Another military-industrial president in progressive garb

The best possible spin on Obama's plan to kill thousands of … Afghans is that he's a captive of our military-industrial complex. It may be political — and maybe personal — suicide to oppose the complex. The worst spin is that Obama believes that killing, maiming and impoverishing more people will create a friendlier Afghanistan. And that he's following Dick Cheney's scheme to establish American hegemony in many Middle Eastern countries, so that we can preserve our oil-based, ecology-killing, fast economic growth.

Regardless, Obama should know that any American-backed solution to Afghanistan's agony will be quickly demolished, should we ever withdraw our troops from there. Most Afghans hate us for the horrendous destruction and suffering we've inflicted upon their land. Our thousands of bunker-busting smart bombs, heartless predator drones and door-smashing house invasions have created a public-relations situation similar to the story told in Apocalypse Now, in which Americans inoculated a Vietnamese tribe against some disease but the villagers then cut off their arms. Those Afghans who smile for our cameras are doing so because we have our awesome arsenal pointed at their heads.

The sad truth is that we progressives who voted for Obama with fervent hope in our hearts actually voted for what in practice has become the latest disguise of the military-industrial complex. He is their black camouflage. And if you believe Obama's withdrawal promises, I have some bundled, sub-prime mortgages to sell you.

Perhaps what's left for progressives is to stage yet another march on Washington and try to symbolically wash our hands of Obama's bloodthirsty policies.

But for whom should we vote in 2012? Nader? Which means the Republicans might win and invade Iran, or worse. Maybe it's impossible to restrain our corporate/Pentagon overlords. But we might as well keep working at it because it's the only meaningful politics around.

— Bill Branyon
Asheville

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149 thoughts on “Another military-industrial president in progressive garb

  1. Remember Obama’s campaign? He said it would take a couple of years and that he would need to send more troops to stabilize the country in order to then move out of occupancy. Everyone voted for him anyway. Why are we so surprised by any of this? The only people that have been deceived are those who fool themselves by not paying attention. Are we so short sighted in this country that we try to make a controversy out of everything we can’t seem to recollect from a year ago? This nonsense is just about as silly as everyone acting now as though Palin somehow ever really mattered.

  2. Asheville Dweller

    Whats funny is people actually bought that Hope and Change crap hook, line and sinker. The sooner we get away from the two party the system the better.

    Until the Voter learns that it doesnt matter if D’s or R’s beside their name, they are all crooked and look after one thing, themselves.

  3. Dionysis

    There are plenty of reasons for those who supported Obama to be angry about, or at least to feel let down (even betrayed); however, agree or not, he was consistent on the campaign trail in advocating increased focus on Afghanistran, and withdrawal from Iraq.

    Now the plot thickens:

    “Protesters took to the streets in Afghanistan on Wednesday, burning an effigy of the US president and shouting “death to Obama” to slam civilian deaths during Western military operations…

    Marching through the main street of Jalalabad, the students chanted “death to Obama” and “death to foreign forces”, witnesses said.

    The protesters torched a US flag and an effigy of US President Barack Obama in a public square in central Jalalabad, before dispersing…”

    http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Afghans_burn_Obama_effigy_over_civi_12302009.html

    And with an apparent increase in the use of drones in that country (and in Pakistan and Yemen), these sentiments will surely grow.

    We should get the hell out of that place and soon.

  4. I think we all wish that there was a simple solution to all of this; but the fact of the matter is that there is not going to be. This is a terrible situation that we have all inherited from the Bush administration, and we are going to have to make a commitment somewhere, we can’t just pretend as though this problem will just go away on it’s own. We can pull out of every corner of world that doesn’t want us there but there will consequences. I feel for Obama and think that perhaps he does not get enough credit for all he is tries to do. I personally do not believe that politics will be the answer to the worlds problems, but non the less, maybe we could cut our president a little more slack. He has attempted to more good in just one year than a lot of presidents have done in four.

  5. Piffy!

    Huzzah to you for your first and second comment, Jacob.It’s nice to see at least on other person actually pays attention to the issues instead of the catch-phrases.

    I am beyond tired of reading ‘lefties’ who are surprised Obama is doing [i]exactly what he said he would do[/i] in Afghanistan.

    Unfortunately, we have decades of terrible, divisive foreign policy fallout to deal with, and we can’t just ignore it. I suspect come next round in 2012, you will see many Democrats nostalgic for the Clinton years, before we had to deal with the repercussions of our foreign policy. It’s always easy to look back and pretend the past was simple, even if it was just because we all had our heads deep, deep in the sand.

    If Obama did indeed return ALL our troops home, from the hundreds of foreign bases around the world, the predictable fallout would be a field day for the GOP in 2012. I’m glad Obama seems to be trying to ease us out of empire as best he can, instead of merely being a reactionary character of the Anti-GOP.I just wish more Democrats would educate themselves on the complexities of foreign policy. I’m glad they are anti-war, but today’s world requires a far more nuanced stance than just “For” and “Against”.

  6. Piffy!

    Bill, if you are so against the war in Afghanistan, then why did you vote for the guy who said he was going to increase troop presence there?

    Did you pin all your hopes on Obama and not actually PAY ATTENTION to the issues?

  7. bill

    I voted for Obama because he was an intelligent black man. Racism is one of the five biggest problems that plague the planet and by voting in Obama we make a great step towards solving one.
    I have to admit his book: “Dreams of My Father,” had me believing that he was a globalist and therefore would have some understanding of the raw, brutal self interest that motivates much of American foreign policy, but I also heard him during the campaign clearly say that he planned to kill and mutilate many more people in Afghanistan and Pakistan, so I was not very hopeful.
    But p#kippy and et.al. What is your problem with a little criticism. I’ll probably vote for Obama again, but with a bile-eating smile. Do you need all of your God’s actions praised with fundamentalist fervor?

  8. I don’t think many of Obama’s supporters would call him God, in fact, I voted for him because he seems to be more human than most any politician that I’ve come across in a long while. I like that he’s not black, and I like that’s he not white, he just is what he is, a person that does not readily fit into a nice little box. I like, as a white man who grew up in Asia, that he sees the world with a global perspective. (which is something that could not have been said of the last administration) I like that he loves being a dad and a husband. I don’t think he is God, but I do like that he seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders, and doesn’t fit a easy little stereotype we all would put on him. If there is anything wrong with Obama, it is that he too smart and open minded and forgets that the majority of us think in a dualistic way here in the US and he needs to take more effort to explain for us how to see the world as he does. We sure need that in his country of extremism.

  9. Bert

    Wow, this letter is like the mirror image of the Carolina Stompers. The Left is so much like the Right in that each side sees the world in cartoonish shades of good and evil/black and white. I’m sorry guys, but the world is a lot more complex than that. Notice the letter writer is quick to paint Obama as a blood thirsty imperialist; yet he has nothing critical to say about the oppression of women and human rights under Islamist theocracy.

    And you all would have known where Obama stands when he said his favorite thinker is Reinhold Niebuhr. But of course the Left never reads Reinhold Niebuhr. Because complex thinkers always dismantle simplistic political worldviews, be they this letter or its reactionary cousins The Stompers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_capability

  10. entopticon

    Thanks Jacob and pff, I think you make a very important points that Obama was quite clear during the election, and that the issue is far more complicated than the overly simplistic polemic held by the reflexive left and right.

    There are no easy answers. If we pulled out tomorrow, Afghanistan would be a bloodbath. Virtually all of the people considered to have been allied with the infidels, and their families, would be slaughtered. Tribal leaders, the Taliban, and the jihadists would unleash extensive, extremely violent efforts to claim territory. Civilian casualties would be massive. All girls would be thrown out of school, and most women perceived to have taken advantage of the liberties afforded by the occupation would be executed. Huge numbers of refugees fleeing to the borders would be murdered and/or starve, particularly those fleeing through the Taliban’s stronghold in the south. The fighting would spread beyond the borders, and the chaos left behind would benefit the Taliban more than any rival faction, creating and incredibly volatile situation.

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to disagree with the President’s approach. It’s a complicated issue, so there are going to be dissenting opinions. The fact that I don’t think the issue is simple does not mean that I don’t think that government can or should be criticized. The reality is, for better or for worse, our legislative system is set up for incremental change, and the President is not a king with sweeping powers. I am a liberal in most regards, but the doctrinaire views that I see from the far left and right alike, as if the President had sweeping powers without political accountability, are disturbingly naive.

    There was absolutely nothing in Jacob or pff’s posts that in any way implied that they think that the President should be “praised with fundamentalist fervor.” Much to the contrary, they pointed out that the issue is far too complex to be reduced to the soundbite polemics of the far left and right.

  11. annica2

    obama is a puppet, nothing more. for the military industrial complex/the international fascist banking system etc. barack obama just took off his george bush mask. that is it. this problem was not just inherited from bush. this problem has been handed down through a hundred year period. woodrow wilson, herbert hoover, FDR, richard nixon, bush sr., clinton, bush jr., obama etc. fascist after fascist, everyone is successfully being fooled over and over and over again.

  12. JWTJr

    Obama has learned that things in the world are not as simple as they seem from afar.

    On another note, how many peace prize winners have headlines reading ‘keeping pressure on our enemies’ and ‘troop level increases?’ This has to be a first.

  13. JWTJr

    He also campaigned on getting out of Iraq in 2009. What happened to that? The media has totally given him a break on that promise – no pun intended.

  14. annica2

    the point is we are just making it worse. the “bloodbath” will continue to escalate and become even worse if we stay, by both the police state we’ve set up there and the recruits who are getting angry because we’re there. both al qaeda and the taliban have never been bigger than they are today.

    the reason people in that part of the world want to attack us is simple. it’s because we are there. we have been there for decades. they don’t just attack us because they hate us for our wealth and whatever freedom we have left. they know we’re not just there to root out the fly on the wall taliban or al qaeda. we took out the entire hitler regime in 4 years. how do you explain 8 years of fumbling around with the tribesmen doing push ups out in the desert with the 40 year old weapons we gave them in the cold war? this war is a fraud continued in order to build the pipeline between afghanistan and pakistan, destroy their poppy fields and set up a central bank. we are in much more danger now that we’ve been there and are continuing as occupiers.

  15. entopticon

    Obama has learned that things in the world are not as simple as they seem from afar.

    What a funny statement coming from someone on the far right. Whether you agree with him or disagree with him, Obama was against the invasion of Iraq, even when it was a political liability to take that position, and he was for an increased effort in Afghanistan, even though that position alienated much of his base, from the beginning. He didn’t spend his life doing keg stands in a bubble; he has a degree in political science specializing in international relations from Columbia, and he has traveled extensively abroad. Unlike the mouth-breathing talking heads of the far right, he never assumed that things in the world are “simple.”

    On another note, how many peace prize winners have headlines reading ‘keeping pressure on our enemies’ and ‘troop level increases?’ This has to be a first.

    The truly funny thing is, you are actually serious. A first? Apparently you are completely clueless of the entire history of the award, or you would know how ludicrously ignorant that statement is. Winning the award puts Obama in the company of people such as Yasser Arafat and Yitzak Rabin, among many others. Over its history the award has been used many, many times to give momentum to specific causes, even when the awardees are involved in war. In the case of Obama, the committee presented the award because of the change in diplomatic climate that he has brought about, and his ongoing efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons (he cosponsored a major bipartisan bill on the issue).

  16. JWTJr

    “the issue is far more complicated than the overly simplistic polemic held by the reflexive left and right.”

    I was agreeing with you. You just like to argue.

    Rabin and Arafat was very different than Obama’s.

  17. JWTJr

    Come to think of it, maybe Rabin and Arafat winning is similar to Obama. Both were very controversial winners. Hopefully Obama’s efforts will turn out better than Arafat’s and Rabin’s. Their peace prize was wasted.

  18. J

    I don’t really think America has a military industrial complex. I think it’s just a fantasy that some people use as an excuse so they can complain more frequently.

    Let’s take a quick look at some recent presidential elections:

    McCain: War Hero. Obama: No military experience at all. Winner Obama.

    Bush: National Guard. Kerry: Active duty, served in Vietnam. Winner: Bush.

    Bush: National Guard: Gore: Active duty photographer in Vietnam. Electoral college winner: Bush

    Dole: War Hero. Clinton: Draft dodger. Winner: Clinton.

    Bush: War Hero. Clinton: Draft dodger. Winner: Clinton.

    Over the last five presidential elections, the American public has consistently chosen the candidate with less military experience. If Bill’s complaint really held water, I think the reverse would be true.

  19. Obama has been a wolf in sheep’s clothing from day one. He and his gang have pulled that phony wool over so many eyes it isn’t even funny.

    A vote for a Democrat is a vote for a Republican … the distinction now is trivial. It is sort of like distinguishing between Bill O’Reilly and Chris Mathews … it is a very thin distinction.

    A vote for a democrat is a vote for the top-down democratic party’s agenda, it is not a vote for an individual politician. Obama is not an individual. He is a brand. He represents the will of the powers behind the machine that is the “Democratic” party. This is the same power behind the so-called “Republican” party. Obama does not represent you and me. In reality, the Democrats are not separate from the Republicans; they intimately share a single corporate will. These two parties have been steadily elided beneath the surface of false differences in campaign rhetoric on meaningless wedge issues for a long while now. Things got ramped up when the two parties came together and co-opted the presidential debates in 1987 when they founded the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) This entity took the framing of debates away from the league of women voters in 1987 and was established by the Democratic and Republican parties to control the way that presidential election debates are run between candidates for President of the United States who garner at least 15% support across five national polls. The commission alone determines the questions, who will moderate, the when and the where of the debates. It is just one aspect of the racket that electoral politics has become.

    These two gangs front rumbles on the boob tube and internets every day but behind all those myriad “closed door sessions” you the viewer/voter get to stand outside of on C-SPAN, that is where the REAL business gets done. They all have their eyes on the long view – the long view is not healthcare – nor 600 dollar tax refund “hush money” – the long view is on Globalization AKA The New World Order and the Full Spectrum Dominance that it will require to maintain. And if you have yet to figure where Iraq and Yemen and Afghanistan and the so-called “war on Terror” figure in those “long-view” ideas, then I got some really cheap real estate for you to look at in Dubai.

  20. entopticon

    the point is we are just making it worse. the “bloodbath” will continue to escalate and become even worse if we stay, by both the police state we’ve set up there and the recruits who are getting angry because we’re there.

    I don’t think it is that simple. Women still have it bad there, but if we pulled out tomorrow, it would literally be a massacre for virtually every woman in the country who is perceived to have taken advantage of the liberties afforded by the infidels. Huge numbers of people seen as collaborators would be summarily executed. And if you think tribal warfare is bad there now, if we suddenly pulled out, it would be absolutely incendiary.

    the reason people in that part of the world want to attack us is simple.

    No actually, it’s not. It is anything but simple.

    they don’t just attack us because they hate us for our wealth and whatever freedom we have left.

    I completely agree.

    how do you explain 8 years of fumbling around with the tribesmen doing push ups out in the desert with the 40 year old weapons we gave them in the cold war? this war is a fraud continued in order to build the pipeline between afghanistan and pakistan, destroy their poppy fields and set up a central bank.

    That I don’t agree with at all.

    we are in much more danger now that we’ve been there and are continuing as occupiers.

    That may be true. Certainly our occupation incites many people to violence. But there is no question that there are also people in Afghanistan who would be in far, far more danger if we suddenly left. People that put themselves in danger by trusting us, who would be executed in masses for that mistake if we left tomorrow.

    One of the curious things about Afghanistan is, that before 9/11, many of us on the left were calling for something to be done about the outlandishly brutal oppression of women there, but few seem to recall that. People will disagree about at what point is intervention necessary. Many believed that Afghanistan under the Taliban was well beyond that point. I don’t think it is a simple issue, and I don’t think suddenly pulling out would make everything peachy.

  21. The very idea that people actually believed Obama to be authentically “left-wing” – whatever that means – or “progressive,” is symptomatic of the real ignorance at hand.

    Choosing the “lesser” of two evils is still CHOOSING evil.

    The idea that say McCain – or even Palin, God forbid – would be doing anything much differently than Obama right now is laughable to me. We would be right where we are today. If you still think Presidents from either of these two parties really get to set foreign or domestic policy without some big time party “guidance”, then, once again, let me show you some verdant lots for sale in Dubai.

  22. Entopticon writes: “But there is no question that there are also people in Afghanistan who would be in far, far more danger if we suddenly left.”

    I disagree completely. What makes you think that?

    Regarding “the brutal oppression of women” that “preceded 9/11”: Do really believe women are any safer today than they were then? Do you really think the military tribunals in Afghanistan are going to be handling rape/domestic abuse cases while they chase all the hordes of so-called “terrorists” up in dem dar hills? They don’t even prosecute those cases very well in our little Fayettville, NC, why on earth do you think they will keep such peace between the sexes in Afghanistan? Do really believe because our Sunocco Oil Co. puppet, Karzai, is in power that the Afghan people are suddenly treating women differently? Why do you think that? The warlords still run the place (we are paying them off every week like grand grocers), opium is still king there (heroin production is WAY up), and tribal customs governing relations between sexes is probably not changing anytime soon (certainly not because we have a few military bases set up there).

    On what glib ERA propaganda do you feed on every night?

  23. entopticon

    I disagree completely. What makes you think that?

    To be honest, I think the question is a bit odd. If you don’t believe the threats to kill anyone associated with the infidels after we have left, I don’t know how to respond to that, because your argument doesn’t seem grounded in reality.

    Regarding “the brutal oppression of women” that “preceded 9/11”: Do really believe women are any safer today than they were then?

    Yes, and I think that any claim otherwise is beyond ignorant of the facts of the matter. Some of the worst practices are still in effect, but girls are actually going to school for the first time in their lives, and summary executions are no longer sanctioned. And yes, there is no question that if we left tomorrow it would be an all out massacre for many women there, and the secular schools would be shut down immediately, and the females associated with them would be punished or killed.

    On what glib ERA propaganda do you feed on every night?

    That’s funny. You just called me glib. I am basing my arguments on the facts of the matter, rather than your doctrinaire soundbite rhetoric. If you took your head out of Alex Jones ass long enough to come up for a breath every once in a while, you would know that.

  24. What is odd about the question? It seems like a perfectly legit question to me. You say that Afghan people in general – and women in particular – are safer with us waging war there than if we weren’t. Now you go so far as to qualify by stating that anyone associated with infidels will be summarily executed. Well, that seems sort of odd to me, considering were meeting with and funding the Taliban to the tune of millions upon millions of dollars all the way up until the summer of 2001. Do you honestly believe that the Taliban is really that big of a gang that they will be able to sweep in and dominate all the other warlords and their fiefdoms if we were to pull out? Do you really think the warlords of other regions of the country would just stand by and watch the Taliban murder their wives and daughters? Everybody there is armed to the teeth. Karzai Govtment is about as real as Fox News and their new “laws” don’t really extend very far … only into the pliant minds of American liberals who need to think they are actually in effect over there so you don’t have to wonder about the injustice and real motive of our invasion. Tribal laws rule that country. Clans don’t kill all all their women and daughters. That would be a very stupid thing to do. You might think that because they are muslims or still fairly patriarchal that they are really ignorant. But I see a lot of white bread ignorance right here on this thread. Where do you get that info about sudden wholesale slaughter of women? Put your source where your mouth is.

    If you read what i wrote really carefully, I think you will see that I didn’t call anyone “glib.” I suggested that all the ERA propaganda that has been used to dupe people into justifying/supporting our invasion WAS glib. By glib I mean superficial. I mean insubstantial. It is simply slick propaganda used to diddle superficial Western lefties, it is designed to mold and shape their segment of public opinion. The idea that our invasion is justifiable and that our 9 year plus occupation can be rationalized on some ERA grounds is ridiculous to me.

    You might not believe it but I am pro-ERA, if you require such labels, and am quite aware of some of the problems women face around the world. I don’t believe that an invasion and an occupation is the way to handle the problem. I don’t think it makes anyone really safer. I want to know where you get your information that makes you believe all out massacres of women will occur if our military presence was aborted?

    You sound sort of like all the folks who hysterically believed that if we pulled out of Vietnam there would be this massive blood-bath of all the non-communist villagers in the Saigon-south. Well, when we finally pulled out of Vietnam – when we finally lost the war that we were never there to win in the first place – guess what? No massive blood bath ensued.

    Your ideas on this matter are not grounded. They are speculative at best. And what is worse they bolster an argument that the US military should strike where ever it perceives the slightest injustice to humanity. In short you would have us act as police force to the world. If that is your view, then I disagree.

  25. entopticon

    I was agreeing with you. You just like to argue.

    Really, because it seems that you can’t even agree with yourself…

    Rabin and Arafat was very different than Obama’s.

    Come to think of it, maybe Rabin and Arafat winning is similar to Obama.

  26. JWTJr

    David – regardless of your thoughts on war in general and the 2 wars we have going now, trying to bury the Taliban’s abuse on women to make your political points is totally wrong.

    Entopticon is exactly right. If we pull out tomorrow, every woman who thumbed her nose at the Taliban since the war started is toast. And not in a horrible toast way. We’re talking an over the top, example setting, woman torturing slam fest way. Is that what you want?

  27. entopticon

    You say that Afghan people in general – and women in particular – are safer with us waging war there than if we weren’t.

    No, I said that women, and those seen as aligned with the infidels would be in great danger if we suddenly left.

    Do you honestly believe that the Taliban is really that big of a gang that they will be able to sweep in and dominate all the other warlords and their fiefdoms if we were to pull out?

    As I said, it would be a bloodbath of infighting, and the Taliban would indeed be the most powerful force, once again.

    You might not believe it but I am pro-ERA

    Are you in your eighties? Why on Earth do you keep talking about the ERA in this context?

    I don’t believe that an invasion and an occupation is the way to handle the problem.

    I think that is a reasonable viewpoint.

    Your ideas on this matter are not grounded. They are speculative at best.

    Yes, they are speculative, because we are still there, but they are based on a great deal of supporting evidence, such as the constant threats against anyone cooperating with the infidels, and the ongoing intimidation and assassinations of Afghani women that have working on women’s rights during the occupation, such as Sitara Achakzai. As Human Rights Watch and many other organizations have stated, there are still very serious obstacles to women’s rights in Afghanistan, but the fact that there have been significant strides since the occupation began is beyond question, as is the fact that virtually all of those gains would be lost if the Taliban regained control. Personally I think that it is tragic that the coalition has not been putting greater emphasis on women’s rights there.

