Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 25, 2006

WB: Cutting and Running to Victory

Billmon

While an abrupt, overnight switch in the propaganda machine's output from stay-the-course-forever to cut-and-run-to victory might grate on the ears of those of us who still haven't quite adjusted to the Fox News era, I doubt the vast majority of the American people will care -- or even notice. They'll just be happy that the war is "over" and the boys and girls will be coming home, allowing them to forget the whole disagreeable business. Anyone who believes otherwise must have slept through the last few elections.

Sooner or later, of course, the clueless idiots will find out that the war -- the real war, the war for the Middle East -- isn't over, and isn't likely to be over in their lifetimes, or even their children's lifetimes. But it's probably safe to assume that the first Tuesday in November will have come and gone by then.

Cutting and Running to Victory

Posted by b on June 25, 2006 at 06:28 AM | Permalink

Comments

I don't think Cheney is going to withdraw from Iraq. I think he is going to try to withdraw 50 - 60,000 American troops into enclaves within Iraq and to "redeploy" the rest elsewhere in the Middle East.

He imagines the US presence in Iraq to be like the seventy year US presence in the Philippines, or the sixty year presence in Okinawa, or in Korea.

But Maliki can't take that and stay in power. When he calls their bluff and orders all US troops out of Iraq all hell will surely break loose if Cheney and Bush refuse. And the world will find itself united against the Anglo-American Axis as it united against that other Axis sixty years ago. I truly hope this is the beginning of the end of the Cheney-Bush "adventure" in Iraq. One way or the other.

Then let the Anglo-American War Crimes Tribunal begin.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Jun 25, 2006 8:14:49 AM | 1

Speaking of the fox news, Think Progress » Fox Gets "Fair And Balanced" Access to Guantanamo

Oh, yeah: that's really going to be a totally objective, impartial view of what's going on at Gitmo.

It's not the laughing hysterically at headlines like this that gets me: it's the inability to stop.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 25, 2006 8:18:49 AM | 2

site meter reads APO armed forces are reading this thread right now, hmm.... wonder what they think of the speculations

Posted by: annie | Jun 25, 2006 11:28:03 AM | 3

Annie, take a look at my last post.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 25, 2006 11:40:40 AM | 4

DMSSC Europe Armed Forces Europe, Middle East, & Canada Apo

APO afloat pre-positioning operations; Army Post Office
Defense Medical Systems Support Center : (1) Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. (2) Joint Military Vaccine Agency ...

Funny thing is, my power went out for several minutes as I was preparing my last post, not that that means anything, but ya do wonder...

Is a bio attack in the works?

Bird Flu Passed From Son to Father, W.H.O. Says (IHT via NYT)
Uh oh.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 25, 2006 11:58:19 AM | 5

It appears to me that the public is being prepared for the meme that common criminals can easily be enlisted by terrorists to do their bidding. Therefore the distinction between criminal and terrorist will blur. Those who already have trouble distinguishing between law-abiding people of color and gangster / criminals and live in fear of being robbed or raped by such could soon be asked to ponder the possibility that robbers and rapists could be plotting to bomb their office buildings. They'll be relieved when the government takes the necessary measure of melding the police with the military is introduced, and the currently redundant supermax prisons will provide a perfect repository for these supercriminals.


Folks, the fuses have been lit. This is not the time to put on our red velvet jackets and puff on our pipes whilst grappling pedanticly.

The time has come. We must get off our asses. The salvation of mankind, both spiritually and physically, is at stake.

I'm not just Whistlering Dixie.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 25, 2006 12:18:42 PM | 6

uncle, what gets me is the transparency of it all and that anyone at this point is buying the spin. there are a few sites where i read the latest from the psyops, the pretend to be the weirdest characters, like irish housewives sitting around asking questions to set up the talking defenders of the ccupation. the lastest spin i heard yesterday was we were "NOT an occuation" . that we are there by invitation of the iraqi government 'assisting' to bring law and order. the MO's are constantly changing. now there are all these not so subtle hints about how the kurds have it so together and how wonderful it would be if they were independent. first we get the spin we are trying to hold iraq together but anybody w/brain knows the neo's want to divide and conquer, which of course they deny but gradually it slips into the lexicon of dialogue on these sites. what BS.

the reporters who were granted access to gitmo and then turned away. i read their account last week, was that you who posted? from the guardian or something. having fox guard the henhouse, how apropos

Posted by: annie | Jun 25, 2006 12:29:54 PM | 7

Back during the 2004 election I argued that Bush was more likely than Kerry to withdraw troops from Iraq, as his propaganda machine was slick enough to declare victory and withdraw no matter what, while Kerry would actually stick around and try to fix the unfixable.

