Sunday, November 26, 2006

Somebody Please Tell the Terrorists the Election is Over

In the run-up to the recent elections, the Republicans and their corporate media friends tried to paint the ghastly violence in Iraq as some sort of pro-Democratic attempt by the terrorists to influence our elections. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, the UPI, and an endless stream of right-wing bloggers assured us that the insurgency was surging only because they had made a sophisticated calculation that explosions in Baghdad would make American voters turn to the Democrats.

The flaws in this "logic" were so numerous that they defied enumeration. Did they use focus groups to make sure that the voters wouldn't rally to the Republicans in the face of unrest abroad? What about the fact that the voters went Democratic for a host of other reasons, such as personal freedoms, responsible fiscal policies, and competent management?

Regardless, now that the election is over, would somebody please pass the word on to the insurgents that they can celebrate the Democratic victories, and ease up on the violence? Instead, they have continued to escalate the violence, and have now turned to burning each other alive.

Or maybe Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld (oops, cross him off the list) and the corporate media will start telling us that this is an early attempt to influence the 2008 elections.

Or maybe, just maybe, the horrible violence is the direct result of a war of aggression launched by an administration that utterly failed to plan the aftermath with a shred of competence. Yeah, I think that's a more logical explanation of what is going on over there today.

(Hat tip to Glenn Greenwald's powerful post from Friday for much of the thought and research behind this post.)


Anonymous T.Reason said...

Pardon my ignorance, but why on earth would they “ease up on the violence” now that Democrats have won the election? Based on their influence on politics in other parts of the world (off the top of my head: Spain, Italy, and Britain), why would they back off now?

Sounds to me that you yourself are perhaps too influenced by Democratic talking points and on some level really believe that now that “your side” is in power, the people who hate us will suddenly change their policies and beliefs. They don’t like us, they never will like us, and they obviously don’t care all that much for one another.

We can pull out tomorrow and that won’t change.

11/27/2006 11:27 AM  
Anonymous MIssourimadness said...

T Reason: Don't you understand sarcasm when you read it?

11/27/2006 12:28 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Treason - only a complete idiot would believe that the reason they are entering into a civil war is to influence American elections, or elections anywhere else, even though that is what our Administration and their friends in the press tried to tell us. They are battling because GWB stupidly created a power vacuum in a divided society. Bush has given them plenty of reason to deepen their hatred of us, and spread it further.

11/27/2006 2:10 PM  
Anonymous T.Reason said...

Yes, actually, I do -- believe it or not. And I knew it wouldn’t take long for someone to point out that Dan was, as Madonna likes to say, “being ironic.” But in sarcasm there is usually a nugget of truth, and I stand by my belief that Dan feels that the ills of the world can be cured by putting Democrats in power.

This is not to say that Dan is a bad person. He is, like many on both sides of the political spectrum, trying his best to remain optimistic and hopeful. He wants to see a happy ending.

Me, too. If the Dems have a workable plan and problems are addressed, I’ll be first in line to tip my hat to Dan. He is right to hang on to his idealism and optimism. But please realize there are those of us who are just as idealistic, and still believe in this cause.

We can list all the things that have gone awry or we can come up with ways to fix the problem. And that’s where I start losing hopefulness. On this, I would love to be wrong. And I’m not being sarcastic.

11/27/2006 2:14 PM  
Anonymous T.Reason said...

My second comment was directed to “MIssourimadness” – this one is to Dan. It doesn’t matter if it’s their intention or not to influence elections because, like it or not, the influence is felt. It’s not accidental. The violence in Iraq and the anti-American/Israeli/Pontiff protests are effective. If the problem, as you say, is a power vacuum and a civil war, then what’s the solution?

Another Saddam? Separating the Kurds, the Sunnis, and the Shiites? Impossible. It would be like segregating America by groups. The Iraqis, like us, have become so mixed that there are subgroups upon subgroups – the dividing lines are unclear. We can’t draw new borders and move people around like chess pieces.

Should we have taken out Muqtada al-Sadr instead of allowing him to become even more powerful? Do we pack up and go home and turn the place over to the radicals? Do we ask for help and continue to look weaker, act weaker? Do we go in, guns blazing, and kill more insurgents? Do we kick the current “democratically elected” government out and put one we like better in its place? (Uh, I think we’ve done that before…)

At any rate, what’s the answer?

11/27/2006 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Missourimadness said...

