship at a Catholic retreat. HOP leans left and embraces a large hippy fair trade/chomsky fringe.

If you try and argue that Bush was a good president you will lose under the sheer weight of opposing posts whatever the merits of your arguements.

Evidently Bush impressed you sufficiently in his first term to gain your vote for re-election but with hindsight do you think that George Bush Junior has been a good president?

____________________________________

Bear in mind that I'm loading my shotgun and following the fishy smell of the Bush presidency to yonder barrel as we speak.


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted: Written by :Mascot


but admitting to voting for Bush here is like admitting to devil worship at a Catholic retreat.



Best....line....ever!

fif, just curious, both times?


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:yup

I thought he was a better choice than the alternatives


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I can respect that. I might not agree with it but I can respect it.

I think the biggest problem that I have here, which has nothing to do with the candidates is that everyone I know is so frustrated that they are concidering not voting at all. They don't want a Republican in office but the Dem's duking it out is a turn off. So then, what do you do?

We talk about how silence is not an answer but I think frustration at the going campaign is mounting an overwhelming.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted: Written by :faithinfire


yup

I thought he was a better choice than the alternatives



Do you still think he's doing a good job?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:Well I held back before because attacking Bush didn't seem like fair sport and besides I didn't know where to begin.



Enough has been written about Iraq already and we're all sick and tired of it. There was no link between Iraq and Al Quaeda, the invasion was proposed as soon as bush entered the white house, CIA reports were doctored and misrepresented (all laid out in George Tenet's book) to support a flimsy case.



The whole notion of a war against terrorism is deeply flawed. George Bush repeatedly says that the U.S.A. will continue to wage a war against terrorism and the U.S.A. will win. Sounds good and rousing in a speech, why don't you repeat that phrase for four years and hope nobody think about it too much Georgey boy. How do you defeat terrorism? By educating people and building a more stable world? By invading middle-eastern countries, plundering their oil and occupying their countries?



When will we have won the war against terrorism? How is such a thing even possible?



It's widely aledged that Iraq was invaded for oil and I shy away from the conspiracy theorists here. It was at best a factor and I think the driving force was neo-con fervour. I do note however that Dick Cheyney said that the world will fight over the remaining oil and "This is a war that will not end in your lifetime". People say a lot of things though and by selectively choosing comments you can build almost any picture of a person. I also note that Dick Cheyney has done quite nicely thank you from the invasion of Iraq being a board member of Halliburton which was awarded $8 billion in reconstruction contracts.



Iraq was a mistake from the conception, bungled in the execution, and an enterprise entered into with no planning done or consideration made for the future. Testing Rumsfeld's theory that the war could be won with very few "boots on the ground", the U.S. invasion emphasised air power and advanced weaponry. Well done, the war could be won with very few ground troops, now how do you pacify the country smart-ass.



Aside from Iraq......



Have there been any significant domestic reforms at all under George Bush? Oh yes....He removed the "double taxing" of capital gains on shares reducing the tax burden on the super-rich and blowing a huge hole in the federal budget. Ideological I believe in a small state, traditionaly a republican position. Not under George Bush who has allowed spending to rocket, and reduced taxes at the same time leading to what children? yes thats right an enormous federal budget defecit when the budget was close to balance under Clinton. And no it's not just the war that caused this, only about 1/3 of the budget growth* can be attributed to anti-terrorism or war efforts. George Bush has allowed earmarks to grow by a third and has handed out money to virtualy every cause that came cap in hand.



I can't talk about his domestic reforms because there haven't really been any. The "No Child Left Behind" Act seems like a pretty reasonable piece of legislation but if it is the crowning glory of the Bush Domestic reform agenda then you'd have to admit that the domestic agenda is pretty thin. The health system and pensions are a mess and badly need a strong and painful hand. But good times George doesn't want to do painful reforms or things like that he just wants everyone to take some money, go away, and think what a nice guy.



America prides itself on it's democratic and meritocratic system. Anyone legally born in the U.S. can become president of the United States, it's part of the American dream. Well America has been dreaming indeed and needs to wake up to the truth. Social mobility has been in decline* and America is economicaly and politicaly controlled by an elite, an aristocracy. Nobody symbolises this more than George Bush or has done more to increase the inequality of wealth and entrench the aristocracy.

