Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dire and Deteriorating

December 7

After 9/11/01 I stopped being a self-styled expert on politics. Before that date I wrote letters to the editor about all things political, criticizing the government about every little thing that irritated me, and feeling that doing so was my patriotic duty. When those towers went down I was immediately made aware that no matter how smart I thought I was, there was stuff going on at the political level that I knew nothing about and wouldn't have been able to fix even if I tried.

I live in a very "red" state. I am surrounded by people who not only vote exclusively Republican, but also don't want to hear any ideas that do not support the official stance of the party. The Lexuses in this neighborhood (Fairhope and environs) almost all bear simple black square stickers that state only "W." I didn't hear much objection to our entry into Iraq, or the substitution of Saddam Hussein for Usama bin Laden, or the re-election of the same pitiful, misguided, ill-prepared man to carry our country deeper into the mire he'd created, at his side the most hypocritical, formidable, angry, incompetent right hand man ever to occupy the office of vice president, apparently putting all the worst advice he could think of into the ear of a man who so desperately needed good advice.

I'm old enough to remember Vietnam pretty vividly. We wanted to support our country but the idea used to be -- thanks to World War II -- that that was because our country was the good guys. After Vietnam some of us felt that being good wasn't good enough to make us the policemen of the world.

The outpouring of support for the Iraq war was a carryover for our guilt about Vietnam; another exercise to prove yet again that since we're so nice, the world will thank us for our intervention. What the Middle East needed was to be more like us. That, of course, was the last thing the Middle East wanted.

The Vietnam war was so despised by Americans that by the time it came to an end, returning troops were spat on in our streets. The Iraq war, in order to erase the memory of that, produced for every critical remark about the war itself an accompanying word of pride in our men and women carrying it out. Catch-22 for yet another military conflict.

Today the blogs are spinning with opinion about the Iraq Commission report on the dire and deteriorating conditions in that country. Such a firm, informed statement will have to be dealt with by this President and Vice President. Whether either of them is up to the job remains to be seen; they have shown little aptitude for clear thinking or creative solutions to anything so far in this abysmal Presidency.

I fell for John Kerry when he first appeared on the Dick Cavett Show after returning from Vietnam and reported the disgraces he had witnessed. I was euphoric after his first debate with George W. Bush; he was so clearly the man who could get us out of this debacle, perhaps even before it was too late, perhaps at the expense of his own popularity. But he was a victim of a viscious campaign (one thing the Bush people are extremely good at) and is now disliked in his own party, because parties exist by winning and the Democrats see him only as a loser. I hope his voice will be heard again and that he will avoid trying to tell jokes -- ever -- and may be useful in the amelioration of a situation that can only be seen as a blot on the history of our country.


Bert Bananas said...

As a bedrock Republican (more bed, though, than rock) I have come to despair that the current leadership could have screwed up such a potentially rewarding war. All they had to do was to partition Iraq into three provinces or three new countries. What a bunch of maroons...

Finding Fair Hope said...

And another Republican sees the light! I just knew you'd come around.

I have a little question about the phrase "potentially rewarding war," but then that's just me. Do you really think Iraq would have been receptive to being divided into three provinces? And you're sure that's all it needed?

I do agree about the maroons, though, especially if you mean bozos.

Grammie said...

I couldn't have said it better myself...

Bert Bananas said...

"Do you really think Iraq would have been receptive to being divided into three provinces?"

Certainly more receptive than they seem to be to becoming one nation, under Allah.

India/Pakistan survived the 'Partition' and with that example, especially if they all three agreed to share the oil wealth of the country, yeah, I think it could have worked.

But God obviously had a plan that only his handmaiden, Georgie W. Bush, was humble enough to capture the vision and do Lord's bidding.

As for "potentially rewarding war," if we could have extablished three stable semi-secular theocracies (Vote for your favorite Cleric!) and a middle class burgeoned, it would have been a beacon of hope to the impoverished Iranians, Syrians & Palestinians who had to sit and watch the three territories blossom.

John Sweden said...

I’ve spoken my piece here before on 9/11, the War Criminals of Vietnam, and those involved in America’s current Crime against Humanity.

I will let a real Conservative “Bed Rock” Republican Paul Craig Roberts answer Bert’s, BushShit.

For those of you who really want to know what is really happening in the Middle East, and why 19 young men people were willing to sacrifice their lives to fly planes in your buildings and more on the way, I suggest you put on your book list for this Christmas Robert Fisk’s “The Great War for Civilization / The Conquest of the Middle East” you might also add his monumental work “Pity the Nation the Abduction Of Lebanon”.

I doubt any of you will do that, as it would require a real effort to be informed and actual concern for others in the world, something that seems far beyond the capabilities of mere mortal Americans.

If the link thing didn’t work here is address ( )

ollie oaf said...

You did it again. You wrote a political blog and stepped in over your head. When are your going to learn that that is not your long suit. I know you are a disliker of the Republicans and a hater of Bush ones, but if you are going to bash them, bash them with objectivity, not with such obvious political bias.

