Poll: The Worst Responses To The Killing Of Suleimani

 

Nobody seriously disputes the fact that Iran has been waging an undeclared war against the U.S. for many years, depending on American aversion to the short and long term results of a military response, particularly among the Left’s permanent anti-military lobby in the U.S. The apotheosis of this strategy was Obama’s virtual capitulation in 2015, in which Iran received seized assets  and secret “pallets full of cash,” while the U.S. received hostages illegally held by Iran and a dubious promise not to prepare to nuke Israel for a while.  Iran has been playing the role of a small child abusing a larger, stronger rival, confident that any retaliation would be seen as bullying.

The United States and the world is always safest when the man in the White House is deemed capable of using the arsenal within his command as the deterrent it was built to be. This is one reason why Ronald Reagan was able to win the Cold War. For all the Left’s criticism of the war in Afghanistan, the alternative to forcefully retaliating for the attacks of 2001 would have been confirmation that the United States was a “toothless tiger,” weak, and cowardly, unwilling to defend itself and its citizens. Such a perception would have been dangerous, encouraging more terrorism, and more attacks.

As General Petraeus explained,

“Suleimani was …responsible for providing explosives, projectiles, and arms and other munitions that killed well over 600 American soldiers and many more of our coalition and Iraqi partners just in Iraq, as well as in many other countries such as Syria…. [Trump’s] reasoning seems to be to show in the most significant way possible that the U.S. is just not going to allow the continued violence—the rocketing of our bases, the killing of an American contractor, the attacks on shipping, on unarmed drones—without a very significant response.”

Why yes, I’d say that’s a reasonable interpretation of what happened, and hallelulia for that! Iran has responded in a manner that reveals its essential madness and barbarism, putting a bounty on President Trump’s head, and doing its familiar “American Satan” routine that we have been treated to since President Jimmy Carter cowered inertly in the White House after Iran kidnapped 52 of our diplomats and embassy personnel more than 40 years ago.

Iranians have good reasons to hate the U.S., beginning with its amoral, “ends justify the means” support of the brutal Shah for his value in the Cold War against the Soviet Union. Those good reasons are unfortunately bolstered by the lethal ideology of Islam. Whatever the provocation, the endless prosecution of a hit-and-run war on America and Americans was not tolerable response, and it should have been stopped by diplomacy or force long ago. President Trump took decisive action, using a target that not only deserved his fate but one who was gaining power and making it clear that he intended more carnage. He also openly mocked the U.S., which was the equivilent of those scenes in movies where a character faces a  foe pointing a loaded gun at him, and chides, “You’ll never pull the trigger! That’s not who you are! You don’t have the guts!” As watching just a few of those films teaches,  one better know the gun-wielding adversary really, really well before taking that tact. Suleimani  was literally asking for it, and got it.

Defending him, as an astounding number of Democrats and “resistance” members, is both irresponsible and nuts. As with much of what we have seen from that side of the ideological spectrum for a decade or more, such a response absurdly misreads our culture and character. Americans don’t like being pushed around, insulted and degraded, especially by those of poor character, bad motives and rotten values. They also don’t like individuals who provide aid and comfort to our enemies, and Iran is an enemy, make no mistake about that. It certainly seems to me that Democrats and their coup partners are doing everything they can think of to drive anti-Trump citizens with even a shred of rationality left over to the President’s side. This seems really crazy to me.  We shall see.

With this lengthy introduction, I’m curious as to what Ethics Alarms readers think is the most indefensible, most unhinged, most despicable of these three reactions to Suleimani’s death. Two of them have been noted on Ethics Alarms already.

Here are the candidates…

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)

“We are outraged the President would assassinate a foreign official, possibly setting off another war without Congressional authorization and has zero plan to deal with the consequences.”

Though not as hysterical as another candidate, Omar take is arguably more offensive, because it is so calculatedly dishonest. The General wasn’t killed because he was ‘ a foreign official,” but because he was an active and infamous terrorist and an enemy combatant. As Aaln Dershowitz explained,  “there’s no doubt” that Soleimani “fit the description of ‘combatant.’ He [was] a uniformed member of an enemy military who was actively planning to kill Americans; American soldiers and probably, as well, American civilians.” The attack was consequently “legally justified.” Saying the U.S. assassinated a “foreign official”—and killing a combatant in self-defense isn’t an “assassination”—in Soleimani’s case is like saying that when Ted Bundy was executed capital punishment was inflicted on a law student. It’s deceit.

Combine this statement with Omar’s earlier description of the tragedy of 9-11 as “somebody did something,” and we get a very ugly picture.

More dishonesty: the President did not require Congressional authorization to drone the terrorist, and Omar has no possible way of knowing what plans the President and his military advisors have regarding the contingencies.

Colin Kaepernick

Discussed in detail here, the Nike spokesman/serial kneeler tweeted,

Rose Mcgowan

The former actress and current #MeToo fury tweeted,

More about Rose here.

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Here’s the twitter link in case you want to share this with Facebook friends, since FB has banned Ethics Alarms for unexplained reasons: https://twitter.com/CaptCompliance/status/1214008761230282755

56 thoughts on “Poll: The Worst Responses To The Killing Of Suleimani

  1. Every criticism levied against Trump for his prosecution of the war on terror, specific to the Suellimani killing, by members of Congress should be considered giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and emboldening our enemies to take greater acts of violence as such acts will be blamed on Trump. I personally will hold all my Maryland representatives responsible for comments they are making to condemn Trump for taking this decisive action as I believe such criticism makes the US vulnerable to further attacks.

  2. They’re all rotten to the core but Representative Omar is the most detestable with her “foreign leader” bullshit. What were the good people of Minnesota thinking when they elected her! She should be censured by the House but with Pelosi in charge that won’t happen.

  3. McGowan is easily dismissed as a Hollywood airhead. I went with Kaepernick. Yes, Omar is an elected member of the government, but other than winning an election in a very liberal state with the votes of roughly one-third of the population of a Congressional district, she really doesn’t have much of a constituency. She’s appalling, to be sure, but realistically, how much of the nation takes her seriously?

    Kaepernick, at present, has some legs. One supposes that within a year or two his star will fade to dust (hard to believe it goes supernova). But right now, he’s got enough juice that one of the world’s largest leisure brands keeps him on the payroll.

    Not bad for a shoe salesman.

    • I thought the same but went with Omar. Kapernick has a large following but it is less clear if he commands the attention of our foreign adversaries. For them, he might simply be a useful PR shill. For Democratic leaders, they represent allies or people they can get to submit to them in Congress . In that neck of the woods the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Right now, Iran has the ability to influence policy against America from within the halls of Congress.

    • I dismissed Kaepernick for the same reason (airhead) but voted for Rose on the grounds that she’s claiming to speak for 52% of Americans.

      The others are known idiots making idiotic statements for themselves, but claiming that a majority of the population is as idiotic as yourself is a whole different level.

    • McGowan’s contribution was textually the worst; sniveling, pandering, godawful virtue signalling from the woman most of us only know as the really militant #metoo participant. The only reason I didn’t vote for her was because she has no reach.

      Next worst, textually was Kaepernick. For most of the reasons above, except a little less shrill and desperate.

      But Omar got the vote, because even though her take was the least bad, she’s (for the moment) an elected member of congress.

