August 23rd, 2006

Chris Keeley

a three-judge panel concluded that U.S. District Judge Leonard D. Wexler improperly told jurors that

a three-judge panel concluded that U.S. District Judge Leonard D. Wexler improperly told jurors that they could not consider whether Hurwitz acted in "good faith" when he prescribed large amounts of OxyContin and other painkillers -- in one instance, 1,600 pills a day.

Conviction Of McLean Pain Doctor Overturned
Appeals Court Says Judge Erred in Jury Instructions

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 23, 2006; B01

A federal appeals court threw out the conviction of William E. Hurwitz yesterday, granting the prominent former Northern Virginia pain-management doctor a new trial because jurors were not allowed to consider whether he prescribed drugs in good faith.

The decision again galvanized the national debate that the Hurwitz case had come to symbolize: whether fully licensed doctors prescribing legal medication to patients in chronic pain should be subject to prosecution if their patients abuse or sell the drugs. Patient advocate groups strongly supported Hurwitz and expressed concern that his conviction would have a chilling effect on pain doctors.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Saad Eddin Ibrahim

*Correction to This Article*
An earlier version of this op-ed that appeared in the print edition
incorrectly identified the writer's credentials. Saad Eddin Ibrahim is
no longer at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
*The 'New Middle East' Bush Is Resisting*

By Saad Eddin Ibrahim
Wednesday, August 23, 2006; A15

President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may be quite
right about a new Middle East being born. In fact, their policies in
support of the actions of their closest regional ally, Israel, have
helped midwife the newborn. But it will not be exactly the baby they
have longed for. For one thing, it will be neither secular nor friendly
to the United States. For another, it is going to be a rough birth.
Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Why war with Iran is coming soon

From:   Ray Close
Dear Friends:

Why Bush will choose war against Iran

Like many people, I find it extremely difficult to believe that
President Bush could actually do anything so crazy as to launch a
military attack against Iran, and that even if he wanted to, the
Congress, the Pentagon, and the American public would ever countenance
such action.  But I remember in the spring of 2002 writing a "Dear
Friends" memo just like this one predicting that the apparent intentions
of the Bush Administration to invade Iraq would certainly turn out to be
nothing but a bluff, and supporting that assertion by listing all the
reasons why actually doing so would lead to utter disaster.  Many of my
friends told me at the time that I was missing the point --- regime
change was DEFINITELY going to happen, and I was exaggerating the
downside consequences.  The problem is that today the downside risks of
attacking Iran seem even more horrendous ---- and yet?  (As George Will
said last Sunday to George Stephanopoulos -- "When was the last time
this president ever worried about getting approval in advance from the
Congress or the public?")
It makes me nervous when my president_ truly_ believes he is carrying
out the will of God.

So this is why I reluctantly believe today that Bush will indeed launch
an attack on Iran before the expiration of his term of office::

1.  As expected, Iran has offered to enter negotiations, but has
rejected the precondition that they discontinue uranium enrichment.
Iran will continue to stall indefinitely in the expectation that the
U.S. cannot summon the international political and economic clout to
damage Iran to any critical degree in the near future.  Meanwhile, Iran
remains totally and sincerely convinced (with ample justification) that
the U.S. is committed to overthrowing the Teheran regime on the tactical
level, and waging a broader war against Islam on the strategic level.
Rightly or wrongly, Iranian leaders interpret Israeli-US joint
collaboration in Lebanon as the final proof of both suspicions.  Nothing
will shake that conviction.  We can huff and puff, but the reality is
that we will not succeed in either persuading or intimidating the
Iranian leadership into doing what we want them to do.  This is the nub
of the problem in Washington: _ none of the principal decision-makers_
---  Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld or Rice --- (even Rice!) --- understands and
accepts this simple reality, and so all the expectations and
calculations that go into the formation of U.S. policy start from a
faulty premise.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Slate Article: What a Moronic Presidential Press Conference!

*war stories*
What a Moronic Presidential Press Conference!
It's clear Bush doesn't understand Iraq, or Lebanon, or Gaza, or …
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006,

Among the many flabbergasting answers that President Bush gave at his
press conference on Monday
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/08/20060821.html>, this
one—about Democrats who propose pulling out of Iraq—triggered the
steepest jaw drop: "I would never question the patriotism of somebody
who disagrees with me. This has nothing to do with patriotism. It has
everything to do with understanding the world in which we live."

George W. Bush criticizing someone for not understanding the world is
like … well, it's like George W. Bush criticizing someone for not
understanding the world. It's sui generis: No parallel quite captures
the absurdity so succinctly.

Collapse )