Archive for the ‘Tim Russert’ Category

Pakistan Hopes Obama Can Deliver Even Part of the Bush-Cheney Love (and Money)

January 28, 2009

Former Pakistan President Musharraf has been on a media blitz of sorts seeking love and money from the new Obama Aministration.

Musharraf got rich off Bush-Cheney.

Now President Zardari is at it; seeking U.S. approval and funding which may be in serious doubt.

Just yesterday Defense Secretary Gates said Predator drones would continue to invade pakistan’s air space in efforts to find and kill terrorists the Pakistani’s tolerate.

On Sunday, September 10, 2006, the late Tim Russet hosted Vice President Cheney on”Meet the Press.”  Cheney made an extremely long supporting speech on the importance of General Musharraf and pakistan to the United States.

I heard about this while in Pakistan working near my friend Muhammad.

Muhammad is now dead, killed by the Taliban, right near where the Predator drones are operating today.  Musharraf is no longer the kingpin in Pakistan.

But it was Tim Russert’s careful, probing inquiry with Cheney that opened my eyes to the growing troubles between the U.S. and Pakistan — and the kind of “over the top” support once given to Pakistan by the United States.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

******

Part of Vice President Cheney’s Remarks on “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert on Sunday, September 10, 2006:

“President Musharraf has been a great ally. There was, prior to 9/11, a close relationship between the Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban. Pakistan was one of only three nations that recognized, diplomatically recognized the government of Afghanistan at that particular time. But the fact is Musharraf has put his neck on the line in order to be effective in going after the extremist elements including al-Qaeda and including the Taliban in Pakistan. There have been three attempts on his life, two of those by al-Qaeda over the course of the last three years. This is a man who has demonstrated great courage under very difficult political circumstances and has been a great ally for the United States”.

“So there’s no question in that area along the Afghan/Pakistan border is something of a no man’s land, it has been for centuries. It’s extraordinarily rough territory. People there who move back and forth across the border, they were smuggling goods before there was concern about, about terrorism. But we need to continue to work the problem. Musharraf just visited Karzai in, in Kabul this past week, they’re both going to be here during the course of the U.N. General Assembly meetings over the course of the next few weeks. We worked that area very hard, and the Paks have been great allies in that effort.”

“Pakistan, we’ve gone in and worked closely with Musharraf to take down al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia, same thing. In all of those cases, it’s been a matter of getting the locals into the fight to prevail over al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-related tyrants.”

“Think of Musharraf who puts his neck on the line every day he goes to work, when there’ve been attempts on his life because of his support for our position. And they look over here and they see the United States that’s made a commitment to the Iraqis, that’s gone in and taken down the old regime, worked to set up a democracy, worked to set up security forces, and all of a sudden we say it’s too tough, we’re going home. What’s Karzai going to think up in Kabul? Is he going to have any confidence at all that he can trust the United States, that in fact we’re there to get the job done? What about Musharraf? Or is Musharraf and those people you’re talking about who are on the fence in Afghanistan and elsewhere going to say, ‘My gosh, the United States hasn’t got the stomach for the fight. Bin Laden’s right, al-Qaeda’s right, the United States has lost its will and will not complete the mission,’ and it will damage our capabilities and all of those other war fronts, if you will, in the global war on terror.”

Related:
 Pakistan’s President Continues Audition for Obama Attention, Funding, Support

Lasting Legacy 2008 Part II

December 24, 2008

Another of those that passed away this year reminded me to question all things and all people.

Tim Russert made me think and for that I am very grateful.

Russert, the long time host of “Meet the Press” on NBC each Sunday, died this last June 13.

He probably died from working too hard to make us all think and not taking enough care of himself.

We are all diminished by his loss.

Tim Russert

Alex Wong / Getty Images file

Russert caused me to rething, delve into and research hundreds of issues and topics.  But one interview with Vice President Dick Cheney stands out for me.

I was heavily involved with couter-terror activities in the tribal areas of Pakistan.  The Taliban and al-Qaeda, had, in my opinion, taken the upper hand and President Musharraf and his army had allowed terrorists to retain their valuable refuge.

On Sunday, September 10, 2006, Tim hosted Vice President Cheny who made an extremely long supporting speech on the importance of General Musharraf to the United States.

