Thursday, July 28, 2005
I guess the Global War on Terrorism is at an end. Or maybe it's been going so poorly President Scrimgeour
is hoping a name change will make us forget that.
Either way, we are now engaged in the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism.
What a nice, bland phrase. And it's so versatile. Now we can go after "extremism", which I am sure can be manipulated to mean anything President Scrimgeour can want it to mean.
But what I find more interesting is that we are no longer in a war, but a "struggle". It's a turn of phrase that is important to discuss.
A war is fought to achieve concrete goals without necessarily wiping out your enemy. And when it's done, treaties are signed and the combatants learn to live with one another.
But a struggle? That's an ideological conflict that is, in it's own way, "extreme". Note the leader who has previously used this word. That paragon of sanity, Adolph Hitler, named his book "Mein Kampf" or "My Struggle" and was quoted as saying "Struggle is the father of all things."
By using the word "struggle", the White House has now set us into a global death match. Forget using political tools to augment our military capacity to foster a favorable solution. Oh no. This is now a zero-sum, last-man standing battle.
And isn't it interesting that in the arabic language, "jihad" means "struggle"?
But, surely, that should come as little surprise to you. This Administration has been extreme in its own way. And now they are setting the US on its own jihad. Our soldiers are now warriors for the Theo-Cons warped version of Christianity
No longer are we warring on terror. We are now struggling in an epic conflict of ideals.
God save us all.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Well, now that recruiting for the Armed Forces (esp. the Army) is in the toilet, a solution has been found.
Better equipment for the troops? No.
Getting NATO involved in sealing the borders? Nope.
The grand solution? Upping the enlistment age from 35 to 42 years old.
That's great. Pure genius. I'm sure that, since the 18-35 bracket have no interest in being President Scrimgeour's cannon fodder in Iraq, that the more educated, older, on-the-verge-of-a-hip-replacement 36 to 42 year old group are just itching to go to war.
"Let's see. I got the wife and kids...a nice house...like my job...bit of an ache in my knee but nothing too bad...yup, I'm chucking all this to go fight in an poorly-executed grudge war with 3rd-rate equipment."
Somehow, I don't see this happening.
Apparently the terrorists are determined to make the same mistakes. You cannot cower the Brits into turning tail by detonating a few bombs. It only pisses them off and makes them more determined.
Another group that doesn't get it is the House of Representatives. They recently passed a bill to make permanent most pieces of the Patriot Act. An act that is supposed to be directed at terrorism, but can easily be used against average citizens as well. And is being abused already. Or have we already forgotten how the Justice Dept. claimed they have never used the provision that allows them to request library records, only to discover from a Univ. of Illinois study that they have used that provision over 500 times? Or how now your house can be searched without your knowledge.
So this law gets passed, but we still can't scan the cargo coming into our nation's ports. We spend 90% of our security budget on aviation, although all the latest attacks have been land-based. George Bush pays lip service to liberty, but wants this act renewed. An act that allows for secret courts and secret warrants. Wow, how American is that? It smacks more of 1930s Soviet Russia than 21st-century America.
In trying to defend this country against terrorism, George Bush has flailed about, doing most everything except what needs to be done. He attacks Iraq, although the terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. He supports Pakistan, although they have a military dictatorship and fund the Wahhabi schools that create these sick animals. He signs into law bills to chip away at the freedoms of the average American, but doesn't secure the ports of our nation. He clamps down on legal immigration, and does nothing to secure a Mexican border when suspected terrorists have tried to cross into the US repeatedly.
So I propose a new name for the President. Since he so closely resembles a new literary figure, one who also is in WAY over his head, he shall henceforth be refered to as President Rufus Scrimgeour.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Now that the second explanation by the White House over the Karl Rove/Valerie Plame blowup has been trashed, prepare for the third one. It'll be along the lines of "I never said she was covert or actually said her name, so I didn't break the law"
Riiggghhtt. And just what is the meaning of "is", boys? Clinton parses his speech amd you mock it. Rove, Bush et al do the same and it's somehow heroic? It was wrong when Clinton did it and it's wrong now.
Rove should be fired. Now. And he should be thankful that's all that's happening to him.