Tuesday, November 13, 2007

“All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” - Jesus, Sermon on the Mount

I find it absolutely unbelievable how so many commentators, even ‘liberal, open minded’ commentators, buy into the CW (Common Wisdom). Perhaps it is because it is repeated so very often by the MSM (Main Stream Media), without any question. After all, all the ‘Village elders’ keep telling us, “I heard it in the media so that makes it so.” Let me delve into this with a few concrete examples.

Lately I’ve had several e-mail exchanges with a couple of ‘liberal’ commentators regarding the malfeasance of the Bush I, Clinton and Bush II administrations in the context of Yugoslavia and the intentional malicious pillorying of the Serbian people. Immediately I was attacked, knee jerk fashion, having all manner of specious, vacuous propaganda talking points that had been manufactured by the MSM and the various administrations to ‘justify’ their positions thrown at me. Yet, every time I have provided numerous links to articles and information that totally debunk these talking points (much as the ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ argument has been dismantled in Iraq), without exception, the e-mail exchanges ceased abruptly. This even though the sources I linked to were hardly partisan Serb sources (such as Diana Johnstone, Edward Herman, David Peterson, etc.). I’m fairly certain that none of these e-mailers who assailed me have troubled themselves to even follow the links provided, much less do any real research on their own. C’est la vie!

Then, there is a rather well read, well rounded liberal commentator on the radio/internet. I must admit, he and I do truly agree on many topics and I find him to be rather thoughtful. However, one of his several blind spots is that he loves to bang on about the ‘wonderful’ color revolutions in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He endlessly lauds the ‘Bulldozer revolution’ in Serbia in 2000, the ‘Rose Revolution’ in Georgia in 2003, the ‘Orange Revolution’ in Ukraine in 2004, the ‘Tulip Revolution’ in Kyrgyzstan in 2005 as well as the failed ‘Denim Revolution’ in Belarus in 2005.

Gee, I wonder what this self same commentator would have to say if some foreign country, let’s say China, were to provide 100s of millions of dollars to some dissident groups in the U.S. (like the Black Panthers of the 1960s and early 1970s), provided millions of dollars more in equipment, facilities and services, provided cadre and training for how to destabilize the government? I vividly recall the apoplexy that was suffered by the reich wing nuts on the imaginary political contributions by the Chinese to the Democrats. Just how much more agitated do you think any sane commentator, right or left, were the initial scenario to be played out? Yet, that is exactly what has happened in ALL the various ‘color revolutions’ cited above. Most of the personnel, materials and training were provided by NED (National Endowment for Democracy, “…a U.S. non-profit organization that was founded in 1983, to promote democracy by providing cash grants funded primarily through an annual allocation from the U.S. Congress.” In addition to the NED there is also the IRI (International Republican Institute) "...an organization, funded by United States government, that conducts international political programs, sometimes labeled 'democratization programs'." Wikipedia Yet, by gosh, with about as much truthfulness and sincerity as the toppling of Saddam’s statue in Baghdad, this particular (and other commentators) regurgitate this schlock and the mind numbed proles lap it up like a baby bird swallowing it’s parents’ regurgitata. Sigh!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blame America First…or Blame America NEVER?

I am weary on to death of constantly hearing from reichwing nutters, every time anyone levels any criticism at U.S. policies.
One corollary of this inane argument is the accusation that any criticism of Israeli policies somehow automatically makes one an ‘anti-Semite’. Let’s deconstruct these two arguments simultaneously but separately.

To suggest that criticism of U.S. policy somehow makes one “anti-American” is ludicrous. A policy, any policy, is not the country, much like a flag is a symbol and not the embodiment of the country by any stretch of the imagination. To suggest otherwise is to insist that, for example, an actor is his role By this inane standard, Sir Anthony Hopkins should be incarcerated and restrained like this:

1. Because he played Dr. Hannibal Lechter! If you think about it for even a moment, you can see how ludicrous this is. Of course, if we actually take to heart that the U.S. is actually a “...government of the people, by the people, for the people...”, then we truly must take responsibility for those policies, which necessitates that we criticize policies of the government with which we disagree. If we don’t, then we are responsible for such policies and all the attendant consequences and blowback.

2. In the case of Israel, simply due to the fact that one may take issue with any particular, or even all, policies of the Israeli state cannot in any way realistically be said to be, per se, evidence of anti-Semitism. As is, unfortunately, the case in the U.S., the policies of the state of Israel are not necessarily congruent with the population of Israel. For example, the entirety of the population of Israel do not agree with the settlement project, just as the entirety of the U.S. polity does not agree with the present occupation of Iraq.

