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Sep 13

Latter-day Ed Murrow

September has two dates, my father’s death anniversary and the anniversary of martial law, that tend to make me pause and reflect (hence my Arab News column for this week). September 11 served as a reminder, too, of Ferdinand Marcos and his birth anniversary (his death anniversary will be September 28, Diosdado Macapagal’s birth anniversary). The rumored political restoration of the Marcoses will be another blog entry altogether.

I certainly saw him (Marcos) often enough on TV growing up, but I don’t remember anything Ferdinand Marcos said — though I can recall quite a few things that were said about what he had to say.

Not until I was 14 did I experience what it was like to be thrilled by a speech. Not just one, but three. In that year, there was a famously contentious contest for the Democratic Party nomination for president. In those days, the American networks provided extensive coverage. One night (we were living in Washington, DC that year), my father parked me in front of the TV and said, “I want you to see what a real democracy is like.” A staunch admirer of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and possessing a strong bias against the Republican Party (“they are the enemy of Philippine independence,” he always used to say), he felt the Democrats were the only ones worth watching.

I listened to Jesse Jackson (part 2 and part 3), to Mario Cuomo and to Teddy Kennedy: their words, and the electricity that sparked between them and their audience, and between those in that convention and members of the television audience, and I knew what a powerful — and positive — rhetoric can have (and find echoes in the speeches of those who have heard yours; compare Quezon, circa 1922, to Williams Jennings Bryan, who’d opposed the American conquest of the Philippines 24 years before; I think the former was quite clearly inspired by the latter).

The broadcaster who writes his own copy, is speechwriter and orator, too. From the time I first heard his recordings, “I can hear it now,” (listen to episode 1, online) I admired Edward R. Murrow very much; first simply for his dramatic style of reporting (listen to his live broadcast from Buchenwald). Then, reading his life only made that admiration grow. The recent, critically-acclaimed movie of his life, Good Night, and Good Luck, is as good an introduction as any (and there’s never enough: read Val Limburg’s reflection on Murrow’s legacy).
Blogggerman Illo Test
Last night I came back from ANC to find an email in my inbox, pointing to the special 911 commentary of Keith Olbermann.

I hadn’t heard of Olbermann until last night. I wish I’d known about him sooner. But I’m glad that email was in my inbox; I’m glad it led me to his blog. And i’m glad his commentaries are available on line.

Watch, or read, his 911 anniversary commentary:

The only positive on 9/11 and the days and weeks that so slowly and painfully followed it was the unanimous humanity, here, and throughout the country. The government, the President in particular, was given every possible measure of support.

Those who did not belong to his party — tabled that.

Those who doubted the mechanics of his election — ignored that.

Those who wondered of his qualifications — forgot that.

History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government by its critics. It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nation’s wounds, but to take political advantage.

Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.

The President — and those around him — did that.

They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that to them, “bi-partisanship” meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow, or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused, as appeasers, as those who, in the Vice President’s words yesterday, “validate the strategy of the terrorists.”

They promised protection, and then showed that to them “protection” meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken, a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated al-Qaida as much as we did.

The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had ‘something to do’ with 9/11 is “lying by implication.”

The impolite phrase is “impeachable offense.”

And watch, or read, his thoughts on George W. Bush (in which he makes reference to to the McCarthy-Welch exchange) :

Today, in the same subtle terms in which Mr. Bush and his colleagues muddied the clear line separating Iraq and 9/11 — without ever actually saying so – the President quoted a purported Osama Bin Laden letter that spoke of launching, “a media campaign to create a wedge between the American people and their government.”

Make no mistake here — the intent of that is to get us to confuse the psychotic scheming of an international terrorist, with that familiar bogeyman of the right, the “media.”

The President and the Vice President and others have often attacked freedom of speech, and freedom of dissent, and freedom of the press.

Now, Mr. Bush has signaled that his unparalleled and unprincipled attack on reporting has a new and venomous side angle:

The attempt to link, by the simple expediency of one word — ”media” — the honest, patriotic, and indeed vital questions and questioning from American reporters, with the evil of Al-Qaeda propaganda.

