Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bush and the F-word in 2006

    Police State or Progressivism in 2007?

    "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - attributed to Benito Mussolini, Italian dictator

    "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." - Hermann Goering, Hitler's propaganda chief

It's not overstating the case to say that 2007 could be make or break for US democracy.

The Bush administration's cutbacks and rollbacks in 2006 were so frequent and so egregious that many Americans stopped paying attention, gave up hope or else failed to see the onslaught as part of a larger pattern.

Which brings up the f-word.

In 2003, Laurence W. Britt wrote a seminal article comparing fascist regimes, such as Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy, to life under Bush. While the term fascism has been widely overused (in August, Rumsfeld even accused war critics of "a new type of fascism") Britt's analysis eerily resonated back then and is worth a second look today.

This two-part series recaps Bush's record in 2006 under the framework of Britt's "fourteen common threads" of fascism and makes predictions for 2007.

***The examples below are more indicative than exhaustive; Project for an Old American Century has a comprehensive links page spanning Bush's presidency.

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

In July, Bush signed the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act so Americans could "express their patriotism here at home without burdensome restrictions."

What burdensome restrictions?

With similar fanfare, he issued a "proclamation" in October noting that patriotism "can help our children develop strength and character."

Less than two weeks later, he authorized the building of 700 miles of double-layered fencing along the US-Mexican border.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

Bush started off 2006 by weakening a new law banning the torture of prisoners. Soon after, the Army shut down a probe into Iraqi prisoner abuse, despite the fact that no Americans involved had even been questioned. In June, the Pentagon decided to strip the US Army Field Manual of Geneva Convention protections which ban "humiliating and degrading treatment." A Brooklyn federal judge ruled that non-US-citizens could be detained and indefinitely held on "the basis of religion, race or national origin."

Bush finally admitted to the existence of secret CIA prisons across the world in September, simultaneously calling for a resumption of military tribunals at Guantánamo Bay.

In October, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act, handing Bush the power to identify American citizens as "unlawful enemy combatants" and detain them indefinitely without charge. For good measure, the Act eliminated habeas corpus review for aliens and provided retroactive immunity in US courts for officials (such as Bush) who authorized the offending actions.

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people's attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice-relentless propaganda and disinformation-were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite "spontaneous" acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and "terrorists." Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

In February, the United American Committee organized rallies across the country to fight so-called Islamofascism and to "unify all Americans behind a common goal and against an enemy that is seeking to destroy values we all hold dearly."

Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) stirred up anti-Muslim bigotry by writing his constituents: "I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped."

CNN host Glenn Beck got into the act by challenging Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress: "Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies." Rep. Goode also took a swipe at Ellison, by suggesting that without a tough stance on immigration "there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office." Goode failed to note that Ellison's ancestry in the US traces back over 260 years.

In December, the Inter Press News Agency reported: "Recent polls indicate that almost half of U.S. citizens have a negative perception of Islam and that one in four of those surveyed have 'extreme' anti-Muslim views ... a quarter of people here consistently believe stereotypes such as: 'Muslims value life less than other people' and 'The Muslim religion teaches violence and hatred.'"

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

The administration's war spending for FY 2007 is expected to reach $170 billion, with roughly $7 billion per month in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. That has meant cuts to domestic social and development programs.

Bush's proposed FY 2007 budget, for example, slashed funding for a full 141 programs, ranging from educational grants to maternal/child health services to rural fire assistance. The same budget requested $6.4 billion for nuclear "weapons activities."

The line between war and entertainment blurred further in 2006, with three separate military television channels (The Military Channel, the Military History Channel and the Pentagon Channel) beaming 24/7 into millions of Americans' homes. In August, the Army revealed plans to build a 125-acre military theme park, designed to help armchair warriors "command the latest M-1 tank, feel the rush of a paratrooper freefall, fly a Cobra Gunship or defend your B-17 as a waist gunner."

5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

In January, the stridently anti-abortion Samuel Alito was confirmed to the US Supreme Court. Alito had previously argued that the strip-search of a mother and ten-year old girl without a warrant was constitutional.

The following month, the Supreme Court ended an injunction protecting abortion clinics across the country and agreed to reconsider a ban on certain abortion procedures.

In 2005, Bush appointed a veterinarian to handle women's health issues at the FDA, and in 2006, he tapped Eric Keroack for the Health and Human Services Department. Keroack opposes contraception, has described premarital sex as "modern germ warfare," and espouses the bizarre, unscientific belief that casual sex depletes "bonding" hormones, yet is now heading family planning programs for the whole nation.

