Friday, April 11, 2003

I said something a while ago that translated roughly into the root causes of epic disasters today are usually because of terrible actions sometime 5,10, 20 years or more ago. I know, this iss not exactly the kind of insight that ranks up there with say, oh I don't know, e=(mc)2 or some sort of rocket science kind of statement. Of course the the past affects the present, any idiot can tell you that. Everything affects everything is a given, but I always liked that Japanese proverb of how the winds of a Typhoon are born in the fluttering wings of a butterfly. It's the whole idea that something far away and seemingly insignificant contributes to something catastrophic. I think a lot of people in this world have a tendency to have a disconnect between what happens now and why it is happening. It's just my impression, but it just seems like most people don't look back far enough, and they just accept reasoning behind terrible acts for something that they can see in front of them.

I've felt for a while now that the primary reasoning for 9.11 was the result of the first Gulf War. Most conservatives will refuse to accept that logic. They're all still nodding in agreement, saying things like “the terrorists hate our freedom and way of life" or "they don't respect women" or "they're just jealous of our prosperity, blah blah blah, God Bless America". At best they'll cite the hippies of the 60's and their "if it feels good do it" mantra as the real reasoning behind 9.11. I guess in their twisted logic it is the cause of our lax immigration policies and an effort to put forward multiculturalism, they are the real culprits for 9.11. Most are still thinking about those San Fransisco Democrat liberal Parent of the drugged up punk turn Taliban fighter John Walker Lind. They need not go any further down that intellectual pathway. The same could be said of the liberals who looked at what happened after 9.11 and blamed it on poverty - even though the people who commited those acts were all educated and, at bare minimum, grew up accustomed to a lifestyle better than most of us. And of course the billionaire religious fanatic who was behind it all.

How do these things lend themselves to religious fundamentalism and suicidal wagers of jihad? I'd rather not go down that road, it'll take too long, so I’ll save that post for another day, but there are many examples that lend credence to this little tidbit - Not just in relationship to 9.11 but all kinds of political messes we've gotten ourselves into.

Another example would be this news article from the Times of India which I came across via Salon (they've been putting together a smattering of world news views into a single page since the start of the war). The article cites the reasoning for the current bloodshed in Iraq is due to the casual and cold way the British Empire cut up it's former colonies. The lag time is much longer on this one, but still it fits;

Whether it is the continuing ugly massacres in Kashmir or this dreadful war in Iraq, the truth is that far too many of the trouble spots in the world are the consequence of the frontiers created ad hoc by Britain's wicked old imperialism and the legacy of its divide and quit policy.

[snip]

There certainly were Muslim losers in Palestine and elsewhere, but the big losers were the many people of the other creeds and those who believed in modernity and transcended tribalism. It is the same in today's India where amidst the fanaticism of the Hindu nationalists and the Muslim terrorists, the losers are the ordinary people who want to get on with their lives. This unhappy British colonial legacy not only holds lessons for imperial America in Iraq -- when its time comes to quit it ought not to botch things -- but it is a reminder to all of us on the sub-continent that our borders emerged from scornful bureaucratic pens, and deserve to be treated with similar contempt.


Well, the more I look around the more I wonder if this idea is losing creedence in our modern day and age because the lag time of at least 10 years is shortening up in a hurry. Maybe it's technology? Maybe it's that world leaders are learning quickly from Dubya's unprecedented action thanks to media overexposure? I guess the real Bush doctrine of political strategy is spreading like wildfire - Figure out what you want to do and then find an excuse to do it. I realize everything affects everything, but still I don't think you'd be reading headline like this had it not been for the introduction of the Bush Doctrine of Pre-emption.

Indian defense minister joins Pakistan pre-emptive strike chorus



We were warned what this bullshit about pre-emption would mean. It's like the NeoCons couldn't get enough of it, citing Bush's genius in his creation of this fantastis new idea, what a concept! He probably wasn't even sharp enough to come up with the idea by himself anyway, it was probably came into David Frum's head while he was beating off in the bathroom of the Oval Office while writing the "Axis of Evil" speech. Bush mouthed though and they all went gaga over him.

I was wrong about some of my predictions for Gulf War II, at least the ones that can be proven false now, although this is clearly not over. I just hope the crazy shit that is going thru my mind on this new issue is way, way off. But if I'm not, you can all thank the President and all the NeoCon Yes men that surround him, with their completely arrogant, utterly inept and completely oblivious egocentric America first view of the world, for legitimizing this incredibly stupid, absolutely awful, and downright scary idea.

I never liked the idea of this war, but even the way they got to this point was just so absurd and wrong, if you were paying attention, which most of America isn't. If you were paying attention, the shifting reasoning to validate the war exposed the NeoCons for what they were - they wanted a war and didn't care how they were gonna get it. The revolving door of justifications for this unjust act was a way to get as many doubters on board before they made a go of it. Had they just stuck to the fact that Iraq was in violation of the treaty that Saddam signed after the first Gulf War we might not be reading about world political leaders looking into this whole pre-emption thing.

Mikey Kaus had been blogging / dogging Senators like Kerry and Edwards before the war for the fact that they had voted to give the President the authority to wage this war and yet they blasted Dubya for the way he's handled thing. He's also harangued the editorial staffs of The New York Times and the Washington Post for also supporting the action but criticizing Dubya. I think he dubbed them all as "He's Blowing it" Hawks. This whole issue about this one argument for the war may sound petty, but it really isn't. It’s not just about the war, but how Dubya went about it.

I guess this isn't any different from any of the other bills the White House passed though. Just think of the initial tax cut. First it was about returning the surplus to the taxpayers so "big government couldn't spend it irresponsibly". Then, as we started to enter an economic slowdown, so it was a way to "get the economy moving again, by giving Americans pocket money to go shopping!" And when the energy crisis in the summer of 2001, it was a way to give money back to taxpayers so they could pay those high cooling bills and fill their SUVs.

When it comes to reasoning, why should a war be any different? Why should any action taken by this President by any different? The message from the White House since day one has been consistent on all issue, if you read between the lines: We want it - We don't care what the after effects are - We don't care about the liberal media questioning details about how or why - We're gonna have way whether you like it or not, so you might as well like it. Hell, even the election fits neatly in that train of thought.

Pre-emption - This is just not what democracy is supposed to do. I actually had feared that the leadership in China might start to cite the pre-emption doctrine as an excuse to do something like this to Taiwan. What moral ground will we have to stand on then to prevent that from happening? Leaders of the world will be putting fear into their populace in an attempt to generate support for fighting an enemy that has yet to strike, but will inevitably do so, and therefore we must act first to prevent it. Maybe it's the worry wart liberal in me, but God help us all if this comes to fruition and becomes standard practice on the world stage.

To wrap this up, I was really struck by what ultra deb's (of rant o rama) most recent post had, a quote from Julius Caesar. I think it applies very well here -

"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar."
-- Julius Caesar


Well, hope we're all here tomorrow - if you are you can check out this great editorial in the Guardian of the UK, in response to the gloating warmongers, still salivating over the taste of victory.

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