one man's conspiracy is another man's business plan
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 | What Will You Do When the Time Comes, Mr. & Ms. America?
In a gentle apple-pie Americana piece the other day, columnist Susan Cheever copes as all but the most high-powered US columnists must do, and endorse Israel's plan to imprison 3 million people in the world's largest concentration camp.
Between the lines, however, and on them as much as she dared, Cheever manages to both let us know that this is what she is obliged to write, and more importantly, oblige her thinking readers to focus on the real question.
As America's twilight deepens, the fading light reveals the true shape of the night's promises.
While the name of Patriot Eunice Stone is uttered with reverence by warlord loyalists years after her courageous attempt to save the nation from the Menace of Muslim Medical Students, and hell hath no fury like the eagerness with which Miss Annie's continuing saga of the dark eyes that spurned her smile is devoured by crusading blue eyes, as soft cheeks turn red with Resolve, (that is what they swear it is) and white mousefingers Prevail over the insurgent server load, the succubus that waits in the gathering dark is insidious, mundane, the banality of evil made flesh.
It is hardly an innovation. The most revered historians will be driven to headscratching and googling to come up with the first time, even the first few dozen times, that tyrannical brutish regimes have utilized the simple strategy of neighbor against neighbor.
It is effective. Inform the regime if you suspect your neighbor of opposing its decrees, or your neighbor on the other side is very likely to inform the regime that you did not.
Cheever uses the illustration most familiar to western eyes, one that does not need the services of a historian to highlight her overt message and veil her (intentionally or not) hidden one:
Today, there are more than a few Jews who risk their lives daily to commit acts of terrorism like smuggling food and medicine into Palestine in defiance of the Policy of Starvation. There are Jews who smuggle entire Palestinian children into hospitals, claiming them as their own, so that they can receive medical treatment.
And there are over 1300 young Jews who have put their own freedom on the line by refusing to participate in crimes against humanity and slow-drip genocide.
Maybe some of those Jews are remembering those miraculous few, and silently thanking them, as they crawl under a fence, or drop their letter of refusal in the mailbox, for the gift of a beloved elder kinsman, neighbor, or a grandparent, without whose happy encounter with one of those miraculous few they would not be alive to make that crawl, or write that letter.
Regardless of the outcome of the US "election," ordinary civilians will soon be given the opportunity to "play an important role in the war on terror."
It will not be long now before history will knock at your door, to ask what you will do. It might be that nice man at the convenience store, who doesn't charge you for extra sugar in your morning coffee.
It might be that new guy on the landscape crew, the one who doesn't wear a scapulario, whose "buenos dias" sounds a little different from the others, the one who doesn't always laugh at the jokes as they replace the mums out there by the parking lot.
Maybe it will be the friendly programmer at work, who always takes his break at the same time, the one you saw praying that day in the conference room, when you dashed in there to see if you had left your notes from this morning.
It could be the family who moved in last month, from whose kitchen waft those strange, mouth-watering smells every evening.
Or it could be that old guy at the gym, you know, the one who's hard of hearing so he speaks as if everyone else is too, who isn't shy about shouting his opinion of the government, the new stair machine, and any and everything else in the general direction of anyone who might be listening.
It could be your daughter's studious friend, the one who always has her nose in a book, or a computer screen, who reads newspapers from all over the world and discusses world events on the internet with people from countries neither your daughter nor you can pronounce.
Or it could be a complete stranger taking photos of the colorful boats docked in the local marina for his nephew back home who just loves boats.
When the time comes, will there be a place in your basement for them?
Monday, August 30, 2004 | US "French Hijab Law" Black Op Smarter Than It Looks
The demand by an Iraqi "group" that France rescind its Talibanesque bid to legislate women's clothing choices is on its face, an absurd operation.
Notwithstanding widespread disapproval and downright opposition and outrage over the notion that old rich Frenchmen are the best judges of how women should dress (though come to think of it, what's new there?), how can anyone in their right mind suspend all logic to believe that an authentic Resistance group in a country under occupation, siege and mass murder from a bestial horde of torturers and sexual predators would be making demands about French legislative absurdities while thousands of their brothers, sisters, and children are screaming from the agony of the crusaders' torture camps?
But wait. Don't be so quick to write off the OSP as a bunch of utter fools yet. Remember that logic and reason are not the forte of the pro-crusade bunch.
This op, coming just as it does on the eve of the Republican convention, and resulting, as it has, in Chirac coming out in defense of French headgear laws, is very convenient.
Even France, who warlord loyalists have considered against the crusade, largely because of their stubborn refusal to donate expendables to it without a promise of a piece of the oilpie, can now be gleefully reported to be coming around to the righteous side of the Christian soldiers, even without Kerry's promise of pie.
Fortunately for the warlords, few in the US have had it cross their minds that it would be somewhat odd for Resistance groups to be executing European reporters, who have consistently been much more likely to report things not mentioned in crusadecom briefings, and for which anti-American act some have been martyred by the crusaders themselves.
American civil war president Lincoln, should have said "You can fool enough of the people enough of the time to be good enough for government work."
Thursday, August 26, 2004 | Are Americans Really Stupid?
If you are an American, events that are unfolding now in Iraq, in Iran, and points beyond will affect your lives more dramatically than even the most juicy domestic political shenanigans.
Internationally, Americans are on the receiving end of a lot of criticism, the brunt of a lot of jokes, about their famous lack of interest in what they consider "foreign affairs."
This is understandable. The US is a large country with an insular, jingoistic culture, and a good portion of the population, even the underclass, still enjoy access to potable water, food and shelter. Nearly three fourths of the population have access to medical treatment, and well over forty percent are able to read a newspaper and understand what they have read.
Much of the top income quadrant believes and participates to some degree in the political process, and boasts discretionary resources after meeting basic needs.
It is no wonder then, among such wealth and prosperity, especially when held against a global standard, that it is inconceivable to most Americans that their lives could radically change, and even more unthinkable that such change could result from things that happen in shadowy, faraway lands, populated by strange "as seen on TV" people who wear funny costumes and do not speak English.
Americans, as a rule, have a short attention span for Washington's various invasions. Beyond an initial spurt of cheering on the troops, most quickly return to the antics of American politicians, a subject that interests them far more than geopolitical realities, not to mention the course of their own lives, being redrawn half a world away.
While Americans are more sophisticated in many areas than their counterparts almost anywhere else, they are nevertheless human beings, and as such are easily deceived and most responsive to messages that confirm the opinions, attitudes and beliefs that they already have, or want to have.
The same collective neural action that sends thousands of Americans into the night to chant USA! The World Has Changed! Evildoers Who Hate Freedom! after watching two tall buildings implode following an attack no reasonable person would ascribe to a gang of quasi-Caliphatists huddled in a cave in Uruzgan is the same phenomenon that sends thousands of their brothers across the seas out into the night to wave posters and shout pledges of loyalty to a 27-year CIA asset, and, seeing farmers and shoemakers and coffee-vendors take up arms to defend their homes and families, whisper to one another that the Dajaal is upon us.
(At this point, those with a need to do so may wish to google "Dajaal, Imam Mahdi, Twelfth Imam, Isa")
Another important area in which Americans have been unable to overcome their human-ness is the natural desire of all specimens of that particular species to believe the best of their nation, its leaders, their tribe, their family.
Just as the mother of the defendant at a murder trial will take the stand weeping, to proclaim that he is really a good, sweet boy, kind to animals and old people, that shooting this particular convenience store clerk in front of ten witnesses and a video camera was just one mistake, completely out of character, a fluke in an otherwise blameless life, most people, wherever they are from, will do their best to defend their country's actions, no matter how despicable, and will seize on the most preposterous arguments with which to do so. If all else fails, they can always fall back on the fact that some other country, sometime, did something worse.
