Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Right Wing is 'Trawling for Assassins'!

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Radical right wingers --tea baggers et al --are accused of 'trawling for assassins. It's but one of several outrages now associated with the disingenuous, bigoted 'tea bagger movement'. The idea of 'assassinating' a President because he is both black and Democratic threatens to finish off America as a nation of noble ideals. Earlier the self-absorbed right wing --thinking themselves rich --allowed themselves to be used by a GOP party machine. They were fooled. To them, I say that like the rest of us, you have awakened as a cockroach unless you were one already.

A nation in which about one half of the population openly pines for the murder of the only fairly elected president in some 9 years may be finished. It's hard to see any redemption following from that crooked, malevolent mentality. The writing is on the wall. The American ideals most us grew up with are on life-support!

It was all by design and began with the Presidency of Ronald Reagan about whom GOP-types swooned: "He made us feel good about ourselves!"
Not only have the Wall Street Journal and the hosts of Fox News been issuing their usual dark mutterings, but a new slogan has began appearing on bumper stickers, t-shirts, and even teddy bears: "Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8."

That psalm reads, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."

Maddow seemed mainly amused by the teddy bears, but when she turned for comment to former right-wing evangelical leader Frank Schaeffer, he emphasized that in a religious context "it means something more threatening."

"The situation that I find genuinely frightening right now," Schaeffer explained, "is that you have a ramping up of biblical language ... and what it's coalescing into is branding Obama ... as 'not us.' ... Now he joins the ranks of the unjust kings of ancient Israel ... who should be slaughtered, if not by God then by just men."

--Former evangelist: Religious right is ‘trawling for assassins’
'Missing America' is about mourning the loss of ideals --freedom, equality, Democracy, inherent rights, self-evident truths, the promise that this government, this nation, unlike the monarchies of Europe, recognized in its founding document that the people are sovereign. Alas! None of that means shit to about to the congenital psychopathic idiots who have never bothered to read the U.S. Constitution but are, nevertheless, experts!
Now that the GOP has been transformed by the rise of the South, the trauma of terrorism and George W. Bush's conviction that God wanted him to be president, a deeper conclusion can be drawn: The Republican Party has become the first religious party in U.S. history.

We have had small-scale theocracies in North America before -- in Puritan New England and later in Mormon Utah. Today, a leading power such as the United States approaches theocracy when it meets the conditions currently on display: an elected leader who believes himself to speak for the Almighty, a ruling political party that represents religious true believers, the certainty of many Republican voters that government should be guided by religion and, on top of it all, a White House that adopts agendas seemingly animated by biblical worldviews.

--Kevin Phillips, How the GOP Became God's Own Party, Sunday, April 2, 2006

The GOP, especially the top tier, that ruling one percent, was never interested in American ideals but those it could exploit politically, those with which it might seize more wealth and power. These often 'super' patriots never loved 'America' but for its utilitarian value, most prominently the awesome military with which it might seize the resources of other nations, most recently Afghanistan for the pipeline to the Persian Gulf and Iraq for the oil. Dick Cheney's 'energy task force' met prior to 911 in order to carve the oil fields of Iraq. Somewhere on my hard drive is the map on which the fields are literally assigned the conspirators --Exxon et al!

When did we lose our grip? I often recall the moment, in Houston's Jones Hall, at the height of the Watergate Scandal, I covered a news conference by then President Richard Nixon. Dan Rather of CBS News approached the microphone to ask his two questions of Nixon. When he introduced himself at the microphone, there was thunderous applause.

"Are you running for something," Nixon asked!

"No, Mr President" Rather responded, "Are you?"

In that moment, a division within the media was made clear to me. The so-called 'media executives', boardroom types, owners et al were in Nixon's corner if not his pocket. Rather, rather, represented the 'working' press, dogged, interested in the getting to the truth about how 'Watergate' represented a clear and present danger to the 'Republic'. There really was such a 'media' in those days. Nixon's Vice President, Spiro T. Agnew called them "nattering nabobs of negativism"!

