one man's conspiracy is another man's business plan
Friday, January 30, 2004 | Al Sharpton's Gift to America
During the OJ trial, opinion of whether OJ was guilty or not was split almost completely along racial lines, with almost all whites saying guilty and almost all non-whites saying innocent (at least of that particular crime ).
When you listened to people talk, a lot of the comments from whites sounded very similar to things you would have heard from white people in Alabama in 1963.
The OJ trial taught a lot of non-whites that in the hearts and minds of the white majority in the US, things had not really changed that much since racial apartheid was the law of the land.
There was a similar epiphany for many non-whites after 9-11, when the veneer was stripped away, and many people living in the US learned overnight who their friends are.
Al Sharpton will not win the election, would not, even if the "election" were 100% on the up and up, even if Diebold did not have its machines ready, even if the PNAC strategists did not have their judges ready, even if the votes were counted.
Nor will he be the nominee. He will probably not win even one primary, despite the fact that he is clearly the most intelligent person in quite a while who has deigned to spend their time running for political office. American culture does not value intelligence, and it is more of a liability than an asset for a politician, which Sharpton is not.
He tells the truth. He is neither humble, nor deferential, and that makes some white Americans very nervous. There is no good reason for that. To reiterate, he will not win. He hardly has any money. He does not have celebrity endorsements, black or white.
A black man that makes white people that nervous makes many rich and successful black men nervous too, as if the stigma might rub off. The stigma of being smart, the stigma of being uppity. The stigma of not acting white.
Sharpton is congenitally shuffling-impaired. He is impossible to talk down to, impossible to condescend to, and if you try he will fry you up with some onions and enjoy you with ketchup, in a remarkably courteous way.
He is, to many whites, regardless of party affiliation, the anti-Powell.
He does not have light skin. He does not have a stately background of accolades and credit-to-his-race accomplishments on which stately light-skinned parents smile with quiet dignity and pride.
He used to be James Brown's stage manager, and then he became a civil rights activist, one of the loudest, brashest, in-your-face civil rights activists in the history of the Movement. Al made Hosea look diffident and soft-spoken. He wore bad 70s PimpWear. He is a preacher who can preach with the best of them, but when Al went to church outside the church, he didn't preach, and he didn't ask and he didn't shuffle. He demanded. And most of the time, he got. Maybe sometimes he got just because whoever was on the receiving end would do anything to make him go away, but his very name put fear in the hearts of the same white people who outwardly snickered at him.
The same ones who over the last few weeks have been scratching their heads and expressing surprise to learn that Al is so intelligent.
Now tell me about racism being a thing of the past.
For a lot of white people, Al Sharpton means only one thing. Tawana Brawley.
Al believed Tawana. He does not apologize for it, and indeed, the least believable aspect of her story was that she reported it.
Today, I overheard a white lady say that Sharpton had taught her that she is indeed a racist. She realized this when she caught herself thinking, if this guy were white, he could win.
Her conclusion was, if he does nothing else, he will make it damn hard for white people to continue to talk about how much "progress" has been made regarding race relations in the US.
I will go farther and suggest that maybe Al will get them to thinking about it.
And that is the greatest gift that any intelligent person can give his fellow human beings.
Wednesday, January 28, 2004 | Here are some voters. Pick a candidate for them
Tony's fiancee was killed in the World Trade Center. He has never bought the official explanation, and if it WERE true, everything the politicians have done since then seems like the opposite of what they ought to be doing. He wants some answers, and he wants to find out who knew what when. He has had it with being called a tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist whenever he lines up the facts. He's a Democrat, but even if he were a Republican, he would feel the same way.
Percival considers himself a Democrat, but he's having trouble picking a candidate. He's concerned about Iraq turning into another VietNam. He thought Bush was going in to finish what his daddy started, but here it is months later, and the US still hasn't succeeded in imposing its will. His main issue is getting somebody in the White House who can bring the Islamists to heel.
