Rant. Muse. Eat. Sleep. Recycle.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Introducing Craig Bardo
Our next team member is a singular individual and a friend of mine. His postings will be up in two weeks. He is a fiercely intelligent, educated black man who lives in the South, owns his own business and takes no quarter from and gives no quarter to liberals. Craig Bardo is Conservative with a big C and makes no bones about the fact that the current U.S. government costs too much and does too much. Though he typically votes Republican, he takes that party to task if they stray too far from the conservative principals of limited government, low taxes, individual responsibility and a strong military. Though he may be outnumbered, he is never mentally outgunned....heeere's Craig!
Who's a neo-con?
As Iraq smolders and Dems belly up to a horror that they insist they can fix, I've had some conversations that have caused me to scratch my head. A person whose intelligence I respect in terms of world politics recently told me that I was wrong in my belief that Henry Kissinger is a neo-con. Even though, I clarified that I didn't see him as the founder of this particular group of neo-cons, but more as a spiritual godfather who signed off on a 1970s-era plan to "colonize" the Middle East (a neo-con wet dream), I was still far off base, according to my acquaintance. Neo-cons don't care for Kissinger and he was never a part of that school of thought.
'Now, that's surprising,' I thought.
I'm going to bare my soul, here. I HATE war. Despise it because it has been harnessed as a societal modification tool, in my eyes, by sociopaths with big bank accounts. I cringe whenever I hear that old saw that 'War is good for business.' After all, say those same sociopaths, it decreases the population of undesirables, imparts more authority to government, and sells the shit out of tanks, machine guns, nukes and other stocking stuffers. And, as an aside to all of those who bring up WWII, I'd like to ask you, 'Which "just war" followed that up?'
OK. It's established I hate war. The "baring my soul" part has to do with whether there can be a positive outcome that can play itself out in the midst of all this Iraq tragedy. I can't see it, but that doesn't mean it's not there. The Sunnis and Shiites are killing each other and us, we're killing both of them and nothing seems within reach of resolution. A hundred years from now, will some future generations say it was the right thing to do because Iraq is the world's most stable democracy? Or, is that simply conservative obfuscation meant to justify murder of all kinds?
After having killed something like 670,000 Iraqi men, women, children and babies in this conflict, either directly or indirectly, I guess I'm crying out for something positive to come out of all this and that "100 years" line looks pretty good at times.
So, getting back to Kissinger. I was appalled to see him consulted because for years I've considered him damn near a war criminal. I've never seen his involvement in Viet Nam as anything but politically self-serving and anti-human. Now that Bush is picking his brain, I am discouraged from thinking anything positive can come from this unless we simply pack it up and leave. Why? Because erroneously or not, I group Kissinger with neo-cons for these reasons - 1. his fetish for military interventions and 2. his involvement in a plan to remake the Middle East as a U.S. protectorate.
If he's helping shape current policy, I can't imagine that he's going to recommend any kind of pullout, particularly with a lame duck who has already done the heavy lifting for him and put the Army in place. He could surprise me, but, honestly, I think my friend was wrong and Kissinger is the neo-con's neo-con. And, if he proceeds as I think he proceeds, he will be a hero to that group.
And, more of a villain to me.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Neocons still eyeing Iran (and my guess is they are foaming at the mouth)
Reading Seymour Hersh’s recent article in the New Yorker, it seems that the neocons are up to their same old games again. The C.I.A. says that they found no evidence of a secret nuclear weapons program in Iran and the White House has offhandedly dismissed their findings. They even have a new "curveball," an Israeli spy that might or might not exist. The White House is using their fantasy "intelligence" and casting aside the stuff that doesn’t fit into their preconceived notions. It’s Déjà vu all over again.
It is hard for me to understand why these folks are still willing to jump so quickly to the "military option." If the Iraq war was going good and Afghanistan was secure, I could at least summon the brain activity that maybe, possibly would allow me to understand why they would believe such a thing- but that is not the case. Both of those places are in shambles and the invasions have done nothing but further radicalize the area, not to mention give Iran much more influence in the region.
If I didn’t know any better I would think that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was in charge of US Middle East policy. Iran and Iraq, once bitter enemies, are now friends. Iraq also just kissed and made up with former foe, and backer of Iran in the Iran/Iraq war, Syria. The spiritual head of Iraq’s majority Shi'a population, Grand Ayatollah Sistani, is Iranian. Muqtada al Sadr is wildly popular, especially with the poor, and he wants an Iranian style Shi'a lead theocracy in Iraq (although he claims independent from Iran). Talk about a backfire in policy aims.
