Wednesday, January 24, 2007


If you're like a lot of political people on the internet, you skim the liberal blogs. There's a lot of them, some of them are actually well-written, and while the political analysis is often misses the mark, they can sometime surprise you with some sharp critique (usually before ruining it with their standby solution: simply vote and contribute to candidate X). And they hate them some Bush and that's always fun to read.
But like candy, there's always a price to pay for enjoying the sweetness. If I was a better writer, I'd extend this metaphor into something about a lack of teeth. I'm not a better writer. In the Bush-bashing case, it is a critique that focuses an entire system into a single man and then argues that a different single man would make everything better or at least get us headed back in the right direction. Except that Bush is simply a representative of a system and anyone else the system picks to represent it is simply a different face on the same body. In this case, the system is modern capitalism (and it's auxiliary cultural components of white supremacy and patriarchy). Changing the face is not enough: it's like giving a concentration camp a paint job. If that seems a bit strong, ask the Iraqis living under the gun.
So now the ugly ugly beast is waving its fangs over at Iran. Now, before I go any further, I don't think that the U.S. is going to invade Iran. I also know that there is dissent within the ruling class, personified in some instances by the Democratic Party, against the idea of invading Iran. This doesn't change our criticism one whit: first, the U.S. isn't going to invade Iran because the generals aren't morons. Iranian president Ahmadinejad can pretty much say to Bush's bullying "Yeah? You and what army?"
Besides that, the U.S. for all it's bluster doesn't invade countries that have a chance. Think back about the last two decades of U.S. invasions: Grenada and Panama. We used proxy armies to terrorize most of Latin America and I don't think they'd employ that strategy again in the middle east even if they could: remember Osama Bin Laden and his origins in Afghanistan. Yugoslavia and even the first Gulf war? Big coalitions. Not happening anytime soon on Iran. The U.S. is a rogue nation and a bully and, even if we're moving a bunch of big ships into the gulf, we all know that it's just bluster.
As for those Democrats in congress hedging and hawing about the idea of invading, if Iraq had gone smoother, they'd be right in line to invade. Their criticisms are about the strategy and not the goal.
Now let me go out on a real limb and advance an argument that I have and that I never thought I'd even think. I think Iran has a pretty convincing case on needing nukes to prevent war. Think about it and put yourself in Ahmadinejad's shoes. A few years ago, America's ruling regime announces three primary enemies: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. Now you're Iran. Iraq obeys and disarms, lets the weapons inspectors in, and what does it get? Bombed, occupied, robbed, raped, and cut up. The U.S. installs its main architects of '80s Latin American Death Squad strategy, ferments strong ethnic rivalries, build a bunch of permanent bases, and starts stealing oil wholesale. North Korea? Disobeys and immediately ramps up production of a nuke. Even though the thing may not even work, what does the U.S. do? Whimper and insist on new negotiations. It's like an old Highlights Goofus and Gallant strip. Be honest: if you were Iran, who would you emulate?
Reagan wanted nukes and that sick scumbag should've been arrested. Ahmadinejad isn't even making the case, but I'd support it.
Where do the Liberal bloggers come in on this? I was reading "Crooks and Liars" the other day and they asked about Bush's Iran bluster: where's the evidence? Though they were channeling MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, they said it was the question everyone needs to be asking right now. Now they meant where is the evidence for Iran wanting to harm the U.S. This is the most psychotic response ever. If Ma Barker showed up at your door and said she needed help because there was a bank downtown that was threatening her, you wouldn't you ask for the evidence. The evidence is that Ma Barker has a history robbing banks. Now imagine that you happen to bump into Ma Barker in the bank mid-robbery and she says to you: "I know this doesn't look good, but we have to succeed, and the bank next door has been threatening me so we have to go there, too."
Iran is just another bank to these people and we have all the evidence we need: the war in Iraq is a crime on a barely imaginable scale, we need to have criminal prosecution of the criminals, and anyone who tries to change the subject to debating the legitimacy of Iran needs to be corrected sternly.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Panther Arrests

It was reported today that new charges were mounted against 8 former Black Panthers for the 1971 killing of a cop. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) smartly compared the 1973 torture and interrogation sessions to the frighteningly similar ones at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo. Besides the clear parallels in response to people of color resisting empire, domestically or far, far away, this is a painful reminder that while the state demands a monopoly on violence, it also boasts of a long memory. There have been whispers that there may be more cases like this in the coming months and years. It is paramount that people of conscience mount campaigns of support and solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the struggle.
It is unclear if there is a support system set up yet, but when we find it, we'll pass it along.

In peripherally related news, E. Howard Hunt, scum, died today. Scum, I mean Hunt, assisted in organizing a criminal invasion of both Cuba and Guatemala before assisting in the Watergate break-ins that led to the resignation of Nixon. What is interesting is this: Hunt served 33 months for, essentially, spying on the Democrats and lying about it. Then he was released and lived free until his death. This guy ushers in a forty year plus death squad regime in one country and tries to do the same thing in another and no one in D.C. blinks an eye. Thousands upon thousands of people killed. He's never held for war crimes. No house arrest even like Pol Pot. Nope, he can just shop at walmart like anybody else. A single police officer's death from thirty-five years ago? Continued investigation, grand juries, and indictments.
Rule of law? Rule of scum.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle has a new show on Sundance. He's talking, a bit off the cuff, with Maya Angelou. I don't know if it is a series or just a special, but within minutes Chappelle makes clear why he is one of the best public people going right now. Whether the show continues or he has a new project coming up next, he simply continues to be both speak real truth while also continuing his own personal promise.

The New York Times continues its bloodlust for Castro. He remains in our hearts and prayers.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

History Is A Weapon croissant

This is for the real History Is a Weapon lovers out there. Oh, just click here. Trust us.

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