Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Marines www.New Ruskin College.com


Lecture Notes: 11-24-04

“Is no one to blame for anything then?”
---------------Hellen Schlegel, Howard’s End, by E. M. Forster

Who is to blame?

Who will take responsibility for the Marines? Where shall we begin the analysis?

The failure of the American leadership, for over 12 years, to deal with Saddam Hussein?

The young Marine who said, “This one is faking being dead, he is still breathing,” was six years old in 1991 when we should have removed Saddam Hussein in the First Gulf War. We deferred the war until he was of age. (See also how we have saved up $7.5 trillion in national debt for him as well. Look at all that we have deferred to him. We have found it more convenient to pass these problems on to him. Technically this is known as the intergenerational transfer of shit.)

He was eight years old in 1993 when the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by the Iraqi agents, who came from, and fled back to Iraq, and were protected by Iraq from extradition requests. Nothing was done then, not even when Saddam Hussein attempted to assassinate Mr. Bush (41); no we waited until this Marine was of fighting age. He was eleven when operation Bojinka was being planned in Manila. He was twelve when we finally arrested the Iraqi agent Ramsey Youseff.

Over all these years he grew up in our society, listening to the likes of Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh and the rest. Imus’ great insight, his contribution to the public discussion, was that the tape should have been erased. Now there you have moral guidance for the young Marine. Bill O’Reilly said that the Marine’s statements prior to shooting the prisoner “prove” that he was “in fear of his life.” (The next day O’Reilly said he would have been “foolish” to “exonerate” the Marine if there had not been these exculpatory statements. (Yes! Foolish. Foolish indeed.))

Beck, who condemned the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, now supports the shooting of the prisoner, and says that this will be the test to see who “really supports our troops.” (I recall wondering about Beck at the time of the Abu Ghraib story when he said that he was so upset that he wanted to “go down to the airport and spit on the returning soldiers,” who were involved in the abuse.) Lee Rogers said he expects the Marines will kill the journalist who photographed the shooting. This is what he thinks of the Marines. I will not bother with Weiner, you can imagine the insanity there. Indeed you can imagine the rest. This is how societies decline.

They shoot journalists don’t they?

What a society. So this is the social environment in which the Marine was raised, these are the men who helped create the social ethic that informed the life of that young Marine for the 18 years prior to his shipping out to Iraq. Pity the young man if he relied on the likes of these men. Pity him for all the sewage they have pumped into his young head. They have defined social deviancy down, and see to what effect.

The radio carnival barkers all think they are helping the young Marine by condoning the shooting of wounded prisoners. But of course, as is so often the case, they actually are making it worse. Time and again their idiotic arguments so inflame the public that they actually hurt the causes they profess. They are a primary reason the election was so close. Their contemptuous bloviating has kindled such a hatred that they moved a substantial portion of the 48% of the public to vote for Kerry, or rather against Bush.

And now not only do we have to do justice but with all their bluster they add another dimension, a “social statement,” that will need to be refuted. Will we now have to “make an example” out of this Marine to show the carnival barkers how wrong they are? Let us refute their falsity here, now, so that it need not be considered at the Captain’s Mast.

As civilians we can not say what is proper punishment for shooting wounded prisoners. But we can say that it is wrong. Yet this simple statement of morality, seemingly so obvious, was lacking in the bloviations of hate radio.

Do you not think young Marines are hearing their raging? Do you not think that they act on what they hear? Do they not hear Michael Weiner shouting that the Moslems are “subhumans?” Not enough for our young men to be put in a foreign land, to fight a difficult war, no that is not enough, let us turn this into a religious war!

You go to your microphones and shout out your stupid ideas, your hate filled bluster, then you retreat to the safety of your mansions, and leave the young Marine to face the court martial? In the original story it was reported that before the video taped shooting other Marines had entered the Mosque and shot two other prisoners. In the subsequent coverage these additional shootings are often not mentioned at all. None of the hate radio carnival barkers have mentioned these other shootings. Where did all these Marines get the idea that shooting wounded prisoners was acceptable? From you!

Who will take responsibility for these Marines?

