Which Way Did We Go?
I’m reading Our Endangered Values by Jimmy Carter. In it he reprints an op-ed piece he did on March 3rd, 2003. For those of us that may have misplaced our programs, that was well into shrub’s first term, but just the beginning of his greatest screw-up. The Iraq debacle hadn’t officially been announced, but we now know its preparations and the decision to invade had already been made. But we didn’t know that then. At that time we were still enjoying some world-class* performances from the Secretary of State, Colin “will lick corporate ass-crack for money” Powell, the Security Advisor, Condoleeza “they named an oil tanker after me because I ooze black sludge” Rice, the Vice President, Dick “unsafe with any weapon” Cheney, and several other high profile charlatans, all doing the now famous soft-shoe about phantom weapons of mass destruction and the magical transmogrification of a favored son of some Saudi big-shots, who actually attacked us and caused serious damage, into a despotic Iraqi president, who couldn’t have attacked anyone armed with anything greater than a pee-shooter, and whose greatest damage done may have been entertaining Donald “you put your head up the ass you’ve got not the ass you want” Rumsfeld. Ah, the wonders of stage-craft.
In Mr. Carter’s piece, he outlines some reasonable requirements for a just war. Things like: (I’m paraphrasing) only as a last resort, don’t kill the civilians, match the war’s violence to the crime committed, make sure you have representation at home and abroad, and (my favorite) make sure you improve the peace. Quote:
“Although there are visions of a panacea of peace and democracy in Iraq, it is quite possible that the aftermath of a successful military invasion will destabilize the region, and that aroused terrorists might detract from the personal safety of our people and the security of our nation.”
“…the heartfelt sympathy and friendship offered to us after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, even from formerly antagonistic regimes, has been largely dissipated, and increasingly unilateral and domineering policies have brought our country to its lowest level of international distrust and antagonism in memory. We will surely decline further in stature if we launch a war in clear defiance of UN opposition, but to continue using the presence and threat of our military power to force Iraq’s compliance with all UN resolutions–with war as a final option–will enhance our status as a champion of peace and justice.”
Champion of peace and justice. Man, that sounds familiar. I think our country used to stand for that kind of stuff. Was it just a dream? Do we have fascists running our country into the ground right now? Is it true that more people voted for American Idol than voted for the presidency? Are we completely screwed and will this nightmare just keep getting worse?
The future of the United States has been stolen by the corporations. They own our politicians, and we are the sheep they use to go from being super-wealthy to being extra-super-wealthy-deluxe. I love that photo of the Exxon exec who wrote his own bonus to the tune of something like $150,000 per day he “worked.” You can tell by the volume of flabby jowl swinging beneath this pelican-man’s chin that he hasn’t done any work in a very long time. Trickle down economics? You seriously want me to believe that as people become this ridiculously wealthy that they’re going to come over all benevolent and want to see that their fellow man is taken care of? Pull the other one. That toxic gullet will regurgitate the occasional golden fish for his flabby offspring that will grow up to be just as thick and useless as the shrub, and the rest of the world will just have to swim through the chum to find his or her own way. If you’re not holding at least $20 or $30 million, then you’ve got one of those fat, pasty white cocksuckers’ dicks up your ass right now. Enjoy!
These guys aren’t leaders; they’re losers. Wealth does not equal virtue, far from it. And oil-wealth is the least virtuous of all. In case you haven’t noticed, oil is a death sentence for the human race. The sooner we get off it, the better our chances of an extended life will be. Also, much of the industrialized world is well ahead of us in this regard. We’re falling behind in every way except for fattening the salaries of useless fat white guys (oh, and killing people with skin darker than ours, and suing each other).
As long as our election and legislative processes are dominated by the checkbooks of corporate fat heads, our future road map will continue to be one of failure.
Someday I hope we come back to a place where Freedom and Justice and Equality aren’t just buzz-words, not just concepts that we read about in books. I think we used to stand for those things. And that was cool.
*When I say “world-class” what I mean, of course, is “sad, pathetic parodies of humanity washed up onto the shore of public discourse by the most incompetent and ill-natured of tides.”
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- April 30, 2006 / 4:12 pm