Tuesday 25th of June 2024

how can dubya be "born again" when he never was one of them in the first place?... he should be in prison.


How many lies and how many innocent lives have been sent out into the ethers by men like Junior Bush and his Bush/Cheney Cabal? Too many is the answer. Yet, as with the case with the Irish singing star ( and humanitarian ) Bono, Junior Bush has been ‘ Born Again Philanthropist’. Well, good for him, but… that should not and DOES not absolve him from his war crimes. The real shame of all of this is just how short a memory do Ms. Degeneres and Mr. Bono have?


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coming right out of the CIA...

Bono was awarded the inaugural George W. Bush Medal for Distinguished Leadership Thursday, with the former president honoring the U2 singer for his work in combatting the HIV/AIDS crisis and poverty in Africa.

Bush responded, "The truth of the matter is, [PEPFAR] never would have made it out of Congress had you not been engaged. The first time I met you, you knew more statistics, like you were coming right out of the CIA."

Bush added, "Here's the thing about Bono that people got to understand: I like to say he's a real deal. This is a guy who has got a huge heart, obviously a talent, but cares so much about the human condition that he spends an enormous amount of time and capital on saving lives."

Bono also praised the ONE campaign and the American taxpayers for their help. However, the singer expressed concern about whether the Trump White House will continue the fight.


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Bush should be in prison — and so should his mates Blair and Howard

TAC got it right...

The launch of The American Conservative in October 2002 was itself an act of dissent, either courageous or quixotic depending on your point of view. When it appeared on newsstands, volume 1, number 1 made it clear that TAC was to be an anti-establishment journal. So the magazine has remained in the ensuing years, a testament to principled consistency. 

This has been notably true on all matters related to America’s role in the world. Since TAC’s founding, editors have come and gone. Yet throughout, the magazine has kept faith with the position staked out in its inaugural editorial, which denounced “fantasies of global hegemony” and promised to oppose temptations of “go-it-alone militarism.”

At that very moment, the corridors of power in Washington were awash with fantasies of global hegemony, while in both liberal and conservative quarters, go-it-alone militarism had become almost de rigueur. In an immediate sense, a prospective U.S. invasion of Iraq represented the pressing issue of the day. The nominal purpose of the forthcoming war was to rid the world of Saddam Hussein, putative ally of Osama bin Laden and supposed developer of nuclear weapons. Yet lurking behind this tissue-thin cover story were ambitions that went far beyond overthrowing one particularly noxious dictator.

Among the hegemonists and the militarists, the unstated but widely understood purpose of invading Iraq was threefold. First, it would convert the so-called Global War on Terrorism from a reactive into a proactive enterprise. The United States was going permanently on the offensive. In Iraq, it would demonstrate the efficacy of employing carefully tailored violence—no need for “overwhelming force”—to eliminate threats even before they had fully formed. No longer would Washington deem war a last resort. 

Second, embarking upon this war of choice without the sanction of the United Nations and in defiance of world opinion signaled that the United States was exempting itself from norms to which all others were expected to comply. By winning a decisive victory in Iraq, the United States would arrogate to itself the singular privilege of waging preventive war.

Finally, a successful “liberation” of Iraq, aligning that nation with Western values and American purposes, would demonstrate the feasibility of coercive transformation and establish a precedent for its further application elsewhere in the Islamic world. In other words, Iraq was just for starters.

A remarkably broad swath of establishment worthies signed onto this project with evident enthusiasm. Call it the Lewis-Ledeen coalition, extending all the way from the eminently respectable Bernard Lewis to the eminently disreputable Michael Ledeen. Or, better still, call it the Pax Americana cartel.

From his perch at Princeton University, Professor Lewis took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to argue that it was “Time for Toppling.” According to Lewis, a renowned authority on the Islamic world, not only Iraqis but all Arabs and also Iranians would welcome liberation at the hands of U.S. forces. He dismissed out of hand the notion that “regime change in Iraq would have a dangerous destabilizing effect on the rest of the region, and could lead to general conflict and chaos.” 