Posted by: Rowan | Jun 25, 2006 1:07:33 PM | 8

Yes, annie Modern propaganda comes in many forms, but of primary concern in these two cases are:

'Mobile truth's,' or the reinterpretation of events (revisionist history),a
common feature on the Internet, which is increasingly becoming an entry point into the more conventional media; Psyops in support of operations, including spin control, after action reports,or informative accounts when the media is controlled by intelligence and law enforcement; The digital nature of media--text, photographs, video, audio--has undermined the ability to establish the reality of what they represent as observational proxies. This has recently been termed the 'fictive environment' by the military and I'll use the term for lack a better one.

Mobile truth: in the absence of public facts or knowledge, speculation has run wild. As usual, everyone's favorite pet suspect emerges--terrorists.

PsyOps: this game is lose-lose for everyone; the public is confused and angered, the investigation is hampered or discredited, the sources of the false information will eventually be shown to be wrong (although they will launch secondary operations to manage this as well, alleging further cover-up, conspiracy, and so forth). What happens though is a continual lessening of the resistance in the information environment to future psyops operations, and this is the long term benefit sought by the perpetrators. Confidence in the government is at an all time low--post Viet Nam, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Whitewater, Zippergate etc. The readiness to believe the worst becomes greater and greater, and public mental health suffers.

Never forget that on November 8, 1996 Electronic Civil Defense Became a National Issue. And amtter of time before a "Electronic Pearl Harbor." FBI Director Louis Freeh, made the statement that, that additional electronic eavesdropping capabilities were needed to thwart the threats of domestic terrorism. He also referred to various law enforcement concerns that unless US citizens voluntarily complied with a Key Escrow scheme of some variety, would not interfere with government investigations into crime and terrorism.

On July 15 of that year , President Clinton issued an Executive Order calling for the Establishment of President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection. Certain national infrastructures are so vital that their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on the defense or economic security of the United States. These critical infrastructures include:

telecommunications, electrical power systems,
gas and oil storage and transportation,
banking and finance, transportation,
water supply systems, emergency services (including medical, police, fire, and rescue), and continuity of government.

And here's the thing, in order to protect them you have to control them.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 25, 2006 1:12:08 PM | 9

Unca, I'm putting that bird flu art. in the so...wait & see pile. Doubtless you've listened to MIchio Kaku's science progs. over the year (can listen @mkaku.org). Couldn't be more careful; just basic technocratic science. Not a paranoid or jump to conclusion bone in his body. He's had two programs I've heard in recent mos. One when peer reviewed art. came out saying it was not communicable btw. humans 'cuz they'd just figured out that it lodges in the lower lungs rather than the upper lungs, where things must lodge to be readily transmissable via breathing, coughing, etc. But the 2nd prog. I just caught part of & didn't get the name of the woman being interviewed. However, she said xUSgov. researching it to figure out how to mutate it to make it communicable. Rationale - dev. a vaccine.

As we've discussed, exc. way to reduce population & solidify control. Provide elite protection for something you can use to wipe out the masses. Why the hell else are they on such an aggressive prog. to build bioweapons labs.

Posted by: jj | Jun 25, 2006 1:29:57 PM | 10

You wrote, "While an abrupt, overnight switch in the propaganda machine's output from stay-the-course-forever to cut-and-run-to victory might grate on the ears of those of us who still haven't quite adjusted to the Fox News era, I doubt the vast majority of the American people will care -- or even notice. They'll just be happy that the war is "over" and the boys and girls will be coming home, allowing them to forget the whole disagreeable business. Anyone who believes otherwise must have slept through the last few elections."

You couldn't have said it better, Billmon. Your 1972 Nixon vignette serves as a guide, and the semi-official media, as you put it, will do their best. In fact, today, they're out there helping out as much as they can.

Let's face it. The American people are stupid and gullible. And the news media has gone over. Even when they have to report bad news, they are ever on the lookout for ways to help the administration. The Rovians know this. And that's why they keep on winning. This time I don't blame the Democrats for being inept. They put forth withdrawal proposals and had their heads handed to them until everybody got the new script. By now we should have gotten it that it really doesn't matter what the Democrats do or say. The conspiracy between the administration and the Beltway media will always shoot them down.

