Bless the Maker and all His Water; Bless the coming and going of Him; May His passing cleanse the world. May He keep the world for his people.
The Empire must not be given to House Harkonnen!
To attempt an understanding of Muad'Dib without understanding his mortal enemies, the Harkonnens, is to attempt seeing Truth without knowing Falsehood. It is the attempt to see the Light without knowing Darkness. It cannot be.
(I'm telling ya'll- She is the Debbil!)
Do not let the Oil Guild run the Universe Forever! Free the Spice!
O you who know what we suffer here, do not forget us in your prayers.
Let the Kwisatz Haderach reign...
Edwards in other prophecy
Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.
Then, as his planet killed him, it occurred to Kynes that his father and all the other scientists were wrong, that that most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error.
Sep 29, 2007
Sep 28, 2007
The Good Doctor:
Dr. Zaius said...
Jeepers, Fade, don't go all pollyana on us.
Well Doc Z, that Chicken Little shit is doing wonders for the Wingers on the right. This whole Fonzie cool "It's all good" apathy is starting to feel kinda well, ineffective.
I don't know why... Perhaps the American people need to be scared of the REAL threats and not the fake ones, if they're going to shit their pants ANYWAY, they might as well shit them for the RIGHT Reasons...
As Larry Kudlow said last night- "Hillary's got a war on smoking. You wonder where these Democrats priorities are."
Meanwhile, I visited my mom in a hospital room, Squamous cell carcinoma, oral kind, from smoking. Just one of thousands like her, dying across America this morning, without health insurance. Somehow as I sat there next to her, I managed to contain my fear of terrorists blowing up the hospital.
Kudlow is the kind of guy that would have been arguing AGAINST warning labels on cigs back then, AND discounting Doctors' reports that Smoking causes cancer. How many Hundred thousands will die in America this year from ... Smoking? Compare that to the terrorist threat and even brain damaged, closet-Craig-Kudlow should understand WHERE The Democrats priorities are.
Is it lack of proper healthcare thats turning America into a nation of fucking morons that can't see the forest for the trees?
Personally, I blame Bill Clinton.
Oh wait, scratch that, the new Demoncrat du jour is Hillary. Even though she's a closet Republican. In the end, I am starting to think she WILL get elected- by a landslide of Republicans ala Joe Lieberman. Thanks, Hillary supporters- for NOT A GODDAMN THING.
Edwards, all day, everyday.
Nothing else is acceptable.
Sep 27, 2007
Autumn's Ominous Augur
Suicide By trade Sanctions
by Darryl Schoon
September 26, 2007
Leaves aren’t the only things that fall in autumn - Kelli B.Grant
It seems this summer’s credit crunch and the continuing defaults of US subprime mortgages would be enough. Now, however, the US Federal Reserve has decided to play chicken with inflation. But evidently, even this is not too much.
This fall, providence is bringing yet another dish of trouble to an already over laden table—China may actually prove good on its threat to dump $1.33 trillion of US Treasuries and start the long awaited flight from the US dollar.
China’s threat to sell its US Treasuries—if actually carried out—will be triggered by the US Congress. This fall, the US Congress will vote on a bill that would impose a 20 % across-the-board tariff on all Chinese goods imported into the US. The supporters of the bill describe its passage as “veto-proof”—that they now possess enough votes to override a presidential veto.
This possibility calls again into question the very efficacy of democracy, to wit the belief that the collective will of the people is preferable to the capricious stupidity of a king or queen or any other selected or self-appointed tyrant, or indeed, virtually any government official.
Perhaps it should be argued that democracy today is not actually democracy; anymore than Christianity as practiced by the Church during the Inquisition or by Southern Baptists during slavery was actually Christianity. Point taken, but then again, at least for the sake of argument, we need to start somewhere.
The US representatives voting on the China tariff bill will be responding to the frustrations of those they lead; their constituents, whose bills are mounting while their frustrations are coming to a head and perhaps even incapable of being surmounted.