Asman is a Democrat. Her sister's husband was arrested shortly after 9-11. For almost a year, no one would tell her why. Finally, they told her that they couldn't find that he had any links to "terrorism" but they wouldn't let him go or tell her where he was. Asman's little nephew is growing up without a father. Her sister has run out of appeals of her own deportation hearing. She hasn't lived in Pakistan since she was four, and her daughter speaks almost no Urdu and not much Sindhi. When she is deported, the kids' passports will be taken. They won't be able to come back. They won't be citizens anymore. Asman doesn't know what her sister will will do in Pakistan. Her family there is not too crazy about the lifestyle choices she made, choosing her own husband, living together before they got married, it's a long list. It's hard to make ends meet with Taha gone. Both Asman and her sister lost their jobs after 9-11, and both had to take the older kids out of school, people were so upset..
Earlene is retired, and her main concern is high medical costs. She is confused by the new Medicare prescription drug program, but she has figured out it isn't going to save her any money. She thinks it might end up costing her more, since as they are now, her prescriptions put her right in the middle of the donut hole. She has always voted Democrat, and looked at the websites of all the candidates, and can't tell if any of them can actually promise her that she will be able to afford her medicine.
Alvaro just became a citizen, but most of his family here doesn't have papers. This will be his first election. Alvaro doesn't think much of Bush, or Republicans in general, so he's been looking over the platforms of the various candidates, but he hasn't really seen anything that impresses him. Most of them look like the same stuff with a fresh coat of paint and a new name.
Annabeth just got kicked out of her apartment. The rent kept going up, but her hourly wage didn't. She was already working two and a half jobs. Now she lives on the street, with her two small children. The other day somebody came around with some sandwiches, talking about some program to let homeless people vote. They had literature about all of the candidates. Annabeth looked at it, but didn't really see anything that had anything to do with her. Before her husband left her, they'd always voted Democrat, but she doesn't really see that much of a difference, or believe that it makes any difference whether she votes or not.
Wilbur has voted Democratic since Carter, but he's not sure if he can count on any of the current crop of candidates to crack down on illegal aliens. He doesn't buy this economy depends on it, Americans won't do it crap. These people are breaking the law, and he doesn't believe that the economy depends on criminals. He bets Americans would do those jobs in a minute if there weren't 5 or 6 illegal aliens running to get them first.
Jennifer is a born-again Christian. A life-long Democrat, she didn't change her party affiliation when she was saved, like a lot of her friends did. She likes to tell people that she's a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, but she draws the line at some of the trends she's seeing, like the gay agenda, and the anti-Christian sentiment. When her son came home from school with a Koran he had to read to do a report on Islam, that's when she started homeschooling. When Bush tied loan guarantees to Israel to the Security fence, that killed the last chance any Republican had of getting her vote. Every month, Jennifer sends a little money to a Christian group to help the settlers. Frankly, she isn't sure she can count on any of the candidates to support Israel. Only God knows what is in their hearts, but Jennifer will stick with what her Bible says.
Elaine is a Democrat, but she is just about to renounce her citizenship. In her view, the US has become a pariah state. She is saving up her money, hoping to be able to get the hell out. She wants the US to get the hell out of Iraq, out of Afghanistan, everywhere. She is sick of her tax dollars going to pay for the slow genocide of the Palestinian people. She's a nurse, and hopes to get a job with an NGO, based in - she's not sure, but not here. America is not a country anymore, it's an oil and weapons Wal-Mart.
Terrence is slowly slipping out of the middle class. He blames the Republicans, but he's not sure he can trust any of the Democratic candidates to win the war on the economy AND the war on terror. He shakes his head every time he drives through the Arab part of town. The Republicans are not cracking down on the Muslims like they ought to, and they're sending all the jobs to India, where half the people are Muslims.
Justin is mad as hell. He voted for Gore, even volunteered for him, and doesn't consider Bush a legitimately elected President. He still thinks of himself as a Democrat, but he is pretty disillusioned with the way they all just bent over and took it. Yesterday his boss told him his job is being outsourced to India. Justin isn't sure which makes him angrier, the fact that he will be out of a job, or that some poor mouse-serf in India will be working for about 20% of what he should be getting.
