Iraq Newspaper Propaganda

Aquarian Weekly 3/8/06 REALITY CHECK

PROPAGANDA FOR SALE – CHEAP!

Hot Off The PressesGood news! It turns out the U.S. government is going to continue to pay Arab newspapers to run pro-American propaganda after all. Despite weepy protests from jealous hometown reporters not on the pay roll, more erroneous stories out of the human lying-machine known as Scott McClellan, and the latest pile of steaming feces emanating from Donald Rumsfeld’s craw, things will continue as before. Huzzah for capitalism and free press! It’s time for this space to cash in.

I don’t know whose been previously penning these fancy fairy tales, but they lack a certain grit and verve only a seasoned veteran of journalism can provide. And not any journalist, but one with no discernable recognition of concepts like dignity or integrity, one that has little to no regard for facts, research, or general reporting skills, and one whose mere existence is up for sale to the highest bidder, regardless of crimes against humanity at large. Most importantly, one whose moral faculties are so severely damaged they can only be properly observed by the purest intent for mayhem.

Namely…me.

And so, the following is an audition to take over as the home office for world-class pro-war propaganda (cue the dramatic music). I have sent it to the U.S. Department of State/American Foreign Service Association (AFSA).

To whomever it may concern,

I am a big fan of your war. It is a fine war, possessing all the qualities of such: plenty of death and destruction without all the sappy tunes from that Second World War. I was never a big fan of “Over There”. But I digress already; for I am officially submitting my participation in this “yellow journalism” scam you got going over in Iraq. Not only that, I wish to run the entire thing, pick the editors and copy boys, set type, write the headlines, and buy drinks for all the secretaries. I am on board. Completely. And as a proponent of all things bullshit with no conscience to speak of, at least not one usually found in Homo sapiens, I believe I am the perfect fit for this gig.

Mad skills. Gutless pot shots. Questionable grammar. If I don’t get this job I’m off to the NY Post.

Now we all know, if you do your homework, you’ll see my byline over a great deal of, okay – reams of negative commentary on the mishandling of this war, a bunch of crazy stuff about the president being a stammering dunce and other immature anti-military ranting. But I beseech you, in the interest of our future endeavors, to ignore it all. I am a changed man, strike that, not entirely changed, for I still base my opining on who manages to benefit me the most, and if you pay me, that would be you guys. Trust me when I tell you that I am all for whatever dumb shit you’re trying this week. And I will gladly accept the job of making it seem feasible, even heroic in the face of the most pathetic failures.

Thus, to illustrate how I can passionately defend both sides of an argument, expertly ignoring any and all negative aspects of the opposing argument (I was a champion debater in both high school and college – taking the finals with the bold assertion that Abe Lincoln was a Portuguese lesbian – I still have my notes) I have included two potential leads, pro/con, for the U.S. Ports/United Arab Emirates issue.

AMERICA SAFER THAN EVER How The Almighty Dollar Saves Us All

The overtly bigoted attacks on an Arab nation and an Arab security concern cannot mask the importance of honoring free market exchange, regardless of who owns the companies. You’ve been hearing a great deal of sensible talk about how freedom is all well and good, but without our safety, it is non-existent. Trading in a few civil liberties for the right to enjoy freedom is the least we can sacrifice in these difficult times. But freedom and safety must take a back seat to money. Without money, what do you have? No money. And how would that sit with all our debtors and the billions we spend on bribing nations with weapons and handouts. Who the hell do you think pays for all this shit? Free enterprise, that’s what. And if the United Arab Emirates has earned its place in protecting our ports in a free enterprise system, then we must show the rest of the world how to make an honest buck. So now we should all shut up and go back to paying attention to the money pit that is Iraq.

Pretty nifty, huh? I especially like the way I wrapped it up by distracting everyone with a bigger problem. That’s what’s called a “tie-in” in the business, just one of the many buzzwords and axioms you get from a seasoned pro. But let’s say you’re not a fan of our ports being run by terrorist sympathizers. Check this out.

 

AMERICAN PORTS A SIEVE Another Sad Example OF How The Federal Government Blows

You want to know what should frighten us to the very core of our beings? The president is vehemently defending a deal he didn’t even know about until the Washington Post told him. Hey everybody, the Washington Post is running Foreign Relations! Cool. Now if we can just get the NY Times to balance the budget. I have a better idea, let’s get the Chinese to run the Central Intelligence Agency. Maybe those nuts who won the Palestinian election can take over the Secret Service. Perhaps then one of the highest members of our executive branch could make it through a weekend without shooting anymore of the elderly. And let’s try and remember this was the party that won a national election to protect us. It certainly wasn’t general competence, leadership, or economic wizardry. I guess its time we all move to states no one gives a shit about like Idaho or Montana and leave the port cities to the capitalist martyrs.

So there you have it. Mad skills. Gutless pot shots. Questionable grammar. If I don’t get this job I’m off to the NY Post. But before I conclude, I would like to thank you for your time and consideration. I think you guys are doing a bang-up job. Literally. So as a bonus, I leave you with additional pro-American headlines for no charge: SOCIAL SECURITY IS DOOMED & OTHER BUDGET SAVING SCHEMES FEMA & YOU: DON’T CALL US, WE’LL CALL YOU HOORAY FOR GOD! FIND BIN LADEN? WE’RE BUSY SPYING HELPS US HELP YOU TOM DELAY: WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? OUR MOTTO: THE LESS YOU KNOW, THE BETTER WE FUNCTION

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Dick Cheney Shooting

Aquarian Weekly 2/22/06 REALITY CHECK

DICK CHENEY – KING OF ALL MEDIA How The Powerful Can Easily Manipulate Information

Dick CheneyOkay, so the first shooting by a sitting vice president in over 200 years isn’t quite as exciting as Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton settling old scores with a pistol duel on the cliffs of Weehawken, New Jersey. We have a fat old bastard, probably drunk, definitely a shitty shot (now we know why all those military deferments during Viet Nam) peppering another possibly soused old fart while quail hunting. Rich dipshits hopping around with their cute little bird-shot guns blasting away at penned foul doesn’t have the same dramatic feel as two rankled patriots, in the prime of their forefather powers, pitched on the banks of the Hudson River, aiming cocked weapons at dawn over a blood feud of national politics and personal angst.

Hamilton didn’t make it. Dick Cheney’s victim, 78-year-old, Texas lawyer, and generous contributor to Republican coffers, Harry Whittington, most likely will. So it doesn’t even have the searing tragedy of a Massachusetts senator leaving a crocked date-rape candidate to drown in a lake.

It’s really not much of a story, even for a vice president: Big mistake by an idiot hunter. Happens all the time, but not enough. Besides, people get shot every few minutes in Texas. It’s state law.

