Monday, January 01, 2007

The American Century is Over

Another year and yet another tragic milestone on Bush's road to total idiocy and psychosis. It was reported today that American deaths in Iraq have reached 3,000.

Bush doesn't care what anyone thinks; he will prosecute his folly though the cost is tragic and ruinous. Bush hopes to salvage his dubious legacy with a "surge". The "surge" will only compound the folly, kill more US troops, increase the levels of chaos and violence in Iraq.

Why? None of this was necessary but for Bush's megalomanical personality, his insanity, his measurable psychosis! Of course Bush and company wish to control Iraqi oil. But is it necessary to carry out mass murder, torture, and other heinous atrocities in order to do so? Is it necessary to create and promote hellish chaos? There must surely be an easier way to steal oil. A total moron could not have done worse than Bush.

Like the proposed "surge", the execution of Saddam Hussein has already proven to have been counter-productive. The hypocrisy is glaring. Bush, himself, is no more innocent than Saddam. Unlike Saddam, Bush is protected by a modern day Praetorian guard -a convenient corollary of raw power that subverts American democratic ideals even as it vindicates that notorious Nazi: Hermann Goering.

The execution of Saddam Hussein has proven to the Sunnis that Bush has already taken sides in the civil war that the Bush denies exists. The backlash has already begun, exacerbating the sectarian nature of Iraqi violence.

Saddam's execution laid bare the hyprocrisy for yet another Bush war rationale. It's hard to imagine how executing anyone convicted by a kangaroo court advances the cause of justice or democracy. It`s hard to imagine how anything good can come of this travesty of a "trial". There may have been a legitimate case against Saddam. There may have been legitimate accusations. But they were not heard in this court where the rules of evidence clearly did not apply, where the presumption of innocence was abandoned, where defense objections were dismissed out of hand, where the fix was in.

The vengeful nature of the Saddam execution makes stark the US/Bush defeat in Iraq.
If you watch the video of the moments leading up to Saddam Hussein's execution, am I wrong that it bears a certain resemblance to the terrorist snuff films we've watched out of Iraq over the last three years? A dark, dank room. The executioners wear not uniforms of any sort, either civilian or military, but street clothes and ski masks. We now learn that the executioners were apparently taken from the population of southern Iraq, the country's Shi'a heartland, where Saddam's repression was most severe. And in an apt symbolic statement on what the Iraq War is about, two of the executioners who saw Saddam off started hailing Moktada al Sadr in Saddam's face as they prepared to hang him. Remember, al Sadr's Mahdi Army is the force the 'surge' of new US troops is meant to crush next year. That's where we are.

-Josh Marshall

So -the US is now cowardly complicit in an act of terrorism.

From Information Clearing House:
Saddam Hussein was a secular leader and a staunch friend of India, who consistently supported India on Kashmir and other issues. US corporate and British government media outlets have already tried to convict Saddam by playing up the Halabja massacres and other accusations which are not even part of this trial. When unsubstantiated allegations were made that Iraq was behind the plot to kill former US President George H.W Bush in Kuwait , father of the current US President in 1993, President Bill Clinton had hit Iraq with missiles. Why no charges against him!
Swiss legal expert Prof Marc Henzelin, Professor of international law at Geneva University had declined to defend Saddam Hussein. He put it this way in the same article:

"Wonderful material for a US television series but nothing to do with a fair trial. I think it is all about justifying the United States' invasion of Iraq and to string Saddam Hussein up sooner rather than later without asking too many questions.”

The nature of the war -called illegal by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan -raises doubts about the legitimacy of Saddam`s trial itself --let alone the suspicious conduct of it. When Saddam -guilty or not -is executed by the illegitimate government of Jawad al Maliki, the US will have committed another war crime in a string of war crimes not matched since Adolph Hitler.

The case is often made that Saddam and the United States were partners in the perpetration of war crimes. See Robert Fisk`s latest article, He takes his secrets to the grave. Our complicity dies with him. Convenient for Saddam`s American co-conspirators! Here`s an excerpt:

The shameless, outrageous, covert military support which the United States - and Britain - gave to Saddam for more than a decade remains the one terrible story which our presidents and prime ministers do not want the world to remember. And now Saddam, who knew the full extent of that Western support - given to him while he was perpetrating some of the worst atrocities since the Second World War - is ead.