Oh for Christ's sakeTreason. The reason it's so bad in Iraq is because we invaded, period. Sadam may not have been the best and he may have done vicious things, but at least he had some control; perhaps there was a reason he had to rule the way he did and I'm not condoning that. But it sure as did not destroy the country and people the way we have since the Bush thugs decided to try and cover their butts under false pretenses because they could not get bin Laden. They had their chances same as Clinton did. And guess what. They screwed it up. Dems might not have the answers but a 6-month old could probably come up with a better friggin plan than what we've operated under the past 3 years. This admin stands for cluster-f**k!

11/27/2006 3:21 PM  
Anonymous T.Reason said...

Perfect. I’m all ears. Let’s hear your “better friggin’ plan.”

11/27/2006 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Missourimadness said...

There have always been subgroups there. That has been their way of life for thousands of years, and we go there under false presenses to bring democracy? Did they actually tell us they wanted our kind of democracy? Would we want them coming here and converting us to the Muslim way of living because Bush is such a screw-up and has caused the deaths of almost 3,000 U.S. citizens, not to mention the thousands of others who are now suffering because of his brainless stripping of our own rights? No. We never should have gone there; by staying there we will not bring democracy but will further spur the fanatacism we we brought about. We need to get out and let them clean up our mess in their own way because we have proved we cannot do it. What are we gonna do, stay there forever? With no military to fight the real threats elsewhere?

11/27/2006 4:05 PM  
Blogger emawkc said...

"But it sure as did not destroy the country and people the way we have..."

That's true. It destroyed the country and people in a completely different way.

11/27/2006 4:13 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Treason -

Why is it that you expect me to have all the answers for world peace. True, I'm a whole lot smarter than anybody in the administration, but that doesn't mean I'm qualified to clean up the ginormous messes that this administration has cooked up. For more of an explanation, please read Why Does the Right Wing Have So Much Confidence in Liberals Like Me?

11/27/2006 5:17 PM  
Anonymous T.Reason said...

It’s safe to assume you’re being sarcastic again, no?

11/27/2006 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Missourimadness2 said...

Treason and whomever-I am curious if you ever served in the military or in combat? If you believe so wholeheartedly in this cause, and I'm not quite sure that you do, your president has extended the enlistment age to 41. That means possibly you and your sons can get in on this turd-hunt. My guess is you're another arm-chair warrior. The new comandant of the Marine Corp is begging for more Marines. I suggest that the two-thirds of the evangelicals and gung-ho patriots such as yourself get off your duffs and join the corp. America and George need you. You're not helping the war effort by tapping on the computer. As for me I'm too old and crippled from the last turd-hunt in Vietnam, which our pres doesn't like to hear about (wonder why) when we were spreading democracy to the Vietnamese and winning their hearts and minds. Do the corny cliches sound familiar after 40 years? You people out there so gung-ho on this war need a good healthy taste of it. When you come back you can blog back in here and tell us what you think of the excersize after you have a part of it; if you're still alive or have hands with which to type.

11/27/2006 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

t.reason - "Pardon my ignorance, but why on earth would they “ease up on the violence” now that Democrats have won the election?"

You're right. I'm sure if the Republicans had won they'd have thrown up their arms and said "Well shit! That didn't work! We might as well just give up! George, ya bastard, ya got us again!"

You also said "They don’t like us, they never will like us..."

Okay. Hear me out for a minute. Just thinking outside the box.

Do you think we should devote any effort whatsoever to examing the possible reasons why they might hate us so much? And how we might correct that?

I'm just brainstorming here, but how about us invading them militarily and taking over their country (let's pledge not do that anymore and apologize for the times we did).

How about us overthrowing their governments and installing our own where theirs used to be (let's pledge not do that anymore and apologize for the times we did).

How about us coming in and raping and pillaging their countries like a bunch of fucking Vikings for the sake of securing more oil (let's pledge not do that anymore and apologize for the times we did).

I'm sorry. I love America. We have the best constitution in the world. We have noble ideals.

But the way we have gone about pursuing those ideals over the last 200+ years has been no different than Ghengis Khan, Alexander The Great, Julius Ceaser, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin.

Idealogies for consolodating power may change. But tactics never do.

11/27/2006 7:16 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sarcastic, maybe, but only to prove a point. This is Bush's goddawful mess. This post was about how they attempted to lie about the nature of the increased level of violence in October. Why does that compel me to have a solution to all the problems in the Middle East?

11/27/2006 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Missourimadness said...

Amen, Xavier! These are precisely the points the Stepfords cannot comprehend.

