Monday, August 11, 2014
It's not a joke any longer...
“Name me someone that’s not a parasite and I’ll go out and say a prayer for him”
- Bob Dylan (Visions of Johanna)
A 2001 piece at satirical website The Onion entitled “Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’” published shortly after his inauguration was astonishing in the uncanny ability to so accurately predict the future. Not only did Bush and Cheney use the September 11, 2001 attacks to justify the invasion of the bane of empires that is Afghanistan but also to launch a “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq, a country that had no connection to 9/11.
For Junior Bush it was a chance to one up the old man who stopped short of toppling Saddam Hussein in 1991 much to the dismay of the neocons and Cheney and Rummy were pushing all the buttons. What the 2003 attack on Iraq did was to throw open the gates of hell itself, result in the deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, thousands of American service members and forever taint what remained of the U.S. national image with the descent into the barbaric pits of the torture state as evident at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib Prison.
Bush and Cheney ushered in the societal transformation, exploiting the 9/11 attacks which to this day have never been honestly investigated – in particular the level of U.S. Deep State complicity in covering up Saudi involvement – to hit the reset button on over two and a quarter centuries of history. The Bush regime will forever be responsible for the transformation of the United States of America into that dark and ominous entity known as “The Homeland” as well as the Orwellian concept of perpetual war abroad and totalitarianism at home.
The new era of the Surveillance State Gomorrah was birthed out of the ruins of the World Trade Center and thanks largely to Bush’s successor, Barack Obama it has become a permanent fixture of a rapidly closing society where privacy has been rendered obsolete and black clad militarized police forces enforce the diktats of the chief executive. The courageous actions of former government contractor turned NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have peeled away the star-spangled curtain from this virulent fascist machine and yet the hydra has only reconfigured itself since and now is pushing for the world war that will lock it into place forever. Orwell’s O’Brien foretold the future of the United States when he sneeringly and coldly explained to Winston Smith that:
The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that.
We know that no one ever seeks power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
Barack Obama was the logical next step to Bush-Cheney who were in effect the change agents who administered to the new American Homeland birthed from the ashes of 9/11 and united under fascism. The rise of Obama would put a smiling new face upon the new American century, friendly and inclusive to the new generations. As I write this Americans who were toddlers when the towers came down have known no other world than that of the warfare-surveillance-police state. Hitler himself had always made it clear that the children were essential to future of the Reich and had it not imploded under the accumulated weight of his insanity it may have eventually refined itself to resemble a land not much different from The Homeland circa 2014.
Obama has always been a product, the real power is vested in the state itself and his selection of such seasoned servants as Robert Gates (Secretary of Defense), Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State), Rahm Emanuel (Chief of Staff) and Timothy Geithner (Secretary of the Treasury) along with Vice President Joseph Biden made it evident that there would be no real “change” despite the hype and campaign promises. The second term of the Obama administration saw the exit of all four – like rats off a sinking ship – and the arrival of more virulent warmongers the likes of John “Skull and Bones” Kerry (Secretary of State), Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland (former Cheney aide and Assistant Secretary of State) and the wife of PNAC founder Robert Kagan, Samantha Power (U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) and wife of the sinister insider Cass Sunstein and Jack Lew (Secretary of the Treasury) and former Citigroup exec. The rhetoric of Obama has always belied the truth that he is himself a lackey of entrenched power and with the expansion of executive power to include the extrajudicial murder of U.S. citizens, the expanding NSA surveillance colossus and the imminent wars it is apparent that he always was a fraud.
The real boon for The Powers That Be (TBTB) behind Obama is that as the nation’s first black president it was a slam dunk that he would have as a foil and a cover for the continuation of ruinous national foreign and domestic policy a Republican Congress packed with racists and religious zealots. It is the ultimate form of good cop-bad cop and plays perfectly for the corrupt state-corporate media and the abject morons who are American voters that still believe that there is a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties. The business of America as the center of the global finance capital empire is war and that business continues to thrive. As former longtime Congressional aide Mike Lofgren put it so well in his essay for an appearance with PBS’s Bill Moyers “Anatomy of the Deep State”:
Despite this apparent impotence, President Obama can liquidate American citizens without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented — at least since the McCarthy era — witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called “Insider Threat Program”). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, President Obama can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, such as arranging the forced landing of a plane carrying a sovereign head of state over foreign territory. Despite the habitual cant of congressional Republicans about executive overreach by Obama, the would-be dictator, we have until recently heard very little from them about these actions — with the minor exception of comments from gadfly Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Democrats, save a few mavericks such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, are not unduly troubled, either — even to the extent of permitting seemingly perjured congressional testimony under oath by executive branch officials on the subject of illegal surveillance.