Gone is the man who personally received the CIA's help in destroying the Iraqi communist party. After Saddam seized power, US intelligence gave his minions the home addresses of communists in Baghdad and other cities in an effort to destroy the Soviet Union's influence in Iraq. Saddam's mukhabarat visited every home, arrested the occupants and their families, and butchered the lot.

Is the subversion of the very concepts of western justice what Bush meant when he said that we were fighting for Democracy in Iraq? Of the many lies told by Bush to justify his war of naked aggression, this must surely be the most egregious. America, under Bush`s criminal regime, proves itself not merely incapable but unwilling to support the very ideals of our founding.

Efforts by the right wing to blame Iraqis are not merely ludicrous and stupid, they consist of cynical, right wing spin not based on fact. It is the ghost of Karl Rove, typical of the right wing "blame the victim" mentality that has all but poisoned American politics. Iraqi citizens did not ask America to bomb the hell out of them, destroy their infrastrusture, poison the water supply, loot the museum, and, in other ways, murder at least 600,000 civilians in a war of naked aggression.

The American public has no faith in the war and less faith in the commander-in-chief. This is more ruinous than Viet Nam. It is folly not matched since Adolph Hitler insisted upon attacking the Soviet Union. The whole rotten edifice would come crashing down, he said. Americans, having grown up with the images of The Longest Day and, more recently, Saving Private Ryan, have a much harder time imagining the cruel nature of the German v Russia struggle played out over a shifting and bitter winter front of some several thousand miles, from Lenningrad (now St. Petersburg, it's original name) to the Black Sea.

Bush will keep America in Iraq to its bitter ruin -unless he is stopped by an enraged populace. Otherwise, more will die needlessly to satisfy the his bloodlust. The reality, seemingly lost amid the headlines, is simply this: the so-called commander-in-chief flouts the opinions of his own generals, a panel of infinitely more intelligent and competent people from both sides of the political spectrum, and some 70 percent of the American people who are now fed up with this utter stupidity, this ruinous catastrophe.

A question was put to me recently: What is a citizen to do when his/her own country embarks upon a disastrous and immoral course? Why is the lesson of Viet Nam so easily forgotten? Perhaps they were never learned! Indeed, the architects of this American defeat --the most humiliating since Little Big Horn or the Tet Offensive -all seem to have cut their teeth on the many failures of Richard Nixon. Later, this cast of characters were seen hanging around the Reagan White House.

I suggest that the US identify the real "evil doers", the hangovers from Nixon, Reagan, and now Bush, and sweep these lying bastards into the dustbin of history. It is our only hope. Otherwise, a free nation is lost.

Another question put to me: Can America find its way back? Probably not. Whose constituency will have the stomach to restore the many lost liberties when a recent poll indicates that most Americans oppose the First Ten Amendments to the Constitution, i.e. the Bill of Rights? It is safe to say that those nations losing their liberties never restore them. An early case: Octavian who took the title Augustus. He pledged to restore the Republic of Rome but never got around to it. By the time Claudius assumed the mantle, the Republic was just a distant memory; emperors ruled like Oriental despots. At last, of course, the Empire broke apart and fell. By the time Rome pulled its legions out of Britain, the fall was swift and a swath of destruction and scorched earth was evident from the shores of the English Channel all the way to Rome.

The American Century is over.









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16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aren't you a bit pessimistic? Closer to us than the Romans, Germans, Italians and France to name but a few, lost their liberties and got them back.

Len Hart said...

Italy and France got their liberties back with allied help and at great cost. Is that what you would wish for your country -especially if it could have been avoided be simply refusing to allow an idiot to steal the election of 2000? Would you have America partitioned as was France during WWII simply because Bush has done his best to subvert the legal document that gave us nationhood, namely, the Constitution? At last, would you have another nation -say, Italy -invade the US for its own good, waging war throughout its mountainous regions as did the US military which bombed hell out of Monte Cassino when it thought it had Nazis in the cross hairs?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you are back in action Len.

It's so satisfying to know somebody, someplace....GET'S IT about this EVIL FOOL !

On Low-Brow, Right-Wing radio, bush is a benevolent genius.

