Archive for August, 2005

I made a funny

August 29, 2005

Over at DKos, under my alter ego Just Another Vet. Please go and vote in the poll!

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An Interesting Comparison

August 27, 2005

I have read the comparisons of Iraq to Vietnam, but until now I had never read a comparison of Vietnam to what is going on with Venezuela.

So the question becomes: why is Robertson (and those who share his views) so frustrated with the president of Venezuela? Is he frustrated with Chavez’s attempts at building agricultural cooperatives through the implementation of land reform? Is Robertson frustrated with Venezuela using its oil revenue to promote literacy, health and other social programs? Or is it Chavez’s call to review all natural resource extraction contracts to make sure that Venezuela is being properly compensated for such assets?

Whatever Robertson’s frustrations with Chavez, they seem to be eerily reminiscent of the unwarranted frustrations the US had with the late Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam. The US was unnecessarily frustrated with the probability of having democratically held elections won by a socialist leader in the mid 1950s.

These were frustrations that did not allow the US to support the land reform efforts of Ho, that were then just as valid and necessary to Vietnam as the land reform efforts are now to Venezuela. These frustrations led to the demonization and conceptualization of Ho and his supporters. They became part of the feared “red menace” and “the domino theory” – just as Chavez and Venezuela have become Latin America’s premier “rogue nation” and leader in the eyes of the US.

That view of Ho blinded the US from helping Vietnam with its deep and historical security concerns with China, against which it had fought several wars of independence, which made it impractical for communist Vietnam to walk lockstep with communist China in the realm of foreign and domestic policy. Similarly, Chavez and Venezuela are erroneously viewed as following the same “revolutionary socialist” path as Fidel Castro in Cuba.

Such parallels between Ho and Chavez – or even Castro – seem to suggest that the frustrations that Robertson has with the Venezuelan president have little to do with his desire for democracy and social justice and more to do with the promotion of imperialism and empire. Therefore, just as the frustrations that led the US to go to war with Ho and North Vietnam were unwarranted, so, too, are the frustrations that led Robertson to voice such inflammatory rhetoric towards Chavez of Venezuela.

Wow. Makes a lot of sense. I just hope we don’t make the same mistake we made in Vietnam when we helped get the democratically elected president of South Vietnem assassinated. I mean, we already tried to get Chavez ousted and tried to rig the referendum election that re-elected him. America is in the wrong once again, saying we are spreading freedom (what ever the fuck that means anymore) while in reality becoming the new empire builders.

Remember Pearl Harbour

August 27, 2005

A Japanese pilot remembers that day:

…”All my concentration was focused on that scope, and I couldn’t think about anything else but the target,” says Abe, now 89 and – by his own admission – a wiser man than the daring pilot who at Pearl Harbour fired one of the first shots of the second world war in the Pacific.

……………………………………………………

He raises his eyes slightly as he re-examines the memories of 7 December 1941, but finally shakes his head.

Abe did not know it at the time, but the three Aichi Type 99 “Val” aircraft that he led on the bombing run against the USS Raleigh worsened the damage caused by an aerial torpedo dropped a short while earlier, although the crew managed to keep the warship afloat and it was later repaired. None of the crew was killed.

Another part of the story that Abe only discovered after the war was that the attack was carried out before Japan had declared war against the United States.

“I had always believed the attack was preceded by a declaration of war 30 minutes earlier,” he said. “When I did find out, I was extremely shocked and frustrated. I felt terrible regret. In war, surprise is a justifiable military tactic that is often effective, but it can only be justified if it is preceded by an official declaration of war.”

……………………………………………………

Fighting a new battle now, against cancer, Abe says that greater diplomatic efforts in the run-up to the attack on Pearl Harbour could have avoided bloodshed and laments the failure of young Japanese today to acknowledge what his generation lived through.

“Most Japanese people don’t know anything about Pearl Harbour,” he says. “In the United States, every time that December 7th comes around they make sure they remember. The differences between the two countries are vast.”

A soldier is a soldier, no matter what side of the line they are shooting from. Go read the whole piece, then remember why we fight wars. Both sides lie to their troops to get them to fight. Both sides of war are wrong. But still we fight on, killing so a few can have more.

Thoughts on boobies

August 25, 2005

To jump off the political train for a second, I ask this:

Do women have two boobies because humans have two hands or do we have two hands because women have two boobies?

On that note, which came first, the boob or the hand?

