Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 17, 2004

Just Another Open Thread

News and Views...

Posted by b on October 17, 2004 at 05:40 AM | Permalink

Comments

The New York Time Magazin has a Bush portrait written by Ron Suskind (Author of "The Prince of Loyalty"). It is absolutely chilling.

One Bush aid:

In meetings, I'd ask if there were any facts to support our case. And for that, I was accused of disloyalty!
It´s faith based madeness.

Posted by: b | Oct 17, 2004 5:45:39 AM | 1

Juan Cole: Ron Suskind's profile of George W. Bush reminded me eerily of Mao Zedong, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party. Suskind portrays Bush as filled with unwarranted certainty, sure that God is speaking and working through him, and convinced that decisive action shapes reality in ways that make it unnecessary to first study reality.

This approach to policy-making, it seems to me, should be called Right Maoism. (bold by me)

The rest is here

Posted by: Fran | Oct 17, 2004 6:05:52 AM | 2

Bushie thinks he's some kind of Moses leading us to the promised land. This is very scary politics. Wouldn't you think Powell or someone else would inject some reality into these people?

Posted by: jdp | Oct 17, 2004 9:26:19 AM | 3

@jdp - "reality"

From the Suskind article

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

Posted by: b | Oct 17, 2004 10:30:34 AM | 4

No doubt Bush and Rummy/Cheney/Neocons are maniacs. The question is why have the Democrats gone along with this madness, on both the war in Iraq & Israel/Palestine?

Posted by: | Oct 17, 2004 10:50:03 AM | 5

How's this Reality?

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 17, 2004 10:55:07 AM | 6

Suskind's article on Bush and Juan Cole's observation that Bush is America's Mao dovetails nicely w/ the (mostly anglo) excoriation of Derrida. Derrida, as I understand him, fought against reification--the petrification of ideas and forms of life--because such reification induces tyranny. Those who have attacked Derrida do so in the interest of defending the reification of capitalism. Suskind offers a portrait of Bush demonstrating the madness of a defense of a reification that is basically preenlightenment. Bush taps into a vestigial desire of the electorate to become feudal and to live under a sacred canopy spun naively out of Bush's brain. Forget about bourgeois values. We're talking the reactionary politics of the medieval Church w/ its ideology of the chain of being and the godliness of kings.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 17, 2004 11:45:11 AM | 7

http://www.thetoiletonline.com/leaveit.htm>Good Bush Toon

Posted by: Blackie | Oct 17, 2004 11:56:17 AM | 8

Correction: I don't think Hari criticizes Derrida to defend capitalism. I merely point out the way that a defense of Enlightenment often tends to butress and naturalize capitalist social relations.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 17, 2004 12:08:23 PM | 9

my esteemed comrade slothrop

who is this buffoon writing for the independant - he appears like hofmanstahl to have a perfect understanding - of the surface

i read nothing in this text which can substantiate or constitute a real critique of derrida

anglosaxon empiricism has been at a dead end for a century or more & it is convenient for them to attack 'continental' philosophy as he does here & his friend a mr tallis at the tls does in everincreasing circles of stupidity

there is a left - a comfortable left that needs its orthodoxies but to me in any case thinkers like derrida & negri offer means to understand the shit we are in & some strategies for getting out of it

i've ever only had a quibble & that is on the sanctification of heidegger - who i regard & still regard as a minor thinker with a terrible history

i think in the space of the post - slothrop - you have nailed something, something essential

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 17, 2004 12:18:12 PM | 10

minor minds try to build their reputation over the dead bodies of real ones

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 17, 2004 12:19:36 PM | 11

rgiap

Well...let's just say that you can know alot about a person's worldview when they insist, as Hari does, that Thomas Pynchon is a shitty writer.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 17, 2004 12:31:45 PM | 12

Here poodle. Nice poodle.
Poodle want to pray with me?
Good poodle...

------------snip------------

Although the outside participants were reluctant to quote the words of the Government side - Downing Street said: "It's not our policy to comment on private meetings" - what struck several of the experts was the lack of response. "There was no real argument," said one. "You sensed they were heading into a war they couldn't avoid. Although we were sitting at the cabinet table, the decisions were being taken on the other side of the Atlantic."

-----------------------------

That's about right.

My bet is that Bush told Blair he was going to war with him or without him, and that his country could either be with America or against America.

At that point in time... the poodle jumped onto Bush's lap and curled up snugly. It has been there ever since, asking but for a pet and a shared prayer every now and then.

But one phrase of the above irks: "...a war they couldn't avoid."

That's a weak alibi for weaker leadership.

Blair didn't have to fawn. He didn't have to play second fiddle to Bush's Nero. The fact that he did reveals oodles about Blair's canine backbone.

Talk about a dog having faith in its Master!

Here boy. Sit. Roll over. Play dead.

