Tag Archives: foreign policy

WTF is the matter with Mittens? He’s a multi-millionaire baby boomer, for starters

Raw Video: Romney headlines tabloids in London

Associated Press image

A London tabloid expresses its opinion of Mittens’ visit to London on the occasion of the city’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic games.

The 2012 Olympics have gotten off to a great start — and I’m not even into sports. (Well, men’s diving and men’s gymnastics are OK…)

As others have noted, all that Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mittens Romney really needed to do in London this past week was (1) to just show up and (2) to not make a total ass of himself. But very apparently, he could accomplish only one of those two objectives.

The mind of Mittens is a terrifying place to explore, but my blogger’s psychoanalysis of Mittens is that his London Olympics trip was meant to underscore the fact that he was in charge of the 2002 winter games in Salt Lake City and was meant to show that he — and not Barack. Hussein. Obama. — is the man who should be representing the United States of America abroad. (I hate it when someone like Mittens acts like a shadow president — it’s deeply undemocratic, since we have not elected Mittens to act as our shadow president.)

And the wingnuts’ view of foreign relations, of course, is much closer to George W. Bush’s than it is to Barack Obama’s. And that view is that the United States of America must act like a drunken, aggressive, narcissistic frat boy, treating others in the manner of a complete and total asshole. 

On that note, I just signed on to this open letter to the people of the United Kingdom:

An open letter to the people of the United Kingdom:

We are writing to express our concern over Mitt Romney’s recent comments, and to let you know that he does not represent how most Americans view your great country.

First, we do not believe, as Mitt Romney implied in 2007, that you have become a second-tier nation. Rather, we are impressed at how the United Kingdom has consistently been able to punch above its weight on the world stage.

Additionally, we do not share the opinion which Romney expressed in his 2010 book, No Apologies, that “England [sic] is just a small island,” and that “with few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy.” Please continue sending us your many wonderful products, especially the upcoming third season of “Downton Abbey.”

We look forward not only to the London Olympics, but also to many years of continuing the special relationship between our two nations. Rest assured we will do our level best to prevent Mitt Romney from becoming our next president.

Cheers!

I hope that before the organizers send the letter on to the Brits, they delete that reference to “Downton Abbey”* — that bad joke seems actually to reinforce Mittens’ contention that the UK is not a serious contender on the world stage — but I agree with most of it. (If you want to sign on, you can do so by clicking here.)

Of course, when we state that “we are impressed at how the United Kingdom has consistently been able to punch above its weight on the world stage,” we need to be careful that with such broad statements we are not endorsing some of the UK’s atrocities, which include the subjugation and in some cases even the decimation of the natives of Africa, Australia, India and neighboring Ireland, and which also includes the UK’s government’s support of the Vietraq War, in which the United States and the UK were partners in war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Indeed, if the U.S.’s rap sheet of atrocities is shorter than the UK’s, that’s only because the U.S. is a much younger nation.)

All of that said — and all of that reinforcing  yet another reason why it was an incredibly poor idea for a henchman of Mittens to assert earlier this week that Mittens Romney better understands the “Anglo-Saxon heritage”** shared by the UK and the United States than does Obama — it was incredibly pompous for Mittens, as a guest of the UK, to state his opinion just before the opening of the 2012 Olympics that London wasn’t ready.    

My guess is that such boorish behavior comes from the fact that Mittens is an American baby boomer — as a group, these selfish narcissists vastly overestimate their talents, abilities and worth, and as a group, they know no fucking shame — and from the fact that as a overprivileged (Daddy was chairman and president of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973, and Mommy ran for the U.S. Senate for Michigan in 1970, for fuck’s sake) multi-millionaire (from his vulture capitalism) who is used to others sucking up to him, Mittens is uncomfortable in any other role than being the uber-alpha male, the frat-boy asshole on crack.

My guess is that Mittens feels like he’s in charge wherever he is, and that he saw nothing wrong with telling his hosts on the topic of hosting the Olympics: “You’re doing it wrong!”

Of course, again, those on the right subscribe to the George W. Bush School of Foreign Policy, so it’s not like in their eyes Mittens did anything wrong. They want their president to be the biggest bully on the international stage. Unless the U.S. president is hated worldwide, he isn’t doing his job — that’s their credo.

So, as usual, in November it will come down to the “swing voters.”

I don’t imagine that a huge chunk of them really cares either that Mittens conducted himself like a jackass in London this week, since their area of concern usually doesn’t extend more than a few miles’ radius, but if Mittens gets the reputation as a bumbler on the world stage — because he is — that might cost him a significant number of votes.

We’ll see, but in the meantime, it is instructive, I think, to examine Mittens’ personality traits that have been on display on the world stage this week and to ask ourselves what these personality traits would mean for us here at home should he ever sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.

Of course, we Americans just allowed George W. Bush to blatantly steal the White House in late 200o — what bad events possibly could follow a blatantly stolen presidential election? — so of course we can’t write presidential wannabe Mittens off.

