The Critics are Wrong: The Iraq War Saved Lives

PHOTO: This 24 hour vigil was maintained outside the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in London prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The protesters emphasized that over 500,000 Iraqi children had died during the UN sanctions period. There is considerable documentation from the World Health Organization to support their claims.

Many people claim the Iraq war was not worth it because of the cost and civilian casualties. Al-Qaeda Iraq is responsible for tens of thousands of civilian deaths, but the critics ignore the large number of people, especially children, who were dying every day during the sanctions period. Sanctions were maintained after the 1991 Gulf War because of Saddam Hussein’s refusal to allow weapons inspectors into Iraq. His refusal to comply with the UN remains a mystery, but the result is not.
During the sanctions period, Iraq’s GDP declined by 75%. According to the World Health Organization, during the next decade over 500,000 Iraqi children needlessly died of malnutrition. Their story is told in two powerful documentaries, “Genocide by Sanctions” (1999) which claimed the total the number was 1.25 million, and “Killing the Children of Iraq—A Price Worth Paying?” (2000).
Iraq obviously had the available funds to feed those children, and if a problem developed, international humanitarian organizations would have gladly made donations of food assistance. The children died because they were being used for political propaganda purposes, and the construction of 54 palaces was a far higher priority. Saddam Hussein could have prevented any child from suffering simply by meeting his obligations.
In a 1996 “60 Minutes” interview, Lesley Stahl questioned our then UN Ambassador, Madeleine Albright, about the sanctions policy. Stahl said “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?
Albright responded: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.” It was this comment that led to the title of the documentary I already mentioned.
In her book, “Madam Secretary”, Albright regretted the tone of her comment and said: “I must have been crazy; I should have answered the question by reframing it and pointing out the inherent flaws in the premise behind it. Little effort was made to explain Saddam’s culpability, his misuse of Iraqi resources, or the fact that we were not embargoing medicine or food. . . . Religious and human rights groups may be well-meaning [but] they need to understand who the real villain is. The villain is Saddam Hussein. It is not the international community that is keeping the Iraqi children and people from eating. It is Saddam Hussein. . . .He is the one that can pick up the key and let himself out of the sanctions box. He knows how to do it.”
The squandered money is regrettable, but the great crime is what the late dictator did to own people.
In discussing casualties, critics of the Iraq war do not mention:
The over 1 million dead during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980’s.
The over 500,000 children who died during the 1990 – 2003 sanctions period.
The over 300,000 victims who died because of torture and other human rights violations during the Saddam era.
The over 60,000 Kurds who died during the Al-Anfal campaign of 1988.
The 85,000 casualties of 1991 Gulf War.
The 30,000 Kurds and 70,000 Shi’ites who died because of Saddam’s retribution after losing the 1991 Gulf War. After Saddam’s downfall, 270 mass graves have been discovered and exhumed.If sanctions had remained in effect from 2003 to 2010 perhaps another 500,000 children would have perished.
On the positive side, there are no longer any political prisoners, no executions, no torture at Abu Ghraib Prison and no limit on the freedom of expression. The terrorists have not abandoned Iraq, but the large scale inhuman carnage and suffering has stopped, and 27 million people have a better life.

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Republicans are Not The "Party of No"

In his State of the Union address, the President said he is willing — even eager — to hear Republican ideas. “I want Republicans to get off the sidelines,” Obama reiterated at an event at the University of Tampa on Thursday. “I want them working with us, not to score points. I want a partnership.” Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., chairman of the House Republican Conference, was on “Good Morning America” and said that the GOP has always been eager to work with the President:
“We’re going to remind him that despite the ‘party of no’ smear of the last year, that we’ve offered substantive alternatives on every single major issue facing the economy, facing the country.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says health care is an excellent place to begin a bipartisan process, but the present proposal has to be abandoned.
Republican in Congress have offered meaningful amendments but they are always voted down by the Democrats. Obama would have you believe Republicans have been silent and offered no constructive ideas. Truth is, the Democrats were not open to legislative ideas from Republicans.