3. The main thrust of both groups, the “Blame America First!” reichwing nutters and the “Oppose Israeli policies = anti-Semite”, is to equate disagreement, criticism or even questioning as equivalent to absolute antithesis. The “Blame America First!” crowd, in particular, takes the position that every policy of the U.S., past, present and future, is always right, never to be questioned. However, when one brings up such unsettling questions as the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Native Americans, the chattel slavery of African Americans, the brutal treatment of various immigrant groups (“No Irish need apply”, “No Dogs or Irishmen Allowed”, etc., etc., etc.,), these self same chest thumping uber-patriots dismiss all such behaviors, repeated time and time and time again in our history as ‘aberrations’. Aberrant, as defined by Merriam-Webster is a: “straying from the right or normal way”. However, if a behavior is repeated over and over and over it is no longer a “straying from the right or normal way”; it is the normal way.

In conclusion, it is of utmost importance that, on every occasion when confronted by those who try to denigrate any opinion contrary to the reichwing CW and their own, that we try to educate them to their own ignorance (i.e., “the state or fact of being ignorant : lack of knowledge, education, or awareness”). Please be gentle in your instruction; most of these nutters simply don’t understand the depths of their own ignorance and the shock of having to deal with reality could push these poor delusional dingbats right over the edge.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Lack of Logic and Civility in Discourse…on the ‘Liberal’ Left?

An e-mail discourse with an acquaintance who is a ‘liberal’ Democrat, which started cordially enough, was abruptly terminated once I started challenging some of his internalized memes. Sadly, it is not just this particular acquaintance but many, many other ‘liberal’ Democrats who fall back on the memes generated by the Clinton Administration.

In the second of his e-mails, he points to a State Department Report on Kosovo from 1999 and says:

“According to the State Department, at least 90%(!) of the entire 1998 Kosovar Albanian population were forcibly expelled from their home

Perhaps you dispute this, but this strikes me as justifying NATO's war.

I find his statement that “…this strikes me as justifying NATO's war.” disquieting on a variety of levels. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t the then head of the National Security Council and now Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, make the rounds of the Sunday talk shows prior to this Administration’s attack on Iraq, bruiting the meme of “…we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." And yet, after our attack upon Iraq and a most thorough search for that ‘smoking gun’, no such weapons were found. But, according to the ‘reasoning’ of my acquaintance, that statement of Ms. Rice ‘justified’ the Bush Administration attack on Iraq.

Further, this acquaintance is an attorney by trade. Therefore, the idea of there being any ‘justification’ for a war other than a UNSC resolution or serious threat of an imminent attack is totally farcical! This is akin to the nonsensical notion, arrived at by the British parliamentary Foreign Affairs Select Committee, that:

"The NATO military intervention was illegal but legitimate. It was illegal because it did not receive prior approval from the United Nations Security Council...."

The internal illogic of the first sentence is simply stunning! The first definition in the dictionary of the word ‘legitimate’ is: “Being in compliance with the law; lawful: a legitimate business.” So, the ‘great minds’ of the cruise missile Left have had to come up with a sentence that is totally and completely self-contradictory! How can something, anything, be both ‘illegal’ and yet ‘legitimate’?

Yet, this ‘liberal’ Democratic acquaintance would be, and to my knowledge has been at the forefront of decrying Bush’s illegal attack on Iraq because he, too, never bothered to get the imprimatur of the UNSC.

Also, many ‘liberals’ laud such as Gen. Wesley Clark as being ‘honorable men’ while decrying such as Gen. Petreaus as being a ‘war criminal’ and a ‘political general’. And yet one of Gen. Clark’s direct subordinates, Lt. Gen. Michael Short, NATO’s air war commander said:

“Lt-Gen Short told the New York Times Yugoslav civilians had to be made to suffer. “I think no power to your refrigerator, no gas to your stove, you can't get to work because the bridge is down -- the bridge on which you held your rock concerts and you all stood with targets on your heads. That needs to disappear at three o'clock in the morning.” As for targets in Kosovo, Lt-Gen Short said he wanted to “take the monkey off the (bomber's) back.”

Yet, far too many ‘liberals’ laud NATO’s air war on Yugoslavia as a ‘humanitarian’ war. Odd, agitating explicitly for the commission of heinous war crimes hardly seems to fit the definition of ‘humanitarian’! And, it should be noted here that, even excepting NATO’s attack on the Chinese Embassy (an act of war, by any definition), there were far, far too many attacks on obviously civilian structures (hospitals, water purification systems, power systems, schools, private residences) to be classed as ‘collateral damage’. By the way, the definition of ‘collateral’ is: Of a secondary nature; subordinate.

As far as Gen. Wesley Clark himself was concerned, he presided over the massive use of Depleted Uranium weapons during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. As to his being a ‘political’ general, he was “…in charge of NATO's "spin" in the Yugoslavia bombardment. Clark called the destruction of a Yugoslav train filled with civilians by a NATO missile "an uncanny accident." He said the same each time that NATO bombed civilian targets, which happened frequently.” ~ “Gen. Wesley Clark: War Criminal” By MITCHEL COHEN And yet, to this day, he is reverently deferred to as some kind of ‘honorable’ man whose opinions and judgments should be taken seriously.