There is also a natural human inclination to play Cleopatra, and float lazily down that big ol' river in Egypt. Denial, procrastination and magical thinking are employed by everyone from teenagers to nuclear physicists, regarding everything from the necessity of a visit to the dental hygienist to the inevitable consequences of disastrous foreign policies.
Eventually, though, there comes a time when the red toothbrush cannot be ignored, when the tearful mother must admit, to herself and the court, that yes, there were a few other clerks, which she buried in the backyard, to protect her son, as any good mother would do, since they were all just mistakes, just isolated incidents, and there comes a time when Americans must lay aside, however reluctantly, the delicious scandals of the telegenic millionaires, and decide just how much attachment they really have to that great swath of tribal lands their ancestors variously invaded, were brought to in chains, or came to visit and just decided to stay, and whether or not they want to keep it.
America, the bright drops are falling from your toothbrush faster than you can wash them down the sink.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004 | US Says Torture, Child Rape Like a Comedy Movie
With refreshing and unaccustomed candor, the US warlord syndicate today decreed that the torture, child rape and assorted atrocities perpetuated against crusaders' kidnap victims were comparable to a well-known American comedy movie.
The movie, "Animal House," deals with the subject of college student pranks and hi-jinks. This comparison is not original to the syndicate, it was actually started by the host of a US radio talk show and rapidly became popular with warlord loyalists, who will doubtless feel gratified that it has been officially sanctioned.
The decree was also very emphatic in its condemnation of the practice of photographing atrocities.
A second decree is expected tomorrow, which will lay to rest any fears that high-level figures might be exposed to legal action.
Several individuals who engaged in or were accomplices to the unauthorized photography, however, will have to face the consequences of their indiscretion.
The bulk of the crusader forces are drawn from America's burgeoning underclass, enticed with promises of medical treatment and education they would otherwise be unable to afford, and who would likely be subsumed into the prison system if they refuse the crusade recruiters.
Although Washington has erred on the side of caution, underreporting the deaths of these expendables, in actual practice these are individuals who were considered undesirable by the voting class before they signed up, and their demise is felt mostly by their families and friends.
Thus it is appropriate that this group bear any legal burden for their itchy shutter fingers, just as theirs is the blood shed for the glory of Halliburton et al.
Even more fitting that this healing balm of closure should come as the crusaders continue the Demolition of a Thousand Cuts of one of the holiest shrines on earth, against the backdrop of their massacre marathon in the Cradle of Civilization.
America is sending a message, and the people of the world hear it, as Bush likes to put it, "loud and clear."
Thursday, August 19, 2004 | A Breeze of Hope: If the People of Venezuela Can Do It
I had the privilege recently to be in the company of a number of people from several Latin American countries, and was unable to help noticing that whenever the name of Hugo Chavez is pronounced, lips smile and eyes light up. With hope.
In Venezuela, Chavez has fed and continues to feed the hungry, treat the sick, house the homeless, educate the illiterate, and affirm not only his own humanity, but that of millions who have been told for literally centuries that they are not human.
But his influence extends far beyond Venezuela. Those people with hopeful smiles come from Mexico, from El Salvador, from Honduras, from Guatemala, from Peru, Bolivia, Republica Dominicana, I lost count.
"If the people of Venezuela can do it....," they nod to each other, there is no need to finish the sentence.
These are people who are quite familiar with being told they are not human. Five hundred years worth of familiar, and belying the popularity of skin whiteners and giving babies names like "Alanis" and "Jason," there is a much deeper sense of identity that even half a millennium of "mixing," both consensual and non, has not been able to vanquish.
"Indios," laughed a fifty-ish man from Michoacan, when asked by an earnest youth from Yemen whether his people preferred being called Hispanics or Latinos.
"We're Indios. And you're a frum-frum-fruk," the man went on, explaining the affectionate umbrella term applied to people who are neither black nor white nor indigenous people of the Americas.
"Yeah, you better learn Spanish so El Tio Sam don't catch you," "La migra is after the frum-frum-fruk," "Get you some boots like these," "Tortillas - never leave home without one," the other young men tease him. For them, America's war on terra is just another chapter in a never-ending Road Runner cartoon, albeit a deadly one. There are few, if any here without loved ones who have lost their lives one way or another to Tio Sam's brutality, but five centuries is not a long time in their history, and having recently become the largest, and fastest growing minority in that part of their continent occupied by Tio Sam, their laughter rings with as much confidence as defensiveness.
Some of those present are clearly Chicanos, people whose indigenous genes are so mixed that I see a few wavy heads, green eyes. Forrest Gump's Law of Chocolates applies to genetics, too, though the dominance of chromosones native to the American continent is evident. The curls are dark, the green eyes sit above proud high caramel cheekbones, and their native identity and pride is just as strong as that of the diminutive group from a remote region in Guatemala that has managed to avoid European sperm for the whole 500 years. They tease the Chicanos, calling them blonds, hug them, tell them not to worry, they are blond Indians. Even if their blood is not pure. Here. you have eaten nothing. I made these tortillas myself. By hand. I ground the maiz the old-fashioned way. Those from the store taste like dust. Only blonds like them.
Nobody knows, or dares ask, how old this woman is. Pat pat, slap slap, poof! Another basket of tortillas. Eat. Long white braids to her waist swing with her. Back to the comal. Pat pat.
"Chavez," she smiles. "He makes sure everybody in Venezuela gets tortillas."
"Let me tell you how the ricos of Venezuela are," a Chicana with skin the color of almonds, eyes and hair blacker than ink tells of teaching an English class in a US city. "They come to my class, they look around, they look at me." Then they ask, "What time are the classes for people like us?"
"I tell her, there is another class in the evening. Is there a different teacher, they want to know, a teacher for people like us? No, senora, I answer her. I am the same Indian in the evening as I am in the morning. All the classes are for everyone."
"Another time, a group of them came and told me to send the class home, so they could use the computers. This is how the opposition people think. I laughed in their faces and gave them the address of the Best Buy."
"It is a small breeze now," says a serious young man in a Chavez t-shirt. "But it is a breeze that we feel, and it will get stronger and stronger. It will blow democracy over the water to Central America." His companion, dressed in full cowboy regalia, including boots and pearl-studded shirt, slaps him on the back.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004 | Does Muqtada Al-Sadr Have the US by the Short Hairs? Is Muqtada Al-Sadr a hero or a Villain? someone asked on a message board, referencing a thoughtful Asia Times piece. With all props to Syed Saleem Shahzad, I don't think we know yet.
I'm not even sure Al-Sadr does.
Except to the crusade cultists, to whom anyone who does not bow down and kiss the feet of Amrika the Great Satan is a de facto villain of the highest order, Al-Sadr is at this point neither hero nor villain, rather a kind of hybrid playa and lamb sandwich.
Al-Sadr is not an "ordinary Iraqi," by anyone's definition. He is the scion of a very well-known and respected family of clerics and scholars. We may assume that his education has been exemplary, and that his life has been nothing like the lives of the people who live in the city that bears his father's name.
He is politically sophisticated enough to make speeches addressing the American people, in the style of US politicians, who love to address the (insert invasion target here) people to assure them that although the US is about to be blown to bits, the US holds them no ill will.
Unlike the Americans, though, Sadr's remarks to the US populace indicate some knowledge of the history and ideology of the people to whom he speaks. Few Americans have any idea he has ever addressed them; the only remarks of his that are picked up by the crusadenets tend to be the more thundery soundbytes about sharp swords and martyrdom.