That linkage is more than just indefensible. It is un-American.

Mr. Bush and his colleagues have led us before to such waters.

We will not drink again.

Watch, or read, his response to the statements of Donald Rumsfeld:

But back to today’s Omniscient ones.

That, about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused is simply this: This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely.

And, as such, all voices count — not just his.

Had he or his president perhaps proven any of their prior claims of omniscience — about Osama Bin Laden’s plans five years ago, about Saddam Hussein’s weapons four years ago, about Hurricane Katrina’s impact one year ago — we all might be able to swallow hard, and accept their “omniscience” as a bearable, even useful recipe, of fact, plus ego.

But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own arrogance, and its own hubris.

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to Katrina, to the entire “Fog of Fear” which continues to envelop this nation, he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies have — inadvertently or intentionally — profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emporer’s New Clothes?

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised? As a child, of whose heroism did he read? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight? With what country has he confused the United States of America?

The confusion we — as its citizens — must now address, is stark and forbidding.

But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and obscured our flag. Note — with hope in your heart — that those earlier Americans always found their way to the light, and we can, too.

The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City, so valiantly fought.

Who knows what will be said of Olbermann in twenty years, either by admirers or detractors — or his audience. Will he be hailed as a Morrow for the present era? Will his writing be as fondly remembered as I.F. Stone’s life and prose, by Christopher Hitchens, himself highly controversial? But to read Olbermann, now, is all that matters, now.

(researching this entry brought forward a fantastic site: American Rhetoric: look at their list of the 100 Top American Speeches of the 20th Century, with full transcripts and in many cases, actual recordings).

In other news, I’m glad to say that The Explainer on ANC now has its own blog, being maintained by Fool for Five, and with hosting sponsored by Abe Olandres and Ploghost. Thanks to Mamutong for noticing the new blog. Philippine Commentary, incidentally, comments on last night’s show.

In the papers today, amusing headline for the day: Aliens control PLDT.

Newsbreak on the door being closed to Filipina nurses in the UK.

Thai military brass irritated.

In the punditocracy, the Inquirer editorial describes Michael Defensor’s remarks to third-termer councilors as “quackery.”

Lito Banayo explains why the peso’s strengthening:

The reasons the peso is gaining strength vis-a-vis the American dollar are: one, the dollar is itself weakening versus other world currencies; and two, the internal supply and demand situation. There are more dollars than the economy can absorb. Our eight or so million overseas workers remit something like 15 billion dollars annually to their families and other dependents in the country. Contrarily, there isn’t such a heavy demand for dollars. The few survivors of our decrepit manufacturing industry are not importing as much raw materials and factory supplies, so their dollar demand is low, even at this time of the year when inventories are being built for the yuletide market. Wholesalers who import finished goods have cut down on their inventory build-up, predicting sluggish sales this Christmas compared to previous years. In fact, retail sales have been in the doldrums for months on end, and even bargain sales periodically announced have not coaxed consumer interest.

Dante Ang endorses Jun Magsaysay.

Greg Macabenta on Filipinos in Mexico (and no, he’s no Isabel Ball), Bong Austero on not being impressed with Philippine Idol.

Tulsathit Taptim pens an allegorical debate between democracy and corruption. The Asahi in Japan yawns over the lack of competition in the ruling party.

And in the blogosphere,

Billions of pesos and 8 months more to finish NAIA3: Iloilo City Boy blogs a cautionary tale about entrepreneurship.

two views on news that Mohammed Mahathir’s recent political humiliation was due, he says, to bribery: see Screenshots and Present Point Power.

And the tale of a beleaguered monarchy in Tonga.

This upset me greatly, in Airs in G’s blog. Upon the death of his grandfather, a veteran,

When my aunt went to the Philippine Veterans’ Affairs Office to present my lolo’s death certificate and ask for a Philippine flag to drape over his coffin, the clerk curtly told her, “Out of stock ang Philippine flag namin e.” We had to make do with a flag borrowed from my aunt’s office. Ah, the imbeciles.

Indeed.