  4. They are all some maximum of unhinged, indefensible, despicable. Omar is dispicable as so much of what she does is part of a larger game of politics. If this was done without the President’s approval, she would be rounding up petitions to yell at him for risking civilians. She got my choice, not because she was much worse than one thought Kaepernick or Mcgowan’s childish whimpering. But because she can use that little bit of authority from being elected to bootstrap extra influence. The other two are only blowhards who refuse to accept that the world is more complex than they can handle.

    But really. all three are ‘fellow travelers,’ in the mid-century sense. This covers more forms of disloyalty than communism. (they seem to be making new examples of working against American culture/safety/Constitution as if for a game show)

  5. From Prof. Jacobson:

    What strikes me is how Trump Derangement Syndrome has overwhelmed the Democrat and media responses. This cannot be lost on the Iranians.

    While the pleas for Mullah mercy from the likes of Rose McGowan and Michael Moore, and the woke rants of Colin Kapernick, may be laughed off by the Mullahs as typical western weakness, the reaction of Democrat politicians is more serious and may lead to Iranian miscalculation that Americans will turn on Trump before they turn on the Mullahs.

    It’s clear that Democrats are doing to the killing of Soleimani, who has the blood of thousands of Americans on his hands, what they did to Russia Collusion and every other anti-Trumpism that motivates their throbbing Trump-hating base.

    If Iran is successful in attacking a U.S. target or targets, Democrats and the media will blame Trump, not the regime that has been chanting for our death since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. It’s not unreasonable to believe based on their behavior that Democrats and the media are hoping Iran gives us a bloody nose or worse so that it can be used against Trump in the 2020 election.

    As with the attempt to remove Trump from office even before he was in office, this goes beyond mere disagreement with Trump’s policies. There is and will be an active attempt to freeze and disrupt the administration in a confrontation with Iran. It won’t work in the short run, but it will be something Trump will have to deal with as some congressional Republicans succumb to the pressure and the media goes all in.

    American Trump Derangement Syndrome is an Iranian strategic asset, and one which may cause the Iranians to misjudge American resolve.

    • My thoughts exactly. The mullahs are not crazy – they have been playing this game for many, many years and they are adept at manipulating public opinion. While McGowan is cowering under her blanket and Kaepernick is managing his Nike Millions those two idiots have no impact on national and foreign power. Omar, though, does have an impact because she is Member of the House. Iran will use any show or form of discontent with Trump to sow further anti-Trump sentiment. In this respect, Omar may be stark raving mad, an ineffectual member of Congress, and likely to lose in the next go-round but her comments, and those of the idiots running for President on the Democrat side) signal a significant opposition statement/position Iran absolutely will use to its advantage.

      jvb

  6. Omar. Who’d have thought approximately eighteen years after September 11, there would be a virulent, anti-American, radical Islamist serving in CONGRESS? Wait, make that two, counting the woman from Detroit. This is why diversity is good? At least Jane Fonda wasn’t in Congress during the Vietnam War. Can you imagine Bernie Sanders in the Senate during the height of the Cold War? Incomprehensible. Let’s hear it for our refugee program. Brilliant. A travel ban for people from Muslim majority countries? Hell, how about a Congressional membership ban for people from Muslim majority countries while hostilities continue?

  7. Confession: I voted for Rose. “Please don’t kill us ” is so redolent of the “better Red than dead’ crowd of the Sixties, and is as un-American and alien to our history, character and culture that it indicts everyone connected to Rose—the schools, her peers, he generation, her Hollywood cohorts. It’s also so mind-numbingly ignorant—I’m disgusted that a single citizen could say or THINK such garbage.

    No wonder she let Harvey Weinstein get away with raping her.

  8. Good to see you acknowledging that “Iranians have good reasons to hate the U.S., beginning with its amoral, “ends justify the means” support of the brutal Shah for his value in the Cold War against the Soviet Union”. It follows that at least in its early stages, the American public had good reason to have some sympathy for the Iranian revolution. This was a serious rising of ‘the People’ to overthrow a corrupt tyrant. Even on my weak reading of US history I assume there is no doubt where Thomas Jefferson’s sympathies would have fallen (?)

    However you lose me completely when you go on : “Those good reasons are unfortunately bolstered by the lethal ideology of Islam.” What do you mean? And please let’s not get into a silly game quoting the nasty bits from the Koran against the equally nasty bits from the Old Testament.

    I continue to be perplexed as to why the US so often seems to end up backing the wrong side : the Shah rather than the People’s choice (Mossadegh or Khomeini); Saddam Hussein’s Iraq rather than Iran; Fatah El- Sisi rather than democratically elected Morsi; murdering Mohammed bin Salman’s Saudi clique rather than the People’s preferred (but disorganised) Muslim Brotherhood; so often the ‘dictator’ against the ‘People’.

    And in the long run (as I think Jefferson pointed out) the People win and the tyrants fall. Didn’t he (naively maybe) call for the US to support the ‘People’ everywhere?

    It should surely be no surprise that the ‘People’ remember who supported their tyrants and who helped with their overthrow.

    As you say : “We will see”.

    • So the Mullahs, who by most if not all accounts, have changed election outcomes to suit themselves and widely and vigorously repressed their society back toward the 10th Century are not tyrants?

      In the process described above the Mullahs have made among their chief goals the spread of their 10th Century society over an area with about a billion people as well as the annihilation of Israel and the US. When their military commander in chief is out planning more death to achieve his country’s dubious objectives and get’s offed, that’s a problem? Wow.

    • So which side is the correct side Sunni or Shia. The Shia (Iranian) sect have no problem killing Sunni Muslims, Kurds and others.

      In Iraq we chose the secular Bath party that kept the 2 Muslim sects in check. The Shah kept the 2 factions, whose feud dates back a thousand years, allowing Iran to evolve into a modern economy. Without the Shah or the Bath party Iran and Iraq would resemble Afghanistan.

    • Noam Chomsky called. He wants his rhetoric back.

      All snarkiness aside, you haven’t read much history or politics if you don’t grasp why the US often supports the side it does. First of all, the question of right and wrong sides is almost always morally ambiguous, and even if it were not, people have morals, nations have interests. Secondly, the so-called “people’s choice” isn’t always or even necessarily the right choice. Chavez was the people’s choice, and he made Venezuela fall from one of the wealthiest states in South America to a near-failed state. Castro was the people’s choice, and he turned Cuba into a tyrannical proxy for the Soviets. Allende was the people’s choice (sort of), and he almost turned Chile into another Cuba (stealing private property and bankrupting the place was SUCH a great idea).

      Iran was envisioned as a key ally after WW2 to keep the aggressive and predatory Soviets out of a key region, similar to Japan and South Korea. Mossadegh expropriated Western private property without compensation and wouldn’t even try to compromise with the west. He was trying to become a dictator in his own right who could cut off the flow of oil to the West. At the height of the Cold War that would have been a very big problem. Khomeini isn’t even worth discussing at length, he was a tyrannical theocrat. Morsi? Who gave himself pretty much unlimited powers and tried to press down a de facto Islamist constitution on a secular nation? Oppose the (authoritarian by probably unremovable) House of Saud in favor of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood who hide behind a façade of legitimacy? I think you need to rethink who you hold up as a legitimate representative of “the people.”

