Saturday, July 02, 2005

4th OF JULY FOR DUMMIES

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As we zero in on our national celebration of our greatness it is time to reflect on what we have become. To see us for what we are, we go to our allies and former rulers, the British, and view their take on our news.

Open up the BBC front page and it has several important headlines: Live 8 Global Concert to raise awareness of Africa/US planes bomb Taleban stronghold/Iraq envoy accuses US of killing are the three top headlines. Go to any American paper and seek these headlines out! The only war ones are about the "missing troops". No mention of Africa in any shape or form. Seems playing concerts isn't breeching our media barriers, is it? The NYT just put up a picture with a caption, at least. CNN has the concerts on its front page but says they are for "global poverty", not Africa. The logo for the concerts shows an 8 shaped as a guitar resting on top of Africa! At least CNN mentions the demonstrations at the G8 meeting.

The NYT hands over vast tracts of print real estate to some of the shallowest, stupidest writers on earth. From the NYT:
The critics have not been kind to the prose and the plot, but they miss Saddam's strength. He's a marketer. He is said to have finished the novel just as the war was beginning, when American leaders were fantasizing about their troops' being welcomed as liberators. But Saddam knew enough to give his novel a surefire title for the post-invasion era: "Get Out, You Damned One."

It's a naked appeal to xenophobia, an impulse that's far more ancient and widespread than the yearning for democracy that President Bush talked about this week. Yet it's been curiously underestimated by conservatives who used to pay close attention to just this sort of instinct.
The reason why we are so hated by so many is because we are the world's most powerful zenophobes. We think we are number one and our way or the highway and we poke everyone in the eye and tell everyone how to live and then scream in rage when anyone dares to suggest we change things at home. The ultimate zenophobe is an invader who takes this to other lands and then murders lots of people. We are on a killing rage today in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are killing and we are killing. The more we kill them the more they resist us and kill us. Being rank zenophobes, we can't understand why they are killing us.

We invaded their countries.

Getting this fact through dense right wing heads is nearly impossible. If you tell them, "This is what a patriot does to invaders, look, the 4th of July celebrates the day we declared war on our own governors and started fighting them!" falls on deaf ears.

"You support terrorism," is the stock reply.
In those early days, when the memory of Saddam was still fresh, you could walk down a street in Baghdad and be greeted by an Iraqi stranger thanking you for bringing freedom. But even back then there were plenty of Iraqis like Saleh Youssef Sayel, who proudly told me of the reaction of his 5-year-old son, Mustafa, to an American soldier.

"The soldier tried to shake his hand, but my son refused," he said. "He knew enough English to say, 'No. You go.' Later he told me he wanted a gun to kill Americans. This is a natural feeling. Nobody wants a stranger in your house or your country."

The natural impulse to dislike outsiders is so strong that it barely matters who the outsiders are.
Even little children understand invaders are not friends and should be shunned until they leave. The minute we invaded Iraq we became invaders. Duh. And trying to keep a grip on that country has driven us into acting like Nazis. This is part of being a nasty invader.

From the BBC News:
Iraq's ambassador to the UN has demanded an inquiry into what he said was the "cold-blooded murder" of his young unarmed relative by US marines.
Samir Sumaidaie said his 21-year-old cousin was shot as he helped marines who were carrying out searches at his village in the restive Anbar province.
Seems his cousin was happy to see Americans, showed them the rifle, all Iraqis are armed, note how Americans are very proud of being armed at home, ask the NRA! Our redcoats invaded his home, took the gun, took the cousin and shot the other one in the neck and then stomped off. You can bet, a swarm of relatives are now hunting Americans! And they will bag some before long. Nearly all of Iraq's Sunni are now on a crusade to kill as many Americans as possible.

From the Albany Times Union:
A fire broke out Friday at a power station that supplies a Baghdad waterworks, shutting it down and leaving millions of residents without drinking water, officials said.

The blaze came a day after Baghdad's mayor decried the capital's crumbling infrastructure and the lack of clean water and threatened to resign if the Iraqi government won't provide more money.
$300 billion is being spent in Iraq by our mad money grubbing military and they can't run the water or electricty. Our failure to run things is now total. We have nothing to show for our invasion. So why on earth do we stay?