BOOK REVIEW: "Going Rogue: An American Life" by Sarah Palin, 432 pages, published by Harper Collins.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has the highest negative rating of any potential GOP presidential candidate, but she certainly is popular with the Republican base. Palin has 1.2 million Facebook fans, and her book, “Going Rogue,” has been a huge publishing success. This $29 book has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for the past 10 weeks, and for six weeks it was number one.
As of this month, sales have topped 2.8 million, and the book is now the 4th best selling political memoir of all time. The three authors above her are Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and Palin is not far behind them. These four political memoirs are the only ones which have sold more than one million copies. Palin has far outsold the memoirs of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Bill Frist, John Ashcroft, Mike Huckabee and Joe Biden.
The book has put Palin right back on the political radar, and Oprah Winfrey calls it “A fascinating read.” Rush Limbaugh says it is “One of the most substantive policy books I’ve read in a long time.”
“Going Rogue” is entertaining and the book talks about her gay college room mate, how she had to pay her way through school, the pregnancy of her 17 year old daughter, her baby that was born with Down’s syndrome, and the $150,000 wardrobe which was lent to her during the campaign by the Republican Party. Her populist streak is appealing and upon becoming Governor she sold the executive jet which was purchased by her predecessor and fired the chef in the Governor’s mansion. She deserves credit for acknowledging her poor performance in the CBS-TV interview with Katie Couric. Palin said she “let the team down” with that interview.
I especially enjoyed the inside stories of the 2008 campaign, but too many attacks were focused on McCain staffers rather than the Obama/Biden ticket. I would not describe this as a substantive work. It is more of a personal memoir rather a political account. Over half of the book is devoted to her life prior to the 2008 campaign. I really wish she had spent more time discussing political issues, and the book does not reveal much about her core political beliefs.
This 432 page book was largely assembled by Christian conservative ghost writer Lynn Vincent in less than four months. Palin kept her promise to those who had pre-ordered copies and it was ready before Christmas. Because of the former Governor’s emphasis on pre-orders, sales hit the one million mark after just two weeks.
The first chapter is the best and it appears to reflect Palin’s down-to-earth style. My guess is that the former Governor wrote the first chapter, but her involvement was only sporadic in the rest of the book.
The section on the origin of species was almost certainly written by Lynn Vincent. Some of the material on Palin’s gubernatorial years appears to have been copied form the State of Alaska website. Vincent is not allowed to discuss her role because of a confidentiality agreement.
Palin could have devoted a year or more to writing a truly substantive account of her life, but she probably made the right choice to enter the market place when her name was so visible. Her prominence was demonstrated when the AP assigned a team of 11 reporters to “fact-check” the book, and of course they found a number of errors.
Part of Palin’s appeal to a conservative audience is that the former Governor is often the number one target of liberal activists. On the day Palin’s book was released last November, the liberal magazine “The Nation” produced a counter publication called “Going Rouge: Sarah Palin, An American Nightmare.” It was a collection of anti-Palin essays with a similar cover.
Palin received an advance of $1.25 million from the Harper Collins publishing firm, and based on the current strong sales she will be able to expect an additional payout of at least $2.5 million and probably closer to $5 million.
Palin is now writing a second book and this will probably be a more substantive review of current issues. Palin will be visiting Arizona on March 26th to campaign for her former running mate. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) faces a difficult GOP primary with former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) and one of the reasons could be because of conservatives who were riled up over the treatment Palin received from top McCain staffers.
The Palin book is also not in the same category as Hillary Clinton’s “Living History,” John McCain’s “Faith of our Fathers,” or Dwight Eisenhower’s last memoir, “At Ease: Stories I Tell To Friends” which was a lively collection of colorful anecdotes which drew a great portrait of the late President. (Hillary Clinton’s 1996 best seller, “It Takes a Village,” was ghost written by Barbara Feinman Todd.)
In my opinion the best memoir from a politician was written by U.S. Grant. His book took the nation by storm, and he finished it just days before his death. It is loaded with thoughtful reflections concerning the Civil War years.
The former Governor’s accomplishments in Alaska were impressive. She appears to well versed on the energy policies which are so crucial to her state’s economy. If she had not resigned, the record she established could have been the basis for a national campaign. Perhaps the book I really want to see will be the one Palin is working on now.
She should review the Obama, Clinton and McCain memoirs for ideas. They all reflect the vision of potential future leaders. “Going Rouge” is Palin’s personal story, and we are still waiting for an explanation of her core beliefs as well as her outlook for America. If Palin is planning a presidential candidacy, the second book should be one of her top priorities. “Going Rouge” does not tell us about Palin’s political future, but as her father once noted, “She’s not retreating, she’s reloading!”

