Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 14, 2005

The Real America

Some sane person writes an LA Times Commentary, though I am not sure that the headline is correct:

This isn't the real America by Jimmy Carter

IN RECENT YEARS, I have become increasingly concerned by a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican.

These include the rudimentary American commitment to peace, economic and social justice, civil liberties, our environment and human rights.

Also endangered are our historic commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.

At the same time, our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations and have disavowed long-standing global agreements — including agreements on nuclear arms, control of biological weapons and the international system of justice.

Instead of our tradition of espousing peace as a national priority unless our security is directly threatened, we have proclaimed a policy of "preemptive war," an unabridged right to attack other nations unilaterally to change an unsavory regime or for other purposes. When there are serious differences with other nations, we brand them as international pariahs and refuse to permit direct discussions to resolve disputes.

Regardless of the costs, there are determined efforts by top U.S. leaders to exert American imperial dominance throughout the world.

These revolutionary policies have been orchestrated by those who believe that our nation's tremendous power and influence should not be internationally constrained. Even with our troops involved in combat and America facing the threat of additional terrorist attacks, our declaration of "You are either with us or against us!" has replaced the forming of alliances based on a clear comprehension of mutual interests, including the threat of terrorism.

Another disturbing realization is that, unlike during other times of national crisis, the burden of conflict is now concentrated exclusively on the few heroic men and women sent back repeatedly to fight in the quagmire of Iraq. The rest of our nation has not been asked to make any sacrifice, and every effort has been made to conceal or minimize public awareness of casualties.

Instead of cherishing our role as the great champion of human rights, we now find civil liberties and personal privacy grossly violated under some extreme provisions of the Patriot Act.

Of even greater concern is that the U.S. has repudiated the Geneva accords and espoused the use of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, and secretly through proxy regimes elsewhere with the so-called extraordinary rendition program. It is embarrassing to see the president and vice president insisting that the CIA should be free to perpetrate "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment" on people in U.S. custody.

Instead of reducing America's reliance on nuclear weapons and their further proliferation, we have insisted on our right (and that of others) to retain our arsenals, expand them, and therefore abrogate or derogate almost all nuclear arms control agreements negotiated during the last 50 years. We have now become a prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation. America also has abandoned the prohibition of "first use" of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear nations, and is contemplating the previously condemned deployment of weapons in space.

Protection of the environment has fallen by the wayside because of government subservience to political pressure from the oil industry and other powerful lobbying groups. The last five years have brought continued lowering of pollution standards at home and almost universal condemnation of our nation's global environmental policies.

Our government has abandoned fiscal responsibility by unprecedented favors to the rich, while neglecting America's working families. Members of Congress have increased their own pay by $30,000 per year since freezing the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour (the lowest among industrialized nations).

I am extremely concerned by a fundamentalist shift in many houses of worship and in government, as church and state have become increasingly intertwined in ways previously thought unimaginable.

As the world's only superpower, America should be seen as the unswerving champion of peace, freedom and human rights. Our country should be the focal point around which other nations can gather to combat threats to international security and to enhance the quality of our common environment. We should be in the forefront of providing human assistance to people in need.

It is time for the deep and disturbing political divisions within our country to be substantially healed, with Americans united in a common commitment to revive and nourish the historic political and moral values that we have espoused during the last 230 years.

The best President the US ever had.

Posted by b on November 14, 2005 at 10:33 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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carter was being polite. and he is right. other than that, he also has blood on his hands. his commentary shows how worried he is, because the level of blowback threatens to get to him and his privileged friends.

give no credibility to the words of a politician if you dont know who pays his bills.

Posted by: name | Nov 14 2005 10:45 utc | 1

Though Jimmy spouts the right words ... he is personally responsible for the policy decisions ... creation, financing, training and support of the funadentalist branch of the Afghan Mujahedin and utimately the embryonic Al-Qaeda through the Pakistani ISI and the CIA ... because they would fight well against the dreaded, hated communists ... the enemy of my enemy is my friend ... until the common enemy (communism) is vanquished and the friend of convenience once again becomes our enemy, bitterly betrayed and further enraged ...

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 14 2005 11:06 utc | 2

Carter was an investor in BCCI..the money laundering bank connected with Iran/Contra.

Posted by: jm | Nov 14 2005 11:17 utc | 3

'I am extremely concerned by a fundamentalist shift in many houses of worship and in government, as church and state have become increasingly intertwined in ways previously thought unimaginable'


Another Getty photo(image)

A mural on the wall of the chapel at Abu Ghraib. Psalm 60-12: "Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies."

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 14 2005 11:29 utc | 4

another article-same paperanother disasterous deja vu

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 14 2005 11:37 utc | 5

man, you guys are really harsh on Mr Carter. You might cut him some slack, no US president can suddenly stop all the wheeling and dealing with the major players so that the disenfrancised and the elites can hold hands and think pure thoughts.

During his presidency there was a bit of calm in the world, US troops were not heading out to occupy fearsome countries like Granada and Panama. Mr Carter took a lot of heat but returned the Panama Canal to the people that live there.

Whatever you may think of his record as president, he has done so much since that most wrongdoing could be forgiven.

I do believe your expectations may be a bit too high. You will search long and hard before finding anyone who even comes close to being as decent as Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 14 2005 12:16 utc | 6

yes b, the title may be incorrect.

I submit to you that reality is only what one perceives and we all had the perception that the US was good and just.

That perception has been stripped away for many of us making some wonder just how long this dirty business has been going on.

There are many here who have pointed out that it has been so since before the beginning and will likely continue on that path after the end. I suppose that this is even a natural phenomenon, after all most people are not interested in this sort of thing and of those that are interested few have the clout to do more than bitch about it anyway. might as well leave it to the PTB.

I suppose the easiest explanation for the whole damn current mess is that we just got a big bunch of incompetent elites who have failed miserably to maintain the facade.

Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 14 2005 13:01 utc | 7

@Dan of Steele
Yes, (somewhat chastened) very true. Yet he, and principally Zbigniew Brzezinski created and initiated the policy and executed the decisions re our covert/secret war within the Afghan-Soviet war (1979-1989), especially re the fundamentalist Mujaheddin, that ultimately led to the rise of Al-Qaeda ...

Why ? Because for all Jimmy C's laudable personal moral values, virtues, and undoubted good deeds since ... at that critical juncture he tragically saw the globe as little more than an abstract geopolitical chessboard with overlapping and competing 'spheres of influence' ... all in terms of what was good or bad for U.S. self-interest ... then, as now, about oil and exclusive strategic dominance of the Persian Gulf, the oil rich portions of the Middle East and to a lesser degree Central Asia ...

Slightly OT: Yet useful (incomplete) background knowledge ... (DemocracyNow.org sadly glosses over Jimmy C's and the Dems responsibility ... shades of the mirror of FOX ?)

Ghost Wars: How Reagan Armed the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan
Thursday, June 10th, 2004

Listen to Audio | Watch video | Transcript follows

During Reagan's 8 years in power, the CIA secretly sent billions of dollars of military aid to the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in a US-supported jihad against the Soviet Union. We take a look at America's role in Afghanistan that led to the rise of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda with Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. [Includes transcript]

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 14 2005 13:21 utc | 8

The Real America ?

The elites have manipulated the wider populous since at least the War against Spain circa 1898 ... I could go on about 100,000's of thousands of deaths re the 50 years 'protectorate' of the Philippines, etc.

Yet, the crux of the issue is an almost wilful ignorance of the wider citizenry, combined with a determined, sustained, persistent effort to erase, deny, obfuscate unpalatable aspects of our true history ... the values and beliefs we hold dear clash with the facts ...

Why do 'they' Hate us ?

Its not because of who we are or how we live ... it's all about how our government and its policy instruments have and do interact with the rest of the world in terms of the consequences of our actions, interventions and especially foreign policy ... the overarching consideration being an ever greater subservience to the immoral(?) and apparently unquenchable avarice of corporate capitalism ...

We deny or are denied our history ... yet the rest of the world is not as systemically dominated by our internal white propaganda ... the current Bush&Co are so disdainful of the sheeple that they don't even really attempt to maintain the mask, the facade of decades past ... we are apparently above and beyond the 'lesser' nations of the world ...

Our Republic has progressively been hollowed out from within and I'm not referring to just the last five years.


There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.

- Walt Whitman

It ain't about Democracy in Iraq. It's about the same reasons we and the British overthrew Mossadeq (?) in Iran in 1953 (?) and installed the peacock dictator the Shah of Iran and beefed up his massive military machine and his brutal secret police. It's about the same reason we managed coups in Iraq and the installation of Saddam in Iraq and beefed up his massive military machine and his brutal secret police and then enticed him to invade Iran re the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war ... to overthrow Iran and regain control of the Persian Gulf, Central Asia and the co-located energy resources. More than 50+ years of supporting and financing pliable 'allied' dictatorships ...

We didn't give a shit about Democracy in Iran from the fifties to 1979. We didn't give a shit about Democracy in Iraq before 1990 and certainly not when we invaded in 2003. And we still don't give a shit about Democracy in the Middle East, Latin America or anywhere else really, today or into the future.

"If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost."

- Aristotle

As long as the vast majority of American citizens exist in wilful or irresponsible ignorance, electronically doped by a complicit corporate media, abrogating their duty towards a vigorous and vibrant democracy that truly does adhere, held beholden to our oft trumpeted values ... then the people, the nation we believe we are, will truly be but a nostalgic shadow of a memory from our long past.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

- American Declaration of Independence, a text written primarily by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the United States Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

Well, apparently not. Certainly not if you are unfortunate to be a human who happens to live on land holding resources we desire, and especially so if by nationality, you're not one of us, American.