Then again, maybe . . . I am wrong. Maybe this is my country? For these same twelve years that this young Marine has been growing up in America, haven’t some of these same men hectored and harassed me, driven me to my death? Perhaps they are right? . . . and I am wrong? This is America.

If someone had told me that America shoots its wounded prisoners I would have thought it a calumny. But then I reflect, that the IRS did conspire with the very criminals we were investigating. Senator Hatch was on the Imus show and did say: “I’ve heard what you do to some of your listeners.” And all the rest of you, villains and the others of you who cover up for the villains. This is America!

Are the Marines covering up the orders to shoot the prisoners? Perhaps the five prisoners were left there to bleed to death, and when they were found to be still alive . . . “this one is still breathing.” America? After all I have been through these last 12 years, I do not know anymore. As I think about it now, I did wonder about the 50 U. S. dead as against the 1,500 enemy killed? But I thought, air power? You know, firepower? Maybe I am wrong maybe hate radio is right.

Then I recall reading reports that the men of fighting age who tried to leave were not taken prisoner but were only told that they had to stay in Falujha. Why not taken prisoner? Then too at the beginning of the war deserters were turned back. They had to fight? And all these years where are the prison camps, no systematic procedures . . .why? Why all the problems at Abu Ghraib? Why when Bremer left Iraq were there no more than 9,000 prisoners, and then they released those?

Why not prisoners? Because there is no plan. The blame must rest not on this Marine or his comrades, but with the leadership.

There is no plan, no strategy, except to kill Iraqis. Notice, for example, that no effort is made to photo the dead Iraqis, or take their finger prints. Why? This is because there is no data base to be updated, or to help identify the dead. In two years we have not bothered to identify the young men of Iraq. No one thought that a census, photos, fingerprints, would be important. (For example, in order not to have large crowds at the polls, and a target for terrorists, the election could be carried out over a period of weeks, if we had a system of identification.) How can we build a country if we do not know who we are dealing with?

So we do not know even the names of the dead. We do not know who their fathers are, or who their brothers are, or their cousins and uncles. We do not know were they live. We know nothing about them. But then, if the whole of your strategy is simply to kill them why bother with all that. Right?

Well we are killing them in Iraq now. This is the whole of our plan? To “kill them over there?” This is what Mr. Bush has repeatedly said. Kill them over there. Kill them over there. That’s it. And so we send out the 18 year old Marine, and oh yes he is frustrated, who wouldn’t be, this is the whole of our strategy!

And why is this the whole of our strategy? Because a nattily dressed gentleman, who does not like explaining himself, is sitting in his oval office directing the war without being bothered by any written record, no plans, no programs, no management committees, no ministries, no administrative structure, no goals, no objectives. He has not presented to the nation, neither ours nor the Iraqis, a series of proposals or policies for the building of Iraq, nothing. He doesn’t like explaining himself.

He is negotiating his way, one day at a time. They did not want to staff out the planning because this White House likes to maintain control. Why? Are they trying to save money? Republican economy?

Bremer was appointed just in March 2003 when the tanks were just starting to Baghdad. There had been no plan for prisoners. No provisions for camps. No programs of indoctrination. No plan to convert the old Iraqi army into the new Iraqi army, or a civilian conservation corps, or a training program, or anything at all. Why? Because the gentlemen with the neatly knotted tie in the oval office hadn’t thought things through that far yet. Don’t take any prisoners, just tell them to go home. We will figure something out later.

The gentleman in the coat and tie in the oval room did not think it important to form a government in exile, preparing to administer the plan. (There was no plan.) No ministry of truth and reconciliation, for example, that would put the young men of Iraq through a six month course in political education, (civics). He had all of 2002 to get things ready, to establish ministries, develop procedures, set priorities, and nothing was done.

The man who refused to meet even with his own Party’s Senators, preferred not to ask questions and engage in discussions when meeting with his own officials, would often sit not saying anything at all. So no constitution was written for Iraq. So now we have in less than two years gone through two governments. The members of the first government have been thrown away. This in a country where these men and women risked their lives in supporting us. Several have been assassinated.

