Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 22, 2004

Losing the Game

Looking at the Sunday Talk Shows guest list, the Swift Boat theme is played on. Why has the Kerry campaign not been firing against this with full wrath?

Kerry calls on Bush to stop personal attacks is just lame, as are attempts to stop the smear ads through courts. The general election theme is about leading and defending the people through offence, not about ´calling on Bush´ and ´going to court´.

Kerry should accuse Bush personally of smearing all veterans and all current soldiers. Bush´s campaign supports and facilitate denying the correctness of military records for achieved medals. There is enough material to make a direct Bush campaign involvement play in the media.

The method used on this issue is a hallmark of Rove´s operations. There will be more, much more like this coming in the next weeks. If the Kerry campaign does not learn how to counter such stuff immediately, they lose their defence. If the campaign does not learn to attack with the same ruthlessness, they lose their offence too.

In this election losing either the offence or the defence is sufficient to lose the game.

Posted by b on August 22, 2004 at 19:13 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Hitler is said to be a genius of politics. That alone should tell us what politics really is. - Wilhelm Reich, "Mass Psychology of Fascism", 1933

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 22 2004 19:22 utc | 1

b - losing with one "o" throughout...

Posted by: | Aug 22 2004 19:48 utc | 2

Bernhard, why must you assume that the Kerry campaign "needs to learn how to counter"? If you're reading 2004 in the light of 2000, or of 2002, you're point would likely pertain if you also established that the folks running those campaigns are running this one. Well, are they? I rather doubt it, myself. We know that both sides measure the slightest things, and calculate the timing and force of their moves very precisely--with surprising results now and then. Think of 1998, and of all the advice that Clinton was getting from everyone--advice to resign, even? He ignored it for a reason, viz., he knew things about the game that ordinary people don't think of. He then proceeded to win the '98 election, decapitate the Republican leadership, ride out the impeachment comedy, and take over the budget and legislative process. It impressed the hell out of me, I can tell you that!

Posted by: alabama | Aug 22 2004 20:09 utc | 3

Thanks, anonymous for the correction. Please keep them coming. Bad sign if even such simple things escape my eyes?

Posted by: b | Aug 22 2004 21:07 utc | 5

Kerry has an ad on tv now that re-runs a Bush/McCain debate in the 2000 primary.

At that time, Bush tried to smear McCain's war record.

McCain said something like Bush should be ashamed.

This is a great advertisement, because it shows that Bush is a low-down no good pig who will say anything to win.

In addition, the Chicago Trib has a guy who has finally come forward, after thirty years and repeated attempts to get him to comment, to say that Bush is full of shit.

In addition, there have been numerous editorials in various papers calling Bush's pigness because of this attack.

The New York Times ran an article in Friday's paper showing the Bush campaign sources for money for the scumboat veterans, noted the sudden change in some of their testimony, noted the testimony conflicted with the govt's own reports, as well as the reports of people actually involved.

The Daily Show did a GREAT segment on this issue on Thurs-ish which reamed the scumboat veterans too.

The Boston Globe has a very good piece putting this sort of political smear into another frame...asking the reaction if Clinton had made similiar claims about Dole...

So, all in all, I think this whole scheme to smear Kerry's character has and will continue to backfire bigtime.

Posted by: fauxreal | Aug 22 2004 23:57 utc | 6


I wonder how it feels, to wake up, and find your own military service, and your own personal integrity

Laying in bed there, butt naked, with Paula Jones?


Posted by: anna missed | Aug 23 2004 0:31 utc | 7

I still have a job to care about all this. Kerry probably did exaggerate his military 'successes' and he's been caught and, though I loathe George W with a passion, I don't really care if he beats Kerry or loses. The people of South and Central America will have an easier time of it under George W. Kerry is capable of doing something really vicious to Cuba and he shows no sign of giving a better chance to Iraquis. As for the poor old Palestinans they're f****d no matter which one wins. The citizens of the US that aren't having to be the sharp end of this militarism may be slightly better off under Kerry. I don't have a great deal of sympathy for them at the moment however I'm reserving that for the victims of their state's aggression and let's face it the worse it gets for them the sooner they may actually do something about it rather than just replace one self obsessed millionaire misanthrope with another.