Again, it needs to be pointed out, simply because Clinton and his administration are, in comparison to the Bush administration, better, that is hardly something to be proud of. A band of syphilitic chimps would show themselves superior to this administration.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

“And isn't it ironic... don't you think?”

“An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
And isn't it ironic... don't you think?”
“Ironic” ~ Alanis Morrissette

Hmmm, yes, isn’t it ironic? To hear so-called ‘conservatives’ braying to high heaven that the federal government spend endlessly on endless wars and occupations? Isn’t it ironic to hear a Republican Congressman (Tom Davis, R-VA) defending a woman (Lurita Doan, GSA Administrator under G.W. Bush) from attacks by Democrats purportedly on the basis of her race? Photo of Lurita Doan

There were myriad references as to Ms. Doan’s race, primarily by the Republicans. The Republicans were chiding the Democrats for their ‘attacks’ on Ms. Doan, criticizing the Democrats for the ‘racial insensitivity’. Allow me to dredge up reference up from the naphthalene. In 1961 a book was released entitled ‘Black Like Me’. It was written by a white man (John Howard Griffin) who temporarily had his skin chemically blackened and then toured the South to experience life in the Deep South as experienced by a black man. It was a sobering experience. The reason why I linked a picture of Ms. Doan above is simple. At the time that that book came out, Ms. Doan could, and probably would, have ‘passed’. ‘Passing’ was used by many light colored blacks in the days of segregation to enable them to access what were normal amenities to white people of the time yet denied to blacks. I saw the Congressional hearings where Ms. Doan was being questioned. First, I had a hard time understanding what the Republicans, i.e., Rep. Tom Davis, were talking about when he kept bringing up Lurita Doan’s ‘race’. Obviously, it was of some import to Rep. Davis albeit I certainly didn’t see or hear any racially based attacks on Ms. Doan from Rep. Conyers or other Democratic African American representatives. Isn‘t it ironic?

Isn’t it ironic how ‘conservative’ Republicans insist on propounding their so-called ‘family values’ upon the rest of society, even in light of the most glaring lack of such among their own number? Isn’t it ironic how these self-appointed arbiters of public morals, ‘Christianity’, ‘decent’ behavior and conduct show, time and time and time again, that they themselves are most lacking in any of these?

As some have suggested, I do believe that 911 may well have torn a hole in the space time continuum; since that day in 2001, wrong has now become right, honesty and fair dealing have become deceit and treachery, morality has become the rankest of immorality. Isn’t it ironic?

Update: Well hush my mouth! Smell the utter hypocrisy! When I heard news on August 17, 2007 that Jenna Bush was engaged to be married, I was mildly amused. However, when I heard all the news commentators asking if there would be a White House wedding I was mildly surprised. After all, engagements quite frequently last a good while. Seems there may be a reason as to why all the commentators were speculating about the rather rapid marriage of Ms. Jenna. Click on this link and look carefully at Jenna (she's on the left). Seems that the daughter of "President Abstinence-Only-Sex-Education" may well be pregnant and so the need for a shotgun wedding. Will it be Uncle Darth Cheney bringing up the rear with the shotgun?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Slouching toward Gomorrah…or Fascism?

In 1996 former Supreme Court nominee, Robert H. Bork, authored his dystopian vision of modern Western society, “Slouching toward Gomorrah”. A thumbnail sketch of that book’s thesis, according to Wikipedia:

“Bork's thesis in the book is that American and more generally Western culture is in a state of decline and that the cause of this decline is modern liberalism and the rise of the New Left. Specifically, he attacks modern liberalism for what he describes as its dual emphases on radical egalitarianism and radical individualism.”
It is indisputable that Bork and his like-minded cohort, virtually all of the hard reich wing and neocons, detest the very idea of egalitarianism for this, of necessity, diminishes their perception of their own imagined superiority. Individualism is perceived as being fine for the exalted class (of course, Bork and his fellow travelers belong to this class) while it is anathema for the unwashed masses. This goes almost without saying.

For Bork and his reich wing cohort, egalitarianism is fine among those in the ‘lower classes’, however, it should never even be suggested that there is any equality whatsoever between the lumpenproletariat and the ‘masters of the universe’ class to which the reich wing belong.

Just as the concept of egalitarianism is all well and good (as long as it is confined strictly and solely to the lumpenproletariat), the concept of individualism is to be kept as the strict domain of the uber class. Yes, it is all well and good to be ‘quirky’, ‘peculiar’, ‘idiosyncratic’ or ‘unpredictable’ if one is a member of the anointed ‘elite’, however, to even try to imagine oneself as a unique and valuable entity for one of the despised lumpenproletariat is heresy of the highest order. If members of the lumpenproletariat began to see and value themselves as individuals deserving of value and respect, why chaos would ensue! It would become ever so much more difficult for the ‘elite’ managerial class to sell whatever predigested pablum to the masses that was in the ‘elite’s’ interest.