Unfortunately, Americans are looking to the very ones that led them into their difficulties to lead them out; for it was their democratically-elected representatives who sold out their interests in order to further their own that caused the trouble America is in.
Politicians Have Many Masters None Of Which Are Themselves
The vote on China will take place in the US House of Representatives and in the US Senate. Ironically, it will be voted upon by a group of men and women who have already proved incapable of stopping a war the American people recently elected them to end.
But democracy, as practiced today, democracy de facto, is designed to thwart the will of the people, not to promote it. For example, in the countries that “joined” the war on Iraq (remember the Coalition of the Willing?) the majority of the populace overwhelmingly opposed the invasion. Yet in each country, democratically-elected governments over-rode the will of their own citizens to support America’s need for oil and geopolitical influence.
This time, however, the representatives of America will likely do the bidding of those who elect them and vote to censure China for its “currency manipulation”. It should be noted that they will not be doing the same with Japan—the world’s second largest holder of US Treasuries; for Japan is the perceived ally of the US, not its perceived successor.
Politics is, and always has been, a dirty business. Money and power is a combustible mix and history is littered with the bodies of those injured in the process. This fall, more gurneys will be needed. Should the US vote to impose tariffs on China, the consequences will be felt globally, in Mumbai, in Budapest, in Sao Paolo, not just in Beijing or Boston.
“the notorious Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 – a policy blunder of monumental proportions.. played a key role in sparking a global trade war and the Great Depression.” - Stephen Roach, Managing Director Morgan Stanley
We are again facing the possibility of a Great Depression and history seems intent on repeating itself. The idea held by many that China will not exercise its “nuclear option” by selling US Treasuries and bringing the US economy to its knees by destroying the dollar is hopeful at best and increasingly less believable.
China is longer dependent on America to buy its goods. The Eurozone now shares the distinction of being China’s largest market. Additionally, when and if the US Congress votes to impose 20 % tariffs on Chinese goods, the damage to China’s economy will be significant.
China will retaliate; and, dumping $1.33 trillion of US Treasuries on the open market will be an all too easy and accessible option. It would destroy the US dollar and deal the US economy a body blow from which it would take years to recover.
This autumn, whatever happens in the US Congress will affect the world. For in a very real way, America’s problems are the world’s problems. What happens to the US economy and US dollar will affect global commerce on a scale not experienced since the Great Depression. Hold onto your seats, my friends. Democracy is in the house.
Sep 20, 2007
In essence, by imposing the U.S. Dollar as a reserve currency on the rest of the world, the United States extracts an imperial tax from dollar holders, that is to say, from those countries that hold U.S. dollars as reserves, including U.S. government bonds. In this sense, from an economic point of view, over the last 3-4 decades, Japan has been the “best” American vassal that has cumulatively contributed probably the largest amount of tribute into the American coffers. If the Japanese themselves were able to raise the status of the Japanese Yen to a major reserve currency of the world and reduce or remove the dollar as their reserve currency, then they will be able to transform themselves from an American vassal into an empire, a Yen Empire with all the benefits and privileges that an empire confers. This is not to say that Japan will create the most powerful empire in the world, for this is China’s destiny, but it is nevertheless far better to extract tribute from others instead of paying them.
Sep 19, 2007
"It's not about the oil, you goddamn Commie Hippie!"
Greenspan: Of course, we all knew it was about the oil, and we were right to worry. But, of course, we still have oil problems, but they aren't as bad as they WOULD Be...
Yes, Al, and the economy wouldn't be fucked if you had done something other than promote the quick fix during your tenure, a habit that Bernanke seems to be falling into. Hey, whatever keeps big business happy, right?
The Quick fix is killing America. Shortcuts and short term repairs do nothing but make the problem worsen in the long run.
Americans seem to be incapable of promoting any real solutions to ANY of our problems, whether it is foreign policy, the economy, national security, or lessening our nation's reliance on crude oil.
