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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Calhoun’s Cannons , The Bay News, Morro Bay, CA ,for November 22, 06
No Account


They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . .”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby


I want them all in the dock at The Hague, before the World Court, on trial for war crimes, the cloistered theorists with their soft pale hands, the Neo-Cons in their arrogant ignorance who mistook Iraqis for Rotarians from Nebraska. Kristol, Kagan, Wolfowitz, Perle, Sciafe, all the chicken hawk architects of their PNAC wet-Dream who now blandly disavow their role in creating the Baghdad killing grounds. “It wasn’t us,” they say, stroking their clean white hands. “Our theories were sound. It was those incompetents in Washington that caused our dream to fail, not us. Never us.” I want them all in the dock.

I want Bush and Cheney and Powell there, too. I want Bush to explain why, before starting his little “shock & awe” war, he never even bothered to pick up a phone and call some old MI-5 type who’s now doddering around in a British rest home, one of the old school Eton boys who was there when Iraq was cobbled together out of the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire, someone present at the creation, some old, experienced hand who would have told him unequivocally, “Don’t do it, Sonny. Don’t do it!”

And I want Powell to tell the world why he put love of self and his four gold stars above love of Constitution and country. Powell knew.

And I want Congress jammed into that witness box, too. I want to know how it was possible that a lot of regular citizens with no access to intelligence knew Bush was cherry picking and conflating and lying, but they, who had far greater access to real intelligence, good intelligence, handed the President a sword and turned their self-blinded eyes away, asking no hard questions, refusing oversight and responsibility. When did party loyalty trump love of country? What mattered more to them, the mounting death toll? A treasury being looted by war profiteers in a mismanaged operation being run by incompetents? Or being called French-looking-girly-men by bloviating hypocrites like Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly? I want them all in the dock.

But most of all, I want the American people to appear in The Hague. I want to know why they were so easily fooled. Monger a little fear, gin up a few phony facts, and our nation of brave, militia-ready, citizen-farmers turned into bleating sheep ready to trash the Constitution, commit wars of aggression, codify and condone torture. Waterboarding? Torture as frat-boy high-jinks? Habeas corpus? Invade the wrong country? What’s the problem?

Increasingly, the late-night comedians have been getting bigger laughs now when they mock Washington. But through the scrim of laughter, I keep seeing the ghosts of all the dead asking,”Who will be the last to die here? Is that what’s so funny? That the joke’s on him?”

But there will be no answer at The Hague. Even with a regime change in Washington, there will be no real accountability. Americans don’t like accountability. Accountability might interfere with profits, might raise too many questions best left unanswered, might implicate too many people. Instead, it’s time to move on. For the architects of this disaster, fat book contracts, lucrative K-Street lobbying jobs and highly-paid punditry slots at cable news divisions all await.

Iraq, Afghanistan will soon slide off the radar of the American psyche. Disinterested to begin with, Americans will soon be distracted by some new passing fancy, a witless game show involving near naked women bobbing for diamonds in vats of green Jell-O, perhaps. Or yet another Hollywood scandal.

As for all the dead, the missing, the maimed, a country destroyed, a treasury looted, none of that matters. It never did. It was all merely collateral damage to the arrogant, ignorant cloistered theorists with their expensive suits and soft pale hands, careless people who dreamed of transforming the world into their own image.

23 comments:

Spectator said...

Did you really write this ANN?

"I want them all in the dock at The Hague, before the World Court, on trial for war crimes, the cloistered theorists with their soft pale hands, the Neo-Cons in their arrogant ignorance who mistook Iraqis for Rotarians from Nebraska. Kristol, Kagan, Wolfowitz, Perle, Sciafe, all the chicken hawk architects of their PNAC wet-Dream who now blandly disavow their role in creating the Baghdad killing grounds. “It wasn’t us,” they say, stroking their clean white hands. “Our theories were sound. It was those incompetents in Washington that caused our dream to fail, not us. Never us.” I want them all in the dock." It continues............

Seriously:
This is one of the most beatifully written pieces of thought I have ever read. This is the finest example of secular-progressive simplistic rheteric I have ever seen. Please post it on Moveon.org; perhaps someone will submit it for a Pulitzer prize.

NOT seriously:
Perhaps this came to you as a result of twisting the dials of an empty cardboard "radio" box through wooden headphones. If so, our box building has not been in vain. Hopefully "peace on earth" will decend from the skys.

VERY SERIOUSLY:
Please be aware that there are those in the world twisting real dials waiting for another 9/11 to decend. Real dials to centrifuge machines enriching uranium. Real dials that operate lathes producing nuclear detonators. Then there are those twisting dials on sewing machines to make berkas.

