United States Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Scott Walker

This video from the USA says about itself:

Jeb Bush Promises He’ll Be As Stupid About Iraq As His Brother

11 May 2015

“At some point in recent months, members of Jeb Bush’s campaign staff probably sent him a strategy memo, encouraging him not to embrace his brother too closely. Given recent events perhaps the former governor missed the word “not.”

The Washington Post reported yesterday on the Florida Republican’s latest effort to connect his unannounced candidacy to some of his brother’s most striking failures.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush would have authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as his brother and then-president George W. Bush did, he told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in an interview to be aired Monday.

“I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got,” the likely 2016 presidential contender said.

To top this off, the unannounced presidential candidate added, “[S]o just for the news flash to the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those.””

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Jeb Bush launches campaign for Republican presidential nomination

18 June 2015

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush officially launched his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Monday, bringing the number of announced Republican candidates to 11—a total that ticked up to 12 Wednesday with the entry of billionaire real estate speculator Donald Trump.

At a rally in Miami more than six months after he first indicated his interest in a presidential campaign, Bush delivered a 40-minute speech that consisted largely of right-wing pabulum and invocations of family, country and religion.

Bush pledged to increase the growth rate of the US economy to four percent a year, without any details of how he proposed to do so other than scrapping all regulations on US corporations and banks.

He hailed the privatization of public education through charter schools and backed the right of church-run charities and businesses to impose their religious precepts on their employees.

Bush called for a more aggressive US foreign policy and greatly increased military spending, but he was careful to avoid mentioning Iraq, Afghanistan or any other country bombed, invaded or occupied by his father or his brother during their presidencies.

The address had lines seemingly crafted by speechwriters to make the candidate an object of mockery. Thus, Bush absurdly presented himself as an outsider, declaring, “We don’t need another president who merely holds the top spot among the pampered elites of Washington.”

It would be hard to find anyone who more personifies the “pampered elites” than the son of President George H. W. Bush and brother of President George W. Bush (and grandson of US Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut). Jeb Bush followed in the family footsteps, going into banking, real estate and Republican politics.

He was elected governor of Florida in 1998 and pursued ruthless right-wing policies for eight years in office, cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy, instituting the first school voucher program, and heavily promoting charter schools. He backed the notorious “stand your ground” gun law justifying vigilante action, and curried favor with the religious right by seeking court orders to force-feed Terri Schiavo, a young woman who had been in a persistent vegetative state for a dozen years.

Jeb Bush played a central role in the theft of the 2000 presidential election when his state government first conducted a massive purge of the voter rolls, aimed primarily at African Americans, and then acted to shut down vote-counting in south Florida in order to preserve George W. Bush’s 537-vote lead in the state. These brazenly undemocratic actions set the stage for the Supreme Court’s intervention to install Bush’s brother in the White House.

Since declaring his interest in a presidential race last December, Bush has amassed an enormous war chest and considerable support in the Republican Party establishment. Thanks to his family connections, Bush has access to a vast network of fundraisers. His Super PAC, Right to Rise, is expected to raise more than $100 million by the end of this month, dwarfing the sums raised by all previous presidential candidates eight months before the first primary contest.

But the candidate has failed to generate much support among party activists, particularly those from the ultra-right Tea Party and Christian fundamentalist groups, and he has been unable to gain an edge in the early polling. He is currently ranked in the top three in national polls of Republican voters, along with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, although none has topped the 15 percent mark.

Remarkably, Bush’s main problem in winning over Republican Party activists and office-holders is that despite his record of vicious reaction in Florida, he is now regarded as too moderate. Nearly every one of the 15 or 16 declared or likely Republican presidential hopefuls has criticized Bush from the right, denouncing him as too soft on immigration or education policy.

One little-acknowledged key to the initial struggles of the Bush campaign is that his Mexican wife, Columba, and his personal fluency in Spanish are regarded with suspicion, if not outright hostility, by the nativist and racist elements that make up a sizeable section of the Republican Party base. Anti-immigrant sentiment is one of the major driving forces of the Tea Party groups.

With Hillary Clinton heavily favored to win the Democratic Party nomination, and Jeb Bush among three co-leaders for the Republican Party nomination, a Clinton-Bush contest is a credible scenario for the 2016 election. Such a choice between rival ruling class dynasties would place in even sharper relief the undemocratic character of the corporate-controlled two-party system.

George H. W. Bush was the last American president to be defeated for reelection. George W. Bush was widely despised and hated when he left office. For millions, the Bush name is indelibly connected with mass unemployment, financial crisis, illegal wars, torture, and an aristocratic indifference to the conditions of life facing working people, summed up in the famous photograph of George W. Bush peering down on the drowned city of New Orleans from Air Force One after Hurricane Katrina.

The Republican Party is not unaware of these mass sentiments, but campaign strategists and fundraisers regard Bush’s last name as a problem to be overcome rather than a political death sentence. That alone testifies to the enormous distance between the political establishment and the vast majority of the American people.

Docs show Jeb Bush was paid $1 MILLION from a timber firm he helped enrich while he was Florida governor: here.

By Jerry White in the USA:

17 June 2015

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is expected to announce his candidacy for US president in the next few weeks, joining the growing list of right-wing Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for the 2016 race.

For a significant section of the corporate and political establishment, Walker proved his presidential bona fides by defeating the mass protest movement against his austerity measures and attacks on Wisconsin public sector workers in 2011. The effort to inflate the significance of this political nobody is connected to the promotion of the myth that he faced down a ferocious struggle by the unions.

Why ISIS terrorism? Mark Fiore animated cartoon

This video from the USA says about itself:

Who Created ISIS?