The narrative gains momentum when it becomes painfully evident, once again, that the present administration, infamous for shutting out the press, making up convenient back-stories for obvious screw-ups, and clumsily handling of public relations after major blunders, decided it best to create a rousing farce out of an accident. At least that’s what it seemed to be, if you believe the snoozing White House press corps, who are still bitching about being jerked around like carney rubes.

I guess the lack of forthrightness on the part of the vice president might not look so bad if it weren’t surrounded by a litany of senate hearings and investigations regarding the administration’s mishandling of just about every possible event since it took the reigns in 2001.

The truth of it is the press, and vicariously the American people, were merely playthings for the Dick Cheney media manipulation machine, which began the second Whittington hit the ground. This vice president, like his president, doesn’t think we need to know whom our highest elected officials are shooting on weekends. It’s apparently none of our business, since we’re not paying his salary or this isn’t any kind of democracy we’ve got going here. In other words: Business as usual.

Cheney, as he has done countless times during his weak tenure as VP, disappears immediately following a crisis. He does not materialize before the authorities for 14 or so hours, not unlike Ted Kennedy missing 12 hours after he left a girl to die at Chappaquiddick. Had to get the story straight, or perhaps sober up. Whatever the reason, in the meantime, Cheney’s camp cherry-picks an old friend, and owner of the ranch where the shooting occurred, Katharine Armstrong, to contact the local paper and make a vaguely general announcement about an accident. An announcement, by the way, which initially blamed the poor bastard Cheney shot for being in the wrong spot, or some bizarrely concocted horseshit.

Next, it seemed, no one in Cheney’s employ thought it of any import to let the White House know the details for hours, which has caused more than a little rancor between the warring staffs of the vice president and his boss.

The following random series of misrepresentations, poorly presented to the laughably lazy and ill-informed White House press corps by White Press Secretary Scott McClellan starts to reek of cover-up. But there is no cover-up, just a spectacular parade of stupidity. In other words: Business as usual.

For days after the incident, McClellan appears to know less than nothing about facts or timelines or if the vice president had even bothered to talk to his president, which we find out days later, he did not. Then there is the complete silence by the shooter himself, who then decides to bare his soul to another handpicked media stooge on the home team FOXNEWS network.

Throughout the entire fiasco, the White House press corps blows a gasket, simply because they weren’t handed a story, as they usually are. “How could a local paper get the scoop over us? We’re entitled!” Bullshit. This is the same whining we heard from this clan over 30 years ago when a couple of cub reporters for the Washington Post were bringing down a president, while they gave the crooked bastard standing ovations on Air Force One.

Well, although some of it is hilarious, other parts tragic, and mostly confusing, the unfortunate incident bares out the alarmingly evasive behavior of this administration in its utter distain for the press, which, in turn, translates into its disdain for sharing anything with the American people, it’s liberal manipulation of reality, and the conspicuous transparency of its inability to simply function in any possible way, shape or form.

The Cheney shooting is sad and pathetic. Those who hate him will revel in it; those who defend him will make excuses for it, or in an ironic twist, pull the ol’ Clintonian: “We’re not going to belabor this minutia, but get back to the business of serving the American people”. Either way you carve it up, that is not our concern here.

What our concern is, and has always been, here at The Desk, is getting to the oft-ignored core of things. And the core of this thing is the way the Bush Administration has consistently displayed an unhinged quality to their governance, this repeated bungling of general tasks of executive branch duties, like protecting the borders, conducting a war, handling a crisis, both natural and political, and a faulty communication system that is at best sloppy, and at worst down-right dishonest.

Most of all, what the Cheney shooting incident and its aftermath frighteningly illustrates is the arrogance of power, and how an authoritative public official and the subject of a newsworthy event can create the story he wants the public to view, provide the news the way he wishes it to be perceived, and usher it along in a timeline of his choosing. This, my friends, is the very definition of fascism: “a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.”

I guess the lack of forthrightness on the part of the vice president might not look so bad if it weren’t surrounded by a litany of senate hearings and investigations regarding the administration’s mishandling of just about every possible event since it took the reigns in 2001.

In other words: Business as usual.

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Religious Extremism vs. Free Speech

Aquarian Weekly 2/15/06 REALITY CHECK

LOONY TOONS Another Sordid Tale of Religious Extremism vs. Free Speech

Hip-hip Allah!And kill them wherever you find and catch them. Drive them out from where they have turned you out; for Al-Fitnah (polytheism, disbelief, oppression) is worse than slaughter. – Qur’an 2:191

True revolutionaries never bomb buildings. – Dan Bern

Just when you think you’ve written about the dumbest, most illogically asinine subjects known to modern man, this happens: Months ago some Danish newspaper prints satirical cartoons depicting Muslims and their fancy prophet Mohammad in a “bad” light. Initially, no one gives a shit. Then riled up clerics take a fieldtrip around the Middle East with the things, along with additional non-published heretical material to raise the collective ire. Extremist Muslims, who need little motivation to do so, predictably freak out. Threaten violence. Wreak violence – big time violence and destruction. And what are the predominant responses to this whole pile of steaming sociological horse hockey and babbling religious fanaticism? Defend the vicious protestors or bow to fear. We truly are living in an age of enlightenment and intellect, I’ll tell ya.

Let me begin by respectfully stating that what Islamic loons do on their own time with their own set of wacky dogma is their business. I have been pretty consistent on this issue with Christianity, Judaism, Scientology, Wicca, the Promise Keepers, the Branch Davidians, Jim Jones, those desert hippies who worship The Burning Man, whatever. Believe what you will. We’re all proud of you. But what any of it has to do with a free press or freedom of expression in purported free societies is anyone’s guess. Although who the hell knows what goes on in Europe these days, where Muslims carrying a grudge against the British government can be deported or some insanely illegal shit.

We have to quake because Muslims are pissed at their icons being battered in art and/or satire? How about someone from the State Department getting upset that apoplectic religious freaks are running amok over a goddamn cartoon?

And as far as ultra-violent activity in the Middle East…well, who really needs a cartoon for this to go down anyway. A stiff breeze and a burp could buy you weeks of flag-burning, chant-addled frenzy in a dozen theocratic monarchies. Let’s face it, after awhile its white noise and test patterns; the boy who cried riot.

Normally I wouldn’t even get too crazy about this brand of raging stupidity until it reaches these shores. But now we hear American newspapers are backing down from printing the cartoon and network news organizations are blotting out the images in its reports, despite the clear fact that it is news – big time news. And then there is the case of the United States government, which, by the way, is on a well-documented mission from God to spread freedom and enlightenment throughout the world, making mind-bendingly goofy statements.