Posted by: koreyel | Oct 17, 2004 12:50:07 PM | 13

@Koreyel

IMO you give Blair too much credit for having a choice in this matter of being or not being a poodle. He got himself, or was gotten, in way too deep and has no way to extract himself.

Perhaps you have read some of the (inside) stories of Diana's death. Then there is the unsolved mystery of Dr. Kelly's murder. I'm sure Tony B knows that if he steps out of line his family is in grave danger of horrible accident. Not just the big Tony himself.

He is given no choice.

Posted by: rapt | Oct 17, 2004 1:07:08 PM | 14

slothrop

again & again for years & years the dull thud of empiricist philosophy tries to do its worst against the work of post war french philosophy

amongst these critics have been thinkers i do respect like ep thompson & eagleton but they have come from a background rooted in a certain type of thinking that i understand to be impoverished

i think it was thompson who once sd he was tired of english empiricism having to do the dirty work that french philosophy was incapable of doing. like the british empire itself - it is said with delusion of grandeur & of significance. these marxist thinkers 'allowed' through the reign of terror of both thatcher & blair - the complete & utter destruction of all of the organs of defence of the working class. they never spoke for the people who live in the direst poverty. the critiques inferred a dialectical tradition - that does not exist - neither for them or their country

i have come from a marxist leninist tradition which in its essence should reject the elaborations of french philosophy but it is in work amongst the most disinherited of europe that i have found real meaning only through these thinkers

althusser - who i remmain both an obediant & dumb student - clarifeied for me through his reason & his madness - the real costs of engagement. the nature of that engagement. & the multiplicities of that engagement & the multiplicitous levels of action to be taken. althusser taught me through his fragile corp - the unmediated 'sense' of marxism. that it was a 'living' philosophy. a philosophy that had only begun to teach us - this is most clear ion his books - available in english - for marx, reading capital lenin & philosophy but for me the real resonance exists in his lettres à franca - they are beautiful, complex, multiple renderings of this most precious of minds

i use althusser ever day in my field of activity

the work of a derrida & a baudrillard have been informed by a world that changes with such rapidity that thoughts need to be in front - not at the back - they need not be just commentaries but also strategies

as a poet - i know the gravest of my realities as an artist is to take the opposite position of the one i actually take because without the power of contradiction - without it being informed by oppositions & interrogations - it will remain a flimsy thing

one of thos realities is to go to very dark places - not out of fashion or out of some romantic duty but out of civic responsibility

certain can read that as an excuse for nihilism but for me it is the opposite - it is the difficult & vital search for meaning

antoni negri supplies us with the most sublimest of tools for understanding this world & if others read that as vague, as oblique, as elliptic - i would suggest to you that concrete reality is all these things - in awe & wonder

foucault, lmyotard & others have led to a democratisation of the academy & i think it is there that there harshest critics come from - from the self enclosed hermeticism. until them it was a boys club, a white boys club - now there exist a multiplication of institutes of higher learning for both bad & good reason - but it is in these institutions where the young turks have defended this necessity to open thinking up to something corresponding with a lived reality

the bully boy academy is finished & the clowns like alan or harold bloom waving their batons of what constitutes real scholarship & what constitutes a real canon appear like ridiculous figures in a pantomime. they exist in close proximity to their adored elites but to reality - they know oh so little, really

what french philosophy has done is allow me to take from all manner of diciplines & sometimes opposing ones if it is necessary in the day to day work - it is not just about utility - it is about finding tools that work

& these heretics of heretics like hani are just so small in the the life of a philosophy

as isd the only discomfort i have ever felt is with a reliance on martin heidegger whose actions on the contrary spoke much louder than his words. his words have their better in a feurbach, shopehauer, in husserl or even jaspers

there exists a great great mind that died impoverished in france & that was the grande marxiste - phenomenologist tran duc thao - who went to practice his thinking in vietnam. tran would wipe the floor with the likes of a hani

in a world so ravaged by the likes of bush & their economic rationalism, their hatred of the poor & marginal - i need tools, tools that work & french philosophy has provided me with them

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 17, 2004 1:34:07 PM | 15

The only positive thing I can see with this mess is that the SCLM is turning on Bush. There has not been an article so critical of him since before Sept 11, 2001.

I have a feeling, now that the Times has come out and endorsed John Kerry for president that we will see a lot more of the same. If the other outlets pick up on this and don't leave the Times hanging, we could just have a regime change.

Even though someone (Greco I think) posted some time ago that the greatest curse we have is hope, I still cling to it foolishly. It frightens and saddens me to contemplate a continuation of this madness.

Posted by: Dan of Steele | Oct 17, 2004 1:41:13 PM | 16

@Koreyel

Blair is no poodle. In the past he was very willing to conduct military interventions (for humanitarian purposes).

