Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Those Terrorist Enablers

With dread, on the rational front we are facing a campaign which will have to be negative by historical tradition on the right wing, and because there is no positive campaign for the worst administration in history. At the moment, it's all about scary qualities like failing to wear a flag pin and being caught on camera in front of a flag without holding his hand over his heart by candidate Sen. Obama. Oh, yes, and having Muslims in his family background.

Their dread of terrorists, however, has not kept our wingers from creating a whole passel of them wherever it raises its ugly hand in war. Not admitting that al Qaida was brought into the works in Iraq doesn't equal removing the faction there. It just begs the question of what good this war is doing. The answer to that one is pretty obvious, the only purpose the war criminals have served, besides giving terrorists the status of heroes, is enrichment of war profiteers.

This country went into Afghanistan with some cause, and should have finished by chasing Osama bin Laden down or ousting him and his followers, but its conduct of that war has alienated the populace - those that haven't been outright killed in any case. The war has turned against us there, and again we are serving the terrorists' cause.

The very different reactions to the casualties of American and Nato violence, compared to those inflicted by the Taliban, reflect a desperate confusion about what is happening in Pakistan and how to respond.Unfortunately, as Hoodbhoy notes, U.S. behavior has reinforced such attitudes: There is, of course, reason for people in Pakistan and across the world to feel negatively about America. In pursuit of its self-interest, wealth and security, the United States has for decades waged illegal wars, bribed, bullied and overthrown governments, supported tyrants, undermined movements for progressive change, and now feels free to kidnap, torture, imprison, and kill anywhere in the world with impunity. All this, while talking about supporting democracy and human rights.

Even Americans — or at least the fair-minded ones among them — admit that there is a genuine problem. A June 2008 report of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs entitled The Decline in America’s Reputation: Why? concluded that contemporary anti-Americanism stemmed from “the perception that the proclaimed American values of democracy, human rights, tolerance, and the rule of law have been selectively ignored by successive administrations when American security or economic considerations are in play”.

American hypocrisy has played into the hands of Islamic militants. They have been vigorously promoting the notion that this is a bipolar conflict of Islam, which they claim to represent, versus imperialism. Many Pakistanis, who desperately want someone to stand up to the Americans, buy into this.

The imperialism of the worst administration ever is undeniable. The refusal to deal with chosen enemies using civilized negotiation techniques has made the U.S. easily identifiable by the 'evil axis' as a crusader. The rejection by the U.S. public has grown steadily during the ludicrous misconduct of the occupied White House, unfortunately not in time to save our reputation. The cronies who have been given charge of the conduct of affairs in the executive branch have been uniformly inept, when not downright criminal.

The results are dismally predictable.

At least 45 international troops, including at least 27 Americans, died in Afghanistan in June, the deadliest month since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to oust the Taliban, according to an Associated Press count.

It was also the second straight month in which militants killed more U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan than in Iraq.

The somewhat justifiable war that was declared over several times by the worst administration ever is now renewed, and we are losing there as well.

A first activity in the new administration must be President Obama's revising the war plan that has brought terrorists into the position of respect they hold. Bombing civilians from afar, the 'boys with toys' warfare, must stop. Our troops need to be brought home, the affairs of those countries we invaded turned over to their native population.

Our military is in shambles, and needs to be renewed after a thorough review and the imposition of honest accounting, and acquisition, standards put into play. More than anything, it will need to be returned a sense of pride in keeping peace, the reason we have a military at all.

The sadly misguided element that keeps returning war criminals to office can be given a new source of pride, in the return of this country to a position of eminence from one of shame and squalor.

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Anonymous darms said...

What if... the US military had gone into Afghanistan with the proper amount of soldiers & munitions, chased out the Taliban and then, instead of allying with the warlords, turned their weapons on them. The Taliban came to power in the first place due to the Afghani peoples' disgust with the warlords.

Most importantly, instead of the criminal attack on Iraq, why could the US not have rebuilt Afghanistan, brought their infrastructure up to the 20th century? $10B would have cleared a number of old mine fields. Bringing peace to Afghanistan, making it a shining beacon of what the US can do right, would have been the hardest strikeback at al Qaida imaginable.

Instead, our "24" lovin' RWAs brought us this. And our terrified populace here can't even be bothered to protest let alone fight back...

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, well, well.

(And where is Gomez?)


12:17 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Not sure I can add anything to what darms already said very well.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous xan said...

Working comments??

Oy, what a concept!


(could do without that PitA captcha though. It's not like it stops trolls anyway, whatever use it may be against bots.)

12:23 PM  
Anonymous leibniz said...

Fugitive haloscan manager surrendered to police. Haloscan has been on the run since his server was found with the words "suicide is painless" scrawled on the hood.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Welcome to Comments! and damn you, darms! (understand, darms it's a convention at Eschaton, and we're refugees here for the nonce)

and hi nonce, too.

It was a M.A.S.H. unit, you realize.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long until John McCain takes credit for Ingrid Betancourt and other hostages being released by FARC.

Please submit your answer in minutes or hours.


12:32 PM  
Blogger spocko said...

Afghanistan is SOOOO boring. Everyone knows that there are no "good targets there" Rummy said so.
Sure they have poppies, but that is mostly good for the CIA, we need OIL! How much oil is there?

And, we have SUCH a short attention span that what was I going to say again? Something about an attention spans. Oh yeah. Why just go for vengeance when you can get some natural resources in the process. I mean it just stands to reason.

I also want to talk about who ELSE enables terrorists. I'm going to say all the talk radio hosts, cable tv heads and pundits who love to talk tough. The people who dismiss torture as frat boy pranks and sell "Club Gitmo" gear on their websites.

