Tag Archives: “war on terror”

Why ‘Benghazigate’ never will catch fire

Updated below

Apparently we’re actually supposed to believe that the members of the Repugnican Tea Party are very, very concerned about preventing the preventable deaths of Americans in the Middle East. The preventable death of even one American in the Middle East is absolutely unfuckingacceptable, right?

After all, “Benghazigate,” in which four Americans (including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens) were killed in Libya in September when the American consulate in Benghazi was stormed by militants — even though Mittens Romney failed comically miserably to make political hay out of it during the presidential debates — like Freddy or Jason, just won’t go the fuck away.

Today the do-nothing, sleazy and slimy, Repugnican-Tea-Party-controlled U.S. House of Representatives held yet another so-called “hearing” in D.C. on “Benghazigate” because the party just doesn’t want you to forget about “Benghazigate.”

But the same Repugnican Tea Party traitors who have expressed no real problem whatsofuckingever over the wholly unnecessary and wholly preventable deaths of more than 4,ooo U.S. military personnel in the unelected Bush regime’s wholly bogus Vietraq War have zero fucking credibility when they cry, incessantly, that we have to get to the bottom! of “Benghazigate.”

They don’t care about American deaths in the Middle East, of course. If they did, they wouldn’t have supported the Vietraq War. But the Vietraq War was launched by a white Repugnican president, you see, and that fact alone makes it all A-OK.

“Benghazigate” is all politics — and if it had happened under a Repugnican president, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors of course would lecture us about how you shouldn’t shamelessly politicize a tragedy like this — and “Benghazigate” is meant to give the Repugnican Tea Party traitors a twofer: an attack upon Democratic President Barack Obama and an attack upon former Secretary of State Billary Clinton, who probably will run for the presidency in 2016.

I don’t allege that the September attack on Benghazi was unpreventable. I don’t allege that there wasn’t any negligence where security was concerned. There might have been. I wasn’t there, wasn’t in the situation.

But preventing another incident like the one in Benghazi in September isn’t the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ main goal. That should be what comes out of the incident, but what the Repugnican Tea Party traitors want, more than anything else, is control of the White House, and if they can shamelessly politicize the deaths of four Americans in Libya (while they have ignored the deaths of more than a thousand times that number of Americans in Iraq) to help them achieve that, they will do so.

But “Benghazigate” never will be the “scandal” that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have wanted it to be. The reason that Mittens couldn’t turn “Benghazigate” into an Obama-damaging scandal last fall in order to help his presidential bid is that enough American voters know that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are fucking chickenhawks who don’t actually give a flying fuck about the deaths of Americans abroad. Enough Americans know that Mittens and his ilk are sociopaths who are lying through their fangs when they claim to care so fucking much about the lives of even just a handful of Americans in the Middle East.

Enough Americans recall how cavalierly the unelected Bush regime sent thousands of our troops to their pointless deaths in Vietraq for Dick Cheney’s Halliburton’s war profiteering to be able to buy for a nanosecond that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors now are being sincere when they claim to care so much about the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi. And enough Americans identify how sick and fucking twisted it is for these sociopathic hypocrites to be using the violent deaths of others for their own political gain.

That’s why “Benghazigate” hasn’t caught fire outside of the right-wing echo chamber and why it never will. It fizzled out in the fall, when Mittens’ sad and pathetic attempt to use it for his own political gain fell flat, but the Repugnican Tea Party traitors still are huffing and puffing on those long-spent ashes that they delusionally believe still actually are embers.

All of this isn’t to say that Barack Obama has been a great president. He has not. His continued slaughter of civilians with his killer drones in Pakistan and in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East only ensures more anti-American sentiment in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world, which makes us Americans less safe, not safer.

Apparently afraid of being branded “soft” or “weak” on “terror,” Obama repeatedly has trounced all over the law, both international and domestic, in order to demonstrate what a bad-ass he is (even though no matter what he does, the wingnuts still are going to call him “soft” or “weak” on “terror”).

Yes, even the Obama administration’s assassination — its extrajudicial execution — of Osama bin Laden on another sovereign nation’s (Pakistan’s) soil without that sovereign nation’s knowledge or approval was a violation of international law, and we know that at least three U.S. citizens (one of them a 16-year-old) thus far have been killed by one of Obama’s drones and that at least four U.S. citizens have been killed altogether by drone strikes in the so-called “war on terror.”

