Saturday, April 21, 2007

Houston, We Have a Quagmire

“During times of universal deceit,
telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
— George Orwell

Vietnam all over again.

The president sees he can’t impose his will on a foreign country through military force, so his solution is to send in more military. The more soldiers in country, the more U.S. casualties. The more U.S. casualties, the more committed the president becomes to not letting those soldiers die in vain. So he keeps the mission going. And going, and going, and going.

It’s an endless, bloody cycle.

Meanwhile, we disrupt the daily routine of normal Iraqi life, causing thousands to uproot their families and migrate to safer surroundings. Bombings and other attacks by a handful of insurgents claim more and more civilian lives. The unseen enemy picks off our soldiers one at a time, like any revolutionary uprising would. Hundreds and hundreds of years of bitter enmity between two religious sects erupts into bloodshed, fostering an atmosphere of civil war.

Thousands of the very people we aimed to save are dying every year. Our own soldiers and Marines, walking on the edge of this civil war, get caught up in the moment and kill even more innocent Iraqis. Our wide-ranging presence in the region — from supersized warships to overhead stealth aircraft — bumps into the national interests of other nations and causes even more friction and unrest and danger in the region.

And meanwhile, the cost to the American taxpayer skyrockets. Not only are we borrowing more money to finance this debacle, we are indebting our children’s children for years to come with what will surely be the steadily rising ongoing costs of caring for all the men and women we keep sending over there, only to come back traumatized or maimed or dead. How will we pay for that? Who has the money for it?

Speaking of money, we’ve done a great job of destabilizing the price of oil by our very presence in the Persian Gulf, costing those least able to afford it more money at the gas pump.

It’s a miracle the whole place hasn’t already blown up in the president’s face.

At what point do decision-makers realize they have another Vietnam on their hands? 5,000 U.S. dead? 10,000 dead? 30,000 dead? 58,000 dead? Just what we need in Washington: A mirror wall on the other side of the mall.

The president and his new war czars are voicing concern over the local leadership in Iraq. If we see the Iraqi prime minister’s body on a slab sometime soon, will we have the courage to look inward? Will we have ripped yet another page out of the Vietnam playbook by decapitating a government we’re frustrated with?

And on top of all of this, here is a president giddily sending our men and women off to war, writing huge checks for profiteering companies like Halliburton but squeezing every last dime out of the soldiers and Marines who are actually doing the dirty work. Get injured? Well, if your wound is only 10 percent of your whole body area, you only get a small pittance in government compensation. Better luck next tour, son. Speaking of which, how soon can you pack?

What’s that? You say your wound covered 80 percent of your body? Hey, don’t worry, we have only the best facilities for wounded heroes like you: it’s called the Walter Reed Hilton.

What’s that? You won’t need a reservation because you’re dead? Don’t worry, we’ll send some janitors out to the airport to retrieve your body, whenever it is that you get back. It might take a while because, while we pay Halliburton workers to fly first class to Kuwait, you stiffs in uniform have to fly coach to get home, and only when there’s room for you onboard. If we don’t have any maintenance personnel at the plane to greet your casket, don’t worry. They’ve got these great things called forklifts that can do the job.

No wonder they didn’t want pesky photographers capturing scenes like this on camera.

[Believe it or not, this practice was only recently stopped, after a grieving father stood up and shouted his outrage when he learned janitors running a fork lift removed his son’s casket from a commercial flight. No honor guard, nothing. Welcome home, boy. Mission accomplished. Yes, sir.]

War protesters this time around don’t have to bother spitting on our returning soldiers. This war-dodging chickenhawk of a commander in chief has found the one job he’s actually good at: spitting on our returning veterans. [Hey George, been to a military funeral yet?]

We went into Iraq on false pretenses, false promises and false pride. Our hubris made us believe we couldn’t possibly lose a war with a two-bit dictator like Saddam Hussein. We rallied to the flag after 9/11 and we were ready and willing to pay whatever price necessary to go after Osama bin Laden. But we once again underestimated bin Laden, so we devoured whatever raw meat was thrown our way by the dogs of war in the White House. This time, it was Saddam Hussein, though it didn’t matter whether it was Iraq or Iran or Syria. Whatever. The Bush folks could claim al Qaeda was set up practically anywhere before 9/11, facts be damned. And we hungrily swallowed it all.