    And what is worse they bolster an argument that the US military should strike where ever it perceives the slightest injustice to humanity.

    That’s nonsense. As I stated, people will disagree about at what point intervention is necessary. I think any reasonable person believes that at some point it is indeed necessary, and the catastrophic oppression against women in Afghanistan is arguably one of those cases. By your reasoning, we should have just let Hitler do what he was going to do. I disagree with that. It is never simple, but at some point there comes a time when we have a moral obligation to intervene.

  28. I agree that we are headed to more towards an increase in globalization- the idea that the T.W.O. and the E.U. could “merge” seems less and less like a distant paranoia, and more like a future numerical necessity. There are exponentially more people in the world in the last century, and we have a much larger grid of communication to share. The question then is not, “should we try resist globalization” but “how do we do it while keeping our humanity in check?” How do intertwine culturally, with tolerance, avoiding ethnocentrism? What common grounds do we have? How do we keep peace with such potentially dangerous differences? I believe Obama is doing his best to address these issues with integrity. That is the kind of leader we need, who sees the world from a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural perspective, because like it or not that is where we are headed.

  29. entopticon

    Thank you JWT Jr, all needling aside, I think you make a very cogent, important point.

  30. Eamon Martin

    If you think for one second that the US military and Blackwater/Xe mercenaries are in Afghanistan to protect women’s rights, you are very sorely mistaken. See the US-installed Karzai government’s recent introduction of legislation that legalizes rape.

    …Or the plight of outspoken female parliamentarian Malalai Joya who can’t even show up for fear for her life. Popularly called “the bravest woman in Afghanistan”, Joya has unwavered in her insistence that the US=led occupation leave immediately and that it does more harm than good.

    The bipartisan history of US military interventions has often been for stated humanitarian goals to win domestic approval, when in fact other less-than-altruistic reasons were at play. That’s the norm, not the exception.

    If protecting human rights were the goal, there’s a host of other countries led by brutal dictatorships where you’d think the US military would be ASAP. Zimbabwe, Kyrgyzstan, China, Myanmar…and I could go on.

    This same reasoning (“we must stay to protect the women from their men” or “if we leave, they’ll kill each other”) has been used from one racist conquest to the next. It was most notably a big hit with this government when it was effectively used to stir up white insecurities to justify slavery…and most recently to argue against leaving Iraq.

  31. entopticon

    If you think for one second that the US military and Blackwater/Xe mercenaries are in Afghanistan to protect women’s rights, you are very sorely mistaken.

    As I said, I think it is a tragedy that it is not more of a priority, but if you don’t think it is a concern at all, you are wrong. Personally, I think we should only be offering humanitarian aid there, but I think the evidence that substantial strides have been made for women, despite the many setbacks, is incontrovertible, and I think the threat to girls and women if we were to pull out suddenly would be catastrophic. Girls have been able to go to school. Women have been going back to work. For them the change is very real.

    Malailai Joya is a compelling advocates for women’s rights, and maybe she is right. There are also compelling advocates for women’s rights there who disagree.

    This same reasoning (“we must stay to protect the women from their men” or “if we leave, they’ll kill each other”) has been used from one racist conquest to the next.

    Who the f*ck do you think you are calling a racist?

  32. Eamon Martin

    Easy there. Temper, temper. Reread my remarks. I did not call you a racist. I was calling the stated rationale for foreign intervention through the ages as oftentimes being racist.

    But whatever. It’s still a line of BS. That is not why our soldiers and mercenaries are there. And you are wrong if you believe that. Just ask retired general Barry McCaffrey who sits on the board of Dyncorp and McNeil Technologies and who is out pimping the war every night on network TV (without mentioning the fact that his companies have numerous contracts training the Afghan security forces as well as CENTCOM itself).

  33. entopticon

    I was calling the stated rationale for foreign intervention through the ages as oftentimes being racist.

    BS, you didn’t. You said that racist rationale was the “same” as my reasoning, which would make me a racist. Again, you have no business calling me a racist.

    I don’t doubt that there are people who are there for the wrong reasons. There are also soldiers who most certainly do care deeply about the plight of Afghani women. The soldiers aren’t boogeymen or demons. They are people, flaws and all, most of whom are trying to do what’s right.

  34. travelah

    Eamon, I feel for ya …. but don’t take the Ent seriously. He hates on everybody.

    On a mor serious note, do you really belive the matter is racist at all?

  35. entopticon

    I hate on everybody traveliar? And what is it that you think you do? Have you really not noticed that virtually everyone despises you? You are a bigoted right-wing extremist fundamentalist that spends all of your free time trolling around the liberal weekly’s website spouting asinine conspiracy theories about Marxist takeovers and ranting about “black thugs” and “ragheads.”

  36. travelah

    I hate on everybody traveliar?
    Everybody that has the audacity to disagree with you.

    And what is it that you think you do? Have you really not noticed that virtually everyone despises you?
    Shucks, whats a po’ freinless man to do?

    You are a bigoted right-wing extremist fundamentalist that spends all of your free time trolling around the liberal weekly’s website spouting asinine conspiracy theories about Marxist takeovers and ranting about “black thugs” and “ragheads.”
    Nope, not a bigot … nope not an extremist unless you consider a majority of Americans extreme …. nope, not a fundamentalist …. nope, no Marxist takeover …. and a thug is a thug regardless of race and of course raghead had to do with culture and not race or ethnicity. I have used the term ragtag in the past to the same effect however MX requested I not do so so I don’t.

    Consider this the last engagement with you… for sake of small children and pets of course.

  37. entopticon

    Nope, not a bigot …

    I would actually have more respect for you if you had even the slightest clue to what an unconscionable bigot you truly are. Your outrage over the Episcopalian church accepting gay people is but one example of what a bigoted lunatic you actually are.

    nope not an extremist unless you consider a majority of Americans extreme ….

    It is just funny that you are completely clueless about what an extremist you are, because people rarely recognize themselves as such. As a matter of fact, I do think the GOP has been marching further and further towards the fringes of the extreme right, attacking their own center, under the marching orders of nutjobs such as Rush Limbaugh, Faux News, and Pajamas Media. Here’s a tip: if you obsessively rant about Marxist takeovers of the government all day long… you are an extremist.

    nope, not a fundamentalist ….

    This just gets funnier and funnier. Let’s get this straight. You are a far right wing evangelical who believes in the infallibility of biblical scripture. You’ve openly admitted that you take the bible literally, even the magical fables. You even claimed that Jesus didn’t beg for spare change like the rest of the people that he was hanging out with because he got a gold coin from a magical fish’s mouth and he made loaves of bread magically appear.

    Fundamentalism was a term coined by right wing fundamentalists, about themselves. That means you traveliar. You are as far gone as they come. Your hateful, warped extremism has you so twisted that you think that the kindest person that ever lived would be cast into to an eternity in a lake of fire if they don’t worship your insecure, anachronistic, wrathful, impish caricature of God just the way that you do.

    nope, no Marxist takeover

    Hallelujah!!! It’s a miracle! After thousands of posts about how “Oba Mao” is trying to turn us all into Marxists, traveliar (golly, I wonder how you earned that moniker) has now miraculously decided that “Oba Mao” never really had a Marxist conspiracy after all!!! There are few things more completely hilarious than your bizarrely outlandish disregard for continuity.

    and a thug is a thug regardless of race and of course raghead had to do with culture and not race or ethnicity.

    It is truly sad that you still don’t get it. You started ranting about “black thugs” with absolutely no reason to add the qualifier “black.” If thugs were just thugs, you wouldn’t say “black thugs,” and that is one of the many, many things that makes you a detestable bigot.

    Likewise, when you defend your use of the unconscionably bigoted, and absolutely unacceptable term “raghead,” you only compound the bigotry of the fact that you used it in the first place. Frankly, it is a miracle that Jon didn’t boot you for good for that one.

    Consider this the last engagement with you…

    I hope that you are right, but anyone that has followed your posts for any short period of time knows that words and meaning rarely intersect for you, and continuity of reason is something that constantly falls outside your grasp.

    for sake of small children and pets of course.

    Well Mr Mallett, you are the one who had multiple grandchildren by the time you were in your 40’s, you busy bunny you, so perhaps it is a good idea to lock up the pets and small children in your presence. You wouldn’t want to set a bad example after all.

  38. Travalah,

    Entopticon brings up and interesting point about this idea of ‘hell’.

    There are three very distinct ideas in the gospels that refer to this idea called “hell.” I’m sure as a pastor you know them. They are ‘Sheol’, a hebrew word for “black pit” which as you know was used synonymously with the word for death and didn’t carry any connotation of judgement. ‘Hades’ which was taken from the Greek tradition that did connate a sort of place of divine retribution for past injustices, and there is ‘Gehenna’, another hebrew word that referenced a dung heap on the outside of Jerusalem’s city walls where old furniture, excrement, rotting food, and other biohazards were thrown to be burned. The site was a place of a large, pointless slaughter when the tribe of Gehennites (the family that owned the land) went to battle when told not to by God, and died pointlessly. It is a symbol of waisted potential, meaningless destruction, alienation, and stomach turning rot. Fire, of course, refers to disintegration, a symbol of someone’s soul who is consumed by bitterness and entitled self-righteousness.

    Your words are very much like Gehenna. They bring pointless destruction, the fill the air with the stench of rot, and they beg pointless spiritual slaughter. Please, in the name of Christ, Stop.

  39. Responding to Entopticon about Afghanistan and the Military Industrial Complex and racism: (in an effort to stay on topic and away from personally attacking others here)

    Just because your reasoning about this war is faulty, like a racist’s reasoning about war can be faulty, does not mean someone who points that out to you is implying that you are a racist. I know it is hard for some to grasp that nuance, but let me assure you it is a fair distinction. And chances are good that if you are white and American you have some form of racism within you. Doesn’t mean you are a bigot &/or mean anyone harm, but look where we live … racism abounds, even after we “chose” the Indonesian-African-American to be our “leader”.

    Most wars since WWII have been fought in the third world against “people of color” … be it Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America or the South Pacific. Most of those wars have been “low intensity” conflicts that churn up humans that look different from folks of European decent, not only do they look different, but they are generally agrarian with very different forms of governance, often ancient and tribal, based on ancestor reverence and local custom. Such localized agrarian forms of living with their simple governance keep masses of people fairly independent and self sufficient. That does not really bode well for Globalization and The New World Order. Part of the cold war was about extending “the grid” … creating new labor pools … it is just new way saying that we are still shouldering the “white man’s burden.” The history of colonial wars became the history of the Cold War and is now being encoded into the War on Terror. Much of the Middle East, particularly Afghanistan and Pakistan, have antiquated tribal ways rooted not just in Islam but in the ways of life that Islam aimed to wipe out when Muhammed delivered the “new dea”l – sort of like Roman Christianity tried to wipe out Pagan European modes of being … before extending those ways to the New World. Racism has always gone hand in hand with empire building … and so has rape. War is the total disruption of society and it is intentionally that way … disrupting a society through violence allows you to partially “remake” that society in your own image. This is what “Shock and Awe” is really all about … The Shock Doctrine of Economics is nothing new. Warfare is the original Shock Doctrine. We are in the process of extending the empire, and of course as we do this we destroy a lot of material that must needs be replaced & rebuilt to our predetermined specifications, so many a contract gets handed out, and many an industrialist gets even richer.

    This war is not about defeating any terrorists, nor is it about protecting the rights of women. Anyone who actually believes that is operating at pretty low level of understanding history and power. But that ignorance is very understandable … propaganda is a very powerful insidious force in our culture … the powers that be pour billions into PR firms, Ad Agencies, “News Corps” and toy makers every year to shape the minds of all levels of society. Controlling what people believe is more than half the battle… it is THE battle. And it isn’t being fought in Afghanistan. It is being fought in the USA … every single day … even right here in this thread, which started with an admirable article about our sheep-dipped, military industrial complex president.

    Entopticon: What do you have against Octogenarians? So what if I am 80? Are you being age-ist? ERA is but one “liberal” feminist cause and so I used the acronym to discuss your PHONY idea that the humanitarian-feminist cause of saving all the women of Afghanistan who will surely all be summarily executed upon our leaving is some kind of justification of this war/occupation. It isn’t so and you have no way to prove whatsoever that such a slaughter will occur. You are not “exactly right,” as another duped liberal has tried to bolster you here, you are exactly speculating out of a very programmed base of “knowledge.” (Sort of like all the people that voted for Obama.)

    The propagandists have had their way with you and you don’t even know it. That is propaganda at its best, and now you, full of passion about something you know very little about will run spout the sinister party lines to others, thinking you are doing some promethean good, when in fact you are helping the evil ones. Ah! The dark genius must be given props: he has converted a liberal feminist into a neocon hawk and she/he can’t even see it yet. You are an agent of doom and you don’t even know it. You are unwittingly propagating the New World Order on the Mt Xpress website. Way to go!

    (Or, perhaps you know quite well what you are doing and you are just another lowly agent provocateur. You are one of the THOUSANDS of Americans in the field of journalism – or any number of other professions – on the NSA/CIA payroll, bought off to sow deception in Op-Eds, objective “news” stories, letters to the editor. We may never know. But one thing we all do know: you got Afghanistan – and the “War on Terror” – all wrong.)

  40. Wow, that sounds a bit paranoid David. I can understand the fear that surrounds the fact that we are headed to a government that you call the New World Order, but do you seriously believe that Entopticon is an “agent of doom” sent by “the dark one?” As a Christian I believe in spiritual forces that effect the world, but what you are saying makes it sound as though anyone who has a more liberal bent is the spawn of the anti-christ… And your disrespect for Entopticon doesn’t sound like you are trying to stay “away from personally attacking others here.” If you are outraged at the injustice surrounding human rights violations then when dehumanize Entop with all the name calling? All social injustices and wars and genocides have been justified by looking at a human and thinking of it as something else.. Nazis called the Jews “rats” the Hutu’s called the Tutsies “cocroaches” and the white slave owners called blacks “apes”; why degrade your fellow man to say that we should not degrade our fellow man?

    I can, however, understand the pessimism in thinking that we have no interest in human rights as a government when it comes to Iraq. I’ll give you that we do not have the best track record like when the Rowandan embassy official pleaded with the Clinton administration to help out during the genocide and we only replied “the United States doesn’t have friends, we only have interests.” But we must respect the fact that every administration will have different reactions, for example Obama shutting down Guantan. Bay facilities.

    It is also a bit disturbing that you seem to think he is phony because concerned about women in the middle east just because it can’t be proven empirically, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is not likely or probable. To be honest, you sound like Tavalah, if you continue down that road you won’t have a word in with anyone before too long.

  41. entopticon

    Just because your reasoning about this war is faulty, like a racist’s reasoning about war can be faulty, does not mean someone who points that out to you is implying that you are a racist.

    Apparently the fact that “same” doesn’t mean the same thing as “like” is a nuance that is lost on you. Saying that someone’s reasoning is the “same” as racist reasoning, is indeed saying that their reasoning is racist, no matter how you slice it.

    This war is not about defeating any terrorists, nor is it about protecting the rights of women. Anyone who actually believes that is operating at pretty low level of understanding history and power.

    Actually, anyone who doesn’t recognize that those are indeed two of the things that the war is “about” is “operating at pretty low level of understanding history and power.” Trying to reduce it to one-dimensional tripe about Darth Vader-esque corporate imperialism is profoundly naive of the actually complexity of the matter.

    Entopticon: What do you have against Octogenarians? So what if I am 80? Are you being age-ist?

    No, I was trying to figure out why you were using such a ludicrously anachronistic, and inappropriate example.

    It isn’t so and you have no way to prove whatsoever that such a slaughter will occur.

    I think it is so, based on the evidence, and you have no way to prove that it isn’t, so you are just blowing hot air.

    You are not “exactly right,” as another duped liberal has tried to bolster you here, you are exactly speculating out of a very programmed base of “knowledge.”

    You are talking out your ass. That person that you are referring to as a “duped liberal” is a right wing conservative.

    The propagandists have had their way with you and you don’t even know it.

    You really need to buy a mirror, and take a long hard look into it.

    You are an agent of doom and you don’t even know it. You are unwittingly propagating the New World Order on the Mt Xpress website. Way to go!

    Blah, blah, blah agent of doom, yada, yada, yada…. and you are spouting idiotic nonsense, and you don’t even know it. I have a difference of opinion, Get over yourself, you sanctimonious blowhard.

    You are one of the THOUSANDS of Americans in the field of journalism – or any number of other professions – on the NSA/CIA payroll, bought off to sow deception in Op-Eds, objective “news” stories, letters to the editor. We may never know.

    I’m sorry, but you are making it virtually impossible to take you seriously.

  42. Hey there, Jacob. I hear you. Tone is easily lost on the web in forums like these. Especially if you do not know who your talking to/hearing from. The last bit of that post about “agent of doom” and “dark ones” were tongue and cheek, anybody who knows me will know that.

    “New World Order” is not my term … it is Bush Snr’s term.

    Understanding what is happening is not the same thing as being paranoid about it.

    Um, what name did I call Entopicon? I simply laid out what I am perceiving as Entopticon’s ignorance about the matters at hand in Afghanistan. That is not name calling. Sardonically suggesting that she/he is an “agent provocateur” aiding propaganda efforts on the home front, instead of just another ignorant “liberal”, is not really the same as name calling, in my opinion. Either way, witting or unwitting, suggesting erroneously that US armed forces are in the “domestic abuse elimination” business over there is a very facile, misguided and therefore harmful opinion. It helps bolster a false idea in the public sphere and cement it further as public opinion. Bad idea. Does not help anyone anywhere. Justifies an illegal invasion and an unjustifiable occupation. If that is neo-liberal Feminism 101 – Xpress Forum style – then I am gonna put it down.

  43. Entopticon, I don’t what to tell you, except your are very limited in your understanding of rhetoric.

    Just because an ignoramus believes something to be true and a racist believes something to be true does not mean that the ignoramus is a racist. That is what any basic student of logic would see that as a false syllogism. Slice it anyway you want. Saying someone is like someone else is not saying they are the same. A horse is like a cow. I vietnamese villager is like a villager in Ghana. A women is like a man in this and that regard … two arms two legs blah blah blah … an ignorant person is like a racist in that they both foist ignorant ideas on people and live misguided lives. Does not imply, no matter who you wanna slice it, that the igorant person is in fact a racist … or bigot or whatever. But I can understand how you would blow that up once your folly had be revealed in public.

    Ent writes: “Trying to reduce it to one-dimensional tripe about Darth Vader-esque corporate imperialism is profoundly naive of the actually complexity of the matter.”

    Seriously?

    I am not sure what else can I say to help you out here. I would like to help you, honest I would. My simpleton idea here is that corporate greed and the desire for domination and resource extraction drive these wars. You believe that idea is profoundly naive. Seriously? Your genius idea: Rounding up a few goat herders with AK-47s in the hills of afghanistan is the real motivating factor for our billion-dollar-a-minute invasion and occupation of afghanistan, and your second brilliant idea is that neo-liberal feminism and the desire to save women and children from Islamo-fascism is a good enough reason to stay … for 9 MORE years.

    (Seriously?)

    And you are asking me to take long hard look in the mirror?

    Ok. I am looking in the mirror now. Damn! That guy shore is handsome. He shore is smart. He shore has read lot about these matters. He really knows what is going on in the world today, much more so than Etopticon.

  44. JWTJr

    David doesn’t care about the repercussions of leaving Afghanistan as long as the ‘corporations’ don’t get theirs.

    If thousands and thousands and thousands are tortured and killed, that’s ok.

    Talk about twisted logic.

    We are there already. You can’t keep falling back on what got us there. The cow is out of this particular barn.

  45. travelah

    Your words are very much like Gehenna. They bring pointless destruction, the fill the air with the stench of rot, and they beg pointless spiritual slaughter. Please, in the name of Christ, Stop

    Jacob, take a break from shoveling the Ent of Candler’s dung and make a constructive post worth spending time on. Seriously, is he paying you to do this or what?

  46. entopticon

    Just because an ignoramus believes something to be true and a racist believes something to be true does not mean that the ignoramus is a racist.

    It is kind of funny that you keep trying to talk authoritatively about something you clearly have little grasp of. If my reasoning is the “same” as racist reasoning, that would make my reasoning racist. Your logic is laughably flawed?

    Saying something is like something else is not saying they are the same. Saying something is “the same” as something else is indeed saying that it is the same! Again, it is too funny that you keep conflating “like” with same. He didn’t say “like,” he said same.

    But I can understand how you would blow that up once your folly had be revealed in public.

    Once again, i just incontrovertibly showed that it was indeed your folly, not mine. It is actually kind of amusing that you still fail to recognize that.

    I am not sure what else can I say to help you out here.

    If I needed your help I would just curl up in front of an Alex Jones conspiracy theory video or fondle myself to a Ron Paul screen saver after building a bomb shelter in my back yard with an electric fence around it to keep the liberal feminist hordes away.

    You believe that idea is profoundly naive. Seriously?

    Yes, I do indeed think that it is profoundly naive to simplify it to that as a lone motivation. In reality, very intelligent people have actually been wrestling with the complexities of the issue, instead of just a room full of monocled villains smoking cigars and twisting their mustaches.

    Rounding up a few goat herders with AK-47s in the hills of afghanistan is the real motivating factor for our billion-dollar-a-minute invasion and occupation of afghanistan, and your second brilliant idea is that neo-liberal feminism and the desire to save women and children from Islamo-fascism is a good enough reason to stay … for 9 MORE years.

    Actually, you are so hung up on your asinine libertarian rhetoric that you are repeatedly assuming things that I never said, and conveniently ignoring the things I actually did say. As I already said, personally I think a humanitarian, rather than military approach would be wiser. But you can just keep making crap up if that floats your boat.

    And by the way, I find your bizarre demonization of feminism to be more than a bit disturbed. It really is kind of creepy that you actually talk about feminism as if it was a bad thing.

    Ok. I am looking in the mirror now. Damn! That guy shore is handsome. He shore is smart. He shore has read lot about these matters. He really knows what is going on in the world today, much more so than Etopticon.

    When you are done patting yourself on the back, maybe you could try to come to terms with the fact that you may not be as well read, or as clever as you give yourself credit for.

