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mental invalid

did anyone see thomas friedman report about 9/11 on discovery lasy nite??

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ive been meaning to start a thread about this guy, i think he is just brilliant and does a wonderful job of conveying so much information and emotion into his pieces....i look forward to his op eds every week....he writes for the New York Times.....


anyways i think discovery is doing an encore of the show, next tuesday, check for local listings....he goes all over the mideast and to indonesia and actually sits down with people of all types, asks good questions, but more importantly just listens....its really quite fascinating....and i think important to hear....unfortunately im sure the one who really should be watching, those of blinded rage and ignorance wont be watching or listening, but maybe you can give them the gist....i highly suggest that the few of you im thinking of make an attempt to check it out....let me know what ya think....


here just one example of his writing, not for the short attention span



Repairing the World




Some days, you pick up the newspaper and you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Let's see, the prime minister of Serbia just got shot, and if that doesn't seem like a bad omen then you missed the class on World War I. Our strongest ally for war in Iraq is Bulgaria — a country I've always had a soft spot for, because it protected its Jews during World War II, but a country that's been on the losing side of every war in the last 100 years. Congress is renaming French fries "freedom fries." George Bush has managed to lose a global popularity contest to Saddam Hussein, and he's looking to build diplomatic support in Europe by flying to the Azores, a remote archipelago in the Atlantic, to persuade the persuaded leaders of Britain and Spain to stand firm with him. I guess the North Pole wasn't available. I've been to the Azores. It was with Secretary of State James Baker on, as I recall, one of his seven trips around the world to build support for Gulf War I. Mr. Baker used the Azores to refuel.


Having said all that, I am glad Mr. Bush is meeting with Tony Blair. In fact, I wish he would turn over leadership on the whole Iraq crisis to him. Mr. Blair has an international vision that Mr. Bush sorely needs. "President Bush should be in charge of marshaling the power for this war," says the Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen, "and Tony Blair should be in charge of the vision for which that power should be applied."


Why? What does Tony Blair get that George Bush doesn't? The only way I can explain it is by a concept from the Kabbalah called "tikkun olam." It means, "to repair the world." If you listened to Tony Blair's speeches in recent weeks they contain something so strikingly absent from Mr. Bush's. Tony Blair constantly puts the struggle for a better Iraq within a broader context of moral concerns. Tony Blair always leaves you with the impression that for him the Iraq war is just one hammer and one nail in an effort to do tikkun olam, to repair the world.


Did you see Mr. Blair's recent speech about the environment? He called for a new "international consensus to protect our environment and combat the devastating impacts of climate change." "Kyoto is not radical enough," he said. "Ultimately this is about our world as a global community. . . . What we lack at present is a common agenda that is broad and just. . . . That is the real task of statesmanship today."


Did you hear Mr. Blair talk Friday about the Middle East conflict? "We are right to focus on Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction," he said, "but we must put equal focus on the plight of the people whose lives are being devastated by lack of progress in the peace process. Israeli civilians and Palestinians."


Contrast that with Mr. Bush. His White House declaration about resuming the peace process was delivered with all the enthusiasm of someone about to have his teeth drilled. On the environment, the president has never appreciated how damaging it was for him to scrap the Kyoto treaty, which was unimplementable, without offering an alternative. Nothing has hurt America's image more than the impression Mr. Bush has left that when it comes to terrorism — our war — there must be a universal crusade, but on the environment — the universal concern of others — we'll do whatever we want.


Yes, some people and nations are just jealous of America's power and that's why they oppose us on Iraq. But there is something more to the opposition. I deeply identify with the president's vision of ending Saddam Hussein's tyranny and building a more decent, progressive Iraq. If done right, it could be so important to the future of the Arab-Muslim world, which is why I won't give up on this war. But can this Bush team be counted on to do it right? Mr. Bush's greatest weakness is that too many people, at home and abroad, smell that he's not really interested in repairing the world. Everything is about the war on terrorism.


Lord knows, I don't diminish the threats we face, but for 18 months all we've been doing is exporting our fears to the world. Virtually all of Mr. Bush's speeches are about how we're going to protect ourselves and whom we're going to hit next. America as a beacon of optimism — America as the world's chief carpenter, not just cop — is gone. We need a little less John Wayne and a little more J.F.K. Once we get this Iraq crisis behind us, we need to get back to exporting our hopes, not just our fears.

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Originally posted by mental invalid

We need a little less John Wayne and a little more J.F.K.


Yeah. That sums up a lot of it.


I didn't watch the show, but now I will.



You'll find this article interesting, roe:




9-11 Commission Funding Woes

Questions arise concerning the administration's funding of the congressional investigation into the September 11th attacks


Is the Bush White House trying to put the brakes on the congressional panel created last fall to investigate 9-11 attacks? Sources tell TIME that the White House brushed off a request quietly made last week by the 9-11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, to boost his budget by $11 million. Kean had sought the funding as part of the $75 billion supplemental spending bill that the president just requested to pay for war with Iraq. Bush's recent move has miffed some members of the 9-11 panel.