Alicia is concerned about what America is doing to the rest of the world, but she is even more worried about what is being done to the planet. Her kids are just finishing school, and one is engaged, so naturally Alicia has started to think about grandchildren. What kind of world will they raise THEIR kids in? Will everybody have to wear masks, like Mexico City? How many people will die from all the mudslides from deforestation? And the fires. Alicia is no Republican, but she hasn't been impressed with any of the leading Democrats either.
Keisha lives in the projects with her mother and two small children. She is lucky to have her mama to watch the kids while she works. She is lucky to have a project apartment, although she might lose it because her cousin got caught with a joint when he left the apartment the other night. They have this zero tolerance thing, and he KNEW that. Keisha doesn't make enough money to get an apartment if they get kicked out. Her oldest baby's daddy is dead. A policeman shot him, said he thought Calvin had a gun. It wasn't a gun. It was her baby's bottle. The father of her youngest is in jail. He tagged a wall, there was no money for a lawyer, public defender, it's a story you hear a lot in Keisha's neighborhood. Both the kids have asthma. Keisha has taken a second job to pay for their medicine, and make up the difference in Medicaid and the bills for her mama's diabetes, but everything keeps going up every month. She knows the election's coming, some dressed up people were in the projects the other day, not the dangerous one where Alicia lives, but the new one. Her cousin lives there. She gave Alicia one of the brochures. It's a good thing too, because the baby spit up and Keisha didn't have any Kleenex....
Saturday, January 24, 2004 | Hopes For Peaceful Regime Change In US Dashed
For those whose faith tradition includes a strong belief in the voting process, despite the theological crisis of 2000, the promise of the 2004 "elections," is a great comfort. Their choices include a couple of rich boys from fine old New England families; John Kerry is a familiar face to political junkies, and is proud of his record of supporting capital gains taxes and business incentives, both of which he perceives as "standing up for the little guy."
It's all relative, and since "The Simple Life" has completed its season, why not watch The Election Show? In addition to Kerry, the cast includes the wonderful guy who brought you all that "collateral damage" back during the Kosovo miniseries; for a nation in transition to military dictatorship, being a general isn't the worst asset one can bring to a campaign, and a handful of other well-heeled ectomorphs who keep the minds of the best and brightest burning midnight oil to crank out "position papers" that contain lots of pretty words but carefully avoid anything that might be seen as change, which would render their sponsors "unelectable," the new synonym for "not a white male," "has no money," or "said something too close to the truth," depending.
And even the least objectionable among them dare not propose that the people exercise their right to change their government as opposed to rewording the same policies and having the results read by on-camera talent with better presentation and command of simple English.
Kucinich has some fine ideas, as does Sharpton, yet Kucinich has spent his political career making deals that, even if he were popular, would haunt him, and on the question of America's weapons dump and gangsta paradise down in the Levant, he must content himself with adopting the petulant pose of a congressional Syria, abstaining rather than voting on the various Rapture-Ready resolutions smuggled in by plaid-coated Gary Bauer operatives.
His makeover of the crusade, for all the sneers and dismissive snorts it has inspired from the bushlite ectomorph candidate phalanx, does nothing more than propose that the crusaders use UN letterhead and commit their war crimes while wearing blue hats.
Sharpton seems either naively arrogant or arrogantly naive, apparently oblivious to the fact that intelligence is not a desirable quality in a politician; it is not a commodity prized by the culture of the voting class, regardless of how much more of it he possesses than whatever debate victims are lined up beside him.
There is a certain absurd irony to Sharpton's candidacy; his efforts are spent on the roughly 25% of the population who vote, but who will not vote for him, while the bottom 75%, a brie-curdling % of which would vote for him in a heartbeat and snicker at the rest, will as usual and by careful design, remain disenfranchised by logisitics, or just plain poverty.
Gephartd of the unspellable name and unpigmented stolidity, oddly enough, proposed a health-care system, the only candidate besides the Fringe Three to do so, the others contenting themselves with a glittering selection of Barbie clothes for the traditional American custom of considering medical treatment as any other commercial product.
Only Kucinich and Sharpton have called outright for the repeal of the Patriot Act, and none has pledged to release the growing and secret number of disappeared and kidnap victims currently 'held' in Guantanamo and other undisclosed locations both in and outside of the US.