To wit:

Our State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper: “These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims. We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression, but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable.”

Bullshit.

How is it that Christian icons and Jewish Biblical Characters are fair game in print, film, music, art, comedy, and not Mohammad? Because we don’t know shit about Islam and are infinitely afraid all Muslims are crazy or this confused white bread government of ours has depicted most of the Islamic world as radical hate-mongers of freedom, while also conveniently passing lip service to the “normal and peace loving members of Islam”?

Honestly, who cares if Muslims are offended? Boo hoo. Get a helmet. Have we gone complete off the rails with this religion crap now? We have to quake because Muslims are pissed at their icons being battered in art and/or satire? How about someone from the State Department getting upset that apoplectic religious freaks are running amok over a goddamn cartoon?

Of course this is another superlative example of why George W. Bush should be sent to prison for using the United States military to now force-feed the Middle East democratic ideals. We should have sent Snoopy in as an emissary.

Here’s the argument from the other side: Muslims are prohibited from depicting or creating renderings of Allah or Mohammad in any way, good, bad, or otherwise. It is an anathema to their customs and beliefs. Well, once again, goodie for them. But what in the name of all that is holy and idiotic does this have to do with the Danish Press or the French Press or certainly the First Amendment laws of the United States of America?

Another salient question at this juncture might be: Were the people who wrote, drew and/or published these cartoons even Muslim? If not, what are we getting nuts about? What’s next, everyone at the New York Times is now forbidden to eat meat on Friday or the entire editorial staff at the Washington Post has to be home by sundown later that afternoon? Maybe we should let Billy Graham run NBC news.

Hey, I’m well aware that people who make the most noise and break the most things get their way on this planet. This is business as usual, like religious violence. The Crusades and the Holocaust are fine examples of forcing religion on others and the persecution of religious cultures. But have we learned nothing from their fanatical crimes? This is 2006. Why are religious fundamentalists even allowed to debate this subject, much less burn and pillage unchecked and then defended in the press?

I’m offended. How about that? I worship at the altar of free speech and expression. And these lunatics are trampling all over it. But that’s not new. That kind of God reasoning for wreaking havoc on everything is as old as it is crazy. But it doesn’t make it right, and it is even less right to apologize or give into virulent oppression. Believe what you want. Fine by me. But keep it to yourself.

Of course I have my doubts 90% of these maniacs give half a fart about Mohammad anyway. How many of those conveniently enraged fuckers stealing televisions and ransacking grocery stores during the Rodney King riots had even heard of Rodney King?

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Hooray For Hamas!

Aquarian Weekly 2/8/06 REALITY CHECK

HOORAY FOR HAMAS! The Gory Truth About Arab Politics

In ChargeDemocracy does not guarantee equality of conditions – it only guarantees equality of opportunity. – Irving Kristol

Democracy is only a dream: it should be put in the same category as Arcadia, Santa Claus, and Heaven. – H.L. Mencken

The misguided dream of democracy’s positive influence in the Middle East has been severely wounded, at least a positive influence that favors the United States. It turns out to be gangbusters for the Evil Doers, however. This is the problem with democracy, you can’t always control it – something the Bush Administration doesn’t know anything about. Just ask the poor suckers who voted for Franklin Pierce in the ill-fated 1852 election, which speed-tracked the Civil War or the duped architects of the doomed Richard Nixon experiment, which ended in mass corruption and disgrace.

We used to be good at fixing elections around here – bloodless coups and handy assassinations. Now we wait for the other guy to decide. Not a good idea. Hey, too bad Jeb Bush wasn’t running the West Bank. But, alas, sing all the songs of freedom and power to the people you like, a democratically decided election for power in Palestine has been handed over to terrorists. And anyone not seeing this as a reflection of the coming hordes to run Iraq is either not paying attention or still digests the gooey swill being pumped from the White House as something other than fiction.

The people have spoken. The system works. It just doesn’t work out well for us, and it is a bad sign of things to come. But it is a good sign for those who have America’s true interests at heart; not this obsessively dangerous need to have revisionist history pass for a foreign policy, as it has for these past few years. The nonsense had to end eventually, as all nonsenses do. And Hamas may have ended it.

This is the political equivilant of showing up at a Christian Brothers retreat and being molested by Hell’s Angels.

Hamas, effective and deadly Arab mayhem marauders long before it became chic to pay attention to terrorists, having gained governing power in Palestine is the worst possible result for anything the United States has been trying to accomplish in the Middle East since 9/11. Period. This is not debatable. Don’t try. It is so bad it defies a viable discussion of details or the obligatory postulating of silver-lined clouds, as in, “Hey, at least the dinner china was fancy on the Titanic.”

Believe me, I have mulled over the idea that once in charge Hamas will be forced to act responsibly and spend its time caring for its citizenry and concentrating on its country’s infrastructure, and not so much on wiping out Israel or being the home office of anti-American hoo-ha. This is what our president, the draftsman of this doomed war-addled audible in Iraq would like you to believe. Yeah, and when Saddam Hussein was in charge he was soooo distracted by human rights and economic issues he couldn’t possibly be a threat.

There is gullible, and then there is being a slobbering dumb fuck. The above reasoning is aimed at the latter.

The reason Hamas defeated the restructured skeleton of the late Yasser Arafat’s flaccid Fatah Party is that it is not interested in peace processes or posturing negotiations to get invited to fancy White House soirees. It espouses a deep-seated hatred for Jews, a Jewish homeland, and the big money that non-theocracies like America sends to them without faking all the nice-nice. This election seals it. Hamas, and the 70% of Palestinians it now represents, has little use in negotiating any kind of peace with Israel, and worse still, harbors an infinite jones to wipe it, and all of the Jewish populace, off the map.

One of Hamas’ giddy victors, Mushir al-Masri recently announced, “Negotiations with Israel are not on our agenda.” Followed by the heartwarmingly diplomatic, “Recognizing Israel is not on the agenda either now.”

Things have already gotten wacky over there since the election. And one thing the United States does not want to see is increased wackiness in Israel now. Not with Ariel Sharon in a coma and the IDF chomping at the bit to rape and pillage. And they will rape and pillage, Jack. And you know what would be the wet dream of every member of al Qaeda? Israeli soldiers mass-murdering Palestinians. Then the whole Arab world is in.

Holy shit. What a disaster. This is the political equivilant of showing up at a Christian Brothers retreat and being molested by Hell’s Angels.

It’s the flipside of this hippy dream our government whipped up when it turned out Hussein was lying about being the big shot on the block to keep the Iranians from invading him. America was going to spread love and cheer throughout the Middle East! Freedom and liberty, choices for the people! Thomas Jefferson lives!

