Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Thought for the Day

Trying to win the "war on terrorism" with overwhelming military force is like trying to get rid of houseflies by burning down houses.

Net result? Plenty of garbage for houseflies to breed in, and no safe place to live for the former inhabitants of the houses.

How long will it be before we address the real reasons for terrorism?

Monday, December 01, 2003

Tell Me the Story Again?

Why did we invade Iraq, again?

I mean, at the beginning, back when we were in such a rush that we couldn't give Hans Blix another month or two, when we thumbed our noses at France and Germany who tried to offer an alternative UN resolution, why did we tell the world to go to hell, we'd do it our way if we wanted?

It's too damn bad that we'll never hear Bush or Cheney or Rumsfeld or Wolfowitz or Perle or Rice tell us the real reasons. Such information would not be understood by us peons, and must be kept secret and separate. Or is it that they don't have the balls to tell us?

I find it a total outrage that when the first "reason" crumbled like a dry cookie on the road there was no apology, not even the barest acknowledgement of the lie. All we heard was denial and then a new "reason." All we were told was that we heard it wrong the first time but that doesn't explain the need for a new reason, does it? That's what pisses me off the most.

Let's take a look -- no WMD. None. 212 days and counting.

Then actual WMD morphed into "programs" for making WMD. Still nothing. Less than nothing in fact! Iraqi scientists are saying they even lied to Saddam, they had nothing to make anything with in the first place, and were glad they could cover their lies by saying the inspectors, in the 90's, destroyed their work. That's actually pretty funny. I wonder if Bush, who never reads his own news or searches for his own information, realizes that his very advisors are dressing him in as much invisible finery as Saddam's scientists did him! Bottom line -- no WMD programs. None.

Next? Ah right, those terrorists who could hurt us. Iraq was helping them in some way, right? Nope, wrong again. No linkage. From time to time a rumor is spread, often enough so that the weak-brained who only read headlines but not the fine print seem to recall that Al Qaeda is connected to Iraq somehow. Again, bottom line -- no Al Qaeda links, no connection to 9-11. None. Never were any.

The last reason is failing rapidly, "liberation and democracy." Remember those? We've liberated the Iraqi people from their lives, their property, their jobs, their health and their standard of living (which in pre-war included electricity, gas, food, shelter...). And democracy! While we tell the world in the gravest voices how much Iraq should want it, that's not what we're giving them at all. We close their media channels, replacing them with our own. We pick their leaders for them, since obviously they can't possibly be trusted with decisions like that on their own. We are building their new economy for them, by selling off state owned enterprises to private interests (most of which are not even Iraqi). We are blockading their roads, razor-wiring them inside their villages, bashing open their doors without warrants, incarcerating their citizens without trial, and periodically when we get angry enough at the resistance, we go bomb the crap out of a marsh or a warehouse. Sound like democracy to you? I didn't think so.

We didn't invade Iraq because they had WMD or even WMD programs.
We didn't invade Iraq because they were involved in 9-11.
We are occupying their country instead of liberating it.
We are teaching the Iraqis the opposite of democracy.

So, why the hell DID we go there? It's a good question to ask. Don't be afraid to ask it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Why Trust W to Protect You?

I've been thinking about this a lot. What is it that gives people comfort?

Sure, our unelected president fits into a flight suit. He sure sounds tough as he says, "Bring 'em on." And gosh, that "You're with us or you're with the terrorists" line was impressive.

But let's take a look at what's actually happened. Are we safer? Or are we just more afraid?

Osama bin Laden has not been caught. Supposedly, lots of 'masterminds' from all levels of his organization are out of commission. If that's so, why is every new bombing attributed to Al Qaeda? There've been plenty lately. So, the head of the organization that brought us 9-11, who has been convicted sans trial by the way, is still roaming around, and despite our efforts to dismantle his terrorist network, it seems to be functioning just fine. Why give kudos to W for this abject failure?

Since we couldn't catch Osama, we moved on to the next 'front' in terrorism (according only to the neo-cons, but hey, let's pretend for the sake of continuity here that Saddam had anything to do with 9-11 or posed a looming international threat of massive death), Iraq. We marched in and overthrew the government by force. The people resisted. We now call them terrorists. We flex our muscles, break down their doors, kill innocents with trigger-happy fingers, bomb their cities again, incarcerate thousands without a decent system to sort out the captives, torture those captives, man roadblocks (how would you feel if you had to stop and be questioned when you wanted to go to the next town to visit relatives?), decide who can be an interim leader, shut down newspapers and television stations, cleanse the textbooks and fire the teachers, and generally break rule after rule within Iraqi culture. As a result, the resistance grows and insurgents make deeper and deeper forays. So, how is this making us safer? It sure as hell isn't safer for our troops.

