Thursday, September 16, 2004

mojowire for 9.11 PART II

S9.Greetings, once again, from the L5 Lounge, fellow space travelers. We know you're up to your eyeballs in entertaining trivia these days, what with silly season getting into full swing, and there being the ever important three year anniversary of the most cataclysmic event in your lifetime. Still, we here on the Satellite Of Love think it's important to remind you of the big picture. It's important to remember that all those trees you're looking at are part of a big ole' forest of the bollocks. Let's stretch our minds, shall we?

Over the last four years of the Bush Administration, and particularly in the last eighteen to twenty-four months, the American economy has taken some rather remarkable turns. And if you never paid attention in your Economics 101 class, then you're probably confused in the extreme. Quite frankly, the economy is reacting very poorly to a collection of bad influences -- mostly related to poor public policy at the Federal level of U.S. government. And you wouldn't know it if you were in the habit of uncritically believing the pronouncements of the Administration's economists and policy specialists.

Let's start with this choice morsel of a quote from Karen Hughes, one of George Bush's witch-queens from Texas attached to the Bush/Cheney campaign: "Our economy is growing stronger everyday, we're creating millions of jobs with the President's tax cuts." This is just a bald-faced lie. Somebody should pick Ms. Hughes up off the ground by here Ann Taylor collar, shake her vigorously, and refuse to put her down until she answers this question: "When your office was arguing for these "revenue deferments" (please, let's dispense with the misleading "tax cut" phrasing) back in 2002 and early 2003, and you were projecting the total payroll employment figure would be 134.5 million, what caused that estimate to be too high by at least three million jobs. Why did the President's tax policy not create the jobs his office argued would be created?"

And what's to insure that the next tax policy these people want to ram through their pet Congress will be any less of a failure than the last one at creating jobs? And make no mistake -- if you reƫlect this clownshow, they will bring you an encore that will shock and amaze you.

They're calling it "The Ownership Society" and you know what that means: they are openly defying the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. You might have forgotten which amendment is the 13th -- it's the one that reads, and I quote it in full: "Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.; Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

They can't really mean they want to bring back slavery, can they? Is Dr. S9 really saying that? Yes. He's really saying that. When you hear the words "ownership society" like you did all through the
Republican National Convention a couple weeks ago, you need to be asking yourself whether you really believe they want to make you into an "owner" or they want to make you into one of the 0WNED.

Let's look at what they're actually willing to admit up front they want to do: A) radical rewrite of the government revenue code, probably to a flat tax; B) eliminate taxes on even the most obscenely large hordes of inherited wealth; C) evisceration of the Social Security system to shift the risk of equity market volatility away from the traditional speculators and into the captive population of working people with retirement savings; and D) massively increased government spending on a
cornucopia of welfare programs for the conservative elites and their decadent corporate enablers

It's obvious to anyone with a brain what they are trying to do: they're trying to break the U.S. Treasury. That's why the budget deficit projections are such drug-addled delusions. In January, the President said in his State of the Union Address that he planned to cut the deficit in half within five years. Yet, last week, the Republican CBO estimated (and they were really stretching to do it) that the deficit will drop from a record $422bn to the only slightly less horrific figure of $312bn in the next five years. They low-balled the estimate in January, and now they come out and admit that they can't even hit the ridiculously easy target they set for themselves. Why? They're not really trying.

Here's the infallible guide to interpreting the Bush Administration on their policy pronouncements: they just lie. They lie, they lie some more, and when you think they're done lying and they might tell the truth for once, they lie again. They do it for sport.

Because, while they're playing hide the salami with the budget projects out to 2009, everybody is forgetting that it has long been traditional to make projections for at least ten years. Recently the CBO did that (everyone was shocked). And you know what? The deficit goes totally non-linear after 2009. If we really want to get our fiscal house in order, we will have to fix our health care system— and not just Medicare, the whole enchilada.

But is the President talking about doing that? No, he's talking about yet another impossible privatization program that will not do anything to control costs or spread the risks. In fact, it will have the opposite effect— to concentrate risks onto the people least capable of managing them, and to pour yet more fuel onto the raging fire of rising health care costs.

Ack! Spit! Somebody douse me with cold water before I overheat! Look, people— there are a lot of reasons to be dubious of Kerry/Edwards, but there is one seriously good selling point in their
favor: their economics advisors are grown-ups who can feed and dress themselves without help from a nurse. If you elect them, you'll probably get a lousy foreign policy— but, at least, you'll probably get a sensible and moderate incremental (not revolutionary) improvement in the American health care system. And by extension, an improvement in the economy. And it will be real, and nobody will be asking you to eat dog turds and call it chocolate cake.

Cue James music for exit
That's all my time this week. Peace out, comrades. And please— get your vote on.

This week, we became aware that more than1,000 American Soldiers have given their life in Iraq. How did this happen? Why have 1,000 men and women given their lives, and thousands more Iraqis given theirs, over a year after Doug Feith and Ahmad Chalabi promised us that Iraq would be rolling in oil money and a shining beacon of Demcrocy.