So now that the bad guys get all the votes, our governement decides not to recognize Hamas’ victory as legitimate. That’s a funny way of defining freedom. It’s kind of like how things are going over here, narrow definitions of freedom. Freedom this and freedom that. Then we wiretap the citizens. Lip service. The only freedom this government of ours is interested in is the kind of freedom that keeps it running smoothly in the global monoply game its created.

When you couple this with the political landscape of Iran right now, you get the feeling the whole free elections thing is a bust with Irab nations fueled by an entrenched loathing for the western world. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the Islamic theocracy in Iran, is the greatest enemy to sanity this side of Allah. These crazy motherfukcers are gearing up the nuclear arsenal. This is what the majority of Iranians want. This is democracy. This is freedom.

It just isn’t what the United States or its government or its boy president wants.

You better watch what you push for, bub. Sometimes the lady is a tramp.

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Judging Alito

Aquarian Weekly 1/25/06 REALITY CHECK

JUDGING ALITO The Harsh Truth About The Soon-To-Be New Supreme Court Judge

Sam AlitoA man should not strive to eliminate his complexes, but to get into accord with them; they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world. – Sigmund Freud

Here’s all you need to know about Supreme Court nominee, Sam Alito: He worked for Ed Meese. Probe and poke this guy all you want, present self-serving congressional speechifying masqueraded as inquiry and even rummage through his garbage while you’re at it. But you certainly don’t need any Senate hearings, least of all this badly formed farce the Democrats staged last week. I have always felt you learn more about a man by examining his friends and associates. I prefer to run with the outlaw mind myself, that and the artist mentality. I don’t like anyone to appear normal or functioning around me for more than an afternoon, except in the case of my publisher, for whom I have volumes of hate mail and a pending law, but that is a tale for another day.

For the most part, I support the socially deranged. This says all you need to know about how things run around here. Alito supports the criminal element; specifically constitutional marauders like Ed Meese, one of the most corrupt and damaged creatures ever to serve as Attorney General, and believe me, when considering the long and painful rogue’s gallery therein, it is an achievement like no other. Make your call about Alito from his long law record; I shall take this one to the bank.

It doesn’t matter how conservative Alito is, he’s damn conservative, a guaranteed stone-cold Barry Goldwater conservative; women in the kitchen, God in the living room, and all free thought channeled through a red, white and blue fairy land, but not too fairy land – people will talk. Turns out this court needs a conservative voice to balance the debate anyway. It stands now at four (liberals: Stevens, Souter, Breyer, Ginsburg) against four (conservatives: Scalia, Thomas, Roberts) with one moderate, Anthony Kennedy.

I have always felt you learn more about a man by examining his friends and associates.

Kennedy will be the all-important pivot on key hot-button issues, a position currently held by Sandra Day O’Connor. The pivot will swing left and then right. No telling where he will end up. Kennedy swings left: Prayer at high school graduations? No. Roe v. Wade? Yes. Flag-burning? Cool. Sodomy ban? Nah. Then he swings right: 2000 Florida vote, Bush v. Gore? Stop the recount! Partial-birth abortion ban? Good. Affirmative-action quotas? No. Boy Scouts banning of gays? Why not?

Kennedy is the wild card here, not Alito. He is conservative, yes, but this doesn’t bother me. People have to believe what they believe and will interpret everything through that prism. You can’t alter nature. However, it does bother me that the man spent quality time around a monster like Ed Meese, much less work for him.

And not only did Alito work for Meese, he lied to get the gig, said he chaired some atavistic Princeton club that tried to ban women and keep privileged white boys in charge of the weekend keggers. At least he said he lied, or beefed up the resume for the old man. He could never abide such extremist lunacy. Not him. Either way, Alito knew Meese would eat up that kind of anti-subversive stuff. It made the cranky bastard horny to think of women as cattle and free expression as a virus that needed to be eradicated. Alito took orders from this goon, and that should be a problem for anyone judging his character.

I heard Pat Buchanan joke the other day that Alito was being treated as though he were in the dock at the Nuremberg trials. Truth is this is no joke, but that’s cool, because anyone who took orders from a fascist lunatic like Ed Meese needs to be grilled like a Nazi sympathizer. Let’s put it this way, I heard a lot of nonsense during the 2004 presidential campaign about the Bush people being Nazis and Bush some kind of defacto Hitler. This was wrong. Not so with Meese, whose mutated freak genes make assholes like John Ashcroft and Dick Cheney look like cheap hoods.

But I didn’t hear much about this somber fact while Democrats conducted these latest Senate hearings, always chock full of political spite and vigor. You wonder sometimes if the Democrats even remember what it was like to wield real power. Listening to Joe Biden grill Alito is akin to watching in sad horror as some ex-jock waxes poetic about his glory days half drunk and weeping uncontrollably into his worn-out varsity jacket. That’s why these guys give 40-minmute soliloquies when they’re supposed to be reviewing a candidate’s law record – no one pays attention anymore.

It’s over. So over. And pretty soon when these hearings are a quaint memory and Alito takes his chair in the highest court in the land, they’ll all go back to their cushy offices and pray to whatever god they buy into that mid-America looses its collective minds and votes for a woman in three years, because no matter how damaged this Bush Administration abortion is or how corruptible this current Congress is, things will not shift in 2006.

Alito? He can endure being the Democrats punching bag for a while. The gig is worth it. But soon he will have to face down the demons that have followed him since his days on the wall with Master Meese. Or not. Most likely it will be not.

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Sirius Radio & The Death of the FCC

Aquarian Weekly 1/18/06 REALITY CHECK

I HAVE A DREAM Why Satellite Radio Will Crush The FCC

Howard SternNever lose sight of the fact that all human felicity lies in man’s imagination, and that he cannot think to attain it unless he heeds all his caprices. The most fortunate of persons is he who has the most means to satisfy his vagaries. – Marquis de Sade

Don’t be told what you want Don’t be told what you need There’s no future no future No future for you. – Sex Pistols

My feel-good wish for the New Year is to witness the mortal wounding of the FCC. I don’t expect it to flat-line, but it needs to bleed, terminally, perhaps a day or two in intensive care on the critical list. “Doesn’t look good, doctor, contact the next of kin.” No cure. Have a nice day. It was good to know ya.

Dare I?

It has been my fuzzy little dream for decades, but now it can actually come to wondrous fruition with the emergence of satellite radio. With Howard Stern’s debut on Sirius Radio this past week, along with most of the subject-specific programming available to subscribers for $12 a month, there appears to be a real sense that things will loosen up on the old traditional airwaves; finally freeing up Marconi’s instrument of destruction for more penetrating and corruptible behavior.

