Friday, July 30, 2010

New York Times: Cheerleader for War

Right on the butt end of the Wikileaks stink the New York Times shifts into high gear promoting the Afghan War.


This chance at determining a little of their future is what they fear will be threatened if the Taliban return through a negotiated peace settlement.

“They will beat us and forbid us from this freedom, the freedom to come here, to this class; they will stop us from doing things,” said Biboli, 16, a girl with long brown hair barely covered by a thin white veil.

The greatest fear is that no one is really listening, said Habiba Shamim, one of the teachers of the class.

“Please,” she pleaded. “Carry our words to people.”

Oh God, yes, once again they have marched out that tired old rag “It’s for the women of Afghanistan,” with the same tired device of finding some Afghan women who don’t like the Taliban. Well I don’t like the Taliban but I’d be willing to bet that with a little effort the mighty New York Times could find just as many women who prefer the Taliban to the Afghan police (our guys, sort of). The Afghan police are known best for their propensity to sodomize young boys, a typical U.S. government employee if there ever was one.

And if the logic behind bombing the shit out of Afghanistan and murdering them on a daily basis is because Afghanistan was where bin Laden planned the 9/11 attack then we should bomb Germany and ourselves as well.

The idea that Americans, much less people like Obama and Clinton, care about Afghan women is absolutely priceless. And if things aren’t hunky dory in Afghanistan for women it isn’t for anyone else either. What the NYT neglects to tell us is why Afghanistan is so fucked up. It’s fucked up because everyone and their mother has been interfering with Afghanistan, or occupying Afghanistan, or invading Afghanistan, all the way back to the beginning of time, practically. We’re just the latest and biggest bunch of assholes to go there since the Russians tried it.

If the Afghans were really smart they’d sell Afghanistan to the U.S. and use the money to buy some land in Hawaii and move there. They might as well because we’ll be “helping” them and their women until the moon falls in the ocean, or the empire collapses, whichever comes first.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What are you afraid of?

Update below (I mean besides the one I do after finding my mistakes, or most of them hopefully):

Updated again!!!:Below

Now it’s an argument over whether Wikileaks is working for Obama and BP or if Wikileaks is sincere in its goal, whatever that may be. I assume it is to end the Terror Wars. And honestly I don’t give a hill of beans who wins that argument. My own impression is that Julian Assange honestly believes that he is doing some good. Fine, he’s trying to do the right thing and he has no ulterior motives, we could use more people like him if that’s the case.

In an interview with Assange it seems quite clear he sincerely believes that the leaked documents will set the stage for ending the Afghan War. In Assange’s own words:


”This material shines light on the everyday brutality and squalor of war. The archive will change public opinion and it will change the opinion of people in positions of political and diplomatic influence.”

No matter how much I like Assange’s position on war I don’t think he is going to achieve what he wants with the method he is using. Let’s begin with will it change public opinion. At the dire risk of repeating myself, why should it? Will it make the antiwar crowd more anti war? Will it make them more effective in organizing a genuine grass roots peace movement? Will it change the segment of the public who root for war? Clearly not. The carnage isn’t important to the public, therefore it is a poor approach to take to convince them war is wrong. In the end public opinion matters little anyway but for the sake of argument the public is already dimly aware that there is a link between the Terror Wars and their growing poverty, this would be a quicker route by appealing to how it affects them rather than appealing to their humanity (assuming there is any humanity to appeal to). They don’t care about the Afghans, or most don’t and the slaughter has nothing to do with the growing disquiet over the Afghan War. The disquiet over the Afghan War is economic in nature, not humanitarian.

Now let’s consider the opinion of people in positions of political and diplomatic influence. While there is always the few exceptions to the typical war monger member of Congress the problem is simply in the numbers as in not enough. I’m extremely dubious regarding the blissful ignorance of our members of Congress regarding the Afghan War when you consider they are an important part of the military-industrial-scientific-complex. They are also part of the ruling class, many of them are fabulously wealthy, not all, but many. These are the people who engineered the wars in the first place. You think a little slaughter is going to daunt them? Here is what Obama is telling us:


“While I’m concerned about the disclosure of sensitive information from the battlefield that could potentially jeopardize individuals or operations, the fact is these documents don’t reveal any issues that haven’t already informed our public debate on Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama said to reporters in the Rose Garden. “Indeed, they point to the same challenges that led me to conduct an extensive review of our policy last fall.”

Obama doesn’t appear to be terribly affected by the leaks. In fact, he sticks to his usual false justifications for the war (citing 9/11, once again, even though -- oh never mind):

“For seven years we failed to implement a strategy adequate to the challenge in this region, the region from which the 9-11 attacks were waged and other attacks against the United States and our friends and allies have been planned,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s why we’ve substantially increased our commitment there, insisted upon greater accountability from our partners in Afghanistan and Pakistan, developed a new strategy that can work and put in place a team, including one of our finest generals, to execute that plan.”

“Now,” he said, “we have to see that strategy through.”

The main fact is that Obama has not changed his mind because of the leaks. To be sure our Congressional members will make some of the proper noises of concern to reinforce the façade of true and real leadership but in the end you can bet they will continue to fund the wars.

What does need to happen is conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and any and all people against the wars for whatever reason, need to set aside differences and organize a peace movement because the problem is once again, with the numbers, as in not enough. The U.S. is way conservative, so much so that even the liberals are fairly to the right. Right now there is antiwar sentiment with some conservatives, one reason being that it isn’t one of their own leading the war. This could be used as common ground between the various factions. Does it matter why people are against the war? Not when you need their help it doesn’t. Unless you have some numbers you won’t have any clout and even then the outcome is dubious. However all that may be our society is way too fractured for a real movement to occur. You can see Obama’s reaction for yourself in the above quotes, “we have to see that strategy through.”