The American intervention and occupation in Iraq is not the product of a competent and ethical Goverment acting in the best interests of the American people. It is a cynical and cruel deception perpetuated on the American electorate to fulfill the narrow interests of a small group of ideologues and business men. It is a supreme example of the power of hubris and arrogance, and the destruction a powerful nation can wreak when it's leaders are not held accountable.

But what happened? There are perhaps many reasons, but in terms of understanding how this administraton operates, there are a few key decisions that illuminuate our point.

A few months into the occupation, we pimped you a story by Sy Hersh in the New Yorker that detailed how the logistical military plan conceived by the military was edited by the civilains at the Pentagon. Specifically, the military had planned to use over 240,000 troops to fight the war and then occupy the country.

Don Rumsfeld and the Neocon boyscouts demanded and got significant revisions in the plan, cutting back the troop committments to minimal levels not because they could not commit them, but because they chose not to commit them to prove their pet theories of warfare, in particular that they could win this war with technology and minimal troops, a pet theory of neoconservatism.

These are guys who bought the hype about the great American soldier lock stock and barrel and especially relative to our Special Forces groups. You know, the whole thing about the lazer beam eyes, and they have the kung foo grip and they can fly and breathe underwater and they parachute from the space shuttle and ... and .. .and... The problem is further exacerbated by a strong "can-do" cultural attitude on the part of the Special Forces, especially in the command structure.

There is not a cultural allowance where these guys can say "I'm sorry senator, but we are not fit for that mission." Partly because of their overachievers ethic but also because those senators then ask pointed questions like "What do you mean they don't really fly or shoot lasers out of their eyes... tell me then admiral, why exactly am I voting to spend millions of dollars on your program?"

The result was disatarous. Even though US forces proved to be more than adequate to defeat the Iraqi regular army, the lack of manpower made it impossible to accomplish important goals in the immediate aftermath that are the key elements in our problems today. First, the looting and theft that erupted in the aftermath of the surrder that destoryed the infrastructure of the country, even up to looting of nuclear storage sites like Tuwaitha, which contained nuclear material, a key component of the bush argument for war.

S. In additon, Iraq had over 80 immense ammo dumps scattered around the country, which have been contiunually looted by the insurgents because there are not enough US Troops to patrol them. The foolish revisions of the civilian leadership, that resulted in the minimal troop strength, allowed mass chaos and destruction, and the arming and orgnaization of the insurgency which plagues us today.

An act of hubris by people with not a single drop of experience in planning wars or occupations, just experience in writing about in the corporate financed think tanks and conference rooms of Washington. A hubris over 1,000 American men and women have paid the price for.

Another key example is the occpation authority set up to administer the reconstuction and the transition to a functioning demcoracy, the Coalition Provisional Authority. The CPA was a dictatorship, deciding everything from who exercised political power in Iraq, and most importantly, who got the money to rebuild the nation. Unfortunately, because the Administration itself eschewed qualified people to populate itself with political hacks, the CPA was no different.

And lets face it, those contracts were divided up among a select group of campaign contributors and political cronies long before the first boot ever hit the ground over there. The CPA was merely the gang responsible for making sure the checks got made out to the right people and that nobody not on the guest list got behind the velvet ropes.

The Chief Financial officer of the reconstruction was not someone with experience in International finacne, who had worked in the reconsturction in the Balkans, or at the IMF or World Bank, but a relative of Republican political operatives fresh out of college who happened to send her resume to the Heritage foundation. Again, just the sort of witting drone the administration wanted and has surrounded themselves with from top to bottom.

This is the pattern we see all through the CPA, the most important tasks in staffing the occupation authority was not compentence or potential to carry out the mission, but to recruit true believers in the NeoCon cause, and loyal Republican who needed the job.

The result is the abject failure of reconstruction effort, billions wasted in Iraq on Halliburton and mercernary security firms beyond congressional scrutiny. Just like the Bush White House, a gang of incompentent loyalists who cannot carry out any other job than to lie, cheat or steal.

The truth here is often perverted into some slam on the soldiers by draft dodgers like Dick Cheney, but that is the slimy distraction to the real truth. The intervention in Iraq, regardless of your feeling on the invasion, was turned into a debacle because of the crude, base stupidity of the Administration, and their failure to own up is a chilling indictment of their true nature, pale exuses of human beings who cannot do anything more than feed on the souls of real human beings to satisfy their crude hunger for power and revenge.

This isn't an election between competeing political parties, This one is for the species folks, The time of the orc is upon us and the cruel reality is that you either need to march down to the polling place and represent for homo sapien, or else suck the pipe in that long night of greedy liars and thieves we call the Bush Presidency.

Editors note: nothing in the following piece should be construed or interpreted as calling for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government or for taking any unlawful action of any kind; as if we don't have enough problems in America already without that kind of nonsense. -- mojo.
J. Faces and names faded in and out of the picture on TV, and were gone. Smiling or stern faces, almost all young, looking proud; sharp in a uniform. More young men and women, sons and daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, friends, who are not coming home from Iraq. Why?

On the day before the 9/11 federal myth creation and official day of grotesque political theater and horrible government-sponsored hero worship, those faces asked us the damning question, why am I dead?

