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MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
Are We Sure Barney Still Supports This War?

The Blood of October

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

This morning, I awakened to the news that five more US troops were just killed in Iraq, bringing the total this month to 96. October has been deathly cruel to Americans and to Iraqis.

Yesterday, during George Bush’s news conference, the president did not say "stay the course" or "we will not step down until the Iraqis step up." Instead, he spoke of "benchmarks." Over and over he used the term, leaving me to question what standards he’ll exercise to measure his continued failures. The other word Bush repeated was "believe." He said it 21 times. "I believe." Sounds quite Biblical as well as Karl Rovian. Of course, Karl is the manlike agnostic who tells George to convince his base of evangelicals that he (Bush) really, really, really believes.

According to Bob Woodward in a 60 Minutes interview conducted by Mike Wallace, the president has stated to Republicans that he will not withdraw from Iraq even if "Barney and Laura are the only ones who support me." From the number of e-mails I’ve received from the "disagreeables," those people who are reading my articles and asking me in Sean Hannityesque fervor why I hate America, I have to admit that several more among the animal kingdom, in addition to Barney-the-dog and Laura-the-wife, remain loyal in buttressing George. They really, really, really believe in Bush and the way he is "fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here."

Mr. Fixit, James Baker, III, the man who has historically shored up George, is talking huge changes in Iraq. He sees the writing in blood that’s all over the wall. But Bush will not waver from his "stay the course" even though he is no longer articulating it this way. No. He will be resolute-until after the midterm elections. To change now would be to admit that he’s been wrong.

Tragically, by the time the votes are counted, many more troops will have died. Many more Iraqis will have perished as well. But Bush can maintain his determined, tough-guy image and, then, blame politics for his failures of epic proportion.

Because the man always must point the finger away from himself.

Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com