Sunday, May 25, 2008

American Jack-Off Fantasies...

In microcosmic mimicry of the plight of the besieged middle and laboring classes, my parent's Atlanta neighborhood, as is the case with many others in the vicinity, is being destroyed, in reality -- disappeared -- by a blight of upper-class arrogance. The modest, post-war homes of the area are being "scraped" from the landscape as an infestation of bloated mcmansions rises from the tortured soil. These particleboard and Tyvek-choked monstrosities loom over the remaining smaller houses of the area, as oversized and ugly as mindless bullies, as banal as the dreams of petty tyrants.

In the surrounding suburbs, in a similar manner as mcmansions eclipse sunlight, throwing the adjacent houses into half-light, mega-churches eclipse the light of reason, leaving their congregations in an ignorant half-light of dogma and superstition. Of course, these true believer lunatics are wrong about everything, except, perhaps, for their elliptical apprehension regarding the arrival of proliferate cataclysms in the years to come. Oddly: Although they promulgate dire warnings on the subject, they seem gleeful at the prospect of wide-spread suffering.

How could they not be? They've seized upon a fantasy that allows them to escape from the tyranny of their own life-suffocating belief system. Attempting to subdue the suffocating dread of their corporately circumscribed lives, they wish for the destruction of the entire planet. Hence, their escapist fantasy, by the necessity of narrative, is huge, outrageous -- apocalyptic. The progenitor of their End Time tale is this: The believer's emotional inflexibility begets a form of ontological giantism -- a phenomenon that arises when one's worldview is too small to explain the larger world. Therefore, a story must be created that contains violence and terror on such a massive scale that its unfolding would kill off the entire, problematic world. "That's right world, there's not enough room on this planet for both you and my beliefs. One of us has to go."

Upon the nation's roadways and interstate highways, the overgrown clown cars of the apocalypse, SUVs, Humvees, and oversized pickup trucks also evince hugeness to compensate for the feelings of those folks inside the grotesque vehicles of being crushed down by alienation and isolation -- not only while on the road -- but by the realities of an existence within a hapless, oil-dependent empire which is itself powerless against the changing realities of the larger world.

In the ranks of the exploiter class, the fat salaries of CEOs separate them further from the general population of the consumer state (that they take every opportunity to bamboozle) as the American public itself grows fatter and fatter in body mass, vainly attempting to sate an inner emptiness borne of their perceived helplessness before the predation of corporate culture.

Concurrently, in Baghdad, the U.S. embassy, which, when completed, will be the largest "diplomatic" compound on the planet is, in fact, an inadvertent monument to the mindless colossus the U.S.A. has become. The structure is as accurate as the art of architecture can be in its depiction of the spirit of a nation's people. As big and bloated as our national sense of exceptionalism, it stands in the so-called Green Zone of Baghdad, shielding those who will be bunkered down within it -- not only from the murderous madness unfolding outside its highly fortified walls -- but from reality itself. A massive emblem of the arrogance of power, the embassy is a testament to how the noxious vapors of cultural self-deception can be made manifest in reenforced concrete, armed watchtowers and razor wire.

Through it all, like some eternally slumbering Hindu deity, we Americans dream these things into existence. Far from blameless, we continue to allow the elites to exploit us; therefore, we enable and sustain their titanic sense of entitlement. In turn, we accept their paltry bribes and, as a result, our banal, selfish dreams have conjured forth George Bush from the zeitgeist. Ergo, Bush is a man whose impenetrable narcissism is so grotesque and ringed with fortifications, that all on his own he constitutes a walking analog of the American embassy in Baghdad.


In addition, we Americans continue to believe our fables of righteous power: Big is good, goes our John Wayne jack-off fantasy. Our leaders must be large: Only Mcmansion-like men, such as Mitt Romney, are acceptable. We believe: Dennis Kucinich is too diminutive in physical stature to be president -- with the length of his body being roughly the size of Romney's head.