There have been some who’ve opposed smut radio, shock jocks, and certain levels of discerning demographics of music programming, as well as the odd slice of controversial and biting subject matter for the darker souls among us. And they now claim victory. They say kicking the likes of a Howard Stern off the air and onto pay radio at least takes him away from being available to everyone. And I would applaud their perspective. Whatever shuts these cretins up is fine by me. Because the only thing that matters in radio is ratings, which translates into advertising muscle and then the all-important product-placement dollars.

The idea that commercial radio was invented to serve the populace and/or the greater good is as infantile and naive as assuming big-time college sports creates school spirit while maturing young citizens may learn fair play and teamwork or that television and the Internet would become super tools of education, enlightenment, while promoting evolved thought. Nothing exists without it garnishing a buck in this country, nothing worth a shit to the masses anyway. Nothing anyone would pay attention to or that you might receive without sending out search parties.

It doesn’t need to be regulated. People don’t watch it, it goes away. Simple as that. No muss. No fuss.

Radio, television, newspapers, et al, exist only to sell products, period. Not to promote agenda or serve the citizenry, but to sell cars, beer, loads of corporate junk and other things bottom line. Advertising is where the money is in these mediums. Very few make a serious buck in broadcasting. Advertising. Marketing. All that crap. That’s where the money is.

So, think about it: If people are willing to pony up cash to listen to the radio, like they currently do to watch cable television or, say, rent films or use high-speed Internet, there will be someone around to exploit it for dollars. And that’s how change comes along in this country: Cash. Cold, hard, and handy cash. The rest is white noise and head patting.

Why are listeners abandoning free radio to pay for it? The money people will want to know this. The product hawks and Madison Avenue geeks have to know. And they will know all too soon, believe me. Then they will do something about it.

You know why the number one television show in the country is “Desperate Housewives”? Because “Sex in the City” kicked ass on HBO, that’s why. You think for one minute a racy show like “Desperate Housewives” gets anywhere near network television without some joker in a power tie saying, “Jesus Jumping Christ in a Blanket, Jack, have you seen the numbers that middle-aged woman sex romp is doing on HBO? Let’s get us one of those!”

“But, Bill, we’ll never get that garbage past standards and practices, we’ll get hate mail and threats by the Catholic League of Freakazoids!”

“Let’s see what Pepsi and Nike and Home Depot has to say about that, Jack. How about Ford and Honda and Budweiser and Coors?”

“Holy Shit, Bill! It’s a goddamn go!”

All these “CSI” shows? Cable. “Six Feet Under”, “The Sopranos”, even that hilariously consistent Larry David thing; all of them have been co-opted by network TV, and not one of them would have made it past secretaries five years ago. No way. All these Reality Shows everywhere? MTV’s “The Real Life”.

Network TV is now not merely a landscape littered with dirt and grime, exploitation and sex, sex, sex, with just the right amount of violence thrown in; it’s pretty much home base. And that’s great, if that’s what people want. And it’s quite obvious they want it big time. Otherwise it would go away. It doesn’t need to be regulated. People don’t watch it, it goes away. Simple as that. No muss. No fuss.

All these righteous fuckers who voted for George W. Bush to push the God agenda last year are the same ones tuning into this crap weekly, in big numbers, far bigger numbers than go to any voting booth. These people yell and scream about Hollywood and rap music and violence and sex and then turn around and lap this stuff up in record numbers. And again, that’s good. A free society should measure what the populace wants. Television has always been a good source for that. Television, fast food, speed banking, cosmetics, diet pills, booze and technological doo-dads; it’s the melting pot, really.

It’s like these ubiquitous ultra-violent video games; you think these things would survive without tons of people buying them? No is the answer to that one. And, once again, that’s a good thing. If that’s what people want, and it’s not hurting anyone, then fine.

Here’s where satellite radio grants my wish: Once advertisers realize the windfall of subscribers ponying up cash to listen to Lesbian donkey humping, then the reigns will be loosened on the ol’ squawk box and perhaps then can we have a completely free society unhampered by non-elected shit heels manipulated by loony soccer moms and mid-western preachers. The free air will then finally be free.

And pretty soon we’ll be hearing all sorts of fucks and shits everywhere.

And if people want it, then fine.

Everyone has to have a dream. This is mine: The death of the FCC.

Thanks for helping folks.

Happy New Year!

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Shiites To Win Iraq Election

Aquarian Weekly 12/29/05 REALITY CHECK

MANIFEST DESTINY MADE EASIER THROUGH MODERN CHEMISTRY

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “Thereby I became the supreme judge of the German people.” – Adolf Hitler June 30, 1934

“In Islam, the legislative power and competence to establish laws belong exclusively to God Almighty.” – Ayatollah Khomeini

The abuse of LSD at the New York Times has reached epidemic proportions. I happen to know it isn’t just at the print level anymore, but management and editorial staff have now imbibed beyond any definition of recreational consumption. Tripping has become a prerequisite for Times’ columnists. William Safir has perfected the art of soaking bandanas in pure Delysid and Maureen Dowd is so far gone she has allegedly told friends of plans to spike the D.C. water supply on New Year’s Eve. “I think the best thing for Donald Rumsfeld is acid!” Dowd was heard screaming over the phone this past week. “Acid or suicide!”

What kind of madness would prompt me, or any rational person to write such profane nonsense? Acid? I think not. I’m no fan of mind expansion. Not nearly as much as blotting out one’s fantasies with gin or something stronger, and then sitting at the keyboard and regurgitating this crap weekly. But it is all true, or at least as true as the evidence would suggest. And that is all that is needed today. Evidence. For Barry Bonds or Tom Friedman. Smells like teen spirit? Smells like liberal bias?

This is why the Times has never understood George W. Bush. The president is a cokehead. He has all the tendencies: paranoia, overt machismo, a painful inability to construct coherent thoughts verbally, and a penchant to scratch his groin incessantly without shame. Only a serious speed freak would continue to describe what is happening in Iraq as progress. And only acid junkies would comment so blindly that there is some kind of insidious US plan for a bloodless coup in that mess.

Puppet regimes in the waiting?

Not likely.

The American government is being duped by Iran, which now all but controls the fate of the coming January election. Not even what is left of the CIA can stop it. Any clear-thinking person without agenda or chemical dependency in the know understands this. Soon the Shiites will be in charge. They will take orders from Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and ask the Americans to leave, thank you very much. And all of Saddam Hussein’s nightmares will come true. He will be tried by the western infidels while the very same Iranians the United States paid him to keep at bay will run amok in his charred palaces, toasting his jailing.

