Thursday, March 24, 2011

When is a "War?"

President Obama has returned from his South America trip to face accusations that he went to “war” without first consulting Congress. Ignore for a moment the fact that the last time Congress was properly consulted was apparently 1942. Also ignore the obvious fact that Bush/Cheney also went to “war” without proper authorization, as did Clinton, and still others, depending upon what is meant by war. What makes this current situation interesting is the claim by the Obama Administration that what is happening in Libya is not a war. No war has been declared. If no war has been declared Obama cannot be accused or found guilty of going to war without Congressional authorization. Simple, no? Obama has a point here because there is some kind of humanitarian clause in the U.N. mandate, and who will prove that we did not act on purely humanitarian motives (which I don’t personally believe). Anyway, calls for his impeachment or whatever will go absolutely nowhere, and I bet Bush/Cheney are wishing people would shut up about it.

There’s no point in turning to the dictionary. There are several definitions of war, some of which might think Libya is a war and some would not so consider it. War or not it is certainly a clever bit of fiction. That is, we claim we are not leading this enterprise even though we obviously have been. Now it will be “turned over” to the UN. But everyone knows that the U.S. will still be in charge, however much in the background. I wonder if anyone at all is going to be fooled into believing otherwise?

It really doesn’t matter if it’s a “war” or not, Republicans are going to criticize Obama no matter what he does. What truly irks me, as you know, is criticism from the likes of New Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and that awful Bachmann woman. Obviously any American citizen has the right to criticize the President, and we all do quite often, but the MSM doesn’t drool over us as they seem to do when any of these three jerks speak. Bachmann has a screw loose, Palin in an ignoramus, and Gingrich is a known hypocritical liar, why should their opinions be given so much credence (or at least coverage). I think many of our news broadcasters are similarly of limited capacity. One of them today wondered why Donald Trump (the jerk of all jerks) was insisting on seeing Obama’s birth certificate (if he was not intending to really run for President). I should think it would be perfectly obvious, he does it for the same reason he does everything else, publicity, pure and simple. He has no intention of running for President (assuming the Republicans would be stupid enough to allow it) and is getting millions of dollars worth of publicity by acting as an absolute idiot (maybe he’s not acting).

While Americans are desperate for jobs, Republicans are desperate to stop abortions, gay marriage, gays in the military, labor unions, collective bargaining, Medicare and Medicaid, and most of all (they falsely claim) reducing the deficit by reducing spending (the antithesis of job creation). The newly elected Tea Party Governors have proven themselves to be genuine mercenaries, intent on carrying out their corporate instructions to abolish the middle class at all costs. It appears it will eventually cost them dearly. Perhaps this is a good thing as it seems to have awakened the public at long last and it bodes well for the future, If, that is, we are to have any future. The fall-out from Fukushima is still by no means over, several permits for more deepwater drilling have been awarded recently, Obama is still talking about the merits of nuclear energy, and it looks like it will be business as usual. It seems to be true, we just never learn. Norway has stopped drilling in the ocean because of the potential disaster that might lie there, Germany is doing away entirely with nuclear energy, but we, with our usual shoot first, ask questions later approach, will apparently plunge on mindlessly until it is too late. And global warming, remember that, was briefly considered to be a serious problem. Concern for it seems to have pretty much waned. Perhaps this is because 3/4ths of our Congresspersons are said to not believe in science. This really does not bode well for the future. In a closely related matter, a recent report suggests that most of the industrial nations have pretty much abandoned religion. Here we are building Creationist Museums . If you don’t believe this is an extremely dangerous situation you obviously don’t think.

I confess to feeling trapped in a country I no longer recognize and would consider leaving. But at my age, and in my particular circumstances, this is impossible. It’s even more impossible because if I mention it my wife immediately asks, “Where would you move?” I find this hard to answer, Europe is no better off, perhaps worse off, many places are politically unstable, others are subject to natural disasters, many have dictatorial governments, unstable currencies, and on and on. So I dream of the past, finding a small town somewhere where one can walk to the local family-owned butcher shop, bakery, grocery, hardware store, get a house-call from the family doctor, garden, and live more like I believe people were meant to live. This is my American dream, one that can no longer come true. But if you hear of such a place, let me know.

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