(And before you cry, “Yeah, the war on terror!” I will pronounce right now that the “war on terror” is as bullshit now as it was when the unelected Bush regime declared the “war on terror.” A war is only a conflict between two nations, and the United States of America is not at war with another nation.)

As much as President Hopey-Changey has not delivered upon his promises of (positive) change and has not given us much, if any, reason to hope for a better future — which is why I could not vote for him again in November — one thing that we cannot say about him is that overall he has not kept Americans safe.

We’re five years into the Obama presidency and we have yet to see anything like the almost 3,000 who were killed on September 11, 2001, or the almost 2,000 who were killed in late August 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. Even if we give George W. Bush a pass on 9/11 — despite the August 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.” — there is no excuse for the fact that with at least two or three days’ warning that the approaching Hurricane Katrina could be catastrophic to New Orleans and the surrounding areas, the unelected Bush regime basically allowed hundreds of (predominantly black) Americans to drown.

So for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to act now like their party actually is the party with the actual track record of keeping Americans safe is way beyond ludicrous.

As incredibly fucking stupid as Americans can be, not nearly enough of them are stupid enough to believe, after the catastrophic George W. Bush years and the comparatively very peaceful Obama years, that the best thing that we could do for our own safety is to put another Repugnican in the White House.

So keep it up, Repugnican Tea Party traitors. Your repeatedly bringing up the issue of national security can only remind everyone of the facts of recent U.S. history, and those facts, to put it mildly, do not favor you.

Update: In a pretty good piece on Salon.com about how fucktarded it is to compare everything to Watergate, I followed a link to a piece on the wingnutty website townhall.com. In the piece, written by apparently fairly well-known wingnut Neal Boortz, Boortz proclaims that this is the reason why Benghazi isn’t a Watergate (this is a copy and paste; my comments are in brackets):

… Let me tell you what the American people are concerned with right now – and we’re talking about those who aren’t gunched up with 24/7 discussions about college football recruiting and gay NBA players. In a nutshell (and thank goodness for the few exceptions we DO have) the majority of the American people are more worried right now about acquiring and keeping their monthly checks from the government than they are about 0bama’s [sic — apparently the uber-patriotic Boortz and/or townhall.com refuse to capitalize the name of the duly elected president of the United States of America] lies or foreign policy failures. [“The majority of the American people” are preoccupied with their handouts from the government. So we’re beyond a mere “47 percent” now, apparently.] They think a Benghazi is a small yappy dog.

These people are more concerned about next Winter’s [sic — you don’t capitalize the seasons] home heating assistance checks than they are about dead ambassadors. They’re worrying about getting more federal dollars for child care to help them take care of the next tricycle motor they’re fixin’ to download without the benefit of a husband. [A “tricyle motor,” apparently, is a baby, and while the members of the right wing say that women can’t have abortions or even contraception, at the same time they’re going to slam the wrong women for giving birth. (And “wrong,” of course, means non-white, non-conservative, non-“Christian” and/or poor and/or the like.)] They’re wondering who is going to pay their medical bills, and how they can get their hands on one of those great Section 8 housing vouchers. Some are looking to upgrade their 0bamaPhones.

How many people do we have on Social Security disability right now? The figure is nearing 12 million Americans. These 12 million are principally worried about how to keep those checks coming, while another 12 million (at least) are wondering how to get on this bandwagon as well. After all, their backs hurt and you surely can’t expect them to get out there and work for a living, can you? (Apologies to those of you with actual disabilities, but we could probably cram every one of you into a Jai Alai Fronton somewhere in Miami if we had to.)

Then there’s millions more who’s [sic — why can’t wingnuts get basic fucking English correct? It’s “whose,” not “who’s”] main concern is making sure their unemployment benefits don’t run out (Me? Get a job?) and others who are waiting for 0bama to make their boss pay them more than they’re actually worth on their jobs. …

There you have it. The “small yappy dog” joke is funny, admittedly, but what we have here is a restatement of Mittens Romney’s “47 percent” rhetoric: More Americans don’t care about Benghazi than the number of Americans who actually do because these lazy Americans care only about getting their next handout from the guvmint.

