Sunday, February 26, 2006

Not the compassionate president

I think the president has better things to attend to, like holding onto US ports and not selling them to the highest bidder without a thought to this countries security. Maybe he can oversee the rebuilding of New Orleans and Homeland Security, not necessarily in that order. He could work on an exit strategy for Iraq. He should be working on something presidential, but instead he is making nice as a goodwill ambassador to visitors from Iraq.

Imagine how thrilled I was to read that this president recently met with the victims of Saddam Hussein to discuss progress in Iraq.

"It's been my honor to visit with folks who know firsthand the brutality of Saddam Hussein. These are folks who have suffered, one way or the other, because the tyrant was a law unto himself, and was willing to deny people basic human rights. The stories here are compelling stories. They're stories of sadness and stories of bravery.


The dictionary defines a victim as "one who is harmed by or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition". I don't think of myself as a victim although I suppose one could make a case for that. I won't give this administration one more bit of power over my life by saying that they ruined my life. They turned it upside down, they changed it, but they did not ruin it. So, I'm not calling myself a victim and meeting with this president is nowhere on my "To Do" list.

Our President, who has sent hundreds of thousands of US military into an illegal and unwarranted invasion of Iraq, a country that was no threat to us, does not attend funerals. He doesn't honor the military's sacrifice with a ceremonial visit to Dover AFB as these flag covered "transfer tubes" come back to US soil either. And finally, when he wishes to comfort families of casualties, he hand picks those families to insure they support his policies. No wonder he thinks we are all grateful that he is the president and that our children died for his noble cause.

The truth is, I don't want to meet with President Bush. I cannot think of anything he could say to me that would make me feel he had any feelings about the loss of life in Iraq. I believe that he has not shed one tear for my only child, Lt Ken Ballard, or the 2290 other American soldiers who have died or been killed in Iraq. Furthermore, I'm guessing he doesn't think about the tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths. Let's not get into the wounded on both sides; they aren't anywhere on Bush's radar.

When Bush made the comments above after a White House meeting on 1.18.06, it is ironic that he easily could have been referring to the families in this country who have been affected by his policies if only the name Geroge Bush was substituted for Saddam Hussein. I wish I could look to my president for the kind of compassion he offers to citizens of other countries. Connecting those dots seems a bit too complex for this president to manage.

3 comments:

Chancelucky said...

For some reason, I've been thinking about those dots as well lately. Where they lead seems so obvious to me.

The only way I understand it is that there is a large part of the country that simply doesn't want to see it.

I think about those pictures where you look at the same image and it can look like a prince or an ogre depending on whether you define the shape by the shadows or the foreground. If you want to see one, you can't see the other.

In the case of W though, there's just the ogre. :}

GSMSO said...

Very good points and nice observation.

I wonder if it is only that they don't *want* to see it. Is it because they are in denial or they don't care?

There is a worse option that I don't want to think about(really), but have they ceded their minds and their opinions to the administration because *they* know better? That is how I felt the day after election day 2004. I really felt as if I was watching the "dumbing down of America"

None are good enough reasons.

sevenpointman said...

The plan I am sending you has been approved by many prominent thinkers and
activists in the field. Which includes: Benjamin Ferencz, Chief Prosecutor
at the Nuremburg Trials, Tom Hayden, Matthew Rothschild, Danny Schecter,
Tony Benn- Former Member of the British parliment ,Reggie Rivers,
Robert Jenkins, Andrew Bard Schmookler and others.
I formulated this plan in September 2004, based on a comprehensive
study of the issues. For my plan to be successful it must be implemented
with all seven points beginning to happen within a very short period of
time.
I have run up against a wall of doubt about my plan due to it's
rational nature ,and due to it's adherence to placing the blame on the
invaders, and then trying to formulate a process of extrication which would
put all entities in this conflict face to face, to begin to finally solve
the dilemmas that exist.
If you read my plan you will see that it is guided by a reasonable
and practical compromise that could end this war and alleviate the
internecine civil violence that is confronting Iraq at this juncture in it's
history.
I am making a plea for my plan to be put into action on a wide-scale.
I need you to circulate it and use all the persuasion you have to bring it
to the attention of those in power.


This war must end-we who oppose it can do this by using my plan.
We must fight the power and end the killing.

If you would like to view some comments and criticism about my plan
I direct you to my blog: sevenpointman

Thank you my dear friend,




Howard Roberts



A Seven-point plan for an Exit Strategy in Iraq




1) A timetable for the complete withdrawal of American and British forces
must be announced.
I envision the following procedure, but suitable fine-tuning can be
applied by all the people involved.

