Friday, October 21, 2011
It's about fucking time. The Obama administration has succesfully ended our ill-advised occupation of Iraq without unnecessarily endangering the lives of any U.S. military personnel or any Iraqi security forces, or even more importantly any innocent Iraqi civilians or U.S. contractors. Let us all come together as loyal Americans to celebrate this milestone in our history. The gift of freedom was given to the Iraqi people at an enormous cost to our own nation. One that sacrificed America's best and brightest and cost us untold amounts of our treasure that very nearly brought our own economy and that of the world to its knees. Libertarians, gun nuts and anti-war hippies can all agree that this is a wonderful thing. I think that all patriotic Americans can come together at this moment and salute our brave president and recognize the sacrifices and duties that have been performed by our Army, Marines and Navy.
There are ruminations from certain quarters that this is a dangerous or deluded decision? Goddess forbid. Let me preface this rant by giving credit to certain notable exceptions to this unfortunate trend. Ultra-hawk and graduate of Annapolis Naval Academy, John McCain, has issued no statement criticizing the president, his administration or the Pentagon for this momentous decision. Apparently publicly silent on this decision are Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and even the lovely and talented Sarah Palin. Maybe she decided not to run for president because she's sick of stupid republicans placing personality and personal hatred above public policy. Obviously W is not going to say anything mean. This is in a very real sense a vindication for him and Cheney. Again, let's come together as Americans and celebrate.
Romney personifies the disingenuous, duplicitous and sickeningly immoral republican of today.
President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women…The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government. The American people deserve to hear the recommendations that were made by our military commanders in Iraq.
You stupid hypocrite. We have been listening to the commanders for several years. We don't really need you to interpret their words for us. You have no value. If you have no loyalty to your president, what loyalty can we expect from you as American citizens? Worthless piece of shit. You sir, are no American. You are a horrible, alien outsider who has nothing to do with the country I love.
Bachmann? Who really cares? But here goes...
[The president should] return to the negotiating table with Iraq and lead from the front and not from weakness in Iraq and in the world.
Obviously she would never have the respect to actually call him the president, but the rest of the words are hers. Maybe she should return to a middle school American history text if she desires to run for the republican nomination for president in New Hampshire or Virginia, for that matter.
Today’s announcement that we will remove all of our forces from Iraq is a political decision and not a military one; it represents the complete failure of President Obama to secure an agreement with Iraq for our troops to remain there to preserve the peace and demonstrates how far our foreign policy leadership has fallen…President Obama’s decision represents the end of the era of America’s influence in Iraq and the strengthening of Iran’s influence in Iraq with no plan to counter that influence. We have been ejected from a country by the people that we liberated and that the United States paid for with precious blood and treasure.
What do you really care about American lives or treasure, Michelle? Go away. Please don't come back. We honestly don't need you. For anything.
Jon Huntsman. The voice of sanity? Perhaps. That doesn't make him nice or loyal to his boss either one.
On the occasion of the announcement that U.S. forces will withdraw completely from Iraq by the end of the year, we should take a moment to reflect on the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform. We are forever grateful for their service to America, and are eager to welcome our troops home.
Nice statement Jon. Take a bow. Oh, there's more?
President Obama’s decision, however, to not leave a small, focused presence in Iraq is a mistake and the product of his administration’s failures. The president’s inability to reach a security agreement leaves Iraq vulnerable to backsliding, thus putting our interests in the region at risk. An ideal arrangement would have left a small troop presence that could have assisted with the training of Iraqi security forces and vital counter-terror efforts.
I think it would be a huge mistake to elect you our next president. Again, no loyalty. Reality check. Many people in Iraq and the Arab world resent an American military occupation. Just thought I would point that out in view of various terrorist organizations that are diametrically opposed to U.S. interests and had their rebirth in the hatred and resentment that grew out of Bush's unjust war in Iraq.
I don't want to go into U.S. misconduct of the war. I will recap on this much: The Navy shelling and bombardment which began the war March 17, 2003. The siege of Fallujah. Abu Ghraib. Bagram. Rendition. The American policiy of rounding up every young man in a community and imprisoning him to ask questions later. The American policy of entering a house with a hand grenade and then storming in to take prisoners. This war was the greatest shame ever brought on the American people. It is a lie that there has always been this type of warfare. Let's just all be happy that this unfortunate chapter in our history is finally over.
Friday, July 15, 2011
More to the point... Who knows what one might find if you turn over enough stones. You may just find yourself staring straight into the very face of evil.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Some of you may remember my efforts to defend Sarah Palin and her right to be a conservative American. I stated that it was wrong to attack someone just for who they are. I am sure that I continued in this Quixotic hope against hope due to my firm belief in the brotherhood and sisterhood of all citizens of the United States of America despite our political and social differences. Needless to say Sarah has ruthlessly betrayed the faith I so naívely put in her love for her country. For one thing, she hates the president. She has sold out to the worst elements in our media. She has allowed them to use her as a vicious, partisan attack dog, trivializing her natural charm and beauty of spirit. That's not so patriotic. Yet in the spirit of love, I dedicate this post to her. Read by the great physician, historian, poet and patriot, Oliver Wendell Holmes at a meeting of the Massachusetts Historical Society in the year 1869, a scant four years before the centennial of this important event in the birth of our nation.