For no apparent reason the man in the oval room had agreed with his own critics that the first government, then the second government, were not “legitimate.” Even though the constitution he could have written could have been a model of transparency and accountability. The new government could have been composed of Iraq’s leading citizens, a thousand, two thousand of Iraq’s medical doctors, professors, human rights activists, lawyers, teachers, nurses, mothers, tribal leaders, religious leaders, etc., etc. Could have been . . . But because he refuses to argue, one suspects refuses to think, he simply accepts the proposition that only “elections” give legitimacy.

The Prime Minister of Britain can serve for six years without calling an election but if the new Iraqi government, established in war, amid social calamity, guerilla war, terror bombing, served with a record of public progress, and liberty, still it would not be “legitimate,” according to the well dressed man in the oval room. Why? He does not say. He does not like to explain himself.

So now in less than two years there will have been three Iraqi governments. And the third one will not govern, its job is to write a constitution. And then the reports claim surprise even disappointment that the police of Iraq are not willing to stand and fight. For who, for what? Not even the man in the oval room will stand behind the Iraqi governments he has himself created. (Or perhaps this is over stating it. He did not create then. These governments simply occurred, one after another, one government abandoned, then another, as the chaotic and confused events are “negotiated” in Iraq.)

So, yes, we can well imagine that the young Marine is frustrated.

This is called: Defining deviancy down.


Monday, November 15, 2004

Barbara Simpson, KSFO


Lecture Notes: 11-14-04

Is this the same Barbara Simpson?

She who laughed at a suicide just last week? “Idiot!” Remember she shouted, “Idiot,” when the computer researcher from Georgia drove to New York and killed himself at the World Trade Center, or rather where the WTC used to be.

“With a shotgun?” she exclaimed and laughed, “A shotgun?” She asked in that arch way of hers, false in her satire, phony in her impudence. “How did he get a shotgun into New York?” she laughed again.

She continued on in this way for a while. She had advise, “If you are going to kill yourself at least do it for something important . . .” But then she soon returned to her preferred ridicule, “Idiot!” and again “. . . with a shotgun?”

Callers not knowing the cause for her fixation on this topic, suicide, called in to the show to complain. One caller started to question her attitude towards suicides by suggesting hypothetically he might consider suicide, and she interrupted him with more satire. The caller still not understanding that she was really talking about something else, talking to someone else, misunderstood her. He thought her ridicule was suggesting that he should, “take some out with me first?” he asked.

However, she no sooner had awkwardly backed out of that confusing discussion than another caller called to complain. The young woman could not understand why Barbara Simpson, normally so thoughtful, was so contemptuous of suicides? How heartless. Again this caller also failed to understand that she had something else on her mind. Barbara defended herself by saying “Well, I am being tough, . . . I believe in tough love.”

Tough love? But Mr. Andrew Veal was well beyond love, tough or otherwise. What could Barbara be talking about?

How about this dears? Barbara Simpson has a guilty conscience?

Guilty? Guilty about what?

Because unlike Bernie Ward she is unable to except the fact that she is a phony hypocrite. Unlike Gene Burns she can not accept the fact that she is idly standing by while her colleagues destroy a man’s life and drive him to his death.

Barbara Simpson still wants to think of herself as a good person. She talks about morality a lot on her show. She tells her listeners to act morally, to be righteous, ---- what? you are thinking: ‘Well who doesn’t?’

Don Imus doesn’t. Michael Weiner doesn’t. Ron Owens has never called on his listeners to be righteous. (Owens gave out the website that had the photos of Dr. Schlesinger. He defended the radio personality that posted the photos. “He thought he had a relationship with her and she starts talking that way she does . . . about marriage, you know, all that stuff. Think how he felt? He probably felt rejected you know.”) No, not every radio show personality claims to be moral. These three for example enjoy this website. They take pride in reading about their villainy. And they are glad that you know what they have done to me. What is the fun of destroying a man’s life if no one knows?

So today Barbara Simpson is discussing Iris Chang’s suicide. No ‘Idiot!’ No laughter. She even questions if it was a suicide. Maybe those Japanese killed her, Barbara suggests. (“Their was a suicide note but still . . .”)