Obama at the Republican Retreat: How Long Will the Bipartisan Rhetoric Last? by

President Obama is receiving excellent reviews for his handling of questions in a bipartisan manner at yesterday’s House Republican retreat in Baltimore. He received what appeared to be an enthusiastic standing ovation. The GOP came off as civil and intelligent, and the questions were good even though some of them were long.
The President seemed reasonable and conciliatory, and his performance without the teleprompter was fine. He was introduced by House GOP Leader John Boehner (OH) who said we “need to listen to each other.”
I am glad the President finally said the Republican Party has offered substantive alternative proposals. You would never know that from listening to the news media which always claims the GOP has no answers.
It was the President, not the GOP, who requested media coverage. Perhaps he did that to correct what appeared to be an arrogant tone in the State of the Union. The performance was the closest we have ever come to the question time a prime minister has to face in the British parliament.
The President’s rhetoric matched the tone of the 2008 campaign, but not the past year on Capitol Hill. Republicans have been locked out of everything and all attempts at bipartisanship have been rejected. CBS’ Bob Schieffer in discussing the retreat said, “There was a totally different tone than what we’ve been seeing around here for the last few months.” Today’s New York Daily News commented: “President Obama and House Republicans engaged in a dialogue Friday that was extraordinary for being both public and civil. Please, sir, can we have some more?
“In an age when Democrats and Republicans seem unable even to order sandwiches off a lunch menu without finding cause for rancorous attacks (You had Russian dressing, you Commie!), Obama and a succession of GOP questioners went back and forth on health care, jobs, the deficit and more. The Republicans challenged; Obama defended.
“The exchanges were blunt, candid and most, important, substantive. In short, everyone acted like an adult. They talked to each other as people, not pinatas.”
The most stunning admission was when the President said the health care bill contained provisions which prevented people from keeping their current insurance and choosing the doctor they want. This violated the President’s health care pledge and he claimed it was “snuck in.” He promised to have them removed.
The theme of the conference was reaching out to independents rather than focusing on the party’s social conservative base. Republicans won a landslide in 1994 when independents favored the GOP by a 14 point margin. This outreach will not be difficult because there are plenty of issues now that appeal to both the Republican base and independents. Battles over abortion and immigration will be on the back burner. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) praised the attendees for their work on a new Contract with America, but this will not be revealed until September.

