Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Greeks had a word for Bush: IDIOT!

The great British philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote in his Wisdom of the West that Western civilization was and is essentially Greek -so great was that blossoming in the fifth century BC. Of the several factors supporting that thesis, none is more important than a discernable secular, populist trend absent from the older civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Russell supports that thesis by pointing out " astonishing stream of masterpieces which have set the standard for Western civilization."

Admittedly this is a bit of a tautology. Any civilization could merely define a standard conforming to those of its own creation. Nevermind, Russell remains one of the profound intellects of the 20th century, having partnered with Whitehead in the Principia Mathmatica, and, later, opposing nuclear proliferation, war, and the Viet Nam war in particular.
Russell believed the Greeks were the first civilization to evince philosophical or scientific curiosity. Eastern civilizations of the period, by contrast, were ruled by "divine" Kings, military aristocracies, and powerful priesthoods -guardians of elaborate polytheistic systems. The Pharaoh Akhenaten was a notable exception -remembered for having replaced many gods with one "Sun" god. The effort did not succeed.

Though each Greek city-state developed and nurtured its own culture, all were unmistakably Greek. As such, they were surprisingly secular even if Socrates himself would fall victim to the "religious right". Russell observes that religion "...was not conducive to the exercise of intellectual activity." He leaves it to the reader to conclude that it was because of this that neither Egypt nor Babylonia developed science or philosophy.

It is at this point that Russell makes the study of philosophy an ingredient essential to an understanding of politics:

A man who took no interest in politics was frowned upon, and was called an idiot, which is Greek for "...given over to private interests."

-Bertrand Russell, Wisdom of the West

The term private interests could be construed to mean hobbies. It is more likely, however, that it is descriptive of burgeoning business enterprises. After all, the city-states must surely have been great importers and traders. As such, it is easy to see certain tensions between the affairs of state and the affairs of enterprise. By the time of Henry VIII, Sir Thomas More's definition of government as "a conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of a commonwealth" would presage both fascism and Stalinesque communism. In both, the "State" and business would bury the hatchet and work in concert against the interests of everyone else -as Bush and his cabal do today.

It is the Greek use of the word idiot that resonates so truly today, a time when multi-national corporations dominate the media, when Jack Abramoff and similar ilk broker the corporate takeover of the state, when the people themselves are shunned, when George W. Bush exports death and destruction for the benefit of corporate sponsors.

Idiots, indeed!

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Awakening as a Cockroach

It seems never to end. Nothing is learned. Old GOP scandals are covered up or spun while new ones are spawned. There is a body of evidence to indicate that Bush and Blair deliberately schemed to make legal -after the fact -the aggressive war against Iraq. The following link -Ministers were told of need for Gulf war ‘excuse’ -is just the latest smoking gun, confirming the much earlier Downing Street Memos. An excerpt:

MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal."

The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier."

The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal.

In other words, Bush and Blair are war criminals. These violations of the Nuremberg Principles are prohibited by US Codes, Section 2441 which prescribes the death penalty for war crimes resulting in death.

Nobel prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter is vindicated. In 2005, in a 5,000-word speech, Pinter excoriated "...the US government over Guantánamo Bay and its attempts to destabilise Nicaragua in the 1980s."

He also savaged the Blair government for its "pathetic and supine" support of George W. Bush. He likened Blair`s government to a "bleating little lamb" for its support of Bush's criminal war against Iraq. Indeed, the ICC at Belgium has already received numerous cases against Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld and a host of other senior U.S. officials. The charges include crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

...among the other named defendants we also have General Ricardo Sanchez, who was in charge of the Iraq war at the outset and authorized these torture techniques. There's also George Tenet, who was head of the CIA, and that of course involves the CIA's secret detention sites around the world, where waterboarding and other kinds of torture went on. Those are three of the people at the top who we've named as defendants. Then we have the lawyers, former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo in particular, who basically set up the legal framework. There was a case during the Nuremburg trials in Germany after World War 2 in which German lawyers were gone after because they implemented the Nazi program of murder.

-US Codes, Section 2441Lawyers File War Crimes Charges Against Rumsfeld and Others in German Court

Bush meanwhile will compound his idiocy having learned nothing. Chaos will worsen for two reasons among others: the vengence execution of Saddam and Bush's planned "surge". Bush failure is evident on all but forgotten fronts. Afghanistan, under-reported for years, has been lost. Hamid Karzai is literally confined to Kabul.

​​One is reminded of Winston Churchill who wrote that the statesman "...who yields to war no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." At last, what does "staying the course" and "getting the job done" mean? There is, in fact, no course to stay but mere "war fever" itself.

Bush, moreover, has never defined what is meant by winning. Some 600,000 Iraqis are now dead as a result of the US invasion and the wave of civil war that spewed up in its wake. That figure is comparable to the 618,000 Americans who died in the Civil War. Is there yet another standard by which the magnitude of this catatastrophe might be made clear?

Now Bush wants to send more troops to Iraq to achieve a "goal" that he cannot articulate. A "surge" it is called when, in fact, it is idiocy compounded, the criminal repetition of a failed policy. Bush will raise the stakes on a losing bet —and he dares call himself a "Texan"! Bush has made of us mere slaves to uncontrollable events, victims of evil unleashed. We might as well have awakened as cockroaches.

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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.

Why Conservatives Hate America

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