These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there. At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.
Lofgren sums up the concept of the Deep State very well and I would strongly recommend that you go and read his essay as well as the work of longtime Deep State researcher Peter Dale Scott but that is a story for another time. Suffice it to say that business of America is war and there will be no end to the wars until they are the end to us.
“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”
-General Smedley D. Butler
Obama and his sorry-assed excuse of an administration have over the past year been relentlessly pushing for that next great war, whether it be based on lies about the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad gassing civilian children in a Damascus suburb, underwriting a coup d’etat in Ukraine backed by savage fascists and neo-Nazis or by dancing on the edge of the abyss by pushing for a full blown war with nuclear power Russia it goes on. While none of those have erupted into the massive wealth generating conflict so desired – the lunatic obsession with Russia still has potential – TPTB and the Obama regime may have found a temporary out with yet another U.S. military intervention in Iraq. The rise of the mysterious Islamist bogeyman of ISIS (Islamic Stat of Iran in Syria) is hard to figure as it could be legitimate blowback or yet another of those secret armies that is created through covert funding and support of the U.S. Deep State interests along with foreign assistance. It sure as hell is convenient though.
Warmongering Republicans and the neocon propaganda machine has been worked into a lather over the explosion of violence in Iraq, ostensibly the work if ISIS the great and terrible but largely to wash the blood from their own hands in pimping revisionist history as well as invoking the old German “stabbed in the back” charge against Obama. For months now the calls for a re-engagement of U.S. military forces in Iraq have ratcheted up the pressure on Mr. Transparency with the usual gaggle of deranged right-wing fiends and chickenhawks caterwauling the loudest to send Americans back into harm’s way. The neocons will always be the first ones to commit the sons and daughters of American mothers to be fed into the latest Middle East meat grinder to slake their never-ending thirst for the blood of others and of course, the money that funds their damnable political campaigns.
The propaganda has been deafening, never more so than today with the added accelerant of the ongoing indignity of continuing to be punked by the fully-demonized Russian leader Vladimir Putin over Ukraine. Another bite at the Iraq apple, particularly now that Obama has liberal cover in an election year under the bogus pretense of humanitarian intervention or R2P (Responsibility to Protect) to reengage. He just dialed up the first airstrikes in order to “prevent genocide”, just ignore the hypocrisy that Obama has not taken similar action to prevent the Israeli genocide operation ongoing in Gaza but it is after all an election year and Jewish donors may close their wallets to the Democrats were the war criminal Netanyahu to be challenged.
Not that the limited airstrikes to “prevent genocide” in Iraq will ever satisfy the neocons, no amount of death, blood and violence ever will. A recent piece in the Inside Baseball publication of the beltway circle-jerk – Politico – brings back all of the Bushreich neocon ghouls who are responsible for setting Iraq ablaze to begin with. I excerpt the following from the litany of bullshit that is entitled “Neocons to Obama: No Half Measures”:
“We’re not out of Iraq. The pledge [Obama] made [to leave Iraq] was premature — we’re back,” said Elliott Abrams, who served on former President George W. Bush’s National Security Council. “Let’s now do the job, and not do two airstrikes when we really need to do five.”
“I think it’s late in the sense that, if the threat is ISIS, ISIS is a hell of a lot more powerful today than it was six or 12 months ago,” said Abrams, who was also deeply involved in the Reagan administration’s policies in Central America. “So it’s going to be a lot harder to protect the Kurds, the Christians, the Yazidis and Baghdad than it would have been.”
John Yoo, a former Bush administration lawyer known for his hardline approach to terrorism suspects, added that “President Obama is obsessed with a legacy as the president who got us out of Iraq (and Afghanistan, for that matter), even at the expense of the U.S. interest in stability in the Middle East.”
Ari Fleischer, Bush’s former spokesman, noted that Obama has received bipartisan support for his actions in Iraq.
“What he did today shows, in a quote-unquote ‘war-weary nation,’ when presidents lead, the public follows,” he said.