People paid good money to practice journalism still possess the stones to ask why the hell Hussein kept refusing to reveal he had no weapons, even with the threat of US agression. The answer is simple. Either lie to the UN or risk letting the Iranians know he was a paper tiger and take him out. Americans seem to care about women and children and hospitals and taking prisoners. This is of little concern to Iranians. It was a fair trade off. Hussein knew, as the CIA, that if it were the Iranians pouring over the border, the grand poobah’s head would have been on a spike, instead of getting a lice exam on CNN.

Elections are funny things. Sometimes they’re on the up and up, and sometimes the dead walk and pistols are brandished. Sometimes candidates bug offices and other times their soup is poisoned. Sometimes there is The Night of Long Knives and things go awry.

Now the politicos, or whatever they call themselves in Tehran these days see daylight with this hamstrung election next month, and soon the bloody hands of the American president will be asked to shake with the men who will plot 9/11 Part Deux and the US will have to convince the rest of the planet how we have to gut the whole goddamned thing again.

And this will all be done legally through an election.

At least that is how it will appear. Elections are funny things. Sometimes they’re on the up and up, and sometimes the dead walk and pistols are brandished. Sometimes candidates bug offices and other times their soup is poisoned. Sometimes there is The Night of Long Knives and things go awry.

I see what is transpiring in Iraq right now, and although it resembles no real Euro-historical perspective outside the homoganized white-man’s Bible being peddled in Alabama currently or the drive-by that offed Francis Ferdinand, I am reminded of old-time politics. Not Richard Daley strong-arm street-whipping kind of politics. I’m talking Aaron Burr unloading a fatal pistol shot into Alexander Hamilton to decide the fate of New York kind of politics. Old time, real hard, skull-cracking, back-door fighting, western world type of politics: George Bush’s kind of politics. That is what will decide Iraq.

No amount of heavy hallucinogenics can change this. The Times need to get on board. This isn’t the 1980s’ when Noriega was Reagan’s bitch and Ed Meese was paying cash to have the Contra boys skinned for post card stills. It’s 21st century thinking. We break it and the nearest Arab power buys it. Fair play.

It’s coming.

And if you happen to be unlucky enough to find yourself in the reserves right now, you better hope it comes in January. This way you don’t have to spend the rest of your natural life in the desert keeping a third of the populace from surviving the crazed and armed majority that wishes to nab the oil and make deals with the Iranians so they can blow Israel off the map.

Big doings in Baghdad, momma, stay tuned!

Who cares if the Secretary of Defense is booed like Andy Dick at a military PR conference? He has no fucking clue what is about to go down. He wants to exit the big town with his balls intact. The president is his biggest fan. The Times is not. This is not exactly shocking developments in perspective, like those self-righteous commentators hammering away at NBA players doling out beatings to assholes in Detroit. Let’s face it; some sports fans need a beating, and most elections don’t go your way.

Most of us learned this in Journalism 101.

Rumsfeld is sacked and some other jack-booted kill-freak will grow in his place. It is a biological imperative. It has nothing to do with politics. It is the way of the jackal. The way we now move.

Bitching about voter malfeasance in Ohio will sound like teenaged girl whimpering when the polls close in Fallujah. That’s about when the Tehranist strong arms track down what’s left of Hussein’s palace guard and disembowel them alive on Al Jazeera television accompanied by classic Buster Keaton scores.

And that’s when you’ll know we’ve won.

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The Iraq Papers Volume V

Aquarian Weekly 12/28/05 REALITY CHECK

The Iraq Papers Part VINVISIBLE & PARALYZEDHow The Democrats Are Unable To Cash In On Tragedy

Hillary ClintonThe following is the final of five segments tying together the loose ends of a fantastic load of misinformation, propaganda, media hype and revisionist history surrounding what is now being dubbed the worst war effort in the 229 years of this republic. Today we wonder where the hell is America’s “other” political party as the Republicans lay waste to the Iraq Situation? What is their plan for sparking debate and changing the direction? Where is the loyal opposition in a system fixed to rely on only two? And the obligatory – What the hell is going on here?

Do you know what the biggest dilemma in the Iraq War is – aside from the endless murder and criminal lack of planning of course: There is no alternative to the madness. And do you know why? We have a two-party system, and one of those parties is crippled by inertia and has shown no backbone by parading weak candidates offering limp rebuttals and providing nothing in the way of a suitable opposing voice. This is the point of democracy, especially in time of war. And not since John Adams’ poorly fabricated Alien Sedition Acts of 1798 has political dissent been so patently abused in this country. Any intelligent, well-informed dink can expect blind jingoistic tripe from the citizens of a wounded nation, but when perpetuated by a dumbstruck press and a worthless minority party in Washington things can go frightfully awry.

Robert Kennedy was the last legitimate anti-war candidate this nation has produced. George McGovern doesn’t count. He never counted, which is why the Nixon people did cartwheels when he emerged as an opponent in ’72, four years after RFK was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, and was summarily whipped like a redheaded stepchild. Kennedy had a chance to stop the Viet Nam War, because he helped form it. But we’ll never know. And chances are pretty good that had Howard Dean, the only anti-war candidate beside Ralph Nader in 2004, had not imploded in Internet illusions and well-documented crimson-faced hysteria he would have likely been beaten worse than John Kerry.

But at least Dean spoke out against the war. He had no real plan, but he wasn’t “on the fence” or talking about “voting for before he voted against” or some other Johnnie Cochranesque flimflammery. So the Democrats, having been dispatched as the party of the futilely weak and bewildered, appointed Dean its chairman. But aside from a “Daily Show” appearance and the odd fundraiser speech, where the hell is he? Even with John Murtha’s call for an exit strategy, there has been little to no response from Capital Hill Democrats.

Jesus, let’s completely hand the government over to the Saudi monarchy and end all suspicion.

Oh, and Ted Kennedy doesn’t count either. He counts less than McGovern ever did. Kennedy is a murderer and lying sack of pigeon shit and he should be in prison. The fact that he’s allowed to keep a job, any job, in a freethinking society speaks volumes about the state of Massachusetts’s government and can best explain why the 2004 Kerry presidential campaign was run like a Marx Brothers skit.

Fundamentally, no one in three years has stepped up to strongly oppose this war, or offer alternative solutions. Mainly because nearly every Democrat voted for it, and as stated in Part One of our series, they were all correct in doing so. It was a UN decree defied by a madman and things had come to a head. A decade of threats was useless and America wanted blood. Congress more or less exists to enact the will of the people. Sometimes that will is misguided and stupid, but just the same, it’s in the job description. But accusing members of congress for bandwagon jumping is too easy. Instead we accuse them of bowing to fear. And because of that fear they have been George W. Bush’s bitches for too long and its time to suck it up.