  47. entopticon

    It is interesting to see how traveliar is so bent out of shape by Jacob, a Christian who actually walks the walk, schooling him on what a misguided hypocrite he is. In reality, Jesus, a bleeding heart liberal slacker who quit working to bum spare change and talk philosophy with his friends all day, represents everything that traveliar despises, but he can’t bring himself to come to terms with it, so he just spouts anti-Christian rhetoric here on a daily basis instead, blissfully unaware of his own hypocrisy. The vain, mean-spirited, blood thirsty, jealous, insecure, and wrathful demon that traveliar worships is certainly not God.

  48. Piffy!

    Entop, i think Eamon makes some good points. We aren’t there to defend ‘women’s rights’. That’s just an easy excuse. The truth is obviously FAR more complicated than ‘Taliban bad”, “Westerners good”, and i trust you can appreciate that. We never engaged in afghanistan to ‘protect women’s rights’

    I fear that has merely become the latest excuse for perpetuating a war we all cant afford, that continues to benefit arms dealers, heroin traffickers, and those who seek to control the resources of that region. We are there to ‘fight’ al queda. that’s it. And i really dont think that “Afghan Women” really want our help. We should leave asap.

  49. entopticon

    I think it is a reasonable argument pff, but I don’t entirely agree. I have spoken with soldiers who do in fact feel very strongly about the plight of women there, and a number of organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have talked about the substantial strides made since the fall of the Taliban, and the legitimate fear that if we pull out too abruptly, it will be worse than ever. There are definitely women there on both sides of the fence. I understand that the plight of women may be being used as a ploy to keep us there, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. For the girls who have gone to school for the first time and the women who have been allowed to work, it is very real. I honestly think it is complicated. I personally think it would be best to transition to a solely humanitarian mission.

  50. JWT: I simply don’t have any reason to believe you – or Ent – when you assert “thousands upon thousands will be tortured and killed” if we pull out now. I don’t know where you get this idea. Would love to see some sources on that. Ent: Where is your Human Rights Watch link to the assertion that “thousands upon thousands will be killed” if our Marines and Solidiers pull out of the country? That was the same argument used by people to justify our staying South Vietnam … it is as bogus now as it was then.

    I agree with Pkippy and Eamon: We are not doing anything to save women and children in Afghanistan. If anyone is going to be torturing and killing thousands, it will most likely be our boys (and girls) in the Special Forces … as it was in Iraq, as it was in the Phillipines, as it was in Vietnam, ad infinitum.

    We are not there to fight “Al Qaeda” … that is just a cover story for people who still want to believe what they see and hear on TV. That is just a cover story for people who need to still believe in Obama. The real reason we are over there is the same as it ever was: to expend as much war material as we can while we make straight the roads and the pipelines. “Al Qaeda” is about as real as the “communist insurgency” that got us into South Vietnam, about as “real” as the kid from Nigeria on Xmas day with lethal explosive chemicals in his pants. Not very real at all. Just more cooked up bogey men, like Saddam Hussein, like Grendel of yore, a mere scare tactic, not a real external threat to the US.

    Ent: There is nothing wrong with patting oneself on the back now and again, even if it is only done tongue in cheek to exasperate the likes of you. You asked me to look in the mirror and study what I saw. I certainly have not read everything, and know good and well I am ignorant about a great many things. But I am not really ignorant about the ways of war and what they are geared to really do. I think I have pretty good handle on that

    I don’t see how I have demonized feminism here at all. I referred to the ERA earlier, but not in any negative light. I have read a few different feminist perspectives in the past, (Dworkin, Mckinnon, Daly, Heyward, Keller, Rich, Paglia) some of their points I agree with, some I don’t agree with. But this thread is not really about the merits of feminist thought. I think you would be hard pressed to find many feminist thinkers that would justify what we are doing in Afghanistan on the flimsy ground you are taking, but if you want to link me to one that does, I’d be happy to read it.

    I am sorry if you think I have denigrated feminism just because I think the argument that we should remain at war in Afghanistan to liberate women from the dangers of an imbalanced patriarchal tribal society is a bad argument. Just as I don’t think you could make a good argument to send in the troops to abolish a tribal rite of clitorectomy in regions of Northern Africa. There might be places in China that still practice foot-binding, and as horrible as that custom seems to me, I don’t think I would authorize the Air Force to start bombing them next week, nor would think such a human rights violation legitimizes invasion and the establishment of military bases there.

    Women & children – and even men (believe it or not) – are in danger of being abused and tortured and killed all over the globe today. Doesn’t mean we should invade those countries, set up permanent bases, establish prison camps, install puppet dictators, stage elections and pressure them to rewrite their laws and abandon all their customs.

  51. entopticon

    Ent: There is nothing wrong with patting oneself on the back now and again, even if it is only done tongue in cheek to exasperate the likes of you.

    You give yourself way too much credit.

    We are not there to fight “Al Qaeda” … that is just a cover story for people who still want to believe what they see and hear on TV. That is just a cover story for people who need to still believe in Obama.

    Be sure to add an extra layer to your tinfoil helmet this evening, it may be too thin to block the brainwash rays.

    I think you would be hard pressed to find many feminist thinkers that would justify what we are doing in Afghanistan on the flimsy ground you are taking, but if you want to link me to one that does, I’d be happy to read it.

    Hard pressed? You have got to be kidding me. Where do you get that crap from? Here is a link to the Feminist Majority Foundation and their Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls, whose mission is not to let the women and girls to be forgotten, and they actually urge expansion of peacekeeping forces because they feel that much of the lack of progress is due to inadequate forces there to protect the substantial gains that have been made, such as the facts that 38% of the women have returned to work, 35% of the school children are now girls, and universities are again open to women. FMF is in fact very concerned with abandoning the women and girls of Afghanistan. They warn of the dangers, such as the 75 year old woman who was nailed to a tree and murdered for being associated with the infidels.
    http://feminist.org/afghan/aboutcampaign.asp

    A lot of people didn’t think we should have gotten involved with what Hitler was up to as well. You and I have very different views about our moral responsibilities in the world, and that is probably not going to change.

  52. All that said, please don’t misconstrue my doubts about justifying our invasion and occupation of that country to save women with my support of the Taliban’s practices. As I point out above, their are plenty of practices that harm women going on in the world today, from sex trafficking to ritual mutilation, that I find abhorrent. You seem to think sending in the armed forces for 9 years and counting is the answer. I don’t really agree with that preemptive war strategy. Nor do I believe that if we stopped waging the Obama-Bush war there, the Taliban would automatically regain control of the country.

    As far as your website/foundation link goes, I could not find any evidence there that this “Feminist Majority Foundation” advocates using the U.S. Military to invade and occupy in order to solve the many problems facing various groups of women around the world today. They are simply asking that Obama not forget the women of Afghanistan as he straightens the roads and secures the pipelines and launches the drones upon more tribal wedding parties in the Af-Pak region as we prepare to inaugurate wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Iran. It doesn’t really seem like the fem Foundation supports any kind of warfare, or even thinks we should still be at war there, only that if we are gonna be there, don’t forget the women. In fact a search of the site reveals numerous anti-war articles. Did you really review this site before you linked us to it?

    ???

    Did I miss something? Are there really many Feminists that think war is the answer? (Besides Hillary Clinton.)

  53. entopticon

    You seem to think sending in the armed forces for 9 years and counting is the answer.

    ???.. DCJ, I know you are in a Led Zeppelin cover band and all, but does that mean that you have to act like you are huffing glue? How many times do I have to say that I would prefer a humanitarian, rather than military presence there before you stop making that confabulated claim?

    As far as your website/foundation link goes, I could not find any evidence there that this “Feminist Majority Foundation” advocates using the U.S. Military to invade and occupy in order to solve the many problems facing various groups of women around the world today.

    Did you really review this site before you linked us to it?

    Did YOU really review the site??? You have got to be kidding me. How surreally hypocritical. The FMF is generally against war, but they lobbied Obama for increasing forces in Afghanistan because they felt that many of the setbacks there were the result of too few troops to control the Taliban resurgence. Here are a few quotes from the site:

    “urge the expansion of peacekeeping forces”

    “The United States has a new opportunity to change direction in Afghanistan – we believe that this time, with the leadership of President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, women and girls will not be left on the periphery, but placed in the central focus of our new policy. We are determined to galvanize the public will and support to help make this happen”

    “With inadequate security forces and U.S. attention shifted to Iraq, by 2008, the Taliban insurgents had regained control over much of the Southern region of Afghanistan, especially Kandahar and Helmand provinces, the largest area of poppy cultivation in the world. Moreover, the Taliban took over Swat Valley in Pakistan in late 2008. In 2009, the Pakistan armed forces mounted a counter offensive and have regained control of the Swat Valley. The Pakistan military has expanded its offensive against the Taliban along the Afghan border and in Pakistan’s tribal areas, such as Waziristan. In 2009, the Obama Administration, however, announced a shift in focus, an increase of both military forces and civilian development funding. The U.S. also announced in 2009 that its top priorities in Afghanistan were security and development for Afghans.”

    Did I miss something?

    Yes.

  54. JWTJr

    So David and Puffy – if you found proof that the women and others there did want us to stay, would you still support an immediate withdrawal?

    Or would you still be ok with the Taliban torturing and killing them when we leave?

  55. ENT: I did not miss those quoted passages from your link. Do you really believe our military is being utilized there as a “peace keeping” force? I do not believe that our mission there has ever been about “keeping the peace.” Just because you are loaded down with latest in very expensive weaponry, Kevlar body armor, a bunch of grenades, an M-16 and you are riding around in a very expensive military issue Hummer and they CALL you a peacekeeper, does not MAKE you a peacekeeper.

    “The United States has a new opportunity to change direction in Afghanistan – we believe that this time, with the leadership of President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, women and girls will not be left on the periphery, but placed in the central focus of our new policy. We are determined to galvanize the public will and support to help make this happen”

    (I am sure Obama’s speech writers are trying to work this language into his next speech.)

    This is a noble plea, on the surface, but it is not going to happen. A group of well intentioned women with pink signs and a milquetoast lobbyist or two are not going to change the U.S. military’s course of action in the Middle East. Obama is not going to listen to them, anymore than he is going to listen to environmentalists, or minorities at this point. He has been elected and that is all the he needed from these progressive groups. He will continue to attempt to pacify them with his lofty empty rhetoric while he continues doing Wall Street’s and the Pentagon’s bidding around the world.

    At the very best, the very real plight of women in Afghanistan is going to be used to manage a certain segment of public opinion – naive young feminists who think they can lobby the Military Industrial powers to “do the right thing.” The goal of Military/Industrial/Globalists is to use every angle possible to justify our 9 going on 20 years of military action there. Call them whatever you want – “peace keeping” actions, 3rd world women’s liberation operations – the hunt for “Terrorists,” the hunt for Red October – slap whatever PC label you want to slap on them … it won’t change what they are really about. Glib rhetoric – Obama’s specialty – will not change what the war is in substance: technologically enhanced brute force applied to a tribal society in a key strategic region of the globe.

    Now, I really do think it is possible that all the women that support the Fem. Foundation’s efforts to sway the Obama administration into “changing course” towards a kinder, gentler warfare are genuinely wanting to use the armed forces to bring peace and safety to women and girls there. But just because your desire to do something is genuine does not mean it is the right course of action. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    JWT: No. I do not like the idea of using the U.S. Military to police the world. I also would not be OK with the Taliban torturing them and killing them when we leave. Unlike Bush/Obama, I am against using torture and murder to accomplish political ends or to exact retribution. Your argument is a poorly formed “double bind” tactic. You set it up thusly: Either you are for the U.S. invasion/occupation of Afghanistan, or you are for the torture and murder of women and children. Really? Are those my only options? Where have I heard this lame rhetorical tactic used before? Oh yeah … “You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

    Either/Or … two choices only … this is the simpleton’s dilemma. The simpleton will sit there and scratch his or her head, believing that there are really only two possible options. You can choose Pepsi, or you can choose Coke. You can vote for Kerry, or you can vote for Bush. You can support invading and occupying and launching drone missiles all over the place, or you can support the mass torture and murder of women. You can either choose our intelligent design for a New World Order, or you can accept a world plunged into total political chaos …

    “Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall conquer the earth.”

  56. entopticon

    I did not miss those quoted passages from your link.

    Then you are either a blatant liar or a bit dim, because you are the one who said: “As far as your website/foundation link goes, I could not find any evidence there that this “Feminist Majority Foundation” advocates using the U.S. Military to invade and occupy in order to solve the many problems facing various groups of women around the world today.” And then you even had the gall to make a snarky comment implying that I was the one who hadn’t even read the link carefully, when clearly you didn’t.

    I said nothing about agreeing with their stance; in fact, I specifically stated that I wouldn’t wanted it to have been a military mission at all, over and over again. I am getting a little tired of your constant fabrications. You claimed that I would be hard pressed to find feminists that supported our presence there, and I proved that you were full of baloney. That’s it. Have some integrity. You are so caught up in your own rhetoric that you are jousting at windmills.

  57. entopticon

    Either/Or … two choices only … this is the simpleton’s dilemma. The simpleton will sit there and scratch his or her head, believing that there are really only two possible options.

    It is actually astounding that the ludicrously hypocritical irony of that statement is completely lost on you. You were the one harshly criticizing others for saying that the war in Afghanistan was not a black and white issue. I was the one saying that it is not a matter of EITHER being about humanitarian issues and terrorism OR oil and opium. That ridiculously one-dimensional binary polemic was all you. YOU are the one spouting the “two choices only” Coke or Pepsi reasoning that you criticize us for. Again, you should really take a better look in that mirror of yours because you have been blatantly projecting your own issues onto others.

  58. Then you are either a blatant liar or a bit dim

    Really? Are those my only two options? Either I am a liar, or I am dim wit? (Hmmmm … where have I seen this type of thinking before?) Could there actually be other explanations? Could it be a misunderstanding perhaps? Let’s check it out.

    Entopticon – if that is your real name – you stated earlier:

    I don’t think it is that simple. Women still have it bad there, but if we pulled out tomorrow, it would literally be a massacre for virtually every woman in the country who is perceived to have taken advantage of the liberties afforded by the infidels. Huge numbers of people seen as collaborators would be summarily executed. And if you think tribal warfare is bad there now, if we suddenly pulled out, it would be absolutely incendiary.

    To me it seems like you believe that the warfare we are engaged in there, as tragically misguided as it may be, is really for the better when it comes to securing women’s rights in that country. It is a variation of the “neccessary evil” argument. Is that a fair interpretation? Or actually did you mean this: the war is in fact wrong and bad and we should not have invaded, but it happens to have made the place safer for women and therefore we can’t leave until the place is absolutely secure against future misogynist policies/actions being instituted. Either way, in effect, you are justifying the war-invasion-occupation on the grounds that it is saving thousands of women and girls from a particular fundamentalist misogyny … or maybe you can escape this either/or bind and offer a third more accurate interpretation of your above remarks. What did you really mean when you wrote what you wrote?

    You then qualify that, actually, you would prefer that it be a “humanitarian” effort, and not a military one, but you don’t offer much more explanation about this preference of yours.

    Clearly we both read the “foundation” web page that you linked to in response to my ensuing question regarding feminist thought and the invasion and occupation of countries for human rights violations. (Quick aside I would ask: Who set this up this “foundation”? Who funds it? Is it the same people that funded Gloria Steinem when she founded Ms. Magazine? Could be. They are “sister” websites. Check out Gloria Steinem’s “Sugar Daddy,” as reported by the New York Times:

    http://www.namebase.org/steinem.html

    Be sure to read the end notes at the bottom of this linked page for the NYT quotes regarding who Steinem saw as “Liberals.” And be sure to check out the 1975 “Red Stockings” addendum at the very bottom of the page too.)

    Let’s assume Gloria’s “sister foundation” website is on the up and up, a dubious assumption, but I can roll with it for a minute or two, despite the Steinem association. Now, your read of the web page appears to have yielded the interpretation that these Feminists believe Obama has a “unique opportunity” to use the military juggernaught already in motion to insure the advancement of women’s rights in that country. I assume for you this equates with a use of military tactics to achieve this humanitarian end?

    I admit didn’t really interpret it that way at first. I thought they were just “audaciously hoping” – that was the hip thing to do last year – that while the U.S. Terror juggernaught was in progress there, the least we could do is make straight the roads for some women there. To me this did not seem like an all-out advocation for military invasion/occupation to achieve justice for oppressed women around the world. But, after considering the Steinem connection further and perusing the general fluff of the site, which reads more like a PR campaign designed to gather naive college kids together and then foist a policy or two into their minds (sort of like Ms. and Rolling Stone and Time Magazine do), instead of fostering real independent thought, I actually do think this “foundation” supports using warfare to achieve these feminist ends. And I continue to disagree with that idea.

    Now Ent, I don’t really think you are a pro-war feminist at heart. I think we have just had a misunderstanding here. I misunderstood you. I apologize. I thought you were supporting the war in Afghanistan on some naive feminist grounds of achieving some kind of justice for women there. My bad. I now see that you are not at all for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by US military forces to achieve this end. In fact you would prefer a humanitarian solution. I would like to hear more about the humanitarian solution you mention. I would very much like to support that idea, IF IT IS SOUND.

  59. Military withdrawal is not a complicated issue, Ent & JWT. At the end of the 30 year American intervention in Vietnam, we finally just packed up and withdrew. Everyone was bleating about an ensuing “bloodbath” at the hands of the northern communists, as if we were not the ones supplying the bloodbath all along. What happened? No blood-bath. I do not believe you, or the “Feminist Foundation” you link to here, have it right when you claim a female “bloodbath” will ensue if we leave Afghanistan tomorrow. I find the claim extreme and ungrounded and a very poor justification for continuing the war there today.

  60. JWTJr

    “What happened? No blood-bath.”

    No blood bath after the Vietnam withdrawal? You have got to be kidding. North Vietnamese tanks fired shots all the way into the southern capital when our last helicopter was taking off of the embassy roof. That was just the beginning. 250,000 were killed. The mountain people were routed.

    Nice revisionism. Maybe you think they deserved it for supporting the ‘corporations’?

  61. entopticon

    Really? Are those my only two options?

    Apparently, because the quote that you followed that with was completely irrelevant to that claim. You claimed that I must not have actually read the link from the FMF, and I showed that it was you that hadn’t read it clearly. You were completely wrong about the FMF’s position on the Afghan occupation. My feelings about Afghanistan, one way or another, are completely irrelevant to that claim.

    What did you really mean when you wrote what you wrote?

    I meant that is an intensely complicated situation at this point so we have to be careful how we get out of it for the sake of the people who trusted us, and especially the women and girls. As I stated over and over again, if it had been up to me, it would be a humanitarian, rather than military mission.

    It is kind of amusing that you keep attacking the integrity of the FMF. You made the false claim that I would be hard pressed to find feminists that supported the occupation for the sake of women. I proved that that was nonsense. Instead of owning up to that, you decided to start attacking the organization, as if I represented them, which I do not. You asked for an example of feminists who support the occupation for the sake of women, and I gave it to you.

    Clearly we both read the “foundation” web page that you linked to in response to my ensuing question regarding feminist thought and the invasion and occupation of countries for human rights violations.

    If you actually read it, why did you make the completely fallacious claim that they don’t support the occupation for the sake of the women there? Clearly, you didn’t read it very carefully the first time, which makes your snarky aspersion that I hadn’t particularly ironic.

    I actually do think this “foundation” supports using warfare to achieve these feminist ends. And I continue to disagree with that idea.

    Is theoutlandish hypocrisy of that, after you snidely accused me of not taking the time to actually read my own link because I stated that very thing in the first place, completely lost on you?

    Disagree with it all you want. I don’t entirely agree with their position either, as I have stated all along. That doesn’t change the fact that you were remarkably hypocritical for claiming that I hadn’t read the site since you didn’t believe that they supported the occupation, when you were actually the one guilty of your own criticism, not me.

    I now see that you are not at all for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by US military forces to achieve this end. In fact you would prefer a humanitarian solution.

    I am not for the military effort there, but I don’t think it is all bad, or all good. It’s not a simple binary polemic. I don’t think it is either about oil and opium OR about terrorism and humanitarian issues. I think there are many factors.

    I am no international expert in humanitarian relief missions, so it wouldn’t be much help for me to imagine specifics of what it might be like. I think the people there need help, and what is happening to the women there is not acceptable. I would hope that humanitarian aid would be a more effective way to win hearts and minds, and make everybody safer.

    We probably have much more in common as far as our ultimate goals for the world goes than not, and the same goes for Eamon.

  62. entopticon

    One side of the mouth:
    Military withdrawal is not a complicated issue

    The other side of the mouth:
    Either/Or … two choices only … this is the simpleton’s dilemma. The simpleton will sit there and scratch his or her head, believing that there are really only two possible options.

  63. john

    I believe Obama to be an excellent President—if your goals are to destroy the American economy, raise unemployment to record levels, destroy the US dollar, rack up off-the-chart debt even our great-grand children will be unable re-pay, dangerously weaken our national security and cause our enemies to roll about in fits of laughter. So far, Obama is doing a superb job. He, along with help from Congress, are destroying our nation. America, we hardly knew ya…

  64. Ent: I am just being honest when I say that I suspect FMF is a bogus foundation … aka a front designed to manipulate naive public opinion. It seems like a PR campaign that uses young people’s desire for justice in order to co-opt their support and shape and steer their opinions towards certain policy objectives, like staying militarily involved in Afghanistan. My doubting the integrity of FMF is not the same as doubting the integrity of specific feminist thought. I think the feminist critiques I have read in the past make some very good points about our history our society and the continuing need to organize and press for social justice. Most of the social justice campaigns I respect didn’t really use weapons of war the way we are using them in Afghanistan, but hey, maybe this is just one more example of the big changes that Obama promised to bring about if we voted for him.

    Citing a “oress release” created by some generic Feminist Foundation/lobby group is not the same as actually citing an individual feminist thinker on the matter. I asked for a link to a respected feminist thinker, not a press release. I generally don’t believe in foundations. Show me a cogent feminist thinker, an individual who can own up to his or her thoughts & words about invading countries that don’t treat women correctly and not hide behind the aegis of some anonymous glib “foundation” and then we can go from there. I am not saying you cannot do it. I still think you will be hard pressed, but, hey, what’s wrong with a little challenge? I wonder what Carter Heyward or Rosemary Radford Ruether or Bell Hooks or Mary Daly or Adriene Rich or Alice Walker or Toni Morrison think about invading other countries with US Special Forces and cruise missiles to resolve women’s issues? (I guess you could direct me to Hillary Clinton or Madalein Albright and claim they are “feminists” who support military intervention to solve women’s problems in the third world.)