A regular contributor to National Review, Ledeen viewed the possibility of war with all the delight of an eight-year-old playing with his first set of toy soldiers. Ledeen differed with Bernard Lewis on one point only: If invading Iraq destabilized the region, then all the better. “One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please.” If ever there were a region that richly deserved being “cauldronized,” wrote Ledeen, it was the Middle East. He emphasized that deposing Saddam was just a first step. After it finished with Iraq, the United States should go on to “bring down the terror regimes” in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. This, he concluded, represented America’s true “mission in the war against terror.”

The roster of writers, editors, and talking heads subscribing to the Lewis-Ledeen school of American statecraft is long and impressive. A partial list of prominent members runs the gamut from A to Z, beginning with Ken “Cakewalk” Adelman, and including Peter Beinart, William Bennett, Paul Berman, Max Boot, David Brooks, Tucker Carlson, Thomas Friedman, at least two Goldbergs, Sean Hannity, Victor Davis Hanson, Christopher Hitchens, several Kagans and Kaplans, William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Rich Lowry, the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, Bill O’Reilly, George Packer, Richard Perle, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Andrew Sullivan, Leon Wieseltier, and George Will, with Fareed Zakaria bringing up the tail end.

The nominally conservative National Review endorsed the idea of invading Iraq as did the nominally liberal New Republic. The editorial pages of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post were positively gung-ho to go after Saddam. As for The Weekly Standard, it’s a wonder that younger staffers eager to join in the fun didn’t rush off to their local Armed Forces Career Center to enlist.

In terms of intellectual firepower, the Pax Americana cartel both outnumbered and outgunned the antiwar camp. True, Michael Moore, Brent Scowcroft, Edward Kennedy, and the Dixie Chicks expressed opposition to the war. So too did Pope John Paul II, who to the dismay of Catholic neoconservatives denounced the coming invasion of Iraq as “a defeat for humanity.” In this instance, if in few others, the left-leaning Nation magazine agreed with the right-leaning pope. And standing shoulder-to-shoulder with The Nation was its ideological opposite: the brand new American Conservative.

Fifteen-plus years after it appeared, TAC’s premiere issue stands up remarkably well. The yellowing cover of my copy fairly shouts its warning against the impending “Iraq Folly.” The cover art by Mark Brewer depicts an unhinged Uncle Sam wielding an oversized fly swatter as he prepares to clobber an insect-like Saddam. In the background, figures representing the rest of the world react with horror.

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Congrats to TAC. Keep up throwing stones in "them" political stupid houses...

The creators of this site "yourdemocracy", started up I think about the same time but only got running publicly here by 2005. Gus had started to push the barrow against Bush and his minions by 2001, by sending cartoons to all the "media" which unfortunately had already been absorbed by the main stream political shit narrative: "war is good".

I got lucky that when this site was created, "they needed a cartoonist". Thank you, thank you for taking me on board. I know, I have been a bit too bombastic too many times, but since then, as the mother-ship (site) folded down, this clarion of satiristic clarity, yourdemocracy, carried on after a short and only meeting between myself and John Richardson — two old kooks fighting for all there is to fight — to salvage the sanity of this planet. 

TAC, keep up the good work of true conservatism in peace, in which a bit of pepper-left and some socialist-salt would not go astray, for flavour, from time to time. G

(Gus Leonisky, cartooning since 1951)

between a rock star and a hard trump...

The rock star, well-known for his political activism and philanthropy, gave the dire warning at a New York event which brought together an impressive number of UN diplomats.

Irish rock star Bono gave a speech at a U2 concert at Madison Square Garden in New York, which saw several hundred UN diplomats and staff in New York jump up and down to the band's hits. The event constituted part of Ireland's push to win a seat on the UN Security Council in 2021-22.

With or Without EU?

He warned that the United Nations and other international organizations, including the EU and NATO, are threatened. Bono called on the international community to team up to ensure they continue to exist.

Praising the UN, Bono said, "I love that it exists, and I'll tell you, I don't take for granted that it exists."

"… let's be honest, we live in a time when institutions as vital to human progress as the United Nations are under attack."

"And not just these institutions but what they stand for — an international order based on shared values and shared rules, an international order that is facing the greatest test in its 70-year history."