In turn, our national landscape is stretched to the breaking point: Cluttered upon it, gigantic islands of garish light torment the night, scouring away the stars, estranging us from imagination, empathy, and eros, and leaving us only with the insatiable appetites of consumerism. Thus, around the clock, inside enormous, under-inspected, industrial slaughterhouses and meat processing plants, underpaid, benefit-bereft workers ply their gruesome, monstrously cruel trade, then the butchered wares are transported by way of brutal, double and triple-axle trailer, diesel trucks over stygian interstate highways to sepulchral supermarkets and charnel house restaurant chains. Insuring, we flesh-eating zombies are provided with all the water-bloated, steroid-ridden meat and industrially farmed, pesticide-laquered vegetables and starches -- The Cuisines Of The Living Dead -- we could ever crave ... uum, uum, it's the Thanatotic yumminess of empire's end. Try our convenient drive through window. Would you like us to super-size your order of commodified death?

Hyperbolic ravings, you say. America is not a culture in love with death.

Let's see. Drawing upon just one example: The corpses of well over half a million dead Iraqis testify otherwise. Moreover, the continuing Iraqi resistance to our occupation speaks volumes as well. Yet still, most of us cannot hear their elegy of outrage over the din created by the parade of killer clowns that we have mistaken for the pageantry of nationhood.


How does one slow this juggernaut of psychosis and curb these acts of murder/suicide being perpetrated on a global scale? Truth is, we might not be able to stop it, because this is what lies beneath our unlimited sense of entitlement and self-defeating arrogance: a death-wish that manifests itself as exceptionalism and may well destroy the nation by means of imperial overreach -- which is, of course, the time-established method by which empires dispose of themselves.

Further, this state of affairs is exacerbated by the narcissistic insularity of our media elite. At the end of the day, it's their tumescent egos that are distorting our societal discourse; their vanities and attendant self-serving pronouncements are little more than steaming cargos of horseshit, carried and delivered by one-trick-jackasses -- jackasses endowed with the singular skill of being able to read a teleprompter ... Fred Thompson, your agent is calling: You have an important call from Washington, DC.

Notice this: The more permeating the rot becomes within the system's structure the more huge and pervasive the edifice of media imagery will grow â?" and the more trivial its content will become. The closer we come to systemic collapse the more we will hear about celebrity contretemps. Cretinous heiresses and shit-wit starlets, with shoddy mechanisms of self-restraint, people the public imagination, because they carry our infantilism, embody our collective carelessness, and, in turn, suffer public humiliation, as we desperately attempt to displace, upon them, the humiliation of our own daily existence within the oppressive authoritarianism of the corporate state.

Correspondingly, there is a well-known (by those who care to look) link between fascism and corporatism. To Mussolini, the two terms were interchangeable. According to rumor, we defeated fascism, during the first half of the 20th century. Yet, at present, we spend our days sustaining a liberty-loathing, soul-enervating corpocracy. To live under corporatism is, in ways large and small, to be a fascist-in-training. Everyday, hour by hour, the exploitive, neo-liberal concept of work devours more and more of our lives. As a consequence, the true self within is crushed to dust and what remains rises as cultural squalls of low-level fear, with its concomitant need for constant distraction. As all the while, the psyches of the well-off (financially, that is) become inflated, gaudy and ugly; in short, internally, they become human versions of mcmansions.

Freedom is a microcosm of the forces of evolution engendered by living in the midst of life -- a mode of being that apprehends and is transformed by the beauty, sorrow, and wit of the world. Conversely, authoritarian societies are collectives of accomplished liars and lickspittle ciphers, where one must conceal one's essential self at all costs and the soul falls into atrophy.

To what extent does authoritarian rule diminish both the individual and a nation? Simply, take a look around you and witness the keening wasteland our nation has become. Furthermore, our emptiness cannot be filled by any amount of wealth or power. This is the reason the obscene amounts of mammon acquired by the privileged classes is never -- can never be -- enough to satisfy them, for their inner abyss is boundless. In a similar vein, no amount of killing can sate a psychopath's emptiness. Dick Cheney will scowl all the way to the boneyard, hoping he can ascend to heaven by scaling the mountainous pile of corpses he's responsible for placing there.