The National Security Department revised its guidelines regarding access to classified government information in 2006 so that "sexual orientation of the individual" more strongly impacted the granting of security clearances. The Pentagon also admitted to spying on groups opposed to the ban on gays and lesbians in the military.

6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes' excesses.

Tony Snow, an anchor from the slavishly pro-Bush Fox News, became White House Press Secretary. Fox continued featuring propagandist on-screen text, including:

"Attacking Capitalism: Have Dems Declared War on America?"

"Is the Democratic Party Soft on Terror?"

"Dems Helping the Enemy?"

"Is the Liberal Media Helping to Fuel Terror?"

ABC did its pro-Bush part by running a factually-inaccurate miniseries shifting blame for the 9/11 attacks towards Bill Clinton. Intriguingly, an ABC investigative journalist had reported months earlier that the Bush administration was tracking his phone calls to identify confidential sources.

In February 2006, the Government Accountability Office reported that the Bush administration was spending more than a billion dollars each year on PR to promote its dubious policies.

The FCC soon began investigating the administration's fake news reports, but that didn't stop the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works from issuing taxpayer-funded misinformation criticizing the global-warming film, An Inconvenient Truth.

In August, the US military offered a $20 million public relations contract to sanitize the carnage in Iraq. Months later, a Pentagon self-assessment unsurprisingly found that the military's propaganda program in Iraq was, in fact, legal.

Thanks to Bush's partisan appointments, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (mandated to prevent political interference in public broadcasting) is now run by: CEO Patricia S. Harrison, former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee; Chairperson Cheryl Halpern, a Republican fund-raiser; and Gay Hart Gaines, an interior designer "long active in Republican Party affairs ... a trustee of the Palm Beach County Republican Party, and a board member and president of the Palm Beach Republican Club."

A recently-declassified Pentagon document entitled "Information Operations Roadmap" states that the Defense Department will "'fight the net' as it would an enemy weapons system." The document also notes that US forces should be able to "disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum."

Meanwhile, domestic net neutrality remains under threat.

7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting "national security," and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

Congress renewed the US Patriot Act in March, after a well-timed nerve agent scare on Capitol Hill. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Harry Reid and other prominent Democrats spoke of civil liberties yet voted for Patriot II.

Federal agents without warrants continued eavesdropping on the electronic communications of US citizens.

While under investigation in the Plamegate CIA leak case, Presidential advisor Karl Rove promised to turn terror into a congressional campaign issue. Schools in many states began conducting terrorism lockdown drills.

In October, Bush signed the John W. Warner Defense Authorization Act, weakening the 200-year-old Insurrection Act and increasing the president's power to deploy troops domestically. According to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), the development "subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military's involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law."

The Senate finished up 2006 by unanimously voting for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA), an unwieldy bureaucracy charged with developing drugs and vaccines to deal with a domestic terrorist attack. BARDA is so secret it will be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

Other pending "biodefense" legislation not only mandates that US citizens take recommended vaccines or drugs during a "public health emergency affecting national security" but also indemnifies both the US government and biodefense manufacturers against any resulting injuries.

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite's behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the "godless." A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

One perk of Bush's pandering to the religious right is the blind devotion he often receives in return. For example, the online Presidential Prayer Team had this "request" for December 28, 2006:

"Pray for President and Mrs. Bush as they spend the Christmas holiday at their Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, TX. Pray for the President as on December 28, he meets with the members of the National Security Council, including Vice President Cheney, Secretaries Rice and Gates, Gen. Peter Pace, Stephen Hadley, and J.D. Crouch ... As candidates continue to declare their intent to run for the presidency, pray for God's guiding of this process, asking Him for godly candidates and for a leader to be elected who will serve Him well."

Bush isn't above blurring the line between divine will and partisan politics himself. In proclaiming a National Day of Prayer this May, he noted: "May our Nation always have the humility to trust in the goodness of God's plans."

God's plans or Bush's plans?

The administration has also broken ground in providing government funding to religious groups - separation of church and state be damned. In FY 2005, for example, religious charities were awarded federal grants totaling $2.15 billion, a 7% increase over 2004. A full eleven federal agencies have now become part of Bush's Faith-Based and Community Initiatives program, most recently, the Homeland Security Department.

In February, the IRS reported widespread political activity violations by churches and charities, including using the pulpit to endorse candidates, distributing partisan material and making improper cash donations.


