Here's the first part of an article I've posted to [a href="http://abehm.blogspot.com"]my new poli blog[/a] this morning. Thought it might be of interest over here:
[a href="http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/010703.php"]Josh Marshall[/a]:
[i]IT'S TIME FOR the closing argument. The issue of the day may be Iraq... Beyond the incompetence, the bungled policies and the lies (which are plenty bad enough), where the country finds itself is a situation in which the leadership of the country either can't see, or won't see, or most likely wants to pretend not to see what a growing majority of the country clearly can see... there's an overwhelming consensus among Americans today that Iraq has become a disaster for the United States and that it's not going to get better on the course we're now on.
But the president just says, No. Sure, there are a few bumps along the way. But fundamentally it was a good idea, we're doing the right thing and we're on the right track. No matter what however many people tell him, that's what his gut tells him so it's full speed ahead. He's going to stay the course right over the cliff.[/i]
[a href="http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/11/abandoning_an_a.html"]Andrew Sullivan:[/a]
[i]The U.S. military does not have a tradition of abandoning its own soldiers to foreign militias, or of taking orders from foreign governments. No commander-in-chief who actually walks the walk, rather than swaggering the swagger, would acquiesce to such a thing. The soldier appears to be of Iraqi descent who is married to an Iraqi woman. Who authorized abandoning him to the enemy? Who is really giving the orders to the U.S. military in Iraq? These are real questions about honor and sacrifice and a war that is now careening out of any control. They are not phony questions drummed up by a partisan media machine to appeal to emotions to maintain power. [/i]
Josh Marshall may be the leading liberal pundit in the blogosphere. He speaks for many millions of folks whose political beliefs are somewhat left of center... and he still doesn't understand how Bush can be so blind, so stubborn, so foolish, so near sociopathically self-centered as to insist on staying a course that is costing him and his political party so much, because it's become so massively unpopular.
It never occurs to him that Bush has his marching orders too -- that the decisions Dubya makes aren't actually his decisions [i]to[/i] make.
Andrew Sullivan asks the key question -- [i]who is really giving our troops their orders? [/i] But he doesn't realize the importance; he thinks it's just rhetoric. It's not; if we could just find out who really [i]is[/i] giving our troops -- including their Commander in Chief -- the orders, we'd be a long way towards figuring a way out of this shit storm we've somehow allowed ourselves to be led into.
I read stuff like this, and I realize my own personal belief system is badly non-integrated. Which is to say, I've come to deeply believe that our government is inimical and predatory, hopelessly corrupted and near-entirely controlled by powerrul cabals we never see and don't know and whose agendas would terrify and horrify and sicken and disgust us if we were presented with actual irrefutable evidence of same.
And yet, at the same time, I find myself believing that, if only Al Gore had put up more of a fight for the Presidency back in 2000, the world would be a better place today, because a Gore Administration would never have invaded Iraq, or waged such a comprehensive war on our own civil liberties, or loaded the Supreme Court with crazy ass corporate controlled conservative judges.
There's something incoherent about that picture. If our government is as thoroughly corrupted as it seems inarguable to me that it must be, given what I see all around me every day, then the figurehead we put 'in charge' every four or eight years is going to make very little difference to what actually happensto all of us out here in what we perhaps foolishly believe is the real world.
If, on the other hand, there really is a substantive difference between the two different parties and their candidates, then you'd expect that I wouldn't keep reading about currently active covert U.S. government programs like [a href="http://www.emagazine.com/view/?8"]HAARP[/a], [a href="http://www.ra-info.org/library/programming/mkultra.shtml"]MK ULTRA[/a], [a href="http://buergerwelle.ch/body_chemtrails_of_the_world.html"]chem-trail spraying[/a], and, for the love of everything worth loving in the universe, [a href="http://www.infowars.com/articles/sept11/binladen_bros_tip_off_nasa_sept_11,htm.htm"]Global Cleanse 2000[/a].
(Follow any of those links to have the living shit scared out of you. I'm not playin'.)
So I've been thinking about it. And here's what I've come up with:
(cont'd [a href="http://abehm.blogspot.com/2006/11/closing-time.html"]here [/a])