*I purchased and watched the first two seasons of PBS’ “Downton Abbey,” and my impressions of the television show are that one, while the series is watchable, the first season was better than the second, and that two, “Downton Abbey’s” American target audience seems to be limousine liberals. (That said, I’m quite middle- and working-class myself. I’ve never even been inside of a limo.)

“Downton Abbey” seems to be making structural and institutional socioeconomic equality seem OK because the lord and lady of the manor are fairly decent individuals, are not individually abusive to their servants. Of course, the whole setup — an overprivileged class that is served by an underprivileged class — is abusive, but apparently we are to overlook that.

Thus, again, “Downton Abbey” should be a fave among the limousine liberals, like my baby-boomer uncle, who owns several homes and is a U.S. military contractor but who nonetheless in all seriousness calls himself a “socialist.”

**While I haven’t studied my own genealogy, I suspect that I primarily of am British stock, as many white Americans are. (Wikipedia notes that “German Americans [16.5 percent], Irish Americans [11.9 percent], English Americans [9.0 percent], Italian Americans [5.8 percent], French Americans [4 percent], Polish Americans [3 percent], Scottish Americans [1.9 percent], Dutch Americans [1.6 percent], Norwegian Americans [1.5 percent] and Swedish Americans [1.4 percent] constitute the 10 largest white American ancestries.”)

While there is much about the UK that I admire — such as the incredibly useful and expansive English language, of course — I think that it’s vital to recognize a nation’s wrongdoings as well as its successes. Thus, when Mittens said this in “defense” of his henchman’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage” remark, it was not a save: “It [the United States’ and the UK’s shared ‘Anglo-Saxon heritage’] goes back to our very beginnings — cultural and historical. But I also believe the president understands that. So I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be, but do agree that we have a very common bond between ourselves and Great Britain.”

Yes, among other things, the United States and the UK have in common their colonization of other nations, the raping, pillaging and plundering of other, militarily weaker nations (including, of course, slavery) so that the UK and the U.S. could maintain a standard of living much higher than that of the average member of Homo sapiens on planet Earth. (And for this so-called “Anglo-Saxon” “success” you will get no apologies from Mittens Romney!)

When the British empire waned, the American empire rose up to replace it, and now the American empire wanes.

And you gotta love Mittens’ assertion, “So I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be.” How much control, exactly, does Mittens have over his own campaign?

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‘Bomb-throwing’ Ron Paul wins wingnuts’ New Hampshire debate

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, points to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as he answers a question during a Republican presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Associated Press photo

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, left, gestures at front-runner former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during tonight’s Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary debate in Manchester, New Hampshire. Romney was polished and toed the party line, while Paul kept it real and wasn’t afraid to buck the party consensus.

I live-blogged tonight’s Repugnican Tea Party presidential debate, the first 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary debate that I’ve watched in its entirety. The live-blogging is below.

I conclude that Ron Paul won the debate, hands down.

5:59 p.m. (Pacific time): The debate should begin within minutes… I’ve yet to force myself to sit through an entire 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential debate, but tonight I am going to, come hell or high water.

6:03 p.m.: It’s telling that all six candidates are middle-aged or old white men. These are the faces of the Repugnican Tea Party, no doubt. Anyway, with Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos and some other guy moderating, this apparently is a pretty high-level debate…

6:07 p.m.: All of these fascists more or less look alike to me, but thus far Mitt Romney seems to be doing pretty well, with the exception of his fakey-fake “friendly” voice, which is whisper-like and condescending. Rick Santorum seems to be uncomfortable in his own skin, not entirely unlike how he is parodied by Adam Samberg on “Saturday Night Live”…

6:11 p.m.: The candidates are now singing the praises of capitalism, which they aren’t calling “capitalism,” but are calling “free enterprise,” since that polls better and since capitalism isn’t as popular as it used to be with the 99 percent these days. There was a mention of how dangerous Iran is, which I’m sure we’ll get back to. This “free enterprise” crap sounds just like the portion of a debate I listened to a long time ago, when Michele Bachmann was still in the race…

6:14 p.m.: Ron Paul has called Santorum “corrupt.” Santorum has taken issue with this charge, of course. Santorum also states that he isn’t a libertarian, but that he believes in some government. (Government when it helps the plutocracy, right?)

6:17 p.m.: Ron Paul brags that he has signed only a handful of appropriations bills in the U.S. House of Representatives, that he opposes most government spending. “I am not a libertarian, Ron,” Santorum has repeated.

6:19 p.m.: Rick Perry is on now. He has bashed “corrupt spending” in Washington, D.C., and touts that he’s a D.C. outsider. His claim that he has been the “commander in chief” of Texas’ National Guard, apparently, is risible.