    I am no expert on Humanitarian Relief issues either. I do know that many a “humanitarian crisis” has been cynically created or allowed to protract intentionally so that we could then send in the troops and make straight the roads as we “helped” poor people out of a jam. We do this all the time via the IMF, the World Bank, the Peace Corps etc. Altruism benevolently extended from the superpowers that were once the colonial masters is very seldom really altruism. Its only gussied up to look that way via “foundations” … sorry but there it is.

    Example: South Vietnam was relatively at peace after the French lost to Ho Chi Minh – who we supplied with US made weapons leftover from WWII. Then the line was drawn and we set up the Diem puppet govt. down in Saigon … we backed and supplied Ho and then backed and supplied Diem. Now, even after we set up the puppet govt in Saigon, the rest of the agrarian south could have cared less. They kept right on doing what they had been doing under the French: raising their crops and taking the fruits to market and feeding their families in their villages. This was the situation all over the South. Well this was no good. The place is still stable. How can we get our war on against the Communist-Terrorist like this? So then the CIA moved 1,100,000 Catholic Tonkinese down south from the North and screwed the southern pastoral scene up really badly. That social disaster was covertly made by the U.S. and it led to major civil unrest, starvation and banditry, which we then began calling “communist insurgency” and that finally started us bringing in helicopters and troops by the thousand. Next thing you know we got a war on. That is altrusim … that is humanitarian relief in action … Pentagon style.

    I do not pretend to know what the answer is in Aghanistan. Something tells me sending in 40,000 more troops and more cruise missiles is not really the best idea. Maybe that is not very “feminist” of me … I guess if that is what it means to be feminist then I am not one, nor are thousands of men and women around the world who do not believe continuing the war in Afghanistan is the answer.

    And while I am addressing you, Ent, I will say that I agree with your intuition that we may want similar things for the world, but that disagree on method … and that is a very important distinction. And now that you have brought up method, I guess I might point out to you that calling me asenine, a hypocrit, a liar, a dim-wit, a libertarian, an anti-feminist, and a glue-huffer really doesn’t help your arguments, as amusing as those assumptions are to me. About the only thing you have gotten right about me as an individual is that I occasionally play the bass guitar in local Zeppelin tribute band. (BTW: nobody in the band sniffs glue.) I think you would do far better to address the points of my argument and cease with hysterical attempts at character defamation. Such muckraking only hurts your position.

  65. JWTJr

    Its a corporate catholic foundation conspiracy! Never trust a foundation!! Evil! Every one!

  66. annica2

    the incredibly sorry attempts to justify the occupation by those who identify with obama’s views are equally as sorry, if not worse than the arguments given by those who were die hard bush loving neo cons. as a very staunch defender of women’s rights, i find it absolutely f-ing disgusting that anyone would defend this occupation of which over a million people have died including more women and children than the entire histories of the taliban, al qaeda and every other insurgency in the world. it’s time to unsubscribe from your code pink emails and snap into reality.

    i have been to that part of the world for long periods of time, so i know how the public feels about u.s. occupation. before the cold war, people did not feel the way they do. they hate us now because we have allowed our government to occupy their territory for decades. obama has escalated this particular war into two other countries and expanded the war in the other two. this is furthering the expansion of insurgencies much like the fly on the wall taliban. only they’re becoming much stronger and spreading throughout many other countries as refugees. they hate us because we are there. it is as simple as that, and the argument against that has either been avoided or no rational argument has ever been able to stand ground.

    everyone has been so pacified with the obama brand, believing now that he is in office that the same war, being fought in the exact same way is now different. now, the war is not about the military industrial complex. now, it’s about womens rights? give me a break.

    this war is complete neo colonial imperialist fascism in the most old school and worst of ways. the soldiers and others in the military are not in the field under the wing of any kind of intelligence other than what is fitting to the contractor that surrounds itself with them while they’re stealing resources and building bases to continue to police the area while they f*ck the the citizens in their own states.

  67. entopticon

    I am just being honest when I say that I suspect FMF is a bogus foundation … aka a front designed to manipulate naive public opinion.

    I’m sorry, but that is actually pretty offensive. FMF and Eleanor Smeal have been a profound voice for women’s rights for decades. You should really learn more about them before making wild, unfounded, and offensive accusations like that. After you have been a profoundly important voice for women’s rights for a few decades like Smeal has I will take your sanctimonious blather about Smeal and her organization seriously, but until then, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

    Citing a “oress release” created by some generic Feminist Foundation/lobby group is not the same as actually citing an individual feminist thinker on the matter.

    Are you kidding me? This is getting to be outright ridiculous. All over the website it talks about the founder and president, Eleanor Smeal, who is one of the most important feminist thinkers in history. She has won multiple awards for her work, and was President of the National for Women for the better part of a decade. The list of profoundly important legislative issues for women that she has been an important part of is beyond impressive. Among other individuals, the site also talks about their work with one of Afghanistan’s leading feminist thinkers, Dr Sima Samar, chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

    Show me a cogent feminist thinker, an individual who can own up to his or her thoughts & words about invading countries that don’t treat women correctly and not hide behind the aegis of some anonymous glib “foundation” and then we can go from there.

    Eleanor Smeal and Sima Samar are not hiding “behind the aegis of some anonymous glib “foundation””. This is just fricking absurd.

    And now that you have brought up method, I guess I might point out to you that calling me asenine, a hypocrit, a liar, a dim-wit, a libertarian, an anti-feminist, and a glue-huffer really doesn’t help your arguments, as amusing as those assumptions are to me.

    Well DCJ, lying, sanctimonious bs, snide quips about how much smarter and more educated you think you are than the rest of us, and a bizarre lack of ability to own up to your own hypocrisy when confronted with it, doesn’t really help your case, amusing though it may be.

    The glue huffing comment was in response to your constant confabulations. I was not saying that you literally huff glue, in case you missed that. I was saying that it was getting a bit surreal that you kept making the same ridiculous claim over and over again despite the fact that I had clearly said the opposite repeatedly. Glue huffing was just a random neuro-association of Led Zepplin fans in junior high huffing glue.

    I think you would do far better to address the points of my argument and cease with hysterical attempts at character defamation.

    Seriously, do you actually read your own posts? What a heaping pile of hypocritical crap. Your hypocrisy truly is astounding. Here is a sample of some of your “hysterical attempts at character assassination”…..

    “ignoramus”
    “ignorant”
    “duped liberal”
    “agent of doom”
    “one of the THOUSANDS of Americans in the field of journalism – or any number of other professions – on the NSA/CIA payroll, bought off to sow deception in Op-Eds, objective “news” stories, letters to the editor.”
    “simpleton”
    “naive”

    Such muckraking only hurts your position.

    Geebus, get a better mirror.

  68. Piffy!

    [b]I understand that the plight of women may be being used as a ploy to keep us there, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. For the girls who have gone to school for the first time and the women who have been allowed to work, it is very real. I honestly think it is complicated. I personally think it would be best to transition to a solely humanitarian mission. [/b]

    My point is that it is not the US military’s responsibility to secure ‘women’s rights’ in Afghanistan, or anywhere else for that matter. If that was indeed the case, we would have to deploy our military in nearly every country in the world (oh, wait, we already have).

    I dont think US withdrawal will mean all women will be suddenly ‘oppressed’ and i dont think our current drone bombs are exactly liberating in any sense whatsoever. personally, i think Western Women have their own problems to worry about (unless you think half-naked bikini models are really ‘liberated’.)

  69. entopticon

    i think Western Women have their own problems to worry about (unless you think half-naked bikini models are really ‘liberated

    I think comparing women who are nailed to trees, stoned to death, poisoned, and scorched with acid to the plight of bikini models is seriously misguided.

    My point is that it is not the US military’s responsibility to secure ‘women’s rights’ in Afghanistan, or anywhere else for that matter.

    I am not an isolationist, so I disagree. That was the argument used by many who didn’t want to get involved with the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany. I disagree with the argument. It is never a small decision, but there are situations that are horrible enough that the world should intervene. The plight of women in Afghanistan is arguably one of those cases.

  70. JWTJr

    “personally, i think Western Women have their own problems to worry about (unless you think half-naked bikini models are really ‘liberated’.)”

    I want to hear more about this.

  71. Yeah, Entopticon, I don’t care how long E. Smeal was president of NOW. She may very well have taken up some important causes in her career as an activist for women’s rights, but if she is now advocating military intervention/occupation to save women in Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world, as you seem convinced that she is, then I think she is putting forward a really bad idea and I disagree with her and you. (When I first read the press release I did not see FMF as advocating interventionism per se, it seemed more about keeping political pressure on our Karazai puppet govt to do the right thing by women now that the Taliban had been beaten back. But you seem pretty convinced that Smeal and Co. are in fact advocating military interventionism, so I will defer you your knowledge on the matter.)

    I am sorry you find my criticism of Smeal’s interventionism personally offensive. Just as I am sorry you find my doubts about foundations – of which FMF is but one – offensive. I am generally not impressed by any foundation, be they right, or be they left, even ones that seem to be all about a good cause. I am wary about their roots. I am wary about their influence. I am wary about their role in PR campaigns. That press release you connected us to at the FMF’s site didn’t really connect the dots for me on how our military should use its force to insure women’s safety and rights in Afghanistan, nor did it lay out any real plan on how to keep those rights protected there once we do leave, if we ever leave. I think it is very specific on the problem women face and very vague on the solution. All Smeal and Simar and Mavis seem to be saying to Obama is “keep in mind the very real plight of women as you tear down and rebuild the Afghan society.” Again, we need to recall that the U.S. supported the Taliban with millions of of our tax dollars right up until Sept. 11, 2001. We knew their attitudes towards women and we did not care at all, we kept paying them hand over fist.

    Regarding WWII, I think you may be mistaken about that situation too. We (Wall Street) helped build the Nazi war machine and thereby stoked the fires of that conflagaration. When D-Day arrived, we certainly did not enter that war to save any Jews, that is a common misconception. I don’t believe we have ever entered any war for humanitarian reasons, including Afghanistan. The plight of Afghanistan women is not arguably one of those cases. The world is not intervening there, the U.S. is, and we are doing it purely for our own corporate/geo-political reasons. We did not go there to save any women, nor will we remain there to save any women. That is just a hawk’s rhetoric for naive liberal constituents. It is simply a useful idea being used to justify our global militarism to the likes of you and the well meaning girls that read Ms. Magazine. (“Look here, E. Smeal thinks we should stay the course in Afghanistan. The war might not be such a bad thing after all. Maybe we should send even more troops to Afghanistan to save all those women from the Taliban.”)

    I am sorry you think I called you a naive ignoramus. I did speak of ignoramuses in general and of some Americans being naive in earlier posts. I continue to think many Americans are naive, particularly when it comes to the “War on Terror.”

    As for the “agent of doom” epithet, I did later comment that that was tongue-n-cheek.

    As far as your being “one of the THOUSANDS of Americans in the field of journalism – or any number of other professions – on the NSA/CIA payroll, bought off to sow deception in Op-Eds, objective “news” stories, letters to the editor” goes, I really don’t know whether you are, or you aren’t. I guess it wasn’t very nice of me to suggest that you might be such a person. I apologize. The fact that such hired hands do exist throughout or society today is well documented. (Gloria Steinem has admitted to being on the payroll.)

    Speaking of a “either/or” thinking when it comes to choosing Palin over Obama, or Pepsi over Coke as being an example of a “simpleton’s dilemma” was not meant to suggest that you are in fact a simpleton. Sorry if you took it that way. You clearly believe we should stay the course in our war in Afghanistan. There apparently is no dilemma for you. In fact you seem to be defining yourself as a military interventionist now. I think interventionism for a just cause is disingenuous. Rome never intervened for a just cause, nor did Spain, nor England, nor Germany, nor has the Good Old USA. That is not what building and maintaining an empire is all about. We don’t do it. We never have and we never will. I am not trying to insult you by saying this. It is just a fact: wars are never committed to for just causes … not even our civil war was fought for just cause. That war was entered upon to preserve the political and economic power of the United States. Abolition/emancipation happened along the way, but it was never what we fought for. Just war theory is simply a lofty idea, never a reality.

    Now, it is true that I suggested your position here is “ungrounded” & I even went so far as to term it “hysterical.” Not only your position about this particular war, but I also thought your overreaction when you misconstrued Eamon as calling you a “racist” was off base. (I am afraid you may have over-reacted there.) But generally we don’t speak of ideas as being hysterical, we speak of people as being hysterical. So I can see how you would think that my characterization of your position is the same as characterizing you as a hysterical person. My bad. It was not what I meant to do, but if you took it that way, I do apologize.

  72. entopticon

    Yeah, Entopticon, I don’t care how long E. Smeal was president of NOW.

    Clearly you don’t, but you are the one who said that I would be hard pressed to show a feminist who believes that the occupation is necessary for the women in Afghanistan. Elaneaor Smeal is indeed a major force in the history of feminism in America. I didn’t say that she was right. Your intellectual dishonesty here is getting to be outright strange.

    You clearly believe we should stay the course in our war in Afghanistan.

    You are clearly delusional. I think there are reasonable arguments for being there, and reasonable arguments for leaving. Many intelligent minds have wrestled with the issue. As I have said over and over again, I think we have to be very careful in how we pull our military forces out, and I would much rather it be a humanitarian, rather than military effort, but I guess you should just keep making crap up, because you seem to enjoy it.

    It is just a fact: wars are never committed to for just causes …

    I’m sorry, but your incessant use of superlatives, along with the simple absolutes that you substitute for legitimate analysis comprise the perfect example of your claim that “The simpleton will sit there and scratch his or her head, believing that there are really only two possible options,” and your mustache twisting, draconian conspiracy theories are something that I just cannot take seriously.

    I know you are friends with Eamon (my wife is as well) so you were coming to his defense, but the fact that you can’t just acknowledge that “same” and “like” are not the same thing is just intellectual dishonesty plain and simple. He didn’t say that my reasoning was “like” racist reasoning, he said it was the “same.” Justifiably, I took that as an insult, and I bet he would have as well. I have seen him fly off the handle pretty far himself.

    Again and again you offer up convoluted rationalizations for your hypocrisy instead of just coming clean. In the context of my views being called the same as racist views, you said: “Just because an ignoramus believes something to be true and a racist believes something to be true does not mean that the ignoramus is a racist.” I wasn’t misinterpreting anything. And as I showed with multiple examples, your sanctimonious claim that I am too much of a name caller is absurdly hypocritical, as is your claim that I didn’t actually take the time to read the link that I sent.

    I’m sorry if you were overly distracted or hurt by the sharpness of my elbows. I don’t deny that when someone starts spouting that they have a vastly better understanding of history than I do, just because I disagree with their analysis, I am going to be pretty harsh. You have said nothing that I haven’t heard before. Disagreeing with you doesn’t make me ignorant. Your peculiar lack of introspective ability to recognize that you are every bit as guilty of what you accused me of is something that you could seriously work on.

  73. Ent, if you want to flesh out the history and the merits of military interventionism as committed by the US military and its Corporate Overlords, I would appreciate doing that educational review here with you. Maybe you can find an example of a war that we embarked on for “good cause” that I missed. (Was it in Niceragua the first time? The Phillipines? Bay of Pigs? Where o where is the just military intervention?)

    In what way should we carefully pull our military forces out, by sending in 40,000 more troops, and then carefully think/wrestling with how to pull them out? i really am trying to understand you here. Please elaborate.

    “Like” does not equal “same.” There is nothing “intellectually dishonest” about pointing that out to anyone. If a racist and an ignoramus voted for Sarah Palin it does not necessarily follow that the ignoramus is also a racist. But I could certainly say they were like one another in their voting for Palin

    Here is a re-post of another person’s recent response here that I thought made some very valid points about our warfare and the refugees we create. However, they used an expletive that got the post removed. But I will see if I can repost it here – minus the offending word, which I will replace in parentheses:

    The incredibly sorry attempts to justify the occupation by those who
    identify with Obama’s views are equally as sorry, if not worse than the
    arguments given by those who were die hard bush loving neo cons. as a very
    staunch defender of women’s rights, i find it absolutely disgusting
    that anyone would defend this occupation of which over a million people have
    died including more women and children than the entire histories of the
    taliban, al qaeda and every other insurgency in the world. it’s time to
    unsubscribe from your code pink emails and snap into reality.

    i have been to that part of the world for long periods of time, so i know
    how the public feels about u.s. occupation. before the cold war, people did
    not feel the way they do. they hate us now because we have allowed our
    government to occupy their territory for decades. obama has escalated this
    particular war into two other countries and expanded the war in the other
    two. this is furthering the expansion of insurgencies much like the fly on
    the wall taliban. only they’re becoming much stronger and spreading
    throughout many other countries as refugees. they hate us because we are
    there. it is as simple as that, and the argument against that has either
    been avoided or no rational argument has ever been able to stand ground.

    everyone has been so pacified with the obama brand, believing now that he
    is in office that the same war, being fought in the exact same way is now
    different. now, the war is not about the military industrial complex. now,
    it’s about womens rights? give me a break.

    this war is complete neo colonial imperialist fascism in the most old
    school and worst of ways. the soldiers and others in the military are not in
    the field under the wing of any kind of intelligence other than what is
    fitting to the contractor that surrounds itself with them while they’re
    stealing resources and building bases to continue to police the area while
    they (betray) the citizens in their own states.

    Here, here! I would like to hear more from this citizen – minus the expletives. Some very good points about all the damage that escalation & occupation does in the Middle East.

  74. entopticon

    Ent, if you want to flesh out the history and the merits of military interventionism as committed by the US military and its Corporate Overlords, I would appreciate doing that educational review here with you.

    No thanks. I don’t think a one-dimensional rant about how “corporate overlords” are the only factor in every war in history would be productive. Been there. Done that. I spent years working at and attending a politically radical graduate program, so I am well aware of the rhetoric. As I eventually discovered, few things are ever that simple, and since you don’t even believe that the plight of the Jews had anything to do with our entry into WWII, we are definitely not going to get anywhere productive.

    To be honest, I think many in radical politics on all ends of the spectrum fall into the same trap. In the course of their fervent strides to understand, they turn extremely complicated issues into one-dimensional rationalizations that paint the issues with cartoonishly oversimplified explanations that ignore the systemic complexities by reducing the cause to a single boogeyman, whether it be welfare mothers, Marxists, immigrants, or evil corporate villains.

    “Like” does not equal “same.” There is nothing “intellectually dishonest” about pointing that out to anyone.

    That wouldn’t be quite so hilarious if you weren’t the one conflating “like” and “same” in the first place. Eamon said that my reasoning was the “same” as racists’, not “like” racists. You are the one who used the word “like” in your defense of what Eamon said, conflating it with “same.” Saying that someone’s reasoning is the “same” as racist reasoning, is not the same thing as saying that their reasoning is “like” it, as you erroneously claimed. Words have meanings. Not sure why you are having such a hard time understanding that.

  75. David Shepherd

    It is unbelievable how many white people I know voted for the man of mystery, Barack Obama, because he was ostensibly black and not Republican. The fact that he keeps company with creeps like Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger meant nothing to any of them. The only thing black about Obama is his soul …………….. that is not a compliment. He is the new spokesperson for our unbridled military.

    This puppet was chosen partly because we are fighting a war in a region populated by folks with brown skin and the need to appear like we are not the Great Satan in the eyes of some (very few to be sure) of the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and now freaking Yemen could be enhanced with his election.

    I urge everyone to look at a map, or better yet a globe, and see that we are fascists in the great Nazi tradition. We (not me – our ‘leaders’) don’t give a damn about these countries people or their sovereignty. It is obvious that we are trying to control not just a nation, or two, or even three, but rather an entire region.

    Why more Americans are not alarmed at Obama’s globalist tendencies and the fact that his backers have spent millions on lawyers to prevent viewing his original birth certificate I do not understand. Through the MSM the birther issue has become the stuff of jokes but his parents met at a Russian language school which has the aroma of CIA or something akin to it. He attended grade school for a period of time in Indonesia and went by another name (Barry Soweto) while he did so.

    He has not overturned any of the previous administration’s questionable decisions. We still have the Patriot Act. Homeland security is still an agency for spying on Americans. Torture has not been outlawed. The bombing of Pakistan through the use of drones commenced on his watch. There is no new investigation into 9-11 and the laundry list of outright lies that accompany it and led to all of this mess.

    We need to look at the men behind the pretender in chief. Kissinger and Brzezinski are avowed warmongers and until we demand they piss off and disappear and demand we want no more war we are going to continue with these fascist charades. While they are portrayed as defending America they are very likely to lead to getting us attacked on our own shores and I am not just talking about the terrorist bogeyman. Eventually, or sooner, a nation with ICBMs and a nuclear/biological/chemical capability will decide we are a dangerous rogue nation in need of containment. Every dog has its day and we have been barking and biting at the nations of this planet ever since WWII. I hope and pray we change our heart and change out our swords into plowshares but it appears we will have to be forced to do so.

    We are a great people with consistently despotic fascist leaders. The fact that our economy is in a death spiral due in large part from being coerced into the global economy and all this continues is all the more horrific. Change. When and where is our foreign policy going to truly change? I have had no patience for any of our presidents in years. They have all been globalist warmongers heading us into a slippery sloped New World Order.

  76. Glentopticon, we could both vote for Sarah Palin, and I could be a racist and you could be an ignoramus, and we could have voted for her for the same reason: her rapier wit and her fashion sense, but it would not mean that because we reasoned the same on a bad decision that I am in fact an ignoramus and you are a racist. Eamon never actually called you a racist. But I see your point. You got compared to a racist. That is a real bummer. Get over it. You are on a public blog. Now that we have established that you are not a racist or an ignoramus, let’s look at the complex systemic multidimensional reasons for invading and occupying another country …

    We can start with your quote:

    To be honest, I think many in radical politics on all ends of the spectrum fall into the same trap. In the course of their fervent strides to understand, they turn extremely complicated issues into one-dimensional rationalizations that paint the issues with cartoonishly oversimplified explanations that ignore the systemic complexities by reducing the cause to a single boogeyman, whether it be welfare mothers, Marxists, immigrants, or evil corporate villains.

    Let’s see … you forgot the Taliban, not to mention the “Terrorists”, in your list of cartoonish over-simplifications in your critique of how those engaged in “radical” politics often simplify matters. I guess when the neo-cons do it in order to start a war and justify the further imposition of a New World Order, it is moral, acceptable, nuanced, complex and well-reasoned, but if it some dissident with a conscience makes a few points about it on a blog, then it is too simple?

    I know it goes against your Time-Life view of WWII, but we really did not invade Europe in order to save any Jews. We did however happen to save some Jews when we invaded Europe. We also sent may a Jew back to Europe at the beginning of that war. We had a “No Jews Allowed” immigration policy in effect as Hitler rounded them up and put them on the trains. Our concern for the Jews before and during WWII was much like or concern for Afghan women back when we were financially backing of the Taliban: NIL.

    There is an interesting book you might want to check out about our great and noble concern for the European Jew during Hitler’s rise to power:

    David S. Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 (New York, 1984)

    Empire building is never (I know, there I go again with a dreaded superlative! I am so simple minded!) initially about establishing justice and improving moral order … of course, we say it is so all the time, you know, teaching the Hutus to speak English and bringing Christianity to the Guarani … getting all these pitiful tribal people some decent clothes, providing them with some decent factories so they can have decent jobs down there. (Make me a base-ball! Make me a Tennis shoe!) It is all very well meaning. It is never simply about the unbridled greed of those who desire more power and control over the vanquished … that idea would just be too simple, wouldn’t it?

    Sort of like the idea of evil … far to simple an idea … everyone that has been to college here in the Wild Wild West knows there is no such thing as evil … you have been watching far too much Rocky and Bullwinkle if you still believe in evil, right? (When will these primitives ever learn, superstition is for losers!)

    No no no … These wars are not evil, they are really just examples of great big well-meaning military industrial incompetence … like Vietnam. If you can’t get it right in the first 9 years, “choose” a new leader at the polls and let him spend 8 more years ironing out the wrinkles with some more multi-million dollar cruise missiles and 40,000 more “good guys.” And while you are at it make all those backwoods Muslims read Catherine McKinnon … “Homey don’t play that sexist tribal custom no more, and I got a cruise missile with some of Andrea Dworkin’s lipstick on it for you, if you are gonna try to back-talk.” … That will learn them!

  77. annica2

    thanks david for posting that again.

    isolationism is a complete 180 from non-interventionism. isolationism is more of a nationalist one state concept and would mean more border fences/berlin walls, huge tariffs and protectionism while there is less diplomacy and commerce with other countries. non-interventionism is the concept of improving relations with other countries through diplomacy and allowing commerce while avoiding entangling alliances and aggressive acts of war.

  78. Answer to U.S. based foundation Citizen Crusader, Eleanor Smeal from RAWA, The Revolutionary Women of Afghanistan:

    RAWA strongly believes that there should be no expectation of either the US or any other country to present us with democracy, peace and prosperity. Our freedom is only achievable at the hands of our people. It is the duty of all the intellectuals, all the democratic forces and progressive and independence-seeking people to rise in a constant and decisive struggle for independence and democracy by taking the support of our wounded people as the independent force, against the presence of the US and its allies and the domination of Jehadi and Taliban criminals. Combating against the armed and alien forces in the country without being loud-mouthed against the Talibi and Jehadi enemies would mean welcoming the misfortunes of fascism and religious mafia. Also, struggling against this enemy without fighting the military presence of the US, its allies and its puppet government would mean falling before foreign agents. The path of the freedom-fighters of our country without doubt, will be very complex, difficult and bloody; but if our demand is to be freed from the chains of the slavery of foreigners and their Talib and Jehadi lackeys, we should not fear trial or death to become triumphant.

    One of the things I learned in my study of feminism back in college was to never let another person speak for your experience. Smeal presumes to speak for the women (and the girls) of Afghanistan as she rationalizes U.S. invasion/occupation/nation-building and therefore she is guilty of eclipsing their voices and their power.

    To learn more about what the women of Afghanistan think about the “moral complexities” of U.S. invasion and occupation, visit their web site:

    http://www.rawa.org

  79. Welcome to the occupation: Much safer with U.S. forces there than without?

    http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2010/01/07/civilian-deaths-in-afghanistan-spark-protests-impatience-with-continued-violence.html

    Eleanor Smeal might not be the greatest feminist that ever lived, but she shore is a genius policy wonk, that’s for sure. FMF is either a duped liberal organization, gone way south in their blind support for “The Project for A New American Century”, or they are another CIA infiltrated foundation, cynically spinning for Obama’s war. I would hope they are the merely the former, and simply very naive about Obama and what he is really all about. Check out Smeal’s far more in depth “spin” for our occupation at Huffington Post …

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eleanor-smeal/why-is-the-fmf-refusing-t_b_234595.html

    But make no mistake. Afghanistan is in terrible shape. The Taliban have gradually returned. Nothing is as it should be, which is why we are asking for no less than a Marshall Plan to rebuild Afghanistan, the same way we did for Germany and Japan after World War II. Afghanistan’s water, sewage, electrical, and their once proud hospital systems have been all but destroyed by 30 years of war. We bombed it. We have an obligation to rebuild it.

    Wow. A Marshall Plan. How generous of Smeal. We destroyed it all with America tax dollars used to buy American bombs made by American defense contractors, so we should use American tax dollars to pay off American building contractors to rebuild it all. It’s only fair. Afghans get bombed. You and I get robbed. Dyncorp, The Carlyle Group, Bechtel and Haliburton get even richer. (Smeal is really all about the social justice, ain’t she? Wonder what Naomi Klein would say about Smeal’s ideas?) It is statements like this that really make me wonder if Smeal isn’t perhaps hanging out at the wrong cocktail parties when she leaves her FMF office up in Arlington, VA each evening.

  80. entopticon

    Get over it

    Get over it yourself. Someone calls me a racist, directly or indirectly, I am going to call them out on their bullshit. Lump it.

    Let’s see … you forgot the Taliban, not to mention the “Terrorists”, in your list of cartoonish over-simplifications in your critique of how those engaged in “radical” politics often simplify matters. I guess when the neo-cons do it in order to start a war and justify the further imposition of a New World Order, it is moral, acceptable, nuanced, complex and well-reasoned, but if it some dissident with a conscience makes a few points about it on a blog, then it is too simple?

    Yes, I didn’t list every cartoonish oversimplification in the history of time. I gave a few samples, and most of them were actually used by neocons, but I am beginning to learn that continuity of reason is not a priority for you. I have just as much trouble with one-dimensional oversimplifications of complex issues when it is done by neocons, paleocons, anarchists, or whoever else does it.

    I know it goes against your Time-Life view of WWII, but we really did not invade Europe in order to save any Jews.

    Whatever, Time-Life you too. I disagree with you. Get over yourself. We weren’t only involved in WWII to save the Jews, and there was quite a bit of anti-semitism in this country at the time, particularly among the isolationists who didn’t want to get involved. Nevertheless, your cartoonishly oversimplistic contention that since we weren’t there only for the Jews, and since there was bigotry in this country at the time, we must not have been there for the Jews at all is complete nonsense.

    And while you are at it make all those backwoods Muslims read Catherine McKinnon … “Homey don’t play that sexist tribal custom no more, and I got a cruise missile with some of Andrea Dworkin’s lipstick on it for you, if you are gonna try to back-talk.” … That will learn them!

    So now caring about the plight of women in Afghanistan means something about shoving Andrea Dworkin down their throat. Nah, you don’t cartoonishly oversimplify the issues at the expense of the facts. Not at all.

    Sort of like the idea of evil … far to simple an idea … everyone that has been to college here in the Wild Wild West knows there is no such thing as evil …

    I am pretty sure Obama is a vampire that sacrifices babies in the back room at Bilderberg Group meetings in the name of Moloch. Eeeeeeeeeeeevil. Spooooky spoooooky eeeeeeevil.

    One of the things I learned in my study of feminism back in college was to never let another person speak for your experience. Smeal presumes to speak for the women (and the girls) of Afghanistan as she rationalizes U.S. invasion/occupation/nation-building and therefore she is guilty of eclipsing their voices and their power.

    Considering that one of the prominent people working directly with Smeal and the FMF’s Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls is Sima Samar, chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, the hypocritical irony of a white guy living in rural Appalachia making that statement is absolutely priceless.

    It is statements like this that really make me wonder if Smeal isn’t perhaps hanging out at the wrong cocktail parties when she leaves her FMF office up in Arlington, VA each evening.

    As I already said, I don’t entirely agree with her position, but she has done a whole hell of a lot more to help women than than the vast majority of people in the world, including me, and you too, so denigrating her feminist credentials to make your case is just sort of lame.

  81. Eamon Martin

    Coincidentally, a friend of mine interviewed veteran war correspondent Robert Fisk for a piece he published this past week. My friend asked him: “how he would reply to folks who opposed the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, but who now have serious concerns about the fates of those countries’ citizens should the occupiers withdraw.”

    Fisk replied: “Invading or occupying armies always say that leaving would then harm the populations (who never asked to be invaded or occupied in the first place). But their populations must decide their own future in their time. Yes, it will be a long time before ‘gender equality’ exists in Afghanistan if we leave. But does it exist now? We cannot change these societies–that’s up to them. These lands do not belong to us–they belong to the people who live there. Militarily, we should withdraw.”

  82. I am pretty sure Obama is a vampire that sacrifices babies in the back room at Bilderberg Group meetings in the name of Moloch. Eeeeeeeeeeeevil. Spooooky spoooooky eeeeeeevil.

    Sounds like you been watching too many Alex Jones videos. Human beings make willful decisions in high places intending to destroy human life for pure financial gain all the time. I don’t know what you call it – “collateral damage,” maybe? – I call it evil.

    So now caring about the plight of women in Afghanistan means something about shoving Andrea Dworkin down their throat

    Glen, it’s called sarcasm.

    Saving Jews was never part of our motivation for invading Europe. I know people – American GIs – who walked into those death camps and had no idea what they were going to find there. There was no great big PR campaign before D-Day making it clear that saving the Jews was one of our objectives, and even if there was, it would not be any different than what Smeal is doing now, using a moral issue to spin for the support of a nasty war, sort of like emancipation.

    Credentials don’t mean a thing to me, Glen. I know doctors with credentials out the yang, doesn’t mean I would trust them to do surgery on me. Smeal is foisting a very bad idea, either unwittingly, or intentionally. Either way, it ain’t good.

    Even calling it “the campaign for women and girls” makes me wonder about Smeal’s Foundation’s motivation. It seems like they are using that “girls” bit to pull on bleeding heart heartstrings here in the naive heartland. Why not just say campaign for women, doesn’t that include girls? No, there is an added manipulative PR weight when they craft the phrase like that. Think of the children! (Think of the children getting obliterated by U.S. bombs already.) If FMF was really concerned about childern in Afghanistan, FMF would be calling for an immediate cease fire. They don’t really care about any girls (or boys) in Afghanistan. They are spinning for the war, trying to whip up public support for the institution of another Marshal Plan. FMF is as bogus as Ms. Magazine. Their function is to capture and dumb down would-be feminists for the powers that be. It is called “attracting and managing dissent.” Smeal is either shooting her career in the foot, or she is a phony and the Godfather – Uncle Sam at Langley – has called upon her to return a favor in the form of some press releases.

    Now, Glen, before you get your code-pink panties tied in a knot and call me another “whacky conspiricist,” I will admit that, unlike with Gloria Steinem’s career, I cannot prove that Smeal was on the CIA payroll back in the day, fawning fall over Zbigniew Brzezinski while working nights in a Playboy Bunny costume, but boy, it sure seems possible that some footsie was getting played under the table at some point, given all her chit-chat today about “staying the course” and a new Marshal Plan over in Yeswecanistan. (In this particular Marshall Plan do we get to keep all the bases we have built there too, like in Okinawa? Wanna talk about military occupations and women’s rights? Check out some of the rape cases over there. Check out what Japanese women think of our presence in Okinawa.)

    “War is a racket.” – Major General Smedley Butler

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler

  83. dog gone it. I did not turn off the bold print for the middle piece of my opening salvo in that last comment for “Entopticon.”

    “Sounds like you been watching too many Alex Jones videos. Human beings make willful decisions in high places intending to destroy human life for pure financial gain all the time. I don’t know what you call it – “collateral damage,” maybe? – I call it evil.”

    That is my comment, not Glen’s.

  84. Supra-complex muti-dimensional interventionism exposed:

    “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

    – Major General Smedley Butler, from his book “War Is A Racket.”

  85. travelah

    Butler took a lot of liberty with his self accolades. He was simply a soldier, and a good one at that, who caried himself away with the embellishments regarding his personal influence on the world stage.
    Every private in his battalion command could have stated the same thing.

  86. Well, Travelah, the point here is not that Butler was patting himself on the back about all that he accomplished during his tenure as “just another soldier,” who just happened to make major general – not too many of privates could say that. The point here is that this is a Major General in a leadership role identifying that his duty to “God and Country” was really only a duty to Wall Street interests. He is admitting that none of the interventions he was charged with orchestrating were ever about anything more than money.

    (But I can totally understand why you would want to try to denigrate that confession of his here on this public opinion thread about our similar interventionist wars in the Middle East.)

  87. Eamon Martin: This is the same reasoning (“we must stay to protect the women from their men” or “if we leave, they’ll kill each other”) that has been used from one racist conquest to the next.

    Glen English: Who the f*ck do you think you are calling a racist?

    I think anyone can plainly see that you were not called a racist. That was a knee-jerk defensive reaction to a good point. Your reasoning was compared to the reasoning used by folks engaged in perpetrating a racist conquest. As we all know, just because you support an intervention, perhaps because you believe it will be good for the girls there, doesn’t mean that those who actually carry out this conquest are not doing so on racist grounds for capital gains:

    “These people are brown and muslim and primitive and useless and 10,000 miles away from Kansas. Who is really gonna care if we bomb them to smithereens? Get the new kids in the lab in LA to guide another missile into that Af-Pak village via the video game interface and then give them a coke and a candy bar and some porn and send them back to the barracks.”

    (Ah … the nobility of “soldiering” in the 21st century … makes you wish you were a young enlisted man again, don’t it, Travelah?)

  88. I spent years working at and attending a politically radical graduate program, so I am well aware of the rhetoric. As I eventually discovered, few things are ever that simple…

    Glen, I find this confession interesting. Where was the graduate program? What was the actual course of study there? What is your definition of “radical?”

    You seem to be insinuating that calling off the invasion/occupation of Afghanistan is a simple-minded “radical” idea. How is that?

    Trying to denigrate thoughtful people for their “radical” politics, or even for believing that from time to time people in power conspire to betray their fellow man, seems like a pretty lame project to me. For example, your idea that because I believe that a conspiracy or two has occurred recently in our history that I therefore must endorse/support the likes of a blow-hard like Alex Jones and all of his lame ideas is pretty simple-minded itself.

    Here are some of a few “radicals” from American History that I continue to appreciate:

    Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Paine. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Susan B. Anthony. Harriet Tubman. Frederick Douglas. I.F. Stone. Martin Luther King. Malcolm X.

    Now which one was the simpleton? Whose rhetoric did you study carefully at your university and then deduce that they just didn’t have a good grip on the big picture?

    Or is your definition of “radical” the one handed to by the Establishment: ie. The Weather Underground? (They weren’t radical. They were stupid.) Is a radical the same thing as a violent extremist?

    What is wrong with being radical now and again? I disagree with you when you surmise that to be radical is to be simple-minded. To be radical is to desire to address/challenge the roots of the problem at hand. I really think we need more genuine radicalism in American politics today.

    Is the status quo always right and the “radical” always a nut job? Surely you don’t believe that nonsense.

  89. entopticon

    Trying to denigrate thoughtful people for their “radical” politics, or even for believing that from time to time people in power conspire to betray their fellow man, seems like a pretty lame project to me.

    Wasn’t denigrating radical politics in general. Sorry if it appeared that way. In fact, I agree with most of the goals of radical politics, though not always the methodology, and have been directly involved with many of them over the years. I was specifically criticizing those on any and of the political spectrum, be they progressive radicals, neocons, or paleocons, who boil everything down to superlatives, creating single causes as boogeymen to blame for situations that are much more complex in reality.

    I think anyone can plainly see that you were not called a racist.

    I really don’t give a crap.

    You seem to be insinuating that calling off the invasion/occupation of Afghanistan is a simple-minded “radical” idea. How is that?

    I don’t even know what you are talking about. That is complete nonsense. I have repeatedly stated that there in fact very good arguments for pulling out. That doesn’t mean that I think the issue is black and white. Intelligent minds disagree about it, because there are no easy answers. Your proclivity for confabulation really is getting to be a bit annoying.

    Whose rhetoric did you study carefully at your university and then deduce that they just didn’t have a good grip on the big picture?

    Again, I was not criticizing radicals. I was criticizing people on all ends of the political spectrum who make cartoonishly oversimplified arguments the way that you do. I mentioned my experience in a politically radical graduate program to clarify that I am well aware of the rhetoric that you have been presenting, because you keep going on and on about how ignorant everyone who doesn’t share your views is. I am not ignorant of the arguments that you are presenting, I just don’t agree with them. You seem to have trouble grasping the difference.

    What is wrong with being radical now and again? I disagree with you when you surmise that to be radical is to be simple-minded.

    That’s because I didn’t. Sorry if that wasn’t clear. I surmised that those on the radical end of the spectrum who oversimplify complicated issues by reducing complex issues to one dimensional rants are falling into the same trap, whatever end of the political spectrum they are on. I know many such people.

    Sounds like you been watching too many Alex Jones videos.

    I actually poked fun about you and Alex Jones because much of your rhetoric is virtually identical to his, knowingly or not. I don’t really think you are right wing extremist libertarian, if that makes you feel better. I do find the exploitation of Gloria Steinem’s trivial connection to a youth group meeting in the late 50’s and early 60’s that was partially funded by the CIA, which has frequently been exploited by the Alex Jones crowd as a way of denigrating feminism, to be a bit disturbing. Ralph Nader had a ton of money pumped into his campaign by right wing advocacy groups with direct ties to both right wing extremist hate groups and the New American Century crowd, but I don’t see anyone saying that that makes him a CIA operative. Gloria Steinem’s career of fighting for women’s rights and progressive politics speaks for itself. She has helped women in profoundly important ways, and there is no compelling evidence that she was involved in anything unsavory. I am not saying that you are using that trivial connection to denigrate feminism, but you are unwittingly aiding those who do.

    Is the status quo always right and the “radical” always a nut job? Surely you don’t believe that nonsense.

    Somehow you got confused and took the fact that while I worked and studied at a politically radical graduate school I became very familiar with the arguments that you have been making to mean that I condemn radicalism. That is far, far from the truth. If I did, I never would have been involved there in the first place. I just came to see over time that some of the people that I studied and worked with fell into a trap of creating cartoonishly oversimplified villains to pin everything on, when reality is rarely that simple. There were also many people who were much wiser than that, many of whom I still appreciate greatly.

    Now, Glen, before you get your code-pink panties tied in a knot and call me another “whacky conspiricist,” …

    It is almost as amusing as it is bizarrely ironic that you and annica keep denigrating Code Pink to try make your argument, because in reality Code Pink strongly opposes the Afghanistan occupation.

  90. I agree with you, Glen, that some folks on either end of the political spectrum fall into the trap of over-simplifying problems. I don’t really equate them with being radical, I equate them with being ignorant. I think I misunderstood you when you brought up this very real problem as we discussed Afghanistan and our current War president. For some reason I got the idea that you were saying that arguing for our immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan was an over-simplification of the problem and it was therefore something we should not do right away, because women and girls were in danger. ? is that what you meant ?

    I am not familiar enough with Alex Jones to know what he thinks of Feminism in general. If you say he is anti-feminist, then I will take your word for it, for the moment. If he only has major doubts about Gloria Steinem directing a spy program for the CIA, and he wonders aloud about her praise of Zbigniew Brzezinski and he questions her subsequent dating of Henry Kissenger, then I guess I do share some of Alex’s concerns about this particular “Feminist.”

    In 1958, Steinem was recruited by CIA’s Cord Meyers to direct an “informal group of activists” called the “Independent Research Service.” This was part of Meyer’s “Congress for Cultural Freedom,” which created magazines like “Encounter” and “Partisan Review” to promote a left-liberal chic to oppose Marxism. Steinem, attended Communist-sponsored youth festivals in Europe, published a newspaper, reported on other participants, and helped to provoke riots. One of Steinem’s CIA colleagues was Clay Felker. In the early 1960’s, he became an editor at Esquire and published articles by Steinem which established her as a leading voice for women’s lib. In 1968, as publisher of New York Magazine, he hired her as a contributing editor, and then editor of Ms. Magazine in 1971. Warner Communications put up almost all the money although it only took 25% of the stock. Ms. Magazine’s first publisher was Elizabeth Forsling Harris, a CIA-connected PR executive.”

    I have to say, though, simply having such a concern about Steinem (or Smeal, for that matter) and her influence and who influences her is not the same thing as being “anti-feminist.” I hope you can appreciate the difference.

    As far as appreciating the over-all paranoid world view of Alex Jones, or the exaggerated rhetoric he uses in his hyperbolic web videos, count me out. (I did, however, participate in a Code Pink protest in NYC in 2004 during the Republican National Convention and am glad to hear that they support immediate withdrawal.)

  91. entopticon

    For some reason I got the idea that you were saying that arguing for our immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan was an over-simplification of the problem and it was therefore something we should not do right away, because women and girls were in danger. ? is that what you meant ?

    Nope, not at all. As I previously mentioned, there are indeed very compelling arguments for pulling out of Afghanistan, and they may well be correct. That doesn’t change the fact that there are also intelligent arguments to the contrary, because there are myriad factors making it a very complicated situation with no easy solutions, particularly in respect to how to get out with the least harm possible.

    If he only has major doubts about Gloria Steinem directing a spy program for the CIA, and he wonders aloud about her praise of Zbigniew Brzezinski and he questions her subsequent dating of Henry Kissenger, then I guess I do share some of Alex’s concerns about this particular “Feminist.”