A horror story from the CaT, in three parts, here, and here, and here. A heartwarming tale from Pinay New Yorker.

Señor Enrique plugs the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.

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  1. chattel

    Death Anniversaries on a Friday

    The drone of the radiator and the slapping of the windshield wipers would soon prevail and so, what do I care if the anti-terrorist law would allow people to be jailed for 15 days without evidence without charges, a dark detention cell, no communication, in the hands of strange men armed with iron rods, poking at your insides, a small price to pay, because government cannot catch the Abu Sayyaf coddling Jemaah Islamiyah cells, if ANC of ABS-CBN would be believed as they whip us a hysteria with daily and hourly terrorist stories and news plugs. So what… it was a lifetime ago, what do I care.
    The waters would swallow up this road any minute now, vendors would soon wade through the murky torrents, towing their carts, it is September, and I’m remembering Lean, he was killed in September. This was the road in front of UST where we got off the buses, there was a typhoon, he was the open c.c. for that march, and he led us thru Espana, then left on Morayta where we joined the bulk of the students from the University belt. We gathered there, then marched on and made a left on Recto, where students from U.E. crossed to join us on the other lane.
    It wasn’t about the bridge, it was about disobeying the dictatorship, so others would see it was possible.
    When General Cabrera turned his back on the student leaders negotiating with him, cans of smoke were lobbed at us, and the thick air and mist felt like acid on wound on our faces, and we were choking. I learned later it was teargas. I saw Lean, instead of retreating, running towards the student leaders in front, he grabbed them and pressed them into the bulk of the student marchers so they wouldn’t get hurt or get snatched by military agents.
    We pulled out, and everything felt like in slow motion, it was like being underwater because we couldn’t breathe and move.
    Things move much slower in the rain, and the world disappears. Dead people clambered out of my chest drawers months ago: Lean; Bing “Uling” the c.c. of the Lakbayan People’s March (years later, victim of the purge); Babette of Ateneo de Davao eight months pregnant shot in the leg by the military in Mindanao, she crawled for help and she was finished off; Banong, one of the c.c.’s of the biggest Mendiola march, who drilled the marshals at midnight while everybody else slept on the asphalt road, (years later, victim of the purge); friends who once walked and laughed with us; each of them stayed awhile in my room; perused my books and folders, and gave me quizzical looks because I’ve been writing dozens of pre-trial briefs and filling up hundreds of SPA’s and meaningless affidavits. The other night, friends who had disappeared, those who were taken captive and electrocuted till their teeth shattered and blood oozed out of their noses; became whole again. They walked through my walls, and said they didn’t recognize me because I’ve been dismembered, and I laughed with my half-mouth because it was true. When did I start dying slowly without feeling the breath being snuffed out? How did I inhale the city poison and exhale memory until I was buried in a mass of forgetfulness and mediocrity? How is it that my dead friends were more alive than I was, becoming song and poem in a spark of remembering?
    There is no excuse for those who had been saved by other people’s deaths; for the many, there are illusions that they would be able to swim out of these floods with their individual paddling; but for keepers of messages, there is only the constant haunting of the rain.

  2. john marzan

    keith olberman used to be a sports anchor with Dan Patrick for ESPN sportscenter. i’ve seen him before when local cable used to provide the US version of ESPN (now, it’s ESPN Taiwan).

    Anyway, here’s Ann Althouse’s reaction to the Olberman rant.

    althouse.blogspot.com/2006/09/keith-olbermanns-anti-bush-rant.html

  3. manuelbuencamino

    The amazing thing is that Olberman is still in MSNBC. I know it’s not among the top media outlets but still….I half expect him to be exiled to do a serious spot on John Stewart’s Show. I mean the guy says a lot of uncomfortable truths.

  4. Alex Bernardo

    What can I say, the people of the United States have been wallowing in “truthiness”.

  5. Carl

    Is something wrong with CaT’s links?

    Nowadays, news travels so fast, and media is so prolific, that the truth can take on many versions. For an amusing look at Hugo Chavez’ version of the truth regarding 9-11, click on the link:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=a4.mbCEWbsbQ

  6. The Ca t

    my website is down for more than 12 hours now. thank you for asking.