In folk stories, when giants are about, drought and famine withers the land and starvation stalks its people. Accordingly, the ruthless giantism inherent to the Corporate/Military/Mass Media state has withered our inner lives, blighted our landscape, and left us powerless before a huge, demeaning system that devours our time, health and humanity.

The bone-grinding giants of the American corporate and political classes have shot the Golden Goose full of growth hormones, enclosed her in an industrial coop, and hoarded her voluminous output of eggs. Yet, nothing satisfies them.

Meanwhile, online, we struggle in a Jack in the Beanstalk Insurgency, hoping that from things as tiny and seemingly trivial as mere beans -- our postings, exchanges and periodic meet-ups -- the fall of tyrannical giants might begin.

By Phil Rockstroh

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Did Hezbollah Thwart a Bush/Olmert Attack on Beirut?

This week Israel's Military Intelligence Chief, Major General Amos Yadlin complained to the Israeli daily Haaretz that 'Hezbollah proved that it was the strongest power in Lebanon... stronger than the Lebanese and it had wanted to take the government it could have done it,' He said Hezbollah, continued to pose a 'significant' threat to Israel as its rockets could reach a large part of Israeli territory.'

Yadlin was putting it mildly.

But what Intelligence Chief Yadlin did not reveal to the Israeli public was just how 'significant' but also 'immediate' the Hezbollah threat was on May 11. Nor was he willing to divulge the fact that he received information via US and French channels that if the planned attack on Lebanon's capitol went forward that Tel Aviv was subject, in the view of the US intelligence community to 'approximately 600 Hezbollah rockets in the first 24 hours in retaliation and at least that number on the following day'.

The Israeli Intel Chief also declined to reveal that despite Israel's recent psyche-war camping about various claimed missile shields 'the State of Israel is perfecting', that this claim is being ridiculed at the Pentagon. 'Israel will not achieve an effective shield against the current generation of rockets, even assuming no technological improvements in the current rockets aimed at it, for another 20 years. And that assumes the US will continue to fund their research and development for the hoped for shields' according to Pentagon, US Senate Intelligence Committee, and very well informed Lebanese sources.

The planned attack on Beirut

According to US Senate Intelligence Committee sources, the Bush administration initially green lighted the intended May 11 Israel 'demonstration of solidarity with the pro-Bush administration militias, some with which Israel has maintained ties since the days of Bashir Gemayal and Ariel Sharon.

In the end, 'the Bush administration got cold feet', a Congressional source revealed. So did Israel.
Israel was not willing to proceed with the original Bush Administration idea which was to have Bush attend the May 15 Israel anniversary celebrations following the Israeli attack meant to hit Hezbollah hard, and give Bush the credit for coming to the dangerous region. The message was to be that Bush comes to the rescue 'on horseback and leads the US Calvary charge straight out of a B western movie where the bugle would sound and flag would be unfurled and the white hat good guys would show their stuff before riding into the sunset and back to Texas, leaving the results to the likely Obama administration to sort out.

The plan involved Israeli air strikes on South and West Beirut in support of forces it was assured would be able to surprise and resist Hezbollah and sustain a powerful offensive for 48 hours.

Also presumably disturbing to Israel was the report it received that Hezbollah 'had once again in all probability hacked its 'secure' military intelligence communications and the fear that the information would be shared with others.

The Hezbollah rout of the militias in West Beirut plus the fear of retaliation on Tel Aviv, ruining 60th anniversary celebrations, forced cancellation of the supportive attack.

Israel limited its actions to sending two F-15's and two F-16's into as far North as Tyre, one more of literally hundreds of violations of Lebanese airspace, sovereignty and SCR 1701.

Clearly frustrated, Cabinet Minister Meir Sheetrit said Israel should not yet take any action now, but warned' those things could change if Hezbollah takes over Lebanon.' a few minutes earlier he had declared that Hezbollah had done just that and had treated the Lebanese army as a doormat.