Rather than ‘slouching toward Gomorrah’, as Bork suggests, it seems far more evident that we are, as a nation and a society, ‘slouching toward fascism’. As was pointed out by the father of modern fascism, Benito Mussolini:

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

In the minds of the über class, every combination of corporate power is to be applauded, nay, even aided by the State at each and every turn. Massive state sponsored corporate welfare, relaxation of any and all regulations, even the selection of ‘corporate leaders’ to head governmental regulatory agencies and boards is to be celebrated. However, the very thought of allowing, permitting or enabling members of the lumpen to in any way combine to better their lot, be it through unions, collective bargaining or any other conceivable means of self organization is simply beyond the pale.

As is obvious to any who have eyes to see and a mind to cogitate, at least since the time of Reagan, the American society has been going ‘back to the future’. Hard won workers’ rights have been eviscerated, anti-monopoly statutes have either been repealed or simply remain totally unenforced. The Supreme Court, at least since the Burger court, has been drifting reichward. Since the ascension of Rehnquist, followed now by Roberts and with the addition of Alito, that reichward drift has become a very sharp turn to starboard indeed. Individual rights, workers’ rights, minority rights have all suffered severely. Under Rehnquist and Roberts, the rights of property, capital and the State have far outpaced and displaced the rights of workers’, minorities and the common man.

So, the cogent question is, are we ‘slouching toward Gomorrah’ or have we been ‘slouching toward fascism’? To this writer, that ‘slouching toward fascism’ has turned into an all out sprint.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Scooter and Martha and Paris, Oh My!
An examination of ‘justice’ for the rich and especially the powerful

Unless one were in a coma over the last 3 months it would be impossible to miss the myriad stories on Paris Hilton, especially the manufactured furor over her release from jail after a total of one day. Many of the loudest haranguers were from the retributive punitive conservatives, oddly enough, the very same group who howled the loudest over Scooter Libby’s conviction and applauded the loudest at the commutation of his sentence.

What is often missed in all the fulminating over the ‘light’ treatment of Paris Hilton is the following:
  1. The ‘crime’ for which Paris was convicted was a misdemeanor; literally, “An offense less serious than a felony.”;
  2. Paris was jailed for ‘operating a vehicle on a suspended license’; not DWI, not for an accident involving property damage or personal injury;
  3. With the immense and intense degree of jail overcrowding, it is illogical to jail someone who poses virtually no danger of flight.
  4. A sentence of ‘home detention’ would have been more than sufficient a punishment, especially for a notorious ‘party girl’ who would have been put ‘out of the loop’ for the time of her detention.
In the case of Martha Stewart the ‘common knowledge’ is that she was convicted and imprisoned for violating SEC rules. Of course, like the large percent of the American public who still believe that Saddam Hussein was guilty of either planning or funding the 911 terrorists, this ‘common knowledge’ is wrong. What Martha Stewart was actually convicted of was of lying to the FBI. This was not lying to a grand jury. This was not perjury on the stand. In both those cases, the offense is lying while under oath! In Martha’s case, the misstatements or lies were made to the FBI during an interview; not in a deposition, not a court action, but an interview with the FBI. As opposed to depositions and court actions, Martha did not have a chance to review her records and could, very plausibly, have made a mistake in recollection, a defense far less plausible in a deposition, grand jury appearance or a trial.

In the case of the infamous Scooter Libby, he was actually convicted of multiple instances of perjury and obstruction of justice. The reichwing echo chamber’s spurious claim that ‘there was no underlying crime’ is simply fallacious and fanciful. By that self same standard, the perjury which formed the basis for the impeachment of Bill Clinton was indeed perjury which did not rest on any ‘underlying crime’. The lie in deposition of Bill Clinton was of a personal nature and involved a consensual sexual encounter and there was no crime or possible crime that this lie was made to obscure. Scooter Libby, by contrast, lied under oath to a grand jury so as to obstruct a criminal investigation and so committed repeated acts of perjury which are felonies.

Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby is a continuation of Scooter’s obstruction of justice. Now that Scooter has been freed of the possibility of becoming 350 lb. Bubba’s girlfriend in prison, he has absolutely no motivation to reveal the identities of those above him in the chain of command who were involved in or perhaps even initiated the release of top secret information the release of which seriously compromised national security.