Kean and former congressman Lee Hamilton, the panel's top Democrat, requested additional funding in a letter to the administration last week. The money was to pay for a staff of about sixty and their resources. Kean plans to field a separate task force for each of nine areas that the law establishing the commission requires it to investigate. The panel has until the end of May 2004 to complete its work, but it will spend the $3 million it was originally allotted by around August 2003 — if it doesn't get the supplement. "We hope that this request will be included in the supplemental appropriations proposal now being prepared by the administration," wrote Kean and Hamilton in a March 19 letter to a CIA official who is in charge of intelligence community budgeting. The request has been endorsed by the entire bipartisan commission at a recent meeting. In denying the request, the White House irritated many of the members of the commission. "This is very counterproductive if the White House's intention is to prevent the commission from being politicized, because it will look like they have something to hide," said a Republican member of the commission.


On Tuesday night, the White House sidestepped the issue of why the request wasn't granted in the Iraq spending bill. "We've just recently received the letter and we're reviewing it and we look forward to talking about it with Gov. Kean," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "Questions beyond that would be kind of jumping ahead of where it is right now," McClellan said when asked whether the White House had discussed the matter with Kean or plans to back the budget increase in the future. This afternoon, McClellan added: "We have received a request from the Commission for additional funding, and we are working with them to determine what additional resources they need. We want to make sure they have all the necessary resources, including ample funds, to get the job done." But Kean had presented his $11 million request along with a detailed one-page analysis showing that the commissioners already feel they have determined exactly what they need.


Moments after the White House updated its position on Wednesday, Kean told TIME in a phone interview that the White House had just told him they would likely back his request. "The wording they gave me — because I always pay attention to how people word thing — was 'Please be assured that the White House wants this commission funded adequately.'" Kean said the White House told him this afternoon that "they had hoped to be able to go over our budget last week. They just weren't able to." Kean added that they wanted to keep a "clean bill"—but now they don't mind if Congress adds the money. McClellan said this evening that the White House is "looking into whether some additional funding might be available without any further legislation."


The latest effort to curtail funding has angered victims of the attacks. Stephen Push, a leader of the 9/11 victims' families, who are closely monitoring the commission, said the White House decision was another in a long line of efforts to water down or shrink the panel's role. "I think the fact that they didn't include it—didn't warn Gov. Kean that they weren't going to include it, didn't return my phone call—suggests to me that they see this as a convenient way for allowing the commission to fail," said Push. "They've never wanted the commission and I feel the White House has always been looking for a way to kill it without having their finger on the murder weapon." Push said the White House has ignored his phone calls and emails for weeks.


Other commission members were equally disheartened. Commission member Tim Roemer, a former Democratic congressman, said the probe is off to a disturbingly slow start and that failure to quickly provide the funding increase wouldn't help. "The White House should be strongly supporting that effort, given President Bush's compelling statement when he signed this bill into law," said Roemer, who last year served on the House-Senate joint inquiry on 9/11 that led to the creation of the commission. Roemer has gone so far as to draw comparisons with the $50 million provided to investigate the recent Columbia tragedy in which seven people died. "If we're looking at well over $11 million for that, we certainly should be looking for at least the same vicinity of money for how 3,000 people died and how to strengthen our homeland security," he said.


The slow start is particularly upsetting to some because the panel was given 18 months to complete its probe, and the clock has been ticking since November 27 but the commission has made scant progress in the four months since. Republican commissioner Slade Gorton, a former senator, told TIME that if the investigation needs more time, he'll support seeking an extension. "If I think more important work can be done of course, we'll ask for more time," Gorton said. "We're going to work with this deadline in mind." Kean said that, even though the panel has lost "considerable time," he adamantly opposes seeking an extension — unless "we simply couldn't do our job" without one. "My belief is that we will not be doing that.... It's not going to be easy and we're going to be under the gun, but I think we can do it." He added that a "two or three months' delay would put us right in the middle of the election season, and that's not when we want to report."

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nothing like NOT putting your money where your mouth is....



jesus christ, its just dumbfounding.......



you should check that show out bob....id like to know what ya think

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yeah i find his stuff to be on point and not to wordsy or long winded...if you want more ferris you can check some out at the new york times online....


heres one for the road



The Western Front


There are three fronts in this Iraq war: one in Iraq, one between America and its Western allies, and one between America and the Arab world. They are all being affected by this unilateral exercise of U.S. power. For now, I've embedded myself on the Western front, where, I can report, all is quiet. France is shocked and awed.



No, there is no massive retreat here from the position staked out by the French government and public opinion against the war in Iraq. But the angry chasm this has opened between Paris and both London and Washington has shocked many people here and prompted some to ask whether France went too far. The title of the latest cover story in the French newsmagazine Le Point said it all: "Have They Gone Overboard?" The "they" are President Jacques Chirac and his foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin.