I heard about this while in Pakistan working near my friend Muhammad.

Muhammad is now dead, killed by the Taliban, and Musharraf is no longer the kingpin in Pakistan.

But it was Tim Russert’s careful, probing inquiry with Cheney that opened my eyes to the growing troubles between the U.S. and Pakistan.

******

Part of Vice President Cheney’s Remarks on “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert on Sunday, September 10, 2006:

“President Musharraf has been a great ally. There was, prior to 9/11, a close relationship between the Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban. Pakistan was one of only three nations that recognized, diplomatically recognized the government of Afghanistan at that particular time. But the fact is Musharraf has put his neck on the line in order to be effective in going after the extremist elements including al-Qaeda and including the Taliban in Pakistan. There have been three attempts on his life, two of those by al-Qaeda over the course of the last three years. This is a man who has demonstrated great courage under very difficult political circumstances and has been a great ally for the United States”.

“So there’s no question in that area along the Afghan/Pakistan border is something of a no man’s land, it has been for centuries. It’s extraordinarily rough territory. People there who move back and forth across the border, they were smuggling goods before there was concern about, about terrorism. But we need to continue to work the problem. Musharraf just visited Karzai in, in Kabul this past week, they’re both going to be here during the course of the U.N. General Assembly meetings over the course of the next few weeks. We worked that area very hard, and the Paks have been great allies in that effort.”

“Pakistan, we’ve gone in and worked closely with Musharraf to take down al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia, same thing. In all of those cases, it’s been a matter of getting the locals into the fight to prevail over al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-related tyrants.”

“Think of Musharraf who puts his neck on the line every day he goes to work, when there’ve been attempts on his life because of his support for our position. And they look over here and they see the United States that’s made a commitment to the Iraqis, that’s gone in and taken down the old regime, worked to set up a democracy, worked to set up security forces, and all of a sudden we say it’s too tough, we’re going home. What’s Karzai going to think up in Kabul? Is he going to have any confidence at all that he can trust the United States, that in fact we’re there to get the job done? What about Musharraf? Or is Musharraf and those people you’re talking about who are on the fence in Afghanistan and elsewhere going to say, ‘My gosh, the United States hasn’t got the stomach for the fight. Bin Laden’s right, al-Qaeda’s right, the United States has lost its will and will not complete the mission,’ and it will damage our capabilities and all of those other war fronts, if you will, in the global war on terror.”

Gaining a Lasting Legacy from Those that Died in 2008

December 24, 2008

Sometimes, there is a lasting good when someone passes.

Heath Ledger entertained and  enlightened me.  Mostly he enlightened.

As we near the end of this year, we often think about the rich and famous who have enlightened or entertained us.  I am thinking about Heath Ledger and Tim Russert: both enlightened me much more than they entertained.

And both have a lasting legacy in my mind….

Cocaine is a “party drug” right? You want it after you’ve been thinking and drinking.

But that is really bad thinking.

Heath Ledger’s legacy is not “Brokeback Mountain” or “The Patriot” or family and children and happy memories.

Sadly, Actor Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose of six drugs — painkillers and sedatives.  “Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylaminediazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine,” said the medical examiner’s spokeswoman.
.

Heath Ledger

This sent me on a months long journey to discover the impact of mixing so many dangerous drugs.

The results were frightening but probably completely predictable: most medical doctors say the risk of mixing so many dangerous drugs if frightening to the extreme. Even mixing a few can be and often is deadly.

“If you come in on alprazolam (Xanax) I know what to do.  If you come in using Xanax and alcohol and Ambien you have created a very difficult dilemma for me.  How much, when, what have you eaten?  If you come in with various types of drugs in you; you create, sometimes, a gordian knot the physician is ill euipped to deal with.”

That’s a quote from one of many M.D.s we interviewed.  All had experience dealing with people who had ingested several drugs over time.

“There is just no good outcome to mixing drugs.  Your friend Heath Ledger is the epitome of that,” said a doctor to me.

A friend of mine, already addicted to alcohol and cocaine, was recently hospitalized.  While there, a doctor prescribed oxycodone and hydrocodone.  We moved him to another facility after consulting other medical professionals.

And treatment, once one is hooked, will be frightening, prolonged and painful.

