Friday, January 07, 2005

Tempests in congressional teapots and other zero-sum games 

The US Congress is corrupt, dysfunctional and ultimately useless. Yesterday’s events simply provided more awful proof.

It could have been any other day in Washington. Rabid and venal Republican ideologues engaged in willful collusion and laughably bellicose slander, while Democrats squeezed out miserably weak “bark without bite” noises to distract their constituents, while not addressing (much less actually pursuing) real problems.

Bush’s second (and even more egregious) election theft was overwhelmingly certified. Not a single Democrat, including those who joined in the pitifully limited Ohio protest, dared to “question, challenge or ‘even hope to’ overturn” the results of the 2004 election---thereby guaranteeing the irrelevance of the proceeding.

The Democrats repeated the two biggest falsehoods: that electronic vote results are in any way reliable or legitimate, and that Bush actually won in November. Neither is the case.

In this exercise in self-destruction and futility, no states besides Ohio bothered to protest, despite nationwide evidence of fraud. Electronic voting, itself the ultimate crime, was not properly addressed. The words “Diebold” and “Walden O’Dell” will not be
found in transcripts of the day’s events. The disenfranchisement of African-American voters, which is merely one small symptom of a far greater systemic crime (that the complicit Congress will, of course, continue to ignore), was made the central focus of the protest.

Alberto Gonzales, lifelong Bush crime henchman and torture czar, lied, evaded, and tap-danced his way through a typical confirmation “hearing”, in which he was alternately wink-winked and buddy-buddied by malignant Republican cohorts (Hatch, Sessions, et al), or tossed softballs by the weak-kneed Democrats inclined to confirm anyway. The arrogant Gonzales, whose own career has earned him maximum-security prison time (perhaps surrounded by “quaint and antiquated” concertina wire), is about to become America’s “highest law enforcement official”.

Rest assured that a police state under the vicious Gonzales will make Ashcroft seem pleasant (or to again use Gonzales’ word, “quaint”) by comparison. Also rest assured that other incoming Bush cabinet nominees will be more dangerous than the monsters they are replacing.

Rest assured, nothing good will come of this Congress.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Bush administration disaster response: callous and calculating to the end 

During his January 2 visit to tsunami-devastated Southeast Asia, Secretary of State Colin Powell declared: "If nations are poor, if they don't see hope, if they're riddled by disease, if no one is helping them, then radicalism takes over. This is an investment not only in the welfare of these people, which in and of itself is a good thing to do; it's an investment in our own national security."

Is it is telling that, even now, in this dark hour of epic human suffering, the Bush administration continues to spin “national security”, and “war on terrorism” nonsense—and push more inflammatory racist distortions and justifications for more preemptive war operations against selectively chosen populations.

Hundreds of thousands of people are dead, sick and dying—most of whom are in no shape to even sit up or open their eyes, let alone plot and carry out massive terror operations, as Powell seems to insinuate.

The Powell statement, the early non-response on the part of the “vacationing” Bush, the shamelessly meager aid that has been belatedly offered, and serious questions about foreknowledge of the disaster, are symptomatic of a greater moral bankruptcy that continues to defy imagination.

This bunch of cold-blooded war criminals cannot even do a good job faking concern.

Perhaps it is fitting that the tag team of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton (and crime brother Jeb Bush) has been “hired” to oversee aid efforts. To a man, throughout their careers, not a person in this group has hestitated to plunder and corrupt other nations, and rain death on innocent people. This is humanitarianism, modern imperial style.

Then again, in light of four years of constant Bush administration destruction, it is necessary to view the tsunami disaster from the same twisted lens as the West’s geostrategic policy makers. Consider the fact that the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean are key shipping lanes for oil and other resources. Consider that elites such as Zbigniew Brzezinski (in his book The Grand Chessboard) view Asia as the “seat of the world’s greatest concentration of rising and recently awakened mass nationalisms,” and “unleashed political passions.” Consider the usefulness of large Islamic populations to politically manipulate (see Powell statement), and how an expanded and entrenched US military presence in Asia, under the cover of disaster relief and reconstruction, would benefit geostrategic control of the region. Consider the financial impact of the disaster, which, interestingly, follows a period of robust market returns. Consider any short and long term impact on China, the future “end game” for the West.

If it did not plan on a violent disaster in the region, the Bush administration isn’t shedding tears. It will certainly find a way to exploit the tragedy and mass disruption to enhance its Pacific theater agendas.

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