George Bush entered Yale with an SAT score of 1207, 200 points below average for the year and graduated with a GPA of 2.35 (not good). He gave a speech at Yale as president where he said "And to the E grade students I say this, you too can become president of the united states (providing your father was)". How can you vote for a man who spent his youth being given favourable treatment, screwing up, and being bailed out of everything he's ever done. George Bush's stint as a pilot was laughable, failed entry requirements but was let in anyway and then failed the requirements for an honourable discharge but was honourably discharged anyway. Bailed out of three, yes, three oil companies and accused of insider trading to boot (selling large quantities of shares before bad news, as if any company George Bush was involved with was going to post good news).



Right thats enough for now....(take a breath).



If this arguement continues I might mention;

Kyoto

Guantanamo

Katrina

Valerie Plame

Abramoff and K-street



Omitting to mention Kyoto and Guantanamo reflects some small desire for brevity on my part, these are vital issues and Bush deserves to be pilloried for both.



Has George Bush done anything good for the world? Anything to be proud of at all? I can't think of anything. I genuinely believe that George Bush has been the worst President in U.S. history, I'd vote in Nixon rather than Bush.

















*economicmobility.org/assets/pdfs/EMP_American_Dream.pdf

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2002/09/16/328585/index.htm


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted: Written by :Mascot


I can't talk about his domestic reforms because there haven't really been any. The "No Child Left Behind" Act seems like a pretty reasonable piece of legislation but if it is the crowning glory of the Bush Domestic reform agenda then you'd have to admit that the domestic agenda is pretty thin.



While I agree with everything you have said whole-heartedly, I want to say that this is not a crown to wear proudly, as it is failing the children.

I have seen/known children pushed along under the guidelines of this policy only to find themselves not understanding more and more as they go along. They get frustrated. They get fed up.
According to government studies the number of high school drop-outs has actually *increased* since the No Child Left Behind was put in place.* Each state has had to make amendments which are putting financial burdens on them, but state and federal funding isn't picking up the slack on it.

It can only be a crowning glory if it works, which means one more failure on the Bush tick list.

*nces.ed.gov/ccd/pub_dropouts.asp


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:I think he did a better job than the alternatives would have

I have mixed feelings about the NCLB Act. Something needed to be done but I don't think that this Act was ready and that it needs reform.

We are one of the failingest public school systems in the nation. I've seen it do good and bad. Maybe more people need School Vouchers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milwaukee_Public_Schools


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:Um

Am I dreaming here? You still think Bush did a better job than the alternatives? I wrote a long critique, and the nicest thing I could find to say about the Bush Presidency was that the No Child Left Behind act "seemed reasonable". In the argument that proceeded we have been arguing the quite reasonable case that the NCLB act is in fact yet another piece of legislative excrement to emerge from the Bush presidency.

How can you take issue with the only sentence on a screens worth of ranting to pass by without some form of stinging criticism and still stand by Bush? What great redeeming features does he have that we have overlooked? Please tell me I'm dying to know.


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

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Mascot
Mascot

enthusiast

Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 301
Posted:I guess it's time for me to affect the promised continuation of my rant.



kyoto

If there's one issue that the Bush Presidency will be remembered for in a thousand years it's failing to sign the Kyoto Agreement. The world faced a genuine threat to our way of life, not like that terrorist flash in the pan that got blown out of all proportion. We faced a genuine threat and where was the much vaunted U.S. leadership? We are talking about the future of our planet, the fate of untold generations. When historians look back at our pathetic attempts to stop the looming disaster they may well see the U.S.A. refusing to ratify the treaty as the pivotal moment, the moment all serious international cooperation was mortally wounded and the world was left racing to burn the rest of the oil.

At the time Bush declared that he was drafting alternative proposals and would lead the world into a U.S. sponsored framework. I didn't expect much, I got nothing. When so many of the Bush team are in the pockets of big oil it's hardly a surprise. Dick Cheyney is swimming in oil money and Bush himself has lead several oil companies to bankruptcy (hard to do in a famously profitable business but Bush can work miracles sometimes).