Part of making a democracy work entails a somewhat informed public and a free, honest, and open press. We no longer have either of those. And so we get what we deserve. And that's going to be indefinite Republican rule and a war that will go on as long the Cheneyites want it to. And we can't do anything about it.

Posted by: Phil from New York | Jun 25, 2006 2:26:01 PM | 11

Let’s review the week’s news, shall we?

On the one hand, we learn that the president was amply warned about Al Qaeda’s planned attack. He did nothing. As a result, 3,000 people died.

On the other hand, a band of poor young black men in Miami were cozened by a secret policemen into planning an attack on the Sears building in Chicago. They only lacked equipment, weapons, a plan, any connection to al Qaeda, and, most likely, the foggiest idea of where Chicago is, not to speak of the Sears building. Testimony from neighbors has shown conclusively that they wore things on their heads like turbans.

Two stories. Which story does the media go with?

There is a psychological problem in preserving the level of contempt the governing class, the press, and the culture that is perfectly content with the two, deserves. this and other information scrolls before our eyes for years and years, there is a contempt burn out. There only so many levels of disgust one can go through. There is such a thing as spectator paralysis. It is like the situation of the boy in Clockwork Orange – eyes forced open with little wire brackets, secured in a seat so that we can’t move, the movie unrolls before us. And such are the truths of Pavlovian conditioning that after a time, they can remove the wire clamps and the seat restraints, and they can do whatever the hell they want to do. Foist another Clinton or Bush upon us. Raise another ignorant crop of privileged white men and women to wink and blink at us on tv, babbling on, swollen mindless egos knowing nothing and filling the gaping intellectual hole by repeating endless versions of childhood taunts, heads filled with straw. The kind of people who consider themselves the crown of the meritocracy – and who are. Meritocracy, American version, circa 2006. We even see stories that clearly indicate that the next terrorist action in the U.S. will likely be the result of a botched sting operation -- and nobody questions it. LI is laughing so hard that blood is bubbling out of his mouth.

The angels weep. Better I were distract/So should my thought be sever’d from my griefs/And woes by wrong imagination lose/The knowledge of themselves – as Gloucester says in Lear, prophetically envisioning the cable news networks of the future.

Home grown , common criminals...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 25, 2006 2:46:43 PM | 12

Re: Uncle $cam, "The time has come. We must get off our asses. The salvation of mankind, both spiritually and physically, is at stake."

I have been saying almost that, at least in regard to those living here in America, for years. Yes, so many red flags out there. Sad, but people here don't see them. Don't Panic. It is difficult to estimate an immediate danger to the whole world, and most populations in developed nations are better informed or at least more skeptical than so many here in the U.S. Actually, I see the World, on the whole, improving with regards to human dignity and liberty. And looking back, from the beginning of time, many have felt that human beings have always lived on the edge of extinction. Would the Cheney regime be so stupid as to force a world catastrophe? After seeing this Iraq and Afghanistan fiasco, one might be ready to conclude "yes". It appears "frame and blame" then "provoke and attack" is the name of the game. I don't know how far into hell these Cheney/Bush people will drag us or others. Again, an Iraqi would know exactly how far into hell Bush can drag you, so maybe I am in no position to comment.

Back to Billmon's (now 2nd) last post on Whiskey Bar, I have been wondering the exact same thing for the last few days. However, considering the permanent bases and large embassy being built in Iraq, I take the cynical view and see all this GOP hypocrisy as just an election ploy. Again, no need to panic any more now than yesterday, just business as usual. The only thing that I would add is that, this Middle East War will continue because of Bush, not in spite of Bush (not that Billmon said otherwise). There were many opportunities for peace to flourish. Populations in the Middle East did not hate America before Bush; Bush has all but guaranteed future conflict in the Middle East for a very long time. How that conflict will spread, if and when it does, is beyond my knowledge to even guess. The handling of Iran will give us some clues for the short term.

My Internet went down for a few minutes also, and I see there are some more posts.

Billmon has more in a new post on Whiskey Bar. His George Orwell connection is so applicable.

Rowan (#8) “Kerry would actually stick around and try to fix the unfixable.”
>Sounds very likely. I believe that Kerry could have won the last Presidential election if he would have taken a firm stand against the war. The election was his to loose.

Regarding Phil's (#11) statement: “This time I don't blame the Democrats for being inept. They put forth withdrawal proposals and had their heads handed to them until everybody got the new script.”
>The leading Democrats have not stood up against this War. The Iraq War began with the Democrats compliance and/or silence. However, Phil is correct, without an informed public, there is no Democracy. Actually besides losing Democracy, we have a double whammy - the U.S. Courts and Congress have stripped away our rights and dignity. And still, the American people refuse to take the effort to look past Limbaugh and Fox News.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 25, 2006 4:01:22 PM | 13

When the 'leaks' about US military leadership mooting a withdrawal timetable came out about 24 hours ago, they hardly seemed worth taking seriously.