Posted by: Debs in '04 | Aug 23 2004 6:15 utc | 8

Ouch! Dirtier and dirtier...

"...Senator Kerry carries shrapnel in his thigh as distinct from President Bush who carries two fillings in his teeth from his service in the Alabama National Guard, which seems to be his only time that he showed up," John Podesta, former chief of staff in the Clinton White House, said on ABC's "This Week...."

Dole questions Kerry's Vietnam wounds


Posted by: Nemo | Aug 23 2004 6:18 utc | 9

Oh, I see – for one glorious moment I thought….oh, never mind.
***
Oh well…me too…stupid me…
----------------
Watching a glimpse of this adds against Kerry’s Vietnam “record” especially about his anti Vietnam stand after he came back, this came to mind:
Nowadays USA and it’s people are so bloody twisted that they will allow anything, ANYTHING but TRUTH to come out.
They NEVER ever publicly not to mention officially said SORRY to Vietnamese (or Indians for that matter) for killing ohh who knows how many of them in an unjust, cruel and needless occupation of their sovereign country. That’s why we keep seeing it all over again and again.
They never acknowledged CRIMES that USA Army had committed in Vietnam or anywhere else. That’s why we are seeing more of the same all over again.
There is one simple thing that is damned in USA and that’s THE TRUTH.
“What ever you do don’t let it out”…They even made it a matter of entertainment industry making it look like a fantasy.
Now what we expect here. Kerry was young and brave enough to come out with a truth about USA Army crimes in Vietnam at that time. But he is a politician now. God forbid eventuality that he can come out now decades after Vietnam and say “Yes, I said so because it was TRUTH. We need to take a shame for what we/ve done” . He would never have a chance to become president. And you know Germans still keep apologizing and paying for their ancestors crimes. What’s so special about Americans except that they are not military beaten (yet).
In the atmosphere where truth is a No 1 peoples enemy how the hell we expect anything to be better then it is.
I am just getting sicker and sicker every bloody day with every bloody news worse that one we’ve heard yesterday…

Posted by: vbo | Aug 23 2004 6:47 utc | 10

vbo; will drink a double on that

Debs in'04; while some of what these boat people have to say may carry a small vestige of truth, it belies a larger truth. My experience in VN would show that yes, purple hearts were awarded (after major combat) upon the acknowledgement of any bodily harm during that combat,a scratch or brain damage, if you got hurt you could get one, if you wanted one. Secondly, combat medals are awarded not applied for or lobbied for. If some "beyond the call of duty" should occur during combat, the event is reported to the CO,checked,and moved up the chain, documented, and awarded both with medal and documentation. As anyone could imagine, in a combat situation no one is really taking notes, so it is understandable that the recollection of that combat might generate different perspectives on what was really happening. These should be vetted prior to any award, but shit happens. I was awarded a medal in VN after an operation and the documentation was so disjointed and discombobulated, I was'nt sure it was even for me, but, this is the record, and the fact- and after the fact all else is opinion. In Kerrys case, no one challenged the fact, the documentation, the record. After 35 years, to now cobble together a little group of likeminded, embittered (about Kerry's turn against the war), and, republican financed, willing to sell their soul to the Devil for a spot on Larry King, is pure Roveian custom made (for the media) mesmerizing whirling dervish that will spin and spin and spin with no resolution.....ever. Its just an opinion writ large and promoted, like the Hindenberg......was.

Posted by: anna missed | Aug 23 2004 8:18 utc | 11

After 35 years, to now cobble together a little group of likeminded, embittered (about Kerry's turn against the war), and, republican financed, willing to sell their soul to the Devil for a spot on Larry King, is pure Roveian custom made (for the media) mesmerizing whirling dervish that will spin and spin and spin with no resolution.....ever. Its just an opinion writ large and promoted, like the Hindenberg......was.