What does that say about radio management, and what does that say about a population that accepts this hateful, lying, drivel on commercial radio, belching poison on the American people minute by filthy minute !

Thinking about the very important point about the lineage of this coven directly spawned from former Republican dungeons, I think it's important to also state the animating GOAL of these wrectches, which is:

To Concentrate all legitimate authority in the world in PROPERTY rather than the voters !!!!!!!!

Jay Diamond

Brian de Ford said...

With respect, I believe your analysis is flawed for several reasons.

Bush is a moron who has to be told to do by Cheney. Cheney is driving this.

As far as Cheney is concerned, Iraq is no folly. I agree that if Cheney's objective was the welfare of the American people then you would be right to accuse him of stupidity, incompetence and folly. But his objectives are very, very different and Iraq is serving his purpose very well.

Back in 1992, when Cheney was Secretary of Defense and Wolfowitz was Under-secretary of Defense for Policy, Cheney asked Wolfowitz to draft a policy on strategy. What they cooked up between them (with political and military euphemisms translated) was this:

Now there's nobody left who can stop us, let's invade Iraq and steal all of its oil. We can then use Iraq as an advance base to invade the other oil-rich countries in the region and then steal their oil.

It's all going exactly as planned. Cheney wants Iraq to stay a horrible, bloody, mess and the torture is a part of his plan. Under international law the US, as an occupying power, legally cannot leave until Iraq has a stable government. Every one of Cheney's actions makes the place less governable.

Cheney isn't worried about the monetary cost. He's shifted the bulk of the tax burden off the shoulders of his obscenely-rich cronies onto the poor.

Cheney isn't worried about the cost in US lives. He's flushed the economy down the shitter so hard and so fast there was a sonic boom at the sewerage works, and wrecked the social welfare system at the same time. There are a lot more hungry people than there are jobs and the only place that's hiring is the military.

Cheney's obscenely-rich cronies in the defense industries are making money hand-over-fist restocking munitions and replacing worn-out materiel. Halliburton, Bechtel and the like get over-priced, no-bid construction contracts that they carry out badly, if at all.

Before the war the oil companies all said war would be a very bad thing and they didn't want it because it would reduce global production and put prices up. The war did indeed reduce global production and put prices up. A very bad thing, for all but the oil companies who all reported record profits.

Cheney pushed very hard to be allowed to continue to torture. The maladministration has defense in depth against prosecution for torture. Yoo and Gonzalez produced bizarre legal constructs that say torture isn't really torture and the Geneva Conventions are "quaint." The maladministration bribed and/or blackmailed many countries not to prosecute the US for war crimes. Cheney tried to persuade Leahy to drop his bill explicitly prohibiting torture (which was already both implicitly and explicitly prohibited in the Constitution, in international treaties and in federal statutes). When Leahy refused, Cheney tried to get an exemption for the CIA. When that also failed, because the Leahy bill referenced a US military handbook on conduct, said handbook was re-issued with an extra 5 classified pages (guess what they were about). When Bush signed Leahy's bill into law he also issued a signing statement saying he had his fingers crossed behind his back when he signed the Leahy bill so it doesn't really count.

Cheney wants to be able to torture because it inflames the insurgency. That prevents stable government. That means the US cannot legally leave. That means Cheney can continue to steal the oil.

The torture has an added benefit. It's inflaming the entire Islamic world. Much of the Islamic world just happens to sit on a large fraction of the planet's oil reserves. Nobody would be too surprised if Iranian, Syrian or Nigerian hotheads launched an attack on US soil. Nobody would be surprised if that triggered a US invasion in retaliation. And I wouldn't be surprised, even if others are, if the invasion was used to steal the oil of the country invaded. If the hotheads don't rise to the bait, a false-flag operation can be mounted by Cheney.

Cheney isn't stupid or incompetent. You cannot convince him that his actions are folly and a disaster because from his viewpoint they are neither. Cheney is criminal and evil, and possibly psychopathically insane (a form of insanity that permits logical thinking and doesn't necessarily divorce one from reality) but he isn't stupid or incompetent.