He criticised the Conservative government for weakness over Bosnia. He was the one PRESSING Clinton to use ground troops in Kosovo. Clinton was afraid of combat casualties (a 2nd Mogadishu would hurt him politically ) and would only conduct a massive air bombardment.

The point is that to achieve the same goal a ground offensive would cost some American lives, but would cost much less civilian lives then a bombing-only campaign.

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Oct 17, 2004 1:42:02 PM | 17

Naomi Klein kicks ass again:
United Nations Compensation Commission being used as a slush fund for multinationals and rich oil emirates

Since Saddam was toppled in April, Iraq has paid out $1.8bn in reparations to the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), the Geneva-based quasi tribunal that assesses claims and disburses awards. Of those payments, $37m have gone to Britain and $32.8m have gone to the United States. That's right: in the past 18 months, Iraq's occupiers have collected $69.8m in reparation payments from the desperate people they have been occupying.

much larger awards have gone to corporations: of the total amount the UNCC has awarded in Gulf war reparations, $21.5bn has gone to the oil industry alone. Jean-Claude Aimé, the UN diplomat who headed the UNCC until December 2000, publicly questioned the practice. "This is the first time as far as I know that the UN is engaged in retrieving lost corporate assets and profits," he told the Wall Street Journal in 1997, and then mused: "I often wonder at the correctness of that."

But the UNCC's corporate handouts only accelerated. Here is a small sample of who has been getting "reparation" awards from Iraq: Halliburton ($18m), Bechtel ($7m), Mobil ($2.3m), Shell ($1.6m), Nestlé ($2.6m), Pepsi ($3.8m), Philip Morris ($1.3m), Sheraton ($11m), Kentucky Fried Chicken ($321,000) and Toys R Us ($189,449). In the vast majority of cases, these corporations did not claim that Saddam's forces damaged their property in Kuwait - only that they "lost profits" or, in the case of American Express, experienced a "decline in business" because of the invasion and occupation of Kuwait. One of the biggest winners has been Texaco, which was awarded $505m in 1999. According to a UNCC spokesperson, only 12% of that reparation award has been paid, which means hundreds of millions more will have to come out of the coffers of post-Saddam Iraq.

Despite the $18.4bn of US tax dollars allocated for Iraq's reconstruction, the Washington Post estimates that only $29m has been spent on water, sanitation, health, roads, bridges, and public safety combined.

if post-Saddam Iraq had not been forced to pay these reparations, it could have avoided the $437m emergency loan that the International Monetary Fund approved on September 29.

With all the talk of forgiving Iraq's debts, the country is actually being pushed deeper into the hole, forced to borrow money from the IMF, and to accept all of the conditions and restrictions that come along with those loans. The UNCC, meanwhile, continues to assess claims and make new awards: $377m worth of new claims were awarded last month alone.

LOST PROFITS?!

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Oct 17, 2004 2:14:42 PM | 18

@Marcin ... speechless ...

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 17, 2004 2:42:55 PM | 19

rgiap

yes. in an even more concrete sense, the struggle against reification includes aesthetics. There is presently so little in modern life that unsettles ennui, that forces on the individual the 'shudder' of comprehension of the catastrophies of humanity born again and again by stultifications of reified life. The disaster of the American Way of Life is the space between the individual and the kind of reflection made possible by art & representation is impassable. So, it is no surprise that so many Americans cling to the virtues of 'gut-instinct' and the revelatory inspirations of god. Such is the fantasy life of all us 'good people' who look to death as our only salvation.

Ah Pook is Here.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 17, 2004 3:06:51 PM | 20

I read this chilling quote this afternoon, and it deserves some commentary. Occasionally you find a qoute that could have come form Leo Strauss' playbook:

''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

I remember years ago Strauss' arch-rival Voegelin accusing him of being a neo-gnostic thinker. I see this tendency in the Neocons (both the prominent ones in the news and those that seem to be recent graduates of Patrick Henry College sucked into the Bush White House), as holding to a dimwitted, religious, Disney-like political "imagineering" doctrine, where if you can image the world as a right wing day camp in your inner most thought, you CAN create it militarily and politically. Chilling really when you think about it. Bush may have a prophetic and messianic complex, but he's perpetually egged on by a cadre of devoted clacks that seem to have less sense then he does and more devotion to an almost mystical set of political core values. Their only foundation seems to be themselves. That is a recipe for hubris and consequently, disaster!

Posted by: Diogenes | Oct 17, 2004 3:47:15 PM | 21

@Diogenes

The more power you have the more reality you can create.

I think we will see lots of news this week that smash the reality in Bush's head.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 17, 2004 3:56:07 PM | 23

Dan of Steele:

I have a feeling, now that the Times has come out and endorsed John Kerry for president that we will see a lot more of the same.

I hope so also... but one wonders if the Times is for Kerry in name only.

Have you been following Mike Shaw's work over at bagnewsnotes?