    Unfortunately, it is a lot darker than that. Alex Jones et al have twisted the conspiracy theory, which had no legs in the first place, into an argument that feminism itself is nothing but a CIA plot to destabilize the American family by discouraging man’s “natural” leadership role (sic). It is absolutely unconscionable.

    As for Steinem’s connection to Zbigniew Brzezinski, it has been twisted out of proportion to a ludicrous extent. Steinem wasn’t best friends with him or something, she encouraged him to go to the conference. At the time, he was a major voice for peaceful engagement with the Soviet Union, so it is not exactly a mystery why he would be invited. His hawkish stances came later. Painting her as if she was somehow in cahoots with him in some secret CIA warmongering is just ridiculous. Her actions speak for themselves.

    She was a fierce and vocal opponent of the Vietnam War, and every subsequent war, including Afghanistan. To assert that her intense war opposition for decades has all been part of some elaborate ruse is ludicrous to the extreme. Most recently she has been working with RAWA, so apparently RAWA is part of the CIA conspiracy too, if the secret CIA operative theory is right. It is not. In reality, her antiwar fight for decades has been amazingly admirable, and her work for women’s equality makes her one of the most important figures in the history of women’s rights in America, to say the least. Among other things, she co-founded the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Women’s Media Center, the Women’s Action Alliance, and Choice USA. Trying to tear that down with that trumped up conspiracy theory is seriously misguided, and frankly an insult to everything that she has accomplished.

    The real conspiracy is not between her and the CIA, it comes from the people perpetuating disingenuous guilt-by-association nonsense that has been blown out of proportion to a ludicrous extent in order to discredit her and the causes she has fought so valiantly for for decades. Claiming that she directed a spy program for the CIA is absolute hogwash. I do not dispute that many conspiracies are real, but that ain’t one of them.

    As far as appreciating the over-all paranoid world view of Alex Jones, or the exaggerated rhetoric he uses in his hyperbolic web videos, count me out.

    I am glad to hear that. If one more person sends me a link to one of his unconscionably bigoted, delusional screeds, I think I will scream. Speaking of guilt-by-association, you would think that his numerous connections with a number of key figures in registered white supremacist hate groups would be enough to tip people off to the fact that he is a bigoted nutjob, but they keep buying into his garbage anyway.

  92. Gloria Steinem’s career of fighting for women’s rights and progressive politics speaks for itself. She has helped women in profoundly important ways, and there is no compelling evidence that she was involved in anything unsavory.

    I think Gloria Steinem is a typical elitist “liberal.” I have no doubt that she really cares about women and women’s issue. I have no doubt that she really believes in her various causes. But I am generally not impressed by what she has to say. The articles she wrote after she was through spying on and disrupting international socialist youth groups – like the magazine she later was hired to edit – while they may make some good points now and again are really just the popularization/re-hash of deeper ideas and merely ride the second and third wave of feminist thought. She seems more like a figurehead than a thinker to me, guiding the latest crop of innocent feminist college kids – who might be considering a more leftward form of dissent – back into the mind numbing middle-road fold.

    Case in point: Check the hatchet job Gloria did on third party politics and Ralph Nader in 2000:

    “Top ten reasons why I’m not voting for Nader.” By Gloria Steinem

    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45c/072.html

    Basically Gloria “believes” that the two party “lesser of two evils” system is all we got to work with, and she wants to use her Madison Ave glossy magazine influence to sway all those naive youngsters who identify with her that this is the only way to go. (Smeal does not seem that different at FMF in her blind support of Obama and his escalated war in Afghanistan.)

    This foray into Gloria’s effort to quah third party politics in support of the Dem/Republican phony dialectic actually brings me all the way back around to something BILL BRANYON wrote at the close of his article above, which I would like some clarification on:

    But for whom should we vote in 2012? Nader? Which means the Republicans might win and invade Iran, or worse. Maybe it’s impossible to restrain our corporate/Pentagon overlords. But we might as well keep working at it because it’s the only meaningful politics around.

    Bill, do you mean to suggest, as Gloria Steinem does in this linked essay, that a vote for a third party candidate for president is a bad move, and that we must keep voting for “liberal” Democrat robots like Obama, because it is the only meaningful politics around? What is it that we might as well keep working at, Bill? You were not very clear in your conclusion.

  93. Glen, pointing out that Gloria worked for the CIA, that she likes the politics of Zbigniew Brezinski and that she went out on some dates with Henry Kissenger is not character assassination, it is just the reiteration of some peculiar facts about one of America’s “leading feminists.” (Well who says she is one of America’s leading feminists? People Magazine? Ms. Magazine? CNN? Who gave her that crown? Not me.)

    I read the 2001 CNN interview with Gloria Steinem that you linked to above. She is very polished in her answers and she does make some good points about the women of Afghanistan having been empowered and quite capable of taking care of themselves since the 1960s, long before her friend Zbigniew Brezenski used his NSA pull while working with another milquetoast liberal president named Jimmy Carter to plunge Afghanistan into violent chaos. Zbigniew brags about drawing the Soviets into Afghanistan and making it “their Vietnam.” And if you really know what Vietnam was about, then you should no Afghanistan is about the same thing: making a pile of money and transforming a primitive agrarian religious culture into a modern liberal state that we can better manipulate “diplomatically”… not to mention planting our military bases there for the long haul. (Get those primitives into cities, build modern roads and put them all to work for 25 cents an hour.)

    And right smack dab in the middle of the interview you link us to from CNN, the Cable News Corporation that brings us “News you can trust,” Gloria makes it pretty clear what she is advocating:

    They need a Marshall Plan even more than the European nations did after World War II. I was in Washington with members of RAWA and many other Afghan women’s groups, lobbying the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for this aid, and I hope that people who are part of this conversation will lobby their members of Congress to say that we must spend at least a third on peace that we have spent on war.

    Wow! And that was way back in 2001, eight years before her sister-in-arms Eleanor Smeal advocated the exact same policy. I definitely think these two and the FMF are all cut from the same cloth up there in good old W, DC.

    Well, at least I am glad to see that RAWA has finally given the likes of Steinem and Smeal the BOOT. Steinem was not helping anyone in Afghanistan then and she ain’t helping anyone their now. Maybe she actuially meant well, but the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. It looks to me like Gloria, like Obama, is just a brand name tranquilizer for naive american liberals who have yet to discover that at the top of the pyramid, the Democrats and the Republicans are one and the same beast.

    Here is a radical idea for you to consider: I think we should all do like RAWA has bravely done and reject the phony neo-liberal’s “helping” hand. Revoke the phony feminist crowns. Cheer when you see a phony president burned in effigy. Any progressive that is too anemic to get off the Democratic machine’s I.V. money drip does not get my vote. Just say no to phony democrats & phony feminists masquerading as progressives. Save your soul and just say no to the New World Order and it’s rabid interventionism. Don’t let your mind be colonized by big phony media run by Wall Street creeps & CIA hacks. Turn off the boob tube. Unsubscribe from all their disgusting magazines that seek to define your sexuality and your political views with all their adoring photographs of a materialistic mannequin humanity that does not exist. Join in solidarity with the beautiful not yet fully destroyed people of the world and begin by unplugging the machine at home. Non-cooperation is the first step in any real campaign for justice. (I know that might be too black and white for you, Glen, but sometimes the truth is actually black and white.)

    “A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.”

  94. entopticon

    I think Gloria Steinem is a typical elitist “liberal.”

    I think that considering her outright astonishing contributions to the rights and plight of women in this country, and all around the world for that matter, that is honestly one of the the most offensively disgraceful statements I can recall reading in quite some time. Apparently you have no idea what the ERA and the organizations that she founded have actually done. Exactly what have you done that is so god damned superior to creating the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Women’s Action Alliance, the Women’s Media Center, Choice USA, etc, etc? She changed the face of women’s issues more than nearly any person in history, or herstory if you so choose.

    As for her top ten reasons not to vote for Nader in 2000, I couldn’t possibly agree more. I remember seeing an interview with Nader a couple of years into Bush’s Presidency where he was asked if he still thought there were no significant differences between what Bush was doing and what Gore would have done. He replied that of course there were major differences. I wanted to reach through the tv set and tear his fricking head off. I was no fan of Gore, but it will take thousands of years to undo the environmental catastrophe that Bush caused the planet, and if you think that Gore would have been just as bad on that front you are out of your mind. A vote for Nader was a vote for the right wing extremist groups that funded his campaign. Proportional representation in this country would be a great thing, but Nader’s megalomaniacal publicity stunt caused every bit as much needless bloodshed and environmental devastation as anyone that he has ever criticized.

    We are not going to agree on this, so there is no point in continuing it further. You think I am a brainwashed puppet of the consensus-reality driven center controlled by the military-industrial complex, because I care about the pragmatic effects of legislative realities, and I think you are a doctrinaire puppet of the extreme right, which pulls the strings of the progressive movement in a not-so subtle campaign to insure that the left is divided enough to prevent the possibility of significant change.

  95. entopticon

    Here is a radical idea for you to consider: I think we should all do like RAWA has bravely done and reject the phony neo-liberal’s “helping” hand. Revoke the phony feminist crowns.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I will just go on rejecting your phony ideas.

  96. … I am a brainwashed puppet of the consensus-reality driven center controlled by the military-industrial complex …

    Actually, I do not think that about you at all, Glen. Despite your occasionally sharp elbows, I really have enjoyed sparring with you about these issues here. I know we probably have more in common than we differ about, but I am totally comfortable with strongly differing on certain things, like 21st century “liberalism” and Gloria Steinem. I respect and admire your tenacity to hold to what you believe to be the truth here and I am glad you have kept at me on this blog as long as you have. You have helped me sharpen my thinking about many issues here. I have read other posts of yours and I believe that you have a good heart. I hope that you can see that despite my sharp elbows, I mean well too.

    Of course there were a few differences between Al Gore and G. W. Bush, just as there were a few differences between GW and Kerry four years later. (Sure, they all went to Yale, but besides that trivial fact, they all had a few other things in common too.)

    Look at progressive liberal Obama over in Copenhagen. Here was a great opportunity for him to right some of the wrongs you speculate Gore would have never allowed to occur had he not been rejected by the Supreme Court in 2001 … and what happened? Like Bush, Obama too rejects the Kyoto Protocol … he blew that opportunity big time, if it wasn’t actually intentional.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/dec/21/copenhagen-failure-obama-climate-change

    The liberal Democrats are really not much different from the neo-con Republicans in substance. Why vote for something that does not do anything any differently? I say deny the Dems elections from here on out. They are an anemic resistance at best and on Republican collaborators at worst. I will write in Jesse Ventura before I vote for another Democrat. (I actually look fwd to doing that.) No more corporate Democrats like Heath Shuler and Barack Obama. Boo! Same with city council here in the land of the sky. No more free passes for milquetoast “democrats” that spout party lines handed down from on high. Legitimate third party or independent candidates from here on out. Take America Back.

    If you want to understand what it really means to be a Liberal in America today, look no further than Joe Lieberman. That is all ye need to know. The Democratic party, like anyone who votes for one of their candidates, is just another dead man walking. They are about as real as Time Magazine and CNN and Rolling Stone. Mere zombies with $$ signs in their eyes. (That is a metaphor, Glen.) Turn them all off. Don’t give them any money, don’t give them any votes, and don’t let them whisper sweet-nothings in your ear through their mesmerizing media strangle hold. Its just one betrayal after the other, all the way down to Ground Zero & all the way over to Yeswecanistan.

    The very idea that any attempt to build a third or even fourth party is some kind of betrayal of American values, or even the environment, is heinous to me. The idea that to vote your conscience, or to deny a vote to someone who you feel does not represent you flies in the face of what the founding fathers intended when they set this liberal progressive dream in motion. You might as well chuck the Constitution along with the notion that third parties are not worth the effort.

    The idea that rejecting the Democrats or the Republicans as corrupt beyond reform is some kind of rejection of America is anathema to me. They deserve our rejection, they deserve our scorn. I am with RAWA and Nader and Jesse Ventura … give the blue jackasses and the red elephants the thumbs down and then give them the boot! To hell with phony Red State/Blue state binary “thinking.” Let’s put some more colors on the map! Tell everybody that you know and love to just say no that ruse. And definitely get in the habit of voting in every election. Register your discontent in the write-in slot. Pull the lever for someone you believe in, or write-in someone you believe in – knowing full well they are probably going to lose, just like the people of Afghanistan are losing, just like the people of Iraq are losing. Stand with the losers. Don’t fall for the BS that Democrats care about humanity more then Republicans. Are the Iraqis/Afghans any better off under Obama? Were the people of Vietnam better off under “Great Society” Lyndon Johnson?

    Don’t lend your voting strength to the juggernaught. A slack vote of complicity makes you an accomplice to their crimes. Deny Obama in 2012. (Do you really think Palin will do anything differently? As if Obama and Palin make any decisions on their own in the first place. How could Palin be any worse than Reagan or Bush or Obama? They are all phonies.)

    “Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”

  97. entopticon

    Look at progressive liberal Obama over in Copenhagen.

    I do think our goals are ultimately the same, and there was a time when I was the one making very similar arguments to yours, so I can certainly relate to your perspective. I see the things differently now. I don’t think the President in is a position to make sweeping changes like a benevolent dictator. Politics is about incremental change, because the political system is based on majorities. Broad changes in the way we view and treat the planet have to change at the grass roots level, so that those changes can be enforced by legislation. Nader completely ignores that, and I think that makes him a very dangerous person, despite the fact that he has extremely important critiques of American imperialism and the myopic, systemically devastating greed of global megacorporations. Unfortunately, I think he ends up doing more harm than good when he sells people on a cartoonishly unrealistic vision of legislative and political realities.

    At the core, I don’t agree with your lesser of evils adage. There was a time when I did. A number of things factored into my change of perspective, but one of them was just a Tom Tomorrow cartoon, where he ripped the notion that it was wrong to choose the least harmful choice, essentially saying that that is an essential part of being an adult, and people need to grow the hell up and recognize that. My immediate reaction to the cartoon was that it actually made me pretty infuriated with him. I felt he was being condescending, and way off base. The anger continued to niggle away at me for a while, and I started to think about it more and more. The more I thought about it, the more I started to see a lot of truth in it.

    I had long had a problem with the disconnect between many political activists and the actual issues, because so many that I encountered were much more ensconced in their sanctimonious indignity and back-patting sense of moral superiority, than they were the actual plight of people in need. As I looked further into it and got to know more people involved in the political process, I began to see a direct correlation between people who were willing to compromise to actually get something done, as opposed to the doctrinaire ideals of people who had great ideas about how things should be, but no willingness to compromise, so their goals were actuality just symbols, with no possibility for actualization. Ralph Nader is the ultimate example of that. Doctrinaire to the point of absurdity when it comes to politics. If the same energy was directed at grass roots issues advocacy, rather than a phony political bid, that would be a very different case. Instead, he let the latter eclipse the former.

    The person that I want in the Presidency is the most pragmatic incrementalist possible. I want someone who will push the issues exactly to the point of what’s possible politically and legislatively, and not any further. In reality, we may both agree that the President isn’t actually in a position to make anything more than incremental changes, because our system is one of majorities. Therefore, a push that stands any real chance of making it through the legislative gauntlet is only going to be a change of a percent or two in one direction or the other, and any attempt to stretch those efforts beyond the elasticity of political realities will result in political and legislative suicide, which only hurts the cause.

    It’s not that I don’t think that sweeping changes are necessary, it’s that I don’t think that politics is where that can happen. As FDR said when a woman approached him with a list of progressive ideals, those were all things that he wanted too, now please, make him do it, because without public support they were impossible to implement.

    I think the biggest danger is the false binary polemic that tries to sell people on the idea that either politicians are entirely alike, or entirely different. That’s a misguided perspective. In reality, because our political and legislative systems are structured on majorities, the differences are going to be minute. That’s why so many elections have boiled down to a difference of nothing but a few hundred votes. It is very true that Presidential contenders are disturbingly alike because the person with the most votes wins. That left over bit of difference, which is the room to make real changes at the political level, is not something to be brushed under the rug with dismissive superlatives, because those small changes in one direction or another have very real impact on people’s lives, and they give momentum for incremental changes that actually become substantial differences as they add up.

    Personally, I am glad as hell that we have someone who is willing to compromise in office, because I have little interest in doctrinaire symbols. I don’t for one second buy the argument that McCain-Palin would be indistinguishable from Obama. As it is, Obama is being painted as a Marxist extremist by the opposition for the incremental changes he has made, which greatly limits his ability to keep Democratic congress people in conservative districts on board in order to make even small legislative changes viable. If he pushed much further, it would unravel even the remotest possibility of change.

    The Lilly Ledbetter Act is but one of many examples of very real changes that absolutely would not have happened under McCain-Palin. It’s very easy to write off changes that don’t have a profound effect on you personally, but it is also very insulting and unfair to the people that they are important to. If you really think that electing “drill baby drill” Palin in 2012 wouldn’t have very serious and lasting consequences for the environment compared to Obama, you don’t know much about environmental issues.

    By all means, work for sweeping changes at the grass roots/issues level. I don’t expect, or even hope to change your mind on the political front. My only hope is that you can allow for the fact that there are many intelligent people, who are not evil, that actually believe that at the political level, compromise to make as much incremental change as possible is the best direction. I don’t think you are evil or unintelligent for throwing away your vote on a doctrinaire statement at the expense of significant, although frustratingly incremental changes for human rights and the environment.

  98. Interesting. I used to make the same argument you are now making regarding settling for incremental change and the legislative process. I actually still believe in incremental change and the legislative process. I believe in civic duty and I believe in voting in every election from the municipal, to the state, to the national levels. (If you are not voting you are not participating.) However, I do not believe in Democrats.

    Where we differ is on the idea that because Obama and Kerry have to throw a bone to the Sierra Club Voting Bloc and agree NOT to drill in ANWR, we should vote for them, even though they will both prosecute the “War on Terror” in the same fashion as Bush. They will both affirm the deregulation policies of say Larry Summers. They will both affirm the FED and curry favor with the international bankers. They will both do whatever China wants, despite their Human Rights record … as if China is worse than the U.S. when it comes to Human Right violations. Wedge issues are the way you and I are managed and the way our consent to be “governed” is mastered. The two parties push-poll all year round and find out what small domestic issues matter enough to get your votes one way or the other: Gay Marriage, Abortion, ANWR. The “Culture War” is largely created by powerful demagogues that need to scare average people on the left and the right into continuing to prostitute their votes for Cultural Values. If you don’t vote for a Democrat they will reverse Roe V Wade and they will ban homosexuality in the work place. BS. Gay people are out and about and here to stay. They are represented throughout our culture from Rachel Maddow and Elen Generic to Sponge Bob Square Pants. You have a few sick nut jobs on the right who cannot deal with their own repressed homosexuality and CNN and Fox and MSNBC run with it, amping these clowns to the max in order to steer your patronage back to the phony two party system. Meanwhile the Dems and Reps are breathing together as they bomb the hell out of the middle east and exponentially amp the CIA and the Pentagon budgets ostensibly to find a few disgruntled Muslim goat herders with AK-47s (30 billion dollars a year and they can’t catch a Nigerian kid with some souped-up cocaine in his underwear), but really it is all about aiding the “Great Pirates” that Buckminister Fuller writes about, helping them spread military bases around the third world – achieving Full Spectrum Dominance – in order to enforce the continuing economic management of the third world. (“Terrorism” is the new Snidley Whiplash – it is the latest cover story for the implementation of the New World Order – it is designed by Pirates for nay-bobs that still watch the boob tube.)

    Why doesn’t CNN have the spokeswoman from RAWA on each week when they talk about the situation in Afghanisatn? Why don’t they have any real dissidents on? Why not allow Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky on to discuss the latest Middle East policies? Why not ask Naomi Klein on CNN to discuss Copenhagen? Because, like the Dems, CNN/MSNBC/FOX is a phony organization. Like the Dems, they are just another front company for the powers that be. They know which side of their bread gets the butter. High paid producers and editors decide who gets on the air and what questions will get asked. I am not trying to sound like a spooky “conspiricist” here. It is just very obvious to me that it is now a very carefully arranged, scripted, dog and pony show. Watch Chris Matthews thoughtfully for a minute. He is just as bad as Bill O’Reilly, the way he bullies his “guests.” Their is no really analysis happening there. They are just set up to frame your opinions about the Dems and the Reps … they aim to steer your thoughts. It does matter whether you agree wit them, as long as you are watching them and accepting that they are fostering a legitimate discussion.

    You can work till you are blue in the face at the grass roots level, but if at the end of the day if you give your vote to a Democrat, you have really gained very little. Their legislative moves are phony. Look at Democrat Max Baucus, or our own Heath Shuler.

    You say you are not against “radical” ideas or politics in America today, Glenn, but you are against over-simplifications by people claiming to be radical. So if you are not against sound radical ideas, what such sound radical ideas do you support? And what happens when a sound radical goes to the polls? Should he or she vote for Obama in 2012?

    I think if they run Palin against Obama in 2012, Obama has it in the bag, EVEN if he doesn’t deliver SUBSTANTIVELY on a single 2008 campaign issue. If this is the case, then why not encourage people to vote in droves for third party candidates?

    Voting matters. Voting for a Democrat over a Republican does not really matter now. I say find, encourage and support genuine third parties at the local and state level. Build to the national level from the ground up.

    Why do I not like Kucinich? Because he remains a Democrat. And in remaining a Democrat he attracts and manages the “far left” Democrats. Why doesn’t he just dump the party? By remaining a Democrat he SAVES the party. They give that kid a ton of money each year to seem rad, as long as he stays a Dem. He will be in every debate cycle for that very reason. Is it really worth it, preserving the likes of Obama and Max Baucus and Heath Shuler? I think my incremental change is going the wrong way. It is just getting worse and worse with these Democrat clowns.

    I don’t pull for the Cowboys OR the Redskins. I don’t drink Pepsi OR Coke … and I don’t vote for Democrats OR Republicans. Like HALF of the eligible voters in the US, I don’t see that it really matters. However, unlike the half that does not show up on election day, I think taking the time to vote for someone you do believe in, does matter, even if your candidate is gonna lose. Because if enough people get the idea, then these candidates are gonna eventually start winning. Look at Cecil Bothwell: He raised 25,000 to run for Asheville City Council on the third party Progressive ticket and he won. Look at Jesse Ventura: ran for governor for the Reform Party of Minnesota ticket and beat the Democrat and the Republican candidates there. (Screw Heath Shuler and his “Blue Dawg Democrats” in 2012.)