He has evidently made at least one deal with the crusaders, in Fallujah, which severely damages his hero potential, and washes away any doubts anyone may have had that he is a playa, but he could still redeem himself if he will refuse to deal in Najaf. In fact, he has the opportunity to become one of three people on earth who have armies and stand up to the United States.
Whatever he proves himself to be, whatever he chooses to do with the opportunity history now lays at his feet, even if he is an operative, knowing or unknowing, of the crusaders, he is definitely a lamb sandwich.
Martyred, he will be a hero by default, but if he died of natural causes, left Iraq tomorrow to go find his center and make pottery in Arizona, or was exposed as a secret collaborator, the fabric of the Resistance would not be significantly affected.
He has become a symbol of the Resistance, but he is neither its author nor its leader. So far, that role is filled by the Iraqi people.
..."I noticed some of the passengers paying attention to the the situation as well," she recalled later. "As boarding continued, we watched as, one by one, most of the Middle Eastern men made eye contact. They continued to look at each other and nod, as if they were all in agreement about something. I could tell that my husband was beginning to feel anxious."....
Trying to reassure herself and her husband Kevin, Mrs Jacobsen walked past one of the men, with whom she had exchanged a few friendly words in the terminal. Making eye contact, she smiled. "The man did not smile back. His face did not move," she said. "In fact, the cold defiant look he gave me sent shivers down my spine."
That was enough for her husband. Marching into first class, he approached a flight attendant and told her: "I might be overreacting, but I've been watching some really suspicious things."... She blogged about it, Salon picked it up, She got on CNN 10 o'clock news.
A few days ago, WomensWallStreet.com received an important email. It
was from Billie Jo Rodriguez, another passenger who was on Northwest Airlines
flight 327 from Detroit to Los Angeles on June 29. Billie Jo is a
Certified Public Accountant living in Oxnard, California. She had some
additional, disturbing information about flight 327 that she felt someone needed
to know. She had been so terrified by what happened on the flight that she sent
two emails to the Department of Homeland Security telling them about the
experience, but she hadn't heard back from them. Then, through a series of
events, she heard about my article, "Terror in the Skies, Again?" She and I have
had numerous conversations and she is willing to share her story on the record.
The following interview is based on conversations Billie Jo and I have had, as
well as a discussion she had with my editor.
ANNIE: Where were you sitting on flight 327?
BILLIE JO: I was in seat
21-C. Three of the Middle Eastern men were sitting right near me --- the man in
the jogging suit [with Arabic writing] was in the aisle seat right behind me
(22C), another man from the group sat right next to me (21-B) and another man
from the group sat one row in front of me (20-E).
ANNIE: Tell me what the men were doing that was out of the
BILLIE JO: It was when we were up in the air and they started
walking up and down the aisles. And the eye contact. The thing that really got
me was the eye contact. It was so subtle. If you know somebody, you look at
them. You nod your head. That's not what these guys were doing. They were doing
these little looks and head signals -- acknowledging each other and yet
pretending not to know each other.
Then the guy next to me was pretending to be sleeping. But when people
sleep, you know, they breathe deeply. This guy was pretending to sleep. They
were all doing this little eye thing, and this little head thing. A couple of
the other guys were going up and down the aisles looking at each other, making
those head signals. They were signaling to each other, that was really freaky.
ANNIE: Tell me what else you saw.
BILLIE JO: I noticed the McDonald's
bag right away. It was so big and I thought, how many burgers does he have in
there? It was weird. And I noticed the man with the limp -- it was more than a
limp. It was a dragging of the foot.
I also have to tell you one detail that you didn't catch. I emailed this
detail to the Department of Homeland Security but I haven't heard back. As I
mentioned, the tall man in the jogging suit sat right behind me. He got up and
passed by me to go to the bathroom up in first class. (Note to readers: This is
the same man that, according to a first class passenger, pushed another
passenger out of the way to get into the lavatory first. This is also the man
mentioned in a TIME magazine article who spent 10 minutes in the bathroom, which
alarmed a Federal Air Marshal who then searched the lavatory).
The man was gone for a very long time. And when he came back, he reeked of
chemicals -- the chemicals from the toilet bowl. He absolutely reeked of
it. And I thought, what was he doing in the toilet? He didn't smell like
chemicals when he got up to go to the bathroom -- it was when he came back. It
was so spooky. What was he doing in there? That he would smell so strong of
chemicals from the toilet?
Please Nour. Send the poor lady a CD, a t-shirt, a photo of you smiling...
Sunday, August 15, 2004 | Bush's Massacre Bounce It is no coincidence that the poll numbers of symbolic US figurehead George Bush have, in the past few days, risen with the death toll in Iraq.
Xymphora, love your blog, but the evidence is just not with you on this one.
Increasing the number of Iraqis reported killed by the mainstream US newsmedia always gives Bush more bounce than terralerts and Tom Ridge Press conferences combined.
Some may not even be aware of it, others may prefer not to think about it, but nothing increases the figurehead's "job approval rating" like more dead Muslims.
This must have the Kerry camp wringing its hands. All the taller multimillionaire can do is try to keep driving home the message that if he were president, the Tigris and Euphrates would run red. Of course, he can't put it quite in those words.
That "difference" between the two parties that Democrats in line for jobs if their side wins are so proud of is largely based on saying things in a nicer way.
If you think the current NewSpeak coming out of the White House is blackly humorous (liberators, coalition, sovereignty) the Democrats will have you helplessly on the floor, clutching your sides.
It's not a "draft," it's a National Service Program. Is two years of Service really too much for you to give to your country? Don't call it imperialism, how about Nation Building? And of course, my personal favorite, the "face." Put a multinational face on colonization, a Democratic face on child rape.
Has there ever been a US "election" that mattered less to the world?
Well, yes, about all of them, but this one is different because more people know just how little it matters.
In the olden days, news of war and politics travelled slowly, by human mouths and feet, human or horse. By the time the provinces heard the latest doings in the capital or on the battlefield, the cast of characters could have undergone a complete turnover and the battlefield changed three times. And that's if the story arrived in the provinces in unembroidered, uncut and accurate form, which is unlikely.
Today even the mightiest military machine in the history of the planet, armed with a propaganda machine to match, cannot prevent the news from getting out.
It might not make it to the crusadenets, it might be dismissed as unreliable, propaganda, anti-American, terrorist lies by US warlord syndicate loyalists, both Republican and Democrat, thus confirming the veracity of the news item in question for the rest of the world, which, by the way, is not unaware of what IS reported on the crusadenets, nor ignorant of the significance of Bush's Massacre Bounce.
Friday, August 13, 2004 | If Anyone Can Do It, America Can!
Even for the world's military superpower, it's a challenge: Find enough Iraqi collaborators willing to desecrate, and in all probability destroy, one of the most holy and sacred sites on earth.
While the Ali Mosque is a Shi'a shrine, it is a holy site for all Muslims, indeed all people who respect faith traditions and history.
The US has admittedly had some difficulty securing a force of Iraqis who can be persuaded, even at gunpoint, to storm and sack it.
The reason for seeking Iraqis to do this is not a sudden case of sensitivity on the part of the crusaders. On the contrary, the psyops point of having the mosque looted by Iraqis is to send a message that when America gives the order, you obey.
Whether that order is to rape a child, torture a grandmother, kill your brother, deny your faith, or destroy a sacred symbol of your nation's - your planet's - history and religion, it is imperative for the preservation of US business interests that you do it, and that you not dawdle, but do it now and without argument, so that the next target can see it and be "softened up," so that the world will continue to tremble at the might and power and ruthlessness of Uncle Sam the Impaler.
