Saturday, May 31, 2008

Clinton Gang Declares War on the Democratic Party

Is there any doubt anymore that Bill and Hillary Clinton are trying to destroy Barack Obama's chances of winning? You have to be very naive to believe otherwise. There is no reason for Hillary to fight any further. Her only motivation is bring about Obama's defeat so she can run in 4 years. Unfortunately for the Democratic Party the "leadership" in the party do not have the courage to say as much. If you love your party why not defend it against someone who is out to get John McCain elected. If you don't know by now then I'm telling you: force Hillary (and Bill) out of the race. She's had her chance. My thinking is the Democrats are too inept to do the right thing. They've failed to run our country so why shouldn't they fail to run their own Party:

In a decision mirroring Florida’s fate, Michigan’s 128 pledged delegates will be heading to Denver, Colo., this August for the party’s national convention but with one half of one vote assigned to each delegate, the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee ruled this evening in a 19-8 decision.

The delegates of the contested Jan. 15 primary were given a 69-59 split in favor of Sen. Hillary Clinton, who won the contest. That split means 34.5 delegate votes for Clinton, and 29.5 delegate votes for Sen. Barack Obama.

Opponents of the decision, including Clinton senior advisor and committee member Harold Ickes, condemned the move because Obama was awarded delegates he did not earn outright because his name did not appear on the ballot.

“This is not a good way to start down the path of party unity,” Ickes said, who admonished the committee for their “gall and chutzpah” in the ruling. Ickes also warned that this may not be over yet. “Sen. Clinton has asked me to reserve her right to take this to the credentials committee,” Ickes said, to cheers from Clinton supporters in the hotel ballroom.

The credentials committee is the next procedural step in the DNC rule-making process that leads up to the convention. Even if Clinton continues the fight, she still has little or no chance to win the nomination. Months of intra-party bickering and disputes between the rival presidential campaigns resulted in a no more than a net gain of 24 delegates for Clinton.

The decision was met with some uproar from Clinton supporters in the crowd, many were heard shouting “McCain in ‘08!” in frustration.

UPDATE: The Florida and Michigan decisions made this evening by the committee have also shifted the goal post for the number of delegates needed to secure the party’s nomination. Set at 2,026 delegates up until today, the new number needed to secure the nomination, according to the DNC, is 2,118.

Adding in the delegates awarded in today’s process, Obama still maintains a significant delegate lead over Clinton: 2,052-1,877.5, according to the Associated Press count. Obama is now 66 delegates away from the nomination, while Clinton has a much steeper climb of 240.5 delegates.

McCain Gets it Wrong on Troop Levels in Iraq

John McCain claims to vastly superior to Barack Obama when it comes to foreign policy. But he can't get his facts straight on the simplest on issues surrounding the Iraq war:

At a press conference today in Milwaukee, McCain defended himself from Democratic accusations that he misspoke Thursday, when he incorrectly said that the US had "drawn down to pre-surge levels" in Iraq.

Asked in the media avail if he got his facts wrong, McCain replied by stating that US troops levels are down -- but said nothing of pre-surge levels. "We have drawn down three of the five brigades. They’re home. The marines [inaudible] are home. By the end of July, [inaudible] are back. That’s just facts, those are just facts. The surge, we have drawn down from the surge and we will complete that drawdown to the end -- at the end of July. That’s just a factual statement."

He added, "The important thing here is not that three of the five brigades are back, which they are and the others are coming back in July. It’s whether they would have been sent in the first place and succeeded or failed. Sen. Obama said that the effect would be the reverse. So, he has no fundamental understanding of the entire situation that warranted the surge, which led to the success."

But according to NBC's Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube, the US has NOT drawn down to "pre-surge levels" in Iraq -- and they will NOT be at those levels even after the five surge brigades finish redeploying later this summer. The math is a bit fuzzy, but here are the facts: The US now has 155,000 troops on the ground in Iraq, and that is 17 brigade combat teams plus combat support forces. The baseline number of troops, now commonly called the "pre-surge level," was about 132,000 troops, or 15 brigade combat teams, plus the support forces (engineers, medics, cooks, etc).

Three of the five surge brigades are fully redeployed back to the US. The fourth has already begun to redeploy now (heading back to Fort Lewis). All five brigades will be back in the US by the end of July. When all five surge brigades are out of Iraq, the US will still have between 140,000 and 144,000 troops on the ground -- about 10,000 more than the "pre-surge level." Why? Most of the combat support and logistics troops will stay behind. So will the additional MPs, aviation forces, and other individual battalions sent over in bits and pieces as the surge forces arrived last year.