  7. realistic

    On speeches: speeches by ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, and Bill Clinton may sound great. However, knowing the character of these people, the speeches they make means nothing because these people are liars. Just take Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman.” No credibility whatsoever.

    If people are easily swayed by speeches, gloria might just as well hire the greatest speech writer in the world.

  8. rego

    that is I why, I dont make a big fuss on Gloria’s lies. Becuas everybody lies.

    My issue with Gloria is when she violated the laws of the land. And I believe that she shoudl be impeached for that.

  9. Tonyo

    carl, it seems that venezuelan oil has gone to Chavez’s head in the worst possible way. He wants to believe that with Venezuels oil he should be considered and listened to as a leader of a major world power.

    He may still drive Venezuela into another world power like his idols Cuba. Decades of communist crap with nothing to show for it but poverty and oppression.

  10. realist

    On Keith Olbermann’s commentary: There is nothing positive about 9/11, period!

  11. toots ople

    mlq3, for a writer, the links you gave out today are priceless. i like olbermann. thanks.

  12. toots ople

    mlq3, for a writer, these links are priceless. i like olbermann. thanks.

  13. Jeg

    Speaking of speeches, I have never been so moved by a speech as Ive been by Erap’s inaugural address. Seriously.

    Alas…

  14. elinca

    9/11 -Birth anniversary of a villain
    The date September 11 is rendered twide ignominious with the birthday of Marcos. From now on we should call 9/11 The Day of Double Infamy.

  15. cvj

    Being ‘realistic’ means going beyond blanket condemnations. Instead, we have to be discerning on which human flaws are of national significance. Clinton’s transgression was a personal matter between him and his wife. Bush lies has killed thousands. Arroyo’s deceptions continues to undermine our institutions. That’s why Clinton still has credibility on things that really matter while Arroyo is immune to makeovers even by the best speechwriters.

  16. tbl

    CLINTON didn’t do anything on things that really matter which brought about 9/11….the beginning of all these crap going on worldwide.

  17. john marzan

    may MSNBC ba sa local RP cable?

  18. hvrds

    9/11 was a savage, brutal provocation engineered by an eschatological egomaniac who wrapped himself in the propaganda line of medieval Islam to unite the many frustrated and angry young people under the Islamic banner.

    He also been successfull in bringing to the forefront his counterpart the fundamentalist Christian Zionists who find friendly ears in the White House. Former Marxists and Facists in the U.S. now fill the corridors of power.
    From “creative destruction” to “total war,” the guiding beliefs of the most aggressive foreign policymakers in the Bush administration may originate in the works of an influential yet rarely seen neoconservative. – Michael Ledeen

    I have also attached links to the Washington Post and other sites that trace the debates on this existential war as here in the Philippines credible debates on this war on terror is almost non-existent. Here it has been redefined to go after insurgents using the new “legal” pre-emption doctrine. Pieces done by George Will, Dan Froomkin, Richard Cohen and David Ignatius.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/14/AR2006081401163.html
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/11/AR2006091100880.html
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2006/09/13/BL2006091301177.html
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/12/AR2006091201298.html
    http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/09/12/the_folly_of_exporting_democracy.php
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2481371.stm

    and the following piece from Zenith , the Vatican news service.This get almost no play here in the Philippines.
    The Christian and Zionist counterpart of Usama and Al Qaeda
    Religious Leaders’ Statement on Christian Zionism
    “We Stand for Justice. We Can Do No Other”