Get this: Tax "relief" hasn't relieved me, and it hasn't relieved Middle Class America. It has only put off the economic correction amongst the rich by allowing them the illusion that they still have plenty of money to play with. Meanwhile, the superstructure of the nation disintegrates around them.
The Iraq war and removing Saddam Hussein has not solved oil problems whatsoever. Oil is at record highs, without any real reason to be trading this high, except for the Iran confrontation- which of course, is completely unnecessary. Only one group profits from destroying oil production facilities in Iran.
Guess who that is? Anyone even remotely involved in the oil industry. Saudi Arabia profits. Exxon Mobil profits. Bushco profits. And the neocons get a hard on from killing more people and bombing the shit out of something, anything.
Who loses? Everyone else. I lose, you lose, everyone who can't afford $3 a gallon gas loses because the price shoots to $5 a gallon. Our troops in Iraq lose as muslims will double their resistance against Western aggression, since, once again, it is obvious that Iran is no threat to the U.S. Our standing in the world loses even more ground as the world's nations continue to see the U.S. as an aggressor who is bombing Iran not because they are a threat to our security, but because they are a threat to our oil profits. Russia wins, because their standing goes up as one of the few nations that can stand against Imperialist America. China wins for the same reason. Venezuela, Iran, and a host of other countries turn to them for assistance and sell their exports at cheaper rates, and even REFUSE to trade in the U.S. dollar, as certain central american countries have done, recently.
The Economy loses, for reasons that I quoted Friedman from Stratfor here recently. The U.S. Dollar is not tied to stability anymore, but volatility. And although volatility is good for short term gains, it does far more damage in the end.
And that's what it is, short term volatile gains for now, right fucking now, this day, this minute, this second. Planning for the long haul is for suckers, according to popular business psychology today. By THEN, surely we'll be safe. Someone else will solve it. No need to be a chicken little, right?
"You want to be a have or a have-not? The middle class is dying, where do you want to be?" An industry insider asked me yesterday. The implied wisdom being that you fleece the flock and get to the top as fast as you can and hope THAT will be enough to save you when the shit hits the fan in a big way.
There may not be much of a top to this mountain left, after we are finished strip mining its base.
Sep 18, 2007
"And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the promised One be born of the mountain, according to the Prophecies, as he was in Ages past and will be in Ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time."
It will be a long while before the wheel turns out another like this one.
Tia mi aven Moridin isainde vadin.
May the horn blow and summon this hero again. But not today. This one has earned his rest for now.
"Peace favor your sword. Tai'shar Manetheren."
"Tai'shar Malkier... The last embrace of the mother welcome you home, Lan."
Lan and Rand 53, Fading Words, 828 The Fires of Heaven
Sep 17, 2007
Iraq revokes security contractor license after shootout
Now, let's see if Bush lets this stand. Mercs killing civilians results in more attacks against our troops. For too long, Blackwater (in Bush's back pocket) has been able to murder freely in the streets of Baghdad. Will Bush allow the puppet democracy of Iraq to censure and punish his private army of cutthroats- the ones that he once unleashed in New Orleans? It's funny how we couldn't get water and bread to people dying in New Orleans, but we managed to spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money to airlift these scumbags into New Orleans to run around taking potshots at the "criminal element" of American refugees while they "secured" important areas... (basically they helped keep aid from getting IN TO THE REFUGEES).
A President of any Moral substance whatsoever would have banned these pirates from operating in Iraq, much less stateside. Of course, our President has no morals.
Is Maliki strong enough to rid Iraq of these bloodthirsty mercenaries? They are no less vile than Al Quaeda operatives, evidenced today as they opened fire and killed civilians for the umpteenth time.
And why not, they are operating under exemptions that say they cannot be prosecuted by Iraqis for the crimes they commit. Some Democracy, eh? Imagine if the laws in the U.S. applied to everyone EXCEPT Russian mercenaries who were shooting up American cities. It doesn't make sense, does it? Unless you are a bush crony.