Later in the Sunday cabinet meeting, Minister Ami Ayalon called for an emergency meeting of the political-security cabinet to discuss 'the ongoing crisis in Lebanon and why Israel was not assisting friendly forces.'
Minister Yitzhak Cohen (Shas) said that 'Israel must immediately ask the [United Nations] Security Council to hold renewed discussions over resolution 1701.' The minister was referring to the resolution that stopped the Israeli actions against Lebanon during the 34-day between in 2006, maintaining a fragile cease-fire.

Finally Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert informed Israeli supporters in Lebanon, through the media, and presumbly other means that' Israel was following the violence in Lebanon closely, but would refrain from intervening. Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai told Army Radio Sunday that Israel was prepared for the possibility that the situation in Lebanon will deteriorate into another civil war (meaning future opportunities for Israeli influence and interventon in Lebanon) and that the current fighting could end with a Hezbollah takeover of the government. 'We need to keep our eyes peeled and be especially sensitive regarding all that is happening there,' Vilnai told Army Radio.

The Bush administration, also disappointed, switched tactics and is opting for domination of the narrative of the fairly complicated events of the past week and using their media and confessional allies to launch a media blitz (minus Future TV for a few days} to flood the airways with:

· Hezbollah staged a coup d'état. Even Israel, if not the Bush administration, concedes Hezbollah has no interest in taking over the Government. (One observer, paraphrasing Winston Churchill's comment, deadpanned, 'Some Hezbollah Coup! Some Hezbollah Etat!')

· Hezbollah brought it forces from the South and occupied West Beirut: Hezbollah not only did not bring their forces from the South to Beirut (rather they remained on alert for an Israel attack down South)

· Hezbollah broke its pledge not to use Resistance arms against Lebanese militias and shot up West Beirut.

The facts are very different when viewed close up on the streets here.

When the Lebanese Resistance took the decision during the early hours of Friday morning to engage in civil disobedience, it delayed its actions so as not to preempt the Labor movement strike for higher wages which it supported. When the marching Strikers were prevented from moving into West Beirut the Opposition extended its civil disobedience manifestation.

Various militias, including the smartly outfitted Hariri 'Secure Plus' with its distinctive maroon tee-shirts and beige trousers, (now know locally by some as 'Secure Minus') a hoped for future Blackwater operation in Lebanon disintegrated surprisingly quickly because many of its green recruits brought down from Tripoli felt misled and betrayed regarding their job description as they were handed weapons an instructed to fight Hezbollah. Snipers from anti-Opposition factions killed civilians from rooftops in Beirut trying to ignite a civil war.

Hezbollah, acting in self defense, according to various officials, quickly clamped down on the trouble makers, took control of the streets, within hours handed them over to the army, and virtually evacuated West Beirut, retaining one position near Bay Rocks manned by unarmed representatives.

Meanwhile the Hariri influence has been greatly weekend in Akkar near the Palestinian Refugee camp of Nahr al Bared and in the Tripoli area. According to some political analysts, including, Fida'a Ittani, a regular columnist for the independent pro-opposition newspaper Al-Akhbar, wrote on May 14, the Future Movement, defeated in Beirut, no longer has any serious influence in the north.

Several Salafi al Qaeda admiring movements are present in Lebanon and like Fatah Islam's declaration this week that they will fight for the Sunnis, they vary in their attitudes from silent opposition to Future leader Saad Al-Hariri to fully supporting him as the leader of the Sunnis. These groups are valued by certain 'leaders' in Lebanon because are the only ones with coherent structures at the ideological, political, technical, and field levels.

Judging from Saad Hariri's confused statements at his subsequent news conference and statements by other parties, the bitterness of promised but unforthcoming assistance was evident.