Even the Fringe is afraid to risk more than a whispernudge on the rather obvious twin elephants in Washington's drawing room: disarmament and nationalization and plowsharization of the oil and weapons companies.
But the winner of the Most Absurd Aspect of Campaign 04 Award undoubtedly goes to us, who read it and watch it and write about it so much. As if we thought we were Diebold.
Tuesday, January 20, 2004 | It is indeed a Crusade against Islam
perhaps not in the sense of the images encouraged by the western media, but a Crusade against Islam, most definitely.
What frightens the west about Islam has nothing to do with the rights of women, or human rights in general.
The "Islam" that is most demonized in the west is in fact the "Islam" that has been carefully cultivated and nurtured by the west, the totalitarian iron-fisted regimes of literal interpretation of scripture every bit as selective, as unstudied and as wacko as the American Christians who are so fond of "eye for an eye" when it suits their purposes but whom one seldom hears exhorting the part about an inch down in most Bibles, that lays out the conditions and rules regarding selling one's daughter into slavery.
While chopping hands and cloth on heads make good TV, and are very effective in persuading millions of otherwise reasonable people to cheerfully send their sons off to die in the name of stamping out this evil, and "liberating" these poor prisoners of the travesty their own politicians and generals and Armani-suited executive gunrunners have wrought and labelled "Islam," the fact is that women are treated just as poorly, human rights are shredded just as finely, in many places under completely non-Islamoid rubrics, and have been for thousands of years.
If western women, and western men, were and are so concerned about the plight of women in Pashtunistan, they have managed to suppress their distress quite impressively for more years than the US has been in business.
How many westerners know, for instance, that the Taliban were in fact wined and dined by bush regime henchmen, shortly after they came to the forefront, and were effectively made an offer they couldn't refuse, in the name of Holy Pipelinism, which they refused, and were selected as the next bombing victim?
And how many know that those colorful barbarities of the Taliban are in fact pre-Islamic tribal customs that not only have nothing to do with Islam but in many cases are in direct contradiction with the message of the Koran?
The half literate mullahs spouting rote suras in a language they cannot read while imposing the very kinds of draconian crap that Mohammed sought to END are the western imperialist oligarchy's best friend.
The western media loves to decry the lack of "democracy" in the Middle East, but prefers (and the regime also prefers) that no one peer too closely into just how much western blood and treasure has been spent in the cause of keeping it that way, back to the days of Lawrence and Gertrude.
The fact is, a democratic government chosen by an educated, well-fed and informed people with full franchisement would not be in the best interests of US business concerns, particularly the defense and energy industries.
A democratically elected, independent, accountable to his people leader could not be counted on to put US business interests before those of his own citizenry.
A dollaho, on the other hand, can and gladly will, if paid well and regularly, and throughout the region, they are.
Those interested might want to do some reading on the history of the House of Saud, for example, or enjoy typing "Mossadeq" into his google searchbox. For those with a taste for delving back farther in history, and a high tolerance for tragedy, the stomach-turning fall of the Hashemites from the honored position they once held to the contemptuous slimepit in which they now wallow, would not be the worst way you could spend an afternoon.
In short, the west could care less about people suffering from brutal regimes; on the contrary, they prefer it that way, because brutal regimes are more predictable and controllable. It is far easier to slip a few extra rolexes to a clumb of princes or sheikhs than it is to impose one's will on a noisy, fully franchised educated and opinionated electorate.
What the west fears about Islam itself has to do with the Islamic economy. They do not fear a huge Islamic bloc that enforces hijab in the streets with camel whips.
They fear a huge Islamic bloc that refuses to pay interest or accept Federal Reserve Notes, or the vaporcurrency of Greenspanfarts, in exchange for oil, and the other Islamic Monster, the spectre of peace.
Peace is the opposite of money. Few fine old families are said to have made their fortunes during this or that peace.
For those who are unaware, an Islamic economy is not socialism, nor is it the designer feudalism that westerners have been indoctrinated to worship as capitalism and a free market.
In an Islamic economy, entrepreneurship, prosperity, even wealth are encouraged, but exploitation and unbridled greed have no place.