So, here we have yet another group of Bush cronies that are above the law.
You know, freedom has been increasing for ONE GROUP under President Bush: Any dirty son of a bitch willing to commit crimes for the men in the whitehouse are increasingly finding that they are free to do whatever they want, as long as its serves the best interests of Dubya or his business partners. Blackwater can kill children in iraq. It's okay, because Condoleeza will call Maliki and say she's sorry for them and "will launch an investigation".
Hmm. I think you know what a White house launched investigation consists of by now: A paper shredder and a speech where Bush uses the word "freedom" forty times while he talks of the brave Iraqi people.
Yeah, they better be brave, because if the insurgents don't kill em, and our troops dont kill em, then they could get run over or shot by corporate killers for hire.
Why are they so damn ungrateful?
Sep 14, 2007
From Bernhard at Moon of Alabama... Market Confidence and Iraq
Oil Rises to Record $80.18 on Larger-Than-Expected Supply Drop
Dollar Falls to Record Low Versus the Euro on Rate Differential
But the major issue here is confidence. This has very much to do with Iraq and the inability of the U.S. to pull itself out of that quagmire.
The financial/commercial world has paid the U.S. for delivering international stability by putting money into Dollar assets. This allowed the U.S. to live beyond its homegrown financial income capacity.
Now the U.S. is no longer able to deliver stability, especially for the big oil exporters in the Middle East.
On the issue of financial stability the U.S. has blown it by allowing its citizens unreasonable speculation without the means to mitigate the consequences.
On the geo-political side the U.S. has proven itself impotent. Sure there are still lots of nukes and planes available, but that is not exactly the kind of leadership the world is yearning for.
The U.S. is spending some $700+ billion per year for 'defense'. But it would have problems to deliver even one brigade, some 4,000 soldiers, to any contingency should one occur. What can the U.S. do if someone shoots the king of Jordan or the president of Georgia?
With no political ability to end the war on Iraq, as was aptly demonstrated by the bipartisan comedy played in congress this week, there is hardly a chance that the U.S. will regain such capacity within a forseeable timeframe.
Compare the 700+ billion for the military with some $10 billion the U.S. spends for the State Department. The role of the global arbitrator is no longer believable when the only instrument the arbitrator has is total annihilation of this or that country.
Hence no further need to pay for that dubious service.
In the comments at MOA, small coke notes that Western Europe is about to crack open its own subprime crisis, modeled after the U.S. excesses.
PeeDee notes (and so has every CNBC talking head this week) "Either way, you want to be long the USD price of oil."
No shit, if America bombs Iran's oil production facilities, the price of oil should hit $120+
Yay Free Market Capitalism!
If Bush orders an attack on Iran, real Conservatives should drive to Washington D.C. and oust the president themselves. But, maybe they won't be able to afford the gas...
And Cloned Poster wonders why EU bankers fell prey to US. subprimes. "US is doing a China on the EU." Doh!
Well, that's been my experience in big business. You get fucked over for being stupid, pass it on. It's all a learning experience, right? And fucking someone over in free market capitalism isn't wrong, it's just good business sense. If they're stupid enough to do it, fuck em. Probably something that China has been saying about us for years now. Although you could argue that the U.S. Govt could always declare all those foreign held treasuries to be "temporarily non-negotiable" and fuck the Chinese at their own game...
Gosh, it's just like Vegas, without all the noise and lights. And hey, we can pull the plugs on the slot machines anytime we really feel like it. Right?
It's getting interesting. Crack open those chaos-theory books, because apparently no one really knows what the hell they are doing beyond cashing in their chips each day.
Found this on Jesus General...