He has been running a series of parodies on the Times' covert photographic acts against Kerry. It is enough to make one grind one's teeth.

Here are a couple of links straight to the apropos posts.

Something sinister does seem to be going on behind the scenes.


Posted by: koreyel | Oct 17, 2004 4:04:50 PM | 24

Sharon, the Butcher

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 17, 2004 4:12:20 PM | 25

koreyel

I happened to see that site just a little while ago. You may be right, it could be that they are endorsing Kerry because most of their readers are Democrats.

Like I said before, I foolishly hope for a Kerry victory. I do not have a gut feeling either way who will win right now, it is still too far away. The attention span in the US is only a few minutes it seems so some could make up their minds who to vote for or even if they want to vote on election day.

I don't think I have ever seen Democrats so riled up as they are this year. People vote for strange reasons, a smirk at the wrong time could cost a vote here and there. If there is not massive fraud with the electronic machines Kerry could very well win.

Posted by: Dan of Steele | Oct 17, 2004 4:43:11 PM | 26

since we got in the philosophical mode here, I would like point to Karl Popper's "Open society and it's enemies".

Here is a short summary of his thought by George Soros:

philosopher Karl Popper who explained that both fascism and communism suffered from a fatal flaw: they claimed to be in possession of the ultimate truth.But our understanding is inherently imperfect so the ultimate solution can be imposed only by force.It is better to live in an imperfect society that holds itself open to improvement through freedom of thought and expression, elections, markets and laws that are open to modification.

The problem is, that Bush BELIEVES that "democracy" and "capitalism" is the best, ultimate end-state of societies that solves all other problems. Therefore the shortest path on the way there is the RIGHT choice, and any doubt or diversion is FALSE and EVIL. His FAITH makes him STRONG and the DEVIL can not mislead him into non-action.

Marxists believed that the means of production in private hands are the source of all evil, because they lead to exploitation. Revolutionaries hold the belief that "There is no THIRD WAY." No compromises, no half-socialism.

Good communists had the holy mission to change the social order in every country in the world. Bush has his own. He wants to change the society of all the Muslim states. Bush is technically a marxist (a world revolutionary with an utopian goal). No compromises, no half-capitalism.

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Oct 17, 2004 5:28:52 PM | 27

Something from the Suskin article which coresponds with Popper:

This is one key feature of the faith-based presidency: open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value. It may, in fact, create doubt, which undercuts faith. It could result in a loss of confidence in the decision-maker and, just as important, by the decision-maker. Nothing could be more vital, whether staying on message with the voters or the terrorists or a California congressman in a meeting about one of the world's most nagging problems. As Bush himself has said any number of times on the campaign trail, ''By remaining resolute and firm and strong, this world will be peaceful. ''

But I do not think we should blame Bush personally. Firm faith is a guiding principle of the Christian faith. (St. Peter the Rock ) George would have to betray his religion in favor of ever-doubting Humanism. Tragic.

Maybe he should read this site: today's "Religious Right" are much more like the kind of clerics who battled Jesus

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Oct 17, 2004 5:57:13 PM | 28

@Marcin & DeAnander - But that is Exactly the Reason to Force Them to Pay Reparations - So International Kleptocracy can get control of their economy behind closed doors, while making it seem essential for the welfare of all, inevitable & irreversible.

While on the homefront, they are bankrupting the Nation & the States to achieve the same results - a transfer of assets to the Kleptocrats.


Posted by: jj | Oct 17, 2004 6:27:32 PM | 29

@b Much better article on post-war planning is Naomi Klein's in Harpers - avail online @harpers site & truthout.org. (I promise to learn to link - just got new computer 24 hrs. ago & am a bit overwhelmed - but finally I can get this site.)

Gist is they did post-war planning they cared out - arrangements to steal resources etc. they wanted. They don't give a shit about people. "We don't do nation-building." This point was underscored by Michael Klare yesterday on his booktv appearance w/Chomsky & Amy Goodman - & presumably in his new bk. ~"Blood & Oil". He argues that Am. not building Empire, at least in classical sense, as it has Zero interesting in building & running afflicted societies - merely stealing/obtaining control over the resources.

We see same thing here. Americans lives are being destroyed but elite doesn't give a flying shit....just stealing everything they can.