Where the Threats Have no Name

Although Bono did not specify which countries were posing what he called a threat to international institutions, his speech appeared to be clearly aimed at US President Trump.

POTUS has doubled downed his criticism of the European Union amid an ongoing trade spat with Washington's transatlantic allies, sparked by the US' unilateral move to hit Europe with steel and aluminum tariffs.


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blind respectability...

If the present-day conservative establishment has a face, it’s that of David Brooks. As a columnist for The New York Times and during his weekly appearances on PBS and NPR, Brooks exudes respectability. His commentary is interesting, reasoned, and thoughtfully expressed. 

Yet Brooks also exhibits the blindness that permeates that very same conservative establishment and renders it unworthy of trust. I use the term “blindness” as a matter of courtesy. Others might describe the problem as blatant dishonesty.

Prompting this reflection is a recent Brooks column that carries the title “The Rise of the Resentniks.” The piece also comes with a subtitle: “And the Populist War on Excellence.”  The purpose of the essay is to consider how over the past two decades (according to Brooks) so many conservatives “wandered into territory that is xenophobic, anti-Semitic, authoritarian.” They did so, he believes, because the end of Cold War deprived conservatives of any sense of moral purpose. 

Enlightened conservatives sought to fill that vacuum, Brooks citing “compassionate conservatism and the dream of spreading global democracy” as “efforts to anchor conservatism around a moral ideal.” Unfortunately, he writes, those efforts (which Brooks himself had warmly endorsed) “did not work out.”


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being friend with W will give you bad body odor...

Ellen DeGeneres is nice, isn’t she? She dances funny. She’s got lovely twinkly eyes and she’s made it OK for grans everywhere to love lesbians, if they’re like Ellen and are nice and do dancing. Last week, the comedian and talkshow host used a segment of her show to perform a four-minute monologue on the importance of being friends with people whose views do not always resemble our own, especially when it comes to awkward topics such as war crimes.

She was moved to sermonise on this topic after being criticised on Twitter. While watching the Dallas Cowboys, she was photographed laughing along with the man sitting next to her, who happened to be George W Bush. “People were upset,” she explained. “They thought, why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?” Nobody pointed out the obvious – “because you’re both so rich and powerful that the team’s owner invited you” – but nobody shouted: “Guantánam-oh no she didn’t” either, so opportunities were missed.

The monologue continued to paint this friendship as some kind of breaking down of barriers. She went so far as to quote one person who declared that it “makes me have faith in America again”. She explained that she and Bush were friends. The audience cheered. For this barnstorming defence of pleasantries sans frontieres, she won the giddy back-slapping support of other celebrities, with the notable exception of Mark Ruffalo, the Hulk, who in my eyes really earned his status as a superhero.

If DeGeneres can be friends with a man who was active in his support for Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the supreme court, who in 2004 called for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, whose sole redeeming quality is that he is not Donald Trump, then that is quite something. To be friends with a man whose legacy is one of war, torture and death on an unimaginable scale means her capacity for niceness is not so much bridging the gap as it is pathologically uncritical.

Of course we need people who don’t agree with our every belief and opinion, now, more than ever, but that is a separate point entirely. This is not like having a heated debate with a relative about Brexit, nor is it right to use it as a teachable moment, a symbol of what can be achieved when we’re all civil to each other. Her ability to see the good in Bush is far from an act of moral superiority and to claim otherwise is, at best, wilfully naive. If we’re being nice about it.


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a dastard degenerated TV rating hunter ...


Of course, when the die was cast and Rumsfeld’s famous Shock and Awe campaign began, the three major news talk channels, CNN, MSNBC and FOX, were all over us with cheerleading. 

FOX was so off the radar that no critique is needed. 

However, CNN and MSNBC, trying to look like ‘Neutral Journalism 101’, could not contain their peanut gallery mindsets, the one that John Swinton referred to in his famous speech. 

You had Aaron Brown, Lester Holt and little Katie Couric (of flagship station NBC, owned by GE), along with Brian Williams (later to be outed, for but awhile, for his phony news stories in Iraq) all right there celebrating the ‘Liberators of Iraq’. 