    JERUSALEM, AUG. 30, 2006 ( Zenit.org).- Here is “The Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism” released Aug. 22. The statement was written by Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem and other local heads of Churches in Jerusalem.
    * * *
    “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
    Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel.
    The Christian Zionist program provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it laces an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ’s love and justice today.
    We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.
    We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders and organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and the United States that are presently imposing their unilateral preemptive borders and domination over Palestine.
    This inevitably leads to unending cycles of violence that undermine the security of all peoples of the Middle East and the rest of the world.
    We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war rather than the gospel of universal love, redemption and reconciliation taught by Jesus Christ.
    Rather than condemn the world to the doom of Armageddon we call upon everyone to liberate themselves from the ideologies of militarism and occupation. Instead, let them pursue the healing of the nations!
    We call upon Christians in Churches on every continent to pray for the Palestinian and Israeli people, both of whom are suffering as victims of occupation and militarism. These discriminative actions are turning Palestine into impoverished ghettos surrounded by exclusive Israeli settlements.
    The establishment of the illegal settlements and the construction of the Separation Wall on confiscated Palestinian land undermine the viability of a Palestinian state as well as peace and security in the entire region.
    We call upon all Churches that remain silent, to break their silence and speak for reconciliation with justice in the Holy Land.
    Therefore, we commit ourselves to the following principles as an alternative way:
    We affirm that all people are created in the image of God. In turn they are called to honor the dignity of every human being and to respect their inalienable rights.
    We affirm that Israelis and Palestinians are capable of living together within peace, justice and security.
    We affirm that Palestinians are one people, both Muslim and Christian. We reject all attempts to subvert and fragment their unity.
    We call upon all people to reject the narrow world view of Christian Zionism and other ideologies that privilege one people at the expense of others.
    We are committed to non-violent resistance as the most effective means to end the illegal occupation in order to attain a just and lasting peace.
    With urgency we warn that Christian Zionism and its alliances are justifying colonization, apartheid and empire-building.
    God demands that justice be done. No enduring peace, security or reconciliation is possible without the foundation of justice. The demands of justice will not disappear. The struggle for justice must be pursued diligently and persistently but without violence.
    “What does the Lord require of you: To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
    This is where we take our stand. We stand for justice. We can do no other. Justice alone guarantees a peace that will lead to reconciliation with a life of security and prosperity for all the peoples of our land. By standing on the side of justice, we open ourselves to the work of peace — and working for peace makes us children of God.
    “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
    Patriarch Michel Sabbah
    Latin Patriarchate, Jerusalem
    Archbishop Swerios Malki Mourad,
    Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
    Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal,
    Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
    Bishop Munib Younan,
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

  19. hvrds

    More on Michael Ledeen
    http://www.alternet.org/story/15860/

  20. leo

    I have a 9-11 ‘speech’ (part of aftermath reflection,2001) :

    “America must humle herself or else America is headed for a great fall…

    America must change or else there is no hope for its people…

    “America must be true to its call for peace, justice and democracy or else America is lost and defeatted.
    If America is true to its call for peace, America must realize that there is no peace because there is no justice.
    If America is true to its call for justice then America must accept that America itself could be at the receiving end of justice.
    If America is truly the bastion of demcracy, America must exemplify that freedom and power entails resposibility and accoutability.

    This tragedy has befallen the entite humanity. This cruelty has bludgeoned life itself and pietced the heart of our Creator. Humanity has gone too far astray. We are at the edge of a catastrophic fall. Either we turn or we fall.”

  21. realist

    cvj said,

    “Clinton’s transgression was a personal matter between him and his wife.”

    Come on, you gotta be kidding. He lied to world! You sound like gloria saying, God is my only judge. GET REAL!

  22. cvj

    9/11 was blowback for America’s policies in the Middle East (e.g. Military Bases in Saudi Arabia, unconditional support for Israel’s occupation). To the extent that Clinton supported these policies, he shares part of the blame. However, 9/11 happened in 2001, under W’s watch. In August 6, 2001, there was even a presidential daily briefing to Bush entitled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike the US’ which was not acted upon. Five years on, Bush has nothing to show for his ‘War on Terror’ except to trash two countries – Iraq and Lebanon, both of which has nothing to do with the original attacks.

  23. cvj

    realistic, Clinton lied to the world about a bl*wjob, which to me is a private matter. It’s not like he invaded another country under false pretexts. Neither is it comparable to rigging a Presidential election.

  24. anna de brux

    absolutely cing sur cing la dessus, cvj!

  25. tbl

    clinton had the chance to blow up bin laden and his group. he did not do anything. he just di that blwjb.

