Sunday, January 27, 2008


Remember this guy? The Democrats seem to have forgotten him, and the Republicans don't want anything to do with him, and are desperately scrambling to distance themselves. Even the dullards realize Bush screwed them over. Most of them, anyway.
Bush has done so many vicious, stupid things it's hard to remember them all, not to mention list them. We could start with lying about the WMDs, and cooking the intelligence to start a war that has turned into an unwinnable quagmire with no end in sight.

Bush used the tragedy of 9-11 to push his political agenda, and wrapped himself in the flag with a big self-satisfied grin. He blasted those who disagreed for being unpatriotic and un-American, and punished whistleblowers -- or their families, in the case of Valerie Plame. As for "freedom," he tossed out habeas corpus, the Geneva Convention, and countless safeguards protecting our civil liberties. He approved warrant-free wiretapping on citizens, and condoned torture and secret "black" prisons where people could be interrogated and simply "disappear." Let's not forget Abu Ghraib, Osama bin Laden, Medicare, Afghanistan, Haliburton, all the special deals with powerful lobbyists, and all the outright lying to the American public.

Katrina? Blackwater? Global warming? Bush cut billions of dollars from health, education, and housing, while lowering taxes for the rich, and securing no-competition contracts for his cronies in Iraq and New Orleans. He created a privatized war, with an army of mercenaries accountable to no one. I almost forgot the environment, and how he junked regulations on carbon monoxide and other poisons in our air, water, and food, and virtually ignored recommendations from the scientific community. All in all, Bush created a climate of fear, secrecy, spin, and hubris.

Jim Holt, in a provocative piece in the London Review of Books, makes a convincing counter-argument. From the Bush-Cheney perspective, the war might not be a failure at all, if the goal was to take control of Iraq’s oil resources and its infrastructure. As quoted in an article in Vanity Fair, Holt states “The draft law that the US has written for the Iraqi congress would cede nearly all the oil to Western companies. The Iraq National Oil Company would retain control of 17 of Iraq’s 80 existing oilfields, leaving the rest—including all yet to be discovered oil—under foreign corporate control for 30 years.”

A great deal for the multi-national corporations -- if not for the thousands of Americans and countless Iraqis who died since "Liberation."

Holt writes, "The occupation may seem horribly botched on the face of it, but the Bush administration’s cavalier attitude towards ‘nation-building’ has all but ensured that Iraq will end up as an American protectorate for the next few decades—a necessary condition for the extraction of its oil wealth. If the US had managed to create a strong, democratic government in an Iraq effectively secured by its own army and police force, and had then departed, what would have stopped that government from taking control of its own oil, like every other regime in the Middle East? On the assumption that the Bush-Cheney strategy is oil-centred, the tactics—dissolving the army, de-Baathification, a final ‘surge’ that has hastened internal migration—could scarcely have been more effective. The costs—a few billion dollars a month plus a few dozen American fatalities (a figure which will probably diminish, and which is in any case comparable to the number of US motorcyclists killed because of repealed helmet laws)—are negligible compared to $30 trillion in oil wealth, assured American geopolitical supremacy and cheap gas for voters. In terms of realpolitik, the invasion of Iraq is not a fiasco; it is a resounding success."


Anonymous said...

This is fun:
The other day, Dick Cheney was dead for an hour or so, and no one considered it very important.

I enjoyed reading about it, (it's pretty tough to get all squishy about Dick's medical issues, since he has had somewhere in the neighborhood of a THOUSAND heart attacks,) because it was all so matter-of-fact and low-key.

The wire-service report I read indicated that Dick was just out-and-about, minding his own business around town when he became concerned about an irregular heart-beat, and stopped by George Washington Hospital to receive fifty-thousand volts to his chest.

Er uh, Beg pardon?
Seems to me that getting yourself friggin' SHOCKED to correct a heart problem happens to people whose asses are PASSED-OUT behind it.
What ACTUALLY happened is that Cheney DIED and doctors revived him by hitting him with the flat-saucer equivalent of a taser.

I don't mean to be crass- but if only this kind of shit were happening to GEORGE. Not that I wish him illness or anything (got that Homeland Security?) I just think it might be an avenue whereby the boy could become a bit reflective and even start considering what life-and-death issues MEAN to the common human-being, such as those whose children are currently being used as cannon-ammo in God-forsaken places where only macho assholes want us involved.

Did I just say ASSHOLES?

Sorry. I know how distressing that can be.

Indeed, I really have my doubts about the whole "Macho," thing anyway- especially as it pertains to the right-wing.

I mean, I can be plenty tough myself when the occasion calls for it- but some of this posturing we see among right-wing kooks strikes me as a bit homo-erotic, if you ask me.

I seem to recall a murmur or two of "oohs and ahhs" among some less-than-sophisticated American females during the whole "flight-suit," period of our depressing history, but I simply must say that when I saw him in it; all tight-crotched with tubes hanging out, I thought that the Village People were updating their outfits for the Tech Revolution.

Now don't get me wrong. Check my social and political history- I have not only tolerance but celebratory acceptance of gay humanity. But I have to admit that I don't care much for folks who are pretending to be straight who couldn't possibly be, like, well... George Busch...

Not that us males are immune to the mystique of political sexuality.
I realize that one of the major in-roads to the Joe Six-Pack American via corporate fascism is through females who have been bribed into pretending they are as big of right-wing assholes as men can be.

I know that if you squint your eyes really hard, the hideous Psycho-Bitch Anne Coulter appears to be a human female to many horribly desperate men... (did I just say "Psycho-Bitch?" Sorry again.)
However, I have to assure any males who happen to be peeking in, that if you were to flip that skirt up over her head, you would find GILLS instead of the equipment you so desperately seek.

OK, that should just about do it.

Have I alienated enough people yet?

Bill Jones,
Gilroy CA

Scott Faulkner said...

It's a good argument. I'm not sure all their gaffes were intentional but it's certain the architects of this plan wanted a tight level of control over Iraq for the foreseeable future. I'm also pretty certain that the reason Dick Cheney won't release details about that energy policy meeting he had with his big oil buddies is that they were discussing getting their hands on Iraq's oil, even before the 9/11 attack.

Bob Rini said...

Thanks for the thoughtful post, Bill. The amazing thing is that Cheney has a heart at all. He's always seemed so robotic and inhuman to me. Yes, these guys control the news and their carefully crafted image of invincibility, which I figured might work on twelve year old boys playing video games, but somehow works on a good chunk of the population. Not the brightest chunk, I admit. Still, some people love an invincible robotic toughguy for a leader, hence the appeal of fascism. Stalin was the "Man of Steel," after all, and Hitler played the cruel father of the Fatherland, and many thought they were just what the country needed, by Golly, some brutal law and order for the "dangerous subversives" of (fill in the blank). these people don't read history books -- but are swayed emotionally by tyrants appealing to their base ignorance and fears. Television wrestling on the global scale.

Vinylsaurus -- I agree, maybe some of the gaffes were unintentional, and they couldn't help but want it to have gone smoother, but maybe the mess was worth it for them to get where they are, sitting on top of some valuable property!