For two days following the debacle of his forces imploding the head of the Future Movement said nothing. Finally on the 14th he broke his silence. The Halba massacre, committed by Hariri's Mustakbal militiamen which brutally and barbarically murdered 11 people from the opposition did not seem worthy of discussion as he spoke. In a press conference on Tuesday, Hariri simply ignored what all the Lebanese had seen on TV from weapons, ammunition and alcohol found in Future movement offices, and instead listed a series of delusions. 'We awaited an open war on Israel, and yet here is an open war on Beirut and its people' he stated. Some interpreted this rather odd statement either as a subconscious slip of the tongue on Hariri's part expressing his frustration that the Israelis help did not arrive or that his reported earlier incoherent state persisted.

Hariri's original speech was so confused that the Saudi channel al-Arabiyya stopped broadcasting it and only read excerpts from what he said, without showing his recorded speech.

When American criticism resumed, and Hezbollah fighters withdrew from the alleys surrounding his house, Hariri was urged to stand up and speak again, this time with a stronger tone, saying 'This has been decided by the Iranian and Syrian regimes that wanted to play a political game in Lebanon's streets. For us nothing has changed. We will not negotiate with someone having a pistol pointed to our heads.'

Anger at the Bush administration and Israel by certain warlords in Lebanon must feel much like the frustration of Secure Minus personal who rushed from Tripoli and felt misled, abandoned and cheated.

by Franklin Lamb

"This Advice Mr. Bush, Shut The Hell Up"

The war in Iraq, your war, Mr. Bush, is about how you accomplished the derangement of two nations, and how you helped funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to lascivious and perennially thirsty corporations like Halliburton and Blackwater, and how you sent 4,000 Americans to their deaths for nothing.

President Bush has resorted anew to the sleaziest fear-mongering and mass manipulation of an administration and public life dedicated to realizing the lowest of our expectations. And he has now applied these poisons to the 2008 presidential election, on behalf of the party at whose center he and John McCain lurk.

Mr. Bush has predicted that the election of a Democratic president could "eventually lead to another attack on the United States." This ludicrous, infuriating, holier-than-thou and most importantly bone-headedly wrong statement came during a May 13 interview with Politico.com and online users of Yahoo.

The question was phrased as follows: "If we were to pull out of Iraq next year, what's the worst that could happen, what's the doomsday scenario?"

The president replied: "Doomsday scenario of course is that extremists throughout the Middle East would be emboldened, which would eventually lead to another attack on the United States. The biggest issue we face is, it's bigger than Iraq, it's this ideological struggle against cold-blooded killers who will kill people to achieve their political objectives."

Mr. Bush, at long last, has it not dawned on you that the America you have now created, includes "cold-blooded killers who will kill people to achieve their political objectives?" They are those in — or formerly in — your employ, who may yet be charged some day with war crimes.

Through your haze of self-congratulation and self-pity, do you still have no earthly clue that this nation has laid waste to Iraq to achieve your political objectives? "This ideological struggle," Mr. Bush, is taking place within this country.

It is a struggle between Americans who cherish freedom, ours and everybody else's, and Americans like you, sir, to whom freedom is just a brand name, just like "Patriot Act" is a brand name or "Protect America" is a brand name.

But wait, there's more: You also said "Iraq is the place where al-Qaida and other extremists have made their stand and they will be defeated." They made no "stand" in Iraq, sir, you allowed them to assemble there!

As certainly as if that were the plan, the borders were left wide open by your government's farcical post-invasion strategy of "they'll greet us as liberators." And as certainly as if that were the plan, the inspiration for another generation of terrorists in another country was provided by your government's farcical post-invasion strategy of letting the societal infra-structure of Iraq dissolve, to be replaced by an American viceroy, enforced by merciless mercenaries who shoot unarmed Iraqis and then evade prosecution in any country by hiding behind your skirts, sir.

Terrorism inside Iraq is your creation, Mr. Bush!

***

It was a Yahoo user who brought up the second topic upon whose introduction Mr. Bush should have passed, or punted, or gotten up and left the room claiming he heard Dick Cheney calling him.