Look for the second half of "Bush and the F-word in 2006: Police State or Progressivism in 2007?"on Tuesday. Part II finishes reviewing Bush's record in 2006, makes predictions for 2007, and discusses how to ensure a more progressive future.

See you Tuesday -

Heather Wokusch is the author of The Progressives' Handbook: Get the Facts and Make a Difference Now series (listen to Heather's recent interviews on the books with Talk Nation Radio's Dori Smith). Heather can be contacted via her site

Note: Originally published: December 30, 2006

Sen. Kennedy: US Has "Clear Obligation To Stop Ignoring" Iraqi Refugee Crisis


Proud to be an American? Imagine that.

The Criminality of the State


We Can't Ignore Iraq's Refugees

By Edward M. Kennedy
Saturday, December 30, 2006; A21

With the nation still at war in Iraq, each of us is deeply grateful to the brave men and women in our armed forces who celebrated the holidays this year with half their hearts at home and half in Iraq. But this year especially it is essential that we also reflect on another human cost of the war -- the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children who have fled their homes and often their country to escape the violence of a nation increasingly at war with itself.

The refugees are witnesses to the cruelty that stains our age, and they cannot be overlooked. America bears heavy responsibility for their plight. We have a clear obligation to stop ignoring it and help chart a sensible course to ease the refugee crisis. Time is not on our side. We must act quickly and effectively.

Today, within Iraq, 1.6 million people have already fled or been expelled from their homes. An additional 1.8 million, fleeing sectarian violence, kidnappings, extortion, death threats and carnage, have sought refuge in neighboring countries. At least 700,000 are in Jordan, 600,000 in Syria, 100,000 in Egypt, 54,000 in Iran and 20,000 in Lebanon. Typically they are not living in refugee camps but have relocated in urban areas, where they must draw on their own meager resources to pay for food and shelter, and must depend on the good graces of the host governments.

The neighboring countries, in turn, are under enormous financial stress from the rapidly increasing needs of the refugees. In Jordan, they now make up more than 10 percent of the population -- the equivalent of 30 million people flooding America's shores. These countries are increasingly unable to meet the refugees' basic needs.

Borders are being closed to more and more of these men, women and children, with the result that many who are most in need or in danger are trapped in the Iraqi caldron of violence. As it continues to boil, the humanitarian crisis will only worsen.

The recent report of the Iraq Study Group rightly concluded that if this refugee situation "is not addressed, Iraq and the region could be further destabilized, and the humanitarian suffering could be severe." Sadly, as with so many other aspects of the Iraq war -- from the growing threat of the insurgency to the need to provide adequate armor for our troops -- the administration has failed to recognize the breadth of the crisis and to adjust our policy to address the plain facts on the ground.

There is an overwhelming need for temporary relief and permanent resettlement. Last year, however, America accepted only 202 Iraqi refugees, and next year we plan to accept approximately the same number. We and other nations of the world need to do far better.

Thousands of these refugees are fleeing because they have been affiliated in some way with the United States. Cooks, drivers and translators have been called traitors for cooperating with the United States. They know all too well that the fate of those who work with U.S. civilians or military forces can be sudden death. Yet, beyond a congressionally mandated program that accepts 50 Iraqi translators from Iraq and Afghanistan each year, the administration has done nothing to resettle brave Iraqis who provided assistance in some way to our military. This lack of conscience is fundamentally unfair. We need to do much more to help Iraqi refugees, especially those who have helped our troops.

Our nation is spending $8 billion a month to wage the war in Iraq. Yet to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the refugees who have fled the war, the State Department plans to spend only $20 million in the current fiscal year.

America needs to lead, but we cannot adequately respond to this overwhelming crisis alone. Because of the magnitude of the problem, we also need action by Iraq's neighbors and the rest of the world. An essential first step could be to hold an international conference on the issue -- ideally sponsored by the countries in the region and the United Nations -- to begin to deal with the growing number and needs of Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons. The United States should participate in the conference and provide substantial support for the refugees. Doing so would encourage other nations to address the crisis, help the refugees and displaced persons, and assist the countries shouldering the greatest burden.

Working with Iraq's neighbors and the United Nations, we can encourage rapid action to relieve suffering and save lives. And a productive conference could lead in turn to broader discussions and greater progress on the future of Iraq.

Clearly, in the long term we need to work together to find a way to end the violence and stop the hemorrhaging of lives. In the short term, America needs to respond far more effectively to the needs of the millions of refugees and displaced persons who are suffering so much from the war. Failure to act quickly and cooperatively with other nations will only result in more carnage, chaos and instability in the region.