They all wore their flag buttons on their lapels, and little Katie was filmed strolling through the halls of NBC shouting ‘Marines Rock!’ Of course, Lester Holt did the ‘right (wing) thing’ and now is a respected anchor… so much so that good ole Lester moderates presidential debates. 

Swinton’s use of the phrase ‘Intellectual prostitutes’ rang true then.

Now we come to a recent bit of disgrace. Ellen Degeneres, the highly celebrated and successful daytime talk show hostess and proud gay woman, was seen sitting with Junior Bush at a Dallas Cowboys game, in the exclusive owner’s box area. 

She has had Junior on her show to talk about his painting, has visited him at his ranch, and considers him a ‘Nice guy’. Junior has, on record as president, never did squat to help with the AIDs pandemic, and allowed his far right evangelical beliefs to keep him from ever speaking favorably about gay rights etc.

Yet, this openly gay woman, who must have felt alarmed by our illegal invasion (OR DID SHE?), must have had friends who were enraged by that invasion at the time.

All the many alternative news blips must have gotten to her eyes and ears, telling her that the Bush/Cheney gang were WAR CRIMINALS! Yet Ms. DeGeneres continues to satisfy the lie which tells us to take a pass on the dastardly things done by the war criminals in the White House. 

As the war criminal Mr. Obama stated, when in 2008 many of his own party wanted to have hearings on the pre-emptive attack and occupation of Iraq, that it was time to ‘Move forward’. Forward he did by increasing the number of drone murderous assaults by Tenfold!

Now that he is out of office, Barack, the ‘Hope and Change’ king, just purchased a home for $8.1 million. Tell that to the suckers who fell for his rhetoric in the Afro American communities.

Anyone but the foolish people who still support Mr. Trump realize that he is as much of a populist as the man he emulates with his body gestures: Il Duce!

Nothing ever changes when the majority of working stiffs suck in the foul air that comes from the mouths of the empire’s minions, whether they be presidents, congress people or (so called) journalists and talk show hosts. It is time for those of good conscience to boycott the lot of them!

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Read from top. Note the date of posting...

dumb as a broken brick...

Former US President George W. Bush, 73, took questions about politics from former press secretary - now Fox News anchor - Dana Perino, in Crawford, Texas, on Friday, where the 43rd occupant of the Oval Office was participating in a 100-kilometer bike race intended to benefit US military veterans. 

“I’m optimistic about the future because as you mentioned democracy is self-healing. This is an unsettled period in our country, but it isn't the first time we have had unsettled periods”, Bush told his former press secretary.

The answer came after Perino asked Bush to think about the legacy his father, George H.W. Bush, who was the US president when the Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago.

The younger Bush said, however, that the country's course could be straightened but he hinted that he might not see that day coming in his life.

“I won't be around to see my grandkids thrive and prosper, but I am convinced the world they’ll be entering into will be unique and full of all kinds of possibilities”, the former US president said.

Jeb Bush - a younger brother of George - briefly ran against Donald Trump in 2016 for the Republican Party seat in the US presidential nomination. The twice-elected former governor of Florida pulled out of the race after being defeated in the South Carolina primary.

In 2017, Bush said that American discourse had been “degraded by casual cruelty”, has seen “nationalism distorted into nativism”, and witnessed “the return of isolationist sentiments” in recent years.

In the Friday interview, the 43rd US President made no direct remark in regard to the policy of the current US president, Donald Trump.


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Read from top. G W Bush should be in prison.

the show must not go on?....

The US-based daytime hit talk show 'The Ellen Show' has recently faced a series of allegations by staffers for its "toxic work environment" and instances of sexual misconduct , which, some reports claim, have caused show host Ellen DeGeneres to weigh shutting down the program.

Staffers with "The Ellen Show" are "freaking out" over the reported possibility of Ellen DeGeneres exiting the show following allegations by employees of a "toxic work environment", the US weekly magazine suggested.

“Staffers are texting and calling each other freaking out as they fear Ellen [DeGeneres] will quit or that the show will be cancelled,” an insider exclusively told US. “The show feels done. It’s going to be very hard to turn this around.”

The concerns from staffers come after reports emerged that DeGeneres could step down as the show host amid the controversy. According to the allegations of several current and former employees, the show's production takes place in a  "toxic work environment", with senior executive producers harassing junior staffers and creating a non-friendly atmosphere.