I don't blame Bush for Abu Ghraib. Low pay in the army, lack of training for peacekeeping, isolated incident, whatever...I don't believe that Bush is responsible for everything the U.S. army does. I do blame Bush for Guantanamo. What really rankles are the hypocrisies. The official line is that we invaded Iraq because they were building weapons of mass destruction. When this proved to be a politically convenient fabrication (leading to a larger scandal here in England with the suicide of Dr. Kelly than in the U.S.) The emphasis was shifted on the fly to "regime change" and enforcing U.N. security council resolutions. Laudable. Introducing democracy to the middle east. It all has a slightly distasteful air of crusading and missionary work for the modern age but Saddam was a tyrant and I am in favor of enforcing U.N. security council resolutions.

So then the U.S.A. invades, declares that enemy fighters are not in fact "enemy combatants" and thus the Geneva convention does not apply and holds them indefinitely in circumstances described by the international committee of the Red Cross as "tantamount to torture". How can you then make any claim to the moral high ground? Saddam was a tyrant because he oppressed and tortured his people with arbitrary detention, torture and no legal recourse. Now the U.S.A. can do that for you.

The United States of America, self-styled guiding light of the free world, repealed Habeus Corpus, a legal principle so old that it's still expressed in Latin. Roughly translating as "I demand that the body be present" a writ of Habeus Corpus is presented to a body holding prisoners demanding that they be presented to the court and tried or released. Habeus Corpus has for centuries been a vital protection against arbitrary detention.

A petition of Habeus Corpus was issued on behalf of twelve Kuwaitis (Al Odah v. United States) was filed in April 2002. It is common to issue writs on behalf of prisoners if the prisoners are held incommunicado. A government motion to dismiss the petition was granted on July 30, 2002 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The case was thankfully appealed and seems to be heading for the supreme court so justice may yet prevail.

This is no way to fight a battle for "hearts and minds".

I want to talk about Hamas briefly. The U.S. went into the middle east proudly declaring that it would rid the region of oppression and democracy would flourish. So then the Palestinians democratically elect Hamas and the U.S. orchestrates a campaign to undermine Hamas by supporting Fatah (ironically having earlier created Hamas to counterbalance Fatah) and orchestrates an international aid boycott of Hamas, including the Israeli government refusing to hand over dues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority to which Hamas was duly elected. The message seems to be "We want you to govern yourselves democratically so long as you choose the people we want you to choose". No aid will be given to Hamas because Hamas is a terrorist organization. Does this sound reasonable to you? Lets consider.

What is a terrorist anyway? Someone who straps a bomb to himself? but they also hijack planes, use guns and might, god forbid, one day acquire worse weapons. Someone who acts independently of any state? Then what is all this we hear about state-sponsored terrorism? And how can Hamas be terrorists? Someone who has no regard for civilian casualties? Lets not get into the U.S. army and civilian casualties I've got enough bile in my spleen as it is. In war bombing enemy civilian centers is a regrettably well established precedent. I think a terrorist has been best described as "A man with a bomb but no air force". Israel and Palestine are at war. The Israeli's (with heavy U.S. backing) are much stronger and have fenced in the Gaza strip turning it into a virtual prison, have denied at times delivery of U.N. food aid and fuel, and have conspired through a thousand petty measures to make life hell for palestinians. The Palestinians have every right to fight a war, just as any other nation can declare war. Why are the palestinians terrorists? Don't tell me it's about civilian casualties when the Israelis have killed more plaestinian civilians than the Palestinians have killed Israeli civilians by a ratio of more than 5:1. How is a Palestinian suicide bomber different from a Japanese Kamikaze pilot?

Terrorists are people trying to fight a war without the means to buy jet planes or aircraft carriers. This is irritating for America which takes the view that if you can't match their military spending and technology (which no-one can anymore) then you really shouldn't fight you should let America have it's way.

Religious fanaticism is one thing but Hamas have very legitimate grievances.

If the U.S.A. genuinely believed in enforcing U.N. security council resolutions they would invade Israel forthwith. Israel stands in contravention of more resolutions for a longer time than any other country in the world.

All of this goes to show that that U.S. foreign policy is guided by no high principles and underneath a remarkably effective thin veil of self-justifying press releases U.S. foreign policy bears the familiar face of realpolitik.

I will charitably owe that no U.S. president will invade Israel or support Hamas. Nevertheless, the contradictions of U.S. foreign policy have undoubtedly intensified to such ridiculous levels under Bush that it would be laughable were it not so tragic.


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

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