      Jefferson envisioned a populace who were informed and at least reasonably independent. He did not envision a people de facto brainwashed into a 7th century theocratic mentality nor a people so oppressed and badly off that they would think anything was better than where they were and listen to a demagogue. He also didn’t envision enemies totally dedicated to this nation’s destruction. It was Jefferson who wrote that militia defending their homes would always defeat the hirelings of a tyrant. History shows pretty clearly that militia, even when defending their homes, don’t do too well against professional soldiers, whoever is paying them. The destruction of Bladensburg and the burning of Bangor and Bucksport testify to that. Jefferson DID come against Islamic enemies in the form of the Barbary Pirates, but not fanatics. I don’t believe it could have ever entered his head that the US could be facing an enemy who were not clashing with the US over money, or land, or policy, but who wanted the US gone.

      The early Bolsheviks wanted the capitalist West totally gone But for the fact that the Poles had an able commander while they had destroyed their officer corps, they might well have been in Berlin and Prague by 1922, with Vienna and Venice to follow, and then…on to Paris and Rome? A southern front into the shattered Ottoman Empire? Who knows? The initial revolutionary fervor of Islam carried them to Spain in the West and almost into China in the East, where they set themselves up as the absolute rulers, treating those who did not convert like slaves. There might still be a huge Islamic empire where a lot of the former Soviet -istans are, but for the fact that the Shah of Khwarezm underestimated the power of a man you might have heard of by the name of Genghis Khan. This isn’t the kind of ideology you can just shrug at and say “oh well, let them do their own thing,” because they aren’t interested in just doing their own thing in their own place. They want to make everyone else, as far as their reach goes, do their thing too. The now-slain general was the chief implementer of that policy. He had already killed 600 of our men pursuing it, and was going to try for more.

      • Thanks for continuing to pick up on the Chomsky line. She is so busy regurgitating what others think in her effete manner, she may have forgotten her soulmate.

      • All snarkiness aside, you haven’t read much history or politics if you don’t grasp why the US often supports the side it does.

        What I find interesting in this presentation — nicely done, certainly interestingly and thoughtfully done — is that it eventuates in a completely uncritical view of the present. It is a rhetorical fortress which is impregnable.

        These statements can be more closely examined:

        First of all, the question of right and wrong sides is almost always morally ambiguous, and even if it were not, people have morals, nations have interests.

        Well, in a sense, “there you have it”. Anyone who defends a right or the ‘right’ can be described as in a morally ambiguous zone. And therefore they are invalidated. This is a strategy of rhetoric though. But it is true that nations do not have morals they have interests that are imperatives. And that is what ‘power’ means basically. So, I suggest that Steve is largely honest when he makes it plain that the US should not be seen as ‘doing good’ or operating in accord with ‘morals’ (such an argument would be a fake argument) but strictly in accord with power-principles.

        Here is the reduced form (and it is no dissimilar to Walter Lippmann’s arguments). The ‘people’ do not know what is right and good. Therefore it is ‘responsible men’ who must make the important choices for them. They must, according to this logic, be kept out of the decision-making process. Or, tricked in a sense to believe that they have relevancy or decison-making power when they really don’t. This leads — if one reads Lippmann he states it, more or less, to the Industry of Persuasion.

        So here, Steve himself states and clarifies what Chomsky points out. But it is not Chomsky stating it, it is Steve!

        (Personally, I am not sure if I disagree with Lippmann. My issue has more to do with couching the advance of American interests in terms of ‘spreading liberty’. This is false! It is possible that some aspects of ‘liberty’ might arise under American aegis, but it occurs through a top-down and *imposed* structure.)

        Secondly, the so-called “people’s choice” isn’t always or even necessarily the right choice. Chavez was the people’s choice, and he made Venezuela fall from one of the wealthiest states in South America to a near-failed state.

        You fail to understand that Venezuela — and most of the polities of Latin America — began in profound corruption. That is, as ‘funnel-systems’ whereby resources were extracted for export on ships back to Europe. It’s ‘function’ was established in the early days. This is reflected structurally and jurisprudentially.

        You must contrast this with what occurred in America. A full break with the dependence-system.

        What you fail to understand — you have no interest to understand and now will to understand — is that in Venezuela there existed an extraordinarily corrupt elite that controlled the State and its enterprises (oil) and thoroughly mismanaged the wealth of the State (a sort of false oil wealth with no development of industry and infrastructure) while (quite literally) 80% of the population did not benefit from this wealth and lived in ‘ranchos’ and pretty miserable conditions.

        Chavez arose in those conditions and he won elections because he appealed to the needs, desires and dreams of people excluded from the corrupt system. Could ‘Chavez’ have been avoided? Well, yes, if the power-elites had not thoroughly mismanaged their social responsibility.

        What you fail to take into consideration as part of your highly structured and rhetorical historical analysis is 1) what happens in corrupt cultures generally, and 2) that the US, in defense of its own interests naturally, sides with the existent corrupt structures in order to secure the conditions which make safe its business enterprises. This is a fair way to put it, and it is accurate.

        Marxists take advantage of state corruption, obviously, and the sign a siren song of ‘liberation’ from oppressive structures. But they are allowed to do this because, internally, there really are corrupt factions and abusive interests.

        My argument is that it must be Conservatives, who ‘genuinely’ are concerned for Republican values — the essence of Americanism at least as it should be — who *see* what goes on in other parts of the world.

        Do you really see? Do you really care? I don’t think you do. And if you did your rhetoric would be different.

        Castro was the people’s choice, and he turned Cuba into a tyrannical proxy for the Soviets. Allende was the people’s choice (sort of), and he almost turned Chile into another Cuba (stealing private property and bankrupting the place was SUCH a great idea).

        This is not quite right. ‘Casto’ was in little sense a ‘people’s choice’ but a result of a revolution, fought in accord with Marxian principles, which took advantage of real and systemic corruption, and a ‘system’ aided and abetted by the US (through negligence and lack of concern from Republican values) in order to protect its ‘interests’ as you honestly stated.

        You function, Steve, as an apologist for American Power as it is. Because your historical view is so rigid and defined you cannot bend it, or modify it, to address what is happening in the social and political arena of your own country! Thus: you cannot *see*. You are strangely (and willfully) blind.

        This must change. Even if you refuse to do it, others are more concerned than you are, and they will — they are — undertaking the revision effort.

  9. Had the assassination happened on Iranian soil, I would have been against it, due to likely adverse consequences.

    On Iraqi soil – it’s a slap in the face of the Iraqi government, but if they have enemies on their soil, it’s only sensible to neutralise them, along with an apology that it was necessary.

    The target was an enemy. Worse, he was very competent, with his competence winning respect from opponents. We cared enough to make sure he was neutralised permanently, with minimal collateral damage.

    There are reasonable arguments for this being a bad move. For example, the deceased had been very effective in his campaigns against Al Qaeda. Each of these arguments though have equally or more valid evidence for rebuttal – the place of his demise, and the invasion of the embassy very very strongly suggests his targeting had switched to the US. He had to go.

    Bad Stuff will happen as the result. Most or all of which might well have happened anyway. Other Bad Stuff, even more likely, has been very conclusively prevented.

    Don’t be too hard on those who have a different appreciation from mine. Just don’t listen to them, this was necessary, measured, though against a Bush executive order. A matter of little consequebce.