/rant over

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 14 2005 14:22 utc | 9

@ dan of steele

mickey z: Noble Carter? The Legacy of Jimmy Carter

Posted by: b real | Nov 14 2005 15:51 utc | 10

@b real
Really, I am not an apologist for Jimmy Carter. He did things that are not pleasant. I wonder though what his options were. One decision that he made turned out to be painful. The Military Industrial complex wanted to spend billions and billions on a new weapons system called the MX if I recall correctly and Carter vetoed it. He was then presented with another weapons system that was even more costly and harder to veto called the B1 bomber. This airplane costs a cool billion dollars a copy...and that is 1980 dollars. As far as I know it has only been used a couple of times in combat.

A complaint that I heard about Carter was that while he was in power seven countries "went communist". this was from obvious rightwing circles but should tell us that he was not oppressing everyone as hard as those who would follow such as Reagan and Clinton.

Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 14 2005 19:24 utc | 11

nuance is a hard language to learn because it has so many words that mean different things.

Like Dan, I am no apologist for Carter. He, like Kennedy, carried out the cold war that was the American policy for decades...and they did it because of the idea of real and specific threats, such as the missile crisis earlier.

And, yes, Carter did initiate the real politik of undermining the USSR via a war that would be "their Vietnam." (But Reagan was the one who really put lots of money into it.)

Carter was peripheral to BCCI. But the bin Laden family benefited greatly...and Bush Sr. turned a blind eye to Pakistan getting nukes...seems India was feeling a little friendlier with Russia back then, too.

For all the criticism, I'd like to know what people on this forum would do if they were put in the position of Prez. How would you defend the nation from enemies, foreign and domestic?

Do you assume we have no enemies...or only those we have created?

Would you try to help ppl now who want to modernize, like the small biz loans for women in villages in India...those empower them and give them the ability to get out of poverty...but are those ideas terrible because they're based upon buying and selling?

This isn't a rhetorical question. What if your family had been in the Mafia, and had killed people whose relatives now wanted to kill you. They didn't want to talk about it...at least not now. What would you do if they threatened to take your child...what would you do if they blew up a car with your aunt and uncle in it?

would you be willing to let them kill your family because of the crimes of your parents?

...this question, of course, goes both ways...the U.S. in either role.

how to create peace is an interesting, difficult topic.

btw, Novak called Carter a communist.

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 14 2005 19:58 utc | 12

It seems to me there is a point at which some of the "moral equivalency" dialectic in evidence here becomes, in effect, complicity in maintaining the status quo. What is the practical achievement of undercutting the most prominent and cogent critic of this regime yet to step forward? Succor for our political opponents? Surrender, perhaps?

"Oh, the divided left! Thank you, Jeezus!," exclaims the mighty forces on the right.

A former President of the United States blasts these monsters in power with his Baptist heart-shout, and we say, "Nope! Not good enough. Unclean hands!"

Cutting Jimmy Carter off at his knees -- "He's no different!" -- strikes me as unpragmatic, to say the least.

I'm down, rock solid in my solidarity, with Jimmy Earl. His book and interviews and articles will move and hearten and solidify MILLIONS in their opposition to Bush/Cheney.

Ousting Bush/Cheney not a good idea? Not "good enough" for some of you?

So it is that, too often, politics is about incremental mitigation rather than utopian revolution.

I'd replace a Neo-Conservative PNACer with a neo-liberal Trilateralist any day of week and think it a good day's work -- a good start, at least. (Sad that a neo-liberal Trilateralist could meet a standard of "progress," but welcome to the real world.)

If you're holding out for the coming of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the '06 and '08 political seasons are going to be damned disappointing.

Posted by: manonfyre | Nov 14 2005 21:29 utc | 13

fauxreal says : how to create peace is an interesting, difficult topic.

manonfire says: I'd replace a Neo-Conservative PNACer with a neo-liberal Trilateralist any day of week and think it a good day's work -- a good start, at least.

Bernhard (me) said: The best President the US ever had.

Yes, yes and yes - We all will never get the US president we all like. We would fight each other nuts and bolts over tiny tiny issues if there would be president near to our taste.

The best the US ever had is not the best I can think of. But then, the best I can think of, would be different to the best you could think of, even if you are very near to my position.

Kudos to Carter for writing that piece.

Posted by: b | Nov 14 2005 22:07 utc | 14

carter never really had a chance, from what i've read. he came in trying to squash the rogue cia factions, get rid of the old boys network, and lost, making him a target of intense hatred from w/i establishment circles. he had to settle for an ineffective dci, turner, which helped cement carter's loss of control over all clandestine ops after the "halloween massacre" pissed off any spooks still on the fence. brzezinski himself was a long-time cia asset under ted shackley, who had stacked carter's nsc, ensuring that the president was cut off from intelligence & not a threat to their hot money profiteering. and then carter pissed off israel & their intel community by trying to force a peace process, who then used carter's brother billy "the only thing i can say is there is a hell of a lot more arabians that there is jews" carter to embarass the president in an unregistered foreign agent scam involving libya, $2 million dollars, and lockheed.

and actually it was brzezinski who laid the way for arming pakistan w/ nukes when he wrote a memo to carter dec 26, 1979


"[Iran and Pakistan are in turmoil and Afghanistan is unstable, and the Soviets would love direct access to the Indian Ocean if victorious there]...What is to be done?...[aid to the afghan resistance should continue]...This means more money as well as arms shipments to the rebels and some technical advice...To make the above possible we must both reassure Pakistan and encourage it to help the rebels. This will require a review of our policy toward Pakistan, more guarantees to it, more arms aid, and alas, a decision that our security policy toward Pakistan cannot be dictated by our nonproliferation policy."

carter's human rights focus was probably sincere, but how do you go up against the old boys and their cronies? carter has been more effective outside of the presidency, but so long as he keeps repeating crap like blaming nader for the dems 2000 election loss, it's hard to take him too seriously.

Posted by: b real | Nov 14 2005 22:11 utc | 15

I find myself in emphatic agreement with manonfyre and Bernhard immediately above. The objection that Carter isn't pure enough to make the observations contained in that piece of writing is just detrimental quibbling... a Leftist version of the "If you aren't with me you are against me" mindset. There's a baby somewhere in the bathwater of political thought, but we ain't gonna conjure it if all we're willing to accept is purity on all counts.

It's good to keep a sharp eye on past corruptions/scandals/et cetera, but let's look at what is actually in front of us (viz. Carter's editorial) and not ad hominem ourselves to death looking for our dream spokesperson.

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 14 2005 22:19 utc | 16

Monoffyre

You go on and vote for your lesser of two evils. Do so and reproduce the same problems. Over and over and over again.

The fact that you are forced to defend Carter or someone like him as "better than..." only demonstrates the failure of our "democracy" in which power permits what should oppose power.

Democrats are no "incremental mitigation" to the problems facing our country. This is obvious. Your demand for "pragmatism" is the conceit of a loser.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 14 2005 22:52 utc | 17

@Comrade Slothrop

I wasn't under the impression that manonfyre was endorsing the Democratic Party; I thought that he was saying that the editorial contained valid ideas irrespective of who it was that wrote them. Listen, I'm no fan of the Dems, either ("Corporate Party and Corporate Party Lite"), but let's say for the sake of argument that we should follow your advice. What do you propose we do and who do you propose is qualified to do it? There are a ton of people who claim to have a Pulitzer winning novel in them but never get anything written because it is not yet "perfect". From where I'm sitting, the imperfect novelist who actually produces something would be better.

I'm not looking for an abstract ideological rant, we have enough samples of your thoughts to extrapolate a general view of your philosophy... So,who, specifically, do you feel is free enough from the taint of complicity and corruption to lead the United States of America and what specific actions should be taken?

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 14 2005 23:08 utc | 18

Vote for socialists. simple.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 14 2005 23:15 utc | 19

btw. I don't do "abstract ideology." I have offered many, many observations here at moa about the crisis of capitalism.

science, not ideology. general laws of motion. not: jimmy carter is not perfect, but I'll take him anyways.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 14 2005 23:18 utc | 20

Not pure enough. Simple.

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 14 2005 23:26 utc | 21

I think it is of utmost importance that we become ruthless in our scrutiny of ALL those people who ask us to elevate them to power in our country. That's what's wrong. It's way beyond the Cons versus the Democraps.

I've studied Carter and I am wary of anyone manipulating the public now in this sensitive moment when we are seeing some truth. He would do best by leaving us to our own resources. He has a veneer of peacefulnes, but underneath are traits of power lust and revenge. I never trusted him, largely because these facts are hidden.

He should leave us alone and not try to grab the spotlight. Like that sickening Clinton always does. Carter is such a wise man now. Such a nice guy Don't fall for it. From any of them. We know better than anyone.

Posted by: jm | Nov 14 2005 23:28 utc | 22

BTW, Carter is inflamed after the snub at the pope's funeral and other such similar situations this year. Now he is moving in for personal grats while they are weakening. Just keep the vision clear.

Posted by: jm | Nov 14 2005 23:32 utc | 23

Also look at what he's doing. Attacking the religious shit which is minor in comparison to the corporate stranglehold and theft, loss of jobs, benefits, and pensions. Would he attack that with his hand so deeply in the pot? When the Christian right has already lost its grip? The Schiavo stupidity nailed that one. A day late and a dollar short.

Posted by: jm | Nov 14 2005 23:55 utc | 24

Dennis Kucinich.

Posted by: beq | Nov 14 2005 23:55 utc | 25

rather than continue promoting the dishonest claims made above that this is a matter of leftist factionalism w/ some myopic miscreants resorting to ad hominems, look at the words/ideas

Also endangered are our historic commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.

pure b.s., not that they are endangered, but that there has ever, in fact, been such a commitment. and this is not a matter of utopian dreaming, but of waking people out of their exaggerated, exceptionalistic "american dream"-state.