If people are serious about ending the wars they had better start figuring out what works and what doesn’t and an ability to identify the problems which means when the truth is staring you in the face you should see it as an ally not the enemy. That is to say even if the truth is ugly and repulsive, as it is often is, we need to have the ability to recognize it for what it is and use it in a constructive way rather than trying to see the silver lining where there isn’t any.

For there to be any real change it will have to happen on a fundamental level, at the cultural level. Indoctrination, whether subtle or stupid, has been all too effective in shaping our culture into what it is today. Perhaps a good place to begin would be to find a way to counter the indoctrination and stopping it as much as possible. Why do we need to force kids to pledge allegiance to a flag? What are you afraid of?


By happy coincidence I see Justin Raimondo makes the same point I do
about what needs to be done, as in a coalition of disparate factions to form a peace movement that is effective only he does a much more thorough job. I recommend it to one and all. I do have to note though that after Raimondo says this he calls the leftist anti-war leaders blood sucking parasites, which may be true as far as I know but c’mon, is that any way to begin to build a coalition? A small point, Raimondo’s piece is outstanding.

Update II:

Congress just passed legislation for war funding. I hate to say I told you so, but … I told you so. As Jason Ditz puts it:


Though one would have expected that the massive release of some 92,000 classified documents Sunday underscoring just how poorly the war is going would have changed some minds, the Obama Administration has gotten its way once again, with the House of Representatives approving the $59 billion emergency funding bill to keep the war going by a 308-114 vote.

There was, at the very least, some vigorous debate in the House today, with Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D – OH) and Ron Paul (R – TX) at the center of the opposition to continuing the war. At the end of the day, however, all the new evidence about the disastrous war was ignored in favor of pumping tens of billions of dollars into the conflict.

Indeed, political self preservation is a powerful motive.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jersey John

Lately, I've been receiving a tiresome number of phone calls from "my" (hell, no!) congressman, John Adler (D), NJ Third District. I'm charmed by the fact that he takes the trouble to call me, he's such an affectionate little weasel. Of course, I do slam the phone down immediately, but not before I yell, "F--- you."
Did I vote in the last congressional election? Certainly not. My walking companion and neighbor was shocked to the core when I told her I had no intention of voting. I don't believe in the two-party system and I sure as hell don't believe in John Adler. Here's what the creepy whore master has to say about our continuing slaughter of other human beings:
"John is very proud of our servicemembers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once our servicemembers have completed their missions, he believes it is time to safely bring our troops home. He appreciates the hard work and sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made to establish a foundation that we can diplomatically and politically build on to work towards peace in these unstable nations...."
Well, what is the mission John so soulfully encourages our "servicemembers" (since when is that one word?) to complete? Can anybody spell it out? What, exactly, does the completion of "the mission" look like? Any takers? Just let me know, because I've never been able to understand it. And note the incredible arrogance of assuming it's up to us to "work toward peace"--hey, maybe for starters, we could quit killing people "in these unstable nations." Gee, how come they're so unstable? Just because they have have an invading army trampling on them for years shouldn't lead to instability.
Here's another gem from John Boy's odious site: "John strongly supports continuing to fight terrorist networks in the Middle East and around the world. In a post-9/11 world, it is important that the United States has the resources and tools necessary to combat terrorism through intelligence and military operations." Omigod! Exceptionalism is alive and well in good ol' New Jersey! John is nothing if not an enthusiastic supporter of "military operations." Of course, "intelligence" and other activities are important, too--including, I'm willing to bet, a little torture there, a little rendition here; I've never noticed that John objects to either.And here's the kicker: To my knowledge, virtually all our elected "representatives" are more like Adler than not.
And you think I should vote? Don't be funny.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Zero Sum

Americans love their wars as long as they believe they are winning them. Some love to see the bursting brown bodies, some want to prove their patriotism (god help us all), many are sadistic, and many more just don’t bother with it. All human beings are quite talented at dividing their brains into compartments where one set of rules and morals apply to one compartment, and another set of rules and morals for a different compartment. The Wikileaks video of American soldiers murdering people in Iraq is the perfect example of this compartment phenomenon. If the video had been one taken of Americans being blown apart in Times Square you can well imagine the reaction. But as it happens they were only citizens of Iraq whose murder Americans have a hard time getting worked up over.

Ask yourself this, did the Wikileaks video change anything? From my own viewpoint I would have to say it did not. People who are against war didn’t change while the people who like war enjoyed the site of brown people being slaughtered. But there is a third type, the Obama faithful. From one side of their mouth they say they are against war and out of the other side of their mouth emits a
constant stream of excuses for Obama’s enthusiastic pursuit of war. These people have compartmentalized their brain to the extent that their intellectual integrity has completely broken down. Not even the sight of a wounded man pathetically dragging his broken and bleeding body out of the way of the howling monsters gleefully laughing as they slaughter and murder has the power to move the Obama faithful. Apparently the Obama supporters are a cold hearted bunch.

With the latest Wikileak splashed all over the news media we are treated to the usual madness where, as always, nothing ever happens and nothing has ever happened. History is a blank slate upon which idiots write bed-time stories. It’s another form of that old time compartmentalized thinking we indulge in so much. People have suddenly discovered something, according to the news media, regarding the Wikileak. And even the news media has discovered the shocking revelation that there is a war going on in Afghanistan (and one in Iraq don’t forget). Who could have guessed? The war is going worse than they were telling us? Oh my goodness, gracious me, oh fret and worry, woe with us, of course the war is going worse than they tell us, it’s almost always the case, it’s a rule of thumb you can live and swear by.