Barbara knows about the burglary at the Colonial Motel. But she is not talking.

Barbara know this, in a few weeks I am going to die; and know this, before I die I am going to curse you. I will curse Barbara Simpson. You could have lived up to your professed values, you could have given evidence. Barbara, I do not want to die, but you and your colleagues have succeeded. It has taken them years, but now they have surrounded me. Cut me off. I am the sole survivor. Unlike Mr. Bob Kerry I have taken no oath to continue fighting. The battle is lost.

No Barbara, I do not want to die. Unlike Iris I am not depressed. I am ruined.

I have been ruined not only by those obviously evil men, Michael Weiner, Don Imus, Ron Owens, Michael Krasney, not just by them alone, the former Mrs. Dr. Dean Edell, (Rose Guilbault), the Red Comedian who used his influence with the Counselor, and also by all their helpers, down to the trolls like the evil Scott Bobro, Dean Sotos, (the one who said on 9-11, “Oh, yes I heard about that, was it an accident?”), Greg Irwin, (Shotgun Tom Kelly’s brother), Frank Blaha at GAB Robins, the staff at KGO-ABC, KQED-PBS, all of them, like Barbara Simpson, who have known what has been done, have known but have refused to do the right thing.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

Straw Men Zero, President 26!


Lecture Notes: 11-04-04

And so we are off! The first Presidential news conference. Straw men zero President 26!

“And I -- I simply do not agree with those who either say overtly or believe that certain societies cannot be free. It's just not a part of my thinking.. . . I've got . . . a great faith that people do want to be free and live in democracy.”

So what? Is the President going to spend the next four years debating Howard Dean or the flimflam man J. F. F. Kerry? This is the real harm the radical’s control of the Democrat Party has done to our nation.

I would like to mock and ridicule Mr. Bush for arguing against the straw man who does not “believe that certain societies” can be free. But then one remembers Dean and Kerry. But the election is over!

I am not questioning the war. It was 12 years late. I argued with the President’s father to overthrow Mr. Hussein. My criticism is that the January elections come eight months after the last government of Iraq, the Governing Council, was destabilized by our own government, or at least some factions within State and the CIA. Instead of January elections following two (2) years of stable parliamentary government, they come amidst confusion caused by incompetent administration.

My criticism is that instead of organizing a government of exiles in 2002 in Jordan, or Britain, or on an abandoned Army base in Okalahoma, the whole year was lost. Instead of setting up ministries to oversee the new Iraq in 2002 ---- nothing was done. Mr. Bremmer was not even appointed until March 2003 when our tanks were already rolling.

And why? Was the Republican administration trying to save the cost of Mr. Bremmer’s salary? Was it Republican economy? But no one asks these questions. The Executive is not called on to explain why, having finally set up a government in 2003, without any planning or preparation, no programs, no procedures, no records or accounts, no ministries or departments, no computer systems or even generators, nothing, everything from scratch; why then, a year later did this Republican Administration destabilize its own Iraqi Governing Council, and all of this, I say again, without explanation.

But we live in a democracy right? We have elections? No! Why no examination? Because this country, one of the oldest democracies on the planet, a nation of 300 million souls, is dependant on the likes of Howard Dean to set the terms of our public discussion. Oh, and that other fellow, Kerry who flip flopped several times to get ahead of Dean, to “run” for president, but no attempt to examine the truth. And puffy eyed Jim Lehrer, the crazed forger Dan Rather, the wizened Don Imus god help us, are the “independent” journalists, representatives of the Fifth Estate, who fight for the truth and the people’s right to know? Get off it.

And so having defeated the straw men, the President can affirm his “faith” in freedom. Note that Mr. Bush reverts to “faith” because there is no debating “faith.” No system of logical thought can be brought to examine the steps of his reasoning; no explanation can be made beyond the simple profession of “faith.” And where there is no discussion, therefore no democracy. For democracy, unlike monarchy or dictatorship, is dependent on reason, and discussion; human understanding.