6:21 p.m.: Ah, we’re back to Iran. What’s the U.S. without a bogeyman? Jon Huntsman is rambling now. Sawyer asked about Iran, but Huntsman, perhaps fearing he won’t be able to answer another question, hasn’t answered the question, but has given a little stump speech. Huntsman is as white-bread as Romney is, but maybe that’s a product of their Mormonism.

6:25 p.m.: So Romney has called Barack Obama’s a “failed presidency,” stating that Obama has no leadership experience (I guess that the past three years don’t count), and alleging that Obama hasn’t been tougher on Iran, even though elective war in the Middle East has brought the American empire to the brink of collapse already.

6:27 p.m.: “Iran’s a big problem, without a doubt,” Rick Perry has proclaimed, further claiming that Iran (somehow) threatens our freedom. (It would be the plutocrats here at home who threaten our freedom, but that’s another blog post.) We heard the same thing about Iraq, did we not? That it was a threat to our freedom and our security? Again, it’s apparent that the Repugnican Tea Party fascists intend to use the specter of Iran to scare the populace into voting for them. Will it work again?

6:30 p.m.: Ron Paul passionately has talked about chickenhawks, though who gladly send our young off to war when they avoided military service themselves. Paul and Newt Gingrich went back and forth about whether or not Gingrich evaded military service, which would make him a chickenhawk. It’s rare for a Repugnican Tea Party candidate to bash chickenhawks.

6:33 p.m.: Ron Paul passionately has talked about how blacks and other “poor minorities” disproportionately are punished by our “criminal” “justice” system (as opposed to whites), including the fact that blacks and other poor minorities are more likely to be executed than are whites. Paul’s rant was a diversion from the question about the reportedly racist overtones of his old newsletter, but it’s rare to hear a Repugnican Tea Party candidate admit that the “criminal” “justice” system is patently unfair and racially biased.

6:35 p.m.: So there’s a break now. Some fucktarded ABC News pundit has called Ron Paul a “bomb-thrower,” but Paul seems sincere in his positions to me. Thus far, Ron Paul is doing the best in the debate, in my book, but as his views are closest to mine, maybe that’s why. I find front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum to be yawn-inducing and utterly uninspiring.

6:41 p.m.: Mitt Romney states that he personally opposes any attempt to ban contraception, although he states that he has no idea as to whether or not it would be constitutional for a state to attempt to ban contraception. Romney states that he supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define a marriage as being only between a man and a woman. This makes him utterly unelectable to me, to codify homophobia in the U.S. Constitution.

6:42 p.m.: Romney states that he believes that Roe vs. Wade should be overturned, which also makes him utterly unelectable to me.

6:43 p.m.: Rick Santorum, not to be outdone by Mitt Romney, also states that he also would overturn Roe vs. Wade. These men sure hate women.

6:45 p.m.: The topic now is same-sex marriage. Ron Paul has talked about privacy rights, but I’m not sure of his stance on same-sex marriage. Thus far no one supports same-sex marriage, unsurprisingly, with the possible exception of Paul. Jon Huntsman says he supports civil unions but does not believe that same-sex marriage should be allowed. That’s the coward’s way out, and separate is not equal.

6:47 p.m.: Santorum says that marriage is a federal issue. (I agree. Same-sex marriage should be allowed in all 50 states.) Santorum sounds like he also supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman only.

6:49 p.m.: Romney has used the bullshit “argument” that same-sex marriage should not be allowed because children should be raised only by heterosexual couples. Studies refute this assertion, and of course many people marry with no intent to raise children. Newt Gingrich essentially has tried to make the argument that “Christo”fascist haters are being oppressed by not being allowed to hate and to discriminate against others based upon their hateful religious beliefs. Oh, well. Gingrich has a snowball’s chance in hell of making it to the White House anyway.

6:54 p.m.: Rick Perry couldn’t resist adding that he also supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex marriage, and he is echoing Gingrich’s “argument” that the poor “Christo”fascists are experiencing a “war on religion.” Really? How about we start throwing them to the lions so that at least they aren’t lying through their fucking teeth when they claim that they are so fucking oppressed because they can’t cram their bullshit beliefs down our throats?

6:59 p.m.: Sounds like Jon Huntsman supports our withdrawal from Afghanistan. Newt Gingrich has used the topic of Afghanistan to bring up the specter of Iran, but, surprisingly, indicated that the problems in the Middle East don’t call for military solutions. Rick Santorum speaks again. He still seems ill at ease. He opposes withdrawing from Afghanistan any day soon, very apparently, because, he says, “radical Islam” is a “threat.” (Funny — I see radical “Christianity” as a much bigger and much more immediate threat to my own freedoms and security than I see Islam ever being.)

7:01 p.m.: Rick Perry says that he disagrees with the pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq, because Iran will overtake Iraq — “literally” “at the speed of light,” he said. (Really? Literally at the speed of light?) Like the last governor from Texas knew what to do in Iraq… Anyway, Rick Perry isn’t getting much air time, and I predict that his campaign won’t make it to next month.