Another example of our national lunacy is Congress. According to Congress they never heard of the Afghan War until yesterday. I can picture our Congressional leaders standing on their chairs holding up their dresses and pulling up their pant legs while screaming shrilly as the Wikileak mouse scrambles through. Why Congress had no idea the Afghan War wasn’t going swimmingly! How could they have known? Why I’ll bet people have lied to the poor ignorant rubes in Congress. Why, that’s the only explanation I can come up with for why they shall continue to fund the wars because I know that Congress has our best interests at heart (barf). Surely since Congress is made up of mature adults they would never have funded these wars if they had just known the facts, surely.

Today the New York Times sets all our fears to rest and in doing so illustrates the true and profound effect of the latest Wikileak:


While Congressional and administration officials said the disclosure of the documents probably would not jeopardize the financing bill or General Mattis’s expected confirmation, it could complicate how the White House tries to achieves its goals in Afghanistan.

There you have it, a net sum of zero, zilch, nada, zip, didn’t do anything. The wars shall roll along as scheduled.

Health Care Reform Will Help Everybody

Note: this is a guest post from Barbara O'Brien of the Mahablog. I realize that some may be confused by the byline below that says that it's posted by me, but that's a formality because Barbara is not otherwise on blogger. These are her views.-JV

Many Americans assume the new health care reform act will benefit mostly the poor and uninsured and hurt everyone else, according to polls. As Matt Yglesias wrote, “Basically, people see this as a bill that will take resources from people who have health insurance and give it to people who don’t have health insurance.” Those who still oppose the reform say that people ought to pay for their own health care.

We all believe in the virtues of hard work and self-reliance, but these days it’s a fantasy to think that anyone but the mega-wealthy will not, sooner or later, depend on help from others to pay medical bills. And that’s true no matter how hard you work, how much you love America, or how diligently you take care of yourself. The cost of medical care has so skyrocketed that breaking an arm or leg could cost as much as a new car. And if you get cancer or heart disease — which can happen even to people who live healthy lifestyles — forget about it. The disease will not only clean you out; it will leave a whopping debt for your survivors to pay.

And the truth is, we all pay for other peoples’ health care whether we know it or not. When people can’t pay their medical bills, the cost of their health care gets added to everyone else’s bills and insurance premiums. When poor people use emergency rooms as a doctor of last resort, their care is not “free.” You pay for it.

Another common fantasy about medical care is that the “free market” provides incentives for medical companies to develop innovative new drugs and treatments for disease without government subsidy. It’s true that private enterprise is very good at developing profitable health care products. But not all medical care can be made profitable.

For years, the U.S. government has been funding medical research that the big private companies don’t want to do because there is too much cost for the potential profit. This is especially true for diseases that are rare and expensive to treat. An example of a recent advance made possible by government grants include new guidelines for malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment developed by MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers. Another is a blood screening test for mesothelioma developed by thoracic surgeon Dr. Robert Taub. The health reform act provides for more dollars for such research, from which even many of the tea party protesters will benefit.

The biggest fantasy of all was that people who had insurance didn’t have to worry about health care costs. But the fact is that in recent years millions of Americans have been bankrupted by medical costs, and three-quarters of the medically bankrupt had health insurance. And yes, insurance companies even dumped hard-working, law-abiding patriots. But the health care reform act will put an end to that, and now America’s hard-working, law-abiding patriots are more financially secure, whether they like it or not.

Note: this is a guest post from Barbara O'Brien of the Mahablog. I realize that some may be confused by the byline below that says that it's posted by me, but that's a formality because Barbara is not otherwise on blogger. These are her views.-JV

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Truman interview c. 1961

Interview with President Harry S. Truman
The David Susskind Show

I'd heard of legendary interviewer David Susskind before, but never seen him until now. His softball questions don't seem so different from those that Brian Williams or Katie Couric might ask of an ex-president.(I note that Susskind doesn't bring up the atomic bombing of Japan until Truman does.)

From Hulu's archive, here.

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It’s when they don’t lie that we need to worry.

The huge irony of American Exceptionalism is that though we feel we are special and the best, I would say the ruling elite no longer need us. They have all the power and the money. They own and are the government. They write the laws that screw us. The courts bow to their wishes, the results of which we now see in the Gulf of Mexico which the news has already deemed “yesterday’s” psycho-drama. When manufacturing was shipped overseas the economy was shipped with it. Those jobs are gone and won’t be coming back. Neither will the “economy.” But the ruling class doesn’t care. The ruling class looks at the Gulf of Mexico now roiling with crude oil and they don’t care. They don’t even pretend to care at this point or at least show less concern than is warranted. The truth is they don’t need us so why should they care? They aren’t affected and that’s what counts. Most of the ruling class will retire to their homes in France anyway.

So what do they need us for, the vote? What does your vote matter when every “serious” candidate has been approved by the ruling class and the Israeli lobby, AIPAC? Every serious candidate is a believer in the system as it is today replete with domestic spying, endless war, torture, and American adventurism. And with the deck stacked like that it matters little who is elected. I don’t even take elections seriously, all they are is a tool to convince you that you matter when in fact you do not matter, not one iota. Oh what a horrid thing to say! People have died so that you could have the right to vote yada, yada, yada. Oh bullshit. The whole purpose of the State is to allow one group to lord it over the rest, it’s why we have laws and that’s what they are for. What has the federal government done other than to prop up the white male rule? And look at the destruction these people have incurred, not only here but abroad as well with whole nations left utterly destroyed in their wake. They view us the same as they view the people of Iraq, completely and totally expendable, disposable.