"Do you feel," asked an ordinary American, "that you were misled on Iraq?"

"I feel like — I felt like, there were weapons of mass destruction," the president said. "You know, 'mislead' is a strong word, it almost connotes some kind of intentional — I don't think so, I think there was a — not only our intelligence community, but intelligence communities all across the world shared the same assessment. And so I was disappointed to see how flawed our intelligence was."

Flawed.



You, Mr. Bush, and your tragically know-it-all minions, threw out every piece of intelligence that suggested there were no such weapons.

You, Mr. Bush, threw out every person who suggested that the sober, contradictory, reality-based intelligence needed to be listened to, and fast.

You, Mr. Bush, are responsible for how "intelligence communities all across the world shared the same assessment."

You and the sycophants you dredged up and put behind the most important steering wheel in the world propagated palpable nonsense and shoved it down the throat of every intelligence community across the world and punished anybody who didn't agree it was really chicken salad.

And you, Mr. Bush, threw under the bus, all of the subsequent critics who bravely stepped forward later to point out just how much of a self-fulfilling prophecy you had embraced, and adopted as this country's policy in lieu of, say, common sense.

The fiasco of pre-war intelligence, sir, is your fiasco.

You should build a great statue of yourself turning a deaf ear to the warnings of realists, while you are shown embracing the three-card monte dealers like Richard Perle and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

That would be a far more fitting tribute to your legacy, Mr. Bush, than this presidential library you are constructing as a giant fable about your presidency, an edifice you might as well claim was built from "Iraqi weapons of mass destruction" because there will be just as many of those inside your presidential library as there were inside Saddam Hussein's Iraq.



***

Of course if there is one overriding theme to this president's administration it is the utter, always-failing, inability to know when to quit when it is behind. And so Mr. Bush answered yet another question about this layered, nuanced, wheels-within-wheels garbage heap that constituted his excuse for war.

"And so you feel that you didn't have all the information you should have or the right spin on that information?"

"No, no," replied the President. "I was told by people, that they had weapons of mass destruction …"

People? What people? The insane informant "Curveball?" The Iraqi snake-oil salesman Ahmed Chalabi? The American snake-oil salesman Dick Cheney?

"I was told by people that they had weapons of mass destruction, as were members of Congress, who voted for the resolution to get rid of Saddam Hussein.

"And of course, the political heat gets on and they start to run and try to hide from their votes."



Mr. Bush, you destroyed the evidence that contradicted the resolution you jammed down the Congress's throat, the way you jammed it down the nation's throat. When required by law to verify that your evidence was accurate, you simply resubmitted it, with phrases amounting to "See, I done proved it" virtually written in the margins in crayon.

You defied patriotic Americans to say "The Emperor Has No Clothes," only with the stakes — as you and the mental dwarves in your employ put it — being a "mushroom cloud over an American city."

And as a final crash of self-indulgent nonsense, when the incontrovertible truth of your panoramic and murderous deceit has even begun to cost your political party seemingly perpetual congressional seats in places like North Carolina and Mississippi, you can actually say with a straight face, sir, that for members of Congress "the political heat gets on and they start to run and try to hide from their votes" — while you greet the political heat and try to run and hide from your presidency, and your legacy — 4,000 of the Americans you were supposed to protect — dead in Iraq, with your only feeble, pathetic answer being, "I was told by people that they had weapons of mass destruction."

***

Then came Mr. Bush's final blow to our nation's solar plexus, his last reopening of our common wounds, his last remark that makes the rest of us question not merely his leadership or his judgment but his very suitably to remain in office.

"Mr. President," he was asked, "you haven't been golfing in recent years. Is that related to Iraq?"

"Yes," began perhaps the most startling reply of this nightmarish blight on our lives as Americans on our history. "It really is. I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander in Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as — to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."



Golf, sir? Golf sends the wrong signal to the grieving families of our men and women butchered in Iraq? Do you think these families, Mr. Bush, their lives blighted forever, care about you playing golf? Do you think, sir, they care about you?

