Saturday, January 08, 2005

You heard it here first

The American Empire is over. We are now in the post-period, rather like Britain in the mid-1800's, or Rome in the second century. It'll take a few years, perhaps a decade or two, but mark my words, it's over.

Why do I say this? Because the rest of the world has decided to allow us to spend and waste ourselves into oblivion, has determined that its only course is to stand aside while we implode, or explode, depending on your choice of metaphor. Indeed, they're watching us do so. Just check out these facts:

1. They've determined our madness in Iraq is to be allowed to proceed, deaths and destruction and demonic purpose and all, in the face of the unimpeachable history that "democracy," which we profess to be fostering, cannot be achieved through force of arms. They'll observe from the sidelines while we throw our money into that bottomless pit while they build up their infrastructures, they improve their standards of living (already superior to ours), and they grow stronger and wiser and more humane than we.

2. They've determined that our currency should be allowed to survive the assault occasioned by our monetary and fiscal profligacy. They hold so much of our debt that they can't bring themselves to question the worth of the dollar, and so they support it. But they're merely biding their time, knowing that a slow accretion of value of alternative currencies (there are three contenders) will, in the end, benefit them--and doom us.

3. They pretend to support us--perhaps out of fear of not supporting us--but are merely fiddling while we burn. They buy our products (although some of them are rebelling), they bow to our culture (ditto), they suck up to our leaders (ditto, ditto), all the while wishing for, and plotting, our demise.

Every empire, every dominant culture--Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, France, Britain (not to mention USSR)--has expired, doomed by the weight of its righteous assumption of propriety. The United States, after all is said and done, will be the briefest empire of all. And I for one say Good Riddance.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Life in the trenches

From Riverbend, at her Baghdad Burning blog:

"The elections are set for the 29th. It's an interesting situation. The different sects and factions just can't seem to agree. Sunni Arabs are going to
boycott elections. It's not about religion or fatwas or any of that so much as
the principle of holding elections while you are under occupation. People don't
really sense that this is the first stepping stone to democracy as western media
is implying. Many people sense that this is just the final act of a really bad
play. It's the tying of the ribbon on the "democracy parcel" we've been handed.

It's being stuck with an occupation government that has been labeled
'legitimate' through elections. We're being bombarded with cute Iraqi
commercials of happy Iraqi families preparing to vote. Signs and billboards
remind us that the elections are getting closer...Can you just imagine what our
history books are going to look like 20 years from now?

"The first democratic elections were held in Iraq on January 29, 2005 under the ever-watchful collective eye of the occupation forces, headed by the United States of America. Troops in tanks watched as swarms of warm, fuzzy Iraqis headed for the ballot boxes to select one of the American-approved candidates..."


I've discovered UnderNews, a website with original articles, a blog, references to progressive material from other sources, that's erudite and clever and insightful. Check it out.

And this related site, FreePress, is a fine source of information about what, to me, has become the most critical subject in our deteriorating democracy, media reform.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

This is just a test

My last several posts have drawn zero comments, causing me to wonder if anyone's reading these wondrous observations. I know Kyle is, because I nag him in person. But is anybody else? If so, just now and then let me know. If not, the silence will be telling too.

A timely tsunami

Bushies must be dancing in the oval office, rejoicing in the effects of the tsunami and the media attention it's receiving. I swear, Bush is blessed, a Fortunate Son, to have nature provide him with relief from having to answer for the continuing death toll of US soldiers in Iraq. Does anybody realize that five--count 'em, five--soldiers died yesterday? That was once big news, but now with hundreds of thousands of bodies in Indonesia and India and places like that, it feels puny to complain about just five--count 'em, five--dead Americans and the scores of others who died in the past week in the war we've waged in Iraq.

I gotta tell ya, there's something horribly wrong with this nation, its media, its morality. Something wicked and, it feels, irremediable.

Fallujah's not forgotten

The recent report of the ascending death toll in Fallujah, a high percentage of the victims being children, are emanating from medical officials who survived the attack three months ago. Recall, the first target in that assault by Marines was a hospital that was claimed to be a nest of insurgency because it kept complaining of the death toll. Well, that place is toast, so these awful numbers must be from a "reliable" source, i.e., someone even the US can't impeach.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Are we safer yet?

So now, in addition to al Qaida, we've got the Iraqi resistance announcing that they're going to attack the US. Thanks, George.

Interesting statistic

The number of Iraqi policemen and security troops killed by the insurgency since the US occupation is 1300, just about the same number of soldier/corpses as the US has experienced, which means that as of today almost as many people have died "liberating" Iraq as died in 9/11. My reaction? Disgust. And if you add in the number of American and Iraqi wounded, plus the number of Iraq deaths since the US invasion (estimated at 100,000), I feel an inexpressible revulsion at those--Bush and his evildoing henchmen--who've brought this on. May they rot in hell, and if there's no hell, may they simply rot.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Spinning, spinning

Even before the Western media announces the US Army's capture of their pre-determined super bad-guy in Iraq, Al-Zarqawi, the anti-occupation groups in Iraq are claiming that he's just another bad guy and that his arrest won't diminish the power of the insurgency, that it's Iraqis, not just outlanders, who want the US to cease its occupation.