If you are truly interested in what is coming down the road I suggest you study Native American history, Native American history from the Native American view. Read up on it and especially note the speeches given by many noted figures in history about their devout love for the Indian and then read what they actually did. The ruling class is treating us as they treated with the Indians. After herding the Native Americans onto reservations and breaking every treaty ever made with the Indians the ruling class made sure the Native Americans were essentially powerless and had few rights. Now think about how Obama declared that he can order the death of any American deemed a terrorist threat, by Obama, without any evidence or even a trial which erases every right and protection you mistakenly thought you had. Today many Native American reservations are places of poverty and hopelessness. I’m afraid that is the future for the general public as well or as things already are.

I think it’s going to be brutal for the young kids graduating from college. One out of every two Americans who is available for work doesn’t have work, a sixty year high water mark which has skyrocketed under the Obama administration. Not only have dreary assembly line jobs gone overseas but the jobs we were told that would be safe, the higher paying jobs, have gone with them. They lied to you, and what a huge surprise that is. Remember how they lied to the Native Americans? Remember how they lied to you about WMD in Iraq?

I think as long as they are still lying to us we’ll be fairly okay. It’s when they don’t even bother to lie to us is when we should really start worrying. Bad sign. I think the greatest likelihood is that what we see right now is what we can expect, a flat economy with continued high unemployment, endless wars for profit and a further erosion of our infrastructure. Just as congress abrogated its constitutional powers to the president regarding war we have abrogated our constitutional rights to the president as well. And the greatest right of all, the right to life, we abrogated to Brack Obama, oh excuse me, Barack obma, oh excuse me Obama. That is without a doubt the one most significant thing Obama has done. There is little doubt in my mind that they have been doing just that (killing Americans) for years but now they are more open about it under Obama. Just another sign that they don’t care what we think, being disposable and all.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Russia Today's Anastasia Churkina interviews Eric Garris of don't know if he's right about Americans not connecting the wars of the past decade with potential collapse. Sometimes a dearth of polling data on a topic may mean the pollsters just aren't interested in the question, or aren't getting the results their clients want.)

Also from, "The Rot from Within: Character Disorders of the Republic" in which Robert Logan reviews
In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People by Dr. George Simon of the key insights from the literature on personality disorders is that they know best themselves exactly what they are doing. What is missing is the moral compass. You are wasting your time arguing with them, "informing" them, or trying to change them. The same has been true with my political experience and all the futile ancillary efforts.

Obama has not only tolerated the criminal gangsterism of the Bush Administration before him, but he has both extended it and made their innovations permanent. The person who commits a crime is not as great a threat as he who sanctions it and makes it a permanent part of our national character.

David Spero, Dissident Voice,

"Don’t Fear the Right, They Are Potential Class Allies"

John Vidal, Guardian: June 2010 was the hottest June since international recordkeeping began(in 1880).

Two from Helena Cobban,

The 'oddity' of American mainstream discourse

The dumbing down of (paper) 'Foreign Policy'

The latest issue-- the "Bad Guys Issue"-- is almost completely sophomoric. reducing the complexity of international relations to a question of "bad guys" is really inane. And the whole of the piece by Ghanaian citizen George B.N. Ayittey titled, "The Worst of the Worst: Bad dude dictators and general coconut heads" follows along completely with the childish, content-less name-calling of the title.

U.S. citizens live in a large country that-- along with China-- is the only one that is big enough that even in today's world a dream of autarky, isolationism, and provincialism can still seems plausible. And in the U.S. one big result of this has been that many otherwise involved citizens are deeply ignorant about the rest of the world. A publication like Foreign Policy should set out to help educate them (us)-- at least, not simply to mindlessly perpetuate old myths to the effect that most of the world's problems are due to "the bad guys", the "coconut heads", etc.

What a tragedy to see what the paper edition of the FP has become.

Luckily, several parts of the fairly independently run website are a whole lot better.

Frederick Kaufman in Harper's, "The food bubble How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it"

I generally like the writings of Sam Smith of The Progressive Review, but he has a very puzzling op-ed up, "How progressives and liberals are different", which I have to take issue with.

Smith's basic position is, "progressives good, liberals bad." I don't know who appointed him the head of the English language. My more humble impression is the definitions are very much in flux. (Actually, I was thinking of this article when I responded to a recent comment by Bob from Pacifica, writing that as far as I can see "progressive" has come to mean somebody who's perceived as liberal but is desperately trying to shake the label. I guess I foolishly expected Bob to read my mind and be aware of the context. As far as I know he doesn't do this.)

CNN on recent Army suicides

Chris Floyd discusses Jundullah, a terror group that attacks Iranian civilians, and which is believed to receive US sponsorship.

Also by Floyd: "Extreme Measures: Arming the Zealotocracy, Serving the Elite"

One of the most significant developments in the modern world -- history may find it to be a decisive one -- has been the deliberate cultivation of religious extremism by ruling elites trying to sustain and expand their power.

Avedon Carol notes that there is a blog called Economists for firing Larry Summers.

