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Thursday, January 29, 2004

The Shameless Daily Lowdown

Making the simple complicated is commonplace;
making the complicated simple,
awesomely simple, that's creativity.

- Charles Mingus

The Karl Rove Seaworld Offensive:Sowing the Seeds of Confusion

Warning: This paragraph features gratuitous use of on at your own risk. The Bush Administration is notorious for making the complex simple; Bush espouses a dichatamous worldview in which shades of grey simply do not exist; John Ashcroft is an emissary of truth, light, and virture, whereas opponents of the "War on Terra" might as well wear black cowboy hats and sport sinister handlebar moustaches. Bush is the geopolitical equivalent of the guy that goes to a modern art museum and scoffs at a Jackson Pollack painting--it's an "I coulda painted that" worldview. Great leaders are those able to translate a complex concept into layman's terms; they're able to distill an issue down into it's essence. The Paul O'Neil revelations make it pretty clear that the president has not only confined himself to the shallow end of the pool--he hasn't even gotten his trunks wet. He starts and ends with the same oversimplifed understanding of the world; perpetually chasing his tail in progressive circles of impudent certainty.

The newest Rove strategy is a radical departure from Bush's hallmark oversimplifications. When it comes to WMD's, the strategy is to intentionally complicate and muddy the issue so that people are unsure of what semantic path they must walk down in order to discuss the issue. "Weapons of Mass Destruction" have morphed into "Weapons of Mass Destruction Program-Related Activies", for example. The adminstration has also thrown out enough Red Herrings to feed a million Shamus. Could the weapons actually be in Syria? Has Saddam been deceived? Who knows, but let's discuss every possible theory until no one considers the central issue anymore.

Article of the Day: "America Stumbles Into Complexity"

"...So it refused to wait for a consensus to build in the UN Security Council, arguing that Saddam had already had 12 years, and that was enough. So it persistently upped the ante, shifting from a demand that Iraq disarm to an insistence on regime change, arguing that only a root-and-branch approach would work.

So it settled on a messianic scheme to plant democracy in Iraq and thus instigate a reverse domino effect in the region, arguing that the sweetness and light radiating outwards from Baghdad will inaugurate a new age of Jeffersonian democracy in the Middle East.

In the past nine months since Mr Bush proclaimed the end of major combat in Iraq, Americans have learnt a whole new set of surprising 'unknown unknowns': There are no WMDs in Iraq, proving that international action to force disarmament on rogue states does work. That the superpower does in fact need the UN, and so is pleading with the international body to return to Iraq. And that a free vote in Iraq will probably install an Ayatollah in power.

In short: What the administration has stumbled into is complexity."

The Other War

"Seven American soldiers in Afghanistan were killed and three were injured in an explosion today in one of the single most-deadly incidents involving American forces there, the United States Central Command said".

This brings the total number of American soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 107. I was just wondering...Is Bush going to stand in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner in Kabul when we reach 138 casualties (the number of soldiers killed in Iraq on the day Bush played dressup on the U.S.S. Nimitz).


Shock and Awe Closed the Schools: Thoughts On Happy News

Do you remember Vietnam? I don't...Too young. Do you remember Kissinger assuring that "peace was at hand"? It was a rosy scenario at the time, and we're hearing some happy news from Iraq right now. Happy happy, joy, joy; double plus good news! Schools have re-opened! Hospitals are working again! That is indeed good news, but these hopeful reports neglect to remind us that the reason the hospitals and schools were closed in the first place was because we were dropping bombs on them. 34% of them were not precision guided munitions; they were stuff like cluster bombs, MOAB bombs, etc. "Shock and Awe" closed the schools and hospitals, not the arbitrary whim of a dictator. If the best news we can come up with is that we've repaired much of the damage we've done, I'm afraid I'm not very impressed, and it makes me wonder about the big picture.

Whenever you read a news article about the war, look for this statement: "...U.S. Central Command said". Remember it's not their job to tell us nothing more or less than the truth. Their job is to win the war, and sometimes this means telling us more or less than we'd like to hear. I'm not criticizing Central Command for this, but rather suggesting that the official version of events should always be received with a healthy dose of skepticism. Of course, when the offical story is all that gets through, impressionable, gullible people will always assume that the offical story is the only story.

Is He The Most Corrupt Vice-President Ever?

"In Paris, a French judge is investigating allegations that Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, paid $180 million in bribes to build a Nigerian gas plant. Halliburton has called the accusations untrue".

So let me get this straight: Halliburton is paying the military millions for overcharging in Iraq, he's under investigation for his role in a scandal in Nigeria, he still receiving money from the country while they enjoy the fruits of bid-free contracts in Iraq...Good thing he's not getting a blowjob from an intern!

How I Will Salvage Lee Greenwood's Sagging Record Sales and Save The Free World From Oppression

The other day on the way to work, I heard an updated rave mix of Bonny Tyler's 1987 Hit, "Total Eclipse of the Heart". Later that evening, I heard a remix of an old Elvis tune. That got me to thinking of my old pal Lee "God Bless the U.S.A." Greenwood. I thought to myself, what ol' Lee needs is someone willing to update his signature tune a bit to fit with these changing times. After all, he's not exactly added to his repetoire lately, as far as I can tell.

As I was thinking these thoughts, I read the news...

The International Herald Tribune reported that the U.S. was releasing three kids who had been detained since the start of the "War on Terror". Now of course we can be assured that they weren't mistreated anyway. Sure, the military refused to allow the Red Cross to verify this, but hey, my man Lee and I trust the military...
"The three ranged from 13 to 15 years old. They were the only juveniles among 660 suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda guerrillas who were seized during and after the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan following the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington".


I read further...

The Toronto Star reported that about a court case in which a Canadian citizen was sent to Syria by the CIA for interrogation. Why Syria, you ask? Well, it seems they're less squeamish about the use of torture...

"...Here was a case where a Canadian citizen accused of no wrongdoing catches the attention of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, then is detained by American agents in a New York airport. He is deported to Syria, his birthplace, possibly because of information from either the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or the Mounties. In Syria, a "confession" is extracted from him under torture. It's a nightmare".
Kinda makes a fella proud...Sing it, Lee Greenwood...( I've written a final verse to his song...)

"I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the Syrians
Who torture just for me
So let's lock up kids in Gitmo
And deny it all the way
Ain't no doubt it's outta hand

Thank you, thank you...

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