May 3, 2011

We’re All “Good Bushies” now! ? ! ?

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 7:31 pm

President Obama has just given America’s complete and unconditional endorsement to the Middle East tradition of using a perpetual cycle of violence to conduct a philosophical debate. Thomas E. (AKA T. E.) Lawrence, in his book “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” informed readers that revenge is an integral part of the Muslim culture. When American political pundits say that the death of Osama bin Laden gives closure to the attack on the World Trade Center, that is about as astute as hearing a rookie sportscaster saying that a three run rally in the top of the first inning erases the necessity for playing the next eight and a half innings.

When the images of the attack on the World Trade Center were shown, crowds in the Middle East were reported to be holding spontaneous joyous celebrations in the streets of various cities in their countries. Americans were outraged and considered such a reaction inappropriate.

Sunday, after Americans were told that Osama bin Laden had been killed by Navy Seals, Americans responded with jubilant crowds expressing approval at various diverse locations mostly the sites of sporting events.

Presidential candidate Obama promised that he would deliver change. Apparently he has delivered on that promise. America has embraced the methods and conduct they once considered barbaric and unacceptable.

The fact that Americans at sporting events participated in spontaneous displays of euphoria when they received the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed, will only goad Al Qaeda into a much firmer resolve to deal out a brutal payback attack. Does a bull attack the matador’s cape? The lower echelon of al Qaeda’s cadre has just been dealt an insulting challenge which they won’t ignore.

T. E. Lawrence informed his readers that the Muslim culture is also noted for its patience regarding a response so that if they don’t send a suicide bomber into action on Wednesday, that doesn’t mean that they won’t ever strike back; it just means they will pick the time and place and proceed at their leisure.

The irony for Democrats is that by fully and unreservedly endorsing the violent assassination of Osama bin Laden, President Obama has committed members of his political party to Bush’s Eternal War on Terrorism.

Initially some Democrats (and a few rogue online columnists) objected to Bush’s use of invasion, torture, and excessive collateral civilian damage but now with the Obama move to commit his Party to the Bush agenda, he has made any efforts to promote antiwar sentiment become a despicable example of disloyal cowardice.

Shifting the Democrats into the cycle of perpetual retaliatory events is an irreversible move of the “you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube” type. The Peacenik point of view will become as relevant to the contemporary political arena as are the beliefs of the flat earth society.

Al Qaeda is now compelled to retaliate and when they do, the average American (who was seen rejoicing in the news at Sunday night sporting events) will demand a bigger and more horrific response to the al Qaeda answer to Osama’s assassination. At that point history will take on the hall of mirrors look and there won’t be any turning back.

The fact that one of Col. Qaddafi’s sons was killed in a recent NATO airstrike will mean that as he has previously (when his step daughter was killed) the Libyan leader will unleash his own subsidized violent retaliation.

Any new terrorism activity that is unleashed inside the United States will have at least two potential sources in the Muslim world. If something happens, bloodthirsty Americans will demand a quick act of generic revenge and not a comprehensive investigation to determine the specific group that did the deed.

America’s security forces have been rather successful using entrapment gambits for ensnaring young gullible guys, but from here on, things are going to get progressively rougher and meaner.

Was the old movie comedy routine about two guys engaging in a slapping contest based on a real life macho contest? If so, that example of slowly increasing hostility could become a valid metaphor for a series of increasingly violent retaliation moves.

Any speculation about what could possibly have been done to avoid the now inevitable eternal cycle of increasingly bloody retaliator moves is totally irrelevant.

Alternate fiction history can be interesting and entertaining but it is an exorcise in futility. What would have happened if the Seal team had shot Osama with a paintball gun and then said: “We could have killed you just now, but we want to break the pattern of the eternal cycle of violent retribution killing.” But they didn’t. They shot him dead.

Whatever infinitesimally small chance that might have had to work is irrelevant. Osama was assassinated and the United States will be seen as accepting the ground rules for a never ending series of alternating retaliations.

Punditry about “closure” will only serve to increase the level righteous indignation in America when (not “if”) al Qaeda retaliates for the assassination of Osama or Col. Qaddafi seeks revenge for the killing of his son. That, in turn, will only compel America’s subsequent answer to be an absolute requirement for any President of either party.

At that point George W. Bush’s assertion that he had started an “Eternal” war and that it has been fully endorsed by the Democrats courtesy of President Obama will be irrefutable. Attempting political commentary that runs counter to both the Republican and Democratic Presidents’ agendas would be completely idiotic and an example of wasted effort. Consequently subsequent columns written by the World’s Laziest Journalist may be about irrelevant, inconsequential, and perhaps even innocuous topics.

A segment of the lyrics to one of Waylon Jennings’ songs seems to be appropriate for the closing quote: “ . . . waiting for something to happen – hope it doesn’t happen to me . . .”

Now the disk jockey will play the Zombies song “How We Were Before,” CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising,” and Dick Dale and the Deltones 1963 release “We’ll Never Hear the End of It.”

We have to go attend a “More war; Less social services” rally. Have a “Revenge is sweet” type week.

April 19, 2008

Frank Herbert: The Democrats’ Road Map to Defeat

Frank Herbert, The New York Times, April 19, 2008

The Democrats are doing everything they can to blow this presidential election. This is a skill that comes naturally to the party. There is no such thing as a can’t-miss year for the Democrats. They are truly gifted at finding ways to lose.

Jimmy Carter managed to win the White House in 1976 by looking pious and riding a wave of anti-Watergate revulsion. After four hapless years, he dutifully handed the keys back to the G.O.P.

Bill Clinton tried hard to lose, with sex scandals and whatnot, during the 1992 campaign. But Ross Perot wouldn’t let him. Mr. Clinton won with a piddling 43 percent of the vote. For eight years, Mr. Clinton tried to throw the presidency away (with sex scandals and whatnot), but he was never able to succeed.

That’s been it for the party for the past 40 years. The Democrats have become so psychologically battered by these many decades in the leadership wilderness that they consider the Clinton years, during which the president was impeached and they lost control of both houses of Congress, to have been a period of triumph.

Now comes 2008, a can’t-lose year if there ever was one. A united Democratic Party should be able to win this election in a walk. The economy is terrible and getting worse. The Republicans are demoralized. John McCain is no J.F.K. And the country wants to elect a Democrat.

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April 18, 2008

Paul Krugman: Clinging to a Stereotype

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , — Volt @ 8:01 am


Paul Krugman, The New York Times, April 18, 2008

Will Barack Obama’s now famous “bitter” quote turn out to have been a big deal politically? Frankly, I have no idea.

But here’s a different question: was Mr. Obama right?

Mr. Obama’s comments combined assertions about economics, sociology and voting behavior. In each case, his assertion was mostly if not entirely wrong.

Start with the economics. Mr. Obama: “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration.”

There are, indeed, towns where the mill closed during the 1980s and nothing has replaced it. But the suggestion that the American heartland suffered equally during the Clinton and Bush years is deeply misleading.

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