Even a real timetable wouldn't have any substantial troop movements before election day, so that if the 10% probability that this is a genuine proposal from the military leadership is true, it is still nothing more than a finger to detect the wind of change.

A finger to detect if there is enough of a change following the mid-terms to require a realignment from one side of the party to another side. All that really means is some wallets close whilst others open, any actual change 'in country' will be superficial.

Sufficient to realign a few income streams, perhaps a couple of tactical decisions to more heavily utilise weapons systems manufactured in districts held by influential members of the 'other side', but nothing more than just enough to let those who voted for the 'other side' imagine they have 'won'.

Whatever that is it will be insufficient to allow Iraqis enough freedom of action to determine their own destiny.

Still the most probable motivation for this 'leak' and the subsequent reshuffling of paper independent of any real movement of people, those living breathing and prone to bleeding entities, that war effects most of all, is that it is just another little blip to confuse in the white noise of contradictory soundbites.

Every time a pesky lefty sneaks a question about "when are our boys coming home" every party candidate from the liberal left to the far right of Joe Lieberman will be able to answer in unison: "the timetable is in place".

There is a temptation by some to imagine that this is an attempt to deceive the voters. Of course it is not. Anyone with more than one synapse still sparking can see through this deception if they wish to.

The thing is they don't wish to. This option is still better than amerikan voters having to face facts.

The facts are that whatever minor swings of the pendulum back, USuk is losing, all that any politician can do is delay the inevitable, in the hope that defeat won't have to be confronted while they could be held accountable. In the terminology of those that have sent others to war but never been on either the giving or receiving end of war, this aim is known as "not on my watch".


The facts are that 'superpowerdom' is an illusion. Once it gets down to the hard bone on blood grind, the most committed side will always win and there is nothing more committed than people proudly defending their culture, heritage and most importantly their land.

Oh, if a bully can put an armed force of a similar order of magnitude to the total population of the oppressed 'on the job', the bully may be able to hold the land long enough for a few generations to pass so that ownership becomes co-mingled, but that's old school colonialism and is very difficult to achieve in the 21st century.

The interesting story this weekend is that is that a major step toward the return of Afghanistan to the Pashtun people seems to have occurred.

Posted by: | Jun 25, 2006 5:34:32 PM | 14

Well, the one thing that is pretty clear about the administrations intentions in Iraq is -- is that all bets are hedged -- defacto, through the internal right arabist/right zionist struggles within the administration itself. And because the ultimate decisions in these matters fall upon the decider in chiefs own shriveled up Jack Daniels soaked brain, we can expect no consistancy or follow-up that would indicate any clear minded end game strategy, other than what serves the immediate short term (domestic) political needs. In which case the black and white of intent has been so thoroughly kneeded together into such a grey amorphus mess, that no one (in the U.S.public) will be able to tell the difference between winning or loosing, leaving or staying, sovereignity, or colonialism, except through the indice of who won the last round of elections -- if the republicans win in november, then the war (whatever happens) is a success. They are writing the history, no?

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 25, 2006 6:00:20 PM | 15

@anna missed yeah that is correct if we accept that the ship is truly rudderless. Alex Cockburn made the arguement that regarding Rove as some sort of latter day Cardinal Richlieu was palpably absurd over at Counterpunch a week or so ago.

He could well be correct. Rove may have persuaded sufficient voters to tick the box marked BushCo or he may simply not have made such a cake of getting voters to tick the other box as his opponents. Whichever it is the BushCo regime hasn't made a sound move since then. They have displayed no indication of a coherent strategy or even a domestically credible one. Nevertherless whether or not they do that or not they are still delaying the inevitable. Short of allocating cannon-fodder in the hundreds of thousands to each sector and making the fodder mix 24/7 with the people of Iraq, the chances of holding that territory for enough time to provide a net benefit to amerika are nil.

Fortress Green Zone will allow a perception of success to be disseminated outside the horror as long as the message bearers remain sufficiently pliant, but actually turning the occupation into a plus for the moribund amerikan brand of global economy is never going to happen.