@Anna Missed:

So well said, it bears repeating. So I just did.

Posted by: The Village Idiot | Aug 23 2004 12:08 utc | 12

@vbo hear! hear! Valdas Anelauskas identified self-criticism as "that most un-american of activities." The American Dream has nothing to do w/ reality. Honest truth is too painful, as it would instantly condemn all who fell for and participated in the illusion. There is no christianity in a country that cannot recognize brotherhood. There is no freedom in a nation where more than 2 million imprisoned and everyday life is subject to so many regulations and unnatural laws. Greed won out over the ideas of enlightenment. Money became the only religion that mattered. Whatever Kerry may have once been and stood for, the current version (replete w/ 5 homes and other luxury objects) will never again speak out against racist tyranny or institutional money-laundering for he would only indite himself. Like you say, truth is the enemy. I think that in the case of the USA, it goes right back to the very beginning. As Anelaukas said, "You can't live happy on stolen land".


The white man does not understand the Indian for the reason that he does not understand America. He is too far removed from its formative processes. The roots of the tree of his life have not yet grasped the rock and soil. The white man is still troubled with primitive fears; he still has in his consciousness the perils of this frontier continent, some of its fastnesses not yet having yielded to his questing footsteps and inquiring eyes. The man from Europe is still a foreigner and an alien.
-Chief Luther Standing Bear, "Land of the Spotted Eagle"

Posted by: b real | Aug 23 2004 15:25 utc | 13

"let's face it the worse it gets for them the sooner they may actually do something about it rather than just replace one self obsessed millionaire misanthrope with another."
Well, seriously, you don't expect that a majority of the US people will actually ever do this? That is, unless half the people has already died from their insane policies, when it'll be way too late to change them and save the nation. Germans needed 6 mio dead and the destruction of nearly every city to see Hitler's folly for what it was. One can hope the Americans will wake up before that, but how early before remains to be seen.

vbo: You don't really expect any excuse for the genocide of the native Indians, do you? I mean, it would be admitting the sheer enormity of what has been done for literally centuries, and most people can't really face such a guilt. Beside, the only way to make real amends would basically to pack up things and take the boat back home for "commie" Europe.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Aug 23 2004 15:30 utc | 14

the only way to make real amends would basically to pack up things and take the boat back home

Ward Churchill refutes this argument in his essay "I Am An Indigenist." Search on both instances of the phrase "Great Fear."

Posted by: b real | Aug 23 2004 16:11 utc | 15

Medals...

What sly SOB invented that carrot milkshake way back in history?

And what manner of Pavlovian beings slurped it up then and slurp it up now?

Human beings are funny.

Create a gold medal and surround it with enough hype and you can get folk to spend all their waking time--from infancy--swimming back and forth in a chlorine-infested lap pool.

See Fido swim. Fido swims fast. Good Fido. Good boy. Fido win swimming medal some day. Swim fast Fido!

Now some angry little white boy named Hamm...who apparently has spent his entire life swinging on bars...is pouting cause the world knows he got HIS gold medal unfairly.

I feel for him. Poor creature. Really I have empathy for him. I was young once too. I know exactly what's going on in his brain: "Mommy Mommy somebody took my gold medal...waaa...waaaa...waaaa"

And now--Kerry and Bush and Dole and all manner of Vets are having a food fight over war medals.

War medals...

Which were probably created by some Cheneyesque General long ago, who needed a new way to entice fodder before the canons.

Funny.

Funny...how all those medals end up in a shoe box in a closet somewhere.

Funny too how some things end up in the long run exactly where they belong.


Posted by: koreyel | Aug 23 2004 16:34 utc | 16

Oh come on Tony go get your shiny medal.

You earned it.