Bloomberg:`Capitalism' Not So Sacred to Americans as Mood Sours

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Making an Impression


Ms. Petri was married to an SS officer who ran an agricultural estate, complete with a colonial-style manor house and slave laborers, in Galicia, in occupied Poland. She later confessed to having murdered six Jewish children, aged 6 to 12. She came across them while out riding in her carriage. She was the mother of two young children, and was 25 at the time. Near naked, the Jewish children had apparently escaped from a railroad car bound for the Sobibor camp. She took them home, fed them, then led them into the woods and shot them one by one.

She told her interrogators that she had done so, in part, because she wanted to prove herself to the men.

Link(PDF file)

In recent years historians have been able to access declassified documents from the period. The result has been a series of books which challenge the claim that itwas militarily necessary to drop the atomic bomb. They have shown that the Japanese government was already seeking to find a way to surrender and that, through the decoding of intelligence material, President Harry Truman, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, and Secretary of State James F. Byrnes were aware of this.

What has emerged is that Truman, Byrnes, and Stimson came to see America’s atomic monopoly as giving it the power to dictate how Soviet Russia should behave in Europe and East Asia. This led to a shift in US policy. At Yalta, Roosevelt believed he needed Soviet co-operation in the European and Pacific wars and would also need it in the years ahead to ensure that there was no re-emergence of the German threat.

Truman now envisaged a post war world in which America would use her atomic monopoly to lead the liberal capitalist world and to relegate the Soviet Union to a secondary status in world affairs. For this reason Truman delayed the Potsdam meeting with Churchill and Stalin until the bomb could be tested. “If it explodes as I think it will,” Truman said to aide Jonathan Daniels on the eve of the conference, “I’ll certainly have a hammer on those boys.”

Truman then went on to impress the Russians even more by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Russians were so impressed they built their own.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Defending the Indefensible

I’ll give Obama this much, I certainly see liberals in a whole new light because of him. Liberals aren’t interested in ending the Terror Wars, all they care about is getting one of their own in office. All liberals care about are symbols and having a Black Democratic president is a powerful symbol.

I think the belief that merely reiterating facts will effect progressive change is a fool’s errand. Facts are good but people in general are all too good at ignoring facts when they don’t line up with their beliefs. When liberals are confronted with the facts surrounding Obama’s continuing culpability in mass murder they respond with a few sympathetic noises and quickly move on to another topic putting it all down to the harsh realities of reality. “Besides,” they say, “Obama would be shot if he did the right thing.” This tells me two things. First, liberals are actually aware that Obama is a murderer but it doesn’t matter because he is a Democrat and the first Black man to be a president of the United States. Secondly, it tells me they don’t know who Obama is but then neither do the conservatives who see Obama as a Socialist and a Commie.

Obama has kept and or expanded every rapacious and murderous policy that George W. Bush introduced or expanded, and has moved this country even further to the right without so much as a whimper from the liberals. And why don’t liberals complain? Because if a Republican gets in office it will be the end of the universe of course! Amazingly, I, personally, have lived through Ike, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, two Bushes, and I have yet to see the end of the world. In fact, I’m fairly convinced that I will end before the world does. What liberals are ignoring is that all these leaders – in both major parties – have been, and are, ending the world for people even as I write this. And that’s the real problem with believing if we just leave things to the Democratic Party that this will make everything okay. It doesn’t and it won’t and it doesn’t help the people who die under the jackboot of America’s imperial wars.

The plain and simple truth about liberals is that they do not care about the slaughter that has been ongoing for nine years, possibly the longest slaughter in our slaughter-fest history. I don’t know why Republicans think Democrats are wimps. All you have to do is attack or question THE OBAMA and sit back and watch the fireworks explode. But then liberals are such super duper patriots, it’s patriotic to criticize Republicans, don’t you know? Liberals have their very own War in a Box with Afghanistan, and they love it. You know, that was Obama’s big selling point, “[T]he right war is the one in Afghanistan”, never mind that Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11 and al Qaida is long gone because that was all bullshit from the beginning. The Democratic Party was going to prove once and for all that they could wage war better than the Republicans and indeed war is the only promise Obama kept.

I don’t care for the Republican Party either but at least they are more honest about why we are in Afghanistan than the Democratic Leadership now residing in their rotting house of power. Here’s Dick Cheney (Darth Vader to liberals) telling us exactly why we are in Afghanistan, or pretty close to it.


[T]he oil in the Caspian basin is estimated to be worth over US $12 trillion. The sudden collapse of the USSR and subsequent opening of the region has led to an intense investment and development scramble by international oil companies. In 1998 Dick Cheney commented that "I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian."

How clear can Dick make it? See Dick, see Dick run, see Dick run and jump. What, you thought we were in Afghanistan to catch Fidel Castro? At least Dick was honest about why we are there, what is Obama’s excuse? The only conclusion I can draw so far is that liberals don’t care that people are dying so that Obama and crew can carry on their mad schemes for world domination. And it is crazy, completely crazy. Are you ready to fight a war with Russia and China over the Caspian Basin? I’m not. But that is the logical conclusion and end game for the U.S. plot of world dominion. Haven’t you ever wondered what the Russians and Chinese think when they see us playing in their back yard? Can you imagine what the United States would do if Russia invaded Mexico?

Liberals should ask themselves some questions.

Do you support the murder of millions of innocent people, the fact that millions more were wounded, that millions more were forced to flee for their lives to other lands and that this continues under Obama?

Do you support the use of torture against helpless prisoners that is likely still occurring if not in Guantanamo then in other more secret redoubts of dark design?

Do you support the domestic spying that now continues unabated?