It is much the same principle by which selected slaves were set to the task of applying some of the more barbaric punishments to their fellow slaves who dared attempt escape.
While neither history or religion play a very important part in US culture, mainstream America is seizing with delightful grisly glee on the fact that it most definitely does elsewhere, viewing this as a strategic vulnerability to be exploited.
But do not underestimate America. Do not be deceived by the pride with which so many of its citizens proclaim that they never have and never will read the Koran.
America has a gift, a very special talent, for rooting through the necrotized moral sewers of its chosen victim-nations, to find the lowest, basest, most rotted souls, men without honor, without scruples or allegiance or conscience, men who will sell their own children to the highest bidder, ship their own mother off to the unspeakable horrors of Abu Ghraib, all for the right price.
Every nation has such individuals, not one is bereft of them, and the United States has developed finding them into an art form, honed through the decades.
It's a tall order, finding Iraqis of the caliber needed to defile the golden-domed Imam Ali mosque, but if anyone can do it, America can.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 | World War III Approaching America's Backyard
Up until now, World War III, in all its bloody beheaded torture on a leash glory has, with the notable exception of the Fall '01 Unity Operation, unfolded far from the lush suburban lawns and alabaster cities of America the Bellicose.
Oh, there have been a few little blips, like the unknown menace heard scuttling around the attic in a bad horror movie, in vans with dark windows and "detention facilities" with no windows, but for the vast majority of Americans, WW3's wetwork has taken place right where they like it best, far away, in countries who are just names, if even that, involving the shedding of blood of people who to them, are not real people, can never be real people like Lacy and Lori and JonBenet, so far away, these ululating, black-shrouded women, these stern bearded turbaned men.
It seems quite natural to American eyes, to see these people collapsed in the middle of crater-pocked roads, keening over the shrouded remains of a child, crouched, weeping in the smoking rubble of some wretched dwelling.
They watch, on their sectional sofas, their Laz-e-boys, honey, while you're up can you bring me some of those chips, that cake, a coke, a beer.
Although we have edited this footage, some scenes may be disturbing to some of our viewers.
As the CIA team gathers in Chile, debating whether to murder Hugo Chavez before the election, or to simply declare it null and void after the fact (and then murder him), barely appearing on the radar screen, "skirmishes" have already begun across that great border, no other like it in the world. Two thousand miles of mountain, desert, river, brush separating abject poverty from incalculable wealth.
As the American theatre of World War Three moves inexorably toward opening night, few in the audience are aware that the actors have been called to their places, the ushers have moved silently to their posts, the music cued.
Scenes that may be disturbing to some viewers cannot be so easily edited out in the name of "good taste" when they occur on the street where you live.
Certainly, the opening acts will not be set in the rolling bermuda grass of the cul de sac. They will unfold in the un-airconditioned concrete and jagged metal of the barrio, the dank steam of the commercial kitchens, the ear-splitting oppressive heat of the factory floor.
La-Z-Boy occupants, if they notice anything at all, will perceive nothing more than a slight upswing in frequency of familiar, harmless memes: crackdown, crime wave, gang violence. Lulled by the caress of such soothing repetition, nothing more alarming than insurgents, militants, gunmen, decades of work has gone into producing this accepting, unquestioning creature.
Let him who would lift the veil of these words and see not an insurgent, but a mirror image of himself beware, defending his home from armed marauders, not a militant, but a young man who no longer fears death, since his bleeding mother fought for her last agonizing breath in his trembling arms, let him beware, the enemy within who hears crackdown and sees police in riot gear chasing a man who crossed a desert without water for the chance to work 80 hours a week in that steamy kitchen to send his children the price of a sack of beans, less than La-Z-Boys upturned cushions would yield.
Do not turn to one another and remark that the gangs involved in the latest crime wave seem different somehow, that eyes once lowered now meet your gaze, well the other night there was a crackdown right up there at the little shopping center. They said a state of emergency in Arizona, it must be those fires, well they were having some trouble with the gangs, too you know, coming from Mexico, they've had a big crackdown, yes I heard they were having some problems down there in South America, something about some insurgents, talking about sending some marines down there, just to protect the Americans, you know, get them out in case they can't bring things under control. crackdown. Where was it? One of those little countries, Bolivia? I love those little hats. Oh and Venezuela. Well you know they had to crack down there. Wait. What was that? a tire blow out? Must have been. No, listen, there's another one. Now I hear a helicopter. Turn on the news, let's see what they say....
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 | Colonialism Said Prime Suspect in America's Death
As the western pre-eminence of the last few centuries fades into ignominy, unable to survive the death agony of the child of its heart, its raison d'etre, colonialism, its passing is marked, if not mourned, by its would-be survivors.
It is unlikely that the United States will make the cut into that category, coming as it did, somewhat late to the game, and shrugging off the lessons of its elder siblings on the techniques and modalities of doing evil efficiently.
It is not my intention to praise colonialism as practiced by the Europeans, merely to point out that they did a better job of it, much as the cat burglar in your town who has successfully fenced all his items without being apprehended is doing a better job of burgling than the lout who falls down the stairs with your TV in his arms, and is summarily hauled off by the cop on the beat.
The brutality of the Raj in India has been well-documented, discussed and can be recounted to you from the mouths of its survivors, few of whom will be likely to laud it as a great thing, but people during the Raj were able to live some sort of life, roti was made and sold, houses built, water drawn and poured into pots, and it is generally agreed that having a common language in a land of a thousand is probably not a bad idea, even if that language is a primitive mishmash of crude barbarian dialects, and most will point out that the same linguistic event could have been effected without colonizing the entire subcontinent and imposing an unfortunate predilection for putting milk in tea.
The US style of colonization differs from that of Europe primarily in that little actual colonization in the classical sense is done. The Americans simply invade, occupy, pillage and slaughter, without concerning themselves with such things as the life of the population. They are there to reduce that population, not make it dress up in polycotton uniforms and sing America the Beautiful.
Their core motive is no different from that of Europe: the resources of the target nation, however Europe has traditionally preferred a more measured, long-term approach to resource extraction, whereas the American view tends more toward blow it open, grab it, sell it, blow it up again.
Naturally, neither method is sustainable, as Europe has discovered over the last century, there comes a point beyond which it is just not profitable to continue the project, and one by one, European colonies have been abandoned by pouting, disgruntled Burden Bearers, leaving behind little deposits of varying nastiness, like a spoiled child, who told that he cannot keep the neighbor boy's toys for himself, breaks them before skulking angrily back to his own backyard.
Partition is one of the most obvious and still copiously bleeding examples of this.
With Europe increasingly out of the colonization business, the United States became quite giddy at the prospect of all that lay before it, and undertook a process of empire that makes ancient Rome look like an underachiever.
So dizzy with greed, it took no notice of the changing landscape, and marches on, burning and looting as if there were no tomorrow, as if their goal, their Grail, were to insure that there is not, marching on unawares through the Valley of the Shadow of Diminishing Returns.
Two schoolboys: one looks at the calendar, and his grades, and remembers why he is at school, and albeit reluctantly, begrudgingly, begins allotting part of his day to study. The other ignores the calendar, insists he is at school for the purpose of playing pranks on the other boys, stealing cakes from the kitchen, and generally doing whatever gratifies his whim of the moment.
While many nations in Europe have come to take nationhood a bit seriously, and set about the business of governance according to the philosophy that the population should benefit therefrom, the US has moved increasingly farther from that ideal, so that the United States today is little more than a network of merchants, pirates and warlords, whose calculations are more likely to reflect those of Kim Jung Il, who a few years ago, answering an interviewer's question about his concern over starvation, replied that he only needed 30% of his population in order to defend himself, and losing the other 70% would not be such a big problem.