7:04 p.m.: Ron Paul correctly points out that so many of the members of his party can’t wait to, as John McCainosaurus once put it, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, but that he thinks it’s a bad idea, as the U.S. military already is woefully overextended. (Paul did make an awkward comment about how although the Chinese government killed scores of its own citizens, it was a ping-pong game that “broke the ice.” Again: Awkward…)

7:06 p.m.: Rick Santorum seems like he’s so nervous that he might barf. We’re on another break now.

7:11 p.m.: Still on break. In my book, Ron Paul is winning this debate. However, he’s not mimicking all of the others on key stands (Iran evil, same-sex marriage evil, etc.), so I can’t see him getting even the vice-presidential spot on the 2012 ticket (presuming he’d even want it).

7:20 p.m.: We’re talking about the nation’s infrastructure now, apparently having finished with social issues and foreign policy. Mitt Romney is supposed to be talking about infrastructure, but instead he’s singing yet another insipid paean to capitalism, as opposed to Barack Obama’s “social welfare state.” Newt Gingrich is actually answering the question. Newt says that we have to maintain our infrastructure in order to keep pace with China and India (not because it’s good for us commoners, but because it’s good for business, apparently). Rick Santorum is supposed to be talking about infrastructure, but instead is claiming that corporations are overtaxed and over-regulated. Apparently the Repugs don’t really want to talk about the infrastructure, which the unelected Bush regime allowed to crumble for almost a decade.

7:25 p.m.: So little of substance was said on the topic of our crumbling infrastructure. Apparently all of our resources should go into even more warfare in the Middle East for the war profiteers and for Big Oil. Ron Paul is rambling on about cutting spending. Who is going to pay for our infrastructure? Oh, no one, since it’s not important, apparently. Rick Perry is now pontificating about lowering taxes (although without taxes, we can’t have a commons) and is advocating an energy policy of “drill, baby, drill,” essentially, and claims that Texas’ being a “right-to-work” state has resulted in job growth there. The plutocrats love it when the worker bees cannot unionize for better working conditions and better pay and benefits and rights. Rick Perry is evil, and his state’s jobs are low-paying jobs with bad or no benefits, which is why he focuses on the number of jobs, not the quality of those jobs, in Texas. Bad, low-paying jobs in which the deck is insanely stacked in the favor of the plutocrats are great for the plutocrats, but are catastrophic for the working class.

7:26 p.m.: Mitt Romney says that the November 2012 presidential election is about “the soul of the nation.” Indeed. If any of these fascists win, the soul of the nation will wither even further than it has over at least the past decade.

7:28 p.m.: Newt Gingrich has brought up Ronald Reagan. I’m shocked that it has taken this long for the name of St. Ronald to be brought up. (No mention of George W. Bush yet. Not one… Hee hee hee…) Rick Santorum, who still appears to be nauseous, just essentially stated that we don’t have socioeconomic classes here in the United States of America, and that Barack Obama has been trying to stoke “class warfare.” Wow. We are a classless society? When is the last time that Rick Santorum hosted a homeless person in his home, I wonder? And given that Obama took more money from the Wall Street weasels than John McCainosaurus did in 2008, how has Obama been stoking “class warfare” (as Santorum means it)?

7:32 p.m.: Now the topic is China. Apparently China is The Enemy, too, although I’m sure that Iran remains Public Enemy No. 1. Hmmm. Isn’t it the capitalists who sell us out here at home for their own enrichment, rather than anyone in China, who are responsible for our nation’s economic collapse? All of these bogeymen, when the enemies are right here among us…

7:40 p.m.: Another break. Overall, this is a sorry batch of candidates, a bunch of circus clowns, for the most part; Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman seem to be the least insane of the six all-white, all-male candidates. Rick Perry wants to be George W. Bush’s third term, apparently, and again, I can’t see that happening for him; I predict that he’ll be the next to drop out. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum seem to be too similar on the issues for it to matter much which one might ever be president, Mitt the Mormon “Christo”fascist or Rick the Catholick “Christo”fascist.

7:42 p.m.: Damn, this shit is over already!

The winner of the debate, in my book, was Ron Paul. The pundits, not shockingly, are calling Mitt Romney the winner. Gee, if being as insipid as a glass of warm milk makes you the winner, then perhaps Romney won, but Paul showed more spunk and passion and sincerity — and, dare I say it, some wisdom — than any of the other five candidates.

I think the pundits are calling Romney the winner only because they’re fucktards who are going to side only with establishmentarian, orthodox candidates. To them, Ron Paul essentially is a ghost, an invisible man, because he doesn’t say what they think he should say. They don’t really listen to him, but only compare what he’s saying against what his cohorts/“cohorts” are saying, and because he isn’t mimicking his cohorts, and because his views don’t fit neatly into the pundits’ oversimplified worldview, they simply ignore him or dismiss him.

