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By Bill Gallagher

DETROIT -- Iraq is lost and we are losing Afghanistan. The U.S. Army is in shambles, and the entire military is in disarray. We are creating and nurturing more terrorists, and our nation is despised around the globe. The president's "war time consigliere" is a war criminal.

Our most fundamental constitutional rights are under assault as a spineless Congress gives the president the authority to jail anyone he wants for as long as he wants without even bringing charges.

George W. Bush has brought us to our most serious national identity crisis since the Civil War, and too few in civic life and the "watchdogs" in the corporate media are willing to challenge this mad and increasingly dangerous man. The Busheviks are using fear and propaganda to reshape our national values to serve their craven political purposes and addiction to power.

They are the enemy within, masters of deceit using the "war on terror" to declare war on the Bill of Rights and violate basic human rights around the world. Bush is a lying, immoral coward who uses religion to spread hate and division. He is a vile, irredeemable fraud, and like most of those who crave dictatorial power, a mistake of history whose arrogance and megalomania are substitutes for leadership and decency.

America better wake up in a hurry or we are going to find ourselves sliding deeper into a fascist state and then wondering, "Gee, how did this happen?" And like many of the fascist experiments in the 20th century, the dictators get their dirty deeds done with the complicity of a cowardly legislature.

If Congress can give the president the sole authority to define and detain an "unlawful enemy combatant" indefinitely, who's next? The law is a horrible ploy the Republicans enacted to show how "tough" they are on terrorists, while trampling on the Constitution in the process.

It is a sad and significant step into the netherland of totalitarianism masked as a tool in protecting the nation from terrorism. A New York Times editorial nailed it: "The Bush administration uses Republicans' fear of losing their majority to push through ghastly ideas about antiterrorism that will make American troops less safe and do lasting damage to our 217-year-old nation of laws -- while doing nothing to protect the nation from terrorists."

Since most Americans, as polls show, will go along with just about any measure billed as "antiterrorist," the Busheviks are getting away with it. And you know Karl Rove and the other ruthless, amoral political slime George W. Bush wallows with will use this awful law to smear Democrats as being "soft on terrorism." The only urgency for enacting the hastily crafted legislation was to use it for the November elections.

The Fascist Detention Act will also serve as a convenient diversion from the ongoing disaster in Iraq, detailed in a National Intelligence Estimate. The war has become a "cause celebre" for Islamic terrorists, the NIE report finds, and invading and occupying Iraq is having just the opposite result that Bush and the warmongers promised.

While the findings are no surprise to regular readers of this space, the conclusions of 16 government intelligence agencies completed in April officially affirm what has been clear for a long time and a few of us predicted: Bush's war in Iraq fuels radicalism and inflames global terrorism.

Bush squealed like a stuck pig when his war was exposed as not the "forefront of the war on terror" as he claims, but rather a bloody incubator for another generation of Islamic radicalism that is becoming more diverse, dangerous and far-reaching. Bush has given Osama bin Laden what he could never have achieved himself. Bush is bin Laden's dream and the world's nightmare.

"If this trend continues, threats to U.S. interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide," the NIE document says. "The confluence of shared purpose and dispersed actors will make it harder to find and undermine jihadist groups."

We have our own cast of despicable characters -- Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and the other neocon nuts -- to credit for this fiasco that has resulted in the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history. It will take generations to undo the damage these incompetent fools have wrought.

The NIE report is not a "snapshot," as White House flack Tony Snow claimed, but a detailed forecast and analysis of the upcoming terrorist threat. All the spin the Busheviks and their blowhard cheerleaders in the mainstream media can muster will not change this irrefutable and unimpeachable fact: The U.S. government's own intelligence agencies have concluded Bush's war in Iraq is increasing the number of terrorists and the terrorist threat to our nation.

Calvin Trillin, "The Nation" magazine's poetic wit, put it best:

Iraq's connected, just as Bush implied
Producing fighters for the other side.
If we just stay the course and not take flight
We'll never lack for terrorists to fight.

Sound military minds are warning that Rumsfeld has created a disaster in Iraq, and the situation will only get worse without a dramatic change of direction.

Speaking at a Democratic Policy Committee hearing, Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who recently retired, said,

"Secretary Rumsfeld's dismal strategy resulted in the unnecessary deaths of American servicemen and women, our allies, and the good people of Iraq."

The fact that Bush keeps Rummy around is most telling. Sacking him would actually improve the likelihood of success in Iraq, be politically popular, improve military morale, and the Pentagon brass would be dancing in the streets. But Bush will never do it, because he is inextricably tied to Rumsfeld's "don't bother me with the truth" mind set, and Cheney won't allow it.

Batiste, a lifelong Republican, told the committee he and other generals had repeatedly asked for more troops and support, but were denied by the Bush administration. "Bottom line, our nation is in peril, our Department of Defense's leadership is extraordinarily bad, and our Congress is only today, more than five years into this war, beginning to exercise its oversight responsibilities," Batiste said.