You, Mr. Bush, let their sons and daughters be killed. Sir, to show your solidarity with them you gave up golf? Sir, to show your solidarity with them you didn't give up your pursuit of this insurance-scam, profiteering, morally and financially bankrupting war.

Sir, to show your solidarity with them you didn't even give up talking about Iraq, a subject about which you have incessantly proved without pause or backwards glance, that you may literally be the least informed person in the world?

Sir, to show your solidarity with them, you didn't give up your presidency? In your own words "solidarity as best as I can" is to stop a game? That is the "best" you can do?

Four thousand Americans give up their lives and your sacrifice was to give up golf! Golf. Not "Gulf" — golf.

And still it gets worse. Because it proves that the president's unendurable sacrifice, his unbearable pain, the suspension of getting to hit a ball with a stick, was not even his own damned idea.

"Mr. President, was there a particular moment or incident that brought you to that decision, or how did you come to that?"

"I remember when [diplomat Sergio Vieira] de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man's life. And I was playing golf, I think I was in central Texas, and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, it's just not worth it any more to do."



Your one, tone-deaf, arrogant, pathetic, embarrassing gesture, and you didn't even think of it yourself? The great Bushian sacrifice — an Army private loses a leg, a Marine loses half his skull, 4,000 of their brothers and sisters lose their lives — and you lose golf, and they have to pull you off the golf course to get you to just do that?

If it's even true.

Apart from your medical files, which dutifully record your torn calf muscle and the knee pain which forced you to give up running at the same time — coincidence, no doubt — the bombing in Baghdad which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello of the U.N. and interrupted your round of golf was on Aug. 19, 2003.

Yet CBS News has records of you playing golf as late as Oct. 13 of that year, nearly two months later.

Mr. Bush, I hate to break it to you 6 1/2 years after you yoked this nation and your place in history to the wrong war, in the wrong place, against the wrong people, but the war in Iraq is not about you.

It is not, Mr. Bush, about your grief when American after American comes home in a box.

It is not, Mr. Bush, about what your addled brain has produced in the way of paranoid delusions of risks that do not exist, ready to be activated if some Democrat, and not your twin Mr. McCain, succeeds you.

The war in Iraq, your war, Mr. Bush, is about how you accomplished the derangement of two nations, and how you helped funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to lascivious and perennially thirsty corporations like Halliburton and Blackwater, and how you sent 4,000 Americans to their deaths for nothing.

It is not, Mr. Bush, about your golf game! And, sir, if you have any hopes that next Jan. 20 will not be celebrated as a day of soul-wrenching, heart-felt thanksgiving, because your faithless stewardship of this presidency will have finally come to a merciful end, this last piece of advice:

When somebody asks you, sir, about Democrats who must now pull this country back from the abyss you have placed us at ...

When somebody asks you, sir, about the cooked books and faked threats you foisted on a sincere and frightened nation …

When somebody asks you, sir, about your gallant, noble, self-abnegating sacrifice of your golf game so as to soothe the families of the war dead.

This advice, Mr. Bush: Shut the hell up!

Transcript of Keith Olbermann

Thursday, May 15, 2008

American exceptionalism / “the indispensable nation”

In a new book that will infuriate the fake conservatives who inhabit the Republican Party, Patrick J. Buchanan documents how British self-righteousness, delusion, and hubris destroyed both the British Empire and Western ascendancy in two unnecessary wars launched by a small cabal of morons that ruled Britain

Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War shows that the two world wars that destroyed European civilization began when England declared war on Germany, thus dragging in the Empire, Commonwealth, and United States. This was a strategic blunder unparalleled in history. Mighty Britain emerged from World War II as an American dependency.

Buchanan cites such British notables as F.J.P. Veale, B.H. Liddell Hart, and C.P. Snow to document that it was Winston Churchill who committed, in Veale’s words, “the first deliberate breach of the fundamental rule of civilized warfare that hostilities must only be waged against the enemy combatant forces.” It was Churchill, not Hitler, who first targeted civilian populations in World War II and caused the structure of civilized warfare to collapse in ruins.

