Belaboring the Obvious

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Knuckleheads on Parade

The Georgie, Donny and Dickie Show is in full swing (or, more accurately, in a full frontal assault on logic and sensibility).

In back-to-back appearances at the VFW national convention in Reno (good place for talk about gambling on war), both Cheney and Rummy made death-defying leaps from the high board of unilateral war-mongering into a bathtub full of bullshit.


This enemy has a set of beliefs -- and we saw the expression of those beliefs in the rule of the Taliban. They seek to impose a dictatorship of fear, under which every man, woman, and child lives in total obedience to a narrow and hateful ideology. This ideology rejects tolerance, denies freedom of conscience, and demands that women be pushed to the margins of our society. Such beliefs can be imposed only through force and intimidation, so those who refuse to bow to the tyrants will be brutalized or killed -- and no person or group is exempt.

This enemy also has a set of clear objectives. The terrorists want to end all American and Western influence in the Middle East. Their goal in that region is to seize control of a country so they have a base from which to launch attacks and to wage war against governments that do not meet their demands. The terrorists believe that by controlling one country, they will be able to target and overthrow other governments in the region, and ultimately to establish a totalitarian empire that encompasses a region from Spain, across North Africa, through the Middle East and South Asia, all the way around to Indonesia.

This sounds so much like psychological projection that it's scary. Substitute "U.S." for "enemy" and "terrorists" and you've got the Bush/Rummy/Cheney game plan to take over the world.

Rummy (in his warm-up at NAS Fallon):

"The important question is not whether we can win. Of course we will win," he said. "The real question is will we have the will to persevere. Whether we have the grit to carry on."


"The constant drumbeat of things they say, all of which is not true, is harmful, it is cumulative," Rumsfeld said. "It does weaken people's will, and lessen their determination, and that is worrisome."


"We should have no illusion … how Iraq fits into the war on terror," Rumsfeld said. "How can so many be debating this issue? It strikes me the answer is there for all to see."

Rummy has really hit the militarism trail, visiting NAS Fallon (Top Gun school) in Nevada and the VFW convention in Reno on Monday, along with the American Legion convention in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, splashing ever more delusional bs out of that tub he landed in:

We are truly fortunate to have a leader of resolve at a time of war. Through all the challenges, he remains the same man who stood atop the rubble of lower Manhattan, with a bullhorn, vowing to fight back; the leader who told a grieving nation that we will never forget what was lost; and the determined President who works every day to fulfill his vow to bring the enemy to justice or to bring justice to the enemy.

Oh, please.... President Pull My Finger is just so fucking serious-minded. Yeah, right.

Rummy goes on to blame the press for everything bad in Iraq, and asserts that the terrorists--gee, why don't we all realize it?--are totalitarian fascists out to run the world.

At NAS Fallon, he proved that he fell off the reality bus a long time ago and landed on his head:

"It would be unfortunate if other countries thought that because we have 136,000 troops in Iraq today, that we're not capable of defending our country or doing anything that we might need to do," he said in response to a question about military options for dealing with Iran.

Sure, we can, Don, but what happens the day after we bomb Iran? And the days and weeks after that? We're calling up inactive reserves, the equipment in Iraq is worn out from three years' worth of sand and IEDs, and so are the troops. And, what is this "doing anything that we might need to do" bullshit? I guess that means we also do things that don't have a damned thing to do with defending the country (like making Iraq safe for ExxonMobil and Halliburton).

In the meantime, Bush's White House has nevertheless pushed out its latest product for mindless consumption a little early, through the back door of the House Intelligence Committee. Too bad the wheels came off as it rolled off the assembly line.

All this loose talk is meant to stir up some terrorism fear from its current relative dormancy, and to get the sheep, er, public worked up about attacking Iran. It's not much of a prediction to say that there will be lots more talk about freedom and democracy in the coming weeks, as Election Day approaches, even as the military and the FBI start working on new ways to subvert the Constitution.

Well, knuckleheads, if it's all about freedom and democracy, why didn't we practice on our erstwhile friends in the region, first?

You'd think it would be easier to persuade people we get along with, right? Saudi Arabia. UAE. Bahrain. Qatar. Jordan. Kuwait (hell, you'd think they'd be receptive, at least a little bit, since George's father ranted and raved about the Gulf War being about fighting for democracy, though there is none in Kuwait, then or now).

It would have at least given the Bushies a chance to buff the rust off of some long-unused diplomatic skills.

Georgie's boys and girls have been ranting and raving about the ongoing war in Afghanistan being about women's rights--but have they said word one about women's rights in Saudi Arabia? (Well, apart from Karen Huge's disastrous "listening tour," in which she did a lot more lecturing and hectoring than listening.)

/sound of crickets/

Maybe they've just forgotten completely that bin Laden is a product of the radical religious establishment in... [dopeslap to the Bush forehead] Saudi Arabia. And that it was bin Laden who was happy to see the Taliban take control of Afghanistan--and the Saudis who helped finance that effort.

Well, of course, they've forgotten. Just as they've been trying to get the American public to forget that fifteen of the nineteen hijackers of 9/11 were Saudis.

But, it seems a reasonable question to ask: if we're all hot to bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East, why aren't our presumed friends jumping on the bandwagon?

The obvious answer is that we don't give a shit about freedom and democracy. Those terms have become code words for getting our way, corporately and militarily, wherever in the world we choose. Our friends in the region let us have our way (even Saudi Arabia made a few halting gestures toward defending Israel as it was blasting the shit out of most of Lebanon, until the cousins there decided that there was no sense in creating the conditions for their own demise).

They let us have our way, as long as they keep getting their lion's share of the goodies and get to keep the status quo rolling along.

So, the next time someone (Bush, maybe, probably) says that we're in Iraq fighting for freedom and democracy, or that we're defending freedom and democracy by bombing yet another country that hasn't attacked us, ask yourself why we didn't start with the easy stuff. Ask why we aren't interested in convincing our friends to adopt democratic systems of governance before we started trying to impose it elsewhere at the end of the barrel of a gun.

The answer to that question might answer a whole lot of other questions, too.


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