But excuse me Mr. President, why did you destabilize the Governing Council? Why didn’t you have an Iraqi government ready to begin administration of the country in 2003? Where was the fleet of container ships to bring in the supplies needed to start Iraq on its new life? Why did you turn away the deserters from the old regime’s army? Why didn’t we have a new army training on bases in Kuwait or on bases in Okalahoma in preparation for 2003? Why wasn’t Mr. Robert Baer parachuted into the North of Iraq to organize the new Iraqi army? Why didn’t you have a constitution for the new Iraq? Why are the January elections taking place not at the end of two years of stability and orderly transition, but after two years of confusion?

Why am I the only one asking these questions?

We have just had an election in which these obvious failings have gone unexamined, and you call this democracy? Why unexamined? Because the Democrats like Howard Dean wanted to debate if we should even have gone to war! Where are those weapons of mass destruction? This is what the radicals who control the Democrat Party thought was the central issue. (We have already explained, before the war, why bio weapons would not have been the reason for war.) So the political debate is ruined, is reduced to tripe, because of the radicals, because of Dean, and the flip flopper. The national discussion brought to the lowest level by the radicals in the Democrat Party.

It is a rich irony that these same radicals think them selves intellectually our superiors. They who have ruined our public discourse, who prevent us from examining the issues, planning for the future, preparing for the dangers, they speak of having to do a better job, “educating” us. (Pelosi said this upon the defeat of Kerry: "It's not about soul-searching. It may be about how we can educate the American people more clearly on the difference between Democrats and Republicans. I think the table is set for us in the next election. I welcome the fray. I look forward to conveying to the public what the differences are between the Democrats and the Republicans here. And many people thought that this would be a one-two punch, and that is what it will be. But we have lost just about everything that we can lose." Impenetrable.)

So, because the Democrats offered up a man who said that Iraq was the “wrong war” Mr. Bush can plausibly escape having to answer the above questions. Because the public discourse has been so retarded by radicals, (who think themselves so much above the rest of us), Mr. Bush can not be accused of arguing with straw men, because there really were the likes of Dean and Kerry, with whom he did debate these basic and obvious points: Should we go to war? Should we be in Iraq? Would we have, if we had known then what we know now? Can no one else see the absurdity? Am I the sole survivor?

This nattily dressed gentleman in his oval office frittered away two (2!) years, not withstanding the fact that he was to stand for reelection; failing to organize the new Iraq; failing even to explain the reasons for the war in which over a 1,000 Americans have thus far been killed; but because the political opposition, and the press, are so incompetent, so lost in their own distorted and dysfunctional ideology, he wins reelection by 4% and calls it a “mandate.” Why was it so close? (“This election should have been over sometime in August, not 1 a.m. election night.” --- Ann Coulter, FrontPageMagazine 11-04-04)

And to here the radio talk show buffoons talk you would think that the nation had “turned right” irreversibly; that it is unthinkable that 135,000 people in Ohio could ever again think of voting for anyone with a “D” after his name.

Let me be clear. I support the President. I voted for him. Yet I have no illusions. I am neither inclined to favor nor criticize him and his Administration for personal reasons. I have no personal interest in this examination. (For example, in 1996, eight years ago, the IRS, (possibly under the direction of the Clinton regime), asked me to help in a criminal investigation. The IRS then leaked my name to the very criminals that they had asked me to help investigate. Why? (see ‘The IRS and the Illegals from the North’ at the Moynihan) There was a time when I thought this injustice would be righted. However, now after eight years even someone as slow on the uptake as me can see that nothing will be done against the IRS criminal investigators who betrayed me let alone the Clinton regime whom I suspect orchestrated the scheme. What is more, I know that Mr. Bush and the Republicans would be at least unsympathetic, and actually openly hostile to me, if they knew I had agreed to help the IRS in an investigation of my employer’s criminal misconduct. This Administration has a reputation for being hostile to whistleblowers even when they are upholding the law.) So I have no illusions.

Strategically, politically, morally, the Administration was right in going to war in Iraq but not only has its administration of the war been uneven, it has failed to lay out before the people the full explanation for the war. Rather than explaining in detail to the American people, of whom they are asking to sacrifice so much, about Mr. Hussein’s villainy, they have found it politically expedient to avoid confronting the likes of Dean and Kerry and Kennedy and the Fifth Estate and the liberal bastions at the universities, State, CIA, etc. etc..

