Saturday, November 06, 2004

I have a ghoulish

facet of my personality, and it's being fed by reports such as this from Iraq: An impressive body of Muslim scholars have determined that Iraqi resistance to the American occupation is legitimate, and have issued an edict (fatwa) that prohibits Iraqis from cooperating with the occupying forces, such as by informing on members of the resistance.

Bush has created this nightmare, and now can't count on Kerry to bail him out. If it weren't for the deaths--of Iraqis and coalition forces--I'd really be pleased to see if for once Bush can solve a problem without intervention from his monied buddies. But while I'm hating all the dying, I'm enjoying watching Bush twist in the wind.

Silly me

I thought Iraq's interim government was of a parliamentary nature. I distinctly recall the creation not only of the office of prime minister (read "US puppet") and of president (read "meaningless figurehead"), but of an interim assembly of some kind. Since its creation, we haven't heard a peep from it, either condoning or condemning--not even considering--the US Marines' collective punishment of Fallujah and Samarra. The assembly was supposed to have veto power over the prime minister's decision. Their silence persists despite the apparent rift between PM Allawi and the Iraqi president over the propriety of these outrageous, murderous attacks on these major cities.

I guess the assembly never assembled.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Theocrats--plus autocrats

This post on the DailyKos blog may (or may not) be a bit over the top, particularly at the end where it posits a nationwide conspiracy to alter the vote, but the theocrat takeover it describes is right on, really right on. I agree with the writer that those who minimalize the extent of the nation's turn to the Right are Pollyanish dreamers, or are too afraid of the truth to recognize it.

I add this dimension to the truth. The Right takeover has an additional facet, as frightening as its religiosity: its capitalist/corporate/imperialist/political merger. We are watching the evolution of a fascist state.

Too much, too late

This report about US soldiers witnessing the Iraqis looting the explosives sites after the invasion, and being unable to stop them due to lack of manpower and without orders to do so, comes too late to impact Bush's re-election. So, too, will the results of the "yellow-cake-gate" investigation, even though it will likely result in indictments of high officials of Bush's administration. The outcome of the Senate inquiry into prewar intelligence--delayed until after the election--will probably be watered down, but no matter what it says, it's too late too, as is the result of the inquiry into Cheney's energy task force. Indeed, with the accretion of the Republicans' power in Congress, we may never learn the truth about any of these subjects or the several others that Bush managed to elude or delay or frustrate by his secrecy and his power to maintain it. Quite unlike Clinton's inability to staunch the endless inquiries into his conduct--Travelgate, Whitewater, Monica--by an adversely-held Congress.

Who was it who said that history is written by the victors?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

There's dark at the end of the tunnel

One benefit of Bush's re-election is that he and his Republican allies inherit the miserable economy and foreign policy they've inflicted on us and--unless Rove is allowed by the media to spin it differently--must be held to the consequences thereof. I won't address here and now the warmongering in Iraq and the war-threatening around the world; but I will point out this scary statistic that's a direct result of Bush's policy of "spending out of recession." Amercans are consuming almost all of their earnings. Not saving a whit, not even being taxed much. Just buying, buying, buying and borrowing, borrowing, borrowing.

It's hard to type

when you're licking your wounds. I must say I felt in my bones that Bush would win, and so I can't say I'm surprised. The major television and print media didn't fairly cover the campaign and didn't critically address the nation's problems under Bush; and if you check out the geographic distribution of the Red States you'll see that it tracks exactly that part of the US that doesn't subscribe to learned journals much, doesn't think critically about government and follows the loudest, most common media message, which is this case was, Vote Bush.

We now face a Congress, an Executive and a Judiciary that has set its face in a nasty, mean-spirited direction, to a frightening purpose. They'll be able to enact their agenda and enforce it through the courts for the foreseeable future. Unless there's a cataclysm of some kind, I don't see the Democratic Party finding a way to win back the Congress or the White House for twelve years (Bush's next term plus two more). I know that sounds pessimistic, but I've been listening to the post-election hand-wringing by progressive bloggers and major media pundits and it sounds like they're predicting that the Democrats will move more to the middle (to the right, that means), which not only will leave liberals wholly on the outs but that the best we can expect is watered-down privatization of virtually every function of government, the true ascendancy of the capitalist nation-state, governed by powers wedded to corporatism, driven by religiosity and greed, and, because of its ownership of the media, immunized from scrutiny.

Back to wound-licking, shortly after which--Revolution!!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

To do Fallujah or not to do Fallujah

US troops are massing outside of Fallujah for an all-out assault (of course to take place after the US election, to avoid embarrassing US casualties). Problem is, while the US puppet Interim Prime Minister Allawi apparently favors the assault, the Interim Iraqi President opposes it.


Monday, November 01, 2004

Raimondo on Osama

This Libertarian's evaluation of the bin Laden tape is telling. Against the shrill cries of Bush and Kerry of revenge and war, Osama's reasoned presentation does indeed feel soothing, almost righteous.

I wonder how the dead Lebanese and New Yorkers feel about the latest events? I wonder how Bush or Kerry will ever wind down our empire-building enough to listen to them?

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Voter fraud

Why is it that "voter fraud" has become the watchword of the conservatives/Republicans? Thye're gonna be at the polls next week to make sure the blacks and browns and weirdos aren't voting twice or aren't felons or aren't aliens, and so forth.

And Republicans? Are they incapable of voter fraud? No--we know this from last election. But of course they're so sophisticated and funded that their fraud is on a big scale. Wholesale tossing of ballots and of purging of rolls. They don't need to vote falsely one-by-one, they have the machinery in hand to undo the democracy by a quick, corrupt swipe.

Here's the deal. Part of me wants Kerry/Edwards elected by a landslide so huge that there's no dispute. Part of me wants a close and contested election that will lead to major overhaul of the Electoral College system, leading to the election of Kerry, so that now both parties will feel the pinch and will finally change the system. Part of me wants gridlock, absolute gridlock, so that the revolution--the peoples' revolution--can finally take place.

So--I'm poll-watching, and little else.

It just doesn't matter

That happens to be the title of the novel I'm currently working on, but I use it here in another context: The presidential election.

For months I've been blogging about developments. In Iraq, with the economy, with the Patriot Act, and so forth. All of this was to ascertain the impact of these developments on the election.

No longer. With 48 hours to go, I appreciate that nothing--almost nothing--can change the outcome. And so, I confess that I'm barely interested in the news lately. I confess to having been interested in the news only as it impacted whether Bush would be reelected or not.

So, for the next few days, I'll read the news allright, but with disinterest. Instead, my interest in solely in the news of the polls, which as I've indicated heretofore, are inconclusive.

Oh well.

Too soon to tell

Billmon thinks that the bin Laden video didn't have much effect on the US electorate after all. I, on the other hand, believe it's too early to tell, and that only on 11/3 will we know. It's true, I guess, that in a race with an incumbent, the undecideds usually break for the challenger; but in this race, Osama's tape may sway the undecideds toward Bush out of fear of change.

Of course that's precisely what Osama had in mind.

The Pentagon vs. the British Ministry of Defence

Check out the difference between the US policy of hiding the coffins of our dead troops and the Brits' military announcements of battlefield deaths.

It sure explains why Rummie doesn't want publicity of the returning coffins.