In summation what we see is that simply being rich and notorious, like Paris Hilton and Martha Stewart, is not sufficient to have relatively innocuous charges treated appropriately. In fact, the notoriety of the two women may well have led to their cases being treated disproportionately harshly. In Paris’s case we have a bubble headed bleached blonde being treated like a hardened criminal. In Martha’s case we have a high visibility, powerful woman who, interestingly enough, was a Democrat, being treated much more harshly than Republican ‘white collar’ criminals whose crimes were far more egregious and resulted in far wider damage to the public at large. In the case of I. Scooter Libby, convicted of multiple serious felonies, the underlying crimes that he was perjuring himself to cover seriously damaging the intelligence community and national security, he will get to go scot-free; not even serving as much jail time as Paris did even at the time of her first, premature, release.

So, the motto must be: “Being rich is wonderful. Being famous is nice. Knowing where the bodies are buried…priceless!”

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In the Footsteps of Whom?

After watching a number of "Star Wars" commemorations, it dawned on me. We, as a human society, have gone from this:

to this:

and now to this:

and this:

In the eyes of the world, at the very least since America's Iraq Attack (and, arguably, longer) we are now treading in the footsteps of storm troopers of yore.

Though the vast majority of the media, even some 'liberal' media, continue to blither and blather about 'our brave troops, protecting our way of life', the simple fact is that Bush, unwittingly (how else!) actually spoke the truth on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003 when he stated that "combat operations in Iraq had ended." The simple truth is, the 'War in Iraq' had ended. From that point onward, it was no longer a 'war'; it was an occupation, pure and simple.

Why won't we call it an 'occupation'? There are a multitude of reasons. For one, in an occupation the occupier has many obligations under international law, none of which have we adhered to. Another is it is very much a different thing to tell the grieving relatives "Your beloved died fighting for this country." than "Your beloved died in an illegal occupation of a sovereign foreign country."

Please remember, the German people were also told that their relatives in the Wehrmacht were fighting to protect them, all the while the Wehrmacht were occupying foreign lands, killing foreign civilians, and destroying foreign infrastructure. Are we, in any material way, different from Wehrmacht troops in the Soviet Union, France, or Poland? We should think about it seriously.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Media Blindness

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”
Upton Sinclair

Today, in light of the blatantly obvious failure of the MSM* over at least the last 6 years and, arguably, since the inception of the Reagan administration, it is more than necessary to reflect on the above quote by Upton Sinclair.

It is obvious to any but the most Kool Aid saturated conservative/neocon camp followers that the MSM has fallen flat on its face during virtually the entirety of the GW Bush administration. We have the blatant examples of Judy Miller’s “reporting” leading up to the Iraq invasion. However, just as obviously we have the outright ‘cheerleading’ of those ‘liberal’ pillars of the MSM, the New York Times and the Washington Post, preceding the invasion and continuing mostly to this day of the Iraq occupation (let us not mince words here). What’s even more horrifying is the current war whooping of the self same ‘liberal’ pillars (and, obviously, most of the rest of the MSM) pushing for ‘firm action’ against Iran, up to and including the ‘limited’ use of nuclear weapons!

Why is this so? Especially in light of the MSM’s glaringly obvious errors with regard to the entire Iraq debacle; the ready acceptance of the existence of Iraqi ‘WMD’, the unquestioned reliance on questionable statements issued by the Administration, the conjured ‘ties’ to Al-Qaeda, the acceptance of fairy tales of Iraqi involvement of 9/11? Again, Sinclair’s quote gives us the answer. The Establishment media has degenerated into little more than a mouthpiece and megaphone for the Establishment itself. The incestuous relationship between the ‘media elite’ and their primary sources, the ‘political elite’ virtually precludes any serious adverse questioning of the ‘political elite’. Ditto for any serious questioning of any current ‘common knowledge’. If the ‘accepted’ political/media meme is that “Iraq has and continues to develop WMD.”, then the MSM (and especially the pillars of the Establishment media, be it print or electronic) firmly slams the door marked ‘Case Closed’ on any dissonant opinion which runs contrary to that meme.

Now, lest the ‘liberals’ out there in the audience start clapping and shouting, “Yeah, that’s right!”, let us recall that that ‘liberal’ darling, Slick Willy Clinton, though harassed and harangued by the MSM for his personal failings (and they indeed were myriad), was given as much a free pass as GW Bush has been in undermining the Constitution (let’s not forget that many of the provisions that were included in the Patriot Act were elucidated during the Clinton Administration), the beginning of the destruction of civil liberties in the US (starting with the raid on the compound at Waco and proceeding thru the "The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996" and thence to the extraordinarily harsh "Immigration and Nationality Act" of 1996). Though harassed, harangued and harried about truly inconsequential private indiscretions, the MSM was in the main either mute or approving of all the above mentioned acts that were so very deleterious of civil liberties in this country and, in point of fact, laid many a foundation for the further destruction of civil liberties that are so egregious a mark of the present administration.