I hope that Paul sticks it out and keeps sticking it to them. He’s the only thing remotely interesting about this crop of backasswards white men who would be president who seem to be stuck in the ethos of the 19fucking50s.

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UN looking into legality of slaughter of bin Laden

Was this past weekend’s assassination of Osama bin Laden legal?

Unsurprisingly, in the articles that I’ve read online, Americans tend to say that of course it was — he was an “enemy combatant” with whom we were “at war”; U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder actually called, quite speciously, bin Laden’s assassination “an act of national self-defense” (and not, say, a revenge killing); and besides, Barack Obama had said when he was campaigning for president that if we got bin Laden in our sights then he would order him killed (as though if you simply warn someone that you will do something illegal, such as rape her or murder him, if you get the opportunity to do so and then do so, then your actual act is not illegal because hey, you’d given him or her a warning!) — while those outside of the U.S. are much less likely to make such a certain pronouncement, expressing problems with the facts that bin Laden was unarmed and that the raid on his compound was conducted without the consent or even the prior notification of the government of the sovereign nation of Pakistan. Bin Laden should have been captured, if at all possible, and put on trial, since everyone, even the likes of bin Laden, has the right to due process, these dissenters have expressed.

One of these dissenters, Kent University international lawyer Nick Grief, called bin Laden’s killing what it apparently was: an “extrajudicial killing without due process of the law,” and he noted that even Nazi war criminals were brought to trial at the end of World War II.

Louise Doswald-Beck, former legal chief for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said that bin Laden was not an enemy combatant but that “He was basically head of a terrorist criminal network, which means that you’re not really looking at the law of armed conflict but at lethal action against a dangerous criminal.”

Another British lawyer, Michael Mansfield, said, “The serious risk is that in the absence of an authoritative narrative of events played out in Abbottabad, vengeance will become synonymized with justice, and that revenge will supplant due process. … Whatever feelings of elation and relief may dominate the airwaves, they must not be allowed to submerge core questions about the legality of the exercise, nor to permit vengeance or summary execution to become substitutes for justice.” [Emphasis mine.]

And it looks as though the United Nations is investigating the legality of bin Laden’s assassination. Reports The Associated Press today:

Geneva – The United Nations’ independent investigator on extrajudicial killings* has called on the United States to reveal more details of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideaway to allow experts to assess the legality of his killing.

South African law professor Christof Heyns said in a statement [today] that Washington “should disclose the supporting facts to allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards.”

Heyns says “it will be particularly important to know if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture Bin Laden.”

His statement echoed similar appeals from other UN officials, human rights groups and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

U.S. officials say the raid is legal under U.S. and international law.

Of course “U.S. officials say the raid [was] legal under U.S. and international law.” How often does the perpetrator of a crime admit it?

In any event, it’s not like the U.S. is going to respect any adverse finding by the UN anyway. The UN Security Council would not rubber-stamp George W. Bush’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War, but the Bush regime went ahead and launched it anyway in March 2003. The U.S. respects the UN only when it is convenient for the U.S. to do so, which is one of the many reasons that the U.S. is so hated throughout the world: its blatant hypocrisy and double standards.

I still believe that the assassination of Osama bin Laden was meant, at least in part, for Barack Obama’s political gain. I believe that Obama wanted to show that he’s just as bad a bad-ass as George W. Bush tried to pass himself off as, and also, what’s better to counter the charges that Obama is not really an American and actually is Muslim than to snuff out Osama bin Laden, to take him dead or alive dead?

The so-called “swing voters” are susceptible to such wingnutty charges that Obama isn’t a citizen and that he’s actually a Muslim, and it’s the support of the “swing voters” (he’s screwed his progressive base) that Obama so very badly wants for his re-election.

Weirdly, though, in the White House photo of the gathering in the Situation Room during the operation to assassinate bin Laden that everyone has dissected to death —

In this image released by the White House and ...

— to me, Obama doesn’t look like the leader of all of it. To me, he looks like he’s just kind of shrinking in the corner, a bit bewildered and perhaps overwhelmed by all of it, and hell, just from this photo, Secretary of State Billary Clinton appears to be more in charge than Obama does. Obama appears in the photo to be an onlooker at most.

In any event, Osama bin Laden is dead, which even Al-Qaeda has acknowledged, and it’s not like there will be formal repercussions for the U.S. government for once again very apparently having violated international law.

But it will be interesting to see for how long the U.S. can maintain its position as the global bully. Bin Laden’s actions significantly weakened what he believed to be the “great Satan,” the American empire, costing the United States at least $3 trillion, pundits are saying. (Of course, much if not most of that $3 trillion went to greedy war profiteers, not for the actual benefit of the U.S., and much of it simply disappeared and remains unaccounted for to this day.)

And as China is poised to become the world’s No. 1 economy within the next decade, as the U.S. economy continues to teeter on the brink of collapse, how long will the U.S. be able to call the shots globally?