If you believe the maladministration to be stupid or incompetent you play right into their hands because all your attempts to stop them will be based on making them face reality. Despite their own claims that they ignore reality (a red herring) they understand what is happening in Iraq all too well. They will continue to do "stupid" things as long as the only action we take is to try to "make them see sense." The only thing that will stop them is indictment and/or impeachment.

Essential background reading is Bernard Weiner's excellent PNAC Primer.

Anonymous said...

USA is still number one word on trendio... and they control the media

Anonymous said...

sorry here's the link

The Xsociate said...

Glad to have you back, Len. Keep it up.

- X

damien said...

Here are the kids in US concentration camps. And there is also the Dept Homeland Security program for removing illegal aliens. It's called End Game.

...kids in prison camps, in fucking uniforms!

Len Hart said...

Jay, the right wing media is nothing less than a planned conspiracy that, arguably, has its roots in West Texas -a station called KCRS in Midland, TX, owned, at the time, by Wendall Mays. The Mays family recently unloaded "Clear Channel" which was the culmination of some thirty years of right wing radio. At the time of the sale, Clear Channel consisted of some 1200 broadcast outlets, an example of the kind of media concentration that has followed shameless and devastating deregulation beginning with Ronald Reagan. The result has been a dramatic shift to the far right. Anything not conforming seems relegated to Pacifica. Essentially, there is no debate in the MSM. I recently began a situation analysis for a proposal that I am writing. It quickly became a short history of right wing radio. As they used to say when radio stations were still responsible to the communities they served -stay tuned!

Brian wrote: "Bush is a moron who has to be told to do by Cheney. Cheney is driving this."

Welcome, Brian. However -"Bush" means his administration in this context. Besides -"they" are all war criminals at this point (see the link I posted on the "Cockroaches" article for a detailed list of the Bushies who may be culpable for war crimes prosecutions).

Moron or no, Bush is responsible for having believed and acted upon what Cheney et al told him. Moron or no, he is culpable and responsible. Moron or no, he is now "outta control" beyond even Dick Cheney to moderate even if he wanted to. I am sure there is room in the dock for the both of them as well as Yoo, Gonzales, Ashcroft, Rice et al.

As for the theory that only Cheney is smart enough to pull this all off, I can only ask: who needs intelligence to be stupid? Creating chaos in Iraq is stupid even if your game is to dominate the Middle East and steal all the oil. Clearly, "they" have failed. Even by their standards, the results could not possibly be what "they" had in mind. The GOP itself is in the process of turning on Bush. He may have six months.

Thanks xsociate...it's good to be back.

Thanks for the links, Damien. The American concentration camp has its roots in outsourcing. Apparently, none of the constitutional constraints that might moderate a state operated facility apply to private contractors. This technique was used quite effectively by Adolph Hitler.

Brian de Ford said...

Hi Len

You say that "Bush" means the maladministration in this context. I have frequently used it that way myself but these days I'm trying to avoid doing so. The reason I do this is because if you use "Bush" as a shorthand for the administration people associate the word with "brain-damaged coke-head" and fall into the trap (deliberately planted, I suspect) of thinking that if they just explain it to Bush (himself, not the maladministration) often enough and slooooowly enought that eventually he will "see sense." That approach is doomed to failure because Bush isn't in control and Cheney has other objectives than the.welfare of the US.

That Bush is responsible and culpable I agree. If he hadn't fried his brain he'd be just as evil as Cheney and taking an active part in all this. However, I suspect his lawyers will plead diminished responsibility if he is ever prosecuted...

You persist in thinking the mess in Iraq is stupid. I grant you that it may now be, or it may be getting close to being, beyond Cheney's control. He's not stupid, but he's not perfect. He could well have over-reached, as most psychopaths usually do. But even if things are now beyond his control, he himself does not believe that. All his cronies are getting richer. He's making the presidency more imperial and the US more fascist. So far, it's still going his way. I don't think he has yet reached the Nixon point of "Oh shit, this has all gone badly wrong but I can't stop the war without losing face."

Remember, he wants to stay in Iraq until the oil is sucked dry. The fourteen permanent military bases he's building there are for the purpose of invading the surrounding oil-rich countries, as per the plans of long ago. The largest US embassy in the world being built there is undoubtedly intended to become the regional colonial administrative HQ. The continued insurgency is exactly what he wants, although he may well be having difficulty fine-tuning the level of it.