Call back those hasty fingers, you who are about to say, why such a thing does not exist, cannot, human nature, all this balderdash about the utopia of the Caliphate - remember that we are talking now of the actual religion, not the various appeasing travesties of it that profit the sheikh and the CEO and starve the people, and also remember that the fact that Utopia is not possible is hardly an excuse for deliberately not feeding people when there is food to do so, and spending more than the cost of feeding them to slaughter them, which is the basis of US foreign policy for decades, and why it is possible to find not so many intelligent and well-read Iranians, Malaysians, Pakistanis and a host of other ians who will not mind telling you that they don't much care for Americans.
Ever been in the situation where yr trying to portray one side in a conflict as the most moral side in the world? A side that'd rather help little old ladies safely across the street than do all this ickky killing stuff? Ever found you don't have to think about the conflict in any depth because the highly publicised and regular attacks on civilians has made it so you don't have to do anything but whine: 'I wouldn't have a problem if those murderous, scumbaggy, monstrous pimples on the backside of humanity attacked military targets instead of innocent civilians!!'? Ever get that sinking feeling where you realise that an actual legitimate attack on a military target might force you to start getting those braincells working and shake the foundation of yr big budget blockbuster style Side A = The Good Guys Who Wear White and Always Gallop Off Into The Sunset At The End Of The Movie, and Side B = The Evil Guys Who Always Sneer And Speak English In Thick Arabic Accents And Want To Destroy All That's Good And Pure. Haven't the rest of us got the memo yet?? There's no such thing as the post Cold-War unipolar world. It's the Good Guys (US and Israel) up against the Bad Guys (any state that opposes or criticises the US or Israel), and any thinking about why the Bad Guys might say or do the things they do will result in automatic inclusion on the Bad Guys list....
So, in order to aid those who believe that all that's needed to shut down any discussion of a conflict is to toss out the 'murderous, scumbag TERRORISTS!!!' line, and who struggle for air trying to cope with legitimate acts of resistance, I've invented an ACME This-Is-What-Terrorism-Means-Today random rhetoric generator to help them on their way. Here's a few tests I've carried out using it...
Attacks on innocent civilians by the Bad Guys...
'This is another cowardly terrorist attack that happens EVERY DAY!!! If only those bloodthirsty and hatefilled murderous scumbags would confine their acts to attacks on military targets, you wouldn't see me complaining!!'
Attacks on innocent civilians by the Good Guys...
'This isn't terrorism!! A helicopter gunship returning and opening fire on a crowd of bystanders who'd gathered round the car of the original legitimate target is an essential act of self-defense and is needed to ensure security. Anyway, what were those 'civilians' doing there anyway? I bet they had terrorists hiding behind them!! They've got no-one to blame but themselves for getting themselves filled with shrapnel!!'
Attacks on legitimate military targets by the Good Guys...
'Yesssss. More killing!! More death!! Violence is the only answer!! If only they can kill one more Hamas leader, there'll be no-one left to take his place!!'
Attacks on legitimate military targets by the Bad Guys...
'A military checkpoint is NOT a military target! Military personnel are victims of terrorism too!! Besides, civilians were injured!! This is another cowardly terrorist attack that happens EVERY DAY!!! If only those bloodthirsty and hatefilled murderous scumbags would confine their acts to attacks on military targets, you wouldn't see me complaining!!'
The King David Hotel Bombing...
'Definately not terrorism! Hell, it was a legitimate military target, even if it was a hotel. Lots of civilians died? Well, dem's the breaks when yr fighting a war!! You noticed that not long ago I was calling attacks on the IDF terrorism? Different time, different place. I can't get any clearer than that, and how dare you accuse me of trying to redefine the term 'terrorism' to suit those who I'm a zealoted supporter of!! Next you'll be accusing me of owning an ACME This-Is-What-Terrorism-Means-Today random rhetoric generator!!
Violet, who has no idea why the title's got huge spaces between words...
Wednesday, January 07, 2004 | Bush's "Illegal Alien" Gambit - Guess Who Wins in the Long Run
The real and unintended long-term consequence of bush's Mexican gambit, pundits will call it.
In reality though, it will be just another predictable, inevitable event as the US transitions to a real American country as opposed to a British ex-colony.