In an apology memo, DeGeneres stated that she was committed to changing the situation within the team, asserting that an investigation had been launched by Warner Bros to "correct the issues".

Not everyone has appeared to buy the apology, however, as the Daily Mail wrote that several unnamed staffers insist that DeGeneres should quit, claiming that she addressed the issues only after the bad impact became widely known concerning what was characterized as "her and her BS brand of happiness and kindness". 

Contrary to reports of staffers said to be worried about the show's end, others claim it is DeGeneres herself who "created and then enabled this toxic culture to go on for so long".

The highly-popular show host has not commented on rumours that she may quit. The show has won multiple Emmy and People's Choice Awards, and "The Ellen Show" is a certified daytime television hit in the US, boasting over 37 million subscribers on YouTube, placing the program in the top 20 of the platform's most-subscribed channels



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nine pulls the plug...

Long-running daily chat show The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been dumped from its daytime time slot on the Nine Network amid ongoing issues and allegations of a “toxic” environment.

Television industry website tvblackbox.com.au reported on Monday the show, which had been running for 17 seasons, would be replaced by re-runs from 2004 to 2012 of Desperate Housewives.

In a statement to tvblackbox, Nine said the show would be rested amid continuing talks between the network and Warner Bros regarding the new season which begins next month.

“We are resting Ellen repeats on Nine and have replaced with Desperate Housewives,” the statement read.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been plagued by allegations of misconduct, bullying and inappropriate behaviour in recent months.


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pain?... f%$#!


By Arwa Mahdawi


It pains me to defend an obscenely wealthy celebrity – but could we lay off Ellen DeGeneres?

A lot of people seem incredibly gleeful that a gay woman is getting her comeuppance. Maybe it’s time for everyone to have another think about sexist double standards



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Ellen had crafted a very careful image that was quite lucrative, and someone blew the lid on some double standard... Nothing much about really that the staff was unhappy about being treated like shit sometimes. Nothing new in TV shows like those: everything is choreographed, half-fake, half-true and mostly annoying. But the technique is devised to become compelling voyeurism and enthralling like a church happy-clappy meeting, in between adverts. Becoming and staying popular is an art. But being a George W Bush admirer (read from top) shows a lack of fortitude and understanding, beyond entertainment values. Of course "she had to apologise" otherwise she could have lost the confidence of advertisers and we cannot have this...

ellen has covid...

US chat show host Ellen DeGeneres has announced that she tested positive for Covid-19. "Fortunately, I'm feeling fine right now," she posted online.

Her daytime programme - the Ellen DeGeneres Show - will pause production until January, according to a statement from her producers.

The show returned in September amid allegations of misconduct by senior staff. Three top producers were fired.

DeGeneres, 62, herself apologised on air, pledging "necessary changes".

On Thursday, DeGeneres wrote that she was following the government's Covid guidelines, and had notified those with whom she had been in close contact.

"I'll see you all again after the holidays," she wrote. "Please stay healthy and safe." 

Her last guest, who appeared in-person with her on Wednesday, was Hamilton musical actor Leslie Odom Jr. 

In October, the programme became one of the first in the US to resume filming in-studio, according to USA Today. Forty audience members - rather than the normal capacity of 300 seats - have been allowed to attend tapings each day.

Other December guests to her studio included singers Justin Bieber and Lil Nas X, and actors Bryan Cranston and Diane Keaton.

Over the summer, DeGeneres faced criticism on social media amid reports that she had created a toxic work environment for her staff.

Appearing for her 18th season premiere in September, she addressed the allegations of racism, sexism and bullying made by her employees.



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end of the show...


Ellen DeGeneres is to end her long-running US talk show in 2022 after 19 years on the air.

"As great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it's just not a challenge any more," she told the Hollywood Reporter.

The announcement comes just months after the show faced accusations it was a toxic place to work.

It led to three senior producers losing their jobs and DeGeneres opening the current season with an on-air apology.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which has aired since September 2003, will come to an end in 2022 after its 19th season.

The daily mix of comedy, interviews and human interest stories has been a US television staple, though ratings have declined in recent years.