Instead of our tradition of espousing peace as a national priority unless our security is directly threatened

or

Instead of cherishing our role as the great champion of human rights...

or

As the world's only superpower, America should be seen as the unswerving champion of peace, freedom and human rights. Our country should be the focal point around which other nations can gather to combat threats to international security and to enhance the quality of our common environment. We should be in the forefront of providing human assistance to people in need.

It is time for the deep and disturbing political divisions within our country to be substantially healed, with Americans united in a common commitment to revive and nourish the historic political and moral values that we have espoused during the last 230 years.

is yet more propaganda

Posted by: b real | Nov 14 2005 23:59 utc | 26

@beq

I'm with you there. If Kucinich can be bothered to run a real campaign he's got my vote. But I'm tired doing all his stumping for him pro bono.

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 15 2005 0:05 utc | 27

Yes, Monolycus. The bar was kind of smokey. I thought I'd just let in some fresh air.

Posted by: beq | Nov 15 2005 0:12 utc | 28

b real

as usual, you are right.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 15 2005 0:12 utc | 29

Thanks, b real. What crap.

"As the world's only superpower". How dare he! Human rights, my ass.

Posted by: jm | Nov 15 2005 0:13 utc | 30

slothrop sez-

Your demand for "pragmatism" is the conceit of a loser.

--yeah, because socialists have won so many elections in this country. oh wait, your criticism is of democracy itself, if I recall.

as in:
Billmon oscillates between deep resentment of power chracterizing our political class, and a petty worship of American ideology (the genius of founding fathers, constitution, The Law).

petty worship of rule of law when we can let Bush destroy Habeaus Corpus. a constitution that was intended as a part of the belief that enlightenment would make societies better...and over all, it has, with lots of horrors along the way.

but resorting to the romanticism that spawned national socialism was the one of the worst reactions to those "petty" ideas like a written constitution with writtten guarantees of rights...if it didn't exist, would the world be a better place?

I really have tried to be nice since you came back, but your venom is about the greatest argument against socialism on this site that I've ever read.

so, and I mean this in the nicest, low-hanging fruit or whatever's your pleasure sort of way, why don't you go fuck yourself?

when you dish it out...here, have some back.

ta ta for now...

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 15 2005 0:24 utc | 31

i am in evident sympathy with comrades slotheop & b real & it is not so fiery what they are saying. you were warned by an old president of the military industial complex & that structure while tansmutating remains the same

i too working in conditions of great difficulty also understand the importance of trying to see some humanity somewhere & trying to see some sense - even in their leadership - & yes there was a sense in carter - the church comitee was an initiative of importance - but but but.......

but i understand in a slaughterhouse one looks for bodies that are not covered in blood & carter's body while not clean - at least had a sense of what & who he was

& since he has become a president who has spoken things that need to be spoken but the reality that both b real & slothrop point out - who is listening

aas for edwards, kusinci, clark et al - well they are the devils work in a manner not so different form the imbecile liebermann

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 0:47 utc | 32

fauxreal

Why exactly am I reviled by you for pointing out the way our reflexive devotions to "democracy" "enlightenment" "law," and so on, are forms of wishful thinking adumbrating deeper failures of capitalism and delaying effective response?

Why should I fuck myself because I notice and criticize, in the case of manonfyre, the unjustified faith in a system of political representation that can do no better than give us jimmy carter? Why go fuck myself when I criticize billmon for his lack of theory and normative orientation?

Enlightenment is excellent except for the "horrors along the way"? Like the genocide of native americans? This is what we must accept, these possibilities of life offered to us?

And national socialism inspired by the "romanticism" of Marx?

Huh?

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 15 2005 1:06 utc | 33

Slothrop is really amusing, ain't he Faux.

All sound and "socialism" and signifying poop.

Maybe Jesus Lenin or Jesus Mao will be elected president next.

And we'll have a perfect world.

For those here on the cutting edge of absurdity and irrelevance, the read has been the best "hoot" I have had here in 15 months.

I'll try to get Lenin Prizes awarded shortly.


Posted by: Groucho | Nov 15 2005 1:18 utc | 34

Make mine a double, this is going to be good.

And it might be tought to struggle back up to the bar for a while ...

Posted by: jonku | Nov 15 2005 1:19 utc | 35

inside a slaughterhouse the question of faith is not a secondary one

understanding structurally how the slaughterhouse is constructed is one way of tearing it down

breath by breath

cisco houston sang something like that pn danville girl - its in yr library of congress with all the other songs of slaves

tragoidia

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 1:25 utc | 36

You should fuck yourself because you utterly bore and irritate many of us with your simplistic world view.

And because some of the more visually jaded might enjoy it.

Won't be here for the event, sorry.

Munsters are coming on TV Land.


Posted by: Groucho | Nov 15 2005 1:27 utc | 37

Sorry.

My Last directed at Slothrop.

Posted by: Groucho | Nov 15 2005 1:31 utc | 38

groucho: "I hire mexicans"

after all this time, that's all I know about what you know, groucho.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 15 2005 1:32 utc | 39

no groucho

i am as simple minded as slothrop

i am as guilty as anyone here of wanting to believe in the redemptive ways of capital - witness my silly & infantile wish that the law & fitzgerald would actually do something

but i imagine it is so tough for most of us that we look for any sign of light on the hills even humour & tom delays shenaningans are nothing if not a humorous pisstake at how little they love us

& it is not a terrible irony that some of the worst neocons are ex trots or ex maoists like feith horowitz & wolfowitz

the left has a great deal to be sorry for in not offering enough leadership or even fight

& i think that is one of the decisive differences in europe at least in germanu & france - where there are many who made the 'long march through the institutions' - technocrats to be sure but they have not betrayed their origins like so many in culture for example - & they have made a difference here in day to day questions - re the law, logement, health & other social questions

i follow devs here & read much on australia & their new barbaric industrial relations which are not so far removed from the days of pressganging & so little revolt - i wonder what is 'real' anymore to people other than their own fear

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 1:41 utc | 40

Well that peace loving, people loving, sanctimonious Sothern Baptist shithead, Jimmy Carter, really started something, didn't he?

Bless you, my brothers.

Posted by: jm | Nov 15 2005 1:46 utc | 41

rgiap

It is a long revolution, isn't it?

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 15 2005 1:46 utc | 42

Well, I can sure see now why Billmon got fed up with this forum.

Posted by: cc | Nov 15 2005 1:49 utc | 43

...

You say I
Over simplify
Well yes, so did
Albert Einstein

There simply
Is no middle ground
Pentagon uber alles

There never
Was a middle ground
That's the point I was making

There's no such
Place as middle ground
(That's the point we were making)
Left or Right of the equator

--Left on Man, Robert Wyatt

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 15 2005 1:53 utc | 44

This still baffles me and I can't come to any understanding. I've always wondered why philosophies and ideas of all kinds cause such visceral responses. From all sides, the end result seems to be similar. Why do we react so violently to words? Is it such a short path from ideologies to imposition of them on others? What exactly is the threat? Or is it just personal chemistry?
Can't figure it out.

Posted by: jm | Nov 15 2005 2:08 utc | 45

well, during my infantile fetishisism of the law & with fitzgerald i wandered far from here - tho only posting at firedoglake for a day or two - but if cc is reading more 'enlightened" forums - i wish s/he would have the good grace to point them out

dkos, huffington post & firedoglake's level of commentary & here i am princially speaking of the posts are of such a pedestrian quality that there was little worth reading at all

if someone came here - moa - & sd that with the varying & dynamic positions elucidated here on a wide variety of topics - & were fed up - i'd simply suggest you were not reading

everyone here brings a level of expertise that is not inconsiderable - lived experience(with all the affective problems that that entails) & i know that for me at least there is no need for me to wander very far from this bar

the fighting for the most part is amongst friends & it is really just another way of elucidating - pricking ourselves or each other or kicking against the pricks is a way of working the territory

so if you want bible study cc - & an endless faith in the capacity for the american dream & the dream of america can be stretched out i'd suggest dkos with the honourable exceptions of hunter & susan g

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 2:11 utc | 46

and billmon as well. There are few writers of his caliber. but, this does not mean he should not be criticized for good reasons.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 15 2005 2:24 utc | 47

Gosh, this must be why we never see a real leftist on the MSM, people just can't handle it.

Posted by: anna missed | Nov 15 2005 2:25 utc | 48

& if one really stretches the last fifteen years for positive things. there are so few moments, really that are not negative in character

the last positive moment was the perestroika of gorbachev - which changed everything by changing himself

that the west had the same courage

that the real america would exert the same courage as mikhael

you will say his project was inachevable but even in its intent - it was something exceptional, in man & in history

mandela & gorbachev are leaders who led

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 2:37 utc | 49

slothrop- your words revile others..."the conceit of a loser" is not a philosophical argument for or against pragmatic action or thought.

your seeming aversion to the ideals of democracy, rule of law, and so on...what do you propose to replace them with?

you are the one who terms respect for those things "reflexive," not me or others who happen to think that democracy, and especially democratic socialism, offers that "middle ground" toward stability and lack of want and respect for human rights.

do you really think that the state will fall away and people will live together without exploiting one another...whether the exploitation is called capital or power or the grift..without laws to promote civil society?

the enlightenment did not cause the genocide of native americans. the enlightenment did overthrow the idea of the divine right of kings, and the idea of an inherited privlege. the enlightenment resulted in Jews being given citizenship on the same basis as Christians in Europe, via that nasty Napoleon. the enlightenment was the rationale for abolishing slavery.

enlightenment is not about manifest destiny or racism...where did you ever get that idea?

but of course, we are human animals, and we do not act perfectly. we have a tendency toward xenophobia. we hoard, oftentimes more than we need, out of fear of want.

if we suddenly had a socialist revolution...do you think that would stop the abuses that have been part of human history since it was recorded? --no matter what form of govt was in place? have you ever seen a socialist govt act that way? if socialism is viable, it should be able to function in spite of outside pressures...because there will always be outside pressure and competing wants and needs.