A) A ceasefire should be offered by the Occupying side to
representatives of both the Sunni insurgency and the Shiite community. These
representatives would be guaranteed safe passage, to any meetings. The
individual insurgency groups would designate who would attend.
At this meeting a written document declaring a one-month ceasefire,
witnessed by a United Nations authority, will be fashioned and eventually
signed. This document will be released in full, to all Iraqi newspapers, the
foreign press, and the Internet.
B) US and British command will make public its withdrawal, within
sixth-months of 80 % of their troops.

C) Every month, a team of United Nations observers will verify the
effectiveness of the ceasefire.
All incidences on both sides will be reported.

D) Combined representative armed forces of both the Occupying
nations and the insurgency organizations that agreed to the cease fire will
protect the Iraqi people from actions by terrorist cells.

E) Combined representative armed forces from both the Occupying
nations and the insurgency organizations will begin creating a new military
and police force. Those who served, without extenuating circumstances, in
the previous Iraqi military or police, will be given the first option to
serve.

F) After the second month of the ceasefire, and thereafter, in
increments of 10-20% ,a total of 80% will be withdrawn, to enclaves in Qatar
and Bahrain. The governments of these countries will work out a temporary
land-lease housing arrangement for these troops. During the time the troops
will be in these countries they will not stand down, and can be re-activated
in the theater, if both the chain of the command still in Iraq, the newly
formed Iraqi military, the leaders of the insurgency, and two international
ombudsman (one from the Arab League, one from the United Nations), as a
majority, deem it necessary.


G) One-half of those troops in enclaves will leave three-months after they
arrive, for the United States or other locations, not including Iraq.

H) The other half of the troops in enclaves will leave after
six-months.

I) The remaining 20 % of the Occupying troops will, during this six
month interval, be used as peace-keepers, and will work with all the
designated organizations, to aid in reconstruction and nation-building.


J) After four months they will be moved to enclaves in the above
mentioned countries.
They will remain, still active, for two month, until their return to
the States, Britain and the other involved nations.





2) At the beginning of this period the United States will file a letter with
the Secretary General of the Security Council of the United Nations, making
null and void all written and proscribed orders by the CPA, under R. Paul
Bremer. This will be announced and duly noted.



3) At the beginning of this period all contracts signed by foreign countries
will be considered in abeyance until a system of fair bidding, by both
Iraqi and foreign countries, will be implemented ,by an interim Productivity
and Investment Board, chosen from pertinent sectors of the Iraqi economy.
Local representatives of the 18 provinces of Iraq will put this board
together, in local elections.


4) At the beginning of this period, the United Nations will declare that
Iraq is a sovereign state again, and will be forming a Union of 18
autonomous regions. Each region will, with the help of international
experts, and local bureaucrats, do a census as a first step toward the
creation of a municipal government for all 18 provinces. After the census, a
voting roll will be completed. Any group that gets a list of 15% of the
names on this census will be able to nominate a slate of representatives.
When all the parties have chosen their slates, a period of one-month will be
allowed for campaigning.
Then in a popular election the group with the most votes will represent that
province.
When the voters choose a slate, they will also be asked to choose five
individual members of any of the slates.
The individuals who have the five highest vote counts will represent a
National government.
This whole process, in every province, will be watched by international
observers as well as the local bureaucrats.

During this process of local elections, a central governing board, made up
of United Nations, election governing experts, insurgency organizations, US
and British peacekeepers, and Arab league representatives, will assume the
temporary duties of administering Baghdad, and the central duties of
governing.

When the ninety representatives are elected they will assume the legislative
duties of Iraq for two years.

Within three months the parties that have at least 15% of the
representatives will nominate candidates for President and Prime Minister.

A national wide election for these offices will be held within three months
from their nomination.

The President and the Vice President and the Prime Minister will choose
their cabinet, after the election.


5) All debts accrued by Iraq will be rescheduled to begin payment, on the
principal after one year, and on the interest after two years. If Iraq is
able to handle another loan during this period she should be given a grace
period of two years, from the taking of the loan, to comply with any
structural adjustments.



6) The United States and the United Kingdom shall pay Iraq reparations for
its invasion in the total of 120 billion dollars over a period of twenty
years for damages to its infrastructure. This money can be defrayed as
investment, if the return does not exceed 6.5 %.


7) During the beginning period Saddam Hussein and any other prisoners who
are deemed by a Council of Iraqi Judges, elected by the National
representative body, as having committed crimes will be put up for trial.
The trial of Saddam Hussein will be before seven judges, chosen from this
Council of Judges.
One judge, one jury, again chosen by this Council, will try all other
prisoners.
All defendants will have the right to present any evidence they want, and to
choose freely their own lawyers.