Wow. Seriously. The “47 percent” bullshit hasn’t been working out for the wingnuts very well, but they only are going to continue it? Your stock response to those who disagree with your politics is to claim that they’re living off of the guvmint even when most of them quite demonstrably are not?

True, many if not most Americans are more concerned about their personal economic situations than they are about what happens abroad. Benghazi might indeed, to them, be a “small yappy dog.” But did we not have a pretty good economy under Bill Clinton, only to see George W. Bush destroy it with his Vietraq War, which has cost us trillions of dollars (it’s a huge chunk of our federal budget deficit), and with his tax cuts for the super-filthy-rich (which also is a huge reason for our federal budget deficit)? Does the Repugnican Party have no responsibility for the fact that Americans might be more concerned about their personal economic situations right now than they do about foreign affairs?

And might Americans be quite understandably numb to the bloodshed that they — we — witnessed (and some of us were touched by personally) during the eight very long Bush years?

I mean, fuck: Almost 3,000 dead from 9/11. More than 4,000 dead in the bogus Vietraq War. Almost 2,000 dead from Hurricane Katrina.

After you serially are assaulted with shit like this, are you really supposed to be all fucking bent out of shape over the deaths of four Americans? Really?

It’s interesting, though, I think, to compare my answer to the question of why Benghazi never will be Benghazigate with Boortz’s “answer” to the question.

It wasn’t long ago enough that the wingnuts falsely accused those of us on the left of “hating Americans.”

Being that the wingnuts, probably first and foremost, are fucking hypocrites, I guess that it doesn’t come as a huge shock to see that now it’s fairly apparent that it’s the wingnuts who actually hate Americans — “the majority” of whom, you know, care only about their guvmint handouts. (Ironically, as I have noted, it’s the red states, not the Obama-loving blue states [whose denizens love Obama so much that they actually capitalize his name], that are the welfare states. Of course.)

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Since when have we been at war with Dagestan? (Or, Orwell was right)

Updated below

No doubt, justice needs to be done in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Branding and then handling 19-year-old American citizen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an “enemy combatant,” however, would not serve justice. Quite the opposite.

It is the idea of the Gang of the Three — U.S. Sen. John McCainosaurus of Arizona, closet case U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and newbie fascist U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — along with brazen Islamophobe U.S. Rep. Peter King of New York, who also is a fucking joke of a statesman — that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be treated as an “enemy combatant”Guantanamo style.

This isn’t about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or the victims of the Boston bombing, of course. This is about the opportunity for self-serving Repugnican Tea Party traitors to once again use the occasion of a national tragedy to grandstand and try to concentrate their personal and political power.

Because, as both George Orwell and George W. Bush (and, I will add, Adolf Hitler, even though we’re never to mention him anymore because it’s always hyperbolic to do so, right?) taught us very well, there’s nothing like exploiting a nation’s fear in order to create hatred with which to fascistically consolidate your political power.

John McCainosaurus still wants us Americans to know what a huge “mistake” we made when we overwhelmingly elected Barack Obama over him in 2008 (McCainosaurus won only 45.7 percent of the popular vote and only 173 electoral votes to Obama’s 52.9 percent of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes).

McCainosaurus, our self-appointed shadow president, still is raging that the much younger, uppity black guy who didn’t have Vietnam-era POW status to shamelessly exploit for political gain (“I was a POW, so I deserve [fill in the blank]”) won the White House that McCainosaurus deserved. It was McCainosaurus’! He was robbed!

And McCainosaurus also wants to remain politically relevant in the increasingly insanely right-wing state of Arizona, the South Africa of the Southwest.

Speaking of racists, Lindsey Graham hails from the first state that seceded from the Union before abolitionist Abraham Lincoln even was inaugurated.

Graham, a “bachelor” who obviously is gay (I’m gay, but unlike the evil loser Graham, I’m not in the fucking closet), obviously is overcompensating with the right-wing fascism thing because he doesn’t want his homophobic, backasswards state’s attention turned to his sexual orientation, which would be disastrous for his next election. It’s a psychology-textbook case.

