Blind Obedience Can End “The War”?

January 17, 2008 will mark 17 years of open US hostilities against Iraq, although (maybe misreading of Baudrillard?) liberals disregard the Clinton years, since bombings and sanctions are not acts of aggression, unless Cuba is on the receiving end. The left wing of the US war party is as fixated on the Bush dynasty, as the right wing is with Clinton’s reproductive organ. The misguided souls who vote are too hung up on the stylistic differences to notice that US policy doesn’t change from administration to administration, except in very superficial ways, and so all sorts of kooky, hypothetical electoral and moral fantasies to “end The War” are being bandied about, as if “peace” is merely the absence of “war”.

For some unknown reason, perhaps it is the notorious US weakness in geography, many people appear to be delusional enough believe that the US intends to leave Iraq, and a politician or two can accomplish this. Maybe these people have never heard of Germany, Japan, Korea, Puerto Rico, Guam, or any of the other places the US has indefinitely occupied? The hipsters are more likely to withdraw from Brooklyn and the Brits are more likely to leave the North of Ireland (a situation closer to Iraq than the ahistorical Vietnam comparisons) than the US giving up on expanding consumer markets, laundering tax dollars, and controlling energy supplies in the Mid-East.

Some of the political fantasies bouncing around out there are so absurd, that it seems their proponents must be aware of the impossibility of the situation, or getting some really potent weed. One of the most entertaining pieces of fan fiction regarding the 2008 US elections was recently posted on the website of the Lefty newsletter, Counterpunch.

In Welcome to the Revolution, Donna J. Volatile adds another voice to the cyber kool-aid chorus, that much like the religious Right believes that a Saint Paul is the only route to salvation, although they mean the Texas one, not the Tarsus one. Volatile beseeches liberals and progressives to set aside whatever principles they may have, and to ignore Paul’s positions on everything but Iraq, since they are only “wrapping paper” on the “gift” of Ron Paul.

Even Dennis Kucinich seems to think so, there is so much buzz in cyberspace about the possibility of a Dennis Kucinich/Ron Paul ticket, it is stunning. Dennis has even raised the prospect himself as has his wife Elisabeth. Who ever thought we’d see the day?!

There is a larger point to be made here and perhaps the most important one and that is there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the wants, needs and desires of the anti-war traditional conservatives and the anti-war leftists and progressives. We just all need to get over ourselves. If Dennis Kucinich would consider Ron Paul as a running mate isn’t it time for the anti-war movement to dig a little deeper to see what is going on here?…

Sounds like Larouche/Nader, but if Dennis Kucinich (proof that the ‘one good politician’ can’t change policy or politics) says he’s OK…

(I have always supported Dennis Kucinich, whenever possible but after the 2004 Convention and his failure to stand up at the Convention against the war and support the peace activists who were hauled off the convention floor, with their anti-war signs, and given his inability to run a strong campaign, I can no longer back him. I do respect his positions on many issues.)

Volatile can’t overlook Kucinich’s failure to rescue people who wanted to get arrested from being arrested, but Paul’s cryptofacism is A-OK. Here’s a gem from a recent GOP candidate forum, where St. Paul discusses the importance of imaginary lines over human lives:

I see the immigration problem as a consequence of our welfare state. We encourage people not to work here, but the welfare we offer the people who come–they get free medical care. They get free education. They bankrupt our hospitals. Our hospitals are closing. And it shouldn’t be rewarded. That means you don’t give them citizenship. You can’t solve this problem until you get rid of the welfare state, because in a healthy economy, immigrants wouldn’t be a threat to us.

It’s no accident that Paul has the support of neo-nazis.

Volatile wonders:

Are we to forever be held back by issues, such as abortion or even National Health Care, an issue that never gets delivered in the first place (we are no closer now than we were way back when) ? These issues are by design. Abortion keeps us divided. National Health care lends us false hope.

Damn pesky, non-Iraq issues. I like my reformists to seek reforms, not dismantle them.

Some of the masochists who think that getting arrested on purpose (not to be confused with repression of dissent and resistance) is a viable strategy to affect change in a nation with 7 million individuals “in the system”, 2.2 million of them in prison, almost half of them non-violent drug offenders, have released a year-end report on the handful in handcuffs. The willingness to be handcuffed and processed for crossing an imaginary line is eerily reminiscent of the border-fixated crowd’s desire to arrest and/or bring harm to people who cross those imaginary lines. Except the activists call the cops on themselves (and each other).

These Lefties, who consider themselves to be more politically advanced or whatever it’s called, than their beloved working class, who in their eyes “just don’t get it” and need to be guided or saved, alienate their coveted “masses” with voluntary arrest. In my own experience, the average working person seems to recognize that this isn’t MLK or Gandhi’s world anymore, probably a result of day-to-day life. Making reservations to spend a day or two at a county lockup won’t do much to encourage the teeming masses to “join your movement”. To many people, getting arrested on purpose is something homeless people do when winter temperatures become deadly, and need shelter for a few days.

The possession of illegal drugs can also be viewed as a form of civil disobedience, and can sometimes amount to de facto being arrested on purpose, but the drug war isn’t going anywhere, so I’m unsure how a few thousand arrests for summary offenses (glorified traffic tickets) will result in “peace” for the people of Iraq. It’s a mystery how the identity politicians have failed to notice that raising bail in advance, then being taken into State custody on purpose, and then whining about your maltreatment is anything but an obnoxious display of privilege, and correctly seen as a waste of time and money to those with little of either. How can participation in State violence end State violence?

Voting and intentional arrest have a poor track record in ending the bosses’ wars, but even the Franco-Prussian War had to be put on hold for the Paris Commune. Participation in electoral politics and courts of law, serve to legitimize the State’s monopoly on violence and facilitate the internal and external projection of force. Greeting the politicians and police as “liberators” will not make you free.

