MARCH 31, 2006

With the recent disclosure that Bush had "penciled in" March 10th as the beginning of the Iraq war, in the face of his public assurances at the time that "war isn't inevitable," one must pause and consider the obvious:

The fact that this war was a war of choice, waged with callous indifference to the certain death and destruction that would ensue, has been proven time and time again. The utter incompetence of everyone involved, from Bush, to Bremmer, to Franks, to Chalabi, has been painfully obvious to anyone who has watched this sorry episode emerge and evolve.

And yet, the people are, for the most part, silent- people are too busy dealing with basic needs, to care about anything beyond what lies in front of their noses- and who could blame them? The economy sucks- prices for everything from groceries to rent are rising, nationwide, while real wages are sinking, with every passing fiscal quarter- there are fewer and fewer social services to deal with the pressing needs of the poor and the middle class- and our corporate media is feeding us trivialities such as American Idol to keep us distracted, while Rome burns.

This cynicism of apparent necessity, fed by war and neglect, has engendered the rise of a peculiarity of character that one has normally associated with Russia:


"Nichevo" is one of those foreign terms that doesn't readily translate into english. There's no literal translation, but it roughly means "it doesn't matter" or "it can't be helped." But words are mere shadows of concepts, thoughts, and experience...

Russian serfs endured generations of virtual slavery, with resignation: "Nichevo."

WW1 and The Russian Civil war killed millions, and wrecked the country down to the foundations. The people sucked it up, and kept going: "Nichevo."

Stalin collectivized agriculture, and starved millions to death- those left around to sow the fields that held the graves of their families muttered: "Nichevo."

25 million Russians die, in a war even more terrible than the one that forged their revolution, and those left standing were left with one thing to say: "Nichevo."

The communist era comes to an end, leaving a nation wracked with corruption, oligarchs, and organized crime- the Russian people once again were forced to mutter "Nichevo", and accept the unacceptable.

Americans now are faced with a choice- are we going to just say that the horrific offenses and conditions that stare us in the face everyday just "can't be helped?"

One of the most treasured elements of the American experiment is the affirmation of the "power of the individual". This individualism has in recent times come to mean "take all you can, and screw the consequences"- but it has another, and more powerful meaning:

Every individual in this country has the power to change things- to go out into the streets, lobby their elected representatives, and make as much noise as possible. Indeed, the individualism that we claim as a treasured part of our national character imbues us with not only the right, but the OBLIGATION, to make sure that not only does it "matter", and that it CAN "be helped."

Perhaps I'm overly optimistic- Orwell's O'Brien cautions that WInston's hope of a proletarian revolt is foolish, assuring Smith that the proles are little more than animals who will accept more and more repression, terror, and privation, as long as they are grudgingly given the right to exist.

I would like to think we're better than that. I hope you do, too.

(One last note- I mean no offense against the Russian character or people, in my comments. Despite all they've gone through, the Russians keep going, and have always- ALWAYS- bounced back from the worst that history could throw at them. Plus, their military uniforms are still the coolest on the planet.)


Note: I am posting this, only because I've gotten a flood of letters, concerning Charlie Sheen's recent comments, concerning the events on 9/11. As the result of a LOT of bad experiences, I have kept the discussion concerning 9/11 away from The subject is just too volatile, and there are hundreds of sites that cover this subject far more comprehensively than I ever could, so until this date, I have left it to more experienced hands to cover this subject.

This is the last time you're going to see me write specifically on this issue, and while it's short and sweet, it covers all of the questions I've received, up to this date.

My position on the whole Issue is simple: we need a proper investigation, but it's damned unlikely that we'll ever get one. The congressional committee that was conjured up to investigate 9/11 was a joke, and was filibustered at every turn by an administration that was at the same time milking the event for all it was worth. It was clearly Bush's Reichstag fire, and the less we citizens knew, the better.

What we have been told about 9/11, from both the government, and the mainstream media, just doesn't add up. There are a TON of unanswered questions regarding the events of that day that weren't touched on, in the hearings, and when the 9/11 commission broke up with nothing substantial to show for their efforts, I knew the truth would be lost in the resulting flurry of here- say and ill-informed comment that flew into the vacuum left in the wake of the good senators exiting, stage left.

And so it has- I have a folder in my outlook express that contains no less than 1200 e-mails concerning 9/11. After reading and absorbing megabytes of text, it has become abundantly apparent that those investigating 9/11 have turned on each other in a rabid frenzy of self-destruction and recrimination, and all measure of moderation in the debate has been lost.