Let's not forget that we insulted and scoffed at all the allies we may have had in this operation. Let's not forget that we ignored millions and millions of voices all around the world. The result? More violence, more deaths, more resentment, more frustration, but no help or assistance, and no true international face on our actions. Doesn't sound to me like this has made us any safer.

To those who still believe W can save you: I think the only reason you are willing to give W the right to break international law, disregard our own Constitution, and continue to wave his pecker on the podium is because you've let him scare you. You've let him tell you only he can take care of this. You've let yourself be un-empowered.

The blood of all the well-meaning troops and the true innocents is on someone's hands. I'm sure W will be more than willing to share.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Something About Wars

Have you noticed there are two kinds of wars? The first kind is literal war. World Wars and Country Wars are in this category. You can identify these because the word 'war' can always be said at the end of the phrase, like 'Korean War' or 'Revolutionary War.' (One never hears 'War on Revolution' or 'War on the World.') These wars are fought with armies against entire peoples in certain regions or countries. The World Wars were so named because armies fought against multiple peoples in multiple countries at once.

Then there is the other category of war, the figurative one. Thus we see the 'War On Poverty' or the 'War On Drugs.' These wars are 'fought' against things, not peoples or territories, because there is no geographical boundary and no clear face on the enemy. These wars always begin with the word 'war' and then identify the thing or the condition that needs correcting. Unlike the other kind of war, these wars don't require massive fighting forces to win. They are best 'fought' with education, economic assistance and the creation of viable alternatives.

I propose that the 'War on Terrorism' is the second kind of war. In its pure form, it is not about territory or any particular peoples or country. It is a war against a thing, a condition. There is no clear face on the enemy. It could be anti-abortionists in the United States, elite forces in Israel, religious fanatics in Ireland, Maylasia or Saudi Arabia.

The first kind of war can be won, the second cannot. In the first, two nations can sign a peace accord, the loser conceding things to the winner. Not so, in the second. But drugs and poverty can be contained and reduced to a manageable form by applying education and economic assistance, and offering viable alternatives.

To win the first kind of war, all you need is the biggest, most powerful set of fighting forces and weapons of mass destruction. To win the second kind of war, you need to identify the root causes of the condition and cure it, much as you would with a disease. It takes intelligence, caring, generosity and open-mindedness to abate the undesired condition.

We can't win a 'War On Poverty' by bombing poor neighborhoods. The 'War On Drugs' won't end by supporting the conditions under which people get very, very rich selling drugs.

We aren't going to win or even abate the 'War On Terrorism' by bringing terror to entire peoples.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

How to Kill Democracy

Just follow these easy steps and you too can destroy representative government!

  1. Begin by telling calculated lies to your constituency.

  2. Later on, when confronted with those lies, just deny you meant what you said.

  3. Take the time to beef up the original lies with more lies. Don't forget about omissions, either. Hide the things you can't lie about.

  4. Do all you can to create fear within the population. Whatever you do, don't empower the people. Make them utterly dependent on you instead!

  5. Say that God is on your side. That should give you the ability to see into souls and figure out what others may be thinking or planning to do in the future.

  6. With this super power, you can invade sovereign countries or jail anyone
    with impunity. After all, someone has to make sure that Democracy spreads!

  7. Make sure that you don't really let the people decide anything. Hey, they may be stupid enough to think Democracy means they have a choice!

  8. Whatever you do, never back down once you start heading in a certain direction, no matter how unpopular that path is. Otherwise, someone will no doubt call you a wimp, and everyone knows patriotic Democracy supporters aren't wimps.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Sorry, Makes No Sense

"Sometimes you have to use violent means to get rid of violent men to have a world without violence."

Or so says W. I've never been able to understand that rationale.

How long is it going to take before someone tells the dunce in the White House the real reason why people blow themselves up?

Haha. I hate you so much, I hate your way of life, I hate freedom so much that I'm gonna blow myself right up, right here on your doorstep.

Yeah right.

Go get 'em, double-dumb Dubya. Get them terrorists who kill themselves! Give 'em hell!


Friday, November 14, 2003

I Worry About the Health of America

I worry about the world my children are inheriting.

I am really worried about the serious lack of basic education exhibited by too many of my fellow Americans.

