I know I shouldn’t be surprised by this kind of thing—and I’m not, really—but I’ll admit that every time I see or hear a liberal plumping for war I think, ‘I thought you guys were supposed to be against using violence to solve problems,’ until I remember, ‘Oh, yeah, liberals are just conservatives who love food stamps and public schools,’ and then everything comes back into focus again. And I’m not even talking about members of the professional pundit class, who are paid to toe the line of whatever party they happen to be, directly or indirectly, affiliated with. I’m talking about your regular Joe Arugula, the kind of guy who can be counted on to mouth all of the usual pieties about gay marriage and the minimum wage, and who no doubt voted for Obomba in part because he wasn’t going to drag us into some unnecessary war like that evil terrible Bush, droning on (no pun intended, of course) about chemical weapons and the Geneva conventions, and referring to Assad as a “bad guy” and suggesting that maybe, instead of firing a bunch of missiles into a country full of people, which might wind up killing a few innocent bystanders, they “bring back” the James Bond style assassination.* I guess it’s too much to expect that these people consider that a government that dumped millions of gallons of poison on one country (Agent Orange) and supported the use of nerve gas against another (Saddam, Iran), not to even mention the depleted uranium used a few years ago in Iraq, might not actually care about chemical weapons and might just being using them as a pretext to do something they’ve wanted to do all along for entirely different reasons.
*Paraphrasing a coworker who said all of the preceding this morning while talking to a neighbor in my cubicle subdivision here.
…the US can’t be a “spectator to slaughter.”
Or, in other words, “If there’s gonna be any killin’ ’round here, it’s gonna be us who does it.”
I thought this was noteworthy, since the air base where the new
live video gaming center command center will be located is just a few miles from my house. Contrary to the ominous-sounding title, though, this is good news. No, really. Just ask a local official:
Local officials praised the move. State Rep. Todd Stephens, R-151, said “the beauty of it is we get the jobs but no impact on air traffic in and out of Willow Grove. That’s a terrific scenario.”
Bill Walker, manager of Horsham Township, said the news is positive for both the base and municipality.
“The only difference we’ll see is in the economy,” he said. “If people are being relocated, it will help the housing market. And it’s all good news for the banks and barbershops, dry cleaners and restaurants.”
I see that no Pakistanis were interviewed for this article. Just as well, I guess. They’d probably find some reason to pooh-pooh this boon to pizza shop and adult DVD store owners in southeastern Pennsylvania. On the other hand, it’s good to see that my representative in congress is doing her job, digging her snout in the trough and fattening herself–sorry, us–on federal largesse.
As for the two sourpusses who are all worried about drones being used to spy on citizens, I say get a grip. The US government doesn’t need drones to spy on us. That’s what we have Telecoms for.
Does this mean French politicians are going to start calling the Big Mac zee Liberte Burgaire and pouring bottles of Coca-Cola down storm drains?
I didn’t waste my time watching the foreign policy “debate,” but I caught a recap on RT last night. They edited a bunch of clips together of Obromney and Rombama heartily agreeing with each other. In one segment Obama was smiling as Romney fell all over himself in an attempt to demonstrate his approval of one of the president’s war-mongering policies. I was waiting for Obama to say, “You know, Mitt, I kinda like you. You’re not nearly as much of a douche as my supporters say you are. I have an idea. Why don’t we quit all this pointless debating [big air quotes around that last word] and work together? I have a cabinet position that I’m sure you’d love…”
In a similar vein, here’s Raimondo on how the debate was more like a contest to see who loves Israel more. I used to think the idea that Israel has too much influence on Washington was just an obsession among Alex Jones listeners and other fringe types always on the lookout for threats to “our democracy” or “our sovereignty,” depending on whether they were coming from the “left” or “right,” but at this point you’d have to be deaf and blind not to notice that demonstrating fealty to Israel has become all but an official qualification for any serious white house aspirant.