    I think the time is ripe for this move. Despite what CNN, MSNBC and FOX NEWS would have you believe with their phony Red State/Blue State maps about partisan support at the grass roots level, all across America, real americans are seeing that the Democrats and Republicans are a sorry lot of phony bastards kicking out the jams together behind closed doors in closed sessions. I say we should turn our backs on them and their corporate lackey escort service and their National Security charade.

    Even if you feel like you have to play the “lesser of two evils” game a little bit longer at the polls at the national level, the very least you could is not send them any more campaign money, cancel your membership to their party, and tell everybody you know that while you still occasionally vote for one at the national level, you do not affiliate with them and you look elsewhere locally and at the state level. That would be a very good start.

    I still would like to here from Op-Ed writer Bill Branyon about what he meant when he wrote above:

    But we might as well keep working at it because it’s the only meaningful politics around.

  99. entopticon

    So if you are not against sound radical ideas, what such sound radical ideas do you support?

    A lot of them. I would love to see large changes in corporate accountability, far more drastic environmental measures, single payer healthcare, universal higher education, LGBT’s given the same rights as everyone else, a massive decline in military spending, far greater transparency and accountability in government, fair tax structures, a complete restructuring of agriculture subsidies, far more emphasis on alternative energy and developing green technologies, and on and on. I don’t think voting for a candidate who claims to be interested in those causes, but has no intention of actually winning the election, helps those causes.

    And what happens when a sound radical goes to the polls? Should he or she vote for Obama in 2012?

    That’s for them to decide. Personally I think a third party vote would be a complete waste in a Presidential election, but local and state elections can be a very different matter. It would be great if our electoral and Executive systems were structured differently, so that we could have some form of proportional representation that would allow for more diversity. As it is, whoever gets the most votes wins, so a candidate that ventures more than a small fraction from the center in a Presidential election isn’t really a serious candidate at all, they are just grandstanding. That doesn’t mean it’s fair, it’s just the truth.

    Because if enough people get the idea, then these candidates are gonna eventually start winning.

    There is definitely a very strong argument to be made for that in local and state elections. For Presidential elections, I think that has no basis in reality.

    The two parties push-poll all year round and find out what small domestic issues matter enough to get your votes one way or the other: Gay Marriage, Abortion, ANWR. The “Culture War” is largely created by powerful demagogues that need to scare average people on the left and the right into continuing to prostitute their votes for Cultural Values.

    There is no question that a number of issues are hyped up to distract voters from other issues. The right does it like clockwork with the usual suspects, immigrants, welfare mothers, gays, pro-choice feminists, gun control advocates etc., but I have a hard time seeing how supporting the victims in any of those issues as a case of exploitation. There are very real issues in all those cases. Your claim that serious environmental concerns, gay rights, and reproductive rights aren’t at stake in any important ways is outright bizarre, and completely untrue. Caring deeply about those issues does not make someone a prostitute.

  100. entopticon

    So if you are not against sound radical ideas, what such sound radical ideas do you support?

    A lot of them. I would love to see large changes in corporate accountability, far more drastic environmental measures, single payer healthcare, universal higher education, LGBT’s given the same rights as everyone else, a massive decline in military spending, far greater transparency and accountability in government, fair tax structures, a complete restructuring of agriculture subsidies, far more emphasis on alternative energy and developing green technologies, and on and on. I don’t think voting for a candidate who claims to be interested in those causes, but has no intention of actually winning the election, helps those causes.

    And what happens when a sound radical goes to the polls? Should he or she vote for Obama in 2012?

    That’s for them to decide. Personally I think a third party vote would be a complete waste in a Presidential election, but local and state elections can be a very different matter. It would be great if our electoral and Executive systems were structured differently, so that we could have some form of proportional representation that would allow for more diversity. As it is, whoever gets the most votes wins, so a candidate that ventures more than a small fraction from the center in a Presidential election isn’t really a serious candidate at all, they are just grandstanding. That doesn’t mean it’s fair, it’s just the truth.

    Because if enough people get the idea, then these candidates are gonna eventually start winning.

    There is definitely a very strong argument to be made for that in local and state elections. For Presidential elections, I think that has no basis in reality.

    The two parties push-poll all year round and find out what small domestic issues matter enough to get your votes one way or the other: Gay Marriage, Abortion, ANWR. The “Culture War” is largely created by powerful demagogues that need to scare average people on the left and the right into continuing to prostitute their votes for Cultural Values.

    There is no question that a number of issues are hyped up to distract voters from other issues. The right does it like clockwork with the usual suspects, immigrants, welfare mothers, gays, pro-choice feminists, gun control advocates etc., but I have a hard time seeing how supporting the victims in any of those issues as a case of exploitation. There are very real issues in all those cases. Your claim that serious environmental concerns, gay rights, and reproductive rights aren’t at stake in any important ways is outright bizarre, and completely untrue. Caring deeply about those issues does not make someone a prostitute.

  101. Piffy!

    Great conversation, guys.

    Any “progressive” who thinks a third party has a chance on a national level is either drunk, naive, or 18. Or, i suppose, all of the above.

    I despise the majority of the Democrats, but i hold no delusions about Nader or Kucinich, either. The changes people want to see must happen on the local level first. To expect Obama to be some sort of magician is absurd.

  102. pkippy: Perhaps you are correct, a third party doesn’t have a “chance” of winning a presidential election right now, sort of like everybody said Jesse Ventura and the school teacher had no chance of capturing the Governor’s mansion in Minnesota … that was not my point … & I do not drink, I am not 18 … and I don’t think I am being naive, when I say the Dems ain’t really doing much of substance, so don’t vote for them. Find someone you actually believe in. If enough people did that in the U.S. we would inhabit a very different landscape, despite team Obama’s attempts to drain the substance from the idea, progressive change is a very real possibility for America, just not via democrats.

    Glenn: TODAY I do not think Republicans do much to legally set back women or gays in our society. I do concede that they may do more environmental damage when they get elected … but I am looking at Copenhagen, and I am reading Naomi Klein and I am reviewing Obama’s first year and wondering.

    Look at all the great Dems that went along with the limitations on abortion funding in this Health Care “reform” bill we got rolling up. Look at John Kerry not wanting to call gay civil unions “marriage.” Show me the big differences on these wedge issues. They are hyped by BOTH sides to garner votes and keep people from thinking outside the box about far deeper issues.

    Sure, you MIGHT have a few nutty senators on the right that ACTUALLY believe homosexuality is immoral and women are inferior today, but I doubt it. If you want to point them out to me, I will be happy to research their voting record and their personal statements and their press releases. I am pretty sure I will be able to expose the game behind it all. By and large it is a BS distinction today. Sort of like the idea the Democrats are against these wars and occupations. The rhetoric may bear this out, but the record does not.

    If there is no real difference why does it matter who gets elected? Presidents are not guiding policy, their parties are. The presidents are beholden to national parties and their foundations and advisors. The culture – the little people – on the whole, with the exception of a very small group of very LOUD vocal right wing Christians, is against discriminating against women and homosexuals. (Maybe the mainstream is still a little freaked out by transgender issues.) Go to DC and check out the size of the right wing protests against abortions and gay rights and the environment. They are minimal compared to the “other” side. But look how it is played back by the media … neck in neck … could be a “blood-bath.” It is manipulated. The numbers are not there. I know plenty of Christians and Republicans who don’t want to over turn Roe V Wade and they don’t mind gays. But the vocal minority making the majority of the noise gets focused on in order to focus our attention away from far more “actual threat” issues. The media hypes false threats and ignores the real ones.

    I don’t believe a reversal of Roe V Wade is any where near coming about … and even if it did come about, I suspect very few states would actually move to set back the clock, maybe Idaho, but I doubt even they because they are all about zero government interference … they might be anti-abortion on some moral grounds, but they sure as hell don’t want the govt telling them what they can and cannot do. The idea that the decision will be reversed is a scare tactic to keep the country polarized and aligned to one of two lame parties. They media brings it up all the time because they suck and they know it has fear value.

    The Dems may have been more progressive in the past and worth a vote back in the day. But not today. Today they are very hard to tell apart on even the wedge issues.

    What has Obama done FOR the environment thus far?

    Well, lets see, he accepted $159,800 in contributions from executives and employees of Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear power-plant operator, for his presidential campaign as of late March 2007, and received notable support from Exelon in his previous political campaigns.

    He ran print and TV ads in Kentucky touting his support for “clean coal” and the state’s coal industry.

    He did work to get the nation’s first zero-emissions coal power plant, FutureGen, built in Illinois. In December, the feds announced that it would be built in the state, but on Jan. 29, after the grand inauguration, they said funding was being pulled from the project entirely.

    Back in 2005 he voted in favor of the Energy Policy Act, a sweeping, oil-friendly energy bill opposed by enviros; Obama cited the bill’s support for ethanol and “clean coal” technology. The act passed and Bush signed it into law in August 2005.

    So what has Prez Obama done lately, post-election, besides side-step Copenhagen?

    Check out his cautious approach to cleaning up the Chesapeake:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/08/AR2009090803575.html

    (I know, I know … increments.)

    Sure they will eventually revers a few of the Bush corporate handouts in regards to environmental policy. That is to be expected. It makes them look real for the simpletons in front of the tube. But when it comes to Dems doing anything actually PROGRESSIVE for the environment, they are all blowing hot air & the atmosphere is simply getting hotter. Their political will remains abated. Why is that? Because they are all bought and sold each day on the stockyard floor that is the U.S. Congress.

  103. To expect Obama to be some sort of magician is absurd.

    Oh, but PK, he is a magician! He is a magician of the highest order in our society: He can make millions of people believe things that are not true. His tongue is made of silver and he has garnered lots of gold with it, as he cast quite a spell round the world in 2008. The global elite and all the big wig pirates were in awe of this magic man, a boy raised up in Muslim Indonesia by a wandering American mother, a global delegate from the Ford Foundation, and then he was made a man, a made-man, as he was “educated” at Columbia University in the heart of Rome by another great wizard, college professor former Carter kingmaker/NSA advisor, initial Afghanistan war planner, Zbigniew Brezinski. (There is more than one reason you cannot see his Columbia transcripts! They don’t want you to see who groomed him there.)

    But I can see through Obamicon’s tricks. His charms are failing now and only work on the weak minded. Granted, there are many a weak minds still out there, and 53 million weak minds is about all you need an election cycle these days. But no longer fall in with those numbers.

  104. entopticon

    If there is no real difference why does it matter who gets elected?

    I absolutely agree. The problem is, I think there are very, very real differences. I positively think that there is absolutely no question whatsoever that the Republicans pose extremely serious threats to reproductive freedom. I think there is absolutely no question that they are a far, far bigger danger to the environment. I think there is absolutely no question that they are a serious danger for lbgt issues. And on and on. You can keep giving examples of positions that are the same, and I probably wouldn’t deny any of them, but that does nothing at all to change the fact that there are very, very serious differences as well in my opinion.

    The idea that the decision will be reversed is a scare tactic to keep the country polarized and aligned to one of two lame parties.

    I couldn’t disagree more. The effort from the right to make it a state issue so that virtually every deep red state can outlaw abortion, followed by incremental changes to take away reproductive freedom altogether, is a very, very real threat. The people pushing for that are not just harmless barkers on the fringe, and they aren’t playing.

    Presidents are not guiding policy, their parties are. The presidents are beholden to national parties and their foundations and advisors.

    I completely agree with that. And their parties are the ONLY people with the ability to enact legislation, so the doctrinaire notion that a President could move more than a fraction from the center is wildly misguided. It is that small fraction where any change is actually possible at the national political level, and fractions add up. Phony candidacies with no real intention of actually winning, and no real intention of amassing the necessary legislative support to actually accomplish anything whatsoever, don’t help anything.

    But I can see through Obamicon’s tricks. His charms are failing now and only work on the weak minded.

    I know we both get snarky here at times, and that is completely understandable, but your claim that anyone who disagrees with you on this is a “simpleton” and “weak-minded” isn’t fair. Right or wrong, I have solid reasons for believing that at the presidential level I want an incrementalist, and at the grass roots issues level, I want people working for sweeping changes. It doesn’t make me a weak-minded simpleton. It is the the most intellectually honest that I can stand behind given the facts. If the facts change or new facts arise, I am more than willing to take another position, because I really do make an effort to be as open-minded as reasonably possible.

  105. Regarding a woman’s right to choose: A 2009 Zogby nationwide poll of adults (folks old enough to vote) 64% – almost 2 out of 3 – Americans believe that abortion is a decision that is private and to be left to a woman and her doctor. Only 27% – almost 1 out of 4 – believe that this is not a private decision. 7% – almost 1 out of 10 – did not care either way.

    http://www.zogby.com/blog2/index.php/2009/09/21/abortion-public-issue-or-private-decision/

    Based on those polling numbers I doubt you will see a reversal of the landmark decision. I really do not believe you would see a sweeping deep red state reversal, even IF Roe V Wade was ever actually reversed. Actually reversing it would bring 2 out of 3 voting Americans out of the wood work en masse. That is the LAST thing the Republicans would want to do. They would lose EVERYTHING that year. I doubt there is any Republican holding office that actually believes the state should take that right away from women, and I doubt there are many districts where that thinking holds a majority, even here in WNC, the good old Bible Belt. It is an over-AMPLIFIED wedge issue used to garner votes, like “gay marriage.”

    Even the 2007 upholding of the ban on those very rare late term “partial birth” abortions (only 11% of abortions are that undertaken post-1st-trimester) is as close as they are gonna ever get, and even that ban is not limiting 2nd-trimester abortions outright, it is only seeking to disallow a certain type of abortion (IDX or D&X abortions), and even the ban of that type of procedure is being held up in appeals, and if it ever gets enacted as a federal ban, who on earth is going to enforce that law if the mother is in danger of dying? How are they gonna monitor/enforce that? It is political football used to keep liberals and conservatives on the edge of their seats. It is disingenuous.

    I know we both get snarky here at times, and that is completely understandable, but your claim that anyone who disagrees with you on this is a “simpleton” and “weak-minded” isn’t fair.

    I agree, Glenn. You got me there. It is not a fair statement. I am just completely fed up with the Democrats at this point on so many levels. Being firmly against these wars/occupations, I cannot in good conscience vote for Obama in 2012. I don’t think I am ludicrous or misguided for standing on that principle on election day. If everybody that was truly anti-war (even just anti these wars) who is eligible to vote voted for a true peace candidate, we would have a third party president and we would have a immediate withdrawal, home in 6 months.

    Now by the same turn for being fair here, I think for you to label a third party candidacy that realizes it probably cannot win a presidential election as being “phony” is not fair either. Just because you doubt you can win does not mean you have no intention to win. If Jesse Ventura were to run, I am pretty sure he would intend to win and believe me, there is nothing phony about that guy outside the wrestling ring. I used to think he was just a meat-head celebrity until I actually read his very simple straight forward books about running for governor and then serving as governor. The guy might not have gone to Yale, like Bill, Hillary, Kerry, Gore, Bush I & II, but he is certainly no dummy. He is the one who began to make light rail a reality in Minnesota, not any Democrat or Republican.

    When I say “parties” call the shots, I don’t me the registered democratic voters, nor do I even mean party affiliated politicians, I mean RNC and DNC headquarters. There are plenty of Dems that buck party headquarters party lines from time to time in congress. You rarely get a president that does that. The prez owes a whole lot more to his or her respective HQ clique than say a Rep in the House. When I say “reject the party” I am ultimately saying reject the HQ clique. These two high Cabal cliques are like Republican advisor Mary Maitlin and that disgusting Democratic Rajun Cajun (you know, the one who whores himself out to big business to beat real grass roots candidates in Bolivia – see “Our Brand is Crisis” documentary): they are married. they share the same bed. They have it locked down – TOGETHER. Not good for Democracy. We need new blood altogether, not just new faces under the old corporate Democratic Party aegis.

  106. Message to Bill Branyon. Calling Bill Branyon, author of this article.

    What did you mean by:

    But we might as well keep working at it because it’s the only meaningful politics around.

    (If only the current writers of articles at Mt X were as responsive here as former Mt X writers who are now serving on City Council.)

  107. entopticon

    It is political football used to keep liberals and conservatives on the edge of their seats.

    Yes it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. I completely disagree with your analysis, as does virtually every major women’s reproductive rights organization. I don’t think there is anything disingenuous about their concern at all.

    Now by the same turn for being fair here, I think for you to label a third party candidacy that realizes it probably cannot win a presidential election as being “phony” is not fair either.

    I think it’s actually a case of respect. Someone like Nader is an intelligent enough person to understand that without serious compromise he could never come remotely close to winning a majority vote in a Presidential election, so when he claims that he thinks he stands a realistic chance of winning, it is a phony claim. In the case of Jesse Ventura, I would imagine that he would indeed believe he stood a chance of winning if he ran.

    I don’t think you are ludicrous for voting for a third party in a Presidential election. I think it is misguided, but that is just an opinion.

    Unfortunately, somehow my wife and friends have been contacted and made to feel very uncomfortable over my part in this thread, so I am going to have to discontinue commenting here.

  108. entopticon

    For what it worth on the socioeconomic/political front, I was just absolutely blown away by this post by Jeremy Rifkin on his new book, The EmpathicCivilization: Rethinking Human Nature in the Biosphere Era.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeremy-rifkin/the-empathic-civilization_b_416589.html

    It is the first realistic socioeconomic model that I have ever seen that connects the loop between economics and the biosphere with empathy at its core. And it is ingeniously situated beyond political polemics. Rifkin, a lecturer at UPenn’s Wharton School of Business, has the ability to bend the ears of some very influential people. Perhaps I am just overly-excited and surprised to see something like this, but I think it has the potential to change everything. I am awe struck at the possibilities for the model it presents.

  109. annica2

    “Any “progressive” who thinks a third party has a chance on a national level is either drunk, naive, or 18. Or, i suppose, all of the above.”

    if you have that much faith in our elections system, then you should certainly believe a vote to be more effective for a third party in approaching the 5% mark, where the legislation says the individual or party gets 18 million dollars in public funds and has a place on the ballot without petition. even if that doesn’t happen, maybe my one vote put their party or their platform in one more newpaper, raising awareness for that candidate.

    the point is, your vote is clearly more effective voting for a third candidate, rather than fishing for a win in the 130 million votes. one vote in 130 million means absolutely nothing for your ideas, representation and awareness of a broader perspective in the political process. your one vote in 100 thousand may mean greater awareness of something different. it’s not about winning. it’s about voting according to your principles and ideas rather than pretending to be pragmatic for a day, and wasting your vote on the establishment.

  110. Glenn, I am sorry that you feel you have to drop out of the thread because your wife and some friends are being made to feel uncomfortable about your right to free speech. (Why would someone contact your wife and friends and not you about this? That is bizarre/lame of them.)

    I suppose it is my fault for using your name here. When you started bringing up things about my identity here and casting aspersions about parts of my life, it smarted a little bit and so I decided to look into who you actually are and using some deduction about some things you said here, and my contacts in the CIA, I found you out on the internets.

    I have had a theory for a while that discourse here would be far more productive and far less insulting if people had to use their real names. I think our dialogue was productive from the very beginning, before I found and used your real name, though, it was bordering on the insulting with some of the comments. Using your name seemed to change the tone here. It did not change your philosophical position, but that is fine by me. That is what a good debate is all about. (But no more “glue huffing” quips and the like.) The problem with secrecy is people start to think they can get away with anything – it is the same problem with the CIA. People create these fronts and then they go hog wild. I don’t like it.

    And I never said there was anything disingenuous about any reproductive rights organization being concerned about yahoos that want to reverse Roe V. Wade. I said the way politicians use the issue is disingenuous. The only reproductive rights groups that I have accused of being disingenuous were Ms. Magazine and FMF, and I did not accuse them for being disingenuous about reproductive rights. I accused their founders for being in cahoots with the establishment and using genuine causes that they support to co-opt naive young people into marching lock step with their other ideas, like invading and occupying Afghanistan and bringing them a Marshall Plan. This is a classic tool of “mind control” – shaping public opinion. YOU create a magazine or a website or a foundation that touts a good cause, or several, like supporting woman’s right to choose. You plaster the rag or the website with all these slogans and articles about basic matters that have pretty much become mainstream. 2 out of 3 Americans support abortion rights. Do you think some yahoo in Idaho is really reading Ms. Magazine? No. Ms. and FMF are preaching to the choir. Actually, they are cultivating the choir. The choir are young people who do not know quite where they stand yet on many issues. They are in the process of forming their identities. So you grab them with some basic common sense issues via your “movement credentials” … like abortion rights … and some other issues and once you have got them with those no-brainers, you start subtly programming them to support a Marshall Plan in Afghanistan. It is called “attracting and managing” dissent. This is Steinem’s function. I suspect it is what Smeal is up to as well. This doesn’t mean that Smeal and Steinem are disingenuous about these particular issues. The CIA has been doing this domestically since the 50s. The task of getting editors and writers and pundits on the payroll is not any real secret. The CIA cultivates American citizens in every walk of public life to help them with propaganda efforts to mold public opinion about all kinds of important issues. Look up Operation MOCKINGBIRD or Operation CHAOS. Or read any number of books by former agents that left their CIA careers in disgust:

    Here is a good one to start with:

    http://www.amazon.com/CIA-Cult-Intelligence-Victor-Marchetti/dp/0440203368

    Anyhoo, it’s been real … which is more than I can say for Barak Obama’s & Gloria Steinem’s “careers.”

  111. Piffy!

    [b]pkippy: Perhaps you are correct, a third party doesn’t have a “chance” of winning a presidential election right now, sort of like everybody said Jesse Ventura and the school teacher had no chance of capturing the Governor’s mansion in Minnesota … that was not my point … & I do not drink, I am not 18 … and I don’t think I am being naive, when I say the Dems ain’t really doing much of substance, so don’t vote for them. Find someone you actually believe in. If enough people did that in the U.S. we would inhabit a very different landscape, despite team Obama’s attempts to drain the substance from the idea, progressive change is a very real possibility for America, just not via democrats.[/b]

    Like i said, on the national level. Your Jessie ventura example is a great example for the sort of change that can happen on the state and local level.

