Saturday, December 17, 2005

How is it that

a decade into the "information revolution" brought on by the personal computer and the Internet, there's still so much ignorance in the United States?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Has it come to this?

Are we now a nation, a culture, in which the end justifies the means? I've been watching CNN, Faux News, even the "real networks," (CBS, ABC, NBC), extolling the marvel of the voting in Iraq. Here's their message. Even though we invaded a sovereign nation without justification, murdered thousands of innocents--ours and theirs--all is subsumed, all is forgiven, by an "election" conducted by citizens who're under our occupation. Iraq, we are told, is now exercising democracy and so we of the US can be forgiven for our violations of international law and of decency.

My take on this: If we are forgiven, then so are the worst of the world's transgressions, because even Attila the Hun believed he was bringing a better world to those he conquered.


This NYT report on Bush's secret executive order allowing warrantless wiretaps on US citizens inside the country is outrageous enough, in particular the administration's insistence that Bush has inherent power to conduct such surveillance, unchecked by the Congress. This is another example of the "9/11 changed everything" ethic that Bush has used repeatedly to justify his ongoing illegalities.
But equally outrageous is that the Times sat on the story for a year in order, it says, to conduct "additional reporting." Number one: What chickenshits! Number two: What liars! It's clear that the NYT would have sat on the story indefinitely but for the recent lies by the administration, in particular by Cheney's minions, that the federal government had no such program, as quoted in the NYT article itself. I suspect, too, that another publication was about to go public with this information, and NYT didn't want to be shown to be what it is: a craven tool of the Bushites.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Riverbend's take on the election

Baghdad Burning's author prefers the Allawi "list" of candidates, even though they're puppets of the US, because when you're facing death a fever is just fine.

Alarming arrogance

When Bush, back in 2003, reacted to the millions of protesters of his invasion of Iraq with a shrug, and an offhand, "I respectfully disagree," I thought he'd reached the apex of arrogance. I was wrong. For months he's refused to discuss the Plamegate case on the ground that he wouldn't comment on an ongoing criminal investigation; but today, after he was questioned about the propriety of his comment that Tom Delay was innocent of the pending charges, his press secretary simply said it was his presidential prerogative to do so.

We gotta get rid of this guy.

A prediction

It's been four-plus years since the 9/11 attacks. At the time, I viewed the attacks as "the price of empire," and in the succeeding months and years I interiorly entertained my predictions about the outcome of the resultant "war on terror," including the invasion of Iraq, that Bush initiated. I didn't announce these predictions (except for one prediction--so far wrong, it turns out--about the decline of the dollar against foreign currencies), but each of my imaginings has been on target. So now, I'll articulate a prediction, so you can hold me to it.

I predict that by the end of 2006, Iraq (and likely its neighbors Syria and Iran) will have embroiled the US in such a God-awful mess that VietNam will look like a cakewalk. In the wake of today's elections, Iraq will become fragmented, will begin to look like a "failed state," to the alarm of nearby Arab states. The schism between "insurgents" and "terrorists" in Iraq, already emerging, will widen; antagonism between Shia-dominated nations and Sunni/Wahabbi nations will increase, and the US will try to straddle all of these conflicting forces, leaving our troops targets from a hundred directions.

Those of us who opposed the war are often chided for taking pleasure in seeing US failure in Iraq. Well, to be honest, I do. I want the US public--I want the world--to learn that the Bush version of democracy (you know what I'm talking about) cannot be imposed on the world by force, and should not be because of its illegitimacy. I want the Iraq experience to result in debacle so profound that we don't ever get talked into (lied into) repeating it.

I wish thousands of US soldiers didn't have to die to make this point, and I certainly feel awful about the dead and wounded Iraqis who've been made to pay this price. But, to me, if their suffering teaches the US to become a decent nation, a true leader of a fine, loving world, the price is, if not worth it, at least worth something.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A perfect model of democracy

I've been reading complaints about the Iraqi election: The rapidity of the timetable for voting, plus the danger on the streets has limited campaigning to television advertisement, which are so expensive that only financially-empowered candidates can afford them, and these ads don't address substantive issues but consist merely of clever sloganeering and attacks on the opponents.

So--we've created Iraq in our own image, right?