The writer is a Democratic senator from Massachusetts and incoming chairman of the Senate immigration, border security and refugee subcommittee.

Good Times Are For Hanging the Nigger

Robert Fisk" href="" target="_blank">A dictator created then destroyed by America
“If we ever pass out as a great nation we ought to put on our tombstone 'America died from a delusion that she had moral leadership'.” ---Will Rogers

Saddam was a bad, bad man. Like any nigger, he was bad because he beat down on other niggers without permission, and gassed them and raped them, all by his lonesome. Such is the power of his nigger muslim penis. That’s why it had to Be Destroyed. Did you have a good time, churchmouse, watching the slobber come out of his mouth, the blood run from his ass, did you listen to Toby Keith while his neck stretched? I hope you did. In the Good Old Days, you’d have had some fine Kentucky whiskey and fucked a White Woman in the public square, all by your lonesome, as the shit ran down his leg and the crowd broke into song. The flame from the torches would’ve made your flushed face seem more supernatural, more in touch with your God, more alive. But now you get to share your ecstasy with a million of your kind, and line-dance on his grave with your electronic boots, kickin it across the ether, for all them coolies to feel, even as their sorry towel-headed nonEnglish speaking asses can only receive, like a sorry bitch, and not send, in the medium of your creation, which spreads forth across this globe like Santorum from your mother/sister’s ass. You love watching them slurp it up, don’t you? Don’t you? That’s “entertainment. I’m sorry: “infotainment.” Get with the times, Dyke.

Is this an angry post? /Rummy voice/ Yes, yes it is. Is there something wrong with a nation of “freedoms” and “democracy” that celebrates death, makes it a video game, a holiday event for the children to enjoy? Hell yes.

Don’t think some of us don’t know what this is. It isn’t the Rule of Law. It isn’t “justice” for the victims of the Baath regime. Oh, I’m sorry- did you fail to notice them shooting and getting shot at, daily? Civil War, bitches. Not like you care now. Or: River is posting again. I’m not too angry to link. Just turn up the music, kick back and relax, and know that you don’t live in a Civilized Nation. That’s what you want, and like best, right? Else why would you pay these motherfuckers the millions they make, while perfectly fecund white children starve in the hinterlands of your own nation, the better to ring in the new year of imperialism, with the public humilation of the Great Satan of your own making? That’s what “news” is all about, no? Will Rummy cry over the death of his handshaking buddy? Will KBR be sorry they can’t do business with him anymore? Will the Western, taxpayer supported research MIC companies that sold him poison gas look for a new brown man who’ll test their latest product? Can I make this into a Scrabble post? Perhaps there’s an option on “World of Warcraft” that’ll fit.

Saddam’s last foetid, murderous, CIA-empowered breath blew stank into my addled mind. It asks, rolling over my tongue like filth slopping over a hog’s trough: Will you ever turn it off? Here. I have a kitten, and some children. And some tar. Let me see if I can entertain you now. I already have the matches.

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Hanging Saddam

Dec 30, 2006

By Mike Whitney

“There’s no way to describe the loss we’ve experienced with this war and occupation. There is no compensation for the dense, black cloud of fear that hangs over the head of every Iraqi. Fear of the Americans in their tanks, fear of the police patrols in the black bandanas, fear of the Iraqi soldiers wearing their black masks at the checkpoints.” Riverbend; blogs from Baghdad

The execution of Saddam Hussein is another grim chapter in the catalogue of war crimes perpetrated against the Iraqi people. It is a gratuitous act of barbarism devoid of justice.

What right does Bush have to kill Saddam? What right does the author of Abu Ghraib, Falluja, Haditha and countless other atrocities have to pass judgment on the former leader of a nation which posed no threat to the United States?

Let’s be clear, the lowliest, most ruthless Iraqi has more right to rule Iraq than the most upright American. That’s what’s meant by “self determination”. When we honor “self rule” we avoid bloody interventions like the invasion of Iraq.

Bush believes that killing Saddam will achieve the “closure” which has eluded him through 4 years of occupation. But he is mistaken. Saddam’s death will only eliminate any opportunity for a political solution. Reconciliation will be impossible and Saddam will die as a hero.

Is that what Bush wants?

Or does Bush really know what he wants? Perhaps, he is just a war-mongering psychopath completely disconnected from reality.

Capital punishment is a moral evil. The state never has the right to kill its own people regardless of their crimes; Saddam is no exception. But the premeditated murder of Saddam is particularly appalling, because it is stupid as well as unjust. It cuts off dialogue with the very people (the Ba’athist-led resistance) who need to be entered into the political process to achieve normalization. Bush is destroying his last chance for a negotiated settlement and paving the way for America’s total defeat.

