Referring to Hamas' unexpected victory in the elections, which caught both Israel and the U.S. by surprise, Rice admitted the U.S. has failed to comprehend the depth of Palestinian hostility toward their leadership.That's from Ynetnews, "Rice: We underestimated Hamas".OK, so hold on a minute, 'cuz there's this, too, from MRC News, "U.S. officials, Iraqi insurgents meeting":
"I've asked why nobody saw it coming," [US Secretary of State Condoleeza] Rice said, speaking of her own staff. "It does say something about us not having a good enough pulse," the New York Times quoted Rice as saying Sunday.
"I don't know anyone who wasn't caught off guard by Hamas' strong showing," Rice added. "Some say that Hamas itself was caught off guard by its strong showing."
BAGHDAD, Iraq (UPI) -- American officials in Iraq are engaging face-to-face talks with high-level Iraqi Sunni insurgents, Newsweek reported Sunday.Leaving aside the hilarity of Khalilzad's comment, doesn't all this sound a little strange? I thought The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang had identified these insurgents as "terrists" and, of course, we don't negotiate with "terrists". Wassup wi'dat?
Americans are meeting with 'senior members of the leadership' of the Iraqi insurgency, Americans and Iraqis with knowledge of the talks told the magazine. The talks are taking place at U.S. military bases in Anbar province, as well as in Jordan and Syria.
'Now we have won over the Sunni political leadership,' said U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. 'The next step is to win over the insurgents.'
The groups include Baathist cells and religious Islamic factions, as well as former Special Republican Guards and intelligence agents, said a U.S. official with knowledge of the talks.
So we're not gonna talk to Hamas, either, 'cuz they're "terrists", too. And now folks wanna bring back the PLO, 'cuz Fatah couldn't handle it. But how are we making all these decisions if the NSA, CIA, DIA, and the rest of those folks don't know what's happening in real life on the ground?? Maybe the folks at Fort Meade are so busy listening to domestic phone calls they just lost track of how fucking mad these middle eastern types are. Letterman and Leno must feel like these idiots live just to write their monologues for them.
You may have noticed that I've been on a specific crusade (I was gonna say jihad, but the Ft Meadies are already overwhelmed) of my own of late: trying to convince y'all that The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang is NOT incompetent - that they've done quite nicely, in fact, of furthering their goals of creating chaos, diabling and dismantling our government, destroying democracy, and getting rich.
That's not to say, however, that there aren't any idiots or incompetents around. The State Department seems to be full of them. Mike "Heckuva Job" Brown is certainly a poster child. Delay, Frist, and Santorum seem to have a collective IQ of 6. And anyone with at least one brain cell coulda seen the Abramoff thingy comin'. Oh, yeah . . . and I will concede that Doubleduh is one of the stupidest people to walk the pollution-ravaged face of the earth - that's why they hired him. But I'm convinced that these are a few exceptions that prove the rule. Absolute power may corrupt absolutely, but that's corruption, not incompetence.
Lemme tell you who's really incompetent: we are. We are the Idiocracy. If we weren't, The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang woulda been on their way outta town a week after Enron broke, or at least on September 12, 2001. But they're still there, supported by hundreds of politicians that we elected to represent us. We are the Idiocracy because we haven't convinced but a few of the brighter dimwits in congress to impeach The Gang's sorry asses.
We are the Idiocracy because we don't wanna take responsibility for the fact that we not only let it all happen, but made it happen. Seen the commercial with the CEO type saying his cell phone plan was "his way of sticking it to 'the man' "? "But you're the man - so you're sticking it to yourself." "Maybe". NO NOT MAYBE. You can blame The D-C Gang all you want, but we did them to ourselves. At its heart, western democracy was supposed to be participatory self-government. That takes personal responsibility and a whole lot of work. Those two things don't resonate in the 21st century marketplace. Why are we so angry and surprised that we left democracy like a set of keys on the bar, and a bunch of smart thieves drove off with goods. Same old story - we have come to value all the wrong things, and we can't work for nor do we want to pay for the right things. The old Joanie Mitchell riff - "Don't know what you got 'til it's gone". Losers.
We are the Idiocracy because in the last month a whole bunch of scientists have raised the cry that we've reached an environmental point of no return, environmental calamity will happen in the next 20-30 years, not in a few hundred or thousand, and nobody's panicking!!! Because Al Gore finally grew a set of cojones last week, everything's gonna be OK?? That pig won't flah, son! Kee-rist you are slow! Panic awreddy!
A slightly different direction here, but still on the same theme . . .
Today I came across "Bush is at war with Americanism" by David Green at the Albany Times Union. It's a good piece if you accept his premises . . . but I don't. David and I see "americanism" in totally opposite ways. Let me deconstruct - the italics are mine (of course):
Once, America stood as a proud beacon for human rights. Now we are known for the horrors of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition and torture.I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point. Mr Green's concept of "americanism" seems indelibly rooted in "The Andy Griffith Show" and Disneyland. Either he has never read a history book or he is amnesiac about everything that went down before Doubleduh woke up in the White House.
I'm afraid we've stood as a proud beacon for human resources, not rights. We genocided the folks who lived here when we got here; we've poured billions into brutal dictatorships and oligarchies; we accepted new waves of immigrants only to keep cheap labor coming in as fuel for the machine. We've suppressed the rights of African-Americans, women, and poor folks. Imprisoning Japanese-American citizens in concentration camps in WWII? Doesn't that count?
Once, we stood foursquare for the rule of law. Now we demolish inconvenient agreements we once promoted - the Geneva, nuclear nonproliferation and ABM treaties, the International Criminal Court - and thereby encourage others to follow suit.