Posted by: | Jun 25, 2006 6:37:05 PM | 16

the rove strategy has been eminently coherent and all too successful. one can only admire the adroitness how every contradiction becomes another example of "left" betrayal. the examples are too numerous and quotidian to mention. rove is a masterful vilifier.

the u.s. can also occupy iraq for as long as takes to partition iraq. without a truly nationalist insurgency to save iraq from occupation, iraq is finished as a viable state. the u.s. will occupy whatever statelet(s) it wants for however long it wants until some unified resistance can eject the empire. presently, no state in the region possesses the means of violence to undue the occupation. this could go on for a really long time.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 7:05:01 PM | 17

if i had to pick the greatest achievement of rove et al., it would be the destruction of the welfare state and refeudalization of the middle-class, all with the blessing of the people. really, just bloody brilliant. and they're just getting started.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 7:11:26 PM | 18

undo

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 7:12:37 PM | 19

undo

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 7:12:51 PM | 20

but cockburn is right about the "left." without accessibly coherent ideas, no amount of bitching about the evil-genius rove will change anything in the world.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 7:17:42 PM | 21

But slothrop,

The exceptionalist card prevents even the democrats from coughing up real solutions -- which require an embrace of socialism -- antithetical to what is "uniquely american", aka american values.

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 25, 2006 8:59:50 PM | 22

if i had to pick the greatest achievement of rove et al., it would be the destruction of the welfare state and refeudalization of the middle-class, all with the blessing of the people. really, just bloody brilliant. and they're just getting started.


Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 7:11:26 PM | 18

that had zippo nada zilch to do w/Rove. That's the Counter Reformation designed at behest of David Rockefeller, who brought in Zbig, put tog. the Trilateral Commiss which commissioned sammy huntington's "Crisis of Democracy". The elite got totally hysterical when democracy actually started breaking out in the 60's, so they designed a system to return the rule of the country to literally a handful of Wall Street bankers & lawyers. Rove is just a johnny come lately mind fuck artist, who fell in love w/BabyBush at first sight - haven't you read accounts of that first meeting?. Also, read the Louis Powell Memo...etc. etc. etc.

Does anyone know who was behind leaning on reagan to put BushDaddy in as VP, 'cuz I've read he really did not want him?

Posted by: jj | Jun 25, 2006 9:11:25 PM | 23

Rove is good at what he does, but he's a political tactition, not a strategist of any kind. The Republican strategy for dismantling the welfare state was developed principally by Norquist. (Note: Clinton helped their cause before Bush and his wrecking crew got there.) For Norquist, money is a weapon to be used against political enemies. This means cutting off your opponents funding sources just as you would cut a military supply line while increasing your own. (They don't call funds for elections war chests for nothing.) He is the archetect behind the K St Project, which shuts out Dems from lobby loot, the annual tax cuts to benefit Republican funding sources (which also limits funds that can be appropriated to help Dem constituencies), and legislation aimed at traditional Dem funding sources like trial lawyers and unions. The long term strategy, in his own words (paraphrased), is to make the average American dependent on US corporate interests (esp MI complex) for their own livelihood so they will be more supportive of whatever policies those corporations want. In other words, he thinks people naturally support whatever supports them economically so, make 'em dependent on Republican constituencies and they'll support those interests. Tax cuts for the rich, coupled with corporate giveaways dries up available funds to meet current social spending commitments - let alone allow new social spending - and will eventually force govt to abandon those commitments. The job isn't done yet, but the strategy has set the stage for the final act which may even occur in a Dem administration. This was Norquist, not Rove, whose job was to sell what they were doing while hiding it at the same time.

Posted by: lonesomeG | Jun 25, 2006 9:46:25 PM | 24

simple rovian counterstatement:

we are for data mining/you are for child porn
for gwot/for "appeasement"
for flag burning amendment/for bible burning, christ killing
for anwar drilling/for endangered suckerfish, recycling urine
for marriage amendment/for child porn (allpurpose)
for homeland security/for mexican reconquista
for immigration reform/for white child slavery in chihuaha
consume more!/live less!
we are for the christian/you are for the islamofascist and cali crackers w/ matching sneakers who beamed aboard departing spaceship
light/darkness, child porn

and so on

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 10:02:19 PM | 25

or in other words,

we are for america, you are for all that is alien to america.

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 25, 2006 10:08:02 PM | 26

sure, sure. getting the peeps to dig the demolition of their little dreams has been going on a long time. rove is the heroic banal transparency of this movement. impressive how the fiscal crisis assures victory.

we want to "reform" ss & medicare/you want to raise taxes.

who would want to raise taxes? that's just stupid.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 10:10:34 PM | 27

anna missed

it is obvious you are a lesbo carpetmunching art queen islamofascist. why don't you get a job and stop thinking of ways to destroy america?