    • I think we basically agree. Which is cool! High five!

      What I don’t like about the conversation is that in many corners, it’s devolving into semantics. There’s an awful lot of people overly concerned with whether labeling this killing as an “assassination” is appropriate.

      To be honest, I’d never considered calling it anything else. America assassinated Bin Laden, and I’m not exactly sure what happened with Hussein, but I doubt that anyone really considered dragging him out of a basement and hanging him a combat casualty or due process…. Is there a different word that describes these killings? Is the label really the most important things we have to look at?

      • The term is important because the US has an official policy that it will not assassinate foreign leaders. However, when a foreign leaders is also a military combatant in a battle zone, it’s not technically an assassination. It’s like the argument that Trump could legitimately ask the Ukraine to investigate Biden, if her weren’t running for President—that is to say, intellectually dishonest.

        • Thank you for saying that.

          This was an assassination, in the same way that Yamamoto was assassinated. In the same way that Skorzeny’s mob tried to assassinate Eisenhower. All ethically justified military operations.

  10. Definitely Omar, because she not only speaks for herself, but expresses the sentiment of at least 25% of the Democratic Congressional caucus.

    McGowan’s is the most disgusting, but only in a visceral way we should reserve for mock-worthy free speech.

    Kaepernick is a simple racist and race-baiter trading on the words of Ta-Nehesi Coates, attempting to look more intelligent than he is. He can say whatever he wants, and more power to him.

    Shame on anyone who listens to McGowan and Kaepernick without shaking their head in scorn. Shame on anyone who isn’t appalled by what Omar says.

  11. I’ve heard progressives and pundits when referring to what President Trump did to Suleimani start to utter the word “illegal”, wait till that starts getting drilled into the minds of the anti-Trumpers as another impeachable offense.

    I chose Rep. Ilhan Omar because she IS an elected political leader in our nation with all the clout that goes with the elected position and as such she should NOT be shooting off her mouth with such intentionally calculated deceit. She has globally relevant clout because she is an elected government official, the other two do not have such clout.

    As for Colin Kaepernick and Rose Mcgowan…
    Sure they may be well known in our society but their clout in the political arena about United States government issues is nothing but a false facade and has absolutely no meaningful input into the way we govern or the way we wield our military muscle around the globe; these two are loudmouthed nobodies in that regard. The only relevance they have in the political arena is what we as a society choose to give them.

  12. [I dedicate this post to Andrew Wakeling, dissident crypto-communist (or something) from Oz.]

    1) Nobody seriously disputes the fact that Iran has been waging an undeclared war against the U.S. for many years, 2) depending on American aversion to the short and long term results of a military response, particularly among the Left’s permanent anti-military lobby in the U.S. 3) The apotheosis of this strategy was Obama’s virtual capitulation in 2015, in which Iran received seized assets and secret “pallets full of cash,” while the U.S. received hostages illegally held by Iran and 4) a dubious promise not to prepare to nuke Israel for a while. 5) Iran has been playing the role of a small child abusing a larger, stronger rival, confident that any retaliation would be seen as bullying.

    6) The United States and the world is always safest when the man in the White House is deemed capable of using the arsenal within his command as the deterrent it was built to be. 7) This is one reason why Ronald Reagan was able to win the Cold War. 8) For all the Left’s criticism of the war in Afghanistan, the alternative to forcefully retaliating for the attacks of 2001 would have been 9) confirmation that the United States was a “toothless tiger,” weak, and cowardly, unwilling to defend itself and its citizens. 10) Such a perception would have been dangerous, encouraging more terrorism, and more attacks.

    1) For purposes of understanding (though *understanding* will not necessarily lead one to clear lines of action so, sometimes, it is better not to understand: to willfully misunderstand) it is truer to say that the United States has been engaged in unending wars, provocations and intrigues: the very definition of *embroilment* and *intervention* in its most Republican and negative connotation. Some — Jack, adimagejim (why do you use lower-case! it is so annoying!) and most others here sort of recognize that this is true, but they use wondrous justifications.

    Adimagejim’s is that if we were not there doing thus-and-such, other truly *evil* powers would be there doing thus-and-such. Therefore: we need to be there. I am very interested though in this *we*. As I have said this *we* is really a bizarre, convoluted usage. The solitary individual aligns his or herself with a vast national power and ‘rehearses’ a psychological Kabuki theatre in which ‘he’ assigns his person to that of the state. The State and its machinations are blended with his (or her) personality. He then ‘speaks’ for the State and explains the State’s doings as an extension of him self.

    The State and its PR / Propaganda offices (these certainly exist and have tremendous persuasive power) take advantage of this ‘identification’. One of the most obvious ploys of Donald Trump is to invite such a personal projection of his admiring constituency onto his person. It seems to me that this is a pretty ugly manifestation of demagoguery.

    Noun 1. demagoguery – impassioned appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the populace
    demagogy. — appeal, entreaty, prayer – earnest or urgent request; “an entreaty to stop the fighting”; “an appeal for help”; “an appeal to the public to keep calm” — flag waving, jingoism – an appeal intended to arouse patriotic emotions

    The questions I ask about this present manifestation is: Who in the end will all of this serve? And given that ‘social engineering’ is a real thing, and that structures of power obviously use it, who in the end will all of this serve? And who is it serving now? I suggest: in the end the ‘people’ (such a vulgar term!) will not be served simply because — in the end — they are rarely served. The meaning of corruption, the effect of corruption, the meaning of The Swamp and the effect of The Swamp, is that private interests seek and get benefit, and ‘the Republic’ pays the price.

    All of these ‘machinations of war’, and the larger part of US actions in response to 9/11, had already been established as policy. These things need to be looked at cooly and coldly.

    2) It does not matter if The Left had good and sound reasons for opposing interventionist wars, or the use of vast public funds in adventures of dubious benefit to ‘people’ (again excuse the vulgar term), or had bad and tainted reasons: the actual question is Are these adventures good for the Nation and for the people? or are they destructive and bad for the Nation and the people? How will this question be analyzed? Who is capable of it? Who can frame the right questions? This leads into all manner of problems because of the problem of interest. Ideologically, intellectually, perceptually, the nation of the United States is now in a profound crisis. It does not know what it is, it cannot define what is *proper and good*, and internally it tears itself apart. Why? That is the question, my Beloved Children, that needs to be posed . . . and answered.

    3) Here, is a manifestation of the chaos and confusion that results from ‘conflicts of interest’ and ‘confusion of narratives’. The way that Israel puts it (though they have almost no influence over American policies; never have and never will, as everyone clearly knows . . .) is that it was the worst deal ever made since the time of Joesph and his brothers. But here, giant ‘interest’ is operative. That is, factionalism, the fighting over who gets support and who doesn’t. And then geo-political questions. (Again, consider here one of the results of ’embroilment’: this is what it results in).

    4) This one interests me a great deal. Jack’s position is that MAD — deterrence — was the sane policy! So he supported the build up that led to an inability to take any action. And this was its ‘success’. But here Iran must be kept from getting the weapon that could lead to a stalemate: the incapacity for anyone to take any action. I only want to note the conflict of narratives!

