Gut Check Time
The gut never lies. Even when it tries to tell us something we don't want to believe, deeper down, we know the gut is right.
America's gut is telling us the war in Iraq is a fool's errand. And, every day, more Americans are listening to their gut on that one. It took a long-ass time, but the majority of American's now believe invading Iraq was the biggest mistake since Custer's second in command warned, "There's an awful lot of Ingin's down there, General. I don't think we have enough troops."
To which Custer responded (with a smirk,) "Bring em on!"
In this case it was General Eric Shinseki who tried to warn the Neocon Custer's itching to charge that sea of Muslim tents. They fired him. There would be no trip back to the White House for General Bad News or a Medal of Freedom like failed CIA boss George "Slam Dunk" Tenet got when he left office.
"Bring em on," smirked our Commander-in-Chief, a man who – by design -- sat out the Vietnam War playing fighter pilot over safe Texas skies, (at least on days he was sober enough to fly.)
Since "brining them on," nearly 1900 other parents' sons and daughters have been killed for Bush's moment of clueless, sophomoric bravado – not one of them even remotely related to the Bush clan. George "Custer" Bush, claims those deaths have been "worth it." But apparently not worth enough for either of his (service aged) daughters to risk their lives for.
But it's a different story for other people's kids, like Cindy Sheehan's son. His death was worth it too, he says, and he just wishes she'd get that.
So, would someone to get that damn woman off my doorstep. Didn't she get the talking points, damn it? Okay, okay, her son got killed in Iraq, but it was worth it lady. Get it? Worth it. So what's with all the whining and pissing and moaning and sitting out there ruining my vacation? Aren't there anti-loitering laws? Isn't there something in the Patriot Act about pestering the President when he's trying to kick back for a few weeks? Well, there should be.
Meanwhile back at Little Big Horn with mosques, US kids continue dying to "liberate the Iraqi people." (BTW, who liberated us? Oh that's right, we did it ourselves.) You see, when people don't liberate themselves, but are dragged kicking and screaming to Camp Liberation, they become wards of their "liberators." And that's just what happened.
For weeks now Iraq's new "leaders" have been arguing over how to carve up the pie the US ripped off Saddam's table for them.
George W. has never been big on details, so I am sure he is only now discovering that there really are no "Iraqis." If you want to get really "historical" there's really not even an "Iraq." That whole chunk of Middle Eastern real estate was dreamed up by the colonial British surveyors in 1914.. What we call Iraq is more like an tough inner city carved up by warring street gangs -- the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites. And, like any successful street gangs they have their own colors, their own rules and will dropped an opposing gang member in his tracks if he messes with them.
Today were supposed to see the finished draft of the constitution this collection of Home Boy leaders have hammered on. It's already lat and will get later. But trust me, whatever comes out of that conference will matter not a whit. Iraq will continue being Sunni v. Shiite and Kurd v. everyone else. The Kurds will go their own way, as they always have. That will leave the Shiites and Sunnis who will quickly replace the now retired IRA and Protestant insurgents as the world's most brutal sectarian thugs.
Iraq like Vietnam, (and yes dear neocons, it is just like Vietnam) will go down in history as one of America's biggest geopolitical mistakes --- ripples from which will complicate our international relationships, cripple fiscal budgets and slap against our national psyche for generations to come. (Bring em on, and on, and on.)
Unfortunately once a mistake this big become a political liability to those in charge, it can't end quickly. No, we are going have to endure months, maybe years, of what I call the Kabuki dance of death. This is where those in office most responsible for killing thousands of people for all the wrong reasons, will try to buy time to bury the evidence and obscure that fact. Vietnam dragged for years while this dance of death first tried to obsolve the Johnson bunch then the Nixon gang, which is why the Vietnam Memorial Wall is so large, and so sad. (And why Robert McNamara continues pacing the floor at night muttering, "Out damn spot, out!")
How long it takes this time depends entirely on how long we are willing to let the dance of death continue. If allowed to have their own way, the Bushites would like to pass the Iraq problem on to the next administration. That way they would have time to get out of Dodge before the shit hits the fan and the inevitable "what went wrong?" congressional hearings begin.
John Kerry put it best over 20 years ago after returning from fighting in Vietnam, "What do you tell the last soldier who died for a mistake?"
This time around I would put the question differently;
"What should George Custer Bush tell a grieving mothers who's sons die for his mistake?
Apparently his advisors have not figured out an answer for that question yet, which is why he refuses to talk Cindy.
I'm sure that when Custer charged at Little Big Horn he too was convinced the bloodshed was "worth it." But at least Custer had the guts to fight his own battles.
A Glimmer of Hope (?)
The Israelis could teach George Custer Bush a few things about the futility of fighting a popular insurgency.