  26. tbl

    preparations were being done under clinton’s watch. bush term started when all was set and ready to go. at least bush has the guts to respond. the problem is, he is being being blame for eveything that was mishandled by clinton. now, he is counting body bags while clinton is happy remembering his bljb!

  27. elinca

    Clinton Versus Republican Presidents
    However much Clinton is being disparaged because of the Lewinsky scandal, records will show him as one of the best U.S. presidents. For the first time in 33 years during his administration the U.S. achieved a budget surplus. His administration broke the record for the longest uninterrupted economic expansion in U.S. history, and the largest drop in proverty ratemore than 30 years. In 2 previous administrations, both Republican, socio-economic inequalities became more profound, the rich got richer and the poorer got poorer. Now George Dubya is doing the same –giving tax cuts to the wealthy while neglecting the poor.

    Bush’s decision to invade Iraq will go down in history as one of the most catastrophic in foreign affairs policy.

  28. elinca

    tbl, you should stop reading and listening to all those biased
    news in favor of Bush. All those tv network and newspaper are owned by wealthy Republicans. Read both sides of the story and be more enlightened.

  29. tbl

    i have my own opninion.

    clinton’s administration got all the blessings after reagan did all the hardwork, the fall of berlin wall, the end of cold war, etc. clinton got all the dividends after a good reagan 8-year term. clinton just did all the partying, including that bljb. hehehehe!

  30. tbl

    elinca, i don’t have a party, i am an independent. i vote for whom i think is the right person for the job, the one who has the right conviction and the guts to do it.

    i will even vote for ross pero if he is the right person, sad to say, he is not. coburn i think is in the right direction this time, he may get it all the way to the top if his strategy remains the same for years.

  31. elinca

    What hard work are you talking about? The U.S. became the world’s largest debtor nation during Reagan. Clinton reversed all that. The end of the Cold War was inevitable, with or without Reagan. The poverty rate went way up during Reagan. Clinton’s philandering affected only him and his family. Reaganonics affected the poor and Bush’s stupid decisions affected the nation and the whole world.

  32. elinca

    Who is Coburn?

  33. cvj

    Five years after 9/11, six years after Bush became President well into his 2nd term, and the Republicans are still blaming Clinton. If anyone distracted Clinton from doing his job, it would be Kenneth Star, rather than Monica Lewinsky who probably took up no more than a few minutes of the then President Clinton’s time. The current failures we see in America’s foreign policy is happening with George W Bush at the helm. A big part of that failure is the inability to focus on Bin Laden from January 20 to September 10, 2001 when Bush was already President. Nothing can distract us from that.

    Bush responded all right – by attacking Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11. The American body bags that are being counted are largely coming from that unecessary war which Bush and Blair railroaded over the objections of the rest of the global community.

  34. tbl

    COBURN is still a low key senator who has the right conviction and the the guts i am looking for. he was the one who exposed and eliminated the the BRIDGE TO NOWHERE in alaska. he is working with obama (D, IL) and both are trying to exspose all corruptions (pork barrels?) thru a proposed website open to everyone.

  35. tbl

    COBURN is an obstetrician-gynecologists, a small town/city doctor who turned politician because of problems in medicare, HMO and possibly the clinton’s proposed socialized medicine which is kinda like nation-wide HMO and all its bad effects to health care system.he is not like the usual lawyer-politician whose full time job is politics until the end (Thurmond? Kennedy?).

    COBURN is just helping Americans thru politics, his heart is really about medicine and well being of his patients and now, his constituents. He is not rich, unlike most politicians. He still see patients during recess of congressional sessions and occ. on weekends.He goes on rounds and sometimes home visits.I hope he will not change.

  36. elinca

    COBURN: Oh, I remember now. He was that ultra-conservative senator who wanted to impose the Death Penalty for doctors who perform abortion.

    He also proclaimed, with much conviction, that Homosexuality is the biggest threat to America. Give me a break.

    He also affirmed, again with much conviction, that sillicon breat implants make a woman healthier! HA! HA! HA!

