Pacific Free Press

Opinion

  • Written by Paul William Roberts

The Good, The Bad & the Immune from Prosecution

by Paul William Roberts

Savages we call them because their manners differ from ours.

Benjamin Franklin


Just returned from a trip to China, where he was soliciting assistance for his country’s nuclear energy program, Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak announced on November 9 that the execution of Saddam Hussein would cause further turmoil in Iraq and increase anti-American hostilities across the Arab world. With the question of his succession the number one topic of discussion among Egypt’s political elites these days, Mubarak is clearly trying to make himself look less like a US quisling in order to aid the imminent grab for power of his son, who was in Washington a few weeks ago for ‘off the record’ talks with members of the Bush administration. But the prospect of Saddam’s hanging must also make Mubarak’s silk necktie seem uncomfortably tight. After all, one false move – or a change in Washington’s ideas about Egypt’s future -- and he could well find himself vilified by US-controlled media paving the way for regime change and a show trial in Cairo.

It is a pity that Mubarak did not cite the real reasons we should all object to the trial and death sentence of Saddam Hussein --- but this would have entailed far too much criticism of his American masters. As recipient of Washington’s third-largest foreign aid hand out, Egypt is not expected even to nibble at the hand feeding it, let alone bite (Iraq, at $20 billion, gets the most, followed by Israel at some $2 billion. Egypt is close behind). And the circumstances of Saddam’s trial expose an aspect of US foreign policy no one in the West seems willing to discuss, since it reveals such transparent hypocrisy with regard to the same much-vaunted rule of law that is so frequently brandished as an ultimate authority in the pursuit of Western goals.
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  • Written by Joshua Frank

Bye-Bye Coke, Hello Pepsi - Anatomy of the Midterms

by Joshua Frank

The big losers on Election Day were of course President Bush and the Republican Party, but there was another loser too: the conspiracy theory that had it that a slick operation run out of Karl Rove’s office, and working in cahoots with the makers of the electronic voting machines increasingly being installed by voting districts around the country would steal the key elections electronically.
I always felt that this conspiracy theory was over the top, and that it moreover was having the pernicious effect of creating massive cynicism about elections that would keep many people from voting who otherwise might have.

There's no way to know how many people didn't go to the polls because they decided that it would be a waste of time, but I sure have heard plenty of people saying, over the past year, "What's the point? The Republicans are going to steal the election anyway."

Well, if they were ever going to steal an election, this would have been the one to do it to. The last thing a criminal president whose popularity is in the cellar needs is a Congress armed with subpoena power in the hands of the opposition party. Surely, if Karl Rove could have tinkered with the numbers on those voting machines in just a few dozen districts, or in states like Montana or Virginia where the margin was a few thousand votes, and where the key voter registrar officials were fellow Republicans, he would have done it.

Instead, we saw dozens of congressional races and a handful of key Senate races switch to the Democrats, and sometimes by the narrowest of margins.
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  • Written by Anwaar Hussain

Learn to say Please, Mr. President

by Anwaar Hussain

Mr. President,

Now that a thumping smack has been delivered by American voters to the backside of the Empire building hallucinations of your sponsors, leaving you presidential future effectively bowdlerized, you are well advised to start learning to say ‘please’ to lessen the pain of the remaining two years.

Learn to say Please Mr. President because with a whole bunch of Repub-mangled Congressmen let loose upon the Capitol Hill, your interaction with the Dem-dominated Congress will tend to be complicated and emotionally draining exercise for you. The ‘please’ word will act like a balm to the political sores that you are likely to get from the chafing.

Learn to say Please Mr. President because control tactics such as threatening, shaming, or fear mongering will not get you what you want from now onward. What is more, regular use of words like ‘please and ‘thank you’ might just numb the sting of being a political outcast and a sitting President.

Learn to say Please Mr. President while giving directions, making requests, or asking questions of this new Congress. Also, while you are at it, learn not to scowl, shake your finger and glare at the new house. That tends to have a goading effect on the addressees and that is not exactly what you want.
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Canada at War: You Must Remember This

Canada at War: You Must Remember This
by C. L. Cook
More than 5,000 Victorians attended American ex-president, Bill Clinton's book fair yesterday, if the Times-Colonist newspaper is to be believed. The gathered scions of the city heard the unindicted war criminal, and butt of countless lewd water-cooler comments praise Canada its rapine entanglement in Afghanistan, but urge we also further our [sic] efforts, and send more young men and women soldiers to that benighted nation to kill and die, and terrorize the too stupid to govern themselves in "our" interest locals.
 
"I know it is painful for you when you lose your soldiers there, but you are doing a good thing." - Praise for Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan from former Caesar, William Jefferson "Slick Willie" Clinton

Sadly, I couldn't afford to take the day off work, and fork out the couple hundred bucks required to witness Bill delivering his pearls before the rubes at the Save-On-Foods cultural mecca, but I was blessed with the traffic snarl that followed; a mass exodus of Lexus' and Benz's, and troops of Sunday best-dressed aspirants over-flowing sidewalks and "don't walk" blinking intersections.
 
So these, thought I, are the 28% of the populace willing to send the children of anonymous fellow citizens to their spiritual, and in at least 44 cases, physical doom in foreign adventures. They too must be among the estimated 71,763 Victorians still subscribing to the city's only daily, CanWest organ the Times-Colonist.

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  • Written by Mel Seesholtz

“Times they are a-changin’…”

By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.

Pennsylvania Republican senator Rick Santorum – Golden Boy of the Christian Right, rabid homophobe, and Bush “yes-man” – was crushed in the 2006 election by a margin larger than anyone had expected.

Also on election day 2006, it was reported by the Associated Press that James Dobson, leader of the antigay Focus on the Family and close friend of disgraced Rev. Ted Haggard, “will be one of the people overseeing counseling for” Mr. Haggard. Later on November 7, Dobson bailed out: “I don’t have the time.”

And just after noon on November 8, 2006, time ran out for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in whom Bush had only recently expressed “total faith.” According to Bush, “America is safer and the world more secure” because of Donald Rumsfeld’s leadership. If that were so, why the abrupt change following the election?

The entire world knew Rumsfeld was a disaster. Did “stay the course” GWB not just realize that? No one could be that stupid, not even George W. Could he?

Clearly Bush and the GOP are scrambling given Americans’ overwhelmingly expression of dissatisfaction expressed at the ballot box. Dobson and the Christian Right are also running scared, as well they should. “Hubris” and “downfall” are inextricably bound.
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