Your attempt to make a simplistic causality from an extremely complex one and to fix blame on the basis of the simplistic causality does not fly by any logic. Most of us understand that frustration can alter logic and rational thinking.

Beam me up Scotty!

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

On this issue you and I agree 95%.

Here's the key ... even if the neo-cons were well-intentioned, they still were sloppy in their logic and to start a war because you weren't thinking carefully enough is, indeed, criminal. If they were willing to twist evidence to start a war, the penalty should be even harsher than if they started a war because they were "confused".

Happy Thanksgiving to all...

Anonymous said...

Ann I almost never agree with you but this article is a masterpiece!!! Today among many other things, I give thanks that the possibility exists, however slight, that those responsible for lying, manipulating and bullying to start this disaster in Iraq will be brought to justice. The war on terrorism has to include Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all those who aided and abetted their crimminal actions. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Spectator said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Spectator said...

To All who post on this blog: Below are two links you might find interesting.

They are written by Peter Klausler and posted on his web site. They have to do with logical thinking. The first addresses American Cargo Cult thinking, the second addresses logical fallacies.

http://klausler.com/cargo.html

http://klausler.com/fallacies.html

Peter Klausler is a programmer, and as a result is totally immersed in the application of logic.

I bring this to ALL for mental stimulation and to help one understand human thought process. I feel that the more we know about how we and others think, and what brings us to make conclusions from what we read, see, or hear, the more intelligent we will become. I thank Mike Green for pushing me to start the cargo cult investigation, and Maria Kelly for her comments. I did not realise it would lead to the above sites.


Jon Arcuni

Joey Racano said...

I'm back! I am needed more than ever. I have solutions for all Los Osos problems!

You have heard them before. The reginal sewer is the only answer! I can get all the money you need to build it. Trust me!

Anonymous said...

Excellent, just an excelletnt rant!!

Churadogs said...

Spectator sez:"Please be aware that there are those in the world twisting real dials waiting for another 9/11 to decend. Real dials to centrifuge machines enriching uranium. Real dials that operate lathes producing nuclear detonators. Then there are those twisting dials on sewing machines to make berkas."

Indeed, "real dials" "real detonators," that's why wasting resources, troops, time, credibility, options FIGHTING THE WRONG COUNTRY FOR THE WRONG REASONS, having learned NOTHING from the lessons of Vietnam, is so utterly tragic. Having blown our wad in the wrong place on PHONY DIALS, what then are we left to do with the REAL dangerous people turning the VERY REAL dials?

I hope you'll read the PNAC document and read the piece in Harpers a few years ago, called Baghdad: Year Zero. This was cold-blooded corporatization of a country to further open markets for the rise and success of western capitalism, under the color of "defense/war." 9/11 and WMD was the excuse. It failed because it was (1) a bad idea to begin with and (2) it was imcompetently executed and planned. (or I should say, "un-planned.")

anonymous sez:"Today among many other things, I give thanks that the possibility exists, however slight, that those responsible for lying, manipulating and bullying to start this disaster in Iraq will be brought to justice. The war on terrorism has to include Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all those who aided and abetted their crimminal actions. "

I won't hold my breath. Kissinger, among other folks, needs to be in the dock for Chile, Vietnam, Cambodia, so many things he had his fingers in. Instead he's a much respected pundit who gets trotted out as if he had any legitimacy whatsoever. Nope, all these boyos will go onto lucrative careers while the thousands that their policies killed are rotting in their graves. That's the way we like the world, so that's the kind of stuff we accept. Learn nothing, move on, repeat the mistakes, more killings, learn nothing, etc. So long as the various death merchangs make money, and the American people stay asleep at the switch, that's the way it will continue.

Churadogs said...

Spectator sez:"Please be aware that there are those in the world twisting real dials waiting for another 9/11 to decend. Real dials to centrifuge machines enriching uranium. Real dials that operate lathes producing nuclear detonators. Then there are those twisting dials on sewing machines to make berkas."

Indeed, "real dials" "real detonators," that's why wasting resources, troops, time, credibility, options FIGHTING THE WRONG COUNTRY FOR THE WRONG REASONS, having learned NOTHING from the lessons of Vietnam, is so utterly tragic. Having blown our wad in the wrong place on PHONY DIALS, what then are we left to do with the REAL dangerous people turning the VERY REAL dials?