Europe is in fact, so disinclined to re-enter the colonization game as more than a symbolic tag-along, that some Washington pontificators have begun to murmur their uncertainty that they can even be bribed with a generous slice of America's steaming oilpie.
For a cabal who is finalizing the GO stage of a Gaza-style lockdown of a swath of the planet from the Mediterranean to the far side of the Russian steppes, not to mention Latin America, this is discouraging news.
For the population held in the thrall and in the marked territory of such a cabal, now synonymous with rape, torture, slaughter of innocents, wanton destruction and piratical thuggery, it is even worse news.
Monday, August 09, 2004 | Help Me Rob the Neighbors and I'll Give You Some of Their Stuff
This guy was a real jerk. Actually, he used to be a friend of mine, well, we used to do business, if you know what I mean. But he kept trying to keep a bigger cut.
You don't pull that kind of crap with me. So me and a couple of my cousins, we busted in there. And as soon as we can get rid of his bratty kids, we can get all the stuff. We've already taken out a mess of them, and we've got some more of them tied up down in the crawlspace. We've been having a lot of fun with them, but we need to get the stuff now.
So if you'll help me out, pop a few caps in the rest of the kids, let's find out just how many we can cram in that crawlspace, once we get ahold of the stuff, I'll let you have some of it. Bring some of your cousins. They might end up on a slab, but you'll end up with some stuff. If I sounded like you couldn't have any before, I was just going through some changes. Come on, you and me, we go way back.
Take away the euphemisms, the designer suits, the careful, studied, nuanced vagueness, and there you have the latest version of US foreign policy.
Introduced during the primary season by several Democratic contenders, it is slowly being adopted by the Republicans, and appears to enjoy wide bipartisan support among the American voting class.
Of course, as presented to the public, the policy is phrased much more attractively. "Incentives to our allies," repairing our alliances," "putting a multi-national face on" [the occupation of Iraq, massacres, child rape, torture, sexual predation, all lumped together under the more palatable labels of "defending our freedom" or "bringing stability to Iraq."]
All of it so popular that you can't help but wonder if the phrasers and framers are not wasting their talents. They could be making more money selling body wash and toilet bowl cleaner.
There is little indication that the US voters would not have been just as happy with "Operation Kick Their Ass and Steal Their Gas."
Few Americans appear to, that is. Benjamin Vanderford's Excellent Adventure began when he threw together a little video of himself being "beheaded." He then started tossing it out on P2P nets, and after a few months, it finally showed up on one of those websites that change url every few days and might or might not be US Disinfo Projects or Mosaad Fundsponges.
The US crusadenets monitor these things like crazy, so of course as soon as Benji's little video hit there, it was immediately spewed out by everybody everywhere.
Only one of the original wire stories noted that Ben was not wearing an orange jumpsuit.
Vanderford's point, to show how easily such an event can be faked, is well taken, especially for those Americans who have spent the last few months foaming with outrage over a little miniseries of poorly overdubbed clips of heads being severed from motionless orange jumpsuit clad victims.
You would think that by this time, Vanderford's point would be one that did not need to be made, however there is a distinct reluctance, maybe natural to a degree, but a degree that has long since been exceeded, on the part of the US public to consider the possibility that quite a few things might not be what they are decreed to be.
This subject comes up on message boards and offline discussions frequently, and the popular consensus seems to be "I just don't wanna go there," whether the subject is the miraculous appearance of Mohammed Atta's passport, wrong season figs on the tree next to Saddam's "spider hole," the timing of US terralerts and suicide bombings in Israel, or beheading victims who do not struggle, just to name a few.
Recently, there have been a few hesitant whispers even in the US media regarding the terralerts, but the issue has not been pursued aggressively. We're not talking about reports of new evidence in the Lacy Peterson case, after all.
Vanderford's hoax appears at this point to have been in vain. The FBI says it is investigating the possibility of prosecution, but they may have a tough time if they intend to go by the book.
All Ben did was put a home-made video in his shared Kazaa directory, everything else was done by other people.
Of course, they could just send some thugs to his house and seize him, lock him up incommunicado.
Public objection to that popular tactic has been somewhat muted, too.
Sunday, August 08, 2004 | Pumping up the Volume: US to Escalate Iraq Population Reduction Ops
The crusaders have spirited Sistani off to England in preparation for escalated population reduction operations that are likely to net the added bonus of destroying the Holy Cities of Najaf and Karbala, felt by many to be an efficient way to expedite the invasion and occupation of Iran.
It is popular to speculate on timing and US elections in all this, and people are having a fine time doing just that, however my views of the relative importance of the height of the US warlord syndicate's next figurehead versus the relative importance of Paris Hilton's next sandal selection remain unchanged, with the sandal still showing a slight lead even in showdown states.
I do smell a weensy puff of troublesmoke on the petrodollar front, though. While it has been more profitable to have Halliburton put out oil fires than to pump oil into Turkey and Israel who will get it practically if not completely gratis in return for all their hard work, as time has gone on, the number of non-Halliburton/KBR companies whose hopeful smiles are turning to anxious frowns has grown: Where's theirs?
It remains to be seen whether even the vastness of KBR's capacity will be sufficient even to drive empty trucks around such a vast swath of the earth's surface as is planned for occupation, and since Iran, Syria and beyond will be staffed largely by draftees from the US underclass, many of whom may discover that they feel little obligation to bravely sacrifice their lives to defend the freedom of a handful of rich white men to put more money in their pockets, when amid the horrors of war and 130 degree temperatures it dawns on them that just about every hardship they and their parent have known has been in the name of precisely that same end.
We may assume that the pharmaceutical companies will continue to do their patriotic duty and give crusadecom a sweet deal on psychoactives, so that America can stand tall knowing that their drugged marauders are every bit as brutal as the child soldiers of Uganda and Sierra Leone.
In any event, the world public remains dependent for its news on journalists made fugitive due to the increasing reluctance on the part of the crusaders to get their pictures in the paper, and to this end, Al Jazeera the declawed, Al Jazeera the bombed and bowed, has been "banned for a month."
Saturday, August 07, 2004 | Letter to Lynndie England: a Post-Script
A lot of people took exception to my Open Letter to Lynndie England. Most of it was predictable, email messages from barely literate people lambasting me for insulting such a fine American heroine, putting herself at risk to defend not only the United States, but freedom and democracy world-wide, liquidate the Muslim Menace and hasten the Rapture and zog zog zog.
But I got other, thoughtful emails about it, too.
I felt the piece was so non-controversial that I even posted it on a message board and was surprised to see the spirit of some of the more thoughtful messages echoed there as well.
Although in my letter, I said nothing about "taking Lynndie's child away from her," quite a few people responded as if I had, and while normally I would dismiss this as simple failure to read the letter, in this case I got the impression that there was more to it than that.
I had unknowingly stumbled on a highly charged gut issue that had nothing to do with Lynndie, and one that I had not considered at all when expressing my thoughts on her impending motherhood.
Several people pointed out to me that many women serving time in prison cling to their children as their only hope, their only motivation to survive and get out, or turn their lives around, as the case may be. In the United States being sentenced to prison does not necessarily have anything to do with criminal behavior on the part of the sentenced, particularly in the case of low income women, whose lives need more of a financial turnaround than anything else.
Others cited successful programs that permit mothers to spend time with, even care for their children full time in prison. I was reminded that this is quite common in South Asia, where areas of prisons, even whole prisons, are set aside specifically for mothers with small children.