Which is why the Israelis are hightailing it out of Gaza this week. After the 1967 war powerful right wing Israelis "realtor" party figured they could bag some valuable oceanfront property out of the deal. Unfortunately for them the folks already living there were foursquare against the idea and have been killing Israelis ever since.
So, the Israelis have decided to give back the land Gaza they stole. Now what?
For starters we get to see if these two habitually warring parties can just friggin leave one another alone for a while. The Palestinians need time to make the switch from insurgency to self-governance, which is much harder and a lot less "fun," than shooting at Jews.
And, if the Palestinians make a serious effort at that, then the Israelis need to start minding their own business for a change. And they need to put those 5000-year old Biblical title reports they have been using to justify the unjustifiable in a museum, where they belong.
It's really that simple. Now, let's see if either side can resist screwing it up.
Know Nothings Rally
If they awarded medals for arrogant ignorance they would have handed out a lot them yesterday.
NASHVILLE, Aug. 14 -- Prominent conservative political and religious leaders called Sunday night for Senate approval of Supreme Court nominees who will vote to end the constitutional right to abortion, against recognition of same-sex marriage and for fewer restrictions on religious expression in public places.
The Family Research Council –(the Christian branch of the Taliban) – has suddenly become a bur under the Bush administration's saddle over the John Roberts nomination. It seems the born-agains looked at some of Robert's statements and opinions and behavior and decided he is simply not crazy enough for them.
This is what happens every time a demagoguing politician hitches his ambition wagon to a pack of crazy people. Oh, sure they are enthusiastic and easy to get all fired up. And sure they are just chuck full of energy and will do damn near anything for any pol that promises to toe their crazy-party line. But none of that changes the basic fact:
They are c-r-a-z-y.
All you have to do is listen. Here are a couple of direct quotes from yesterday's rally:
"The Supreme Court has sanctioned "the right to kill unborn children" and opened the door to legalized "homosexual sodomy," declared Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which co-sponsored "Justice Sunday II."
(Tony Perkins is one of those holier than thou Elmer Gantry characters that you just know will get caught some day pulling a PeeWee Herman in a XXX rated movie theater – and I can't wait.)
James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, told the 2,200 mostly white people in Two Rivers Baptist Church: "It doesn't matter what we think. The court rules." The Supreme Court, he said in a video broadcast, has created "an oligarchy. It's the government by the few."
(Dobson won his Christian Taliban spurs bashing gays. He's said things about gays that would be considered hate speech if he said them about blacks. The born-agains love it when he talks like that. (It's a little known fact that Jesus bashed gays too, a fact that went little noticed during the years he wandered the desert accompanied only by twelve men in bath robes.)
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) said "activist courts" are imposing "state-sanctioned same-sex marriage" and "partial-birth abortion" and are "ridding the public square of any mention of our nation's religious heritage" in what amounts to "judicial supremacy, judicial autocracy."
(Tom DeLay gives hypocrites a bad name. Tommy is currently under criminal investigation in Texas for lying and cheating and illegal campaign contributions. But the good Christians at yesterday's rally embraced him nonetheless because he is one of them – in more ways than one.)
The good news is that the crest of the Christian Right movement in America has passed. What we will see in the 2008 race for the White House is a Republican Party moving back towards the center. Because, once Bush's crazy Christian base got a taste of power they wanted the GOP to become the Inquisition Party. And that started scaring folk, even Republican folk.
From the "Let them eat cake" Department
Oh, lookie here.
"The board of an Illinois pension fund planned to ask District-based Carlyle Group last week about millions of dollars it paid a politically connected lobbyist for help in winning half a billion dollars in investments from the fund." Full Story
The Carlyle Group. To the crazy left the Carlyle Group has become the new millennium's version of the Trilateral Commission, where all the "real" geopolitical/business decisions are made in secret.
Nah. Not really. It's just a giant-ass piggy bank exclusively for retired movers and shakers who have proven themselves worthy of enormous quantities of easy money.
George's dad, H. Bush, is listed as the investment group's "senior advisor." His former Secretary of State (the guy they sent to make sure the Florida recount came up Bush) James Baker, is listed as "senior counselor."
While they might not be making the decisions, they are never far behind when anything potentially lucrative is in the works. And nothing is more lucrative than a good little war.
"Like everyone else in the United States, the group stood transfixed as the events of September 11 unfolded. Present were former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci, former secretary of state James Baker III, and representatives of the bin Laden family. This was not some underground presidential bunker or Central Intelligence Agency interrogation room. It was the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., the plush setting for the annual investor conference of one of the most powerful, well-connected, and secretive companies in the world: the Carlyle Group. And since September 11, this little-known company has become unexpectedly important." (Full Story)
I just thought you would want to know that maybe, just maybe, a prosecutor in Illinois might get a piece of the Carlyle Group this time. The Justice Department has been investigating business dealings with Illinois state boards, and the probe is continuing, said Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago.
That's it for today. I am taking tomorrow off.
You got a problem with that?