Andy Johnson & Sam Graham-Felsen / Nation Victories & Capitol Hill Blues – 2005-11-08 08:27:30
Bush’s Church Urges Withdrawal from Iraq
Andy Johnson & Sam Graham-Felsen
It’s one thing when former high-ranking members of your own Administration come out against your war. It’s another thing when two-thirds of the country calls the invasion and occupation a mistake.
It’s really something when your own church issues a statement urging you to pull out the troops now.
Last week, the United Methodist Church Board of Church and Society — the social action committee of the church that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney belong to — resoundingly passed a resolution calling for withdrawal with only two ‘no’ votes and one abstention.
“As people of faith, we raise our voice in protest against the tragedy of the unjust war in Iraq,” the statement read. “Thousands of lives have been lost and hundreds of billions of dollars wasted in a war the United States initiated and should never have fought…. We grieve for all those whose lives have been lost or destroyed in this needless and avoidable tragedy. Military families have suffered undue hardship from prolonged troop rotations in Iraq and loss of loved ones. It is time to bring them home.”
The board also issued a strong statement against torture, urging Congress to create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate detention and interrogation practices at Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It is my hope and prayer that our statement against the war in Iraq will be heard loud and clear by our fellow United Methodists, President Bush and Vice President Cheney,” said Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the UMC’s Board of Church and Society. “Conservative and liberal board members worked together to craft a strong statement calling for the troops to come home and for those responsible for leading us into this disastrous war to be held accountable.”
With its bold stands against the Administration, the UMC is fulfilling the words of Martin Luther King Jr., who called for the church to be “not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion” but “a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”
Bush has asserted that he entered Iraq on a direct order from God. Now, he has a direct order from his own church to leave. Is he listening?
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Co-written by Sam Graham-Felsen, a freelance journalist, documentary
Andy Johnson is a member of the United Methodist Church.
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Bush’s Temper Tantrums Worry White House Aides
Doug Tompson / Capitol Hill Blues
An uncivil war rages inside the walls of the West Wing of the White House, a bitter, acrimonious war driven by a failed agenda, destroyed credibility, dwindling public support and a President who lapses into Alzheimer-like periods of incoherent babbling.
On one side are the dwindling numbers of die-hard loyalists to President George W. Bush, those who support his actions and decisions without question and remain committed to both Bush and scandal-scarred political advisor Karl Rove.
On the other side are the increasing numbers of those who say Rove must go and who worry about the President’s declining mental state and his ability to restore credibility with Congress, our foreign allies and the American people.
The war erupted into full-blown shoutfests at Camp David this past weekend,
where decorum broke down in staff meetings and longtime aides threatened to quit unless Rove goes. Insiders say Chief of Staff Andrew Card now leads the anti-Rove legions and has told Bush that he wants out of the high-pressure job.
“Like a Wartime Bunker”
White House staff members say the White House is “like a wartime bunker” where shell-shocked aides hide from those who disagree with their actions and office pools speculate on how long certain senior aides will last. Bush, whose obscenity-laced temper tantrums increase with each new setback and scandal, abruptly ended one Camp David meeting by telling everyone in the room to “go fuck yourselves” before he stalked out of the room.
Senior aides describe Bush as increasingly “edgy” or “nervous” or “unfocused.” They say the President goes from apparent coherent thought one moment to aimless rambles about political enemies and those who are “out to get me.”
“It’s worse than the days when Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimers began setting in,” one longtime GOP operative told me privately this week. “You don’t know if he’s going to be coherent from one moment to the next. What scares me is if he lapses into one of those fogs during a public appearance.”
Aides say Bush, who has always had trouble focusing during times of stress, is increasingly distant during meetings, often staring off into space during discussions on the nation’s security and other issues.
Bush’s Mind Wanders
Chief of Staff Andrew Card has responded to the crisis by cutting back on the number of staff members with direct access to the President and jumping in to answer questions when Bush’s mind wanders.
“Some people say Karl Rove is ‘Bush’s brain,’” says one increasingly concerned West Winger. “Well, Andy has become the President’s voice. He’s there to speak when the President seems unable to find form an answer.”
Bush’s mental state is a hot topic on Internet blogs and has increased since this website disclosed last year that the White House physician had placed the President on anti-depressant medication — a story the administration never denied. Others, including prominent psychiatrists like Dr. Justin Frank of George Washington University, wonder if Bush — an admitted heavy drinker who claims he quit without any professional help — is hitting the bottle again.
An increasing number of mainstream media outlets, including Newsweek, The Washington Post, and the New York Daily News recently confirmed our earlier reports about Bush’s temper tantrums.
“Bush usually reserves his celebrated temper for senior aides because he knows they can take it,” the Daily News reported. “Lately, however, some junior staffers also have faced the boss’s wrath.”
“Not a Pleasant Sight”
“This is not some manager at McDonald’s chewing out the help,” a source with close ties to the White House told the paper. “This is the president of the United States, and it’s not a pleasant sight.”
Bush loyalists claim the President can survive his current spate of political troubles and emerge stronger than ever but an increasing number of White House aides express increasing doubt. Some even go so far as to speculate if the President’s deteriorating mental condition can survive another three years in office.
“The President has lost his focus, his ability to govern, and the trust of the American people,” says one longtime GOP operative. “Those are things that are difficult to recapture when you’re on top of your game, and this President has taken one too many blows to the head.”
— Capitol Hill Blue 2005
How Hitler Handled Defeat
An Excerpt from biographer Ian Kershaw’s description of the atmosphere inside Hitler’s Berlin bunker in late April 1945 as he realized he was losing the war. The account was reconstructed from eyewitness accounts by Hitler’s inner circle.”
“Even for those who had long experience of Hitler’s furious outbursts, the tirade that thundered through the bunker for the next half an hour was a shock. One who witnessed it reported that evening: ‘Something broke inside me today that I still can’t grasp.’
Hitler screamed that he had been betrayed by all those he had trusted. He railed at the long-standing treachery of the army. Now, even the SS was lying to him. The troops would not fight, he ranted, the anti-tank defenses were down. As Jodl added, he also knew that munitions and fuel would shortly run out.
Hitler slumped into his chair. The storm subsided. His voice fell to practically a whimper. The war was lost, he sobbed. It was the first time any of his small audience had heard him admit it. They were dumbstruck.”
You can find this excerpt from Ian Kershaw by scrolling down halfway at: http://www.fpp.co.uk/Hitler/Kershaw/Times.html
Doug Thompson is the Founder and Publisher of Capitol Hill Blue.
• 1. Robert Koehler’s 10-27-05 CD/CW essay, “Impeachable Offense:
Why Must Justice For Such A Monumental Crime Grasp At Straws?” explains why the Bush administration’s leading figures should be impeached for their illegal war; then laments indications that they won’t be impeached, despite their numerous “high crimes and misdemeanors.”:
• 2. Ted Rall’s 10-26-05 CD essay, “Why Bush Is Unimpeachable: Cracks Appear In The Constitution” addresses how the Bush administration is exploiting several holes in the US Constitution which allow them to remain unaccountable to the rule of law:
• 3. Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark’s website, VoteToImpeach.org
[Explains the case for impeaching Messrs. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al.; offers you the opportunity to sign an impeachment petition to Congress.]:
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