I have very mixed feelings about that, and no matter how I try to sort them out, I cannot seem to get past the elephant question of how many of these women should actually be in prison in the first place, which gets me started on the whole idea of what the purpose of prison should be.
In many countries, including the United States, the principal purpose of a prison is to generate revenue for the prison industry, and popularity for politicians; the goal is in no way related to achieving a positive, productive result.
It is one thing to place someone who has truly committed a crime in a structured and supervised environment that provides the offender an opportunity for rehabilitation and personal growth as well as the means to make a positive contribution to those her crime has harmed, and quite another to warehouse people in dungeons who may or may not have committed any crime, since they do not have the money for legal resources necessary for an adequate defense, we do not know.
What we do know is that most women who are in prison in the United States are poor, and are convicted of some kind of "drug-related crime."
Lynndie England did not sell cocaine, or drive her boyfriend to the projects to sell some cocaine, or away from the Stop n Go following his robbery thereof in order to purchase cocaine.
Lynndie England did not knowingly and with malice aforethought write a bad check to keep her lights on one more month or pay for her baby's asthma medicine.
Although, as many have pointed out, she has not yet been convicted of anything, neither did my letter say that she had been, or would be.
Legally, she is entitled to the same presumption of innocence until proven guilty as anybody else. That's legally.
I was not speaking legally. Whatever decision the military court decides regarding Lynndie, and just for the record, it is worth noting that she faces a far steeper sentence, double, in fact, for presumably consensual sexual conduct with her colleagues than she does for charges of "abusing" Iraqis.
In accordance with mainstream American values, it is considered far worse for a woman to engage in consensual sex with other Americans than to torture and sexually abuse foreign nationals.
And legality aside, this is not an allegation or a speculation. Lynndie does not deny that it is she in the photos, she does not deny the torture or the sexual abuse of other human beings. If you will recall, she has explained, on more than one occasion, both to the media and via interviews with military personnel relating to her court case, that she was just having fun, just joking around. She didn't think she was doing anything wrong.
The relative sentences for the charges against her, as determined by America's Uniform Code of Military Justice give solemn weight to my contention that Lynndie has mounted her most unshakable defense all by herself.
So, the burning questions, Is she an unfit mother? Should her child be "taken away from her?"
Both are matters of opinion, and one's opinion will of necessity be colored by the value one places on children, as well as the value one places on human life in general.
For me, I could not in good conscience declare that I considered Lynndie a fit caretaker of children knowing full well that were I choosing someone to care for a child for whom I was responsible, I would thank any applicants who happened to be torturers and sexual predators for their interest and proceed to the next candidate, even if the position involved caring for the child for only a few hours each day in the presence and under the supervision of others.
It is not up to me to decide whether Lynndie's child should be taken away. I stand by my previous statement that were she to find the nobility and selflessness to give it the opportunity to grow up in a loving home, oblivious to some of the things its biological mother does not think are wrong, it would be a far far better thing she does than she has ever done before.
Friday, August 06, 2004 | The Third Gorilla: The Race for Internment Bounce
Seldom has a US election season been so infested with 800 pound gorillas.
On close inspection, however, many are stuffed.
Torturegate, for instance. This is not really a problem. The "outrage," such as it is, has been almost exclusively confined to that small but vocal segment of the 4th estate who have been critical of US policy anyway, and some of the more senior of their number may even be aware of what a venerable old policy it is. Even outside the US, no ambassadors have been recalled, no coalition has formed to hasten to disarm the US and free its screaming, bleeding victims.
This is not to say that plenty of people in Washington, as well as in the Heartland, are not outraged. They are. And supporters of each candidate will assure you that their guy will not rest until the truth comes out and whoever let those cameras in is brought to justice.
Then there's Israel, as the US likes to call its weapons storage facility cum guard dog in the Levant. Both candidates are pledged life and liege to Ariel Sharon, who is doing such a great job guarding America's oil in the region. Both candidates stand strongly behind extrajudicial execution, imprisoning 3 million men, women and children in the world's largest concentration camp, the Policy of Starvation, all the goodies the US taxpayer works hard to purchase. They can even get a tax write-off if they just take a minute to send the IDF some pizza and Pepsi. Tearing down homes and shooting little kids really takes it out of a guy, and some za n' a big gulp just hit the spot.
That's no problem either. Even among Americans who are aware of the existence of a place called Palestine, if it's populated by Arabs, by Muslims, whatever's being done to them is A-OK, as long as it's reducing that population.
There's a third gorilla sitting there, too, getting banana bits all over the upholstery and flicking fleas onto the wax fruit.
The politicos have been studying this one, rubbing chins and speaking in very low voices, trying to figure out if it's stuffed, too.
The decision was made to poke at it, but indirectly, and so Michelle Malkin has written a book.
Within the relatively safe guise of Monday morning QBing the second world war, presented with Michelle's premise that the internment of people of Japanese ancestry during that very special time was justified, it is hoped that a pulse can be taken, a dialogue sparked, a focus group convened, a gorilla poked.
Incredibly, some political stratospherics are unsure whether proposing internment will "resonate."
Obviously, if the answer is yes, each candidate wants to be the first to pluck the ripe fruit proffered by Michelle.
Oh, but, tremble the timid, what if they don't like it? What if they say it's racist? Timid and unread and unaware of the last few centuries of history in the Americas.
Michelle's pistol pops, and they're off! The race for Internment Bounce has begun!
Thursday, August 05, 2004 | Pakistan Needs a Coup, or If Syria Occupied the US
And not one of those pre-packaged CIA Coup Helper jobs, either, but a real one.
Few westerners understand what is happening in Pakistan. Probably the best way to explain it is like this:
Suppose that Syria decided that it needed install a puppet government in the United States, in order to have a clear path to Mexico's oil. So the Syrian intelligence agency does that, and then bit by bit proceeds to for all practical intents and purposes, occupy the United States. No law can be passed, no candidate can seek or hold office, without getting the stamp of approval from Damascus.
Any Americans who oppose this too vocally are seized and locked up by American law enforcement, which now, like all other elements of US government, is accountable to Syria.
Syrian authorities are especially concerned about having a clear path down through the Gulf of Mexico, and so they take a particular interest in the backwater swamps and bayous of Mississippi and Louisiana, which for the purposes of our analogy are populated by people who are not aware of either the Louisiana purchase or the existence of any big buildings with meninsuits in Washington. Somehow all that has passed them by, they don't have expressways, or McDonalds, or cell phone towers. They don't even have a Wal-Mart.
They just live their lives as they have always done, hunting raccoons or similar fauna, catching catfish with crude poles held over the edge of splintery little boats, playing zydeco music and baking crawfish pies and file gumbo. Don't bother them, they won't bother you. But if there's one thing that can get these good ole boys riled, that's the idea of outlanders coming down trying to mess around and cut through their swamp.
And a key element of the plans of Syria's business and political strategists involves going down there, messing around, and cutting through their swamp.
To that end, Syria tells the US army to go down there and do whatever they have to do to get Syria a secure corridor for its oil in Mexico, and the army does it, and even though Syria succeeds in preventing CNN and Fox News from getting any footage of little tow-headed Mississippi toddlers with their feet blown off to put on the news, which, like everything else, has to be cleared through Syria, word does get out on a few local radio stations and community papers that neither Syrian nor US special forces are able to quite eliminate, and before you know it, most everybody in the US knows that the US army is down in Mississippi and Louisiana killing Americans, whole families, blowing up their little bayou lean-tos and boats, smashing their zydecos, poisoning the crawfish.