"I was going to stop after season 16," DeGeneres said. "That was going to be my last season and they wanted to sign for four more years and I said I'd sign for maybe for one. 

"They were saying there was no way to sign for one. 'We can't do that with the affiliates and the stations need more of a commitment.'


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the shitmaker...



Bush won some praise on Saturday. A typical response came from Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian and frequent fixture of cable news, who said it was an “important speech.”

It is frankly maddening to see anyone treat the former president as if he has the moral authority to speak on extremism, division and the crises facing our democracy. His critique of the Trump movement is not wrong, but it is fatally undermined by his own conduct in office.

In his eight years as president, George W. Bush launched two destructive wars (including one on the basis of outright lies), embraced torture, radically expanded the power of the national security state and defended all of it by dividing the public into two camps. You were either with him or you were against him.

As much as he has been rehabilitated in the eyes of many Americans — as much as his defenders might want to separate him and his administration from Donald Trump — the truth is that Bush is one of the leading architects of our present crisis. We may not be able to hold him accountable, but we certainly shouldn’t forget his starring role in making this country more damaged and dysfunctional than it ought to be.


Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/14/opinion/george-w-bush-911-speech.html



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saint pelosi….


Call it the yuck of the Irish. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earned eye rolls Thursday by reading a St. Patrick’s Day poem by Irish musician Bono that declared Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a modern-day version of Ireland’s patron saint.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) read the poem near the conclusion of the Friends of Ireland luncheon at the Capitol after the U2 lead singer shared it with her earlier Thursday. 

“Oh St. Patrick, he drove out the snakes with his prayers, but that’s not all it takes,” the speaker read. “With the smoke symbolizes an evil that arises and hides in your heart as it breaks.”

“And the evil risen from the darkness that lives in some men, but in sorrow and fear, that’s when saints can appear,” the verse went on. “You drive out those old snakes once again, and they struggle for us to be free from the psycho in this human family.”

“Ireland’s sorrow and pain is now the Ukraine and St. Patrick’s name is now Zelensky,” the poem concluded, equating the legendary Christian missionary with the Jewish wartime leader.

Pelosi approvingly remarked, “How about that?” after finishing her reading, adding to a nearby Catholic priest: “What, you like that, Father?”








bad bono.....

U2’s Bono has declared that America is now at a “low ebb” — a possible insult to President Joe Biden, who is facing record-low popularity among voters in the face of runaway inflation, a tsunami of illegal aliens, and endless taxpayer funding for the endless war in Ukraine.

In an interview this week with Britain’s Channel 4, the rocker refused to utter what he called the “T-word,” meaning former President Donald Trump. He also didn’t mention Biden during the conversation.

“I’m attracted to to freedom,” Bono said, when asked about the political issues that preoccupy him most. “I think it’s important that we demonstrate to the world what freedom looks like, what freedom acts like. So I’ll bet on freedom and I bet that America comes back from this rather low ebb it is out of presently.”






pro-war bono....



Roger Waters SLAPS DOWN Bono’s Pro-War Propaganda








A Warped View of Patriotism on Pat Tillman



A recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times demonstrates what is a warped interpretation of the term “patriotism.” The op-ed is about former football player Pat Tillman, who was killed in Afghanistan twenty years ago. It’s written by Bill Dwyre, a former sports editor for the Times. 

Dwyre reminds us that Tillman was motivated to join the military after the 9/11 attacks. He gave up a $3.6 million football contract to join the U.S. military and was hoping to be sent to Afghanistan to fight the terrorists.

Dwyre writes, “It was a can’t-miss story of patriotism. Americans applauded from the safety and comfort of our homes and communities.” (Since he uses the pronoun “our,” presumably Dwyre fell into the “safety and comfort” group rather than the “patriot” group.)

Unfortunately, however, Dwyre doesn’t explain why Tillman’s act was one of “can’t miss” patriotism. Apparently for him it’s a self-evident truth.

No declaration of war

The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It is the higher law that we the people impose on government officials. We are expected to obey their laws, and they punish us when we fail to do so. By the same token, they are supposed to obey our law, the Constitution.