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 10:15:31 PM | 28

just kidding, you know.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 25, 2006 10:25:51 PM | 29

anna missed: "The exceptionalist card prevents even the democrats from coughing up real solutions -- which require an embrace of socialism -- antithetical to what is "uniquely american", aka american values."

I am not sure socialism and "social darwinism" are the only two solutions in political debate. I do not embrace either choice.
For example, what is "unamerican" about our federal or local governments helping out the poor souls who were stuck in that hellhole New Orleans Stadium? That was the most significant single event that broke Bush's popularity.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 25, 2006 10:44:29 PM | 30

anna missed,

I forgot to thank you for your jukebox selections last Friday night. I was reminded of my younger days rolling on a dirt floor in Junior Kimbrough's juke joint. Usually I would be the only white guy in many of these joints, and Junior's tube amplifier added that special ambiance. I have a hole in my soul with the days of good blues gone by. I done got old. I also enjoyed "Our Town". Again, loaded with heart and soul. Sad because it is so true.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 25, 2006 11:08:09 PM | 31

Norquist is another Lt. or perhaps Captain in charge of one facet of the Counter Reformation. The Guys at the Top got together & decided they wanted to return an emerging democracy to the rule of Wall Street. They set out to put together funders to bankroll think tanks to draw up plans. They built AEI, Heritage, etc. This was all co-ordinated from the top & focus group tested. Once they've decided to stop paying employees, there's plenty of money available to buy up the political class, both black & white. Recall when Reagan slipped once & mentioned the truth - we're building a political mvmt. based on greed. Once this obtained critical mass, it crowded out everything else.

Another crucial decision was to ensure that college education became as expensive as possible. This was so the young could still go to college - w/their new credit cards - but would be so burdened w/working while in college & debt when they got out, that they would have no energy for idealism that was so impt. in fueling the explosion of democracy in the 60's & 70's.

Posted by: jj | Jun 25, 2006 11:16:33 PM | 32

anna missed,

The GOP/Corporate enviroment that young, old and in between, find themselves now trapped -is just as far from "exceptionalism" as socialism is. Money talks, all else walks. Even with money, you best be a player or else.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 25, 2006 11:20:16 PM | 33

General Motors will on Monday disclose details of one of most dramatic corporate downsizings in US history, exceeding a key target of its turnround plan and accelerating the demise of the privileged American car worker. - from rawstory.com

Sorry for the double posting, meant to post it here.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 25, 2006 11:43:45 PM | 34

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13541353/

More details on the GM Announcement:

A total of 50,000 workers or more is set to leave the industry over the next few months.

Later this week, Delphi – the former GM subsidiary which is North America's biggest auto parts maker – is expected to disclose that at least 9,000 of its 31,000 unionised workers have accepted similar buy-outs.

In addition, Ford, the second-biggest Detroit-based carmaker, has disclosed that more than 10,000 workers have taken packages. All three companies are also cutting salaried staff.
----------------------------------------------------------

Gee, the October stock market may be interesting, with an election year and all the other happenings going on... -Rick H.


Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 26, 2006 12:07:10 AM | 35

@jj 32
You're right. The assault on the so-called welfare state was begun by the elites before Norquist became a player. Whatever his contributions, he's still a servant of the monied class, as is Rove.

Posted by: lonesomeG | Jun 26, 2006 12:29:13 AM | 36

Rick,
Wrote a couple hour response to your question, and my 11 year old got in before I finished & accidently dumped the post (ugg). Will try later.

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 26, 2006 12:47:19 AM | 37

flip-flop, flip-flop,

Troops to Stay in West Iraq, General Says

American troop levels in western Iraq, one of the most dangerous parts of the country, are not expected to decline as part of a plan to make sharp reductions in American combat forces in Iraq by the end of 2007, a top general said Sunday.

Posted by: b | Jun 26, 2006 12:53:32 AM | 38

Some Europeans prepare to "cut and run" in Afghanistan:
Afghan Leader Losing Support

While no one is suggesting that any imminent withdrawal of foreign military or economic support is likely, some European governments -- which do not share Washington's investment in Afghanistan as a role model for a modern Muslim democracy -- have begun to question the wisdom of costly long-term economic commitments and the risk of ongoing high battlefield casualties.