So some in the White House are panicking, and for once they might be right. People are talking about the US making deals with Sunni insurgency groups in hopes of limiting Iran's influence in Iraq. Early reports on the Iraq Study Group indicate that they will suggest direct talks with both Iran and Syria- something the White House has been more than reluctant to do.
I think we should officially announce that the neoconservative agenda has failed. It will be remembered as an embarrassingly naive world view, a group of people desperate to be called heroes in a global clash of civilizations. Too bad for them (and the hundreds of thousands of people they killed) it was all in their heads.
My gut tells me that there is no way this group of "leaders" would be dumb enough to invade Iran, but their words and past actions make it clear they don't acknowledge, let alone learn, from past mistakes. Ironically, we may not invade Iran because we need them to help us control our last invasion. The "Bush Doctrine" sure does work in mysterious ways. Tragically, it always seems to leave a pile of dead bodies in its wake.
Introducing... Graeme Anfinson
I've ranted, cursed, moaned and wailed on your computer screens for -- what may seem to some of you -- like years. Well, I am excited to say that in addition to the inestimable Kay Hansen, who is an amazing writer and new novelist, I am now privileged to call another talented writer my "teammate." Graeme Anfinson, of the Great Dakota Territory, will be joining in with weekly updates on politics, race or whatever strikes his fancy. You may notice a couple of additional links to the site, I'd love it if you would check them out, especially ndblueblog.blogspot.com. Graeme will post tomorrow, so please check in and enjoy. I know I will.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Is the GOP delusional?
I always read conservative posts, but it's been soooooooooooooo much fun lately. I love how the people who pride themselves on 'realism,' 'pragmastism,' and 'straight shooting' are pretzling up on their ... how can I put this diplomatically?... Ass-kicking! The positions by which they have basically held America hostage are melting away and folks like Mona Charen, George Will, Linda Chavez, Anne Coulter... hell, George Wallace, if he was alive, are talking like liberals. All of them say conservatism wasn't repudiated ;-) and that what really sunk the GOP battleship was corruption, losing sight of conservative viewpoints. My point of view is that that was the conservative viewpoint. Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff understood the free market system, they just happened to be buying and selling policy. Bill Frist and Trent Lott (Mr. MINORITY Whip) understand the GOP social agenda -- it was better in the 1950s when women and people of color were under the thumbs of all-powerful white guys.
Karl Rove understands conservatism best of all -- it means Republicans in office with no oversight. Screw Iraq and terrorism; they're talking points. Conservatives didn't vote any of these people out of office (CB, did you go for Corker or Ford?), liberals and moderates did. The voters who were sick of exactly what conservatism stands for said, 'enough.' And, I am joyful. Certainly, millions of misguided Americans voted for the status quo, but I am smiling because the GOP has been exposed for what it is: a country club for intolerant Southern white guys who simply don't want to fall out of power. It is retreating back to Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and all those backwaters where the American caste system still reigns. I am heartened because if Will, Coulter and their ilk have sway on what comes next for the GOP, it will continue to follow its amply demonstrated conservatism out of major party status. It's simple math, eventually women are going to want some real power within the party; eventually people of color will be so great in numbers that the inherent intolerance and racism turn them (and moderate white people) away. Despite some serious lip service to African American GOP candidates, only two received anything close to full party support: Ken Blackwell and Michael Steele. And, in case you didn't notice, Kwiesi Mfume ran strong in the Democratic primaries -- negating the GOP outreach to African Americans in that race. Have there been enough Democratic pushes for African American candidates, no. But, of the 43 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, guess how many are Republicans? Nada. Zip. Donut hole. Despite Ken Mehlman's BS, there was never a real push for African American candidates in the party. And, the party's push for Hispanics? I'm going to take a flyer and say they are focusing on white, affluent Hispanics, such as the first generation Cubans -- kind of like Mel Martinez, a white guy with an accent. Ain't diversity grand?
But, before I end my post, I'd like to say this: I am looking to put together a blog team. I'd like people of various races, genders and political persuasions to help me with daily postings. I"m looking at between 7 and 10 people, and I'd like them to bring links to the four or five blogs they deeply believe in. I'm able to put some of the postings in a community newspaper and on the AP wires. If you're interested, post. If there's someone you think should be interested, let 'em know.