It is truly unfortunate, as the american people deserve to hear the truth, not a lot of rabid hyperbole from people who are locked in their own universe of conspiracy and mistrust. You can send me a million e-mails, DVDs, CDs, books, and quite frankly, while they are interesting, they don't shake me from my moderation on this subject- my position being:

It's absolutely certain that we'll never know the truth, regarding what happened, that fateful day. It stinks like rotten meat- but that's the way the pattie flops sometimes, in this country, and in this world. I would consider it a boon, should there be an honest investigation into 9/11 that raises the debate above the Alex Jones level, but I can't see that happening, anytime soon.

Maybe if more people just got up, and before going into a screed about the Bilderbergers and Bohemian Grove, just simply stated, as Mr. Sheen did: "Hey- this just doesn't add up- call me a conspiracy theorist all ya want, but if our government is going to use terrorism as embodied by the attacks on 9/11 as an excuse to wreak a buttload of havoc- it only makes common sense that we know exactly what went on", maybe we'd take a great step forward down the path of civility and sanity, on this issue.

And thus ends my screed on 9/11- never ask me again...

Note to the Alex Jones fans out there: I like Alex, as a comedic figure that proves the old adage correct:

"Nothing is entirely wrong- even a broken clock is correct twice a day"

I've listened to a lot of Alex's radio broadcasts, and I've always been stunned at his ability to turn from a moderate, measured individual one minute, into a frothing, screaming lunatic, the next. I've known steroid abusers that have had a better grasp on their emotions, than Mr. Jones has displayed time and again.

Back in the late 90's, Alex was a happy passenger on the extreme conservative religious right bandwagon, citing "violent video games" as part of a "satanic trilateralist conspiracy," and maintained that there was a "war against christianity" going on in America (I guess O'Reilly was just five years too late in scooping that "story.") Leading up to the "millennium bug" fizzle, I thought he was gonna have a heart attack on the air...

I'm not saying that a guy like Alex doesn't have a place in the debate- he does sterling work, from time to time- it's just that maybe if we all had our serotonin in the right places, we'd maybe have a better chance of breaking out into the mainstream, instead of preaching to the choir via our petty little websites...

MARCH 28 , 2006

As much as I'd like to rant away, tonight, I'm mentally drained by dealing with taxes. Strange how a guy who makes all of 16K a year is paying 3500 out of that in taxes. That puts me in a bracket much higher than I should be- but hey- in a time in which corporations and millionaires are enjoying unprecedented tax cuts, someone has to take up the slack, and as usual, it's the little guy...

But, before I go- I wanted to give an early presidential endorsement:

As some of you might be aware, a recent informal straw poll amongst the republicans vomited out a mucous-and-blood spackled Senate majority leader Bill Frist as the early frontrunner. And ya know- even though such an early poll means jack-all (remember how Dean dominated things so early in the 2004 race), I have to say that I hope this is an exception to the rule. As Tennessee went, so should go the nation.

Nothing would make my heart gleam with more joy than to see the republicans give their nomination to a corrupt, messianic lunatic with the speaking style of Ernest Angely on quaaludes, and the charismatic allure of Skeletor, minus the healthy tan and buff upper bod.

His comedic antics, such as (horrifically mis-)diagnosing Terry Schiavo after watching a few minutes of video tape, and his assertion that HIV could be spread through tears, only re-affirm my resolve that this man, and no other, has the qualities that would like to see in a republican nominee. His ability to cheese off the very religious right that spawned him for political expediency proves that his kneecaps and spine are made of stuff that makes jell-o look like steel- again, the perfect candidate for a party searching fruitlessly for its soul.

So, until next time- FRIST! FRIST! FRIST!

MARCH 26 , 2006

Okay, folks. I can hear the groans already:

"Geez- this is the same crap, with different images- Eric's officially out of ideas. I'm outta here- I'm gonna spend my time at the gay bigfoot page, instead of coming here, again..."

Well- whatever. The facts of the matter are:

The most important aspect of any animation that I do, is the music. I spent a good ten hours at Cafe Soundz (a local shop that has the best industrial/darkwave selection on planet earth), and couldn't find anything that would have served as a better soundtrack. True- I get a million suggestions a day:

"Dude- use "Freebird"/this or that tune from Blue Oyster Cult/My latest creation"

I'm sorry- 99.999% of the time, the music ya'll suggest SUCKS, or is totally inappropriate.