I assume your science isn't Lysenkoism.

you apparently did not understand or distorted my remark about enlightenment and horrors along the way...so let me clarify by saying that of all the various systems that have been enacted, those based upon enlightenment ideals have been able to change and learn, it seems to me.

but, yes, there have also been bad things. do you think things would be better if you had revolution? do you think that ppl would not be destablized, would not be killed, would not be victimized as one group tries to establish power over a competing group and idea?

is it so unreasonable to prefer evolution rather than revolution? I do think that if you don't have one you will have the other, because if societies do not evolve to include greater enfranchisement, then you leave people no choice. but I do not think this is inevitable. imo nothing is inevitable, in political terms.

Following Thomas Paine, a female small biz person wrote in "The Divine Right of Capital," that we overthrew the divine right of kings in our thinking, but not the idea of the divine right of those who concentrate wealth among themselves and claim they deserve to have the laws favor them.

national socialism was nazism, not Marx. and it did spring, in part, from romanticism, from glorifying mystical ideas a utopian society composed of aryans. I was responding to the links in the post from Monolycus, above. Goethe, Wagner, Hegel. all of these are great artists or thinkers...but the application of ideas isn't necessarily what we intend, is it?

what we must accept, imo, is that people see the world differently, and change occurs because reason triumphs over suspicion and fear, and because then ppl are able to understand that they benefit by laws that also benefit others.

of course, this may seem less obvious if you are among the richest 1% of Americans, but even they would benefit, even tho they're too removed from the lives of others to see it.

I was not responding to any sort of philosophical issue, beyond your insults toward others who do not believe in a utopian world.

as far as philosophy, I suppose I'm just too pragmatic, and Foucault's take on power seems more accurate to me than Marx's views in this time and place in history.

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 15 2005 2:47 utc | 50

As per usual the debate was about ideas until someone on this occasion fauxreal couldn't think of anything worth saying that would mean anything -/- told slothrop to fuck him/herself

other times others have resorted to personal attack in lieu of substance.

if only these idjits-/-esp the likes of groucho who seem to think coming in when someone is on the ground from being blindsided and throwing in a gratuitous kick is commendable-/- would recognise that these tactics merely serve to emphasise the shallowness of their intellect.

something more meaty than lightweights clawing at each other's eyes----

Last week's bombs in Amman, which killed 57 people, have shown how vulnerable Jordan is to the kind of violence which has become a daily reality in Iraq.

The US newspaper publisher Knight Ridder, which is one of the best sources of information there, reports that one of the suicide bombers involved in the attacks, Safaa Mohammed Ali, seems to have been captured a year ago by US marines in Falluja.

He was then released because he seemed to pose no threat to security.

Ali was captured in the same mosque in Falluja where a cameraman filmed a US marine shooting dead a wounded prisoner.

That, according to Knight Ridder's investigation, increased his hatred of the US.


Perhaps or perhaps he was doubled

Posted by: A.N. Umpire | Nov 15 2005 2:57 utc | 51

peace, fauxreal. I can take it. monofyre condescended. praising "pragmatism" is too often the defense of the status quo. I was merely pointing this out with comparable superciliousness.

you are right about enlightenment and "rights" so long as we are vigilant about who gives "rights." I believe, about this single issue, we all too oftenbelieve the work of enlightenment is over. voting for democrats is one horrible example how this lassitude of the will is manifested; another ex from esquire fitzgerald: "we show the world the law applies to all individuals equally." sure, sure.

I protest against the dissimulation of freedoms offered by our democracy, even as they ripen and fall from jimmy carter's heart. I can no longer believe. no middle ground. america must die as a lie of the enlightenment. we are, as Mark E. Smith has said: "jesus christ in reverse."

You don't have to pull a rich person from an SUV and beat them to their sensesd. just don't vote for democrats.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 15 2005 3:14 utc | 52

@RG:

One of the saddest things I have ever seen is what happened to USSR '90 to '02. The financial meltdown.

And western capitalism was largely responsible.

I watched on CNN, in circa 90 as women pensioners, with no pensions, sold vodka in the subways to survive, and as farmers drove rickety 2 wheeled carts to Moscow from 50 miles out to sell their pathetic produce. The produce was pathetic, and Genghis Khan probably would not have commandeered the carts to haul his horse fodder in the thirteenth century, so broken-down they were.

If I ever believed in it, I never believed, after those times, in global capitalism or capitalism generally.

In fact I believe that the influence of finance capitalism is the greatest problem that the US faces in righting itself.

Posted by: Groucho | Nov 15 2005 3:16 utc | 53

A.N. Umpire- I fail to see, as I noted above, how calling someone's views "the conceit of a loser" a meaningful debate. I was merely responding in kind.

are insults, if they come from someone who claims to be a "comrade" meaningful debate?

where in the above posts that are so ideologically "pure" that they cannot accept the possibility of someone who has access to power doing something good a meaningful debate? what's meaningful about saying that Carter isn't a saint?

I agree with r'giap that Gorbachev did a heroic thing...but, as he said, he was forced to b/c his country was going bankrupt.

and my remark was in error. I meant to say "get fucked" not "fuck yourself" --in the low-hanging fruit or whatever your pleasure sort of way.

and, fwiw, I am not an intellectual lightweight. oh, but it's okay for you to insult...but if someone else does, it's a problem.

hmmm, that seems to be the reason my post showed up here in the first place.

but thanks for your wisdom.

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 15 2005 3:20 utc | 54

Safaa Mohammed Ali/story yet another in a long line of inconceivable coincidences, there are so many of these 'stories' that are what the french call 'louche' - sordid- follow umpire's link - it is none other than the buffoon john simpson whi invaded afghanistan singlehanded - but here he opens a door on a 'fact' that will leave serious questions - about the 'authenticity' of the jordanian bombings

every 'coincidence' is like so much bad screenwriting for televison - bad television

our hunger for credible 'events' are subverted at every turn by a fact that turns everything inside out - the wilderness of mirrors of james jesus angleton

all i sense - is this situation will get even more narcotic in its character

ot but i'm very interested in what the fuck john ashcroft is doing not doing in relation to current 'enquirees' into illegalities at the white house

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 3:20 utc | 55

fauxreal

no contrary to the reaganite mythology - gorbatchev was not obliged to do anything other than to maintain the status quo

the grandeur in him was that he saw beyond himself & his time & for a man he had his people in his heart

it led, as groucho points out - to a rape of russia by the oligarchy - with mafia chieftans like berezovsky decapitating his opponents in the middle of moscow

mandela also faced with the righteous desire of his people turned away from a bloodbath & little by little he is transforming africa

but i was really speaking at an affective level - of 'goodness' - if you will - & in terms of history recent history - there has been the complete absence of it

smalll wars, big massacres, corrupt leaders & corrupter decisions, short terms needs replacing vision etc etc & as i have pointed out ad finitum - the very deliberate construction of the institutions of fear

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 3:31 utc | 56

Re: John Ashcroft


Think he ain't there anymore, RG.

Posted by: Groucho | Nov 15 2005 3:37 utc | 57

r-giap- I saw a schmooze fest for Gorbachev on tv not too long ago and he was the one who said his country was going bankrupt.

I agree that the fall of the USSR destablized the world...there was a sick sort of assurance of mutual destruction that made it okay for the two superpowers to fight proxie wars around the world...and for both to engage in abuses of power that seem to have led to where we are now.

...and where we are now, it seems to me, is at the beginning of war that is purely for spoils...oil spoils...and now the U.S. is the agressor nation because Cheney and his ilk (including dems who want to be re-elected) cannot talk honestly to the American ppl about the way our uses of the world's resources hurts so many.

...they can't talk about it because they fear and know the other political party will use such talk against them...because Americans do not want to accept that they are part of the earth, and not its masters.

Gore tried to do that earlier on and he was laughed at for his earnestness, his wonkiness...his brown suits.

That's the level of political debate you get most the time in this country...and that from the so-called pundits.

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 15 2005 3:40 utc | 58

no i know he is not there - perhaps was never there ashcroft that is but his latest routine of silence coupled with bookkdeals awkes my interest

also a good book -anna politkovskaïa - la russie selon poutine/poutin!s russia

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 3:41 utc | 59

I agree with a lot of what Fauxreal says because she takes reality into account, which some of you do not. You all know damn well that no system works. They are as good as the collective development and that needs work. You can't impose a system on a group, all with disparate feelings, ideas, needs, wants, chemistry, education, class, gender...whatever. Impossible. They all eventually fail.

These inane politicians make me ill with their endless speeches appealing to the lowest common denominator. It is my belief that political progress come from the thinkers, astists, and scientists, etc. When the power chasing idiots get a hold of their ideas they don't have the skill to implement them. So here we are. It is advisable for the creative ones to keep plumbing their own depths regardless of the soio-political result in hopes that evolution will catch up.

Most important, if we feel we are among those advanced citizens, we should battle it out, against the horrible stacked deck and with one another, until destiny colludes with those who genuinely want a good society and a moment of grace comes our way.

Posted by: jm | Nov 15 2005 4:19 utc | 60

In that vein, most political blogs are impossibly repetetive and I don't sense the courage it takes to forge ahead.
Like some sacred cow with 1000 stomachs, this crap is digested over and over and over and never exits. Astoundingly boring.