A Ballad of the Boston Tea Party
No! never such a draught was poured since Hebe served with nectar;
The bright Olympians and their Lord, her over-kind protector;
Since Father Noah squeezed the grape, and took to such behaving;
As would have shamed our grandsire ape before the days of shaving.
No! ne'er was mingled such a draught in palace, hall, or arbor;
As freemen brewed and tyrants quaffed that night in Boston Harbor!
The Western war-cloud's crimson stained the Thames, the Clyde, the Shannon;
Full many a six-foot grenadier the flattened grass had measured;
And many a mother many a year her tearful memories treasured.
Fast spread the tempest's darkening pall, the mighty realms were troubled;
The storm broke loose, but first of all the Boston teapot bubbled!
An evening party, only that, no formal invitation;
No gold-laced coat, no stiff cravat, no feast in contemplation;
No silk-robed dames, no fiddling band, no flowers, no songs, no dancing;
A tribe of red men, axe in hand, behold the guests advancing!
How fast the stragglers join the throng from stall and workshop gathered!
The lively barber skips along and leaves a chin half-lathered;
The smith has flung his hammer down, the horseshoe still is glowing;
The truant tapster at the Crown has left a beer-cask flowing;
The cooper's boys have dropped the adze, and trot behind their master.
Up run the tarry ship-yard lads, the crowd is hurrying faster;
Out from the Millpond's purlieus gush the streams of white-faced millers;
And down their slippery alleys rush the lusty young Fort-Hillers.
The ropewalk lends its 'prentice crew, the tories seize the omen;
'Ay, boys, you'll soon have work to do for England's rebel foemen.
'King Hancock,' Adams, and their gang that fire the mob with treason;
When these we shoot and those we hang the town will come to reason.'
On! On to where the tea-ships ride! And now their ranks are forming;
A rush, and up the Dartmouth's side the Mohawk band is swarming!
See the fierce natives! What a glimpse of paint and fur and feather;
As all at once the full-grown imps light on the deck together!
A scarf the pigtail's secret keeps, a blanket hides the breeches;
And out the cursed cargo leaps, and overboard it pitches!
O woman, at the evening board, so gracious, sweet, and purring;
So happy while the tea is poured, so blest while spoons are stirring;
What martyr can compare with thee, the mother, wife, or daughter;
That night, instead of best Bohea, condemned to milk and water!
Ah, little dreams the quiet dame who plies with' rock and spindle;
The patient flax, how great a flame yon little spark shall kindle!
The lurid morning shall reveal a fire no king can smother;
Where British flint and Boston steel have clashed against each other!
Old charters shrivel in its track, His Worship's bench has crumbled;
It climbs and clasps the union-jack its blazoned pomp is humbled.
The flags go down on land and sea like corn before the reapers;
So burned the fire that brewed the tea that Boston served her keepers!
The waves that wrought a century's wreck have rolled o'er whig and tory;
The Mohawks on the Dartmouth's deck still live in song and story;
The waters in the rebel bay have kept the tea-leaf savor.
Our old North-Enders in their spray still taste a Hyson flavor;
And Freedom's teacup still o'erflows with ever fresh libations;
To cheat of slumber all her foes and cheer the wakening nation.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
But if I still could, I would dream of an America where our minds could truly be free, fed by the lofty aspirations and honest reporting of a society united by a common goal of caring for every citizen and keeping our commitments around the world. An America where the cold-hearted and insane ramblings of agitators like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck were simply relegated to the trash can of ignorance and prejudice as they once surely were in my childhood. I would dream of an America where knowledge and achievement were valued above ideology and narrow-mindedness. I would dream of an America where school employment centers did not rest until every graduate had been placed in a position of gainful employment. I would dream of an America where even the great robber barons and captains of industry remembered the value of charity and philanthropy. I would dream of an America where conservatives and liberals alike could work together in a spirit of enlightened self-interest seeing our nation as a whole, not a tapestry of haves and have-nots. I would dream of building more libraries in more small towns and promoting life-long learning for anyone who would seek it. I would dream of an America where the accumulation of wealth would be balanced by care and protection of American families, singles and senior citizens, with pensions and health care and rewards for honest toil.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
The origins of the fascist movement in Italy are to be found both in the wave of disillusionment and at the same time in the exacerbated nationalism which swept Italy after 1918. Even before the war of 1914-1918, Enrico Corradini had propagated a doctrine of extreme and belligerent nationalism, which had fanned enthusiasm for the Libyan War of 1911 and for imperial expansion, and the poet Gabriele d’Anninzio had exalted in verse and prose not only the mission of a victorious Italy, but also the love of danger, adventure and war. In the military coup by which he and a legion of black-shirted followers gained possession of Fiume in Sept. 1919, and during the 16 months in which he as Duce ruled the city, d’Annunzio introduced a constitution foreshadowing the “corporative state” and all the rites, salutes, allocutions and mass shouts which later became characteristic of the fascist movement. Mussolini himself before 1914 had been a leading member and editor of the Italian Social Democratic party, but he had always represented the tendencies of revolutionary syndicalism with their emphasis on direct action and enthusiastic will. Against the attitude of his party, Mussolini supported Italy’s entrance into the war in the fall of 1914; on November 15 he founded his own newspaper, the Popolo d’Italia, in Milan, which called itself an organ of combatants and producers and carried the social revolutionary motto by Blanqui, “Who has steel has bread,” and Napoleon’s saying, “The revolution is an idea which has found bayonets.” Mussolini’s first famous editorial bore the characteristic title, “Audacity.”