The voices in my head say all kinds of things. "Don't worry, be happy, mon!" "Damn bastards, you goddamn bastards." "Faith, what is it and where is mine?" "The hell with it." "So what?" "Lord, have mercy."

It's so easy to just escape, forget about all the vile things that people seem to do. Sometimes it's hard to even imagine that people can be as cruel as they are. We torture people. How can one sleep at night? How can you look in the eyes of someone and be so cruel to them? Even more, how can we hold on to the knowledge that our fellow man can be so cruel, and reconcile it somehow?

Poignant: Someone chopped down a whole orchard of olive trees near an Israeli settlement. The aged Palestinian farmer who had planted and tended and harvested that orchard for decades was crushed. Devastated. Anguished. Whoever did it just killed that farmer, even though they didn't hack him with an axe personally.

The little things we can do to brighten, help, give back... I don't think we can make up for this kind of brutality.

Maybe it's time for another great flood.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Why are men and women in military uniforms, military vehicles, and military weaponry the ones who are in charge of "reconstruction" in Iraq?

What on earth were the planners thinking? First we invade a country on the basis that they pose an imminent threat to the world because they have the most hideous weapons in history, poised and ready. Of course that wasn't true. Next we smash the hell out of this country -- precision bombing, my ass. Thousands of civilians killed, but of course, we don't bother to even try to count the dead and the mutilated. Then we declare major combat over.

But the military, our fighting forces, the ones who don't know anything other than how to advance and kill, are given the task of winning hearts and minds while they bash doors in looking for "terrorists" who hate freedom.

The absurdity of what has been happening in the Middle East is mind-numbing.

It started with USUK's first preventive war. Saddam at some point in the future might do something bad to someone so it's alright to "take him out." No matter that he had nothing to do something bad with! He must have been considering it, right?

It followed with this inane notion that the general Iraqi populace (as if one can generalize about the peoples there) would be so grateful for our shocking and awful invasion that they would sing our praises. All the while, we let their children play with leftover cluster bombs, we hand-pick their future leaders, we sell off all their assets to the highest non-Iraqi bidder, we protect the Oil Ministry but let their culture burn, and we start building four major military bases on their land.

The absurdity continued with the idiotic idea that our fighting troops were the right people to show Iraq the essential goodness of democracy (read: corporate greed, aka capitalism).

Is it really any wonder that our soldiers, and those seen to be collaborating with them, are attacked with increasing frequency and deadliness?

There's a saying, "Don't send a boy to do a man's job." We can add to that, "Don't send a soldier to do a diplomat's job."

George W. Bush has made it clear he doesn't read newspapers, check the Internet, or watch TV for his information. He says he relies on his advisors for his information, the people he trusts the most. I call that inviting disaster. But then, George was never too smart, remember?

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

What sort of country is it when our leader doesn't read?

The Bushboy from Texas (along with his undereducated supporters) seems somewhat proud of the fact that he doesn't read. No newspapers, no books, probably none of those weighty reports that everyone else in the Administration takes care of for him.

I'm beginning to think that Dubya really doesn't have a clue about what is going on. Too bad, otherwise he'd see that Israel is viewed as the scariest country in the world by the EU, and the US is not far behind. Heck, we come in third, right behind North Korea which is .. yes! BEHIND Israel.

Too bad the man who claims it is vital for every child to learn how to read doesn't do it himself. If he took his own advice, maybe he'd recognize he's just Cheney's pony.

Wake up George!

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Sometimes I feel like I've fallen down the rabbit hole and entered a wacky wonderland where the truth is told but it is a lie, where good and evil are reversed.

Now anyone who dares to disagree with the naked emperor is a terrorist, or a terrorist supporter (which is worse than being a terrorist because terrorists hide and rarely get caught but the supporters are right out there in the open, living what they think is a regular life).

It makes it so easy, doesn't it? Don't like someone? Turn them in for being a terrorist supporter. Want to discredit someone? Call them a terrorist supporter. After all, who among us wants more terrorism?

This is what happens when people are not educated. How can you think consciously about anything, how can you evaluate and discriminate and ruminate if you lack basic education in critical thinking? Heck, how can you form a decent opinion about foreign policy when you can't even find Japan on a globe? Or when you're functionally illiterate?

Today's mantra. George Bush is Pinky. Cheney is The Brain. "What're we gonna do today, huh huh Brain?"
Talk about absurd.. on hearing about suicide bombings, our leaders declare (with fervor!) that they will not rest until they "get" those responsible.

Wake up, man, they're dead already.