Self Evident, by Ani DiFranco
us people are just poems
we're 90% metaphor
with a leanness of meaning
and once upon a time
we were moonshine
rushing down the throat of a giraffe
yes, rushing down the long hallway
despite what the p.a. announcement says
yes, rushing down the long stairs
with the whiskey of eternity
fermented and distilled
to eighteen minutes
burning down our throats
down the halldown the stairs
in a building so tall
that it will always be there
yes, it's part of a pair
there on the bow of noah's ark
the most prestigious couple
just kickin back parked
against a perfectly blue sky
on a morning beatific
in its indian summer breeze
on the day that america
fell to its knees
after strutting around for a century
without saying thank you
and the shock was subsonic
and the smoke was deafening
between the setup and the punch line
cuz we were all on time for work that day
we all boarded that plane for to fly
and then while the fires were raging
we all climbed up on the windowsill
and then we all held hands
and jumped into the sky
and every borough looked up when it heard the first blast
and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed
and the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar
looked more like war than anything i've seen so far
so fierce and ingenious
a poetic specter so far gone
that every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling
over 'oh my god' and 'this is unbelievable' and on and on
and i'll tell you what, while we're at it
you can keep the pentagon
keep the propaganda
keep each and every tv
that's been trying to convince me
in some prep school punk's plan to perpetuate retribution
even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution
is still hanging in the air
and there's ash on our shoes
and there's ash in our hair
and there's a fine silt on every mantle
from hell's kitchen to brooklyn
and the streets are full of stories
sudden twists and near misses
and soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters
with tales of narrowly averted disasters
and the whiskey is flowin
like never before
as all over the country
folks just shake their heads
so here's a toast to all the folks who live in palestine
here's a toast to the folks living on the pine ridge reservation
under the stone cold gaze of mt. rushmore
here's a toast to all those nurses and doctors
who daily provide women with a choice
who stand down a threat the size of oklahoma city
just to listen to a young woman's voice
here's a toast to all the folks on death row right now
awaiting the executioner's guillotine
who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads
to find peace in the form of a dream
cuz take away our playstations
and we are a third world nation
under the thumb of some blue blood royal son
who stole the oval office and that phony election
i meanit don't take a weatherman
to look around and see the weather
jeb said he'd deliver florida, folks
and boy did he ever
and we hold these truths to be self evident:
#1 george w. bush is not president
#2 america is not a true democracy
#3 the media is not fooling me
cuz i am a poem heeding hyper-distillation
i've got no room for a lie so verbose
i'm looking out over my whole human family
and i'm raising my glass in a toast
here's to our last drink of fossil fuels
let us vow to get off of this sau
shoo away the swarms of commuter planes
and find that train ticket we lost
cuz once upon a time the line followed the river
and peeked into all the backyards
and the laundry was waving
the graffiti was teasing us
from brick walls and bridges
we were rolling over ridges
i dream of touring like duke ellington
in my own railroad car
i dream of waiting on the tall blonde wooden benches
in a grand station aglow with grace
and then standing out on the platform
and feeling the air on my face
give back the night its distant whistle
give the darkness back its soul
give the big oil companies the finger finally
and relearn how to rock-n-roll
yes, the lessons are all around us and a change is waiting there
so it's time to pick through the rubble, clean the streets
and clear the air
get our government to pull its big dick out of the sand
of someone else's desert
put it back in its pants
and quit the hypocritical chants of
cuz when one lone phone rang
in two thousand and one
at ten after nineon nine one one
which is the number we all called
when that lone phone rang right off the wall
right off our desk and down the long hall
down the long stairs
in a building so tall
that the whole world turned
just to watch it fall
and while we're at it
remember the first time around?
the ryder truck?
the parking garage?
the princess that didn't even feel the pea?
remember joking around in our apartment on avenue D?
can you imagine how many paper coffee cups would have to change their design
following a fantastical reversal of the new york skyline?!
it was a joke, of course
it was a joke
at the time
and that was just a few years ago
so let the record showthat the FBI was all over that case
that the plot was obvious and in everybody's face
and scoping that scene
or is it KGB?
committing countless crimes against humanity
with this kind of eventuality
as its excuse
for abuse after expensive abuse
and it didn't have a clue
look, another window to see through
way up here
on the 104th floor
3000 some poems disguised as people
on an almost too perfect day
should be more than pawns
in some asshole's passion play
so now it's your job
and it's my job
to make it that way
to make sure they didn't die in vain
hear the train?