There are only two differences between the Democrats and the Republicans. Since both are merely power seekers, the difference lies in the way each goes about it. The Republicans count on money from the wealthy class, and the Democrats count on the votes of the ignorant. Both are on a road to the destruction of the nation, with only difference being that the Democrats will, if allowed, get the country there quicker than the Republicans.

You really bent logic by inferring that if Bush is a Republican, then all Republicans are like Bush. You know better than that. Just as in the spectrum of Democrats, the Republicans go from very liberal to the close mindedness of the Conservative Right, of which Bush is or was their leader. The conservative right has fallen into ridicule, and it will take a moderate candidate for the Republicans to have any chance whatsoever to win the next presidential election. Even the Democrats are not sure who they should nominate as their candidate. The two front runners are Hillary, one politically savvy gal, and Barack Obama, a most intelligent and charismatic black. Nonetheless both have a lot of negatives in their luggage. While Hillary is without a doubt a very well known figure and handily won reelection as senator, she turns off so many people that she may just not be "electable". While the US has reduced many of it racial, gender and religious prejudices, I still don't think the "people" will elect a black, not yet anyway. The voters might elect a woman president, providing it isn't Hillary Clinton.

Many things can be said about Vice President Cheney, but incompetent is not one of them. The thing to question is his agenda, not his intellectual ability. He is one smart shrewd man. You might then ask, If he 's so smart, and as President Bush's prinicipal advisor on foreign affiars, why is the US in the mess it is in Iraq? Because there was a total misread on the intensity and the attraction of fundamentalism among Muslim followers. Oil was the reason Bush went to war in Iraq. It was not to give Chenney's buddies at Haliburton mutlimillion unaudited contracts, although that is what some give as the reason. The US is so dependent on oil, as is the rest of western countries, and especially Middle Eastern oil that any disruption in the flow would mean economic havoc would befall it. You might ask, if that was or is the case, why didn't most of Europe back the invasion? Well, most of Europe did. Just look at the number of countries with troops that were there. It was primarily France and Russia that didn't. Why? Becuse it was these two countries that were prospering with the Food for Oil embargo against Iraq with smuggled oil. Those with a long term and broad vision of the world knew it would only be a matter of time before Iran became the dominant power in the Middle East, unless someone or something stops them. Should Iran become the dominant power that would mean the end of the industrialized western world. The reasoning of Bush's administration was that if that was to be avoided, move now, overthrow Saddam, set up democracy in Iraq for other Arab countries to want to emulate (Name one Arab country, beside Lebanon, that has a democratic system? You can't) , create a close alliance with the newly established Iraqi government to assure a flow of oil before Iran becomes stronger.

Why do you think Iran, followers of the Shiite division of Islam of which the majority of Iraqis are as well, and could easily win in any freely held election, is pumping millions of dollars of arms into Iraq to support the Shiites there? To create a civil war so democracy will never get a foothold, and be the antithesis of what Iran is, and be an impediment to Iran's plan for domination in the region. Why do you think Iran refuses to allow any outside inspectors to visit their for "peaceful" use only of their nuclear development programs? Because the Iranis are hellbent on getting nuclear weapons. Without them, they can not have a truly effective blackmail of the rest of the world. Sure, they might try to block the Straits of Ormuz so the oil tankers can't get through, but if they did that now, that would give sufficient reason to bring even the most cowardly of countries down upon them and run the risk of a nuclear attack by the US or Israel. Oh no, Iran is smart enough not to do that. They will continue with their very successful strategy just as it is: destablized every situation that has signs that democracy might prosper. What do you think the political in Lebannon is all about with the Iranian backed Hezbollah openly declaring that their goal is to overthrow the existing government?

No, young lady, stay out of writing about politics, especially foreign politics; you only get into trouble.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Not being a self-styled expert on politics, I am neither a disliker of Republicans nor a hater of Bush. I think my sympathy for the guy comes through to all but the most oafish of readers of this particular post. I am at heart an extreme disliker of war and those who wage it. I think Bush is over his head as President, far more than I am in criticizing his conduct of the Presidency.

I remember vividly that we went into this war on what turned out to be wrong intelligence provided for us by the Brits, and I that the few countries who supported us at the outset did it under extreme duress. My friends in Europe were terrified of Bush himself as a war-monger. I didn't see it that way, but resisted the disinformation coming from Bush's people that our military forces would be welcomed as liberators.

Cheney may be shrewd and smart but he had no knowledge of the culture and mentality of the people in the region he led the country into. This does not make him intelligent in my book. I guess we're into semantics here. Obviously you have more respect for the man than I have, but I stick by my opinion that whether the war was about oil or something else, it shouldn't have happened, and when we saw that, some leadership somewhere should have gotten us out.

I didn't say that if Bush is a Republican, all Republicans are Bush. But I live in a part of the country that backs the party at all costs, and the talk I have been hearing since all this started was that the party was behind this President all the way.

I always wish for some dissent among the ranks of both parties, and maybe such dissent exists in other parts of the world. If that's true,I'm glad to learn it.