Friday, June 27, 2008

I like to study memes and conventions and assumptions in our social reality, and I often take the radical critique. It borders on condemnation at times. I see nothing wrong with this and think, instead, that there’s a lot of value to it. But that’s because there is something deeply wrong with me. I don’t think everything is okay. I’m not going to pretend it’s all good, and I’m not going to live not caring what other people think. It’s because I’m not sane. I’m not a mainstream American. But I am a patriot. The people who call and style themselves as patriots are among the most unthinking, callous people on the planet, of any nation. People of the personality type that cares for nothing more than power and domination are a threat to any country’s welfare and future.

As for my patriotism, love of country is not fear of foreign lands and peoples. Fear of the irrational kind projected onto a concern for national domination is the cancer of our times. It is, to use the proper lexicon, jingoism. A barbarian wearing the clothes of a patriot is not a patriot; it only adds insult to injury when the hated decent people who work for patriotic values and ideals are thrown a traitor’s rags and a tyrant’s crown. There are nationalists in our midst, totalitarian to the core, who despise the Enlightenment and everything it represents, our civil liberties and the constitutional pillars of our democratic republic included.

To the decent, humane, enlightened people of my country, I ask this: are you willing to defend your homeland? We revere veterans of military service in far-off lands, at the half-chained service of interests that see their human needs as little more than the logistical matters of ordnance and ammunition. We hate today’s official satan. America “has no permanent enemies,” to quote the current secretary of state. Indeed our enemy is always changing; yesterday it was Sunni dead-enders, today it is Shiite triumphalists. Yesterday it was Khomeini, today Saddam; yesterday, Qaddafi, today Noriega. And on and on all the way back. What is truth when you cannot find your friends? Or what is justice when you find a new enemy at every corner? We need to take a good hard look in the mirror. I already dread what we’ll see, if we care to open our eyes. Happy July Fourth. Let the bombs burst in air.

Monday, June 23, 2008

“I’m an outsider by choice, but not truly. It’s the unpleasantness of the system that keeps me out. I’d rather be in, in a good system. That’s where my discontent comes from: being forced to choose to stay outside.”

“Scratch any cynic, and you’ll find a disappointed idealist.”


Friday, June 13, 2008

R.I.P. Tim Russert.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

“The right questions were asked. I think there’s a lot of critics—and I guess we can count Scott McClellan as one—who think that, if we did not debate the president, debate the policy in our role as journalists, if we did not stand up and say, ‘This is bogus,’ and ‘You’re a liar,’ and ‘Why are you doing this?’ that we didn’t do our job. And I respectfully disagree. It’s not our role.”

—David Gregory, NBC News correspondent, 9 June 2008 (as quoted by Scott Ritter, here)

The “right questions” are those, as Gregory implies, that do not question the basic assumptions behind the enterprise; that would be irresponsible. Journalists are not supposed to “debate the policy” or, God forbid, debate the Commander in Chief. Forgive me if I cannot help but picture Pharaoh’s scribes.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

“We cannot say with certainty whether Mr. Bush lied about Iraq.”

New York Times, 6 June 2008 (June 2008!)

What an irresponsible, ultra-liberal newspaper. (The report from the Senate selective-intelligence committee here.)

From the “minority opinion” — written by Orrin Hatch, Saxby Chambliss and Chris Bond, a fine trio of dissenters: “Ultimately, these [Senate] reports reveal a dubious agenda of vainly trying to prove the often quoted, but false, absolutely partisan, slogan, ‘Bush lied and people died’” (p. 166). They’re right: over 4,000 Americans are still alive, safe with their families, in one piece — and not one dishonest word ever escaped the President’s mouth.

They’re very right. Far-right, one could say.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal. There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!”

— President Bush, as quoted by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (ret.) in his new tell-all memoir Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story, shortly after insurgents in Falluja murdered, hacked and strung up four contractors in April 2004 (Sanchez cited by Michael Abramowitz, in the Washington Post, 2 June 2008, A11); Falluja was extensively bombarded and invaded that November (including the use of white phosphorous), an assault that wiped out hundreds of civilians and ended any hope of pacifying Iraq