Another Perspective

August 23, 2005

If we must accept the system of government that our Founding Fathers created at the birth of this nation, then let us hold our current elected officials to the standards set fourth by the creators. Also, if this system, the Constitutional Republic, is to succeed, then the citizens of this nation must be active participants.

Those citizens elected to serve as public officials must never forget that their duty is to serve the people; that each and every action be for the benefit of the Republic as a whole. A contract between those elected and the citizens must be made that if broken, leads to the timely removal of these officials.

It is the responsibility of the citizens to monitor the elected, to provide them with support when needed and to call for their resignation if need arise. At no time can this system be changed for the benefit of the few over the many lest the Republic be put in peril.

Violence shall be the last resort, but shall exist as a legal defense of the Republic by the citizens against the elected. Likewise, the citizens must continually police themselves to ensure that radical idealists do not endanger the Republic by spreading fallacies.

The freedoms enshrined in the Constitution do not override common sense or the laws of nature. Their purpose is to ensure that the citizens of this Republic be free from tyranny but not personnal responsibility.

It is of the utmost importance that each citizen monitor their own actions, and that compromises must be made to reduce the threat of internal strife. If we are to succeed as a unified Republic, then we must make individual sacrifices at times, each and every one of us, even to the extent of death.

Long live the Republic.

Who is the terrorist?

August 22, 2005

I have been reading up on Che Guevara and Luis Posada Carriles and I have a question. One helped put Castro in power and the other tried to kill him. One opposed the US government while the other is supported, if not officially, by the US government. Both murdered people. Which is a hero and which is a terrorist?

The left holds Che as an icon, while holding Posada as an example of the government supporting terrorism. I am torn. This all stems from my postings on Venezuela, that Chavez and Castro are in cohoots. I am not a fan of Castro, to borrow a line from the Dead Kennedy’s: how many liberators really want to be dictators? And while I think what Chavez is trying to do is a good thing, the idea of supporting anything linked to Castro chills my blood.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not supporting Posada. He is a murderer. But if he tried to kill Castro, good. Now folks say since he is supported by the CIA, he must be bad. But what of Che? Did he not also murder people, while claiming he was doing it for the good of the people?

So is either a terrorist? Both? Does it depend on who you ask and where you are? Che may have meant well, but the reality is he helped put Castro in the seat of power. Call it socialism, he still fought on the side of the communists. And I have yet to read one good thing communists have done for the human race.

Posada has connections to drug smuggling (Iran-Contra) amongst other things, but tried to kill Castro. Luis Posada worked with the CIA against the spread of communism, no doubt doing some pretty bad shit in the process. We all know the history of US intervention in South America.

And how can the left idealize a man who helped spread communism which crushed human rights everywhere it spread? Posada is no poster boy for spreading democracy himself. Both men were soldiers for a cause. Is one any better than the other?

I find this a tough subject. It’s similar to my quandary on our troops in Iraq: I feel deeply for them because I too was a soldier and have friends there, but I cannot say I forgive them for killing 100,000 Iraqis.

There is no middle ground in morality. But it seems to me being human is nothing but middle ground. We can say we only kill because we have too, because someone made us. But why are we being made to shoot each other in the first place?

From the Book of Willie of the Boomer Bible

August 22, 2005

CHAPTER 12

I ask you, “What is the differ-
ence between the Chosen
Nations, whom you hate, and
all the Others for whom you
have so much love?”
2 You see that the tree you
hate is big, and so you think
that every small tree is beauti-
ful and good.
3 But this is a lie which you
have made up for yourselves,
because you are not very smart
and cannot think of any other
way to think about it.
4 The truth is that all trees are
of the same tree,
5 Which is the tree of Man-
kind,
6 And one is not different
from the other in its basic na-
ture.
7 You would revile the con-
quistadors because they com-
mited genocide in the name of
God against the Mayas and
the Aztecs,
8 But I ask you, Did not the
Mayas and Aztecs also
commit genocide in the name
of God against those who op-
posed them, and even against
their own people?
9 You would deplore the Brits
who commited genocide
against the Zulus of South Af-
rica, not even in the name of
God, but in the name of the
king, for the purpose of ex-
panding their evil empire.
10 But again I ask you, Did
not the Zulus commit geno-
cide against their neighbors,
also in the name of their king,
for the purpose of expanding
their empire?
11 And so what is the differ-
ence between the conquista-
dors and the Mayas, or be-
tween the Brits and the Zulus?
12 The only difference is that
the Spic tree was taller than
the Maya tree, and the Brit
tree was taller than the Zulu
tree,
13 Just as the American tree is
taller than the tree of South-
east Asia or the tree of the
native Americans.
14 And if you cut down the
biggest tree, you will simply
make room for the smaller
trees to grow taller,
15 By commiting genocide
against their neighbors and
their own peoples,
16 Which is what they all
want to do anyway,
17 All of them,
18 Including even the very ti-
niest trees on the planet,
19 Even unto the headhunters
of the rain forest,
20 Who have no nuclear
weapons
21 Or B-52’s,
22 Or napalm,
23 But still want more heads
anyway,
24 Because they too are of the
tree of man.