Riding along embedded in the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld deceit are the distinguished members of the press. We get our news presented with waving flags on our TV screen. Next, I expect to see a silhouette of our Leader, posing with Barney the dog, looking out across a beautiful sunset as another broadcast day comes to a close.

Go back to sleep, America. Don’t trouble yourself with waking up just yet. After all, we paid Halliburton good money for all those body bags. Be a shame to see ’em wasted.

Fairness, shmairness

The other day, Rosebud was ranting about educators who are “force feeding” their pupils with information about global warming. (Rosebud is the term I’ll use from now on for Rushbo, who has a penchant for renaming people as a form of derision. Since he harkens back to an era that is long gone, Rushbo is now Rosebud.)

Anyway, he claims school teachers are abusing their position by indoctrinating youngsters according to the liberals’ playbook on global warming. He bemoaned the fact that no other side was being represented, that there wasn’t even any mention there’s a debate about the subject. He went on to say that it was simply a matter of fairness to have all sides represented. After all, he noted, these are the PUBLIC schools, not privately owned schools.

Unfortunately, what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander, at least not when Rosebud is the gander. Radio and TV shows hosted by conservative mouthpieces like Rosebud, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Drudge, and so on deluge the airwaves with their one-sided diatribes against all things Not Republican. Where’s the fairness in that? These are, after all, the PUBLIC airwaves.

Bring back the Fairness Doctrine? Nothing gets these Neanderthals quaking louder than the threat to re-impose the Fairness Doctrine, which after all, just made sure that the public airwaves were offering equal time to have all sides represented.

Rosebud sees no contradiction in denouncing the Fairness Doctrine when it applies to shows like his but demanding it for schools on issues like climate change.

Way to go, Rosebud.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

He can never be fired, only fired up

The ironies are pretty thick with the Rev. Al Sharpton demanding Don Imus be fired from his job. It must be nice not to have to worry about ever being fired if you don't have a job in the first place.

What exactly does Sharpton do to make a living? Has he spent all that money he raised running for president yet? Nice job that. You can declare your candidacy for president and start raising all this money, traveling about the country with a government-paid posse, living off the local bucks of your grassroots backers, bankrolling your lifestyle with greenbacks collected from even your poorest subscribers, and if you raise enough cash, you can live off of it until the day you disband your campaign organization, which doesn't have to be the day after you lose an election.

Is Sharpton a working, paid minister? If so, he's a pretty lousy one for forgetting one of the chief tenets of his profession. If a sinner confesses his sin, admits he did wrong and apologizes to all those he offended, isn't he deserving of forgiveness in God's eyes? Isn't any card-carrying minister who follows God's teachings supposed to turn the other cheek and forgive a true repentant?

Imus has repented so many times since his on-air racial insult that it's almost sickening to have to hear it over and over. He says he's sorry. He says he was wrong to say what he did. He fully and completely accepts guilt, blame and responsibility. And yet, neither the Rev. Sharpton nor the Rev. Jesse Jackson appear willing or able to forgive ... to say, "I forgive you, brother, for I, too, have sinned."

Didn't Jackson beg forgiveness for his "Hymietown" remark at the 1984 Democratic National Convention? Who even remembers that anymore?

I'm trying to recall the last time Sharpton begged forgiveness for something outrageous he either did or said, but I can't recall any instances, even though he's had plenty of opportunity to do so. From the lies he told about a young black girl being raped by white men (it never happened; the girl, it turned out, was lying), to the inflammatory exaggerations -- and, yes, slurs -- he made during the Crown Heights race riots, he has never admitted wrong, never apologized, never begged forgiveness, even though there's no question his behavior was beyond the pale.

As any real minister can tell you, it was Jesus who said: "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone."