I’m not usually inclined to quibble (too much) with anything that exposes the pile of horseshit upon which any of US Inc.’s so-called wars, past and present, are built. But still, this notion (see the block quote from “Davis’s unclassified paper” a little past the halfway point of the article) that congress only continued to go along (for ten years) with the occupation of Afghanistan because it was deceived by the military into believing that things were going much better than they actually were is just too much. Congress knows exactly as much as congress wants to know—which, granted, isn’t much, considering all of the various contracts on the line and the kickbacks your local representative can expect for being a reliable yes-vote whenever it comes time to decide whether to keep the money flowing into the war services industry.
So far, no one has a clear answer for why the Afghan sergeant turned his AK-47 on Huling, shooting him in the stomach and killing him.
National Public Relations
For a country that celebrates its own armed insurgency against a foreign imperial power (well, its own government, actually, but nevermind) every July 4th—not only celebrates it but views it as its defining act—America sure has a difficult time wrapping its head around the whole occupier-occupiee relationship.
I was watching the Phillies game on ESPN last night and around the sixth or seventh inning the crowd started chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A!” The announcers helpfully informed us that they were reacting to the news that bin Laden had been killed and suggested we switch over to ABC for the news coverage. So I did, listening for about 30 seconds to the braindead talking heads and pundits ruminate on the killing’s significance for the ongoing war on terr’r.
Then I switched back to the game, where one of the announcers (Orel Hershiser, I think) said, “This is like one of those ‘where were you when this happened’ moments” (yeah, thirty years from now I’m gonna remember that I was sitting on the sofa watching a boring-ass baseball game and scratching my ass when bin Laden was finally “brought to justice”). Some more shots of the crowd, people staring at their electronic devices, more scattered chanting, one particularly dumb fuck stretching the front of his shirt, which, by some stroke of luck or genius, happened to have “USA” emblazoned on the front of it, while giving the “No. 1” sign with his hand.
How fitting that I was seeing the whole ridiculous spectacle unfold in the context of a sporting event. The death of bin Laden has about as much significance for the lives of the poor deluded chumps chanting “U-S-A” as the outcome of last night’s baseball game—in other words, none. Same goes for the effect it’ll have on Team USA’s war on the Middle East and Central Asia. It’s a hollow, symbolic victory at best, a little something for the rubes to cheer about while the managers of the empire go in search of another bogeyman.
I caught a piece on NPR this morning about congressclowns who are concerned that Obama doesn’t have the authority to launch a “humanitarian mission” in Libya without congressional approval. Nevermind this tired charade about whether this or that is “constitutional.” Nobody fucking cares about the constitution; it’s a museum piece with no authority over anything. The thing that got me, though, was when the reporter said that some congressman (from Massachusetts, I think) was worried that this might “open the door” to other foreign interventions in the future. Open the door? The door’s wide open. No, wait, they got rid of that door years ago. In fact, now that I think about it, the building is gone, too.
I caught John Kerry being interviewed on BBC World News this morning. Apparently he’s in Sudan overseeing (yeah, John Kerry is going to personally ensure that there’s no monkey business going on with the vote) the referendum on whether the south will secede. Anyway, when asked whether the new Republican majority in congress will disrupt the Obama administration’s meddling in the country, he said (paraphrase): “I hope the great American foreign policy tradition of politics ending at the water’s edge will continue.”
Would this be the same “great tradition” that brought us the War on Iraq and other hilarious misadventures in the Middle East and Asia, not to mention all the other places in the world fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of US foreign policy? And would this be the same Senator from Massachusetts who sorta-kinda, but not really, opposed the invasion and occupation of Iraq—or at least how it had been handled by the Bush Administration—in 2004?
So while the fine Senator, who increasingly resembles nothing so much as a cadaver with a voice recorder shoved up his ass, celebrates the great tradition of bipartisan unity when it comes to the killing of foreigners, the rest of the world gets busy building bomb shelters.