Note for the future, folks: If you don't have CDs by (older) Wumpscut, VNV Nation, (old) Laibach, and Der Blutharsch in your music collection- you don't exist in the same musical universe that I call home. Once you can recite Das Ich's discography, by rote, then you have the right to suggest music to me.

I went with VNV Nation's "Legion" (Anachron), because after a long search, it was still the only song that conveyed the emotion that I felt was proper, for the project at hand.

Plus (part one):

I've been wanting to re-do one of the animations that had previously provoked a lot of response, in times past, this time, with no concern to memory size (MANY apologies to the low-bandwidth folks out there...)

Plus (part two):

A couple of candidates running in primaries were asking for a custom version of this animation (which uses the same soundtrack.) Unfortunately, the drive that contained the original source file for this piece had somehow become inoperative/corrupted, so I had to create a similar piece, to replace the lost one, in short order.

Plus (part three):

I could have spent another 2 weeks searching for a new piece of music, while I kept getting e-mails, whining for a new animation, only to produce a crappy piece, after having to settle for a substandard piece of music, out of expediency.

I'm off to play "The Movies", and investigate Drupal (the CMS platform that will serve as a core for the coming Bushflash 2.0.)

But before I go...


Recently, Rachel Bevilacqua, a fellow member of the Church of the Subgenius, was denied custody of her 10-year-old child, because of her faith, and ritual activities that took place during our church's X-Day drill..

Read the full story here.

Okay, okay- Rachel and I both happen to believe that we're descendents of the Yeti of western/Tibetan folklore, and that our church is locked in eternal struggle with a conspiracy of Pinks controlled by Nazi Hell Creatures that reside within the earth's core. Yeah, we hold as an article of faith that on July 5, 1998, all paid-in-full members of our church will be rescued ("Ruptured") by Xist-beings (summoned by the radio broadcasts of Amos and Andy), before they lay waste to/enslave/
disregard this misbegotten planet of clocks.

But does that mean Rachel or I would make worse parents than the Hiltons?

Let's take into consideration the parents of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears: What's more dangerous- a parent that belongs to a wacky or mocking religion, or a parent that allows their sub-teen daughter to get breast implants? Considering we live in a nation in which a half-dozen states are trying to criminalize gay/lesbian/bisexual parenting, this is just another step down the wrong fork in the road.

Rachel needs your help, for legal bills- check out her site, and contribute money to her cause, here...

MARCH 21 , 2006
Seriously- three times in about two months, I've relapsed into a catatonic, snot-encrusted existence, and I'm sick of this. Canada- please see if you can send some of your cheap antibiotics our way. Just as Hugo Chavez sent cheap heating oil, your new PM would make a bold statement by doing the same, and helping us out with cheaper meds.

When I was two weeks late in getting the first anniversary animation up, no one said a word. When I posted the second year's animation three weeks after the exact date, no one seemed to notice. This time around, everyone's on my butt to get this done, yesterday.

I've spent the past two days getting pics together, and I can see why I've had such a hard time, getting back into the swing of things, animation-wise:

Spend twelve hours looking at hundreds upon hundreds of the most gruesome, depressing, and heartbreaking images that your mind could ever conceive of, and well- it takes a toll on you. The most disturbing thing, this time around, are the new images that are emerging of Iraqi kids (and I mean KIDS- less than 10 years old), brandishing automatic weapons.

This is the future of Iraq- this is the future that we have created for them. We have created a generation of Bin Ladens and Zarqawis.


The Iraqi civil war has long since begun, and even Fox "News" is having a hard time keeping a happy face on the situation. When I tune into Wolf Blitzer and Lou Dobbs, I'm surprised to hear them (three years too late), asking the same questions we've been asking, since the beginning of this debacle.

But here's what gets me: The talking heads have had a number of ex-administration officials on the air, to explain the bold assurances they made three years ago that the war in Iraq would be a quick and clean operation. They have asked each and every one of them:

"Three years ago, did you ever expect us to be facing an insurgency, at this level, three years later?"

Each and every one of them shrugs their shoulders, flings their hands into the air in a gesture of futility, and says "We had no idea."

For the love of all that is sane- where did they find these people? They thought we could bomb the hell out of the place, invade a nation that holds within its borders one of the oldest civilizations on earth, occupy it, disband its army, neglect the hell out of the place, provide no security, electricity, healthcare, or infrastructure, give all contracts for rebuilding the place to US corporations, torture their people, and basically treat the place a a jizz-rag for neocon war-lust, and they thought the Iraqi people would just be fine and dandy with that? They figured the average Iraqi would take alla this, and not fight back?