On its face, it looks like a shrewd move. Promise "guest worker" status to millions of people so desperate for survival that they risk their lives and cross deserts without water to work for minimum wage or less, crowding 12 or 20 into a one bedroom apartment so they can send a little money back to families in Mexico, so desperate that they let them go, their sons and husbands and fathers and mothers, knowing they may not return, or may return in a coffin, or may return and have to make a way out of no way to get back again, they can't vote, but their cousins and brothers-in-law can, and every day a few more of their children, born on the US side of the border, citizens, every day a few more turn 18.
If you've been seeing a lot of Mexican families in your town, and you were seeing them in 1994, just about every 8 year old you saw back then can vote now. How many 8 year olds do you see today?
So listen, whispered bush's campaign posse. They already outnumber the n- um, African-Americans, let's float this plan...
Of course the actual plan comes with some strings. It won't hit congress till after the election, and there is no guarantee that any worker who "registers" really will get residency. So built-in failsafes for bush's "base," taken aside, whispered to, speeches will be made, but few Republicans will jump ship over this.
Even shrewder, the ball that is suddenly lobbed into the roiling snakepit of the Democratic pre-primary rumble.
Democrats have coasted on their little splash into the diversity-embracing pool, from which they emerged shivering and scurrying back to the safety of their restricted cabanas a half-century ago, blithely assuming that all your minority groups is belong to us, especially that little gaggle of them over there that vote.
The bulk of America's "minorities" however, like the bulk of America's poor, among which minorities are dramatically over-represented, have been left by both parties to twist in the wind, aided by a polling system that makes sure that that theoretical right to vote stays theoretical, and the matter of fact reality that neither party has anything to offer the poor; the only candidate who has even dared utter the phrase "Living Wage" is considered unelectable, and from the looks of his scrawny campaign chest, it is a hard claim to dispute.
While Democrats are far from united on the issue of undocumented workers in the US, those who favor open borders, or anything that would actually benefit the workers themselves, are about as plentiful as those who favor a Living Wage and Canada-style health care for all.
Even in the most "progressive" and "left-leaning" circles, one does not have to listen too hard to hear cries of "breaking the LAW," "taking our JOBS," although when pressed, few can honestly say that were they in the huarches of their Mexican brothers, that they would sit quietly and watch their children starve to demonstrate their respect for US immigration laws, and even fewer express a real interest in washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant for 12 or 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, and still fewer would even be able to keep up with the pace on your average sunbelt roofing job.
The likelihood that the Democrats will "outbid" the Republicans for Hispanic voters is small, and is not helped by the stubborn refusal of so many Hispanics to be as stupid as politicians both wish and assume they are.
So while the Republicans alternately orate and winkwinknudge each other, and the Democrats debate, a surprising number of supposedly politically unaware Mexicans and Central Americans of varying legal status are quietly aware that Peter Camejo has quietly said, on more than one occasion, "these are the sons of the indigenous people of our continent," maybe one of the shrewdest things one could possibly say in the hearing of millions of people who come from countries with multi-party systems....
Newsflash! There is no such thing as the 'Aboriginal people' of Australia. Let's face it. It's absurb to claim ethnicity on an identity that never existed. I dare anyone to show me an 'Aboriginal' prior to the middle part of the 20th century identifying them as the 'Aboriginal people'. And this crap about a 'historic homeland'? Bullshit, all of it. They only tried to get interested in pretending it was their homeland when the Mothership started spewing out shiploads of brave and fearless settlers to populate and civilise this barbaric continent. If it was their homeland, then why are they all living in a tiny percentage of the land? It's all just a cynical PR campaign, most probably orchestrated by Arafat and the PA. It's an emotive thing, you see. Which would you identify with?
1. Little black refugees who refuse to accept that they've been relocated for their own good...
2. The Aboriginal people, who have had their traditional homeland stolen from them...
Number 1 is clearly the truth and all this nonsense about genocide, the 'stolen generation', and massacres is just a sly PR campaign to try to do White Australians out of their historical homelands like Uluru with its multi-million dollar tourism, and Kakadu with its endless natural resources...
