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Editorial: Where are we headed as a Nation?

May 24, 2007

As I sit here this evening, I have about three things that I would really like to write about. However, because I really do not want to write three different editorials, I am hoping I can combine all three streams of thought into one well-written editorial. I figure, hell, shoot for the moon, and if I happen to hit mars too, even better. No, I am not trying to do a bad imitation of Molly Ivins. She was writing snarky articles about Republicans, when I was still pooping green. Besides, she was a much better writer that I will ever be.

I happened to watch Keith Olbermann’s special commentary last night. I am glad to see that I am not the only person that happens to think that our current President is a blithering idiot. However, I was quite surprised to see, that in the world of Blogs, what I thought was going to be a rather large atomic bomb going off, turn out to be more of a minor incoming scud missile. And perhaps rightly so, It could very well be, that not everyone is in “must end war now” mode, As a Populist, and a firm believer in the idea that we must finish what we started, I think for us to draw out of the country of Iraq, like tomorrow, would be quite foolish. I am quite aware of the fact that the Invasion of Iraq was a tragic mistake, I really am. However, I also must ask the question, if we packed up and left, would not we be sending the message that we go into countries, destroy their infrastructure, and leave it for them to fix? That would be foolish!

I am, without apology a firm believer in finishing the job that we started. What I mean by that is, we must, at least try, to get that country to be able to survive on it’s own, before we pull out of the country of Iraq. Otherwise, we are going to have every Muslim in the world, hating us to the core. This would be fodder for the radical Muslims who want to see America and everyone in it dead. George W. Bush knows this; He is not entirely stupid. He may not be a good speaker, but I do not think he is as empty-headed as people give him credit for, Otherwise, he would not even be there.

So, really, all of this screaming, hollering, jumping up and down, and carrying on by the far left and some of our closer to the center type people is rather strange. I truly believe that I know what it is that the Democrats are doing. They are pulling a strategic move. They figure if they do not give Bush what he wants, our troops could suffer, so, they are giving the man what he wants. And they are watching the outcome, if it succeeds, they will take credit for assisting the President, and if it fails, they will paint his Presidency as the worst ever, and the Democrats will be painted as the ones who saved America from the nutty Neo-Conservative President. So, personally, as a progressive populist, I think the term “Betrayal”, used by Keith Olbermann was a little bit strong. Everyone I think, No matter where you sit on the fence politically, needs to step back and look at the bigger picture. Many people fail to do this, because they are locked into their political ideologies. There are many sides, to the Iraqi coin, not just the side that the far left wants to look at.

Meanwhile, while everyone and their uncle is having a full body orgasm about the Iraq war. Our rather wonderful Congress is trying to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. This is one thing, I will not understand. Why the in world should this country, give citizenship to anyone who has jumped a fence to get here? To me that would be like someone robbing a bank, at gunpoint, and the cops telling the person “Well, seeing you really needed the money, you can have amnesty”. Last time I checked, against the law was against the law. Think I am racist? I am not more of a racist than the demonstrators who I have seen carrying signs that say, “We are reclaiming our land” and “Gringo’s go back to England”. I ask you, who are the real racists. And better yet, who is the opportunists? Wanting a hand out that they have not even earned? I think if you are being very honest with yourselves, you will know the correct answer.

One can only hope that our congressman and representatives will wake and realize that our nation already has a great legal immigration policy and this foolish tampering with it, will only further more endanger our nations sovereignty, throw gasoline on a already large jobless rate bonfire, embolden criminal activity and spread infectious diseases within our society. I do truly hope that this idiotic bill dies a proper death in congress or the house.
Chuck Adkins - Editor - The Populist | | Reprinted by permission. | Give your feedback on this article.

What is Blackwater and why are they in Iraq?

Throughout the history of warfare, there have been soldiers for hire. In early wars, the soldiers fought for the booty they could take in battle. Over time the booty has become a paycheck. In the past the mercenaries fought for the highest bidder. What if anything has changed? Can we be assured of their loyalty? If we can be certain about loyalty what about their conduct as representatives of the U.S. in a foreign theater?

In the war theater of Iraq it is estimated that there are some 20,000 mercenaries and possibly more fighting alongside American military troops and protecting American business interests in-country. The number of casualties, mission parameters and operating orders are all closely guarded secrets with only minimal information being provided to the public as to their activities. The press has barely scratched the surface in their reporting of organizations such as Blackwater and Triple Canopy which describe themselves as Private Security Firms. Since these troops are not expressly governed by the Geneva Convention accords or the Uniform Code of Military Conduct, it raises some concerns that they seemingly operate without any oversight or accountability to the public despite accounting for billions of tax dollars in war spending.

Who is running the show for companies such as Blackwater? By all appearances it seems to be lockstep neo-conservatives and supporters of the Bush Doctrine and PNAC agenda for Middle Eastern reformation in the image of America. The head of Blackwater is Erik Prince who is a former Navy SEAL and staunch conservative who campaigned in 1992 for Pat Buchannan and interned in the George H.W. Bush White House. The billionaire son of an auto parts and machinery manufacturer formed Blackwater in 1997 with fellow conservative and former Navy SEAL Gary Jackson. This same organization is affiliated with former George W. Bush era CIA officials like J. Cofer Black who supported ideas such as those of now Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez that torture of foreign prisoners labeled "enemy combattants" was acceptable under certain circumstances despite it expressly being forbidden for prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.

Why should we be concerned about mercenaries in the Iraq war if they have been involved in every war since the beginning of warfare? In a war to win hearts and minds such as the "War on Terror", the actions of our military personnel, whether private or government, reflect on our nation as a whole and will help to form the opinions of future generations of people toward America. Keeping in mind that the feud between the Sunni and Shia goes back 1300 years and they are still nearly as focused on the source of the feud as they were 1300 years ago, we are dealing with a culture in Iraq that does not forgive and forget. If our soldiers are violating the citizens of Iraq, the stories will pass from generation to generation until retribution is percieved to be at a level satisfactory to the injustice suffered.

So what can be done to make sure our tax dollars are not funding human rights abuses committed by private U.S. troops? Our Congress has the ability to cut appropriations for private security firms if they are not publicly disclosing all actions and orders. We can call on our elected officials to use the power of the purse to keep the private security firms accountable. While our military may be stretched thin, it does not follow that we should hire groups that have the ability to violate the established codes of wartime conduct to fill the gaps. A simple letter to your Congressman or Congresswoman telling them that you are concerned about the hiring of private military personnel without oversight can make a difference. Tell your elected officials to hold them accountable or stop paying them. Send and e-mail to your Senator via the Senate website or contact your U.S. Representative via the House of Representatives website today.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article.

Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to:

Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to


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