Note to the next administration: I'm a college dropout. I didn't attend George Washington University, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or any of the mills that currently provide the grist for the Washington machine. I'm not a senior fellow, a lobbyist, or a DC insider, and I sure as heck wasn't at Bohemian Grove- but:

If you had asked me in February 2003, what would happen, should we invade Iraq, I would have said:

"We will never hold the country, cohesively. The best we can do, strategically, in the wake of any invasion, is to hold strongpoints, while chaos rules outside of our gates. The Shia will resent the Sunni for traditional reasons- as will the Sunni resent the Shia. Iran's influence in the area will increase- mostly in the south, and Al Qaeda will gain a foothold in the empty western third of Iraq, to reinforce the one they still hold in Afghanistan. Eventually, we'll have to withdraw, as Iraq turns into another Afghanistan."

"Further- no weapons of mass destruction will be found, and no connections between Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden will be found. Also- there's no Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus doesn't exist."

And I make 1/100th what Rumsfeld makes- who would figure?

I'm still for hire!

MARCH 18 , 2006

In the past 48 hours, I've finally been able to shake off the heaviness of soul that's dogged me, since the moment I stepped onto the 2:00 amtrak out of DC, two weeks back.

But here's what gets me:

Why can't we on the liberal blogosphere create a Lollapalooza to counter this dead incarnation of Woodstock?

I mean- I heard Crooks and Liars mentioned at this conference, more times than I can count- but the guys who run this juggernaut weren't even invited. Bushflash gets more traffic, 80% of the time, than the Republican Party's website. Too Stupid to be President has created enough original animation to fill two DVDs. Peace Takes Courage and Dick Eats Bush create videos, almost weekly. Liberty News TV and INN broadcast hot stuff, consistently, via the web.

There was a lot of talk about "viral video", at the IPDI conference- well- hell- In terms of political viral videos and webcasts- WE CREATED THEM.

At IPDI, I learned that the republican establishment is spending more than the democratic ivory tower, via the internet- but on the progressive side, independent web activity and activism outweighs that proffered by the right by a factor of four to one.

I have a fantasy, in my head: A gathering, hosted at a university that will allow a few hundred activists rent out four or five of their rooms for two days for a few hundred bucks. It has to be in a centrally-located major city, so folks can easily fly in. It would take place during summer break, so cheap dorm accommodations would be available, for attendees. Negotiations with nearby hotels/motels, to ensure cheap group rates are available would be good, and local activist communities would be brought in to coordinate.

During said conference, it'd be the standard open-forum panel discussions- but unlike IPDI, we'd not spend our hours congratulating each other using rote duckspeak- we'd spend our time learning new technologies, detailing how our most successful projects gained maximum impact, and how anyone can create their own media channel . And, of course, we'd have to bring in folks who can address core issues- the digital divide- computers in schools and libraries, and how to make the internet available to everyone- using the medium as a universal conduit of information, on a limited budget.

IPDI charged 500 dollars, just to walk through the door- we'd charge $30.00, and ties wouldn't be required.

Or, has something like this been done? I haven't seen anything of the sort, really...

Yeah, we have the Allied Media Conference, but a comprehensive forum/workshop concerning the possibilities and utilization of the internet on behalf of our dominant forces just doesn't seem to exist, as far as I can tell.

But that's just my fantasy.

Guten Nacht!

MARCH 16 , 2006

Haven't you noticed that more and more republicans are running AGAINST this administration? The ports deal clinched it- and being anti-bush is the way the republican party will maintain control of the congress...

Ingenious- Bravo, Mr. Rove. If the hicks out there are dumb enough to think that Bush actually cares about them, they're equally willing to believe that only the folks from Bush's own party are the ones who can stand up to him..

And people say I'M cynical...

And speaking of Cynicism- in the wake of my report from the IPDI conference, someone sent me this.

Ya know- my father once said: "If someone likes cats, they can't be all that bad." I have to say that this is an exception.

In my report, I mentioned a "smarmy, disingenuous smile that brings out the crow's feet on the youngest of faces."

Ta-dahhhh! Do I EVER lie to you, dear readers? I know the eyes are half-shut, but if you look closely, you can clearly see the lack of any soul...

I heartily recommend reading this guy's report. It's a perfect example of everything that I railed against.

"Blogger Smackdown", in-freaking-deed. Pay particular attention to the third paragraph, where he vomits out eight sentences of the most cynical and juvenile verbal excrement I've ever seen- it chilled my gut. The name dropping made me nauseous, and the final "He's going places" had me desperately clutching the sides of the toilet bowl, for hours.