"There is an awful feeling that everything is lurching downward," said a Western diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "Nearly five years on, there is no rule of law, no accountability. The Afghans know it is all a charade, and they see us as not only complicit but actively involved. You cannot fight a terror war and build a weak state at the same time, and it was a terrible mistake to think we could."

Posted by: b | Jun 26, 2006 1:05:06 AM | 39

Norquist is in charge of bullying Wash. pols to keep taxes down on the monied.

More on the blueprints for the takeover by the Pirates being laid down in the 70's. Carter was their first Pres. Zbig found him. His job, as former minister, was to give the appearance of post-Nixon renewal, while beginning the implementation of their plans. Reagan was when it began in earnest.

I'm currently reading the new Harpers. Clearly if you want the Pirates to take over, the first thing you have to attack is anti-trust laws. (Why are none of the so-called "liberal"/progressives demanding these be reinstated?) Here's an excerpt from an art. ("Breaking the Chain: The Antitrust Case Against Wal-Mart") dealing w/that.

When R-R- took power in '81, one of his first targets was antitrust law. The new admin. put fortha a vareity of arguements - not least that international competition, esp. w/Japan, had rendered moot the old fears of monopoly. Yet the driving motive clearly was the philosophical antipathy of the Reaganites to the idea that the Am. people, acting through their rperesentatives, had any business whatsoever telling business what to do. And the practical effect was to harness the institution of the corporation to that administration's larger project of shifting power and profit from the working,middle & entrepreneurial classes to the powerful and rich. The radical nature of R-'s attack on antitrust law is, in retrospect, astounding. ... When the Reagan team published its new Merger Guidelines in '82 the document formalized two revolutionary changes: it redefined the American marketplace as global in nature, and it severely restricted who could be regarded as a victim. From this point on, only one action could be regarded as truly unacceptable - to gouge the consumer. Any firm that avoided such a clumsy act was, for all intents, free to gouge any other class of citizens, not least through predatory pricing & the blatant ex. of power over suppliers & workers.

I highly rec. everyone pick up the new Harpers - not as good as the old Harpers - under the great Lewis Lapham - but still the only thing around. Reading this art. one realizes that Clinton wasn't some hick from Arkansas. He was the first WalMart President.

Posted by: jj | Jun 26, 2006 1:05:21 AM | 40

Rick,
Wrote a couple hour response to your question, and my 11 year old got in before I finished & accidently dumped the post (ugg). Will try later.

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 26, 2006 1:25:54 AM | 41

Exceptionalism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_ethnocentrism>classically defined and if seen as an archetype of american identity, may illucidate several characteristics underlying the current political situation. Historically, it no doubt reaches all the way back to the cultural antecedents of the country, an amalgam of influences. The emergent and unique characteristic of this slow cook stew is often sited as the prime reason socialism has never taken root in america. That givin ample space for individualism, free market economics, low taxation, with an emphasis legislative and judicial equity an ad-hoc system of social egalitarism will emerge naturally, without overt and repressive goverment regulation.

The point I'd make in this regard is that this notion is pretty much embedded in the american psyche, and has been reinforced over the last 60 years by a succession of foreign conflicts that have in one way or the other, demonized socialism as the face of tyranny, and the root of all evil. Domestically the process finds its parallel through McCarthy and subsequent republican and democratic administrations to purge from government the so called "creeping socialism" in all of its manifestations. And throughout this long process of political, cultural, and legislative deconstruction, there has remained this faith in exceptionalism to both justify the deconstruction, to mediate the excesses (i.e. McCarthy) of the process, and to supply the necessary hubris to keep the wheels of global expansion turning, albeit, for the benifit of all (in an exceptionalist sort of way).

So, I'm saying that exceptionalism itself has provided the fertile and embedded presupposed groundwork now ripe for the likes of Rove&co. for further exploitation. The same suppression of socialism, through exceptionalism -- has now, by Rove&co. been turned inside out to now feed upon exceptionalism itself -- is no small irony, in that as every parcel of the exceptionalist social contract is removed, it is replaced with a parcel beholden to the corporate interest. Its this ability by Rove &co. to, tragically, use an anti-socialist rubric to now devour itself creating in its place, its mirror image, or what Ralph Nader would call the "corporate welfare" state.

So, if socialism is good enough for the corporate interests that now demand it from the government, perhaps its time for a serious re-evaluation of the long standing exceptionalist anti-socialist position that Rove&co. has just thrown out with the bathwater. Hey, maybe it would work for a newly liberated and un-exceptional people, like us.