Posted by: jj | Oct 17, 2004 6:36:25 PM | 30


Bush is not a Marxist ! the recent abandonment of Kerry as the flip-floper is now replaced with Kerry the extreme left liberal or the socialist statist. The new battleline of statist welfare state is of course the pablem spoon feed to the American delusional notion of individualism. The problem for the American bodypolitic is to effectivly develop the appropriate gag reflex to such spoonfeeding and to see that the Bush agenda for what it truely is -- and that is profoundly STATIST in and of itself. Bushes tyranny of the majority, being composed of of the theocratic dominionism of the religious right looking to recast government power into both the enforcer of the deterministicly established Christian agenda (theocracy) and shrink government economic regulation to facilitate the evolution of a worldly bound market state.The market state is then the privitization of all government functions, thereby subjugating the individual to the moral and ethical standards of monoply capitalism. In this light the Bush initiative is a trade of government for the people, by the people, in exchange for the far more oppressive statism of the theocratic state fuled by runaway capitalism that leaves any sense of individualism a forgotten myth.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 17, 2004 6:42:12 PM | 31

He is Marxist-like in the international context. That's what I mean. Export of revolution VS export of capitalism.

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Oct 17, 2004 6:53:34 PM | 32


I guess I knew that, but the term statist (collectivist as opposed to individualist) better covers the similarity -- and also puts the termnology theocracy, capitalism, socialism within the same field of choice concerning the instruments of governance. If people in the US are knee-jerk afraid of socialism and its supposed denial of individualism, why can't they see (on equal footing) the same peril in the move toward theocracy and the market-state?

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 17, 2004 7:15:04 PM | 33

because my dear friend anna missed they have watche too many i love lucy, father knowx best & dragnet

& theocracy becomes them

still steel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 17, 2004 7:28:34 PM | 34


Ah yes, as you say the deprivity of the individual as aculturating a starvation diet of television air waves must surely rank high in the overall denial of the true individualism, which can only find its full dimension and expression in its reciprocal acknowledgement and benifit of the other. Anything less is solipsism on a life support machine.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 17, 2004 8:35:03 PM | 35

Golden rule, anyone?

A little faith-based campaign ad from Mad Magazine.

Posted by: catlady | Oct 17, 2004 9:11:14 PM | 36

Great link Catlady!

I was getting one hell of a headache with all the philosophy.

Posted by: FlashHarry | Oct 17, 2004 9:35:41 PM | 37

I was getting one hell of a headache with all the philosophy.

FlashHarry: Me too! ;-)

What I believe Suskind's article provides us with is an unadulterated, first-hand perspective on just how utterly *daft* this president is. He insinuates "divine inspiration", while indulging in acts that are completely in opposition to the world's religions. He alleges "Christianity", while practicing none.

In the Middle Ages -- think Joan of Arc -- they had a certain way of perceiving people who claimed to be messengers of God, usually branding them heretics "in league with the devil", and consigning them to the flames.

Alas, George W. Bush was born a few centuries too late to be subjected to such "rational" treatment. Instead, he gets to pontificate ceaselessly and run for RE-selection on a platform of "the voices in his head".

Beware of false prophets; they are wolves in sheep's clothing.

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 17, 2004 10:24:16 PM | 38

CatLady:

When I tire of election propaganda, Mad Magazine always is a pleasant diversion. Several times in grad school, it kept my head from exploding. So what's next? Swift Boat Apostles Against Jesus and Jesus: Unfit to Command?

I need a pill. I'm laughing too hard.

But seriously the religious right has been refashioning Jesus into one mean son of a bitch for 20 years and has been abandoning the Jesus of the 19th century Romantic movement. Love, care of the poor, social justice and reconciliation are now old fashioned. Let's move back to the Medieval Jesus of judgement and the Crusades: The one that made Martin Luther have to change his pants on occasion as a young man. The Bush adminstration thrives on fear. They need a scary Jesus.

Posted by: Diogenes | Oct 17, 2004 10:25:09 PM | 39

It is because they are starving for something that sounds like truth, but have been told that truth is an American birthright, that truth requires no effort. So the first person who offers the solid guarantees of truth without demanding anything besides a simple donation of one's money and soul gets to play leader.

The problem is that everyone who has tried to point this out since McCarthy and Truman's security state culture gets cut off at the knees. Very few people are anxious to be the next Bobby Kennedy or Martin Luther King Jr., except now the price of cretinism is rising again - even seems to be changing me.

Posted by: | Oct 17, 2004 10:34:32 PM | 40

that's me at 10:34.

Posted by: Citizen | Oct 17, 2004 10:34:56 PM | 41

And they need "persecution." Need to feel they are being persecuted, by liberals, by the media, by Islam. It would be too sad if its wasn't so monumentally dangerous.

Posted by: SME in Seattle | Oct 17, 2004 10:41:27 PM | 42

And they need "persecution." Need to feel they are being persecuted, by liberals, by the media, by Islam.

SME: Well, not really. Thst's actually a standard ploy in Right Wing double-talk. I've noticed for some time now that their hallmark "pre-emptive" tactic is simply to attribute their *own" worst faults to their opponents, sight unseen.

Thus, it's "liberals" (ad infinitum) who allegedly persecute the poor little Fascists, when in fact it's obviously the other way around. Similarly, "liberal liars", "liberal bias in the media", tax and spend", election rigging, and baseless smears -- all skills highly typical of the GOP's worst -- are merely ascribed to the "left" as tactical defense.