But, perhaps the single most obvious example of Establishment and Establishment Media (MSM) perfidy and disingenuousness was the entire frame and reporting on the situation in the now late Yugoslavia. Granted, the first explicit bricks in this wall of perfidy were laid by the Bush I administration in December of 1991 when the U.S. followed Germany’s lead in illegally recognizing the breakaway republics of Slovenia and Croatia during the Maastricht Treaty negotiations. Illegal due to the fact that such recognition was in blatant violation of the Helsinki Final Act to which all, the U.S., the European Union countries and Yugoslavia were all signatory. The Helsinki Final Act in pertinent part states:

“III. Inviolability of frontiers
The participating States regard as inviolable all one another's frontiers as well as the frontiers of all States in Europe and therefore they will refrain now and in the future from assaulting these frontiers.

Accordingly, they will also refrain from any demand for, or act of, seizure and usurpation of part or all of the territory of any
participating State.

IV. Territorial integrity of States
The participating States will respect the territorial integrity of each of the participating States.

Accordingly, they will refrain from any action inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations against the territorial integrity, political independence or the unity of any participating State, and in particular from any such action constituting a threat or use of force.

The participating States will likewise refrain from making each other's territory the object of military occupation or other direct or indirect measures of force in contravention of international law, or
the object of acquisition by means of such measures or the threat of them. No such occupation or acquisition will be recognized as legal.”

However, the unilateral ‘recognition’ by ”the West” of the breakaway republics of Slovenia and Croatia was, quite obviously, a violation of both the ‘Inviolability of frontiers’ and the ‘Territorial integrity of States’ cited above. For those wishing to get a better understanding of this complex question, please read the entirety of the Helsinki Final Act here.

Perhaps most egregious was the full court press of the media, from the very outset, for ‘advocacy journalism’ and totally eschewing traditional even handed, fact based journalism. Perhaps ‘first among equals’ in the advocacy journalism field was Christiane Amanpour. The matchless Ms. Amanpour started from her own personal bias as both an Iranian elite and a Muslim. From the outset every claim of Alija Izetbegovic’s Muslim ‘government’, no matter how outlandish, no matter how inflammatory, no matter on the absence of evidence, was transmitted by Amanpour and her myriad imitators as absolute and proved truth. Much if not most Western, especially U.S. ‘reporting’ done during the Bosnian War was done from the environs of Sarajevo, capital of the Izetbegovic government. This is akin to the ‘reporting’ coming to us from the Green Zone in Baghdad today. When infrequent excursions were outside of Sarajevo the media was always supplied with Muslim interpreters (since, as in Iraq, no one spoke the local language nor knew much if anything of the local history and culture). It was primarily on the basis of such egregiously biased reporting that the Clinton administration (not unlike the early days of happy news coming from Iraq) made much of its Balkan policy.

It should be noted here that GW Bush simply built on Bill Clinton’s horrendous example of illegal war (Clinton, like GW Bush, received NO Security Council imprimatur to launch his illegal war on Yugoslavia). Granted and admitted, GW bush’s illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been larger disasters than Clinton’s 78 day bombardment of Serbia in 1999.

It also begs to be noted here that in the entire mess in Yugoslavia, the MSM cleaved to the Clinton (Amanpour, CNN) line every bit as closely as it did to GW Bush’s line, particularly in the run up to war and the early days of the occupation.

In conclusion we should note, the ownership of the MSM (which, thanks to Bill Clinton’s “Telecommunications Act of 1996”) has shrunken to a very few corporate hands. With the media consolidating into fewer and fewer hands (virtually all of whom have business before the FCC) the ‘news’ will continue to be heavily massaged and will continue, inexorably, to follow the stinking winds emanating from the cesspool that is Washington, D.C. and the corporatists that are our true masters.
*MSM - Main Stream Media

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gravel Won’t Be Buried

Mike Gravel, anti-war ex-Senator from Alaska, was the big surprise at the 4/26/2007 Democratic Presidential Candidates debate.

read more | digg story

Sunday, February 04, 2007

AmeriKKKa as Mr. Magoo

Just for a bit of context for those who are not acquainted with or don’t remember Mr. Magoo:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mr. Quincy Magoo is a cartoon character created by John Hubley in 1949, for UPA. Hubley based the character on his former professor Francis Peabody Magoun, who bore some physical resemblance to the character. Voiced by Jim Backus (also famed in popular culture for his role as Thurston Howell III in the 1960s sitcom "Gilligan's Island"), Quincy Magoo is a wealthy, short-statured retiree who gets into a series of sticky situations as a result of his nearsightedness, compounded by his stubborn refusal to admit the problem, in which the affected people (or animals) think that he is a lunatic, rather than just being near-sighted.

Additionally, though not noted in the Wikipedia reference, at the end of each miraculous episode where, through sheer dumb luck or fortuitous happenstance Magoo emerges unscathed (though often causing immense havoc in his wake) he would wryly comment to himself, “Magoo! You’ve done it again!”