The Americans quickly adopted Churchill’s criminal policy of attacking civilians, culminating in the outrageous use of nuclear weapons against two Japanese cities, the slaughter of Vietnamese civilians, and the ongoing slaughter of Afghan and Iraqi civilians.

A popular American myth is that “the greatest generation” saved the world from Nazi tyranny. As Buchanan points out, the fact of the matter is that the Normandy invasion in June 1944 played little, if any, role in Germany’s defeat. By the end of 1942 Hitler had lost World War II at Stalingrad, long before any American troops appeared on the scene. What the Normandy invasion achieved 18 months later was to keep the Red Army from over-running all of Europe.

Although Buchanan’s book is about how the British destroyed themselves, Buchanan is clearly thinking about America. In the closing pages Buchanan shows how the Bush Regime has broken from the sound policy of President Reagan and is replicating the British folly of self-destruction. “There is hardly a blunder of the British Empire we have not replicated,” laments Buchanan.

The distinct American hubris that we are “the indispensable nation” and the braggadocio that we are an “omnipower” has us overcommitted in alliances that we cannot fulfill. Despite 25 percent of the Iraqi population killed, injured or displaced, the “world’s only superpower” cannot even control Baghdad. To deal with the pointless war we started in Afghanistan, we have had to sucker our NATO allies into a conflict that is no concern of theirs. Militarily overextended and with a faltering economy and collapsing currency, the cabal of morons that rules America still hopes to attack Iran, Syria, and to drive Hezbollah from Lebanon. American idiots in think tanks are busy at work drawing up plans about how the US is going to check China and prevent her emergence as a power beyond US control. The Republican presidential candidate has boasted that he will challenge Russia and bring Putin to heel.

Amazing. The world’s greatest debtor is going to take on the two powerful countries with the largest trade surpluses. According to the World Factbook, an annual publication of the CIA, Russia’s 2007 current account surplus is $465 billion and China’s is $363 billion. In contrast, the US current account deficit is $987 billion--an amount larger that the total deficits of all other countries in the world combined. The out-of-pocket and already incurred future cost of Bush’s wars of aggression is between $3 and $5 trillion, every dollar of which must be borrowed. That comes on top of the unfunded liabilities of the US government totaling $53 trillion. By any account the US is the world’s worst credit risk. The “mighty” US relies on foreigners to finance its consumption, its wars, and the daily operations of its government.

When Buchanan looks at the collection of idiots that comprise America’s ruling class, he despairs.

In truth, American power is already broken, and the country is already lost.

The country is lost, because the brownshirt Bush Regime has destroyed the US Constitution with the complicity of the opposition party and the federal courts. There is no organized power that can restore the Constitution or even much concern that it has been overthrown.

The country is broken, because American capitalists have moved offshore so many US manufacturing, engineering, and research jobs that US imports now exceed US industrial production. American dependency on imported manufactured goods, advanced technology goods, and energy is astounding.

Moreover, the dependency is escalating dramatically. In March 2002, prior to Bush’s decision to impose Israel’s will on the Middle East, oil was $25 a barrel. Today oil is $125 a barrel, a five-fold increase that has seen our oil import bill rise from $145 billion in 2006 to $456 billion presently, a $300 billion addition to a trade deficit that was already running $700-$800 billion annually.

There is no possibility of the US closing its trade deficit. The US is able to survive such enormous deficits only because the US dollar is the world reserve currency. This role for the dollar is nearing an end as the world looks for more stable stores of value. Although oil is still nominally priced in dollars, in reality it is being priced in euros as oil producers raise the dollar price with a view to keeping their oil revenues at a constant purchasing power in euros.

When the dollar loses its reserve currency role, foreign financing for US trade and budget deficits will evaporate. US living standards will collapse, and the indispensable omnipower will be just another washed up country.

For a world weary of “American exceptionalism,” this can’t happen too soon