ISIL has been publicly on the White House radar for several months, and in June the Obama administration decided to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq. In a tweet on Friday, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona — a hawk in his own right, though not part of the Bush crowd — pointed out that in a New Yorker interview earlier this year, Obama dismissed ISIL as “jayvee.”
Frederick Kagan, an architect of the military “surge” in Iraq, said the U.S. should have been “attacking” ISIL “all along.” Now that military action is underway, Obama should use the opportunity to deal a major blow to the group, he said.
“We should do as much damage to the organization as we can, as quickly as possible,” he said. “That is a core interest to the United States of America.”
Max Boot, a former adviser to the GOP presidential campaigns of McCain and Mitt Romney, wrote in Commentary that Obama “deserves credit for acting now,” but he argued that the actions this week undermine previous White House claims about Iraqi stability.
Still, Obama’s move to authorize the strikes “indicates that no matter how much he doesn’t want to be involved in Iraq, he understands the cost of doing nothing is too great to stomach,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and political adviser to what was the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.
Several of the observers interviewed noted that ISIL is also a problem in Syria, where thousands have died in that country’s civil war, and where the U.S. has declined to engage militarily. The difference in approach comes across as “cognitive dissonance,” as Rubin put it.
Another problem, some argued, is that the airstrikes seem like a mere tactic, when what’s needed is a broader strategy.
“He doesn’t even get close to Whac-a-Mole,” Rubin gibed. “Instead, it’s more like finger-waving at the mole.”
This week’s slate of psychopaths set to appear on the Sunday morning war propaganda “news” shows include the two men who were instrumental in the nurturing of ISIS/ISIL, Senator Lindsey Graham and old blood and guts himself Senator John “nuke them all” McCain. It will be like NFL Gameday where the roundtable of shills for the warfare state critique and discuss the upcoming game – this one in particular being the commitment of Mr. Hope and Change to an extended military campaign in Iraq. Obama is the fourth U.S. President to bomb Iraq now in an Oval Office tradition that is becoming as institutionalized as the Easter Egg roll and the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald accurately now refers to it as a “redundant presidential ritual” in a new piece that he wrote at The Intercept. Obama has now officially joined the club.
“In modern war… you will die like a dog for no good reason.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Essential in rolling out the propaganda campaign to sell the star-spangled sheep for yet another war in Iraq are the testimonials and comments of former Iraq war veterans who find a media platform supportive of the warfare state. We saw examples of this during the week when the Iraqi city of Fallujah was overrun by “Islamist militants” therefore defiling the site of a great symbolic American military triumph. Veterans were trotted out to decry the loss of Fallujah and to bitch and moan that their sacrifices were for naught. What remained unsaid is that the Iraqi city was descended upon by American forces in spring of 2004 after the brutal ambush, murder and hanging of the mutilated bodies off four Blackwater mercenaries in the early days of Bush-Cheney’s “Shock and Awe” attack and invasion of Iraq.
The grotesque abuse of the bodies of the armed intruders, hung from a bridge where they were mocked and had shoes and other debris thrown at them by insurgents was an image that did not jibe with the choreographed war propaganda like saving Private Lynch and the staged pulling down of Saddam’s statue. Americans who were already whipped up into a lynch mob braying for retaliation against Muslims by the neocons after the September 11, 2001 attacks, were outraged and there was hell to pay. The military went into Fallujah heavily armed, often staging house to house raids in a Lidice style orgy of vengeance and were cheered in the land of black SUV’s adorned with those little magnetic yellow ribbon magnets. It was brutal American forces used white phosphorus munitions on the those trapped in besieged city. But that no more gibes with the official glorious narrative than that the atomic bombs dropped on primarily civilian populations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to save the millions of American lives that would be lost in an invasion of the Japanese homeland did. Both are total horseshit.
With the latest U.S. military action in Iraq The Guardian dredged up one of the “Iraq war veterans” of the whining, we were stabbed in the back variety. The piece, by a guy named Cody Buzzell is a call for the new round of Iraq bombing. I excerpt the following from “How I learned to stop worrying and love bombing the hell out of Isis”:
Even Iraq war veterans find out what’s happening in Iraq on Facebook. A couple months ago, when the terrorists formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) re-invaded Iraq, the group’s greatest-hits videos started flooding my feed again.