The State of the Union Address: All Rhetoric and No Reality

The State of the Union address was a real setback for those who were hoping the President would move to the center. The pundits who expected a more moderate President now realize this is not going to happen.
Much of the rhetoric was not new, but as usual, the mainstream media reaction was overwhelmingly positive. The BBC analysis was glowing, and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews exuded “I forgot he was black tonight”.
The President deserves praise for the Afghan troop surge, the modest spending freeze and cutting the capital gains tax on small business investment. Other moves which will be popular with the conservative coalition are his announced support for nuclear energy, off shore drilling, clean coal technology and earmark reform.
The President did not hesitate to advocate unpopular policies. Despite the bleak outlook on Capitol Hill, he will continue to push cap-and-trade legislation which is radioactive in energy producing states. He said “I want to change the tone,” but then became the first President to criticize the Supreme Court in their presence.
The President also gave Republicans plenty of campaign fodder by advocating expensive new programs directed at jobs and a high speed rail project, and he called for increased corporate taxes.
The speech may help the President with average Americans, but the tone appeared to be a lecture to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Supreme Court, Congress and the American people. He feels the rest of us are not working hard enough to ensure his success. My observations are as follows:
• The President said “we’ve excluded lobbyists from policy-making jobs or seats on federal boards and commissions.” I know of 13 lobbyists who have been named to major positions, including the cabinet, in the Obama administration. The President has issued 7 waivers of the lobbying ban for his White House staff.
• He complained about the Bush deficit, but did not mention that in one year those deficits have tripled. The amount of this debt is on pace to double in five years, and triple in ten. The federal debt is already over $100,000 per household.
• After repeatedly criticizing the Bush Administration, the President again took credit for ending the war in Iraq. He failed to give credit to his predecessor for the surge that actually won the war. He could not do that because Obama was an opponent of the surge, and was advocating immediate withdrawal. Biden wanted to split Iraq into three parts, and Harry Reid said the war was lost. None of that stopped the President from claiming it was his agenda which resulted in the Iraq war ending “responsibly.”
• He claims two million people have jobs today because of his $787 billion dollar stimulus bill. That would be equal to $395,000 per job. There is also little evidence to support his claim of two million new jobs, and the statistic is rejected by the Congressional Budget Office.
• He says another 1.5 million more jobs will be added because of the stimulus. That would bring the cost down to $224,000 dollars per job.
• A spending freeze would have been a good idea, even if it was not a net spending reduction. However, the very limited plan of the President appears to be more of a public relations gesture because the savings will be less than 1% of the deficit.
• It is doubtful the President’s spending commission will achieve anything. It does not have fast track authority to force the Congress to make reductions. The President said the commission will not be “one of those Washington gimmicks.” The AP responded, “Left unspoken in that assurance was the fact that the commission won’t have any teeth.” His commission has no chance of success because the idea was already rejected by the Senate’s Democratic super majority.
• The spending freeze will not go into effect until next year and the PAYGO (pay as you go) guidelines are all about a tax increase. This is already happening as the Bush tax cuts expire. They will be arguing that we must have tax increases going forward in order to pay for new programs. If we stop increasing the size of government, the deficit would take care of itself.
• The future tax increases will apply to all legislation except his second stimulus, which is now being called a jobs bill. Over 80% of the money the Bush administration lent to banks has already been repaid with interest. Obama will not use these funds to reduce the deficit but they will instead go to his jobs program.
• Speaking of the financial reform bill, he promised to fight the lobbyists. The President said “if the bill that ends up on my desk does not meet the test of real reform, I will send it back until we get it right. We’ve got to get it right.” The President will never veto any legislation passed by the Democratic Congress.
• The President said Congress should fix the recent ruling of the Supreme Court on campaign finance. He claims foreign nationals and corporations will be allowed to intervene in U.S. elections because of the Supreme Court decision. That is not true. The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign money can not influence our elections because that is already illegal. The President spent $730 million on his campaign. He took huge sums from labor unions, lawyers, investment banks, and Fannie Mae. Now he is worried the playing field will be level. The First Amendment has been under assault for decades, and this Supreme Court has taken a giant step toward its restoration.
• Professor Randy Barnett of the Georgetown Law Center had this reaction: “In the history of the State of the Union has any President ever called out the Supreme Court by name, and egged on the Congress to jeer a Supreme Court decision, while the Justices were seated politely before him surrounded by hundreds [of] Congressmen? To call upon the Congress to countermand (somehow) by statute a constitutional decision, indeed a decision applying the First Amendment? What can this possibly accomplish besides alienating Justice Kennedy who wrote the opinion being attacked. Contrary to what we heard during the last administration, the Court may certainly be the object of presidential criticism without posing any threat to its independence. But this was a truly shocking lack of decorum and disrespect towards the Supreme Court for which an apology is in order. A new tone indeed.”
• Obama implied Republicans are not serious about health care reform. He failed to mention that the GOP has been completely locked out of all negotiations, and the Republican alternative reform package was immediately rejected in committee and on the floor. All attempts at tort reform were dismissed right away. It would drastically reduce health care costs and the liability insurance doctors are forced to carry. He claims his bill would reduce the deficit, but that would only happen through accounting tricks.
• On gays in the military, he asked Congress to overturn the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. This had a definite negative impact on Bill Clinton’s approval rating during his first year. In his memoirs, Clinton regretted making this the subject of his first executive order. The law prohibits officials from inquiring into a servicemember’s sexual orientation, but allows the services to take action against those who disclose their homosexuality by word or action.
• Taxing banks will be politically popular but it means our fees will go up.
The Republican Party in January of 2009 urged Obama to create jobs by boosting hiring incentives through small business tax relief. Using Obama’s own formula a year later, it can be seen that they GOP plan would have created twice the jobs at half the cost. The White House responded with the $800 billion pork laden stimulus. Over 3 million lost jobs later, Americans can only lament the squandered opportunity. The President has had the GOP’s latest no-cost jobs plan since December.
The new plan is described by House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) as a proposal “for common-sense initiatives, such as passing pending free-trade deals and ditching unnecessary regulations and tax increases that stifle job growth.” Two months have gone by without any response from the White House.

The Constitution Party is Dangerous

I have often criticized the isolationism of Ron Paul and the Libertarian Party, and the protectionism of Chuck Baldwin and the Constitution Party. Baldwin was their 2008 nominee and in this article he denounces everyone associated with the GOP because they do not meet his definition of a “true conservative.” He also believes Abraham Lincoln was our worst president.
This is the same Chuck Baldwin who on 8/10/08 agreed to statement of principles with Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader and Ron Paul. They said there was no difference between Republicans and Democrats and they were united in their opposition to the Iraq war, the Patriot Act and “the American world empire.” Ron Paul later endorsed Chuck Baldwin over the nominee of his Libertarian Party.
If you consider George Bush and Dick Cheney “international terrorists,” if you want to repeal every Constitutional amendment passed since 1913, including the one giving women the right to vote, and if you want to halt all immigration, you might want to join the Constitution Party. Their views of Bush and Cheney came into plain view during one of their national conventions several years ago, where buttons were on sale pronouncing each an “international terrorist.” The other items are right from the party’s platform, which also supports returning the election of U.S. senators to state legislatures, which once handled that task, and taking it out of the hands of voters. Other planks call for repealing the 1965 Voting Rights Act, withdrawing from the United Nations and abolishing the IRS.
The party, previously called the U.S. Taxpayers Party, has close ties with Ron Paul and Patrick Buchanan. But if those two aren’t extreme enough for you, you might want to consider the party’s flirtation with the most extreme elements of the militia movement or its closeness with neo-Nazis, the KKK and other hate groups. Indeed, its candidates around the country have included one figure in Salt Lake City who boasted of his membership in David Duke’s group, the European American Unity and Rights Organization, and a gubernatorial candidate in Mississippi who’s been a long-time member of the League of the South, a white-supremacist group.
John Lofton, the former columnist for The Washington Times, now devotes all of his time to a radio program linked to the Constitution Party. I was disappointed that he thought it was wrong of the United States to enter WW II, but I was stunned by his claims that the Holocaust was exaggerated. He believes the murder of Dr. George Tiller, who ran an abortion clinic in Kansas, was justified. The jury recently disagreed and convicted the murderer.
A WARNING TO THE TEA PARTY NATION
By Chuck Baldwin, February 12, 2010
NewsWithViews.com