Messrs. Chirac and de Villepin continue to insist that theirs was a principled opposition that will be vindicated. But some voices within the French foreign policy elite and the business community — which depends heavily on the U.S. for trade and investment — are now saying that Messrs. Chirac and de Villepin did indeed go too far. The term you hear most often is "intoxicated." These two became so intoxicated by how popular their anti-U.S., antiwar stand became across Europe, and in the whole world, that they went from legitimately demanding U.N. endorsement for any use of force in Iraq to blocking any U.N.-approved use of force — effectively making France Saddam's lawyer and protector.


"People here are a little lost now," said Alain Frachon, the senior editor of Le Monde. "They like that their country stood up for a principle, but they don't like the rift with the U.S. They are embarrassed by it."


French officials insist that their dispute with the U.S. was about means, not ends, but that is not true. It was about the huge disparity in power that has emerged between the U.S. and Europe since the end of the cold war, thanks to the vast infusion of technology and money into the U.S. military. That disparity was disguised for a decade by the softer touch of the Clinton team and by the cooperation over second-order issues, such as Kosovo and Bosnia.


But 9/11 posed a first-order threat to America. That, combined with the unilateralist instincts of the Bush team, eventually led to America deploying its expanded power in Iraq, with full force, without asking anyone. Hence the current shock and awe in Europe. As Robert Kagan, whose book "Of Paradise and Power" details this power gap, noted: "We and the Europeans today are like a couple who woke up one day, looked at each other and said, `You're not the person I married!' "


Yes, we have changed. "What Chirac failed to understand was that between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the twin towers, a new world was created," said Dominique Moisi, a French foreign policy expert. "In the past, the Americans needed us against the Soviets and would never go so far as to punish France for straying. But that changed after 9/11. You have been at war since then, and we have not, and we have not integrated that reality into our thinking [and what that means] in terms of America's willingness to go it alone. We have fewer common interests now and more divided emotions."


Indeed, the French argue that only bad things will come from this war — more terrorism, a dangerous precedent for preventive war, civilian casualties. The Bush team argues that this war will be a game-changer — that it will spark reform throughout the Arab world and intimidate other tyrants who support terrorists.


Can this war produce more of what the Bush team expects than the Europeans predict? Yes, it can. Can the breach between Europe and America be healed? Yes, it can. But both depend on one thing — how we rebuild Iraq. If we turn Iraq into a mess, the whole world will become even more terrified of unshackled U.S. power. If we rebuild Iraq into a decent, democratizing society — about which fair-minded people would say, "America, you did good" — the power gap between America and Europe will be manageable.


For now, though, Europeans are too stunned by this massive exercise of unilateral U.S. power to think clearly what it's about. I can't quite put my finger on it, but people here seem to feel that a certain contract between America and the world has been broken. Which is why so much is riding, far beyond Iraq, on what the Bush team builds in Iraq. If we build it, they will come around — I hope.

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Guest BROWNer

i'm sorry to be such a negative dink today, but what

the hell happened to the 9/11 commission?

talk about political irrelevance.

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Guest BROWNer

from another thread


Undercutting the 9/11 Inquiry from: nytimes op-ed


It's hard to believe that everything related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will not get the most thorough public scrutiny possible. But the federal investigative committee so reluctantly supported by the White House now seems in danger of being undermined. As the first hearings open in Manhattan today, committee members are chagrined to be going hat in hand to Congress for adequate financing. White House assurances led them to believe needed funds would be included in the supplemental war budget sent to the Capitol last week. But the commission's $11 million request was not there.


Reasonable people might wonder if the White House, having failed in its initial attempt to have Henry Kissinger steer the investigation, may be resorting to budgetary starvation as a tactic to hobble any politically fearless inquiry. The committee's mandate includes scrutiny of intelligence failures and eight other government areas.


The White House vows that in coming budget initiatives there will be no shortchanging of the nation's duty to face the facts of the tragedy. As things now stand, $3 million budgeted as start-up funding could run out this summer. An estimated $14 million is needed for the task of finding out precisely how the attackers were able to pull off their plot in which nearly 3,000 people died. This seems a bargain given the importance of the mission. By comparison, the inquiry into the shuttle disaster's loss of seven lives may cost an estimated $40 million, and the inquiry into the Whitewater controversy ate up more than $30 million.


The nation demands an unflinching 9/11 search. A forthright Congress could easily shake the money loose from the Capitol leadership. Everyone claims to have homeland security as a top priority, but anything less than a robust inquiry will amount to a fresh assault on domestic safety. Tim Roemer, a former congressman and a commission member now buttonholing old colleagues for the missing money, makes the case best: "Facing the facts won't kill us. Not getting them might."

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Originally posted by mental invalid




check the local listings, i think its on again tonite


8 and 11 PM EST.


I'm watching. You should too.

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