Having Thought About It

August 18, 2005

Go read a history book. Soldiers are not heroes.

Is there really a difference between a terrorist and a soldier? Each accepts the weapon freely. Each kills for money, patriotism, faith, or some other ideal. The atrocious behavior they exhibit on the battlefield is no different. The names themselves are interchangeable depending on which side of the war you stand.

Wars are waged by the powerful at the expense of the masses. But it is the masses that agree to fight said wars for the powerful. I don’t see Bush raising a finger in combat. Why should he feel bad for Cindy Sheehan or the others mothers who have lost sons in this war, or any war for that matter. In the minds of the powerful, we are all pawns on a chest board. And we put ourselves there. Why should the powerful feel bad for us when we voluntarily rush into battle for them? We don’t have to fight. We don’t have to do a goddamn thing. But because we have all bought into this man made system that is civilization, we join the military and go murder other members of the masses at the whim of the elite.

We put ourselves in the line of fire. Whether it’s a bomb tied around the waste or an M-16, no one forced these things upon us. At some point each individual person made a series of decisions that led to them standing there with a weapon. And the real irony, at least for us in the West, is that we finance these ventures in population control with our tax dollars.

This war in Iraq is a perfect example. The elite wanted a war in Iraq, so they lied their collective asses off and got one rolling. The public, despite the tireless work of hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, never bothered to find out for themselves what the truth was. They just plugged in. Took it hook line and sinker. It’s like those folks who watch wrestling. They know it’s not real but they choose to overlook this fact. They get emotionally wrapped up in it. They scream and yell, supporting their favorite wrestler while booing the evil one. The general masses are no different. We get all worked up over shit like religion, nationalism, and wealth and who benefits in the end? Its like that wrestling match, we show up, pay money to get in, invest our emotions in the event, but leave with nothing real, nothing attained. Those running the show leave wealthier of course, and they move on to find the next group of suckers.

Is it because we are so bored that we buy into these scams in the first place? Are the masses just too sedated to accept responsibility for their own actions, thoughts and deeds? Why do we keep fighting their wars for them? What pity do we deserve for propping up the system that enables this to happen?

Iraq is no different than any other war. Someone somewhere with a lot of power (or some other made up statute used to subjugate humankind) decided they wanted something someone else had. This first person convinced a bunch of other people to go get it from the second person even if it meant the other people might die. Which they did, in large numbers. Then the first person got what the second person had. All of which was financed by the other people. The end.

I love it when people tell me that’s just the way it is. What defeatism. Things are only this way because we make it so. We make ourselves miserable. We made up civilization, we made up religion, and we all buy into the idea of wealth regardless of how miserable it all makes us. The earth we live on is the Garden of Eden. It is a perfect paradise, and the only such place we know of. We have all we need, and yet all we do is fight over it. Age after age, one generation into the slaughter after the next we dance into wars fought for reasons soon forgotten by time. We rape the earth, poison our environment and claim to be enlightened beings, children of a divine being. What horseshit.

It all keeps building up. More people, faster consumption, bigger wars, all growing exponentially. At some point it tilts against us. But who cares, what’s the point. War is good for business. And even if some people do care, fuck ’em. Just paint them as traitors and the masses will ignore them.

Apparently life is too easy on this rock we call home. We humans have too much time on our hands. We are so successful that a couple million of us get slaughtered in a war and we move right on to the next war without missing a step. More bodies on the pile with each passing battle, while the corporate fat cats smile. It’s not their kids dying after all.

So we the masses march on into oblivion, fighting each other so a few can have more. Brilliant really, when you stop and think about it. The masses deserve no sympathy, and we get none. On to the next war!

And the soldiers, children of the masses, will continue to murder each other for their masters. Because that is what soldiers do. Heroes? I think not.