    But let’s engage in realpolitik — looking at things in real and truthful terms — if only for a moment. The Arab world, very clearly, noted that the intrusion of the West into their corners of the region represented an intrusion of Occidental interests into their region. And everyone knows what the reasons were. It did not have to do with *doing good* or any such silly declaration, but it had to do with securing interests, destroying ‘democratic’ (excuse the vulgar term!) power, and setting up powerful tyrannies which are the sort that support the necessary climate for American businesses.

    Israel was founded in 1948. In the following 70 years we now see the ‘end result’ of this intrusion and thrust. What has happened? How is it described? In any case, let us examine ‘the causal chain’. I guess the colloquial term is ‘You get what you pay for’. Do you imagine that I am ‘judging’ here in specific terms, taking a specific side? No! I only wish to be able to see & describe things as they really are, and in really truthful terms.

    Please stop lying to me! (“Lies are unbecoming to men of action…”)

    5) My understanding is that American policies seek out, develop, and indeed require a visible and coherent enemy. If on Tuesday Saddam Hussein is a smiling ‘friend’ of the US, it often happens that on Friday sulphuric fumes are noticed. The fumes only grow worse as more is ‘suddenly realized’. Are you-plural really & truly so ignorant of how these games are played?!? Could it be that you have so successfully self-duped yourselves? These are the sort of propaganda characterizations that are invented in War Offices. Who is an ‘enemy’ and who is a ‘friend’ can shift, and does shift! in any given moment and as need requires. Why do you — thoughtful individuals — get sucked into believing what has been created for the lower orders to believe? Next you’ll tell me you are going to Trump rallies and all my faith will break down!

    I am going to skip to 9) because the first coffee cup is wearing off.

    9) This is a statement that amazes me. I have actually taken ‘dangerous jungle drugs’ like yagé down in La Gran Sabana, but you have to really be *high* not to see, in acute clarity, that the US possesses, and often uses, its world-scale military might to achieve its rational objectives. It does this all the time and few others do anything even remotely similar. It is ‘simply a fact’ that it has around 1000 military bases all over the world. It is the world’s sole military superpower and it administers its world-financial empire of interests in conjunction with its military might. Is this not completely clear? Have you no appreciation of Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski?!?
    ______________________________

    I can’t go on / I’ll go on

    • It’s really simple: someone has to play the international “big kid on the block,” and it better be someone whose motives are generally benign. Timely “intervention” might have prevented endless human carnage in Syria, Rawanda, Cambodia—that’s what the UN was supposedly for. It did its job all of once, in Korea, lost its nerve, and became an enabler of and a mouthpiece for despots. I’ve attended anniversary ceremonies for The Battle of the Bulge, and the governments of Belgium and Luxembourg know that US “intervention” saved their collective asses. So do Israel and England—and France, if it had any class. There were plenty of bad decisions too, and in some cases, with bad motives, like the Mexican War. US involvement in The Great War is hard to justify. Vietnam was quixotic. But the bad calls don’t erase the brave and good ones.

      • In case you don’t think so, I see your points. I have actually tried to apply that understanding. We could well be living ‘in the best of all possible alternatives’.

        As I have said: my problem is not so much what I oppose, but what I choose to serve. It is very very interesting to read about the formation of the US and its quest for Liberty (and the PBS series is very informative).

        I am willing to accept that there is a huge importance in the fact that, at the Constitutional Convention was perhaps the first time that men sat down and thought-through a social and political organization in such fresh historical circumstances. There is no doubt that the power of the US (I mean this in the sense of wide accomplishment) is directly related to these founding intentions.

        I tend to be more focused on the *corruption*. The Nation — of this there is no doubt — is in tremendous confusion about what in it to support, and why. I suppose that I might ‘get behind’ the US in a more definite way if it could actually clarify and re-clarify its intentions. It seems to have ‘gone off the rails’.

      • Regardless of the myriad causes of the Mexican-American War, and regardless of which few any particular commentator chooses to focus on to decide if the War had bad motives or not, the plethora of causes and circumstances present points to a conclusion that a war over the frontier was inevitable. The American “heartland” – the intricate network of navigable waterways of the Mississippi and its tributaries combined with the incredible fertile farmlands – would never be comfortable with a frontier a mere 400 – 800 miles away. The Mexican “heartland”, the area around Mexico City and Veracruz, while 800 miles from the frontier at the time, was much less threatened by whoever owned their heartland. Coupled with an already sparse population that when pressed, didn’t really care who owned it, Mexico had a hard time pacifying this region.

        If America or Mexico didn’t control this (at the time) hinterland from California to Texas, someone outside of North America was going to control it. This Frontier, mostly desert except for the two anchors of California (specifically the valley) and Texas (specifically east Texas), is really only a buffer zone that provides each nation’s heartland a measure of security.

        A conflict was inevitable. Opportunistic or not, conjured up reasons to fight or not, among the cluster of bad reasons for the war, there were plenty of good reasons. The people of California themselves had agitated to be annexed by either England or the United States, Texas was already in the process of annexation. There are plenty of ethical arguments in there, but waiting on the decision would not have benefited either the USA or Mexico in the long run.

        The other scary thing to consider, is given the population changes in what is still a borderland, and the perennial violence and instability of the region, the competition over the borderland may not be over.

        • I agree with that, Michael. I also agree that Polk’s land grab might be justified on utilitarian grounds. It was still pretty blatant and ruthless. And it is a fact that successful nations have to be ruthless sometimes, or they fail.

        • Michael West writes:

          A conflict was inevitable. Opportunistic or not, conjured up reasons to fight or not, among the cluster of bad reasons for the war, there were plenty of good reasons. The people of California themselves had agitated to be annexed by either England or the United States, Texas was already in the process of annexation. There are plenty of ethical arguments in there, but waiting on the decision would not have benefited either the USA or Mexico in the long run.

          The other scary thing to consider, is given the population changes in what is still a borderland, and the perennial violence and instability of the region, the competition over the borderland may not be over.

          This explains exactly the predicament I face, ethically. When a given person, state or nation makes a decision to ‘annex’ or to invade, occupy, conquer, they do so with interested objectives. If they take from someone else what is *rightfully theirs* they do not suffer the consequence. Those who are taken from suffer the consequence. Harm can be done to a person or to people by taking from. The one who suffers the blow does not have to deal with the consequence because, of course, that one benefitted.

          The nature of the world that we live in is that — here I refer to Nature — the one who takes is the one who benefits. If you cannot take, you do not benefit and you do not survive. The crafty predator is a resident in this world, and they predate and have success on the basis of superior intelligence. They *see* ahead of the game.

          Our ethics is underpinned with a range of specific concerns and categories and they are, mostly but not entirely, infused with Christian ethics. It is likely that these Christian ethics, in any scale, have never been observed or practiced, and if we have read well our Machiavelli (specifically The Prince) we know that at a certain point smart people saw, with clarity, that the world did not move and was not rules by Christian concerns, and indeed Christian concerns were chosen to be inculcated among the lower, obedient orders because for the stability they provided. Statesmen knew better. It is interesting to note that all of Shakespeare’s anti-heroes are mediations on Machiavellianism.

          In our *post-Christian world* — where the Christian categories have collapsed and the Christian value-system has similarly collapsed — we no longer even see the world in accordance with Christian notions. We might still rely on ‘moral capital’ that had been accrued and we might hope that some people, somewhere, still practice Christian ethics. But on the larger scene these have been supplanted. This happened over a 200-300 year period.