Number 2 is not accurate and creates a fiction of an 'Aboriginal people' and 'traditional homeland' to evoke feelings of sympathy far above that felt for different coloured and primitive people who were stupid enough to get in the way of Queen and Empire...
Once you all see that this particular Emperor wears no clothes, you can drop all yr mythical fantasies and see that I am speaking the truth. Then we'll move on to talking about what we can do to solve the problem of the so-called 'Aboriginal people'. Stay tuned!
You know what's stupid? If someone were to talk about the Palestinians like this, there'd be some bleeding heart liberal popping up to claim a stance like mine is racist! Get a job, you whining Commies!! ;)
Tuesday, January 06, 2004 | Selling the Status Quo
As many idealistic young "progressives" of all ages are beginning to notice, the "real" campaign for the Democratic nomination is not about progress, or change, or fresh new breezes blowing in the strains of a Scorpions song.
It's about repackaging the status quo to make it sound better to those voters who have been frowning at it a little bit, while reassuring the overwhelming majority of voters who enthusiastically support it that it will remiain essentially unchanged.
We have already seen the battles begin:
Which candidate supports the government of Israel MORE unconditionally than the others?
Which candidate supports bush's war on terra MORE than his opponents do?
Which candidate will do the best job of running the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan?
Which Democratic hopeful can best ensure that the rich get the tax breaks and the non-rich get their backs broken?
Who will do the best job of protecting traditional Anglo-Saxon Protestant values?
Who has the best plan for stamping out anti-American sentiment around the world and rooting out terrorist sleeper cells right here in the "Homeland?"
Almost as important: who can make all these things sound good enough to make you believe they're just what the country ordered? posted at
Saturday, January 03, 2004 | Democrats Loathe to Lay Down White Man's Burden
What is today known as "Iraq" was decreed to be so, and borders drawn, by western colonialist-adventurers many many years ago for the convenience and benefit of Anglo-US business interests.
Saddam Hussein's "Baathist coup" in 1959 was a CIA project.
Until 1990, the US supported Saddam in all the things it now condemns him for having done.
When Saddam got uppity and decided he wanted a bigger slice of the Kuwait oil pie, the US got mad, and played with him for a while, loudly encouraging ragtag "opposition groups" to revolt, with promises to come in and do it to it once they got the thing going, then sitting back and watching Saddam slaughter them.
After destroying much of Iraq's infrastructure in the First Gulf Crusade, the US maintained sanctions on Iraq for 12 years. These sanctions had little effect on Saddam, but a devastating effect on the Iraqi people. The US then unilaterally (with poodle) declared "no-fly" zones in Iraq and drip-bombed them pretty much every week for years, and every day for about a year before the current invasion.
These "no-fly" zones were ostensibly to protect the Kurds. (Kurds who live in that part of Kurdistan currently called "Turkey" did not receive such protection. On the contrary - but that's a whole nother show...)
Whatever popularity Saddam Hussein enjoyed or enjoys today, in Iraq or elsewhere is a result of the perception that he stood/stands up to the US, that he was victimized by the US, that he defied the US.
The US is currently occupying Iraq, engaged in active hostilities. Iraqis, regardless of their political persuasion, who oppose the occupation of their country and the slaughter of their countrymen, the seizing of their wives and children for "interrogation," the destruction of their homes, their crops, what little infrastructure they had managed to patch together despite the last 13 years of US state-sponsored terror, are considered "insurgents," "terrorists," "anti-coalition forces," "enemy."
Getting out of Iraq does not mean convincing soldiers from other countries to go there and join US soldiers in their activities in the region.
The candidates plans for Iraq differ very little from each other, and to be brutally frank, in terms of the reality for the Iraqi people, do not differ substantially from the status quo.
Having French soldiers, or Egyptian soldiers, or Fijian soldiers commit war crimes alongside US soldiers does not make the war crimes any less reprehensible, it does not make the victims any less dead.
What is going on in Iraq is an occupation, a prelude to colonization.
There is an almost universal belief, a bipartisan belief, that America knows best, that the Majority World flails helpless and tempest tos'd without the magnanimous and kindly Uncle Sam bending down to help his poor brown brother, so simple and childlike, poor thing, he is not ready for self determination, for "democracy."