Cheney doesn't care about the troops or the damage he's doing to the US. His obscenely rich cronies are the heads and shareholders of multinational companies. They're not going to suffer even if the US collapses competely and China takes over as the economic and military superpower.

As for Cheney and the maladministration not being smart, think back to how many times you and others have said "they've really screwed the pooch this time" only to find that not only do they worm their way out of it, they actually come out of it in a better position.

As a trivial example, think back to Bush's first stolen election. The media was full of "hanging chads" and "butterfly ballots" (but not so much coverage of the intimidation of black voters). Everybody demanded something be done about hanging chads and butterfly ballots. Bush was shamed (so we all thought at the time) into getting HAVA passed. The Dems in Congress eagerly voted for HAVA to ensure that never again would Bush be able to use hanging chads and butterfly ballots to steal an election. And we all know what HAVA brought with it: the means to steal elections all over the US without needing somebody like Katharine Harris to create a butterfly ballot. Every time we think we have them it's actually they that have us.

We fall for it every time because we persist in thinking that these people are stupid. They're not. They have different objectives than the ones we expect them to have and would like them to have. As long as we judge them by the objectives we think they should have then we will continue to think of them as stupid and they will continue to get away with it. Only when we realize that they are evil criminals pursuing power and wealth at the expense of the rest of us will we get around to indicting and/or impeaching them, and that's the only chance we have of stopping them. It's like trying to convince a bank robber that taking the bank's money is foolish because the account holders will suffer—that's not something he cares about.

Just to ram the point home, let's assume for the sake of argument that the maladministration is stupid and incompetent. That 9/11 happened because they really were too stupid to anticipate that aircraft could be used as missiles despite the infamous PDB. That they fumbled the ball repeatedly. That they were asleep at the wheel. That they are all as stupid as Dubya.

Now let me quote from the PNAC (Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Jeb Bush, Zalmay M. Kalilzad and other assorted neocons we all hate) 2000 policy white paper on transforming the US military into a gang of marauding pillagers looting the world's resources (primarily oil):

"[...] the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor."

9/11 has often been referred to as a "new Pearl Harbor" because of the similarities: a (supposedly) unnanounced attack upon US soil with around 3,000 deaths. That's what PNAC thought would be required in 2000 and that's what they got on 9/11 because of their "incompetence and stupidity." Because of their own "incompetence and stupidity" on 9/11, in 2003 Cheney got his wet dream of over a decade come true. Wasn't he incredibly lucky?

It couldn't have worked out any better for Cheney if he had planned 9/11 himself. But he didn't (under the assumption, for the sake of argument, that he is as stupid as Dubya), because like all the Bush maladministration, he's stupid and incompetent. He just got very, very, very, very lucky. As did just about all the other senior figures in the maladministration (most of whom have ties to oil companies), as did the oil and defense industries.

Y'know, when somebody does something incredibly stupid that results in great benefit to himself, the detectives usually get a tad suspicious and say things like "Cui bono." Just because the guy seems stupid, the detectives find it suspicious that he benefited from his own stupidity. We seem to have decided that Cheney is so stupid we should not even be suspicious that he benefited so greatly; he was just very lucky.

As for the GOP appearing to turn on Bush, Cheney has a few tricks up his sleeve yet. I would expect him to have wiretapped every congresscritter, both Democrat and Republican for blackmail material. Nixon did it and Cheney was an integral part of the Nixon administration (as were many other criminals in this maladministration). Then there is always the "martial law" option. Which will no doubt follow a "terrorist" incident that gives Cheney an excuse to invade Iran.

BTW, you might also take a look Cheney's speech to the Institute of Petroleum, London, in 1999 where he says:

"Governments and the national oil companies are obviously controlling about ninety per cent of the assets. Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow."

Oh, I forgot, Cheney is stupid and the war in Iraq wasn't deliberately started solely for the purpose of stealing the oil. All we have to do is repeat often enough to him that it's disastrous for the GIs on the ground and he'll eventually see sense. I'm not holding my breath on that one...