“If you can just get me to rehab I’ll be O.K.”

We’ve heard that time and again.  Rehab is not nirvana — the state of being free from  suffering.  Rehab is often just a way-station. 

Getting clean and sober takes time, effort, commitment and sometimes, a lot of money.

But it is worth it. If one achieves lasting recovery.

Britney Spears performing at the National Mall during the “NFL Kickoff Live 2003” Concert.

The alternative is death while you are still young.  You’ll miss the party completely.

Lots of Hollywood types and entertainers have been dealing with drugs.  This should put us all on notice that drugs and alcohol are life threatening.  Just this year we’ve seen Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, Ryan O’Neil and many others in trouble with drugs.

So we write this as a caution as we all prepare to “celebrate” Christmas and New Years. Don’t mix drugs during the holidays: or at any other time.

Related:
Dangerous drug combos pose risk for elderly

Substance Abuse In America: Treatment Rarely A “Cure”

Lasting Legacy: Tim Russert Made Me Think

Video at CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/12/15/yir.20
08.passages/index.html

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Ryan O'Neal
Ryan O’Neil

********************

There is a huge likelihood that a teenager you know shares these following things with Heath Ledger and Britney Spears: Vicodin, Oxycontin and Xanax and the belief that since doctors prescribed these they are OK to use.

But what few grasp is this: doctors are not saints.  Several told us that they prescribe drugs quickly so they can get to the next patient faster.

Add to this people who mix drugs, take more than is prescribed, mix drugs with alcohol, mix drugs without the primary care physician’s knowdge and “doctor shop.”

You end up with addiction, other illnesses and death.

Sadly, Heath Ledger’s Dad knows this too well.

“While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy,” he said.

Intervention is that course of action that stops an abuser or an addict dead in their tracks — before death knoks on their door.

If you know someone who needs care due to drug (including alcohol) addiction or abuse: take action.  Show your love by causing an intervention.

You’ll regret looking the other way for the rest of your life.

Related:
Drug Abuse, Drug Overdose Killed Heath Ledger

Drug Abuse Usually Starts At Home

Singer Amy Winehouse: Court Ordered Rehab

Nationwide Imminent Danger Alert – Super Bowl Weekend Dangers

Heath Ledger, President Bush, The Addicted and Our Medical Professionals

Addicts Neglected, Over-Medicated Despite Vast System of “Care”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/galleries/nota
ble_deaths_of_2008/notable_deaths_of_2008.html

Obama And The Press: What’s The Future?

December 17, 2008

Robert Gibbs’ heady Washington rise was certified on a humid day in June when a procession of media and political fancies gathered in tribute to Tim Russert, the “Meet the Press” host who died of a heart attack several days earlier. The memorial service was a sweet, solemn and star-struck occasion that, as these events often do, yielded a neat snapshot of the Celebrity Washington food chain — who was up, who was down, who was winning the week.

By Mark Leibovich
The New York Times

In a smiling stampede of congratulations, mourners were wearing out the red-carpeted aisles of the Kennedy Center to get to Gibbs, a journeyman campaign flack who had latched onto Barack Obama’s Senate race four years earlier and has been his chief spokesman ever since. By now a senior adviser to Obama, Gibbs was here, along with Obama’s chief strategist and message guru, David Axelrod, to represent the soon-to-be Democratic nominee.

“The new It guys,” declared Anne Schroeder Mullins, a gossip columnist for Politico.com, noting the shameless run on Gibbs and Axelrod. “I bet they’re being inundated with people trying to book Barack on their shows.”

Between Obama and the Press
 

Above: Barack Obama with Robert Gibbs, left, and David Axelrod during a flight to Florida in May. The leakproof campaign team has given way to a transition process that is much harder to control.  Photo: Doug Mills; New York Times

The paradox of this scene was that the Obama campaign’s communications strategy was predicated in part on an aggressive indifference to this insider set. Staff members were encouraged to ignore new Web sites like The Page, written by Time’s Mark Halperin, and Politico, both of which had gained instant cachet among the Washington smarty-pants set. “If Politico and Halperin say we’re winning, we’re losing,” Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, would repeat mantralike around headquarters. He said his least favorite words in the English language were, “I saw someone on cable say this. . . .”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/magazine/21Gibbs-t.html?_r=1&hp