Posted by: koreyel | Aug 23 2004 17:06 utc | 17

Medals for bravery or participation in campaigns can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians and Romans, where plaques of brass or copper were awarded for outstanding feats of bravery. And it sounds like medals are closely linked w/ orders, though I do recall reading that the use of war medals, maybe specifically in the US, arose as a way to stem the problems encountered from the earlier established practice of letting the combatants loot and fight over the spoils of war. Give 'em a shiny chunk of medal & sell 'em on an idea. [recipe]

Posted by: b real | Aug 23 2004 18:37 utc | 18

@Koreyel

Such a shame, I want to see Tony on the podium with the laurel leaves and taking the medal from the chimp and grinning that awful grin.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Aug 23 2004 18:44 utc | 19

The Guardian on this issue:

There are three things we can learn from this. First, there is no level to which Republicans will not stoop to besmirch a character, belittle an issue or befuddle the electorate. Second, there is no level to which the Democrats will not stoop to attempt to neutralise these attacks. And third, that the Republicans will always win in this race to the bottom because so much less is expected of them and, when it comes to muck-slinging, they have no qualms about getting their hands dirty.
Wounded by friendly fire

Posted by: b | Aug 23 2004 18:53 utc | 20

End of the game? (Part One)

Bush says 'that ad' attacking Kerry should stop

Posted by: Nemo | Aug 23 2004 19:41 utc | 21

End of the game No, they just started and the damage was huge. Who knows (except Rove) what the next theme will be? Maybe they will play the ketchup connection again the big money guy Kerry.
Whatever it is the campaign was slow to response to this attack. They must take the initiative if they want to win.

Posted by: b | Aug 23 2004 20:04 utc | 22

Bush will win.

Bush = Kerry

America, land of the free.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Aug 23 2004 20:07 utc | 23

b real: Hmm, in which way does it refute my point? I wasn't fearmongering but stating the fact that the whole conquest and colonisation was wrong and criminal from the first day, and that in absolute terms every single country in America is illegitimate, and keeping them the way they are, in absolute ethics, would at least partly justify the crime. Of course this also goes with Australia, New Zealand, parts of Southern Africa, and other areas of this planet.

All in all, really good article, which ties in well with Deanander's post in the Annex of 10 days ago.
Frankly, anyone who states that Earth has an absolute carrying capacity for humans, and it's probably around 1.5 billion, is just fine with me since it's also my own personal opinion - it's also very probably that Americas never got to the maximum population before the conquest and genocide, since it was at most at 100 mio, and probably between 60 and 80. Of course, he could've simply stated that if we do not massively reduce population on our own, Nature will see that the genocide of mankind gets full circle - and when people will die of famine, war and disease, who will they blame for it?
In fact, if you really want to know, I've actually made some estimations for various areas and continents, though taking a bit into account the current inbalance between Eurasia and the rest of the planet comparatively less densely populated, since a bit of food trade can go on to some limited extent, and my range for US population is between 22 and 50 mio - basically, better go below 50 mio since it would require a very extensive use of land which wouldn't allow much pristine wilderness to survive when it could otherwise be turned into farmland and pastures (thoug they'd be sustainable in the long-term).

Oh, and even if French students used "Be realistic; demand the impossible!”, the original one is from the Che, who may have picked it up from some native, or just was in the right mood.

His quote of Chief Seattle is spot on. My friends, the time of punishment is coming for mankind. Grab your popcorn and enjoy the next 50 years, it'll be a hell of a ride.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 23 2004 20:08 utc | 24

Credits to Uncle $cam for this one posted over at Whiskey Annex:

Bonnie and Clyde Killed in Louisiana Brown Brothers and Harriman Gangs Hit Another Big One Up East


Fairly serious actually. Has a crusading senator from Massachusetts and a future president from Texas in it too.