I hope you'll read the PNAC document and read the piece in Harpers a few years ago, called Baghdad: Year Zero. This was cold-blooded corporatization of a country to further open markets for the rise and success of western capitalism, under the color of "defense/war." 9/11 and WMD was the excuse. It failed because it was (1) a bad idea to begin with and (2) it was imcompetently executed and planned. (or I should say, "un-planned.")

anonymous sez:"Today among many other things, I give thanks that the possibility exists, however slight, that those responsible for lying, manipulating and bullying to start this disaster in Iraq will be brought to justice. The war on terrorism has to include Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all those who aided and abetted their crimminal actions. "

I won't hold my breath. Kissinger, among other folks, needs to be in the dock for Chile, Vietnam, Cambodia, so many things he had his fingers in. Instead he's a much respected pundit who gets trotted out as if he had any legitimacy whatsoever. Nope, all these boyos will go onto lucrative careers while the thousands that their policies killed are rotting in their graves. That's the way we like the world, so that's the kind of stuff we accept. Learn nothing, move on, repeat the mistakes, more killings, learn nothing, etc. So long as the various death merchangs make money, and the American people stay asleep at the switch, that's the way it will continue.

Mike Green said...

Ann, Well done!
Jon, to assume that critcal analyisis of the Iraq war is illogical because of the complexitys of the reality is, well, illogical.

ARGUMENTUM AD IGNORANTIAM
Asserting that something is true because it hasn't been proved false, or vice versa.

The Iraquis were terrorist?

No, we've made a terrible mess

It's time we learned this lesson:

GAMBLER'S FALLACY
After nine heads, expect tails.

I don't pretend to have the answers here, But I do agree with Ann that the reasons for this problem are not complex, but clear.

Spectator said...

To All:

So that everyone knows what Ann is writing about, a link to the PNAC site is below.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm

You can easily navigate the site and considering the dates on when much was written, come to your own conclusions. As far as Harpers is concerned, much of the opinion there is similar to that found on moveon.org and should be considered in any National debate. It is easy to find conflicting opinion, based on conflicting assumptions. If you study the links placed above in a previous post concerning logic and the concept of an American Cargo cult, you will be better prepared to understand what is written.

History and the understanding of it, coupled with the ability to accept complex causal relationships in light of hindsight, and a knowledge of the nature of thought at the time is necessary to avoid emotional spin by those who would attempt to rewrite history in a simplistic way, perhaps for political gain.

Like the Los Osos sewer problem it is very easy to place blame, and starting with an effect, apply a simplistic cause. This is non productive, and implies circular reasoning. One must understand the thought process and rationality leading to the possibly very complex cause before one can see the effect clearly without emotion.

People make bad decisions and terrible mistakes. We do it in our own lives, and our elected representatives do the same which affects us all. If we live in our own world with shoulda-coulda, woe is me, and blame others for our actions and decisions, we will be ineffective with life: perhaps avoiding it.

Spectator said...

To All:

Naiomi Klein's article can be found at:

http://www.harpers.org/BaghdadYearZero.html

Euphemia said...

A masterful essay, Ann. Beautiful and true. Thanks.

Mike Green said...

Jon, your research on cargo cults prompted me to reeducate myself on the topic(s)
Starting with wikipedia and on to acedemia.
The results are enlightening.
Too bad the trail peters out about the time it juxtaposes with "Magic thinking"
The real and the imaginary have a nexus, but where?

Churadogs said...

Jon sez:"As far as Harpers is concerned, much of the opinion there is similar to that found on moveon.org and should be considered in any National debate."

The article I was refering to wasn't opinon. It was by Naomi Klein, I think, was a fully researched, documented took at what was happening to Iraq under color of the occupation to corporatize the industries there under 99 year leases (Geneva conventions forbit selling a country's assets by occupiers, but you sure can "lease" them on 99 year leases, etc. I hop you'll track that article down. It's a fully documented look at just what was happening during the early stages of the U.S. occupation and was prefectly in sync with the PNAC doctrine. Indeed, they meshed beautifully until Sistani figured out the game and then all hell broke loose.

Jon also sez:"Like the Los Osos sewer problem it is very easy to place blame, and starting with an effect, apply a simplistic cause"

What I've said many times is A is connected to B is connected to C. It's not a matter of blame, it's a matter of learning from mistakes by understanding what went wrong in the first place.