But we overcame and rose above Watergate. It was an old 'Western' in which the 'good guys' won. They did win, didn't they?

It was Reagan!

It was not Nixon but Reagan and the psychopathic ilk who followed him blindly over the cliff that all but finished off Democracy. It was Reagan who destroyed labor as he enriched his 'base' of extremely wealthy and powerful people. It was Reagan who transferred the wealth of this nation to an elite that had done nothing to deserve it, had done nothing to earn it. It was Reagan's 'tax cut' specifically that resumed a trend that had reversed during FDR's 'New Deal', that is, the rich began once again to grow much, much richer as those not among the upper 20 percent began to lose ground. As they had done during the era of the Great Robber Barons, Reagan must be remembered for having undone the good that had been done by FDR. This can all be proven with official figures from the Census Bureau, The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Commerce Department-Bureau of Economic Analysis.

To accomplish GOP/right wing goals, Reagan pandered to ignorance, bigotry, hate, and prejudice. Reagan made psychopaths feel good about being psychopaths. Reagan sold out American industry and labor. As a result, the U.S. is now on the very bottom of the CIA's 'World Fact Book' with the world's largest Negative Current Account Balance, formerly called the 'balance of trade deficit'. China boasts both the World's largest positive Current Account Balance and control over the value of the U.S. dollar.

It was the neo-imperialists, parasites upon the Military-Industrial Complex, who dared dream of an 'American Empire' in the PNAC document: REBUILDING AMERICA’S DEFENSES Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century [PDF]. These neo-imperialists openly pined for a new a 'catalyzing event', a new 'Pearl Harbor', that would be exploited to justify a campaign of aggressive wars, in fact, crimes punishable by death even under U.S. Codes, Title 18, Section 2441.
Documents from Dick Cheney's May 2001 energy task force -- released under court order to the public interest group Judicial Watch -- include charts and maps detailing Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, and refineries. The recently disclosed information also reveals maps of Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates oilfields, pipelines, refineries, and tanker terminals with supporting charts of major oil and gas developments. Thus, the billowing cloud of thick, black controversy rising from the task force and resulting energy policy of the Bush Administration grows even thicker. Two years ago, the Los Angeles Times published an extensive investigative piece showing that the 'Cheney-led task force consulted extensively with corporate executives. Its findings boosted their interests.' In April of this year the Washington Post reported that Cheney's lawyer 'received a scolding yesterday from a panel of federal appeals judges over the Bush administration's use of an unusual legal maneuver to avoid disclosing information about Cheney's energy policy task force.' The newly released information once again raises suspicion about what happened behind closed doors and heightens the need to answer what Cheney is trying so hard to keep classified. As Judicial Watch's President Tom Fitton said, 'These documents show the importance of the Energy Task Force and why its operations should be open to the public.'

--Cheney Energy Task Force Had Maps of Iraqi Oilfields
These people benefited from the inability of the American people to grasp the significance of the 'catalyzing event' that, in fact, gave Bush the pretext he needed to attack and invade Iraq, a nation that had been recently 'carved up', like 'spoils of war' by the members of Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force.
Why I moderate comments

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Viet Nam Redux

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

It may be too late for America to avoid falling into a trap like the one that embroiled several U.S. administrations in Southeast Asia for decades. The parallels are frightening. Just as JFK/LBJ had inherited what had been given the Orwellian name 'presence' in S.E. Asia, President Barack Obama risks getting stuck in an Afghanistan quagmire.

President Obama has received a military report requesting as many as forty thousand additional troops in Afghanistan though the objectives are increasingly vague, perhaps because both the Pentagon and the 'hawks' wish to avoid calling it what it is: nation building!

Since 911, the U.S. has bogged down in this new 'Viet Nam', failing every stated objective because: 1) objectives may be framed for 'public consumption' for the P.R. value; 2) because the Pentagon prefers to hide the fact that it is almost always wrong about anything more complex than lobbing a big bomb on a little village! The Pentagon is filled with gung ho grunts!