These people are not that upset about torture and refuse to deal with the fact that TORTURE is the kind of thing that becomes the future reason for people wanting to kill Americans.

15 year old boy in Afghanistan:

"THEY TORTURED MY FATHER! The killed my mother and sister, but that was different. They did that in their fight against the Taliban. But a warlord had it in from my father and sold him to the US for $5,000 US dollars. They tortured him and then never gave him a chance to prove that he was sold out by an enemy of his. THAT is why I will do everything in my power to hurt people in the US who authorized this and didn't bother to allow him to clear his name."

Now if that kind of stuff happened to a US citizen they would make a movie out of it and it would be a cult classic. "WOLVERINES!"

Now, here is my question. What role do we have in pushing back on the local enablers of torture? The sick, sick people who think that 24 is the way torture works and think that joking about Gitmo and Abu Ghraib is a great way to sell products on commercially supported broadcast radio?

These are the people who normalize sick views and give people excuses to bring out their inner Archie Bunker.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

y. More than anything, it will need to be returned a sense of pride in keeping peace, the reason we have a military at all.

Oh, next thing you know, those DFH bloggers will want people to read the Constitution. Well, good luck with THAT one.


12:34 PM  
Anonymous Billy B said...

In addition to the oil (or lack thereof in Afghanistan), as much as any, the reason that we are in both wars is war profiteering.

That part was (& is) driven by Pork Chop and Rheumy and their PNAC buddies.

War criminals all.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

/Spocko, I had an actual commenter who was rhapsodizing about how easy the Gitmo 'detainees' had it.

Just a frat joke.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Hecate said...

Afternoon, you lovely, liberal Moonbats. I say we hang Jeevan up by his baby toe and whack him with rolled up copies of the Haloscan operating manual.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Billy B said...

helloscan is back up

12:41 PM  
Blogger spinoza said...

operating manual?

12:42 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Haloscum Declaration of Independence, maybe.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't ya remember, They're weren't enough good targets in Afghanistan. How can you bomb some country back to the stone age, if they're already in the stone age????

Besides, it was a colossal blunder to go after the Taliban, A.Q. was the culprit, the Taliban was willing to turn over Bin Forgotten, but Cheney needed to prove something.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Soprano said...

And our terrified populace here can't even be bothered to protest let alone fight back


Before Bush started his wars, there were massive protests worldwide -- including in the U.S. There have been more protests at intervals during the last five years. The Women in Black protest (silently) every Thursday, in my town.

It wouldn't matter if everyone in the U.S., other than the 28-percenters, protested 20 hours a day in front of the White House.

The people who run these wars don't care what we think.

Just sayin'

12:51 PM  
Blogger spocko said...


Yes. And WHERE do they hear and READ that things are great in Gitmo? Rush! Sometimes it is from some sick Republican rep who likes to read what kind of meals they are getting. But when the talk radio folks are going on about it they are NEVER really challenged. Not on their show and not outside of their show. I talked to Mark Danner about this, (who wrote Torture and Truth) and he had an interesting comment about it. Torture is discussed by these people because they want to tap into the Caveman grunting around the fire feeling.

"GET 'EM!" They don't bother to tell the truth. Now it would be one thing it they have a mechanism to have MORE speech that deals with their inaccurate and just plain wrong comments, but we really don't. Plus they always rig the game without cutting off callers or picking callers that are so lame that they can't coherently point out all the flaws in their views about Gitmo or Abu Ghraib.

Just yesterday I listened to RW talk radio and heard more nonsense about what the "democrat party" believes. And how great the republicans are. And of course in order to build up McCain they had to run down Wes Clark.
The lack of insight into their own backwards behavior was glaring.

While trying to say how great one Vet is they destroy another.

When people like your commenter start going on about how great Gitmo is they don't do that with out a lot of help. And what is especially galling to me is that this kind of sick talk is profitable. That represents a sickness of not only the hosts, but the management who supports them. People can listen for lots of reasons, some agree some listen to get their blood boiling, some listen as "entertainment" to "hear the other side."

Some people are into sick stuff, there is a market for lots of stick things, but when the market for sick stuff is mainstreamed I think that we have an obligation to point it out to the people paying for it to question just how strongly they believe in these sick views. Most decent people see how these comments are NOT mainsteam. They are the kind of comments that need to be exposed, marginalized, mocked and shunned. They also need to become less of a money maker. Capitalists do a lot of things for money, but when something stops making them money they are even less inclined to keep supporting it.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Spocko, you know it. I wouldn't watch the Superbowl for the first time I can recall, because I couldn't put my TV on the Faux station, it would burn a branding iron into my soul to do it.

Need to be more vocal about not accepting the crass running down of rational points of view to promote inhumanity and hate.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soprano - yeah I know about the pre-war protests, I was in a number of 'em. But where are the protests now?

Ruth - whazza matter? Did I break something? Hey, give a freshly-unemployed person who reads quickly an interesting post and a "0 comments" label - an irresistible temptation, eh? And no "Frist", either...

1:20 PM  
Anonymous darms said...

Oops, anonymous was me...

1:22 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

darms, you are very welcome, and a good comment indeed. Of course, I get into a shoving match for first sometimes, so "Damn You, ____" is a running joke, along with 'frist', where a lot of these commenters come from.

sorry about the unemployed state. Been there several times, and this is a dismal time for the honest working person. Good wishes.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous darms said...

Totally OT, I was an e-tech for 35 years and did mostly pwb design the last 20. I've never seen the job scene as bleak as today's (Austin, TX). Unlike 90% of people in my situation, me & the missus will survive even if I don't find similarly-paying work ($22/hour). But I'll be damned if I'm willing to commute across this traffic-jammed place for $10/hour...

1:44 PM  

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