It is in the long-term interests of the United States of America — and any other nation’s — to follow the rule of law. It is easier and more convenient, in the short run, to circumvent the law, but to circumvent the law often bites you in the ass later, often (if not usually) costing you more than if you had just done it right the first time.

Because he was not put on trial, but was assassinated, Osama bin Laden is now, to many in the Muslim world, a martyr whose manner of death only proves his assertions about American abuse of power against Arabs and Muslims to be correct. We Americans can, and should, fully expect bin Laden’s death to be avenged. And then we’ll avenge that. This tit-for-tat bullshit bloodshed can go on for years and years and years, which is exactly what the war profiteers and the weasels of the military-industrial complex want.

And just as the United States was somewhat recovering from its reputation as the global asshole that the treasonous members of the unelected Bush regime earned it, Barack Obama, by mimicking George “W. for Wanted Dead or Alive” Bush, has taken us backasswards again.

Can we at least take away that Nobel Peace Prize that he so prematurely was awarded while the UN investigates the legality of his unilateral order to assassinate bin Laden?

P.S. Reuters reports a little more thoroughly today of the United Nations’ looking into the legality of bin Laden’s assassination. Reuters reports today:

Martin Scheinin, UN special rapporteur on protecting human rights while countering terrorism … and Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said that in certain exceptional cases, deadly force may be used in “operations against terrorists.”

“However, the norm should be that terrorists be dealt with as criminals, through legal processes of arrest, trial and judicially-decided punishment,” the independent experts said in a joint statement.

“In respect of the recent use of deadly force against Osama bin Laden, the United States of America should disclose the supporting facts to allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards,” they said. “It will be particularly important to know if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture bin Laden.”

Scheinin, a Finnish law professor who teaches in Florence, and Heyns, a South African human rights law professor, report to the UN Human Rights Council, whose 47 members include the United States. …

Navi Pillay, the top UN human rights official, also called this week for light to be shed on the killing, stressing that all counter-terrorism operations must respect international law.

“We’ve raised a question mark about what happened precisely, more details are needed at this point,” her spokesman Rupert Colville told a briefing in Geneva [today].

*Those Obama apologists and American jingoists who take exception to the word “assassination” (as though only, say, an American president could be assassinated) at least cannot argue that bin Laden’s killing was indeed, at the least, an extrajudicial execution.

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Bin Laden’s death changes nothing

Updated below

Osama bin Laden

Associated Press photo

There is no shortage of bogeymen for the war profiteers and the war hawks anyway. Like Big Brother in 1984, the United States always has an enemy, and if there isn’t a real enemy, an enemy will be fabricated.

So news is coming out now that Osama bin Laden is dead. I knew that the wingnuts would spin this into much, much more than it is (little more than a symbolic, rather than much of a practical, “victory”), but I wasn’t expecting NBC’s correspondent Richard Engel to spin it the way that he did.

Not to pick on Engel, because I’m sure that we’re going to hear variations on the same theme from the members of the same corporately owned and controlled mass media organizations that were fucking cheerleaders for the Vietraq War, but I just listened to him state that now that bin Laden is dead, the American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will know why they were there, and now the “war on terror” is over (he said something close to that if that’s not exactly what he said).

Oh. My. God.

OK, the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been there for the war profiteers, such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton. No war, no profits. The unelected Bush regime gave the war profiteers their war. Oh, and the whole oil thing, too, of course — which is why they called it Operation Iraqi Freedom instead of Operation Iraqi Liberation.

Bin Laden and 9/11 were just an excuse for the radical right-wing traitors to do what they’d wanted to do all along. For instance, Project for a New American Century, a right-wing think tank, was pushing for the full-scale invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Saddam Hussein when Bill Clinton was still president, and members of that very same think tank ended up in the BushCheneyCorp’s cabal after the stolen presidential election of 2000. (Google it.)

Not that Osama bin Laden is/was a great guy. Bin Laden and company killed just under 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. But since then more than 6,000 U.S. and coalition troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of them in Iraq, but Iraq had absolutely fucking nothing to do with 9/11, so how — how — can anyone assert that Osama bin Laden’s death makes the whole Vietraq War, in which more Americans have died than died on Sept. 11, 2001, worth it? (Yes, it’s a fucking fact: via his bogus war in Iraq, George W. Bush killed more Americans that did Osama bin Laden on American soil.)

And after the United States has slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians in Iraq alone since 2003, how can we declare the “war on terror” to be over? For us to do that, we’d have to assume that none of the thousands upon thousands of Iraqis who had loved ones slaughtered by the United States will ever attempt to exact revenge.

Since the Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust invasion of Iraq in March 2003 — using 9/11 and non-existent weapons of mass destruction as the justification — the U.S. has far more enemies in the Middle East than it did before Sept. 11, 2001. And that’s just the Iraqi body count. The U.S. continues to slaughter civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan pretty much every day.