There are the various answers from the various political monkies: 9/11 changed everything, we are making the world safe from terror, we were rescuing these people. Well, I'm sorry, I am going to be of that generation that is going to piss off my kids' history teachers because I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when those planes hit the trade center.

Like Voltaire said, we owe the dead truth. Too many have died for us not give that kind of honesty and anything else spits on their graves. My kids' at least will know the truth of what happened, at least as I have the power to understand it.

Starting with 9/11 changed everything. Yeah, in many ways it did. We went from a teetering democracy reeling from a questionably honest election to a full fledged police state where people were being yanked out of libraries, gyms, work, just for questioning the official government line. A place where the government was instructing its citizens to openly spy on one another.

The one thing that the terrorists couldn't take away from us on that horrible morning, the current administration was more than willing to seize at the earliest opportunity. The liberty and the freedom that are punchlines of political jokes told by the likes of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney are bought by the blood of our youth in the sands of a far away country, sent there at the instigation of a handful of jackass religious extremists living in places with no law like Kabul or K Street.

Places that the current administration can't seem to decide if they want to emulate or destroy. This isn't a war between freedom and tyranny, it's a war of religious ideologies backed by big money betting on this horse or that horse. All 9/11 did was just take the revolution public.

I remember sitting on the couch watching the second plane hit the WTC and my wife in a tremolous voice asking "What's going on?" and my simple response "that wasn't an accident...we are at war." And even at that moment I understood that this was going to be a rhetorical and political battle that me and my friends were going to have to fight against the government that had seized our country.

That truth came into focus within days against all my hopes. My worst fears were coming true, the powers that be were taking actions that we had thought would never happen here; warrantless searches, secret trials, expatriation.

And it makes us angrier than anything at these people for putting us in a position where we feel like we have to politically battle our own government before we can adequately fight a war against terror. We weren't like this before, the tragedy is that they have made us like this, and I hate it.

At the same time, I had no problem with our intervention in Afghanistan. I had problems with Taliban and their human rights records for a long time before 9/11. Suffice it to say that I was less than impressed with the lackisdasical nature of the operation to remove them and Al Qaeda.

Not a critique of the troops but of the planners in the Pentagon who had very little actual experience with this, dismissed their senior uniformed advisors and had another objective in mind all along anyway.

S.I remember being very proud of my country in the days that followed 9/11. The sense of unity and charity and respect that poured out. In many ways it brought out the best in all of us. And I blame the Bush administration for stoking anti-Islamic hatred by the actions of federal law enforcement and Congressional action on the one hand even while they paid nominal lip service to the notion that they respected Islam as an institution.

Make no mistake, we are at war, a war that started on 9/11. A political war for our country, a war with no heroes, no statues, no monuments, only casulties. There really are screwheads out there who mean us harm. But the greater danger is a political leadership that could care less about why these people mean us harm.

They would rather get the cheap and easy poll numbers, saying ridiculous crap like "They hate us because of our freedom." There are real reasons these people are angry with us. And I swear to whatever God anyone here prays to that I will crawl through this microphone and transmit my foot into the butt of the first person that says "oh, it's the blame America first crowd."

This is not about blaming America. This is about realizing that we don't live in a sollopsistic universe. That these people are not simply actors from central casting. That maybe, just freeking maybe the world is a little more complex than a Mack Bolan adventure novel.

Perhaps that's the biggest thing that's changed since 9/11, is the idea that we don't need anyone else in the world. That these really are the end times. That the final battle is here. That world can be completely divided into them and us.

This is not what we wanted. But this is what we were given, and now instead of making our nation safer, we are engaged in a world wide war of conquest and domination driven by greed, religious fanatcism and plain old hubris. We are being played like a two dollar banjo. If we fight this war against terror this way, then it will be exactly because that's what the terrorists want us to do.

If we reelect George Bush, then that will be exactly what the hardliners in countries like Iran, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and others too numerous to name want us to do. George Bush is the best thing that ever happened to them. And the 9/11 attacks were just the fuel to prime the pump. It was like watching Pavlov's dogs.

There is a divide in this country that started shortly after 9/11, those who wanted to take what they saw as the good we saw in our country in those dark days and work to make our nation a better place, safer while dealing justice to those who murdered.

Then there were those who seemed to take it as a license to get their war on. To appeal to the most base, most divisive elements in American society and play on that fear and ignorance to create something that is a grotesque reflection of a once great nation.

At the end of the day, that is the real tragedy, those young people's pictures flashing across the screen, died for a country that is tearing itself apart beacause its leadership is too stupid and corrupt to do anything else.

J. It's 53 days until the election and our patriotic thought for the week is: remembering the dead, means the terrorists win, or as John Ashcroft says... “It's a new day in America...the day of the Orc.”


S. And that’s all for this week, tune in again soon for another exciting installment, until, of course, we are declared enemies of the state.

J. This has been the Mojowire, brought to you by Mojohaus...Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988, and produced by our super funky fly producer Mike Payne and the Darkling Eclectica, here on KUCI, 88.9...

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