Again, the U.S. fights the wrong war, in the wrong way, for the wrong reasons. Nothing was learned from Viet Nam, the war crime from which Viet Nam did not begin to rebuild until we were gone! Clearly --the Military-Industrial Complex is unconcerned. The M.I.C is simply doing what it seemed intended to do and that is enrich the defense contractors who make up the Military-Industrial complex.

It seems that every Democratic president gets stuck with the false paradigm: be tough or be wimp! I submit that it is a 'tough' President who repudiates the bullshit left him by predecessors. It is the 'tough' President who levels with the American people. It is the 'tough' President who exposes the heinous nature of the war left him by George W. Bush who lied about 911 in order to start it. It is a 'tough' President who just says 'no': we will no longer compound the many crimes of George W. Bush!
Vietnam became a war of attrition. Johnson would regularly characterize his decisions as taking the middle ground. He would not "pull out" as the "doves" and "nervous Nellies" suggested nor would he go "all out" as the "hawkish" military advisors recommended.

Fighting a war with limited and political objectives had an added liability. It was difficult to define and convey the idea of "progress" to the public. There were few set piece or conventional battles and American objectives were not defined in geographical terms (e.g., Berlin and Tokyo). Instead, the administration was forced to create and essentially sell indicators of progress to the public. Herein lies the origin of such commonly used terms as "pacification zones" and "kill ratios.

Questioners, critics, and opponents to Johnson quickly arose. Perhaps the most prominent establishment figure was J. William Fulbright, the Democrat from Arkansas, who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Fulbright was a one-time friend and ally of Lyndon Johnson and had, ironically, served as floor manager of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964. He broke with Lyndon Johnson over the war in Vietnam and, in February 1966, led the Foreign Relations Committee through six days of televised hearings on the conduct of the war. To divert public attention from the hearings, Lyndon Johnson traveled to Honolulu to meet with South Vietnamese President Thieu. The Senate Committee would again hold hearings in August 1966 and in October-November of 1967.

--Conventional 'Warfare' in the Nuclear Age
Rory Stewart is the Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights. My first exposure to his thinking dates to his BBC interview of about two years ago. Stewart does not merely think outside the box, he denies its existence. The first conclusion is that the U.S. is in Afghanistan for all the wrong reasons; secondly, the recent military report given Obama has effectively changed the original U.S. objective. Instead of the eradication al Qaeda, the U.S. is now committed to defeating the Taliban and rebuilding a nation in 'our' image. Once again, the U.S. is suckered with stated 'goals' that are vague, imperial, grandiose, ill-framed and ill-considered.

At last, any intelligent 'enemy' should be expected to resist a foreign power, a foreign enemy. An enemy in Afghanistan knows the 'lay of the land'. We are fighting on their turf. We are the newbies. For all our flashy, high-tech, game-boy tech, we are just city slickers in the back country. We will never know Afghanistan as it is known by the Afghans.

This crisis for Obama is literally a dangerous opportunity. He can be suckered down a long road for which he will be remembered as LBJ is most often remembered --NOT for his 'Great Society' but for the escalation of hostilities in Viet Nam; or Obama can be remembered for having refused to be suckered by the merchants of death--the Military-Industrial complex and the sycophantic blood suckers on K-Street! We can bog America down in a long and ruinous war or we can break out of the trap that the seems always laid for Democrats by wars already begun and screwed up but left to a Democrat to clean up, a Democrat whose name will inevitably be stuck on it as LBJ's name is forever stuck on Viet Nam!

Rory Stewart on Bill Moyers Journal
Why I moderate comments

  • SPAM: 'comments' that link to junk, 'get rich' schemes, scams, and nonsense! These are the worst offenders.
  • Ad hominem attacks: 'name calling' and 'labeling'. That includes the ad hominem: 'truther' or variations!
Also see: Published Articles on

Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership, Global Issues, Updated: January 02, 2009




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