Posted by: Harold Lloyd | Aug 23 2004 20:18 utc | 25

Bernhard: Truth be said, I've always firmly said that the Left should never let his "good morals" get in the way when fighting to oust the right from its (always) illegitimate grip on power, and should fight as dirty if required. Basically, history shows that you tend to win when you use forst ways than your enemy - or, more realistically, that and technology are the 2 main components of victory in war. Basically one of the times where I agree with Huntington: "the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence." This also means that usually the Left can't keep power because they play nice with the right when it is in power, extends a peaceful hand, and gets bitten back. Any scholar would've noticed that the very few examples of a prolonged "leftist" rule can be found in USSR and Maoist China.
Yet in this case, I can't help to read Steve Gilliard and think that he may be right and that Kerry knew this was coming and is using his own personal tactic. Such attacks were coming, and it's possible Kerry forced Bush to attack him on this issue and not on others, because it was the issue in which Kerry's advatage vs Bush was the biggest (war hero vs deserter). Hinting that Bush is a coward, making it low key so that the average guy won't fully understand but that Bush can't help seeing a personal attack, can work to the point W will go nuts and make mistakes. Because, let's face it, Bush making some big mistake that can't be spinned as anything else is the only way of having an election that can't be stolen, because no one would ever believe Bush could win after such a huge gaffe. Bush losing it during the TV debate would be the best thing I could ever imagine, and I'd pay solid money to see it happening :)

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 23 2004 20:23 utc | 26

@cp

Josh Marshall also thinks Bush is a coward

The reason, as we said earlier, is that the president is a coward -- a fact for which this dust-up constitutes merely an example. And as we'll discuss in a post later this evening, President Bush's moral cowardice -- not his physical cowardice or bravery, of which we know little and which is simply a side issue -- is the essence of this campaign.

Posted by: b | Aug 23 2004 20:31 utc | 27

Dole thinks you need to spend time in a hospital, getting a blood transfusion, to earn a purple heart. From action in Anzio. He thinks you have to be Dole to earn a purple heart. He'd never give out purple hearts himself, because he's the one who's earned it....What a narcissistic lunatic! It's too late for this guy to grow up; just try not to crush his golf cart with your Harley!

Posted by: alabama | Aug 23 2004 22:04 utc | 28

@Alabama:

Dole is and always has been a Republican hatchetman, partisan tool. Does pretty good with only one arm. But even I could not believe he said what he said yesterday.

He is what we call in our community, a "useful idiot".

Posted by: The Village Idiot | Aug 23 2004 22:48 utc | 29

A report by ABC this morning of the pending Gitmo "trial" of Australian David Hicks. Listen or read the transcript.

Posted by: | Aug 24 2004 10:41 utc | 31

@Clueless Joe
Hmm, in which way does it refute my point?

I was responding to the stmt that "the only way" is to pack up & leave, which, having followed your other posts, I didn't take as "fearmongering" and why I decided not to address my comment to anyone in particular. However, in a literal reading of that specific stmt, it is an argument which is brought up so many times to sabotage more detailed discussion on this topic and one I am always eager to help debunk. The people who most need to think about these matters tend to automatically close their mind when it is presented simply as all occupiers must leave. I summoned Ward's essay as a solid refutation of that particular line of thought and a great resource for addressing what is to be done. Hope you didn't take my post as a personal affront. Sounds like we're of similar mind on this issue.

Posted by: b real | Aug 24 2004 15:24 utc | 32

"The animals now also learned that Snowball had never--as many of them had believed hitherto--received the order of "Animal Hero, First Class." This was merely a legend which had been spread some time after the Battle of the Cowshed by Snowball himself. So far from being decorated, he had been censured for showing cowardice in battle. Once again some of the animals heard this with a certain bewilderment, but Squealer was soon able to convince them that their memories had been at fault."

~George Orwell, Animal Farm 1946

Posted by: koreyel | Aug 24 2004 16:50 utc | 33

@koreyel

Powerful quote............... says it all.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Aug 24 2004 17:15 utc | 34

Kerry - Bush are sparring about Vietnam because:

1) Americans are very attached to the past (as their present is hardly glorious, and they have always referred to the ‘we saved the world’ script..)

2) Vietnam is relevant, if old; so it stimulates discussion, etc.