US Shrugs Off Cluster Bomb Treaty

Our government behaves like the worst dictatorships in the world. It opposes just ever international treaty. Why doesn't someone take a poll on whether the American people would support a treaty that puts restraints on a horrible weapon system. And this renegade behaviour isn't limited to the Bush/neocon thugs:

Chief negotiators of a landmark treaty banning cluster bombs predicted Friday that the United States will never again use the weapons, a critical component of American air and artillery power.

The treaty formally adopted Friday by 111 nations, including many of America's major NATO partners, would outlaw all current designs of cluster munitions and require destruction of stockpiles within eight years. It also opens the possibility that European allies could order U.S. bases located in their countries to remove cluster bombs from their stocks.

The United States and other leading cluster bomb makers - Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan - boycotted the talks, emphasized they would not sign the treaty and publicly shrugged off its value. All defended the overriding military value of cluster bombs, which carpet a battlefield with dozens to hundreds of explosions.

But treaty backers - who long have sought a ban because cluster bombs leave behind "duds" that later maim or kill civilians - insisted they had made it too politically painful for any country to use the weapons again.

"The country that thinks of using cluster munitions next week should think twice, because it would look very bad," said Espen Barth Eide, Deputy Defense Minister of Norway, which began the negotiations last year and will host a treaty-signing ceremony Dec. 3.

"We're certain that nations thinking of using cluster munitions won't want to face the international condemnation that will rain down upon them, because the weapons have been stigmatized now," said Steve Goose, arms control director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, who was involved in the talks.

However, the treaty envisions their future use - and offers legal protection to any signatory nation that finds itself operating alongside U.S. forces deploying cluster bombs, shells and rockets.

The treaty specifies - in what backers immediately dubbed "the American clause" - that members "may engage in military cooperation and operations" with a nation that rejects the treaty and "engages in activities prohibited" by the treaty.

It suggests that a treaty member could call in support from U.S. air power or artillery using cluster munitions, so long as the caller does not "expressly request the use of cluster munitions."

In Washington, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the treaty would not change U.S. policy and cluster munitions remain "absolutely critical and essential" to U.S. military operations.

He said U.S. officials in the State and Defense departments were studying whether the treaty would eventually oblige American bases in Europe to withdraw cluster munitions.

Goose said this decision would be up to individual U.S. allies. The treaty, he noted, requires nations that ratify it to eliminate all cluster weapons within their "jurisdiction or control."

Did Musharraf Give North Korea, Iran Nuclear Technology

Pervez Musharraf, we are told, is America's ally in the war on terror. But it could turn out that the Pakistani military ruler has been double-dealing the U.S. for years. It might be that Musharraf is an enemy not an ally:

The Pakistani scientist blamed for running a rogue network that sold nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya has recanted his confession, telling ABC News the Pakistani government and President Perez Musharraf forced him to be a "scapegoat" for the "national interest."

"I don't stand by that," Dr. A.Q. Khan told ABC News in a 35-minute phone interview from his home in Islamabad, where he has been detained since "confessing" that he ran the nuclear network on his own, without the knowledge of the Pakistani government. The interview will be broadcast Friday on "World News With Charles Gibson."

It was his first interview with an American journalist in a series of telephone interviews he has granted this week, marking the 10th anniversary of Pakistan's first test of a nuclear bomb.

"People were asking a lot of questions, so I said, 'OK. Let me give an answer,'" Khan told ABC News early Friday, Pakistan time.

As to his widely publicized confession, Khan said he was told by Musharraf that it would get the United States "off our backs" and that he was promised he would be quickly pardoned. "Those people who were supposed to know knew it," Khan said about his activities.

If true, it would mean Pakistan lied to the U.S. and the international community about its role in providing nuclear weapons technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

The Bush administration isn't concerned about the whether Pakistan is unreliable. They like their boy Musharraf. They are more concerned about the consequences would be if the Pakistani strongman were forced to step down. The Bush gang are worried about real democracy taking place in Pakistan:
Pressed by a swirl of rumors that he was about to be ousted, President Pervez Musharraf insisted this week that he was staying, and President Bush on Friday confirmed his continued support with a reassuring phone call to Mr. Musharraf, the White House said.

Mr. Musharraf was forced at an official dinner Thursday night to deny rumors of his imminent departure, speaking after a Pakistani newspaper reported that the chief of army staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, met with him on Wednesday to persuade him to resign.

At the same time, the Pakistani military confirmed that General Kayani had removed a loyalist to Mr. Musharraf from one of the army’s most significant posts.

[...]In his telephone conversation with the Pakistani president, Mr. Bush “reiterated the United States’ strong support for Pakistan, and he indicated that he looked forward to President Musharraf’s continuing role in further strengthening United States-Pakistani relations,” said the White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino.