Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

More demented ramblings from my sick bed as the world drifts into madness

with 14 comments

iran_children.jpg
Small sacrifices?

I am still somewhat sick. Which means I am just going to babble rudely about whatever comes to mind. Possibly the past few weeks of bed rest have damaged my brain. I taught my cats sudoku to relieve the boredom, but they’re not very good at it. On the plus side I turned on the TV today just in time to see how to open a Champagne bottle with a sword. Now that’s a handy skill to have, and swords should be easy to get once all those crazed Islamic terrorists get to my neighbourhood. Heck, I should just ask my Muslim neighbours downstairs to borrow their sword, according to Ann Coulter all Muslims keep swords in their homes, right? I’d say that was over the line, but I’m getting really tired of the anti Islamic rhetoric seeping out of the media like the so much recycled “better dead than red” crap it is.

Speaking of the above reported threat that insurgents in Iraq may have planned attacks inside the United Sates. “Conservative” bloggers are already ranting how this “proves” they are out to get us. Let me see if I understand this, the war that was supposed to prevent terrorist attacks on the USA (according to Bush and every pro war sycophant he had,) instead caused the creation of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and said plans to attack the USA, exactly as the antiwar crowd and me predicted. And this is somehow proof that the pro-war crowd was right? Give me a break. No, it’s more evidence that the people (like me) who said the invasion of Iraq would cause terrorism are right.

Or maybe it’s the ever increasing gap between reality and the White House is driving me mad. (I know, I know, someday Bush will be gone and I won’t have anything to blog about anymore. Heck, millions of bloggers will be unemployed when that dark day comes.) In last week’s interview for PBS Newshour, host Jim Lehrer asked Bush why he has not asked more Americans.. “to sacrifice something” for the war in Iraq.

The President replied: “I think a lot of people are in this fight. I mean, they sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night.”

OK, maybe it is a sacrifice to watch the MSM, but still, the president’s idea of sacrifice is watching war coverage on TV? Hundreds of thousand of people are dead and maimed, including tens of thousand of Americans, and we are supposed to sacrifice by watching more TV? I’m pretty sure watching more TV will not win the war in Iraq, but at least Bush gets points for creativity.

Then of course the imminent illegal attack on Iran for doing what it is legally allowed to do under international law also has a way of weighing on one’s mind. Just as I start to feel better, Bush and Israel are planning to start a nuclear war. If two of the world’s most powerful nuclear armed nations using nuclear weapons on a nation that cannot possibly defend itself can be called war. Patriot missiles to the Gulf States, another carrier group to the Persian Gulf. Bush’s movie version of a showdown at high noon sure looks like it is in the offing. I guess he didn’t like how his movie in Iraq was turning out, and now he wants to change the channel?

If I’m lucky it will all turn out to be a fever dream.

(The above image is claimed as fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, and it is central to illustrating the post.)

Written by unitedcats

January 23, 2007 at 12:18 am

Posted in Bush, Iran, Iraq, Terrorism, War, WMDs

14 Responses

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  1. Sorry your not feeling well hope you get better.

    tearsforlebanon

    January 23, 2007 at 8:56 am

  2. Mistake #1. You shouldn’t be watching TV when you are sick; at least not the news. I am enjoying the wonderful photos you add. Greenland was so beautiful despite it’s melting, and Titan (I honestly knew nothing about). And now those gorgeous smiling faces. When I was in high school in WVA, we were led to believe that the Viet Namese (AKA communists) were going to come into our school and snatch us right out of our chairs.The military then came in and recruited boys (mostly country boys) right off the high school campus. I was outraged by it all, and ran away to Berkeley, where a huge (and terrifying) anti Viet Nam war rally was taking place the day I arrived. But now, there is nowhere to run to, and no mass movement taking to the streets.

    floatingclouds

    January 23, 2007 at 11:04 am

  3. Get better, dear friend! Good to see you’ve still got your good sense of humour

    peoplesgeography

    January 24, 2007 at 3:01 am

  4. Hi Doug!

    Just a quick stop in. I agree with anyone who says that taking military action under any circumstances will increase terrorism. That is what resistance is all about. But we had terrorism prior to the Iraq war and after. I think the increase in it is inevitable anyway given the ideology of its proponents. Over the last three decades it has increased no matter what the foreign policy of our government has been. I think you state the obvious though, that any time there is a fight, the violence naturally escalates.

