The Peach

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Saturday, December 18, 2004

Bush Dangerously Distorting Truth On N. Korea

In an article in the January/February 2005 issue of Foreign Affairs, Selig S. Harrison, the Chairmain of the Task Force on U.S. Korea Policy, has made this shocking discovery:
Relying on sketchy data, the Bush administration presented a worst-case scenario as an incontrovertible truth and distorted its intelligence on North Korea (much as it did on Iraq), seriously exaggerating the danger that Pyongyang is secretly making uranium-based nuclear weapons. This failure to distinguish between civilian and military uranium-enrichment capabilities has greatly complicated what would, in any case, have been difficult negotiations to end all existing North Korean nuclear weapons programs and to prevent any future efforts through rigorous inspection.
One of the weapons-of-mass-distortion pointed out in the article was a November 2002 CIA report that misrepresented the nature of North Korea's nuclear capabilities:
Although the document alludes to "clear evidence" that North Korea had "recently" begun constructing a centrifuge facility (centrifuges are machines used to enrich uranium), the CIA did not explain the nature of this evidence beyond mentioning, in general terms, that Pyongyang had acquired "centrifuge-related materials in large quantities." No specific evidence was presented to support the report's conclusion that North Korea was "constructing a plant that could produce enough weapons-grade uranium for two or more weapons per year when fully operational, which could be as soon as mid-decade."
Apparently, part of the argument posed by Mr. Harrison is that the Bush administration opposed the conciliatory approach that Seoul and Tokyo had been taking toward Pyongyang. By using their strikingly familiar "North Korea poses an imminent threat" posture the White House hoped to scare Japan and South Korea into reversing their policy.

The Peach's immediate concern is that this could be a precursor to rationalize the"pre-emptive strike" threat, ala Iraq. Maybe this explains the rush for that missile defense system?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

More Awards For Liars

For further proof of the right-wing's support of evil, and their continued display of utter hypocrisy The Peach suggests a look at this story. The American Conservative Union has tapped none other than that Benedict Arnold of the Democratic party, Zell Miller, to award those disgraceful, blatant liars better known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth with their "Courage Under Fire" award. When told that they were going to be given this award the SBVT's repugnant leader responded that he didn't know much about the honor, but that they had achieved their real goal and that was to prevent Kerry from becoming commander-in-chief. Military documents continue to find their claims both questionable and unsubstantiated.

The Peach feels this is another example of how Republican right-wingers reward those who can effectively dupe the American people for the sole purpose of forwarding their twisted, selfish agenda.

Republican-Led-Abstinence-Only-Program A Huge Failure

In a study done by Advocates for Youth it has been concluded that the abstinence-only-until-marriage program, strongly supported by Bush and Republicans, has basically no impact on young students. The study found that:
[The] programs showed few short term benefits and no lasting, positive impact. A few programs showed mild success at improving attitudes and intentions to abstain. No program was able to demonstrate a positive impact on sexual behavior over time.
And, shockingly, the report found that even though those in abstinece-only programs were slightly more likely to postpone sex than sex education participants, they were less likely to feel that their goals should not include teen pregnancy.

The group concluded that these programs, in fact:
[S]how some negative impacts on youth's willingness to use contraception, including condoms, to prevent negative sexual health outcomes related to sexual intercourse.
The Peach finds this to be yet another example of how out of touch Republicans and their right-wing co-horts really are.

Breaking News: Government Doctors Knew Of Flawed AIDS Drug Over One Year Ago

The AP wire is now reporting that a pregnant woman who enrolled in a federally funded study in hopes of preventing her soon-to-be-born son from getting AIDS died last year when doctors continued giving her experimental drug regimens despite signs of liver failure. The suspected drug regimen included the drug nevirapine, the drug at the point of Bush's $500 million plan to halt the spread of AIDS in Africa. This past week it was discovered that government doctors were covering up the drug's suspected failures and dangers. When Dr. Edmund Tramont, the NIH's AIDS Division chief, heard of the complications involving the pregnant woman he responded with this e-mail: "Ouch! Not much we can do about dumb doctors."

The Peach is sure there will be more to come with this story.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Another Really Expensive Dumb Idea

BBC News is reporting that the first test in almost two years of the planned multi-billion dollar US anti-missile shield has failed. According to the report, the Pentagon is spending $10 billion a year on the missile system, meant to be operational by the end of 2004. The Missile Defense Agency said an "unknown anomaly" caused the failure. The Peach sees this as yet another sign of how this administration is attempting to float the economy by pumping loads of money into the Pentagon for yet another really stupid idea.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The New Found Medals Of Butt-Kissing

Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to three men, George Tenet, Paul Bremer and General Tommy Franks. The Peach is having a number of problems with the selections. Let's start with George Tenet. Isn't he the same guy that said going after Iraq based on the WMD's information was a "slam dunk," and then then took the blame for all of the Bush administration's lies and missteps during the 9/11 hearings? And didn't Paul Bremer, recognizing the situation in Iraq was declining, state that the Pentagon's failure to supply more troops led to the inability to secure the nation? And wasn't Franks' rapid destruction of the Iraq army, with no immediate plan for subsequent insurgent attacks, what led Bush to call the invasion a "catastrophic success"?

What gives here? Is the White House rewarding mediocrity, stupidity, or the simple ability to nod "yes" to Bush?

Protecting The Presidential Plan Trumps Death

The Peach has come across this breaking story from the AP wire. It is being reported that not only was the government's research on the drug nevirapine, used to protect African babies from getting AIDS from infected mothers, flawed, but that the premier govenment health research agency buried the information so the distribution of the drug would not be scuttled, protecting Bush's $500 million plan to distribute the drug across Africa. Apparently, hundreds of thousands of doses have already been administered to African mothers and babies under the Bush plan. The Bush Plan, announced in a Rose Garden announcement in June 2002, held nevirapine as its centerpiece. At the time Bush heralded this commitment as the "first by any government, anywhere."

The flaw of concern is whether those patients who have received the single doses have developed resistance to further AIDS treatments. What this means is that patients will not be able to use the drug or others in its class again when their AIDS worsens.

A White House spokesperson, responding to the new evidence on the drug, stated that, "The president's mission is to try to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa and to come at it from a new angle, and that is what this is all about." The Peach recognizes this "new angle" to be using innocent Africans as human guinea pigs.