We have stood foursquare for the rule of law when it has benefitted our rulers. We have said, "we are the law" ever since we created The Monroe Doctrine.
Once, America's word was good. Today - after deceits ranging from WMD, to promised but withdrawn U.N. votes, to shameful lies about former football star Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan - we are distrusted.
Short memory here. In the not so distant past, we abdicated the Versailles Treaty, were victimized by FDR's deceit at Pearl Harbor, and watched South Americans pelt Nixon. Remember Iran-Contra? Of course, long before that, we were breaking every promise we made as we crushed and slaughtered the indigenous peoples here.
Once, America stood tall against colonialism. Today, with invasion excuses falling like dominoes, most of the world sees us as just another old-fashioned imperialist predator.
Well, pardon me . . . but what about The Philipines, Cuba, the Pacific Islands, Puerto Rico, and military bases in every corner of the world? Of course, right at the get-go, as soon as we were no longer someone else's colonies, we in turn looked west and colonized every inch of what is now the US.
Once, we stood for due process of law. Now our President creates his own prisons and courts and denies the accused long sacred rights - to habeas corpus, an attorney, a speedy trial judged by peers, knowledge of the crime charged, and more.
Abraham Lincoln and FDR, both highly esteemed, suspended all this stuff in the name of "national security."
Once, we were a model for civil liberties. Now, Mr. Bush authorizes himself to conduct illegal wiretaps on Americans while his government monitors everyone from vegans to Quakers, then snoops in libraries to see what we're reading.
Our government and organizations at least tacitly condoned by our government (ever hear of the Pinkertons, for example?) have been screwing with the rights and liberties of subsets of the citizenry for hundreds of years: strikes crushed; peoples' movements infiltrated and manipulated; our water, air, and land poisoned; African-Americans, indigenous peoples, people of diverse sexuality, the mentally ill, and women all enslaved and/or imprisoned and/or executed. Some model, David.
I see "americanism" very clearly as a an illness born in a dream of "manifest destiny" and seemingly endless resources. The cataracts of greed, racism, narcissism, and ignorance have morphed into a national glaucoma. Those of us who still have the eyes to see are marginalized, even vilified, when we shout to the blind the reality they can no longer see.
But maybe it doesn't matter, this terrible blindness . . . I wouldn't even bother with making braille ballots for the '08 elections. There'll only be one candidate and its name will be something like JohnHillaryAlRussHowardMcCainRodhamGore-Kerry.
George Bush is not at war with americanism. He's just the latest general in the war americanism has waged against the rest of the world for many, many years. In their disingenuity, The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang knows well the answer to their question, "Why do they hate us so much?" It's time dreamers like Mr Green figure out that The Idiocracy is old and has been creating the conditions under which we suffer for a long, long time.
Try this (but maybe not at home): Google "americanism".
UPDATE: Sometimes I wonder if Manuel Valezuela and I are the same person. He published "The Pestilent Presidency" at Valenzuela's Veritas yesterday. Excerpts:
The continued dismantling of America’s very essence, the decimation of its founding core and its evolving surface, has been a product of both purposeful malevolence as well as incompetent ignorance. While the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans continue to deteriorate, each day losing more knowledge, freedom, democracy and economic survivability – though with many remaining ignorant or blinded to their actual plight – the other America, that of the elite and the corporate world, has risen in exponential fashion to take the complete reigns of power away from the rest of us. As a result, the America of times past, where the People still ruled, has given way to the America of tomorrow, a corporatist ruled land where citizens are pawns and corporations kings . . .Other than the fact that Valenzuela targets Bush as the problem more than he blames us as the source of The Idiocracy, this is a must read. I love this cat's passion.
Millions upon millions of citizens never stood a chance as the decrepit state of American education gutted all semblance of knowledge, our innate ability to learn manipulated instead to follow, obey and never question, with schools slowly but surely creating a nation of soldier ants and worker bees, teaching us historical propaganda and patriotic drivel, programming us to place unyielding devotion to flag and country, instructing us about the vast consortium of lies and fictions that comprise American history. We were brainwashed into always placing blind faith and trust in government and leaders, told to never question or dissent or protest the actions rising out of Washington.
Over years of anemic education, lacking the tools that makes the human mind free, devoid of reason, logic and analytical thought, with parental roles having become extinct, indoctrinated, taught and reared by the warm glow of television and the corporate world that controls it, our brain waves reprogrammed to the fictions and fantasy radiating from our monitors, with the brainwashing and controlling manipulations of our church, and with our minds becoming the receptive antennas to the voices and opinion of paid talking heads and media hacks tens of millions of us became, naturally, the very essence of the automatons our upbringing had systemically sculpted . . .
Nothing has gone right since the curse called Bush entered office. His is a Pestilent Presidency, a rotting manifestation of corruption and immorality, a fraud and conniver, a most unethical human being incapable of honor or integrity. When we should be running away from scum such as this we instead allow him to steal two elections and remain the pestilence that he is, creating a diseased society devoid of the freedom it once possessed and the civil rights it fought so hard to attain.
George W. Bush is a corporatist without intelligence, an unknowing, incurious, detached and ignorant human being, a puppet to much brighter individuals, a tool for the corporate world. He does not care for the unenlightened souls that see him as Dear Leader, nor the soldiers he sends to either die or sacrifice mental health. In reality, he does not care about America, at least the America of you, me and everyone else. He is changing our lands, our society, giving our government to corporations and the corporatists that run them. In time, and with reflection, after the hypnosis of this most devastating of Presidents has passed, he will be seen for what he presently is, namely, the worst person to ever occupy the White House, becoming, through infamy, the mistake that was and the lesson learned . . .
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