And human nature being what it is, even the big city rich folks, who have always looked down their noses at the swamp folk and made fun of how they talk, with varying degrees of overtness, begin to feel uncomfortable in a way that just having to show their papers to Syrian officials whenever they went to the airport didn't make them feel.
Even the ones who have discovered that cooperating with the Syrians can be quite good for the old portfolio are surprised to find themselves more than rankled at the endless stream of reports of dozens, hundreds, of citizens of the restive Gulf Coast being rounded up and interrogated on suspicion of anti-Syrian activities.
Remember that in our analogy, Syria has a previously unseen military capacity much greater than that of the US, so simply throwing the Syrians out is not an option.
About the only ace the US has up its sleeve are some strategic nuclear resources that would definitely serve as a deterrent to Syria to get the hell out of the US, but they are in the hands of some corrupt Americans who are collaborating with the Syrians.
In these circumstances, the US would definitely need a coup, don't you think?
Wednesday, August 04, 2004 | Open Letter to Lynndie England
How old are you, Lynndie? 21? 22? I'm sure you're young enough not to like it much when people tell you you look like a child.
But you are not a child, Lynndie. You are on the very threshold of womanhood, at an age where most young American women are occupied with the wonders of learning, choosing a career, dreaming of their future, pretty dresses and interesting young men, the whole world unrolls itself before them, to be enriched by their talents, their charm.
You made a different choice. You chose to enlist in the armed forces of a country not known for its - well, let 's just say that thanks to you and your friends, more people have an idea of what it is known for.
You have become a symbol, Lynndie. People all over the world, from places you probably don't even know, or want to know exist know your name, know your face, some of them may know more about you than even you know yourself. You're still that young, that old folks can say that about you.
I don't know how big a part reflection has played in your life, but I would be willing to bet that you've been doing some reflecting lately. On the incongruity of being America's secret sweetheart they can't be seen with in public. Oh, sure, some of them can, we all read the Australian paper's interview with the folks back home, and it helped some of us understand you a little bit. You were just having some fun, just joking around. I don't believe for a minute you're the kind of girl who would do anything like that to someone she thought of as human.
America's secret sweetheart, America's secret mirror. There's one thing I bet you do know. A lot of those fancy talking folks in their fancy suits, with their twenty dollar words are not a whole lot different from you, in their hearts, so deep most of them don't even know it. They've just read more books, learned to be politically correct, learned that it's something to be ashamed of.
Which is in a way, terribly unfair to you. You are the kernel on the same cob they cling to like glossy silk. They will not claim you, they will denounce you and decry you and see you tarred and feathered and locked up, for being the result of their decades, their generations, of failure to act, complicity.
America made you what you are, taught you what you know, sent you to manifest its innermost values and desires, and now they act all shocked when somebody holds up a picture, holds up Lynndie the mirror, Lynndie the harvest of 2 centuries and change of amber waves of grain.
Neither you nor I know how many other hands were with yours on that leash, but we know it's in the millions. The big millions. But all those millions are a speck on the wall compared to the billions of us who were supposed to be on the other end of that leash, the billions of us who were that one time, saved from our intended American planned fate. And I bet we would give you a fairer deal than those millions of hands, all slippery from their new unfamiliar coats of shame.
We would not expect so much from you, we know it must be hard for you to turn on your babydaddy like that, since both of you were just having some fun, not doing anything either of you thought was wrong. Expectations would, under the circumstances, be highly out of place.
I don't expect you to get up on that witness stand and throw millions of people in with your babydaddy, and tell them America taught me this was the right thing to do, a perfectly acceptable way to have fun, joke around.
I want to ask you a favor, though. I want to ask you to do one thing that will make all the difference in the world to a human being that has never harmed anyone, a person who is completely blameless, completely innocent - your child.
Whatever your fate may be, whatever your reasons may be for the choices you made, and the choices you will make, please find it within yourself to rise to the occasion of your motherhood, and make one noble, selfless, mother's choice, and allow your child to be adopted by loving parents who will love her, or him, as their own.
Please give your child the gift of NOT growing up in a world where photographs of his mother engaged in acts of cruelty and depravity are freely downloadable from the internet. And you know as well as I, that I am not referring only to acts committed against other human beings.
Regardless of the circumstances of the videos of you which are not yet released, but will be, as sure as the sun will rise, your innocent child does not deserve to struggle with the knowledge that the woman in the video is his mother, that the woman in the photographs is his mother.
Motherhood is a gift, some would say a sacred gift, and it is a responsibility you assumed when you made the decision to carry your child to term, to be its mother.
Lynndie, please BE its mother. Give it the one thing that only you can give - the chance for a happy and normal life. Please love your child enough to put it in the arms of someone who can give it what you, rightly or wrongly, never can.
All those billions of us who escaped the leash this time are praying that your little son or daughter will grow up learning different lessons than you learned, or can teach.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004 | Slouching Toward Civil War in the US: A PNAC Miscalculation
There is a website making the rounds, containing the writings of an individual who claims to be visiting from the future. One of his predictions is civil war in the US in 2005.
2005 is just a few months away, but I propose cutting the time traveller some slack. Maybe months are calculated differently in the future.
The crisis that is the United States today has passed the point of political solution. Whether it comes from forces internal or external, there will be armed conflict, and there will be an element of "civil war," meaning that the conflict will include US nationals fighting each other.
Two enormous sets of storm clouds are heading straight at each other, one ideological, one economic. This will make it a complicated war.
There are members of the underclass who, incredibly, support the ideology of the elites. And there are elites who support a socio-economic structure that resembles that of Rwanda less as opposed to more.
The blame for this looming Perfect Storm is shared by the Internet and poor planning in the supersecret clubhouses of PNAC/PPI. (PPI, for those who may not be aware, is a more metrosexual and euphemistic version of PNAC, kind of like minty Ex-Lax is to Castor Oil).
Despite the best bipartisan efforts of the Washington warlord syndicate, it has been impossible to prevent accounts of just how US foreign policy is implemented out of the public eye.
Of course most of the public has no problem with it, and views such routine matters as torture and child rape much the same way they view the raising and slaughter of chickens. It is not that they do not know about it, they just prefer not to think about it, they do not appreciate being reminded of it, because they find it distasteful, and they find chicken very tasty.
There is a minority, however, that simply refuses to go along to get along, and they stubbornly persist in issuing statements and writing articles and passing them around, posting them on websites, and generally being unreasonable about the whole thing.
At this point the warlord syndicate has even gone so far as to float the possibility of putting a different "face" on things, and indeed, such a move would more than satisfy quite a few nay sayers.
It is that hardline shrill radical fringe that poses the problem. They simply refuse to budge from their rigid, inflexible, non-nuanced opposition to torture and child rape, regardless of what it is called, whether cameras are confiscated so no one ever has to worry about Pictures the World Was Never Meant to See again, or how telegenic and well-spoken a symbolic leader is dangled in front of them, complete with a near-guarantee of a Washington job for their brother in law. Some of them even extend this extremist view to blowing the arms and legs off people, adults as well as children, even killing them or merely beating them up.
Meanwhile, economic policies are working better and more rapidly than the framers anticipated, with the result that it no longer appears logistically possible to construct the number of prisons necessary to lock up those not needed for the service industry, even when outdated pre-911 regulations regarding capacity and access to sanitation facilities are quite wisely set aside in order to confront this new threat.
After all, there is food in the dumpsters, shrugged the short-sighted planners, and America is known for its docile undemanding poor, they looked so peaceful to the P-boys, passing by them in their limousines, quite content with their trash-can fires and cardboard lean-tos, must make a note to call the Police commish in the morning, get that cleaned up.
