Sunday, April 23, 2006

Guarding the Nuclear Cliff

We all saw that President George W. Bush's meeting with fellows at the Hoover Institution on Friday was stopped by the presence of more than 1,000 protestors at Stanford at White Plaza and in front of the Hoover Tower. These protestors forced Bush to change his plans. The meeting with advisers and faculty members and the President was changed and took place at the residence of former Secretary of State and Hoover Fellow George Shultz on the outskirts of the Stanford campus.

More than 100 armed law enforcement and Secret Service officers lined the streets outside of Encina Commons, as students, parents, faculty members and local residents protested Bush’s anticipated arrival on east campus. Outside the Hoover Institution, the crowd chanted, “Hey-Hey-Ho-Ho-Bush is here, he’s got to go.” Another popular slogan targeted the conflict in Iraq, as students yelled, “1-2-3-4-We don’t want your fuckin’ war-5-6-7-8-Stop the killing, Stop the hate.”

As the protest grew louder, the Sheriff’s Department attempted to clear the street to provide the president’s motorcade a safe entrance into the complex. When the students refused to obey these verbal commands, more than 50 police officers in full riot gear were called to the scene. Dressed in protective helmets, the officers used their batons to push individuals back from the Tower.

In response to the use of physical force, students directed their chants at the perceived infringement of their rights.

“Whose campus—Our campus. Whose streets—our streets,” they yelled. “Tell me what democracy looks like—this is what democracy looks like.”

I never liked using the word trend, but what is occurring in California should be done in every city and on every campus across the United States. I agree with Steve Westly, the front-running Democratic candidate in the 2006 California gubernatorial race when he states that there needs to be a new wave of student activism around the country.

Judd at Think Progress reminds us:
The Hoover Institution is a think tank that has been aggressively promoting the viability of a preemptive military strike in Iran.

What struck my attention was the comment by James Risser at Think Progress which reads:
This IS the October surprise:

At the end of September 2006, the Joint Functional Component Command for Space and Global Strike is scheduled to achieve Full Operational Capability (FOC). That event builds on Global Strike capabilities developed over many years to provide new offensive strike options to the President against proliferators of weapons of mass destruction.

I am by no means a scholar, but what James is talking about is not ludicrious. It was written just the other day, by John W. Dean in his article in Findlaw's Writ. I recommend that you read it, because we all know that the President is indeed becoming increasingly dangerous. However, I did want to point out that Dean did bring up the subject of an October Surprise:

[...] But more likely, Bush may mount a unilateral attack on Iran's nuclear facilities - hoping to rev up his popularity. (It's a risky strategy: A unilateral hit on Iran may both trigger devastating Iran-sponsored terrorist attacks in Iraq, with high death tolls, and increase international dislike of Bush for his bypass of the U.N. But as an active/negative President, Bush hardly shies away from risk.) Another rabbit-out-of-the-hat possibility: the capture of Osama bin Laden.

If there is no "October Surprise," I would be shocked. And if it is not a high-risk undertaking, it would be a first. Without such a gambit, and the public always falls for them, Bush is going to lose control of Congress. Should that happen, his presidency will have effectively ended, and he will spend the last two years of it defending all the mistakes he has made during the first six, and covering up the errors of his ways.

There is, however, the possibility of another terrorist attack, and if one occurred, Americans would again rally around the president - wrongly so, since this is a presidency that lives on fear-mongering about terror, but does little to truly address it. The possibility that we might both suffer an attack, and see a boost to Bush come from it, is truly a terrifying thought.

It worries me greatly when the President meets with Hoover fellows, but I am also encouraged when I see that students are becoming active and actually stop the meeting from occurring on their campus. It worries me even more when the President states: "I am the decider and I decide what's best." In making that statement, he is actually telling the American People that he has taken away their rights. He is telling us that he is going to be making the decisions. My husband cannot fathom Congress going along with the notion that the United States will attack Iran. I wish I had his optimism but I worry that Congress will just go along with whatever the President decides. It is time for Bush and his power mad administration to be brought to justice and impeached. Americans should not stand by and let the Bush Administration push civilization over the nuclear cliff.

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