Kelly Ayotte, who usually is just window dressing at McCainosaurus’ and Graham’s public pronouncements — three U.S. senators supposedly in agreement with each other looks better than two, and perhaps the addition of the junior senator from the blue state of New Hampshire is meant to offset the fact that McCainosaurus and Little Gay Boy Graham come from two of our reddest states — is only in her third year in the Senate, but apparently she believes that her association with the crusty McCainosaurus and the mincing Graham will pay off in her political future.

Peter King, a real piece of shit, is most known for his blatant support of the terrorist Irish Republican Army — because he’s of Irish descent, and so of course they can’t be terrorists — while he alleges that it’s the Muslims who are the real terrorists.

His repeated attacks on Muslims, culminating in his 2011 “hearings” on Exactly How Evil and Dangerous Muslims in the United States Are — I use quotation marks because an Islamophobe conducting a “hearing” on anything Islam-related isn’t there to hear anything, but is only there to pontificate the conclusions that he drew long before the “hearing” began — did nothing for “national security,” but only inflamed relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States.

Which is what King and his piece-of-shit ilk want, of course. They create the very same hatred that quite predictably results in terrorist attacks and at the very same time proclaim that they are going to keep us safe from terrorist attacks. They want to perpetuate the problem that they claim they are the best ones to solve.

They call themselves patriots. I call them traitors, because their insatiable quest for more and more personal and political power only gets more and more Americans killed, and the only good traitor is an executed traitor.

I start off with the Gang of Three and the piece of shit Peter King because, as I said, it’s all about the Gang of Three and the piece of shit King.

For U.S. senators (and at least one U.S. representative) to actually publicly proclaim that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be treated as an “enemy combatant” already is creating an unfair and hostile environment in which the young man is to be tried for Monday’s twin bombings in Boston. His defense attorneys already can show that there is a threat to a fair trial for him.

Of course, it’s not a fair trial that the fascists of the Repugnican Tea Party want (after all, it’s someone else; why care about whether someone else gets a fair trial?). No, it’s more political power that they want.

Expanding the definition of an “enemy combatant” is a slippery slope to hell.

First, you twist and warp and pervert the definition of the word “war.” “War” no longer is a formally declared battle between two nations that will use their military forces to duke it out in a combat that presumedly will result in a “winner” and a “loser.” No, “war,” in Orwellian style, is whatever the fuck you say it is.

The Gang of Three and their ilk claim that We’re still at war! They love that shit. They have loved that 9/11 (which always was, is and always will be a terrorist attack and not part of any real or actual “war”) happened. It gave them, in their minds, a perma-enemy that they could milk for personal and political gain for infinity.

About a quarter of the human beings on the planet identify themselves as Muslims, and they are spread all over the world. If we are “at war” with these people, then obviously that “war,” very conveniently for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors and other assorted war-mongering fascists, never will fucking end.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is an American citizen who identifies himself as a Muslim. It is the religion that he was born into. You most likely would identify as a Muslim, too, if you also were born into a Muslim family and Muslim environment.

It’s true that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hasn’t been a U.S. citizen for even a full year, having become a citizen on September 11, 2012. (I don’t know if he chose that date for its symbolism or if those who put on the naturalization ceremony chose it for its symbolism or if it was coincidence or what.)

But even if he became a citizen just a week before Monday’s twin bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon, the fucking fact of the matter is that as an American citizen, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is protected by the Constitution of the United States of America.

And that means that he gets a fair fucking trial.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his now-dead older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, apparently grew up in Dagestan (which is next door to Chechnya, and like Chechnya, is a part of Russia) and in Kyrgyzstan (a central Asian nation that once was part of Russia but that now is independent, and that, like Chechnya and Dagestan, has a Muslim majority) before they came to the United States about a decade ago.

Their parents left the United States and returned to live Dagestan, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev reportedly visited (visiting one’s parents is not, um, an uncommon thing for a son or daughter to do) before he later apparently masterminded Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon. (I still surmise that the 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev dragged his impressionable younger brother into his plot.)

Tamerlan Tsarnaev wasn’t yet a U.S. citizen but reportedly had hoped to become one. But calling even him an “enemy combatant” (were he still alive) is utter bullshit, since we’re not at war with Dagestan (or with any other nation we know he visited after his family moved him to the United States), for fuck’s sake.