How old is this dude? 25? Has he ever had a real job? Ever had to put in eight hard hours for a bum check? Does he know anything of what's going on in this country? No- he just knows how to package bullshit, and sell it as chocolate.

These creatures are poison in the heart of our republic.

MARCH 13 , 2006

The report is a long one- but I had a hell of a lot to write about. Look upon it as the opinions of an outsider who had a chance to enter the sausage factory, and witness how his breakfast was made...

I am taking time off, to produce a new animation. There will be one media update, every three days, until the piece is finished. After that, a new "Bushflash 2.0" mirror will be introduced, which will work within a CMS framework, and allow the site to function more smoothly- there will be more interactivity, and content will flood in, faster than you can follow it...

(At least, I hope that will be the case...)

But, one last trivial thing, before I go...

As many of you know, I'm a big fan of the new Battlestar Galactica series on SciFi network. In the (damned EXCELLENT) season finale, the 50,000 remaining humans had an election deciding who is to be the president of the colonal fleet- and what did they use?


No voting machines- no networks (because they'd be susceptible to Diebold (oops- I meant Cylon) interference.) The Incumbent Roslin (who every sane fan was rooting for) attempted to rig the vote, and her plot was discovered, because, well- they were using paper ballots.

If a ragtag fleet, relying on recycling systems in the vacuum of space, can provide such assurances of democracy, why can't we? Heh...

None of us geeks liked what happened- but the scene of Baltar sitting, victorious and alone in the wake of the nuking of Cloud Nine was one of the most effective I''ve ever seen on television. Gaius's assertion: "I don't have to listen- I'm the president" could very well have dripped from the lips of Dubya, hisself.

MARCH 8 , 2006

Folks- I have seen the future of inside-the-beltway DC politics, and we're all doomed. During the entirety of the IPDI conference, I felt as if I were wallowing in a demonic sub-reality, right out of a Steven King novel. (But the hotel was SWEET!)

I will be posting a detailed description, soon- but all I'll say for now, is that I met Mike Krempasky, the guy behind, and dammit if that guy doesn't have the thinnest skin I've ever seen on anyone in politics. I thought he was gonna cry, at one point in our brief conversation.


The third anniversary of the beginning of the war is coming soon, and I have to produce another animation. Further, It seems that Bushflash, indeed, can make a leap to a CMS- Within the next two months, I'll be posting a CMS-driven mirror, and for a while, Bushflash will just be about moving stuff to the new format. However, the day the CMS goes live, threads and forwarding will be active.

MARCH 5 , 2006

As much as I'd like to chatter on, tonight, there's too much to do- CMS crap, packing, and so forth.

I'll have a report, and hopefully good news concerning the site, on wednesday eve... It should be an interesting event, in which, once again, I star as the lone shaggy-haired freak in a crowd of Armani-clad D.C. wonks

One of these days, I'll figure out why they brought me in as a guest- I've been irrelevant, since december, 2004.

MARCH 3 , 2006

Hands-down, this video has been the talk of all the mediasphere, over the past hours.

In the wake of the video's release, "Heck of a Job" Brownie has been doing the talking-head rounds, and telling all.

Allow me to digress, to facilitate a smooth unfurling of this tale:

The Bush Bowl had a plan: Let's make an administration of incompetents, paid corporate functionaries, and flesh-eating zombies, all of which were given free reign to rape and plunder this country at will. The doors of power were flung open, and The Word was heard, in the corporate suites, the neoconservative think tanks, and the fraternity reunion mailing lists:

"Come unto us, and we shall give you great power, wealth, and influence. Your corporation will get exclusive government contracts- you will get swanky offices, within spitting distance of the oval office, and here's the sweetest part of the deal:

"You can screw up, at whim. Yep- you could cause a nuclear war to break out, through callous indifference, or neglect- thousands could die, billions of dollars could be lost- just STAY LOYAL, and we will all persevere, together...

"Should the worst happen, and such a disaster befall you during your tenure, gird your loins and be our fall guy. You'll be pilloried in the media- you'll be subject to public vilification, and you won't be popular, in the poorer sections of town, but if you weather the storm, serve as a valiant lightning rod, and wait a month or two until the public is distracted- you'll get a nice pension, and a medal. You, your bank account, and your associates will be protected by our plants over at the justice department, so fear not- just so long as you STAY LOYAL."

This worked, until Michael Brown, a man who'se appointment embodied the very essence of cronyism, found himself having to shoulder the burden of a disaster which eclipsed that which occurred on 9/11.

