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Consider:

"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"







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Thursday, 19 August 2004

Topic: Couldn't be so...

From the department of Oops! - Need some spin here, and some damage control....

Three items - sex, soccer and religion....

Sex

Markos Moulitsas Z?niga (known as Kos) points out an event here - the Bush administration's "point man" charged with getting Catholics to vote for Bush, and get the Church to deny Kerry communion and maybe get him excommunicated, has just resigned. The fellow's name is Deal Hudson. It seems he fondled two underage students and engaged in public sex with a third, all in one night.

This qualifies as an Oops. And how did he get that first name Deal?

Kos points to the Catholic Reporter here - they broke the story.

The matter-of-fact New York Times item is here.

He also points to commentary here in the Revealer arguing the Times underplayed it.
... we think it should be huge on the front page. Not because Hudson turns out to be a hypocrite [...] but because of what even a perfunctory investigation reveals about the administration's approach to the Catholic vote. "'If you wanted to get something to the top inner circles of the White House from a Catholic perspective, you could contact Deal Hudson and it was delivered.'"
Maybe so. But this is not a big deal. There's war on, after all. And everyone is trying to figure out whether John Kerry faked his service in Vietnam and is really a cowardly wimp and secretly French and all that.
Kos himself says this -
... Hudson hardly represents mainstream American Catholicism. As readers of his magazine, Crisis -- or his frequent email blasts -- know, he's the Ann Coulter of Catholicism, a profoundly angry writer who expresses his faith via vitriolic denunciations not just of liberals, but of anyone within the Catholic Church who doesn't conform to Hudson's rulings. He's a punisher.
It's easy to see why he fit in nicely in the Bush administration.
Ah, but he's left the Bush administration. It seems good Catholics have these problems with sex, even the priests (or especially the priests). There is a reason all of us guys in high school loved those girls from the Catholic schools, in those cute uniforms with the tiny skirts. Such conflict and guilt meant action. It is all most curious.

For background on the Bush administration's efforts to turn the Catholic vote from Kerry, a Catholic, to Bush, a born-again evangelical Methodist, see Just Above Sunset:
April 25, 2004 - The Vatican Rag
May 9, 2004 - On your knees, America!
July 4, 2004: Heresy - In the Specific Religious (and Los Angeles) Meaning of the Term


Soccer

Just out in Sports Illustrated (part of Time-Warner, the parent company to CNN and all that) we find this -

Iraqi soccer players angered by Bush campaign ads

Say what?

Well, if you click here you can see the television ad the Bush folks have been running concerning the Iraqi soccer teams tearing up at the Olympics. Yep, the really are winning big. In the ad you see the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan. The voice-over - deep and resonant and male - intones, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations - and two fewer terrorist regimes." Bully for our side. Bully for Bush.

Many of us have seen the spot here and there on the major networks.

But the Iraqi players are ticked off.

From the Sports Illustrated interviews -

Iraqi midfielder Salih Sadir - "Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign. He can find another way to advertise himself." And this: "I want the violence and the war to go away from the city. We don't wish for the presence of Americans in our country. We want them to go away"

Ahmed Manajid, who played as a midfielder on Wednesday - "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women? He has committed so many crimes." And this - as he is from the city of Fallujah. He says coalition forces killed a cousin, who was fighting as an insurgent, and several of his friends, and adds tha if he were not playing soccer he would "for sure" be fighting as part of the resistance. "I want to defend my home. If a stranger invades America and the people resist, does that mean they are terrorists? Everyone [in Fallujah] has been labeled a terrorist. These are all lies. Fallujah people are some of the best people in Iraq."

Iraqi soccer coach Adnan Hamad - "My problems are not with the American people. They are with what America has done in Iraq: destroy everything. The American army has killed so many people in Iraq. What is freedom when I go to the [national] stadium and there are shootings on the road?"

Scott Stanzel, a spokesperson for Bush's campaign - "The ad simply talks about President Bush's optimism and how democracy has triumphed over terror. Twenty-five million people in Iraq are free as a result of the actions of the coalition."

Free, perhaps. But not exactly happy.


Religion

Lieutenant General William G. Boykin has come up before in Just Above Sunset - see November 23, 2003: Why We Fight.

He's the fellow who gave all those speeches in churches, in uniform, that said this was a religious war. Our God against theirs. My favorite? Why we won the first war so easily and the second war so quickly - when he directed the battle against this enemy "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.''

Boykin also said the enemy in the war on terror was Satan and that God had put President Bush in the White House.

By the way, Boykin is deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence - no small irony there, and he works closely with his boss, Douglas Feith - one of the most famous neoconservatives. (Many believe the Abu Ghraib business and our torture-as-policy comes from these two guys)

Cool. And for additional detail check out David Corn in The Nation on November 24th last year - Ann Coulter's Religious War - Republicans and conservatives say the darnest things - as it's kind of funny.

But the Associated Press is reporting this -

Probe Examines General's Remarks on Terror
August 19, 2004

Busted!
A Pentagon investigation has concluded that a senior military intelligence officer violated regulations by failing to make clear he was not speaking in an official capacity when he made church speeches casting the war on terrorism in religious terms, a senior defense official said Thursday.

... The Boykin investigation report has not been publicly released. Its findings were described Thursday by a senior defense official who is familiar with its conclusions. The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because the report has not been acted upon yet by acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee.

... The Washington Post, which first reported the conclusion of the inspector general's investigation in its Thursday editions, said the probe determined that Boykin discussed his involvement in the war on terrorism at 23 religious-oriented events since January 2002 and that he wore his uniform while speaking at all but two. He spoke mostly at Baptist or Pentecostal churches.

The Post also reported that the investigation concluded that Boykin violated a regulation by failing to report reimbursement of travel costs from one of the sponsoring religious groups.

After the controversy erupted, Boykin later issued a written statement apologizing to those who were offended and saying he did not mean to insult Islam. He has remained at his intelligence post during the investigation.
Ah, fudging the expense reports and saying things that inflame our enemies and enrage those of our friends who haven't yet found Jesus?

Well, he said he's sorry. But he's still on the job.

Dick Cheney this week said, "Those who threaten us and kill innocents around the world do not need to be treated more sensitively. They need to be destroyed."

Boykin is safe.

Posted by Alan at 18:31 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 20 August 2004 06:08 PDT home

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