The Constitution requires a congressional declaration of war as a prerequisite to a president’s waging war against any other nation-state. If a president and his army wage war without a congressional declaration of war, they are acting in violation of the law.

It is undisputed that President Bush did not secure a congressional declaration of war from Congress before he ordered his military to invade Afghanistan. That made their war illegal under our form of government.

How can participating in an illegal war be considered “patriotic”? Dwyre doesn’t explain that.

The U.S. was the aggressor under Nuremberg

Moreover, the common perception is that Bush invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban regime, which was governing the country, had been complicit in the 9/11 attacks by having knowingly harbored Osama bin Laden, who U.S. officials suspected had orchestrated the attacks.

Not so. Bush initiated his war because the Taliban regime refused to comply with his unconditional demand to deliver bin Laden into the hands of the Pentagon and the CIA. Yet, there was no extradition treaty between Afghanistan and the United States and, therefore, Afghanistan was operating within its rights under international law to refuse Bush’s unconditional extradition demand.

Nonetheless, knowing that the Pentagon and the CIA would torture bin Laden into confessing to the crime, Afghanistan offered to deliver him to an independent nation for a fair trial. In making the offer, Afghanistan sought the same amount of proof that would be required in a normal extradition hearing. The U.S. government refused the offer, perhaps because it was unable to provide such proof.

Therefore, given that Afghanistan had the authority under international law to refuse Bush’s extradition demand, that makes Bush’s invasion illegal under the war-of-aggression provision of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.

How can participation in an unconstitutional and illegal war be considered “patriotic”? Unfortunately, Dwyre fails to explain.

If one assumes that the 9/11 attackers were the ones who did the attacking (as compared to the attacks being an “inside job,” as some believe), it’s worth pointing out that they were motivated by the death and destruction that the U.S. government’s foreign policy had wreaked in the Middle East. But of course, a real “patriot” does not bring up that discomforting fact and instead blindly supports the government’s claim that the terrorists attacked us out of hatred for our “freedom and values.”

Tillman’s opposition to the Iraq War

One of the fascinating aspects of Dwyre’s op-ed glorifying Tillman’s patriotism is what he leaves out of the op-ed. Tillman was an outspoken opponent of Bush’s invasion and war of aggression against Iraq. Dwyre doesn’t even mention that, which is revealing.

Keep in mind, after all, that Bush’s war on Iraq was also waged without a congressional declaration of war, making it illegal under our form of government. Bush’s claim that he was waging to war to enforce UN resolutions falls flat because only the UN can enforce its resolutions. The fact is that the U.S. war on Iraq was an even clearer case of a war of aggression under the Nuremberg principles than the U.S. war on Afghanistan.

Despite Tillman’s fierce objections to the U.S. war on Iraq, the U.S. military nonetheless ordered him to “serve” in Iraq, which he did. Keep in mind though that every U.S. soldier takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution and is under a legal and moral obligation to refuse to obey unlawful orders. Tillman chose to obey the unlawful order to deploy to Iraq.

U.S. government lies

After his “service” in Iraq, Tillman was deployed to Afghanistan, where he continued to speak out against the U.S. war on Iraq. It was there that he was killed. As Dwyre points out, the U.S. military initially lied about his death, claiming falsely that he was killed by enemy fire. In fact, what actually happened is that he was killed by his own men in what was described as “friendly fire.”

In 2006, Tillman’s brother, Kevin Tillman, wrote a scathing op-ed on truthdig.com, in which he echoed his brother Pat’s view of the Iraq war: “Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.”

Why would’t Dwyre mention Pat Tillman’s (and his brother’s) fierce opposition to the U.S. war on Iraq in his op-ed? My hunch is that it’s because he considers opposition to U.S. wars to be unpatriotic and, therefore, Tillman’s apparent lack of “patriotism” with respect to Iraq doesn’t fit conveniently within his patriotism narrative. Under Dwyre’s warped interpretation of patriotism, apparently it’s only those who blindly support the U.S. national-security state’s foreign wars and its interventionist foreign policy who should be considered “patriots.” Apparently, those who reject such wars and choose instead to remain in the “safety and comfort” of their homes instead of fighting them should be considered non-patriots.


This post was written by: 

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.