I recently saw a Mr. Magoo cartoon again when, at the end of the cartoon Magoo is congratulating himself, that it struck me: AmeriKKKa IS Mr. Magoo!

At the very least since the post WWII period, as AmerKKKa has bestrode the world stage as one of the pre-eminent world powers (and, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, as THE single world hyper power), she has been evincing the same near totally blind, blundering mien of Mr. Magoo, less his much more benign character. What do I mean? Let us count merely a few of the ways.
  1. Iran - 1953 Because Mohammad Mossadegh, the legally and legitimately elected Prime Minister of Iran was determined to claim a more reasonable percentage of the oil revenues for Iran (and because he had enforced the Parliament’s nationalization decree against the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (later to become British Petroleum, BP) the British determined that Mossadegh must go and a more pliant ruler (who in this case was Shah Reza Pahlavi) must be installed. So Operation Ajax was born. Through a variety of clandestine operations and maneuvers (led by Kermit Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt’s grandson), a coup was fomented and the Shah was installed. And, it worked. For 26 years. At which time the Shah was forced to flee Iran and was replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeni. At which time the American Embassy was attacked by a mob of enraged (due to US involvement in overthrow of Mossadegh and our unquestioning support of the Shah) Iranian students and the embassy staff was taken hostage and kept so for 444 days. In 1953 like Magoo we wryly commented to ourselves, “Magoo! You’ve done it! (This being the first CIA overthrow) So, just like Mr. Magoo, we blithered and blundered into the internal affairs of Iran and so created a monstrous situation that has plagued us ever since.

    2. Guatemala - 1954 Following our glowing ‘success’ in Iran in 1953, the CIA, at the behest of United Fruit, went back to its bag of tricks seeking to overthrow the legal President, Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. This they managed to do and, again in the words of Wikipedia, “…was ousted in a coup d'état organized by the US Central Intelligence Agency, known as Operation PBSUCCESS, and was replaced by a military junta, headed by Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, plunging the country into chaos and long-lasting political turbulence. [emphasis added]

    Time skip; numerous other ill advised interventions yielding, at best, temporary benefits but long term damage. Now that I’ve whet your appetites, I commend you to do a little solo research, don’t want you to think I’m picking and choosing here.

    3. Iraq - 1990 The manufactured crisis that became ‘Desert Storm’ (the Gulf War) and began the murderous chain of events that has led to the incomparable disaster that is Iraq today.

    Prior to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein (who had been a long term CIA asset and who had been heavily aided by the U.S. during the 8 year long bloodletting that was the Iran-Iraq War) had consulted with U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie to clarify the U.S. position on Iraq’s ‘occupation’ of Kuwait. Kuwait had been slant-drilling into Iraq’s oil reservoirs and was being extremely unwilling to even negotiate with Iraq on these matters and certainly weren’t about to stop stealing Iraq’s oil (primarily because they had been encouraged by G.H.W. Bush to stand firm; America would ‘protect’ them). Ambassador Glaspie was instructed to state that: "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America."(Wikipedia)

    Upon receiving the above apparent ‘blessing’ of the United States, Saddam ‘invaded’ Kuwait to terminate their slant drilling practices (and to extract some payback for the oil that had been stolen in the period prior. It was this invasion of Kuwait that provided G.H.W. Bush his causus belli for the initiation of ‘Desert Storm’.

    4. Yugoslavia - 1991-1999 Even though Yugoslavia’s internal affairs had been meddled with at least since the Reagan Administration, part of the Reagan Administration’s worldwide war with the ‘Evil Empire’, the real disaster began during the G.H.W. Bush Administration. The Bush I administration cut off all aid for Yugoslavia unless each republic essentially voted to renounce their federation which formed the country of Yugoslavia. This was brought to a head in December 1991 when the newly reunited Germany firmly and insistently backed the secession and recognition of its Nazi era allies, Slovenia and Croatia. Blackmailing the Europeans by holding hostage the negotiations in Maastricht to form the European Union and pressuring the Bush I administration, the European Community jointly and severally violated international law in the form of the Helsinki Final Act which guaranteed the “inviolability of national borders and respect for territorial integrity”. (Wikipedia) All of the members of the EC (future EU), Yugoslavia and the United States were all signatories of the Helsinki Final Act and were bound by this treaty.

    This pattern was continued with the 1992 recognition of Bosnia as a sovereign nation, again in violation of the Helsinki Final Act.

    A detailed description of the continued and repeated violations of international laws would require a paper in and of itself. Suffice it to say that the period 1991-1999 in Yugoslavia was a study in blunder, bombast, and simple unadulterated lunacy on the part of Albright, Blair, Clinton and the West. Without any understanding of the recent history, language, culture of the peoples that made up Yugoslavia, the West and particularly the U.S. were blinded by domestic political concerns as well as a heretofore unseen campaign of biased propaganda and PR.