Actually, one of their most *cunning* tactics of recent years, though I digress, has been this establishment of a "culture of derision" towards so-called "conspiracy theorists". As enthusiastic perpetrators of well-greased conspiracies ever since the Nixon presidency, the Right has reaped huge rewards from that media-induced conditioning of the public to reject such notions, however realistic they may be. (Take 9/11 ... please!)

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 17, 2004 11:28:55 PM | 43

oops, how do I close that tag? like this?

Posted by: catlady | Oct 17, 2004 11:51:27 PM | 45

What the 1#&*$! do I know, hanging out with Unitarians, who believe Jesus's teachings are worth following, even if he's a man and not the divine Son-o-God, and Universalists, who believe God loves everybody.

CatLady: Obviously a LOT more than George W. Bush, who seems to think *he's* the divine Son-o-God. :-)

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 18, 2004 12:22:36 AM | 46

What the 1#&*$! do I know, hanging out with Unitarians, who believe Jesus's teachings are worth following, even if he's a man and not the divine Son-o-God, and Universalists, who believe God loves everybody.

CatLady: Obviously a LOT more than George W. Bush, who seems to think *he's* the divine Son-o-God. :-)

Posted by: JMFeeney (USA) | Oct 18, 2004 12:23:24 AM | 47


THIS WILL BLOW YOUR MIND

www.forceministries.com

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 18, 2004 2:02:54 AM | 48

Christianity gets redefined as and how the ruling elites require. In light of current events it is worth looking back in curiosity and wonder to the "Muscular Christianity" of the British Empire, in which Jesus was imagined as something between a Scoutmaster and a drill sergeant.

There's something so perfectly radical and subversive about the core content of the Gospels, that every hierarchical/authoritarian statist structure has to rewrite or re-vision them no matter what violence must be done to the text and the spirit in the process :-)

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 18, 2004 2:50:04 AM | 49

Elections in Iraq - we don´t want no *³~-@ elections.

U.S. Reportedly Blocked Bid for Muslim Forces

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Bush rebuffed a plan last month for a Muslim peacekeeping force that would have helped the United Nations organize elections in Iraq, according to Saudi and Iraqi officials.
...
Saudi leaders, including Crown Prince Abdullah, lobbied Bush to sign off on the plan to establish a contingent of several hundred troops from Arab and Muslim nations. Abdullah discussed the plan in a 10-minute phone conversation with Bush on July 28 after meeting with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Saudi officials familiar with the negotiations said.

Diplomats said Annan had accepted the plan. But the U.S. objected because the force would have been controlled by the U.N. instead of by U.S. military officers. Muslim and Arab countries, however, refused to work under U.S. command, and the initiative died in September.

Posted by: b | Oct 18, 2004 4:10:28 AM | 50

Swift Boat Apostles? Already done.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Oct 18, 2004 10:30:13 AM | 51

Sorry about the extensive quote but this is bloody brilliant imho

Let America now imagine this. Imagine waking up tomorrow in an upside-down world, one in which the history of America's relations with the Arabs is inverted. Iraq is now the global hegemon, the world's richest democracy, a beacon of freedom; Iraq and the Arab democracies dominate the world and what was once the USA. Imagine that the Arabs have used their power to replace a United States of America with forty-four nominally independent states--with states for native Americans, African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, Italian Americans, German Americans, Anglo-Americans, Jews, Mormons, Sikhs, the Amish, etc--with most of these states run by despotic Iraqi surrogates.

Iraq, after colonizing New England and ethnically cleansing its native inhabitants, has converted it into an exclusive, racist, colonial-settler state for Arabs brought in from Sudan who were dying from a severe drought, the worst in a thousand years. This state, Arabistan, is by far the most powerful of the states on the American continent. It is Iraq's strategic asset in the Americas, periodically mounting incursions against the neighboring states from where the New Englander refugees wage occasional guerilla attacks on Arabistan.

Starting in March 2003, the Iraqi marines, supported by two divisions from Palestine, had invaded and occupied Texas. The Iraqi administration argued that this was a preemptive invasion to prevent the fanatical Texans from developing biological weapons. However, some Arab publications on the Left have argued that the Texan oilfields were Iraq's real target. It is well known that production from the Arab oil fields has been declining since 1997.

What would the Americans, now split, divided, corralled into forty-six racial, ethnic and sectarian states do if they found themselves in such a world? Would they resent the surrogate despotisms that ruled over them with Iraqi arms and money? Would some of their young men, faced with overwhelming Iraqi power, resort to suicidal attacks within Iraq itself? Would they too hate the Iraqis and Arabs and attack them because they are free, prosperous and democratic?