Do you support murder? Do you, well do you? If you support Obama then you do. You can equivocate and invent the loveliest of excuses for the Sainted, and Holy, the one and only The Obama all you want but it won’t change a thing. Neither will this post come to think of it. Still, I find the position that those liberals who support Obama take indefensible. Murder is murder no matter which way you slice it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Flower of Civilization and General “Ain’t-Got-No-Manhood -Anyways” Mattis

Updated below:


“Power,” said Mr. World. He scratched his chin. “And food. A combination of the two. You see, the outcome of the battle is unimportant. What matters is the chaos, and the slaughter.”

--American Gods, Neil Gaiman

The most visits I get at my website come from people using the search terms “strategic importance of Afghanistan.” Interestingly enough I tried the search myself and was surprised that among the first links Google gives is to a post I wrote some time ago, here, if you’re interested. At any rate it explains the visits to my nobody bloog. However, though I have yet to see a more reasonable explanation than the one I read about in Chomsky’s book and have yet to see anything that would make me change my mind on a more fundamental level I think a simpler truth can be found in the above quote. Power is the name of the game, I just don’t see how you can get around it ugly as it is. And if you are reading this entire post keep in mind the last sentence in the above quote, especially regarding general Mattis.

Here is the pertinent segment of my post regarding the strategic value of Afghanistan:

I came across an interesting view on the “why” we are really in Afghanistan as I read “Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. foreign Policy” a book that is basically a transcript of a discussion between Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar. Achcar relates that the reason for our presence in Afghanistan is Afghanistan’s strategic value due to its geographical location. Achcar says that the U.S. never really planned to control Afghanistan the way we control Iraq pointing out that it would take far more troops then are now there, indeed, even more than the 130,000 troops now in Iraq due to Afghanistan’s geography, size, and complexities. According to Achcar to understand why the location is important is that looking at Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, where the U.S. has set up airbases, lie in the heart of the former Soviet Union and that Washington is trying to set a military vice around the Caspian Basin, an important source of oil and gas.

Even more importantly, according to Achcar, is that Afghanistan and Central Asia lie in the heart of the landmass extending from European Russia to China which is important to Washington who is worried about the recent joint military maneuvers between China and Russia.

At the black heart of our foreign policy and interest in Afghanistan lies the hunt for power. To control the flow of oil is to wield immense power over other nations, for obvious reasons. If you seek the motives for the inexplicable the answer is always found in our national leader’s desire for power and how to get more.


Though many Americans view America as the guiding light of the world, shining from on high like a beacon of hope, love, goodwill towards all, salvation, and a Big Mac, I just can’t get over Costa Rica not having a military which in my book makes little Costa Rica more progressive than America. What makes America so supposedly progressive as we are constantly told by our leaders? Was it the years of Black slavery followed by years of Jim Crow? Was it the genocide of Native Americans? Was it the way we waged war against our neighbor, Mexico? Was it the invasion of the Philippines where we had no business being? I’ve got it, Truman didn’t nuke North Korea the way “Dug-out” Doug MacArthur wanted to. Oh wait, I forgot, Truman had already nuked Japan even though WWII had essentially ended and Japan was seeking surrender. Hmm, damn, I’m trying to think of what makes us so darned progressive but I can’t come up with anything.

Perhaps Costa Rica is the first actual civilization on Planet Earth in modern times. Think of it, Costa Rica has no military. Costa Rica gives me hope for the world in a way the U.S. with its demented culture never did. To date what has “civilization” really been? In fact, what we call civilization is nothing but a ritualized version of “nature red in tooth and claw,” where the big animals push the little animals around. Instead of big animals we have the big money people pushing the little money people around. In the end what we call civilization is the self enslavement of the masses who have been bedazzled and amazed by a bunch of liars.

Okay, we be civilized and you don’t like me criticizing your tribalism so let’s take a good look at the Flower of Civilization, Barack Obama. Here is what our Flower of Civilization said:


"War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or a president," Obama said. "

Think about that, just how civilized is that? Let it sink in, the war is more important than anyone. You, me, anyone. All there is is war and war is god. Think about it. That says it all if you ask me. Occasionally the murdering monsters let slip the dogs of truth so enjoy it while you can. Now let’s look at who the “Flower of Civilization” has appointed as the new King of all the Terror Wars in place of general Petraeus:

Via Arthur Silber


In 2005, then Lt. Gen. Mattis spoke of his “fun” experience in Afghanistan at a forum in San Diego, describing it as “a hell of a hoot.” After laughter from soldiers in the audience Mattis went on to declare “it’s fun to shoot some people.”

Mattis continued to elaborate. “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil,” adding “guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyways. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

Long gone are those days of wine and roses when U.S. marines made love to Afghan civilians, winning hearts and minds with their winsome ways, “hey dude.” So at what we consider the fountainhead of civilization (us) we see a general essentially put in charge of our foreign policy who not only is a moron, “Ain’t-Got-No-Manhood-Anyways” Mattis, but is also a very sick psychopathic killer who thinks murdering people is fun. Civilization, what a joke.

America is still riding high but it is not the leader of the world, thug of the world maybe, but not leader of the world. Rather than America it seems it shall be the smaller fry who will lead the way by example.


I see Arthur Silber has posted on the topic of “why” Afghanistan which I recommend to everyone. Silber makes many of the same points regarding the strategic geographical importance of Afghanistan as Achar and fleshes it out some more.