That's because the Republicans in Congress are too busy fostering fascist statutes and they don't have time to spend on trivial matters like the $6 billion-a-month war that has killed more Americans than the 9/11 attacks, left more than 50,000 Iraqis dead and turned the "liberated" nation into a place of promiscuous violence and lawlessness with a destroyed infrastructure, squalid living conditions and rampant poverty.

Bush's nation-building experiment has created a human-rights Frankenstein and made many Iraqis long for the more gentle days under the regime of Saddam Hussein, the "dictator" Bush ousted so we could brings the joys of "freedom" there.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry police may have aid cut because U.S. law prohibits financing of foreign security forces engaged in "gross violations of human rights." A report in The New York Times points to evidence of "systematic torture and abuse" of detainees in a Baghdad prison that could trigger what's known as the Leahy Law and require a curtailment of U.S. funding for the Shiite-dominated police force.

A human rights report the United Nations mission in Iraq published found victims who had "lesions resulting from torture," as well as "equipment used for this purpose." Sen. Patrick Leahy, who authored the law that bears his name, told the Times, through an aide, "There is abundant evidence that Iraqi government forces are committing atrocities with impunity, yet the Pentagon had refused to report on its procedures for monitoring U.S. aid to these forces."

But Rumsfeld doesn't give a damn about Iraq now, and as he said when Baghdad was being looted, "Things happen." If need be, maybe the Busheviks will just repeal the Leahy Law and officially sanction U.S.-funded torture. Bush could argue that "we're torturing them there, so we don't have to torture them here."

Bush is having his Walter Cronkite moment. Following the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, Cronkite, the respected CBS news anchor, went there and declared the war as the Johnson administration was conducting it was "unwinnable." Lyndon Johnson saw the report and lamented, "If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost the country."

Bush has lost Bob Woodward. His new book, "State of Denial," describes a divided, confused and dysfunctional White House, and a president and Secretary of Defense who ignored early and specific warnings that their Iraq strategy was not working.

Woodward's two previous books about the war, "Plan of Attack" and "Bush at War," were written with Bush and Cheney's cooperation and were glowing chronicles of our resolute "war president" and the vice president who really calls the shots.

But "State of Denial" -- the title tells is all -- paints Bush as publicly proclaiming progress in Iraq while privately being told that the country was unraveling. Woodward cites a February 2005 memo from Philip D. Zelikow, a counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, declaring that "at this point Iraq remains a failed state shadowed by constant violence and undergoing revolutionary political change."

The Intelligence Division of the Joint Staff memo written on May 24, 2006, warned the White House that the future for Iraq remains bleak: "Insurgents and terrorists retain the resources and capabilities to sustain and even increase current levels of violence through the next year." I wonder what "Last Throes" Cheney thought about that one. He and his boy Bush refused to cooperate with Woodward's latest volume.

He reveals Bush has been getting war counseling from the Machiavellian master of international treachery and deceit, Dr. Henry Kissinger. Old Hank probably missed his late night chats with the Scotch-gulping, pill-popping Richard Nixon. Now he has another nut for his den of duplicity.

Kissinger cannot travel to several countries because he's afraid he'll be arrested for his involvement in the assassination of Gen. Rene Schneider, the commander in chief of the Chilean army in 1970. The move cleared the way for a coup and the following decades of political murders, kidnapping and torture in Chile under Kissinger's handpicked dictator, Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Bush's Iraq war adviser was also the mastermind behind the secret and illegal bombing of Cambodia that murdered 600,000 peasants.

This real-life Dr. Strangelove gave Indonesian President Suharto the OK to invade East Timor, a small, predominantly Catholic nation. Indonesian death squads murdered more than 200,000 people, a third of the population, according to an Amnesty International report. Kissinger's deal made torture the standard of civic life in East Timor.

These are the credentials Kissinger brings to his sit-downs with Bush and Cheney. Certainly, Kissinger told his pal Woodward how he compared war presidents Nixon and George W. Bush, but that's one morsel of gossip Woodward won't share in his book. It would get Kissinger's backdoor pass to the White House yanked.

But it probably went something like this: Kissinger, in his thick German accent, confided in Woodward, "Bob, let me assure you, even when he was drunk and self-medicated, President Nixon was more engaged and curious than President Bush. I tell you, Bob, Bush is far more out of touch with reality than Nixon ever was. But Bob, you can't mention that. It would frighten the world. Besides, I must maintain my access. My clients expect that."

"Don't worry, Henry. I'll keep it under wraps," Woodward assures. "Besides, I'll be able to use it in my next book detailing his dry-drunk delusions. I'm going to call it 'Bush Unraveled.'"

Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is gallaghernewsman@sbcglobal.net.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com October 3 2006