In the social unrest and moral confusion which followed the war of 1914-1918, Mussolini founded the Fasci di Combattimento on March 23, 1919, in Milan. The new group had no definite program; at first Mussolini was still a revolutionary syndicalist, who propagated the expropriation of the land, the mines, and all means of transportation. It was not until the beginning of 1921 that he allied his group openly with the propertied classes, with the landowners and the industrialists. But whatever his sociological affiliations, he was moved throughout by a fierce nationalism and by the love of violence and adventure. When he ran in Milan for a parliamentary seat in the elections of Nov. 16, 1919, he got less that 5,000 votes out of 346,000. But the deep social unrest prevailing in Italy in 1920 gave Mussolini a chance, and though the danger of any bolshevist or socialist success had entirely faded by the end of the year, Mussolini and his squads of violent young men appeared to the frightened upper classes as a guarantee of security. Thus, with the army conniving, Mussolini’s followers set for themselves the task of “restoring order” and breaking up the socialist movements and organizations. With a boastful ruthlessness, with the proud sacrifice of all ethical scruples to success, the local squadristis, under the leadership of men like Grandi, Balbo, Farinacci and others, set out for the conquest of power in the name of youth against what they called “the tottering parliamentarism” of the “senile” and undecided liberals. The lack of resistance on the part of the government, the army and the police, emboldened the fascists who had formed themselves into the national fascist party in Nov. 1921.
In the following year Mussolini completely abandoned his original socialist, anti-monarchist and anti-Catholic program. He had no definite doctrine to offer. “Our program is simple: we wish to govern Italy. They ask us for programs, but there are already too many. It is not programs that are wanting for the salvation of Italy, but men and will power.” On Oct. 28, 1922, the famous march on Rome was staged. Though the fascists and the nationalists were outnumbered in the Italian parliament by ten to one, and though with some show of resolute action the fascists could easily have been stopped, the king refused to sign the proclamation of the state of siege which his government had prepared, and on Oct. 29 invited Mussolini to form the new government. Though the new prime minister at first accepted a coalition cabinet and preserved some of the forms of the liberal state, within a very few years all the trappings of parliamentarism were gone, all other parties outlawed, all civil liberties and constitutional guarantees suppressed, and a full dictatorship established. The process was accelerated by the reaction of the country and of the civilized world to the murder of the socialist deputy Matteotti, in June 1924, on the eve of his exposure of the graft and corruption of the fascist party. Highest fascist officials were alleged to have been implicated in the murder. In his effort to save his regime from the outraged feelings of the country, which in turn was identified with its leader. Though he professed to fight bolshevism, he successfully adopted its methods, without, however, being able to carry them in the different climate of Italy as far as they were carried in Russia and later on in Germany. The different squadristi organizations had been reformed on Feb. 10, 1923, as the Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale.
Fascism in its beginnings was not a doctrine and had no clearly elaborated program. It was a technique for gaining and retaining power by violence, and with an astonishing flexibility it subordinated all questions of program to this one aim. But it was dominated from the beginning by a definite attitude of mind which exalted the fighting spirit, military discipline, ruthlessness and action, and rejected contemptuously all ethical motives as weakening the resoluteness of will. Fascism is power politics and realpolitik in their most naked form; all theoretical considerations are subservient to what is regarded as the “inexorable dynamics” of the factual situation. Ultimately everything depends upon the ever-changing will of the leader, decisions which cannot be discussed, but are blindly obeyed and immediately executed. Thus fascism could present itself in a given situation as a bulwark of the social order against social revolution, against Marxism and the proletariat, and could in a different situation become the propagandist and spearhead of a proletarian world revolution against conservatism and wealth, against bourgeoisie and capitalism.