    After that pronouncement, I had changed my mind about getting breast implant. I would not trust my health to someone with a dubious mentality.

  37. realist

    cvj, a bj in the white house? It’s not really his house, is it. The more important point though is that he is a liar!

    Was the conversation between gloria and garci a private matter? Should we forget about that because wiretapping is illegal? Should we forgive and forget because gloria said, “I’m Sori? Well look at that, gloria even apologized.

    Now, did clinton lie or not about Monica and the others? Why he could have said it was all a lapse of judgement. Only thing is that with his tract record on women no one would believe him.

    “I did not have sex with that woman.” Like it or not, this is Clinton’s legacy.

    Anyway, you think clinton’s a great guy and that his lie is just fine because you believe it’s a private matter. That’s your opinion and that’s just dandy for you.

  38. elinca

    now how did Clinton lying about his sexual affair affected you, Realist? Did you become despondent and cry over it? Did you become poorer because of it? Did your friends come home in body bags because of it? I am not condoning sexual infidelity, but we should get down from our moral high horse and judge a man for his accomplishments and not judge him in the way he lied and used his “private parts”.

  39. realist

    elinca,

    Where have you been? I knew you were bound to come out sooner or later. Yeah, good question – what did clinton accomplish? Why don’t you tell us.

    You don’t condone sexual infidelity? Clinton could have done whatever sexual fantacies he has for all I care. But as expected you miss or evade the point.

    The point is, clinton is a liar! And no matter how good a speaker he is, no matter how good a speech writer he has, whatever the speech is about, he, clinton, the one delivering the speech diminishes the value of whatever the speech is about because he is a liar.

    Don’t get the point yet? Look at gloria macapagal arroyo. Do you believe what she says? If you do then good luck to you.

  40. cvj

    You are right that Clinton has been diminished by his lie, the question is in what way and by how much. If Arroyo was accused of committing the same offense as Clinton and nothing else, then i would have moved on as the matter would have little relevance to the Filipino people. As it is, i agree with you that Arroyo and Garci’s conversation is not a private matter and that her “i’m sorry” is not enough to close the issue. As for Clinton, we have to be realistic about human weakness.

  41. realist

    cvj, no problem.

  42. realist

    btw, it’s the lie part that’s the point not his weakness for women.

  43. tbl

    elinca,

    about the doc abortionists…. we have to consider that COBURN is a dedicated obstetrician, was a well trained doc who took the hippocaratic oath. he is thinking of saving mothers’ and babies’ lives 24/7. and here comes his “colleague” abortionists destroying what he wants to save. i don’t know if you have seen fragments of babies in jars lined up in front of you, with little fingers and every sort of small body parts including decapitated heads. i did saw these things many times, part of medico-legal cases. i am “supposed ” to be immuned to this scenario, same with coburn, i always think about that oath i took several years ago. it stay there in my coconut, no matter what! babies are supposed to be born, not to be aborted.

    silicon implants have effect on women, both physical and mental. i think millions of women have implants for their mental well being. just look at the thousands of celebrities, we know who they are, they are everywhere..hollywood, bollywood, name the place they are there, maybe even in timbuktu!

    but don’t worry, implants are safer now, and i think you don’t need it in the first place.

  44. anna de brux

    “The point is, clinton is a liar!”

    Yep, and I think Hilary hasn’t totally forgiven him but his lie was so miniscule, that it was all so evidently laughable, when Bush’s lie about why he was invading Iraq came into the picture.

    Come on! Even you Realist, I’m certain would have lied if the same question, something to do with the sort of “Lewinsky-Clintonesque amorous acrobatics/antics”, was asked of you while the whole world was listening and watching.

    Beurk! Why Americans allowed Starr to spend 10s of millions of dollars just to find out how Lewinsky did the job on Clinton is really pathetic!

  45. elinca

    thanks for the compliments, tbl.
    Are you also aware that Coburn performed abortions himself? Go to Wikipedia article on him.

  46. tbl

    there are medical indications for abortion. this is an accepted practice in all civilized countries where mds practice modern medicine.

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