.... the most fitting tribute of all...
Sep 13, 2007
The incomparable George Friedman of www.Stratfor.com offers this 9-11 analysis into Bin Laden's mindset, goals, and psychology. And the results thus far of the American response...
War, Psychology, and Time
There are moments in history when everything comes together. Today is the sixth anniversary of the al Qaeda attack against the United States. This is the week Gen. David Petraeus is reporting to Congress on the status of the war in Iraq. It also is the week Osama bin Laden made one of his rare video appearances. The world will not change this week, but the convergence of these strands makes it necessary to pause and take stock.
To do this, we must begin at the beginning. We do not mean Sept. 11, 2001, but the moment when bin Laden decided to stage the attack -- and the reasoning behind it. By understanding his motives, we can begin to measure his success. His motive was not, we believe, simply to kill Americans. That was a means to an end. Rather, as we and others have said before, it was to seize what he saw as a rare opportunity to begin the process of recreating a vast Islamic empire.
The rare opportunity was the fall of the Soviet Union. Until then, the Islamic world had been divided between Soviet and American spheres of influence. Indeed, the border of the Soviet Union ran through the Islamic world. The Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union created a tense paralysis in that world, with movement and change being measured in decades and inches. Suddenly, everything that was once certain became uncertain. One half of the power equation was gone, and the other half, the United States, was at a loss as to what it meant. Bin Laden looked at the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and saw a historical opening.
His problem was that contrary to what has been discussed about terrorist organizations, they cannot create an empire. What they can do is seize a nation-state and utilize its power to begin shaping an empire. Bin Laden had Afghanistan, but he understood that its location and intrinsic power were insufficient for his needs. He could not hope to recreate the Islamic empire from Kabul or Kandahar. For bin Laden's strategy to work, he had to topple an important Muslim state and replace it with a true Islamist regime. There were several that would have done, but we suspect his eye was on Egypt. When Egypt moves, the Islamic world trembles. But that is a guess. a number of other regimes would have served the purpose.
In bin Laden's analysis, the strength of these regimes also was their weakness. They were all dependent on the United States for their survival. This fit in with bin Laden's broader analysis. The reason for Muslim weakness was that the Christian world -- the Crusaders, as he referred to them -- had imposed a series of regimes on Muslims and thereby divided and controlled them. Until these puppet regimes were overthrown, Muslims would be helpless in the face of Christians, in particular the current leading Christian power, the United States.
The root problem, as bin Laden saw it, was psychological. Muslims suffered from a psychology of defeat. They expected to be weaker than Christians and so they were. In spite of the defeat of the atheist Soviets in Afghanistan and the collapse of their regime, Muslims still did not understand two things -- that the Christians were inherently weak and corrupt, and that the United States was simply another Crusader nation and their enemy.
The 9/11 attack, as well as earlier attacks, was designed to do two things. First, by striking targets that were well-known among the Muslim masses, the attack was meant to demonstrate that the United States could be attacked and badly hurt. Second, it was designed to get a U.S. reaction -- and this is what bin Laden saw as the beauty of his plan: If Washington reacted by doing nothing effective, then he could argue that the United States was profoundly weak and indecisive. This would increase contempt for the United States. If, on the other hand, the United States staged a series of campaigns in the Islamic world, he would be able to say that this demonstrated that the United States was the true Crusader state and the enemy of Muslims everywhere. Bin Laden was looking for an intemperate move -- either the continued impotent responses to al Qaeda attacks in the 1990s or a drastic assault against Islam. Either one would have done.