So the young soldiers who risk their lives for us may know the true reasons for why they fight, but if they do it is because they have studied on their own, not because they have heard the full explanation from Mr. Bush or read it in the New York Times. And as an impartial observer I can not say if Mr. Bush has been “wrong” to skirt these issues as he has.

First of all, if his opponents argue at such basic questions as should we even be in Iraq then clearly they are deliberately misrepresenting the facts and what duty does one have to debate honestly with the dishonest? Then too, the press, Mr. Lehrer, Rather, the rest, are obviously so unfair that again a purely tactical reason can be legeitamatly given for avoiding a direct confrontation, which, because they control the media, they will misrepresent.

However, these considerations speak only to why Mr. Bush would handle the public debate in this subtle manner. They do not explain why the rest of the Administration has performed so poorly in public discussion. For example Iraqi documents were only leaked in October which show the extent of the old regime’s involvement in terror. Why “leaked?” Why in October? Nor do the tactical explanations, for why this Administration has been so coy with the truth, explain why the Administration has failed to meet with its supporters and friends. Not only has it failed to meet with Laurie Mylrorie but even U. S. Senator Lugar has repeatedly complained about being excluded by this Administration.

The President could certainly have discussed, debated, attempted to persuade Mr. Lugar. This is what politics is all about. Not professions of faith. Reason. Persuasion. But recall that this is the president who said that what he liked about being President is that he did not have to explain himself. And it appears that this extends to everyone inside and outside of the Administration. But if Mr. Bush had engaged in vigorous and frank exchanges with Mr. Lugar and others would so many mistakes have been made? If Mr. Bremmer had been at work through out 2002 would confusion reign? The simple exercise of open discussion might have clarified the policy before it turned to confusion.

Mr. Bush after four years in office does not appear to me as a man practiced in the arts of argumentation, persuasion, and reasoning. When, for example, one hears him stumble over a question about new appointments to his cabinet, at the news conference, one wonders if he even talks to his wife? He answered the question by talking about how he was concerned that members of his cabinet were “burned out” and how he would be looking to see which ones were “burned out” and would be dumping them. I know Mrs. Bush could have found a more artful way to express her gratitude for everyone who has served in the cabinet and would be meeting with each one to express her gratitude personally, and discuss the future, etc. etc.

The fact that Mr. Bush stumbles over even such simple questions causes one to question how much of what has been done and not done during his time at the bully pulpit is the result of a subtle strategy, and how much is the result of plain inarticulateness, and how much is the result of mental confusion due to lack of experience talking and thinking about these questions?

Why all the secrecy? Why not publish the minutes of the cabinet meetings? Isn’t the idea of politics to have one’s ideas known? But then we must remember, what Mr. Bush likes about being President is that he does not have to explain himself to people, even his friends, even the fellow countrymen he is asking to die.

They deserve the truth. They deserve to know how Iraq sponsored terrorists around the world. They need to hear it from their President.

They deserve our support. They deserve a well run and organized administration of Iraq and the war. This is only possible if this Administration starts engaging in open and honest public discussions.

Let us start now with Iran and Syria. If we leave Iran to Israel we will have failed in our duty to our people and the world. We have asked much of so many, can we fail to ask honesty of ourselves?


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Defeat in Victory Bush v. Bush


Lecture Notes: 11-02-04 2:31pm (Pacific Time)

Defeat in Victory

As I write this the outcome of the election is unknown. Yet certainly we lose. Lose whether Mr. Bush is returned to office or not. Why? Because it should not have been so close.

Why was it so close?

Let me ask you: Why is there so much animosity for our Party? This is why it is so close.

The visceral hatred of Mr. Bush results from his inability to express himself. Rather than simply accepting that he is not a persuasive public speaker, (as we do), our opponents project all their fears and loathing on to him. They are quite wrong to do so. Yet this is why there is such hatred for us, this is why the election was so close.

