Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Surprise, surprise...

So it turns out that a former analyst for the CIA's Bin Laden Unit, Michael Scheuer, supports Ron Paul's suggested changes in U.S. foreign policy. Mr. Scheuer observes, ‘the real danger is if we attack them, they would never attack us first but if we the Isrealis or both [the U.S. and the Israelis] attack them, will see a lot of terrorism in our country [the U.S.] conducted by the Iranians’. See the article and listen to the entire interview here.

Sounds like that translates into: Israel has become the greatest threat to American peace and security --  not to mention a drain on our economy. 

[Ed.: A consolation (see below): at least we know the Israelis haven't spent any American tax money prosecuting their service men and women for being born with the wrong sexual orientation. The Pentagon, under both Bush and Obama, spent plenty of money doing that themselves.]

A Step into the Sunlight

Google is a socially responsible company that celebrates events such as "Wildebeest Migration Day," "Medellin Flower Celebration Day," and the birthdays of important artists and scientists with custom "doodle art" on their homepage. 

They also do this to mark the "independence" days of virtually every country on the planet, even for those countries that were never colonized or liberated. 

It is sad to note though, that Google didn't see fit to mark today's liberation of a few million Americans, Americans who will for the first time will be able to step out into the sunlight while wearing a uniform, the uniform of the United States military. "Don't Ask Don't Tell" may have ended, institutional discrimination in the military may have ended, but clearly there is work yet to be done. Perhaps Google doesn't want to call attention to the fact that the political party who promised Gay service members liberation took almost 20 years to make good on that promise. Perhaps it was just an oversight. In either case, it is unfortunate.

If there are any artists out there who want to send the Snarkmeister their version of the art that Google should have posted, we'll make our best effort to display it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Buy a clue, Dick.

Dick Cheney was on The View today, making the argument that the U.S. needs to stay in Afghanistan "until they can defend themselves." The Afghanis' ability to defend themselves, all too well, is a large part of the reason way we're still there. The Afghanis are the most defense capable people on the face of the planet. In known history, no foreign occupier has held Afghani territory for more than a few years, and always at a high cost to the occupier. Trying to occupy and hold Afghanistan was a large part of what brought down the Soviet Union. It is fast becoming a large part of what is going to bring down the U.S.

The U.S. arrogantly thinks we have something to teach the Afghan people about self-defense. We should be asking them to come to America to teach us. With our military spread out all around the world, our borders at home undefended, our economy in ruins, and the average American terrified to even touch a gun, it is only a matter of time before someone is going to see the "American corporation" as a prime target for a hostile takeover. Given the current state of things, Canada could probably take control the U.S. in about 48 hours.

In the meantime, America is "celebrating" the day ten years ago when a few guys with box cutters where able to cower several hundred Americans into becoming flying missiles. Why was that even possible? Because the American government had deprived pilots of the right to carry weapons and because Americans have been conditioned not to defend themselves.

Buy a clue, Dick. Wake up, America. We don't need to change Afghanistan, we need to become more like Afghanistan. No planes full Afghanis ever would have been flown into the sides of buildings. The hijackers would have been tossed from the planes, at altitude.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Operation Fast and Furious

Anyone who believes that some bureaucrat sent 2,000 weapons into an allied nation, knowingly into the hands of a criminal element that has been actively working to undermine that country's government, without the direct sign-off of the president of the United States, is a fool. 

Operation Fast and Furious could by any almost any standard be interpreted as an act of war against Mexico by the United States government. No one, at any level of government would do such a thing without White House approval, although in all likelihood the White House would have attempted to ensure itself a reasonable level of deniability. That deniability is not credible on its face though. One country arming a group within another country, a group that is not part of its sovereign government, is de facto war.

What most likely gives Obama his Get Out of Jail Free Card is that the Mexican government most likely knew about Operation Fast and Furious and was complicate with it, which is a very dangerous position for a government that is already on the verge of being a failed state to have taken. Right now the Mexican people are mostly furious at America over the drug violence that has killed almost 35,000 people in the last five years, but if they knew their own government was helping to facilitate it, that anger could quickly boil over into internal chaos. Perhaps that is exactly the U.S. plan. 