Too much success can complicate the picture, as states desperately trying to make ends meet without federal funding and at the same time look good to Washington, contrive brilliant failsafe schemes to augment the undeniably effective policy of mass incarceration of targeted ethnic and economic groups: charge them fees for their imprisonment, some of them think they are smart you see, they get out and get jobs, or the kids get through school somehow, and fail to present themselves for their predetermined duty of keeping America's dynamic prison industry a perennial investor favorite.
Meanwhile, loyal Americans who are proud to stand up next to you and defend the United States' divinely bestowed ownership of the universe and all its people and resources have just about had all they can take from terrorists who blaspheme that this is not so, and after seeing a few clips of the videos of the interrogation of their families, inevitably break down and admit that no, they do not believe that the oil belongs to US corporations, they do not even believe that God speaks through George Bush, nor even through the Democratic National Committee.
Maybe the time traveller meant the winter of 2005.
Sunday, August 01, 2004 | Leaked Campaign Jingle Lyrics, and an Encouraging Sign
Not a ray of hope, but some encouraging news from Newsweek, of all unlikely sources. If Europe can get itself together enough to cooperate with China, they might just be able to secure themselves a place in Operation Deter and Contain Amrika, if not the actual Disarm and Dissolve.
As a handful of deep thinkers have recently realized, there is not one single population on the planet that is exactly thrilled about the idea of taking their inevitable turn on the receiving end of the Crusader's assorted bombs, pain rays, gases, germs and rape squads, a fact which their "leaders" would do well to consider, even if doing so interrupts their daydreams of just how much Kerry would offer them to hop on board.
To hammer home the theme, August rushes in with some very sparkly church bombings in a country not exctly known for the persecution of its Christian population. In fact, some may recall that Tariq Aziz, now being "interrogated" by Lynndie England's less camera-happy colleagues, is himself a Christian.
The taller aspirant for the position of Crusader in Chief, with his loyal sidekick who has assured voters that his values are those of a small town in the deep south during the age of legal apartheid, spent the morning pounding his own theme, namely that he can be counted on to produce even more dead Muslims than his ailing opponent, a position that has earned him the unwavering support of not only the Butcher of Beirut himself, to whom he has joyfully pledged his liege, but Joe Lieberman, who cannot seem to master the art of disguising his disappointment that Amrika's little arms dump in the Levant is not run by Benny Elon and Ovadia Yusuf.
Perhaps Kerry will be able to change that.
Meanwhile, it has been decreed that the Throne of Power will now be Elevated to Orange, prompting an anonymous wag to send me these super-secret leaked lyrics to a campaign jingle that both sides will be fighting over like rabid cats:
Alkydy gonna gitcha, make yer daughter wear a burka
Ayrabs gonna gitcha, cause yer Ayrabs hate yer 'Merka They'll make ya eat that hummus shit
And sheep meat in yer pita
Send their camel out to bite ya
And a camel ain't no skeeta Alkydy gonna gitcha, gonna make ya pray to mecka
Ayrabs gonna take yer gas and then you'll hafta call the wrecka They're hidin' in a sleeper cell
They're comin' cross yer border
They're workin' at yer Taco Bell
So double check yer order Alkydy gonna gitcha, better bomb the Eiffel tower
Ayrabs parly voo Fransay, they're gettin too much power They'll make ya grow yer beard out long
Wear a ghutra and an egal
You'll have to talk Ayrab-ian
Cause English won't be legal Alkydy gonna gitcha, make yer daughter wear a burka
Ayrabs gonna gitcha, cause yer Arabs hate yer 'Merka
(thanks to the Angry Arab for alerting earth to this interesting story)
President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.
The Star refused to provide the information.
Cheney is scheduled to appear at a rally this afternoon at the Pima County Fairgrounds.
A rally organizer for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign asked Teri Hayt, the Star's managing editor, to disclose the journalist's race on Friday. After Hayt refused, the organizer called back and said the journalist probably would be allowed to photograph the vice president.
"It was such an outrageous request, I was personally insulted," Hayt said later.
Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the president's re-election campaign, said the information was needed for security purposes.
"All the information requested of staff, volunteers and participants for the event has been done so to ensure the safety of all those involved, including the vice president of the United States," he said.
Diaz repeated that answer when asked if it is the practice of the White House to ask for racial information or if the photographer, Mamta Popat, was singled out because of her name. He referred those questions to the U.S. Secret Service, which did not respond to a call from the Star Friday afternoon.
Hayt declined to speculate on whether Popat was racially profiled, but said she is deeply concerned.
"One has to wonder what they were going to do with that information," Hayt said. "Because she has Indian ancestry, were they going to deny her access? I don't know."
Journalists covering the president or vice president must undergo a background check and are required to provide their name, date of birth and Social Security number. The Star provided that information Thursday for Popat and this reporter.
"That's all anybody has been asked to provide," said Hayt, adding that this is the first time in her 26-year career that a journalist's race was made an issue.
Organizer Christine Walton asked for Popat's race in telephone conversations with two other Star editors before she spoke to Hayt. They also refused to provide the information. Walton told Hayt that Popat's race was necessary to allow the Secret Service to distinguish her from someone else who might have the same name.
"It was a very lame excuse," Hayt said.
Popat, a photographer with six years' experience, was on assignment Friday and unaware of the controversy. But she said she was glad the Star refused. "My race shouldn't have anything to do with my job," she said.
Tickets are required for the public to attend the rally, which begins at 12:50 p.m. All tickets were distributed by Friday
We like to laugh at ignorance, I guess, because it makes us feel superior, safer, like we know more.
Ignorance is funny when it happens far away, when it is exhibited by people we don't know, don't want to know, who are so far removed from us that we don't feel threatened.
Even when we see it up close and personal, we laugh it off, especially those of us who see it up close and personal, and aimed right at us every day.
It is only when it comes from where we least expect it that we stop laughing, stop rolling our eyes, and open them wide.
It is then that we realize that ignorance is not funny, no matter how commonplace, no matter how trivial, no matter in how small a way it affects us, us, this time, we all have moments when we are brought face to face with Dickens' truth:
"This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom..."
No one knows how many people ignorance kills every day, how many lives it ruins. Especially when the subject of Americans comes up, everybody has a story starring ignorance. Everybody likes to poke fun at the uniquely American trait of priding oneself on not knowing where this or that country is, the cult of monolingualism, the brash arrogance of "I'm an American, I don't have to know that shit."
In the run-up to the 2000 installation of former CIA director George H.W. Bush's son as figurehead of the US warlord syndicate, in a week during which there was a coup (mm hmm) in Pakistan, in which Pervez Musharraf was conveniently installed at Pipeline Gateway and Atal Bihari Vajpayee won a second term as Prime Minister of India, Bush the Son was unable, in a TV interview, to name either of them, despite the fact that both names had been mentioned a minimum of every hour on the hour on American news networks, and while political opponents and pundits chuckled mightily over it, the mainstream view out there in the "Heartland" leaned toward the notion that this was a good sign.
They would not have to worry about Bush being one of them intellectual types, but a regular guy who knows "you ain't gotta be able to pernounce it to blow it up."
See? There I go again, making fun.
Of course, the reality of the US situation is that it does not matter whether the figurehead can read and comprehend "My Pet Goat," or write his own name.
Whatever he needs to say can be fed through an earpiece, and is, and never suppose that Rove and Cheney and Kristol et al do not know exactly who was installed in Pakistan that fateful year, or to whom Bush is referring when he repeats after his earpiece, "Vodge-Pie."
He may be the epitome, the quintessential model of the American credo "I don't have to know that shit."
May your own brushes with it hurt nothing more than your feelings, and may we all learn not to laugh at it.
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