For the American side, 9/11 did exactly what it was intended to do: generate terror. In our view, this was a wholly rational feeling. Anyone who was not frightened of what was coming next was out of touch with reality. Indeed, we are always amused when encountering friends who feel the United States vastly exaggerated the implications of four simultaneous plane hijacks that resulted in the world's worst terrorist attack and cost thousands of lives and billions in damage. Yet, six years on, the overwhelming and reasonable fear on the night of Sept. 11 has been erased and replaced by a strange sense that it was all an overreaction.
Al Qaeda was a global -- but sparse -- network. That meant that it could be anywhere and everywhere, and that searching for it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. But there was something else that disoriented the United States even more. Whether due to disruption by U.S. efforts or a lack of follow-on plans, al Qaeda never attacked the United States again after 9/11.
Had it periodically attacked the United States, the ongoing sense of crisis would not have dissipated. But no attack has occurred, and over the years, actions and policies that appeared reasonable and proportionate in 2001 began to appear paranoid and excessive. a sense began to develop that the United States had overreacted to 9/11, or even that the Bush administration used 9/11 as an excuse for oppressive behavior.
Regardless of whether he was a one-trick pony or he did intend, but failed, to stage follow-on attacks, the lack of strikes since 9/11 has turned out to be less damaging to bin Laden than to the Bush administration.
Years of vigilance without an indisputable attack have led to a slow but systematic meltdown in the American consensus that was forged white hot on Sept. 11. On that day, it was generally conceded that defeating al Qaeda took precedence over all other considerations. It was agreed that this would be an extended covert war in which the use of any number of aggressive and unpleasant means would be necessary. It was believed that the next attack could come at any moment, and that preventing it was paramount.
Time reshapes our memory and displaces our fears from ourselves to others. For many, the fevered response to 9/11 is no longer "our" response, but "their" response, the response of the administration -- or more precisely, the overreaction of the administration that used 9/11 as an excuse to wage an unnecessary global war. The fears of that day are viewed as irrational and the responsibility of others. Regardless of whether it was intentional, the failure of al Qaeda to mount another successful attack against the United States in six years has made it appear that the reaction to 9/11 was overblown.
The Bush administration, however, felt it could not decline combat. It surged into the Islamic world, adopting one of the strategies bin Laden hoped it would. There were many reasons for this, but part of it was psychological. Bin Laden wanted to show that the United States was weak. Bush wanted to demonstrate that the United States was strong. The secretary of defense at the time, Donald Rumsfeld, used the term "shock and awe." That was precisely the sense the United States wanted to deliver to the Islamic world. It wanted to call bin Laden's bet -- and raise it.
That was more than four years ago. The sense of shock and awe, if it was ever there, is long gone. Rather than showing the Islamic world the overwhelming power of the United States, the United States is now engaged in a debate over whether there is some hope for its strategy. No one is arguing that the war has been a slam dunk. Whatever the complex reasons for invading Iraq, and we have addressed those in detail, time has completely undermined the psychological dimension of the strategy. Four years into the war, no one is shocked and no one is awed. The same, it should be added, is true about Afghanistan.
Time has hammered the Bush administration in two ways. In the first instance -- and this might actually be the result of the administration's success in stopping al Qaeda -- there has been no further attack against the United States. The justification for the administration's measures to combat al Qaeda, therefore, is wearing thin. For many, a state of emergency without any action simply does not work after six years. It is not because al Qaeda and others aren't out there. It is because time wears down the imagination, until the threat becomes a phantom.
Time also has worn down the Bush administration's war in Iraq. The Islamic world is not impressed. The American public doesn't see the point or the end. What was supposed to be a stunning demonstration of American power has been a demonstration of the limits of that power.
The paradox is this: There has been no follow-on attack against the United States. The United States did dislodge Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, and while the war goes badly, the casualties are a small fraction of those lost in Vietnam. Most important, bin Laden's dream is gone. No Muslim state has been overthrown and replaced with a regime that bin Laden would find worthy. He has been marginalized by both the United States and by his rival Shiite radicals, who have picked up the mantle that he dropped. His own jihadist movement is no longer under his effective control.