11/27/2006 7:51 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

XO in one breath you say we have the best constitution in the world and in the next you denounce the way this country has pursued these ideals since its very existence. Worse, you compare the pursuit of these ideals to the worst tyrants in the world. And then you say you love this country.

Please explain to me what you're talking about. It sounds to me you love the paper that this country was founded on, but that's about it.

11/27/2006 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Missourimadness said...

XO I'm sure will provide his own answer. But I think you can love your country and the inherrent goodness you believe the majority of its people have without approving of the occational thugs that jack shit up over the years. You like yanking chains dontcha? Good luck.

11/27/2006 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

travelingal - "in one breath you say we have the best constitution in the world and in the next you denounce the way this country has pursued these ideals since its very existence."

Yes. The end does not justify the means. You cannot shove our version of democracy down another nations throat at the point of a gun and expect them to develop an affinity for the taste. It will always taste bitter to them, even as they enjoy the fruits.

The ideals of The Constitution and the intentions of our founding fathers do not bestow infallibility on the chuckleheads that the semi-litterate electorate choose to vote into power.

The fact that they manage to get themselves elected to the Presidency, or the Senate, or the House of Representatives does not mean that they are on the same intellectual plane as Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, or John Quincy Adams.

It is how they fulfill their roles as Representatives of the People, and Defenders of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that determines their place in history.

Someone once said "Countries don't have friends...they have interests".

This is exactly the cynical philosophy we have followed from the beginning. We have no problem whatsoever promoting despotic dictators (like Saddam Hussein, The Shah of Iran, The Saudi Royal Family) and ignoring the suppression of freedom, human rights and basic justice (in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, etc.) if it is in Our Interests.

We have always been blatantly hypocritical. Everyone in the world sees it and knows it except Americans.

We "think" Iraq "may have" nukes "someday", but can't prove it, so we just go ahead and invade and destroy.

We KNOW North Korea has nukes RIGHT NOW, but we'll take a pass on that one. Maybe later.

Saddam Hussein allowed the women in his country more freedom than the Saudi Royal family does. Saddam had women scientist in his government working on chemical weapons. Women in Saudi Arabia aren't allowed to drive cars.

Not defending Saddam Hussein. Just ponting out the blatant hypocrisy in American foreign policy that everyone else in the world sees.

"Worse, you compare the pursuit of these ideals to the worst tyrants in the world. And then you say you love this country."

Yes to both. I love this country. I love what we stand for (on paper). I just wish we stood up to those ideals on the world stage consistently, fervently and unswervingly.

We would have the respect of every single person and nation on this planet if we actually "walked the walk" in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

But when they see us twist and pervert our own sacred documents to further our own political interests, we lose trust and faith. We lose credibility. We lose respect.

11/27/2006 9:49 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

XO - Your response was related to current events moreso than the past. I assume you think it is ok to fight when war is declared against us, as in WW II, no? Your first comment seemed to indicate otherwise.

With regard to today, I actually have a tendency to agree with you; however, from a different perspective. I say let the radicals in the middle east blow themselves to pieces in the name of ALLAH. If innocents get killed in the process, believe me I feel bad about that but our presence there isn't going to make things any better and probably will make them worse.

And, to take that even further, I say let's get the hell out of the UN and let the rest of the world deal with the rest of the world any way they want, sans our money and support.

Peace, man.

11/28/2006 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

travel - "I assume you think it is ok to fight when war is declared against us, as in WW II, no?" Absolutely!

My first sentence (technically 2 sentences, but, whatever) was "Yes. The end does not justify the means."

What I meant was, we think democracy is good. We think EVERY government should be a democracy.


What's the best way to go about accomplishing that goal?

When I was growing up, we were taught that it was to lead by example. Be what Reagan called "that shining city on the hill". Everyone would want to be like us and they would rise up, rebel against oppresion, we would ride in like the cavalry to help them in their struggle and the world would become a better and more democratic place, one country at a time.

Well, Number One: we're not doing that anymore. Our current policy seems to be "We will invade your country, overthrow your government, destroy your infrastructure, set up a weak, puppet democracy, then inform you that you need to get your shit together pronto because we are OUTTA HERE!! Ciao baby! Welcome to democracy! Aren't you glad we came?"

I have much more to rant but the gf just called. She's coming over. I have my priorities. Y'all got off easy this time! heh heh. Gotta go!

Peace to you too, travelingal.

11/28/2006 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Albert Speer said...

After the democrats take over, I expect peace in our time!

Yes indeed, peace at last!

12/03/2006 7:21 AM  

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