Friday, September 10, 2010

Franken and Olbermann supported the war in Iraq at the start? Fuckers!

I read it, but couldn't believe it.

During an interview with Democracy Now, Michael Moore said that both Keith Olbermann and Al Franken, at first, supported George W. Bush's war in Iraq.

It seems impossible, yet that's what Michael Moore said:
MICHAEL MOORE: . . . For those of you in your own communities, at work, at school, when you were against the war, especially once it started, you were in a very small minority. I remember Keith Olbermann attacking me on his show. That’s right, since apologized. I remember Al Franken—

AMY GOODMAN: How were you attacked? Why did he attack you?


AMY GOODMAN: What did he say?

MICHAEL MOORE: Because he was in favor of the war. I remember Al Franken attacking me, because he was for the war. That’s right. . . .
How could anyone be so stupid?

In early 2003, when Canada made it known that it would not join the US in invading Iraq, then-American ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci, made not-so-veiled threats against Canada, saying there would be repercussions for its lack of support.

Here's a letter I wrote to Paul Cellucci in March 2003, mere days after the War in Iraq began:
Dear Mr. Cellucci,

This letter is occasioned by your speech this week at the Economic Club of Canada, where you expressed America’s disappointment that Canada has not supported its war with Iraq.

The United States of America is in the midst of a public relations disaster. As you know, following the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, much of the world rallied in support of America. In less than two years, that international unity has been soured and swallowed by the blackhole of George W. Bush’s foreign policy.

The hard fact is this: America has not made a case for war with Iraq.

Sure, Colin Powell made his February presentation to the U.N., and the anti-climax of his empty “evidence” cannot be understated. Particularly when it was later revealed the intelligence given to him by Britain was plagiarized from a graduate student’s thesis available on the Web, reproduced with the original spelling and grammar errors -- and pertained to the first Gulf War. Hardly inspiring.

Maybe I can delineate the heart of America’s credibility problem: The premise of the Bush administration is deceit, subterfuge, and corporate greed. Although it was not widely reported in America, the world press has published innumerable news stories about “purge lists” created for Florida voting rolls by a GOP-friendly company called ChoicePoint in the months leading to the 2000 election. As a consequence, tens of thousands of legitimate Florida voters were stripped of their right to vote, the vast majority of them were African American, and most importantly, Democrats. This was a deliberate act to influence the outcome of the 2000 election. And it worked. The administration is now filled with former CEOs; some of them oilmen. I understand that Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, the oil-services firm that Vice President Dick Cheney used to run stands to profit handsomely from this war. Talk of Iraq’s reconstruction at war’s end being led by American corporations, not the U.N. makes it difficult not being cynical about the whole situation.

So, here’s a president who comes to power under dubious circumstances. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, when Osama Bin Laden proved too elusive, the administration concocted a false theory that Saddam Hussein was partially to blame for the 9/11 attacks. In a recent poll, more than 50% of Americans said they not only believed Iraq was directly behind the 9/11 attacks, they believed that Saddam orchestrated them, and the highjackers were all Iraqi citizens. Such is the power of the anesthetized media, which acts as an uncritical conduit for the Bush administration. Even the CIA admits there is no link between Saddam Hussein and Al Quaeda.

The call for war with Iraq first centered on disarming Saddam -- disarming him of weapons America provided him during the Iran/Iraq war in the 1980’s. When the U.N. weapons inspectors found neither biological or chemical weapons, nor weapons of mass destruction, suddenly the war was billed as a move to “liberate” the Iraqi people -- in much the same way a pick-pocket “liberates” a person from his wallet, I suspect.

In the midst of all this dangerous, rhetoric-heavy waffling, America has bullied and insulted its allies. It’s frightening and disheartening seeing dissent labelled “unpatriotic” within America, but witnessing the McCarthyistic stifling of debate jump American borders has been downright frightening. The Bush administration has addressed its allies like CEOs berating disobedient managers. All the while, America has not produced a single shred of credible evidence that Iraq is an imminent threat to it, or any other nation.

I have no sympathy for Saddam Hussein. He’s a tyrant and a madman, and he’s no saner or more civilized now than when he was America’s “fair-haired boy” in the region. Given America’s history of favoring tyrants (the Shaw of Iran, General Pinochet, Ferdinand Marcos, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein), I have no doubt America will someday go to war with the dictator it next installs in Iraq.

Time to be candid: America is at war with Iraq to take control of its oil reserves.

In the past few months, there’s been an interesting conflation of two news events dominating the media: America’s war-march toward Iraq, and the documentary Living with Michael Jackson. One is a microcosm of the other -- Michael Jackson is America: fabulously rich and famous throughout the world, existing in a rarefied stratosphere completely of his own creation (that bares fleeting resemblance to reality), he accepts no criticism, and is incapable of self-reflection. Michael Jackson and America look in the mirror and see seamless sanity -- it’s the world that’s crazy. Michael Jackson dangles his infant son out of a hotel window in Berlin, and cannot imagine why anyone would question his abilities as a father. America launches a wrong-headed, pre-emptive war, yet wants the world to believe it remains a beacon of democracy and fair-minded peace.

This is not America-bashing -- this is the perception exuded by its current administration, compounded by veiled threats such as yours at the Economic Club of Canada. There is much good in America, and much good has come out of America. I hope American troops come home tomorrow.
I have never worked for the CIA. I get my news like anyone else -- a little from TV, a lot from the Web; from all over the place. Even I could see that George W. Bush was a lying, nefarious sack of shit when he first seized the Oblong Office in America. Clearly, any plans he brought with him or formulated within his illegitimate presidency would also be illegitimate.

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