Bin Laden has been as badly battered by time as Bush. Unable to achieve any of his political goals, unable to mount another attack, he reminds us of Che Guevara after his death in Bolivia. He is a symbol of rebellion for a generation that does not intend to rebel and that carefully
ignores his massive failures.
Yet, in the end, Guevara and bin Laden could have become important only if their revolutions had succeeded. There is much talk and much enthusiasm. There is no revolution. Therefore, what time has done to bin Laden's hopes is interesting, but in the end, as a geopolitical force, he has not counted beyond his image since Sept. 11, 2001.
The effect on the United States is much more profound. The war, both in Iraq and against al Qaeda, has worn the United States down over time. The psychology of fear has been replaced by a psychology of cynicism. The psychology of confidence in war has been replaced by a psychology of helplessness. Exhaustion pervades all.
That is the single most important outcome of the war. What happens to bin Laden is, in the end, about as important as what happened to Guevara. Legends will be made of it -- not history. But when the world's leading power falls into the psychological abyss brought about by time and war, the entire world is changed by it. Every country rethinks its position and its actions. Everything changes.
That is what is important about the Petraeus report. He will ask for more time. Congress will give it to him. The president will take it. Time, however, has its price not only in war but also psychologically. And if the request for time leads to more failure and the American psychology is further battered, then that is simply more time that other powers, great and small, will have to take advantage of the situation. The United States has psychologically begun tearing itself apart over both the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. Whatever your view of that, it is a fact -- a serious geopolitical fact.
The Petraeus report will not address that. It is out of the general's area of responsibility. But the pressing issue is this: If the United States continues the war and if it maintains its vigilance against attacks, how does the evolution of the American psyche play out?
Sunni Leader Slain
These people are fucking up that whole White Supremacy thang for me....
Racist Attackers hold black woman prisoner
A nation cannot be fully protected when our Republican senators are chasing buttsex in airport restrooms. Vote Democrat. If teh homo sex is Legal, then our nation of lawbreaking Repubs will probably stop doing it.
Sep 12, 2007
Sep 11, 2007
It was a detailed list of terror attacks. Interestingly enough, they omitted McVeigh's attack. I wonder why that is, when his act of terror was pretty much just the same as any other terrorists'?
Well - we all know why, because it wasn't some sand nigger blowing people up, it was an ex-U.S. military cracker.
Terror attacks have been made in response to America's global actions. Innocent people have died at the hands of terrorists. But it would be OH-so very interesting to see just how many hundred thousand innocents have been killed by America in the middle East during the past forty years with our meddling in their affairs.
Just in the past four years, American is responsible for 1 Million dead Iraqis, and another 3 million that have fled the country because it is so unstable. And no, Al Quaeda didn't kill those people: War did. The U.S. invasion killed those people. U.S. bombs, U.S. bullets, U.S. destabilization. Kick that ass Pres.Bush! Kill some more! Kill em All! Turn it into a sea of glass, right?
So, do you really want to End Terrorism? Or do you just want an excuse to kill people who don't worship your god, don't speak your language, and are sitting on resources that we could use?
If we aren't invading their countries, overthrowing their leaders, TRAINING the Bin Ladins and Financing the Saddams, (all just to attempt to control the oil so some fat son-of-a-bitch that works for Exxon Mobil can fuck me in the ass at the gas pump) THERE WOULD NOT BE ANY TERRORISTS attacking America.
Do you get it? It's pretty damn simple.
But no, I look at the fucking news, and I see, once again, that You, my fellow Americans, Don't get it, won't get it, and probably never fucking will.
So, with all the scorn I can manage, here's a hearty Go Fuck Yourself to every piece of shit out there who supports keeping our troops in Iraq so they can die every month. Your ignorance is applauded by your masters: the Bushes, the Cheneys, the Blackwater CEO, the Exxon Board of directors, the offense contractors, the neocon globalists and so on and so on. Halliburton salutes your patriotism! All the fucking way to the bank, you sorry worthless traitors to the American way.