8 June 2015

With the fall of Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria, fingers are pointing faster than you can say “Preemptive War.” John McCain thinks the crazy Islamic extremists of ISIS wouldn’t be causing the world all this trouble if only Obama hadn’t spent so much time worrying about global warming. Jeb Bush says Al Qaeda in Iraq was wiped out and ISIS didn’t exist when his dear ol’ brother was president. You can read more here.

I didn’t want democracy in Iraq, Rumsfeld confesses

Rumsfeld meets Saddam Hussein

The Iraq war of Tony Blair, George W Bush and his ‘defence Secretary’ Donald Rumsfeld was based on lies.

They said the war was because of ‘Iraqi weapons of mass destruction‘. Oops … a lie.

They said the war was because the Iraqi regime was guilty in the 9/11 attacks in the USA. Oops … another lie.

As the two other lies were exposed, the Bushist-Blairite apologists for the Iraq war changed their propaganda to a third issue: Saddam Hussein, they said, was a dictator, and they wanted to replace him by war with democracy.

That Saddam Hussein was a dictator had not been the slightest problem for Donald Rumsfeld when he had gone to Iraq as US government special envoy to shake hands with Saddam and to try to sell him more United States poison gas to kill more Iraqi Kurds.

Pretty soon, it became so obvious, in the torture cells of Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, in the disastrous fate of Iraqi women under Bush’s, Rumsfeld’s and Blair’s occupation, in the over a million people killed, in the over four million refugees etc. etc. that the Bushist-Blairite talk of democracy in Iraq was such a lie as well that the propagandists became fairly silent on it.

Earlier this year, Tony Blair went a step further. He said that he did not want democracy. Though that sounds, and is, pro-dictatorship, at least it was unusually honest for Blair, compared to his earlier lies.

Now, it seems that Donald Rumsfeld follows Blair’s example.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Donald Rumsfeld disavows original Iraq goals: ‘Democracy seemed unrealistic’

Former defense secretary who led US into 2003 invasion contradicted past statements in support of ‘model’ government in Times of London interview

Tom McCarthy in New York

Tuesday 9 June 2015 17.50 BST

Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense who led the United States into the Iraq war, has told an interviewer that he did not think, at the time of the 2003 invasion, that building a democracy in Iraq was a realistic goal.

The statement contradicts speeches and memos that Rumsfeld, now 82, personally issued before and after the invasion of Iraq.

“The idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic,” Rumsfeld told the Times of London. “I was concerned about it when I first heard those words … I’m not one who thinks that our particular template of democracy is appropriate for other countries at every moment of their histories.”

The audience for Rumsfeld’s speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in May 2003, two months after the invasion, heard the opposite message. “This much is clear: we have a stake in their success,” Rumsfeld said then, referring to the people of Iraq.

“For if Iraq – with its size, capabilities, resources and its history – is able to move to the path of representative democracy, however bumpy the road, then the impact in the region and the world could be dramatic. Iraq could conceivably become a model – proof that a moderate Muslim state can succeed in the battle against extremism taking place in the Muslim world today.”

Rumsfeld also held up the prospect of Iraq as a “model” democracy behind the scenes. As a co-signatory of the statement of principles of the Project for a New American Century thinktank, Rumsfeld urged Bill Clinton to topple Saddam Hussein and called on the US to “accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order”. The statement is widely identified as a germ of what became known as the neoconservative theory of “democratic dominoes” in the Middle East.

Throughout the early Bush years, key Rumsfeld lieutenants were top purveyors of the dominoes theory. Paul Wolfowitz, a fellow member of the Project of the New American Century who served as deputy defense secretary in Rumsfeld’s Pentagon, predicted that Iraq would become the “first Arab democracy” that would “cast a very large shadow, starting with Syria and Iran, across the whole Arab world”.

George W Bush, under whom Rumsfeld served as defense secretary for six years, had scathing words in his 2004 state of the union address for anyone who doubted the project of Iraqi democracy. “We also hear doubts that democracy is a realistic goal for the greater Middle East, where freedom is rare,” Bush said.

“Yet it is mistaken and condescending to assume that whole cultures and great religions are incompatible with liberty and self-government. I believe that God has planted in every human heart the desire to live in freedom. And even when that desire is crushed by tyranny for decades, it will rise again.”

Recent months have seen an outbreak of former Iraq war apologists seeking to re-enter the public debate over Middle East policy. Other architects of the war, such as Wolfowitz and former national security adviser Stephen Hadley, have reportedly become foreign policy advisers to Jeb Bush, the [younger] brother of the former president and prospective 2016 presidential candidate.

Statements by Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential race indicate that the history of the Iraq war, and how it was lost, will be up for debate, especially with a Bush in the race. At his presidential announcement last week, former Texas governor Rick Perry called the withdrawal from Iraq “a national disgrace” and argued that the US had “won” the war in 2009 only to see the Obama administration squander its victory by leaving.

Rumsfeld’s Times interview also appeared to contradict earlier comments on military power in the Middle East.

In a July 2001 memo to then national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Rumsfeld wrote: “Within a few years the US will undoubtedly have to confront a Saddam armed with nuclear weapons. Iran will almost certainly have a nuclear weapon sometime within the next five years, and that will change the balance in the region notably.”

In the Times interview, Rumsfeld said the US was in a “war of ideas”.

“You begin to look at this thing not like a war, but more like the cold war,” Rumsfeld said. “You’re not going to win this with bullets, you’re in a competition of ideas.”

USA: big business, dead soldiers and the Iraq war, cartoon

During an exchange in the House Armed Services Committee last Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the Obama administration was prepared to accept the break-up of Iraq as a unified national-state: here.