I guess Sharpton and Jackson cast their first stones so long ago, they've got no stones left to hold.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Mission Accomplished

By George Walker Bush

I have succeeded in hoodwinking the American and British people into believing there were 9/11 terrorists in Iraq building nuclear weapons that they were going to aim at the United States and Britain;

I have succeeded in getting the public and Congress to let me invade Iraq, decapitate the Saddam regime, send the local Army home with its weapons, summarily dismiss every government worker because of their party affiliation, and screw up the infrastructure so badly during “shock and awe” that it will take a miracle to get everything back up and running again;

I have succeeded in suppressing the media’s reporting of what’s really going on in Iraq — from the war’s full toll on its citizens to the daily carnage in terrorist bombings and the mass exodus now under way — by keeping them holed up in the only supposedly safe area of Baghdad [although once in a while we let a terrorist come close to their hotel just to scare the bejeebers out of ’em] and by getting dittoheads like Rushbo & Hanno & Billo to castigate them for anything negative they write, under the guise that it’s an attack on our troops’ morale;

I have succeeded in saddling the American people with a debt they will take years to pay off, thanks to my shrewd way of not vetoing any pork-barrel projects during the six years of my reign while Republicans were in control of the purse strings, racking up humongous deficits the likes of which no Democratic Congress had ever seen. Now that those spendthrift Democrats are in charge, here comes that super-secret Veto pen, if I can only find it. Here somewhere. I’ll have to ask my Daddy where he hid it. But we have to keep a lid on Democratic spending so I can keep throwing money down that shithole in Iraq;

I have succeeded in keeping Osama bin Laden at bay so I always have a scapegoat I can point to and blame for the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, and elsewhere. Damn those Iraqis for executin’ Saddam so fast, he had plenty of use still left in him. Must make sure nothing like that happens to bin Laden, unless the polls hit 20 percent, then it’s SELL like Wall Street has never seen before and I miraculously pull out the head of Osama bin Laden.

All in all, I would have to say I succeeded a lot in the last six years. Are we better off today than we were six years ago? He-he-he ... I sure am. Have you seen Halliburton’s stock lately?

On that note, my fellow Americans, I bid you, “Mission Accomplished."

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Petard hoistings

I have my radio in the kitchen tuned to one of the area all-talk stations, and it’s programmed to automatically come on around noon and again at night. In case I’m not home, it makes it sound like someone else is inside the house, so it acts as sort of a security system.

When I’m there and the radio clicks on, I usually let it run. I’ve now gotten quite accustomed to listening to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Matthew Drudge. I’ve come to quite a few conclusions, but I just want to focus on one today.

Why is it when it comes to talking about big government, conservatives like these don’t think government can do anything right. Universal health care? You can’t trust big government with that. Mail delivery? Privatize it, they say. Just about any function you name, they’ll pooh-pooh government’s role in it, claiming private enterprise and fair-market competition can do a much better job.

So it got me thinking, what about war? Where’s their disdain for big government’s handling of military matters? An imbecilic chicken-hawk like George W. Bush can totally fuck up an entire military operation from the get-go -- from disbanding a nation’s military to outlawing the party that ran the country -- leaving us with one unholy shitpile to clean up, and yet these commentators will still pledge their unyielding support for this bumbling commander in chief and a military mission that can never possibly be accomplished. [When Bush was formulating “a new Iraq strategy” during the winter, where was the outrage over the fact that he didn’t have an Iraq strategy to begin with?]

For all my disdain of Halliburton Inc., I think they could probably do a better job in Iraq than the Bush government. Let’s just give them a contract to clean up our mess. Outsource the military. Let some secretive board of directors make the decisions and carry out the business plan. They could probably do it cheaper, hiring non-American labor, thus costing fewer American lives.

Whenever these conservative dittoheads diss the government’s handling of things, don't forget: the military is part of that government.

Odd Sheets of Paper

“Who was that ill-mannered creature,” said Candide, “who spoke so harshly of the play at which I wept so freely, and of the actors who gave me such pleasure?”

“He’s an evil-minded fellow,” said the abbé, “who earns his living by damning every play and every book. He hates a successful writer, just as eunuchs hate successful lovers. He is one of those snakes of literature who feed on dirt and venom. He’s a pamphleteer.”

“What do you mean by a pamphleteer?” asked Candide.

“A dealer in odd sheets of paper,” replied the abbé, “a journalist.”


The Left. The Right. The Middle of the Road. I’m tired of getting bombarded by idiots without being able to respond.

The true mission of an honest journalist is to point out the facts on both sides, show contradictions with the known record, and expose hypocrisy, fraud and lies. Truth and justice are the American way, regardless of whether most Americans recognize it when they see or hear it.

“In a democracy,” Ed Klauber of CBS observed in 1939, “it is important that people not only should know but should understand.” Here is my humble attempt to make people understand, with no apologies to the hypocrites, cheats and liars about to be exposed.