Why do they project their inner most fears and loathing on to us? Because we do not engage them in rational discourse. This is why Mr. Bush’s failure at public speaking is so damaging. They infer from this that rational discourse with us is not possible. Without any out let, without any possibility for reasoning, they turn to anger. This is why there is such hatred, this is why the election is so close.

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh, (the king of talk radio), and he was describing the Democrat Party in a way that I could not recognize. It was the straw man Democrat Party. “They just want to take our money,” he was saying. O’Reilly also has reverted to explaining all the costs of government as resulting from drunken lazy people. “Should my tax dollars go for that?” he asks with the sophistry one has come to expect from him. (This from a man who has just paid a woman $10 million for the pleasure of talking dirty to her. And he complains about is measly tax dollars? $10 million is one third of his capital. No one has ever proposed a 33.33% capital tax! (Well, a fool and his money.) But I digress.)

This is why there is such hatred for the Republican Party, and Mr. Bush, and this is why the election was so close. Because of people like Mr. Limbaugh and O’Reilly, and their straw man arguments. Every judge knows the importance of summing up. If he fails to show that he has heard and understood the arguments, no matter how carefully he reasons his opinion, there will be dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction not with the law, or even his interpretation, but dissatisfaction because the aggrieved party will feel that there has been a miscarriage of justice, simply because they have not been heard.

Limbaugh can disparage the Democrats all he wants, but if no one feels that his description of the Democrats is fair, an accurate representation of the Party they know, then his yammerings come off flat, and what is more, they show the opposition that discourse is not possible. They are not being heard.

So too when the President inarticulately discusses the issues it enrages the opposition because they become hopeless. What good is rational discourse, this man is not listening? He can not even explain his own position, what good does it do us to debate? This is why the election is so close.

This is why even if Mr. Bush is returned to office we lose. Simply because the vote is close, we lose.

And if he is returned what consolation can we have for the next four years? This is the President who famously said that what he liked about being President was that he did not have to explain himself to people, they have to explain themselves to him. Now that he no longer faces reelection does anyone suppose he will take time to talk to us? Even when he did face reelection he arrived at his first debate obviously unprepared to discuss the affairs of state.

For all of 2002 he failed to plan for the new Iraqi government, and appointed Mr. Bremmer, the 3, to his post only when the tanks were actually advancing on Baghdad. Did anyone discuss the new government with him? Were there intense discussions, even debates, within his administration? Clearly not. Why clearly? Look at how poorly he discusses these issues even during his reelection campaign. Do you suppose he will now become expansive, and inform us of his reasoning now that he is no longer answerable to us for anything other than an impeachment trial in the Senate?

This is why no matter what the outcome tonight, or tomorrow, or tomorrow, or all our tomorrows we have lost this election. We can look forward to four more years of being ignored, neglected, abandoned. And we are his friends! The opposition can be expected to seethe for the next four years. Who can blame them.

For get about my claims against the IRS. Who can expect that this administration will review the IRS’s disclosure of my name to the very criminals they had asked me to assist them in investigating? No I am serious. That was in 1996. I do not expect this Republican administration to help me. They are if anything contemptuous of me. I understand that.

No, not me. But consider Laurie Mylrorie. Has anyone at the White House ever even called her to discuss her views? Not invite her over to lunch with the President. Not give her an official assignment. No, not that. Just talk to her? Of course not. Her proposal to genetically identify the Baluchi not only has been ignored, one doubts that this administration has even read her book, not withstanding that it has Bush in the title: Bush v. The Beltway. Forget about me, Mylrorie is a Harvard trained scholar, a former faculty member of the War College, and they ignore her too. This is why we lose. This is why the election was so close. This is why they hate us. There does not appear that there is anyone with whom one can reason.

And even when our troops arrived in Iraq, without a government to install, still this administration appears to have had no plan. No survey and census was made of the people of Iraq. (So how do you know who is who?) No mass arrests of populations in open defiance. (“We are Americans, we do not just round up people,” recall the general said.) No constitution and parliament was established for over a year. The government that was established, the Governing Council, was then almost immediately destabilized by, if not exactly “our” government, at least it was destabilized by factions within our government, at State and the CIA.

