Saturday, July 09, 2005

A good progressive view of the recent London attacks

There's some interpretation here that may be a little astray, but still a good summary of what it all means, sans hyperbole.

Plucky Brits, Incompetent Terrorists, and a Wavering Berlusconi by Randall Cook at Intel-Dump

As Islamic terrorists go, they were not particularly well-trained or committed. The one apparent ‘suicide bombing’ was the result not of a fanatical desire to witness paradise, but of user and/or equipment failure. And they were not very discriminating in their targeting, apparently blowing up their targets in heavily-Muslim populated neighborhoods of London in order to facilitate their get-aways.

While true, there's almost a dare here that I'm sure Mr. Cook didn't mean to imply. I've never thought that Al-Quida was especially bright or brave, more clever and demented then anything else. If they were like some super intelligent mad men out of some spy thriller, 9-11 would seem like a walk in the park. That to me is why they should be put in perspective. They are dangerous, but on a scale I can think of a few worse threats to western society. What's hurting us most is the diversion of resources away from getting at the of Al-Quida and using them in Iraq. Iraq was a low priority threat. Saddam and his power was tied to a state, a region. He knew that if he pushed things to far he'd be dead, just as Kim Jung knows that if he goes beyond a certain point, he won't be able to play badboy anymore because he'll be sleeping the Big Sleep under a pile of rubble. So regardless of what happens in New York, London, or Bali America is screwed because of Iraq. Bush bet the bank on the dreaded "flypaper" theory and lost. Al Quida can be in two places at once. I agree with Blair, our values will win eventually, but at much less cost if some adults were in charge instead of reactionaries.

Sleaze bags of the day Brit Hume and Brian Kilmeade

from Huffington Post and Media Matters
"My first thought when I heard - just on a personal basis, when I heard there had been this attack and I saw the futures this morning, which were really in the tank, I thought, 'Hmmm, time to buy.'"
- Fox News's Brit Hume, 7/7/05

and good ol Brian " I don't get it " Kilmeade:
Earlier in the day, Fox reporter Brian Kilmeade seemed to cheer on the attack because he said "it works to our advantage."

Brian crawled out of the gutter to say how great the attack was because it shows how unimportant AIDS and global warming are. Both of which will kill more people then terrorists this year. There is in the conservative soul, a big dark oozing mass where some compassion and rational thought should be, qualities lacking in Brit, Brian, and the neocon cabal of right-wing radicals.. They support the Cluster Fuck America and Britain Where's the Money Doctrine. These guys love terrorism, its their ratings genie. They rub the terror genie bottle and the ratings spike a point or two and the money comes rolling in. Before 9-11, they lay in bed at night dreaming of the good old days of the Cold War, ICBM missiles, and Bill Clinton's penis.

update from Societas on the profits of the neverending war
*KBR charged $73 million for motor caravans to house the 101st Airborne Division, twice as much as the army said it would cost to build barracks itself.
*KBR charged $88 million for three million meals for US troops that were never served.
*One of KBR’s contracts was for transporting supplies between American bases. Fleets of new Mercedes Benz trucks, costing $85,000 each, travelled up and down Iraq’s central highways every day, accompanied by armed US military escorts. If there were no goods to transport, KBR dispatched empty lorries anyway, and billed accordingly.
*Millions of dollars were paid to contractors for phantom work: $3,379,505 was billed, for example, for ‘personnel not in the field performing work’ and ‘other improper charges’ on a single oil pipeline repair contract.

KBR is a subsidary of Halliburton. Societas has more details and links.

Terrorism is spreading like cancer, not because liberals wants it to, but because BushCo is so incompetent and corrupt when it comes down to doing anything about it. That Bush and his supporters are making such huge profits and political gains from playing the game this way is why we're likely to see more attacks like London. Finding terrorists is like tedious detective work, not very glamorous, but pretending that Iraq is some kind of terror magnet that will eventually lore in all the terrorists is a delusional fantasy. A dangerous fantasy that ordinary people suffer for, like the ones on subways just trying to live their lives.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"Fascist" or something like it

I read in a comments sections over at The Nation a conservative suggest that liberals that call the status of our nation "fascist" are ingaging in hyberbole and thus diminishing their own arguments. After all he suggested, The Nation could still publish on the " internets" and you can still go down to Blockbuster and rent a Michael Moore movie. I think he has a point, but a limited point. What if the new fascism is just a little kinder then that of the Italian or German fascist movements. That todays fascist let you work and order a pizza and write your little blog, but in reality you really have no power in the sense that in a democracy the power resides with the people. Who has most of the power in America ? The triamese triplets- the fundamentalists, multinational corporations, and the neocon ring-masters. Which brings me to Thom Hartmann and the next Supreme Court judge.

Supreme Court - Media Ignore Possible "Fascist" Play
....corporatist "conservatives" are salivating at the opportunity to pack the Court with judges who will further erode the rights of communities and increase the power of multinational corporations and the super-rich in America. On June 28, 2005 The Wall Street Journal ran a major story ("For a High Court Nomination, Business Has Its Own Agenda") on how corporate Republicans may be at odds with "social" Republicans, because the latter generally endorse states' rights. Corporatists prefer a strong federal government where all politicians can be bought centrally in Washington, DC, and federal rules and agencies can be used to back down states that may want clean air or water.

snip
The new Federalists - Bush's Republicans - clearly fear We The People, and cherish their own power to rule independent of us. And if they can seize control of the Supreme Court before the next elections, their power may become nearly absolute.

Historically, when fascists have come to power they have used either the threat of enemies or social issues to get the people to agree to give them control of all branches of government. When their true agenda - raw power - comes out, it's too late for the people to resist. As Francisco Franco famously said, "Our regime is [now] based on bayonets and blood, not on hypocritical elections."

Monday, July 04, 2005

I miss the Big Dog

By way of Bull Moose
The good news is that some of the likely '08 candidates are working on the post-Bush era vision - for instance Edwards on poverty and Hillary on values. This week the Moose heard an insightful presentation by President Clinton linking a environmentally-friendly energy policy with national security and economic growth. Unfortunately, the twenty-second amendment precludes this Clinton from running, but he is certainly a valuable adviser for a candidate.

Republicans, too, have a challenge to figure out if there is life beyond the fading domestic agenda of privatization and tax cuts. Nine-eleven alone will not suffice for the elephant.

Even figuring in 9-11, this is what the president regardless of party should have been talking about. It is the 21st century. Where is the grand vision? We have a president with no vision, no ideas, much less anything to say about " linking a environmentally-friendly energy policy with national security and economic growth.". Now is not the time in our history to be acting like small minded puritanical hypocrites that think all our problems will be solved if we just make the rich richer, the poor less hopeful, and leave the dwindling middle-class hanging on for dear life. Where's the dream, the ideals? Bush incorporated and their congressional enablers don't have a dream, they have jingos and lies repeated over and over and over. That's not a dream, its a dead end.