And by sucking it up nobody means sending Hillary Clinton to the slaughter. This would be considered merely sucking. I don’t care how much money this woman has, she is a liberal and has a vagina and will not win a single southern or mid-western state, and may even lose key states Kerry barely carried. Has no one in the Democratic Party paid attention to voting results the past few years? Liberal? Woman? Why don’t they send Osama bin Laden’s corpse to New Hampshire? Couldn’t be any worse.

Look, I never vote Democrat or Republican, and I probably won’t even join the charade in 2008, but realistically, if the Republicans are left in charge for another half-decade, you might as well ready your muskets. Seriously. Hillary Clinton? She’s not even anti-war. She’s spent so much time warming up her moderate rhetoric she’s not sure what the hell she is. Most importantly Dean hates her guts and he runs the party. So what will come of this shit, another droning fop from the senate? Jesus, let’s completely hand the government over to the Saudi monarchy and end all suspicion.

All right, so forget the Hillary nightmare for a moment and get back to reality. I beg Democrats, when one of you with enough balls finally does come out to make noise like Senators Chuck Schumer or Joe Biden, please stop saying this whole thing is as bad as Viet Nam. It’s just sad and wrong. It’s like people calling Bush a Nazi or writing that Joe McCarthy was a hero. Leave the shock value to Hip Hop and get down to concepts we can use.

Factoring in the cost of living and time alone, Viet Nam is Numero Uno. Viet Nam was long. Very long. Scary long. It was so long it’s hard to effectively calculate without a NASA brain. It was also far more nonsensical strategically and politically. The very fact that this country, far more financially solvent and powerful in the world arena then, quibbled over a patch of land in South East Asia would be incredibly hilarious if it weren’t tragically pathetic and horribly criminal. Fear and stupidity got us in, and ill-planning and badly run planning bogged us down and sent us home bloody, fractured, embarrassed losers.

Sound familiar?

This is the only parallel between the Iraq War and the Viet Nam conflict, which wasn’t even technically a war, since it was never sanctioned legally by congress. It likely killed one president and crippled two more. This thing here while equally born of fear and stupidity and as badly planned and executed needs much more time and death and money and riots to make the grade. This war has only linked two presidents, who happened to be related, but will only sink one.

Which brings us illogically back to the Democrats, who, as a group, seem horribly incapable of mounting a challenge. And it will mean everything this time, because if the house and/or senate can be divided politically, there will be higher levels of investigations and trials and maybe even a nifty impeachment again. Yippee!

This makes my job fun.

But as far as ending any war, I think not.

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The Iraq Papers Volume IV

Aquarian Weekly 12/21/05 REALITY CHECK

The Iraq Papers Part IVSURREALISM SAFETY BRIGADE Uncovering The Fairy Tale Of Protecting America Through War

Paper Weight?The following is Part IV of five segments tying together the loose ends of a fantastic load of misinformation, propaganda, media hype and revisionist history surrounding what is now being dubbed the worst war effort in the 229 years of this republic. Today we have the unenviable task to remind our readers that despite billions of their tax dollars spent, many of their civil rights compromised and some of their friends and/or family members dead or crippled in war, we are not only not safer, but in more danger than before 9/11/01.

During the laff riot that was the 2004 presidential election campaign there was a great deal of discussion on the Iraq War: Is it protecting the nation by taking the fight to the terrorists or is it creating a larger terrorist network? Both of these theories have been more or less debunked by the less impassioned and easily duped among us. There was only a need for this country, as mentioned in Part II of this series, to be involved in the first war with Iraq to accomplish a polarization of our enemies. Anything else has been merely icing on the cake, as it were. And the idea that we are any safer by engaging in skirmishes with religious wackos in a faraway desert is also patently false.

You might also recall hearing a great deal of posturing about which party and which candidate could best protect you and your family. All of it was utter nonsense by both sides of the political spectrum. This space is on record as suggesting that at the very least the present administration had effectively shown no ability to protect the nation’s borders, so that was an easy one. Who knew what the new guy was proposing? We doubted he knew. We just figured anything has to better than having our citizens murdered. But, as it turned out, the administration the nation chose to continue the job of protecting us was a mistake. That is no longer opinion…it’s fact.

In July of 2004, nearly three full years after the attacks of 9/11, some16 months after the start of the resultant Iraq War, and literally billions of tax dollars later, the band-aid outfit called the 9/11 Commission sought to find reason and place blame for failed responsibilities and pitch suggestions for those responsible to never fail again. Reason? Pick one of many. Blame? No one really got blamed for anything. Well, they may have been blamed, but not a whole lot was done about it. And what about the latter issue of setting a more stringent security agenda in motion? Snake eyes.

Turns out not only Democrats are dumb, arrogant pussies. Step right up; we’ve got ourselves an issue that crosses party lines, a bonafide bipartisan think tank of incompetence.

In its final report, the 10-member group comprised of five Democrats and five Republicans produced a wildly acclaimed 567-page report with 41 precise recommendations to shore up national security. Everyone cheered, the president praised it and congress did a collective somersault of glee. But just last week, a year and a half later, this same group reconvened to register a report card on the federal government’s efficiency, or lack thereof, in administering said recommendations. None of it was good. In fact, it was downright frighteningly atrocious.

The commission’s chairman, Thomas Kean, former Republican governor of New Jersey backed up the “F”-addled document with this statement: “It’s not a priority for the government right now. More than four years after 9/11 people are not paying attention. God help us if we have another attack.”

The good news is there was one A- out of 41 grades. That’s pretty good. Hey, at least no more buildings came down.

Kean went on to use such words as “scandalous” and “appalling” to further describe the comically tragic results of the grading. It could not be worse, suggested Kean and his angered colleagues, if nothing had happened on 9/11. In other more staggeringly pathetic terms: we are less safe now than before we were hit. And we’re all poorer for it as well – poorer financially, ideologically, politically, legally and militarily. Oh, and there’s some dying going on in Iraq too, Americans and Iraqis and contractors and newsmen, etc.

Not safer.

Worse off.

Now anyone who has read a sentence of this space’s lunacy over the past years knows we despise these reports and hearings and commissions and recommendations. They’re political masturbation and another fashionable sinkhole for our tax dollars. Hardly any citizens really pay attention to these things and they rarely affect legislation or voting trends, but I gotta tell ya, this ain’t good for Republicans no matter which way you slice it.

Not safer.

Or as safe.

Worse.

Much worse.