    I wanted to run a link by you–we had a prior conversation about Iran’s president and how he really isn’t threatening Israel with his rhetoric. Saw this link today, and also he recently made the comment that Iran could annialate Israel with one well placed nuke.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3356154,00.html

    I believe when I had visited PG’s site above she had posted an article along the line that Iran’s president is an ok guy, we just misunderstand him.

    I don’t completely understand the Ahmadinejad apologists.

    Your thoughts?

    -Jack

    bereans

    January 24, 2007 at 6:18 am

  5. …And don’t the documents you mention prove an Iraq/Al Queda link that many said didn’t exist? I thought that was the issue…

    -j

    bereans

    January 24, 2007 at 6:19 am

  6. RE: Ahmadinejad and “one nuke could destroy Israel”

    A. It’s not true, it wouldn’t be a good thing but one nuclear bomb isn’t going to destroy all of Israel.
    B. Ahmadinejad is not a dictator and is for all practical purposes a lame duck because his saber rattling is causing him a lot of problems politically at home. He’ll be gone after the next election.
    C. Israel and the USA have been making thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons against Iran for years. Moreover, they have the ability to carry out their threats, unlike Iran.
    E. Even if Iran was foolish enough to use a nuclear weapon against Israel, the USA and Israel would turn Iran into a parking lot. No one is that stupid.

    There is an Al-Qaeda in Iraq now, there wasn’t one before we invaded. JMO –Doug

    unitedcats

    January 24, 2007 at 8:45 am

  7. Agreed Doug, and good to hear from you Jack (I seem to remember there was to be consideration of a comment posited in response to one of yours that featured a wide variety of sources—-wither the promised response?).

    Jack, you write:

    “I think the increase in it is inevitable anyway given the ideology of its proponents. Over the last three decades it has increased no matter what the foreign policy of our government has been.”

    I would respond that terrorism does not occur in a vacuum nor is it inevitable, there is a demonstrable relationship between a hegemon’s policies and the resistance to the injustices it encounters elsewhere. And I would be interested to know: upon what figures and evidence do you base your assertion that it has increased over the last three decades?

    As stated before, saber-rattling is happening on both sides and is irresponsible and dangerous.

    Jack, your characterization of the article in question (and it would help that you be specific as I feature several) as “Ahmadinejad is an OK guy, we just misunderstand him” is grossly over-simplified to the point of misrepresentation.

    Let me be clear: what the article did clarify was that the “wipe off the map” mistranslation was a canard being actively used by the neocons and Likudniks to beat the war drums.

    Endeavouring to clear up disinformation is not equivalent to being an apologist, and Iran’s foreign policy and human rights issues were in fact acknowledged.

    Imagine relying upon Bush’s utterings for your understanding of Christianity or even just American foreign policy. Or is Bush just “an OK guy but we misunderstand him?” Its President Bush’s and this administration’s apologists that I am concerned about.

    Thank you for the Y-Net link. May I respectfully suggest a drawing upon a variety of diverse sources, not simply the Israeli press, for your information? I read the excellent Israeli daily Ha’aretz, for example, to temper my reading diet of the Y-Net and the establishment (some would say government mouthpiece) Jerusalem Post.

    Sincerely,
    Ann

    peoplesgeography

    January 24, 2007 at 5:47 pm

  8. Hi Doug,

    Sorry so long in getting back. Work has me impossibly busy, and I don’t get to interact with my blogging friends the way I would like to.

    Good points all that you make. I usually ask questions for three reasons–1. to play devils advocate, 2. because I genuinely want to understand the perspective of the person and why they think that way (in light of what I sometimes think there is conflicting evidence) and 3. because I genuinely don’t know. I think that the questions I asked fell into that second category.

    I visit both liberal and “neo-con” blogs and sites. It seems to me that the perspective on either is full of absolutes. For example many of the liberal sites base perspective is: America is bad, its our fault first, President Bush is evil, conservatives are evil, global warming “science” is gospel, abortion is sacred, etc. Neo-conservative sites are just as absolute, “We’re always the good guys”, President Clinton (either one:) is evil, global warming isn’t happening, liberals are evil, etc…

    Now I understand that this is the case because we as humans tend to compartmentalize everything in order for it to make sense to us, but there seems to be an increase in over-all “ego” in the United States between all groups to establish themselves as the “truth”, the “gospel”, or absolute rule. The problem is, that “absolutists” seem to be in control of us–and willingly allow ourselves to be ruled by our most extreme elements. For example, the majority of people of my color firmly believe that the way out of poverty is through welfare/handouts or by seeking reparations. You won’t believe how hard it is to convince a black man that the way out of poverty is to educate himself and/or get a job. So most of us go around with the absolute belief that the white man is the reason for our failure, the system, etc., and refuse to entertain the virtues of the other side of the argument. Sum total is that the notion of “common sense” is being slowly eliminated in society as we drive ourselves toward some idealistic/ideological viewpoint that in the long run has no practical use or purpose.

    I guess this is the reason I frequent “liberal” blogs more than “conservative” because I am trying to find common ground and understanding of perspectives that I can’t seem to grasp. I think I mentioned earlier that I have eaten more crow than many people I know (except for Senator Kerry?), and I don’t mind admitting I’m wrong when I realize it (sometimes I’m VERY slow :). Doug, for this reason, your blog is valuable to me. I don’t always agree with your perspective, but I do seek common ground and understanding of it. Its a little bit late in my life for me to do much good, but if we have people like you who will post an article like your global warming one above, we would begin to see some common sense reassert itself. (Btw, my perspective about the global warming issue is that it is pretty much a political one. Any time the government perceives a “crisis” I largely suspect it. I have lived through too many contrived “crises” not to become somewhat jaded).

    Keep up the good blogging, Doug. Provoking thought is all we can do at this point.

    Hi Ann!

    Thanks for filling me in. I am a little slow to catch on to some things, and often see things from an “absolutist” viewpoint (the one I was criticizing above). It has been known to get me in trouble.

    Also, I think there are two things about our relationship that we need to get straight before we go further. The first is that you more intelligent than me. The second is that on many of the topics we may discuss you have more knowledge than me. While those two things don’t always make one more “right” than the other, it often ups the average. :) Getting on up there in age, I find that I retain things at a lot slower rate than I used to, so be patient with me–old dogs can still be taught new tricks. If I grossly oversimplified something, its probably due in part to my simple nature.

    Also, I’m sorry I was supposed to respond to something and didn’t! I lose track of where I comment sometime, especially when my workload increases, and I’ll try to be better about keeping up with those sort of things.

    Just a quick answer for your direct one:

    The rise in terrorism over the last three decades can be found at several statistical sites. I’m not sure where I originally got my information (of course I have witnessed this too over my lifetime:)

    Here is a site that may help:

    http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/terrorism/intlterror.html

    Still learning,

    -Jack

    Jack

    January 26, 2007 at 12:38 pm

  9. Thank you Jack for your response, and for the link, much appreciated. I appreciate your self-deprecation and the fact that our positions may be very different and that at least you endeavour to visit and find common ground with blogs like this fine one.

    My position on the GWOT is that basically it is grossly inflated and serves war profiteers and related lobbyists and there is a now a huge industry around it that exists in addition to the military-industrial complex:

    There has been a goldrush as companies scoop up government contracts and peddle products that they say are designed to make America safe.

    The figures are stunning. Seven years ago there were nine companies with federal homeland security contracts. By 2003 it was 3,512. Now there are 33,890. The money is huge. Since 2000, $130bn (£70bn) of contracts have been dished out. By 2015 annual federal spending on the industry could be $170bn.

    As one of my favorite American writers on war, General Smedley Butler, has noted early last century, war is a racket.

    Simply put, war is just terrorism with a bigger budget, and the more war we see motivated by the need to control the dwindling hydrocarbon resources on the planet, the more “terrorism” this is going to generate.

    As Doug would write – JMO.
    :)

    regards
    Ann

    peoplesgeography

    January 26, 2007 at 2:04 pm

  10. Hi Ann!

    Not necessarily self-depreciation, just a reality I discovered long ago. I am NOT the smartest person in the world, and have never minded deferring to those who are. :) A good survival tactic in this world is to recognize those more intelligent and knowledgeable and learn from them. But…what I lack in intellect, I sometimes make up in experience–including many bad ones! ha!

    There are a couple of subjects about myself I usually don’t bring up because of the impact they have on my thoughts and reasoning–it’s a full time job hiding ones’ biases. My race is one (black), service to my country, my age seems to jump in there sometime whether I want it to or not (let’s just say Doug could be my son–maybe grandson! ha!)–but sum total, they largely contribute toward my perspective on a lot of issues. For instance, like you, I believe that 9 out of 10 wars are for economic reasons, (or maybe all of them?), but that doesn’t mean that there are not bad people out there who want to kill my loved ones. I’ve never seen a gun kill anyone without someone pulling the trigger–same goes for the handle of a knife. Religion may be the opiate for the masses, but can just as easily include atheism, liberalism, environmentalism, conservatism or any other faith based “ism” out there. Speaking of “isms”, racism is alive and well in this country, but more prevalent among “my people” than yours–a factor most contemporary white liberals seem to be unaware of, and even less knowledgable about how to fix. If given the choice between secure Fabian collectivism, or seat of the pants/dangerous freedom and individuality, I’ll take the latter any day–I’ve lived under both. And like I have mentioned to my friend Doug, I have become quite jaded concerning the “flavor of the day political/ideological issue” and the purveyors of nonsense I see in the media–enough so, that even though I discuss it, it largely fails to excite me on any emotional level.

    And lastly, even though I often think simply, I realize the world is not always that way, and pat answers (ones that even I would come up with–like “war is terrorism on a larger budget” ha!) don’t always fit. Of course I learned that on the tail end of WWII and in the middle of Korea with a rifle in hand.

    I’ll be dropping back over to your site again soon.

    Yours,

    -Jack

    Jack

    January 29, 2007 at 3:42 pm

  11. Hi Jack,

    Great to read your response, many thanks for taking the time. Well, for what its worth, I in turn usually defer to age and experience in my circle, and I was raised to respect my elders. I have also had wonderful “mature age” students who have been unfailingly gracious to have an educator who is younger than them, and I in turn defer to them for their experiential knowledge in contradistinction to my book-learnin’ ;)

    Not that I want to make you feel old, mind, more … sagely :)

    Thanks for divulging more about yourself, interesting to read and I agree that one’s background provides a positional perspective that impacts upon one’s outlook in important ways. My Middle Eastern background and the fact that I am a first generation Australian also impacts upon the way I view things. I also very much agree that race and racism are still very much issues in our societies; both episodic and institutionalized racism. Australia’s indigenous inhabitants, the Aborigines, make up 1-2% (from memory, subject to checking) of the population in contrast to the 12% proportion of the US population who are African-American — again, if memory serves (perhaps you could conform or correct) and have gone through a terrible time historically, even though we are a relatively young country in terms of white settlement. I am fortunate to count many Aborigines as friends and I love their pride, their resilience and their success in the face of continued race-based discrepancies.

    With respect to the distinction between “Fabian collectivism, or seat of the pants/dangerous freedom and individuality”, being essentially a libertarian I think it is possible to have something of both and that it need not be a case of either-or mutual exclusivity. That is, I value freedom and liberty as you do (and decry their loss with creeping fascism in the US as with the suspension of Habeas Corpus) but I also see the value of universal health care as opposed to a user-pays system. We have one in Australia and though it is far from perfect, it serves us well. I wouldn’t trade it in any day.

    As you note, while we both may lean towards economic determinism when it comes to causes of most wars (notwithstanding the crucial importance of other determinants such as religion, ideology and bellicosity), the entry from which you pluck my rhetorical declaration ““war is terrorism on a larger budget” is simply that. It is suitably polemic in an entry that is more about my emotional gut reaction to current neocon belligerence towards Iran and towards war in general as a (non)-method of conflict resolution. I think it is suited to a blog entry rather than a more reasoned, analytical academic piece. That is, it doesn’t have pretensions of being a pat answer, merely a simple and heartfelt response to what is happening, though I do essentially subscribe to its premise, simply put.

    Feel free to come by any time, and I look forward to doing the same. Congratulations on soon becoming Common Sense Christians, btw! Great name and may it go well for you. What denomination are you, if I may ask? Just curious and interested to know. My uncle is a priest and my great grand-father was one too. Our family name literally translates to “the priest”.

    regards
    Ann

    peoplesgeography

    January 30, 2007 at 12:49 am

  12. Please excuse the typographical error: confirm not conform :)

    peoplesgeography

    January 30, 2007 at 12:51 am

  13. Hi Ann!

    I ended up writing so much I just decided to email it to your gmail account.

    Take care,

    -Jack

    bereans

    January 30, 2007 at 7:30 pm

  14. […] owe the link to Doug). Posted in internet. Tags: champagne, humor, humour, party tricks, sabering champagne, […]


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