3) It exagerates their differences and gives them a topic for spiteful attacks

4) It camouflages the fact that they agree about Iraq (that is mostly Kerry’s motivation, very much in his interests...)

--Kerry prefers his pro-war stance to be obscured, and counts on voters knowing of his anti-war stance after Vietnam. He cannot condemn the present war(s) so prays for his past aura to do the job. He shuts up because he fears loosing anti-war voters, who are the majority (?).

--Bush, as the more rabidly belligerent candidate, cannot bear it that Kerry should be put forward as a better soldier, so must attack, even if the attacks are smelly garbage. He must furnish arguments to keep his convinced voters on board.

(See also Clueless Joe above, “ ... it's possible Kerry forced Bush to attack him on this issue and not on others, because it was the issue in which Kerry's advatage vs Bush was the biggest”...)

5) And so both candidates prefer non-issues to the real ones. It is all tiresome obfuscation. Double, triple speak.

CP: Bush will win.

Bush = Kerry

America, land of the free.

...Yes.

Posted by: Blackie | Aug 24 2004 18:36 utc | 35

Blackie:

Americans are very attached to the past (as their present is hardly glorious, and they have always referred to the ‘we saved the world’ script..)

I agree.

This "we saved the world" script is a deep program in most American's wetware.

You hear it all the time in words akin to: "we are the good guys."

That's why some American soldiers still can't figure out why they are being shot at.

From their perspective they really believe they are there to do good by the Iraqi people.

[Of course not all of them. There is a few ugly and angry serviceman who signed up just to blow stuff up.]

I think this paradigm goes a long way to explaining why more Americans aren't vehemently oppossed to this vile war.

Deep in their hearts many Americans really believe that some day there is going to be an Iraqi memorial dedicated to liberating American soldiers. Someday, Americans will be revered with rose petals...someday...

So it is quite possible that the war-opinions of the American-street are being contaminated by images of world wars past.

And that really is a shame. Because as individuals Americans are generous and friendly and rarely offensive.

Unfortunately the current government has taken this nearly native racial memory (that is so trumpeted in high school history classes) and exploited it on this contemptible war.

Shakespeare wrote: "Your wisdom is consumed by confidence."

That's spot on accurate to the point at hand.

The real question now is:

Not if the United States has any confidence left (that has been shattered), but rather, does she have any wisdom left to get the hell out of Iraq ASAP?

Posted by: koreyel | Aug 24 2004 19:15 utc | 36

The Right chooses to talk about the past because it prefers dead people: a quiet world, a quiet time. The powerful who legitimize their privileges by heredity cultivate nostalgia. History is studied as if we were visiting a museum. -- Edward Galeano

The Skull & Bones house is one such museum. What artifacts did Kerry contribute to the collection?

Posted by: b real | Aug 24 2004 20:21 utc | 37

@Blackie

4) It camouflages the fact that they agree about Iraq (that is mostly Kerry’s motivation, very much in his interests...)

--Kerry prefers his pro-war stance to be obscured,

What will Kerry say when the shit his the fan with a general concerted Sunni/Shia uprising in October. He will have to say something.

Posted by: b | Aug 24 2004 20:29 utc | 38

b real:

The Skull & Bones house is one such museum. What artifacts did Kerry contribute to the collection?

You know I really don't think that is Geronimo's skull they have there.

But...on the other hand...

I really believe one could write a book exploring the parallels between Geronimo's resistance to western enculturation and the current Moslem fundamentalist's resistance.

What are the points in common between bin Laden and Geronimo?

Fascinating stuff there.

Certainly a taboo subject.

But of the three world leaders: bin Laden, Sharon, and Bush...who do you think is the smartest?

And really when you come right down to it...if IQs could ever really be fairly measured...just how smart was Geronimo?

Posted by: koreyel | Aug 24 2004 20:57 utc | 39

@Koreyel

The more I think about Najaf and the final outcome, the more I think that Najaf will be the Alamo for Sadr.