What would the New Englanders do, now scattered in refugee encampments in New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio? Would they dream of returning to their country? Would they demand the right to return to their homes in New England? Would they demand compensation for the homes they had lost? Would they hate the Sudanese settlers who now lived in their homes, their towns and cities?

What would all the other Americans do if the New Englanders began to wage a campaign of terror against Iraqi interests in the former USA? What would they do if Arabistan--the Iraqi surrogate--then retaliated by bombing New York, Detroit, Washington and Albany? What would they do if the Iraqi media accused them ad nauseum of hating Iraq's free, open, democratic society?

If only Americans could imagine all this--imagine all this for even a few seconds--how would this change the way they think about what their country, the United States, together with its democratic ally, Israel, have been doing to the Arabs? Can Americans imagine this? What would it do if they could imagine this--even for a few seconds? Would they recognize in their imagined pain, in their imagined humiliation, in the imagined wars and destruction imposed upon them, the real wars, occupations, massacres, ethnic cleansings, tortures, bombings, sanctions and assassinations endured by Palestinians and Iraqis for more than eight decades?

Would they?

M Shahid Alam, http://www.counterpunch.org/alam10162004.html>"America, Imagine This"

Posted by: DeAnander | Oct 18, 2004 1:42:35 PM | 52

Dear Limey Assholes

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1329858,00.html

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 18, 2004 2:11:17 PM | 53

i've thought of this repeatedly. there would be more than a few charred bodies hanging from bridges.

b, thanks for the link. although i just googled this story it doesn't seem to be all over the news yet. seems like general knowledge of this could really help kerry right now. an obvious solution to reducing our troop levels in the future.

Posted by: annie | Oct 18, 2004 2:37:48 PM | 54

...bloody brilliant. O I know it is a bit off-the-wall to keep bringing this up in a civilized forum like this one, but here it is. Doesn't it occur to anyone else here that there has to be a system of mind-control going on (television perhaps?) to prevent a population of perfectly intelligent people from seeing right through the crimes we are committing? As the cocksure closely shaven CIA spook said, "Think outside the box people."

Inside the box are approved history books, school curricula, advertisements. Outside, whooo I can hardly imagine, but there's a lot of stuff.

Reason for this post: I've had Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon for a week now and have scanned thru a lot of the new and important stuff. He has identified most of the perps in the 9/11 massacre, highest-up so far is Dick Cheney. This guy Ruppert digs carefully and deep. He has the facts to back him up when he comes out and accuses Cheney of being in charge that day.

Obviously it is a big and complicated case, and 100% of the govt. is working on a coverup, not an investigation. That makes it much harder to conclude a case as you can imagine.

OK that takes us back to the mind-control, the reptiles, and all that other unbelieveable stuff. If Ruppert is right, and I'm sure he is, it leaves us with nothing to believe in. In other words, everything in the box is bullshit. All of it. Start over. New assumptions. Not that I love Cheney-the-reptile-in-the-box, or hate him. He is a tool.

So this is where we are going and nobody can stop it, not the chimp, not Cheney, nobody. John Kerry may try but...well we know he is just another puppet.

Ruppert calls for a dumping of our monetary system as the only way to pull back from this monster greed-machine we have created, but I haven't read that part yet. And we know we can't just dump the monetary system and go our merry way without a long and deadly fight, can we Bernhard? War. Yeah lets have another war.

If you can't see my logic here don't worry. I will bring this up again repeatedly until you get it. It's over folks. Constitutional democracy blah blah blah.

Comments welcome.

Posted by: rapt | Oct 18, 2004 3:22:59 PM | 55

Rapt............. I think you're thinking too much...........the populace (ie the non-voters) just are interested in their next soap-opera episode, the latest story from the Sun or the pictorial from Hello or the news from the National Enquirer................ um you may have a point.

As for the Bush Fundies.......... just Civil War politics and being too proud to admit they have a cretin in charge.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 18, 2004 4:17:13 PM | 56

...thinking too much... Good point CP. Please help me learn to cut out that nasty habit. A new TV program perhaps?

Posted by: rapt | Oct 18, 2004 4:27:08 PM | 57

yup it is over, rapt.

DeA, that was an interesting read. But the author forgot to mention that Palestinians have become Native Israelis or American Arabs (idea stolen from some article to which I dont have a link.)

Posted by: Blackie | Oct 18, 2004 4:27:57 PM | 58

@ rapt

the mind control goes way deeper than just the telly/media, but that's a good, visible target for challenging perceptions, which could lead to structural changes, etc... haven't read ruppert's book yet, though I do have it and am looking forward to following his investigations... hope it's not as fatalistic as the picture you paint, though. it's impossible to know what's possible. Before destroying the monetary system, a strategic move to accelerate the oil crisis might knock the highchair out from under them...