BTW, you do realize that the reason the USAF/NORAD/ATC didn't respond quickly enough on 9/11 was because there were five different military exercises being held? One exercise shifted the bulk of USAF fighters to Canada for a joint exercise. Another exercise was about simulating terrorists hijacking jets and flying them into buildings (so much for "nobody could ever have anticipated" excuse from Condi "Lies 'R' Us") which led to great confusion about which was simulation and which was real. Who was in control of those five exercises? Some general on the joint chiefs of staff? No. Some other military officer? No. Micromanaging Rummy, although as a civilian he should not take control of an exercise? No. Dubya, so it would give him an excuse to play dress-up and pretend he was a useful human being? No. It was somebody who constitutionally is not even a part of the executive branch (except in case of illness, death or accident) but plays a minor role in the congressional branch: none other than Richard B. Cheney.

Sorry, I forgot. We already decided he's too stupid to be a criminal, he's just very lucky. And Osama was lucky too, because had his attack happened on any other day those four hijacked planes would have been shot down before they could do any damage.

Well, maybe they wouldn't have been shot down. Prior to the Bush maladministration, pilots used their own judgement: if an aircraft was not responding to radio and/or visual signals and appeared to be about to damage life or property, they could decide to shoot it down. It's a no-brainer, really. You see a plane about to crash into a building. If you do nothing everyone on the plane is dead, the aircraft is a write-off, the building is damaged (perhaps badly) and maybe people in the building are killed. Shoot the plane down and you at least save the building and the people in it, and it makes no difference to the people on the plane. Except Rummy decided that pilots had to refer back to him for a decision. In the few seconds between being sure the plane was a threat and it causing the damage, they had to refer back the chain of command to get Rummy's authorization. So even without the military exercises, Osama might well have gotten away with it.

Yep, Cheney and Rummy are stupid, but lucky. They do incredibly stupid things and benefit by them because they're so lucky. All we have to do is keep telling Cheney "you really should try not to be quite so stupid in future" and everything will be OK.

Len Hart said...

Stupid is repeating a failed strategy and expecting a different outcome. Bush and Cheney et al may well have desired chaos in Iraq. And, by some perverted standard that they have achieved that objective, they are intelligent. But that standard is not mine nor is it a standard among psychologists.

The genuinely intelligent could have had it all -without the chaos! When the entire middle east denies the US access to Iraqi resources, I will be happy to discuss the intelligence of either Bush or Cheney. In the meantime, there are easier ways to steal oil. The US has been doing it for decades. So what did every other President know that Bush/Cheney has not been able to figure out for themselves?

Secondly, when I speak of intelligence, I hold the Bush cabal to a more objective, measurable standard. Cheney -through Bush's eyes -must appear very bright indeed. But that says more about Bush's moronic IQ than it does of Cheney's mediocre one.

At last there are people who have been gifted with profound intelligence while others, thought to be intelligence, are only superficially so. Cheney is of the latter if he is intelligent at all. Bush is -as you have said -a moron. Examples of profound intelligence are to be found among a handful of gifted philosophers, statesmen, scientists, and artists.

Mediocre intelligences are exemplified by the Nazi elite who stood trial at Nuremberg. American psychologist Dr. Gustav Gilbert published their IQ's in his book: Nuremberg Diary. As I recall, none scored less than 120. The average IQ was proabably in the neighborhood of 130 or even 140. Goering scored above 130, as I recall, but was angered because another Nazi criminal scored above 150. None of them, however, could be said to have been profoundly intelligent as, say, Hawkings, Einstein, Voltaire, Hume, Mill, Da Vinci or even, perhaps, Marcus Aurelius.

Bush isn't in control and Cheney has other objectives than the.welfare of the US.

I am not at all sure that Bush is not in control. Bush has let slip on numerous occassions his crooked agenda. Not smart. His crooked agenda may be *intelligent" -if it works. But even then it fails the standard of true intelligence. Crooks are in jail because they are NOT smart -likewise, Bush's Iraq policies are universally reviled and even in the US they are increasingly rejected. Moreover, I cannot attribute to Cheney or to Bush loyalty to either the welfare of the US or to the Constitution.

It couldn't have worked out any better for Cheney if he had planned 9/11 himself.

Perhaps by Cheney's standard everything is just hunky dory. That is precisely the problem. By every other rational, sane, or intelligent standard, Iraq is a disaster -however much Cheney may love it. That Cheney loves this outcome is not the standard by which the Bush Iraq policy is to be judged.