This makes us safer from future (attempted) terrorist attacks?

And is the corpse of Osama bin Laden really worth the hundreds of billions of our tax dollars that have been funneled to the war profiteers via the bogus Vietraq War?

Will bin Laden’s body get us back those hundreds of billions of dollars not just squandered, but stolen from us? Will his death resurrect our economy, including easing our federal budget deficit, a huge chunk of which is due to the expense of the bogus Vietraq War?

Bin Laden’s death won’t improve things here in the U.S. any more than Saddam Hussein’s death did.

We can celebrate all we want that ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead, but the wicked witch’s death won’t stop the collapse of the American empire.

That so many of us Americans apparently so stupidly believe that one man’s death is worth the thousands of lives and the hundreds of billions of dollars that we blew through first in order to get it is a sure sign that our empire’s collapse is close at hand.

Update (Monday, May 2, 2011): The Huffington Post gives this as the Richard Engel quote that I referenced:

“This [news of bin Laden’s death] is nothing less than breathtaking,” said Richard Engel, reporting from Bengazi, Libya. “This ends a chapter — the global war on terrorism that has defined a generation, which has defined the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan and Iraq. So many people, so many soldiers have been waiting for this moment.”

I seem to remember Engel having made a stronger comment to the effect that now our soldiers know why they have been in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I heard his remark live via the Internet and I didn’t write it down.

Again, the so-called “war on terror” is not over, and Iraq never had anything to do with bin Laden. For a major television “news” network correspondent to reinforce that myth is journalistic malpractice.

And I don’t even believe that “So many people, so many soldiers have been waiting for this moment.” I believe that the vast majority of Americans had, until now, mostly forgotten all about bin Laden.

I’ll give Engel a bit of a pass for having been caught up in the moment of the breaking news, but fuck.

P.S. For more commentary on this, see my mirror blog at Open Salon, where there is more discussion than there is here.

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McCarthyism redux is a best-seller

Cover Image
Wow. The jihadists and I are colluding and I didn’t even know it!

So I thank one Andrew C. McCarthy (a descendant of Joseph McCarthy, I wonder?) for bringing this fact to my attention.

McCarthy’s book, titled The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, is at No. 34 on amazon.com’s top 100 best-selling books list as I type this sentence.

McCathy might argue that he’s not conflating fundamentalist Islamists with us members of the American left — I’ll probably never know his arguments, because I’ll never read his wingnutty book(s) — but clearly that’s what he has done.

But there is plenty about fundamentalist Islam that I, a rabid fucking moonbat, oppose.

For starters, I don’t even fucking believe in God.

When you talk about God, I have to ask you: Where, exactly, does God live? On Fantasy Lane right next to the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus?

I don’t care if you’re Muslim, Christian or Jewish, if you believe in a God as some sort of male entity that is omniscient and omnipotent and favors your team over all of the others, I think that it’s time for you to grow the fuck up and to start thinking for yourself.

Then there’s the fact that I’m gay, and that gay men are routinely killed and otherwise persecuted by fundamentalist Islamic extremists.

One of the many things that the fundamentalist Islamist extremists and the American right wing have in common, in fact, is their shared belief that non-heterosexuals should be persecuted — because that’s what the non-existent God wants.

What else? I disagree with patriarchy and misogyny, which, along with the persecution of non-heterosexuals, puts the American right wing a lot more in league with the fundamentalist Islamic extremists than it puts the American left wing.

I also vehemently oppose theocracy, and the fundamentalist Islamic extremists are all about theocracy — as are the American wingnuts, who, to give just a partial recitation of their theocratic wish list, want prayer in our public schools, want it taught in our public schools that evolution is just a “theory” and that bullshit creationism is at least equal to the “theory” of evolution, want abortion outlawed based upon their religious beliefs, and want same-sex marriage outlawed based upon their religious beliefs. 

McCarthy cites Muslims as “sabotaging America,” yet if the American right wing had their way, we’d be living in a theocracy just like the fucking Taliban, something that I and my fellow leftists vehemently oppose. 

About the only thing that I can think of that a jihadist and I would agree upon is that the Muslims and the Arabs of the world have been getting the shitty end of the stick at the hands of the Jews and self-proclaimed “Christians” for some time now.

But even then, to me it’s solely an issue of fairness and evenhandedness, whereas to your jihadist it’s an issue of his (or her) belief that Islam is the Only One True Religion of the World, as the Jews and the “Christians” believe their religions are.

So if McCarthy has insinuated that the American left and the jihadists are in league, as it strikes me that he has, that claim is easily fucking annihilated.

Perhaps what McCarthy is really getting at is that if you aren’t a “Christian” and if you aren’t a right-wing nutjob, then you aren’t a real American, and thus you are trying to “sabotage America.”

This bullshit sells, very apparently.