Posted by: b real | Oct 18, 2004 4:55:05 PM | 59

The book is very thick. But a lot of it is detailed investigation, details details details, some of which I read and a lot of which has already been published on Ruppert's website. His main theme was to make sense of the thousands of unanswered questions about what really went down that day, and he did a very thorough job, although the results are sort of scattered in the book. He was in a hurry to publish it before the election cuz as he says, after so long it becomes history like the JFK murder.

An admirable effort in any case, and he is able to nail down some serious facts.

No point in trying to save the monetary system, if that is what you aim at. It is obsolete. A new approach is necessary. Knocking away the high chair could cause a blip, but these guys are out to destroy, kill. I dunno how they can be stopped but I'd like to find out.

Posted by: rapt | Oct 18, 2004 5:54:14 PM | 60

Cloned Poster: That's hysterical. That kind of stuff deserved to be widely shared, mass-mailed. Reminds me of my idea of mailing to the whole EU Commission and EU Parliament some chosen LGF and Freeper threads, in case Bush gets another 4 years, just to show them who they're really dealing with in the US.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Oct 19, 2004 5:16:07 AM | 61

Read Arthur Schlesinger in a Guardian Comment Seeking out monsters

President Bush is a militant idealist. He proposes to use America's military, economic and cultural power to spread "liberty". However, there are a lot of bad guys on the planet. Is the US obliged to eliminate them all? Does the US serve as the world's judge, jury and executioner?

As John Quincy Adams, perhaps our greatest secretary of state, said, America, while sympathising with struggling peoples, "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy". Should America seek out monsters, Adams continued, "the fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force ... She might become the dictatress of the world: she would no longer be the ruler of her own spirit."

That is the significance, for America and the world, of the American presidential election.

Posted by: b | Oct 19, 2004 6:52:47 AM | 62

Spencer Ackerman has a good piece ("Ten More Years?") up at TNR.

The clock is ticking in Iraq.

Posted by: Pat | Oct 19, 2004 7:00:31 AM | 63

Thanks Pat for the TNR piece

Knight Ridder has a three part story Post-war planning non-existent on how the war was and is misplanned.

NYT today added a long piece to document the screwup The Strategy to Secure Iraq Did Not Foresee a 2nd War

Hoping to stay until the Iraqi Army is up and running is not an option. To a large part the occupation is the reason for the insurgency. Staying on can only increase it.

More than 100 dead or injured in mortar attack

More than 100 Iraqis were killed or wounded today in a mortar attack on an Iraqi National Guard headquarters north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials said.

Posted by: b | Oct 19, 2004 7:30:35 AM | 64

I bring this up because over at Atrios he has a post entitled:October Surprise Watch.

Rove Lays Under plame Plane Tire?


Looks to like Rove is showing his pseudo-"loyalty" to try to sell Bush on some debauchery coming soon to a corporate news media near you.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 19, 2004 8:46:12 AM | 65

US soldier's non-combat death raises toll to 1,100

The soldier's corpse was found in his bunk house after he did not return to guard duty, the military said in a statement.

Posted by: b | Oct 19, 2004 9:08:16 AM | 66

The NYT piece linked by b at 7:30 AM is indeed a strange one. It reads as if a review of OIF and its aftermath, but anyone who's kept up with Juan Cole (or with Pat's various links right here) would hardly recognize the story told there. We read, for example: "Soon after arriving in May, Mr. Bremer, who replaced General Garner as the chief occupation official sooner than expected...."--and that's all you'll read about the disappearing of Jay Garner! The piece is full of stunts like that: it has an interview with Feith, but none with Bremer (who refused). I take it as an apologia for (1.) the neo-cons and (2.) the NYT itself (the name of "Judith Miller" doesn't appear in this article).

I think these folks are scared. How else to understand Ed Koch's grotesque performance last night with John Stewart?

Posted by: alabama | Oct 19, 2004 10:05:39 AM | 67

British Army Move North

LONDON, Oct 19 (AFP) - Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair said Tuesday that British troops would only be deployed to the dangerous US-controlled sector of Iraq from the more peaceful British zone if it is military justified.

"There has been a request by the American military to the British military, not a political request from the US president to me," Blair said the day after Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon announced Britain was considering the move.

"No decision will be taken to re-deploy British troops unless it is clear militarily that that should and can happen," Blair said after a Downing Street meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 19, 2004 11:50:51 AM | 68

Blair sounds just like Bush, taking no responsibility for anything, ever. Weak models for the young, those two....

Posted by: alabama | Oct 19, 2004 12:15:47 PM | 69

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3756552.stm

The Care worker is Dublin born as per the BBC link above. Why the Fuck is Bliar and co mouthing off about her Britishness and putting a price on her head?

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Oct 19, 2004 1:51:32 PM | 70

@alabama

Of course they are scared. Their shit is indeed hitting the fan as we blog. Recommend moving assets into hard commodities pronto.

Posted by: rapt | Oct 19, 2004 2:54:09 PM | 71

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