Whatever the costs, the participants in the dialogue at Moon, are talented and unique, with good solid egos, and as a result, a lot of attention is given to each individual. This alone is a seed of progress in this boss/daddy/knuckle beating priest teacher humiliating environment we live in where our significance is constantly being battered and obedience is required but never really achieved.

Fuck 'em!

Posted by: jm | Nov 15 2005 4:45 utc | 61

BTW...

"Posted by: anna missed | Nov 14, 2005 9:25:42 PM | #"

That was funny.

Posted by: jm | Nov 15 2005 5:06 utc | 62

"The US newspaper publisher Knight Ridder, which is one of the best sources of information there, reports that one of the suicide bombers involved in the attacks, Safaa Mohammed Ali, seems to have been captured a year ago by US marines in Falluja."

A.N. Umpire

They're called 'catch and release' insurgents or terrorists. They're not uncommon. Some individuals that you have reason to believe are working for the other guy are let go because you don't have all the time in the world to question, gather more information, and justify detention (meet the evidentiary threshold, as it were). Others are detained, brought to trial, and released by Iraqi judges.

But everything's gotta be a criminal conspiracy. A juicy black op. Right? Not sure why this is so, save the fact that government secrecy breeds wild speculation and tin-foil-hat hysteria. From official classification and compartmentalization of everything under the sun to the conspiracy-mongering it engenders - just one more symptom of a society deep in shit.

Posted by: Pat | Nov 15 2005 5:18 utc | 63

BTW. On the Shake 'n' Bake thread A United States Marine left behind two separate remarks that, taken together, really are quite striking:

"Marines, who put their lives on the line FOR YOU."

and

"I have no clue why we went to war with Iraq..."

Nobody engaged him on this, though it would have been a good and proper thing to do.

Posted by: Pat | Nov 15 2005 5:39 utc | 64

the enlightenment did not cause the genocide of native americans...enlightenment is not about manifest destiny or racism...where did you ever get that idea?

In the eighteenth century, attitudes toward the Indian were modified both because of the changing nature of American society and because of the impact of...the developing view of mankind emerging in the eighteenth century from the European Enlightenment. By the mid-eighteenth century the prevailing intellectual view of the Indian in both Europe and America was an optimistic one. At the basis of this optimism was the Enlightenment view that all mankind was one species, and that mankind in general was capable of indefinite improvement. If the Indians had the same capacity as the Europeans, then their "savage" state could be regarded as temporary.

. . .

American intellectuals of the eastern seaboard accepted this Enlightenment view of the Indian and were sensitive to any European attacks on the Indian which denigrated the New World as a whole.

. . .

The leaders of the early seventeenth century had seen the Indians as souls to be saved; the leaders of the post-Revolutionary generation saw the Indians as fellow human beings who could and would be raised on the scale of human society. Enlightenment theory was to be carried out in practice in America. Above all else America's leaders wanted a prosperous, powerful, expanding America, for this they believed would be for the good of the world. But it was an America in which they could envisage transformed Indians, Indians who would be indistinguishable in their way of life from the farmers who surrounded them. The leadership of the United States until 1829 came from the eastern seaboard and conceived of mankind in eighteenth-century terms. As they viewed the illimitable regions of the West they could see no reason why the advance of white settlers across the continent could not be compatible with the presence of Indians who had been transformed from "savages" to civilized beings.

...

In adopting the idea that to civilize the Indians would be the first American triumph in transforming mankind, the leaders of the United States made it clear that they felt the eyes of the world were upon them. ... From the late 1780s on [Secretary of War Henry] Knox, in his public utterances and in his speeches and letters to the Indians, said that the national policy of the United States was to civilize the Indian tribes. This civilization policy meant, of course, making the Indians into Americans. The idea was that of an Amerian agrarian society. Ignoring the extensive agricultural development among the Indian tribes with which the United States was in contact, Knox and other national leaders of the period placed the whole confrontation in the simple context of a primitive hunting society, on a lower stage of human evolution, encountering an American agrarian society at the highest stage of human development. The indians were to be civilized by the adoption of private property, by the men's farming in the American manner, by the women's learning to spin and weave, and by the introduction of a Christian education. Knox asserted in 1792 that the United States wanted the opportunity to impart to the Indians "all the blessings of civilized life, of teaching you to cultivate the earth and raise corn; to raise oxen, sheep, and other domestic animals; to build comfortable houses; and to educate your children, so as ever to dwell upon the land."

The full expression of this philosophy of an expansion that would transform the Indians came with the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. Whatever practical doubts Jefferson had regarding the black slaves surrounding him, he allowed his theoretical view of mankind full reign in regard to the more distant Indians. His was the classic Enlightenment position, and wrote in the 1780s that "proofs of genius given by the Indians fo N. America, place them on a level with Whites in the same uncultivated state." Like Knox, Jefferson ignored the agricultural aspects of Indian society and preached the adoption of agriculture and private property as the path to civilization. "Let me entreat you therefore," he told a delegation of Indians in 1808, "on the lands now given to you to begin to give every man a farm, let him enclose it, cultivate it, build a warm house on it, and when he dies let it belong to his wife and children after him."

Where Jefferson differed from Knox and from most of his contemporaries was in the enthusiasm with which he favored the bringing of civilization, and in the manner in which he pushed the theory to its logical conclusions by arguing for the physical absorption of the Indians within the American population. After telling the Indians to adopt farming and private property, he asserted "you will become one people with us; your blood will mix with ours: and will spread with ours over this great island...you will unite yourselves with us, join in our great councils, and form one people with us, and we shall all be Americans." Jefferson's secretary of war, Henry Dearborn, generally echoed his president's doctrines. He believed that the progress of civilization among the Indians before 1803 was proof of the practicability of destroying all distinctions between Indians and "civilized people."

- reginald horsman, race and manifest destiny: the origins of american racial anglo-saxonism


...despite the Jeffersonians' funereal vision of the inevitable demise of the First American cultures and the assimilation of the survivors into a pan-continental Anglo-Saxon civilization, native resistance has never ceased...Politically adroit native leaders have for generations managed to negotiate accomodation with white authorities in a style reminiscent of the Indian chiefs whose eloquence and wisdon Jefferson so much admired.

Nevertheless, much has been lost. The Indian population of the Americas has been reduced, according to some authorities, to 5 percent of what it was in pre-Columbian times, and in the United States the Indian reservations are notorious for high levels of unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse, and other social problems. The reservation world is the direct consequence of a general policy, maintained throughout the nineteenth century, of relentlessly removing Indians to ever-shrinking isolated enclaves, often far from their ancestral homelands. Jefferson was not alone in formulating this policy, but he made it central to the federal system and, by mourning the passing of the Indians into oblivion or civilized invisibility, gave moral justification to the seizure of lands he said they no longer needed.

-- anthony f.c. wallace, jefferson and the indians: the tragic fate of the first americans


Posted by: b real | Nov 15 2005 6:35 utc | 65

Just an aside for now. Will be back to mop the floor with Slothrop later.

I kid Slothrop.


So many fine riffs here, people. Some of the most insightful and sustained dialog i have ever found.

A story . . .

A friend of mine attends a "darshan," a meeting of students and devotees gathered around a "realised" spiritual teacher -- a Japanese Zen Master, in this instance. Someone stands and asks,

"What is this -- what we are doing here [expansive arm gesture]-- really all about?"

And the teacher replied, "It is about the enlightenment of all sentient beings," now stabbing his finger toward the questioner, "one asshole at a time!"

So too, it seems, our political educations!

My heartfelt thanks for the heat and the light each of you has brought to bear on my sorry ass. :)

Namaste, all!



Posted by: manonfyre | Nov 15 2005 8:01 utc | 66

It is a valuable debate to me, critisising the political system as something to eliminate or viewing the system as something to improve.

I'm reminded of Billmon's entreaty during the last US presidential election, that a popular front (his words) could work to incrementally improve the situation by electing Kerry.

And then we have slothrop saying "vote for socialists."

Well, s., I do vote for socialists. I'm in Canada where the Green Party gets my vote. The system here allocates government money to each party's campaign based on the last election's results, so a vote for a party that has little chance of winning still has a positive effect.

And perhaps that works to a lesser degree in the US where incremental change is also possible, like a vote for Ralph Nader is recorded and publicised.

The R vs. D lack of real choice is a problem in your political system; yet short of revolution, which, fauxreal, slothrop and rememberinggiap haven't advocated (although I have heard some talk of pitchforks and torches from others), another option is gradual political change.

The debate is kind of at cross purposes in that it's clear that the system is corrupted by big money yet it's also clear that there are not many options beyond voting and what we do here, which is education.

I also welcome fauxreal's pragmatic question of what would each of us do if in power.

I've decided that the best I can do is educate myself so that I can make good voting decisions and more importantly have something to say to those who I viscerally disagree with on policy, and perhaps offer a few rays of enlightenment to others who have less access to the information we share here.

To that end I echo rememberinggiap's constant praise for the value of this forum and its members.

Posted by: jonku | Nov 15 2005 8:21 utc | 67

good one b real,

especially this:
Jefferson's secretary of war, Henry Dearborn, generally echoed his president's doctrines. He believed that the progress of civilization among the Indians before 1803 was proof of the practicability of destroying all distinctions between Indians and "civilized people."
..........................
The enlightment may have been a net plus in the development of the so called "civilized people" -- but without the notion of equity, real equity in the rights of culture(s) to seek their own destiny, enlightenment is just another instrument of hegemony. And a feel good instrument at that, doin the lords (hard hard) work of freedom and all. I can envision them in their "noble savage" moment of wistful contemplation at what they do -- their annamissed moment of doubt -- at what they are killing, and turn away Steve Martin like and say naaaawww! Only to then, in later years in a fit of remorse, name their high school mascots and military assault helicopters in romantic tribute to an enemy vanquished -- as if that's all they were. I think it was Chomsky who said if Hitler had won the war, his helicopters would probably be named the Gypsy and the Jew. Anyway.