We have all of these dumbfuck white people all throughout the nation, but mostly in the red states, polluting the gene pool, worried that those who have (in no certain order) different religious beliefs, different political ideologies, different nationalities, different languages, different physical appearances and/or different sexual orientations or gender identities are ruining! the! nation! when, in fact, it’s the stupid white men — the George W. Bushes and the Dick Cheneys and the British Petroleum CEOs and the Glenn Becks — who are responsible for the fact that the American Empire is teetering on collapse.

I imagine all of these self-righteous white fucktards buying books like The Grand Jihad thinking that they’re actually accomplishing something by consuming wingnutty media that only already confirm their ignorant, whacked-out beliefs, when, in fact, all that they’re accomplishing is to make McCarthy and his ilk richer and the nation dumber.

Most of the best-selling political titles on amazon.com are wingnutty titles, and this used to be more distressing to me than it is now. Now, I tend to view it as evidence of the right wing’s death throes. They’re desperate. Things are changing and they can’t handle it. They’re faced with an increasing number of people in the United States of America who don’t look, act, speak and believe like they do, and they’re so fucking insecure that this drives them batty. The Great White Arizonan Freakout is just one example of this.

I sure hope that we on the left are a danger to the continued existence of the American right wing. But Muslims?

Estimates on the number of Muslim Americans range from 1.3 million to 7 million. That’s not a lot of people in a nation of more than 300 million. The 7 million estimate comes from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which one might argue has a reason to inflate its figure of 7 million, since it’s a Muslim advocacy group. I tend to think that the actual number lies somewhere between the Pew Research Center’s estimated 2.5 million and the U.S. News & World Report’s estimated 5 million.

American Jews are estimated to be around 6.5 million, yet, as I have noted, they are overrepresented in both houses of Congress and elsewhere in Washington, such as on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Um, there is one (1) Muslim American in Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who in 2006 became the very first Muslim elected to Congress

So we hardly have an Islamo-Manchurian Congress or D.C., as amazon.com’s description of McCarthy’s sad and pathetic little book seems to suggest.

If we really want to be paranoid about a special interest group having a grip on Congress and D.C., we’d be better off pointing a finger at the Jews rather than at the Muslims. But the Zionist/Israel-first lobby busily slanders the Muslim and Arab communities and feigns victimhood (I guess that you can call it a perpetual Holocaust) in order to divert your attention from the fact that the Zionist/Israel-first lobby actually is quite powerful within the United States of America, even driving its foreign fucking policy, for fuck’s sake.

If Muslims drove the United State’s foreign policy, the American right wing would be up in arms, but they’re strangely quite perfectly OK with the Zionist/Israel-first lobby driving the nation’s foreign policy.

And as far as a dangerous left wing goes, Barack Obama is horribly disappointing to us on the left, and a series of news articles, such as this one, have been appearing on this subject lately.

Obama a “socialist”?

Oh, I fucking wish! He’s not even a Democrat — he’s a corporatocrat, a Repugnican Lite.

Obama’s party controls the White House and both houses of Congress and has for more than a year now, and what’s he doing right now? He’s practicing how to appear to be angry! And today he actually said, more than a month into the British Petroleum debacle, that he’s now researching “whose ass to kick.”

Oo!

Obama said he’s going to “kick” “ass”!

I’m so moistnot!

While I wish the president the best of luck with his Mr. Spock- or Data-like attempt to display human emotion, he has a long way to go to get my vote again in November 2012. If I could do it over again, I’d have voted for Ralph Nader instead of for Obama in November 2008.

Fact is, the greatest danger to the United States of America remains the American right wing, which has brought us such wonderful things as 9/11 (Osama bin Laden himself has stated that U.S. military intervention in the Middle East and U.S. support of Israel were major reasons why he masterminded the 2001 attacks [Google it]), the Vietraq War (which was sold to the nation by the unelected Bush regime as retaliation for 9/11, even though Iraq had had nothing whatsofuckingever to do with 9/11, which the Bush regime knew fully well) and the British Petroleum debacle, the latter two of which Dick Cheney’s Halliburton had a strong hand in. Oh, and Hurricane Katrina. And the largest federal budget deficit in the history of the nation (and Halliburton, with its no-bid war-profiteering contracts, had a hand in that, too — fuck, and even a hand in Hurricane Katrina, since Halliburton is a part of Big Oil, which contributes to global warming, which contributes to stronger hurricanes).

Fuck. The America-hating fundamentalist Islamic extremists only wish that they could inflict just a fraction of the damage on the United States of America that the American right wing has over the course of the past several years. The illegal, immoral, unprovoked, unjust and wholly unnecessary Vietraq War, to give just one example, not only has overextended our military and driven up our federal budget deficit, but it has resulted in the wholly unnecessary deaths of more than 4,400 of our troops since the treasonous Bush regime launched it in March 2003.

My guess is that Osama bin Laden is somewhere in a cave thinking: “Mission accomplished!”

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