Back to the NYT village idiot:
Because marriage between cousins is so common in the Middle East - half of Iraqis are married to their first or second cousins - Arabs live in tightly knit clans long resistant to outsiders, including would-be liberators. T. E. Lawrence learned that lesson when trying to unify Arabs early in the last century.

"The Semites' idea of nationality," he wrote, "was the independence of clans and villages, and their ideal of national union was episodic combined resistance to an intruder. Constructive policies, an organized state, an extended empire, were not so much beyond their sight as hateful in it. They were fighting to get rid of Empire, not to win it."
My family has been here since the Glorious Revolution failed in England in the 1600's. We have many first cousins marrying each other. This is why many of my relations look so much like my family. I met several Steeles still living in the Hudson Valley and we look the same, we joke about this. We also fought in the Revolution. And we bristle if people tell us how to live and you can bet, anyone invading our lands will be summarily dealt with.

I happen to have read more than once, "The Seven Pillars of WISDOM". It is a powerful book. In it, Lawrence laments his duties that force him to betray those tribal people who trusted him. He is tormented by this knowledge that he is faking their heartfelt revolution. He knows Britain and France have drawn up secret protocols to divide up the lands of the Ottoman Empire without consultation with the people living there and thus the modern map of the Middle East, fractured and unstable, were created.

This is why there is always wars there! And revolutions. Anyone wanting to control any of these false colonial entities must be ruthless.

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. We broke away from an empire. We are now an empire. We are the red coats. We are the bad guys. The Iraqis are the Minute Men fighting a well armed empire.

Back to Tierney's wierd analysis:
Today's liberators in Iraq like to attribute the resistance to Islamic fascists' fear of democracy and hatred of the West. But those fascists know that an abstract critique of Western ideology isn't enough to attract followers. In their appeals they constantly invoke the need to expel foreigners from their soil, a battle cry that is the great common denominator of suicide bombers around the world.

Maybe, as President Bush hopes, Americans can stay long enough in the Middle East to jump-start democracy and reduce the long-term risk of terrorism. But in the meantime, they're bound to face resistance, no matter how noble their intentions.

During the Civil War, Union soldiers were amazed to see poor Southerners without any stake in the slavery system defending it in suicidal charges. But there was a simple explanation, as a barefoot, emaciated Confederate captive famously put it when a Union soldier asked him why he kept fighting: "Because you're here."
Well, America is splitting up again thanks to right wingers particularily in the south. They hate what America is: liberal. And they hate the American flag so much they have to pass laws protecting it. Seriously, they hate the Founding Fathers and the Constitution. The Civil War was over the Constitution which is why the southern states got rid of it and replaced it with the confederate statutes. Our intentions towards Iraq were never noble. They were craven from the first day. We claimed Saddam was attacking us when he wasn't and we claimed he had weapons which he didn't.

Our pretense that we are now bringing democracy is ridiculous. Democracy is not done at the point of a gun.

The sickness of the soul of right wing America is right here in Mr. Tierney's column. He calls patriots in Iraq "fascists" because they want to unite their people against foreign imperial invaders! How dare they! Obviously, this demented writer for the NYT knows no American history.

Let's review the 4th of July: we declared war on the British empire. We then ambushed marching troops in Concord and the war raged. People had to choose sides or move or die. If one supported the empire, one could be tarred and feathered and driven out of town or one's barns were burned. This was neighbor against neighbor as well as army against army. Many pro imperialists fled to Canada and Britain.

This is what we are celebrating this month.

From the BBC:
American fighter planes have bombed a suspected Taleban hideout in the same area of eastern Afghanistan where US servicemen are missing, officials say. A senior Afghan official told the BBC 25 people had been killed in two air raids on a house in Chechal village.

US military spokesman Lt Col Jerry O'Hara told the AP news agency: "We conducted an air strike on a target we deemed we had to hit immediately."

He said the target was an "enemy compound" in Kunar province. Lt Col O'Hara said the attack was carried out with precision-guided weapons on a target that was "intelligence driven".
Basically, we bombed a village and killed people and you can bet, this war is just beginning, not ending. Being an empire, we are basically cowardly and use aerial bombs as much as possible against people who have no airforce, no antiaircraft guns, nothing. They are naked to our superior imperial violence.

Yet they fight on. They want us out. They will kill any neighbors who dare to betray their countries and cooperate with foreign invaders. They are Minute Men. They are Patriots.

We are the Red Coats.
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