Posted by: anna missed | Nov 15 2005 8:51 utc | 68

r'giap-

Equating Kucinich with Lieberman in any way, shape or form, betrays a true ignorant blind spot in your understanding of contemporary American Politics.

The Carter call is tougher. I remember, in the early eighties, Carter was working with Habitat for Humanity and he came to the East Village and worked on restoring a tenement apartment a block away from me. This was no hammer wielding photo-op, like Bush. Here was a former President, in his sixties, coming to work in blue jeans and working an eight hour day, for several weeks. A celebrity who became a not celebrity. For what?, I ask you.

His religious faith is deep and earnest. And he has written some fairly impressive books.

However, it is true, he is a believer in the Faith of Capitalism. And many of his critiques, like his work for Habitat, serve only to buttress and strengthen that Market fundamentalism by attenuating its most heinous consequences.

It is very hard to know what actually goes on in the mind of as complex and public a figure as Jimmy Carter. So we are left with the age old dilemma: Whether it is better to take what aid we can get in order to ameliorate suffering on a daily basis, or work for a complete overthrow of the system. Or perhaps there is a third road that allows us to do both simultaneously.

Posted by: Malooga | Nov 15 2005 9:14 utc | 69

Looking at politics always leads the intelligent to despair. That's been part reason for my recent sabbatical, from the wet bar here...
Try looking at science and art to cheer up. But damn, if I'm not addicted to the state of affairs we find ourselves in...

Politics =2-dimensonal "mind" [[foward/back. up/down]
Art & science =multidimenssional "mind"

Speaking of the Aristotle straight jacket of up/down binary logic here's a little diddy some may enjoy:

Aristotle's Law of Identity

Goddess saves us !

William Blake warned his contemporaries against the dangers of the 'single vision,'of the reductive worldview, originated in 'Newton's sleep.

"The revolution took place in the minds of
the people in the 15 years before Lexington"
--J. Adams


@manonfyre
Back at' cha:

A Bicycle Zen Koan, for your edification and
amusement:

A Zen Teacher saw five of his students return from the market, riding their bicycles.

When they had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?"

The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying
this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!" The teacher praised the student, saying, "You are a smart boy. When you grow old, you will not walk hunched
over, as I do."

The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path." The teacher commended the student, "Your eyes are open and you see the
world."

The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant, nam myoho renge kyo." The teacher gave praise to the third student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel."

The fourth student answered,"Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with
all beings." The teacher was pleased and said, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming."

The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle."

The teacher went and sat at the
feet of the fifth student, and said, "I am your diciple."

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 15 2005 10:46 utc | 70

Fuck, I'm rusty...lol

Give me a scotch on the rocks please barkeep and a round for the house!

Aristotle's Law of Identity

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 15 2005 10:52 utc | 71

Pat misses the point. How could we possibly tell from this distance what side Safaa Mohammed Ali was on when he bombed the Jordanian Hotel -tinfoil hat or not?

The point is that he was released. Either because he wasn't a danger and the intelligence-a misnomer- organs let him go- plainly a mistake. Or they used him for some complex and esoteric US mind fuck and kill Ayrabs.

Either a mistake or a deliberate murder which ever no one will be held accountable.

If catch and release is so common why keep 12 year old children or the plainly innocent these are 1st 2 listings from searching abu ghraib innocent.

Or-caution obscenely bad photos/videos- coming if you like some hard core rape scenes maybe that's why ayrabs are angry.

whatever it is-- telling people not to imagine the worst because they are just showing symptoms of a sick society -does about as much to straighten out this mess- as telling each other to fuck off -or arguing that since there has always been torture, there always will be torture so we may as well condone it. Heaven help us if that happened the torturers might get an idea that they were doing wrong if we didn't condone it- they would have to keep it more secret -maybe they couldn't torture as many.

Rationalisation -keep it up if it makes you feel better-cause if everyone let their feelings about this filth run unabated they may feel obliged to do something to try and stop it and that be inconvenient.

Posted by: A.N. Umpire | Nov 15 2005 10:53 utc | 72

Thanks for the drink, Uncle. 'ppreciate it.

Posted by: jm | Nov 15 2005 11:39 utc | 73

@ A.N. Umpire

the rape story is BS. Those are scenes from a porn movie. Hopefully you are merely ignorant of this and not trying to plant bogus info here.

Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 15 2005 11:53 utc | 74

There is another consideration re Safaa Mohammed Ali release ... if he wasn't a die-hard insurgent before witnessing the shooting of captured/surrendered wounded ... then he almost certainly was afterwards ... and how many former waverers did he personally convert to active participation through his own accounts ?

Bush&Co and their politicized military command have no understanding whatsoever of how to defeat an insurgency ...

Re the supposed hardcore photos/films of U.S. soldiers raping Iraqi women ... yes, these crimes occur in all wars, major or minor ... however, we have a highly profitable niche pornographic film industry that produces this stuff readily using 'actors' ... if it can't be independently corroborated by other facts, even a partial evidentiary trail, then it's just another aspect, form of propaganda.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 15 2005 11:59 utc | 75

@dan of steele
...the rape story is BS. Those are scenes from a porn movie. Hopefully you are merely ignorant of this and not trying to plant bogus info here.


thanks dan of steele, I was about to reply w/the same...

misinformation abounds....

on other fronts, w/regards to our
French brothers:

France ("Burn Bebe Burn")

How soon before chickens come home to roost and firebomb too?
(There is some precedent in US history, to understate enormously.) This has GOT to have every authoritarian asshole in the US worried shitless while trying not to show it. Certainly the topic - comparing widespread discontent among racial minorities and the disenfranchised young and working poor in the US and France - can't be broached on corporate TV and radio in Unistat. It seems unthinkable. "Seems"?

But it's being talked about behind closed doors in the MIC (READ Military Indus Complex).

You betta you ass it is.

And things seem to be getting more innarestin' all the time.

How to divert the bewildered herd's attention? Oh look! The wonders of xmas shopping, just around the bend!

What would state power do? Call out the National Guard? That's an ominous joke! Suspend the Posse Comitatus Act and then deputize every redneck on the subscription list to Guns and Ammo? Fuck man, if it blows up here, Unistatians would be living in a William S. Burroughs novel for about five years at least...

"I found Colonel Bradshaw, bivouacked at the Ritz..."

Gawd: think about the differences in GUNS between the two countries (I know, it's spilled off into Brussells and parts of Germany now, too). Angry 14 year olds with Uzis and cell phones, spraying rounds at cops in South Central Los Angeles, $5 million homes in Beverly Hills
torched, Santa Ana wind-whipped arson fires burn every structure in Malibu...and that's just in LA!

[$475,000,000,000 this annum taxpayer's dough for "defense." Ahhhhh!
The decline of literacy! The corporate control of TV and radio!]

The "story" is getting A LOT of play in the US corporate media...but what I think (what WE think?) is the BIGGER story, ain't.

Yet.

We'll see. Chocolate Covered Karma Zen Fnords. We'll see.

How did that thing go? "God gave Noah the rainbow sign...no more
flood...something something something..."?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 15 2005 12:21 utc | 76

b real- the author fails to note, or maybe it's just not on this forum, that the Iroquois society Franklin and others observed was influential in the development of a constitution with checks and balances.

Long ago I posted links on that issue here and noted the speculation that the Iroquois were not credited b/c they did not hold slaves. The Greek and Roman models did, however, and so they were elevated in the minds of people of the era.

But that's the shorthand version because Europe looked back on the Greeks and Romans long before the enlightenment as an alternative to church power.

No doubt Jefferson wanted Native Americans to adopt his view of society and culture. Multi-culti wasn't exactly the rage then. But he did not suggest genocide, did he?

In that same vein, Napoleon set across Europe to finish the work of the French Revolutionaries who threatened the royal powers there. The revoluationaries decided to export their revolution to the rest of Europe. Napoleon wasn't exactly a model for democracy tho, was he? --esp. after he crowned himself emperor.

but his actions, and the French Revs before him, set in motion the mentality that led to the final regurgitation of monarchical power of any substance that was WW1.

Which, in turn, made the beloved Bolshevik revolution thinkable/doable.

So, rather than be reductionist, was the good more important than the bad?

Was the reaction to the upheaval and change of modernism that we now call Nazism so horrific that all that preceeded it was worthless?

I suppose part of that answer might have depended on where you were in the whole balance of events at any particular time.

Obviously the previous treatment off Native Americans was abhorrent, as was slavery. The po-mo attacks on Enlightenment offer what instead? The irony of Jefferson's view of a nation of small farmers is that it could leave room for two cultures to exist contemporaneously.

The expansionism that he also supported, however, could not. The American urge to "tame the savages" however, is not simply an Enlightenment idea, is it? It is also the mix of the missionary impulse....that existed in Europeans previously who came to the states as well.

The Enlightenment, however, with the deist pov, did allow for more than one religion to coexist...or for atheism to coexist with other religions, or for the earth religions of Native Americans to coexist with atheists...all in the more idealistic expessions of that moment of turning.

I still contend that enlightenment per se was not the reason that expansionism became the doctrine of U.S policy...tho it provided a nice cover...and genocide is not a by-product of enlightenment, or just about any other philosophical pov...including Nietzsche's, tho he gets blamed for Nazism too often.

does enlightenment necessarily mean genocide--or missionary zeal? no.

one of the issues of the enlightment era was Rousseau's "nobel savage" as well...the European view that what would now be called indigenous cultures, but then were called savages, had much to teach us about the western European way of living in the world. But Voltaire seems to have carried the day.