Wild West = Wild ME.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Aug 24 2004 21:38 utc | 40

@Koreyel

Why would you call any of those three "world leaders"? None have a natural mandate. I don't see too many meaningful parallels between UBL and Geronimo. One took a ride in a US Presidential parade, the other took us for a ride in a Presidential charade.

Posted by: b real | Aug 24 2004 22:14 utc | 41

Why would you call any of those three "world leaders"? None have a natural mandate.

b real...

These are the three leaders of the three primary religions.

As such they all have a supernatural mandate.

Let's begin with Bush:

I don't think, like so many others that post here and at the former Whiskey bar, that Bush is excessively stupid.

I think he knows exactly what he is: a Christian fundamentalist.

His religion is NOT play pretend. He really did kick his booze and drug habit via Jesus. He governs from that perspective. Everything in our current government goes through him from that angle. He is definitely in charge. Others, like Cheney, are shrewd enough to play their various agendas through him accordingly.

Bush's most fervent base are the fundamentalist of America. They would die for him.

As for bin Laden...he is pure...pure...pure...Islamic fundamentalist. He gave up a life of a playboy to honor his God. I have never underestimated his persuassion in that part of the world. He may not be their stated leader...but there are few fundamentalists and middle of the road Muslims who aren't secretly happy with his blow to America. They too...would die for him.

As for Sharon... well... he has a healthy apetite for land and food. Agreed?

Where I am fundamentally coming from on all this...and I am loathe to quote Will and Ariel Durant again...(but they put it into words before I did)... is that it is the extremes that are in the driver's seat of humanity:

History in the large is the conflict of minorities; the majority applauds the victor an supplies the human material of social experiment.

And then later this:

"Hence most governments have been oligarchies--ruled by a minority, chosen either by birth, as in aristocracies, of by a religious organization, as in theocracies, or by wealth, as in democracies. It is unnatural (as even Rousseau saw) for a majority to rule, for a majority can seldom be organized for united and specific action, and a minority can."

So what I am saying to you here is that the Clintonian view of things: government from the center is only superficially accurate.

What we are seeing right now instead is government from the edges.

A battle of edges.

With all three edges pushing hard and viciously; trying to polarize the great mass of moderates.

In other words...what if you had to choose?

What if you HAD TO side with the Arab world, the Christian world, or the Jewish world?

I think these three world leaders are doing just that: they are polarizing the planet.

Consciously in bin Laden's case.
Semi-consciously in Sharon's case.
Unconsciously in Bush's case.

