Today, mourners from across the nation gathered in Washington to pay their respects and celebrate the life of former president George H.W. Bush at a state funeral at Washington National Cathedral. He was Americas 41st president. He was eulogized as a patriot, statesman, father, loyal friend, husband, and grandfather. The name of Willie Horton should forever be associated with Bush's 1988 presidential bid. Horton, who was serving a life sentence for murder in Massachusetts — where Bush's Democratic opponent, Michael Dukakis, was governor. Roger Stone, now a close ally of Trump — that the ad had crossed a line. "You and George Bush will wear that to your grave," Stone complained to Atwater. "It's a racist ad…. You're going to regret it." Stone was right about Atwater, who on his deathbed apologized for using Horton against Dukakis. But Bush never did. Bush deployed U.S. troops to the Gulf in August 1990 and claimed that he was doing so in order "to assist the Saudi Arabian Government in the defense of its homeland." As Scott Peterson wrote in the Christian Science Monitor in 2002, "Citing top-secret satellite images, Pentagon officials estimated that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the border, threatening the key U.S. oil supplier." Yet when reporter Jean Heller of the St. Petersburg Times acquired her own commercial satellite images of the Saudi border, she found no signs of Iraqi forces; only an empty desert. "It was a pretty serious fib," Heller told Peterson, adding: "That [Iraqi buildup] was the whole justification for Bush sending troops in there, and it just didn't exist." He refused to cooperate with a special counsel. The Iran-Contra affair, in which the United States traded missiles for Americans hostages in Iran, and used the proceeds of those arms sales to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua, did much to undermine the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Yet his vice president's involvement in that controversial affair has garnered far less attention. He escalated the racist war on drugs. In September 1989, in a televised address to the nation from the Oval Office, Bush held up a bag of crack cocaine, which he said had been "seized a few days ago in a park across the street from the White House…. It could easily have been heroin or PCP." He gave us Clarence Thomas. The result? "Millions of Americans were incarcerated, hundreds of billions of dollars wasted. What do we say about these things?
Democratic representative-elect Rashida Tlaib is "planning to lead a congressional delegation to the Israeli-occupied West Bank the trip is described as "a swift rebuke of a decades-old tradition for newly elected members: a junket to Israel sponsored by the education arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby group". First, talk a bit about this junket. For years, newly elected members of Congress are flown to Israel and indoctrinated on a position that is pro-zionist. Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman to be elected to Congress, said that her "group will focus on issues like Israel's detention of Palestinian children, education, access to clean water, and poverty", and may take the group to Tlaib's grandmother's village, Beit Ur Al-Foqa. Talaib "wants her delegation to humanize Palestinians, provide an alternative perspective to the one AIPAC pushes, and highlight the inherent inequality of Israel's system of military occupation in Palestinian territories", which Tlaib "likens to what African-Americans in the United States endured in the Jim Crow era." Is this an encouraging signal that some strength and backbone could be coming to the US Congress?
Back in October President Trump confirmed that the US will leave an arms control treaty with Russia dating from the cold war that has kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for three decades. It 's the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which banned ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500km to 5,500km. Signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, it led to nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles being eliminated, and an end to a dangerous standoff between US Pershing and cruise missiles and Soviet SS-20 missiles in Europe. Yesterday, the United States delivered Russia a 60-day ultimatum to come clean about what Washington says is a violation of a arms control treaty that keeps missiles out of Europe, saying only Moscow could save the pact. What's really behind this?
Colin Campbell — Multimedia journalist for a number of national and international outlets.
Miko Peled — Israeli-American activist and author of The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.
Daniel Lazare — Journalist and author of three books: The Frozen Republic, The Velvet Coup, and America's Undeclared War.
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