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 26, 2006 3:15:59 AM | 42

Rick- I love Buddy Guy's Sweet Tea, esp the way he goes from "Done Got Old" into ripping it up with "Oh Baby Please."

Hope you've had a chance to see some of the Fat Possum Tours of the old players. Not to be missed if they're in your town.

Slothrop- you agreed with something I said!!! (and no, it wasn't the bit about anna missed, tho that made me laugh.

but cockburn is right about the "left." without accessibly coherent ideas, no amount of bitching about the evil-genius rove will change anything in the world.

okay, well cockburn reiterated something I said and you agreed with that. close tho! :)

re: the miami thing- Liberty City was the scene of horrible riots a more than twenty years ago. Unless things have changed drastically, it's the Watts of Miami. what's really amazing is that all these useless stories of "terror plots" and "found wmds" just so happened to occur when Bush needed a distraction from Ron Suskind interviews all over the tube b/c of his book.

Rove is the Eddie Haskell of politics, if Eddie graduated to rat fucking after Mrs. Cleaver bitch slapped him one day just because he deserved it.

Posted by: fauxreal | Jun 26, 2006 4:51:11 AM | 43

"Rove is the Eddie Haskell of politics, if Eddie graduated to rat fucking after Mrs. Cleaver bitch slapped him one day just because he deserved it."

fauxrules


Posted by: beq | Jun 26, 2006 9:15:07 AM | 44

The Iraq War began with the Democrats compliance and/or silence

what's the difference? by remaining silent they were obviously compliant.

Posted by: b real | Jun 26, 2006 10:59:44 AM | 45

You can't stop a runaway train by throwing your body in front of it. Sooner or later it will run off the rails and completely destroy itself anyway.

Posted by: pb | Jun 26, 2006 1:50:30 PM | 46

Sooner or later it will run off the rails and completely destroy itself anyway.

Spoken like a true democrat...

All snark aside,Today’s Anti-Republicans; Tomorrow’s Heroes?

You may call us anti-Republican. I call myself pro-Constitution. Personally I am anti-Republican and anti-Democrat. I am not foolish enough to think politicians of either corporate party are going to save our nation.


It's Time to Do Away With Political Parties in America

The single biggest problem facing America today gravely undermines the viability of our once-great Democracy. This threat is posed by Republican voters who have lost their way. Their sense of purpose. The responsibility they have to themselves and to their fellow citizens. Their understanding of what it means to be a true American patriot. They've been brainwashed into putting party before country.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 26, 2006 2:25:21 PM | 47

Whether US troops stay or leave in whatever numbers is not really the main issue (for the Gvmt), that is only a PR matter, to be spun as best as possible. The number one point is control of laws (who has kept up with oil biz?) and the peformance of the hopelesly weak and internally divided and faction-partisan puppet Gvmt. These are imponderables, really. Big mismanagement mistakes. Ah well.

Uncle Scam wrote:

The time has come. We must get off our asses. The salvation of mankind, both spiritually and physically, is at stake.

Yes. Bit late perhaps.

But USuk has been doing not too badly.

Rowan, Kerry would have instored a draft (say, he would have tried, certainly said he would do that, the end result would have been semi-efficient or an honorable failure...) and he would have ended up making an alliance with Iran. A compeltely Shiite controlled S. Iraq and Iran would have suited better.

Bush is more attached to US social and cultural values and Republican isolationism, therefore attracted to direct domineering control of isolated and relevant areas (agriculture, oil, water, pipelines, export and import, etc.) leaving the rest alone to rot as it may. Kerry would have had half the youth of America in uniform and rah rahing, going around with more flowers and candy and obligatory seminars for veiled Moms...weeping at funerals and composing school books!

I’m always amazed at the spoof and hoax put to the Americans - choosing between the neocons and the neo-libs.

Posted by: Noisette | Jun 26, 2006 2:29:10 PM | 48

I’m always amazed at the spoof and hoax put to the Americans - choosing between the neocons and the neo-libs.

thats the point I was trying to make above -- that when Kerry can be called "a socialist", it means that any true left thinking is totally off limits for serious consideration & debate, and everything from (nationalized) health care to the posture of foreign policy inititives (Iraq/Afgan) suffer in lack of a solution, as a result.

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 26, 2006 3:55:48 PM | 49

Novakula calls Jimmy Carter a communist...

I guess that would make Novakula a blood-sucking demon incarnation of the Third Reich who earns a little money on the side as Bush's butt plug.

okay, well Carter's STILL not a communist.

Posted by: fauxreal | Jun 26, 2006 4:13:36 PM | 50

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