We already decided he's too stupid to be a criminal

I never made that decision. Both Bush and Cheney are war criminals in violation of Nuremberg Principles, Geneva Convention, and US Codes; Section 2441 and others.

And, yes, Brian, I agree. It's all about oil. But there are smarter ways to harvest oil than irradiating a nation with depleted Uranium while inflaming world opinion against the US. We ARE outnumbered, after all. Even Rome fell.

I wish Cheney and Bush were more intelligent. They would be less inclined to fallacy of all sorts. They would be less inclined to deny and poke fun of science. They would not deny global warming or denigrate Kyoto. Bush might have known that there were black people in Rio and that the "vulcanization" of America is just not possible. It was Kant, as I recall, who wrote of a "...moral imperative to be intelligent."

damien said...

brian de ford, NORAD tapes record exchanges between Boston Central and the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) headed by Major Kevin Nasypany on the morning of 9/11. From 8.38 on exchanges between Boston and various NEADS staff make it clear that a simulated commercial aircraft hijacking was planned for the morning of 9/11, to commence sometime around 9.30. Links: 1 2 3

Brian de Ford said...

Hi Len

I suspect we're talking at cross-purposes here. You seem to be conflating the issues of culpability, morality and rationality. Most psychopaths are perfectly rational in their attempts to achieve their objectives even though most of us find those objectives abhorrent.

If Cheney were doing the same thing over and over again (causing chaos in Iraq) and the oil companies were not making record profits and the defense industries were not making money hand-over-fist and Halliburton & Bechtel were not getting juicy contracts and the maladministration were not establishing a fascist dictatorship, then given all the carnage his behaviour would indeed be stupid. But Cheney is doing the same thing over and over and getting exactly the result he wants, which cannot be called stupid behaviour. Antisocial, criminal, psychopathic behaviour yes, but not stupid.

There may be better ways of stealing the world's oil, although I have my doubts given the impending crisis of Peak Oil, with Russia, China, India and Pakistan all close behind the US in oil consumption and all possessing nuclear weapons. But if there is a better way of doing it, that only means Cheney is not a genius, not that he's stupid. He may not be Albert Einstein, but he sure isn't Homer Simpson either.

And that's the point I'm trying to make. We'll get nowhere by trying to convince Cheney that what he is doing is foolish because from his perspective it is very successful (and I have no doubt he thinks he's very clever). It's possible he could do better with a different strategy. It's possible that his current strategy will blow up in his face. But right now as far as Cheney is concerned all is going well and so he has absolutely no desire to change a successful strategy.

You tell Cheney that the "surge" is a big mistake which will only lead to further fighting and deaths and inwardly he'll rub his hands with glee because that is precisely what he wants (he may end up with more than he bargained for, but he obviously thinks it's all controllable). Every time I see a post saying "Bush's foolish strategy" or "Rumsfeld's stupid plan" I see a post that has completely missed the point and will be no help in ridding us of these evil people. You cannot possibly convince them that their strategy is stupid when, for them, it is a successful one.

I'm glad to see you're fully aware of the DU situtation which could lead to what has been called "omnicide" (the death of all life on the planet). At times I wonder if that is the real objective (perhaps not Cheney's objective but that of those who pull Cheney's strings). I never said that these people don't have insane objectives, only that they are pursuing those objectives rationally and (in their view) successfully.

I have to admit it's hard to think up an analogy for their behaviour that would get the point across, but how about this one? You see a guy burning his own arm with a cigar. Out of concern for his health you try to persuade him to stop because it is causing him pain, damaging his skin and might lead to infection. No matter what you say to him, he carries on doing it. You reach the conclusion that he is too stupid to understand you and perhaps too stupid to even understand the relationship between cause and effect of cigar and pain.

Later you find out that the guy is a masochist. He gets sexual pleasure from the pain. He's enjoying it. He knows of the risk of skin infection but is willing to risk it because without that particular kind of painful stimulation he cannot achieve sexual arousal. he's not stupid at all, he just has a completely different objective (sexual arousal from cigar burns) to the ones you thought he had (avoiding pain and avoiding damage to his body). You're never going to convince him to stop by telling him the cigar burns cause him pain because that's exactly what he wants. And telling him that if he wanted pain he could do a better job by sticking his hand in a blast furnace may not change his behaviour either.