But...case after case after case....this is where the world is being lead.

~~~~~~~

As far as my Geronimo comments go:

I was thinking of the Apache as vermin to be exterminated. For better or worse that's pretty much the dominant thought concerning the Al-Qaeda. Or as Billmon had it: The Untermenschen.

Here is snip from a Geronimo site:

Geronimo was the leader of the last American Indian fighting force formally to capitulate to the United States. Because he fought against such daunting odds and held out the longest, he became the most famous Apache of all. To the pioneers and settlers of Arizona and New Mexico, he was a bloody-handed murderer and this image endured until the second half of this century.

Let me make some substitutions to the above snip:

Osama was the leader of the last Islamic fundamentalist fighting force formally to capitulate to the United States. Because he fought against such daunting odds and held out the longest, he became the most famous Islamist of all. To the citizens and clergyman of America and Britain, he was a bloody-handed murderer and this image endured until the second half of this century.

Here is my question to you and others:

Do you suppose Yale's Skull and Bones would--100 years from now--similarly like to pretend to have Osama's skull on the shelf next to Geronimo's?

[Aside: I've been a real writing hog for today...tomorrow and the rest of tonight...I am going to shut up and read you guys.]

Posted by: koreyel | Aug 25 2004 0:32 utc | 42

Gary North at lewrockwell.com:

"There is enough conflicting testimony on both sides of the 'Kerry the non-hero' story to muddy the waters. Conflicting testimony tends to confuse people. The confusion over how Bush differs from Kerry on the Iraq war is already gumming up the works. With Howard Dean, it would have been clear: pro vs. con.

"Kerry bet too much on his war record. He should have known he was vulnerable. But, on the whole, people are going to believe the official record, and the official record says that Kerry won the medals.

"What nobody is talking about on TV is Kerry's record as a trigger-happy man with a machine gun. Everyone is talking about what he did under fire, or non-fire. Nobody is on TV talking about Kerry's readiness to shoot on sight. Nobody has gone to anyone associated with Zumwalt's office to see why it was that Kerry was allowed to get out of command so fast.

"So, I did. The story I got was that Zumwalt was only too happy to get him out of there. Rumors are cheap, of course, although I trust my source. In any case, nobody is going to score points with the voters with a story that Kerry shot first and asked no questions afterward. After all, this is the tactical basis of our campaign in Iraq. Democrats don't want to hear the story, and Republicans are going to vote for the Commander-in-Chief, whose readiness to bomb civilians is not a matter of rumor.

"Poll numbers will rise and fall as November draws near. The fact is, the public is divided. The public has been divided since 2000. I think the Swifty story will have played out by November, unless there is an ace in the hole by the anti-Bush Swifties – one that they can get funded and run as a 100% independent ad, thereby not breaking the outrageous law that prohibits campaign-funded attack ads in the last 60 days of the campaign. Sixty days without the First Amendment is only the beginning."

Posted by: Pat | Aug 25 2004 4:36 utc | 43

The real question now is:

Not if the United States has any confidence left (that has been shattered), but rather, does she have any wisdom left to get the hell out of Iraq ASAP?

Posted by: koreyel | August 24, 2004 03:15 PM

The answer is: no.

When faced by the choice between radical escalation and packing up and going home, we really will decide to escalate. Didn't the mysterious Mr. Zarqawi say that the Americans and the Brits will not leave?

How many innings will this game go? A bloody effing lot of them.

Posted by: Pat | Aug 25 2004 5:11 utc | 44

@koreyel

These are the three leaders of the three primary religions.

Sorry, can't follow you down that path. So let's try the Germonimo thread.

I was thinking of the Apache as vermin to be exterminated. For better or worse that's pretty much the dominant thought concerning the Al-Qaeda.

To distill that the dominant thrust of US imperialism is to "exterminate the brutes" would be a more helpful observation. Whether the victim is the American Indian, Mexican, Philippino, German, Vietnamese, or Arab, the SOP does not alter. Attempting to equate the various Apache tribes w/ AQ is another false lead and casts aside a much more critical reality. Germonimo is one of the "legends" and much of which passes for historical fact in the dominant culture is strictly self-serving, justifying genocide and expansion. History is no doubt shaped by the interests of the powerful. Perhaps UBL is indeed being crafted into another "legend" and one which the public easily buys into, slight-of-hand. Your comments certainly enforce that perception. Just how much this is grounded in reality though is a topic for future analysts to determine, as UBL's CIA/Bush family connections become more fully explored.

One hundred years ago this summer Geronimo sat on display in a tiny booth, just a few miles from where I now reside, carving little novelty wooden bows and arrows and, every once and a while, getting up to sing and dance at fair-goer request. That was 1904. He was on a similar circuit throughout the surrounding years. Myth conflicting w/ reality. Caveat Emptor.

Now let's go one hundred years into the future:

Do you suppose Yale's Skull and Bones would--100 years from now--similarly like to pretend to have Osama's skull on the shelf next to Geronimo's?

Can we be certain that they are pretending? Removing the heads of Chiefs wasn't exactly an uncommon practice. The Army doctor Frederick Weedon took "Osceola's head and kept it as a souvenier in his own home, hanging it occasionally on the bedstead where his sons slept whenever he wished to punish them for their misbehavior."

Predicting the future by looking to the past, one could reasonably accept that our Great White Fathers would have a vested interest in using UBL's noggin' to scare the children...


Posted by: b real | Aug 25 2004 16:16 utc | 45

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