As far as grassroots activism goes, the surge in Tea Parties across America is one of the more encouraging developments to recently take place. It reminds me of the “Conservative Revolution” of 1994, when the GOP reclaimed both the US Senate and House of Representatives. At that time, it had been over 40 years since the Republican Party controlled both the US House and Senate. And, between the two, the House victories were the most significant.

Spurred mostly by the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, a host of young, energetic freshman Republicans marched into Washington, D.C., determined to return a burgeoning and out-of-control federal leviathan to the constitutional precepts of limited government. I’m talking about then-freshman House members such as Helen Chenoweth, Steve Largent, Bob Barr, Joe Scarborough, Sonny Bono, John Shadegg, J.C. Watts, etc. These young conservatives went to Washington, D.C., determined to reduce the growth and size of the federal government.

The vehicle used to transport these young conservatives from grassroots activism to US House and Senate seats was the highly touted “Contract with America” (CWA), which was orchestrated by House Speaker-to-be, Newt Gingrich. The CWA included a promise to the American people that if they would give the GOP a majority in Congress, they would eliminate up to 5 federal departments–such as the Departments of Energy and Education–and many federal agencies.

Obviously, not only did the GOP-controlled Congress not eliminate a single federal department or agency–or even shrink the size of the federal government at all–it expanded the size and scope of the federal government at every level. And there is one reason for it: Big Government neocons posing as champions of conservatism co-opted and destroyed the Conservative Revolution of 1994.

If one wants to put names to these treasonous wretches (and I do), I’m talking about charlatans such as Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott. Anyone who thinks that Newt Gingrich is a real conservative or that he will do anything to reduce the size and scope of the federal government needs to speak with any of those Republican members of the freshman class of 1994. (Sadly, too, some of the members of that great freshman class went on to become Big Government toadies themselves. Such is the power of that Putrid Province by the Potomac.)

The Tea Parties of 2010 remind me very much of the Conservative Revolution of 1994. And if the Tea Party Nation is not very careful, they will succumb to the same fate. The signs of a silent takeover of the movement are already appearing.

First of all, the Tea Parties were actually born during the Presidential campaign of Congressman Ron Paul of Texas in 2007 and 2008. For all intents and purposes, the Tea Parties and the Ron Paul Revolution were one and the same. These were (mostly) young people, who were sick and tired of the same old establishment Republican Party. They were tired of establishment Republicans selling out the principles of limited government; they were tired of the US Constitution being ignored and trampled by both Republicans and Democrats; they were tired of an incessant interventionist US foreign policy that keeps sending US forces overseas to advance a burgeoning New World Order (NWO); they were tired of perpetual war; they were tired of the bank bailouts; they were tired of the Federal Reserve; etc.

I know this because I met–and spoke before–the Tea Party Nation in State after State as I campaigned for Dr. Paul during the Republican primaries back in 2008. And I met them again all over America, as I was running as an Independent candidate for President–with Ron Paul’s endorsement, no less. I was with them in scores of meetings (big and small) from Washington, D.C., to Spokane, Washington, and all points in between.

But now many of the Tea Parties are distancing themselves from Dr. Paul and embracing establishment players such as Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Even Newt Gingrich is being courted. Watch out, Tea Party Nation: you’re in danger of losing your soul! Newt Gingrich is not one of you. He is not your friend. He is an imposter. He will destroy you just like he almost single-handedly destroyed the Conservative Revolution of 1994.

Plus, be careful about Sarah Palin and other establishment Republicans. Palin is currently playing both sides. She is promoting Big Government neocons such as John McCain on the one hand, and sincere conservative-libertarians such as Rand Paul on the other hand. But if one wants a real barometer of Palin’s true colors, look no further than her endorsement of Rick Perry in Texas.

