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Lets's talk about democracy
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Wednesday, 14 September 2005
Progress is being made in Iraq and all options are on the table.
Topic: General News.
The beat goes on in Iraq: 160 Iraqis were killed by a dozen car bombs and 570 were wounded. [AP] Looks like the offensive in Tal Afar really didn't make the country any safer. Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who is visiting the US, said the driver of the car bomb in Kazimiyah, which killed 112, was a Syrian. How convenient. "Operation Restoring Rights," the name of the offensive on Tal Afar, is still going on but the insurgents seem to have escaped out of their "rat holes" and redeployed else where.

Zalmay Khalilzad says the Syrians are the "number one offender" in the Middle East working to impede progress in Iraq. According to a State Dept. press release Khlalilzad said, "Syrian interference in Iraq 'will be dealt with' and 'all options are on the table' for addressing the problem if Damascus does not change its approach toward Iraq. 'Syria has to decide what price it's willing to pay in making Iraq's success difficult, and time is running out for Damascus to decide on this issue.'"

My main question remains: why can't the Iraqis secure their own border and why aren't we calling the Saudis out for sending all their jihadis to die in Iraq? The Syrians are not exactly angles and nuns but I serioulsy doubt they're actively assisting the insurgents. I'm not so sure about the Saudis. They have more to lose in a stable Shiite led Iraq than the Syirnas do.

More on the Katrina Fiasco:

On Market Place last night it was reported that hospitals in New Orleans are now asking for the government to bail them out because they don’t have any patients. Tenet Healthcare Inc, (You know, they’re the second biggest hospital chain in the country lately accused of performing unnecessary heart surgeries on hundreds of patients, including Merle Haggert. [See yesterday's post for link]), are the first ones with their hands out claiming they don’t have enough money to pay their doctors. They claim without patients they have no business. Maybe, they ought to find out how 44 patients died at their Memorial Medical Center first before they ask for a government welfare check.

This is corporate compassion for you. Oh, they’ll help people, but show them money first. Charitable corporations like Halliburton are reaping more no-bid contracts. "Hundreds of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts have already been let and billions more are to flow to the private sector in the weeks and months to come," according to the NYT. "Normal federal contracting rules are largely suspended in the rush to help people displaced by the storm..." What a surprise.

As I noted at Non Sum Dignus yesterday, the push is on by the advocates of ‘starving the beast’ to make political hay out of this disaster. While corporate flaks fan out to the various opinion pages and talk shows to promote the compassion of the “private sector” and the advantages of personal and religious charity over government relief, Bush is busy suspending environmental laws to help the oil industry and nixing a law that requires contractors to pay prevailing wages.


Tom DeLay is talking about pushing school vouchers to “assist” the displaced children of Katrina and funneling taxpayer money into religious organizations. Last week on a trip to Houston with Bush he said, “There about a thousand churches right here in Houston, and a lot of them are helping people with housing, but FEMA says they can’t reimburse faith based organizations.” What an outrage! FEMA also says they’re not going to reimburse Texas for the thousands of new students from Louisiana they took in either. You might want to check into that little problem first Tom, before you go raiding the US treasury to enrich your religious allies.

The right would never take advantage of a national disaster to promote their agenda, would they? No, they would never do that, but it does appear while attention is focused on the Gulf Coast they’re using emergency powers to ram through changes to the law they couldn’t get done through democratic means, even with an unassailable majority.

Herbert Hoover’s flood story:

I keep reading and hearing about the great job Herbert Hoover did during the 1927 Mississippi flood, without the help of big government. This flood story is supposed to illustrate how one man with the help of the private sector can handle a crisis without having to having to ask for a hand out, which is what by implication the Katrina victims are doing.

There’s no doubt that Herbert Hoover was a brilliant engineer and organizer, he saved millions of Europeans from starvation in the aftermath of WWI. But the reason we have the type of government we have today is because of Herbert Hoover being unable to deal in any way with the crisis of millions of Americans being unemployed and hungry at the beginning of the depression.

Hoover believed that private giving was the answer to the plight of the poor. “A voluntary deed by a man impressed with the sense of responsibility and the brotherhood of man is infinitely more precious to our national ideals and national spirit than a thousandfold poured from the treasury of the government under compulsion of law.”

In October of 1931, after vetoing a billion dollar appropriation for public works, he set up the Committee for Unemployment Relief instead, headed by Walter Gifford of AT&T. By putting on sporting events and theater benefits he hoped to raise $175 m. for the unemployed. The committee only raised $100 m., before it was disbanded. So much for corporate charity,

In line with Bill Frist’s idea that all the Katrina victims needed was a hug, Herbert Hoover offered a poem to help the unemployed. “Perhaps what this country needs is a great poem. Something to lift people out of fear and selfishness. Sometimes a great poem can do more than legislation.”

This is the type of government we should go back to? The hands off, non-governmental approach to national crisis has been tried and it has failed. If Roosevelt had come into office with more of the same, he would have been the last president. The American people then, the “greatest generation,” demanded government action and action now!

From the moment FDR was elected, the republicans who were vanquished along with their money changing allies have been trying to undo everything that the New Deal accomplished. The Holy Grail for them is getting rid of Social Security. This is a 60 year battle they’ve been waging against the American people and the government, that is by and for the America people, and they aren't going to stop.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:23 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 September 2005 2:55 PM EDT
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