Enlightenment ideals that found expression in the French revolution and the terror were also Pol Pot's justification for the murder of intellectuals, too. does that invalidate the ideas behind enlightenment? not to me.

but maybe I'm totally wrong. that's off the top of my head and I haven't had coffee yet and I have to leave now.

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 15 2005 13:10 utc | 77

couple o' quick questions this am

Are there any items that might comprise a consensus MOA agenda?

Could we agree on the need for reforms that contribute to the viability and success of third, forth, and fifth party candidacies -- instant run-off voting, for example? Start locally?

The entrenched two-party political system is something of a scam, really, only thinly veneered with the illusion -- "Look, you got your Devil A and yer Devil B to choose from. Go vote." -- that real democracy exists in this country, with the concentration of wealth and power abiding, more or less, all the while.

How are wealth and power, freedom and justice shared and distributed? Is this the core question? Can we raise this question and talk about more than just history and about putting our politics into action?

Do the demopublicans serve the many or the few? Can our collective votes still sway them?

Has there ever been any real "progress" in this country? Is progress possible?

Sometimes, all the questioning and all the recrimination and all the plausible appendices to Zinn's "People's History" goes so deep here, despair seems like the only option we're left with.

Yet now, so far beyond "politics as usual," Bush & Co have so radically, radically, radically tipped the table.

In this crazy-but-prevailing, "winner takes all" system we've got, socialists: 9, democrats: 41, republicans: 49 does not seem like a tolerable solution.

Who and what will Chomsky and Zinn be voting for?

I did vote for Nader in '00, but in a "safe" blue state Gore carried by a wide margin. Not exactly a revolutionary blow to the PTB there on my part.

Posted by: manonfyre | Nov 15 2005 13:38 utc | 78

I'd like to know what people on this forum would do if they were put in the position of Prez. How would you defend the nation from enemies, foreign and domestic?

Privatize national defense, World Cop Inc., and drop the myth of "domestic enemies."

Posted by: Wolf DeVoon | Nov 15 2005 13:52 utc | 79

Another one of these zen stories -

The student asks, "How's our current sociopolitical system?"

The teacher replies, "Compared to what?"

Posted by: mistah charley | Nov 15 2005 13:59 utc | 80

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and their coterie are so disgusting and beneath contempt. It is honestly mind-boggling that Americans have not taken to the streets and demanded justice.

This pseudo-fascist government has brought death and destruction to the entire globe and ignited fires that will not likely extinguish in my lifetime.

What will it take for ordinary people to rebel against these blatant criminals ? Elections ? Ha ! I do not believe that we will ever have another honest election. Just look at the 2000 election 'victory'.

Too many Americans are still asleep. Will they may wake up when the economy totally collapses, and the government takes away everything we have and we are at the tender mercies of the rest of the world ... our former vassals, tributaries and assorted barbarians ?

The Dems ? They all gorge at the same corporate and special interest trough.

We as a society truly lost our way long before Bush II ...

What to do ?

Anti-trust laws should be utilized to break up the over concentration of all forms of corporate media in the hands of a very few, serving who exactly ?

Amend the constitution to mandate a policy of public campaign financing so that real people with real ideas and grass-root support, might, just might, be able to rejuvenate the now dead American Experiment as opposed to the reruns of the tired rich elites and their offspring in our modern incarnation of an aristocracy.

No corporate political donations whatsoever. Cap personal, documented, public contributions to $10,000 max per annum.

A novel idea. Periodic mandatory press conferences where the executive must respond to the public in the form of the 'free press', under oath, with typical legal consequences for perjury, and contempt ! Ah, how naive you say ? Let the carefully choreographed spin and the lies spout under such a constraint !

Our elected representatives, by and large, care about personal power over other people and greater accumulation of personal wealth. Service ? Service and duty to The People ? Ha !

Believe their lies if you like. They're in it for their own benefit. These are the people our system elects. A non choice of choosing between the falsehoods to find the lesser of two evils - Democrats or Republicans.

We didn't and don't listen to history nor our forefathers and certainly not the likes of Eisenhower. We didn't listen. This is what we got.

Unless people awake from indoctrination and wilful ignorance and start to actually give a damn, the true nature of people we elect will get worse, not better, and far greater the consequences, for everybody, including individual Americans.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 15 2005 15:14 utc | 81

Oh beautiful, for spacious skies,
would somebody turn up the drip
on Jimmy, he's giving me a rash.
Here's the code settings for him.

L X A V P C V
e a m I r I A
v n b A o A L
i a i G z L I
t x e R a I U
r n A c S M
a

Posted by: codeRx | Nov 15 2005 15:30 utc | 82

fauxreal- i'd like to address some of your points at a later hour when i have adequate time, but for now let me share the following in response to your stmt No doubt Jefferson wanted Native Americans to adopt his view of society and culture. Multi-culti wasn't exactly the rage then. But he did not suggest genocide, did he?


"Our system is to live in perpetual peace with the Indians, to cultivate an affectionate attachment for them by everything just and liberal which we can do for them within the bounds of reason and by giving them effectual protection against the wrongs from our own people. When they withdraw themselves to the culture of a small piece of land, they will perceive how useless to them are the extensive forests and will be willing to pare them off in exchange for necessaries for their farms and families. To promote this, we shall push our trading houses, and be glad to see the good and influential individuals among them in debt, because we observe when these debts go beyond what the individual can pay, they become willing to lop them off by a cession or lands. But should any tribe refuse the proffered hand and take up the hatchet, it will be driven across the mississippi and the whole of its lands consficated."

-- Jefferson in a letter to Indiana Territory Govenor William Henry Harrison, cited in Allan W. Eckert, "That Dark And Bloody River: Chronicles of the Ohio River Valley", p. 635

and in his book, year 501: the conquest continues, chomsky quotes jefferson, in a particularly evil moment, as predicting "to John Adams that the 'backward' tribes at the borders 'will relapse into barbarism and misery, lose numbers by war and want, and we shall be obliged to drive them, with the beasts of the forests in the stony mountains; the same would be true of Canada after the conquest he envisioned, while all blacks would be removed to Africa or the Carribean, leaving the country without 'blot or mixture.'"

that's pretty damning evidence of "deliberate and systematic destruction" of a cultural group. jefferson himself doesn't define the entirety of enlightenment, though his interest in the indians was very much influenced by those ideas.

Posted by: b real | Nov 15 2005 16:01 utc | 83

damn... just found out that vine deloria jr passed on two days ago. now there was a real american.

Posted by: b real | Nov 15 2005 17:16 utc | 84

outraged

you say what I want to say w/out angering others.

pat

about the u.s. marine: as stridently concerned as i am about our political leadership, I cannot condemn soldiers for their offer of sacrifice, even if it is unknown to them why they make such sacrifices. the will to sacrifice demands my respect. It's up to me to point out what contradicts this will. we certainly failed our visitor in this regard.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 15 2005 17:38 utc | 85

deloria was a very provocative lecturer. smoked in class.

his son is a fine scholar too.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 15 2005 17:45 utc | 86

LEGION Speaks
NYT, though disgusting, is still the national paper of record. So what kind of memory does the United States have as a nation? What hurt for so long was trying to take the thing straight. But I think – and this may be apropos to our discussion of how to navigate the words of the disgusting and the compromised – the NYT can be read informatively as long as you realize it is a kind of institutional Sybil, a prophet that can only speak when refracted through a heinous fragmented personality disorder.
But let us name this tribune as it deserves, taking a hint from an instructive New Testament story, and give the New York Times a name it has earned: Legion.

So what did Legion have to say today? All truth! Only disguised…

Head twisting alarmingly/U.S. news as foreign news
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/15/international/asia/15fuel.html>President Ousted in 2005, Was Making Money Off War, Stealing it From People

" "Over the last four years the U.S. has paid little in the way of rent. Yet at the same time, the U.S. was paying inflated fuel prices to companies stolen by the family of the former president."

A lawyer representing the family, Maksim Maksimovich [TBA] said the former president had not been involved in improper business dealings connected with the base and described the Kyrgyz [Fitzgerald, TBA] investigation as politically motivated.

Vomited up news –http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/15/national/15budget.html> old news reported for the first time

Within weeks of his appointment by Republican leaders in early 2003, Mr. Holtz-Eakin declared, to their dismay, that Mr. Bush's tax and spending plans would do little or nothing to stimulate long-term economic growth.

Subsequently, the budget office released a report that found that Mr. Bush's tax cuts were heavily skewed in favor of the wealthiest Americans.

Threats to possess other hosts
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/15/international/americas/15canada.html”>As Election Nears, Canada’s Prime Minister Promises Tax Cuts

Distortion of the Truth
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/15/nyregion/metrocampaigns/15playbook.html “>New NYT name for “class” is – “identifying eight never-before-identified voting blocs based on people's shared everyday interests and concerns”
In which Legion apparently groks something about class: [ it was thought-based.] without ever confessing that class is the question.

With these new, multiethnic "thought-based" groups in hand, Mr. Bloomberg's aides said they were able to transcend the traditional political fault lines of race, party and class that have been so crucial to city elections of the past, in the process developing a new model for running elections. This model, they maintain, could just as easily transcend the differences between red and blue states nationally in 2008.