    And I’m not saying give the Dems a pass by any means. I havent voted for a democrat since I was 18 (Clinton). But the point is, of course, pragmatics. We can push the Democrats to be more ‘progressive’, but we also have to recognize them for what they are, and opposition party. I fully support independent candidates, but I think it is also useful to remember the context of these elections, and to know what the National level is really about; governing 300 million people and a national power. The steps many of us want to make and see occur will take a while to achieve.

    On the topic of Obama, I think he’s a great example. I don’t see him as a Democrat as much as a guy who has a mutual understanding/standoff with the power structure within that party. They very much need him, and he somewhat needs them. I think many people within the Democratic ‘party’ fit this bill; They aren’t hard-core party line as much as they are different sorts of social progressives from many different communities. Then you have the pelosis and reids and whatnot. So maybe i’m saying the entire party isnt corrupt because it isnt a party. And we can use them and support third party candidates.

    And we should all do good stuff for the heck of it more often in the mean time. and get drunk.

  112. I don’t see Obama that way at all. I don’t see where you get the idea that he has some kind of stand off with the power structure within the Democratic party or even with the greater power structure that governs the United States. Hilary had to step down in her bid because the power structure preferred him. In the summer of 2008, according to Harpers magazine, corporate donations were flowing 4 dollars to 1 to the Democratic party. Everybody knew this election was going democratic. Anybody could have beat McCain and Palin. Obama comes from one of the most corrupt and powerful Democratic strongholds in America, Chicago.

    Let’s look at Obama’s rise:

    He comes to the continent from the South Pacific in 1979-80 to be educated at Occidental College in LA. He does two years there, mostly partying by his own admission, but while he is a student their he suddenly announces that he is forming a committee to explore the possibility of running for president of the United States. (Pretty prescient for a 19 year old. Headstrong idealism at its best, I suppose.)

    Then he transfers to Columbia University where he “becomes a monk,” according to one of his pre-election self-promotional books. At Columbia he gets serious about studying, particularly foreign policy under the tutelage of CFR Founder Professor Zbigniew Brzenski, who has just left his recent NSA post in the outgoing Carter Administration. He becomes such a monk at Columbia, that few people in his graduating class of 1983 recall him being there at all and he is not pictured in their year book, nor will Columbia release his college transcripts, and beyond what he has carefully crafted/mentioned in of his auto-biographical get-to-know-all-about-your-strange-new-future-president books, he will not talk about his experience at Columbia.

    Then he heads from Columbia to the private sector working for two years for a New York-based international trade publication.

    Then he took a $13,000-a-year job as director for the “Developing Communities Project,” a church-based social action group in Chicago.

    Then, after 3 years in Chicago, he said to some of his community-organizing buddies that he needed that credential, that Harvard Law degree, to access the corridors of power and to have that credential because he wasn’t going to get that as a community organizer in Chicago. So off to Harvard Law School he goes and eventually becomes president of the Harvard Law Review. Interestingly, this stellar Law Student never publishes a single article in the prestigious review that he is elected to edit. The one article later attributed to him there is about Abortion Rights and it is ANONYMOUS! Derrick Bell, the school’s first black tenured law professor, comments thusly: “There is a strange character to this black achievement. When you have someone that reaches this high level, you find that he is just deemed exceptional and it does not change society’s view of all of the rest.”

    So then what? He graduates Harvard and returns to Chicago to practice Civil Rights Law joining the firm of Miner, Barnhill & Gallands. Interestingly, a search of all the cases in Cook County Circuit Court in which Obama made an appearance since he graduated from Harvard in 1991 shows: Zero. His practice was confined mainly to federal court in Chicago, where he made formal appearances in only five district court cases and another five in cases before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — a total of 10 cases in his entire legal career.

    Then he is elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1997. He serves there for 8 years.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/us/politics/30obama.html?_r=1

    And then in 2004, he is given the opportunity of a political lifetime … before he is have even been elected to U.S. senate, he is granted by the democratic party not just some rinky-dink speech just anywhere within the 72 hour party. This young state senator from Illinois is granted the KEYNOTE address of the DNC before the nation and the world.

    He is not just useful to the Democrats, he IS a Democrat through and through. He is a made-man. They made him. He is not some progressive grass roots organizer that just happened to win the throne. He could never have gotten there had he not been chosen from above. He is a vital cog in the machine. He is hardcore party-line. If he does stray from the party-line it is to please republican leadership, not satisfy any grass roots constituency.

    I do not believe that “progressives” who use the democratic party to get elected are really free from party lines … I have a hard time even believing they are even progressive. When you accept the mantle and all the network/financial support that comes with it, you are in effect bought. This is even truer the higher you go in the current political system. My point is why take the bait? At a local level you stand a much better chance of getting elected via an independent third party. But if we “use” these so called progressive democrats, we supporting a phony system and we are taking votes/energy away from more legit third party candidacies. I don’t think I believe in the both/and approach to voting anymore.

  113. annica2

    brzezinski was co founder of the trilateral commission. he became a member of the cfr in the 1950’s just before there was no real difference in both of the organizations.

    i would also note mass murderer, henry kissinger gave obama his first job. he was clearly groomed from the beginning.

  114. JWTJr

    “i would also note mass murderer, henry kissinger gave obama his first job. he was clearly groomed from the beginning.”

    I want to hear more about that.

  115. entopticon

    I have to poke my head out of lurker status for a moment… Sorry to have to get all Edward R. Murrow here, but this is McCarthyism at its absolute worst. Obama was at Columbia University, along with 26,000 other Columbia students, at the same time as Zbigniew Brzezinski, and that somehow makes him a conspirator in cahoots with Brzezinski to create some kind of new world order?!? That is insane.

    Henry Kissinger gave Timothy Geithner his first job. Apparently, in the hands of Alex Jones, that morphed into “Kissinger gave Obama his first job,” and now his unwitting minions are spreading that disinformation around the web, as evidenced above.

    This method of guilt-by-association, smear tactics, and disinformation is unconscionable. It was bad when McCarthy did it, and it is just as bad when progressives and libertarians do it. It is right up there with the birthers and the people who try to link Obama to the Weather Underground because he knew William Ayers. It doesn’t help your arguments, it invalidates them.

  116. annica2

    i believe that’s actually true entopticon. i had read about his history on several websites, more than one spinning the story. that is my fault.

    i don’t know how many more alan greenspans, tim geithners, draft advocates, goldman sachs employees, israel firsters fascist bankers or cfr and trilateralists one president can appoint before one stops defending him using super weak arguments.

  117. Thanks, Glenn. I do not think studying under Brezinski in itself at Columbia University proves that you are in “cahoots with him” to perfect the New World Order. Brezinksi was/is an Eastern Establishment major “Liberal” NSA hawk. He helped make his fellow Trilateral CFR buddy Jimmy Carter, another wet noodle Democrat handmaiden in the White House. Studying under Brez, writing your senior thesis for him about Soviet Containment, all of those things are going to have some major influence on how you think. If you are already thinking about a career in politics, Zbig is a very good person to gravitate to. We cannot know all the details of that gravitation, because neither of them will talk about it, nor can we see the transcripts of his two years at Columbia University. Now, for some reason, we can access Gore, Clinton, Bush and Kerry transcripts from Yale. We can see that Bush, who is suppose to be a total idiot, made better grades there than his fellow Skull & Bones classmate, John Kerry.

    I had never heard that Kissenger gave Obama his first job, but then again, I don’t pay much attention to anything Alex Jones. The idea that because you believe a group of very powerful corporate interests in the U.S. and Europe want to work together in alliances to reshape the ways of the world to their great benefit, that would mean you have think Alex Jones has it all nailed down, that idea is anathema to me. Alex Jones is a bumbling disservice to critical thought about these matters. His hysteria is of great service to the very people he seeks to expose. His lame-ass hyperbolic rhetoric is a godsend to those in power.

    That said, my point is one of guilt by association when it comes to being a Democrat today. The more you associate with them and the higher you climb, the guiltier I believe you are. My string of points above about Obama’s rise through the Democratic machine, of which Brezinski is clearly a big part (Zbig is the left wing of a Stealth Bomber that is counter-balanced by Henry K. on the right), my spiel was written to counter the naive idea (aka the “Branding” job) that Obama is in fact some kind of grass roots progressive who cares about the people of the U.S., much less the people in the worlds he is bombing today, walking some delicate line between fighting and grudgingly serving the powers that be.

    Smear campaigns: Obama is smearing people all over the desert. I am not making that up. He is attacking armed insurgencies all over the place in support of our favored right wing psychopaths who hold the reigns of power over there while we pump the oil out from under their sand. He is as guilty as any Democrat that rises from Chicago. Greenwash him all you want in a rinky-dink grass roots housing campaign between Columbia & Harvard. That is called “sheep-dipping.” They needed the African-Indonesian to appear a little more African-American, give him some street cred, send him to the streets of Chicago, hell, hook him up with some “radicals” like those total phonies from the Weather Underground. He does not fool me. He knew exactly what he was doing. I am calling a spade a spade. None of his rhetoric is genuine. He’s a yes-man, a willing phony who made his way to Wall Street and then Pennsylvania Ave by way of Chicago’s machine. The sooner people accept that fact, the better off we will all be. We might very well all be screwed, but at least we don’t have to shake Mickey Mouse’s hand and recite the pledge of allegiance as we default on our loans and get downsized out of our jobs and go down with the ship.

    And no, I am not a “birther.” It doesn’t matter to me whether Obama was born in Honolulu or Timbuktu. His complicity with the crimes of the High Cabal, as Winston Churchhill called them, aka that powerful group of corporate interests and players that helped install chapters of the Bush Cartel before and after they installed Clinton & Co, are still the same crimes, no matter where his Ford Foundation mom was laid up when she brought the huckster into the world. This guy is the PC bag man for the Bush gang’s latest romp and he really is performing beautifully in that role. He is not going to reverse any of that policy. He is going to speak glibly about the complexity of it all ad infinitum as continues furthering those very policies.

  118. Piffy!

    So, to bring it back to the letter, why did people like Bill Bryson vote for Obama if they oppose the Afghan war?

    [b]He is not going to reverse any of that policy. He is going to speak glibly about the complexity of it all ad infinitum as continues furthering those very policies.[/b]

    i disagree. I think he has already been shown to be changing tactics, and he has fulfilled many of his national security policies promises. I think those who make the criticisms you are making are not really being realistic about the subtleties of foreign policy. it’s easy to be an observer and claim things could be simple yes or no scenarios, but i think the reality is far more complex than you describe.

    And, although you deny it (and i believe you), you’re description of Obama being ‘groomed’ since he was 19 to be president in his 40’s sounds incredibly alex jones-esque for it’s bizarre, connect-the-dots-until-you-get-the-picture-you-want quality.

    Who would you suggest as president?

  119. Piffy!

    [b]Oh, but PK, he is a magician! He is a magician of the highest order in our society: He can make millions of people believe things that are not true. His tongue is made of silver and he has garnered lots of gold with it, as he cast quite a spell round the world in 2008.[/b]

    You say you arent a jonser, but your words clearly tip your hand. you glaze over complex topics with hubris and innuendo. Try dealing with the specifics of the issues, and not your grand alex jones conspiracy NWO sillyness.

    Good day!

  120. “Try dealing with the specifics of the issues, and not your grand alex jones conspiracy NWO sillyness.

    Good day!”
    Your ability to wade through such high sounding, verbose-ness and still cut to the quick, is truly commendable. Would that I had a smidge of that ability. <;-)

  121. PK: The “magicians” of this culture are the people that can make people believe things with their rhetoric and charisma. That is what magicians do. The art of doing a magic show on a stage before a live audience has very little to do with the actual trick and everything to do with the presentation. In that sense, Obama is a consumate magician. Alex Jones on the other hand absolutely fails a “magician” of this order. He might make a few valid points, like the FED is a big problem in our economy, or there is not much real difference between a Republican or a Democrat, or international bankers hold much of the power. But the way Alex makes those few valid points is lame. He has a terrible rhetorical style and goes over board with the facts.

    “Groomed” is a common term interchangeable with “prepared.” If you go to a college preparatory school, chances are good you are being groomed for the Ivy League and beyond. Noam Chomsky speaks of this type of preparation when he writes about the difference between going to Harvard and MIT. At Harvard you are being groomed to “run the world” and at MIT you are being taught how to “make it work.” What is Noam Chomsky now, some idiot following all the stairways to nowhere on the Alex Jones show? Grooming has to do with being conscientously prepared. Chomsky points out that at Harvard or Yale young adults are learning a whole lot more about how to connect with people in higher society of the power elite than they are at his MIT. You are learning how to dress, who to meet, who can help you advance, how to behave in these circles.

    Anybody can take whatever they wish to take from a series of listed facts. If you want to take a Horatio Alger image of our African-Indonesian-American president’s rise to power, then you are welcome to it. I look at the facts and I get a different picture. I don’t think he is the Anti-christ. I don’t think he is some robotic manchurian candidate. I think he is not at all what he and his team have presented him to be. I think he is there to serve power at home and abroad, and all of his actions point this up to me. Sure he is going to bust some flimsy moves in office to look progressive. But they will be few and far between. Ultimately this engineer is there to keep the globalist train on track while pacifying the progressive Americans that were duped into voting for him.

    Please tell me what you think Obama has done to “change tactics” from the previous American presidents of the last 60 years. I am not really seeing it yet. How is he different?

    He has escalated and expanded the Bush wars in the middle east. He has decided that instead of being out of Iraq in 11 months we will try to be out in 24 months. (And if you believe that, I got some tickets for Disneyland for you.) He is trying to move GITMO from Cuba to Illinois. (I hardly call that shutting it down.) He has affirmed the CIA’s ongoing secret rendition program. He did not appoint any special prosecutor to investigate torture. He is not changing our use of Blackwater mercenaries in prosecuting secret military actions in the Middle East. With Obama’s review of restructuring the financial sector he chose to increase “oversight” rather that actually change much. (Well, we had oversight protections in place before the melt down – FED, OTS – and look what happened. So now what? Watch the watchdogs?) He has brought in the same economic advisors that gave us Reaganomics and all the deregulation under Clinton, such as the Harvard Kid Genius, Larry Summers. His administration had the public option Kucinich & co were pushing for in the house healthcare bill killed.

    If a Democratic president elected on a message of transformation brings us a treasury secretary who is a protégé of Robert Rubin of Citigroup, Pete Peterson of Blackstone (& the Nixon Administration) and Henry Kissinger to perform diplomatic missions, what’s the worry?

    I am sure there are plenty of other folks lurking here that could chime in with ways in which Obama has not “changed tactics.”

    But I do agree, he certainly has continued talk fervently about the need for change.

  122. Try dealing with the specifics of the issues, and not your grand alex jones conspiracy NWO sillyness.

    I just laid out a list of specifics for you above, now I would very much like to see your list of specifics regarding the ways in which Obama has delivered on changing things at home and abroad.

    Regarding the notion of dealing with the “specifics” versus the general idea of a “New World Order”, which is a very generic term that means a lot of things to a lot of different people, let me say this:

    Kissenger & Bush Senior use the term. H.G. Wells used the term to title one of his non-fiction books about war and peace. Alex Jones uses the term in his internet rants. Naomi Klein and the anti-globalist movement uses the term. Lots of people use that term. I actually think they are all using the term to refer to the same thing, though some people come at the idea from a more from a reasoned world view – H. G. Wells, Naomi Klein – and others from a more paranoid world view – Alex Jones, John Birch Society. I am a fan of H.G. Wells and Naomi Klein and I don’t really care for Alex Jones & the John Birchers. I think I am down for critquing the NWO that those wonderful civil servants G.H.W. Bush and Henry Kissinger refer to and have pushed hard for. I don’t really see it as any great conspiracy because the likes of Bush and Kissinger and Brezinski and the Neocons over at PNAC don’t really aim to keep it a secret. (http://www.newamericancentury.org/) The Big Wigs at the Pentagon call it “Full Spectrum Dominance.” I don’t see anything wrong with critiquing the obvious push for a NWO in the general AND getting busy with the specifics about it. (Both/AND, not either/OR.) The New World Order is not about sharing power or diplomacy or anything of the sort. It is about making straight the roads that increase the flow of tribute to the empire. That is what we are doing shooting up the heart of Eurasia right now. The “NWO” has been written about and discussed by countless intelligent reasonable people from the likes of academics and activists like Noam Chomsky & Naomi Klein to artists H. G. Wells & Harold Pinter. There are plenty of people who critique the NWO who are not simply paranoid blow-hards like Alex Jones. I suggest you stop listening to him and find the more intelligent critics. Clearly you are above the Alex Jones show’s level of discourse.

  123. “The president-elect (Obama) is coming into office at a moment when there is upheaval in many parts of the world simultaneously. You have India, Pakistan; you have the jihadist movement. So he can’t really say there is one problem, that it’s the most important one. But he can give new impetus to American foreign policy partly because the reception of him is so extraordinary around the world. His task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period when, really, a new world order can be created. It’s a great opportunity, it isn’t just a crisis.” -Henry Kissinger on CNBC, 2008.

    “We are not going to achieve a new world order without paying for it in blood as well as in words and money.” – Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., in Foreign Affairs (July/August 1995)

    The New World Order will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down…but in the end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece will accomplish much more than the old fashioned frontal assault.” – CFR member Richard Gardner, writing in the April l974 issue of the CFRs journal, Foreign Affairs.

    “The developing coherence of Asian regional thinking is reflected in a disposition to consider problems and loyalties in regional terms, and to evolve regional approaches to development needs and to the evolution of a new world order.” – Richard Nixon, in Foreign Affairs (October 1967)

    “He [President Nixon] spoke of the talks as a beginning, saying nothing more about the prospects for future contacts and merely reiterating the belief he brought to China that both nations share an interest in peace and building a new world order.” Excerpt from an article in The New York Times (February 1972)

    “My countrys history, Mr. President, tells us that it is possible to fashion unity while cherishing diversity, that common action is possible despite the variety of races, interests, and beliefs we see here in this chamber. Progress and peace and justice are attainable. So we say to all peoples and governments: Let us fashion together a new world order.” Henry Kissinger, in address before the General Assembly of the United Nations, October 1975)

    “Further global progress is now possible only through a quest for universal consensus in the movement towards a new world order.” Mikhail Gorbachev, in an address at the United Nations (December 1988)

    “We believe we are creating the beginning of a new world order coming out of the collapse of the U.S.-Soviet antagonisms.” Brent Scowcroft (August 1990), quoted in The Washington Post (May 1991)

    “How I Learned to Love the New World Order” Article by Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. in The Wall Street Journal (April 1992)

    “If we do not follow the dictates of our inner moral compass and stand up for human life, then his lawlessness will threaten the peace and democracy of the emerging new world order we now see, this long dreamed-of vision weve all worked toward for so long.” President George Bush (January 1991)

    “How to Achieve The New World Order” Title of book excerpt by Henry Kissinger, in Time magazine (March 1994)

    “The Final Act of the Uruguay Round, marking the conclusion of the most ambitious trade negotiation of our century, will give birth – in Morocco – to the World Trade Organization, the third pillar of the New World Order, along with the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.” Part of full-page advertisement by the government of Morocco in The New York Times (April 1994)

    PK: Do you think all the above folks chat it up much with conspiricist Alex Jones? A whole lot of people use the “silly” term, and most of them, including Alex jones are all referring to the same process of “Change.” Alex just happens to go about it in a very hysterical way.

    And here is a quote for my main man Travelah, who may still be lurking here. Although Goldwater doesn’t use the actual term, he lays its meaning out succinctly:

    “The Trilateral Commission is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power political, monetary, intellectual and ecclesiastical. What the Trilateral Commission intends is to create a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nationstates involved. As managers and creators of the system, they will rule the future.” – U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater in his l964 book: With No Apologies.

    And here is one I like, though the actual term is not used here either, but I think we can see what is being talked about:

    “We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.” – David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateral Commission, in an address to a meeting of The Trilateral Commission, in June, 1991.

    Seriously? Do we really think that further centralization of power is going to solve any of our problems locally, nationally and/or globally? Look at what has happened with all the centralization of banks and media conglomerates through out the past 30 years. Increased fraud, increased govt handouts (unarmed robbery) to financial entities deemed “too big to fail” and the increased homogenization/control of “news” stories, as papers and affiliates collapse on by one leaving a few majors to define and further limit our understanding of the world. I think Rockefeller’s highly undemocratic idea outlined above for a New World Order is a very bad idea for you and me. Obama seems to be all for it.

  124. David Rockefeller wrote on Sept. 23, 1994: “This present window of opportunity, during which a truly peaceful and interdependent world order might be built, will not be open for too long – We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”

    Peaceful and interdependent? I don’t think so.

  125. JWTJr

    I think that DCJ is trying to break Entopticon’s word count record. Maybe its the same guy.

  126. “I think that DCJ is trying to break Entopticon’s word count record. Maybe its the same guy.”

    No, DCJ is indeed DCJ…he’s been around lately trying to dazzle with his verbosity…bucking for a job. imho

  127. entopticon

    I think that DCJ is trying to break Entopticon’s word count record. Maybe its the same guy.

    Jr, sometimes your nonsense really is beyond idiotic. What a completely asinine statement. DCJ feels strongly about his position, just as I do, but apparently you were a bit too dim to actually notice that he and I were in disagreement on this issue.

  128. JWTJr

    It could have been two alter egos from the same person going at it. You never know.

  129. Ah, the asinine comments abound. Rather than chime in on any number of legit topics under discussion, as Entopticon and a few others have done here with real vigor, the peanut gallery comes forward to deride.

    (I am always happy to dazzle you, Davynne. From the looks of your little photo you look as though you could use a little dazzlement in your life. Cheer up already.)

  130. aww …… JWTjr …. it’s just a conversation about another BS president that has escalated a few wars of aggression in the Middle East with our tax dollars. Lighten up, already.

  131. Yo,

    I just changed my username and avatar. I am trying to go incognito on the Xpress blog to raise some holy hell and see how the other half lives. Don’t tell anyone who I am, OK?

  132. My avatar is the image is of a lamprey’s mouth stuck to the side of an aquarium …

    my attempt at blog humor … of course I know my identity is blown here from the start.

    (you can check my “Xpress profile” for details about who I am and what i am all about.)

  133. entopticon

    From what I am told, DCJ’s girlfriend is a very sweet person. Things may get heated here, but he seems like a good guy in the conversations that I have had with him.

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