To call anyone (like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) who has been living in the United States for a fucking decade (or even longer) and who is a U.S. citizen an “enemy combatant” after he or she has been accused of having committed a crime here (yes, even an egregious crime) when the United States is not actually at war with any other nation also sends the message that No matter how long you’ve been here, you’re not a real American — even if you have gained American citizenship.

This dark path is diametrically opposed to the path that we should take, which is to give Dzhokhar Tsarnaev a fair criminal trial. (Under the Obama administration, that probably will happen, but with Obama’s frequent pandering to the right wing and his frequent blatant, Bush-regime-like disregard for the U.S. Constitution, of course we cannot take that for granted.)

We didn’t declare domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh an “enemy combatant” and then strip him of his constitutional rights, even though he slaughtered and injured far more people in Oklahoma City than the Tsarnaev brothers are accused of having slaughtered and injured in Boston. No, we gave McVeigh a fair fucking trial.

True, McVeigh’s 1995 crime preceded 9/11 and the post-9/11 hysteria, but the fact of the matter is that the label “enemy combatant” chiefly is to apply to those who aren’t Anglo and who weren’t born on American soil and to those who predominantly identify themselves as Muslims, and that’s some fucked-up shit, to have one system of “justice” for the Good Old Boys, the so-called “Christian” whiteys who were born here, and another system of “justice” for the rest of us, the so-called “enemy combatants.”

Once we can call even one American citizen an “enemy combatant” when that citizen is not actually an operative for an enemy nation during an actual war, then we can call any American citizen an “enemy combatant.”

Any American citizen who expresses any view and/or commits any act that those in power at the time don’t like can be deemed by the powers that be an “enemy combatant” with whom they then can do as they please in the sacrosanct names of “national security” and the “war” on “terror.”

Killer drones, of course, will make the elimination of such so-called “enemy combatants” as easy as playing a video game.

Today, American citizen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is proclaimed an “enemy combatant” who is stripped of his constitutional right to a fair trial and shipped off to Guantanamo or some other shrouded location, where God knows what will be done to him.

And you’re perfectly OK with that, because Hey, I saw the horrific images of the Boston bombing and I don’t ever want to get bombed! And Besides, you say, if you’re not guilty, then what do you have to be afraid of?

But tomorrow, like something out of George Orwell’s 1984, you say something to a fellow citizen that he or she perceives as unpatriotic. He or she dutifully reports you to the authorities as he or she repeatedly has been instructed to do by the authorities, and then the drones or the thugs come for you, you “enemy combatant,” and you are, as they say, disappeared.

Then, if you still are alive, as you sit in your tiny cell that is located God knows where, you kick the holy living shit out of yourself because  in 2013 you had had no problem whatsoever with American citizen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev being called an “enemy combatant” and stripped of his constitutional rights.

Update (Monday, April, 22, 2013):

NBC News reports today:

The hospitalized Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was charged [today] with using a weapon of mass destruction – and the White House said he will be tried in a civilian court.

“He will not be treated as an enemy combatant. We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

“Under U.S. law, United States citizens cannot be tried in military commissions. And it is important to remember that since 9/11 we have used the federal court system to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists.” …

Contrary to the wishes of the wingnuts, the U.S. Constitution prevails.

But of course the Obama White House just can’t resist pandering to the right — God forbid should Barack Obama be called weak. on. TERROR! — with the White House press secretary already proclaiming the suspect to be guilty by referring to him as “this terrorist” and heavily suggesting that “this terrorist,” too, will be convicted and incarcerated, has have “hundreds of [other] terrorists.”

Gee, in my Civics 101 class, I was taught that it is the job of the judicial branch, not the executive branch, to determine someone’s innocence or guilt.

This is why I couldn’t vote again for Barack Obama in November — he’s George W. Bush Lite.

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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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Pot calls the kettle ‘radical’

Media bias can be subtle. But there it is.

Take this from The Associated Press today:

A radical American imam on Yemen’s most-wanted militant list who had contact with two 9/11 hijackers praised alleged Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan as a hero on his personal website [today].

The posting on the website for Anwar al Awlaki, who was a spiritual leader at two mosques where three 9/11 hijackers worshipped, said American Muslims who condemned the attacks on the Texas military base last week are hypocrites who have committed treason against their religion.

