Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dick Cheney, Iraq and the ghosts of Vietnam

Very good article at Salon.

Cheney and his neocon cabal want to go back to Iraq – but they're really fighting Vietnam all over again

What all those people shared, I believe, was the conscious or unconscious belief that a foreign war with a plausible-sounding excuse, and one that ended with a clean victory, would be good for America and might restore the sense of national unity and purpose we putatively lost in the ’60s. If it sounds insane to contemplate ordering the deaths of thousands of people as a form of national therapy, you’re beginning to understand the true costs of PVSD, as well as the infantile and solipsistic character of American patriotism. If we see that today in its most diseased form with the renewed warmongering of Cheney, Feith, Kristol et al., the responsible-grownup version is still with us as well, in the pro-imperal windbaggery of Niall Ferguson or in Robert Kagan’s recent New Republic essay arguing that America should reassert itself as the dominant global superpower, despite the obvious fact that we’re broke, politically paralyzed and lack the stomach for any further overseas debacles.

The Iraq war was specifically conceived as antidote to Vietnam – as a brief, low-intensity, high-impact military victory that would make us feel better about ourselves. Ultimately it became a distorted replica or parody of Vietnam instead, a set of familiar mistakes in a new setting. It was shockingly expensive, grotesquely mismanaged and politically divisive, and its biggest success lay in unifying and empowering a nationalist opposition and turning the civilian population of the invaded country against us. There was widespread surprise that it didn’t work; Cheney, Rumsfeld and their allies have more or less continued to insist that it did work and we just haven’t noticed.

We can debate whether Cheney and his neocon brain trust really believed their own moronic-utopian domino theory about bombing the entire Arab-Muslim world into a set of pseudo-democratic American satellite nations “floating on a sea of oil” (in Paul Wolfowitz’s phrase). I guess somebody must have believed it, but I see that as pure ideological superstructure out of the Leo Strauss playbook, or in plain English as hokum designed to draw the suckers into the tent. That prospect was about as realistic as all the virgins in Paradise that are promised to jihadist suicide bombers, or the Soviet leadership’s pronouncements that one day pure communism would conquer the earth and the state would wither away.

We know who the dark wizard is who cast that spell, but it’s the rest of us who granted him his power. Dick Cheney yearns to fight the Iraq war over again – or fight another and another in Iran or Syria or somewhere else – in the vain hope that things will turn out differently, America’s virility will be restored and his legacy redeemed. That’s not going to happen; rancher togs or not, the Cheney of 2014 is an old and broken man with a fading constituency. But that’s small comfort to the rest of us, not to mention the people of Iraq. He destroyed their nation, bankrupted ours and did his damnedest to transmit the toxic effects of Vietnam to a new generation. One day we’ll be free of that past, presumably, but that day has not com

It will not come until the last person who remembers Vietnam in their own lifetime is gone. Hell, WWI isn't over and they are gone, so maybe never. Please read the rest.

A little Saturday bluegrass

This one goes out to bearsense. One of my favorite bands at the Father's Day Bluegrass Festival last weekend in Grass Valley CA at the other end of my county. Enjoy.

Thanks to Staninec.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Something a little different. From 1975.

Published on June 15, 2014
Story by Allan Harris and Don Brookins from WOKR-TV13 in Rochester. She and her band came to town and decided to play some softball. She was very warm and welcoming to our cameras.

Thanks to Rochester Broadcasting.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Absolutely Nothing

Jim Wright unloads big time on the perps who started the Iraq clusterfuck who are popping out from under their rocks now that their chickens are coming home to roost, and elaborates on the question "What were we fighting for?" which is answered in the title of his piece. Definitely a 'must read' from a pissed-off Veteran.

They had no idea what we were fighting for, those saber-rattling Chicken Hawks, the cowardly connected wealthy weasels who’d managed to avoid serving in their own war, who kept their children out of uniform, but just couldn’t wait to send us into one of their own making. They sent us off with parades and marching bands and cheering crowds … and brought the bodies home in secret, hidden away from the TV cameras and the public.

McCain stirred from the yellow fog of his bamboo cage and proclaimed in his best Old Man Yelling At Clouds voice, “We won Iraq! Obama lost it!”

Really Johnny Walnuts? Tell me, what did we win? And what have we lost? Please be specific, because I’d really like to know.

We no more “won” Iraq than McCain’s own father “won” Vietnam.

You sons of bitches one and all, you simpering capering madmen, this time at least have the courage to face the cameras, to look into America’s eyes, and tell them that their sons and daughters will be dying because you John McCain, because you Mitt Romney, because you Dick Cheney, because you Donald Rumsfeld, because you George W. Bush you lying bastard, because you conservatives hate Barack Obama…and for no other reason.

I’ll tell you what, let’s go back to Iraq.

Oh, yes, let us do that.

I’ll dig out my uniform and strap on my pistol and gird up my sword and ride into battle yet again.

Just so long as Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and every single one of those powdered, Botoxed talking heads at Fox News are in the vanguard. That’s right, you cowards, you put on a uniform and you lead the charge this time around. The Koch brothers and Mitt Romney can pay for it, every goddamned penny, we’ll bleed them until they’re dry and then we’ll pull the gold fillings from their teeth to pay for it right along with the rest of their Wall Street cronies. You fuckers got rich off the last one, you can damned well pay for this one. And when you run out of money, we’ll take your blood, fair’s fair.

Strap John McCain into the cockpit of an A-4 Skyhawk and let him fly air cover.

If he gets himself shot down and taken prisoner again, well, you know what? Fuck him, leave him to the enemy because frankly his hate and bile and raging insanity have done more damage to this country than Bowe Bergdahl ever did.

The terrorists can keep him.

There is nothing I could possibly add to that.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times
It should go something like this (above).

House Majority Leader Cantor Loses Primary to Tea Party Candidate
Voters found his anti-immigration, anti-Obamacare, anti-tax, anti-regulation record too progressive.

World Cup Begins
Americans glued to their TVs, tablets, smartphones, watching anything but.