I think to sum it up Russia, China, the U.S. and Europe are all interested in the Caspian Basin, home to an estimated 3 trillion dollars worth of oil and gas. Afghanistan is strategically located providing a platform for the U.S. military to confront Russia and China over the Caspian Basin and control of the rest of the Middle East, you know like Iraq, Iran, etc. and in fact, as I mentioned numerous times Afghanistan is very conveniently located for an invasion of Iran which directly borders the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf which is quite useful if you plan to remove oil from the Caspian Basin. But go read Silber’s piece. And one last thing, I learned about Afghanistan’s strategic value by going to the library and reading a book. Anyone could do the same with a very small amount of effort but people do not do this by and large. Instead, they rely on a very unreliable source of news, the news media.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A Military Free U.S.?

Imagine what it would be like if the U.S. had no military at all. There could no longer be a military-industrial-scientific-congressional-Judicial-presidential-complex because without the military all that would collapse utterly and completely. Why Obama wouldn’t even have run for president if it wasn’t for the very existence of our military and the complex because the very system that attracts predators like Obama wouldn’t exist.

Instead of an endless procession of foreign interventions and wars we would essentially all be living in peace. And make no mistake about it, the war is driving the economy (whatever that is) into the ground with pile driver blows. Thirty billion here, fifty billion there, the numbers aren’t even real, I mean, what exactly is thirty billion dollars besides obscene but there is no money for extending the paltry and miserly unemployment benefits, nor job creation, nor an aging infrastructure. Not for schools, or research, not for fighting cancer or even beginning the switch to clean electrical power and all because we throw it all down the gaping maw of war and we don’t even know where the hell the aid money goes, “oh it shipped to Dubai” “money what money, white man speak forked tongue!” and you wonder where Krazy Karzai gets the money for those fancy outfits he wears? The Mayor of Kabul!

We wouldn’t have general Petraeus, referred to as the “most respected general in the U.S.” which ought to be the “most politicized lying scumbag general in the U.S.” and in fact we wouldn’t have any generals at all. Think of the money we would save on general’s pensions alone! In fact, all the money we spend on all the little boy toys like planes, boats, guns, bullets, bombs and what-have-you that our military loves to zoom around in, shoot, or drop could now be spent on useful things. Get this, The Obama (May he rule forever and his line never fail) is sending forty-six warships to little Costa Rica along with 7,000 marines no less, and five planes, in order to fight drugs. I have visions of marines wrestling with armed aspirin pills. This is exactly the kind of ding-bat use of the military that would be avoided by simply having no military.

A legitimate question I suppose would be how would we protect ourselves without a military? In return I would ask protect us from whom? Are the Canadians planning an invasion? Mexico has already invaded us according to Arizona residents. Russia, China, why would they invade us? You need to have stockpiled something useful in order to convince someone to invade you but what do we have? Obama? An empty shelled out husk of a nation with crappy roads, an aging power grid, rampant poverty, rampant unemployment, rampant crime, crazy people who moan and roll on the floor, crazy people who believe in UFOs and Bigfeets. Who would want that? Who would spend the money to get it? Nobody in their right mind, that’s for sure. There is one exception, I think the original inhabitants wouldn’t mind kicking us out or maybe putting us on small reservations, maybe in the Bronx.

Is it really so farfetched that the U.S. could exist without a military? I don’t think so, the benefits would be extraordinary. Recently Obama spoke about creating a civilian army to send to these sad sack nations so what it boils down to is we could have decent jobs here in the States or you can go to Afghanistan where the natives would as soon shoot you as look at you. This is the path our militarized nation is going down in a headlong and blind rush. It seems as if the only answer to any problem or impediment is to call in the marines and forty-six warships. Forty-six warships to fight drugs? Whaaaa? I’m losing my mind, I must be, I can’t believe this stuff when I read it.

Okay, I know, it isn’t realistic of me is it. I mean look at little Costa Rica who has no military (which started this line of thought for this “post”) who have lived in peace for years but are now to be suddenly invaded by the U.S. who rightly perceives them as weak. I suspect the only reason the Costa Ricans voted to allow the U.S. military into their country was to avoid the fate of Iraq. I wish them luck with that one. Still, we could easily cut back on the size of our military and return it to its original intent of protecting the U.S. from invasion. For that we don’t need the giant military we now have and it would also go a long way toward ending the military-yada-yada-complex because we would no longer be in the business of empire.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Nothing ever happens

Biden Does Iraq

Reading the New York Times today I was struck once again how nothing ever happens. The immediate past, along with the more distant past, never happened and all that is left to us is the here and the now, apparently. And it’s not just the news media but our trusted leaders like Joe Biden as well. The news of course, as always, happily goes along with whatever absurd statements are emanating from the person of Joe Biden and ilk.

Where to begin, the article is pregnant with possibility after breathless possibility. Let’s begin with Biden’s asinine analogy comparing Iraq’s situation and that of our Floundering Fathers in their time.


BAGHDAD — Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. drew an analogy to the signers of the Declaration of Independence on Sunday in exhorting Iraqi leaders to end the paralysis that has stalled the formation of a government since the parliamentary elections four months ago.

“When they signed that declaration, many of them did not even like one another,” Mr. Biden, making his fourth trip to Baghdad as vice president, told a group of Iraqi leaders at a Fourth of July reception at the residence of the United States ambassador, Christopher R. Hill. “My plea to you is to continue what you started,” he said.