Perry is the quintessential establishment Republican. Perry has been in office for some 9 years, and what has he done to thwart the NWO in Texas? Nothing! Perry is even a Bilderberg Group attendee. What has he done for State sovereignty in Texas? Nothing! In fact, he supports the North American Union and the NAFTA superhighway. What has he done to resist Obama’s universal health care proposals? Nothing! What has he done to protect the citizens of Texas against an emerging Police State? Nothing! What has he done to fight illegal immigration? Nothing!

As a result of both Rick Perry’s establishment business-as-usual politics in Texas and the proliferating grassroots Tea Party movement, counterattacking establishment politics, a Tea Partier herself has entered the race for Texas governor. Her name is Debra Medina. As the Tea Party Nation in Texas already knows, Medina is one of you.

Medina is committed to preserving Texas’ independence and sovereignty. She is opposed to the Patriot Act. She will secure the Texas border. She will give Texas Vermont-style open carry freedoms for gun owners. She wants to get rid of unconstitutional property taxes in Texas. She will stop the NAFTA superhighway. Medina is the real deal.

So, what did Sarah Palin do? She went to Texas and endorsed Rick Perry! I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, playing political games in order to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars on the speaking and book-signing circuits is not what the Tea Parties are all about.

Tea Parties are supposed to be about putting principle over politics, supporting and defending the US Constitution, supporting limited government and personal liberty, getting rid of the Federal Reserve, abolishing the IRS, ending preemptive and pervasive wars, and putting truth and integrity back into government.

Don’t get me wrong; there are things about Sarah Palin that I like. I especially appreciate her pro-life and pro-Second Amendment stands. I also appreciate her signing the Alaska State sovereignty resolution while she was governor. By all indications, she did a good job as Alaska’s chief executive. At the national level, however, she favors the Patriot Act–and even wants to expand it. She supported the banker bailouts. And when it comes to foreign policy issues, Palin is just another neocon. Plus, as with most Republicans at the national level, I think she is clueless about the NWO. And please remember, it was Mr. New World Order himself, Henry Kissinger, who vetted Palin on behalf of McCain.

The Tea Party Nation should expect better! The Nation also needs to be careful about Glenn Beck. He says many of the right things. He is likeable and charismatic; but he’s also dead wrong on a number of issues–issues that are critical to the Tea Party Nation. He’s dead wrong when he attempts to disparage and impugn Congressman Ron Paul, saying Dr. Paul is a “crazy, kooky guy.” He’s dead wrong in supporting the banker bailouts. He’s dead wrong when he supports raising taxes (which he has done on several occasions). He was dead wrong when he supported the Patriot Act. He is dead wrong when he viciously attacks the 9/11 victims’ families who demand further information about what happened to their loved ones on that fateful day. And he is dead wrong when he mocks people such as Alan Keyes and Joe Farah for demanding that Barack Obama release his birth certificate–if he indeed has one.

And now I hear that there are some self-professed members of the Tea Party Nation who are actually running for Congressman Paul’s US House seat in Texas. If this is not a sign that establishment Republicans are hijacking the Tea Party movement, I don’t know what is. Remember, the Tea Party movement began as a support base for the Ron Paul Revolution back in 2007. I strongly encourage the Tea Party faithful to read Jane Hamsher’s recent column on this subject.

I say again, be careful, Tea Party Nation. You are being infiltrated. You are being compromised. You are being neutered. Stick to your principles. Stick with the Constitution. Keep opposing unconstitutional, preemptive wars. Keep calling for the abolition of the Federal Reserve. Keep fighting for less taxes, reduced federal spending, and states’ rights. Keep opposing the Patriot Act and the New World Order. Don’t abandon Ron Paul. Be wary of people such as Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. You don’t need “big name” celebrities to give you credibility. As Samson’s strength depended on keeping his hair uncut, your strength lies in keeping your principles intact. And unless you want to wind up like the Republican freshmen in 1994, avoid Newt Gingrich like the plague!

What Rand Paul and Sharron Angle Have in Common: A Far-Right “Biblical Law” Political Party by Adele Stan of Alternet
UPDATED: July 2010

It could be the most important political party you’ve barely heard of — the Constitution Party, a far-right party that combines the sort of quasi-libertarian ideology spouted by Ron Paul with a Christian Reconstructionist bent for the biblical law of the Book of Leviticus. (You know, the law that mandates death by stoning for practitioners of gay sex and adultery).

But when it comes to Constitution Party street cred, Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee for Nevada’s U.S. Senate seat, seems to have Paul, and his son, Rand (the GOP’s nominee for Kentucky’s Senate seat) beat. Angle, reports TPM’s Justin Elliott, spent six years as a member of Nevada’s Independent American Party, the state’s Constitution Party affiliate.