    In the final analysis, due to the continual blundering intervention of the West (i.e., U.S.), 2 Muslim dominated states were established in the heart of Europe (Bosnia and Kosovo) and provided a haven and a training area for several of the 9/11 hijackers. Blowback is a bitch.

    5. Iraq - 2003 We have come almost full circle. Again, as was the case in Bosnia and Kosovo (see above) on the basis of manufactured casus belli, manufactured ‘intelligence’ and just plain lies, G.W. Bush (Bush II) invaded Iraq. Though combat operations were concluded by May, 2003, Mr. Magoo’s AmeriKKKA has deluded itself into believing that a war is still being fought (true, 650,000 Iraqis have expired as well as 3,000 Americans) but, this is and has been an occupation, not a war.

    So, just in the extremely short exposition above (note, I have not even touched on such matters as the Korean War, the War in Vietnam, the endless and constant ‘interventions’ by whatever name in Central America) that we have a rather prolific record of blundering, murderous interventions that, even granting the best of all possible intentions, simply do not yield the ‘golden fruit’ the American people are constantly told they will. We are like a blinded bull in a china shop, very adept at wrecking the place and of little or no utility in cleaning up the mess and putting the pieces back together.

    Worse yet, because of this record of truly disastrous intervention, we have lost virtually all the ‘good will’ and kind feelings of people around the world that we had had as late as 1945 (even excepting such ‘minor’ matters as nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki). As each day comes upon us, we are being more and more generally perceived not unlike Nazi Germany in 1939. Not unlike Imperial Japan in 1937 when they committed the Rape of Nanking.

    And, unlike the likable Mr. Magoo, we can no longer say ‘Ah Magoo! You’ve done it again!’ 9/11 has shown us and the world just how much venom we have created worldwide with our hubristic attitude and actions. Care to guess what awaits us?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

“Why Do They Hate Us?”
(Could it be because they see us as Ferengi?)

Etymology: The name "Ferengi" is an Arabic name for European traders, or for Westerners in general. Both the Arabic word and the name are similarly pronounced feringhee. The name is likely derived from the Arabic word faranj or ifranj = "Franks" or possibly the Persian word farangi, meaning "foreigner" or (most likely) the Hindi/Urdu word ferengi, which is a dialectic varietion on the Persian word. In Ethiopia, ferenj or ferenji has the same meaning. The Greeks used Farang or farangi to refer to western Europeans, especially from Catalonia. The Star Trek usage was taken from the above usage.[1] - Wikipedia

Any who have followed the Star Trek series, will instantly recognize the Ferengi as “They and their culture are characterized by a mercantile obsession with profit and trade, and their constant efforts to swindle people into bad deals.” (Wikipedia) Hmmm, any of you out there feeling the ‘shock of recognition’?

After the events of 9/11 perhaps the most asked question by most Americans was a plaintive “Why do they hate us?” Through all the various organs of our culture, educational, mass media, entertainment, we (Americans) are always shown our own visage in the very most complementary aspect possible. Our every action is, according to all of our various media, always and forever motivated from the highest of altruistic motives. Forget the fact that quite often many of our humanitarian ‘contributions’ following disasters have a rather high component of outdated medicines, stale or surplus foodstuffs that would otherwise be written off.

And, unfortunately, this is not a new aspect of our culture, it has been a consistent pattern since our very inception. It has only grown more pronounced with time.

The concept of America as a ‘City upon a hill’ originated with John Winthrop in 1630. Of course, to see ourselves as that ‘city upon a hill’ we Americans have had to constantly and continually gloss over our own history as ethnic cleansers and land thieves par excellence and genocidists that put the Nazi Germans to shame. And yet, even with our undeniable history of persecution and racism we see ourselves as, somehow, a ‘chosen people’ of unparalleled charity and goodness.

Almost from our earliest days, starting at least with the ‘Monroe Doctrine’ of 1823, we have arrogated to ourselves a ‘special relationship’ with the other countries in our hemisphere. It has been interpreted, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, to ‘empower’ the U.S. to act as a hemispheric ‘policeman’. This policing has usually involved invasion and garrisoning of our chosen target, usually to extract raw materials from the countries at first and then to shape the internal economies and cultures of those countries and societies, always to U.S. or corporate benefit.

We have systematically overthrown regimes not to our liking and replaced them with tractable puppets/dictators who we allowed to monstrously oppress their own populations as long as they danced to the tune played in Washington or various corporate boardrooms. By installing/supporting such Washington lackeys who oppressed their own people, we have created a large and growing tsunami of hatred and disgust among the populations of the world (Papa Doc’s, Shahs, Mobutus, etc., too numerous to mention are not the people; they are the bought and paid for lackeys) .

“Why do they hate us?” Rather than plaintively wail such nonsense, it might do us well to wipe the fog of self-adoration from the mirror and take a long, hard look.
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