It was far too much for one man to bear- much less an unqualified, overgrown frat boy like Brownie. As much as I hate to give the guy credit- he's distinguished himself in this administration's post-Katrina debate by saying "Yeah- I screwed up- but hell- The guys above me were even MORE screwed up- look at what I had to work with!"

There's only so much blame one man can take, in the glare of open, public debate, before they crack.

In coming days, we shall see the tenuous chain of loyalty that has secured this administration from internal criticism break. The links of this chain will be cast free, and they will fall to the earth, causing an tintinnabulation of recrimination that will last for weeks to come.

(Until the next scandal breaks- give it five days- it's apparent that Rove has abandoned this administration, and is trying to secure the republican base, in preparation for november...)

MARCH 1 , 2006

Ya know- when I started this site, Bush was soaring at around 90% approval rating, and everyone was telling me that I was just an ignorant muslim terrorist.

Now, I've spent the night, researching presidential approval ratings, and to tell the truth, I've not found anything lesser than 34%- Bush is now, officially, the least popular president in this history of our republic.

Cheney only enjoys an 18% approval rating, in the wake of shooting an elderly man in the face.

The only reaction I have to the current trend in public sentiment?




I've had to sit here, for THREE DAMNED YEARS, forcing myself to catalogue the insanity of the administration that you've plugged your (miniscule) penises into, and goddamn it- as always, it turns out that the smallest ones are the last to pull out.


And it makes me smile.

(Note- be sure and check me out at the IPDI conference at George Washington University, this month. I probably won't use the words "ambulatory feces", during my presentation, but I'll most likely soil myself, onstage..)

Hey- can I send a shout out to the 49% of the visitors to this site, that come from outside of the United states?

Yo- dudes- look- the American people are waking up.

Please do not hate our nation, because of our government- they do not represent us. If we had a parliamentary system, this government would be out on it's ear, tomorrow. There are millions of US citizens who are working, everyday, to fix this situation- just give us a bit more time.

We're still a VERY young country, But we're learning, everyday. Lend us your faith, and we will lend you our solidarity.

To my fellow Americans- it's time to drive the nails home- give no quarter... Pursue, fight, and persevere.

FEBRUARY 27, 2006

The talking heads among the right have been belching out the most astounding thing, since the three-day curfew was lifted, over in Iraq. Apparently, "avoiding an all-out civil war" has taken its place as yet another example of the "great progress" we're making, in Iraq.

When, oh when, will a single one of these buffoons admit that the war they cheered on so mightily has been a dismal failure? Read the following excerpt from the Washington Post:

BAGHDAD, Feb.. 27 -- Grisly attacks and other sectarian violence unleashed by last week's bombing of a Shiite shrine have killed more than 1,300 Iraqis, making the past few days the deadliest of the war outside major U.S. offensives, according to Baghdad's main morgue. The toll was more than three times higher than the figure previously reported by the U.S. military and the news media.

Hundreds of unclaimed dead lay at the morgue at midday Monday -- sprawled, blood-caked men who had been shot, knifed, garroted or apparently suffocated by the plastic bags still over their heads. Many of the bodies had their hands still bound -- and many of them had wound up at the morgue after what their families said was their abduction by the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Three years on, this kinda stuff is still happening on an almost-monthly basis...

The problem is, that the curfew didn't stop anything- it just delayed the inevitable. The tensions are still there- the militias are still there, and the recent sectarian violence just stoked a fire that was already blazing out of control.

Now- I feel in my last post on the subject of the war in Iraq may have been a tad gloomy, to say the least. Indeed, there very well may be a solution that can bring this insanity to an end- but there's one thing: We cannot expect any such plan from the people who got us in there.

The Bush Bowl has shown consistently that it is fundamentally incapable of admitting a single error (see above.) They refuse to accept anything other than "stay the course", when confronted with the fruits of their patent incompetence. If it's nakedly obvious that any policy is failing, drum it up in the press as a "great success", and increase the funding.

Just as this nest of vipers has proven itself unable to wage war, they will similarly fail at any effort they make at creating peace.

Any attempt at successfully extricating the united states from the Iraq quagmire must have, as its core precept, that it was a mistake, from day one, to have initiated this conflict, in the first place- and in order to accept this fact, you must reject the entirety of the neoconservative ideology that lies as the cornerstone of this administration's world view.

And the only party that can bring about such a change is the Democratic party....

Did the next 12 years just start looking a tad bleaker, or is it just me?