Recreational beheadings, cold-blooded mass executions, Sopranos-esque executions, 2Pac-style drive-by’s: the “Isis Gone Wild” YouTube videos are impossibly horrifying, yet somehow impossible not to watch. You can’t believe what you’re seeing because you saw it coming – because you saw it before – and so you click play anyway.
Many of the videos are posted by my disgruntled former platoon mates. They’re the same veterans who wondered, a couple months ago, whether it was all worth it 10 years earlier, what with it all going to hell again. We’re the same vets wondering today, what the hell took so long to do bomb the hell out of these guys?
So on Friday morning, I logged on to the usual nothingness of Facebook, and between the emoticons and selfies, the check-ins and the inspirational memes, there it was – and I actually couldn’t believe what happened next: US begins air strikes against Isis targets in Iraq.
About fucking time, I almost posted in a comment underneath.
Typically missing from the beating of the war drums is any sort of counter by an Iraq war veteran who opposes the new round of intervention and denounces the warmongering politicians and pundits as exactly the scum and vermin that they were in 2003 and continue to be in 2014 shouting for attacking Iraq. Providing exactly that sort of commentary in a scathing essay that literally must have burned the paint off of the walls between which it was written is a brilliant piece by the sort of veteran who understands patriotism in a way that our political class and it’s lackeys are incapable of doing.
The essay, entitled “Absolutely Nothing” was written by Jim Wright, a retired US Navy Chief Warrant Officer and Iraq war veteran who has a website named Stone Kettle Station. Mr. Wright’s work, in particular this piece – which a copy authorized by the author is posted at the linked to site – is of monumental importance in that he is one of those who was sent into battle by the scum who view our military people as in the words of Henry Kissinger – “dumb, stupid animals to be used” as pawns for foreign policy.
Jim Wright hits the bastards with both-barrels:
Sure, let’s go back to Iraq.
Oh, yes, let us do that.
I’ll dig out my uniform and strap on my pistol and gird up my sword and ride into battle yet again.
Just so long as Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and every single one of those powdered, Botoxed talking heads at Fox News are in the vanguard. That’s right, you cowards, you put on a uniform and you lead the charge this time around. The Koch brothers and Mitt Romney can pay for it, every goddamned penny, we’ll bleed them until they’re dry and then we’ll pull the gold fillings from their teeth to pay for it right along with the rest of their Wall Street cronies. You fuckers got rich off the last one, you can damned well pay for this one. And when you run out of money, we’ll take your blood, fair’s fair.
Strap John McCain into the cockpit of an A-4 Skyhawk and let him fly air cover.
If he gets himself shot down and taken prisoner again, well, you know what? Fuck him, leave him to the enemy because frankly his hate and bile and raging insanity have done more damage to this country than Bowe Bergdahl ever did.
The terrorists can keep him.
People like Jim Wright, veterans who actually had skin in the game – their skin need to be heard from and heard from loudly so as to denounce the chickenhawks of the political class and their chicken shit games in sending others off to die for the sake of their fucking political ambitions.They are armchair patriots, cowards and losers, has-beens and never-will bes, psychopaths and petty criminals, zealots and charlatans, loud-mouths and lap top bombardiers, bottom feeders and parasites and to a one of them they only want one thing – to cower behind their precious flag, using as it as a shield for their own repugnant indignities as they howl for the sons and daughters of American mothers to go and sacrifice their lives, their hopes and dreams for nothing more than ratings points ins some stupid and inconsequential fucking political poll.And most of all they are swine who serve a criminal war machine that is the American Empire of the New American Century. Fuck them all. Jim Wright deserves a seat at the table on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, CNN’s State of the Union, ABC’s This Week and every one of those sick electronic vomitories where wars are sold like toothpaste, soft drinks or erectile dysfunction pills to a captive audience of flag-waving schmucks and suckers.
As a military veteran myself, I served in the U.S. Navy during one of those extremely rare periods between wars there is nothing that I view that is as shameless and despicable than any of these political swine and vermin standing upon their nationalist soapboxes blathering like some crazed, piss-reeking miscreant outside of a German beer hall about opening that great big can of American whup ass and pouring it out on some hapless over-matched country.
Like Iraq – AGAIN!
Note: “Absolutely Nothing” excerpted with author’s permission
Donn Marten in Tampa, FL