Bush Did What He Thought Was Right

May 11, 2007

Saying Bush did what he thought was right is weak. Psychos hear voices and do what they think is right too. So does every extreme fanatic, self-indulgent rich person, capitalist and general, bigot and Moonie. Bush lied, he knew it, and he took the country to war. He may have thought it was right but not so right that he explained it to his subjects—oops, I mean the citizenry— and not right in the sense that he offered a moral case for it; just vivid images to invoke fear and vague references to our way of life and democracy and so on. So beyond the supreme leader thinking he was right, how do you justify invading a country that was no threat to the US, had no connection to the thugs who attacked here, had no WMDs? How do you justify occupation and the murder of tens of thousands of innocents? Torture and mass imprisonment? The spending of billions on a war-of-choice? Think about it—don’t drink the Kool-Aid Bush is dishing out while you’re thinking— and then think of the implications: if WMDs is a reason to invade, for example, then on to Israel, India, Pakistan, France, Korea, China and, of course the biggest threat of all, and the only country to have actually dropped a nuke on a bustling city, the US itself.
And think about the question of having a mind of your own. True, no doubt,  but to be sure you have one of those minds-of-one’s-own it’s worth asking yourself what has influenced, nourished and challenged you, what the range of sources of knowledge and inspiration is, who you know and the experiences you’ve had. Whatever they are, what is your plan to expand and extend? What do you want to read? What conversations and experiences do you want to have? What borders do you want to cross, what pilgrimages undertake? As above, junkies and lunatics can feel super-free and think they possess those minds-of-our-own, but we might question that condition as sufficient.
There’s a wonderful scene in the film LIFE of BRIAN where a reluctant messiah calls down to the crowd, and everything he says gets parroted back. No, no, he says, You have minds of your own, and they all answer, We have minds of our own. One guy in the crowd says quietly, Funny, I don’t think I have a mind of my own, and those around him say brusquely,  Shut up! You have a mind of your own!


WAR NEWS

May 10, 2007

On the back pages: US troops killed dozens of unarmed and innocent civilians, including children and babies, in Haditha, Iraq in 2005, and  a military officer is on trial charged with “dereliction of duty;” and in Afghanistan an army commander apologized to the families of 19 people massacred by Marines in March on a crowded roadway, and paid them $2000 per death. It’s tough being the cops of the world– “we mean well, and we come in peace…” and then all this killing. Bam, bam.


Occupation

May 6, 2007

The logic of occupation, the corruption of empire is what the liberals refuse to challenge–and in that refusal they show themselves as accomplices, hypocrites, and apologists for misery and mayhem and murder. Occupation always elicits the same series of idiotic and impossibly thick observations: we mean well so why do they resist us? I can’t tell friend from foe on the streets so who should I shoot? I’m trying to help them so why aren’t they gratefully working harder to help me help them? And on and on…

Nationanal Propoganda Radio had a heart-warming puff piece last week about an “ethics” course taught at West Point– oxymoronic in the extreme, though the reporter didn’t seem to notice. The course is “Winning the Peace” and the premise is that winning wars is the easy part for  the US military machine, but that those nettlesome hearts and minds–have we learned nothing?– aren’t so easy to capture or subdue, especially after they’ve been invaded, destroyed, killed and maimed and tortured. The little scenarios for ethical reflection and discussion are about whether to pay a young boy to photograph suspected terrorists, things of that ilk. No ethical discussion of whether occupation and preemptive war is moral. No talk of saying “no” or speaking the unwanted truth to power. So luckily our paid killers are being asked to behave well in a hell of their own creation– to be ethical actors at the level of a slave-holder who paid his bills on time and always attended church on Sunday.


Big News!!!

May 5, 2007

A Pentagon study reveals that young people who experience combat for extended periods find their mental health at great risk. DUH!

Viet Nam vets still suffer from PTSD and other mental illnesses, and now a fresh batch for the slaughter and the misery that follows being made into a killing thing.

These old men who order kids to war are criminals and should be  impeached and taken out of civilized society.


Benchmarks

May 4, 2007

The ideologically-driven reactionaries– crypto-fascists more precisely– running this country want war without end, war everywhere and on everyone. Their tepid opposition in the government want– not peace exactly and surely not an anti-imperialist foreign policy where we all learn to live together, the US as one  nation among nations rather than the Uber-Nation and Lord of the World– but “benchmarks.” Sounds so soft and benign but benchmarks include stabilizing the flow of oil out of Iraq. Like we don’t know.


Restricting Immigrants

May 2, 2007

OK I hear you, I hear you….So let’s do it this way: a total ban on new immigrants retroactive to 1492. That’ll solve this mess.


Trudging Toward Freedom

May 2, 2007

The May 1 marches for immigrant and human rights were a marvelous and magic moment for those of us who chose to become a small part of this community-in the-making. The mediot-savants reported crowd estimates and missed the heart of the matter: folks stood up and named themselves in new and surprising ways, they faced one another as authentic and free, they pointed to something in need of repair, transformed their sense of who they are as well as who they might  become, and in that moment they altered the world. A public space emerged and a vision of freedom appeared. That cannot easily be stuffed back into a corked bottle and tossed under an anonymous rock.


War Criminals

May 2, 2007

The current “human face” masking the massive war crimes in Iraq belongs to General David Petraeus who said in an interview this week that young men selling trinkets in the large outdoor markets around Baghdad was a mark of real progress since  when left idle these same young men were prone to violence. Hmmmmmm…maybe we need these markets and trinkets at home so that our idle young men won’t be bribed and seduced to travel the globe in the service of the most violent  government on earth.


The War for Oil

May 1, 2007

is a war for the Beast,

The “war on terror”

Is a war on peace….

spearhead