Such machinations are a perfect example of why WikiLeaks serves a vital public interest.

[Update: Members of congress are starting to ask questions as well.]

John Brown's Body Lies a Spinning in His Grave

Consider the following comment about President Obama from a recent Der Standard article, one of Austria's largest newspapers:
Two-and-a-half years after his election, Barack Obama, the first African-American president in the history of the United States, is in danger of becoming a one-term president, a failure who has largely lost the support of the urban liberals, workers, black and Hispanic Americans, environmentalists and youth of the 2008 election through his hesitation and wavering. The 50-year-old Obama is no longer the shining light for the start of a new age, but rather a politician, who, through his zigzag course and sellouts in economic, finance and social policy, has deeply disappointed the (admittedly inflated) expectations of his supporters.
Perhaps Barack Obama's biggest crime is that because of his broken promises, because his weakness and inaction, because of his war-making and continuance of Bush-era civil liberty violations -- because of all of this -- it is likely that no other minority-American candidate for higher office will be given the benefit of the doubt for a generation. Perhaps for even longer. Obama's biggest crime is that he has made statements like that which titles this post conceptually plausible, rather than merely racist -- and that is perhaps the one thing he has done that is unforgivable.

What, five wars isn't enough?

The warmongers over at FoxNews are calling for yet another war, a cyber war. This one against WikiLeaks, for revealing America's "secrets." Of course, most of the secrets weren't actually about America, but about America's international meddling in the affairs in other countries and about the corruption our spies and diplomats had fomented in those countries.

It was exactly the release of that information that lead to what has become called the "Arab Spring." It was when the people of countries like Egypt and Libya realized how corrupt and in-bed with Washington their leaders were that they finally rose up against the dictatorships that Langley and Foggy Bottom had been imposing on them for decades. Julian Assange jump-started democracy in half-a-dozen countries with only a few keystrokes and a few servers, something that George Bush (and now Barack Obama) haven't been able to accomplish in a even one country, despite trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives destroyed.

So why is Fox News upset? That is a good question. Supposedly they are the "conservative" news source in America. The truth is though, FoxNew is not conservative, but rather neo-conservative. It always has been. And the neo-conservative movement is about anything but freedom or liberty. Given the association of both the Bush and Obama administrations with the neo-con and neo-liberal movements, one has to wonder if democracy in Iraq was really ever America's real purpose. With that question in mind, it should be Americans who should be rioting in the streets.

This country was founded on the idea of free speech, on the idea of a free press, on the idea that people should be free in their persons and papers, that the country should mind its own business. All of that is right there in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution that real conservatives hold so holy -- or at least claim to. This country was not supposed to have secrets. It was not supposed to  be waging war willy-nilly at the president's whim. It was not supposed to be occupying nations and imposing democracy and forcing open markets for corporations. It was not supposed to be committing the type of war crimes that requires a WikiLeaks to expose those crimes.

Any true American, conservative or liberal, should be supporting the restoration of an America where WikiLeaks would have nothing to report on. It is only the neo-cons and neo-liberals (very little difference really, they are all fascist), and their internationalist corporate-statists friends who have reason to hate WikiLeaks.

When America was a free and tolerant, nominally Christian country, it knew a simply truth: 'All those who doeth evil hateth the light.'

WikiLeaks is shining a light on a very different America though, on a country that has become far worse than the empire it once overthrew, on a country whose banks and corporations are attempting to reinstate a neo-feudalist order, and on a country where the blood-lusters seem to hold the biggest sway. Those who are calling for war against WikiLeaks are in truth calling for a war against those who would shine light on and do battle against evil. Those who are calling for war against WikiLeaks are in truth calling for the preservation and protection of the evil doers and the darkness within which they operate.

Shame on any conservative who has let themselves be fooled by Fox's faux-conservative worldview. It is not an American view at all. The truth is right there in the founding documents.