And this would be easier to swallow if the present government wasn’t filled with tough talking hawks and macho loons. The budget is a mess. We’re in serious debt. The economy isn’t disastrous, but it ain’t thriving by any stretch of the imagination. The crazy social agenda of Conservative Ideals and Values is preposterously silly, even for these cretins, but not being safe? Wasn’t that the sole and binding reason to voting for these jack-offs? That and it was a God thing.

Secure. Safe. These are the buzzwords of the Republican excuse machine, and it all turns out to be a big fat fabrication. Turns out not only Democrats are dumb, arrogant pussies. Step right up; we’ve got ourselves an issue that crosses party lines, a bonafide bipartisan think tank of incompetence.

And if you think I’m going to waste precious slamming space listing these government oversights, think again. There’s a lot of stuff about the failure to have clear communications between local authorities and federal ones like what went down in Louisiana a few months back and freeing up radio waves for federal instruction announcements and allocating funds properly. Apparently, and this is a funny one, much of the New Jersey national security funds for 2004 went to air-conditioned garbage trucks. I know I feel safer now.

I’ll trust my hearty readers to sniff out the report and struggle to keep the jaw from dropping. Fuck it, go here: www.9-11pdp.org/press/2005-12-05_report.pdf.

Suffice to say after reading the thing if you’d like to attempt a sunny dissertation on the subject we’re all for it. Yeah, I’m pretty sure some idiot will write me: “Hey, there were some B and C grades on there!” Okay, great. Billions spent. Rights compromised. Wars on several fronts. There should be nothing but A’s and certainly no F’s.

Read the goddamn report.

Next Week: Part V – INVISIBLE & PARALYZED – How The Democrats Are Unable To Cash In On Tragedy

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The Iraq Papers Volume III

Aquarian Weekly 12/14/05 REALITY CHECK

The Iraq Papers Part III THE SONG & DANCE MAN REVISITED The Fancy White House Plan to Spin Victory from This Mess

Read Between The LinesThe following is the third of five segments tying together the loose ends of a fantastic load of misinformation, propaganda, media hype and revisionist history surrounding what is now being erroneously dubbed the worst war effort in the 229 years of this republic. This week we dissect the White House’s recent launching of a 35-page ultra-spin document called the “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq” and what it means for the future of this country’s involvement in rebuilding Iraq and the rapid crippling of the Bush presidency.

Dressing up our Boy President and plopping him before military backdrops with fixed audiences is getting old. Very old. But it’s not likely to stop any time soon, like his war, and the tons of bullshit emanating from it. So we thought it pertinent to level with you: This “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq” is tantamount to the Clinton mia culpa speech of 1998. “I’m busted, so now I’ll try and do whatever I can to throw myself at the mercy of the American people and hope for the best.” So there you have it, more of the same, only worse, because this time instead of a “Oh, he’s cheating on his wife!” we have “Oh, thousands are dead, billions are spent, and we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing!”

With record lows in approval ratings from the public and a less than a 50% vote of confidence on the progress of the war, the administration was forced to come clean with some kind of explanation for things. Of course, this and two bucks will get you a ride on the subway, other than that its white noise and pabulum. It’s kind of like those college term papers you whipped together in the final desperate hours of caffeine and No-Doze abuse when you had nine months to complete it in the first place. But they went through the trouble of thrashing it together, so we might as well respectfully mock it.

Let’s begin with what the White House has dubbed its Three-Track Strategy: Political, Security, and Economic.

Political means building an Iraqi government, the first portion of which is the badly formed, but relatively successful constitution and two blood-soaked elections. Guess what? There’s another on the way! Unfortunately for those in charge, assassinations, protests, and the odd car bombing aside there are three extremely divergent cultural and racial groups that are far from being on the same page. More to the point, the chasm of hatred is entrenched, and has been for decades. Therefore the present government represents nothing. How this administration plans on dealing with this, if at all, is hard to say. Our fingerprints appearing on the new Iraqi power structure reeks of puppet leadership and may well add to the heightened levels of anti-American sentiment in a region already spiked in the red.

It’s kind of like those college term papers you whipped together in the final desperate hours of caffeine and No-Doze abuse when you had nine months to complete it in the first place.

Security is a biggie. While being dumbfounded on the political front, The “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq” makes a few inroads to explaining the emergence of an Iraqi Defense Force, including police. However, the numbers are skewed. And that’s being kind. Unkind would be to say they were made up. Bush heralded this nonsense by telling the nation and the world that the present Iraq Army is comprised of 120 battalions, which means 42 to 96 thousand troops. This projection flies in the face of Pentagon estimates of some 200,000 troops last summer. And anyone with half a brain and any memory knows the Pentagon is onerously optimistic about these things. That’s kind. Unkind is to say they lie a lot.

Then there are the generals on the ground, at least those who haven’t been sacked for suggesting more troops, who have unanimously estimated only 30% of the president’s 120 battalions can barely be expected to back-up our army in maneuvers like the recent Talafar operation Captain Shoo-Inn broached in his fancy naval speech. Bush announced Iraqi troops were prominent there. The US Army disagrees, unless a few clean-up militia types constitutes prominent, and it does not. More than one general is on record as only admitting to one battalion. Count it: one battalion ready to defend its post. One out of 120 is not even an acceptable percentage for the most dutifully sanguine among the president’s supporters.

Another key element of the security issue is a police force, which now appears to merely be a rogue collection of Shiite militias torturing and killing Suni citizens by the truckload. And what about the Iraqi Air Force so vaguely discussed in the handy plan booklet? Roughly two-dozen planes donated by America and manned by American fighter pilots does not an Iraqi Air Force make. Again, that would be kind. An unkind assessment would be that Iraq has no Air Force.

Economic? Let’s face it folks, according to any independent projection you’d like to Google the present infrastructure of Iraq makes it virtually impossible to accurately count on any financial solvency. Plainly, it’s in big trouble and not likely to get any better. The whole “controlling the Iraq oil fields to rebuild” idea has more or less gone bye-bye. Without oil Iraq is a useless pile of sand with murderers a-plenty. Not a key demographic for industry or anything else beyond booming weapons sales.

Good news is that history tells us leaving countries for dead actually projects better economically than stuffing them full of Pollyanna. Look at Germany and Japan, both left in post-war ruins with no prospects of open enterprise and growth. They are now (after half a century, mind you) counted as the two most prominent economic powers in the world. Far better than what we’ve got going here, and neither are involved in wars and in massive debt to evil communist regimes or run by neo-con goofballs with little to no plan on how to fix things, beyond error-laden book reports and tap-dancing speeches.

Fifty years?

Hope your grandchildren can avoid the draft.

That’s a kind prognostication. Unkind would be, invest in pine box futures.

Next Week: Part IV – SURREALISM SAFETY BRIGADE – Uncovering The Fairy Tale Of Protecting America Through War

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