It is so deeply ingrained that many very fine and upstanding people don't even know it's there.
The Majority World, however, is quite intimately and painfully aware that it is there, and there is a standing invitation for kindly Uncle Sam to lay down that burden.
Although "Iraq" may be a western creation, that part of the world has been in the civilization business a sight longer than Europe has, much less the US, a country that began its existence by destroying as much ancient civilization as it could.
But doesn't the US have a responsibility to clean up their mess?
If the US really wants to clean up its mess, write a blank check to Red Cross/Red Crescent, every non-UN and non-US NGO in the world, let the dedicated professionals in those organizations help the Iraqi people halt the humanitarian catastrophe that the US has wrought in their country, and get on to the business of deciding for themselves, without "help" how THEY want their country (or countries) to be.
But getting out of Iraq means getting every last American out of there, every last American gun out of there, every last American oil operative out of there, and yes, the CIA and special forces and commercial soldiers and Mossad loaned executives, and leave only that that might be useful and productive.
It means unfreezing all that money and giving it to those same NGO's, and to the Iraqi people directly. It is theirs.
It means removing every single scrap of anything that might cause one dime of money from Iraqi oil to go, now or in the future, to any subsidiary of any US or UK entity.
That's what "getting out" means.
But what if the Iraqis decide on a government that I or my candidate doesn't like?
That is a possibility. It is almost a certainty that whatever they decide, it will mean a definite decrease in revenues for US energy and defense industries. It will also mean fewer deaths, American, Iraqi and otherwise.
You may not like the governments of many countries. They may not like yours. They may choose to change their government, in time. Just because you haven't doesn't mean they won't.
Now you may not agree with that. You may agree with your candidate, and that is fine. You may be fooled by thinking that having your candidate head up the Crusade, run the war, manage the occupation, implement the colonization, however you and he/she want to call it, will mean jackshit to the next Iraqi whose kid gets shot by some soldier from wherever who "thinks he is an insurgent," or to the next resistance fighter who comes home and finds that his wife and kids have been seized by some "coalition" gunmen to be "interrogated" to put pressure on him to go turn himself in to the crusaders in the hope that he will be allowed to take his kids' place there in the "interrogation chamber."
Those folks may have a different view.
On the plus side, if your candidate gets the nomination, that plan will be just dandy with that top 25% income tier who votes.
All the polls say that most US voters agree with getting more countries to fight the war (under US command, of course).
If your guy uses the right words, he might even beat bush.
Actions like Sep 11 do not happen in a vaccuum.
Long before those hijackers ever stepped foot on the planes the damage
had been done. They were brainwashed with the same type of garbage
propaganda that is spewed from Fatwa's weblog.
Middle Eastern countries are so much more barbaric today and preAmercia than America can ever hope to be...America has only been around 230 years...who did you blame for everything before that Ductape? I am calling a Fatwa on your bullshit!
IMO - terrorist plain and simple. He is an Al queda operative who
should be put in a cage on gitmo Skinner
My favorite..."In Defense of Holocaust Deniers"
I always thought that "The Enemy Within" was just a metaphore for liberalism, that is, until I encountered Ductape Fatwa. He should be in an orange jumpsuit for sure.
peopleforchange.netductape is either a commie, al queda, or a deep cover mole
Tells you something about this asshole doesn't it. He's really serious.
I believe that DF is nothing but a Republican plant...
Ductape is a commie, a terrorist, and he drinks blood too. He drinks
Capitalist blood. He eats unborn babies too
Give me your address and I'll send you $20 and a thank-you note for taking your hatred elsewhere.
A terrorist with a sense of humor!
He ain't nuthin' but shit
inadequate, halfway house bullshit
You are a dumbass. Fuck you and your condescension about us "benighted sheeple." hamletta
Untruthful, damaging bullshit
no better than the neocons and no different than Timothy McVeigh
dailykos.coma turd in the punchbowl...if DF were Joe Hill he probably would have killed himself rather than get put to death.
A compost pile of fecundity
dailykos.comdespicable and literally mentally ill