Catching Up (Part 3.) September 17-23

  • September 17: Everyone at a John Kerry speech should be Tasered, including hecklers, cops, and Kerrys alike. In a representative government individual politicians go away if ignored.

Domestic Terror Groups Running Low on Ammunition

One of the good things about the 21st Century crusades, is that occasionally, glassy-eyed, flag-sucking morons engage in combat with their lunatic Muslim counterparts, and both sides take casualties. I do fell genuine sympathy for ordinary Iraqis and Afghanis caught in the crossfire, and to a lesser degree, the Crusader mercenaries noble volunteers who are only seeking to elevate their own economic conditions and get a formal education, but it is ridiculous, after a certain point in time, to pretend that they did not know what they were getting into when they enlisted. At the risk of being branded “insensitive” the fewer “care so much about the flag or holy book that I’ll kill you” or whatever types that I have to share a planet with, the better. An imperial army, composed of slaves and/or mercenaries, is a formula that dates back to the days of Roman conquest, and like Rome and other imperial powers, the US empire is in decline, due in large part to it’s attempt to control large territories far from the Belly of its Beast.

I wince when liberals bleat about “supporting the troops”. What in the hell does that mean? I used to “support the troops” when I was paying federal taxes, but other than that, and magnetic ribbons (which support the troops in Red China), they’ve lost me. Are they guarding rear supply lines? Mending torn uniforms? Reloading ammunition? Knitting desert camouflaged I-pod covers?

Same with the “bring the troops home now”; I say leave them there. We have enough deranged cops running around as it is. The last thing us lower class folks in the US need is a bunch of shell-shocked 20 something cops, who can’t tell the difference between Sadr City and Kansas City. At least after Vietnam, they used their civil service points to work for the post office, and most of their combat took place in jungles, not urban environs. I’d take the random individual “going postal” over thousands of PTSD cases resuming their domestic role as the occupying army of Capital, as members of an increasingly militarized police force.

We have more than enough uniformed, licensed, specialists in suppression of the poor, that we should be in no hurry to subject ourselves to new ones. On a positive note, the Crusades are limiting the capacity for State terrorists to train and wage violence against US civilians.

Recruiting Roundup

Here are some recent articles and editorials about the ugliness of military recruiting and the low-rent pimps who do it:

One of these predators will plead guilty to sexually assaulting recruits in Indiana.

Former US army specialist, Aimee Allison examines the expanding problem of sexual abuse by military recruiters on AlterNet. MedIndia,a health infromation web portal also examines the phenomena.

A former Tuscon army recruiter, caught up in an FBI sting, was sentenced for his role in a drug trafficking operation.

Recruiter’s vehicles in Texas and Florida have recently been “customized.”

Despite a lowering in standards, and an increase in waivers and a fiscal year 2006 recruitment and advertising budget of $1,407,100,000 ($1.4 billion), recruiting numbers were down for the second month in a row.

An ASVAB proctor was caught rigging test scores (at cut rates).

It’s not just the World’s Policeman. On a related note, a Pittsburgh Police Sergeant was given a 3 day suspension for helping terrorist trainees cheat on their tests.

The recent arrest of a 31 year old recruiter on child pornography charges raises questions as tot whether the US marines may be doing more than just recruiting with their Hitler Youth-esque Young Marines program:

The Young Marines is a youth education and service program for boys and girls, ages 8 through completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on character building, leadership, and promotes a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

youngmarinessmall.jpghitleryouth.jpg

Which photo is the Young Marines & which is the Hitler Youth? Nationalism is nationalism.

These stories are only from the last week or two.

“Operation Smack-y Freedom” ?

poppies.jpg

In a recent post at The Darn News, a local blog that makes rolling Shadyside drunks seem like community service, self-described “contributor”, Highland Ave, whose largely fictional posts range from elitist to cryptofascist , shocked me with his apparent concern for the residents of Garfield. He also praised the valiant efforts of the enlightened, publicly subsidized artists who make the journey up Penn Avenue from Lawrenceville, to their colonies, er, galleries, as they play urban manifest destiny, and then go home. Much the same way drug addicts treat Garfield. They both show up to get their fix, and go home, leaving the locals to deal with their messes. It’s very different than being a neighbor or resident. Restoring a home, and interacting with the existing community is not the same as transplanting your insular social clique into subsidized elitist art spaces.  Then it made sense when I looked at Highland Ave.’s blog profile, and it listed his location as Afghanistan and his profession as ‘government’. If he is one of the 13,000 some odd crusaders, who are entrusted to oversee 90% of the world’s opium, he would be concerned with areas that stock their product. Can they list Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as reference in civilian life?

The US has a long and storied tradition of ensuring that the drug trade can flourish in their sphere of influence, having taken over for the Brits. From Air America, (not the stupid liberal radio station) to Iran Contra, to unsubstantiated, but not unreasonable claims that the CIA encouraged and fostered drug addiction amongst Soviet troops in Afghanistan, to the 90’s upsurge in Colombian heroin, at the same time US military advisers, hardware and dollars were pouring in, to the Afghans taking the market back from the Colombians, after the Taliban market interference was removed, by what will always be “Operation Infinite Justice”, to me.

Yet somehow I was surprised by recent report that perhaps inspired by the US entrepreneurial spirit, rice farms southwest of Baghdad have been replanted with poppies. I’m sure that the appearance of US complicity in the drug trade is just a misunderstanding, but try telling that to those whose lives, families, and communities are decimated. I’m not sure how the stuff gets to the US, but I’m sure that low-level drug dealers have their own fleets of ships, planes, and helicopters.