Oddly, one true title seemed to emerge from the mouths of hell:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/15/opinion/15Lewis.html”>Prsioners of the Senate

But the oddity was quickly squelched as Legion brown-nosed a High Prefect of the 9th Levelhttp://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/15/business/15walmart.html”>” smallest quarterly profit increase in four years” called “A Christmas Card to wall Street”
Upon which the paper broke out into shilling for the company directly:

It is offering the Big Sister Dora doll for $18.98, a dollar less than Target and Toys "R" Us. A hand-held Sports Madden 95 TV video game, from Electronic Arts, is $15 at Wal-Mart, compared with $18.79 at Target and $29.99 at Toys "R" Us, according to a survey conducted in October by A. G. Edwards.


Oh, and for those interested in the story on the woman suicide bomber, let’s not pass over in silence this bit of public history by Legion, a quote that you can only find in the print edition (p. A3, 4th top of 4th column in story): the original story was retitled and edited to dis-include this try at fake history. Evidence of actual editing? A reality-based history? …

The Marines decided to seize control of Falluja again on November 2004, but not before thousands of insurgents fled, leaving behind only those intent on achieving martyrdom by carrying out a rearguard action.

Surely those ‘intent martyrs’ included the 10 year olds and men turned back at barriers who were later found chemically melted and burned to death.

Legion is not guilty of laziness.

Posted by: citizen | Nov 15 2005 17:56 utc | 87

If catch and release is so common why keep 12 year old children or the plainly innocent these are 1st 2 listings from searching abu ghraib innocent.

- A.N. Umpire

Why is it so hard to grasp that innocent people are frequently detained and that those who are not frequently end up back in business?

I cannot condemn soldiers for their offer of sacrifice, even if it is unknown to them why they make such sacrifices. the will to sacrifice demands my respect. It's up to me to point out what contradicts this will. we certainly failed our visitor in this regard.

Posted by: slothrop | Nov 15, 2005 12:38:28 PM | #

The contradiction certainly is meaningful, and I know that he's not the only one who maintains it. He's a young and earnest guy; engaging him (by which I do not mean bludgeoning him) on this very point could have been fruitful, and interesting in any case. I'm sorry I missed his appearance here.

Posted by: Pat | Nov 15 2005 19:17 utc | 88

US sweep of arrests after Iraq invasion leads to few convictions

... The number of Iraqis detained by the US and other foreign forces has more than doubled in a year and a half. The number of attacks has also more than doubled. "It is difficult to think of anything better calculated to create antagonism among the Iraqi population than detention against which there is no right to challenge or to appeal," the Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman, Sir Menzies Campbell, said yesterday. He added: "Acting wholly contrary to accepted principle and without regard to legal obligations will inevitably make the struggle much more difficult. For the Iraqi government to have such a subordinate role until the point of conviction simply underlines the fact that they are a long way from having sovereignty over their own country."

In numbers

35,000 have been detained since the invasion began in March 2003

13,500 remain in detention, double last year's total

1,300 have been charged so far; only half of these have been found guilty

Hardly a testament to accurate or valid intelligence. A clear sign of poor policy and an even poorer counter-insurgency strategy ...

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 15 2005 19:30 utc | 89

malooga

i will admit many blind spots in relation to what i know of america

i am forbidden to enter the country & it is fact one of the few i have not visited

lespeakeasy & moonofalabama constitute my first ongoing relations with americans in my life & through this forum i have come to know some well, i hope. i understand it to be a real dialogue

part of the work i do constitutes reading & i feel i fulfill that duty with a certain rigour even if i am not without prejudice


to go bacl to a thread at one pint in my youth the only americans i understood, really understood were george jackson, fred hampton & muhhamed ali - that may seem flip but it is true

& when i was very young i helped american soldiers desert their army & came to know some of them well enough but perhaps i wasn't as clear as i could have been

what the country, the empire has done - i think i know as well as anybody here having experienced it in the flesh

but i will repeat what i have sd - that i see no leadership, not even a method except that of mendacity & venality

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 19:59 utc | 90

dan of steel

while the link for the 'rape' of iraqui's posted by a n umpire may not be authentic the rape of iraqui women & children & the sodomisation of their men - categorically takes place

we have the taguba report & everything it hints at
we have the photos & vidoes that the administration will not allow to be released which contain rapes, violation & murder
we have the rigorous reporting of sy hersh

the sources for these actions are beyond question

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 20:15 utc | 91

Outraged,

It must also be said that Iraqi judges are not often, shall we say, very eager to fulfill the requirements of Iraqi law. Sometimes they're sypathetic toward the defendant and his/her purposes; sometimes they're on the take; sometimes they're in fear for their lives and the lives of their family members. Sometimes they're all of these. Even solid cases have an even chance of downgrading or acqittal.

As for the number of detainees: This should come as no surprise to those who have maintained all along that the insurgency/resistance is more than merely a few Ba'athist dead-enders - that it is very wide and very deep. Even taking into account a large proportion of innocent roll-ups and wrongly accused (often enough wrongly accused by fellow Iraqis) it is a fair indication in its own way of just how large it is - and just how nonexistent the prospect of ending it.

Posted by: Pat | Nov 15 2005 20:37 utc | 92

@ Nelson Mandela worshippers:
Like Jimmy Carter, he also was pushed and sold out to corporate interests. Read Arundati Roy.

Nobody is pure.

Not even Kucinich: who consistently voted in Congress against women's rights because of his Catholicism. His sudden campaign trail change in rhetoric from anti-choice to pro-choice was a calculated political math in order to win the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Not even Nader: who accepted Republican funding for his successful divide-the-left presidential campaign; and he also cavalierly pooh-poohed women's reproductive rights, by stating that overturning Roe would merely revert the abortion question back to the states. [Tell that to medical marijuana and medically assisted suicide advocates in "blue" states!] Let alone the anti-public-interest Supreme Court votes that would necessarily come with the overturning of Roe.

Don't get me started on communist hypocrites like Castro and Soviet Bloc and Chinese bloc "leaders" claiming the right of the people to enrich themselves while stomping out dissent and murdering community solidarity with secret police and totalitarian thugism. The state never withers away: it is not in the interest of the state elites who hold ALL the fire-power. [At best it morphs back to plutocratic oligarchic grand theft once again under the guise of greedom ,er, 'freedom'.]

Communism is the mirror image of the fascist. Same hypocrisy. Same oppression.

In capitalism, man exploits man.
In communism, it is just the reverse.

Posted by: gylangirl | Nov 15 2005 20:42 utc | 93

@ remembereringgiap

I do not dispute that rape and murder is committed in Iraq. I just wanted to make sure we didn't get all spun up over something that caught people out a year ago or so...even a US Congressman believed those very same pictures and was ridiculed by corporate media.

Good things are happening here, I just got a chance to read the shake and bake thread and am very pleased that we can even attract US Marines to this site.

It is good to talk

Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 15 2005 20:44 utc | 94

Wheat sales to Iraq hit highest level since 1963

Sat, 12 nov. 2005.

Iraq hit its highest level of U.S. hard red wheat imports since 1963 with a recent purchase of 800,000 metric tons. That pushed its annual purchases to 1.87 million metric tons. Its previous largest purchase was 1.17 million metric tons in 1983.

....Nigeria is the top U.S. customer at 2.2 million metric tons, a 76 percent increase from last year. Iraq is second and Japan is third at 1.83 million metric tons ...

http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/business/13145857.htm>Link

Sun, November 13, 2005

Iraq wheat boycott angers Australian govt

SYDNEY: The Australian government reacted angrily Saturday to a report that Baghdad had suspended wheat imports worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year over oil-for-food kickbacks paid to Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Prime Minister John Howard said contracts could not be disregarded “willy-nilly”, while Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Australians would be irritated by a boycott as they had contributed troops to the US-led invasion that ousted Saddam.

The Australian newspaper quoted Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi as saying all future orders for Australian wheat had been suspended and Iraq was demanding compensation for kickbacks paid to Saddam’s regime under the UN’s oil-for-food programme. The Australian wheat orders are worth up to 800 million dollars (600 million US dollars) a year.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2005%5C11%5C13%5Cstory_13-11-2005_pg5_26>Link


Posted by: Noisette | Nov 15 2005 20:57 utc | 95

that's interesting, codeRX. why would you post that information here anyway? or for whom?

Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 15 2005 21:05 utc | 96

it is good to talk
Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 15, 2005 3:44:26 PM | #

yes yes, it is & sorry i sometimes jumpt too quickly - but i think there needs to be a clearly defined space - where these 'extralegal' murders & rapes are happening either within or external to the appareil of the military

fauxreal
perhaps a dumb question what is a code rx

i listen to you both
you know that

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 21:35 utc | 97

Somewhat OT ...

@Noisette
How sweet the irony of the little deputy sheriff (Howard) and his imitation neocons being shafted by Ahmed Chalabi and for that matter Bush&Co after all they've done for the 'Coalition of the Willing' as loyal vassals ?

Ooh, that must hurt ... LOL

@Pat
Are you suggesting all the 'appointed' Iraqi judges are Sunni or Ba'athists or conversely that they're not, just part of the 82% desirous of the end of 'liberation' ? In any case, the Iraqi judges aren't doing the continuous 'bagging' nor running and administering the prisons ?

In any case the counter-insurgency was lost within three months of the invasion ... everything since has just added to the butchers bill for naught (IMO)

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 15 2005 21:41 utc | 98

nice find on the wheat deal. it is truly a thankless job to be a lackey like Howard or Blair. They prostrate themselves for table scraps and still get kicked in the 'nads when the master is in a foul mood.

couldn't happen to nicer guys

Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 15 2005 21:45 utc | 99

dan of steele

there's some good news - perhaps debs will elucidate - but just geard on frenchradion that there were 300,000 people demonstrating in melbourne against the atrocious leader howerd's draconian industrial legislation

in fairness i want to say that sometimes my comrade slothrop gets the flack that should be directed at my dear self - hopes/he has hard hide

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 15 2005 21:51 utc | 100

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