mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Thursday, January 25, 2007

Scott Ritter on the Iran Problem

What Iran problem? The problem we'll have if the USA launches an attack on Iran, that problem. is among those who believe that the current Administration is laying the groundwork for such an attack.

Part of the groundwork involves a public-relations campaign, otherwise known as propaganda. It was abundantly evident in last year's State of the Union Address; it was less direct, but still present, in this year's.

Others have noted that the Administration is planing troop buildups in both Iraq and Afghanistan (both nations flanking Iran), and is sending a carrier battle group and Patriot missile batteries to the area. The explain that the hardware is needed in the fight against the insurgency in Iraq, but observers wonder what good that kind of hardware is against that kind of opponent.

Now, writing in The Nation, Mr. Ritter proposes action that could be taken by Congress, under the leadership of the Democratic Party, to demand accountability for all of this.

Stop the Iran War Before It Starts
posted January 24, 2007 (web only)
Scott Ritter

...I would strongly urge Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, to hold real hearings on Iran. Not the mealy-mouthed Joe Biden-led hearings we witnessed on Iraq in July-August 2002, where he and his colleagues rubber-stamped the President's case for war, but genuine hearings that draw on all the lessons of Congressional failures when it came to Iraq. Summon all the President's men (and women), and grill them on every phrase and word uttered about the Iranian "threat," especially as it has been linked to nuclear weapons. Demand facts to back up the rhetoric.

Summon the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or any other lobby promoting confrontation with Iran, to the forefront, so that the warnings they offer in whispers from a back room can be articulated before the American public. Hold these conjurers of doom accountable for their positions by demanding they back them up with hard fact. See if the US intelligence community concurs with the dire warnings put forward by these pro-war lobbyists, and if it doesn't, ask who, then, is driving US policy toward Iran? Those mandated by public law and subjected to the oversight of Congress? Or others, operating outside any framework representative of the will of the American people?

If a real case, based on facts as they pertain to the genuine national security interests of the United States, can be made for a confrontation with Iran that leads to military conflict, so be it. America should never shy away from defending that which legitimately needs defending. The sacrifice expected of our military forces, while tragic, will be defensible. But if the case for war with Iran is revealed to be as illusory as was the case for war with Iraq, then Congress must take action to stop this conflict from occurring. This is the Democrats' issue now, the one that will make or break them in 2008 and beyond...
He goes on to urge Congress to pass legislation, analogous to the Boland Amendment, that would prevent any funds from being used for covert or overt military action against Iran without express approval by Congress.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Peeling Away the Veneer

Well, I've been here a little over two months now. I haven't had a chance to go back to Michigan yet and have had very little chance to get out to explore the many changes over the years since I left New Mexico. My wonderful neighbor still comes on Saturday mornings to give me two hours of respite care a week. Maybe with that help and the hope that my job will continue to allow me to telecommute, I can have a small sense of "having a life."

Today while I was buying a few items at the local co-op, Mountain View, which doesn't appear to have a website, I picked up a copy of Desert Exposure, one of my favorite local publications. In it was an article about The Greenhouse Project. Of course I read it a week after a weekend long Peak Oil/Climate Change Conference had been held, not that I could have gone, but I could have blogged about it had I known. The Greenhouse Project is encouraging, maybe even inspiring, if I had more knowledge. I need to research rainwater harvesting further.
From the references at this logo I found the following links to explore:
Gila Conservation Coalition
Gila Resources Information Project/Green Building
and the
Southwest Desert Sustainability Project
I've also found a local blog, Alternative Comment, that keeps me informed of energy policy and what the local government is, or, is not doing to help foster good energy policy, especially with regard to renewable alternatives.
I think the area's conservative veneer is beginning to peel away and I see a solid progressive foundation.
Joe will be here this week! I'll be making green chile stew for him whether my mom likes it or not. In fact, I may begin to do a lot more of what I like whether my mom likes it or not. She forgets about it 5 minutes later.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Democrats Sworn In; What Happens Next?

Perhaps it is a mere coincidence, but I could not help but notice this. As soon as Democrats take control of the House and Senate, we see these headlines:

Return trip for electric vehicles: automakers unveil plans for electric cars; no need to put pressure on the auto industry!
Medicare Drug Program Costing Less Than Estimates, U.S. Says: no need to pressure the pharmaceutical industry!
Employers increase hiring, wages in Dec.: no need to worry about jobs and wages, or to put pressure on big business!
Falling crude oil prices should translate soon to lower prices at the pump: leave the oil companies alone!

Does anyone think these headlines reflect what is really going on in the world?

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |


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