          America threw off all restraints. It undermined the *authority* of the English empire through elaborated rhetorics. It created a case where it was *proven* that it was not required to obey and indeed that it was ‘good and proper’ to rebel. But this is simply one manifestation of the general will to tear apart hierarchies. Why obey anything, or anyone? If man is *free* in this sense he can devise his own schemes and schemata. In this sense it is a complete break, or a substantial break, with established theological doctrines. In this sense it is the beginning of an ‘atheistic’ process which eventuates in man asserting he has no other authority to obey or conform to except his own self.

          And here we circle back around to ‘the power dynamic’. Without an external constraint, or the constraint of conscience (so-called, and so-conceived) man visualizes him self more as a part of Nature, and in nature each being is out for itself. You grow, you spread, you develop, you flourish, when the conditions are ripe for this.

          My point is that I think that this is now the reigning philosophy of our age. I think that this is understood to be the reigning philosophy. Since ‘God is dead’ — and we killed God in the sense that we no longer really & truly believe in such an Overseer Being — we really are free to do what we want … and what we must.

          This is essentially what Nietzsche foretold about 150 years ago: the collapse of a Christian moral order. And the rise of the knowledge of The Will to Power. Did you know that around 1900 Theodore Roosevelt was a Nietzsche reader? So was Mencken. And so was the political class. The notion of Manifest Destiny and the Rooseveltian political doctrines of those days give evidence to this. The Panama Canal is an excellent example of Will to Power enterprise.

          Where does this lead, and where is it leading? It leads to an eventual surrender of the free human being, the being under restraint as a Christian entity with ‘rights’ . . . to a mere cog that is manipulated by Power to serve the ends defined by Power.

          This is why the entire conversation if it is based in ‘rights’ and even ‘values’ is becoming a false-conversation. In so many ways, in so many instances, we see every day that it is not *our right* that is respected, but rather ‘the machinations of power’.

          What ‘the Chinese’ are doing is to demonstrate the shadow-aspect of what we had already done. They will just take it to a further limit . . . and we will be compelled to adapt ourselves . . . or perhaps (?) to annihilate them. But the point is that we are not in a cycle of augmentation or *right* but in a diminishing cycle.

          • “The one who suffers the blow does not have to deal with the consequence because, of course, that one benefitted.”

            Sorry. I meant:

            The one who deals the blow does not have to deal with the consequence because, of course, that one benefitted.

          • So, like all those “christian” nations of modern era Europe that conquered the globe creating what you call the “European Empire” are somehow not condemned by what you call the people acting out “Will to Power” when they took from others?

            Color me unsurprised that in all your excess verbiage you aren’t consistent.

            • So, like all those “christian” nations of modern era Europe that conquered the globe creating what you call the “European Empire” are somehow not condemned by what you call the people acting out “Will to Power” when they took from others?

              I would say that the Will to Power — the Nietzschean articulation — came strongly into focus as the moralizing power of Christian sensibility has waned. Because that is what is left when man has severed his internal knowledge that there is an observing God and that there are real consequences for what man does.

              I would say that this is where we stand at this moment: in an atheistic present.

              The Christian nations of former times understood that their God-given mission in the world as it stood then was to bring the light of civilization to the benighted. They conquered, and they colonized, but concommitant with that activity was the corresponding undertaking of education, missionizing, and of course — understood literally — the saving of souls from worldly perdition.

              Verbiage becomes ‘excessive’, Michael, right at the point that your comprehension ceases.

            • MW wrote:

              “So, like all those “Christian” nations of modern era Europe that conquered the globe creating what you call the “European Empire” are somehow not condemned by what you call the people acting out “Will to Power” when they took from others?

              Color me unsurprised that in all your excess verbiage you aren’t consistent.

              Because I see the American Civil War as the crucial event of American history, after the Revolution of course, I find that the only way to understand the present is to return to the past. That the causes of the present are to be found in the past. I agree that it is not a complex idea, but I think it true that many people, perhaps most people, do not seem to have access to a historical perspective. They exist in a kind of pathological superficiality. There is another interesting fact too: that history has been re-written in the sense that it has been simplified, reduced, and also ‘novelized’, and in this sense revised to serve the specific purposes of people, and groups, in the present. I think it is safe to say that our Modern Liberals have ‘novelized’ their vision of history — specific history — and that they are significantly *seeing* in accord with a tendentious, if not also a false, historical view. I think we are all affected by this in fact, to one degree or another. (But can a fish see the water it swims in?)

              I have to leave that topic — for just a moment — to present another idea which I think has validity and is worthy of consideration. Loosely, that idea is Nietzsche’s (or Schopenhauer’s) notion of The Will to Power. My assertion, my observation, is that we are now developing ultimate control systems and mechanisms such as never had been created before nor could have been created. Technology, biological understanding and manipulation, Artificial Intelligence, surveillance: these are tools and technologies which are *inevitable* outcomes of the Will to Power. We now seem to debate their use, and fear it, and speak about it, but it seems to me that we sense that it is these systems, and this will to power, that will eventually be applied to human management. They are being applied now.

              But how did this come about? And what is it? Did it always exist? Or, has it come about because of specific changes in man’s focus? The Will to Power is a modern realization, given that both Schopenhauer and Nietzsche are completely modern figures. And what has given real power to it is technological advance. But there is in it also a new and vital understanding: that all natural mechanisms are subject to manipulation and that ‘he who manipulates’ — who can manipulate — simply takes advantage of a ‘truth’ of a certain *natural* sort. Nature is a total control system. In nature everything is reduced to control mechanisms applied by the system itself. There is no *free will* in Nature.

              And with the rise of amoral and abstract applications of technology and manipulations of biology, those who work in these arenas understand, fundamentally, that they apply mechanism and ‘laws’ if you will which have no moral or ethical features. That is to say they are amoral and an-ethical. And this occurs in an environment — a *dawning realization* [Morgendämmerung] — that all these rules & regulations that underpin morality and also ethics are simply arbitrary human decisions, made when humankind — specifically European humankind — was held within a false reasoning system by the name of Christian metaphysics. It is vital to understand — this seems to me vitally true — that there is no longer any *real* belief in Christian metaphysics. The *world* is not longer understood according to transcendental view. There is no longer any such thing as transcendence. There is nothing to transcend from nor a ‘where’ to transcend to. If these ideas still exist a) they exist in a kind of shadow form: the shadow of former metaphysics that are diminishing away in the blinding light of Morgendämmerung.

              And in that Dawning there is only matter and its manipulation and, of course, the manipulation of ‘human protoplasm’ for specific ends.

              This is now leading to a power-conflict and to a ‘power grab’ by those who have — to put a perverse spin on the former term — transcended previous morality. If *they* could discover and if they could apply a mechanism for total control over the human entity (man as cog) they certainly would. And because we understand that this is so, we understand that, soon enough, they will. It is what we have to face. It is an ‘inevitable consequence’ of the path we have set our feet on so to speak.