Why this result? The most powerful country in the world, arrives in Iraq after a series of lightning attacks, a brilliant military campaign: And then what? What now? Nothing. And why nothing? For the same reason the general said “We are Americans, we do not just round up people.” That general could not even consider that we could “legally” engage in a policy of mass arrests. Why?

Well you tell me. Why didn’t Mr. Bush have a constitution and a government ready to go? A parliament of 200 exiles for example? No? Not exiles? Oh, ok, then how about 200 exiled Iraqis and 200 Iraqis that had remained in Iraq during the old regime? No? How about 2 to 1 then? 200 exiles and 400 locals, a parliament of 600? Or 3 to 1? 200 exiles and 600 chosen from those who lived under the old regime?

Or do you think an 800 member parliament is too many? Could we have done that? Oh, no. We couldn’t just do that. We have to wait for “elections.” No, we have to wait for “free elections.” Yes that is the old formula. More troops and “free elections.” (Elections in a war zone? Oh, yes, we are Americans we have to have our “free elections.” That is what “democracy” is all about, right? Not a culture carefully and patiently nurtured over years. No. we have instant coffee, why not “instant democracy?” This is your limited, culturally conditioned, ethnocentric view. And who is there to contradict you? No one. This is the problem. )

Your thinking that we can not simply set up a government is an example of the intellectual limitations caused by the failure of our public discourse. Not only does Mr. Bush fail at debate for lack of practice, but we, because of our lack of experience of listening to well reasoned arguments fail to apprehend the world and the possibilities it presents. Because we have not had an effective executive, or anyone, who will take to the lectern and argue persuasively for our positions, the public remains ignorant of the possibilities, unprepared for the dangers, and also this is why the opposition is so angry, lost in this darkness created by ineptitude they project their worst fears on to us.

And this is the problem. We were the victors. We could have done anything. We did nothing but destabilize our own “government.” Not just the Governing Council, (whom we have now thrown to the wolves), but our own government: the Bush administration.

This is why we lose no matter who “wins” the election. Mr. Bush lacked the confidence to impose a government on Iraq not withstanding the military victory. How do I know he lacked the confidence? Because he lacked even the confidence to debate the issues during the campaign. Just like that general who said “We are Americans, we do not just round up people,” our leadership felt constrained and limited in what was “permissible.”

That general went to the same schools as the rest of our society. Schools that are controlled by the same liberal intellectual elite that has poisoned so much of the American establishment. The State Department warned against a “government in exile” before we actually invaded and so Mr. Bush dutifully waited until the tanks were rolling before he appointed Mr. Bremmer even though this failure may have cost him his reelection. The CIA actively worked against the administration but no action was, has been, or ever will be taken against the CIA. (Mr. Robert Baer pointed out actual corruption in the CIA in the awarding of multi-million dollar contracts but does anyone expect that any action was taken to investigate his charges? Of course not.)

But this failure of insight, of foresight, of leadership, is not just a problem of this administration, or of Mr. Bush, there is here a fundamental failure of intellectual honesty and integrity. For too long the conservatives, the Republicans have been arguing against straw men, emulating Limbaugh and O’Reilly. Too long we have failed to have honest and frank debates. Like Mr. Bush hiding in his oval office we have gotten out of practice. We appear inept and inarticulate.

More fundamentally we appear intellectually dishonest. This is why the election was so close. This is why we lose even if Mr. Bush is returned to office.

William F. Buckley, Jr., used to make it a point not only to have an opponent to whom he gave equal time, (what would be the point otherwise?), but he was also vigilant to make sure he left a third of the time for an interlocutor to carry on an independent examination of the subject.

From William F. Buckley, Jr., to Rush Limbaugh arguing with straw men we have the tableau of intellectual decline. From Ronald Reagan, writing letter after letter propounding his views, to Mr. Bush’s inarticulate ramblings, we have a similar dismal panorama.

This is why the opposition is so passionate in their hatred of us. This is why the election was so close. Why bother to argue or reason if reasoning doesn’t seem to matter?

Politics resolves to a bare struggle for power. Reason is vanquished. This is why we lose.

This is the end of the Republic.