Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Second Thoughts

Told to move out, she
sprays boyfriend with mace
and sets his porch on fire.

Of course Lietta, borrow what you wish.

I am having second thoughts about President Obama’s disgraceful speech of last night. I am not only still disgusted, I am now angry. Apparently taking a page out of the Bush/Cheney instruction booklet for feeding the public nothing but crap, Obama also seems to accept their belief that the American public is completely bereft of either brains or intelligence. He wants us to believe he is accelerating the hostilities in Afghanistan in order to facilitate withdrawal, and he expects to start the withdrawal in somewhere around 18 months, except that he might not do that, ”depending upon circumstances on the ground” (where have we heard that before). In other words, he wants it both ways: placate the right-wing by accelerating this ridiculous “war,” and placating the left by claiming he is going to withdraw (but he might not). This is nothing but more Bush/Cheney obfuscation and gobbledygook, meaningless nonsense that will allow him to maintain the permanent “war” the military/industrial/political complex demands, to say nothing of the hope for Cheney’s pipeline to bypass Russia.

We had better start thinking very carefully about what is most probably the destruction of our country as we have known it for so long. We are potentially in big, big trouble. Consider that Obama has now almost guaranteed himself a one term Presidency. Much of his base is already eroding and Independents are not happy with him either. But think of the horrors that might ensue if he does lose the coming election in 2012. Who would replace him, Republicans? Republicans whose idea of a Presidential candidate is Sarah Palin, Lou Dobbs, Dick Cheney, any one of a bunch of known adulterers, Mike Huckabee, Glenn Beck, Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, or at best perhaps, Mitt Romney, the Lying Mormon. This, I think, is not funny. Even if the Democrats were to run someone other than Obama, their dismal failure at trying to pass health care, ending the “wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan, pulling the country out of a jobless recession (at least so far), and their failure to act in unison on most anything, would hardly recommend them for another term in power. We are almost certainly going to find ourselves in the position of having two virtually hopeless political parties, neither of which seems to have any interest whatsoever in actually governing, the good of our country, or the well being of our citizens, criminally in debt, harboring our war criminals, lacking in transparency, unable, even uninterested in governing, completely subservient to the demands of huge corporations interested only in quick profits and buying votes, and hopelessly mired in mindless partisanship (mostly for show, when not simply out of unbelievable ignorance), hardly a bright future.

If ever there was an opportunity for a serious third party, this is it. It could be called, simply enough, The “Reform Party,” and could attempt to pull together those few Congresspersons and Senators that appear to have a serious interest in running the country and looking out for the well being of its citizens, rather than merely getting themselves re-elected time after time. With a strong cadre of known serious-minded individuals with some experience in government, they could reach out for all of the disaffected Obama supporters and independents who are currently being betrayed by what has turned out to be mistaking charm and rhetoric for substance. I am loathe to write Obama off completely, although I am more and more being pushed in that direction by some of the things he is doing (or not doing). If, for example, health care is passed with a strong public option, and if the jobless rate declines, and if the economy picks up, and if things go passably well in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Democrats might manage to stay in charge for a long time to come (a whole lot of really big “ifs”). That all of these positive things might happen seems unlikely. Obviously Obama cannot be blamed for everything, he did inherit an impossible world, and he does have a dysfunctional Democratic controlled Congress, but I do have to believe this terrible mistake about Afghanistan is mostly his, and I do believe it is indeed a mistake. It seems to be predicated on what I believe is a distorted view of the Afghans, the relationship of the Taliban to al Qaida and Pakistan, who the enemy actually is, what the importance of the threat really is, the efficacy of military might, and a perverted view of what ought to be our priorities. I tremble at the thought of what another Republican administration might do and I always try, at least, to hope for the best (it is becoming more and more difficult as time goes by).

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.
Sir Winston Churchill

In the game of draughts (checkers in America), if no player ever makes a mistake, the game will always end in a draw.

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