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Questions for the Candidates

Senator Hillary Clinton is currently less than 100 yards from my present location. I was invited to come over and see her. My reaction?

“Meh. I have a lot of things to do.”

Is it perverse that I would rather read about a candidate’s positions than hear about them in person? It would probably be just a photo op with no chances for questions, but if I had a chance to ask a question, I think I would ask one of the following questions:

President Bush continues to make a case for war with Iran despite the National Intelligence Estimate which concludes that Iran has probably suspended all efforts to create a nuclear arsenal. If you agree that war with Iran would probably prove disastrous for the United States, what would you do if elected to prevent such a war?

The current administration has weakened the separation of church and state by funding faith-based initiatives with public monies, withholding public funding from stem cell research on largely religious grounds, and appealing to personal communications from God to justify war in Iraq. Would you, as President, strengthen the separation between church and state that preserves America’s religious liberty and steer us safely away from theocracy? If so, how?

President Bush has weakened civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism by detaining suspected terrorists without due process, torturing detainees, conducting warrantless surveillance on American citizens, and claiming broad new powers for the executive branch. If you are elected, will you commit to reversing these policies and disclaiming Bush’s unconstitutional power grab?

Do you think I would be allowed to ask any of those questions? Do you have any other questions you’d like to ask?

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Mr. Deity talks to the Burning Bush

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America the Beautiful

I’m starting to like Iran. Not because it’s a great place to live. Not because I like how the government runs things over there. Because they and their president are like a mirror that shows the United States its own hypocrisy. George W. Bush and Ahmadinejad are like two peas in a pod. The only substantive differences? Ahmadinejad is a Muslim fundamentalist and doesn’t have global power on the same scale as Bush.

We think we’re the bastion of freedom and truth. To some extent that’s true, but we’ve gone a long way down the road to tyranny and imperialism. If we don’t think we have been just as guilty of atrocity and injustice as the Iranians, then we’re blind.

In response to Bolliger’s inhospitable introduction of Ahmadinejad after inviting him to speak at his university, seven Iranian chancellors and presidents responded with this open letter. I wish someone in the Bush administration would respond.

Mr. Lee Bollinger
Columbia University President

We, the professors and heads of universities and research institutions in Tehran, hereby announce our displeasure and protest at your impolite remarks prior to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent speech at Columbia University.

We would like to inform you that President Ahmadinejad was elected directly by the Iranian people through an enthusiastic two-round poll in which almost all of the country’s political parties and groups participated. To assess the quality and nature of these elections you may refer to US news reports on the poll dated June 2005.

Your insult, in a scholarly atmosphere, to the president of a country with a population of 72 million and a recorded history of 7,000 years of civilization and culture is deeply shameful.

Your comments, filled with hate and disgust, may well have been influenced by extreme pressure from the media, but it is regrettable that media policy-makers can determine the stance a university president adopts in his speech.

Your remarks about our country included unsubstantiated accusations that were the product of guesswork as well as media propaganda. Some of your claims result from misunderstandings that can be clarified through dialogue and further research.

During his speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad answered a number of your questions and those of students. We are prepared to answer any remaining questions in a scientific, open and direct debate.

You asked the president approximately ten questions. Allow us to ask you ten of our own questions in the hope that your response will help clear the atmosphere of misunderstanding and distrust between our two countries and reveal the truth.

1- Why did the US media put you under so much pressure to prevent Mr. Ahmadinejad from delivering his speech at Columbia University? And why have American TV networks been broadcasting hours of news reports insulting our president while refusing to allow him the opportunity to respond? Is this not against the principle of freedom of speech?

2- Why, in 1953, did the US administration overthrow Iran’s national government under Dr Mohammad Mosaddegh and go on to support the Shah’s dictatorship?

3- Why did the US support the blood-thirsty dictator Saddam Hussein during the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed war on Iran, considering his reckless use of chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers defending their land and even against his own people?

4- Why is the US putting pressure on the government elected by the majority of Palestinians in Gaza instead of officially recognizing it? And why does it oppose Iran’s proposal to resolve the 60-year-old Palestinian issue through a general referendum?

5- Why has the US military failed to find Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden even with all its advanced equipment? How do you justify the old friendship between the Bush and Bin Laden families and their cooperation on oil deals? How can you justify the Bush administration’s efforts to disrupt investigations concerning the September 11 attacks?

6- Why does the US administration support the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) despite the fact that the group has officially and openly accepted the responsibility for numerous deadly bombings and massacres in Iran and Iraq? Why does the US refuse to allow Iran’s current government to act against the MKO’s main base in Iraq?

7- Was the US invasion of Iraq based on international consensus and did international institutions support it? What was the real purpose behind the invasion which has claimed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives? Where are the weapons of mass destruction that the US claimed were being stockpiled in Iraq?

8- Why do America’s closest allies in the Middle East come from extremely undemocratic governments with absolutist monarchical regimes?

9- Why did the US oppose the plan for a Middle East free of unconventional weapons in the recent session of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors despite the fact the move won the support of all members other than Israel?

10- Why is the US displeased with Iran’s agreement with the IAEA and why does it openly oppose any progress in talks between Iran and the agency to resolve the nuclear issue under international law?

Finally, we would like to express our readiness to invite you and other scientific delegations to our country. A trip to Iran would allow you and your colleagues to speak directly with Iranians from all walks of life including intellectuals and university scholars. You could then assess the realities of Iranian society without media censorship before making judgments about the Iranian nation and government.

You can be assured that Iranians are very polite and hospitable toward their guests.

(Global Research)

Where did America lose its way?

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Maybe a President who didn’t believe our soldiers were going to heaven might be a little less willing to get them killed

Provocative? Perhaps.

But I know that I, personally, am much less willing to ask people to die to secure more oil to maintain my lifestyle now that I believe that once they die they are completely, irrevocably dead. I didn’t realize how precious life is until I knew how easy it is to lose it forever.

No, the soldiers who die won’t see their families again in heaven. Their mothers and fathers, spouses and children will never see the fallen again. Children will have to grow up without Mommy or Daddy. They will never again speak with them, hug them, or kiss them. They will never hear them laugh again.

Who am I to ask someone else to pay that eternal price so that I can drive my car and watch my DVDs?

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War Pigs

Call me dense, but I just now realized that we let the fox slip into the hen house. I feel so stupid for somehow not making the connection before. I knew that the war was bad for so many reasons, but I somehow never saw why it’s happening. All the information was in my head, but it never clicked. Have I been asleep for four years?

We elected a representative of the military-industrial complex and the oil industry (i.e. Dick Cheney) into the White House. He has managed to create long term conflict in Iraq so that the war pigs can gorge themselves at the expense of complacent American tax payers but more importantly at the cost of American blood and far, far too many of our brothers and sisters in Iraq.

If things turn out well, the corporate puppet masters will be in control of the oil supply in Iraq. If not, oh well. Just a few lives wasted. At least they got to line their pockets along the way. Am I just being paranoid?

If I see things correctly, Dick et al. are working right about now to start war with Iran so that the war mongers can look forward to years of juicy conflict in the Middle East that we can’t extricate ourselves from long after we finally give the Bush the boot, no matter who we elect. How did we let things get so far?


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