When Tea Party favorite Rand Paul defeated the establishment Republican candidate to win the nomination for the Kentucky Senate seat being vacated by Jim Bunning, AlterNet reported the Paul family’s ties to the Constitution Party, whose founder, Howard Phillips, keynoted the elder Paul’s 2008 Minneapolis rally celebrating his quixotic presidential bid.

Then Bruce Wilson revealed that Paul the younger keynoted a convention of the Minnesota state chapter of the Constitution Party. Now along comes Angle, who, from 1992 – 1998, according to IAP members, belonged to their party until her decision to run for political office made it more expedient to become a Republican. If the name of the Constitution Party sounds vaguely familiar, perhaps you recall the dust kicked up when, during the presidential campaign Todd Palin was revealed to have belonged, for seven years, to the Alaska Independence Party, that state’s Constitution Party affiliate.

If the Tea Party could be said to have a founding father, I’d name him as Constitution Party founder Howard Phillips. Deeply influenced by the Christian Reconstructionist theology of Rousas John Rushdoony, Phillips not only helped found the religious right, but created a political party that has served as a haven for such figures as Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry and neo-militia leader Matthew Trewhella. (Founded in 1992 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party, the organization adopted the name “Constitution Party” in 1999.)

Phillips also chairs the Conservative Caucus, a political organization that served, during the presidential campaign, as a virtual clearinghouse for anti-Obama messaging — the very messaging that would find itself amplified by the Tea Party movement. It was from Phillips’ shop that I first heard the trope about Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and heard tales of the future president’s socialist past.

The Caucus works closely with the John Birch Society, and has featured Ron Paul as a speaker at several of its events. It is a tireless crusader against something called the North American Union, which it claims nefarious forces are trying to create after the model of the European Union. With the nominations of Angle and Paul to GOP tickets, Phillips — a former Republican who worked in the Nixon White House — is closer than ever to seeing his ideology injected into one of the nation’s two major parties. For a taste of that ideology, here’s a snippet of the preamble to the Constitution Party’s platform:

The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States.

The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet’s Washington bureau chief.

Back to the Future: Michael J. Fox, Liberal Democrats and the Great Stem Cell Battle