I've liked the Los Osos sewer to laying rail track. Iraq was the same: railroad tracks can't be bent around quickly. Once you commit to a direction, you're stuck for endless links of straight rails going in a particular direction -- A directs B directs C and so forth -- until you can slowly, slowly move those straight rails into a semblence of a curve. If you set rail A in the wrong direction, you're going to have a hell of a mess trying to get it going in the right direction because every rail is hinged to the one before it. And human nature and The Process very often makes it nearly impossible to go back or change direction, so your FIRST step can be your LAST -- right off the cliff that you never bothered to check lay straight ahead.

Ron said...

Ann said:

"I hope you'll track that article down."

Consider it tracked.

Bush and Co. had a plan after all. Iraq is open for business.

Absolutely disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Ann,I read that Harpers piece. It's enough to make one wretch. No wonder America is hated so much with that kind of crap going on by our "leader$"

Spectator said...

To Ron: Thank you for tracking the article and the immediate link.

TO Ann: The article by Naomi Klein was totally opinion. Before she wrote this article she has written many on the greed and irresponsibility of certain American Corporations. With Noam Chamski and Michael Moore, Naomi Klein helped to produce a documentary called "The Corporation". Along with Rowland "The Greed" she has worked to show the lack of morality of certain corporate structures, despite the morality of the managers thereof. "Profit is the motive and purpose." "Corporations are evil". "Profit equals greed". On the other side of the coin some say "greed is good".

I say "In moderation". There is a ballance.

However, there is a socialistic, and communistic (secular-progressive) agenda in her writings for years. She is free to criticize, but offers no alternitives. She shows the bad, but never the good.
Of course, a failed communistic system, led by benevelent leaders, COULD BE THE OPTIMAL. There is also a system led by a benevolent dictator. Corporations would not have to exist, everything would be owned by the state "The people".

There IS sunshine and light. There IS a money trail. Corporate executive bastards who rape individuals, countries, and our government for profit belong in jail. If they exploit labor, the same. They belong in jail for "good intentions" if they have violated the law. The same thing goes for politicians and representatives who promise a "Free Lunch". ALL of us should be held responsible.
But we, as individuals, cannot be held responsible for the actions of the leaders of other countries, or the fools ( by our standards ) that elect them. All we can do is educate. But as we as a country, elect fools to represent us, who would destroy us and our traditions for "progressive" idealism. Mostly the fools come from big cities, with their hands out, with a population that demands services that they cannot pay for, and so the representatives wish to take from others who are self sufficient, and happy with what they have. Such is the nature of socialism and progressive thinking. Take from those that have, and give to those who have not. The worst of this is that the progressives do not give a hand up, they are in power because of the promise of "pie in the sky".

Today Al Sharpton threw the guantlet down. 90% of our fine black men and women voted for the Democratic party in the last election. They want a big piece of power. Times, they are a changing.
"Pie in the sky" may not work anymore.

Cargo Cult thinking, and magical thinking may disappear.

We, in Los Osos, elect fools to put us in bankruptcy. They should be put in jail.

ANN: In the meantime, when one looks at countries that are not "open to business" and check them out on cia.gov, you will find them on the dead bottom of the "quality of life" scale.

Jon Arcuni

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article, Ann.

On a much lesser scale from the vast indifference of the pasty-faced, well-fed world leaders who move mountains with the flick of a wrist changing people's lives forever,I am reminded of a much lesser, but life changing, catastrophe. I am reminded of how, on the day before Thanksgiving, Bill had occasion to speak with Harvey Packard on the phone regarding the Cease and Desist Order hearings coming up in December - yes, almost a full year from the initial issuance. Harvey concluded their conversation with a Happy Thanksgiving wish. Bill said he, without even thinking of how vaguely cynical that wish was from the guy who's prosecuting us, wished him the same.

Later I noticed that we had received an email from Reed Sato, Director, Office of Enforcement for the water board. It ended with a wish that we should enjoy the holiday.

If I had had the opportunity, I would have told those gentlemen how unnecessary their wish was. After all, they would be spending the holiday with us. In fact, Harvey, Reed, Roger, Jeffrey Young, Michael Thomas, Matt Thompson, Sorel Marks, and even long-gone Lori Okun, and all the rest of those water board faces from the April 28th hearing and our endless subsequent contacts with them, were houseguests for the entire holiday. These uninvited freeloaders have actually been living in our house for months.

What a silly thing to say, happy holidays, when they'll be sleeping with us throughout the next several weeks and months, and possibly years. And then when they are finally finished with us, moving on to become houseguests of the next group, and the next, and the next.

Part of our household for months now, part of the households of many others, they don't need to wish us a happy holiday. They know how the holiday was in our house. They were there. Their pasty, indifferent faces and their soft white hands are always there.

Bev. De Witt-Moylan

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