              The Era of Conquest though it had to do, certainly, with seeking & getting wealth, took place under the constraint or perhaps within the metaphysics of a larger picture and plan. The notion of the binding of a people to a given governmental system was, for a great long time, bound up with a whole other sense of ‘binding’ to larger — cosmic, metaphysical — designs and plans. If a people were conquered, they were conquered for a ‘purpose’, and the anthropology of the day conceived of man with a divine soul. So, a people were conquered but then they were civilized and educated. The conquered had *rights*, but here especially the notion of ‘divine right’ is especially necessary to mention. And those conquered peoples — this is true even of Europe which was conquered by Rome and then by Christian Rome — participated in ‘civilization’ in remarkable ways.

              But the curious thing now — the New Development — is that all of that former metaphysics is now collapsed. Yet the concept of ‘conquest’ ‘domination’ ‘exertion of control’ — all of that remains. And all the mechanisms, as I call them, are gaining power day by day.

              So, we return to the American Civil War but within a view that touches on the acute rise of ‘modern systems’ within a new technological context. The invasion and occupation of the South takes on a new meaning when a longer historical analysis is applied. One has to look (I assert) at the modifications of managerial systems and that troubling question of Social Engineering in its former limited scope, but now see them amplified in new ways and with more intensity to the ‘necessary social manipulation’ which is understood as needing to take place now. That is, under the developing régime of the present.

              If I deal here in excess verbiage, and if my ideas are muddled still, it is not so much intentional as that I have not found a way to communicate what are rather complex and difficult ideas. Sorry! But I’m trying real hard!

    • Second Cup

      Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski quotes:

      The mistakes of the Iraq war are not only tactical and strategic, but historical. It is essentially a war of colonialism, attempted in the post-colonial age.
      — (January 11, 2007).

      Ouch! That actually hurt me.

      [President George W. Bush] has a vision which can be described with two other words: Manichaean paranoia… the notion that he is leading the forces of good against the empire of evil, that in that setting, the fact that we are morally superior justifies us committing immoral acts. And that is a very dangerous posture for the country that is the number one global power. … The fact is he squandered our credibility, our legitimacy, and even respect for our power.
      — (March 14, 2007).

      Ooooooh dear. Oh My God. There you have it. He said it. This could be translated into a number of different phrasings: that Americas see theirselves as ‘God’s agents’ in this dangerous Sublunary Cesspool. But really, let’s examine the Manichaean assumption, won’t that be fun?

      Man·i·chae·ism (măn′ĭ-kē′ĭz′əm) also Man·i·chae·an·ism (-kē′ə-nĭz′əm)
      n. 1. The syncretic, dualistic religious philosophy taught by the Persian prophet Mani, combining elements of Zoroastrian, Christian, and Gnostic thought and opposed by the imperial Roman government, Neoplatonist philosophers, and orthodox Christians.
      2. A dualistic philosophy dividing the world between good and evil principles or regarding matter as intrinsically evil and mind as intrinsically good.

      Chris, Jack, adimagejim?

      If you see yourself as God’s wonderworker, and do not understand the ways that Power Corrupts, then for certain you will not be able to see the world clearly.

      I am very worried that most Americans are close to total ignorance about the world. They are ignorant. That is an unhealthy condition in a country in which foreign policy has to be endorsed by the people if it is to be pursued. And it makes it much more difficult for any president to pursue an intelligent policy that does justice to the complexity of the world.

      What is this lunatic talking about?!? I am getting really angry! Americans are not ignorant about the world since everything worth knowing can be known down in the Walmart Aisles. We are a healthy, vibrant democracy in which education is given the highest priority. People who are acutely schooled in all phases of the historical-pastoral-comical, historical-tragical-pastoral, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral — you name it! This is the General Curriculum.

      • Alizia, I’m not sure PBS or Zbigniew Brzezinski (Joe Scarborough’s father-in-law, Carter Administration stalwart, and founder of the Trilateral Commission?) are the best authorities. And by the way, I think you’re generally way too susceptible to “authorities” and “experts.” They are none of them oracles. They all have biases and axes to grind, notwithstanding they may have written a book. Cuidado.

        • But that is not a way to merely toss out the argument that they (he, they) may present. I present an idea or a perspective or some analysis. You tell me that the source of that argument or perspective could be questionable. And through that manoeuvre you dismiss having to actually examine the question.

          1) America seemed to have turned Iraq into a colonial-style occupation.

          2) President Bush Jr. really did seem to see the world in Manichaean terms. I cannot think of a political error more dangerous and outlandish. What is the meaning of this? It seems to be that rabid neo-Protestant Christian Zionist former Trotskyite Neoconservatives had become excessively involved in defining US policy. Or, to say it in other terms, people had no idea how to *interpret* such a strange worldview being applied to policy and — most importantly — to the rhetoric of America’s foreign policy. Is that not a worthy cause of concern?!? Is it not possible, therefore, to examine the assertions that Americans make about their Nation and these — obviously — puritanical assertions? Is there anyone at home who can examine these things?

          3) As I said, I completely disagree with Zbigniew Brzezinski when he says that Americans are ‘ignorant’ of history, philosophy, politics, the nature of the world today, and all other matters for which citizens must be prepared. They are profoundly informed in fact. Ask anyone — on the street for example — questions on these topics. Americans are the best informed people of all peoples on the planet today. I assume this came from watching The Apprentice and other such informative programs. I have never seen the program and — sadly — this may be one reason I am so ‘badly informed’.

      • Aliza, I am responding only because you mentioned me (assumed because the other Chris has been banished) in your comment. Let me be damn clear. I do not see myself as one of God’s wonderworkers. I see myself as an American citizen. I simply see myself as a human being that wishes that intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals, politicians, and anyone else for that matter would mind their own friggin business and stop trying to tell me that I cannot understand the world around me and how their way is the right way. I see myself as a person that demands freedom from tyranny. And when freedom is under threat I speak out and if needed will fight to protect it. There is no polysyllabic term to describe who and what I am.

        I did not start the conflict between the Muslims and the infidels over a thousand years ago. But, in 1978 I saw first hand how my fellow citizens were brutalized at the hands of a bunch of theocrats who were pissed off that we allowed the Shah to take refuge in the US rather than let him be burned alive by a mob. We watched for nearly a year the degradation of our fellow Americans. Never again should we have to see or fathers and brothers paraded before us on the evening news each night. Never again should any American or foreign service officer hostage wonder if when their captors play Russian Roulette with them will there be a bullet in the chamber

        Today what I see is nothing more than a bunch of duplicitous bastards playing one group off against another as they jockey for power. If the Iraqi Parliament votes to oust the US military fine by me. We can afford to cut off the spigot of money flowing into that hell hole. If Iraq’s Parliament feels it needs to be Iran’s ally so be it but that means the sanctions we placed on Iran will now be placed on Iraq. Screw all of them. With that said, any further attacks on US interests will be an act of war and we should kill every damn one of them fast and furiously. No more should we use proportional responses. A massive disproportionate response will violently alter their calculus; and each successive response should be geometrically increased.

        Fact: The General needed to be taken out. Period.

        • Fair enough. I think I understand your position. However I am forced to remain focused on the larger issue which has to do with what happens — I refer to causal chains — when a Nation does not ‘mind its own business’ and gets involved in unending interventions and ’embroilments’.

          I am of two minds when I think back to the time of the American Revolution and the era of the Constitutional Convention.

          On one side there is the recognition and respect for the magnificence in the entire cycle of revolution and of the thoughtful laying down of the Foundations on which America has been built.

