Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Palin Comparison

The country is crying out for change and the McCain camp feels our pain so they’ve got just the thing…
The Governor of a western oil state. A Christian fundamentalist who believes that Creationism should be taught in Public Schools, that Stem Cell research should be banned, that a woman should not have the right to choose an abortion and citizen’s should not have the right to marry anyone they want. Someone who has no demonstrable interest in foreign policy and is under investigation for abuse of power.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Sarah Palin is George W. Bush without the silver spoon.

Monday, September 01, 2008

South Absurdia

The Crisis in South Ossetia is a perfect illustration of how detached from reality the Media Political Complex has become. Georgia shells it’s own people, killing civilians and Russian peace keepers. Russia sends troops who quickly crush the Georgian military and the United States media goes into a tirade about how unacceptable this is to the “civilized world”. The use of the term implies that governing establishment is under the impression that the United States still fits in that category. It’s safe to assume that our media would not consider it “civilized” of the Russians to strip Georgian soldiers naked, beat them to death, to shackle them in agonizing positions or suffocate them with water. Using dogs on prisoners, forcing their faces into the own excrement would probably also raise some eyebrows. If the Russians let the South Ossetians plunder the entire country of Georgia and completely dismantle it’s infrastructure (except for it’s pipelines) we may think that uncivilized as well. If the South Ossetians formed death squads and spent five years drilling holes in the heads of Georgians, filling pits with their handcuffed corpses right under the nose of the Russian occupation our media may even find it barbaric.
Over the past 8 years the United States has created a global archipelago of secret detention centers. Kidnapping and torture have become standard practice. We have scoffed at international law, disavowed the concept of war crimes and openly boasted a complete monopoly on sovereignty. Can someone in the media please define what the “civilized world” is, and what specific actions disqualify a country from the club?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Bush's Luggage

In Viet Nam George W Bush and Dick Cheney preferred to do their cutting and running preemptively. Maybe that’s why they are so worried about being judged as weak. But in authoring and exploiting the language of “cut and run” the dynastic duo have painted the US into a corner.
It’s easy to understand why they employed the strategy in the first place-it works. It’s juvenile but effective. 10 year-olds have been using the technique to taunt others into doing stupid things on playgrounds through the ages- “what are you chicken?” but by painting the war in Iraq as a global test of American courage Bush has constructed a dangerously simple narrative that plays right into the hands of Al Qaeda.
If the US were to leave Iraq next Friday Al Qaeda would claim a great victory on Saturday. And on Sunday the population of Iraq would start hunting them down.
It is the expressed goal of Osama Bin Laden to provoke the US into attacking a Muslim country to set the stage for a protracted –Afghanistan style conflict. Occupation is the oxygen of Jihad. Without it they can’t recruit or raise money or maintain a rationale powerful enough to convince angry young people to blow themselves up. But arrogance prevents Bush and the Neo Cons from recognizing that nuance, so instead of outfoxing our enemies with a cut and paste strategy that sucks the air out of the Jihadi furnace Bush stokes the fire with “cut and run”.
Having fabricated a cold war mythology Neo Cons are now being hoisted by their own petard. The have an almost totalitarian belief in perception management, not as a tool for damage control but as a weapon for population control. That’s why they place such a premium on power projection through theatrical micro-militarism. Or -sticking to playground analogy- kicking the crap out of one feeble kid (or country) to scare the crap out of all the feeble kids (in this case, Syria, Iran etc.)
Through this lens they see the world, present and past. That’s why the Bushies understand Russia’s defeat in Afghanistan and draw the incorrect conclusion- that it was the disgrace that toppled the Soviet Empire. Empires don’t collapse from humiliation. Afghanistan was a demoralizing blow to the Soviets, but it was the loss of blood and treasure that crippled the Kremlin. No one would claim that America is on the verge of a similar financial collapse, but the Iraq war is costing taxpayers a billion dollars a week-that’s a lot of levy.
Jihad means holy war, not holy victory. The existence of the war itself is the point; the goal is to keep the war going. The longer it lasts the weaker the superpower gets, and the stronger the Jihad gets. Guerillas perfect methods of attack, hone organizational skills and thrive in the growth medium of extreme circumstances. Populations are force fed violence and oppression. Caught between the hammer and the anvil of occupier and insurgent their lives become hell and they are forced to choose between the unbearable status quo and taking some action that will bring a change. Many of them choose what seems to be the straightest path to an exit -drive out the occupier.
Now the administration wants us to stop quibbling and arguing over whose idea this war was and accept that if we leave everyone will think we’re chickens. But in his effort to beat down domestic opposition Bush ensures that those soldiers lucky enough not to be shipped home in the luggage section of a commercial airline will carry the seed of shame in the back of their minds. Leaving behind an Iraq that looks a lot more like Lebanon than Athens they will be unable to realistically conclude that we have actually “Won” anything. And their President told then over and over that if they leave before we achieve total victory we are all cowards.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

These Colors Don't Match

Domestic Surveillance is an important tool in the war on terror...but it's also fun

The President listening in on soldier's Christmas calls home

Friday, December 23, 2005

It Was a Heck-of-A Year

The President says 2005 “was a good year for the American people” and it's easy to see why. If you were born rich it probably was, or if you had six weeks vacation.
If you knew you were never going to actually have to fight in a war.
If you were flying over New Orleans rather than wading through it.
If you didn’t have to wrestle through the Medicare prescription drug application.
If you didn’t have to pay for your own gas (or jet fuel).
If you didn’t have to drive the Hum Vee without the proper armor.
If you didn’t have to declare bankruptcy.
If you weren’t nominated to the Supreme Court.
If you didn’t have to convince the Senate to let your wife die with dignity.
If you didn’t receive bribe money from Tom Delay.
If you didn’t receive bribe money from Jack Abramoff.
If you didn’t receive bribe money from defense contractors.
If you didn’t have your cover blown.
If you didn’t have to take the fall for Dick Cheney.
If you didn't print everything that Chalabi told you.
If you didn’t get Rove off the hook.
If you weren’t an Eskimo.
If your son wasn’t sent home from Iraq in the baggage section of a commercial airplane.

I guess the President knows better than anyone how good a year we had… he read our emails.

Friday, December 09, 2005

War On Christmas, If You Want It

Religious Zealots should lay off this “War on Christmas” idea and stick to what they do best-molesting children, blowing up abortion clinics and destroying science education. Christmas is for unchecked commercialism, it has nothing to do with Jesus. He was dirt poor, although I think his progeny got the rights to his book.
That having been said, if progressives are going to be accused of waging war on Christmas, than we might as well. It could be fun. It would be about as logical as a war on drugs or terror, and probably more effective.
First we’ll have to secure the perimeter. I propose a ban on all reindeer immigration. Of course all suspicious –thick bearded- characters attempting to fly into the country will have to receive a full cavity-search for toys. Elves are small and probably relatively easy to kill, but the powerful Manger lobby could be tough to deal with. As far as dealing with the celebrants, we could use internment. And if that doesn’t work we could go back to lions.
Happy Holidays