It’s complete madness.

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, told the Times Online that “the deposed president could be hanged ‘within hours’” and that his death sentence would be executed by Saturday at the latest.

Munir Haddad, the presiding judge on the appeals court, said, “All the measures have been done. There is no reason for delays.”

Plans are already underway to film the entire event.

It’s impossible to imagine a more fitting summary of 6 years of Bush rule than video-footage of Saddam’s limp figure dangling at the end of a rope. The pictures will no doubt replace the iconic photos of the hooded Abu Ghraib prisoner who appeared in headlines across the world.

The United States will pay a heavy price for Bush’s savagery. The war is already going badly and this latest travesty will only quicken America’s inevitable withdrawal.

America has become a moral swamp, its leaders incapable of wisdom or mercy. Hanging Saddam only adds to our mutual disgrace and exposes the real face of American justice.

Where Were the Mass Graves?

The execution of Saddam Hussein

Cenk Uygur


As I watched nonstop coverage of Saddam's Death Watch, I was told over and over that this was a heinous mass murderer. There were mass graves. That up to 300,000 people were killed during his reign.

Then they told us what he was actually convicted for -- 148 dead in Dujail. That's a terrible crime.

But there's at least that amount of people killed every two days in Iraq now.

Now, I looked into the mass grave claims and the US government found graves that contained hundreds of bodies in some places. And prosecutors claimed that Saddam gassed 5,000 Kurds in Northern Iraq.

This hardly adds up to 300,000 killed. I am not saying that he didn't kill that many, I just don't know why we didn't do our homework and convict him all of his crimes. As Robert Jackson, the lead prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials famously said, "We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow."

We need history on our side on this one. Remember we invaded the whole country and turned it upside down because Saddam was such a bad guy. It would have been nice to prove how bad. I don't know why the trial seemed so rushed and third rate. Actually, I do know why. It's because Iraq is a complete mess and this whole fiasco is being run by the same incompetents who have screwed everything else up.

Please spare me the nonsense about how the Iraqis are a sovereign government and they were running the trial and we had nothing to do with it. Saddam did cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people when he started a war with Iran. That didn't get brought up much in the trial.

I am sure the fact that United States supported him in that war and Don Rumsfeld sold him weapons to use in that war was not a factor at all as to why that was not emphasized in his trial ... run by the Iraqis. Remember starting a war of aggression is the highest war crime. And Saddam clearly started one with Iran, let alone Kuwait. But then we're not in a very good position to talk about wars of aggression anymore.

The hotel I'm staying at today only has Fox News Channel (Dick Cheney must stay here when he's in town). So, first I was subjected to the inane chatter of Sean Hannity claiming this might turn things around in Iraq. That our troops were very happy about the execution of Saddam and that it was really going to help their morale. The Vulcan mind meld he did with them must have proved this.

As usual, there were two lackey former colonels on the air to parrot everything Hannity said right back at him, "Yes Sean, our troops our ecstatic that this man will be hung. Yes, things are probably going to get much better now."

Then Greta had one of Saddam's lawyers on, and he clobbered her. She said that Saddam had been convicted of killing the 148 people in Dujail and prosecutors had information about another 5,000 Kurds killed. First, he said some completely unconvincing nonsense about how some of the dead people in Dujail were still alive. But then he made a fair point that Saddam was never convicted of the crimes against the Kurds and that now we would never truly know.

When Greta said those are some tremendous numbers referring again to the two incidents of 148 and 5,000 killed, the lawyer responded that those numbers were not nearly as tremendous as the 750,000 Iraqis killed since the US invasion. Ouch.

It sucks to get outdueled by Saddam's lawyer. But the man has a point. As we all know, and have repeated ad nauseam, Saddam was a really bad guy and a dictator that killed many people. But I don't see where the 300,000 number came from and I'm pissed they never proved it. And that still doesn't match up to how many Iraqis have been killed in just the three and half years of the Iraq War.

We didn't kill all those people and our objective is not to oppress the Iraqi people for our own gain (well, not exactly at least; though their oil is yummy for our cars' tummy). But Saddam was executed for killing a 148 people. And our invasion has cost the lives of at least several hundred thousand people that otherwise would not have died.

I'm not drawing any conclusions and I'm not even making any inferences. I'm just saying it's something to be pondered.

The Young Turks

READ MORE: Iraq, Iran, Sean Hannity, Robert V. Jackson