          The other ‘mind’ is in meditating on what it means to sever oneself from authority and, if you will, a conceived ‘metaphysical order’. I suppose that there are positive sides, and negative sides, to all man’s choices.

          I see myself as a person that demands freedom from tyranny. And when freedom is under threat I speak out and if needed will fight to protect it. There is no polysyllabic term to describe who and what I am.

          As a sentiment, I respect this. But I think that I am aware of things that you are not: things that you do not wish to take into consideration. All that I do (here) is to talk about them. They are never recognized (here). As Simon Bolívar wrote: “The United States appear to be destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty”. It is admirable — and natural — that you resist and oppose tyranny. It is hypocritical that you show no will to take into consideration what other people have felt when you come to town with the liberty rhetoric . . . and it appears to have nothing at all to do with Liberty of the sort defined during the Revolution and at the Constitutional Convention.

          You cannot see — and you *willfully choose not to see* — the specific junctures where factional and private power began its insidious project of undermining Republican values. This era is the era of those first power-grabs and interventions for imperial, not republican, purposes. You fail to take into consideration, because your will is set against it and your *self* will be subjected to pain & division were you to do so, how this corruption has proceeded and — jumping ahead here — eventuated in what we (seem to) mean when we refer to The Swamp. A corrupt republicanism.

          The other aspects of this corruption — there are two or three as I see it — has to do with the rise in the post Civil War era of the legal definitions and protections afforded to the corporate structure. The reason why it is important to study this era is simple: private power required tools & mechanisms to subvert democratic power of the specifically republican sort, and the corporation with its unlimited life and its self-declaration as a ‘person’ was that vehicle. If you were to study that era, and the legal shenanigans that were undertaken then, and what resulted from them, you would then be in a position to critique those processes. If you were genuine in your concern about ‘tyranny’ you might — at the least — be open to the understanding that a corporation is, in fact & in reality, a ‘private tyranny’. You might — if you tried even a little bit — be able to understand what happens within a nation with those lofty republican sentiments is undermined by the intrusion of private tyrannical power into the public domains. You might be able to see that, in essence, people lose their sovereign power to an artificial legal entity whose existence is granted by them (all power resides in the people) to those entities. Yet, they cannot, even in the worst situations of abuse of granted power, revoke their charters. In America today — this is my impression — it is really true that the corporation has far FAR too much power in determining social issues and influencing government.

          None of this gets through though, am I right? What you will likely do here is to concoct hard defenses. You refuse to examine the larger picture. You literally close your eyes and close your ears. What I try to point out is that *you* (as conservative American concerned for the Republican values and ‘liberty’) have failed in your responsibility on all levels. You are apologists for power, not defenders of liberty. By becoming an apologist for power you align your self with dubious factions. You blend your self into those large power-concentrations and defend them as if you are defending your self and the rights of man in your own self.

          You will listen to none of this. You will respond to none of this. You will come back and critique my grammar or verbosity as a tactic to avoid having to see and understand what has happened in the nation, what this means, where things stand now. In this sense I do not see you as ‘defending liberty’. You defend LIES. You do this, Michael West does this, adimagejim does this, and to a lesser degree Jack does this. You associate your selves with perverted power. But the origins of the notion of the ‘rights of man’ begins with a free individual, not one who is an apologist for raw, and perverse, power.

          Now, you have a choice here as I see it: remain within a shallow and hypocritical ‘patriotism’ that is distorted, that is upheld with lies & distortions, or to begin to face the truth about what has happened and why it has happened. Please consider that when I refer to *you* I mean a wide plurality.

          Obviously you do not have to do anything! However by negating your responsibility yo leave *me* (us) in the position of having to face these eventualities and these facts. In the end you do not help, you hinder. You block.

          The other rather horrifying aspect of your negligence is that you offer, as if on a plate, many of the most important questions & issues to the Marxian Left. Since you refuse to be the upholder of ‘genuine republicanism’ and you sell your self out to Power, you become structurally integrated with corruption. But here you provide an opening — the opening — for the Marxian activist who chips away hierarchies.

          You see my idea is that *all of this* has come about because of your negligence. True, the causal chains are long & complex but they can be traced.

          Today what I see is nothing more than a bunch of duplicitous bastards playing one group off against another as they jockey for power. If the Iraqi Parliament votes to oust the US military fine by me. We can afford to cut off the spigot of money flowing into that hell hole. If Iraq’s Parliament feels it needs to be Iran’s ally so be it but that means the sanctions we placed on Iran will now be placed on Iraq. Screw all of them. With that said, any further attacks on US interests will be an act of war and we should kill every damn one of them fast and furiously. No more should we use proportional responses. A massive disproportionate response will violently alter their calculus; and each successive response should be geometrically increased.

          If you devoted even a bit of intuitive thought I think you could pretty easily imagine what I might say here! But “obstinacy makes it impossible to hear . . . for all that one has ears”.

  13. It was a difficult choice. I checked each option at least once, but settled on McGowan because of the “prostrate sniveling” tone of her response. She really has no idea who she’s dealing with. Does Rose seriously believe begging Iranian terrorists – or pretty much ANY terrorist – not to kill her resonates with them? Will they suddenly become merciful and compassionate with the proper pleading? They loathe weakness…LOATHE it. All begging will do is get her burned to death rather than decapitated.

  14. I only noticed this morning, but none, NONE of the coverage of Suleimani targeted killing mentions the embassy bombings. They want the audience to think this came out of nowhere, that this it is Trump being reckless and arbitrary, and that Trump (not the country that bombed our embassy) is escalating tensions.

    • The bombings were on the 6th of December and Trump moved on what, the 27th? It contradicts the ‘rash’, ‘unbalanced’ and ‘trigger happy’ image they’ve pinned on Trump for the last 3+ years. Can’t contradict the narrative!

      I told my husband last night that American facilities had been bombed, and he had no idea. It is being left out of all reports I’ve seen so far on TV.

      • I got dates/events mixed, and apologize for the inaccuracy. December 6 was the date of protesters being fired upon in Baghdad, not the strike in Iraq. I’m sorry about that.

  15. (This is ‘dedicated’ to Alizia Tyler, a crypto ‘I know not what’.)

    For me, the wonderful realisation of recent history is the power of sheer bloody minded defiance, particularly when exercised by the ‘weak’ defending their homes (including beliefs and ways of life) against the apparently overwhelmingly ‘strong’ interloper.

    In much of the culture I inhabit (English / Australian) the ‘goodies’ eventually triumph simply through their determination and spirit, in spite of their material weaknesses. They take enormous losses, there is much suffering, and many die.

    The ‘baddies’ in air conditioned comfort at the controls of their awesome killer technology eventually fail and go home.

    I am intrigued by comments on culture, particularly as regards war. Americans take understandable pride in having the bigger and better guns and seem puzzled that this isn’t always sufficient to earn respect and deference. Donald Trump wants the biggest military parades. There seems to be an increasing keenness to move from ‘talking’ to ‘bombing’; from ineffective Obaman ‘jaw jaw’ to ‘Trumpian ‘war war’. ‘Shock and awe’ is back. ‘Make my day, punk!’ And yet there is still seemingly a Jeffersonian affection for the underdog. Is this just another expression of the deep division in American politics? Or do I, a bemused and alien ‘crypto communist’, simply misunderstand?

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