Awlaki said the only way a Muslim can justify serving in the U.S. military is if he intends to “follow in the footsteps of men like Nidal.”

“Nidal Hassan [sic] is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people,” Awlaki wrote.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is accused of killing 13 and wounding 29 in a shooting spree [on] Thursday. Hasan’s family attended the Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., where Awlaki was preaching in 2001.

Hasan’s mother’s funeral was held at the Falls Church mosque on May 31, 2001, according to her obituary in the Roanoke Times newspaper, around the same time two 9/11 hijackers worshipped at the mosque and while Awlaki was preaching.

Awlaki is a native-born U.S. citizen who left the United States in 2002, eventually traveling to Yemen. He was released from a Yemeni jail last year and has since gone missing. He is on Yemen’s most-wanted militant list, according to three Yemeni security officials….

Wow. So we are more or less associating Hasan with 9/11 because Awlaki has praised Hasan on Awlaki’s website and Awlaki might have known some of the 9/11 hijackers. Irresponsible.

But most of all, I have a problem with the casual use of the word “radical.”

What a loaded term, “radical.”

I just Googled “radical,” and the first online dictionary definition of the word “radical,” as the AP story above uses it, that I see is this:

3 a : marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional : extreme b : tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions c : of, relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change d : advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs <the radical right>

OK, so maybe we accurately can call Anwar al Awlaki “radical,” but what about the United States of America?

On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 Arab/Muslim hijackers — 15 from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates and one each from Egypt and Lebanon — attacked targets on U.S. soil, killing under just 3,000 people.

In response, the unelected Bush regime (stealing a presidential election — that’s pretty radical in my book) launched wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Bush regime did not treat 9/11 as what it was — terrorist attacks — meaning that you hunt down the terrorists responsible for the attacks — but instead repeatedly called it a “war,” a la Big Brother in 1984. (Just repeat a lie often enough…)

The U.S. may declare war on another nation legally only when that nation has provoked a war. The U.S. had no legal grounds on which to go to war with Iraq, which is why the Bush regime gave the United Nations Security Council — which had refused to rubber-stamp the Bush regime’s Vietraq War like a good little Security Council should — the middle finger and in March 2003 invaded Iraq anyway, against the United Nations’ wishes.

That seems pretty radical to me — to launch wars upon Iraq and Afghanistan, killing tens of thousands of innocent civilians, when those nations didn’t even have any of their citizens participate in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

And it’s pretty fucking radical to expect Muslims and Arabs not to have a problem with this illegal, immoral, unjust, unprovoked and indiscriminate slaughter of Muslims and Arabs on their own land. 

I don’t blame Hasan for having had a problem with it, because I have a problem with it, and I’m not even Arab or Muslim. I just have a conscience. (And I can reason and I have some idea of what actually is going on in the world because I don’t watch Fox “News.”)

Killing people when it is not in clear self-defense is radical, whether the killers are “Islamofascist” suicide bombers or shooters like Hasan — or members of the United States military who continue to kill innocent civilians throughout the Middle East to this day. (It’s still killing even if it’s high-tech.)

I agree with the “radical” Awlaki that Hasan apparently “could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people” — that seems rather obvious — and it is my understanding that the conflicted Hasan tried to leave the U.S. military, but that the U.S. military not only would not release him, but decided to ship him off to Afghanistan.

Smart!

If we are going to argue that Awlaki or Hasan is “radical” or “insane,” then we also should take a look at the actions of the United States of America, which only continues to fuel the flames of the “war on terror” that it claims it wishes to extinguish. That is radical and that is insane.

(Of course, it’s debatable whether the powers that be want the “war on terror” to ever end in the first place; it’s great business for the war profiteers and the oil mega-corporations.)

It’s pretty radical that I, who do not subscribe to Islam or Christianity (or the other Gang for God, Judaism), am caught up in the war between the three feuding bullshit religions whether I want to be or not, because with the launching of some nuclear missiles, this “holy” war could change things radically for every living thing on the planet.

It is the media’s job to tell us what’s going on — not to take sides and to get us also to take sides in “holy” wars.

If the AP is going to refer to those outside of the United States who act beyond the pale as “radicals,” then it should start referring to those within the United States who act beyond the pale as “radicals” as well.

You know, to be fair and balanced…

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