So--is there truth somewhere in the middle of this muddle?

Why our billions and our soldiers are being spent in Iraq

Here's the deal: All previous false justifications for this illegal war have evaporated in light of reality. So here are the three that are left.
First, we broke it, we own it. Great. A terrific reason for killing and maiming them and us: To keep Bush/Rummie/Condi from losing face.
Second, we're building a free nation. Great. With force of arms we're installing "democracy"? Is there any historical precedent for the success/justification of this? I defy anybody to come up with one--and that's the reason the Republicans, including Bush/Rummie/Condi, have said this cannot be a reason for our expenditure of life and treasure abroad.
Third--and this is what I most often hear on the barricades from slope-headed Bush supporters--we're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here. Fabulous. We create a war and wage it with fury, killing and maiming thousands of our soldiers, and multi-thousands of Iraqis, in a battle we created as a diversion. That's it, Mr. and Mrs. Republican, slope-headed American: Your kid died as a decoy, a fakey wooden-duck target, to keep the bad guys whom we've provoked from knocking down our towers and symbols and freeways.

Well, if anyone's willing to admit to such a senseless, inane, false justification for the slaughter of innocents, let them be labeled barbarians, because this is precisely the barbarity that I for one thought we'd evolved from.

One look into the simian face, the fatuous, ignorant visage of our leader, placed in power by fatuous ignorance, tells me this: Americans, all but me and 52 million others who voted Bush out, deserve the deaths they're inflicting on the world. The continued wails from the warriors and their supporter to "support the troops" is rank idiocy. Support the troops by getting them home, giving them some loving and education and a decent task to do.

Rowdy Saudi

It seems that a principal planner of the deadly blast last month that killed 18 US troops in the mess hall in Mosul, Iraq, was a Saudi Arabian. So were most of the WTC and Pentagon attacks on 9/11. I wonder why, since we've laid waste to Iraq and Afghanistan in pursuit of "terrorists" we haven't attacked Saudi Arabia? Any ideas?

Genius at work

Bush's nominee for Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, is a fascist pig--but he's a Latino fascist pig. As this NYT essay points out, he'll face "hard questioning" by the Senate Judiciary Committee before it sends its recommendation of approval to the Senate, but eventually he'll be confirmed. The "story" of his rise from poverty to power will be too irresistible for the Senate to ignore; it will instead ignore his evil opinions on matters of torture, treaty and justice.

Reagan came up with a black fascist pig for the Supreme Court, a man whose qualifications were minimal for the seat and whose conduct was genuinely ugly and reprehensible. Now this. Where do the Republicans get these people? Out of what cave do they crawl?

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Clint Eastwood

I'm watching the Actors' Studio interview of Clint Eastwood. He's certainly a charming guy, good looking, straight-talking. But I've never been much of a fan of his acting--he seems entirely one-dimensional--nor of his directing, even though he's received adulation and awards galore for his movies. I didn't sign on to the Mystic River cult and even The Unforgiven was, to me, a fine, but somewhat ordinary story.

He's just come out with a movie about a female boxer and I heard a reviewer say what I've been wanting to say for years: That Clint Eastwood is revered by actors and fellow-traveling movie folks more for his persona than his talent.

So, you see, I have more interests than just picking on Bush/Cheney/Rummie/Condi. I can pick on Clint too.

Thoughts on the new year

My brother sent me an email today that I'm setting out as a post on this blog. We think alike, my brother and I, and so if he protests my posting his thoughts, I hereby adopt them as my own.

So we drift into another year as nature wreaks greater havok than war.. A Tsunami that no one could have predicted has randomly inflicted suffering on poor people in third world countries. Thr magnitude of this disaster dwarfs the Florida hurricanes and the twin towers tragedy. And while the world mourns the innocent loss of life, the survival of almost a million of survivors becomes questionable. . And this country continues another year of wasting its human and material recourses in a futile Iraq war that cannot be won militarily. It's another Vietnam alright and we are doomed to defeat. This year will bring more humiliation and disgrace as well as outright danger from the terrorists we have spawned by our stupidity.Using military force to fight a guerilla war in a country with so many cultural and religious obstacles to having a democratically government will only make the situation worse. We need to bring our troops home now and let the chips fall where they may. If, by some miracle, we extract our military from Iraq this year, we may preserve our own democracy that is at risk by continuing this misadventure. May the new year bring the blessing of bringing our troops home from a war that not only is not necessary to our national security but is endangering it.