The problems with the above “analogy” are manifold but the basic premise, a thread that runs throughout U.S. foreign policy, is entirely at fault because it is once again American exceptionalism rearing its ugly head urging the Iraqi to form a government, pleading with them in fact. Who invaded and occupied Iraq? Biden doesn’t know, the NYT doesn’t know, and, in all likelihood, much of the public doesn’t know either. The reason for this remarkable situation is that nothing ever happens. Nothing happened nine years ago, nothing happened last winter, yesterday? Why, it’s gone without a trace. Never happened, never will, nothing ever happens.

Writers for the NYT happily play along with the nothing ever happens game:

Mr. Biden has visited Iraq 17 times since 2003, when he was still a senator, and has seen the country evolve from an occupied war zone to a bloody sectarian battlefield to a fragile democracy. His latest visit has required a delicate diplomatic dance of trying to subtly influence Iraq’s internal politics while not appearing to impugn the nation’s sovereignty.

How mysterious, somehow, Iraq, went from a war zone to a sectarian battlefield (civil war) to a fragile (that’s one way to describe it) democracy but nobody knows who did this to Iraq, it’s a mystery! Perhaps we will learn who did this someday, I have high hopes that this shall be so. Maybe the NYT with its vast resources and connections will be able to unearth what actually happened. Let us forge ahead and read on.

I have usually assumed that our leaders are at least normal in the smarts department, more unscrupulous than most, indoctrinated certainly, but Biden is in a class by himself with this astounding statement:

“You should not, and I’m sure you will not, let any state, from the United States to any state in the region, dictate what will become of you all,” Mr. Biden said in his reception remarks.

I’m quite sure it would be terribly wrong for the U.S. to dictate what Iraq will become. Not after waging an illegal war against a nation that had done nothing against the U.S. murdering their leader by lynching him, destroying the infrastructure, polluting the land air and water, outright murdering who knows how many Iraqi and in the end causing over one million deaths either directly or indirectly but certainly, yes, Biden is quite correct in this instance, Iraq will let no state dictate the terms of their existence or what remains of it. But according to what Biden says above he must believe that, once again, nothing ever happened. If you have the stomach, Biden has more valuable insights for us:

He noted that he was bestowing American citizenship in a building that housed a dictator who “stood for everything that we don’t stand for.”

“I find it delicious that that’s happening,” he said.

Certainly yes, as Biden stands atop the stinking ruins, reeking of sewage and death that he helped create, with the bodies of the helpless, the old, the sick, the young, rotting deep beneath the smoking rubble he crows about how we stand against all the evil that Saddam Hussein was. Saddam Hussein did kill his own people yet has not The Obama claimed the right to do so without being beholding to anyone but his own magnificence? And don’t be fooled by the, if they aren’t on American soil caveat, I doubt that if one of the targeted was found on U.S. soil it would suddenly make The Obama shy about greasing anyone on his snuff sheet. Considering what we did to Iraq Saddam Hussein was practically a saint.

Obviously, one cannot predict all things, yet it is entirely predictable that when the U.S. finally leaves Iraq, say in the year 4795, whatever condition Iraq is in, it will be their fault entirely despite all of our own best well intentioned efforts.

It won’t really matter because nothing ever really happens anyway.

comment moderation

I didn't want to do this, but an aggressively obnoxious comment spammer has targeted Dead Horse, so comments will be moderated for the foreseeable future. Happy 4th of July.


Friday, July 02, 2010

the emperor's bloody clothes

The editors of Slate reference this TPM post discussing GOP chairman Michael Steele's acknowledgement that the Afghan war is unwinnable, reducing it to political process. Some of the Slate commenters, filled with glee at a prominent republican apparently putting his foot in his mouth, are repellent in their myopic, doltish stupidity.

from Slate:
...the impulse to assign blame to the opposing party is apparently a bipartisan one. At a Republican fundraiser in Connecticut on Thursday, RNC Michael Steele tried to pin the war in Afghanistan—which started in 2001—on the current occupant of the Oval Office.

The gaffe-tastic chairman got on the subject when a audience member asked him a question about Gen. Stanley McChrystal's resignation. "The McChrystal incident, to me, was very comical. And I think it's a reflection of the frustration that a lot of our military leaders have with this Administration and their prosecution of the war in Afghanistan," said Steele. "Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama's choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in." Steele went on to say that the United States had started an unwinnable war in Afghanistan—and that it's Obama's fault. "It was the president who was trying to be cute by half flipping a script demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should be in Afghanistan," Steele said. "Well, if he's such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that's the one thing you don't do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan."

When TPM tried to ask some questions of an RNC spokesman (chief among them: "Didn't the war begin in 2001 under George W. Bush, in response to the 9/11 attacks?"), the response was a statement that begins, "The Chairman clearly supports our troops." Steele has weathered storms of his own making before, but this may be harder to survive than a little bondage-themed party. The Atlantic is calling this "the biggest Michael Steele gaffe of all," Repblicans operatives are calling it "the height of stupidity," and William Kristol is calling for his resignation.

While I doubt that I share many of Michael Steele's views on things like business regulation or taxation, I was pleasantly surprised when I heard about his comments from Thursday declaring the Afghan war unwinnable. Although I don't care about the GOP's fortunes any more than I care about the well-being of the democratic party, it was pretty clear that he was trying to nudge the republicans towards relevancy, and maybe even sanity. I guess the bipartisan flurry of criticism he has since faced was inevitable. His subsequent backing away from his comments wasn't, although it really was too bad.

Steele had an opportunity, especially poignant on the eve of the 4th of July holiday, to make the case against empire and all the unnecessary butchery of our own and others, and to flesh out the distinction between supporting the well-being of the troops and supporting an imperial war. It seems no good deed, or hesitant attempt at such, goes unpunished.

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