Many people are doubtful of claims now being made by liberal Democrats regarding global warming, health care and reducing the budget deficit. They are skeptical because we have been down this path before.
The utopian rhetoric of the Democratic Party’s left wing has not been based on facts, and it often results in real harm to taxpayers. For example, there has been tremendous hype concerning global warming and this was especially true in Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth.”
It has now been documented that many of Gore’s claims were grossly exaggerated. The movie graphics show cities being flooded and sea levels rising by 20 feet, while the UN IPCC was predicting a modest rise of 8 inches over 100 years, and even that is doubtful.
Another issue tremendously hyped by liberals concerns federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research (ESCR). As usual, the debate has been about politics and has little to do with science. President Obama signed an executive order last March reversing the Bush administrations ban on research related to embryonic stem cells.
In August of 2001, President George W. Bush barred the National Institutes of Health from funding research on embryonic stem cells beyond the 60 cell lines which existed at that time. Bush was advised to do this because embryonic stem cells are known to cause cancer and brain tumors, and they require the permanent use of dangerous immunosuppressive drugs. Their genetic programming does not work in adults.
Nine years have passed so this is an excellent time to review the track record. Actually, if you count research using animal embryos, the data goes back to 1981. To date, no one has been successfully treated because of embryonic-stem-cell research.
The claims made about the potential immediate benefits of ESC were described as fairy tales by many prominent scientists and researchers, but they were an excellent political issue which helped Democrats capture the center in 2004, 2006 and 2008. The left wing started to focus on ESCR after a 2004 Mark Mellman poll for the Democratic National Committee demonstrated that 70% of the American people supported increased funding for stem cell research.
The Democrats made science a political issue and it was at the forefront of Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) 2004 challenge to Bush’s re-election. The leading spokesman for the Democrats was the actor Michael J. Fox, who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease. He frequently implied that there would be immediate progress if federal funding was obtained.
Fox is best known for the “Family Ties” and “Spin City” television series, and the “Back to the Future” movies. He was a star at many events for liberal candidates in 2004 and that year’s Democratic convention was addressed by Ronald Reagan, Jr., the son of the then recently deceased GOP President. He was given a prime time speaking slot.
The young Reagan said Republicans were cruel to deny sick people treatments because of “theological objections.” He said this “may be the greatest medical breakthrough in our or any lifetime – the use of embryonic stem cells.” These cells could “cure a wide range of fatal and debilitating illnesses: Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lymphoma, spinal cord injuries, and much more.”
Rep. James R. Langevin (D-RI) introduced Reagan by saying taxpayer subsidies for ESCR would make him walk again. Langevin has been paralyzed from the waist down since the age of 16 when he was seriously injured in an accidental shooting.
Then Senator John Edwards (D-NC), the 2004 vice presidential nominee, said on October 11th of that year: “If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk — get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.”
Senator Kerry said President Bush “turned his back on science” at a time when “millions of lives” are stake. A national Kerry TV ad stated: “It’s time to lift the political barriers blocking the stem cell research that could treat or cure diseases like Parkinson’s.” The Bay State Senator said “We stand at the next frontier, but instead of leading the way, we’re stuck on the sidelines. The majority of the American people support stem cell research, and it’s high time we had a president of the United States who does, too. We can’t afford any more stubborn refusal to face the facts.”
Once again, Michael J. Fox was always in the spotlight. He made numerous campaign appearances and was featured in TV ads for successful Senate candidates Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). A typical Michael Fox TV ad is below:
FOX: As you might know, I care deeply about stem cell research. In Maryland, you can elect Ben Cardin, who shares my hope for cures. Stem cell research offers hope to millions of Americans with diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. But George Bush and Michael Steele would put limits on the most promising stem cell research. They say all politics is local, but that’s not always the case. What you do in Maryland matters to millions of Americans, Americans like me.
CARDIN: I’m Ben Cardin, and I approve this message.”
Republican candidates were never against stem cell research. The first break through happened in 1957, and the first president to fund this research was George W. Bush. You would never know that if you listened to the 2004 and 2006 TV ads. The GOP fully supported funding for adult stem cell and cord blood research, but they wanted embryonic stem cell support to be within moral and ethical limits.
Embryonic stem cell researcher Ron McKay of the National Institutes of Health said the idea that stem cells would offer hope for Alzheimer’s patients was a “fairy tale.” Dr. Mehmet Oz appeared with Fox on the Oprah Winfrey show and demonstrated why ESCR would not be useful for Parkinson’s patients.
John Kerry lost the 2004 election but the ESCR campaign culminated in passage of California’s Proposition 71. This allowed the state to borrow $3 billion for ESCR. A California Institute for Regenerative Medicine was established, and now after five years of research there have been no cures, no therapies and little progress. They were established to focus 100% of their work on ESCR, but now this has been largely abandoned.
Other ESCR advocates are at last embracing research on adult stem cells which they once opposed. As I indicated, ESCR has been a highly effective issue for Democrats. Survey research indicates that similar to global warming, ESCR helped them attract significant support from independent voters, and they successfully portrayed Republican candidates as insensitive and uncaring.
BACKGROUND
The Bush Administration maintained that ESC were not a productive area of research because their nature is to reproduce rapidly to form a whole new human being. Even if they did cure a disease, the person would still have to worry about lethal side effects. There were also moral concerns because many people saw the destruction of an embryo as the ending of a human life.
Bush spoke of religious groups who were opposed to ESCR because it involved the destruction of human embryos, which they claim have a right to life. The Catholic Church vigorously opposes ESCR and Pope Benedict XVI said the destruction of human embryos to harvest stem cells is “not only devoid of the light of God but is also devoid of humanity” and “does not truly serve humanity.”
Researchers were later able to reprogram adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells which ended the moral concerns. There is no longer any need for a program that focuses only on embryonic stem cells, which is what the liberals were seeking.
Furthermore, the Bush restrictions were only on federal funding of stem cell lines which required the sacrifice of new embryos. Private and state funding was allowed, and considerable research has taken place overseas. The claim that research on new embryos was the most promising has never been supported by evidence.
Republicans tend to be pro-life, and that is why they favor stem cell research. They believe in saving human life, and they want cures to be found. That is why the Bush Administration provided funding for adult stem cell research which did not involve the moral concerns of working with embryos.
The focal point for the Bush administration was adult stem cells which have been successfully used since 1957, and they have cured some cancers. They are now being used to treat 83 different diseases.
They have been used to rebuild livers damaged by otherwise irreversible cirrhosis. Adult stem cells from nasal passages have been used to repair spinal cord injuries, and Type 1 diabetes in mice has been treated by using adult spleen cells. They have also put Crohn’s disease into remission and they have repaired heart attack damage.
The Bush Administration emphasized that it was best to concentrate on adult stem cells because they had a track record of not being rejected by a patients body while ESC often cause rejection and multiply uncontrollably similar to a cancer.
The hype of the past campaigns has now died down. The groups which once fought only for ESCR have now shifted to adult stem cells where there is universal agreement on their value. Unlike the past, science will hopefully not be a political issue in the 2010 campaign.