The analogy breaks down because cigar man is committing a consensual crime that in no way hurts you. You can walk away and be none the worse. Cheney's crimes affect all of us. We desperately need him to stop. But we're not going to convince him by telling him what he's doing is stupid any more than we could convince cigar man. We won't even convince him by telling him that what he's doing is bad for America because the only people who matter to Cheney are those who are doing very well out of it, while those of us who are being harmed are, in Cheney's eyes, lower than snake testicles.

There is no rational argument you can use to convince Cheney to give up achieving his objectives in order to satisfy our objectives. There is no reason you can give him to stop, other than the harm it is doing to the Republican Party's popularity. But if Diebold can't fix that then a good terrorist that allows him to declare martial law and install presidential-sock-puppet-for-life Dubya the first will do nicely.

BTW, your conclusion that Bush is in control because he accidentally gives away details away of the maladminstration's plans is different from my own. My take on it is that Cheney beats things into Bush's head but however often Cheney says it's a secret the brain of a retarded kid in a president's body can't keep the secret. Some kids just can't help dropping hints about the secrets they know, especially if it makes them feel important.

That's the reason Bush didn't have a clue what was happening on 9/11—Cheney couldn't afford the risk. The most Cheney dared do was tell Bush he had to sit there until he was told that he could go. Hence the "deer in the headlights" look. Bush didn't know what was happening, or why. All he knew was that he had to sit quietly until Unca Dick said it was time for him to go.

SadButTrue said...

I think ultimately the question, 'Can America find its way back?' is more to the point than any question of how deliberate, intelligent, or culpable the perpetrators were and continue to be. And a question, I might add, that takes guts to confront. I say that because I agree with Len's short and gloomy assessment; probably not. The recent death of Gerald Ford reminds us that America has never even found its way back from the trauma inflicted by Nixon decades ago. There may have been a path of recovery had Ford not pardoned Nixon and some reconciliation had taken place. Instead the same old dumbasses kept resurfacing in Reagan's administration, Poppy's, and now Junior's, and as pointed out above - kept on repeating the same failed strategies with a gormless expectation of a different outcome.

John Dean described Watergate as 'a cancer on the Presidency.' Ford's treatment for that cancer was no better than a bandaid solution, with perhaps a strong analgesic to numb the pain. The resulting prognosis is not optimistic.

Len Hart said...

You seem to be conflating the issues of culpability, morality and rationality.

I believe that I credited Kant with having said that there is a moral imperative to be intelligent. By that implied definition it is immoral to be deliberately stupid. Moreover, Cheney and Bush persist in pursuing strategies that are counter-productive to their own evil ends. I call that stupid -however successful they may be in achieving dubious ends in the short term. Intelligence -especially profound intelligence -requies, perhaps by definition, the longer view.

Any jerk can win for a while -but short term gains are not merely short-lived, they are often destructive of those who pursue them. Hitler, like Bush, created more enemies than he could kill.

As for culpability: I am, after all, not merely an existentialist but a logical positivist.

Len Hart said...

I agree with Len's short and gloomy assessment... The recent death of Gerald Ford reminds us that America has never even found its way back from the trauma inflicted by Nixon decades ago.

I wish I had been wrong. Sadly, the "unitary executive" will forever raise its ugly head. Likewise, the endless and fallacious rationalizations that attack habeas corpus, the separation of powers, free speech, privacy and the other niceties that we have heretofore associated with a free society will perhaps forever be threatened even if Democrats succeed to any degree at all.

Long an admirer of Britain, I am saddened by that country's descent into a surveillance state if not a police state. Until Blair, England was almost alone among nations which emerged more democratic following a violent revolution. It is significant that though he was a dictator in deed, Oliver Cromwell eschewed titles like King, Dictator et al. Instead, he chose "Lord Protector"; he could have been crowned. Despite his atrocities -I have in mind his slaughters in Ireland -Cromwell may very well have been uncomfortable with the potential to rule England despotically. Many believe he did. I remind that he could have done worse. At last, what had become Great Britain would be more comfortable with a tamed monarchy than even a benevolent dictator.