A Timeline of American Foreign Policy in the Mideast, 1990 to today

Click on the title of this post to link to Mother Jones' really interesting piece re: Iraq and the Middle East. I couldn't stop reading. It IS Mother Jones, so it is not friendly to the Bush family, at all. So don't read if you don't want to hear that. To paraphrase what Bill Maher said last night, the most patriotic thing any of us can do right now is to make fun of the buffoon that is Bush. He is so beyond having any political capital right now. As a matter of fact he has created quite a deficit for himself on that score; something he is really good at, whether it is the good will of our brothers and sisters all over the world, Arbusto shareholders, the voting public, etc.


Curtis said...

VERY interesting.

Bruce said...

Sam, Making fun of GWB and his cabal make make us feel good, but it won't really get us very far. There is an urgent need for concerted political action first allow the Democrats to win back at least the House (which will make impeachment of GWB a discussable topic) and more long term, to reeducate the American people in the principles of democracy. These principles have clearly been tragically undermined by the current adminsitration. Excuse me for being so "heavy," but I think you'll agree that this is no laughing matter.

Sam said...

Bruce: I'm serious as Church about the crimes the Bush administration is involved in. And it takes an administration like Bush's to achieve the reeducation you are talking about. Wouldn't count on our education system to start telling kids the truth about history: that is something each and every citizen finds out for her/himself.

Bruce said...

Sam, I'm old enough (I used to hate people who would start an argument with this opener...) to remember the Viet Nam War teach- ins. It was a long, labourious process, but we finally got through to people. I certainly wasn't referring to anthing the public education system would do.

On the other hand, you could rightly argue that: 1) the positive effects of the teach ins were fairly rapidly reversed. 2) We don't have time. Too many people are dying now. And American democratic traditions are being too rapidly eroded.

Sam said...

Hi Bruce, thanks for all your thoughtful comments. I would add this argument too: 3) This time is so completely different from the Vietnam era, we can't expect the teach-ins, protests, nor the radical techniques that flowered--all over the world--during '68, to be transferrable to today. I hope I don't sound completely jaded, but it just seems to me that there is no growing national will here to discover hidden truths or to relearn what our system is all about. It is ever decreasing, in my view and in my experience. I consider myself to be a lifelong learner, but I think i am a vast minority on that! Unless you can make relearning democracy a Sony Playstation installment somehow, you have no audience. Our world here in the good old US of A is more crass and consumerist than ever--and that, I would posit, is the chief worldview Bush & company embody. It's all so Sopranos: get away with anything and everything you can, in the extreme, and do not worry about consequences or pesky things like laws. Nice chatting with you; I enjoyed checking out your blog this morning, will look in more detail later.

Bruce said...

Sam, unfortunately, tragically, I can't help but agree with you. The situation is desperate and there doesn't seem to be any way out. One need but remember that this administration was elected the second time aroung with a solid majority not because anyone, even the most staunch Republican, thought that GWB was intelligent, capable, or even honest and had respect for the Constitution. He was elected because he was against recognizing that gay people have equal rights and against abortion.
the problem, as you suggest, is not just GWB and his cohorts; it is, most unfortunately, us.

This feeling of alienation from American society is why I have chosen, for the last quarter century or so, to live in Europe. The decision to become somwhat of an exile is, admittedly, somwhat cowardly.

I have, of course, not surrendered my US citizenship, and prefer to live here as a permanent resident, which gives me almost all the rights of citizenship. I even work for the city government and teach at the national university; I am, therefore, involved in, what I hope, is creating a more just society here. But still, I am not a citizen, and therefore I am not really responsible for the political and social situation here. Hence, I consider my situation a bit cowerdly since, as a non citizen exile, I avoid responsibility.

(BTW, I lived in rural Ohio for three years back in the early 1970s. Even though where I lived offered the cultural and intellectual advantages of an elitist college town, and even though I was within striking distance of Cleveland, I still had serious problams adjusting. But I was very young and had just come to terms with several important elements in my life, including my sexual orientation. You seem to be more mature, flexible, and have greater inner resources than I had then --- and you're with your partner--- , so maybe you have a better chance of surviving than I did. Hope so.)

Sam said...

Hi again Bruce, thanks again for your comments. I certainly would not consider living and working in Europe a coward's way! It sounds like a wonderful way to live your life; I would consider it too if i had the opportunity.

And by the way, I don't think Republicans won on the Hate Gays/Love Fetuses plank of their platform. They were successful in having pundits convince us that was why they won (the so called "moral issues" voters who outweighed all other issuse in after polling by a whopping 1% or something equally bogus). I remain convinced that we'll never really know who won. Election results in thousands of precincts--mostly in the swing states such as Florida and Ohio, but also places like Pennsylvania and others where outcomes would have been close--were so incredibly manipulated and so oooooo beyond logic that the only possibility is outright fraud. Take an example: in one precinct in my home state of Ohio, there were about 850 registered voters in 2004 (a rural district). Well, Bush carried the precinct with TEN THOUSAND VOTES. What can explain this? I think it is Pols in charge of election boards across the land, who subscribe to the same lawlessness that Bush encourages. It's the new Wild West. This is all out there in the public record, if only a Greg Palast or a Diane Rehym or even a Tim Russert would talk about it. Most of all, I'd like to know why oh why our do nothing Congress is ignoring all the facts surrounding 2000 and 2004 elections.

Ok, that is my rant for Friday morning! Thanks for writing Bruce.

Fight the H8 in Your State